Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 8, Episodes 16-17

After 35 days and 15 episodes, it’s time to drop your buffs: The tribes are merged!

Episode 16 (recap by Kemper Boyd)

We are living in the aftermath of the greatest blindside in Survivor history now. Obviously I’m joking, although I enjoyed the two sides at Asaga coming together to get rid of a floater who could easily have made it to top 5 maybe even been the perfect goat if she had made the merge.

At the challenge JLP tells everyone they have merged and will all make the jury, the individual reward challenge is a cool one of swinging a thingy around a thingy that has a bottle on it, if the thingy hits the thingy the bottle will fall and you are out. It’s a good battle but after ages Tessa beats Jericho because Tessa is a doctor and clearly has very good concentration. Her reward is a shower, massage, feast and new clothes plus a letter but there is a twist, she can forgo it all to let everyone have their letters. You might as well have sat down immediately Tess because the only decision you can make is to give up the reward for everyone else.

Blah, blah everyone cries. We find out Peter is gay which his father isn’t ok with and that everyone else has people who love them.

The meat of the episode is that Jarrad has decided to go after Henry and enlists his alliance to make the move. At the same time Henry has decided to clip Ziggy, she and Jarrad are too close and her power and idol make her too powerful. She should never have told Henry and Locky about it and this whole episode is a consequence of that slip up.

After a gruelling challenge where Ziggy shows that she needs to be clipped as soon as possible due to her physical gifts the Jarrad and his crew decide to target Luke as the easy consensus vote out but it doesn’t really go as planned.

There are numerous mistakes by the Samatau group:

  • Jarrad decides they need Locky onboard to vote out Henry, causing Locky to consider his options when his best buddy is the target.
  • They don’t talk to Michelle
  • When Michelle voices that this upsets her Tessa just says “well, last in”. which is the worst people management.
  • Ziggy and Jarrad got very close and Ziggy told Locky and Henry about her idol.

The combination of this led to Locky, Henry and Michelle all flipping and voting out Jarrad. It reminds me of line from a Radiohead song, “you do it to yourself, you do and that’s what really hurts”. Jarrad did it to himself. There was no need to rush to a big move here. Get rid of Luke and Sarah before you start looking internally, cripple the ability for Henry to find 5 people to vote with him and Jarrad could have ridden with Tessa, Ziggy, Annaliese and Peter deep into the game but as is he screwed it up but at least he got to see his name underlined by Jericho.

Episode 17 (recap by Assistant Dragon Slayer)

Post-tribal, the remnants of former Samatau is trying to figure out who defected. They have no doubt that Henry and Michelle flipped, but they can’t figure out who the third defector was. They suspect it was Locky, but he denies it and says it was Anneliese. She smartly doesn’t get bogged down in a he-said she-said, but instead starts assembling an anti-Locky coalition that would add Anna and Michelle to the existing foursome of herself, Ziggy, Tessa, and Peter.

Now that the tribes are merged, Henry closes the loop on the clue to the idol (that he had already found) that he passed to Jericho at a challenge. They go hunting for it together, and Henry miraculously “finds” the idol (and keeps it for himself since finder’s keepers). Now on the one hand, the fact that Henry somehow found the idol in a spot Jericho had already gone over with a fine-toothed comb really ought to raise red flags, but on the other hand, the con that Henry is attempting is so high-risk low-reward, and kind of pointless, that I can’t really fault Jericho for not seeing through it.

The next night, it’s Cookie Alliance 2.0 as Jericho, Luke, and Henry help themselves to the leftover jam from the merge feast. Predictably, this ratchets up tensions the next morning, and how Luke isn’t immediately the prime suspect is beyond me.

The show pulls some narrative sleight-of-hand at this point, because while Anneliese feels blindsided by the three Samataus flipping at the last vote, her meat shield alliance partners Henry and Locky are upset with her for not staying loyal. And once again, Sarah is just sitting there quietly, stoking the paranoia of everybody around her. She even gets everybody within earshot to believe that Anneliese stole the jam.

