Australian Survivor, Season 2: Week 9, Episode 19-21

It’s Commenter Takeover Week, with Something Quirky and Head Architect Sylvia helping out as we approach the pointy end of the Australian Survivor season.

Episode 19 (by Assistant Dragon Slayer)

Well, shit. When I said last week that the Champagne Alliance was never going to hold together, this is not what I had in mind.

Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan. Everybody wants credit for getting rid of Henry: Luke, Michelle, Tessa, Sarah, and Jericho each take turns in confessional patting themselves on the back. As I said, it was a heist movie, and everybody does deserve some credit for doing their part. But clearly Tessa was the ringleader.

At the water well with Tara and Michelle, Ziggy says that the game really consists of four pairs plus herself, turning a liability (her isolation in the game, having flipped so many times) into an asset. She can be the swing vote in the event of a shift in the four pairs from 6v2 to 4v4.

Luke’s spy shack from episode 2 or so actually pays off, and he eavesdrops on Tessa feeling out Ziggy to see if she’ll vote against Locky. As far as the self-proclaimed mayor/president/king* of Survivor is concerned, that’s the end of the Champagne Alliance.

*(Luke seems confused as to whether Survivor is a city-state, a federation, or a monarchy)

In confessional, Michelle says her core alliance is with Sarah, Luke, and Jericho (i.e., not with Tessa and Peter). She says she trusts Sarah the most, but also notes that Sarah is playing all sides too transparently, and that she may have to let Sarah get clipped if it comes to that. Indeed, we then see Sarah pitch an all-girls alliance to Michelle and Ziggy, and Ziggy scoffs at the idea in confessional.

The immunity challenge is the idol-on-a-stick challenge that we last saw taking out Joey Amazing in Cambodia. Ziggy eventually wins, but Tessa says that it’s fine as long as Locky didn’t win. She expects the Champagne Alliance to send him home next without any fuss. What Tessa doesn’t know is that the episode is barely half over, so… not bloody likely.

Back at camp, Locky, Tara, and Tessa confer. It’s not clear who pitches who, but Tessa agrees that she and Peter will vote with Locky and Tara to get out Sarah, ostensibly because Tessa and Peter would be the first to go once the Champagne Alliance turns on itself. It looks like Ziggy’s prophesy of her being the swing vote between two sets of pairs is coming true.

But OH SNAP, Tessa says that’s a fake plan–the real plan is to have the Champagne Alliance split the vote between Locky and Tara and boot Locky on the revote. Sarah asks if they really have the numbers, and it’s a GOOD QUESTION, because unless Ziggy got kidnapped it seems like her vote could make it a 3-3-3 tie.

Meanwhile, OH SNAP, Luke says THAT’S a fake plan–the real plan is to break up the Champagne Alliance behind Michelle and Tessa’s backs. He doesn’t spell out the details, but we see first Luke conferring with Jericho and then both of them working Sarah.

At tribal, there’s more talk about all the blindsides and the constantly shifting plans, and how this is eroding trust. JLP asks them to raise their hands if there’s anybody in the game they still completely trust. It’s a trap, because the order they’ve been seated in reveals all the pairs. Not that it’s a secret to anybody, but it does lay things bare, not least for the jury. After more talk of trust, lies, mutual interest, alliance longevity, and past betrayals, it is time to vote.

It’s Locky, Tara, Locky, Tara, (soundtrack composer fakes us out with the deciding-vote crescendo), Sarah, Sarah, Tessa, Tessa, TESSA.

Some teenager in Estonia hacking the camera on my Macbook could actually pinpoint the second where my heart ripped in half.

Yes I know I used this last week. Let me have this.

So, a 3-2-2-2 vote. Happens all the time. Luke must have realized the same thing Ziggy did–the Champagne Alliance was really a coalition of three pairs–and with the vote being split, all they needed was to peel one away one Tara vote to have a plurality of the vote. In a way, this was a next-level version of Cirie’s 3-2-1 play. Incidentally, I’m guessing Ziggy must have committed fully to the Champagne Alliance at some point, or else neither Tessa nor Luke would have had the numbers.

