Australian Survivor, week 4. Let’s hope this craziness works.

Guys, I took notes this week so I could be better at this. My notes were insane, though, and I’m not always sure what I meant, so I had to rewatch the post-challenge part anyway.

Updated through episode 1o.

Am I just posting pictures of dogs from now on? No, there will be at least one cat.
Am I just posting pictures of dogs from now on? No, there will be at least one cat.

“Episode 9”

Well that was a hell of an episode. I’m still not thrilled about yet another episode where nobody got voted off, but this swap paid off big time.

First off, Craig has an idol clue! That’s awesome because Craig is awesome. He’s consistently been the funniest and most accurate narrator of the season. I’m just gonna go ahead and start calling him Australian Cochran. Emma isn’t watching this show, so I don’t have to worry about her opinions on that.

Other things are happening at new Vavau. The theme this episode is that old Vavau is in charge and old Aganoa has to figure out what they’re going to do about it, and the answer appears to be revert to type. Rohan is a bossy idiot. Phoebe gives great confessionals that make you question just how well positioned she is. Kristie is a little bit crazy.

The only wild card is Kat, and I’m not sure exactly what is going on with her story. She’s been the underdog for so much of this season, but all of a sudden she has power. Except it’s also not being clear she knows what to do with power. I wouldn’t be shocked if we’re getting a “finalist with no votes” edit on her.

Less time is spent at new Saanapu, and it’s mostly about how Saanapu is great. Jennah Louise gets an inexplicable amount of air-time, both before the action begins and when she talks up Kylie at the reward. It suggests that something is going on there, but it’s not clear what, yet.

For the reward we get the Borneo throwback mudpit challenge, which, I don’t think, has ever been run as a team event before. It doesn’t make it better or worse to do it this way, and everyone seems to have fun.

The reward is a spa treatment, which, as I mentioned above, Jennah Louise uses to approach Kylie. This is puzzling, because it’s not like Kylie is in well with the majority, and I want to see what happens with it. Meanwhile, at Vavau, Rohan is still clueless and unreasonably smug. Andrew brags in confessional about how much power he has, and Craig goes off to hunt for the idol, which he does not find. If Craig finds that idol, it’s season over, right?

Immunity is basketball at sea. We haven’t seen this since Tocantins, where Crazy Sandy used Erinn’s bra as a bridle and rode her like a horse, right? The whole time I’m praying nobody gets a concussion. Australian Survivor dosen’t need more reasons to not vote people off. My roommate, who is resentful about how I got her sucked into watching Survivor 3 nights a week, asked why they couldn’t mess up people’s shots by smacking the platform. I did not have a good answer.

Fortunately, Saanapu wins and we’re getting a tribal council. At camp, Phoebe knows that the Aganoa minority is at a disadvantage and she is working so hard. The problem is that she has two disadvantages – Kat is not on her side, and Rohan is an idiot. Kat’s depiction is starting to baffle me. It doesn’t feel good, unless I just don’t understand what Australian people see as good, but it’s also being suggested she’s going to matter in the game. I’m waiting to see what happens.

The bigger issue is that Rohan reveals he has the idol, throwing Vavau into chaos. Do they vote for Phoebe, for Rohan, or target a third party? Tribal council doesn’t really suggest that there are other options on the table, but after the vote… It turns out Rohan gave Phoebe the idol. Holy shit. 5 votes for Phoebe get bounced off, leaving 2 for Rohan, 1 for Kat, and 1 for Sue.

So we know where we are. Kat’s not loyal to old Aganoa, and Phoebe has it out for her. It sounds like this story, plus Nick vs. Jennah Louise, are gonna make up the remainder of the pre-merge, and I’m not complaining.

“Episode 10”

There’s really nothing to say about episode 10 that doesn’t involve the gigantic bait-and-switch, since it so thoroughy overshadows anything else. I mean, there’s also Phoebe finding an idol, which we can talk about, and Lee being a little bit of a weirdo, which we’ll file under Lee stuff.

Holy shit did this episode set Andrew up to fail. To the point where I kicked myself a little for not seeing the misdirection. From the first minute we see him telling us how in control he is and how much smarter he is than anyone else on the tribe. Can anyone think of another time we’ve been shown someone this cocky, not once, but I think like 4 times in one episode? This feels like a record.

