Logan Saunders recaps the seventh episode of Week 3 of Australian Survivor and addresses interference by production or lack thereof.
Australian Survivor: Batman and Robin vs. The Joker
Previously on Australian Survivor: After starting at the bottom of the tribe, AK showed himself as the game’s biggest player finally snatching control of Samatau. Former tribe leaders Locky and Tara found themselves at the bottom of the pecking order.
Over at Asaga, it was sink or swim for Sam as she tried to keep her head above water, but Sam had bigger problems on land. Henry was so keen to take out his biggest threat that he pulled the boldest move of the game thus far deliberately losing the immunity challenge.
Sam’s only ally Mark tried to get to the bottom of the plot. But come Tribal Council, there was nothing he could do to save her.
Eighteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?
HENRY: Everything I thought would happen went into place and came true.
Then why so eager to be insecure and throw the challenge?
JACQUI: Was a blindside for Sam. We were in an alliance. She was calling all the shots. She thinks I am some dumb fifty-year-old. She’s got all of the letters behind her in her name… The tribe didn’t want her here. That sounds a bit harsh, but she threw herself under the bus with the type of game she played.
Imagine if Jacqui played against Meg from Family Guy. I mean, Meg. That’s not very impressive at all. It’s only three letters.
Everyone talks at camp without Mark. Jacqui says Samantha brought it upon herself. Henry goes to nurture Mark. I have never heard of a yoga instructor nurturing a special ops guy, so this should be interesting to watch.
Mark’s gameplan is to pretend that he doesn’t hold a grudge but will make Henry and Jacqui pay.
You hear the man? He will make them pay!
Ziggy Locky Anneliese
Tara Jarrad Tessa
Michelle Sarah Henry Luke
Mark W Kent Odette Jacqui
Jericho Ben–He is flailing in his intro shot. How fitting.
It’s like a war movie. Mark’s silhouette is alone looking out into the ocean.
Mark trusts Kent and talks to him. Kent hasn’t heard anything from Jacqui. Mark asks how close he is to Jacqui. Kent says they are close.
KENT: I don’t discuss a lot of tactics.
(MARK does a DWAYNE JOHNSON eyebrow raise.)
Kent informs Mark will be safe for the time being.
KENT: Nobody wants to vote off the grunt right away.
Yes, Kent just told Mark he is a grunt.
Meanwhile, if this were Harry Potter, Mark would be more of a Grint but without the gingerness.
Mark assumes Henry and Jacqui are pulling the strings.
Henry and Jacqui discuss what Kent told them about Mark’s morning interrogation.
HENRY: He’s one thousand times better version than me. He is more charismatic. He has a better body. He’s better looking… If I am sitting next to him at the end, everyone is going to vote for him over me. So I need to get rid of him now while I have the chance.
1…I don’t think you have to worry about being in the Final Two with Mark.
MARK: Henry is a very crafty game player. Behind the yoga outfit and zen and meditation is a very dirty and dangerous player.
Never trust a man in meggings. Wasn’t that the saying in TAR 27?
The water is peaceful. Ziggy is alone hunting in the water. She is a two-time Water Polo Olympian.
ZIGGY: I’m gonna play Survivor like water polo… In water polo, the people on the outside only see what happens above the water; the real stuff happens underneath the water.
Well, that sucks for when I watch water polo every four years. There are no underwater cameras. I will forever be a casual water polo fan.
Locky assumes he will be gone next because he is making too many waves; although Ziggy makes a lot of waves in water polo and she does very well at it.
Locky talks to Ziggy and Tara about AK being sneaky. Ziggy tells us she does not want to go to the Final Two with AK. Luckily she has sixteen more chances to get him out.
Why are we having multiple confessionals about players on both tribes sliding to the Final Two? There are eighteen people. That is the number of people at the start of a standard season of modern Survivor.
ZIGGY: If I flip, Tara and Locky would owe me their life.
That sounds like Jericho Talk.
