Survivor NZ Recap – Episodes 1 & 2

Apparently, some of y’all will watch ANY kind of Survivor as long as it’s in some approximation of English. We’ve got you covered with regular Survivor NZ coverage by Kemper Boyd, who will make sure to cover it with the appropriate extra U’s and REs to end words, the way the Queen intended.

Episode 1

Survivor NZ starts in a very Survivory manner, a sweeping shot of coastline followed by 16 castaways in an openback truck driving through Nicaragua, then the presenter (Matt) says Nicaragua very very strangely, almost like a very drunk Scotsman, that is our introduction to the New Zealand accent, one where no vowel sounds quite the way you think it should. Lou proves that it’s reality tv contestants everywhere who aren’t the brightest bulbs when she says she didn’t know where Nicaragua is or where North or South America were. Apparently small town education isn’t great.

We meet Matt at the mats and the contestants are put in their tribes, purple is Hermosa and orange is Mogoton. Matt asks who would be the villain if it helped them win, Dee’s hand goes up. She has tattoos and thinks people will make her the villain anyway.
PLOT TWIST: at the end of Day 1 each tribe is voting someone off. This seems like a bit of a bullshit twist. Way too early or anyone to change a first impression.

Now it’s challenge time, go get as much stuff as possible from the beach and your boat,  you get to keep what you get on your mat at the end of the time. One chick who I think is Izzy is stealing shit off the other team’s mat. This is Michael from One World level genius. I appreciate it. Nate is a Police Officer saw her but didn’t stop her, Sarah Lacina would be ashamed of this terrible Police work. Izzy undoes her great work by giving back one of the knives because she clearly doesn’t want to be seen as mean by the other tribe.

The tribes reach their beaches and get to work. It’s all classic first day stuff, at Mogoton Tony decides to take charge, he tells them to give anything they want to pick up a kick to get rid of anything deadly under it. He later makes a comment about making sure the latrine is close enough to camp the girls won’t get lost or be scared walking to it. So basically I don’t like Tony. Tony is going to be this show’s Rudy but already less likeable.

All the conversations point to Hannah, Shay isn’t happy about this as she feels she could be in an alliance with Hannah. There is some talk between the women of going for Tom because he’s a big threat, this would be a massive overplay this early but it shows that people are thinking strategically.

Over at Hermosa: Dee is talking in confessional about the fact she’s been prepping for Survivor since Survivor NZ was announced, she talks to Georgia and Shannon about getting together and both of them are weary of her. Fuck me it would suck to spend months prepping for Survivor to be the first boot.

It’s Tribal time, Mat asked Lou if games are being played her response is basically “no shit Matt”. He asks Hannah about having something to prove and she agrees. Izzy has to defend giving away the machete. Vote time, Matt is terrible at opening the votes, very noisy and awkward.Hannah is voted out for being a larger girl and nothing else really. We say you can’t teach height  but we also know that you can’t stop the prejudice against anyone who isn’t a conventional size even if they are a powerlifter.

It’s Hermosa’s tribal now and it’s a classic first tribal, everyone has strengths, we don’t really know each other, it’s all about first impressions. Everyone is talking in platitudes except Dee who is being quite abrasive. Shannon says they are a tribe of Heroes in a Heroes v Villains season after Izzy stole all their gear. Mike echoes this when voting for Dee, I predict if this narrative continues it will be tiresome and lead to a very meh winner. Dee is voted out. She made a mess of it on the first matt and there was no coming back, I guess the practicing to be nice to people didn’t work out.

It’s the end of the episode… wait a minute it’s only 40 minutes into an hour long episode. We are now back at camp; at Mogoton Tony is trying to a make a fire and failing; he won’t let anyone take over and gets a lovely thunderstorm jump cut to show he’s not brilliant. Izzy is really ill; she’s been throwing up, and is making that decision to vote out Hannah look really bad. If she quits straight after the first vote she would be one of the worst contestants in any version of Survivor ever.

