Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 11, Episodes 24-25

Even when stalling for time before the finale, Australian Survivor manages to remain exciting. Jericho breaks two players’ hearts, and ours.

Episode 24 (by Kemper Boyd)

My main thoughts after the “previously on” is that if Peter is a goat, why the fuck did Locky target him? Why not convince people to go for Jericho who everyone loves?

The beginning of the episode is just a series of winner montages for each of the final 4, Jericho is used to hotels and being manly cutting of coconuts and starting fires; Tara is just an uneducated stay at home mum who wouldn’t grace the pages of a dirty magazine; Michelle is a girly girl who has survived the hardship and Petey is an emotional wreck who misses his family. Pete is the only one who actually talks about the game going forward though. Imagine if Pete wins after being the purplest of Australian Survivor contestants.

We see discussion of who people want to get out at 4, it seems the answer is Pete apparently. Michelle and Jericho “have a special bond”, Tara and Jericho “have a close bond” and Tara uses her lollies to make a final 2 deal with Michelle, but I think Michelle would take that deal anyway because Tara looks a goat with only 1 locked-in vote on the jury in Locky. I think even Pete has more guys who will vote for him because of friendship (Tessa and Jarrad for a start).

We go to the immunity challenge, psych, it’s the kick off a jury member challenge. The challenge itself is one of the most interesting challenges I’ve seen in a really long time. Hold onto a pegboard whilst removing numbered pegs, last person on the board wins. I really hope the American production team steal this one. Jericho wins and I think his is the hardest choice, I’m not sure there is a single jury member who won’t vote for him at all. He has a shot with every member depending on who he sits next to. Pete could have dumped Luke, Tara could have dumped Tessa, Michelle could have dumped Locky.

We get a scene of Jericho, Michelle and Tara going through his options. He seems to be zeroing in on Tessa. He asks the others for advice, why they would give him honest advice I don’t know but it’s game theory for sure. Petey is trying to convince Jericho that Tessa will only vote on gameplay (I think this is probably true if it’s not Pete at the end).

The jury look pissed when they find out a juror will be thrown out. Fair play I’d be angry as fuck. OH GOD I JUST NOTICED JARRAD’S BRAIDS, what the fuck Jarrad? I hope you are kicked off now. Through the tribal council everyone is talking but only Jericho is saying anything. It looks like our beloved Tessa is out. Jericho gets to ask 3 questions, he asks Jarrad a question “do you think there is someone you think I should be worried about sitting next to at FTC?” Jarrad says “blah blah blah yes”. Tessa next he asks a terrible long winded question that is basically “who do you think is the least deserving person and why?” she answers it’s Tara, that answer might save Tessa after Jarrad’s answer. Last question is for Annaliese “what will put you off voting for someone at the end?”, the answer is someone who just sat there and says I voted that way because I was told to.

Jericho has voted out Tessa and I think he’s made the right call, where the fuck is she going though? I mean she’ll still stay at Ponderosa right? Or is she just in a tent on the beach alone?

What do you all think of that decision? I don’t think it’s too bad. She would only have voted for him if he was next to Tara but I think Jarrad is the same and I don’t like him as much, especially after his hair tonight.

Episode 25 (by Assistant Dragon Slayer)

We go straight from the opening credits to the loved ones visit. For the second season in a row, this comes super late in the game. It’s not quite as late as last season, when they did it at final 3. At the time I thought that was a strange decision given that everybody would be reunited with their families in just a couple days anyway, but it paid off big because the loved ones were on-hand to watch the epic final immunity challenge.

Anyway, this time there’s not even a challenge, they just let all four loved ones visit. I guess it would be cruel to withhold a visit given that it’s day 51 and not day 31 like US Survivor. Both the small number of contestants left and the extended running time of Australian Survivor allow us to spend a good chunk of time with everybody (remember how Aubry’s sister got purpled, in yet another indignity Aubry had to endure on Game Changers?). There’s not a lot to say except that it was charming in all four cases, particularly Tara with her family and Jericho’s brother cosplaying at being on Survivor, scheming at the well.

