Australian Survivor, Season 2: Weeks 2 & 3

Hi guys, sorry for the delay, but here’s a supersized cross-talk covering weeks 2 and 3 of, except not really episode 4 because I AM STILL UPSET AND DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Read on to find out what we think of the shakeups on both tribes, how everyone is playing, and just how much I hate Luke!

Sharculese: ASD I am in mourning. Can we just yadda yadda the sad demise of Mark H, AKA Australian Paul? He died doing what he loved, being a good dude to his friends.

ASD: He sacrificed himself to save a pretty girl. And he lasted longer than the real Paul, by one day.

Sharc: RIP. I’ll see you at the crossroads, Australian Paul.

The more important story of last week has to be the collapse the Samatau 8. Obviously, an 8-person alliance was never going to hold, but good job on the insurgent force for spotting the cracks and exploiting them. How do you want to parcel out credit here?

ASD: I have to give both AK and Jarrad a lot of credit. As ham-handed as AK was in the early going, he really took the right approach with Tessa. He basically said, “we’re not BFFs, we’re not allies, but we can save each other this vote,” and Tessa basically said, “thanks for not insulting my intelligence.” Meanwhile, Jarrad took exactly the right tack with Peter, pointing out how close Tara and Locky were getting and letting Peter do the math.

Sharc: That sounds about right to me. AK’s shown a lot more skill than I would have given him credit for a couple weeks ago. Although being in charge looks like it be making the old AK ooze back up. I think he might be one of those people who plays better from the bottom or the middle than they do from the top.

ASD: We’ll have to wait a while to find out because Asaga somewhat unexpectedly burst into flame.

Sharc: To be fair, Henry was standing over a pile of oily rags holding a lit match and going “come ooon, why won’t you ignite?!”

ASD: Oh wait, I want to go back to ep 5 for a second: Aimee was less visible in her own boot episode than Purple Kelly was. Strange, particularly since she was apparently highlighted in the pre-season press

Sharc: Yeah… they seemed to be really big on Aimee and then just nothing. Like I guess the idea that a skinny blonde girl was a plumber was so inherently compelling that they had to highlight it?

ASD: Even so. I get that AK and Locky are Survivor gold, but it’s not like they have a shortage of running time to parcel out. Do you think Team AK should have taken a shot at Locky? It was Day 13 and the idol went back into circulation on Day 12.

Sharc: I think taking a shot at Locky makes sense in the abstract, but in the moment Aimee was too easy of a target. When you have a new alliance sometimes it’s better to make the hit everyone can agree on than go for the big game.

ASD: OK, back to Asaga. I guess we’re on episode 6 now. Henry’s another one, like AK, who is doing way better than I expected in week 1. It’s kind of mystifying why the target hasn’t shifted to him, given that his yoga instructor lie fell apart immediately and he’s apparently a graduate of the Peih-Gee & Jaime School of Throwing Challenges.

Sharc: I know everyone’s talking about how obvious his challenge throw was, but I didn’t think it came off that bad. First we know he wanted to throw a challenge, but they didn’t. Second, if you’ve just sprinted through an obstacle course and don’t have those kinds of spatial skills, it just looks like a really hard puzzle. And he was doing a good job of pretending to be frustrated.
Plus and this is critical, Henry’s strength is legwork. He’s really good at checking in with everyone all the time, building bonds, seeing where the sands are shifting. It helps build trust to the point where nobody is that made you told a weird lie about what you do.

And I think maybe lying about your job has become normalized to the point where it’s hard for people to get too upset about it.

ASD: I’m not so sure about the last point. This is still only week 4 of the new, non-mateship AU Survivor. But you’re right about the legwork. And by the same token I think we have to dock Locky some credit for getting complacent.

Sharc: And for lashing out at Peter. Hoo boy that was dumb.

ASD: Oh yeah, we forgot to talk about Peter. Good move to flip? I lean toward no, mainly because he’s now pissed people off and he’ll have plenty of time to build a resume.

Sharc: I’m inclined to agree. Being a number for Locky vs. being a number for AK makes no difference right now, and the other side would have been easier to mend fences with. I think he just really needed to make a BM and couldn’t hold it in any more.