Going into the immunity challenge, the battle lines are clear and it’s Anneliese versus Locky. Rings, ropes, balls, yada yada, Locky’s ally Henry wins immunity. Henry rounds up votes against Anneliese. Locky, paranoid as always, knows both that votes are coming his way and that Anneliese has an idol. He tries to talk Anneliese into giving him her idol, citing their meat shield alliance agreement, and Anneliese plays dumb and pretends she doesn’t know Locky’s side is gunning for her. It would all just be a fun bit of theater except this prompts Anneliese to check in with Tessa and Peter. They tell Anneliese that they just don’t have the votes to get rid of Locky, only they don’t know if the other side is going to pile all their votes on Anneliese or split them 4-3 between Anneliese and one of Tessa or Peter. Anneliese finally reveals to Tessa and Peter that she has an idol, meaning that there’s hope as long as they lock down Ziggy as a fourth vote against Locky.

Tessa and Peter quickly fill in Ziggy, who realizes she can dictate the outcome if Anneliese plays her idol, either by playing her super-idol and sending Anneliese home, or by doing nothing and allowing Locky to be sent home. Normally the obvious thing to do would be to get rid of the physical threat like Locky (which would have the added benefit of allowing Ziggy to hang on to the super idol), but Ziggy herself is a physical threat, so it may be in her interest to keep Locky as a shield (she apparently doesn’t realize that Locky and Henry no longer trust her). Ziggy goes back to Locky and Henry and says that she will use her secret advantage to protect Locky. Ziggy’s constant flipping earlier in the game finally comes back to haunt her as once she’s gone, Henry’s alliance wonders if they can trust her. It’s kind of mystifying why, if they don’t trust her very much, they didn’t split the vote (in fact, now that I’ve watched the episode again I’m surprised they didn’t consider splitting the vote with four votes on Ziggy).

At tribal, they waste time talking about the Great Jam Caper, and JLP brings up the topic of idols but the players evade, evade, evade (if there’s one thing he needs to learn from Probst, it’s how to turn off the cameras and yell at people).

Everybody votes, JLP counts. Anneliese plays her idol, but Ziggy plays the super-idol. Eight still-valid but mostly misspelled votes for Anneliese, three votes for Locky, and Anneliese’s torch is snuffed.

As Henry hoped for in his voting booth confessional, someone he no longer trusted is gone, her idol is gone, Ziggy’s secret power is gone, and it all tastes sweeter than the jam he stole the previous night. Henry’s in total control of the game, you guys—he’s unstoppable!

Nobody would blame Anneliese if she were a Bitter Betty about getting knocked out of the game by a twist she didn’t have full knowledge of, but instead she’s as amazed/amused as anybody else, even though she’s the victim. Among the many things to love about this cast is that they’re all such good sportsmanships.

Discussion question:

  • To me, there’s really only one question: Did Ziggy make a huge mistake? I see compelling arguments on both sides.

Programming note: As much as possible, could we confine the discussion here to these two episodes for the time being? There’s so much to say about Episode 18 that I’m gonna give it a completely separate post.

Help wanted: Now that we’re back to three episodes a week, it’s become very difficult to post recaps in a timely manner, not to mention that starting next week any Australian Survivor posts that go up later in the week are likely to get buried. So if any commenters want to take a crack at recapping let me know, either here or in a DM on Twitter (@AssistantDS).

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

    Quick hit thoughts:
    – Jericho underlining Jarrad’s name was awesome, although it was kind of clear that was going to happen
    – I really felt that they had been telegraphing for a while that the Samatau majority alliance was going to lose the merge vote (which I think coloured discussion about Peter’s mutiny)
    – I really kind of tuned all the jam stuff out
    – This season and this cast are amazing and here to play and I am here for it. Nobody sits on the bottom and coattail rides. Even Michelle, who I had little faith in at the start of the season clearly recognized when she was on the bottom of an alliance (though she should have figured it out without the help from Tessa) and did something about it
    – There is just so much wrong with Ziggy’s decision. First of all, alliances have been so fluid this season that using your super-idol to cement your place in the new (likely temporary) majority is ridiculous. Even if you DO want in with that majority, still let Locky go. The majority would still have been well intact and she would still have her super-idol. This was not a game turning moment and Annaleise wasn’t so big a threat as to be worth using the super-idol. I would think the only proper plays are 1) to save yourself (obviously) or 2) at a time where it could really turn the game (like Final 6-8) where you could lock down a F3 or F4 group if the vote was going to be close or tied by saving an alliance mate. There’s too many people left and the alliances are just too fluid to justify that play

