Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 10, Episodes 22-23

A delightfully unpredictable season has given us a Final 6 that… how do I put this… nobody predicted. So the show is still on brand, I guess?

Episode 22 (by Assistant Dragon Slayer)

On the one hand, the final 6 vote in Survivor is fascinating. It’s fiendishly complex and almost by necessity results in a high-level betrayal, with a very slight chance of a rock draw if everyone is equally stubborn. On the other hand, it’s boring. Assuming that a challenge threat wins immunity, there’s a relentless logic to the vote that usually locks all but one person in place, and that person almost always relents rather than go to rocks. Thus, in the absence of idols or other advantages, the outcome is almost completely predictable once the immunity challenge winner is determined. There are other votes that are somewhat predictable for structural reasons (the first boot, the merge boot), but the F6 vote is different because it’s so close to the end, the variables are far fewer, and there’s nowhere for anybody to hide.

I think the predictable nature of the F6 vote (with rare, mind-blowing exceptions such as Cirie’s 3-2-1 move in Panama) is why US Survivor has consistently tried to disrupt it in recent seasons (through multiple idols in Cambodia, the extra vote in Kaoh Rong, the Legacy Advantage in MvGX, that mess I still don’t want to talk about in Game Changers). It would be a structural flaw in the game to have, in season after season, a pivotal vote where the only real suspense comes from finding out which of the big threats isn’t immune.

(Digression: The predictability of the F6 vote is a good reason to incorporate it into the finale, but if they’re going to interfere with the vote to make it more interesting, then make it a standalone episode. Otherwise they risk both underserving the F6 vote and making the whole finale feel rushed. The most egregious example of this was the Cambodia finale.)

For someone new to Survivor, seeing the F6 vote play out in its pure, unadulterated form can be quite interesting, since as I noted, there is a certain complexity to it. Even if it rarely goes to rocks, that possibility is ever-present and seeing everyone think through the various decision trees is interesting. Even for seasoned Survivor viewers (which I assume includes anybody reading this), it’s nice to see a pure F6 vote once in a while, if only to remember what the extra vote and so on are supposed to disrupt. But since we’re all veteran Survivor watchers, there’s really no need to even recap this episode blow by blow. It was either Locky or Ziggy, and it was always going to be either Locky or Ziggy no matter how much they showed us Jericho vowing chaos or Tara waffling. Locky won immunity, so Ziggy went home. Onward!

I guess maybe I should mention the immunity challenge. I love it, and I hope it gets reverse-imported to US Survivor someday. It really is perfect for this stage of the game–it’s weirdly hypnotic to watch, it’s physically taxing without relying on sheer strength, and it’s mentally taxing without being a puzzle.

A note via DM from Kemper Boyd: “Ziggy blew it the moment she used her super-idol on Anneliese. That was someone loyal to her side. She then used her idol at a bad moment on the wrong person (herself). How useful would that idol have been here? massive. Had Anneliese still been in the game Locky would have been gone and she had a super-idol to use on Henry. She was never winning, her physical attributes would always paint a target on her around here but she’d at least have made a much bigger splash.”

This is an excellent point. The problem with misplaying an idol/advantage is not just that you let it go to waste, but that you don’t have it later when you really need it. (Update: According to Ziggy’s exit interview, she and Anneliese in fact weren’t allied and Ziggy didn’t trust her. But the point still stands: Ziggy needed to use the super-idol on Henry’s idol).

Episode 23 (by Head Architect Sylvia)

Episode 23 begins with Locky sulking because his number one ally Ziggy went home last night. This then transitions into a conversation with Locky and Tara that is pretty unexciting. It’s clear that they’ve become pretty good friends throughout this journey, and so Locky is placing all of his faith in this friendship, but we know Tara won’t think twice about voting him out today if today is the day his immunity run comes to an end.

We cut to Jericho, Michelle and Peter who seem to be a pretty solid three at this point, and we get the same talk about needing to get rid of Locky. For the third episode in a row.

Locky proceeds to bait Tara into making her think he has an idol by revealing to her a piece of paper with text on it which appears to be a clue. We quickly find out that Locky doesn’t have one, but he very cleverly pocketed the idol clue which Anneliese dropped as she was leaving tribal council. Could this be a game changer?

Naturally Tara eats this up and immediately goes into meltdown. Thankfully Peter and Jericho aren’t swept up in the paranoia, as they were probably anticipating a desperate move like this from him. They justify that if Tara hasn’t seen it then there is nothing to worry about, but Tara is still paranoid, and when she relays this to Michelle, Michelle is equally uneasy. Peter is still adamant he doesn’t have one but he’s not really doing the best job reassuring anyone. Locky’s plan is working.

The next day is a complete change of pace and begins with Jericho telling Tara a heartfelt story about almost drowning as a child, and his fear about going back into the water. Because of this experience Jericho has a huge respect for surfers and in a cut scene which almost definitely did happen, he goes on for hours defending Ozzy Lusth as the best Survivor player of all time.