The immunity challenge is the kind of long, multi-stage challenge that I just love when it gets down to the last 4-5 thoroughly exhausted people. It tests everything: strength, endurance, swimming, balance, agility, throwing, with a bunching point (the water tank) for added suspense and a puzzle at the end. Peter arrives at the puzzle third, but he makes up for lost time and wins his first immunity.

Back at camp, Peter is immune and Tara is effectively immune because everybody wants to go to the end with her. So it’s Jericho vs. Michelle, competing for the votes of Peter and Tara. Peter is easy for Michelle to recruit because he wants Jericho out for his own reasons (Jericho is the most likely to win final immunity, which Peter surely needs to win to get to the end). Michelle says that Jericho will “take it well”, and that “he’ll understand”. If this strikes you as arrogant and short-sighted, well just wait, there’s more where that came from.

Peter talks to Tara and she immediately signs on and gives her blessing to Peter throwing out her name to blindside Jericho. He then goes to Jericho and tells him the vote is on Tara. Jericho is suspicious, in part because Peter is no good at lying and in part because it doesn’t make any sense for Peter, or anybody, to target Tara. While Michelle watches Jericho relight the campfire (!!!), Peter pulls her to the side. This confirms Jericho’s suspicion that the vote is really on him, because why else do they need to exclude him from the conversation?

The obvious thing for Jericho to do here would be to go to Tara and lock down her vote, setting up a 2-2 deadlock. Instead, he goes to Michelle and basically tells her the jig is up, he knows she and Peter are targeting him, and that he has no choice but to defend himself by turning to Tara for a 2-2 tie even though what he really wants to do is vote out Tara. I can only conclude that Jericho is trying to flip both Michelle and Peter to vote Tara and avoid fire-making altogether. This seems vanishingly unlikely, not least because Peter isn’t going to play along (he wants to get rid of Jericho, but if that’s not possible he’s surely not going to choose Michelle over Tara). And the downside risk, of course, is that Peter and Michelle swing Tara and Jericho is out.

But rather than run immediately to Tara to lock her down before Jericho can, Michelle, being the emotional player that she is, gets indignant about being “threatened” and “told who not to have conversations with” and explodes at Jericho, seeming oblivious to the danger she’s now in.

Tara says in confessional that all this chaos is great for her, and that she’s “not going to miss an opportunity to make a move,” which is the funniest thing I’ve heard this season, and this season had AK and Luke, mind you. Going into tribal, confessionals from all four players lay out the stakes: Peter and Michelle are voting Jericho and Jericho is voting Michelle. The only real question is whether Tara votes for Jericho and Michelle.

At the now Tessa-less tribal council (sniff), Jericho comes out swinging, explaining the situation to the jury and aggressively saying that he’s not just going to let Peter call the shots and is happy to go to a fire-making challenge if need be. The jury obviously loves his feistiness. Michelle essentially resumes her beef with Jericho about her right to have conversations with whoever she wants to, but she doesn’t provide the context the jury needs to understand what’s going on, and frankly without that context she must seem a bit unhinged to them. The torrent of words that buried Ben doesn’t seem to be working as well with the jury.

The vote does in fact result in a 2-2 deadlock, and remains 2-2 after a revote. The fire-making is essentially over before it even starts, as you can just see the hopelessness in Michelle’s eyes as soon as the votes are read. At least she was self-aware enough to acknowledge in her boot confessional that she should have sided with Jericho (although I still don’t see how she could have swung Peter over) and that she shouldn’t have let the boys do all the work around camp.

I think it was clearly the right move for Tara to side with Jericho. Yes, he’s the biggest threat to win final immunity, but that’s irrelevant to her game. Her only real chance is to get taken to the end, then at final tribal council replicate Kristie Bennett’s “I was running the show all along” speech, and Michelle is the most likely to shut that nonsense down. Plus now Tara has something, at long last, to put on her resume.

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

26 thoughts on “Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 11, Episodes 24-25

  1. This is a lot of run time for having 4 people left. I skipped everything in ep 24 from the challenge (which was awesome) to Jericho’s vote and the family stuff in ep 25.

