We are into post-merge play so let’s get to it!
Episode 13 (kemperboyd)
- In the recap Haley is being given huge credit for the blindside of Simon and fair enough because she played Dani.
- Back at Brawn camp Dani is unhappy about the three votes that were placed on her and blames Haley (as she should). Haley explains that had Simon played his idol she didn’t want Flick to go home, now this may have been the first mistake by Haley, maybe it would have been more in her favour to put those 3 on Chelsea who is a person who would maybe hold a grudge less and would definitely have less power to move against Haley.
- MERGE, the blue is nice.
- Reward Challenge, dig up sand bags and land them with a catapults. Once you land them you get to pick from a number of “feast Items”, good food, shit food, hidden items and a call home.
- George does it first and picks the burger. Haley is next and she picks the steak and a beer. They start to talk about his rock solid alliance of 5. Haley tells him that Dani is after her. Chelsea picks the call home. Dani take the baked potato. Wai gets a covered item, pancakes. Cara picks covered and gets donuts. Emmett picks covered and gets a jar of lollies. Baden picks covered and gets a boiled egg. Dani tells Emmett about Haley being everywhere and being very good, George notices. Laura gets the covered pizza. Andrew takes the avocado toast. Flick picks a big bowl of rice. Kez gets the banana and Gerald gets his beloved milk.
- Emmett sets in up as 7 brains and 6 Brains but he has George and Cara. But Flick isn’t with Dani and Chelsea and Kez and Gerald are close with Flick. Surely is can’t be as simple as that.
- They name themselves the Fire Tribe which is an all time bad merge name.
- Dani and Chelsea talks to Kez about what a huge player Haley is and how much they need to take her out.
- Gerald tells George an anti-trade union joke, George does not laugh, as he shouldn’t because trade unions got us every working condition we have. Weekends, holidays, retirements, no child labout, Health and safety laws. Everyone if you can, join a union.
- Haley feels like it’s swimming with sharks, she talks to Flick and Gerald and reminds them that Dani wanted Flick as the split vote and that they can get on board to take out Dani. Haley tells them that the Brawn side have huge resumes and if they stay there they will look like goats.
- Flick tells Haley that she wants to work with her but it’s too soon and too scary. Haley immediately goes to talk to her crew.
- George says he knows what is important at this stage is information. Emmett says they want Haley to use her idol then blindside Andrew. He wants to use his skills as a political operative, so he talks to Baden, Haley and Laura. He promises he’ll have her back if she has his. He will tell her who to play her idol on.
- Immunity Challenge is hold a bar above your head attached to a ball, the ball drops you lose. It goes down to Emmett v Andrew. Emmett wins.
- Emmett decides that it should now be Laura really but make Haley think it’s her. He stupidly says “if we stay strong we can take out the old brains” in front of George and Cara.
- George says “half of them have stabbed me in the back but they are my people at the end of the day”.
- Kez mentions in front of all the Brawn that a rock is really clean by the swimming hole and finds an idol. Now George wants it to be Kez.
- At Tribal Council Emmett has his homies and is at peace. JLP asks about the 7 OG Brain v 6 OG Brawn and Baden says two of the Brains are gone. George says he doesn’t think it’s about the original Brains and Brawn as new relationships have formed. Haley shows her idol.
- JLP asks about idols and Haley plays it for Laura and now Kez has to guess who to play hers on. She holds firm as she feels it won’t be here.
- The votes come down: Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Laura does not count, Dani, Kez, Kez, Kez. 12th person voted out of Survivor Brains vs Brawn, Kez.
- Kez clearly gives her idol to Flick and Rachel’s pants to Wai. I don’t see how handing an idol off after the vote is kosher at all. AT ALL. But had Wai not asked for them then maybe she wouldn’t have passed the idol.
- I loved the stray vote on Dani, gave Brains complete security if Kez played her idol.
- I thought maybe the split on Dani was why it became Brains v Brawn but I think Dani and Chelsea were always going back to Emmett and Gerald was bringing Flick across. There was little way beyond throwing challenges earlier to save Rachel that they would have had the numbers.
Episode 14 (Barbara Anderson)
- It’s the day after the Kez vote and George is proclaiming himself King of the Fire Tribe (what an awful, awful name). His plan went perfectly. Kez went out with her idol (hahahaha) and Hayley played her idol for Laura while outing herself as the mastermind. Thus, George’s covert status remains secure. He goes to Cara where they plot to take out a Brain to even the numbers. Their target is Andrew because they are worried about him pulling away Baden from them.
- Meanwhile, Baden is feeling good about his position because he is good with both alliances and trusts Puppetmaster George. His plan is to convince the Brains to trust George and Cara, so that alliance can get to the end. Baden is worried that George has other plans, but he promises to keep his eyes on him (which worked out so well for him last time)
- Dani is mad about her plans going out the window at last tribal. She is worried that there was a snitch who told Hayley about the plan to vote out Laura. Flick thinks that Hayley just guessed correctly, but Dani doesn’t like snitches (because in her line of work, snitches get stitches, which is so reassuring about her job as a…corrections officer), so she is after the snitch and Hayley, but Hayley first because she is too smart. They are also open to Baden (oh yeah, Chelsea is there as well).