Quite hilariously after this heartfelt conversation Locky asks Jericho if he wants to go “out deep” for a snorkel and Jericho is super keen. Classic. There’s a nice scene of the two bonding as they explore the ocean together. Locky assures us that he’s just trying to sway Jericho with his slick adventure guide charm. Locky is an adventure guide so of course he does this sort of stuff every day back at home. Apparently.

Meanwhile this is paralleled with heaps of super positive confessionals from Jericho proclaiming to be conquering his fears, and things like that. The entire sequence is a nice moment and we get some pretty cool underwater diving shots. Is this Jericho’s winner’s edit?

We are getting a lot of characterization and a HUGE growth editing that veers away from the usual comedy routine Jericho provides.

Generic confessionals from Michelle and Locky transition us into today’s immunity challenge. JLP is standing next to something hidden by a mysterious green curtain. Everyone is trying to guess what it could be, meanwhile I’m just hoping he’s prepping for a sick magic tric- ILLUSION.

It’s a car! Wow did somebody say Holden? Yes it’s a Holden! The official sponsor of Australian Survivor! Locky pretends to be Oprah! Everybody is pumped!

The immunity challenge involves spacing planks of wood in a line and then tipping them over to create a domino effect with the goal of getting the final block of wood to fall into a fancy pot or something. All the while the competitors have to maneuver through foot holes in order to make sure they don’t knock any over. It’s not an original challenge but it’s usually a fairly entertaining one.

The challenge goes on for a while. First Peter goes for the win… nope! Jericho gets agonizingly close as all the planks fall down bar the last one. Locky gives it a go and has no luck either. Tara gives it a crack – nope! She can’t do it either. Slow and steady, challenge goddess Michelle is making sure her spacing is perfect before she makes her attempt because she probably can’t be bothered to do this more than once. She’s racing Locky! It’s neck a neck! Michelle goes for it AND SHE WINS! She beats Locky by a couple of seconds. Did Michelle really just win a challenge AND a car, beating out Locky who was on a three challenge immunity streak?

Locky is pretty salty and this is hilarious. I can’t believe this happened, I’m losing it, Michelle has consistently been the worst at challenges throughout the entire season. So clutch. So poetic.

Anyway Michelle is beaming and she gets the chance to take two people on a picnic and a ride in her sick new car. She picks Jericho and Tara. Smart move to keep Tara on side, but I can’t help but feel sorry for Peter who has been Michelle’s number one ally for a while now. He has been looking pretty miserable lately so it would have been nice to see him get a reward. He takes it graciously.

We get some hi-tech drone footage of Michelle driving her new Holden down the back alleys of some Samoan forest and Michelle is ecstatic that she’ll “never hit a garbage bin again” thanks to her new car’s swish reverse camera. The trio have a lovely picnic and make the classic “this is the final three” statement. This always happens on these late game rewards. A Locky vote out seems imminent but Tara and Michelle are still uneasy about the possibility of an idol.

Meanwhile Peter and Locky are having a hilariously awkward time back at camp. These two don’t really like each other much. Peter very candidly confronts Locky about having an idol. Locky makes weak excuses as to why he can’t show Peter his idol and thankfully Peter still doesn’t buy it at all.

The trio arrive back at camp and Locky and Jericho have a conversation. Locky does his best to persuade Jericho to vote for Peter instead and Jericho is apparently considering all of his options but I don’t see him voting for anyone other than Locky. I think if anything Jericho is just entertaining the idea of voting for Peter so that if Locky actually does have an idol, Jericho won’t be his target.

Once again we cut to Michelle and Tara who are still super paranoid. Michelle goes to spy on Locky, possibly hoping to catch him with an idol. OH NO what are you doing Michelle!?! Michelle is definitely buying into Locky’s story about having an idol and she wants to vote with Locky. NO MICHELLE DON’T DO IT. Hilariously Locky is pandering to Michelle by telling her that she’s one of the best players left in the game, despite calling her a goat to Jericho just moments ago.

NO! Locky has apparently swayed her and Michelle is set on voting for Peter, who has been her number one ally for the past few notes. Her reasoning is that if Locky does have an idol, she’ll be sitting pretty when he comes back to camp from tribal council, and Locky won’t turn on her at the final three vote even if he wins immunity. That’s what I can make out if it. She’s definitely overthinking this and is trying to plan too far ahead. If Locky does have an idol then Michelle is immune this tribal council anyway, and she’ll be on even footing with everyone else for the next vote even if Locky is still in the game, because no one else seems to be voting with him. I understand the logic behind it but it definitely does not seem like a good plan and watching this sequence is breaking my heart a bit.

We go into tribal with Locky apparently thinking he has Tara, Jericho and Michelle on his side, but surely he can’t be that naïve. Even with Michelle, it’s got to be him tonight. Once we get to tribal JLP reveals to the jury that Michelle won immunity and a car, and the jury’s reaction is priceless. It’s nice to see Michelle getting a bit of respect from the jury – they are seriously impressed. Go Michelle! Michelle is trying to be humble but she can’t help being a bit chuffed, and rightly so.