But on to the big event of the episode: who’s more responsible for Sam going home? Henry and Jacqui for putting the plan in motion, or Sam and Mark for making it so easy?

ASD: It can be two things. Back when Sam first started getting paranoid, her double-secret alliance consisted of herself, Mark, Henry, and Jacqui. She got bounced 9-2. What were Sam and Mark going all day?

Sharc: I honestly don’t know. Wandering around the woods holding hands? They didn’t seem to key in that something was up until right before the vote.

What I found most fascinating though was that you had Mark stalking through camp like a crazy person playing at being a cop, and everyone’s just kind of like “yup, Mark knows we’re hiding something, whatever.” It shows how long this had been in motion.

ASD. Yeah, one of the only things Aimee said in her boot episode is that an 8-person alliance can’t possibly hold together, yet here you have a 9-person alliance holding together to get rid of both members of a power couple.

Sharc: They really could not have worked any harder to makes themselves targets.

That said, did it make sense to immediately go after Mark, or could they have left him neutralized but useful? I’m going with they couldn’t. As much of an asset as he is in challenges, once he started stomping up and down the beach, talking about revenge, he had to go. But I’d love to hear what you think.

ASD: Why do you say they couldn’t keep him around? Because I think Luke was absolutely right, they needed to do the conventional thing and break up Henry and Jacqui.

Sharc: Sorry, by ‘they’ I meant Henry and Jacqui.

ASD: Maybe so, but the five non-Henry/Jacqui who voted for Mark should have listened to Luke. Although, I guess that’s the flip side of what we just criticized Peter for. That group (Ben, Kent, Michelle, Odette, and Sarah) is particularly risk-averse, and why shouldn’t you be at this point in the game?

Sharc: I will believe those people can make decisions for themselves when one of them does so.

Wait, that’s not fair to Sarah. I think Sarah’s sharper than the other four, but I also think Sarah’s in good with team HJ (which is what I am calling them now), and doesn’t feel the need to rock boat quite yet.

But, as for the others: every time Kent isn’t the target is a good day for Kent, Ben and Michelle don’t seem particularly fond of making waves, and as for Odette… I cannot get a read on Odette; sometimes she’s present and sometimes she’s purple.

ASD: I agree that Sarah seems to be more on the ball than the others, although I was pleasantly surprised when Ben and Odette got confessionals in ep7 (their first that I can remember) and they had insightful things to say.

Sharc: Oh! Can this be our segue into how Luke is the bad version of Tony? Because those confessionals are a key part of my argument.

ASD: Please proceed, governor.

Sharc: So I’m starting to suspect that someone gave Luke a copy of Cagayan before he headed out and he watched it and learned all the wrong lessons about Tony. He picked up all of the flashy stuff and missed all of the behind the scenes action.

Like, we saw him build a spy shack in episode 1, but more than that, it’s his obsession with shaking things up with chaotic votes that will upend the power dynamic in the tribe. That’s the flash of the Tony game.

What he doesn’t seem to realize is that flash is dressing on top of a game that makes a ton of work. Tony and Sarah made something look easy that isn’t. Playing like they did requires a lot of day to day work, checking in with people, feeling things out, floating ideas, knowing what the fallout of your next move is going to be. You have to be doing things all the time. And Luke isn’t.

The second Tony finds out Mark is gunning for Team HJ he’s checking to see if that helps him and who might be up for it. We didn’t see Luke do that. He talked about it, but he only ever did anything once Asaga went to tribal council and it was sad.

This is where those confessionals come in. Luke’s pitch has shades of Tony, but where Tony is selling you on how this is right for you, Luke is basically saying, “c’mon, everyone’s doing it.” Not a single word about what they get out of it. He’s like the used car salesman telling you you’d better buy today because it won’t be on the lot tomorrow, and even Ben can see through it, and Luke has no idea.

ASD: Co-sign on all of this. If I was an edgic guy I’d say that Luke stumbling into the wasps’ nest was OTTN3.

It probably doesn’t help that Luke’s sidekick is Jericho and not Trish.