If Ziggy flips, Tara does not plan to keep Ziggy in her new alliance for long.
Man, editors are trying to tell us that Ziggy will flip? That is quite the stretch.
DAY 17 SOME MORE
A storm hits. Locky misses food. Rice and beans is not paradise for Locky. He sees a shark in the water. It is not AK. Locky is wasting A LOT of energy chasing a shark in the water with a machete. There is no way he catches it.
HOLY HELL. He does catch it. Well, I’ll be damned.
AK: Locky caught the shark with a machete. Who does that?
A badass like Tom Westman. That is an elite group to be in.
Some members of the tribe haven’t had shark before. They’ve had kangaroo and alligator, but not shark.
A coconut falls from a tree. Luke walks to retrieve it in the jungle. As he pushes away the branches a bunch of wasps jump out at him. Everyone runs. It was a wasp’s nest! He feels like his body is on fire as he submerges himself in the water.
He’s burned pretty bad, Terry.
After Luke does a half-assed re-enactment of Macaulay Culkin in My Girl, Luke watches Henry and Jacqui. He wants to get people loyal to him and split up Henry and Jacqui.
LUKE: I’ll just start lying and cheating, whatever I have to do. Bring them down early before they start getting too many people.
-Start- lying, Luke? Want to wipe the cookie crumbs off your face when you say that?
Luke starts discussing the pair with Mark.
LUKE: Jacqui and Henry, bro. They’re getting too close.
Every alliance starts with “bro” to get them on your level.
LUKE: Sam was gone. Mark was SPEWIN’.
When do people say spewin’ rather than gutted? Can somebody tell me when I use one over the other in conversation?
Luke views Henry as a hypocrite for taking Sam’s role and knocking Sam’s role in the process. He says all of this while scratching his butt.
LUKE: If I knock off Robin first, I’ll go for Batman later.
Unless Batman uses his Tribal Council Voting Reversal Spray…also known as a hidden immunity idol.
And I don’t think anybody has referenced Robin as being “fabulous”.
MARK: Revenge is important and I will get that. I will do everything to destroy that pair…The only people I trust to do that at this stage is Luke.
One out of the other seven. This might not go well.
Luke tells Mark that he thinks he could get Michelle, Sarah, and Odette. That’s five.
Too bad Luke can’t get Jericho to vote with him. I thought those two were tight.
LUKE: The next showdown is going to be Henry versus Mark. And I’m the referee!
The special guest referee? What the hell is this? Pro wrestling? Is Mankind going to jump out and deliver a Mandible Claw with Mr. Socko to AK?
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #7
Locky and Tara look like they are going to cry when Samantha was voted out. You would think Locky’s cat was just run over.
AK informs JLP that Locky caught a shark with a machete. JLP is impressed.
LOCKY: It was good eatin’ too!
Just like Grampa Simpson when he mashes corn on the cob into a fine paste.
For today’s challenge, it will be a series of 1-vs-1 sumo matches on a platform with each person holding a sandbag. Push your opponent into the mud and you score a point. Hands must stay on the bag AT ALL TIMES and you cannot use your hands to push away your opponent.
No karate chopping, Coach.
JLP: Losing tribe, you will see me at Tribal Council where somebody will become the seventh person voted out.
EVERYONE ELSE: . . .
SARAH (super serious): Wow.
It’s…it’s no different than any other stakes, Sarah. That was a piece of amusing editing. It reminds me of the lingering shot on Sash in the episode five immunity challenge in Survivor: Nicaragua.
Asaga must sit out two men. Ben and Jericho. That makes sense.
Mark gives advice on how to do well in combat, although I think Mark doesn’t prop up sandbags in the Persian Gulf.
Jacqui and Ziggy square off. Fabulous and Fifty vs. The Water Polo Olympian.
Yeah. Ziggy scores a quick point.
ZIGGY: Get underneath them, guys.
As my friend Kim would say, the best way to get over somebody is to get under someone.
Locky tells Jarrad he will face Mark if he is Asaga’s pick.
