Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 9, Episode 19-21

It’s Commenter Takeover Week, with Something Quirky and Head Architect Sylvia helping out as we approach the pointy end of the Australian Survivor season.

Episode 19 (by Assistant Dragon Slayer)

Well, shit. When I said last week that the Champagne Alliance was never going to hold together, this is not what I had in mind.

Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan. Everybody wants credit for getting rid of Henry: Luke, Michelle, Tessa, Sarah, and Jericho each take turns in confessional patting themselves on the back. As I said, it was a heist movie, and everybody does deserve some credit for doing their part. But clearly Tessa was the ringleader.

At the water well with Tara and Michelle, Ziggy says that the game really consists of four pairs plus herself, turning a liability (her isolation in the game, having flipped so many times) into an asset. She can be the swing vote in the event of a shift in the four pairs from 6v2 to 4v4.

Luke’s spy shack from episode 2 or so actually pays off, and he eavesdrops on Tessa feeling out Ziggy to see if she’ll vote against Locky. As far as the self-proclaimed mayor/president/king* of Survivor is concerned, that’s the end of the Champagne Alliance.

*(Luke seems confused as to whether Survivor is a city-state, a federation, or a monarchy)

In confessional, Michelle says her core alliance is with Sarah, Luke, and Jericho (i.e., not with Tessa and Peter). She says she trusts Sarah the most, but also notes that Sarah is playing all sides too transparently, and that she may have to let Sarah get clipped if it comes to that. Indeed, we then see Sarah pitch an all-girls alliance to Michelle and Ziggy, and Ziggy scoffs at the idea in confessional.

The immunity challenge is the idol-on-a-stick challenge that we last saw taking out Joey Amazing in Cambodia. Ziggy eventually wins, but Tessa says that it’s fine as long as Locky didn’t win. She expects the Champagne Alliance to send him home next without any fuss. What Tessa doesn’t know is that the episode is barely half over, so… not bloody likely.

Back at camp, Locky, Tara, and Tessa confer. It’s not clear who pitches who, but Tessa agrees that she and Peter will vote with Locky and Tara to get out Sarah, ostensibly because Tessa and Peter would be the first to go once the Champagne Alliance turns on itself. It looks like Ziggy’s prophesy of her being the swing vote between two sets of pairs is coming true.

But OH SNAP, Tessa says that’s a fake plan–the real plan is to have the Champagne Alliance split the vote between Locky and Tara and boot Locky on the revote. Sarah asks if they really have the numbers, and it’s a GOOD QUESTION, because unless Ziggy got kidnapped it seems like her vote could make it a 3-3-3 tie.

Meanwhile, OH SNAP, Luke says THAT’S a fake plan–the real plan is to break up the Champagne Alliance behind Michelle and Tessa’s backs. He doesn’t spell out the details, but we see first Luke conferring with Jericho and then both of them working Sarah.

At tribal, there’s more talk about all the blindsides and the constantly shifting plans, and how this is eroding trust. JLP asks them to raise their hands if there’s anybody in the game they still completely trust. It’s a trap, because the order they’ve been seated in reveals all the pairs. Not that it’s a secret to anybody, but it does lay things bare, not least for the jury. After more talk of trust, lies, mutual interest, alliance longevity, and past betrayals, it is time to vote.

It’s Locky, Tara, Locky, Tara, (soundtrack composer fakes us out with the deciding-vote crescendo), Sarah, Sarah, Tessa, Tessa, TESSA.

Some teenager in Estonia hacking the camera on my Macbook could actually pinpoint the second where my heart ripped in half.

Yes I know I used this last week. Let me have this.

So, a 3-2-2-2 vote. Happens all the time. Luke must have realized the same thing Ziggy did–the Champagne Alliance was really a coalition of three pairs–and with the vote being split, all they needed was to peel one away one Tara vote to have a plurality of the vote. In a way, this was a next-level version of Cirie’s 3-2-1 play. Incidentally, I’m guessing Ziggy must have committed fully to the Champagne Alliance at some point, or else neither Tessa nor Luke would have had the numbers.

It’s such a shame scrappy little Tessa got taken out as soon as she fought her way off the bottom and had a modicum of control. If forced to identify her fatal mistake, I would say that she was so laser-focused on getting rid of Locky that she incorrectly assumed that everybody else wanted him gone just as badly. She also ignored the risk of splitting the vote with a shaky alliance. It’s easy to assign boys to vote boy and girls to vote girl, but you need to put reliable votes on the real target, and in this case, two of the three votes for Locky were unreliable.

Ultimately, though, I agree with Tessa that it made no sense to get rid of her instead of Locky. Luke just had an itchy trigger finger and wasn’t going to sit still and cede control for another vote. Stupid spy shack.

 

Episode 20 (by Something Quirky)

We’re gonna need a bigger shark

Previously, on Australian Survivor: the tribe got together to convince Locky to possibly get attacked by a shark. That plan failed, but Luke’s plan to vote out Tessa succeeded, and Michelle is pissed that she wasn’t included. However, she never actually says that she would have voted Tessa, and tells them that it wasn’t the best move, so not telling her may have been the right move for that vote. It definitely has future implications, though.

Locky tries to get Samatau back together, at least for the next few days, and he makes some good points. They should weaken Asanga, and then they can turn on each other again. And now’s a good time to pull in Michelle. She’s especially annoyed at Sarah for breaking a promise, but I’d hazard a guess that some of the anger is because they took away a potential alternative alliance for her.

Reward challenge time. (Sponsored by KFC. I did love Locky’s “I think I can get there before anyone can get me.” Maybe this is the time to mention the other major sponsor is Holden…) I don’t know if this charades thing is amazing or ridiculous, but it has been good seeing challenges we’ve never seen before. Though the ‘memorise and get the correct sequence’ is a US Survivor mainstay.

Amazing AND ridiculous. It can be two things.

Ziggy, Sarah, Locky, and Luke win the feast. Talk turns to strategy, and Locky suggests Sarah and Luke (who want to vote Peter) should sacrifice one of their own to gain the trust of himself and Ziggy. Sarah throws out Michelle as a compromise, which Luke definitely prefers to Locky and Ziggy’s original idea of Jericho. Ziggy is sceptical, and takes the chance to ally with Michelle.

Jericho sees Locky, Ziggy, Peter, and Michelle having a conversation, and possibly hears them reveal that Sarah put Michelle’s name out there. He informs Luke and Sarah. They’re concerned.

The immunity challenge is balancing on a rolling log 1v1; whoever drops first loses, winner moves onto the next round. Locky wins immunity, so I guess he is a threat after all.

Sarah and Luke fail. EDGIC!

I have to say, there’s been some really good hair plaiting this season.

Samatau, including Michelle, seem set voting Sarah. Ziggy gets a bit paranoid, which seems to come out of nowhere. Though what happened to Henry must have shaken her, and she wouldn’t want to go out the same way. I don’t know if she would have been as paranoid had she not had an idol, but then she couldn’t have done anything about it, whereas when you have an idol you can do something about your paranoia. The others seem to be set voting for Michelle. Sarah tries to reel more people in on the Michelle plan, starting with Locky, because they’re at a 3-5 disadvantage. And Michelle’s “a floater”, and floaters are bad, Troy. (That was part of the reason Odette was voted out.) It looks like Sarah could have a chance at reeling in Locky and Tara, but we’ll see what happens at Tribal.

Tessa looks so different!