We get into the nitty gritty and it looks pretty obvious that Michelle has bought into Locky’s notion that she has to be sitting at the end with the best (Ugh Michelle, why!). Locky proceeds to claim that everyone should take him to the end because he’s a super cool likable guy and that he has not once made any personal remarks about someone in the game. Thankfully Peter calls him out on this and instead of apologising to Peter for calling him a goat, Locky condescendingly reaffirms his stance that Peter is a goat. Wow! What a great guy. Way to sell yourself, Locky.

Anyway, Peter claims not be a goat, things take an odd turn as Tara seems to imply that she’s offended by the use of the term “goat” because apparently goats are very independent. She would much prefer to refer to these people as “sheep” because they followed a shepherd. Hopefully Jeff Probst hears this so he can let everybody know this important change in Survivor terminology. It’s quite an amusing moment and after this little tangent Tara rightfully says that it’s good for most people sitting there if a goat sticks around and a threat goes. Tara has been slowly growing on me. Very slowly.

We’re about to vote and Locky indicates he has an idol, but thankfully Peter is there again to shoot holes in Locky’s story. We then get a moment from Michelle about how a move at this tribal could seal someone’s fate in this game and I hope this isn’t foreshadowing Michelle’s future after voting with Locky tonight.

It’s time to vote! The votes are counted, and I get a minor scare, but Locky goes home on a 3-2 vote and everyone lets out a sigh of relief except for Michelle who looks pretty uncomfortable. This was not a good episode for Michelle and I hope this doesn’t cost her. I’m relieved Locky is finally gone – this makes the remaining challenges more unpredictable and I was really sick of his attitude. He really impressed me with his gameplay after Henry was voted out, and tonight in particular, but unfortunately his unsavory personality never changed.

See you next week for the finale! Hope it’s a good one.

Discussion Points

  • That Jericho characterisation wasn’t just a coincidence right? Does the EDGIC point to him being the winner? What do you think?
  • Will the car curse strike again?
  • Does anyone think Michelle voting with Locky was the right move? I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
  • If Michelle makes final tribal council is there anyway for her to spin this vote into something positive?
  • Is Tara growing on anyone else? I’ve hated her for a while but I’m slowly warming up to her, I think she’s a much better player than she was just a few episodes ago.
  • Peter was on fire this episode. He’s clearly not having a great time, but he seems to be quite switched on. What argument could he make for winning if he makes it to the final tribal council?
  • Episode 24 will be a non-elimination, ending on a challenge for the right to eliminate a juror. Who should each of the final four get rid of?
  • How does Michelle’s challenge win rank for you in terms of incredible challenge wins? We’ve seen underdogs beat amazing competitors before, but I feel like none of those underdogs have been quite as hopeless as Michelle, and the car adds a whole ‘nother layer to the hilariousness of her win (note from ADS: The previous winners of this challenge are Julia Sokolowski and Andrea Boehlke, so it plays to Michelle’s strengths, such as they are).
Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer fell in love with Survivor from the very first episode he watched: the Caramoan premiere. He considers any Survivor better than the Caramoan pre-merge to be great Survivor.

Favorite seasons: Pearl Islands, China, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Cambodia

Favorite players: Yul Kwon, Denise Stapley, Cirie Fields, Tony Vlachos, Judd Sergeant, Benjamin Wade (Tocantins and HvV only), Brenda Lowe (fight me!)
Assistant Dragon Slayer
  • Maritimer

    I was actually kind of impressed with Locky trying to pull in each player as the person to vote with him with his idol ruse, in the hope that he could convince two of them separately. I think he should have made a fake idol and hung it around his neck to convince them further though.
    Bit worried about Michelle, not sure if that vote could be compared to JT’s Coach vote or not. Its too late in the game to knife someone for turning on you like that. Its all about end game. Jury seems to be pulling for her though. I think it will work out okay. She should try to push the blame on someone else though.
    The Jericho/Locky scene did have winner’s edit all over it, particularly an attempt to potentially explain a Locky vote for Jericho.
    Tara probably should have pushed to rocks at the F6 vote, because those three seemed pretty tight with her on the outside, but on the other hand, she doesn’t beat Ziggy or Locky at the end.
    Vote out a juror: Peter: Locky, Jericho: Tessa Michelle: Luke Tara: Jarrad

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I guess Locky should have tried to make a fake idol in the sense that he should have tried anything, but there’s no reason to think it would have gone any better than the Chicken Idol.

      • Maritimer

        Right. I’m not sure it would have helped, but its probably better than “I have an idol but I won’t show it to you”

        • Megan

          They didn’t show it, but in a post-boot interview he said that he tried to make fake idols but they kept breaking

          • Maritimer

            No gentle artists touch for Locky I guess

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Yeah, I hope that Michelle vote isn’t a deal breaker. There was nothing about it in the preview for next episode. If she makes it to the end at least she has a while to think of a good reason for voting with Locky if it comes up. I’m not sure if they’re pulling for her so much as they were just impressed/astonished that she won immunity and a car and were happy for her. So hard to read though.

