Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: The Ultimate Reward Will Present Itself to You When You Are Ready for the Ultimate Reward

Logan Saunders recaps the eleventh episode of Week 5 of Australian Survivor in which Ben exacts revenge on everyone who called him “useless” from afar.

Australian Survivor: The Ultimate Reward Will Present Itself to You When You Are Ready for the Ultimate Reward

EPISODE 11

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Previously on Australian Survivor: Ben and Henry volunteered to leave Asaga, and Ben quickly turned on his old tribemate… while Henry’s charm offensive was fooling no one. Victory in the reward challenge gave Asaga all the ice cream they could eat and something for Anneliese.

The idol was hidden at the immunity challenge… while Henry took the chance to slip his former tribemate, Jericho, an idol clue. Having lost the challenge, Asaga headed to Tribal Council. Michelle wanted Kent out, and the feeling was mutual. Kent was shooting blanks, and Odette was his only friend. Kent was hanging on by the skin of his chafed Speedo and was ultimately the ninth person to leave the game.

Fifteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?

asaga

NIGHT 24 

LUKE: Kent is gone. He shouldn’t have gone up against Michelle.

Or just go up against almost anyone else and he would have survived.

Everyone works on restarting the fire. Odette (who?) starts crying because Kent is gone. She copies Kent’s strategy of going to bed early for the night.

Michelle says she is picking off the alliance one by one and is on the chopping block for the next vote. Meanwhile, the rest of the tribe bonds as Jericho successfully reignites the fire.

Intro time.samatau

nicolalockyjarradtessa

        Ziggy            Locky            Jarrad            Tessa

peterAKBenHenry

        Peter                 AK              Ben               Henry

asaga

michellesarahluke

     Michelle         Sarah              Luke

odettejerichotaraAnneliese

       Odette            Jericho          Tara           Anneliese

Jacqui – Gone. Jacqui looks so pissed off in her intro shot. Is she glancing at Michelle?

asagaDAY 25 

Luke catches two sharks. We don’t see him catching the sharks, but he brings it back from the beach. For all we know, production handed it to him off-screen in exchange for ice cream.

TARA: All I can say is it’s bigger than Locky’s.

LUKE: This tribe is getting fed tonight!

Michelle comments on Luke.

MICHELLE: He’s come with crabs… This is great. Luke’s a legend. It’s all happy days at our camp!

I don’t know if a guy whose shark is bigger than Locky’s and brings crabs to the tribe is legendary. Regardless, Locky will be jealous.

samatau

DAY 25 

Henry says everyone is withering away. The tribe is wrecked. They have no more flint and there is nothing to scavenge or hunt. We cut to Locky being too tired to get a fire going, and nearly passed out when he woke up in the morning.

Locky says he has never been this hungry in his life.

LOCKY: Hangry would have to be my worst enemy.

Hangry? Even worse than hungry. We should all be worried.

You know why they have never released a board game called Hangry Hangry Hippos? Because the hippos eat all of the kids who play. Those plastic soccer balls aren’t enough. Hippos are the most dangerous animal in the world for a reason.

Locky can’t get a spark from the magnesium.

AK: I’m not working around camp because Locky is getting hangry, and I love it. He is so frustrated that he can’t get this fire started, and he’s the provider of this tribe. I want to see Locky get angrier and angrier and explode having no one wanting to work with him…I want him to snap at me and show my alliance he is not someone you want to move forward with.

Dude, you’re starving too.

It is windy as AK holds the other end of the wood as Locky starts to move the wood. AK constantly reminds Locky about the wind and that they need to do it in a spot where there is no wind. Locky is upset and retreats into the water because AK is doing nothing.

asaga

DAY 25 

Jericho goes into the woods with a machete. Luke watches him. Yes, this is Jericho searching for an idol in the woods. He is extremely frustrated.

samatau

DAY 25 

Henry admits to us that he gave Jericho a fake idol clue. It’s ultimately the clue he used to claim the idol on Asaga. It is all a ploy to try and gain Henry’s trust. Too bad Jericho just gave a bunch of confessionals about finding the idol and voting out Henry anyway.

asaga

DAY 25 

Everyone sits together silently on the sand. Odette is miserable. She talks about her twelve-year-old boy. Odette has never been away from her son for this long.

Luke knows Odette is feeling flat. He goes out to talk to her on the beach. Where the hell did Luke find his cowboy hat?

Odette and Luke go to the water well. There is a couple of bundles of supplies and they bring them back to the tribe. Luke opens the note. They receive letters from home along with a special gift that their families know they want.

These are usually the types of scenes my parents and my sister hate watching in Survivor. Hopefully, this gets goofy.

Jericho receives a bear. Hopefully, there are no more cookie jars or that bear is not going to see day fifty-five.