Jury Villa hot

Michelle just lays it all out there at Tribal Council. Sarah tries to sort of reason with her by saying that you shouldn’t make big strategic decisions on the back of something emotional, but it’s pretty clear that the damage is done. Michelle’s certainly not as annoyed at Jericho and Luke as she is with Sarah, but she was closer to Sarah than to those two, so I don’t think this has hurt either of their chances at FTC. It may have even improved Luke’s chances, because it was his move but someone else had to deal with the consequences.

I do like Tara’s tribal reactions.

We had an analogy from Jericho that was drowning cat related instead of war related. I do understand what he was trying to say, though. And the war analogies are probably a result of English not being his first language, so I feel a bit bad making fun of them.

Ziggy’s paranoia leads to her playing her idol. I thought she might play it for Michelle, and Peter repeatedly suggests she should, but she plays it for herself, and it’s wasted because Sarah is voted out by everyone. And now no-one has an idol.

Episode 21 (by Head Architect Sylvia)

We’re up to Day 45, and the episode begins with a confessional from Michelle justifying her Sarah vote out, implying people are a lot happier without Sarah being there, which is odd to hear. She’s being a bit smug but I’ll allow it. Michelle says she’s bringing her “A Game” – she’s not going to drop the ball in the last 10 days. I’m rooting for Michelle for the win so this confessional is a good sign.

Now with Sarah gone, Peter and Michelle seem to be a pair. Locky and Tara are together still, and obviously Luke and Jericho are together. Ziggy is still a floater because she’s clearly not even good at forming meaningful relationships. Peter and Michelle want to work with Luke and Jericho and I think this might just come down to the fact that Michelle and Peter really have no desire to work with Locky because he’s the worst. Perhaps they should have thought it through a bit more though.

Jericho and Luke are going on about being the two best players in the game left, they are way too confident and this edit makes me a bit uneasy about the fate of the pair tonight. Luke and Jericho get a lot of screen time together so that part isn’t strange, but this showing this conversation in particular feels a lot like a set up.

Next we get a Locky confessional and he’s surprisingly on the ball, he knows he can beat Tara and Ziggy if it comes down to it. He’s really turned up his gameplay over the last few episodes. I still despise him though.

Locky is pitching a potentially smart plan to misdirect Luke/Jericho/Peter/Michelle in order to get them all voting different ways so then he Tara and Ziggy can decide on who goes home. I think? Like Tara and Ziggy I guess I’m a bit of a simpleton and I can’t really keep up but I think it may have been intentionally edited to be confusing the viewers at home. Tara is angry that he’s being controlling but it doesn’t seem like anything new so I’m sort of confused by her logic here. I guess she suddenly has an epiphany and realises she is his goat if they make the final two, so while I’m sort of glad that even Tara realises she has to have a few big moves on her resume if she wants to win against this cast, I’m not sure if now is the right time. Locky is the only one that trusts her completely and they could work together to get rid of big threats like Luke and Jericho first and then she could attempt to get rid of him. I suppose it’s possible he could go on an immunity run though, so it’s definitely not the worst plan she’s ever had. Scrapping Locky now will also give her the opportunity to make more big moves in future episodes without it looking like she’s just being controlled by a better player.

Luke gets another suspicious confessional where he states “the King’s going all the way”. Ominous but not out of character. This is paired with some Ozzy-like diving footage. What does it mean? I can’t really decide at this stage of the episode.

The next day begins with Tara going for her daily waddle. She stumbles upon an advantage and has to choose between blankets for the tribe or a huge jar of lollies for herself. Why did she have to find this? Ugh.

Is she funny or something?

She picks the jar of lollies for herself because she is literally the worst. Why do good things happen to bad people? Forget the cookie jar alliance; are we about to see the lolly jar alliance? Hmm, I think so. I am interested to see where this goes.

OK so Tara wants to work with Luke and Jericho. Why does everyone trust these two? Are people not seeing these two as huge end-game threats? I know they’re not seeing all the sly/strategic confessionals we get to see as a viewer, but surely most people know that they’ve been behind most of the big vote outs post merge, right? I feel like a lot of this comes down to Jericho and Luke being a lot more likable than people like Michelle or Locky.

Tara shares her plan with Ziggy and Ziggy is surprised but I think she’s on board because she will literally go along with anyone’s plan because she doesn’t know how to think for herself. Tara is about to share her advantage with Ziggy and they have a really strange conversation:

Tara: So, I had a moral dilemma

Ziggy: Oooh that’s nice.

It’s irrelevant but Ziggy’s reaction is just so odd. Tara tells Ziggy she’s only allowed to tell “one friend” about the lollies and so they pig out and so it seems like their relationship becomes stronger. Kudos to Tara, she’s managing Ziggy pretty well here. Feels like this bribe could pay off.

We get to the Immunity Challenge and it’s a twist on the classic memory game we’ve seen before. Instead of two teams trying to match up pairs of items, it’s a free for all and when Jonathan reveals an item all players have to find it, with one less item than the number of players each round, meaning one person is eliminated each round. The challenge immediately makes me think of this moment in Fiji featuring perennial fan favourite/terrible human, Lisi Linares.  

This could be Michelle’s only chance to win an immunity challenge. Nope. Good effort. There is a slight twist in the final round between Luke and Locky. They have to find five items in a row and Locky has a huge advantage by finding the first item first, as he has double the chance to find the subsequent items compared to Luke. Making up lost ground is near impossible and Locky wins. Not a huge fan of the challenge.

Everyone is gutted at Locky winning, and people begin scrambling to find an alternative. Ziggy and Tara immediately splinter off and decide they’re voting Michelle out because it’s better to keep Luke and Jericho (STRONG PEOPLE) because they can beat Locky in challenges and they have their heart set on getting Locky out. It’s disappointing that Ziggy doesn’t have enough faith in her own ability to beat Locky in immunity challenges despite the fact she’s such a huge PHYSICAL THREAT.

Anyway, how dare they. Do not touch Michelle. Thankfully I’m not really buying it because if this was Michelle’s boot episode she’d have all the screen time and she hasn’t had much so far. There is more scheming between Luke and Ziggy but I’m just not convinced at all.

Locky has another plan – he wants to get rid of Luke. I despise Locky but he knows exactly who he needs to sit next to at the end to win, and he knows he has to make big moves to impress this jury. I feel like this is the best move for Tara and Ziggy too but I doubt Tara will want to go along with Locky plan given her current opinion of him. Tara calls Locky cocky, which is ironic. She pretends to commit to the Luke vote out with the most unconvincing “Yep. Done.” ever.  She proceeds to warn Luke he’s on the chopping block because Ziggy has flipped yet again. Honestly how many times is she going to flip in one episode? She seemed so certain about getting Michelle out just a moment ago.

Meanwhile Jericho, Tara and Luke put in place a plan to vote Ziggy out, fingers crossed it works because I think this would be the best outcome for the viewers. Michelle and Peter have to choose between Ziggy and Luke. Peter want’s Luke gone but Michelle would prefer to vote out Ziggy because she’s a PHYSICAL THREAT, which is tough to see as a Michelle fan because this could be her only opportunity to get rid of Luke and I think it’s her best move. That being said, I’d  still much prefer to see Ziggy go.

It’s time for tribal. Sarah looks good. People start talking, and no one is really giving anything away. I feel like JLP is trying to throw Ziggy under the bus which is hilarious. Unfortunately as the tribal goes on it feels more and more likely that it’s Luke going home tonight because Ziggy seems pretty relaxed which is peculiar considering she seems to be paranoid it’s her at every other tribal. Michelle and Peter converse and Peter is definitely not changing his mind, he’s voting Luke. Could this be a red herring by the editors? Michelle speaks and implies that she’s voting with the majority despite the fact that she doesn’t want to. This doesn’t look good for Luke at all. Jericho gives yet another strange analogy about driving a car, warning any passengers that if they jump out they might just… die. Enlightening.