    • prettyboyprobst

      – Yep, saw that coming the minute Jarrad asked him to underline the vote. Still awesome. Btw, in his Ponderosa-Clip Jarrad wonders if it was Anneliese or Jericho who voted that way, because he asked them both for the underline, but I seem to remember that it was Peter who underlined his Luke-vote. What gives?

      – Really? How so? I mean personally, I expected the remaining four of the Samatau-5 to be mostly inconsequential after the merge, because of their low visibility and confessional-count at the time. But before the episode I would have probably expected Luke or someone from his side to bite the dust first, followed by some serious re-alignement soon after, that would leave them (Samatau-4) in trouble – with an outside-chance of someone like Henry or Tara being a consensus vote, and Henry’s idol as about the only chance one of them goes first.

      If anything was telegraphed that I noticed, it was Anneliese, Henry and Sarah (+ Tara, Locky) coming together post merge to flip the game on its head, but that didn’t happen (maybe it was less telegraphed by the show and more wishful thinking on my part. Thoughts?)

      I argued a little bit against Peter’s decision, because it seemed to cut off an avenue to add numbers from the other side to the 4, when their own side had a lot of shaky, individual numbers on the fringe of their alliance. Those would be at risk of getting picked off by the other side, especially if there is a power vacuum left by Luke leaving. I didn’t see Luke, Jericho and Henry working directly together, if anything via Anneliese, Locky and Sarah and only for a vote or two.

      I do think there was a lot of telegraphing within each of these three post-merge episodes. I would have been really worried for Luke, but all these Jarrad confessionals about being in control and Luke’s quieter merge-edit tipped us off pretty good.
      Anneliese’s boot couldn’t have been more telegraphed (and ep3 was the telegraph of all telegraphs, but all three were still really good episodes), not just by all her airtime, but also the challenge music and Zoom-Ins and of course the story-arc of the episode, which brings me to the next point…

      – as Anneliese-Fan, this Jam-Gate stuff made me quite sad (it also made me wonder: Did they see Gamechangers before going out there? Does that work time-wise?). I guess this goes to show that people will believe whatever they want to believe, even if there is no supporting evidence whatsoever. Or maybe nobody actually believed it when they blamed Anneliese and everyone was just trying to put blame on her to convince others.

      Anyway, as we’ve seen from multiple examples like S30-Will or the Rice-Wars, the food-topic can bring out the worst in people and even if I wonder if there was a better way for ALi to react, I’m mostly glad and impressed that she kept her composure like that.
      From pre-game press I know that she has lost a ton of weight in the not-so distant past, so I’m sure it was extra hard for her to be falsely accused of food-stealing. 🙁

      – Agreed. Michelle won me over and even the characters I don’t like offer a lot in terms of being characters: Love to hate Locky and his clumsy attempts at playing and lack of self-awareness and love Tara’s incredulousness at everything. Ziggy is a phenomenal sportsy-girl archetype and Jericho is unquestionably TV Gold, even if I don’t always know how I should feel about him. Mother Trucker!

      – I already let myself get carried away on the Ziggy-Idol topic in a comment above.