It’s such a shame scrappy little Tessa got taken out as soon as she fought her way off the bottom and had a modicum of control. If forced to identify her fatal mistake, I would say that she was so laser-focused on getting rid of Locky that she incorrectly assumed that everybody else wanted him gone just as badly. She also ignored the risk of splitting the vote with a shaky alliance. It’s easy to assign boys to vote boy and girls to vote girl, but you need to put reliable votes on the real target, and in this case, two of the three votes for Locky were unreliable.

Ultimately, though, I agree with Tessa that it made no sense to get rid of her instead of Locky. Luke just had an itchy trigger finger and wasn’t going to sit still and cede control for another vote. Stupid spy shack.


Episode 20 (by Something Quirky)

We’re gonna need a bigger shark

Previously, on Australian Survivor: the tribe got together to convince Locky to possibly get attacked by a shark. That plan failed, but Luke’s plan to vote out Tessa succeeded, and Michelle is pissed that she wasn’t included. However, she never actually says that she would have voted Tessa, and tells them that it wasn’t the best move, so not telling her may have been the right move for that vote. It definitely has future implications, though.

Locky tries to get Samatau back together, at least for the next few days, and he makes some good points. They should weaken Asanga, and then they can turn on each other again. And now’s a good time to pull in Michelle. She’s especially annoyed at Sarah for breaking a promise, but I’d hazard a guess that some of the anger is because they took away a potential alternative alliance for her.

Reward challenge time. (Sponsored by KFC. I did love Locky’s “I think I can get there before anyone can get me.” Maybe this is the time to mention the other major sponsor is Holden…) I don’t know if this charades thing is amazing or ridiculous, but it has been good seeing challenges we’ve never seen before. Though the ‘memorise and get the correct sequence’ is a US Survivor mainstay.

Amazing AND ridiculous. It can be two things.

Ziggy, Sarah, Locky, and Luke win the feast. Talk turns to strategy, and Locky suggests Sarah and Luke (who want to vote Peter) should sacrifice one of their own to gain the trust of himself and Ziggy. Sarah throws out Michelle as a compromise, which Luke definitely prefers to Locky and Ziggy’s original idea of Jericho. Ziggy is sceptical, and takes the chance to ally with Michelle.

Jericho sees Locky, Ziggy, Peter, and Michelle having a conversation, and possibly hears them reveal that Sarah put Michelle’s name out there. He informs Luke and Sarah. They’re concerned.

The immunity challenge is balancing on a rolling log 1v1; whoever drops first loses, winner moves onto the next round. Locky wins immunity, so I guess he is a threat after all.

Sarah and Luke fail. EDGIC!

I have to say, there’s been some really good hair plaiting this season.

Samatau, including Michelle, seem set voting Sarah. Ziggy gets a bit paranoid, which seems to come out of nowhere. Though what happened to Henry must have shaken her, and she wouldn’t want to go out the same way. I don’t know if she would have been as paranoid had she not had an idol, but then she couldn’t have done anything about it, whereas when you have an idol you can do something about your paranoia. The others seem to be set voting for Michelle. Sarah tries to reel more people in on the Michelle plan, starting with Locky, because they’re at a 3-5 disadvantage. And Michelle’s “a floater”, and floaters are bad, Troy. (That was part of the reason Odette was voted out.) It looks like Sarah could have a chance at reeling in Locky and Tara, but we’ll see what happens at Tribal.

Tessa looks so different!

Jury Villa hot

Michelle just lays it all out there at Tribal Council. Sarah tries to sort of reason with her by saying that you shouldn’t make big strategic decisions on the back of something emotional, but it’s pretty clear that the damage is done. Michelle’s certainly not as annoyed at Jericho and Luke as she is with Sarah, but she was closer to Sarah than to those two, so I don’t think this has hurt either of their chances at FTC. It may have even improved Luke’s chances, because it was his move but someone else had to deal with the consequences.