In non, Andrew-is-feeling-cocky news, Kat is feeling cocky. Phoebe is rattled about essentially voting out her friend and closest ally (don’t feel too bad, Phoebe, Rohan did it to himself and you’re still awesome.) Kat tries to talk to her about but really just rubs salt in the wounds with a monologue about how much she hated Rohan. I’m starting to think Kat has a lot of “conversations” that go like this.

Craig looks for the idol, in a scene I suspect was edited out of sequence. He doesn’t find it, but Phoebe sees where he’s been looking and tries her luck. Craig, even though Phoebe found your idol, you’re still awesome. I can have two loves.

At Saanapu we learn precisely nothing, just to make sure we know Vavau is going back to tribal council. I can’t tell you a single thing about them from this episode except for that weird scene with Lee.

The immunity challenge is, predictably, a blow-out, although it’s kind of nice to see something this ropes-coursey on Survivor. Not only does Saanapu get out to an early lead, they figure out the puzzle image before they’re done with the obstacles.

The rest of this episode, can I say, confuses me. First we see the group coalescing around Kat, which makes sense. Then Kate and Craig start talking about how Andrew is too scheme-y and bad at challenges. Okay, we’ve been set up for Andrew’s fall for 30 minutes, so that makes sense. We see what looks like Craig brazenly telling Phoebe to vote Andrew, with Andrew standing there. But then we get Phoebe talking about how she wants Andrew gone but can’t get the rest of the tribe to see that he’s too scheme-y and bad at challenges.

Are these scenes from later on that were dropping in to create tension in what would otherwise be an obvious vote and/or to set up a downfall for Andrew that the preview suggests is still coming? The whole thing is wonky.

Tribal council is lots of talk about challenge strength, determination, and sticking to the plan. (In this episode we got a “sticky situation” and a “stick to the plan.”) It seems like we’re getting set up for an Andrew blindside, and… 7-2 for Kat. I’m not complaining. The “fall of the braggart” storyline is great, but we’ve already used it this season and it’s not like they’re gonna beat Drew Christie anyway. So sure, let’s go with this.

“Episode 11”

So, the “we should vote out Andrew for being duplicitous and useless” story ends with Andrew getting voted out. I’m good with that, although I’m still processing the idea of Survivor having week long storylines.

After tribal council, everyone seems fine with what happened except the dude who took stray votes, which is what you expect when the vote is 7-2. Andrew vows that Kristie is going down for voting for him, and looks super crazy while he does it. This is not good for him.

We also get an actual Saanapu storyline this week. It involves how Matt the Magician is talking the rest of the tribe into letting the chickens go, and Nick objects to it. I’m not sure what this is about, but I think it’s supposed to make Nick seem even more cartoonish-ly evil.

Saanapu shows up at the reward challenge with chickens in tow, looking to trade them for whatever food was left at Aganoa. LaPaglia shuts them down, and I’m kind of bummed. I don’t want to go full San Juan del Sur, but heck yes I’m down for pre-merge tribes asking for crazy rules changes.

We get two classic challenges this week. The first is the race around a circle in the water carrying sandbags challenge. I’m solidly on the side of “ugh, screw the challenges” but I still like this one. It’s made more interesting by the fact that Saanapu gets down to just Sam and Lee before winning, but also it’s really obvious that Saanapu has the lead the whole time.

Saanapu wins a chocolate feast reward. I’m assuming that doesn’t make most of you cringe the way I do, but, in this situation, all I could be thinking about is the headache I would have. They also decide to let the chickens go, and Nick gets to sound villainous again. This is a thing we’re getting.

Immunity challenge is the one Phillip “threw” on Caramoan, where you have to load up your opponent’s basket with coconuts and tire them out. Craig puts out a valiant effort, but he’s up against Sam, who’s obviously going to destroy him. Both tribes do the smart thing and load up the strong dude first, leaving Sue to battle Flick, with Flick having a solid lead. It ends the way you expect it to, and Vavau is going to tribal council again.

I got pushback on this, but I’m more convinced than ever that these two episodes were edited out of sequence. Craig and Kate are shown here thinking about the idea of voting out Andrew seemingly for the first time, even though they discussed it yesterday. Andrew has some idea that something is up, and pitches Kristie on flipping. He also gets to brag some more about how he’s the puppet master.