- Wait, we’re off to the Immunity Challenge already? JLP asks about camp life after tribal (which we really have not seen much of at all this episode). Immunity is up for grabs, but it is not just for one person. It’s for three people! Oh and they are the only people who get to vote. It is a multi stage challenge. First stage is the Sierra Dawn Thomas Memorial Challenge. Second stage is a rope lassoing element to get over a wall. Third stage is a table maze. But unlike most multi stage challenges, they continue going on after each stage.
- First stage: Gerald, Flick, Wai, and George lose
- Second stage: Hayley, Chelsea, and Cara lose
- Third stage: Emmett wins immunity (which he had halfway done before Laura went over a wall) followed by Andrew and Dani who just beats Baden, which means that the Brawn have a 2-1 majority on this vote. Dani is especially excited because she controls the vote and wants out her archnemesis Hayley, who is aware of this.
- Back at camp, George is excited because Emmett will protect him. Everyone else is confused about what to do. Dani and Emmett go to the well to talk about voting out Hayley, but Emmett wants Baden out because he notices that George and Cara are talking too much to him, thus proving to Dani that they were the snitches. I think it is interesting that Dani never mentions that she wants either Cara or George out at all this episode, despite her not liking snitching. Maybe she thinks she will get more info from them at this point?
- The Brains met up to discuss which name for Andrew to put down, which they say Gerald for some reason, but they all know that they are screwed because they are down 2-1, so Andrew’s vote doesn’t count. In desperation mode, Hayley goes to George to ask what she can do because she is the obvious target, but he won’t help her. This pisses her off, so she decides to out George officially as the spy, even if that pisses off her alliance.
- Hayley goes off to walk with Dani where she confirms all of Dani’s suspicions and tries to get Dani to use her as a shield because she does not want to work straight tribal lines (which is an unusual gamble with Dani who is all about Brawn Strong). Hayley also mentions that she will vote for either Cara or George at this point because of their resumes. Dani then proposes that Hayley becomes a spy for her. Emmett then walks up and says that they are open to not voting for her, but she would have to tell them if their names are being thrown around in the future because they are doing her a huge favor of not voting her out. She agrees almost immediately because she is in a hard spot and wants to stay another day. After Hayley leaves, Dani doesn’t want to work with her, but Emmett is open to it because she has shown more willingness to work with them than Baden has and they think that Baden is the only connection that Cara and George have to old Brains. Before Tribal, Hayley is scared, George wants Hayley gone, and Dani wants the snitching to stop.
- At Tribal, we talk about how great it was to win Immunity, how close people were to winning Immunity, how it is obviously 1 of the 4 Brains going home, how worried Hayley is and how Baden didn’t want to beg but Hayley would beg to stay. JLP then says that the 3 immune people have the opportunity to vote, but only one of them will vote. Those three have to compete in a fire making contest. We then talk about how important fire making is for survival skills (remember Emmett and Andrew made fire without flint in the early game) and how the Brains are excited because fire making in the bush is what Andrew is supposed to do. I do appreciate that Dani calling out how JLP and the castaways are paying so much attention to the guys instead of recognizing that she is also competing and has a chance to beat them.
- During the fire making challenge, Andrew breaks his flint almost immediately (which causes a fun Baden reaction and the Brains to throw advice from the peanut gallery to pretty much no avail). Dani is calm while Emmett causes a big flame with the husks but doesn’t get the kindling on in time for it to remain. Dani out of nowhere gets the flame to go up and win. We then hear about Dani’s thought process for her vote, which is just thinking smart and wanting somebody out who is going in a direction she doesn’t want them to go in.
- Dani votes for Baden. Baden is voted out… but wait, he is going to Redemption Rock where he has a chance to come back in to the game?!
- Let’s break down this episode, because it was not super awesome. First of all, we clearly have way too many twists for one episode. We have not one but three immunity winners. They are the only ones who have the opportunity to vote, but only one can earn the opportunity to vote. That sole vote will determine who goes not home, but Redemption Rock. Why? I guess Production liked it in All Stars where people like Brooke and Shonee had an extended stay because of that season’s version of this, but those are established personalities. While I do like Baden, I don’t know if I need a Redemption Rock segment with just him. It also takes away so much agency from the players. You saw how deflated the Brains were when it was just a 2-1 vote because they knew they were toast. Even when Andrew could have won, they were just getting out the power player Gerald. Hayley made the best move for her because I suspect they would have taken her out there if she hadn’t approached Dani then. Although Dani basically knew all of the information that Hayley was providing, she showed that she was willing to work with the other side and Baden was literally too proud to beg. Yes, they wanted Baden out too, but Baden could easily have been the next vote. In the regards of taking away agency, we only heard from half of the cast because the other half didn’t matter to the vote (in fact we really didn’t need to hear from George this episode except to set up why Baden was a good target for Dani and Emmett) and that’s not great. It’s especially not great when this isn’t the first time this has happened this season. I hate preaching about good and bad edits, but this is not great when we have people like Andrew who just got his fourth confessional this episode while George is up to 80.