    As i said on the other thread (and was my pick for who Jericho should vote off) Tessa was the right decision, because of the 3-2-2-2, if nothing else. I agree he has a shot at every vote. I also like that the vote was done at 4 rather then when the Final 2/3 was decided, because it adds another layer to the twist, even if I think its dumb. Not so much because I’m an “integrity of the game” person but because I think it really sucks for the juror voted out and it will have payoff in only the rarest of situations. I just don’t think its something that matters.

    (Note before I talk about F4 tribal: I haven’t watched the finale yet and don’t know who won)

    Its unfortunate that it came down to Michelle and Jericho in ep 25, but it was right for each to target the other. Michelle probably needs to win F3 immunity to make the F2 and ditching Jericho makes that more likely. Jericho’s biggest jury threat is Michelle and he needs to bet on himself winning the F3 immunity so may as well boot her, even if she wasn’t coming after him. Peter made the right call too, boot his biggest comp threat. For Tara, it doesn’t really matter, but I agree she needs something on her resume and this could be it if the jury will give her credit.

    I feel like the finale, which I will watch tonight, is a foregone conclusion though because I really think it was down to Jericho and Michelle. Tara is too unpopular with the jury and Peter has been too purple, which I think has been a massive disservice by the show both in that he’s in the F3 he should be more present and in the sense that I feel it has taken any suspense out of the finale (of course, I could be totally wrong, like we all were last season)

    1. I can’t blame you, there was a lot of fluff in these two. That the jury vote-out came before the final juror was determined, was indeed a nice touch and made this a much more interesting exercise than the Kaoh Rong twist (which, to be fair, didn’t have to carry a whole episode).

      Agreed, Jericho and Michelle should have targeted each other and shouldn’t be able to trust each other to vote Tara at this point, but sadly, it didn’t seem like it would have taken that much for both of them to vote that way. Michelle said that, at the time of her blow-up with Jericho, she had not decided yet what she would do (despite her agreeing to Pete to go for Jericho – but, in true Michelle-fashion, in their quarrel she found emotional justification for doing what she probably knew was the right move for her) and Jericho seemed genuinely hurt that she would consider voting him out.
      Tara’s move could also backfire, not that it mattered for her what she was doing at this point. Her chances are long gone. But choosing to keep the biggest threat in the game around (combining challenge-prowess and positioning, there is probably little doubt that he is), when she had a clear shot at the penultimate chance to vote him out, could have similiar effects as keeping David, until a more convenient time for her, had for Hannah.

      I’m with you and your expectations for the finale and thoughts on Peter’s edit. I was accepting it last year (even appreciating it), because hearing El speak made me want to pull my hair out, but this season’s endgame would have benefitted from a more even edit.

      1. Making the juror vote out carry the whole episode was just brutal. There wasn’t enough content. Frankly, they should have done the family visit that episode and had a bit more strategy talk the next one.

        Last season there were at least 3 contenders edit-wise in the Final 4 (and iirc some Edgic types were even arguing for El despite her purpleness and many of us had written Kristie off), and both finalists. This time round it really feels like there were 2 in the final 6 (I will accept arguments it Locky was arguably a contender) and only one in the final 3. I don’t think they could have done anything different with Tara (see, like, Lill) but could have done much more with Peter. But, like I said, given Kristie last season they may surprise us

  2. Hi folks, barring any unforeseen difficulties, there will be coverage of the finale and reunion up by around 36 hours after it airs, so as much as possible let’s keep the comments here confined to these two episodes.

  3. I don’t watch this show, but I really like the design of that endurance challenge up top. US version could steal it and I wouldn’t complain.

    1. Challenge design is just one the ways this season has been incredible. There have been at least half a dozen challenges I said that exact thing about.

      1. Agreed, although I’ve read this challenge is actually already an import. Someone on reddit mentioned where it first appeared (final immunity of the Israeli version, iirc).

  4. I think the juror removal was made worse by the questioning (though unlike Kemper, I LOVE Jericho’s question phrasing) because it’s too revealing of what the jury is thinking. Predicting who the jury will like is a big piece of the game and I think the answers here affect the game in action too much. It also takes away some of the FTC anticipation, but that’s pretty nitpicky. But whatever, it’s another non-elimination episode and it wasn’t terrible.