At the tribal council, there’s a very obvious divide between challenge strength and staying Vavau strong. Honestly, it feels like a foregone confusion at this point, but we have to play out Andrew’s exit. It’s actually a closer vote than I expected, though, with Sue and Conner voting with Andrew and Craig and Kate flipping to blindside Andrew. Are we getting the Craig/Phoebe superteam we all want? The preview suggest yes! Fingers crossed.

Sharculese

Sharculese

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.
Sharculese

Latest posts by Sharculese (see all)

  • sharculese

    This is my brother’s ex-roommates dog. His name is Marley, and he wants to be a good boy but doesn’t always know how, which is why he has to hide under the table.

    • Hornacek

      Good, because I was worried that he lived in that box.

      • sharculese

        That’s a wheeled pallet they used as a coffee table. He would wriggle under it and just sit there, staring at us.

    • It’s important to have many nicknames for your dog, so I applaud the dedication to the craft here. I decided to knight my dog, so he became a Sir. Then I determined that he was the Earl of Lancasterfordshire. Eventually, he became Heir to the Habsburg Crown. I would rattle off his full title like he was Dany Targaryen, long before I’d ever heard of Game of Thrones. He was a very good dog. (He’s not dead, he’s just my friend’s dog now. From what I hear, he’s still a good dog.)

      • sharculese

        Was he a Lancashire heeler, by chance?

        And wait ’til we get to the week where I use a picture of my brother’s cat. So many nicknames.

        • He is actually an Australian Shepherd. And he’s super fucking cute.

          • sharculese

            Oh, I love Aussies, they’re adorable dogs. My parents have a dog that looks like she’s an English shepherd, which is a very similar build and coat (although not AKC recognized, and, unlike Aussies, they don’t come in merle). The only problem is she’s 90 pounds rather than the 55 or so the breed maxes out at, so we don’t know what the fuck. Best guess is there’s Bernese mountain dog in her.

  • sharculese

    Didn’t have a good place to put it in the post, but how do people feel about Brooke? She’s never heavily highlighted, but every time she gives a confessional she seems to know exactly what’s going on.

    • Max_Jets

      I really like Brooke. I think she’s the best player from her original tribe. She seems to be well liked by everyone and also seems to be the least likely to be a target at the next tribal.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Really? Brooke screams “recruit” to me, although given how long Australians have waited to play Survivor you’d think they wouldn’t need to resort to recruits.

      She’s real puuurty, though.

      • prettyboyprobst

        I heard she only watched a few episodes before, so probably a recruit. Doesn’t mean she’s not giving good confessionals or has no head for the game.

        I like her a lot, although, as I wrote before, I didn’t appreciate it when she and Flick started to question the record of their core alliance with Matt for reasons I cannot fathom. The fact that she always seems to know what’s going on in her confessionals and gave one on Matt’s role in the alliance in that reliable-narrator style, is what troubles me so much about that scene for him.

  • Hornacek

    Let me get this straight …

    Rohan has an idol
    It sounds like Rohan is a likely target (since twice you called him an idiot)
    Rohan’s tribe goes to council
    Before council Rohan gives the idol to Phoebe
    Phoebe plays the idol for herself
    Phoebe got the most votes but they’re eliminated
    Rohan got the next highest number of votes so he’s eliminated.

    So the guy with an idol gave it to someone else, and because she played the idol, he gets voted out? That’s sounds like a train-wreck of an episode (in a good way).

    • sharculese

      That’s pretty much how it goes. It’s as good as it sounds.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      One more thing: Aganoa’s plan going into TC (such as it was) was to vote Sue. So if Rohan had just voted Sue, instead of inexplicably throwing his vote away on Kat, it would have been 2 votes Rohan, 2 votes Sue, and Rohan would at least had a fighting chance at talking them into keeping him as challenge muscle.

      The moral of the story: Rohan is an idiot.

      • Come On In Here

        I doubt that he could have sold it though, a 2-2 tie just means Rohan gets voted out on the revote.

        • sharculese

          I’m not sure Rohan in particular could have sold it; in case it’s not clear from my writing I’m not high on Rohan, but “one of us sucks in challenges, the other is good in challenges” in general should be a good argument.

