Puzzles on Australian Survivor? In this economy???
It’s the penultimate week of Australian Survivor, everybody! Let’s see if the season can maintain the comeback it started last week.
Episode 21 (Assistant Dragon Slayer)
- Back at camp after Sam is voted out, Mark sulks for a while and then pulls Josh aside. Josh tells him that Dave (and by implication) Chrissy got in his ear about Mark and Sam having too much power, so he thought it best for the good of the alliance to flush the idol.
- Mark turns the page pretty quickly and takes stock of the new landscape. As he sees it, it’s now Mark/Josh/Chrissy vs. KJ/Shay/Jordie, with Dave the swing vote.
- “(Jordie’s) a trained gardener; I’m a trained killer.”
- Jordie exults in having gotten his revenge on Sam. In his eyes, Josh is firmly with the Purgatory 3, with Mark, Chrissy, and Dave on the other side. He notes that even now nobody believes Mark has two idols.
- I have to give Josh credit for playing both sides pretty seamlessly, even getting Mark to believe that Dave is the real flip-flopper.
- Reward challenge: It’s the one where you lean back over the water, holding onto a rope. Just give the win to Shay already. The reward is the Tessa O’Halloran Memorial spa day. The three ladies seem to have promised the spa reward to each other. A good opportunity for Shay and KJ to flip Chrissy, I reckon.
- Wait, WHAT??? Once Shay, Jordie, and Josh are the last three in the challenge, Jordie proposes that the three of them go on reward. Shay protests she needs to solidify bonds with KJ. Over on the loser’s platform, Chrissy sees what’s happening and alerts KJ, who vows to be done with Shay if she doesn’t take her. KJ barely finishes that sentence before Shay caves in.
- This is the worst decision I’ve seen on Survivor since…. well, since Wednesday.
- But weirdly, these are actually the correct people to take on the reward and leave behind if you’re Shay. Leave one ally (KJ) behind to monitor what happens at camp, and take another ally (Jordie) and someone from the other side who could flip (Josh). Maybe Chrissy is a bit more flippable than Josh, but nevertheless: Did Shay fall ass-backward into making the choice she would make if she were a much better Survivor player than she is?
- Alternatively, was this all planned in advance? It was entirely predictable that there would be a spa reward, and also that any endurance challenge was very likely to come down to a final three of Shay, Jordie, and Josh. Was this a ruse to make it look like the Purgatory 3 was splintering? To give Josh cover to plot against Mark? To make Shay continue to look like she doesn’t know how to play Survivor? (it’s working!) It’s too far-fetched to just assume this was all planned, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for any corroborating evidence.
- At the reward, Josh proposes that, as the biggest challenge threats, they protect each other for the next couple votes. Josh says he’s willing to take out anybody but Chrissy, who he’s tight with. By process of elimination, this means the targets are Mark and Dave, and a 3-2-2 vote-split plan quickly comes together.
- Back at camp, Chrissy and KJ complain about Shay’s decision. KJ says in confessional that the Purgatory 3 might be done (hmm, maybe this is real). Dave points out that by convincing Shay to change her mind about who to take, rather than win the challenge himself, Jordie’s letting her take all the heat. The four agree to vote out Jordie.
- Immunity challenge: Obstacles, throwing things at things, then Wordle basically. Josh wins. Dave assumes that this means Jordie’s getting voted out.
- Josh fills Chrissy in on the plan. KJ, Shay, Jordie, and Dave vote Mark, the idol gets flushed, and whoever Jordie, Chrissy, and Mark vote for goes home. Josh suggests Dave, Chrissy insist Jordie. Josh says no because they’ve agreed to work together temporarily.
- Shay and KJ make up and Shay fills her in on the plan. Jordie tries to convince Dave to vote out Mark, and KJ and Shay come around and corroborate that the plan is to vote for Mark. Dave says he’s on board but he’s not. He thinks this is all an effort to make Jordie comfortable ahead of his blindside, and tells Mark that the vote is still on Jordie.