Jericho and Luke look disheartened but maybe it’s all a ploy or maybe it’s just misleading editing. He didn’t have his usual humour when casting the vote for Ziggy though. I think his time is up but I’m praying for a miracle.

AND it’s Luke! What a week – saying goodbye to three huge players. The jury is visibly pissed, they clearly wanted him to win. Although I wasn’t a huge fan, it’s sad to see him go because he played a really good game up until the Tessa vote out, and he was definitely the most entertaining character on the show. On the other hand, if this means Michelle has a better shot at winning the whole thing, I’m OK with it.  

Luke is carrying himself really well, he’s being really humble and respectful towards everyone else while still trying to retain his trademark sense of humour, but you can just tell he’s really upset, you can see it in his eyes. His exit confessional is just as tough for him, it looks like he’s holding back tears. He will be missed.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

  • Jericho reveals in his voting confessional he knew Luke was going home but stood with him until the very end. I’m getting emotional.  
  • The preview for next week pits Locky and Tara against each other as a scrambling Jericho informs Locky of Tara’s failed plan to vote him out. Things should get interesting and fingers crossed one of them goes.
  • Thankfully if they’re pitted against each other I don’t think both Tara and Locky will be in the final two/three together. Given Peter’s almost invisible edit, I don’t think he’s going to make final two/three either. These two things give me hope that some combination of Ziggy/Peter/Locky/Tara in the final three won’t happen.
  • Tessa’s eye-rolling at Locky from the jury is hilarious. Never stop.
  • As a Tessa fan I’m sort of pleased her vote out was the undoing of Sarah and Luke, but at the same time, it’s a huge loss for the season.
  • Hilarious that after her plan to vote out Locky failed, and after all her complaining about him, she still ended up voting with him. I know she did it to stay in the majority, but it’s still hilarious. I feel like Tara definitely told Jericho and Luke she was voting Luke out to go with the majority and that’s how Luke and Jericho knew they had no hope at tribal.
  • It’s definitely down to either Jericho or Michelle now for the win, right? They’re the only two getting potential winner’s edits now in my opinion. Locky gets a lot of screen time but I am not getting the same vibe from his confessionals. I feel like they are trying to subtlety give Michelle a winner’s edit by ending her confessionals with “… because that’s what I have to do to win” and things like that BUT the fact that she was almost invisible for most of pre-merge makes me think it’s not her. They wouldn’t do that to a winner, right? Jericho has had a lot of content throughout pre merge and post merge, so I think he’s going to win. I’m cheering for Michelle but I’d be fine with a Jericho win.
  • (Assistant Dragon Slayer here) I joked about it in my Episode 19 recap, but looking at this week as a whole it really is remarkable how you can draw a straight line from Luke eavesdropping on Tessa and Ziggy through to all three boots. Stupid spy shack.
  • (ADS) There has to be an idol clue in the lollie jar or the quilts, right?
  • (ADS) Last week I was OK with big players going because there were plenty left. Obviously this week has been a catastrophe in that regard. It’s not going to ruin the season or anything, but if I had done a power ranking at the merge, the top six names on that list would be gone. Hopefully, whoever does win seizes control of the end-game like Natalie Anderson.

DISCUSSION POINTS

  • Is it a two horse race between Michelle and Jericho? I think so, but I would love to hear what you guys think.
  • Do you guys think the episode quality will drop now given the consecutive eliminations of three great and entertaining players?
  • Jericho’s analogies: Yes or No?
  • Are the players placing too much emphasis on challenge prowess and physicality? Michelle wanted to get Ziggy out over Luke for this reason alone, despite the fact that Luke was a much bigger threat to win the entire thing.
  • If Michelle hypothetically makes it to the final tribal council, will her indecision over voting Luke out come back to haunt her? Or could it potentially be a good thing depending on how she spins it?  
  • Was anyone surprised by the Luke vote out? I feel like it could have been a surprise to some people given the fact that it felt like Luke didn’t have an outrageous amount of screen time for his boot episode.
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 don’t even know what to think after this week. Those were my top 2 if not top 3 winner picks gone this week (as in most likely, not necessarily preferred). I really want to talk about the 3-2-2-2 vote, which is clearly what ended up costing Sarah and Luke. What were Sarah’s options and did she make the right call? She had to go with her solid alliance of Luke and Jericho I think. It carries less risk than abandoning them and pissing them off rather than pissing Michelle off. I think. Or could she have brought them back in? I don’t even know. I just wish she could have talked them out of it.

    Also, I don’t get Ziggy’s idol play AT ALL. She clearly has no pulse on the game if she thought she might be in danger there.

    This is the second time a spy shack has caused the loss of our favourites (see also: Game Changers). No more spy shacks.

    ADS: I’m with you on the idol clue, because otherwise this was just a filler “twist” which makes no sense

    Discussion points answers:

    1. I think so. Locky is the only other potential contender. I think Tara is a/the goat. Ziggy and Peter have been too purple.
    2. Yes, 100%. But its fine, given how little time is left.
    3. No
    4. I don’t think so. Locky = Joe, you gotta take the shot when you have it. Targeting Ziggy = targeting Wigglesworth – take the shot at the ally when you can’t get the big shot (though that may not have been her reasoning)
    5. I think she could easily spin it as loyalty, or even good game play.
    6. Yes. After Sarah went, I was 100% certain Luke was winning.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      About the 3-2-2-2, I cut this out of my recap for space, but Sarah’s alternatives were to flip to either the Locky or Tara side, or to warn the Champagne Alliance that Luke and Jericho were going rogue and that they needed a new plan. But Sarah’s preference was always to choose the path of least resistance that is also good for her game.

      Also, I was going to mention that they should have known in advance that the 3-2-2-2 play was a mistake, and I’m not just being results-oriented. That’s because once they got back to camp, they would be outnumbered 3-5, and some of those five would be really pissed off.

      • Maritimer

        Right, he alternatives were not great either, but would likely have resulted in her being in a 5-4 majority, even if Luke had a hissy she didn’t vote with him.

        Even if they thought they would get Michelle back, their best hope was 4-4. They were never getting Peter back. Its just such a strange move.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          It’s so frustrating, Luke’s constant need to be in control has bothered me a bit throughout the entire game but this time it came back to bite him because he clearly wasn’t thinking about numbers after Tessa had gone. Insisting on getting people like Henry and Jacqui out because they were too controlling makes sense, but Tessa pitched a really solid plan to get rid of Locky and his reaction was basically “No body tells me what to do, I want to cause chaos” and in a way I’m sort of glad that this move cost him dearly because he sort of deserved it.

          ALSO I’m pretty sure he learnt nothing from his spy shack. I imagine he had already decided on Tessa, and although the edit may have made us believe he got valuable info, I got the impression he didn’t hear a single thing, right? I think he just saw them talking privately and used that alone as a reason why Sarah and Jericho should vote Tessa with him. With a bit of exaggeration I’m sure. I’m pretty sure he did not once bring up anything Tessa and Ziggy specifically said to each other in his confessionals. I don’t think Tessa ever had a chance.

          • Something Quirky

            Yeah, I also got the impression that he didn’t actually hear anything useful.

          • Maritimer

            Yeah, Luke wanted control just to be in control. I’ve seen Tony comparisons around, but Tony considered the long term implications of his moves. Luke didn’t really seem to think past the immediate vote. It worked a couple of times, when he assembled a majority, but he really didn’t seem to consider that only getting a plurality wasn’t going to work out the same way

          • Kemper Boyd

            Luke isn’t as smart as Tony. No where near. He’s kinda dumb but loveable so his lack of foresight took a long time to bite him.