Mark vs. Jarrad.
JARRAD: I am the sacrificial lamb.
Mark pelts Jarrad repeatedly with no mercy. He is a good sport and pulls Jarrad out of the mud.
I really wish James would have been able to face off against Leif in sumo.
Round 3: Odette vs. Tara.
Odette slips but gets up. Tara is barely moving. She gives her back to Odette. She just stands there as Odette casually pushes her off. Tara would have been disqualified as she used her hands at the end.
Round 4: Luke vs. Locky.
Locky gives Luke one shove to start the match. Luke is near the edge and pretty much jumps off. Or he slipped.
Round 5: Anneliese vs. Sarah
They spin around the edge pushing each other. Anneliese eventually gets the job done.
Round 6: Michelle vs. Tessa
Tessa uses quick fury to use two quick shoves on Michelle.
MARK: Stop pushing their chest. Get low and push for their waist.
This is fitting given what happens next.
Round 7: Kent vs. Peter
Kent and Peter get really low. They are on their knees.
Peter tries to do a Mel Gibson clock spin in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington around Kent but Kent maintains the position and nudges him off.
Round 8: AK vs Henry
Henry doesn’t throw this as he pushes AK’s chest. AK slips. AK is almost up but Henry uses the sandbag and a semi-illegal shoulder check to push AK into the mud.
The way AK slinks away is like Snoopy retreating to the top of his doghouse.
Everyone has gone.
Round 9: Jacqui vs. Ziggy
Ziggy pushes Jacqui three times to shove her off. Ziggy falls onto her back in the process. That platform is hella muddy.
Round 10: Mark vs. Jarrad
Mark slips. On his knees. So is Jarrad. Jarrad has the lower position as Mark tries to get on top of him. Jarrad is on his back. Mark pulls him back with the sandbag. Lots of head strikes. Jarrad rolls around.
Jarrad is completely submerged in the mud. Mark pulls him back up for a hug.
I think Jarrad has more mud in his stomach than shark at the moment.
Round 11: Odette vs. Tara
Odette is too high but has more strength. Tara falls. Tara is rolling around a lot. She turns to face Odette on her feet but is knocked down again… Odette knocks Tara again. More rolling. Tara is up but then falls onto her back. Odette is able to nudge Tara into the mud.
It takes seven to win.
Round 12: Luke vs. Locky
Luke goes low but Locky SLAMS his head. Luke bags Locky’s crotch. Lots of rolling. Locky goes for the head a bit more. Luke is on his back and Locky is sliding on his feet, but barely gets Luke into the mud.
Final Round: Sarah vs. Anneliese
Knowing each round was probably a best of three, this has probably been a really long challenge.
Sarah slips. Anneliese tries to hold her down but doesn’t have the strength. Sarah keeps getting to her feet but slips. Sarah is not moving. Anneliese braces Sarah’s body between her legs but gives up on this position. Sarah uses her head to push Anneliese backward.
JLP: Sarah clearly exhausted.
SARAH: Not exhausted Jonathan. Don’t worry.
There is a lot of spinning. Neither one is using their sandbag. Only muscle left is legs and hips. Anneliese uses the back of her legs to get Sarah on the edge while both on her feet as Anneliese uses one last swing of the sandbag. Sarah falls in.
Samatau wins immunity.
NOTE: The final matchup went on for well over ten minutes which is why the unorthodox hips and legs technique came out at Tribal Council.
In other news, Anneliese will be signing up for UFC’s Flyweight division after the season is over. Ziggy will be her coach.
Anneliese has the honour of claiming the idol. This game is helluva lot closer.
LUKE: Someone is going to get voted off. Guess who is going home tonight? Jacqui, baby!
HENRY: Our numbers are dwindling. So losing today hurts us against that tribe. At the same time I get to go to Tribal and I love Tribal. I made sure Joan went home, and I made sure Sam went home, and now I can make sure Mark goes home.
You -barely- made sure Joan went home.
