Australian Survivor season 2, episode 3

Crikey, another episode?

Network Ten has provided charts of the alliances and sub-alliances in each tribe going into episode 3’s tribal council. Given that there are still 22 players to keep track of, this is really helpful. Ben’s totally going to win this season, you guys.

AK did in fact play his idol for Jarrad to regain his trust, although mostly Jarrad seems annoyed that AK is blowing up his plans to fly under the radar.

Somebody better call the Ghostbusters, because Sam and Mark W have been possessed by El and Lee. The two are keeping each other warm at night, nudge nudge wink wink, and tongues on Asaga are a-waggin’.

At Samatau, Locky says that Kate and Tessa are on the outs. Kate got two votes the night before, but its unclear why Tessa in particular is in trouble (and not, for example, Mark H or Ziggy). For her part, Tessa is angry at Tara for flipping. Which makes sense, since if Tara and Kate had stuck to the plan, Adam’s group could have voted out AK (oh wait, they all voted for Anneliese for some damn reason). Locky calls his alliance (with Peter, Jarrad, Anneliese, Aimee, Tara, and AK) the misfit crew. I guess that makes Mark H, Ziggy, Tessa, and Kate the cool kids. “Misfit” must mean something different in Australian English. Kate and Tessa talk to Tara, but they’re torn between wanting to yell at her and trying to reel her back. Tara does her best not to gloat.

At Asaga, Mark W and Sam decide they need to cool it before they become targets. Just kidding, they double down on the lovey-dovey. Michelle is not amused (“Where can I find one of those?”). Neither are Henry and Jacqui, who are thinking of using the idol to blindside Sam.

Reward challenge, for comfort items. The challenge department outdoes itself again. It’s another obstacle course, but this time each tribe has to maneuver a massive, somewhat lopsided ball (about 4 meters in diameter) through a series of even more massive obstacles. These balls are really big. Big, big balls…. However, Jonathan refers to them throughout at “boulders”, and somewhere Jeff Probst is shaking his head at the missed opportunity.

Samatau wins, but an overexcited Mark H (who everybody calls Tarzan now) causes Ziggy to fall off a platform, for which he’s berated by Locky. Back at camp, Tarzan and Locky engage in a bit of a dick-measuring contest. Alphas gonna alpha. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but is something to keep in mind going forward.

At Asaga, paranoia is getting the best of control-freak Sam, and she makes the rounds asking everybody if her name is getting thrown around. Everybody denies and deflects, except for Sarah, who slyly fans the flames without offering specifics.

At Samatau, Kate and Tessa continue to scramble. Kate approaches AK with the hard sell, which seems like exactly the wrong approach. AK ends up gloating in confessional that he’s gone from being on the outs to both sides wanting him.

Back at Asaga, a still-paranoid Sam calls an “emergency core alliance meeting” with Mark W, Henry, and Jacqui and they plot a vote split between Michelle and Ben. But when Henry and Jacqui go to get water together, Sam sends Mark W after them. In confessional, Mark W talks about using his 16 years of special-forces experience in the game. Now I’m sure the Australian special forces is an elite fighting unit, but in this case the surveillance and tracking technique he uses is to run right up to your target and say “whassup!”. Henry decides to throw the immunity challenge to get rid of Sam.

The immunity challenge is a fairly standard water challenge, but with a bamboo house of cards stacking element at the end that I think is new. Henry is pretty blatant in his sabotage, but Asaga is terrible regardless. However, large person/small person combos are needed to get the bamboo stack high enough, and Samatau can only come up with one such combo to Asaga’s two. There’s nothing Henry can do about it short of setting the bamboo on fire. Asaga wins.

Tessa makes a pitch to AK (and later to Jarrad) pointing out that he’s only a number to the others in his group, and that he can’t rely on dastardly flipper Tara. If Tessa can pull in AK (and Jarrad) her group goes from down 4-7 to up 6-5. Once again Kate comes in with the hard sell. AK in confessional says that he doesn’t just want to make moves for the sake of making moves. This is pretty rich from the guy who waved around an obviously fake idol and squandered a real idol just last episode.

At Tribal Council, Tarzan mildly baits Locky, AK says what he thinks people want to hear about getting a fresh start in the game, but mostly Tessa and Tara snipe at each other about what the definition of flipping is. Jonathan forces Kate to speak, and she responds with word salad. Tessa again tells AK to flip before it’s too late, and Peter (he can talk!) points out the irony of criticizing Tara for flipping yet asking AK to flip. The votes come in two for Tara, four for Tessa, and five for Kate. Tessa and Kate voted for Tara, but otherwise all the women voted for Tessa and all the men voted for Kate. Tessa counts votes and realizes that Tarzan and Ziggy must have run for their lives after the previous tribal council, so her plan to flip AK and Jarrad and gain a majority of six was in reality never going to happen.