    1. In a way the questioning wasn’t revealing enough. The top priority of the jurors was to answer in a way that wouldn’t put them at risk of being kicked out. So there was a lot of hemming and hawing and choosing words carefully.

    2. Predicting who the jury will like is a big piece of the game and I think the answers here affect the game in action too much.

      It did have influence on the game (freaking Tara!), but so do normal jury-reactions on a regular basis. I believe they were required to stone-face it for the first however many seasons, but that has long since been a thing of the past, and people take clues from them all the time.

      But whatever, it’s another non-elimination episode and it wasn’t terrible.

      I concur.

  5. Here’s what Jericho should have done: He should have put a blank parchment into the urn. Then he should have made a big speech about how it’s unfair to take away the vote of any juror, and that he doesn’t need the advantage anyway; he’ll win no matter who he goes to the end with and no matter who’s on the jury. Even if production forces him to choose and he votes out Tessa anyway, he’s made himself a hero to remaining jurors.

    1. Watching it I was hoping this would happen, if only for the shock-value and the jury reaction, but I also knew they would have made him vote again and most likely cut that part out.
      But it is an interesting question: would he have gained favour with the jury by doing that? He probably would on an emotional level, but I think other factors would outweigh that advantage. There seem to be some questions about Jericho’s strategic prowess, and refusing to make a big move to better his chances for a majority at FTC, when given the chance, could have also played to his disadvantage. Especially if the prevailing opinion on the jury is that he’s actually not the top contender at this point, because then lack of self-awareness becomes another argument against him.

      1. It’s possible that it could have backfired like that, but the jury is full of big-move players who are kind of pissed that these coattail-riding no-big-move mice made the final 4 and they didn’t. I think any of the F4 would have impressed the jury with a showy, big-swinging-dick move (what I’ve been calling a Natalie Anderson move). It’s no so much refusing to make a move as it is a supremely confident, Boston Rob throwing the clue into the volcano, type of move that the jury would have respected. And it doesn’t matter if production would have shut it down and cut it out of the show, the attempt would have been enough.

        1. I agree that, good or bad, the attempt would have been enough. It could have been enough to tank his game, or to help his game.
          If people buy it as a big dick-swinging move, or see it as a major mistake, depends on the opinions people have of him in the first place.

          (The middle-part about big players on the jury appreciating big moves is why I would have loved to see a Jury blindside, as I mentioned in the previous thread)

        2. Also, so far we are only talking about the jury side of the equation. It’s easy to forget that Jericho was walking a fine line as it was. By showing too much confidence, he could have brought himself into a position where he can’t recover from by bringing Tara on his side.
          I was almost surprised that Tara went through with it after seeing the show Jericho put up at the F4 tribal before the fire challenge. He was only propping himself up in front of the jury and it would have been easy for Tara to put it around on him and actually claim the move, of denying him a chance to stay, for herself. He was like “Peter has no power! I’ll rely on my own abilities! I’m Jericho!” and she could have shut him down by telling him “Honey, you’re nothing without me and you’re gone tonight. – Can we vote now?”

  6. Jury vote-out:

    I would say thatTessa is a better choice than Jarrad for Jericho, because he has no indication who Jarrad prefers between him and Michelle, whereas Tessa had a good working relationship with Mish, who had also no part invoting her out.

    Of course, Jericho paid back Jarrad for “reaching out“ by voting him out and showing him up a bit in the process, but there is a chance that he would respect that move. There‘s also a chance for some Asian heritage solidarity with Jarrad, should he have no clear preference between him and the other finalist.

    On the braids: I believe Jarrad is going for a different hairstyle each episode. At least they weren‘t his go-to look. It‘s late in the game, he‘s running out of options and he‘s spending his days at Ponderosa with some lovely girls who have a lot of time on their hands, so I’m willing to cut him some slack.

    Speaking of hairstyles, I‘ve counted about 5 different hairstyles that gorgeous Hustler-Ali was sporting in this last episode alone, and I only started counting half-way through the episode. She has great hair (as does Jarrad). Has anyone a more accurate count?