Henry insists that Sarah went up to him yesterday saying she wanted to go to the end with him. I think Sarah might be a stronger player than Henry.
Mark speaks to Luke in the water. It’s either mud or bee stings.
Mark says eliminating Jacqui will be an eye for an eye against Henry.
Yeah, the special ops guy is going to go all Hammurabi on all your asses.
LUKE: Jacqui is going home and she don’t even know that yet. Henry and Jacqui think they are running it. They want to get rid of Mark–they want to get the powerhouse out. That just shows how crazy they wanna be. Power couple taking the top dogs straight right away. They don’t realize that Mark’s linked up with the big kingpin–the boss. The one who is running this thing.
Luke talks to Jericho and Michelle. He throws out Jacqui’s name. Jericho is hesitant.
MICHELLE: I don’t care. As long as it’s not my name.
I love it. Michelle just don’t give a f–k.
LUKE: The real loser tonight is gonna be Henry because Henry and Jacqui. . .are gonna be SPEWIN’. They need the reality check of who is in control and it’s that guy (points at himself with two thumbs) right here.
Who has two thumbs and points at himself without saying he is the guy with two thumbs and is in control? THIS GUY!
Luke approaches Michelle and Sarah in the water. Sarah thinks Mark could be in a position where he gets a lot of power.
LUKE: [Mark] is more trustworthy than, like, Ben!
Ouch. Ben takes another hit. Has anybody seen him? Did he drown instead of Samantha?
Luke’s other reason he tells Sarah is that it would be a blindside. Sarah asks Luke for real talk on tonight’s vote. Luke wants the power couple split up.
LUKE: I want Henry to get the same taste of what he did to Mark.
Blindsides are delicious when you don’t win any BBQ rewards.
Sarah informs Mark that it is their last conversation. Sarah once again says she is in a tricky situation with all of the information. Eliminate Mark or make the big move?
Sarah goes up to Henry and Jacqui really quick.
SARAH: I can only talk quick. Anything you’re hearing, I am with you guys? OK? Mark.
JACQUI: What else have you heard?
HENRY: Don’t ask.
SARAH: We’ll discuss it after. It’s not important.
Jacqui talks about the idol in Henry’s bag. She trusts the fake yoga instructor.
Luke approaches Odette.
LUKE: It’s Jacqui. I’m going Jacqui. All the numbers are Jacqui.
PICTIONARY PLAYER: JACKAL! JACKAL! IT’S A JACKAL!!
STEWIE: IF IT WASN’T A JACKAL THE FIRST TIME IT’S NOT A JACKAL THE 100TH TIME!
ODETTE: Really? No way! How come I haven’t heard it!
LUKE: Because I haven’t spoken to you in the last second.
Odette has her second confessional.
ODETTE: Are people voting with Luke ’cause Luke is like ‘Everybody switched’? No! Nobody is voting Jacqui! Everyone is voting Mark.
Luke summons Ben.
LUKE: Benny. It’s Jacqui. Everyone’s already locked in. We’ve got full numbers.
Ben looks like he just woke up from a cat nap.
***BEN FIRST TIME CONFESSIONAL ALERT***
BEN: Luke is trying to get me to rally behind him to split up the “power couple,” Henry and Jacqui. I don’t see them as a power couple, quite frankly. Luke has a problem with authority. Not a bad quality to have. He just has too much of it. He doesn’t know how to tone it down. He’s far too spontaneous and bombastic. I reckon he’ll screw himself sooner rather than later.
So… Ben just roasted Luke’s gameplay all in one confessional. It took 450 minutes of airtime, but it was worth the wait. Ben’s analysis is very on point.
Luke says the numbers are 6-4 in a confessional. He retreats into the jungle with Mark, Ben, and Jericho.
LUKE (to MARK): This is a blindside on them. For you. A massive blindside.
1…I don’t know about that.
Jericho and Mark are eating on a log. Not cookies, sadly. Henry is sitting forty feet away and keeps eyeing Jericho. Hilarious. Jericho is not squirming.
