Australian Survivor All Stars: Week 2, Episode 4 and 5

????✌️Jessica, only child, Illinois, Chicago, Classmate Kim Jin-mo, he’s your cousin????????


OK, back on Fiji…

Episode 4 (Assistant Dragon Slayer)

We don’t see any of the fallout from the wild Episode 3 tribal council, but instead go straight to the next day, with the Vakama (Yellow)members admiring Jacqui’s absolutely ripped body. She’s gotten into bodybuilding since her first appearance (when she was 50). I’m starting P90X today, guys–today.

Locky sweats Mat about how he knew the Pretty Cookies were voting Jacqui, while David eavesdrops worriedly. Mat says they were being too obvious about throwing around Moana’s name, but Locky is unconvinced. Why David isn’t suspected of being the mole is beyond me (remember, the non-2019-season All-Stars saw all of David’s game except for his boot episode).

At Mokuta (Green), the now idol-less Henry is on the bottom, and needs allies. Henry pitches a snake alliance with Nick. Nick says yes of course, but he articulates what we’ve all been saying, that Henry has absolutely no chill, and that allying with him means that when his game inevitably blows up, so does yours.

At the reward challenge, AK outs Mat as the Godfather behind Daisy’s ouster, then puts the bus in reverse and reveals that Mat got his idol from Henry. I was wondering when AK was going to show up this season. Vakuma wins a challenge that seems entirely too dependent on the grippiness of one’s shoes. AK is once again surprisingly capable, and Moana is once again strangely a DNP.

LOL the fish and chips reward is a sack of potatoes and fishing gear. With at least one idol back in the game, they inspect the crates the stuff was on, and Mat is the first to grab the concealed idol. He’s chuffed, but I’ve long felt that an idol that the entire tribe knows about is worse than useless.

Mat reiterates that Mo is his closest ally, and loops her in that David is working with them, but she doesn’t trust David. We get Mo’s sizzle reel, where she notes that she got super-sick her first time playing, and somewhat contradictorily promises to show Australia all that she’s capable of but also to play a quiet game.

Now spooked a little by Mat, David sneaks off in the middle of the night with the tackle box and removes its jewel-like handle. How ‘bout them fake idols, tho? Ah, too bad Andy’s not watching this.

The immunity challenge is strength/endurance based, requiring each member of the tribe to hold up a 26kg (57lb) barrel, on an incline, with ropes. It seems designed to further endanger the physically weakest players, but I guess there’s some strategy in how the tribe members are arrayed, since you can hand off your barrel to your neighbor. There’s a clue under the sit-out bench. I deadlifted 26kg (with my hands together) for the duration of the challenge (in TV time, not 75 minutes) and it really sucked. With Michelle giving up early, Mokuta has to pass around her barrel and eventually loses. I’m surprised the ones who gave up stood around instead of being sent to the sit-out bench, as that would have increased the odds of the clue being found (Shonee was oblivious).

Michelle is rightfully worried and goes into scramble mode. She can’t find a crack, but doesn’t seem to even consider going after Henry. The old-school types (Lee, John, Zach, Lydia, and especially Abbey) are all about keeping things simple and getting rid of Michelle. Henry, however, wants to assemble an army of bottom-feeders and take out Sharn as the most dangerous player (“the best to never win,” in his words). I mean, maybe, but being isolated in the tribe and exposed as the one who passed the idol to Mat, he should just lay low for a vote, but this is Henry, after all. He makes a pitch to Zach, which on the one hand seems like a mistake (since Zach seems likely to just to report that Henry is up to something) but on the other hand Zach is probably always up for getting rid of an “old” woman. Henry claims to have Harry, Nick, Shonee, and Michelle on side (seems unlikely), so one more would create a majority. He then pitches John as a seventh/insurance vote. Don’t sell past the close, mate!

Nick is not OK with any of this and starts rounding up votes for Henry. He pitches Henry to the old-schoolers, overlooking or not realizing that everything that he’s saying about Henry being a snake, they think about Nick. In confessional, Abbey talks about Nick using the same “he’s on a rampage” language that Nick is using about Henry. They’re adamant about keeping physical strength for immunity challenges. Going into tribal council, Lee notes that the vote is very much up in the air.

At tribal council, JLP quickly puts Michelle on the hot seat. She first notes that Lee blew the first immunity challenge, then shifts to claiming to have other kinds of strength besides brute strength (i.e., cardio), then starts questioning the whole definition of strength. This seems like a dead end to me. In her first season, she escaped getting voted out by relentlessly hammering on a helpless Ben. There are no Bens on an All-Stars season of course, but still Henry seems available to be taken down.

The votes come in Michelle-Michelle-Sharn-Sharn-Henry-Henry-Henry-Michelle-Michelle-MICHELLE. This felt inevitable. There were just too many people prioritizing challenge strength, Sharn’s name never came up during tribal council even though she was ostensibly in danger (and JLP never asked her a question), and as it turns out the non-Michelle votes weren’t unified in addition to being too few in number. While it’s a shame to lose a player as fun as Michelle, she was always very likely to go early. In fact, the only real surprise boot through four episodes is Daisy. My thirst ranking is taking a beating.

Looking good didn’t help Daisy or Michelle!