    Pre-jury contestants are just flown home without a going on a trip together, so I guess that‘s what they did with Tessa. But she left a note with advice for the other jurors, which at least some of them actually seemed to appreciate.

  7. Episode 25

    – I also liked that they didn‘t withhold the loved ones from everyone. I never enjoy the drama that comes from it that much anyway. I appreciated to see and hear from all of them. Jericho’s brother was funny and I think Peter‘s parents got the least airtime, or is that just confirmation bias?

    – Peter really wasn‘t very subtle at all about his discussions at the beach. And after he fell so often from the balance beam in that big Final Four challenge (and that immunity challenge, that he and Luke had an advantage for), I don‘t expect him to last very long in the final challenge.
    If he‘s beaten by Jericho and that is how he goes out, it‘s crazy to think that just a little more subtlety (and yes, a more plausible decoy boot) could have bought him half a Mill. of that colourful, Australian money.

    – There was a scene in episode 24 that foreshadowed the fire challenge, and reddit is all excited about it because someone took a screen shot and made a thread about it, before episode 25 aired.
    (Mish and Jericho where at the fire place tending to the fire and Jericho said something like „We‘re both the only ones to (know how to?) make fire around here“, which also created the (inaccurate) expectation with the viewers. that Michelle would have a chance against Jericho.

    – I probably wasn‘t paying as close attention as I normally would, but wouldn’t Jericho have been happy with a 2-2 against Tara. As for why he didn‘t run to Tara directly – why would he expect Tara to be interested in saving him? Michelle was his better shot at a 2-2 tie, and while he didn‘t choose the best words and went to something that she perceived as threat(/kind of was a threat) too quickly, Michelle really took that option of the table by taking exception immediately and not caring about, where he was coming from with his concerns (as you wrote much better than I ever could).
    But it did seem to me like Jericho (did he expect to win immunity?) was expecting Michelle to stick with him and I assume he would have preferred to do the same(maybe her Ponderosa plays into that interpretation)

    – I read the jury a little different in theses scenes with Jericho and Michelle. To me, they seemed excited about the drama and how Jericho went all-out, but I think Michelle (once more) proved tribal sovereignity by keeping her cool and making points, that I thought worked even better without
    all the context than with it.
    The girls in the back-row were smiling at Jericho in an encouraging way most of the time they were shown, but some of the boys seemed almost uncomfortable with Jericho displaying such bravado (maybe because they thought they‘re witnessing Jericho shoveling his own grave, like I kind of did in respect to Tara?).

    – Like I said before, I tend to disagree with the viewpoint that this was the best move for Tara, but it doesn‘t matter that much for her anyway.
    Michelle mentioned that Tara was all about changing how she‘s perceived by the jury after she got called out by Tessa, but it‘s way too late for that anyway, and again, even if it wasn‘t, imo this is not the way to do it.
    Maybe she should fear Michelle even more than Jericho (I doubt that she does, going by her comments and how Michelle was looked at for a long time. She also wasn‘t around for the Ben-busting tribal council.), but I think her best odds still come with a Kristie-Bennet-like miracle at the final
    immunity challenge, and I don‘t see that happen against Jericho.

    – It sucks so much to have Michelle leave here, but I take solace in the fact that it is in the traditional R.obbed G.oddess spot at Final Four and that she kind of self-sabotaged in a way that is so true to herself. It was nice to see her get a lot of respect from the jury in her Ponderosa-clip, as well.

    1. That’s a good point that Tara wasn’t at the tribal where Michelle demolished Ben. My whole theory of the endgame rests on the idea that Tara sees Michelle as an FTC threat, while Peter and Michelle see Jericho as a F3 threat. I also misunderstood what Jericho was trying to do by talking to Michelle before he talked to Tara. I thought he was trying to create a 3-1 vote against Tara, but you’re right that he was trying for a 2-2 tie (or maybe even a 2-1-1) and was trying to explain to Michelle that she needed to vote for Tara if she wanted to avoid fire-making.