The biggest twist so far and one that makes sense considering there are 16 people, 39 days and two people got voted out on day 1 is that this is Survivor New Zealand Redemption Island. Who is the Boston Rob they put this in for? Is it Mike, is it Sala?
Yada yada, Hannah wins the duel.

Bye Dee, it wasn’t worth the months of preparation for you. It turns out that Dee is a massive Survivor superfan, having listened to 160 hours of audiobooks, listing to 6 podcasts a week, and seeing every episode 3 times. What a fucking nerd loser, why would anyone do that? Now she is the first boot of a season.

So far Survivor NZ is a lovely low budget version of Survivor, it’s too early to establish game play but there seem to be a lot people thinking about threats and alliances.

Survivor NZ Edgic Episode 1

As you can see it’s pretty obvious after episode one that Shannon is winning Survivor NZ.

Episode 2

We’re back on Episode 2 of Survivor NZ and as predicted Shay and others on Mogoton are regretting voting off Hannah after she destroyed Dee at Redemption Island. Yes Shay, voting off your strong alliance that is physically strong (but large) was not the best idea.

Avi and Tom are making a strong alliance and I’m now sure Tom is going to Redemption today.
It’s about here my chromecast is being an arsehole and I get a bit distracted.

At Hermosa, Mike and Lee decide to hack at a termite nest in a tree and realise if you do that gravity will lead them to fall on you. Then being idiots on Survivor they decide to eat some. Also they talk about Nate being the one to go out. Mike thinks he’s the Captain because his last name is Sparrow; I don’t really like Mike.

Avi realises suddenly he’s not spoken about strategy to anyone, well whose fault is that Avi. He goes to talk to Shay and Lou; Lou promptly gets Avi to say he would vote Tom but Izzy is the free vote to keep the tribe strong. They’ve pinky sworn which is a childish equivalent of swearing on your kids.

Blah blah shelter talk from Georgia. She really likes Lee as a person.

Tony is being Tony, telling people what to do and whatnot. He seems to think Survivor is about survival, it’s cute. But it’s also starting to wear on his tribe.

Blindfold challenge, Hermosa wins immunity after some people bump into some things and Tony fails to pull up his side of the pulley in time with Sala.

It’s scramble time, Sala, Tony and Lou have a chat and Tony says Tom, but now they want him for the strength in challenges. Tony is afraid Tom’s going for him. In confessional Sala says he will stick with whatever Tony wants as he respects him, it’s one of those morals that absolutely ruin the game of Survivor. Avi is floating to the whole group except Tony and Sala that it should be Tony, he’s got bad communication.

After a brief chat with Lou and Shay, Sala decides to tell Tony his name is coming up, Tony reacts in a terrible way by getting aggravated and basically proving he’ll be a total nightmare in camp if he comes back. Tony scrambles and tells everyone if he’s going to Redemption he’s coming back targeting all of them.

Tribal Council, Tony thinks the loss wasn’t a big deal as they were close, which is wrong. Sala wants to play the game with honour to the end, Shay thinks he’s an honourable kind of a dude and if he votes differently to them they won’t mind. When Matt asks for any last thoughts Avi jumps in, this seems like classic Avi. He’s the smart guy, the overthinker, more of a Nick than a Lee and his pitch is for his tribe to think challenge strength. He’s right of course; people need to stop playing the post-merge game pre-merge. You shouldn’t ever vote off an Ozzy or a Joe until they’ve lost their first immunity (or if you know 100% it’s the last pre-merge tribal).

Matt still sucks immensely at reading the votes. They are folded weird and seem to be on a solid paper not an easily manipulated parchment. Anyway Tony is gone, which is probably the right move for our viewing pleasure. Tony’s last words show he’s not built for the game, he’s very angry and can’t deal with being voted out.

Survivor NZ Edgic Episode 2

The edgic supports what I said after the first epsiode: Izzy is 100% winning this season.