          • Maritimer

            He’s lucky his first wild card move didn’t result in his boot. Which is why I didn’t get the comparison. Honestly, he’s more Abi with a social game

          • Kemper Boyd

            Abi is a brighter person with worse social skills. Luke is an idiot, like actually just a happy moron. It’s fine, these people exist, he seems a decent if overenthusiastic sort. I bet he’s hardworking and a good dad. But he’s really annoying and not as good at Survivor as he thinks he is.

          • Maritimer

            Yeah I was thinking more game comparison in terms of being a general wild card. There is no doubt real world Abi is smarter than Luke.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I contend that it’s possible that Luke was thinking too much about numbers after either Tessa or Locky (or X from their group of 4 Asagas, if the whole Locky plan was a ruse) are gone, even though it’s true that all his megalomaniacal confessionals, up to and including those from this episode, point to different underlying motives.
            Tessa telling him what to do might have told him (rightly or wrongly) that she thinks she’s in a position where she could call the shots, so I can see why that would set the alarm bells off in his head, as much as I (and Luke, I have to assume) would like to see Locky leave.

            And I’m with you that it seems highly unlikely that he got any intel from the spyshack-scene beyond what he could see with his eyes. I was also waiting for him to drop any little nugget of knowledge from what was talked about at the well, because the distance from the spy shack to the well remained suspiciously unclear to me, but we never got it.
            I do think however, that it’s possible that this scene was what set Luke’s sights on Tessa, even though she very well may have just placated Ziggy there. Maybe he could even make out a few chunks of their conversation, but not enough to make enough sense of it to incorporate what he heard into confessionals.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Sure, perhaps he overthought it instead of going with the safe vote. Got a bit too smart for his own good.

            I don’t see why Tessa calling the shots would have set an alarm bell off though, really. I think his ego/”I’m the king” created persona got in the way. The important thing is they have the majority and he SHOULD be trying to please her so she stays on side while then they only have a slim majority. Hypothetically she might call the shots for two/three votes, they gain majority, then they blindside her after that + Luke still has Sarah/Jericho. Of course it might not necessarily go that way, but still a safer path.

            Haha he was trying so hard to pull off the spy shack as a groundbreaking strategic move but he definitely didn’t fool anyone. Sure, it’s certainly possible it had an influence on voting out Tessa though. May have been the tipping point.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I think we’re all quick to explain Luke’s moves with ego driven motives, because they also make sense and Luke has been portrayed that way throughout the season. But wasn’t there a Luke confessional in the episode that goes something like “Why does she think she is calling the shots?” ? Sure, on the surface you can read as another Luke-Big-Ego confessional in the vein of “Who does she think she is, I’m the king around here and I’m calling the shots!”.

            But we shouldn’t forget that these people have a lot of time on their hand to go through strategic possibilities and count the fingers on their hands. That’s why I prefer to look at it as him thinking “What does she know, that I don’t know? Why is she voting with us against Samatau anyway (Is she even?)? How can she be so confident? I know she has Peter, but has she also Michelle lined up? She said she wouldn’t work with Ziggy anymore, but there they are talking. Does that mean she can get her and by proxy even Tara for the next vote? – … – OMG Jeri, we’re in trouble and we need to act NOW!”

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Yeah, true I am being unnecessarily harsh. You’re right – in his defence he probably went over a million different hypothetical scenarios first before deciding on Tessa and may have perceived that she would try to blindside next vote / in a few votes time.

          • prettyboyprobst

            By now I’ve also listened to some exit interviews. Luke’s with Nick was unfortunately cut short, but Sarah brought up the Tessa vote as an example for how Luke would often think multiple steps ahead and was more of a strategist, than most people (on the island and viewership) give him credit for (which, of course, I see as valuable support for my defense of his thinking, that I’m happy to bring up).

            She also mentioned that she was indeed only a few short minutes before they went off to TC informed of Luke’s and Jericho’s plan to vote Tessa. Luke and her were also generally defending that move (keeping Locky over Tessa a plus, Michelle could not be trusted to not rat us out on that move, although in retrospect, maybe we should have tried to get her on board at the very last second/at tribal).

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            I wonder if they were just defending the move to try and save face though, they may not have been willing to admit it was wrong. But yes, there was clearly a lot of thought into taking out Tessa and clearly they both saw some benefits of doing it then.

            Also sounds like Luke and Jericho blindsided Sarah with that last minute include which wasn’t super cool if Luke/Jericho consider her part of the core alliance. They probably did it so she’d have no choice / no way to think of alternative plans or swap sides but if I were Sarah I wouldn’t be very impressed.

            Of course I haven’t seen all these interviews and you have so I’m not really being fair and am jumping to conclusions again!

          • prettyboyprobst

            First off, at the rate I’m forgetting if I’ve heard something in an actual exit interview, or just in this or that podcast (or even read about it here or elsewhere), it’s hard for me to say for sure, but I think for the most part they were defending that move more in a playful manner. Meaning they acknowledged at some level that it led to their ouster (so I have to imagine they would love to go back and see what happens if they just go with Tessa’s plan), but were also adamant that there were a few good reasons for doing what they did, that the show didn’t go super deep into.
            Henry was similiar in his exits about his voluntary tribe swap. The starting point is “Looking back, what the hell was I thinking?” but then he also wanted to shine a light on all the ways it has benefitted him.
            Sure, saving face is part of it, but I got the impression that, for these guys, it was more about letting the listeners in on how complicated these seemingly easy decisions can get on the island, compared to what the show focuses on.

            IIRC from the episode, a big part in bringing Sarah on board seemed to be that they were able to truthfully tell her that she was the target of the other side (+Ziggy&Tessa intel), which she didn’t seem to know already. I think that spooked her somewhat, so that she was happy enough to go with a plan that would put 3 votes on someone else for sure. Although that’s also what Tessa wanted, so that line of thinking doesn’t make to much sense for Sarah, but maybe she was a little unsure about everyone after that reveal and thus more willing to follow Luke’s plan and rely on his instincts for a vote, than she would usually be.

      • prettyboyprobst

        On knowing in advance that it would lead to fatal consequences for them:
        (I’m not arguing that one or all of those three should or shouldn’t have decided this way or another way, I’m honestly on the fence on this one, especially when I try to put myself into their respective positions at the time)
        I don’t think we can say they should have known that it is a mistake. It’s true that they were doing their own thing, for everyone else to see and feel left out of, but how likely was it really that a) the damage with Michelle was irreparable? She was known to act on emotions (WE knew she also had a particular dislike for being left out of decisions – something, as I mentioned before during the time of Luke’s 3-2-1 plan, that Luke never really grasped as the big deal it really is in Survivor, which is confirmed by his exit interviews. You can ruin a lot of the trust build with people just by leaving them out of one vote, even if that vote is, real or alleged, in their best interest), but with Tessa gone, it appeared as if she wouldn’t really have a place to turn to.
        … and b), that all these people, who just voted 2-2-2 1-2-(2) against each other, would unite and identify the three (who voted for someone else, not them!) as their prime targets immediately. It’s not a huge stretch to think they could grab one or two of them to move forward with. (Again, was enough effort made to convince two of the five? I haven’t seen it. How quickly did the five bond together, after being blindsided by the vote, into a working relationship with at least base-level trust between them? If as quickly as it appeared, most of the credit goes to, as much as I hate to say it, Locky and Tara, who got votes from all of Peter, Michelle and Ziggy)

        As Tessa explained in her boot episode, she was kind of acting against her own best interest by being so locked in on Locky, so the Asaga crew might have been worried about a hit coming as early as this tribal (Tessa didn’t only feel Ziggy out about Locky, the name Jericho also fell multiple times, even though it’s questionable, as HAS brought up below, if he was even able to understand a few single words from his spy shack*).
        Even if they believed her to be willing to position herself that way by voting out Locky, it must have made them worried about what she might have lined up for the time after he’s gone (as I mentioned in my pre-written notes on that episode, there would have been options, e.g. Tara, Tessa, Peter, Ziggy,…Michelle?).