      • tocantins

        Rohan had no chance on a revote. But then again, if he knew that, then why the heck did he give his idol away? And if he didn’t know that, why completely waste the vote like that? (Not counting the obvious fact that if everything went right, then both of them would be in the same alliance, and usually it is best not to write down the name of people in your alliance out of spite.)

    • Come On In Here

      It was my favorite episode so far, partially because their plan was wrecked the moment Kat thought Vavau was going to go for Rohan. No matter what Pheobe and Rohan did one of them was going home.

      Great strategy can’t overcome stupid alliance partners.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    I’m on record as loving how the swap was done. However, I was a little worried about the possibility of a Koror-Ulong vicious circle in challenges, and episode 9 was a big step in that direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if old Vavau Intentional Matsings to a) get rid of old Aganoa and b) protect Jenna Lewis Jenna-Louise.

    • HBO CEO of Tits

      This Matsing and Ulong talk is making me realize survivor discussion may be impenetrable to the uninitiated. I haven’t seen 3-10, but I know what happened to Ulong, at least.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Lol. I’m a relative newcomer to Survivor, and I’ve been watching old seasons like a madman in part so I could decipher the jargon on here. Without giving too much away, Matsing was a disaster tribe on a three-tribe season that lost every single immunity challenge. The two remaining tribe members were sent to the other two tribes and were spectacularly successful at exploiting the divisions on those tribes, which existed in large part because those tribes were never able to go to tribal council.

        • HBO CEO of Tits

          Yup, seen phillipines. Was just musing to myself, mostly.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    According to Survivor Wiki, after Tocantins they did basketball at sea in HvV, One World, and Cambodia. I have no recollection of any of that, and I’ve seen two of those seasons in the past year.

    I was wondering why they didn’t rock the platform too. Maybe they agreed not to so that the challenge didn’t take forever.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I think it has to be an agreement or that the platforms aren’t easily moved by hand. I mean, there was a lot of movement through the waves alone, maybe that gave a wrong impression of how much impact a single push could have on the basket-pole. But on that last shot from the opposite corner of the defenders it surely would have been worth a try, if allowed. Anyway, the ties supposedly ran for pretty long as it was, the last one for 30 minutes.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Yeah, now that I think about how those platforms must be constructed, I think what we saw was the platform rocking in heavy swells, and the person wasn’t pushing up and down on it but rather was holding on for dear life.

    • sharculese

      Now that you say it, I remember Tasha beasting it on Cambodia. The other two I have no recollection of.

    • Purplerockmatt

      Tall Mike was an unfair advantage in One World

  • turgid_legume

    The ex-Aganoa players are just a total shambles. That tribal council was fun to watch but must have been agonizing for Phoebe, who seems to be the only one of the bunch with a clue.

    Spoilers for episode 10 below:

    So yeah, the trainwreck continues. I was actually relieved when Kat was voted out since they really didn’t seem to have a head for this game and seemed to be playing for personal vendettas rather than strategy. And the Phoebe bandwagon is back and better than ever. They might just have a chance at this, despite being surrounded by fools.

    • Max_Jets

      Do we assume that Craig tipped her off and wanted to work with her? She is amazing.

      • turgid_legume

        I was sure that the edit was pointing to an Andrew boot. They must be pre-loading that sentiment, because you can’t have someone being such a pompous ass to that degree and not headed for a downfall.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          He’s providing such solid-gold Dr. Evil confessionals, it would be a shame to let them go to waste. There’s no reason the epic-downfall storyline has to be contained in a single episode, particularly on a season with so many episodes. And as bonus it solves the problem of a preordained boot.

          Who was the last Survivor to lean this hard into the supervillain role (not counting delusional people like Drew Christie)? Albert maybe?

          • sharculese

            Probably Pete-bro.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I was on the El train in the three-tribe phase but after Episode 10 I’m a Phoebe-liever!

    • tocantins

      I don’t get Rohan (well, I get it, he is an idiot). But man, either you think that you are gone either way because Kat sucks, and then you use your freaking idol on yourself, or you think you have a chance and then why the hell are you voting for Kat instead of Sue?!

      Anyway, Kat was completely clueless as well not trying to flip the game. It was their only chance, and she got her comeuppance faster than anyone expected.

  • sharculese

    Guys, I appreciate the use of spoiler tags, but just to avoid cluttering things up, let’s assume that once I’ve posted about the episode it’s read at your own risk.