Kemper Boyd
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Kemper Boyd

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

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

Favourite players: Sandra, Kim, Courtney, Parvati, Yul, Nat Anderson
Kemper Boyd
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60 thoughts on “Survivor NZ Recap – Episodes 1 & 2

  1. I will be posting the recaps Monday and updating with Episode 2 on Tuesdays.

    Please comment so I don’t feel like a loser writing this for my own amusement.

      1. It’s on watchseries online . Comes up about 12 hours after the show airs (7pm NZ time)

        1. I’m still not sure you aren’t hustling us with this whole “aw shoot, lil ol’ me, I don’t even know this baseball thing” routine. I’m on to you, B.

          But if it makes you feel better, Andy is super familiar with baseball and is doing terribly.

  2. I really like you edgic key. I think this should be applied more often to the show.

      1. I noticed my spelling error, which makes it look like I’m telling the edgic key that I like it.
        Eh, I’m ok with that.

  3. Ni-ku-RAH-gyu-ah!

    I’m only halfway through the first episode, so I haven’t read your recap yet, but thanks for taking this on, KB!

    I’m really struggling with the Kiwi accent even though I watched all 320 episodes of Australian Survivor less than a year ago. I kept thinking “this is what the Australian accent would sound like if JT and Darrah were Australian” if that makes any sense.

    I wonder if the paltry prize for winning (NZ$100K is a bit less than US$70,000) means people won’t be as willing to tough it out or be cutthroat. Also, fun with proportions: relative to the size of the population, a 16-person cast of Survivor New Zealand is the equivalent of a 1,120-person cast of US Survivor.

    Psst–The secret to winning fantasy baseball seems to be to have the Nationals’ 3-4-5 hitters. Everything else is optional; you don’t even need starting pitchers.

    1. The winner only gets $70k?! That’s absurd.

      Also, props to you for doing the currency conversion for me and saving me a few clicks. You’re the hero my laziness needs.

      1. Jesus, it’s £53k which is frankly not enough money to tempt me to a fucking island with no food for over a month.

        1. I love the idea of playing Survivor, but the chance to win actual money has to be part of it. At least with the American version, you can buy a house in 99% of the country with your winnings. With the NZ prize, you could maybe put a down payment on a condo.

          1. Billionaires like peter thiel are quietly buying up land in nz…

            Haven’t read recap yet but the 70k thing cuts both ways, no? Takes a special kind of crazy to starve for a chance at winning a relatively (compared to us survivor) small amount of money.

      2. If The Worst Idea of All Time taught me anything, it’s that New Zealand has a pocket of people who are willing to do arduous tasks for little to no reward.

          1. Yup, once a week for 52 weeks. They then did Sex in the City 2 figuring it would be funny to do a 2 and a half hour movie for this. They instantly regretted that decision. Now is their final season with We Are Your Friends.

    2. NZ accent seems to be Australian but way more oddly Scottish sounding. So many vowel sounds are just weird and wrong to my ears. The Pacific Island accent (like Sala) is so much softer and nicer thought.

    3. How’d you like it? I think you are the only one here who has actually watched it.

      1. I’m through the first episode. It’s too soon to come to any conclusions, it was very much an episode of Survivor, I guess. The low budget really shows in the tribal council and RI arena sets, and I’m a bit worried that like Australian Survivor, the mateship types could overwhelm the real players. All of the players seem right out of the Big Book of Survivor Archetypes except Hannah, of course.

        Matt is the reverse LJ: He looks younger and more handsome without the baseball cap.

        After what she said at the end of the episode, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dee is reading this comments section. One of us! One of us!

        1. I hope if she does read she’ll realise my comment about being a nerd loser was more about me than her!

  4. So Dee learned everything about Survivor except how not to put a target in herself?

    1. Pretty much. She will now be the Superfan we refer to when we say they overplay. She was pretty abrasive and made it an easy dust vote when it should have been Barb or Nate as physical weaknesses.