- I just hope we don’t do the “only one person votes in a tribe of 12” twist again. But, it’s Australian Survivor. We will probably get only Hayley and George voting for each other tomorrow night.
Episode 15 (Something Quirky)
- Baden arrives at Redemption Rock, which seems to be more of a Redemption Tree (in a very picturesque location).
Baden makes fire (quicker than Andrew?).
Baden thinks out some strategy with sticks marked with charcoal, which I liked the visual of.
- It’s Day 30 and apparently the Fire is only 21 degrees.
- I feel like the Aboriginal art themed flag really helps to emphasize the lack of diversity in this group.
- Chelsea was taken away by the medics after Tribal Council.
- Brawn have a powwow to confirm picking off the Brains.
- Cara has quite a tan. She doesn’t look sunburnt, but it does look like you’d want to keep an eye on it.
- George tells the Brains that Flick confirmed she has Kez’s idol (ugh.).
He doesn’t know that Dani knows he leaked information.
But Dani doesn’t know for sure, because she doesn’t trust Hayley.
Neither does Emmett, who straight up tells George that Hayley told them George controlled the vote.
I don’t think George knows how buses interact with things.
- Immunity Challenge:
It’s been less than 24 hours since Tribal, so Chelsea is still out of the game, and won’t be returning for the next Tribal.
The challenge is making a word by stacking blocks on a small table that is balancing with a rope, but also they have to go back and forth across a rocking balance beam. With that and the rope, it looks like they stole materials from a bunch of rocking horses.
Emmett builds up a lead, and everyone who gets close ends up “dumping”.
Emmett wins his third straight Immunity.
- Cara’s arm is pretty bandaged up.
- George pushes to vote for Hayley. Does this seem suspicious to the others?
Yes. (Or at least to Emmett.)
George also doesn’t know how fish interact.
- Hayley tells Flick, Gerald, and Emmett that George was behind the lucky vote. (Or she’s some kind of oracle.)
She doesn’t seem to tell them she knows about Flick having an idol now.
She does tell them she’ll vote Andrew in order to prove herself to them.
- Meanwhile George is convincing Brains to vote for Hayley because she threw them under the bus.
He also says Hayley was shopping Andrew’s name around before the previous Tribal Council.
- The Brains tell Hayley that they can put all their votes on Gerald, and George will vote with them.
Hayley wonders why George would put himself in the minority like that, and no-one gives a good answer. Well done, Brains.
Again, Hayley shows great strategic thinking by looking at things from other players’ perspectives.
- Tribal Council:
George talks about having a solid alliance, and Gerald brings up Hayley saying that George told them what to do at the last Tribal.
Emmett asks George to deny it, and he does not directly deny it. He says some stuff, but he does not deny it.
WHY ISN’T HAYLEY TELLING THEM SHE KNOWS ABOUT THE IDOL?
There is “confusion” over what actually happened.
Wai backs up Hayley’s version of events.
Laura backs up “my alliance”.
Andrew is annoyed that Hayley told Brawn what was up.
JLP directly asks George if he told Brains how to vote. George again doesn’t directly deny it.
Dani tells Hayley that she believes her.
While Dani and JLP are talking, Hayley quietly tells Flick that George told them about Kez’s idol.
Hayley then tells the whole group, and it turns out Dani didn’t know about the idol being passed to Flick.
Dani asks George if he told Hayley, and George says Hayley could have seen it happen, like he did.
Emmett just wants to stick to the plan and keep the alliance strong.
Dani seems a bit torn. She’s been struggling without Chelsea.
Hayley does vote for Andrew, knowing it will be one of them going.
Indeed it is Hayley, who is voted out with six votes.
- Off to Redemption Rock (Tree), where Hayley hugs a sleeping Baden without knowing for sure it’s him.
(People should really stop doing that.)
Hayley doesn’t know who would work with her now. Baden sees her as a threat.
- Back at camp, Cara jokes that she considered writing George’s name down and crossing it out.
Emmett seems displeased with their upbeat attitude, and doesn’t trust them, but keeping the majority is what’s most important to him.
- It’s now been over 24 hours since they’ve last seen Chelsea, and they haven’t heard anything.
- A wild JLP appears. This is not good.
Chelsea has temporarily lost her sense of balance and can not continue in the game.
She will make a complete recovery, though!
Dani is very upset because the only person she trusted is gone for good.
- Emmett is not particularly sad, as long as the majority stays and they pick off the Brains. This is becoming a bit of a broken record.
- The episode just keeps going.
- Now it’s time for the Redemption Rock-that’s-actually-a-tree Challenge:
Everyone’s rather surprised, considering one person has already come back after being eliminated (or, I suppose, because of that).
I assume the winner comes back with Immunity or an Idol or something to prevent them being voted straight back out (as Flick suggests to the others).
The challenge is holding onto a pole with a couple of rope footholds suspended above water for as long as you can.
It’s enduring the Tour de France vs studying chronic pain.
Baden’s struggling for basically the whole time, but anything could happen.
Hayley wants to break some records but I can’t see this lasting over six hours.
20 minutes in, Baden’s out.
Hayley rejoins the tribe, and Baden becomes the first member of the Jury.
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.