Australian Survivor, Champions vs Contenders II: Episode 3-5 Recap

Assistant Dragon Slayer here, taking the baton from Kemper Boyd in the relay race/marathon that is Australian Survivor recapping. As with Week 1, this post will update as the episodes air. Let’s let the kids loose and look like we’re wearing white shorts, shall we?

Episode 3:

  • Between John’s butt,Shaun’s commentary on said butt, and the sea cucumber with the live fish inside, that is one of the stranger pre-credits sequences in Survivor history.
  • The reward challenge is another speed and strength contest, and one that uses the skillsets of the footie and rugby players. It seems like the Champions made a  mistake by not sending Simon out for the match point.
  • Baden earns some respect at the challenge but according to Andy he’s still on the bottom.
  • Having John divvy up the comfort items defuses any resentment anybody might feel about getting short-changed, which seems to be the point of the “no sharing” rule.
  • Luke shares the idol clue with David to strengthen their alliance, and it pays immediate dividends when David insists on “having a rummage” around a site Luke already rejected, and they find it.
  • An exciting, back-and-forth immunity challenge comes down to throwing things at things, and damned if Andy’s backyard practice (which I mocked him for in the season preview) wasn’t the difference-maker.
  • Janine is the Sporty Seven’s cross-hairs because her crazy hole-digging plan lost them the challenge, which a) isn’t true, as they caught up after that, and b) why then did they listen to her?
  • Good work by Luke and Janine persuading Abbey to jump ship, neither of them giving her the hard sell (I guess David’s abs weren’t enough to reel her in). Bad work by David telling Susie that he’s voting for her.
  • Our first three boots are Anastasia, Laura, and Susie. I’m sensing a pattern here, folks.

Episode 4:

  • After a quick check-in with both tribes, the episode essentially begins with Sarah’s intro package. Uh-oh.
  • The remnants of the Sporty Seven are, uh, not taking it well.
  • As Sam (who’s been mysterious invisible so far) notes, the Champions are surely going to regret not having Susie around for the water challenges.
  • The Towers of Terror are back! Somewhere Monika is silently weeping.
  • I can’t believe they’re using the Towers for a reward challenge, rather than for immunity. And merely for hot chocolate and marshmallows. On US Survivor, both tribes would be like, “pass”.
  • How in the world are the Contenders not having Sarah sit this out???
  • Ugh. This is heartbreaking.
  • At first I was surprised that the Champions picked John to share reward with, but on a two tribe, no swaps season, is there way to pick strategically, or should you just pick the person who seems the most fun to be around?
  • Very interesting idol rules, and it explains why the Champions had to bring a Contender on reward. I think Janine’s choices are to share the clue with John now, wait for another tribe-mix situation (we’re a long way from the merge), or just sit on it until the merge, hope that the Contenders beach will be the merge beach (which would surely be the case, since production doesn’t want this twist to amount to nothing), dig up the Champions idol, and gift the Contenders idol to a Contender of her choosing.
  • She sits on it. I think that’s the right choice.
  • Not a great look for Sarah to sit out the immunity challenge. On the other hand, she’s not suited to this challenge at all, and blowing it would put a huge target on her back. On the gripping hand, would the Contenders be so heartless as to vote her out this round? Probably best for them to win the challenge and not have to find out.
  • Harry and Andy are the carnival-game heroes again!
  • WTF? WT F’ing F??? Why did Nova (yet another woman, and a WOC to boot) have to pay the price for Steve’s entitlement and paternalism (if not straight-up sexism; strange how he doesn’t seem to be mad at Ross, isn’t it?), not to mention just bad gameplay (who was he planning to pull over if not Abbey and/or Ross?)?
  • Network 10 is hyping Episode 5 as having the biggest move in Survivor history. If you think about it a little, it seems clear what it must be. I advise not thinking about it.

Episode 5:

  • Oh snap, Shaun and Casey find the Champions’ idol at the water well. I wonder if production dug it up and tossed on top of the weird plant after Janine decided to pocket the Contenders’ idol.
  • Looks like this episode is going to be David’s coming out party.
  • Oh, of course! The idol-holders will be seeking each other out at the challenges. I didn’t think of that.
  • The reward challenge is yet another one that gives a massive advantage to the footie and rugby players. The results are predictable, but the challenge serves its purpose: mix the players up in chaotic fashion and give the people who know about the idols a chance to find each other.
  • The newspaper mocks-ups are a nice touch, and helpful for the non-Aussie viewers. The Contenders were obviously never meant to win this challenge, but if they somehow had, it would have been hilarious if production left the newspapers lying around for them too.
  • How ‘bout them fake idols tho???
  • Very clever of David and Shaun to be the banner carriers, positioning them to swap the idols.
  • Contenders come from behind on building and knocking down the puzzle. Andy doesn’t even need a second person throwing.
  • David is going to screw this up somehow. He’s just being way too cocky. What if Shaun and Casey made a fake idol too, and we’ll find out about it in a Genius-style flashback after David tries to play it?
  • Janine: “As soon as you say that you go home, just so you know.” RIGHT???
  • Ooh, Janine was joking before, but after seeing people react to being strong-armed by David she’s not.
  • Like JLP, I was wondering why Luke was being so quiet.
  • Whispering at tribal comes to Australian Survivor. JLP calls for the vote while there’s seemingly no consensus among the whisperers.
  • So after all that drama, the person who was always the most likely to go home (Steve, finishing off the Steve/Nova pair) did go home. It’s worth noting that although they showed us ET and Simon deciding to vote Steve out of self-preservation, they did the same thing in episode 4 (but the others switched their votes to Nova).
  • Perhaps this was a two-part plan from the start: Boot Nova, thereby flushing Steve’s idol if he has one and testing ET and Simon, then safely get rid of Steve.
  • Like a lot of people, I think, I expected Luke to go home this episode based on Network Ten’s tweets. The rise of Villain David really got me thinking that would happen. So glad it didn’t.