Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn Week 4: Episodes 10-12 Recap

The symbolism is rife!
‘Monitor’ing the situation.

Week 4 begins with the aftermath of the double Tribal Council. Hayley’s idol gambit successfully forced the Original Brawns to turn on each other, whereas the former Brawns on the Brains tribe have stayed together. Cara hasn’t faced any real consequences of her earlier voting mistake, but it still looms over the tribe.

Episode 10 (Something Quirky)

  • At the Brawn camp, people are praising Hayley’s move, and Simon is very happy.
    They decide to do a shelter reno!
    Brawn strong is the theme, and Simon and Danni want to sway Hayley into sticking with them.
    According to Simon and Danni, Flick’s on the bottom now.
    According to Hayley and Andrew, Flick would make a great addition to the group comprised of themselves, Baden, and Wai, to make a majority against the other Brawns.
  • Over at Brains, Laura’s still here and happy.
    George attempts to talk voting strategy with Emmett again.
    Cara gets concerned about Kez and Laura becoming closer, and we get a lot of shots of Cara looking unhappy and Laura being social.
  • Reward Challenge time:
    Three tribe members must hold a pole across their shoulders. The opposite tribe will decide who to assign weight to, and members of the same tribe add weighted bags to the poles. The first team to have all three players drop their poles loses. The reward is tacos and margaritas. (I’ve never understood Australian Survivor’s obsession with margaritas. Mexican, I get; I’m currently eating a burrito.)
    Holding the poles for Brains are Gerald, Emmett, and Kez.
    Holding the poles for Brawn are Chelsea, Simon, and Baden.
    Gerald and Chelsea get loaded up on. The weights get spread out a bit, but Chelsea gets targeted and drops after a great effort of 50kg. Baden drops out shortly afterwards. Simon only got his first bags ten minutes into the challenge, and is now the last person left for Brawn. Kez drops, then Gerald drops, which leaves Emmett up against Simon. Simon’s pole starts to slip until he can no longer hold onto it, giving Brains the win and Cara her first reward.
  • Partway through the reward, Georgia returns to camp looking a lot healthier.
    Georgia reunites with Laura and Rachel : “Game on, molls!”
    Kez chats with Emmett and Gerald about voting off one of those three, saying they don’t need to discuss it and should just say a name in passing.
  • Immunity Challenge time:
    The tribes must push a sled through obstacles and retrieve sandbags, then throw those sandbags through a net tunnel, before using them in a slingshot to hit tiles.
    Brawn develops a steady lead.
    The strategy of boosting big guys (in this instance Andrew and Emmett) up to reach things instead of using people of a similar height who are lighter is an interesting one. In this case they were pushing sandbags off a shelf, so perhaps arm strength was the most important consideration.
    Brawn have hit two of the five tiles when Brains start on the slingshot, but Brains manage to tie it up at three targets each.
    However, Brawn hit the next two targets and win Immunity.
  • Back to the Brains camp with a bonus boom mic shadow.
    Emmett is unconcerned about Tribal due to being in the majority, and suggests putting all five votes on one person.
    They seem to decide on Georgia. (Gerald: “All G’?”)
    Georgia decides to chat to Emmett and tries to sway him to voting Cara. In this conversation, they refer to “they”, and everyone except Cara, George, and Gerald ends up coming over and talking about the negative aspects of having Cara and George around. But Emmett states that the majority alliance is working with Cara and George because the Brains voted them off, and so the ex-Brawn feel that they are trustworthy and loyal to them.
    It bugs Georgia that a physically strong male is leading the Brains tribe. She’s not alone in that feeling.
    Georgia, Laura, and Rachel talk to Kez and find out that she’s still pretty annoyed about Big D going home. (They also play the angle of Cara and George being physically weaker than they are.)
    Now Emmett’s worried about Kez and somewhat condescendingly pitches that they should stay Brawn strong, because otherwise the women will eventually pick off himself and Gerald. Does she understand?
    She does, and still wants to vote Cara.
    There hasn’t been any discussion showed regarding if there does end up being a 4-4 vote split.
  • Tribal Council time:
    Laura lays it out that Emmett leads the majority alliance of five, and that Cara and George are on the bottom as extra numbers being used to get Brawn through to the merge.
    Cara says she’d rather be on the bottom of that alliance than on the bottom of an alliance with Laura, Georgia, and Rachel. She also accuses them of not trying hard enough to stay in the game because they haven’t approached her or George.
    Kez says that she is play doh and agrees that the majority’s way of doing things with a focus on the numbers is the easy way. Laura pushes her (with words!) and Kez says she can jump the fence. Then she says she always leaves her book open. (What kind of play doh does she use?!?) Jonathan asks Laura if she wants to mould Kez, and she says that no, she wants Kez to be her own person who makes her own decisions. Emmett repeats his case to Kez, saying that he also wants her to make her own choices but that he’s given her a plan.
    Ultimately Kez decides to stick to the plan, and Georgia is voted off.
    At least Georgia got closure to her Survivor experience, rather than going home via medevac.