  • Max_Jets

    I don’t think we’re seeing scenes from later on in episode 10. I think it’s a plan they’re actually considering at this time. Assuming Andrew is going to go home very soon, this is something the US version would probably hide to make things less predictable, but I like getting a fuller picture of what people are really thinking.

    • sharculese

      It’s the fact that Phoebe is talking about it as if nobody at Vavau has considered Andrew as a target that had me suspicious. It feels like they took a conversation from a couple of days later when Craig and Kate are taking the idea of blindsiding Andrew seriously and dropped it in for narrative’s sake.

      Which I mostly don’t mind. Getting rid of Kat is such an obvious storyline that something had to be done to spice it up or this episode would have been boring as shit. We got a good episode instead of a mediocre one. Cool. And we’re clearly seeing the actual explanation for Andrew’s downfall, so fudging the timeline a little to make the story better doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just that the pieces didn’t quite seem to match up.

      • Max_Jets

        Yeah, I can see that. I think Andrew might just be such an obvious choice of who to target on Vavau and that’s why they had all thought about it. Sidenote: loved watching Sue defend herself at tribal, even though everyone was talking about Andrew and not her.

        • sharculese

          That was weird and funny, but also another reason I think something was off. If you’re really blindsiding Andrew, telling Sue is probably better than not; there’s no indication she’s had any connection with Andrew that would cause her to rat them out.

          I think it’s more likely that what happened is Phoebe successfully planted the idea of getting rid of Andrew this week, but it’s a seed that’s growing. That may just be me being a hardcore Phoebe-liever, though, because apparently that’s what we’re calling ourselves now.

          • Max_Jets

            Eh, Sue is probably Andrew’s closest ally (though not the other way around). She was the one that Andrew told about his idea to blindside Craig way back at Barry’s boot. Sue was probably partly self conscious and was also possibly tipped off by Conner that Phoebe had name dropped her. I agree that they were unlikely to vote Andrew off that tribal, but I do think it’s something that Kate and Craig were thinking about but ultimately decided not to consult the others. That’s all speculation though and I could see it either way. I wish we could get some RHAP exit interviews or something to help us out.

          • sharculese

            Something tells me Craig is high up on the list of people who would do an RHAP interview.

          • Max_Jets

            You’re getting me too excited!

          • turgid_legume

            Craig is awesome and I hope he goes far. I loved his reaction a few episodes back after being told that Rohan had an idol.

          • turgid_legume

            Ideal scenario: Phoebe is able to leverage Andrew’s wild ego by shifting the target onto Kristie for voting for him, as alluded to in the trailer, and is safe for another week. Then Saanapu loses one and Vavau is spared for that week, then Phoebe finally puts the Andrew plan into action and gets him out. Then we’re at 12 and there’s a (proper) merge and Pheobe enters the merge with an idol and there are a bunch of competing small alliances looking to pick up the unaligned.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          So many people, both Aganoa and original Vavau, were shown talking about Andrew’s poor challenge performance that I think the start of his downfall is when they realize he’s throwing the challenges.

          • sharculese

            There’s the adage that when you want something done, you can have it done well, you can have it done fast, or you can have it done cheap but you only get to pick two of those things, and I think the same thing applies to Survivor. Of the three pillars of physical, social, strategic, you maybe get to disregard one, but you can’t throw out two of them and play a pure strategic game like Andrew is trying to.

            In a lot of ways he reminds me of a poor man’s Penner. He does that wander into the middle of conversations thing Penner does and he’s more obsessed with the logic of the vote than the humanity of the vote. The difference is that Penner is charming in a way he isn’t and can do the social stuff when he needs to.

      • prettyboyprobst

        I thought you might be onto something here, but then I watched these scenes again and they were followed by a scene of Kristie and Phoebe telling Kat about that (awesome) situation on the well, where Andrew appeared out of nowhere to disrupt the conversation. Andrew and Craig were wearing their stuff the same way at the well as in that beach scene between Kate and Craig beforehand, so now I’m pretty sure it’s all from before episode 10’s tribal council, whichever day that is.

        Btw, I love how the show and its cameras managed to chatch and insert scenes of Andrew sneaking around and appearing out of nowhere, even in scenes where people were already talking about him.