        *btw, I’m absolutely here for this PRP heel turn of Spy Shacks. Used to love them, but lately they’re ruining everything that’s good and worth cheering for! Boooh!!

      • Kemper Boyd

        The best thing for them was exactly as Michelle said, to stay as the Champagne Alliance get Locky out then at worst its 4-4 Tessa, Petey, Zig and Tara v Luke, Jericho, Michelle and Sarah or more likely they decide to take out Ziggy as a physical threat. I ironically think that happening was worse for Michelle than what has shaken out. I don’t think Locky can win every immunity and the moment he doesn’t he is gone.

    • Figaro

      I don’t think Locky can win based on the edit (at least I hope not, he’s super attractive but is so annoyingly egotistical). And surely the editors wouldn’t show Tessa eyerolling him if he was the winner, would they?
      I think Michelle has the best shot despite her quiet premerge. Ever since the tribe swap she’s gone from strength to strength and seems to have a really good understanding of the game based on her confessionals and tribal council answers. I reckon she could do a really good job of articulating her game in a satisfying way at final tribal if she gets the chance.

      • Maritimer

        If this were American Survivor, I would agree with you. I just don’t feel we have as much a handle on AUS Survivor editing to rule him out entirely.
        I think Michelle would put on a FTC performance to rival Kristie and I hope she gets the chance to do so

  • Super duper fan

    Man, this week HURT!

    I think we are unfortunately in one of the worse timelines regarding the merge boot order. I’m still loving this season, but this week and possibly the next few last weeks could remove it from the top 5, which is where I have it right now. While seeing a 3-2-2-2 vote was amazing, it ruined Luke’s and Sarah’s games, and it sucks because they played such great games. And Ziggy’s idol waste is almost certainly the worst idol play ever? I really am disappointed with her, because before the merge I wouldn’t be at all mad at a possibility if her winning, but this merge proved that she isn’t that great of a player at all. And regarding the discussion points:

    -I pretty much agree, and I HOPE so. And regarding Head Architect Sylvia’s worry that Michelle probably won’t win, because of her win first half of the game- we have to remember it’s an australian TV, which is very different from the US one. Plus I actually heard that a recent season of either AUS Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen had a winner who was invisible during the first half, but their edit picked up, and ultimately won. Especially after her pretty good post-merge edit, I think Michelle could still very well win, and I would LOVE it, because I do think Michelle has played mostly an amazing game.
    -It very well could, but I’m hoping that the rest of Samatau will eat each other from inside out.
    -Yes.
    -Maybe a little bit, but Ziggy and Locky at this stage of the game could very well win out, and could very well become this season’s El and Lee. And she could also be afraid of being seen as carried (which some people did say one time or another), and is VERY unlikely to win any immunity. I can understand the argument that Luke could’ve very well been a worse move for her, but I completely understand why she wanted to vote out Ziggy that vote.
    -I don’t think so. She couldn’t do anything to prevent that while also keeping away the target from her back. And it’s not like she openly gave away that she was wavering to the jury and other players, so I think that particular thing is fine. If she loses the jury vote, it will be because she was seen as a too much of an emotional player.
    -I probably was too blindly hopeful, but yeah, I was surprised.

    The final 6 may be a bit of a bummer, but I’m still hopeful that this season will have a good ending, and either Jericho or Michelle will win (I’m fully on the #TEAMICEQUEENMICHELLE btw).

    And my updated power rankings are:
    1. Jericho (+1)
    2. Michelle (-1)
    3. Locky (0)
    4. Tara (+2)
    5. Ziggy (-1)

    6. Peter (-1)

    PS. I fell in love with all the female jurors. I mean just look at them, they’re all so beautiful.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/09/26/12/44BA846E00000578-4920906-Jury_Luke_will_now_be_the_sixth_member_of_the_tribal_jury_alongs-a-6_1506425791303.jpg

    • Maritimer

      “Is Ziggy’s idol play the worst idol play ever?”

      I would like to nominate it as third. The first two both resulted in the person playing it going home when they played it for someone else – Tarzan this season and AUS3 spoiler Rohan last season . Worst read playing it on one’s self though I think

      If Ziggy and Locky are El and Lee, I really, really hope Michelle is their Kristie and not Tara

      • Super duper fan

        Michelle, save us from the hell which is Locky, Tara, Ziggy Final 3!

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          In Michelle we trust.

          Is everyone here on board the Michelle winner’s train though? I would honestly be so chuffed if this happens. I wonder how the jury perceives her gameplay at the moment and I wonder how she’d go up against Locky.

          • Figaro

            I think Michelle will be able to articulate her game really really well if she gets to final tribal, certainly better than any of the others who are left. I think Ziggy and Tara aren’t respected enough as players by the jury (at least not at this stage), Locky and Peter may be seen as okay players but they don’t seem to have huge support, which leaves Jericho as Michelle’s biggest competition. I think Jericho would be seen as easily more likeable but if Michelle can convince them she was more strategic than him, this is a jury that would have more respect for a strategic winner than a likeable one.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Hopefully she’d be able to, articulate herself well. You’d think so. I’m sure Michelle could do a good job attempting to convince the jury to vote for her over Jericho, but I’d be super worried about the fact that Jericho would probably have Luke/Sarah and probably Henry rooting for him/trying to sway the jury in his favour whereas Michelle might not have anyone doing that. Tessa/Peter could maybe fill that role for her.

          • Super duper fan

            I’m fully on board!

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Ziggy is just infuriating to watch and I don’t even want to talk about her anymore. She doesn’t seem like a terrible person but she has no clue. It was SO obviously Sarah vs Michelle that night – that entire DAY in fact they were fighting… and I’m pretty sure even the jury could tell and scoffed at her when she played it for herself. So odd.

      – True! I should stop worrying so much about edgic considering this season has nothing to do with CBS and how they do things. OK you have given me more hope Michelle could win.

      – Yeah, I think it’ll remain a top 5 season if Michelle or Jericho win and if Tara/Locky/Ziggy go at each other in the remaining episodes. Surely Locky will go next ep if he doesn’t win immunity.

      – True, I guess they weren’t overreacting re: physical threats as the two biggest threats are paired up and could potentially dictate all the remaining votes.

      – I thought Luke was getting the winner’s edit too, so before seeing this episode I would have been surprised if you told me he was the one voted out… but when I was watching the episode I saw a lot of red flags for Luke. ALTHOUGH I was trying to hyper analyse things as I was writing heaps of notes for my recap.. so if I wasn’t tasked with recapping I probably wouldn’t have focused on the edit so much and it probably would have been more of a surprise to me. I did think it could have been Ziggy for a while there before tribal. I honestly thought he and Jericho both looked really downtrodden at tribal though.

      Also good power ranking – I’d rank them in exactly the same order.

    • Figaro

      This group of jurors (plus Luke) is such a good group – any of them could have made a good winner.
      The jury villa videos are all especially delightful – they’re all having fun hanging out with absolutely no bitterness at all. If I had to be part of any Survivor jury this would definitely be one of my top choices.

