Australian Survivor, week 7. Seriously, day 39 happened this episode.

Well, that was legitimately fun.

This week it's double cats.
This week it’s double cats.

“Episode 18”

What’s going on here, guys? People playing kind-of Survivor? Purple Jennah getting to talk? Is this the same show I watched last week?

We come back from tribal council, and Sam is feeling triumphant. Cut to the next day and we see Jennah-Louise(?!) talking to Matt about how Nick was absolutely right, there are power groups within the alliance, and they’re not in them. This leads to the first of two segments where we learn what a sensitive man Matt is. I’m curious to see where this is going.

Then, for some weird reason, people start playing Survivor. Flick lays out the divisions within the tribe and talks about pulling in Sue, then Sue gets a confessional about how Flick is trying to pull her in, loaded with a bunch of Australian slang I’m assuming reflects that she thinks this is bullshit. Then it’s Matt is sad and deep segment number two, then, somehow, another bit from Jennah-Louise about how it’s time to do something.

Through the whole thing Brooke is still painted as kind of heroic and Flick as kind of villainous. This is like the one thread of this show I want to know what we’re being set up for, but we won’t find out tonight.

Immunity challenge is a multi-stage obstacle course with a weird variation on skee-ball involving stabbing beach-balls with a stick at the end. There’s a twist, which Jonathan doesn’t reveal until after the first stage. The four players eliminated there go back to a separate beach and won’t get to talk to the tribe before the vote. I know I’ve been down on Australian Survivor’s predilection for twists on twists on twists, but I kind of like this one. It’s an interesting way to throw a wrench in pre-tribal deliberations, and it’s too bad that old Sanaapu still has too many good targets for it to really work.

Jennah-Louise wins immunity. It feels so weird for LaPaglia to say that, on day 39, someone is getting voted out.

We see a lot at exile beach. There’s a hidden immunity idol, which Flick pressures everyone into not looking for. We see practically nothing at Fia Fia beach, except that everyone is voting for Sue.

At tribal council, LaPaglia grills Flick on the possibility of a power three. She dissembles about how it’s just a tight friendship, and this is one of those things where Probst would have cut filming and screamed at her until he got the answer he wanted. Is this Jonathan not being comfortable in the roll yet, a cultural thing, or a combination of the two? Sue talks about her precarious position in the tribe, and then we get to a vote.

It’s 7-3 for… Kylie? I know she was set up as a possible target for this vote, but we never really get a scene where anyone gels around voting for her. And we never ever got an explanation for why everyone’s shunned Kylie since the beginning of the game. On one level I get it, because Kylie’s aggressive chipperness would have driven me up the wall, but the show never put the pieces together. Maybe the footage just isn’t there, but the whole thing is deeply weird.

Discussion points:

  • I’m about to watch the episode again because my roommate hasn’t seen it, but did anyone catch how the target shifted to Kylie?
  • Seriously, this was a really fun first half of an episode, wasn’t it? There’re clearly cracks in the majority waiting to be exploited. Either that, or people keep taking shots at the majority and getting clipped for it, then Sue slips into the finals and gets everyone’s vote.

“Episode 19”

Something is gonna happen soon, right? Australian Survivor keeps teasing us that it will, but, so far, nothing.

The newest person to try something is… Jennah Louise? Who is apparently on still on this show? Very on this show all of a sudden. She starts trying to rope in the outsiders to make a move against the mean girls. The problem is, Matt still doesn’t realize he’s on the outside, and immediately spills her plans to Brooke. Suddenly Jennah Louise is target number 1.

We get a reward challenge this episode. It’s the thing where you shoot the slingshot and people have to catch it with lacrosse sticks. We draw rocks for teams, and the team that gets Lee is very obviously winning this. Sue, who lands in the ‘not included but pick the team that has Lee on it’ spot, picks the team that has Lee on it, and gets to go on reward with the team that has Lee on it. It’s Sunday roast with all the trimmings, and I’m not sure if this is a concept that I don’t get because I’m not Australian or because I’m a Jew.

There’s a reward where the only thing I remember is that the lamb is seasoned with mint. I know this is traditional, but, ugh, this is not 1955, there are so many more interesting things to put on lamb. Do not abuse one of nature’s tastiest meats.

We also get a shot of the losers back at camp where basically nothing happens.

It’s off to immunity from there, and it’s the challenge where you balance a block on your head against a frame, which is certainly a  thing that’s used as a challenge. Jennah Louise thwarts the majority’s plans by winning.

This is where Australian Survivor really frustrates me. I would looooove for American Survivor to devote this much time to the post challenge scramble. The problem is it’s just not great when you don’t believe it’s really going anywhere, and everyone is just having the same conversation over and over.

The plan was to go for Jennah Louise, but, since that’s off the table, the plan is to vote for Sue. Sam talks sternly about how awful Jennah Louise is, and I’m beginning to suspect Sam just has whatever opinions people tell him to have. They need a back-up, so the plan is boys for Sue, girls for Kristie. Sue figures out that that’s a likely thing, so she and Jennah Louise should vote for Kristie. The problem is, the majority doesn’t seem to be on the same page, in part because they can’t get rid of Kristie long enough to hammer things out.

At tribal council, Jennah Louise straight blows things up. It’s the second episode in a row someone’s pointed out there’s a clear core group. It’s also the second episode in a row that Flick and Brooke have been really bad at responding to this accusation, and nobody has picked up on this at all. In his voting comments Matt is blissfully unaware just how precarious his position is. Sue is also really awesome at calling out Brooke, so let’s relish that because… yeah.

We get a vote, not always and guaranteed thing on this show, and it looks for a second like something might happen. Lee is super confused as to why votes are only coming in for Sue and Kristie, and it looks like the plan is going to work, but no, Sue is going home. It’s another underwhelming end, and I hope things pick up soon.

Discussion points:

  • What if, anything, can change things up here, or are we just getting a boring march to the end?
  • How does everyone feel about the emergence of Jennah Louise as someone who does things? Cause Jennah Louise was kind of awesome tonight.