  • Max_Jets

    Episode 11 talk: New tribe swap please. The only person I want to leave from Vavau is Conner and I am especially worried about Craig, Sue, and Phoebe who are my 3 favorites in the game. The last 3 episodes have been good but I think we’re seeing the negative effects of the way the swap played out. They probably would have been fine with Rohan in the game though. Nick got back into my good graces with the chicken situation, but I am still team Jennah-Louise. Glad that Andrew is gone, though he was actually likable in his exit.

    • sharculese

      I look at this block of gray and all I can think about is that I can’t find out what it’s about until my roommate comes home, but also, she wants to make dinner, so I have to wait until after that.

      • Kemper Boyd

        I went out so I too haven’t watched it!

        • sharculese

          I also then have an online session with a student in Colombia, so realistically I don’t get to watch it until 9:30 (4:30 AM your time.)

          • Kemper Boyd

            I’m going to beat you because I didn’t watch it yesterday due to having to vacuum my ceiling of moth larvae. I went on holiday and came back to an infestation of pantry moths.

    • Come On In Here

      I’m also tired of watching one tribe lose constantly. It’s the have vs. have not twists all over again, and it’s working about the same!

    • prettyboyprobst

      I’m almost surprised that they didn’t split up into four tribes in this last episode. It’s amazing how good this week’s episodes have been despite the fact that we had a pretty good idea who would win every challenge (if not by just looking at the tribes, then by the edit – ep10 had a handstopped 3 minutes of scenes from Saanapu-beach).
      The challenges they use also seem to be some of the best we had through 32 seasons, really happy about their choices there.
      Even before ep11 I didn’t want to lose any more Vavau-members, and there are not that many people on the blue tribe that I’m fine with leaving at his point either, so the next weeks are bound to be brutal. Too many favorites!

      • Kemper Boyd

        I too like everyone on Vavau too much (bar Conner who is a wet blanket). I’d love a post merge alliance of the Vavau 6+ Jenna but I know that’s too many people still unless Vavue manage to rally specularly and Jenna and Nick put their differences aside to get rid of Matt.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Not sure I understand what you’re getting at in the 2nd part of the second sentence (although I’m sure to disagree with the goal): Why would JL and Nick need to team up to shake things up? We haven’t seen this tribe go to TC, and by now I can see numerous combinations for alliances, non of which are spearheaded by both JL and Nick. I assume they’ll only vote together begrudgingly when they are brought together by one or two other people in a newly formed voting bloc, but I think it’s more likely they end up on opposing sides of the vote.
          Again, we haven’t seen much of their tribe dynamics lately and there are a ton of possibilities, but I think it would probably be something like a 8-1 vote against Nick or JL, but another switch-up may be even more likely.

          • Kemper Boyd

            JL is on the bottom of Sanaapu, she won’t be staying put. I don’t think Nick has it in him to stay still with Sanaapu long term, you can see he’s itchy to make moves. I’d just like to see them both use that to make something fun happen. I agree with you that it is really unlikely.

    • tocantins

      I don’t know if I agree. I think the big reason that last episodes were good is that Vavau faced the real prospect of having the tribe decimated. I actually think that it has been a change for the worse in recent US seasons: there are so many swaps and merges that all players know that the cost of keeping a liability is really really small. You are losing at most 2 immunity challenges and then the tribe is gone. I wouldn’t mind a almost ulonging of Vavau. (Although a better storyline would be if they start winning now.)

    • sharculese

      Episode 11 talk is officially on the menu. No substitutions.

      • Max_Jets

        Good! Cause I wanted to say that I agree with your editing theory now but didn’t want to spoil it. Especially with Craig saying “I can’t believe I’m saying this” or whatever.

        • sharculese

          Thanks for reassuring me I’m not crazy. I’m not 100% that that’s what happened, but the whole thing just feels weirdly stitched together.

  • Sue

    Hi! I just stumbled across this blog and am loving the updates. I’m from Australia and have been keenly waiting for this series to broadcast all year.
    I think that they are making the editing way too obvious in this series so that you always know who is going home. What also doesn’t help is the trailers for the episodes pretty much give away what happens.
    The 3 episodes a week is a typical run for Australian reality series- most run 5 eps a week.
    I’m glad Andrew is gone, his smugness irritated the crap outta me but I must say he was doing a good job at not overtly playing the mastermind. I have a feeling that this season isn’t going to be about alliance loyalty but more about ‘voting blocks’ again.
    My favourites are Phoebe and Craig but if Sam gets to the end guaranteed they will take out the jury votes. He reminds me so much of an Aussie JT.