    • prettyboyprobst

      POWER RANKINGS!

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

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

      Updated Favorites Ranking:

      God-Tier: ANNELIESE <3<3<3
      ______________
      Tier 1
      Sarah
      Luke
      Tessa

      ___________
      Tier 2
      Michelle
      Peter
      ______________
      Tier 3
      Jericho
      ______________
      Tier 4
      Ziggy Zagame
      Tara
      ______________
      Tier 5
      Locky

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    Also forgot to add anywhere but I thought that charades challenge was hilarious. Not exaggerating, I was rolling off my chair when Tara was attempting to be a Moth. The accompanying ballet music was on point.

    Then Tara had to go and make me angry again by guessing Jericho’s obvious lizard impression was an octopus. Ugh.

    • Something Quirky

      For someone with kids, Tara was so bad at that challenge.

    • Figaro

      That challenge was hilarious, and the gif up above is amazing!

  • Something Quirky

    I am all in on Jericho’s analogies now.
    However, I’m not entirely convinced he has what it takes to win. I would be fine with him winning, but I’m not sure what his argument is at this point. At least Ziggy has the whole people trusted her for the ultimate reward thing. However, Luke could talk him up, and also because he was on a different tribe to most of them, they wouldn’t have seen some of his moves.

    You’re exactly right – when splitting the vote you need to be careful how you split it and not just arbitrarily assign it!

    Tessa was way too obsessed with Locky. Most of her boot confessional was about him.
    I am wondering who on the jury would vote for him over Michelle or Jericho.

  • Prom King

    Great write-up(s), everyone. I especially feel a lot of alignment with Head Architect’s thought process, including the things I’m torn about. Except regarding Michelle, who I’m still trying to rally behind. I just don’t feel her. Still, a preferable winner to almost everyone else left though.

    Strange to realize that this has been a great season, but as of episode 21, all of my favorites are now gone. Other than Locky – but he’s been my favorite to root against, definitely not to see last beyond Luke, Sarah, Henry, Tessa, even AK. Having Locky still around both drives me up the wall because he’s an ass who better not win and delights me because he’s an entertaining villain, and often impressive in different ways game-wise.

    I guess that leaves me rooting for Jericho, who is also pretty fun and as soon as I forget all about the corny cookie monster strategy nonsense, the sooner I will really be behind him winning. Also rooting for Michelle, I guess. Sorta. She’s annoying but also smart, flexible, and at times endearing. I almost feel like I’m trying to convince myself here.

    Ziggy and especially Tara are ugh. But in different ways. Ziggy is so bland so dull. Laughable strategically. Tara is hard to even look at or even listen to. I guess I haven’t forgiven her for all of the anti-AK bs, and the combo of sneering and cluelessness is not a good look for her or for anyone in general.

    If I knew more about Peter, I could root for him. But I don’t and it’s too late now. Although that part of him reading his letter from his dad was one of my favorite moments of whatever episode that was in.

    So yeah… go, Jericho and Michelle?

    That f**kin spy shack ruined everything!

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Aha. And by saying you align with a lot of what I’ve written, I feel like you basically just mean you also despise Ziggy and Tara. I approve.

      Yeah, Locky is certainly a better villain than someone like Tara and I think a lot of that comes down to the fact that he’s actually evolved into quite a decent player as the game has progressed. But yeah, I agree, I’ll be angry if he wins.

      Ahah don’t try and convince yourself you like Michelle just because everyone else does. Her annoyingness has grown on me and now I find it entertaining.

      • Prom King

        I’m keeping her in reserve in case Jericho gets voted out!

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I’m not happy with any of the choices either. As I said, I think the best we can hope for is a Natalie Anderson scenario.

      On Know-It-Oz, Nick mentioned a post on Twitter (it popped up on my Twitter feed as well) saying that Michelle always sounds like she wants to see the manager for a refund but she doesn’t have a receipt. Brilliant!

      • Prom King

        I have been loving Nick’s podcasts. He’s a lot of fun and has a great rapport with his guests, especially Conner.

  • Figaro

    I’m loving Jericho’s analogies – especially the ones that get more and more needlessly convoluted as they go along!

    Question for the Australians here: why do some of the players pronounce “necklace” as if it’s two separate words (ie. “neck lace”)?? Is it a regional thing?

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      My best guess could be the person saying it is poorly educated and they see the compound word and just naturally presume it’s pronounced as if it were two seperate words. A lot of schools don’t teach basic English very well.

      Otherwise, yeah, maybe it’s just an Australian thing. Not a very good answer! I’m not really conscious of these things because all Australian accents sound normal to me.

      Also we are known to be lazy with the way we speak, thanks to drunken convicts, apparently. Maybe pronouncing it like two seperate words just become standard for some people because it’s easier to say. I don’t know. The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity. Quite interesting. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11957994/Gday-mate-Lazy-Australian-accent-caused-by-alcoholic-slur-of-heavy-drinking-early-settlers.html

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Question for you and @EmElle:disqus. Are there regional dialects/accents in Australia? It all sounds the same to me, although you would expect a regional sound to develop in places like Perth. To my ear, Michelle sounds like she may have a regional accent, but according to Wikipedia she’s from Sydney. Jericho too, but I’m assuming he grew up in an immigrant community.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          I mean, I guess some people definitely have much more emphasised Australian accents compared to others, and it’s true that that could be considered a regional thing, for e.g. the Australian accent of people in North Queensland could often be stronger (the people from up there are often compared to rednecks), but I think it generally just comes down to the fact that stronger accent/lazier way of speaking = not as well educated and more lower/middle class.

          Generally speaking I think tone/accent is the same everywhere in Australia. The only thing that differs slightly between states is probably vocabulary. There are some lot of words that seem to be specific to certain states but I’m not sure why.

          Michelle’s accent definitely isn’t anything abnormal or region specific. Maybe she just speaks with a more exaggerated upward inflection or something. A lot of of Australian women seem to for some reason.

          • Kemper Boyd

            As a Brit some British accents do the “neck lace” thing but also someone who grew up watching Neighbours and Home and Away I say it’s definitely a noticeable accent thing, an emphasis on different syllables in the a word than we would use (Americans do this all the time too).

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Yeah, the emphasis we put on certain syllables in words is quite baffling sometimes. This is a generic/unintelligent sort of statement but it’s so interesting how much the english language differs from country to country.

            I could judge you for admitting to watching Neighbours and Home and Away but I’m going to choose not to.

          • Kemper Boyd

            The whole of the UK watched Neighbours and Home and Away after school. Neighbours was on at 5.35 everyday on BBC1 until about 8 years ago.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Was definitely just taking a light hearted jab! Crazy how it was still such a huge phenomenon for so long.

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          Sorry ADS, a bit behind on the recap this week. I know there are three of us and only two eps but I went and started on a recap of ep 23. Unfortunately I’ve been pretty flat out all week so I’m only half way through and have to go to bed now so I won’t get it to you tonight. It will definitely be completed tomorrow though and I feel like there is often a sort of gap in content between the US liveblog and the podcast so could still be good to slot in between them! Really sorry, now I see how much time this takes up!

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Oh perfect. I wrote up 22 and was only a couple sentences into 23. Yes, it’s more time-consuming than it looks and trying to get the Tuesday night episode recap done before Survivor night in the US is tough.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Yeah I spent far too long on it once again, I’m sort of glad I only committed to three episodes or so! Aha.

