Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 5

Kemperboyd is here to pinch hit this week’s Australian Survivor coverage. She is enjoying it a hell of a lot more than the Kiwi version she suffered through earlier this year.

Episode 10

Last week the twisty nature of Australian Survivor resurfaced and we got a big twist. Jacqui’s game was right royally fuckd when Henry decided to swap. It’s annoying because AK played himself from a bad position into a great position and a big old tribe swap has put him in a very different position. Now back at Asaga tribe Kent has spat his dummy and is being a prick to Michelle, this is not quality gameplay to make people dislike you.

Over at Samatau Ben has a very long confessional and conversation with Jarrad about getting rid of Henry. This is very worrying as he’s never spoken this many words in a row before. He also doesn’t think Henry has the idol Henry has.

Henry is a cocky one who made a big mistake and his downfall will be glorious to watch. Seeing him discover Jacqui was voted out was an absolute thing of beauty. The editors this season have given us some beautiful moments of schadenfreude from Annaliese’s “how could this get any worse” in the voting confessional being followed up by Ziggy shouting “ANNALIESE” as she voted for her to Henry’s “It will take me to the end” followed by him seeing the path crumble; the editors are on point with quick moments of comeuppance that fill me with joy as a viewer. He complained he set things up and they don’t know how to play ;but Henry you are forgetting what is best for you can’t be best for the rest of your tribe.

Annaliese gets a clue to a clue at the reward and is about as subtle as Adam was frantically searching the island for the idol when she goes up to get it. Literally her whole tribe notices. Good job Annaliese! Annaliese should pull a Wentworth but unlike Wentworth (and Jeremy) she asks Sarah for help.

Henry sets up a quiz for his tribe and everyone enjoys it so much that AK and Tessa automatically see he is a huge threat.

The challenge is entirely now about Annaliese or Sarah getting the idol from the 2nd to last station. Annaliese has slightly screwed herself by absolutely destroying the reward challenge puzzle to a point they will surely want to put her on another puzzle again. She takes up her position at the puzzle station with Kent leaving the idol for Sarah to grab but Asaga never even get to that stage (the physical advantage Samatau have is huge) but Annaliese does a good job of sitting on the crate looking dejected and grabbing the idol. In the aftermath Henry gives Jericho a clue but I seem to have missed what it is, how he got it or if it was real.

Kent has decided to get rid of Michelle, Tara and Kent decide to get rid of her. Luke is not having it at all. I would like to describe to you the depths to which I do not like Luke. He’s a complete moron, a knob and thinks he’s smart. So far, he’s playing well but I think he’s so dumb that he’ll be easy picking later. Anyway, Sarah thinks about going with Kent and voting out Michelle.

At Tribal Michelle’s top looks like she’s got an immunity necklace on, this is an interesting play, to try and trick people into thinking she is immune even when she isn’t. Kent goes home.

Episode 11

We start over on Asaga where Luke is catching sharks and Michelle comments he’s like a greengrocer. Michelle, love, that isn’t like a greengrocer, they specifically bring fruit and veg.

Turns out the Jericho got a fake clue from Henry, Henry’s reasoning seems off. He thinks that giving Jericho a wild goose chase will make Jericho trust him when I think it could just make Jericho seem a bit shifty in his tribe.

Odette has two confessionals within 10 minutes and we finally learn about her, this can only mean bad things for Odette. Odette and Luke find comfort items from home at tree mail and Luke reads the tree mail clue like Luke hasn’t read out loud since he was 13 in English class. Still everyone starts crying; It’s easy to forget that these players are 25 days in and they aren’t even halfway done with the game and the separation from family.

We see some really hard stories; Odette lost her mum at 14 and Henry lost his 6 weeks before the beginning of the game which I can’t imagine doing. To be serious for a minute I didn’t feel like I existed in the world for probably 3 months after my dad died. I was in a haze of grief and anger and I could barely function in my job to a point I took the first thing I could and moved home after living away 3 months after he died. I have huge respect for Henry doing something like this so soon after losing his mother after such a long battle with illness.

Anyway, back to the snark. Before the challenge Samatau pull a Hunahpu, trading everything they won at previous challenges for a new flint. It’s a shitty deal. Don’t offer everything up front. Ask JLP what he wants to take and see if he leaves you something!

The challenge is not for immunity but the chance to vote for someone to compete for “the ultimate advantage”. I’m out on whatever it could be, anything more powerful than a regular idol is too powerful for the game of Survivor in my mind. There is a reason idols got weakened after Yul and that’s because it’s a red carpet to final 4.

The challenge is whatever but I am really enjoying that AK gets owned by Annaliese again in a puzzle. Samatau win in the end because Henry is almost a Reynolds level of throwing things at things competitor.