    • HBO CEO of Tits

      Are voting blocs a problem for you? The only season they talked about that extensively was my favorite ever in Cambodia, and Cagayan was essentially played that way as well.

      • Sue

        What made Cambodia and Cagayan really interesting was that the voting blocks were deliberate. There was no inherent trust that a block would vote together again even from the outset.
        The voting blocks here are a bit more haphazard which seems like a really dangerous way to play to me.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Sam is a really nice idiot and you can’t let a really nice idiot get to the end vs someone more snakey. He’s a classic merge (real merge) boot anyway, no way they keep him around once it goes individual.

      • Sue

        Outside the show it is actually Lee is who getting the most fan/female attention. Single dad, former cricket player, athletic body!
        Sam is playing the mateship and honesty card in a way that I think the contestants will like as a final jury vote.

        • Kemper Boyd

          Absolutely other contestants will like it and that’s why he will be cut down at some point. If Craig, Nick, Phoebe, Flick or Jenna are around they will be gunning for him.

  • tocantins

    I think that LaPaglia certainly did the right thing refusing to trade. The producers already knew that they had decided not to kill the chickens, so they were basically going to get something for nothing. It was way too convenient.

    And I just don’t see the editing out of place. It would be just a gigantic coincidence if Craig just jokingly asked them to vote for Andy one vote before he actually votes for him. (And I doubt that that scene is from later; I doubt Craig would “joke” like that in front of Andy, when he already had gotten votes and was getting paranoid—with reason.)

    What I think it happened was this: Kate and Craig start getting pissed at Andrew and bad-mouth him to everyone, including the girls. (Here is the well scene.) The girls see this as their only chance, and go talk to Connor. Connor talks to Andrew that talks to the majority alliance. (He did say in camera that people told him of the girls’ move.) Craig and Kate were undecided about making the move, and now that Andy was onto the plan, decided to put a hold on it. (It also helps their decision that Kat is not exactly much better than Andy at challenges anyway.) Probably Craig/Kate tells Phoebe that they are voting Kat, and here is where we hear her complain about the majority alliance not seeing the liability that is Andy.

    This week, you can clearly see that they already arrive at the challenge pissed at Andy. So if they started talking about him this week (and shown last week), it would have to have been before the challenge. Of course, Andy doesn’t hit a single basket, which makes them even angrier. Kate then goes to Craig and, according to what we see, basically says she is voting for Andy either way. And then there is no going back.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    “I love going to tribal council because that’s where Survivor is played”. AKA I play the post-merge game in the pre-merge.

    I disagree with the strategy for the nut bucket challenge. It makes sense to concentrate mainly on the stronger person, but you put all your coconuts in one person’s basket and zero in the other, you’re just wearing them down in sequence, and the total amount of time you need doesn’t change (X+Y = Y+X). You have to put some smaller proportion in the weaker person’s basket so that the they are both fatiguing at the same time. I suppose there’s some complicated time derivative you could work out so they both drop their baskets at the same time, but you’re the calculus guy, not me.

    Note that Australians, unencumbered by cultural baggage, all throw what are essentially free throws underhand, the sensible way.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I fully agree with you. Try to get 4 or 5 in the weaker person’s net then load the strong dude. Also the running in water challenge was won by the most sensible strategy. If you have two super strong dude plus two quite strong others get everyone slow out immediately, and then just fucking truck it at a team who are encumbered by their slower players.

    • tocantins

      I thought about it, and I disagree. The problem is that the effort/cost is highly increasing (convex) on the weight. A person can carry 5 kgs for hours, 10 kgs for 30 mins, 15kg for 5 mins and 20kg for 30 seconds. So putting a few coconuts in the weaker person’s net doesn’t accomplish much.

      I don’t think that what they did was optimal either. What I would do would be that, at the point where it was clear that the man was struggling a lot, I would stop throwing on his net and start throwing on the woman’s. (And just go back to him after she dropped.) But that is my intuition, I would like to try the math if I had the time.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        After thinking about it a bit more, I came to the same conclusion. The point is that wearing them down simultaneously reduces the time it takes to get both of them to drop, even if each coconut in the woman’s basket increases the time it takes to eliminate the man (although Sue might have been the last person standing regardless).