      • Figaro

        I haven’t seen the Ponderosa vid, but it sure seems silly of Jarrad to ask two people to underline their votes. Surely one underline and one with, say, a star next to it would make more sense and wouldn’t leave you wondering afterwards?
        Also, Sarah seemed pretty convinced Luke was responsible for jam-gate at the Tribal so I wonder whether she was accusing Annelise earlier simply because it’s part of her gameplay to go along with the group’s feelings regardless of her personal feelings (especially since she was in a loose alliance with Annelise earlier)
        And I agree with everyone about all the cast being excellent and good sportspeople even in defeat.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Yeah, it seems like he didn’t think the underline-thingy through enough. To be fair, he didn’t see it coming that it would all go so wrong and probably expected that he could suss it out the next day, if there are any discrepancies.
          On Sarah, I have to think she did that to solidify the votes against Anneliese, it just didn’t make any sense that anyone would really believe that and it would make her look like a real bitch if that was her honest thinking on the matter (as she did look on the matter of Tessa’s reward, and that turned out to be a ruse, too). Although I do think it’s possible that the light bulb didn’t went on until Luke was rather lazy in deflecting suspicion at tribal council, but I have to think she suspected one or all of the guys, even though she didn’t get to see all the cookie alliance stuff that we saw.

          Minor correction: Good sportsmanships (as ADS rightly ended his recap with), the correct term is “they’re all good sportsmanships”.

      • Maritimer

        1. Yeah, I would think that the other vote was just a random underlined vote, the kind of personalizations some people do with their votes
        2. I don’t know what exactly in the edit tipped me off to that, but I think it was a combination a) playing up the fractures in Samatau and b) the playing up the relationship between Luke and Sarah made me think they weren’t going anywhere at the merge. Whatever it was I just had a feeling that majority alliance wasn’t surviving at the merge. I kind of thought what you did though, that group joining up with the Asaga 4 to overthrow them, which isn’t exactly what happened.
        3. All three episodes were telegraphed a bit, but all in a good way, which left just enough suspense to keep you hanging on, even though you had a pretty good idea what was happening, this show has blindsided us before. The superidol yes or no question left enough to wonder about, because Locky was getting the arrogance edit which could mean his boot as well
        4. I felt like the Jam-gate stuff was just serving as pretense/filler for Annaleise becoming a target and didn’t really impact the game, which was why I kind of tuned it out
        5. I found mother trucker hilarious because it sounded like any 12 year old trying to be clever and not swear in front of their parents

        • prettyboyprobst

          3. …even though you had a pretty good idea what was happening, this show has blindsided us before

          It think that point is crucial: It’s a good thing that we got to see more of the mechanics of getting the vote together these last three episodes, even if it comes at the cost of viewer-suspense, but I think it is important to still have some level of uncertainty going into tribal (Drew-Christy-exception applies). And they achieved that by “investing” early in the season in some viewer blindsides, so once again, good job Survivor AU!
          Still, I can only say that I wasn’t even doubting that Ziggy would play her idol canceler on Anneliese at tribal or I guess, even before they got there, because they set it up so much with confessionals, music clues, etc.

          4. I also don’t think that it had a huge impact, but it still happened and was shown, so I couldn’t help but feel bad for the person who got unfairly and also incorrectly blamed as the culprit.

          5. I included Mother Trucker only because I also think it is hilarious – that’s not why I sometimes feel icky about Jericho

  • Max_Jets

    Production twists keep almost dragging the season down, but this cast won’t be stopped. I think the episode 17 vote really showed the problems with the super idol twist. There was nothing to admire about Ziggy’s play, because she knew exactly what would happen by cancelling Annaliese’s idol. The majority alliance does not have to game much at all, because they don’t need to make Annaliese feel safe or think about which target to choose or worry about vote splits. I feel like Twist Making 101 should be to expand gaming possibilities rather than close them off, but it seems like shows like this (Big Brother is especially guilty) just throw in twists for the sake of it that actually limit what the players can do.

    I’m also of course a bit bitter that Sophie Annaliese was voted out. She really sunk her game by her voting decision in episode 16, but she was still able to impress this season and was a delightful personality to have around.

    • Maritimer

      Right, this twist wasn’t great because it closed possibilities rather than opened, which I think was our general opinion it was announced. The plus side is that it was an idea that has been thrown around a bit before (I think generally by people who say idols ruin the game), so now we’ve seen it, what it looks like in practice, and know it doesn’t work, so hopefully US Survivor will learn from that

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        That’s a great way to frame it, that twists should open up game possibilities and not close them off. I think that’s why I’m so intrigued by the fake idol kit (one of the choices offered to Debbie on the boat).