At tribal JLP reminds everyone that it’s just “an opportunity to get the ultimate reward”. He then deflects questions from the tribe about what it means. Ben mentions the possibility of a super idol. Locky tries to sell himself as the strongest competitor; for the rest of the tribe better no one gets the reward than Locky gets it.

Ziggy is selected and gets a map. Off to the mangroves she goes. For my mind Ziggy was the best bet without knowing the task at hand; she’s athletic, smart and trustworthy to her alliance.

The super-idol is way too powerful; being both able to cancel the use of an immunity idol and a regular immunity idol. I find this level of power too much to give to a single player. I found the fact the editors deciding to show us the time interesting. Clearly watching someone walk through a swamp to find something with only the light of her torch makes it very hard to tell timescales; to me the time on the screen made the drama very manufactured. But after about 5 hours of searching she found it and now Ziggy is a big player in the game. I’m looking forward to seeing what she decides to tell her tribe and her alliance in particular.

How are we all feeling about this amount of power existing in the game? It obviously still has to be played properly. How do we feel about AK not being the one sent? Was it a decision that shows that although he’s up top in the alliance the others don’t 100% trust him? Or was it just sensible not knowing what the task was to send someone athletic?

Kemper Boyd
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Kemper Boyd

Kemper Boyd became a fan of Survivor after watching Cook Islands because of all the press about the theme, she managed to watch every season by the start of Fiji and has been watching and rewatching ever since. Oh and she's super British so that explains the extra U's in words.

Favourite seasons: HvV, Pearl Islands, Cook Islands, Micronesia, SJDS

Favourite players: Sandra, Kim, Courtney, Parvati, Yul, Nat Anderson
Kemper Boyd
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17 thoughts on “Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 5

  1. Great recap! Some of my thoughts:

    -my first impressions of the super idol are negative, but I’ll wait and see how it actually turns out. But right now, I think it only helps the majority, and while I like that people had to vote for someone to try and get it, it makes it almost impossible for someone in minority to get it. I could be proved otherwise, but right now, I’m not excited (although, part of me kind of wants to see Anneliese trying to play an idol, but Ziggy goes “I’m sorry Anneliese, but I have to cancel your idol tonight!”, for the sheer irony of it, although it would suck, because I really like Anneliese.

    -I actually don’t have any problem with Anneliese telling Sarah about the idol. I think it only deepened her relationship with her, and created an ally. In the early stages of Aus Survivor, you need as many relationships you can get to get far.

    -Michelle kinda strikes me as a “Courtney” of Australian Survivor. She’s not very good at challenges, clashes with some of her tribemates, she’s not THAT useful at camp, is very snarky, and while she’s not bad strategically, she’s not that great either. While she of course, like many mortals, hasn’t reached the legendary status of the awesomeness called Courtney fuckin’ Yates, I still really like her, and hope she can pull off some moves in the future.

    -I really liked the family segements each of them got (except Jarrad I believe, and it sucks). These moments help us remember that these are still people, and it makes them more relatable. And I’m really sorry for Henry, and I hope he’s doing well, and that he has full support out there.

    My stance on the season hasn’t changed one bit, and I’m still loving it

    And one of the news is that CBS bought, or is in the process of buying the channel, where Australian Survivor is being broadcast. It would be really fun, if we ever in the future got cross-continetal All-Stars, with contestants from both US and Aus Survivor.

    And here is my updated Power Rankings:

    1. Sarah (0)
    2. Luke (0)
    3. Ziggy (+3)
    4. AK (0)
    5. Anneliese (+7)
    6. Henry (+3)
    7. Tessa (0)
    8. Michelle (-3)
    9. Locky (-1)
    10. Jericho (0)
    11. Tara (0)
    12. Jarrad (-9)
    13. Odette (+1)
    14. Peter (-1)
    15. Ben (0)

    1. I’m all for Annalise telling Sarah about the idol. This is one of those times where it made sense. I’m glad Annalise actually got it in her hand though

    2. That’s an interesting comparison between Michelle and Courtney, but Michelle isn’t nearly as funny as Courtney (and really, she’s not particularly funny at all), and that’s a dealbreaker. Another similarity is that both are pale to the point of almost being translucent, and it’s going to seem stranger and stranger the longer she lasts in the game, exposed to the sun 12 hours a day.

        1. I’m impressed how much your comparisons check out (given it’s Cortney fuckin’ Yates, mother of baes). Like ADS, I don’t think Michelle is particularly funny, or funny enough to make up for whatever I don’t like about her, but I do find her sometimes funny. Not very often, but I’m willing to give her that.