- The fundamental numbers problem is that In order for a foursome (Purgatory 3+Josh) to split the vote safely, the votes of Mark-Dave-Chrissy have to be sent in different directions.
- Mark corners Shay and asks her if he needs to play the idol. Once again she folds under the least little pressure, first saying that he should and then backtracking, giggling nervously all the while, which means of course that he definitely should play the idol.
- Tribal Council: Lots of posturing about the reward and Shay breaking her promise to KJ and Shay. Dave once again says (this time to everybody) that it was a brilliant way for Jordie to essentially choose who to take on reward and get Shay to take all the heat. JLP asks Josh who the bigger threat is between Mark and Jordie, and Josh says both, which would have gotten him yelled at if Jeff Probst were running tribal, but JLP just lets them vote.
- Mark plays his (first) idol. The votes come in Mark, Mark, Mark, Jordie, Dave, Jordie, Dave. A tie between Jordie and Dave. On the revote, it’s Dave, Jordie, Dave, DAVE. Juicy Dave goes to Ponderosa amid cries of “JUICY!” and various juice-related references and puns.
- On the original vote, Chrissy and Dave voted Jordie; Josh and Mark voted Dave; and Jordie, KJ and Shay voted Mark. On the revote, KJ voted Jordie, everybody else (Chrissy, Josh, Mark, and Shay) voted Dave. So essentially, Chrissy and Dave stayed loyal to Mark, while Mark flipped on them, ensuring the success of the very vote split that he was one of the targets of.
Episode 21 (kemperboyd)
- Welcome to the least enthusiastic recap of Survivor international since I covered NZ 2.
- Jordie calls himself the joker again and I want to die. KJ has to explain why she voted for him on the revote (she thought the others would and wanted to be in with the remaining players).
- Jordie tells everyone Mark has another idol.
- Chrissy talks about how she thought she’d be first to go. But she loves being there. She has been one of the best characters in the post merge. Josh is her number 1.
- Jordie is right saying he’s got the best story, I think Josh has played a better game than him. Josh has not made a mistake that sent his loved one home. Josh now has to decide whether to go with Jordie or go with Mark.
- STOP TRYING TO MAKE JUICY HAPPEN.
- Immunity is back up for grabs: obstacle course then puzzle. Chrissy coaches Josh on his puzzle and Josh wins.
- Mark says it’s not bad for his game, then calls himself the Dark Knight. Men, please find a new movie series. I’m bored of so many Batmen.
- I will never be happy listening to Australians pronounce necklace.
- Jordie says they need to get Mark as if he doesn’t play his idol that’s automatic top 4.
- Jodie talks to Shay and KJ and says they can get Mark.
- Mark talks with KJ who agrees to Jordie and then he goes to Chrissy and Josh but Josh is a question mark.
- Mark’s spideysense is telling him he might be in trouble. WHICH IS IT? BATMAN OR SPIDERMAN?]
- Jordie decides he needs to convince Chrissy about the second idol so she’ll convince Josh. He promises Josh and Chrissy top 4 and then top 3.
- Tribal Time: Jordie talks about verbal contracts and things being ever changing. Mark is asked about his mystery idol. Chrissy says her mind changes on Mark’s second idol every day, right now she’s on no he doesn’t have one. JLP says he’ll count the votes and Mark then whips out his second idol, explains Sam stealing it from Jessie and then plays it. Jordie gets 4 votes anyway. Which means Mark wasted it but it still wasn’t a stupid play. Jordie voted for Shay, which makes so little sense after we spent 25 full minutes on Jordie v Mark as the decision.
- Update on who I want to win, Chrissy, fuck it, a Chrissy, KJ, Shay final 3 where people just like Chrissy best.
The AU Team is Kemper Boyd, Assistant Dragon Slayer, Blurry Denzel, and Barbara Anderson, who are joined by special guest and genuine Australian Something Quirky. Everything about Australian Survivor is big, including the team needed to cover it.