  • Kemper Boyd

    Episode 11 was a highlight so far. Both challenge are ones that are really watchable and the strategy wasn’t forced. I’ starting to fall for Kristie and her single afraid tribal facial expression. Kristie and Phoebe are my new favourite alliance.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I hesitate to be cruel about a woman’s appearance, but Kristie kind of looks like Karl Pilkington in a wig, especially when she’s making that face. Once you see it you can’t unsee it.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Yes, it’s a magnificent tribal face. I think it’s her “don’t show any real reaction on your face” face.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          That and, as you said, fear. Which would be my facial expression at TC.

  • prettyboyprobst

    PSA: If you don’t want to risk getting spoiled on the winner of the season, don’t follow links that lead to betting odds for the season! In case you’re listening to a podcast that is about to talk about them (as has happened to me), skip the rest right away and best skip that podcast altogether.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the impression these odds give is right, but there is an odds-on-favorite and I wish I realized sooner that I don’t want to hear them.

  • prettyboyprobst

    In other news, I haven’t seen BD posting on the Australian season for a while (Thailand can’t possibly be enough, can it?), so I’ll just go ahead and infringe on his territory (not taking into account anything I learned from said podcasts, obviously):

    The remaining cast ranked on how much I like them:

    Matt
    Craig
    Sue
    Brooke
    Phoebe
    Jenna Louise
    Kristie
    Kate
    Connor
    Sam
    Kylie
    Flick
    Lee

    Nick

    El

    I don’t hate any of them and the first three are basically on a shared first place.

    • prettyboyprobst

      Some closing thoughts on week 4:

      – Is that what Evan meant, when he told Rohan to use the idol well?
      – I hope the people laughing at Rohan are not the same who were mad at him for keeping the idol in the first place (not talking to anyone in particular on this board)
      – same goes for fans of Jeremy and people who think it’s unbelievably stupid, to let the chicken go
      – why in the world would they let them go, though? I think i was less Matt’s power of persuasion than the voting format of one-by-one and people being unsure how they come across on natonal television. if they wanted no part of the slaughter and preparation, it could look especially bad
      – otoh, i didn’t take Aussies for squeamish people
      – beans have plenty of protein. Dat fat on these plumb chickens, though
      – eat yo’ damn rice, El!

      – bold move by Nick to try and sow a seed in Flick’s head (phrasing). We’ll see, but to badmouth what is probably your tightest ally to what is probably his tightes ally seems risky at best

      – R.I.P.onderosa, Austin, you were a delight
      – wtf, episode 11 was not even an hour long, and that was supposed to be a long one
      – anyone else think the preview for next episode is a little bit of a misdirect? I don’t see Phoebe moving against Craig immediately, after he was her lifeline for the past two votes. He could also be of strategic value for her going forward (shield after merge, best bet to win challenges before, as ally). I could see her moving against his ally Sue
      – everyone ready for three tribes at 5? If I had to guess, I’d say a switch-up at 14 is more likely

      To finish, here’s a slight variation of my ranking, based on how much I want them to win:

      Sue
      Craig
      Matt
      Phoebe

      Kylie
      JL
      Kate
      Kristie
      Nick

      Lee
      Conner
      Brooke
      Sam
      Flick
      El

      Kylie’s kids would be so proud of her and I assume she could really use it. Matt and Craig I like a lot, Sue as the first winner would be awesome, considering how bad her archetype usually does. Nick would probably be a good winner for the franchise, the rest is pretty much ranked on gameplay-merits alone.

      Up next: people I would like to see go far (to make for good tv)

      • Kemper Boyd

        I think Phoebe would be a really good winner for the season, she’s playing so hard and had to come back from behind.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Her case seems so clear cut that I didn’t feel a need to explain why I have her so high in the ranking, but I have to say that, as good as ep12 overall was for her resumé, she made a lot of little mistakes along the way. Still an amazing story arc, but I did liker her much better as the scrambling underdog (although she wasn’t that effective in that role).

  • Shambo

    Phillip was hero in coconut challenge on Caramoan. He threw the “grappling hook” challenge, “a spy’s greatest tool”