Survivor NZ – Episodes 15 & 16 Recap

Another two episodes of Survivor NZ. I’d write more of an intro, but Kemper forgot to and I’ve never watched this show…


Episode 15

Shannon heads to Redemption Island and Mike and Jak laughed heartily at her turning up.
In the real game, Shay pretends she isn’t particularly annoyed and they all discuss that they want Shannon to beat Mike. Avi thinks that everyone trusts him but as we know everyone also thinks he’ll beat anyone he sits next to.

Barb continues her mind games with her fellow contestants. She sits in her hammock and lets the lemmings come to her. Barb lets them see what they want to in her so I find her is pretty amazing, to be honest.

At the main camp, everyone seems to be playing everyone else. Avi thinks he can control people because they trust him and Shay is lying about Tom telling Nate to vote for Avi. Avi’s love for Tom is confounding, he is a physical threat, he’s a nice guy and he’s got no blood on his hands. In one of the single weirdest moment in any season of Survivor, I can remember Avi confronting Shay about it is played as audio over footage of a spider catching and eating a bug in its web.

We go to the Reward Challenge which is the Ozzy Lusth memorial mud sticking challenge. The reward is a night away from camp, with horse-riding, a spa, and food. The challenge is won by Avi, firstly the pick he chooses Tom then Barb.

I do not understand how the minds of the NZ contestants work. Tom once again says that Barb seems to have done too little too late as though engineering the two biggest blindsides of the game and then getting a group to vote out the hated Shannon instead of her is nothing!

At the Reward, not much happens except Barb says she wants to see Tom and Avi in the top 3. What on earth is going on? Why is no one playing this game? Surely the best top 3 for Barb is Nate who has done nothing and Shay who the boys don’t like? Or Shannon if she comes back? Avi shouldn’t take Tom and Tom shouldn’t take Avi.

It’s time for the Redemption Island battle. Thank god Matt was good enough not to call it a duel! It’s a Parvati special, hold your hand above your head, if it comes down then the water falls and you lose. Simple. Jak wobbles a lot but Shannon is the one to go down first and loses her shot. Jak and Mike continue on Redemption.

Episode 16

Episode 16 opens with a crushing sense of ennui, wait that’s not the show? Oh no that’s just my feelings on it. The episode continues as all episodes have gone on, Nate and Shay are concerned about Tom and Mike joining back up. But Avi trusts Tom completely; we are at a point that I want Tom to turn on Avi so badly just because of how annoying his trust in everyone is. His comeuppance would be intensely satisfying to me: but I think Avi is going to win. Tom says, “Shay’s playing a game”. YES, TOM. THE GAME IS CALLED SURVIVOR!

Tom wins immunity again.

Blah blah everyone wants to take out Shay. Nate is talking about taking out Avi, which is probably the right move. THIS IS THE RIGHT MOVE to undermine Tom and keep the power with Nate and Barb. Avi is a nice guy who wants to spend the money on underprivileged kids. But Barb for some reason decides to tell Avi about it. WHY BARB? Avi now wants Nate out.

Tribal Council is as you’d expect, everyone is nervous. Shay gets voted out which seems to me like the wrong move as she only has two jury votes tops and won’t beat Mike at Redemption.

Survivor NZ – Edgic

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
Kemper Boyd
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  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    What the hell happened to Barbs as gangster in a mum’s suit? When she first said she wanted Tom and Avi in the F3 I thought she was just keeping the target off her and firmly on Shay, but I have no explanation for the confessional where she said she has no intention of going to the end.

    It’s conceivable that she kept Avi in the loop on the Shay vote, when his vote wasn’t even needed, in order to destroy his game. Avi hasn’t won any challenges or driven the game, and now he can’t even play the mateship card at FTC. Or it’s just possible that nobody knows how to play Survivor.

    I think the water tank challenge is still the Shii-Ann Special.

    I also found the Tom/Shay audio over the spider and bug video to be quite strange. Not so much for the concept but that they held the shot for soooo long. The only thing that immediately comes to mind as stranger is Shambo’s dream sequence.

    It’s unfair to compare the Kiwis’ first crack at Survivor to one of the best seasons ever of US Survivor, but watching NZ and Philippines concurrently, the difference is really startling–not just the gameplay, but the editing, pacing, cinematography, everything. Good luck next week.

    • Kemper Boyd

      I am so fucking angry at Barb for deciding to stop fucking playing. I am so fucking angry about how poor this season has been. I was angry I had to watch it today to write this recap.

      • Figaro

        It’s so disappointing. I was initially enjoying it despite the slow beginning and then I got my hopes up for an exciting finish once Barb blindsided Sala, but now everyone’s ‘playing’ like idiots.
        I’d really like to know how many of the remaining contestants actually regularly watch Survivor. I’m gonna guess none because they’re all ridiculous at it (with the possible exception of Tom who is at least playing the game he needs to play). They’re basically playing as if this is a first ever season instead of one that comes after 30+ seasons of
        gameplay. Uggghh. I’m over it.

    • Dutch

      I honestly think the water tank challenge is one of T-Bird’s finest moments!

  • Prom King

    Ugh, this show.