Episode 11 (Assistant Dragon Slayer)

  • We start Day 22 with B-roll of wallabies and parrots smooching. Is the animal kingdom that happy to see Georgia go?
  • We get the by-now obligatory scene of George gloating about not getting voted out. He notes that everybody who targeted him is gone: Mitch, Joey, and now Georgia. He’s not wrong, but giving himself credit for their boots is stretching the truth beyond the breaking point.
  • The situation on both tribes is largely parallel. On Brains 2.0,  OG Brawn was in the minority but fractured the majority, aligning with George and Cara to eliminate Georgia (and Big D accidentally), and now Rachel and Laura are seemingly sitting ducks. On Brawn 2.0, the OG Brains were in the minority, but fractured the majority, aligning with Simon, Dani, and Chelsea to eliminate Shannon, and now Flick is seemingly a sitting duck.
  • Rachel is pretty depressed, both because of the rigors of the game three weeks in and her lack of options. And now we get her package. Uh-oh.
  • The editors juxtapose Rachel talking about how, as an educator, she empowers people to do things they couldn’t do before with the visual of her teaching Cara to fish. Having failed to get the OG Brawns to turn on George and Cara, Rachel is now trying to pull Cara in. Maybe Cara has forgotten that Rachel voted for her.
  • At Brawn, Hayley says that the girls are all getting along well. They have the numbers for a girl’s alliance and it would make sense. Four of the five voted together for Shannon already, and they have no real animosity toward Flick. Plus, Simon is an obvious common threat (mostly to Hayley at this point, but still).
  • Interestingly, it’s the women on both tribes that are doing the fishing (and succeeding). Hayley and Dani know what they’re doing with their makeshift net. I always laugh when people on Survivor throw the net on top of the fish, the way you would with an escaped zoo animal.
  • I want to root against Dani, but she’s handling this conversation with Hayley very well, whether she’s telling the truth or lying. “The Sandra Bullock” is a pretty good code name.
  • Both tribes get letters from home. With 15 castaways this could take a while. This is already a (relatively) short episode, so I’m guessing we’re not getting some big splashy play at tribal council.
  • For what it’s worth, we get our heartstrings tugged on behalf of Hayley, Andrew, Wai, Dani, Baden (and his ammunition-manufacturer cap), George, and Emmett.
  • Kez spy-shacks Rachel talking to Cara and George and reports back to Emmett. It dawns on Emmett and Gerald that the way to preserve the OG Brawn numbers post-merge is to throw the challenge and keep picking off Brains.
  • Immunity challenge: Slide blocks to untangle ropes and release a key, push a giant box through a tunnel, then use the key to unlock three rings, which need to be worked up and over a pole to release balls. Carry the balls through a mud pit, roll them down a beam into a bowl. The puzzle is relatively simple and at the beginning rather than the end, so this seems throw-able for Emmett.
  • Wai directs Brawn through the puzzle very quickly. Emmett is far more obvious about stuffing up the puzzle than he needs to be, to the point where JLP notes it while doing the play-by-play.
  • With no rails or groove on the beam, the last bit seems impossible, but Simon and Andrew make quick work of it. Brains never get past the puzzle.
  • During the post-challenge hugs, there’s some cross-tribe talk between the OG Brains. It underscores how hopeless the situation is for Rachel and Laura that the best advice they get is “make it to the merge” and “throw some mud around”.
  • Brains 2.0 minus Rachel and Laura (who must be searching for the idol Laura played on Rachel) decide to split the vote. Cara could still stuff this up yet!
  • Rachel and Laura finally pitch an Emmett blindside to George directly. I guess it comes down to whether George believes the merge will happen before Brawn comes for him.
  • It turns out George put himself on the three voting Rachel to give himself the option of flipping to Laura and Rachel and blindsiding Emmett in a 3-2-2 vote.
  • Tribal council is mostly as expected, but Emmett claims to want to solidify his alliance with George and Cara and go into the merge with a five-person cross-tribe bloc. Rachel counters that if four Brains can stay strong they can reunite with the others and have control after the merge. Gerald and Kez rather unconvincingly say that a) George and Cara are integral to the alliance, and b) OG Brawn is a mess and won’t necessarily be united after the merge (OK, that part’s true).
  • No blindside, no idol, the majority five stick to the plan and vote out Rachel. This is surprisingly conservative (small-c) gameplay on the part of George and possibly a big mistake.