Luke receives a family portrait of his wife and his kids. He wants to go to Disneyland.

Odette receives a portrait of her mother. At fourteen her mom died in a car accident.

Tara gets a flower. The flower isn’t sparkly which disappointed me. It was a Mother’s Day gift. It’s a family portrait too.

Michelle receives a Boston Red Sox hat. I was not expecting that. It belongs to her dad.

Anneliese receives what she says is “the stupidest shirt” that they wear out to dinner. It is a shirt covered in creamsicles. Jericho starts licking the shirt because he thinks it’s real.

Sarah receives the family locket. It’s her two kids. Are Anneliese and Jericho the only two without kids on this tribe?

Anneliese does the Chicken Dance when she puts on the creamsicle shirt.

samatau

DAY 25 

AK receives a jar from his daughter that says everything she loves about her dad. It’s called a “heart attack”.

Ziggy receives a family portrait. Apparently, she is related to a TAR Australia 3 contestant.

Ben receives Thomas the Train.

Locky hopes his gift is a flint. Instead, it’s a gridiron shirt. Whatever that is.

Henry says his mom is the most inspiring person she knows. It’s another hidden immunity idol–actually, it’s a locket. We find out his mom died of cancer six weeks away earlier. She fought pancreatic cancer for three years. He hasn’t revealed to anybody about his mother’s cancer fight, let alone her passing.

Tessa receives a portrait too.

Jarrad and Petey? We don’t know because editors couldn’t care less about these two. As it stands, Jarrad has a worldwide record of going eight consecutive episodes without a confessional, and Petey also hasn’t had a confessional in eight of the episodes. Odette and Ben are in the same boat.

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REWARD CHALLENGE #9

Samatau has no reaction to Asaga voting out Kent. Luke is still wearing that new hat.

JLP points out that Samatau has all of their supplies with them. Their fire went out after 23 days and they haven’t been able to reignite their fire for two days. Locky wants to exchange all of their supplies for either pizza every day or flint.

JLP declines giving up pizza (if it was Matt Chisholm from New Zealand Survivor they would have had zero chance) but is willing to give them flint. Samatau exchanges all of their rewards for flint that will be waiting at camp. Chairs, spices, fishing gear, it’s all gone.

JLP takes back immunity from Ben. No games with AK today.

For today’s challenge, three people will be on a platform in the water. One at a time will leap up to grab a key and swim it to the water. Once all three do so, two members will put together a block puzzle in the form of the Survivor logo. Then the last two tribe members will use sandbags to knock down the block puzzle off the table. First tribe to do so wins reward.

Winning tribe earns a trip to Tribal Council where they will vote for a chance at the ULTIMATE reward.

ANNELIESE: What?

Yes, win your way to Tribal Council.

Jarrad sits out. As if his edit couldn’t get more irrelevant.

SWIMMERS:

ZIGGY-PETEY-LOCKY

LUKE-ODETTE-MICHELLE

Yeah, Ziggy crushes Luke at swimming. Something about being an Olympian in a water sport will do it.

Petey barely snags his key.

Michelle is about to jump but retreats. She puts in a full attempt but misses. Then misses again. Third full attempt is the charm but Petey has made it to shore. Michelle didn’t have enough gusto when running until her last attempt.

Locky is already back with the final key. Michelle finally makes it to shore. Odette is last to jump.

Samatau is struggling with unlocking the locks despite having somebody named Locky on the tribe. Odette is on shore as Samatau opens the chest.

AK and Tessa are putting the puzzle together for Samatau while Anneliese and Sarah are putting the block puzzle together for Asaga.

JLP: The puzzle is the great equalizer.

We know, JLP. We know.

Ben clenches his teeth as Asaga gets ahead of Samatau. JLP attributes AK’s weakness to AK suffering from a lack of food rather than Anneliese kicking ass.

Tara and Jericho start throwing. Jericho hits the blocks a few times but nothing budges. Finally, he starts knocking blocks away. Tara starts doing damage. Three-quarters of the blocks are gone. Maybe more.

Samatau finally gets their puzzle done. Henry and Ben are WHIPPING those sandbags. Ben does a quadruple knockdown. Asaga has their entire bottom row left and everything else is gone.

Ben and Henry combine to knock down another seven pieces. Jericho hits a bottom piece. Samatau are ahead and have only three pieces. Now two. Four for Asaga.

Jericho takes one down.

Henry hits one block but it is on its corner on top of the beanbag. Asaga down to two for the biggest reward of the season.

Ben crushes each of the final two pieces. Oh, my word. Eleven episodes in and Ben is the almighty hero. What an up and down challenge for both tribes.

JLP congratulates Samatau on sending themselves to Tribal Council.

AK (super serious face): This is huge. I want the ultimate reward.

