Australian Survivor week 8. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, y’all.

Sorry, you guys, I watched the crazed bigot who thinks he should run our country stalk a woman on live tv instead of Australian Survivor. Choices.

I don't know this dog, but I want to know it.
I don’t know this dog, but I want to know it.

“Episode 20”

Oh, cool. Another episode where everyone talks about things happening and nothing happens. Thanks, Australian Survivor.

We come back from tribal council to pretty much just a recap of what happened last episode. Jennah Louise is still on the outs. She confesses to having accepted her fate. Kristie is shaken that votes came in for her. The majority is holding strong. Little of this is interesting.

The next day shows a little more promise. JL is hustling, trying to get something, anything except the next vote being for her to happen. Lee goes to Kristie and tells her he’ll try to target Matt before her, and Kristie sees this as Lee being willing to throw his game away for her. I can’t get a read on any of this because Lee is an honest person, something I don’t understand, and Kristie is a space lizard.

Then things start to move, sort of. Flick pulls in Matt with a plan to blindside El and Lee on the grounds that nobody will beat them in the finals. This is a solid plan, because I kind of suspect Matt is the only person Flick can beat in the finals. Flick claims this is the biggest move in the history of Survivor, which suggests Flick has not seen Cagayan, or Amazon, San Juan del Sur, or literally any season where someone turns on a close ally late in the game. You guys, I think Flick maybe hasn’t seen a lot of Survivor.

We get a challenge, still no reward, and it involves running an obstacle course to collect blocks, then running back to memorize the pattern they go in. It’s kind of like that challenge from Kaoh Rong with the wheel of symbols and the key, which, mysteriously, nobody won, but with too many moving parts. Also, there are far too many shots of people stopping the game to see if they got it right. You want like four of those. We got ten.

In the end Brooke wins immunity, and Jennah Louise is probably screwed. At camp, everyone insists on talking about the game in only the vaguest terms. But JL does do some good work stirring up El’s suspicions. We get a couple of confessionals from her about how she knows it’s probably time to start doing things.

At tribal council, Jennah Louise continues to just pound the table on the idea of making a move. This works I think basically never, but it’s something you do when you know you’re already boned and the most you can do is shake things up. She calls out Matt as being on the bottom, which makes sense, since she’s not aware of his new status as a useful pawn, and… Flick? Yeah, not sure on that one. Flick professes ignorance of her position, Sam manages not to bully anyone, and it’s time for a vote.

It’s a fairly straightforward split. 4 votes come in for Kristie; 5 come in for Jennah-Louise. She asks Jonathan for a hug, and this episode whimpers to a conclusion.

Discussion Points:

  • To all of you Canadians: Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your walking bird and injun eyes.
  • To all of us from the US: Have a perfectly average Columbus Day, unless you work for the federal government, in which case I guess today is fun.

“Episode 21”

Holy shit, something happened on Australian Survivor. It was confusing and, as a lot of you have already pointed out in the comments, maybe of questionable strategic value, but at least it wasn’t everyone shrugging and saying “let’s vote off Kristie.”

Back at camp, Kristie is rattle because votes came in for her again. She talks about how she needs to change things up. Flick is also shaken up by Jennah Louise’s accusations that she’s on the outs. It didn’t make sense when she said it, but Flick seems to be taking it seriously  and considers whether this is the right time to do something.

There’s not a lot the next morning. Brooke fills Kristie in a little on what’s going on, and then we get a weirdly triumphant confessional from Kristie about how great she’s doing, which she ends by laughing like Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy. I don’t get the story we’re being told here. On the one hand, what she outlined is a legitimate strategy for getting to the end as a floater. On the other hand, that strategy generally involves not coming off like your luxury item was a magnifying glass in case you were bored and wanted to fry ants with it. So, I dunno. Losing finalist?

There’s a reward challenge for once. It’s the one where you lean out over the water by a rope. I tell my roommate that this is exclusively for shorter, sinewy women, so of course the final two is Sam and Lee. Lee falls in and Sam is the winner. He gets to sleep in a bed for a night, and he gets to pick someone to take with him. Remember when Natalie A. won this, and she used it to sucker Jon and Jaclyn into thinking things were cool while she waited to stick the knife in? And then she made fun of Jon’s pretentious wine obsession behind his back? Remember how awesome that was? This is not that.

Sam just wants to have a best friend date with Lee. They find out that in addition to the bed, they get fresh underwear and cookies. 1.) Bad job, show. Sam is a golden retriever, they cannot have chocolate. 2.) Bad job, Sam. There has never eeeeeever been a situation on this season where it was more obvious that you can and should share your reward with the tribe, but candy was more important to you.

Sam and Lee cuddle in the bed. The next day, Brooke decides this is the time to blindside him. Sam tries to push the vote to El, but Brooke is insistent. Flick spills the plan to El. And things start moving. El takes Lee aside for a talk. Lee isn’t angry with Sam; he’s just disappointed. He gives a confessional about how he wants to show his sons this game can be played with honesty and integrity. You guys, you have no idea how big of a jerk-off motion I made during this.

Lee and El pull in Kristie, and it looks like original Sanaapu vs. original Aganoa, with Flick in the middle.

The immunity challenge is an interesting-ish twist on the house of cards challenge. Rather than maintaining a balance, the players have to keep a rope taut to prevent their platform from spinning. Sam builds his tower way too sturdy and is never gonna have enough tiles to reach the mark. Lee takes an early lead, but his tower looks a little shaky, so I assume he’s gonna fall at the last minute with Kristie winning immunity. I’m wrong, Lee’s holds, and the plan moves back to El.

Back at camp it’s mostly about Flick wavering in the middle, wondering whether this is the right time to blindside Brooke. (Flick, it probably wasn’t.) She manages not to show any cracks in the facade. There’s a complicated thing involving what they’re telling Matt that they’re telling Kristie, which I didn’t pay good attention to because at this point I was Columbus Day drunk.

We get to tribal council. There’s a lot of talk about who can be trusted, and who has faith in their alliance. Everyone is super vague.

There’s a vote. It’s 3 for El, 3 for Brooke, as Matt and Sam get increasingly confused. The final vote comes in and Brooke is gone.

So… who knows what the hell is coming next, but at least things are moving. The preview indicates Matt is moving to the swing position, and part of me is wondering if we’re getting a fairly straight replay of the seven and six of Amazon, with the swing vote going home because he’s enjoying too much it and voting him out makes sense. We’ll see.

Discussion points:

  • I know y’all are already talking about how this looks for Flick, but that’s kind of the big thing here, so, keep talking about that.
  • I’ve given my prediction about what’s happening next week, but what do you guys see going down.