      Yeah, and once Locky finds out Tara didn’t vote with him he might vote Jericho to get back at her (if they both make it to final tribal).

  • Kemper Boyd

    Is it a final 3 or are they eliminating a juror without knowing who they will sit with?
    If you think Jericho is next to you vote out Luke. If it’s Michelle take out Tessa. If it’s Tara take out Locky and fuck knows for Peter.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      According to the loglines for the episodes, the eliminate a juror advantage is in the next episode, then there’s one more elimination, then the finale. It’s not completely clear whether it’s an F3 or an F2, but it would almost have to be an F2.

      • Maritimer

        I like the idea of doing the jury vote out before the F2/F3 because it adds some extra complication/strategy to the consideration

    • Something Quirky

      The next episode answers how many people in the final.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Well I’m about to leave for the day and I’ll watch then. I hope it’s a final 3 but that’s a lot of non elimination so close to the end.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Next thought. I too am warming to Tara, she has maneuvered well post-merge. She keeps herself in good and moves when her numbers crumble. I don’t think there is a bad winner in this final 4 just one who has been edited very very weakly (sorry Petey).

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I might feel that way eventually, especially if someone goes Natalie Anderson on the others, but I must say that right now I’m terribly disappointed in this final 4.

      • Kemper Boyd

        This final 4 is way more satisfactory to me than El, Lee, Kristie and Flick. Flick was the only winner I’d have been satisfied with their story.

        • prettyboyprobst

          I think you’re both right. Much better than last season (have to add though, as we probably discussed at length at the time, the only candidate that I could at least have halfway rallied around left at F5. The F7 (or F8? Whenever Brooke-vote happened.) decision really robbed us imo of the only two good options left for that season), but we’re going to have a seriously flawed winner either way. But that’s fine, not every season can have an Earl or Kim as winner.

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      It’s difficult with Tara because although we’re both slowly warming to her, it’s hard to just forget about how awful/oblivious she was for such a large portion of the game.

      • Kemper Boyd

        She’s the worst of the 4 but one of them has been given no edit at all so we know he’s not winning. I mean Kristie had a much bigger edit.

  • prettyboyprobst

    Epsiode 22:

    – These are really good general remarks about the problems and intrigue of the final 6 episodes.
    – Having said that, I think they did a really good job of making it a quality episode despite the arguably predictable ending, even though I had trouble myself to get into it because I’m still reeling from the effects the post-merge boot order.
    – Because Locky won immunity, I felt like rocks were a real possibility (editors also worked hard to set the viewer-expectations to “Rock-Draw”). Tara wanted Locky gone bad, but I think Ziggy became over lollies and everything someone she wanted to keep around long term (as far as such strategy-thoughts occur to Tara). The non-Locky side was also far form a tight, united group, so keeping Ziggy to beat Locky and to move forward with could have had some real advantages for Tara, who would have the tighter alliance and a better chance for immunity on her side in a Final Four scenario.
    – But it was a 1/3 chance of going out and I’m still undecided if she should have gone to rocks, but lean towards “No”. Certainly not the way she played it at TC, which brings me to my next point, but had she owned the rock draw as her BIG MOVE à la Ciera, then maybe.
    – Oh Tara, what are you doing? She became almost good at pre-merge tribals now, not making her intentions known and throwing some misdirections, but there is a jury now. She should want to impress them, but instead she gleefully throws sand into their eyes to make herself look torn and essentially dumber than she is. “Do you have a headache now, Tara?” – “Now I got a headache 🙁 ”
    In her voting confessional she makes it clear that she never wavered at this TC and that it was always going to be Ziggy, which is fine*, but why didn’t she tell anyone? There is no reason! (*and good for Ziggy, because otherwise…)
    – Ziggy Zagame, what are you doing? (that’s her full name, btw, which is awesome, isn’t it? Or do I think that only because of the accent that comes with my mother-language?)
    Was there ever someone worse at convincing others to go to rocks for them than her? I wasn’t impressed pre tribal council, but that one line (playing to the jury, I guess?) would have all but secured Tara flipping, had she not already decided to do so.
    I liked her enthusiasm that she showed throughout the game, and maybe that willingness to be a player, when she only had the skills to be a number with a strong physical game, is what did her in (and some of our favs with her, grmphf). Although she did make it to F6, I think it’s safe to say, that, in the end, zaGame proved to be too much for Ziggy. [Thank you, thank you very much!]
    – I’m also not sure why Ziggy so willingly accepted the challenge-threat label at this point. Sure, she won the first two (three, really) in impressive fashion, but she sucked ever since. Maybe she thought she had to, to be regarded as the hero that is needed to beat Locky, but I have a feeling that’s not really it.
    – Locky trying to convince people to join their side was hilarious. Maybe some of the other three should have played it more wishy-washy to him, but that would have entailed its own risks, and I absolutely loved to see everyone stand their ground in one-on-one conversations, especially Michelle not giving his bullshit-logic any consideration was so much fun to see!
    – Challenge: I like it for the players and how it tests a different set of skills than the usual immunity challenges, but it is not working as exciting TV, with how suddenly people drop out of it. It is a worthy immunity challenge however, in my opinion the only one that Locky can be proud of. His first two wins were kind of cheap, more fitting for reward challenges. Where the puzzles at?
    – totally agree with Kemper’s short addition to the recap. Ziggy’s game frustrated the hell out of me. Not just in the moment (although that as well, many, many times), but also in regards to the path she pushed this season down with her actions, which most of the time robbed the game of intersting options to develop into. I’m glad you didn’t have to save the Mr.Burns GIF until the finale week.
    – I didn’t listen to the newest batch of exits yet, but I call BS on Ziggy’s Anneliese remarks. Sure, it was a strained relationship, but they both were working very closely with Jarrad and voted together for quite some time. Compare that to Locky and Henry, who voted her closest ally out on the previous vote. Did anyone see her (almost certainly production-prompted) Ponderosa-Talk with Anneliese? So painful to watch! I’m not saying that Ziggy is stupid in RL, but she sure is in regards to Survivor. Good riddance, she way overstayed her welcome.