    Ranking players in order of least rootable to most.. this will be much harder than last week mainly because I’m not just back to my pre-Sala-blindside ennui but that boredom has been combined with disgust:

    Barb: from hero to zero in just two episodes. WTF mom, you ripped my heart out! Watching her basically want to let Avi or Tom win over anyone else including herself just made me sick to my stomach. I can think of only two reasons for her change in attitude and neither are appealing. (1) She’s no longer on the outer after calling some shots, is feeling better about not being ignored by Mike & company, and instead of using that, she just gives up? Her main motivation was petty revenge against Mike & company and for young guys to just give her the time of day and make her feel special… instead of winning a game she’s been playing for weeks? Gross. (2) She’d just rather have young earnest integrity-filled white guy Arfy stay in control of the game over older earnest integrity-filled not-white guy Sala staying in control of the game? Even more gross. I’m not usually one to bring race into things but my personal experiences etc just can’t help but make that the lens I’ve often been forced to see the world through i.e. I’m not white. If you are going to hand control of the game over to someone who is using Integrity as their game plan, why choose smarmy and entitled Arviy over Sala who has done the same exact thing except minus the smarm and entitlement and with a lot more humility and grace? My disgust is equal to my confusion. Why did she even make that big move? A move that also made the show interesting for two episodes. Barb temporarily fixed the show and then she broke it so that it is now basically unfixable.

    Zak: was at least more interested in playing the game than Barb. Still very hard to listen to.

    Nate: is at least more interested in playing the game than Barb, despite certain flaws like zero charisma and a near-complete lack of strategic prowess.

    Mike: he’s definitely much more interested in playing the game than Barb.

    Shy: turned out to be a complete disappointment. I thought she was a secret cutthroat and it turns out she was more of a waffling stooge. She could possibly go higher in my esteem if she wins Redemption and comes back in the game, and then successfully organizes something against Arphi. I could also possibly grow wings and fly to the moon.

    RV: incredibly hard to watch with all of the entitlement and guilt-tripping and insufferable I-wanna-win-immunity-so-baaaaad emo bullshit but hey he has been in control of this game socially for a long time, at least since Shay pulled him into her alliance. He suffered what now appears to be a minor setback when ally Sala was removed and he now has a mark against him because UH OH PRECIOUS INTEGRITY TARNISHED AND THAT WAS MY ONLY CARD WAAAH WAAAH WAAAMBULANCE… but compared to the clowns surrounding him, he is one of the few who seems to recognize his own desire to win a game that he is actually currently playing rather than going camping and voting for someone else to win some money at the end of the trip.

    Tom: please win this fucking so-called game, Tom.

    This season is like the horrible bizarro version of Survivor Africa where INTEGRITY ALLIANCE dominates most players’ thought processes. Avi is a less pleasant but equally self-righteous Lex (I didn’t think that was possible), Nate is a much less pleasant and definitely unfunny Big Tom, Tom is a sneakier Ethan, and Barb is a nightmare version of Kim and who also prefers Lex over Ethan.

    Bottom 5 season for sure, even if Tom wins.

    Of course if Barb has a complete change of heart, it might be Bottom 6. Gotta give hope a chance?

  • Dutch

    This has definitely been a rough 1st crack at Survivor for the Kiwis. I was really hoping for an Australian Survivor vibe at the beginning of this season, but it’s just failed to deliver. It’s really a shame we couldn’t see post-merge gameplay from Izzy and Georgia. I would’ve been interested in seeing how Tony could’ve done down the line. I just hope that if Survivor New Zealand gets renewed, they shake it up quite a bit to make it feel exciting again – twists, idols, better cast. If there is a season 2, I will be watching again, because I do love Survivor, but I hope it doesn’t remain rather bland.

    On a side note, I did watch Survivor Israel on YouTube recently. One season is fully subtitled in English. Another – only 1/2 the season is. They were rather interesting and included rootable players.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Is the Rupert episode subtitled?

      • Dutch

        That I’m not sure. Was that in the “All Stars” season? I didn’t begin watching it, just because I didn’t want to only know what’s going for the first half of the season. The first 12 or 13 episodes are subtitled. I think down to final 8 or so. If I get ambitious, I may watch it because I did enjoy the season that was fully subtitled. I did also watch a few seasons of Survivor South Africa, that series reminds me of New Zealand a bit.

        • Neutral Username

          Man, we need to talk about South African Survivor. I’ve watched season 2 and 3 and just watched 5 episode which is pretty much the most desperate item to idolise the strong male castaway. Also I know someone on SA season 1!

          • Prom King

            I watched Season 1. Somewhat enjoyable but often boring (although I feel it was less boring than New Zealand). I remember it being fairly easy figuring out who the winner would be.

          • Neutral Username

            A little over halfway in on SA Season 5 and it’s…good? The production values are high, different host from season 1 and 2 and different soundtrack which is a little lighter on the tribal sounds than OG Survivor. I nearly had a fit when I heard the season’s twist and that may still ruin the endgame, but the cast is good and that covers a multitude of sins.

            Liberal use of a skip forward may be necessary, but there are scheming villains, arrogant powerhouses, some smart players and some real characters. All that plus Russell mentions, explicit vote marking, someone voting for someone not in the game (left unmentioned, but hilarious) and idol stealing (because “There is no rule in survivor that says you can’t steal an idol”).*

            * May also include a duel for the Cup of Salvation set to dubstep.

          • Prom King

            You finding this on Youtube, torrenting it, or finding it elsewhere? I wanna watch it!

          • Neutral Username

            First thirteen episodes are on youtube. The other are available through other means.