  5. I tried, but only made it through the first 25 minutes or so. Maybe I’ll give it another shot when I don’t have a virus.

    Though, not a great sign when both people of color are being targeted less than 10 minutes in.

    1. I don’t know what you mean? Sala and Shay weren’t targeted per say. It was more noted that they seemed tight I think Shay shouldn’t have said “brother from another mother” as it makes it them seem too tight too soon.

    2. Naw, not that flavor of survivor prejudice. Just the usual sexism/agism. You gotta be a real piece of shit to get voted early out as a young man on this show.

  6. I completely forgot about Survivor NZ until I saw your post earlier in the day, so I decided to watch both eps tonight.

    I’ll provide some discussion points/thoughts!

    – Nature shots in the first episode were really good!
    – I really dislike it when people are voted out prior to any challenges. I mean, the cards were already stacked against Hannah because of her size, but it would have been really nice if, you know, she got the opportunity to defy a stereotype before she went to redemption island. Pretty much the point you made.
    – ALSO on the point of no challenges – It’s the premiere of big reality franchise in NZ and they want to hook viewers. WHY on earth did they not do a big/flashy challenge or at least spend the money doing the classic boat jump/supply gathering thing. First time viewers are going to roll their eyes at that first pitiful challenge and switch off. Don’t blame them. Definitely a mistake to lead with a pitiful small budget challenge like that.
    – They jumped right in to the strategy talk/alliance talk 10 minutes into episode one. I would have preferred some more characterisation first. All the girls talking about Tom having friends on the other side makes me think all the younger guys were probably communicating before the game started because otherwise it’s an odd thing to say.
    – Fingers crossed this Lee is better than AUS Survivor Lee. If he’s all about mateship I’m going to have more nightmares.
    – I thought the host was trying his hardest. He was terrible at reading votes and he struggled with that urn but he seemed to really be trying to get answers out of them. None of them were giving him anything, poor guy. Before Hannah started the challenge she literally replied “no comment” to a question. Come on! He’s got to yell at them until they give him something juicy, like Probs does.
    – Considering she is a super fan Dee was absolutely terrible at the game. I’m not that sympathetic because it was entirely her own fault, but I’m sort of disappointed she was the first one out because at least she had a bit of character. She stood out and she had a lot of potential to be entertaining (or more entertaining than anyone else, at least).
    – It’s a shame the premiere wasn’t great (in my eyes) because I think it picked up a bit in the second episode. We had a decent challenge and the strategic talk wasn’t quite as awkward now that they’ve gotten past the first vote. I am optimistic it will continue to improve once everyone finds their footing.
    – No one is really jumping out as being particularly exciting though. Were there any funny moments at all?
    – Thank god Tony is gone. He was getting really patronising. He has a very annoying face and he complained a lot.
    – I love your edgic system. 10/10. Your recaps were fun – it’s hard to really cover those first two episodes well because it felt like not much happened at all.
    – The preview for next week definitely gave away who wins next week’s challenge.

    Unless it becomes unbearable I’ll be tuning in each week so I’ll try and contribute a bit because it’s a bit quiet in the comments section at the moment. It’s midnight and I have to sleep, so I can’t really discuss anything at the moment, unfortunately. Will be back tomorrow though!

    1. I agree with pretty much all of your observations. You, of course, have extra reason to dislike people getting voted out before the first challenge. But even besides that, it’s a head-scratcher. Just on a mathematical level, even with Redemption Island, it seems like a bad idea when you have a 16-person cast and two episodes a week.

      The tiny scale of the scramble for supplies and the close proximity of the mats did make it possible for Izzy to steal the other tribe’s stuff. I can’t recall that ever occurring in US Survivor.

      1. I’m fairly certain there was some initial scramble mat stealing in US Survivor. Tocantins, I want to say, But I definitely remember it somewhere.