Everyone is picking up the torches. Mark hopes justice will be served.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #7
JLP compliments Sarah on her effort despite losing the challenge. Probably because the final match lasted ten minutes after hours and hours.
Henry wants a balanced tribe going into challenges.
Odette says this is a human game and is turning out to be different from what she expected.
JERICHO: I’m just gonna lay it out there…tonight we shouldn’t vote based on vengeance. I feel like tonight there is going to be a few people whose vote based on that. I am a son of blood. If we vote on vengeance tonight then it is going to cause massive chaos.
A son of blood? Who is this? Harrison from Dexter?
Sarah wants consistency. Henry nods. It’s all about trust.
Mark points out Henry and Jacqui as pulling the strings and they are doing it again today.
JACQUI: It’s pretty harsh.
MARK: It’s true.
Harsh but true.
MARK: Who’s the power couple now?
JACQUI: There is no power couple.
Mark is wearing a wicked leather jacket by the way. Does he have a Harley instead of a torch?
Mark proclaims that now is the time and that 90% of the tribe will be gone before they know it.
Mark wants to keep Henry.
MARK: Jacqui less so. So that’s where I’m gonna go. We knock Jacqui out. There’s no power couple. Then we have a fair chance.
JACQUI: I think what you’re doing is projection. And you’re trying to say Henry and I are in the same position as you and Sam.
MARK: How is it not?
JACQUI: You’re singling me out. I am spending more time with Henry or more time with Kent or more time with–
MARK: Like I spent more time with Sam.
Henry jumps in saying he has equal bonds with others.
MARK: I am a killer in these challenges; hang onto me.
Ben is okay as long as daggers aren’t glared at him and is weighing his options.
Michelle thinks people are flip-flopping in their mind.
LUKE: I am voting the same way because it’s a smart way to stick to your guns. Hopefully, it plays out.
Jericho says to base the vote on keeping Asaga strong.
Henry writes down Mark.
Mark writes down Jackie. Who is Jackie?
FIRST VOTE: MARK
SECOND VOTE: JACKIE
THIRD VOTE: MARK
FOURTH VOTE: JACKIE
FIFTH VOTE: MARK <:)3
SIXTH VOTE: Jacqui
SEVENTH VOTE: MARK
EIGHTH VOTE: Mark
NINTH VOTE: MARK
That’s enough. One week and the romantic pair are knocked out in consecutive episodes.
The strongest man and the strongest woman on Asaga have been knocked out, and Asaga has just a one-person advantage over Samatau.
Next Time on Survivor AU: Mark’s parting words have fractured Asaga and exposed the tribe’s power couple. But loose canon Luke is just getting warmed up.
Mark says it was a bruising Tribal Council but liked to go out the way he did. He blames his exit on being too quiet and doesn’t think he was a good player at all.
And another week of Aussie Survivor is in the books.
What could have been 11-6 by the end of this week is now 9-8. After seven rounds of play, the numbers are as close as they can be between the two tribes, and only one challenge has been a blowout. And that one challenge? It wasn’t even one of the two challenge throws attempted by Henry.
After Samatau’s string of Tribal Council roller coasters, Asaga had two fairly straightforward votes. Henry and Jacqui eliminated Mark and Samantha in a pretty swift and ruthless manner.
Things are about to get much more interesting because the next two strongest tribe members, Jericho and Luke, are not only alone at the bottom of the tribe, but are also the two most unstable people in this entire game. Jericho’s Cookie Army was nothing more than an illusion, and Luke probably won’t rescue the next person who is on the verge of drowning.
After 450 minutes of airtime, it was nice for Ben to get a confessional. We heard from Michelle a bit at the past two Tribal Councils and at camp a little bit, and Odette’s conversation with Luke has been one of the funniest parts about the season thus far. “Is Luke just making up the numbers are there or is this really happening?”
