Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders Episodes 7-8 “Exile Beach”

Thank you Kemper Boyd for filling in last week, and as it turns out, for taking a bullet in the form of a couple of very unfortunate quasi-medevacs.

Episode 7

  • The parents alliance between Tegan and Heath remains intact following the loss of Jenna. A little too intact, actually. They spend too much time hanging out with each other, drawing the ire of the douchebags.
  • Tegan says she can’t burn the girls just yet, and Heath says he can’t burn the boys just yet. Could be a problem. Then Tegan says theirs is not the kind of alliance that needs to vote together. Um… you do know how alliances work, right?
  • This episode is a coming-out party for Sharn and especially Benji, and it turns out that Benji is a bit of an egomaniac.
  • He spearheads a drive to get rid of Tegan, deducing that Shonee, Anita, and Fenella are a solid voting bloc and are willing to get rid of Tegan.
  • Why Paige stopped being a target goes as unexplained as why she became a target in the first place.
  • Urgh, Zach.
  • Heath finds an idol clue tucked into the tribe flag. It says that the idol is under the flag. An idol-hunting Zach almost unearths it on accident, but in the end it’s Heath’s.
  • The immunity challenge (which seems early this episode) is the water-based schmergen brawl substitute, but with a slingshot instead of a basketball hoop. Lydia is a machine. Fenella is a quick learner. Anita is quite inked up, which I somehow did not notice before.
  • Champions win, Contenders go to tribal council. I rarely notice this kind of thing, but prior to the challenge there was so much focus on the jockeying on the Contenders side, and so little on the Champions side, that the outcome of the immunity challenge wasn’t really in doubt.
  • So the basic shape of things is that we have the parents alliance (Tegan and Heath), the termite alliance (Anita, Shonee, and Fenella), and the douchebag alliance (Benji, Robbie, Zach), with Paige not really trusted by anybody. Tegan and Heath think they’re the swing votes, but other than the girls’ revulsion for Zach, there’s no reason the other two alliances couldn’t join forces temporarily.
  • Now Benji is trying to get the termite alliance on side by lying about Tegan targeting Anita and then Shonee (Tegan has been pounding the table to get rid of Zach). I have to give Benji credit if this works, because it doesn’t really make sense, and you would have to expect Benji and Robbie to try and deflect the vote from Zach.
  • Exile Beach (aka Redemption Island)!
  • Tegan: “Stick to the plan” Everybody drink!

Episode 8

  • Everybody on the Contenders tribe knows that the smart play if they go to tribal again is to send Heath to Exile Beach so that one of the parents alliance has to eliminate the other. Benji is really gloating now. He wouldn’t if he knew Heath has an idol.
  • Reward is for gifts from home, and the challenge is the chase around the oval from Palau and Cook Islands, among several other seasons, except this time in teams of three as a best-of-five. Australian Survivor always puts a spin on the challenges it takes from US Survivor, but in this case I think they tried to improve what was already perfect. Champions win 3-1.
  • Why does Zach insist on wearing compression tights in water challenges? This is really bugging me now.
  • The immunity challenge is hold a sandbag over your head or get drenched, but as a tribe rather than individually like in US Survivor. If I remember correctly, this is a repeat from last season.
  • Champions win, in part because of the athletes’ knowledge of physiology and how to hold weight efficiently.
  • The tribe numbers are still fairly even, but I think there’s a real chance of the Contenders going into a downward spiral of reward and immunity challenge losses.
  • Heath wants to put the votes on Anita and preserve his idol for another day. I think this is too risky (just ask Russell), but lo and behold his “you need me for challenge strength” approach seems to be working.
  • Fenella tries insisting on voting Zach. As much as everybody wants him gone (me too) it doesn’t make much sense under the circumstances.
  • Heath in fact plays the idol, and it was in fact a unanimous vote against him. The only vote that counts sends Anita to Exile Beach.