Sharc: I just can’t even with Jericho, but that’s the thing about Luke. He gets two votes. He’s not going to win, but he’s a serious danger to the game of everyone around him that needs to be dealt with. He’s a stick of dynamite, and, if nobody put the fuse out, someone is losing a hand. My only hope is that, after his last minute hustle this week, people start to compare notes.

But if also they could have a few more scenes of him wandering into wasps’ nests I wouldn’t complain.

ASD: Now that Mark isn’t around to do his bad-cop/bad-cop act, maybe that’s what will happen. Or maybe they’ll break up HJ instead.

Sharc: It could either way. The promo said nothing about Samatau, so I assume it’s more Asaga drama.

Do we need to say anything about Mark W, or has it all been said?

ASD: Not a lot to say about Mark W. I’m surprised at how terribly he played from the bottom.

Sharc: I can’t say I am. I think ‘soldier’ is one of the most overrated career backgrounds on Survivor. Like sure, you’re probably used to roughing it and you’re in better shape but doing those things in a rigid hierarchical system is very different from doing them in game where the difference between chief and peon can happen over a single afternoon.

ASD: Sure. With that covered, should wrap up. Has your opinion of anybody changed dramatically since week 1?

Sharc: I mean, the obvious ones. I didn’t expect much out of AK or Henry. Jacqui was lighting it up at tribal council this week, that was fun and… I somehow think less of Jericho and his stupid magic cookies.

How about you?

ASD: It’s little more than a hunch, but I’m keeping an eye on Sarah. I was impressed by the way she quietly kept fanning the flames of Sam’s paranoia, she’s consistently got a good read, and I don’t think she was brought into the stupid cookie alliance for no reason.

Oh, I just realized that Sarah was my female winner pick. That I forgot says something about either her or me.

Sharc: Lol until next time. Which will probably be… the finale.

Thanks for your patience everyone. Regular coverage will resume this Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how many episodes there are. In conclusion: Luke is garbage. I do not like him. He saved a woman from drowning and managed to make it sound douchey. When he stumbled into that wasp’s nest I literally applauded. He is not a person, he is a person-shaped bag of steroid. Fuck Luke.



Sharculese first saw Survivor when his roommate wanted to watch Cagayan. He has now seen every season because he has a skewed sense of priorities.

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27 thoughts on “Australian Survivor, Season 2: Weeks 2 & 3

  1. Great coverage as usual! I’m loving the season so far, and I hope it keeps up!:

    Like I said two weeks ago, I love this cast, and I don’t dislike really anyone. I’m still not sure who I’d choose to win. Thoughts on certain individuals
    – I like where Sarah is right now. She isn’t in anyone’s radar, and has great reads. I think she will go far (wouldn’t it be funny if we would have two winners with a name “Sarah” in the same year lol).

    – A huge step forward for AK this week, but has to beware some kind of shake up, cause he’s seen as the leader of his alliance.
    -I think Ziggy is really overlooked in terms of how well she plays. She’s good at competitions, she flipped two times and she haven’t gotten any blow-back whatsoever, and has an inroad to Locky and Tara. The only knock against her is that she was invinsible most of time, until last episode, so she could very well be “Lucy’d” in a few next episodes.
    -Tara is definetely built up as the villain of this season. She was a bit hipocritical after the power didn’t go her way, and she didn’t play the situation well at all. I don’t think she will go just yet, but I would say she goes somewhere early-merge.
    – I’m impressed with how Tessa managed to come back to the power position, and it doesn’t seem she will be targeted! I also think she will go far.
    -Michelle is my dark horse contender to actually win the season, even though she wasn’t that visible these past weeks. I think she understands what the power is in the game, but lays low when necessary. I think she can pull off a Sandra-esque win in the end.
    -Even though he really misplayed in the last episode, Luke is still my favourite. I don’t know why, I just find him fun, and is still also my dark horse contender to win. Luke has good reads in where he stands in his tribe, and with identifying the power there, but he doesn’t know with how properly execute the moves he wants to make, and because of that he found himself in the wrong side of the numbers. But I do think he could improve that, and I still have hope in his chances.