I hope the focus backs off from Henry and Jacqui a bit. Their trio with Kent isn’t the most interesting trio on Asaga as I am much more keen to see Sarah, Odette, and Ben at the centre of things if Asaga ever goes to another Tribal Council. Or even if they don’t.
Why, this week made it clear that Henry and Jacqui don’t really have that much power. All of the power appears to be in Sarah’s hands as every single person on Asaga has been relying on her to join an alliance and bring Odette and Ben with her.
My assumption is Sarah didn’t want to flip the script against Jacqui because everybody assumes there will be a merge with thirteen players. Not only is it a current US Survivor tradition, but also when the merge occurred last year for the Aussies. That means the lowest possible number Asaga could get down to is five before a merge, and Sarah probably identified that she makes the last five no matter what. If they lose again, Jericho and/or Luke has to go. After that, they eliminate Michelle or Ben for being one of the weaker players, and if they keep losing then all four of those players would be ousted.
So I can understand why Sarah is making the moves she is at the moment. And if there is a switch she will be low-key enough that she could repair any bonds with the Asaga folks in the minority and form a good enough relationship with members of former Samatau.
We just watched Sarah go to the minority and say,”No more conversations for the rest of today,” and Luke obliged. She went to Henry and Jacqui to say, “Trust me but don’t talk to me for the rest of today,” and they obliged.
Sarah is in control of Asaga. Everyone else is playing Monopoly Jr. Everyone is hoping to buy up the roller coaster while Sarah is eyeing up Boardwalk.
Samatau’s intended target has shifted just hours before nearly every single Tribal Council. Right before things looked like they were going to get predictable for Samatau, they secure a couple of immunity wins. Locky, Tara, and Anneliese have bought themselves more time. This is great for Tara because I do not see an idol-less scenario where she avoids getting her torch smuffed at the next vote. Locky and Anneliese have the social prowess to avoid the next vote, but I don’t think Tara possesses that quality.
AK is serving as a parody of Russell Hantz. It’s nice to see a guy who completely makes fun of himself for being too engaged with over-strategizing. He pretty much just owned up to it at the BBQ and said, “Yeah, I can’t even hide it–we all need to look for an idol clue. Hey, do one of the three of you want to light up a match and look inside of the propane tank for it?” and everyone made fun of him for it.
Ziggy received a huge amount of airtime this week. She had a scene all to herself while diving into the water and was shown interacting with everybody on Samatau. Considering she was the only person on Samatau with just one confessional, that is an enormous boost for her. It isn’t just JLP applauding her abilities at challenges.
And now to the biggest surprise for viewers this week–seven rounds have passed and we have not had any major switches, mini merges, mini unmerges, or some sort of kidnapping twist.
Other than re-hiding hidden immunity idols on Samatau and the cookie dilemma, producers have given the Aussie contestants room to play.
This is huge when US Survivor hasn’t had a season this pure for seven rounds since Survivor: South Pacific. Yes, Philippines still had that mini merge once Matsing was down to two players.
Jeff Probst has been saying over the past two years, “Oh, we throw in twists to give players room to play”. The opposite has been true as multiple idols, advantages, twists, and constant switches in the past two returnee installments alone have paralyzed our endgame and determined our winners by default. When you don’t have any twists involved, people don’t always have to obsess over splitting the vote or feeling like their options are limited.
The best twists are always those minor ones that shake up the game just enough to present a new scenario that players are unprepared for after two decades–not “Let’s cram as many as we can into 39-55 days and see how it shakes out”.
If this were Game Changers, we would have had an unmerge, a switch, and a merge all by the opening minutes of the next episode.
This season…nothing. And it’s so damn refreshing. As my friend Kyle says, “Sometimes the best twist is no twist at all”. Sorry, John Travolta.
And perhaps producers do not want to throw in anymore twists because Asaga and Samatau have been entertaining to watch as it is. They may fear interference because it could decrease the quality of their product.
So here’s to the purest season we have seen in over a decade after the first seven rounds. It’s just two tribes full of people playing way too hard who are duking it out as much as they possibly can for three weeks straight.