Episode 5 (Kemperboyd)

We start in the pouring rain; John decides to make everyone happier by stripping naked with Lee and dolphin jumps in the ocean then cleaning themselves. Can I just say, I don’t want to see a naked bloke because they think it’s funny. Why do men think getting their bits out is hilarious? (yes, I am a sour killjoy).
The rain is of course worse at Vakama because they have a tarp not a premade shelter. Locky loves it because he’s so manly. Locky talks a lot about how attracted he is to Brooke. He thinks it’s a good thing. Now it usually isn’t, and it usually isn’t for the woman not the man.
I really enjoyed Mat trolling everyone just wearing his idol around camp. His plan is to just annoy Locky a lot, and as I don’t enjoy Locky’s style of play I appreciate it.

On Makuta, Henry is out on his own wearing just a poncho. Nick talks about how Henry is spooked and primed to go off. Henry has a hair trigger and has no ability to play any situation cool. Nick is having to try and manage the Henry situation. It seems like Nick is in really good standing in his tribe, he has his rascals and the other people seem to trust him too.

Henry has a confessional about how he’s on the bottom and he has been betrayed but he doesn’t seem to know that the reason he is on the bottom is his own gameplay. Had he calmed down in week 1 and just let it be Shane Gould, then kept his idol he would have been fine. He thinks he needs to prove his worth physically and paint the target on Shonee (please no).

At Reward it’s the classic 1 on 1 idol balance challenge but the idols are very wide so it’s more physical than pure balance. The prize is soft serve ice cream with toppings., I personally dislike soft serve ice cream and Margaret Thatcher worked on the team that helped invent it, so I am politically opposed to it too. We do finally see Moana v Abbey in the battle of the WAFL, one a current player, one former. Abbey wins. Shonee competes against Phoebe and loses but Green win overall with Henry in the Hero position winning the first and last points. Locky plays the advantage steal for himself and Phoebe.

So many ice cream things, Harry loves Ice Cream he’s an ice cream man. It looks very melty to me. Locky wants to get as much info as possible from his trip and gets absolutely nothing. Sharn and Shonee go looking for the clue and Shonee spots it in a log, she keeps her eyes on it and grabs it. In a really obvious way but it appears no one saw it. The idol is under the well which doesn’t seem super easy for a woman like Shonee to get. She manages to tip it up, not spill the water and she gets the idol! HELL YES SHONEE. This is the #shontent we were looking for. Shonee asks Nick if the well looks weird. When he says no, she tells him about her idol. I love this alliance.

In other news Shonee appears to have a onesie. Which is amazing!

The Immunity Challenge is another long physical one. They do not make things easy for women in the pre-merge of Australian Survivor. So far, no end puzzles, no mostly balance challenges, nothing that would help a Shonee or a Phoebe show value. These are tribal immunities that really help if you are Zach, Locky, Lee or Tarzan.
JLP throws out the superb “it’s hard to get a grip on your log when it’s wet and slippery”. This season is filthy.
Vakama win after Locky is an end game beast, Lee manages to just fail miserably on the end catapult. Makuta had a huge lead and did nothing with it.

Survivor Onesie!

Back at Makuta beach they wash off and talk about the vote. Nick and Shonee are going hard for Henry. Nick says they are playing with their muscles not their brains. Nick pitches a split vote between Henry and Zach so Shonee’s name isn’t even up.
Lydia and Abbey don’t want to make the move, they want to keep Henry and get rid of Shonee. Henry and John speak about going for Shonee. Harry is playing double agent making sure Henry isn’t turning on our queen. Nick and Shonee tell Harry about her idol. Harry, Shonee and Nick go hard to try and convince the tribe to vote for Henry.

The thing I don’t understand is that there must be a swap around the corner and Henry is a loose cannon in a way that you cannot trust post-swap. If I were Sharn I’d be keen on Henry, he targeted her already. He’s shown that he’s untrustworthy. He literally handed an idol to the opposing tribe.

Henry makes a fake idol to “find” at tribal. It could be a great move if he is convincing. He cuts his jeans down to make a package for his new idol, which begs the question, why didn’t he keep the packaging of the one he gave to Mat? It also begs the question, how come he has jeans, shorts and joggers?

At tribal Henry drops his fake and sits down. JLP asks Nick about making the tribe cohesive. Nick says that after that night’s vote they will be cohesive. Lee is asked if it’s just a game and says no, it’s special and the decisions are difficult. Lydia says you must balance what the majority want vs what is good for your game. Zach thinks strength is important and challenges matter. Nick and Shonee look at each other and nod. Shonee points out that it’s 5 challenge wins for each tribe and it’s not like they are losing horribly. Henry pitches his strength and Shonee pitches her loyalty. Henry says he is loyal too but it’s word salad if I’m honest, he has voted against Sharn and against Harry, he sent his idol to the opposition tribe, how is that loyalty?

Henry gets up and grabs his “idol” and Nick calls him out on it being fake. Nick should have been stronger and said, “if it’s an idol, show us it”. Because frankly if it was a real idol, he probably would have grabbed it after the vote.

JLP asks for idols and Henry doesn’t play his fake idol but Shonee plays her real one. This is a good move. Better to misplay an idol than go home with it in your pocket. Shonee gets 5 votes to Henry’s 5 and it’s adios to Zen Hen. A man so utterly misnamed it’s hilarious.

Henry you did this entirely to yourself. If you just calmed the hell down earlier on it would have been Shonee no problem, or at least the secondary vote would have been someone else like Sharn. He went way too hard too soon and has zero chill. He got behind the numbers and his crazy eyes did nothing to convince his tribe he was trustworthy. Imagine though, if he hadn’t given that idol to Mat, Jacqui goes home and he has a convincing fake to maybe take the heat off him, although the split vote means probably not.

*Please note that after idol was played I shouted “SHONTENT” loudly and startled my cat.