    3. I wrote most of this as I watched the episode and I think I agree with you with Annaliese. She needs to make good relationships and I think she knows Tara cannot be her ride or die. Tara is emotional and easily annoyed at people. Annaliese needs to separate herself as Tara will go straight back to Locky.

  2. I don’t have a whole lot to say about these two, other than discussion of the super idol. The first episode was a fairly routine boot of someone from the minority alliance. It was what had to happen. No need to rock the boat for the majority alliance there, though Tara tried for some reason.
    Henry’s Hantzian rant of “these people are idiots because they didn’t do what was good for my game” was pretty funny. I agree he’s being set up for a big downfall and I’m excited.
    Per the previews, he AK v Tara battle will hopefully, mercifully be over next week and I hope its AK leaving.

    On the idol, I’m with pretty much everyone here that its too powerful and only empowers the majority which is just a bad twist. I don’t really know who thought it was a good idea, but it never should have made it to the show. I hope it burns Henry if it has to burn anyone.

    1. Keep AK aliiiiive

      He’s pretty much what I hoped Andrew would be last season. He even sounds a little like him (not as much as Michelle IS and sounds like Flick), but AK is just better in every aspect. Loved his “still not going to help WHEN I come back”-confessional.

      1. Not as big an AK fan, his arrogance is just a bit too much. I see the Andrew comparison, so much so that I am feeling the same pre-merge boot arc

  3. Sarah is really playing well, albeit without anything like the flash of an AK (but she’s not under the radar either). The strength of her social game means she often gets to be the swing vote between two factions, and it also means she never receives the blowback the swing vote typically suffers eventually. And now really through a stroke of luck, she knows that Annaleise has an idol (although Sarah deserves credit for actually getting up and seeing what Annaleise was up to; it really says something about the intoxicating power of ice cream after three weeks of starvation that nobody else could have been bothered, not to mention that “gathering coconut husk” seems like a truly pathetic cover story).

    Nick noted on Know-It-Oz that in addition to the popsicle shirt being gloriously ridiculous, it’s a sneaky way of getting a fresh, non-filthy item of clothing to Annaleise nearly halfway into the game.

    Not only is the super-duper idol incredibly powerful, but the mechanics of how it was put it into the game ensured that it went to the most trusted member of the majority alliance on the stronger tribe. If played correctly, it’s a massive advantage to players who are already massively advantage. But that’s a very, very big “if”.

    To me, two things are crucial to note if you think the super-duper idol is a season-destroying twist on the level of the Aganoa tribe dissolve. First, and this is really crucial, JLP’s evasiveness creates a nasty Neutral Box dilemma. Is Ziggy better off not being completely truthful with her alliance? And even if she is totally honest, will everybody believe her or will paranoia set in? According to NToS, most definitely the latter. I could be wrong, but going all the way back to the first episode of Tocantins, I can’t think of a Neutral Box that’s ever gone well for the for the “beneficiary”.

    Second, it’s evidently coming right before a swap. So whether the super-duper idol blows up the majority alliance or not on it’s own, the game is going to ensure that knowledge of it’s existence is going to spread in unpredictable ways.

    1. Some short notes on the idol: The two factors you note, while very possibly conducive to some good drama and lessening the damage on this season, have nothing to do with the idol-blocking power of that idol.They could have achieved the same effect with some other cool idol-powers, that are not so detrimental to “Good-TV”-Survivor.
      And my main problem isn’t even with how this will affect this season (although I would hate to see Anneliese on the receiving end of the idol-block), but with it being introduced to the game at all.
      It would be very hard to play it incorrectly as I understand the current rules for its use. I still wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t be so terrible if the holder would have to play it before idols are played (secretly, as Adam Klein suggested on that podcast you mentioned. He did a pretty good takedown there already. And yes, imo even the Adam-Idol would be better than this ), but that’s not how they implemented it here, I don’t think. As long as all the holder has to do is stand up and play this thing as soon as the person your alliance voted for gets an idol played on, the only way to defeat this thing is having a back-up idol. That means for players who learn about this power being introduced to this game (this season, or future players watching tv) playing an idol becomes more risky and sitting on idols becomes more beneficial, which is the last thing producers should want, hence my bafflement about it actually appearing like that. I have more thoughts on this, but they’ll have to wait for another day. Cheerio!

      1. Oh believe me, I’m worried (Adam made some very good points). And come to think of it, the only reason the super idol worked in Kaoh Rong is because it wasn’t played. But I don’t think Ziggy has a Yul-like golden ticket to F4. I think the most likely outcome is that they agree to vote out someone in the minority, then switch the vote to Ziggy to force her to use it. But surely she’s clever enough to realize it. And that assumes she can’t come up with a creative lie about it.