      2. Michael from OW stole something from the girls (Kemper also aluded to this in the post).

    2. Like ASD I agree with almost everything you’ve said, because you agree with my post a lot. I hope the Edgic continues to bring joy to all and as you can see accurately tell us the winner.

  7. So, I just watched the two episodes (I would’ve done it earlier, but I was just finishing BBCAN3, so I did that first). Some thoughts:
    -These 2 episodes were….OK. Either it will get better, or it will get worse, we’ll see.
    -There were a lot of times where I couldn’t understand what they were saying, especially as someone whose first language isn’t english, and as someone who didn’t have any problems with understanding during The Australian Survivor.
    -I’m not TOO thrilled to see Redemtion Island back, BUT I hope at the very least they will get rid of it at the merge, which is my main problem with this twist. It gives the players at RI post-merge an advantage cause they don’t have to get any blood on their hands. With having RI only in pre-merge, the player who came back still has to fight to get to the end, and if it ever happens that someone who came back won, I’d prefer if it was from the pre-merge RI.
    -I don’t have any clear favourites right now. If I had to pick I would say that I’m intersted in Shay, Izzy and Lou.

    Also, you gave a great coverage. And Edgic would be great, but they also give rating for the people on RI so 0/10.

      1. I really enjoyed. But if I had to rank them I think I would put it at last place for now, but I still liked it. It had a BUNCH of twists that I wasn’t a fan of. I thought the cast was good, my favourites were Sarah, Godfrey, Kevin, Brittnee, Sindy, Bruno and I thought if they had chance to do more stuff Naeha and Willow would also be really good (BTW Willow may have one of the most infectious smiles on the planet), plus as a fan of RHAPpy hour and LFC I also enjoyed Jordan (I’m so sad that I have to avoid their content for now).

        I felt really satisfied with Sarah win, especially cause she THE favourite of mine. Plus I think she had a WONDERFUL social game, even so that I think she stood a chance against Ashleigh, and I thought she had a good strategy, besides the Triple Eviction, even though I understood why she thought she needed to do it, it still was a mistake. The obvious mark against her is if there wasn’t a twist, she wouldn’t made it, but I think it was the same for Godfrey, who would’ve been actually evicted most likely then, where Sarah wouldn’t (the only differences is that- in the positions they were in- Godfrey had to make sure that that twist would’ve helped him, while Sarah’s would always do it). Plus she managed to convince him to take her to the end, where he was leaning before on taking Ashleigh.

        As for Godfrey’s game, I also felt he played a really good one. He managed to get to the end without having to win any comps. If he won, I would also be really happy. The strikes against his game are, like I said earlier, being kind of saved by a twist, plus, while by playing dump he managed to get to the end, he didn’t managed to shake off that perception, and cause of that he didn’t manage to get the respect of the jury. It’s always playing with fire if that’s your strategy. But I do think he played a really good, and he could be better th 2nd time.

        My favourite moment of the season is definetely the Jordan eviction, plus, even though I wasn’t fan of the twist itself, seeing how Brittnee and Sarah went from being depressed that Canada hates them, to them knowing why they chose them, was pretty good television.

        And what are your thoughts about it?

        1. I binged it a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. The cast is definitely the highlight of the season. All the names you mentioned were solid, though Brittnee is “dead” to me (I’ll get to that in a sec). Also agree that the twists were not good.

          I’m very happy that Sarah won. Her social game was amazing. She had a connection with everyone in the house, even if they weren’t on her side.

          I’m a big fan of Godfrey. Along with being entertaining, I enjoyed his game a lot. It’s tough to pull off the floater role but I thought he did it well.

          My favorite moment of the season is also the Jordan eviction. My least favorite moment is Willow’s eviction in the triple. She did have such an infectious smile and great energy that you can’t help but love her. Seeing her emotional plea to stay after being in such a good position was gut wrenching and I’m still pissed at Brittnee for putting her up.