        • Max_Jets

          It’s also part of why the “vote someone out of your tribe” twist would be more interesting when announced in advance.

  • Super duper fan

    So until we talk about episode 18, I think the biggest thing worth talking about is the super-idol, and yeah, I think it was a giant mistake. Ziggy wasted it on someone who wasn’t targeting her anytime soon, and if Anneliese WAS targeting her later, a) she had an idol, and b)she’s a challenge beast. By making that move she opened way too big of a door to being voted out soon, and it sucks, because I thought she was a better player than that. And it sucks that Anneliese had to go, she was the best, and it had to hurt that Ziggy was a reason behind her two eliminations.

    And I volunteer for help on these posts. I won’t be as good as you guys, but I’ll take a shot.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I agree with everything you said here, but I also want you to know that there would have been a lot of movement on all three of my lists that I made (without much thinking, admittedly) after ep15. Not just now, even between the episodes. I think that is another clear sign that this. season. is. awesome. Not that we needed more of those…

  • BadPlayer91

    TANGENT: I’m throwing a Survivor-themed Birthday Party this weekend that my boyfriend and I definitely went overboard on. We’ve themed all our food to island cultures, incorporated lots of coconut (lime-coconut shrimp) and rice (rice krispie treats, some of which have gummy worms in them) and gross food items (we got Chirp chips and chirp cookies, both of which are made from cricket flour). We are setting up a Survivor lounge with a mock shelter and a tree canopy and a TV playing endless Survivor. Party attendees will be randomly assigned to 1 of 3 tribes and we have designed 7 challenges to determine the Sole Party Survivor. We bought a Jeff Probst cutout.

    Anyway, thought if anyone in the world was interested in that, it’d be the PRP. I’ll let you’ll know how it goes!

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      What time should I come over?

      Also, shouldn’t there be no shelter, and no refreshments except what they can grab from the pool float?

      • BadPlayer91

        We had to make some adjustments so it was a party and not the catalyst by which we destroyed all our closest friendships.

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Aha wow. You guys are actually the best. Honestly sounds amazing, hope it goes well. If someone brings a +1 you hate direct them to the TV and put South Pacific on.

  • Hornacek

    “Ah Ziggy, will you ever win?”

    • prettyboyprobst

      Sounded familiar, but I had to look it up.

      reference explainer warning Smithers: (reading Ziggy strip) So Ziggy goes
      to the repair shop … there’s a sign on the doorbell reading ‘Out of Order’!
      Mr. Burns: Ah, Ziggy, will you ever win?
      Good one, but still… GET OUT!

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Ziggy certainly didn’t use the super-idol in the best possible way, but in her defense:

    1. She had to do something to lower her threat level, and as we know from Fishbach and Dan Foley, among others, having an advantage of unknown powers makes you a huge threat. There was value to Ziggy to just getting rid of the damn thing at the first possible opportunity.
    2. As she herself noted in the episode, she can only use the super-idol when somebody else plays an idol, and who knows when that will happen again? By the way that’s another way in which this poorly designed. She’s obviously not going to use the super-idol to cancel her own idol, so it would have been better to have the third idol in general circulation.
    3. I don’t think she knows that Henry has an idol. I distinctly remember Henry not telling her about his idol when they were in the water forming the meat shield alliance.

    • prettyboyprobst

      Meh, to all of that.
      1) It wasn’t just a stupid advantage like Fishbach and Foley had, I think people expected her to have and she initially describes it as something that could well be a Yul Kwon God Idol. By revealing the true power of her idol and playing it, that latent intimidation is gone. Now she’s an easy target as soon as she doesn’t win immunity (I don’t think anyone suspects her to have another idol, but people would love to get challenge beast Ziggy out anyway).