I do like Tara’s tribal reactions.

We had an analogy from Jericho that was drowning cat related instead of war related. I do understand what he was trying to say, though. And the war analogies are probably a result of English not being his first language, so I feel a bit bad making fun of them.

Ziggy’s paranoia leads to her playing her idol. I thought she might play it for Michelle, and Peter repeatedly suggests she should, but she plays it for herself, and it’s wasted because Sarah is voted out by everyone. And now no-one has an idol.

Episode 21 (by Head Architect Sylvia)

We’re up to Day 45, and the episode begins with a confessional from Michelle justifying her Sarah vote out, implying people are a lot happier without Sarah being there, which is odd to hear. She’s being a bit smug but I’ll allow it. Michelle says she’s bringing her “A Game” – she’s not going to drop the ball in the last 10 days. I’m rooting for Michelle for the win so this confessional is a good sign.

Now with Sarah gone, Peter and Michelle seem to be a pair. Locky and Tara are together still, and obviously Luke and Jericho are together. Ziggy is still a floater because she’s clearly not even good at forming meaningful relationships. Peter and Michelle want to work with Luke and Jericho and I think this might just come down to the fact that Michelle and Peter really have no desire to work with Locky because he’s the worst. Perhaps they should have thought it through a bit more though.

Jericho and Luke are going on about being the two best players in the game left, they are way too confident and this edit makes me a bit uneasy about the fate of the pair tonight. Luke and Jericho get a lot of screen time together so that part isn’t strange, but this showing this conversation in particular feels a lot like a set up.

Next we get a Locky confessional and he’s surprisingly on the ball, he knows he can beat Tara and Ziggy if it comes down to it. He’s really turned up his gameplay over the last few episodes. I still despise him though.

Locky is pitching a potentially smart plan to misdirect Luke/Jericho/Peter/Michelle in order to get them all voting different ways so then he Tara and Ziggy can decide on who goes home. I think? Like Tara and Ziggy I guess I’m a bit of a simpleton and I can’t really keep up but I think it may have been intentionally edited to be confusing the viewers at home. Tara is angry that he’s being controlling but it doesn’t seem like anything new so I’m sort of confused by her logic here. I guess she suddenly has an epiphany and realises she is his goat if they make the final two, so while I’m sort of glad that even Tara realises she has to have a few big moves on her resume if she wants to win against this cast, I’m not sure if now is the right time. Locky is the only one that trusts her completely and they could work together to get rid of big threats like Luke and Jericho first and then she could attempt to get rid of him. I suppose it’s possible he could go on an immunity run though, so it’s definitely not the worst plan she’s ever had. Scrapping Locky now will also give her the opportunity to make more big moves in future episodes without it looking like she’s just being controlled by a better player.

Luke gets another suspicious confessional where he states “the King’s going all the way”. Ominous but not out of character. This is paired with some Ozzy-like diving footage. What does it mean? I can’t really decide at this stage of the episode.

The next day begins with Tara going for her daily waddle. She stumbles upon an advantage and has to choose between blankets for the tribe or a huge jar of lollies for herself. Why did she have to find this? Ugh.

Is she funny or something?

She picks the jar of lollies for herself because she is literally the worst. Why do good things happen to bad people? Forget the cookie jar alliance; are we about to see the lolly jar alliance? Hmm, I think so. I am interested to see where this goes.

OK so Tara wants to work with Luke and Jericho. Why does everyone trust these two? Are people not seeing these two as huge end-game threats? I know they’re not seeing all the sly/strategic confessionals we get to see as a viewer, but surely most people know that they’ve been behind most of the big vote outs post merge, right? I feel like a lot of this comes down to Jericho and Luke being a lot more likable than people like Michelle or Locky.