            Anyway I sent it, letting you know here in case you don’t check email much.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I didn’t receive it for some reason.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Ugh I have the right email, the message is being blocked for some reason and I don’t know why. It just says message rejected. I just tried without a big image and still didn’t work. I’ll try as a word doc instead.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Ok I think what I was sending may have been too big – 2000 words or so + gifs/images. So I’ve sent it in a word doc and hopefully you can just put the GIFS in for me! I attached those in the email. It didn’t bounce back this time so I think it’s good!

            Sorry about the mix up!

  • prettyboyprobst

    For the first time, I wrote some of my thoughts down into a word file between the episodes, with the intention to create something more thought-out and readable out of them when the recaps get posted.

    But with this boot-order doing everything to dampen my excitement about this season, Season 35 stuff creeping in and demanding my attention and just generally a quite busy last few days, I didn‘t get around to actually doing that and don‘t feel like it‘s still worth it to do so now, so I‘m just posting them like i left them (apart from one exception in square brackets that pertains to a discussion point) and give additional thoughts where I can in response to other comments and the discussion points (from looking around in the comments and reading these three well-written (but also funny) recaps, I can already tell there is close to a board consensus on most of the stuff worth talking about and about where the season stands, which I‘m also in agreement with, for the most part).

    Episode 19

    -I forgot to add this to my comments on the previous episodes until I started watching ep19, but as fun as the first three episodes of the jury phase were (or at least two and a half of the three), it sucked
    a little to see three of the most strategic players go (two of which were also big characters, one arguably even the star of the season so far). Now this merged tribe had an embarrassment of riches in this regard, but coming into this episode I was thinking they better get their shit together and eliminate one of the remaining B- characters for a change, or this season gets into serious jeopardy of one of them taking home the prize.
    I got especially sick of Locky lately, so I was hoping that this could be the night they take him out (especially with it all making so much sense that he would be in trouble before the episode even started – could they do the sensible, easy thing for once?), so I wouldn‘t have to worry any more that he might
    somehow come through the end.

    – So of course Luke had to something completely different. I‘m so amazed that he and his little buddy are still in the game and still show no signs of slowing down, but I really didn‘t
    like the timing of this move. Not just because it robs us of Tessa or because it‘s bad for my sanity in that it keeps Locky in the game, but because it actually leaves him in a position where it is
    absolutely conceivable that he will get in power again. I don‘t have necessarily a problem with people on the island (even outside of Locky‘s trust cluster), who think keeping Locky over Tessa is
    beneficial for their game in the long run, even if Tessa can‘t imagine that this could be the case for anybody (say as a goat that will win final immunity for you and take you to FTC, if anyone could
    make that work).
    But why do it now when numbers are still so tight, idols still might be swirling around and a blindside to your own alliance opens up the very real possibility that the Locky group will pick up disgruntled
    alliance members and get an opportunity to overthrow you from you power position?

    – Somehow, despite the NtoS-preview (or maybe even because of it) I still don‘t think that Michelle will defect to the Locky-side, but who knows what Peter will do after they cut his closest ally? And if
    one of them had enough, will any side 1-4 be willing to go to rocks in the next vote? That would be a 4-4 scenario.
    Now that I think about it, I could see Michelle and Peter flip-flopping for one vote to teach the 3 core Asagas a lesson and to gain more influence in the champagne alliance. But what if either
    Locky or Ziggy win every remaining challenge thereafter, or if Ziggy actually gets one of them with her idol?? Then it would be 3-3 with only a few challenges still coming up. Advantage: Ziggy

    – Jericho at tribal is soo good sometimes.

    – now it‘s 4 Asaga, 4 Samatau left, after they entered the merge 4-8. It would suck to see Asaga squander their amazing comeback with risky moves like this. I will say though, I can see why Luke would be worried after seeing (listening in on?) Tessa do lengthy strategy talk with Ziggy (What happens after Locky is gone? What keeps Tessa, Peter, Ziggy and Tara from banding together then, and how much can they really trust Michelle in this 4-4 scenario?), and I give him credit for pulling off another big move without breaking a sweat.

    Episode 20

    – Well, how did that turn out? I‘m not happy with where this episode (even though
    it is almost the logical conclusion to the previous one, but I expected more of Michelle and Sarah) is- and the endgame seems to be going. Hard to say who is to blame the most for this. I think the
    other three Asagas should have done everything they could to bring Michelle back into the fold, and I‘m not sure there‘s even one of them that has done enough. Otoh, there comes a moment where they have to try to move on, if she‘s just not willing to get over it, so I can see why Sarah would try to cobble together a plan against her (hard to believe that she really convinced herself, that it was working) and
    why Luke and Jericho would switch from repairing the damage done to damage control, which in this case meant shifting the blame over to Sarah and voting her out.
    They can‘t have Michelle against them moving forward, but they might survive losing Sarah if that opens up a path for Michelle to save face and come back to their alliance – she has to know there is no future for her at the side of Locky, Tara and Ziggy.

    – if Michelle knows what‘s good for her, she takes Petey and switches back to Asaga. If she doesn‘t intend to do that or doesn‘t have the sway over Peter to do that, what was her thinking in how she would get to the end after leaving her alliance? I am hoping there is more to Michelle and that she isn‘t just an emotional player, even though emotions are clearly part of her game decisions.

    – Locky finally winning immunity is something I hoped we wouldn‘t have to see. And such an easy one at that…
    – Survivor Charade? I like it.

    – Good on Peter, telling Ziggy to play her idol on Michelle instead of on herself. I can see why she didn‘t do that, but that was something that could earn him a lot of brownie-points with Michelle and even the Jury and it cost him absolutely nothing. Great situational awareness. And I don‘t think he expected the Locky, Ziggy, Tara group to vote with Sarah and the boys, but at least there was an outside chance of that happening, while he would have known if there‘s anything going on against Ziggy. (Even if she played it on Michelle and proceeds to get voted out, that would still be a good thing for Peter, but I
    don‘t think that even entered the equation).

    – I wouldn‘t be surprised, should Jericho make it to FTC, if he clinches it by blowing peoples minds, maybe by wrapping his whole game into one of his trademark analogies.
    He has a way of making the stuff he says really stick out, which could be helpful when jurors look for evidence where the finalists stood throughout the game. [Yes, his analogies are often very martial and tend to go to dark places. Jurors, who think it‘s silly and overly dramatic, may not like
    it, but as a whole I think it helps him to shine a light on his game. Personally, I find them entertaining and try not to overthink, why they spring to his mind so easily…]

    -Tessa is the only one so far who has that vindictive know-it-all-look on the jury (usually commonplace on Survivor-juries), which is a little disappointing, but I won’t hold it against her as long as that is not a reoccurring thing.

    – They told us in the preview that Michelle wouldn‘t take being left out of the plan well, and that was exactly the theme of the episode and had a huge impact on the vote. Now they tell us it‘s
    Tara vs Locky in the preview. I don‘t really expect the previews to be that relevant two times in a row, but OMG, yes please! Tara, you‘re my only hope! Screw this up for the Locky-alliance!

    Episode 21
    I have nothing left to suck.
    *weeps*

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      Such a long analysis! I do this all the time too. Well I want to at least make a few comments so you know someone read it! Aha.

      Tara vs Locky in the preview. I don‘t really expect the previews to be that relevant two times in a row, but OMG, yes please! Tara, you‘re my only hope! Screw this up for the Locky-alliance!

      – So young and full of optimism. RIP dreams. I feel like Locky is almost definitely gone as soon as he loses immunity though. So fingers crossed that happens.

      – I think Tessa was only really vindictive when Locky was talking/being smug so it’s not a deal breaker for me cause he’s the worst.