    2. Why do so many of my favourite players leave in fourth place! It’s just not fair!

      I do agree with comments below, it was right for Jericho and Michelle to target each other because they were by far the two best players left. I was just holding on to hope that we’d go into the finale with both Michelle and Jericho in the F3 cause that would have been amazing! It was pretty clear pretty early on that Michelle was going to be the loser in a fire making challenge :(.

      I agree that it was a bad move for Tara, solely for the same reason as you, she’s never going to win this route and it’s not a big move…. tying a vote. Michelle is hardly a challenge threat, and with Jericho gone Peter probably would have won the next one, and Peter being as sharp as he is would SURELY pick Tara to sit next to at final tribal council and in that situation Tara has a semi-decent shot at winning. So I was obviously pretty upset to see Michelle gone, but if it means we’re going to avoid a potential Tara/Peter F2 then at least I can spin it in a positive light. Of course Peter could still beat Jericho in the final challenge.

      Yes that gif is nightmare material.

      1. The incentives for Tara are different than they are for Peter and Michelle for a couple reasons. First, getting rid of Jericho as a threat to win final immunity is irrelevant to her, since she’s not going to win the challenge regardless of the composition of the final three (Michelle just won a challenge, so it’s not crazy of her to believe she can win again). Second, she must know that whoever does win final immunity will almost certainly take her, so she has the luxury of thinking ahead to the F2 matchup. Tara’s only shot at winning is a Kristie-like performance at FTC, and Michelle is more likely to shut that down than Peter and Jericho are. In addition, this is Tara’s last chance to actively do something in the game, otherwise she just floats to the end.

        However, this raises another issue: what the hell was Peter doing?!?!? He absolutely needs to get rid of Jericho, and a 2-2 tie of any kind, whether with Michelle or Tara, is a disaster for him, given how likely Jericho is to win the fire-making challenge. He needed to focus solely on keeping both Michelle and Tara in line. If he can do that, there’s nowhere for Jericho to turn, and they can talk to each other right in front of Jericho. There’s no need to treat this as a blindside and tell Jericho the vote is on Tara.

  8. Seeing Michelle leave at final four was pretty heartbreaking, she was the best character of the season for me. As stated below I think it was a bad move on Tara’s part because it makes a Tara/Peter F2 (which she could quite possibly win) a less likely scenario. I don’t really see it as a HUGE move to put on her resume. I guess it’s something.

    Also even if Michelle made it another day, I feel like she probably wouldn’t have won final immunity and most likely would have just gone home third, and I really don’t want to see a Tara/Peter F2 so I guess that’s the silver lining?

    I agree with a lot of what has already been said re: jury removal twist. Tessa was a good person for Jericho to vote out and thankfully I don’t think the twist will have a huge impact so as much as I hate it it’s not a huge deal in terms of the end game. As I’ve said before though I think each jury member having their say in FTC is core Survivor and they deserve that right, so the jury removal twist always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth for that reason alone. AND Tessa had to leave the jury villa and I presume fly home by herself…? Not cool. Ending the episode in that manner with Tessa gloomily walking out just made me really sad and that’s obviously not how you want your audience to feel especially if its as a result of a twist that production has manufactured.

    1. I was wondering what happened to Tessa after that. Did you read that somewhere or are you just guessing (or did they tell us somewhere in the large parts of that episode I skipped?)

      1. The Ponderosa for that episode features her arriving back to the jury house by herself where she has a brief amount of time to gather up her things and write a farewell note to the remaining jurors. It’s pretty rough to watch because you can see how upset she is.

        Unsure if she stayed in the area or if they put her on a flight back home straight away. That was a guess.

        1. That’s what I was wondering. I figured she was removed from the Jury Villa, since the point would be to limit her influence. But I was curious if she was flown home or basically put in solitary Ponderosa for 3 days or whatever it would have been

  9. Tara was the mystery hair plaiter!

    Also, what happened to the cat in Sarah’s jury villa video?!? We saw a promo for the other Survivor videos while we were watching, and noticed Sarah had a cat, so went back to watch her exit video for an explanation.

Comments are closed.