Episode 12: Kemperboyd

  • Laura is looking for an idol, George goes and follows as she “goes for water”. But he decides to reach out to her because he is now 2nd from bottom. You know how George could have stopped that? by voting out Emmett. Laura of course agrees to work with George because what else is there to do?
  • At Brawn Simon thinks that there is a strong six, his three and Haley, Baden and Wai. He has carried this team through everything and is feeling untouchable, always a good thing to say on Survivor.
    He decides to tell Chelsea and Danni that he has two idols and promises final 3. Little does he know Danni is now out to get him.
  • the Reward Challenge is a paddle for rings and then a ring toss for chocolate. Emmett wins it for Brains.
  • Brains were given a golden ticket, it says that it’s one at a time for the candy store and they have to decide the order. Kez decides they should pick sticks and George picks the biggest stick he can see but it’s short to long. Cara, then Laura. LOL.
  • Cara finds the advantage and it’s a VIP ticket to tribal council for two people, two extra votes at tribal council.
  • Danni tells Haley about Simon’s idols, Haley is such a superb player, she built this relationship and made herself an avenue for Dani to turn to when she wanted to take out Simon.
  • Brawn are going to do a light throw of the challenge.
  • the Immunity Challenge is a twist on the HHH challenge that was cracked immediately. Each player is on a rope and has to walk into the middle to balance ball in the middle. If I remember correctly, if everyone bar the walker holds tension the walker can do it easily.
  • Brawn are all looking far too gleeful to be throwing this, luckily they are facing away from Simon.
  • Brains win immunity and Cara cashes in her advantage, she chooses herself and George to go, be able to vote and not be voted out. This puts a huge spanner in the works for the blindside, if I were Simon I would be super afraid George and Cara would vote for me and I’d play an idol just in case.
  • Simon is desperate to go after Flick. He sends Chelsea to follow Flick but then decides to go himself. As he follows her around everyone else can talk about voting him out.
  • Haley starts to get concerned about Simon playing his idol, she decides that if Simon plays his idol she wants Dani to go. Guys I love Haley so much, she is so smart. She talks to Baden to about it, about Baden, Andrew and herself voting for Dani. Baden says he will go speak with Cara and George and get them to vote for Simon.
  • At Tribal Cara and George say their votes are up for grabs. Everyone acts like Flick is 100% the target including Flick. The acting is so good. Baden manages to say “two on Simon” to Cara and George and tells them about the idols. Cara though asks who the split vote is as though it matters and Simon notices the conversation. Cara has no tribal chill. Simon does say “you have to put trust in people” but it seems a lot less calm and obvious than before Cara spoke. We only see Simon vote for Flick, Flick vote for Simon and Haley vote for Dani.
  • JLP asks for an idol and Simon holds steady. The votes come in Flick, Simon, Simon, Simon, Dani, Danni, Dani, Simon, Simon and Simon is voted out.
  • He says blindside, broad smile and congratulates everyone, gives hugs all round. Credit where it is due, he is a really good sport, he hugs JLP and leaves.
  • Next time on Survivor: MERGE.
  • This move was sublime, Haley managed to socially position herself so Dani was comfortable to flip on Simon easily. Everyone except Cara and Baden played their parts perfectly. My only worry is if Haley has burned Dani too badly to play with her in the post merge. But the other option was possibly losing Flick and with her maybe Kez and maybe Gerald and Haley clearly values Flick above Dani.
  • What a pre-merge we have had. WHAT A PREMERGE. Come on post-merge, keep it up!