Tara shares her plan with Ziggy and Ziggy is surprised but I think she’s on board because she will literally go along with anyone’s plan because she doesn’t know how to think for herself. Tara is about to share her advantage with Ziggy and they have a really strange conversation:

Tara: So, I had a moral dilemma

Ziggy: Oooh that’s nice.

It’s irrelevant but Ziggy’s reaction is just so odd. Tara tells Ziggy she’s only allowed to tell “one friend” about the lollies and so they pig out and so it seems like their relationship becomes stronger. Kudos to Tara, she’s managing Ziggy pretty well here. Feels like this bribe could pay off.

We get to the Immunity Challenge and it’s a twist on the classic memory game we’ve seen before. Instead of two teams trying to match up pairs of items, it’s a free for all and when Jonathan reveals an item all players have to find it, with one less item than the number of players each round, meaning one person is eliminated each round. The challenge immediately makes me think of this moment in Fiji featuring perennial fan favourite/terrible human, Lisi Linares.  

This could be Michelle’s only chance to win an immunity challenge. Nope. Good effort. There is a slight twist in the final round between Luke and Locky. They have to find five items in a row and Locky has a huge advantage by finding the first item first, as he has double the chance to find the subsequent items compared to Luke. Making up lost ground is near impossible and Locky wins. Not a huge fan of the challenge.

Everyone is gutted at Locky winning, and people begin scrambling to find an alternative. Ziggy and Tara immediately splinter off and decide they’re voting Michelle out because it’s better to keep Luke and Jericho (STRONG PEOPLE) because they can beat Locky in challenges and they have their heart set on getting Locky out. It’s disappointing that Ziggy doesn’t have enough faith in her own ability to beat Locky in immunity challenges despite the fact she’s such a huge PHYSICAL THREAT.

Anyway, how dare they. Do not touch Michelle. Thankfully I’m not really buying it because if this was Michelle’s boot episode she’d have all the screen time and she hasn’t had much so far. There is more scheming between Luke and Ziggy but I’m just not convinced at all.

Locky has another plan – he wants to get rid of Luke. I despise Locky but he knows exactly who he needs to sit next to at the end to win, and he knows he has to make big moves to impress this jury. I feel like this is the best move for Tara and Ziggy too but I doubt Tara will want to go along with Locky plan given her current opinion of him. Tara calls Locky cocky, which is ironic. She pretends to commit to the Luke vote out with the most unconvincing “Yep. Done.” ever.  She proceeds to warn Luke he’s on the chopping block because Ziggy has flipped yet again. Honestly how many times is she going to flip in one episode? She seemed so certain about getting Michelle out just a moment ago.

Meanwhile Jericho, Tara and Luke put in place a plan to vote Ziggy out, fingers crossed it works because I think this would be the best outcome for the viewers. Michelle and Peter have to choose between Ziggy and Luke. Peter want’s Luke gone but Michelle would prefer to vote out Ziggy because she’s a PHYSICAL THREAT, which is tough to see as a Michelle fan because this could be her only opportunity to get rid of Luke and I think it’s her best move. That being said, I’d  still much prefer to see Ziggy go.

It’s time for tribal. Sarah looks good. People start talking, and no one is really giving anything away. I feel like JLP is trying to throw Ziggy under the bus which is hilarious. Unfortunately as the tribal goes on it feels more and more likely that it’s Luke going home tonight because Ziggy seems pretty relaxed which is peculiar considering she seems to be paranoid it’s her at every other tribal. Michelle and Peter converse and Peter is definitely not changing his mind, he’s voting Luke. Could this be a red herring by the editors? Michelle speaks and implies that she’s voting with the majority despite the fact that she doesn’t want to. This doesn’t look good for Luke at all. Jericho gives yet another strange analogy about driving a car, warning any passengers that if they jump out they might just… die. Enlightening.