    I didn’t expect that I would have that much to say about this episode. On to greener pastures, iow epsiode 23 (of which I have good memories, although probably not as much to add). Curious what H.A.S. HAS to say about it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has watched that challenge twice and savoured every moment of it the 2nd time.

  • Super duper fan

    I have to say that I was worried that the entertainment value would really go downhill after the best and most entertaining players went last two weeks, but it’s STILL going strong. Regarding the discussion points:
    -definetely that, or either “final juror fallen angel”. But I’m more on the winner side.
    -I HOPE not.
    -This move was definetely a mistake, but definetely a one she can overcome. And I don’t give her as much heat for it, because after 50 days without any food, and plus a mere POSSIBILITY of Locky surviving after he FINALLY lost immunity, definetely was frustrating for her, and that’s why she overthought it. She thought that since she couldn’t beat him, she should join him, but like I said, she ultimately made a mistake with that one.
    -She definetely could, but we won’t know until it happens.
    -Yeah, she does. Not enough to wanting her to win, but I do enjoy her. And TBF, Locky’s and Tara’s problem this season is that they are the least likable people on this cast, when they aren’t actively terrible. And I still prefer Locky over Sam or Lee from last season for example.
    -I think he has enough friends on the jury to win, and would have to only articulate his smaller moves to get a win.
    -Michelle: Ziggy
    Tara: Tessa
    Jericho: Jarrad
    Peter: Luke
    -One of the best definetely. I loved it. Slay Queen Michelle!

    This season still manages to surprise me. I would mind anyone besides Tara winning, (which TBF, is too close for my liking, but I keep holding out hope that she won’t), with Michelle being my main rooting interest. And BTW, Jericho still hasn’t received any vote during a tribal. A canditate for a perfect game?

    And my final Power Rankings of the season are:
    1.Jericho (0)
    2.Michelle (0)
    3.Tara(0)
    4.Peter (0)

    • prettyboyprobst

      That he hasn’t received any votes yet is truly amazing and could be a big selling point for him at final tribal, as is the fact that he was on the right side of every vote but Luke’s boot since the merge, and even then he made it obvious to the jury that he knew what was going on.

      Our power ranking placements are finally identical. Hurrah, consensus!

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Yeah, I’d say it dropped in quality but only very slightly and I’m still very much enjoying every episode and can’t wait for the final few! That being said, I’m glad we’re getting to the end, because it is a lot of time to commit to each week and I wouldn’t be able to go on for too much longer.

      Ugh I’d disagree and say that Locky was pretty much always terrible. I feel like almost any time he’d do something nice / make a good strategic move he’d follow it up with some condescending comment. He was certainly a much more interesting character compared to most of the post-merge on season 1 though.

  • prettyboyprobst

    Discussion Points
    That Jericho characterisation wasn’t just a coincidence right? Does the EDGIC point to him being the winner? What do you think?
    I’m afraid it wasn’t. I’m afraid it does.
    They have to fill time with just 5 people left and they also like to throw the respective boots a bone on the way out (a habit I quite enjoyed in this version of Survivor), and this was also nice content for Locky, but these scenes still gave off massive winner vibes.

    Will the car curse strike again?
    I’m afraid it will. (Which is, on a level, cool with me, to be honest. I always like it if lame superstitions and curses like that happen to strike over and over.)

    If Michelle makes final tribal council is there anyway for her to spin this vote into something positive?
    Maybe if she tries the [in Michelle-voice] ” I , was the only one who knew where every. single. vote. was going”-defense, but it’s questionable if people on the jury would be satisfied with that. Best not to bring it up on her own and hope that nobody asks specifically about it. Maybe try to brush it off quickly if someone does, I could see that still working better than trying to defend it too much.

    Peter was on fire this episode. He’s clearly not having a great time, but he seems to be quite switched on. What argument could he make for winning if he makes it to the final tribal council?