        To your broader point, Game Changers definitively proved that there’s such a thing as too many idols/advantages, especially if they all expire at the same time. But I don’t think players will become more conservative. I think they’ll just accept that you can get screwed at random in Survivor, the way we just accept the possibility of getting hit by a bus when we cross the street and don’t think much of it.

        1. Yeah, although she got very well compensated for the difficult position she finds herself in now, this is not as big an advantage to Ziggy personally as a super idol all to herself would be (and it was never my intention to sound like I think that this broke the season,.only that it’s counterproductive and unfair and could destroy Survivor as a whole). Actually, her position isn’t even that difficult: If there are really two pieces to the idol that can be played separately she could reveal the idol-cancelling part to her alliance and keep the regular idol in the backpocket. Short of that, even people from her corner would probably question if she’s telling the truth. But in the preview it also looked like they also gave her a box of supplies to bring back to camp, providing her with an in for a decent enough cover story for those not in her inner circle.
          Not finding the thing at all would have made for a really bad position to be in (but there is just no way production would have allowed for that to happen, right? After all we had gone through to get to this point? I’m also not sure if we should trust the time marks or not).

          Maybe you end up right and we won’t ever see big adjustments to this new power. I know I also expected the introduction of extra votes (and the like) to have an effect on people attempting to thread the needle on vote splits all the time (which was even without them often awfully risky), but that doesn’t seem to have happened at all. Still, I’m afraid it will be different with this power to take immunity away, because the stakes are higher and more immediate. At the very least I would expect those rare occasions where people try to attract votes, only to cancel them with an idol, to happen even less frequently, and just generally the joy and cockiness of planning a move and playing an idol to take a dip. If there is an easy counter move to idol plays, they become more means of last resort and lose some of their playfulness.

          Great points about Sarah doing the extra work to always find herself in a good position, like getting up to check on Anneliese. While she looked a little clumsy dressing down that palm tree in search for the idol clue, I imagine ALi was aware of that but with limited time on Reward Beach, she had little choice but to press on. But I would guess she was prepared to share what she was doing there with mostly anyone who came and checked on her (and was lucky only a valubale potential ally on her own came along), although the husk cover wasn’t even that bad.
          I’m also all in favor of her bringing in Sarah on project idol. First she had to decide between getting Sarah on her side or risk offending her with that husk-excuse, then the idol being supposedly out of reach for puzzle solvers was a stroke of bad luck and seemed to make Sarah’s help necessary, as Kemper described. After Ali got it, it’s just good business to be honest and keep her involved, because 1) Why not?, 2) idol-bonding and 3) Sarah could have seen her get it. As Kemper also noted below, I think Anneliese is well-advised to take this opportunity to gain some independence from Tara.

          I’m very happy that I took her first little spike in airtime as opportunity to plant the Anneliese-flag in these corners. Had I done rankings, I would have had her near the top even before that, although on a pretty flimsy basis. Obviously I hope she keeps being on a roll and brings it home, but even if her time is cut short, that shirt was affirmation enough for me. And you’re right, it is a very smart “emotional item”.

        2. I think Malcolm’s situation proves that in some cases it’s going to take a while to accept being screwed at random in Survivor =p

    2. I wasn’t sure how Sarah would fare with how she was obviously scrambling around what was meant to be an easy vote (the Jaqui one, I think) and mentioning several times how she was playing both sides, but she’s got herself in a good position at this point.

  4. I don’t want to comment too much on the actual episode because I’m worried about inadvertantly spoiling the next two episodes, but I do want to comment on AK and Luke.

    My fiancee watched the last two episodes with me (I had to watch them on the website instead of live, but that did mean it took half an hour less because the Channel 10 website hasn’t worked out how to force you to remove adblock like at least one of our other channels.) and also hates Luke. He made a joke about him and Rodney meeting and murdering each others’ sisters.

    It did make me realise something about AK, and to a much lesser extent, Luke, though. Having seen truly awful human beings on Survivor before, while some people certainly come across as dicks, they’re not harmful. Like, I can’t imagine AK ever bullying someone on the show. Luke… I’m not sure.

    To clarify, AK seems like he would be a relatively fine person outside the context of this show (though I probably wouldn’t hire him as a wedding dj), it’s just his in-game persona I’m referring to. I would actually be interested in seeing him play again to see if he tones it down a bit.

    I didn’t notice about Jarryd not getting airtime for his family thing. I’m disappointed I didn’t notice, because he was my main drawcard for watching this season, although he hasn’t been a particularly interesting player, but that can be a good thing at this stage.

    I still can’t get over how long they’re out there. This only being halfway is weird, though there are still a lot of people, and the show’s on twice a week. It was fun watching my fiancee watch the credits and react the same way I did when they just keep going.

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