          I would also rank it behind 1 and 2 but overall it’s still high.
          Finally, a couple of friends and I will be in Toronto next week during the finale of season 5 and I look forward to possibly meeting a few of the BB Canada alumni.

          1. Cool! Have fun! Who do you hope to meet especially, you can even say BBCAN 4 and 5 names that I don’t know, just don’t spoil them for me. And say hi to Peter, Neda, Hannah and Sarah for me (if they will be there of course)!

          2. If they are there I especially hope to meet Neda, Jon, Heather, Gary, Willow, Topaz, Kevin, Sindy, Sarah, Godfrey, Brittnee (even if she is dead to me), Bruno, Ika, Cass, and Dre. I’m sure there are names I’m missing. I need to think of interesting things to say. That is always the toughest part of meeting people I’ve admired on television.

          3. Thes are all great choices! I hope I will catch up in time! Once again, have fun!

          4. Thanks. Before February I’ve never watched the show and now I’m planning vacations around it.

          5. Thoughts on season 5 these days? I’m pretty stoked that we are pretty much guaranteed to get a satisfying winner. I can’t help but want for Demika to succeed, but I’d definitely be happy with a Kevin win too. If you get a picture with Cass (or anyone really), please post it! That sounds like a blast.

          6. I’m on the same page with you about season 5. I will definitely post pics if I can.

    1. It feels very much like early Survivor because it seems like it’s not shot in HD.
      You’ll get used to the vowel sounds. They are often one vowel over from what is written.
      I like you am interested in Shay and Lou plus Shannon and Avi.

    2. Interestingly enough, it took me a whole month to get to Survivor New Zealand due to binging BBCAN 1, 2, and 3 as well as following along with season 5 and Survivor Game Changers.

  8. Episode 2: Hoo boy, now I’m even more worried about mateship doing the surround-and-drown on real gameplay. But it’s early still.

    I’m not saying I want Hannah gone, but it would be really amusing to see Tony last for a while on RI, being salty about it 24/7 like Christine in South Pacific.

    Shay, possibly Shannon, and just maybe Nate seem capable of playing strategically without being flashy about it.

    1. Shay has voted for 2 of her allies off in a row!
      I really liked the Avi vote from Lou, she kind of shit stirred with that. She knew Tony was getting 4 but didn’t want to vote for him. I think Avi’s going to go mad wondering who it was.

      1. True, but they admitted the first vote was a mistake, and on the second vote, this early in the game I would swap out Tony for a desperate Tom without hesitation.

        Lou does show some potential, but I’m too put off by the thing about North and South America.

        1. It’s tough with a 16 person season and Redemption to say what the “right vote” is this early but I feel like Tony, if he is on your side, is valuable to keep. He’s abrasive and bossy and all about the Survival aspect but if you can live with that you know he’s not turning on you. That being said it shouldn’t have been Tom anyway, because they do need him for challenges; his value is higher physically because there are only 6 of them after this vote.
          Lou definetely has potential.

  9. There’s no word on how many episodes it will be, is there? I’m glad there’s only 16 contestants so they can’t stretch it out too long like Australian Survivor. I don’t really have much of an opinion so far. Avi and Tom are a hot alliance – the new Rohan and Lee? Hopefully not. I hope Hannah is basically the New Zealand Laura Morett because I want her to make the merge.

    1. In before someone reenters the game from Redemption Island every three episodes and there’s an outcasts twist.

      But yeah, it’s probably going to be the same length as the US seasons, I’d imagine. Especially if they have a smallish budget.

      I don’t really have strong opinions yet either, but I am optimistic it will continue to get better once everyone has settled in a bit. Generally speaking though all the contestants seem a bit unexciting. Literally no one stood out to me.

  10. You guys, I never bothered to delete the Australian Survivor Know-It-Alls podcast feed, and it’s been renamed Survivor Know-It-Oz and is now hosted by Nick. His guest for the Week 1 episode is Phoebe!

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