    I have a feeling that Peter actually has a solid reputation as strategic (alhough certainly not flashy strategic, like Henry or AK) among his non-meathead castmates, although we clearly didn’t get to see much of it on the show, if that is truly the case. So… bring up the dominant alliance early on, surviving a swap, painting the mutiny as “best for his game”, surviving the fast decline of said alliance while always remaining loyal to it himself, and finally, building something new with Jericho and MIchelle that brought him to FTC. He should also try to shine a light on all the little moments, where he had a better read on situations (or Locky. Mostly Locky.) than anybody else on his side of things or even the whole tribe.

    Episode 24 will be a non-elimination, ending on a challenge for the right to eliminate a juror. Who should each of the final four get rid of?

    Oof, that’s really tough without knowing who you’re up against in a F2. I think, not just because of his recent winner edit, you would have to assume that Jericho is the favorite in the remaining challenges if they are physical (of course it could be that they will remember that puzzles can be an interesting challenge-element before this season is over, then my money would be on Peter). So if there is no one on the jury that will vote against you no matter what, try to damage Jericho’s (or Peter’s) prospects.
    Peter: Luke or Locky
    Jericho: Jarrad or Ziggy
    Tara: Tessa – but does it even matter? Is there any way she can still win?
    Michelle: That’s the toughest, because safe votes for Jericho probably become votes for her, if she makes it there over him. I say Jarrad or Ziggy.

    Challenge Queen Michelle
    It was so good, but there are probably many examples that had me even more excited, probably for the most part in cases where I didn’t just root for the challenge-winner ironically/for a lack of better options.
    ADS note: Interesting, but I would still say that it favors athletic large men over the sporty girls (not that Michelle is one). The only downside are larger feet, but fitness, reach and high-stepping in military/training programs should play in favor of men like Locky.

    Sole Survivor Power Rankings:
    1) Anneliese — Sarah (+1) ——-Michelle (+1) — Jericho (+1)
    2) Sarah ——– Michelle (+1) — Jericho (+1) —- Michelle (-1)
    3) Michelle —– Jericho (+2) —– Locky (+3) —– Tara (+1)
    4) Henry ——– Luke (+3) ——– Tara (+5) ——- Peter (+1)
    5) Jericho —— Tessa (+4) ——- Peter (+2)
    6) Locky ——– Locky ( – ) ——- Ziggy Zagame(+2)
    7) Luke ——— Peter (+5)
    8) Ziggy ——– Ziggy Zagame ( – )
    9) Tessa ——- Tara (+2)
    10) Jarrad
    11) Tara
    12) Peter

    Safest Place Power Rankings:
    1) Michelle —– Michelle ( – ) — Tara (+1) ——– Tara ( – )
    2) Tara ———- Jericho (+8) — Michelle (-1) —- Jericho (+1)
    3) Anneliese — Tara (-1) ——- Jericho (-1) —— Michelle (-1)
    4) Locky ——– Sarah (+1) —– Peter (+1) —— Peter ( – )
    5) Sarah ——– Peter (+6) —– Ziggy Zagame (+3)
    6) Henry ——– Luke (+6) —— Locky (+3)
    7) Jarrad ——- Tessa (+1)
    8) Tessa ——– Ziggy Zagame (+1)
    9) Ziggy ——– Locky (-5)
    10) Jericho
    11) Peter
    12) Luke

    I’m rooting for Peter, Michelle and Jericho in that order, but I’m really fine with either one of them winning. Having Tara as winner of this amazing season would be a tragedy. I don’t hate her (never have, but yes, my dislike for her isn’t as intense, as it used to be, anymore. And I always would have been fine with her getting the money, just not the title that comes with it), but this season deserves better.

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      I don’t think I’d be satisfied with Peter winning – even if the edit has potentially left out a lot. He seems like a nice guy but him winning on a season with so many super entertaining/strategic players would be a bit of a cop out in my opinion. I think Tara could be slightly more worthy but I really hope she doesn’t win either because she has been so inconsistent in so many areas and was pretty horrible for at least two thirds of the game. Haha yeah Tara with that title would be highly insulting.

      Yeah, Michelle winning and the challenge in general wasn’t the most suspenseful/exciting challenge ever but I think it was one of the most hilarious outcomes ever. I totally wasn’t just cheering for her ironically though!

      Ohhh I didn’t know about the jury vote out twist either! ADS does his research.

      Yeah true, Peter could craft something pretty solid. He’s probably more respected by the jury than we’ve been led to believe, the edit just isn’t really portraying that. I guess his reserved demeanour also doesn’t exactly help convince the audience watching at home.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Yeah, I get that and it’s true. I also want to see Michelle or Jericho win the most, for the show’s sake and because it would feel more satisfying, but when I take a step back and think about who I actually want to have the high of winning and the title, I would love for likable superfan Peter, who seems to have the worst time out of everyone out there, to get handsomely compensated by winning the whole thing, which I imagine would mean the most to him.