    And I decided to make the power rankings of each player’s chances of being the Sole Survivor:

    Power Rankings (week 3)
    1. Sarah
    2. Jarrad
    3. AK
    4. Michelle
    5. Jacqui
    6. Tessa
    7. Henry
    8. Luke
    9. Ziggy
    10. Peter
    11. Kent
    12. Locky
    13. Odette
    14. Tara
    15. Jericho
    16. Anneliese
    17. Ben

    Once again, great coverage!

    1. Yeah, I agree about Luke – I’m really enjoying him as a character, he’s super entertaining. Although I can see how he can come across as kinda douchey, I think the accusation that he’s idiot-Tony misses the fact that people seem to find him genuinely affable and non-threatening which will be enough to carry him relatively far (although I suspect he’ll go out mid-merge if I had to guess)

    1. Angie may be the only person over the age of five for whom “I have secret magic cookies that are just for you and me, but you have to do what I ask,” would work on. That is a method for getting a child to pick up their room, not for convincing an adult to execute a strategic plan with you.

  2. This has been a pretty great season so far. The full on power flip at the AK tribe was pretty good, and much better Survivor play then we saw most of last season. I’m really interested too see what’s going to shake up at the Henry/Jacqui tribe now that Sam and Mark are gone, but Luke pretty clearly put himself on the bottom but like Sharc, I’m done with him anyways.

    I’m sad Tarzan is gone, but including AK in that plan was stupid. That said, I’m not sure they weren’t splitting the vote anyways and they just painted it as Mark’s mistake. I expect we will see a lot of the bigger players right now knocked out before the merge – AK, Henry, Luke maybe Jacqui and Tara and get a whole new set of stories post-merge

    The editing is kind of bizarre. I understand that you cannot edit 24 people evenly, but to have someone go 7 episodes before they get a confessional is a bit much. Especially since his confessional didn’t make me go “oh, that’s why we never hear from him.” I guess there has only been 2 narrative arcs on that tribe and he’s not really part of either one. I feel Ben may be the Carter this season and go pretty deep with little airtime.

    I’m about ready for a tribe shuffle though, I want to see some new dynamics. I really thought they would do an expansion at 18.

    1. ASD and I talked about this in portion of the transcript I ended up cutting for clarity, but we’re down to 16 after next episode, with presumably a merge at 13. I’m starting to wonder if there is no swap.

      1. That would be quite a reversal from last season’s MO. Either way I’m glad they’ve toned the twists down.

        1. I may be wrong, but I think that I heard that there will be some twist this week (or maybe it already happened, I will watch the new episode tomorrow).

          1. They did, but they also built up the cookie jar thing as a big twist so *shrug* (I haven’t watched yet either)

          2. That cookie twist was so bizarre. And they made Jericho into some kind of Napoleon Bonaparte with his “army” (but although it was ridiculous, I guess he played it as best as he could… I would never expect me trying to argue whether cookies were used well or not before lol).

          3. It was just such a nothing twist. It was strange. Yeah, Jericho did about the only thing you could try with that but it’s not really going to matter

          4. The other thing he could have done was just hide it in the woods and tell Luke he got a free jar of cookies they can go hog on. They’ve already been shown wandering off into the woods together. I’m sure the conversation at camp goes something like that.

            “What do you think Luke and Jericho are doing back there?”

            “I don’t know, throwing rocks at each other? What do idiots do for fun?”

          5. That’s the option I would have picked but I’ll give a E for Effort for trying to make us of the cookies.

            I do like the idea of the rest of the tribe just totally ignoring the pair as useless idiots

        2. I don’t mind twists in principle, and the three-tribe format was a necessary response to seasons 22-24, but this season of Australian Survivor is, so far, more evidence that you don’t need twists when you have a strong cast of people eager to play the game–as you do in an all-returnees season (glares at Game Changers)–you just need to divide them into two tribes, hide a couple of idols, and let them go.