      – I think both Michelle and Jericho have the potential to deliver really really good FTC speeches if either of them make it there. I agree Jericho’s analogies are quite memorable and they make people laugh so that helps. If he incorporates some of the war/battle stuff from confessionals into a FTC speech I bet the jury would eat it up!

      • prettyboyprobst

        Thank you, that’s very nice! Initially I intended to just write down a few quick bullet points between the episodes, but I can barely bring myself to not write in complete sentences (this time I also knew that would potentially mean less work later on), which takes more time, which means more thoughts come up during the typing and the sentences get longer and new bullet points become necessary.
        – yep yep yep, fingers crossed! (I couldn’t help myself and had to write a similiar “Sigh.” under an equally hopeful comment on last weeks blog post).
        – I’m already over it, but I was talking about her looking smug and giving these over the shoulder-glances to Henry whenever the Sarah-Michelle conflict was talked about (I read it as “See, I told you, these stupid monkeys don’t know what they are doing”). Her coming in from Jury Villa with this almost austere look probably also played a part, I just liked sweet, lovely on-the-island Tessa much better.
        – I agree, both of them can deliver there. Michelle proved over and over that she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to narrating a tribal, but I think Jericho could surprise people by making more sense and being less cryptic in a final tribal, that’s the only reason I singled him out.

        Would you agree that the Asagas probably didn’t do enough groveling to get Michelle back on their side? I think they should have forced a tight group hug in that shelter scene and not let go of her until she promised she wouldn’t flip and allow them to make up for leaving her out. (leaving aside for a moment that this turned out quite well for Michelle so far, which of course is your priority – but from the JSL-perspective, should they have shown more love towards Michelle?)

        • Head Architect Sylvia

          Ahaha don’t worry I know the cycle. Like you say, I often have dot points too then I go to type my notes on the recap post and end up wasting heaps of time adding a lot of additional stuff.

          Yeah, that’s true. Tessa actually seemed to be the saltiest out of all of the jury members. She was shooting a lot of daggers and was generally looking a bit smug. Hopefully she’s over it now!

          Yeah true, I can seem him being very honest and straight to the point. While also being a bit charming.

          I definitely don’t think Sarah tried enough, in particular. Some of Sarah’s confessionals sort of gave off the vibe that resorting to profusely apologising/begging would have been beneath her. I think she was worrying too much about keeping up appearances and looking strong and was perhaps slightly overconfident thinking she’d just be able to manipulate everyone else and then probably realising too late that she couldn’t and it was subsequently too late to apologise to Michelle.

          Sure, Luke and Jericho probably could have done a better job getting those two to sit down and talk to each other, too. Like when Jericho brought Sarah and Luke together when they were fighting.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in thinking there was the stuff the Asagas should have tried to rectify the Michelle-situation (and in not being able to keep notes and comments short). It felt a bit fan-fiction-y while typing, because it’s also what I wanted to see happen so very much
            And yeah, first and foremost it was up to Sarah to make it happen, and I think you’re right on the money on why it didn’t.
            Oh well, nobody is perfect and she still played an absolutely amazing game, probably player of the season for me (ahead of at least half a dozen strong contenders).

            Btw, I noticed I was a bit ambiguous about Jericho in my previous comment, so just to clarify, even though it doesn’t seem that you misunderstood me: I meant in a FTC, I could see him make more sense and be less cryptic than in previous tribal councils, not compared to Michelle.

  • Kemper Boyd

    Michelle is the best player left. Hands down now.
    Locky is a pompous arsehole but he has decent instincts.
    Ziggy could still have an idol, she’s played every advantage she’s had in a way that hasn’t really helped her game and I can imagine her winning by accident.
    Tara, urgh, please no
    Jericho’s analogies hurt me, that kiddy lock one ouch.
    Petey, who?

    • prettyboyprobst

      For me, Michelle is hands down the best character left (and I hope she wins, even though I don’t even like her that much), but I think it’s a close call for “best player left” and I could see ranking her anywhere from 1-4 depending on criteria (last two are Ziggy and Tara, so she better make top 3 so it doesn’t look weird when I list them).

      One aspect about Petey that I haven’t seen discussed anywhere, that I’m so very much intrigued about, is that he appears to be over this Survivor experience for a while now and being pissed off seems to be his new modus operandi. It’s one thing that we don’t ever see him smile or get out of his sulking pose for episodes on end, but we also saw him at least twice now about to blow up towards his allies, close and extended. First instance was just a short second before they cut away, when Tessa grabbed him to catch him up on the Champagne-Alliance happenings in the rain in Henry’s boot episode. At first he thought it was a stupid move to just stand up and leave together in front of everybody and felt inclined to let her know about it, but I assume she reigned him in quickly by sharing the good news. The second was in ep20 after Ziggy refused to listen and play her idol on Michelle – he was not happy about that at all, haha.

      I want him to win the most, but there’s just no way with an edit so purple it’s actually ultra-violet.
      Michelle as a winner is far from what I hoped for as a satisfying conclusion to the season, but she consistently grew on me as a character and is not an all-out terrible player, so she’s my No.1 realistic choice. Jericho delivered throughout as a big character and showed occasionally impressive gameplay, but it is a mixed bag and as likable as he appears most of the time, I’m worried to discover at some point after the season that I’ve rooted for someone I really don’t like (“favorite book: the Bible” +other religious references put me on high alert), even though he’s hilarious every now and then.
      NO to the other three, and it’s more than I can do to even rank them in this regard.

      • Prom King

        I think Locky is easily the best player left. I’m rooting against him but I can’t deny the range of skills he’s displayed.

        • prettyboyprobst

          To me, every player left is deeply flawed one way or another. For some you have to look long and hard to find redeeming qualities (Tara & Ziggy), others stand out as being really good in one or more categories, but they still have huge gaps in their games in different places. I think an argument can be made for any of the other four to be the best player left, depending on what you value most.

          I would say Locky is a decent strategist, but not great or even remarkably good. Besides being a challenge threat, I think his best ability is to group people around him and to some degree inspire loyalty (I guess you could call that natural leadership qualities), but he’s shown to have bad reads on tribe dynamics, is at times off-putting to tribe-mates, thinks he can act/lie convincingly when he actually can’t and he’s rather bad at keeping the lines of communication open to players he’s not currently working with, when he has any semblance of power.
          He had more good than bad in his last one or two episodes, but I can’t forget how overmatched he looked at times during the season before that.

          • Prom King

            I agree with a lot of that. If I put him up against Henry, Sarah, AK, Luke, Tessa, he doesn’t look too good. But I’d say that at this point he’s stronger all around and a more active player than anyone left. I think if I were to focus the most on strategy, that Michelle has him beat; on social, then perhaps Jericho is good competition for him; on challenges, then Ziggy and Jericho can give him a run for his money. But when I look at him as an overall player, he has strengths in all three of those areas (weaknesses too, of course) – and probably most importantly, he’s been a regular target and has survived each time. Often because of other players, but sometimes because of his own efforts. No one left has been as big a target (even delusional Ziggy lol) and been able to navigate through that, somehow, for so long.

            All that said, I still hope his arrogant self is sent to jury asap!

      • Kemper Boyd

        A Jericho win would be interesting, I don’t enjoy his personality or his manic style in the game. I wonder if I’d like him better had he been separate from Luke in the game. Michelle surviving the Ben boot is still amazing to me, it’s the best move anyone left has made. I don’t like Michelle much either but her style suits the long game format.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Jericho’s role in repairing the Sarah-Luke relationship was just as, or even more impressive to me, but Michelle surviving that tribal is definitely a contender.