        Tara, I at least trust to not misunderstand winning with having bragging rights. She would probably admit herself that she had no idea what she was doing half of the time, so even her winning wouldn’t be so terrible as I made it sound, but I disagree that she is (however slightly) more worthy of a win than anyone left. Only if she would be up against Ziggy, or maybe Locky (if she won against him, it would be because not enough people liked Locky enough to vote for him, which would have been his undoing and make Tara more worthy), I would grant her “more worthy” status. But that feels like nitpicking of opinions, so please disregard (*nervous laugh).

        I’ve warmed up to Michelle over time and genuinely like her by now, but it didn’t start that way and there is definitely still an element of admiring just how ridiculously posh she is, as with her first notable challenge appearance that you mentioned in a different comment, which, I guess, makes my rooting for her based in somewhat ironic reasons, and also just for the unlikeliness of it all, especially in such a big challenge.

        The twist I only mentioned in a different comment (I was referencing taking a majority of three on a reward as overpowered, and as I heard just now in exit interviews, they didn’t even come back to camp before tribal, which make it even more overpowered).
        But I’ve seen the new episode now and I really want to share some opinions, haha.

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    I was so relieved Ziggy went home in that episode, she added absolutely nothing to the show – at least Tara and Locky are often entertaining and at least Peter has solid strategic chops.

    The previous winners of this challenge are Julia Sokolowski and Andrea Boehlke, so it plays to Michelle’s strengths, such as they are

    Fair enough, but as you imply, Michelle’s strengths are still flat out awful and Julia and Andrea were much better all rounders compared to Michelle. There was still a pretty big athletic element to this one which I wouldn’t say favoured Michelle. She was certainly cool, calm and collected so kudos to her for that, but she was also pretty lucky that everyone else was so focused on being the fastest. I did think she’d have more of a shot than usual but definitely didn’t expect her to win.

    As much as I’m still enjoying this season, I’m glad this is the final week because two/three episodes a week gets to be quite exhausting and watching HvHvH is feeling like almost a chore for me at the moment and I just can not get into it. I think Aus Survivor is to blame for that because it has been so good and also the over saturation of survivor meant I just wasn’t anticipating the US premiere like usual. Hopefully I can get into HvHvH more when this one ends.

  • prettyboyprobst

    Soo… after writing my initial thoughts on the latest episode and the twist into a word-file again, I’ve decided that it’s stupid to hold my thoughts on this twist back until after the finale, when nobody cares about an episode 24 twist anymore. So here it goes, SPOILER WARNING and everything (it’s behind tags, although for the first few bullet points, I’ve avoided using names anyway):

    Episode 24

    -If [person who won the advantage] wins, that would be 2/2 for the jury-vote-out advantage.
    As discussed during Kaoh Rong and in the aftermath, an easily overlooked effect of this twist is, that it allows the voter to gain favor with the remaining jury, by choosing jurors to stay
    over the one, who has to leave. Some say there is also a risk of pissing the jury off, but I think this far outweighs such risks.

    – Of course it also shows the winner of the advantage to be in a power position to the jury. It doesn‘t get more powerful in their eyes, than holding actual power over them, which is never the case
    otherwise

    – It feels wrong that there is a big twist and Anneliese doesn‘t get screwed by it. As much as I love her, part of me was hoping that she would be, again for no good reason, on the short end of a stupid
    twist

    – It also feels wrong that, for once, Jericho isn‘t heavily involved in stealing food or keeping food from others

    – Jericho missed an opportunity for doubling down on a blindside here. How awesome would it have been, had he not even asked the juror he voted out a question? The jury would have been shook and I believe he could have gained even more respect this way. Or would it have turned more people off?

    – Even though she probably really respected Jericho more than Tara, is there any question that he made the right decision? It‘s safe to say she woud have voted for Peter and Michelle before him, right?

    – And while his performance at the challenge and at tribal could have moved the target from Peter to him a little (or a lot), at least Tara should be more happy with him now, than before he voted out Tessa
    „for her“. That could actually help him stay in the game, but overall winning this advantage and playing it like he did, should lessen his chances of reaching FTC

    – Once again, the challenge was really cool.

    – On reddit people (jokingly?) suggested that Jericho could have just asked Luke, whom to vote out.

    On the surface it seems like a bad idea, because it would fit into the narrative that Jericho was/is just a follower of Luke, but I think if he chose the right words to paint it as a power-move (gaming the twist), it would have been a brilliant idea to ask Sarah or Luke of their opinion on where things stand (doesn‘t have to be only related to the juror-twist)

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I’m going to make separate posts for episodes 24-25 and the finale/reunion, in part because boy do I have things to say about this.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Are you alright to cover all three eps? Let me know if you need a hand. Pretty busy week for me but can help out again if you get bogged down. Sounds like you’re pretty keen though. Or perhaps it’s the opposite of keen, it’s hard to tell.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Thanks, but Kemper Boyd is back for finale week. I do have some ideas about how to cover the show going forward. First, it’s definitely too big a job for one person. Second, I think bullet points and discussion questions are sufficient. 1,000-word recaps of each episode make it hard to get them out in a timely fashion considering there’s only a few day’s time between the end of a week and the start of another, and the people who watch are watching intensely enough not to require a blow-by-blow recap.