          1. True. I’m not attached to the three tribe format but as I say to Sharc above, I’m worry about no swaps and the lessons learned from 22-24, though it may work out here

          2. Episode 8: Well, so much for no twists, no swaps. Here’s my live-blog of the episode: 😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😳😮😮😦😦😧😧😲😲💥👻

          3. Just now. I mostly lost interest in the Dyad/Neolution stuff quite a while ago, so I’m glad they wrapped that up quickly and spent most of the finale on the seestras. The scenes of them all together were amazing, and not just on a technical level. The callback to Helena’s dream was perfect. I wanted Rachel to join them but that would have undercut the events of the entire series. Cosima’s hot.

      2. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I worry about no swap seasons and Pagonging with locked in alliances, but it may work out here because the two tribes have so much going on that there probably won’t be a straight up tribe v tribe at the merge. I’m not sure if that’s because of the players themselves, the number of players, the length of the premerge or some combination of the above

    2. If episode 4 had actually happened (just humor sharculese), I would have noted that it was probably a vote split all along. What bugged me editing-wise is why they didn’t explain how the other remnant of Adam’s alliance (Ziggy) got off scot-free.

      1. I think so too. I really don’t see AK organizing that last minute. I don’t know if Ziggy getting off scot-free needs explaining more than that from their point of view, she was the least threatening or had the most social bonds. Though a throw away confessional saying that might have been nice

  3. Although Aimee turned out to be a bit of a nothing player, her reaction to being voted out (“Spewin!!”) rivaled Chicken’s “DAMN!” for best response to being eliminated in my books!

  4. Sharcy, I fucking hate Luke too. He’s so thick he sometimes rounds the corner to seeming smart. But he’s so intensely dumb. This is the epitome of the patriarchy. Here is a thick as shit, annoying but physically fit white man and he’s a miner so he makes really decent money and people respect him. Yet in reality he’s the fucking worst.

  5. I have started watching Australian Survivor for real now.
    I’m actually watching the current episode on tv at the moment, which will be the third full episode I’ve seen.
    The credits go on FOREVER. Also, someone mentioned 55 days? Holy crap that’s long.
    I like the challenges that have been a bit different, and I’m glad to see the camera people still have the nature shot focus.

  6. Thoughts ahead of episode 10 (week 5) :
    – If this is indeed another 26 episode season, I don’t mind twists like in episode 8 too much. They’ve got to do something with the extra episodes and this was entertaining enough and another innovative approach to tribe swaps. Of course it also helps that it came at the heels of a pretty good episode and that the tribal gave us some great Anneliese moments, whom I adore, and ended with placing her in a much safer environment for her troubles.

    – I’m also strangely ok with a continuation of the Tara-story, even though there are much more interesting people among the cast, but I’m also concerned that production won’t ever learn to serve it in small doses

    – So that’s it, right? Only this one mini-swap before the merge, or is another one coming? That would be remarkable restraint. Maybe another abduction or something in this vein?

    – Am I the only one who saw it as Sarah actually making a case for the “Asaga-Strong” plan when she got singled out by Jacqui and Kent for talking too long with Michelle and Jericho(?). It’s odd that the edit would never clear that up, but why else would she talk long and animated with the very people who were advertising the Asaga revolution and targeting Jacqui. Seemed like Jacqui in particular just couldn’t imagine that the original Asaga people outside of her alliance had it in them to plot against her, so it must be all sneaky, talkative Sarah’s plan.

    Love: Anneliese <3 – I had her on the radar from the start, but last week's episodes really strengthened her case as my favorite for the season. Asaga should be good for her, but I'm still worried that somehow things could go awry. Actually, I'm worried ever since she got singled out as weak in challenges for no apparent reasons in the early days, when we didn't know much else about her.

    Like: Luke (but not Jericho), Sarah, Kent, Ben, AK, Ziggy (…but screw her, really!)

    The rest ranges for me from mostly ok and just a tiny step below 'Like', to "I don't hate them, but there's a lot of room for growth" – overall, I like this cast very much.

  7. I’m here in this “accidental” binge I’ve been doing of this today (I have Holiday stuff to do, and it is NOT getting done today!) I’m also really enjoying the season so far. too. Lots of players, but lots of people who WANT to play, and are not just on Holiday on National (International) TV. And some good looking men in Locky and Mark and Henry.

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