Jericho and Luke look disheartened but maybe it’s all a ploy or maybe it’s just misleading editing. He didn’t have his usual humour when casting the vote for Ziggy though. I think his time is up but I’m praying for a miracle.

AND it’s Luke! What a week – saying goodbye to three huge players. The jury is visibly pissed, they clearly wanted him to win. Although I wasn’t a huge fan, it’s sad to see him go because he played a really good game up until the Tessa vote out, and he was definitely the most entertaining character on the show. On the other hand, if this means Michelle has a better shot at winning the whole thing, I’m OK with it.  

Luke is carrying himself really well, he’s being really humble and respectful towards everyone else while still trying to retain his trademark sense of humour, but you can just tell he’s really upset, you can see it in his eyes. His exit confessional is just as tough for him, it looks like he’s holding back tears. He will be missed.


  • Jericho reveals in his voting confessional he knew Luke was going home but stood with him until the very end. I’m getting emotional.  
  • The preview for next week pits Locky and Tara against each other as a scrambling Jericho informs Locky of Tara’s failed plan to vote him out. Things should get interesting and fingers crossed one of them goes.
  • Thankfully if they’re pitted against each other I don’t think both Tara and Locky will be in the final two/three together. Given Peter’s almost invisible edit, I don’t think he’s going to make final two/three either. These two things give me hope that some combination of Ziggy/Peter/Locky/Tara in the final three won’t happen.
  • Tessa’s eye-rolling at Locky from the jury is hilarious. Never stop.
  • As a Tessa fan I’m sort of pleased her vote out was the undoing of Sarah and Luke, but at the same time, it’s a huge loss for the season.
  • Hilarious that after her plan to vote out Locky failed, and after all her complaining about him, she still ended up voting with him. I know she did it to stay in the majority, but it’s still hilarious. I feel like Tara definitely told Jericho and Luke she was voting Luke out to go with the majority and that’s how Luke and Jericho knew they had no hope at tribal.
  • It’s definitely down to either Jericho or Michelle now for the win, right? They’re the only two getting potential winner’s edits now in my opinion. Locky gets a lot of screen time but I am not getting the same vibe from his confessionals. I feel like they are trying to subtlety give Michelle a winner’s edit by ending her confessionals with “… because that’s what I have to do to win” and things like that BUT the fact that she was almost invisible for most of pre-merge makes me think it’s not her. They wouldn’t do that to a winner, right? Jericho has had a lot of content throughout pre merge and post merge, so I think he’s going to win. I’m cheering for Michelle but I’d be fine with a Jericho win.
  • (Assistant Dragon Slayer here) I joked about it in my Episode 19 recap, but looking at this week as a whole it really is remarkable how you can draw a straight line from Luke eavesdropping on Tessa and Ziggy through to all three boots. Stupid spy shack.
  • (ADS) There has to be an idol clue in the lollie jar or the quilts, right?
  • (ADS) Last week I was OK with big players going because there were plenty left. Obviously this week has been a catastrophe in that regard. It’s not going to ruin the season or anything, but if I had done a power ranking at the merge, the top six names on that list would be gone. Hopefully, whoever does win seizes control of the end-game like Natalie Anderson.


  • Is it a two horse race between Michelle and Jericho? I think so, but I would love to hear what you guys think.
  • Do you guys think the episode quality will drop now given the consecutive eliminations of three great and entertaining players?
  • Jericho’s analogies: Yes or No?
  • Are the players placing too much emphasis on challenge prowess and physicality? Michelle wanted to get Ziggy out over Luke for this reason alone, despite the fact that Luke was a much bigger threat to win the entire thing.
  • If Michelle hypothetically makes it to the final tribal council, will her indecision over voting Luke out come back to haunt her? Or could it potentially be a good thing depending on how she spins it?  
  • Was anyone surprised by the Luke vote out? I feel like it could have been a surprise to some people given the fact that it felt like Luke didn’t have an outrageous amount of screen time for his boot episode.