          • prettyboyprobst

            InsideSurvivor also have their recap-duties split among 3 (or more?) contributers, but I barely got to read them. RHAP has a single blogger on the job, which I didn’t even know about until episode 21. That’s a crazy workload.
            Of course I always read the recaps here and enjoy the personal touch each of the writers bring to the task, but I can see how the schedule makes it hard to keep that up and also deliver in a timely fashion.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            I think bullet points would be great and would do the job perfectly. Yeah, it’s an impossible job for one person and it’s difficult to get three people to commit to writing for however many months because who knows what life can throw up. You’ve done an outstanding job this season. I think the goal for next season will be to get more of the regulars on board! I hope it gets renewed.

          • Maritimer

            I think bullet points/discussion is probably good if the goal is to get the posts up sooner. We kept bleeding talk into last weeks pages as we waited for posts to go up, because writing 3 recaps with that time constraint is hard. Logan Saunders over at RHAP was often a full week behind. You guys did a great job getting them up fairly quick, but like you say, we don’t necessarily need a blow-by-blow recap, even if they are really good!

    • Kemper Boyd

      he made the right call. But how fucking long winded were those questions?

      • Something Quirky

        It’s possible that was to impress the Jury. It did seem to work.

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      I think I’ll save most discussion for the actual recap if it’s being split up in to two seperate posts! But what I will say is that I really hate this twist, and I don’t think I’ll ever like any twist that targets jury members.

      • Max_Jets

        I would be fine with vote negation after the votes are cast, but I don’t like jurors not getting their say. I think it’s such an important piece to making Survivor work, where you can still get some type of satisfaction even when someone gets to the end by being an asshole. Can you imagine if Will from WA won something like this and booted Shirin? Oof.

        • prettyboyprobst

          But this would make it impossible for the player with that power to use it incorrectly.
          Unless the jury knows about it beforehand, but that could lead to jurors hiding their true intentions out of fear of having their votes voided.

          • Max_Jets

            They would negate it before the votes are read, like an idol, but yeah it doesn’t work that well. I guess I didn’t think about it too hard.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          Exactly! Tessa (and Neal) deserve to have their say, all of the jury having their moment at tribal council and having their input into who wins is a core part of survivor – like you say. I can’t imagine how Neal must have felt being the first jury member in 32 seasons not being able to have their say :(. And in the case of Aus Survivor it’s a really negative way to end an episode because everyone just feels really sad watching Tessa gloomily walk out. AND kicked out of Jury Villa! Not cool. I guess I’m not saving much for the recap.

          Agree that vote negation after votes are cast might not be the best alternative either though.

          • prettyboyprobst

            It sucks for one juror (and in Tessa’s case for us viewers), but I don’t hate so much what it does to the game. That can go either way and depends in large part on the decisions of the people involved, which is a good thing. — Shutting up now 😉

      • prettyboyprobst

        I think I’ll have to disagree on this one. For now I’m not going into even more details, other than I’m not crazy about it, but of all the non-elimination twists this season, this was the least upsetting (or maybe 2nd after the mutiny) from a game-construction standpoint to me.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          Haha fair enough! I don’t think I’ve liked any twists this season. The Tara/Annaliese at least sort shook up tribal dynamics a bit but still didn’t love that one. OK I HAVE TO SAVE SOME STUFF FOR THE RECAP TOO!

          • prettyboyprobst

            Yeah, they all suck in a way, but Australian Survivor gotta do what Australian Survivor’s gotta do.
            Hehe, ok, see you there! 😉
            (But I’m starting with the finale RIGHT NOW, woohoo!!)

    • Something Quirky

      I thought that the last question was going to be for Luke, and then he’d just vote out Tessa.

    • Maritimer

      to be honest, I skipped over large chunks of this episode, but he absolutely made the right call. Tessa is the least likely to vote for him since it was an incredibly stupid move by his alliance that got her booted

  • Something Quirky

    Called it RE: the car reward.
    My fiancee and I now reference knocking over bins regularly.

    Also, I didn’t realise Locky was from Perth. I found out on Saturday that he’s a friend of a friend(‘s brother). (We call that “getting Perth-ed”.). Anyway, it turns out one of his best friends died base jumping a short time before Survivor started filming. Referencing that, as insensitive as this seems, would have made for a good jury speech.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I lived in Perth (specifically, Churchlands) for a year when I was seven. My dad was a university professor and did a sabbatical year at UWA.

      • Something Quirky

        Oh cool! I guess you probably don’t remember that much from your time here?

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Michelle is so quotable I love it.

      Haha! What a claim to fame. If only it was someone more likeable.

  • forever1267

    Running very very late to all of this. Locky was a very, VERY good looking man to look at, and would be the rightful winner of this season if he had made it. So it was a very smart move, and makes for an unpredicatable climax, to this season.

    But I will definitely miss looking at him. His condescension and cockiness were really apparent in this final episode of his, but… that accent… that body…. #Shallow

    I think I’m #TeamTara now…?