      The most value in playing it (and this also pertains to 2.) imho comes from having made that move, that only she could do. She probably thought it wouldn’t be a good look to sit at final tribal not having used her “Superpower” (although I would disagree) and wasn’t sure if she would get another opportunity (which is pretty stupid thinking at F11). Ironically, that also raises her relative threat level, making her whole point of why this is a good move for her moot (or it doesn’t if people think that was a bad move, but I don’t think that’s what Ziggy was going for). If she didn’t want to come off as a big threat, maybe don’t go all out to win the final tribal immunity on her own right before and the first individual IC right after the merge?
      It also helped her to establish that she’s really on board with the side she was flipping to (losing a handful of possible jury votes in the process), but simply voting with that side usually goes a long way and then she would still have all her idols to work with and one person fewer to oust from her new alliance to make FTC.

      We never heard her complain about being in a bad position because of her secret advantage, so I don’t buy that this went into her thinking at all.

      2) Maybe it will happen again at a time when it actually benefits her game to play that thing, and if it doesn’t, that’s all she has to say at FTC if the question comes up. “I was already ready to shape the game any way I wanted, but the need never arose to do it with my superidol”

      3) After Michelle was done with Ben, she let Locky, and everyone who was in the shelter with them at the time, in on the Jericho-clue story and that she suspects Henry already has it. Since then, EVERYONE at least had a hunch that Henry has an idol. And they’re usually re-hidden after being played.

  • Maritimer

    I forgot to say this in my first post, but how exactly is Asatoa and combination of Asaga and Samatau? I was so confused when she said that

  • prettyboyprobst

    As sad as I was to see Anneliese go*, I’m glad that they didn’t give her the old “Idoled out, rock-draw loser or otherwise screwed by a twist or swap”-edit and made her a visible presence throughout and I would say even the star of her boot episode (more than what is usually the case).

    It is a little strange that they were still building her up by having her narrate through the letters-from-home-segment, only to have her ousted by an ill-conceived production twist minutes later, but I’m thankful that they did it that way and I also think it was the right decision (even though everybody hates their Super-Idol now, it seems), as was including that ALi-Locky-encounter and editing it in a sequence that gave us his thoughts going in, and her thoughts coming out of it. Hilarious!
    It is almost as if they wanted us to feel the heartbreak as much as possible and get mad at Ziggy for her stupid decision (accentuated by having Henry narrate, which doubles as ‘Mastermind Henry’s rise to power’-story), with ALi’s gracious exit and awesome final words as the kicker. Interestingly enough, Sarah was curiously quiet throughout this ordeal, almost as if they don’t want us to associate her with ALi’s downfall (she did contribute to put that jam-gate thing on her, though).

    Apart from loving her confessionals and her expressive eyes, I was amazed how Anneliese managed to land on her feet no matter what the game threw at her. Shifts in alliances, swaps and twists couldn’t bring her down and she always kept a great attitude. It took an ill-timed Challenge win by Ziggy followed by a last minute shift of alliances in a chaotic merge vote to put her on the wrong side of the numbers at a crucial point for the time being, and a Bullshit-Superidol to get her out of the game.

    I hope to see her destroy Nick, Matt, AK, Henry and whoever else calls themselves Puzzle-Kings one day in an Allstar-Season (Australians, please watch on tenplay early and often!), but for now I stay right here for all her Jury-faces.

    Here’s Ponderosa if anyone is interested. Like the rest of the season, Jury-Villa is much better this year than it was last season. Beware of ep18 spoilers!
    https://www.reddit.com/r/survivor/comments/70odzm/aus_australian_survivor_2017_the_jury_villa/

    *…and confused. What was her storyline with Sarah all about? Maybe Jury-votes for, or against Sarah? Couldn’t they have shown us why that fell through, instead of, hmm let’s see, maybe don’t show us that totally pointless reward challenge for half an hour and even better, don’t let there be a letters-from-home reward after we just had similiar stuff in a previous episode, so that we don’t have to watch the awkwardness that ensues when emotionally starving people read out deeply personal letters in front of people they just met?? Such a puzzling decision to pack that Reward Challenge and that reward into the merge episode…

    From Jarrad’s exit interview and ALi’s Ponderosa it sounded like Anneliese was on board with a plan to vote out Ziggy, that would have allowed her to vote with Henry, Locky, Sarah etc. while also keeping people from Samatau that she didn’t want to lose yet, but was’t willing to let go of Jarrad and went to bat for him.
    I think that may have been different if it actually looked like Asaga has the votes, but since it long looked like they had not enough votes and Luke wasn’t high on her ‘want-to-work’-list, or, to her knowledge, even her list’s list, I don’t blame her for approaching the vote the way she did and found it odd that her list-people had it out for her like that immediately after, instead of focusing on people that are firmly on the Samatau-side.

    I have to assume that Henry and or Sarah talked strategy with her at some point after the merge (and it would have been nice to see that), but I don’t think that Locky or Michelle made any effort (and if they did, it would have been nice to see that). And why would they take it so personal that she wouldn’t join a losing side, if her side’s target is nobody that is in all of their plans?
    That merge episode was lucky to end in a (player-)blindside, because there were a lot of unnecessary problems with it.

    This Cast >>> Production

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      I was also really sad to see Anneliese go but thankfully there are still a lot of good players left so it’s not too much of a loss in my opinion.

      I agree, she got absolutely ruined by twists this season, ugh. So frustrating. Both very gimmicky.

      Also, yeah, it was pretty hilarious that Ziggy got like one confessional about maybe using her idol, and Henry narrated basically all of it… like, I feel like from that episode it’s obvious she’s not going to go much further. It was her idol to play but outside of tribal it felt like she was hardly in the episode at all. She didn’t even do much in tribal apart from playing it, did she?

      Is Ponderosa worth watching?

      Yeah good point, not sure why they included all that Anneleise/Sarah stuff. One of them could totally bring it up if Sarah makes FTC though, as a negative or positive point for or against Sarah. Aha yeah they are going a bit too hard with the messages/items from home this season. More strategy talk would be nice, but overall I think the balance has been pretty spot on.

      • prettyboyprobst

        I don’t remember Ziggy saying anything interesting at tribal right now. Maybe she hinted at what would go into her decision, but if she did, that went under a little bit.

        Ponderosa videos are only 7-9 minutes, so I would give it a try. Maybe don’t start with Jarrad’s, unless you’re really into him. But like I said, they seem better than last year’s. There is still some of the typical repetitive stuff in there, but less so than previously and the habitants don’t have to be prompted by production to do a little strategy talk. Ep18-boot’s video has some funny scenes in it.

        Agreed, the balance of strategy stuff and characterization stuff is usually pretty good, they tend to make the most with the extra airtime now. Again, a big part of that is thanks to the cast, which delivers in both categories.

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    How does Tara ALWAYS manage to be so smug despite having no clue what’s going on. Ugh. She is the WORST. I mean, her alliance just won a battle so I guess it’s OK to be happy about that, but they essentially just blindsided her by leaving her out of the loop and she just sits there like “Wow!!!!! Oh my god!” with the smuggest grin on her face and she’s probably not even going to question it and will continue to mindlessly vote with Locky etc. until she eventually gets voted out because she has already achieved her strategic high of getting AK out.

    Locky is also the worst. Saw someone say he was growing on them. Well I still despise him. One of my least favourite comments from him was when he insulted / talked down to Tessa really nastily because Tarzan gave her his idol implying she didn’t deserve to be in the game. Then I think he equalled that in the Anneliese vote out where she was such a good sport and he made a “Can’t touch this” comment like he masterminded the whole plan. Felt to me like it was directed at her and he was just exuding so much smugness in that moment. So gross. I hate that the first half of his game was like “These are my best friends Anneliese and Tara” and second half has just been “lol henry is my long lost brother he’s my best mate”.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Yes about Tara. Remember Luke’s maxim (If you’re alliance is telling you who to vote for, you’re not really in the alliance)? Well if your alliance is blindsiding you, you’re not really in the alliance. Unfortunately, I think everybody would like to sit next to her at FTC.

      Would you PM me on Twitter? I actually think I recap in too much detail. If you’d rather focus on commentary or discussion questions that would be fine with me.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        You don’t recap in too much detail, they’re 10/10. Can understand why it’s time consuming. Unfortunately I don’t use Twitter in any capacity, is messaging through disqus a thing? I guess I could always set up a throwaway email address for this account to send things from.