No kidding.

samatau

DAY 26 

Their new flint sits on top of a pot.

LOCKY: Where’s the machete?

Oh man, if they lose the machete it would be hilarious. Too bad Locky finds it two seconds later.

They still can’t get fire going. Locky decides to sit back and let everyone have a turn with the flint. The empty bellies are making it tough.

Locky gets fire. Everyone sucks down rice. Jarrad is looking freakishly skinny. Everyone bows before the flint hanging from a branch.

Now that fire is made, AK contemplates what to do about the reward vote tonight. We get a recap that the alliance includes everyone except Locky and Henry.

HENRY: I am so lost as to what we have won.

Henry thinks they may have a feast at Tribal Council and watch Asaga go to Tribal Council before voting out one member of Asaga.

JARRAD: What if we vote one of ours out?

TESSA: Why would we win that?

Yeah, Jarrad. C’mon.

AK joins them. Everyone is thinking if the one person has to choose between a spa day or a feast. Locky wants to win the reward and volunteers himself.

LOCKY: I’d be the best one because I am stronger.

AK mocks Locky behind his back for his not-so-subtle strategic move.

AK tells Jarrad he will vote for Jarrad to win the reward. Jarrad thinks it will be a bad idea if they are that open about their bond. They think about voting for Tessa to win reward. AK is mentally prepared for this to benefit him.

Everyone grabs their torches for some reason. I don’t see anybody being smuffed. Why do they need to bring them?

For the one millionth time, AK gets the final confessional before heading to Tribal Council.

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TRIBAL COUNCIL #12

(AK)-(BEN)-(HENRY)-(JARRAD)-(LOCKY)-(PETEY)-(TESSA)-(ZIGGY)

JLP: You are sending one of your tribemates to compete for the ultimate reward…You will not be given it–you will have to earn it.

TESSA:  We won this as a team…surely not only one person benefits?

JLP: …

ZIGGY: How do we know who to send if we don’t know what we’re sending them to?

Ziggy gives this really cute eyebrow raise to bait information out of JLP.

JLP: It’s the ultimate reward.

BEN: Does it involve the other tribe?

JLP: No. I can tell you that.

PETEY: Are they competing for a reward individually or they competing for a reward for all of us?

JLP: It could be both.

HENRY: Will this person be coming back to our camp?

JLP: Not tonight.

HENRY: But they’re still part of our tribe?

JLP: Yes.

ME: Does your reward wear glasses?

JLP: Yes.

ME: Does your reward have brown hair?

JLP: Yes.

ME: Is your reward male?

JLP: Yes.

ME: Is your reward Petey?

JLP: Yes.

ME: I win!

JLP states they are essentially electing a champion for the tribe.

Henry is stumped. Nobody knows what it could be. Henry says their best all-around person should be elected.

Jarrad thinks a few are all-arounders, particularly Ziggy.

JLP starts laughing at Ben’s worried expression. Ben’s head is spinning.

BEN: It could be a game advantage. An extra vote or one of those super idols which can be played after the votes. I don’t know.

Do you, Ben?

Everyone talks about how picking someone they trust will be crucial because whoever wins reward needs to be honest in recounting what happened.

Locky thinks it will be a night on Exile and wants to be sent. Others think it could be a puzzle, and Tessa says Ziggy is good at both strength and puzzles. There’s a lot of uneasiness going into the vote. AK is hesitant.

It’s time to vote. This is Samatau’s third fake Tribal Council, by the way.

AK (votes ZIGGY): I trust you.

The most trusted all-arounder–Ziggy.

Henry writes down Locky.

HENRY: I have no idea what’s going on.

I love Australian Survivor doing minor twists that US Survivor never attempts.

FIRST VOTE: Petey

SECOND VOTE: LOCKY

THIRD VOTE: ZIGGY

FOURTH VOTE: Ziggy

FIFTH VOTE: ZIGGY

SIXTH VOTE: ZIGGY

That’s enough votes. Ziggy claps although she doesn’t know what she has won. JLP kicks everyone else out.

Ziggy is left alone at Tribal Council with JLP. She awkwardly stands. JLP summons her forward with her torch.

JLP hands Ziggy a map to the mangroves. Away she goes. Ziggy is scared but excited. Really excited. More excited than Sarah.

Oh, this isn’t the end of the episode.

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NIGHT 25 – MANGROVES

Ziggy is told to search for The Super Idol.

One half of the super idol can cancel out a hidden immunity idol played at Tribal Council. The other half is a regular hidden immunity idol. She has until sunrise to find it. It is concealed within a deep face in the mangroves.

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was like last season on Exile Beach where nobody finds the idol?

Her search begins at 11:00 pm. Her lighted torch is the only source of light as she searches through knee deep water. This is dangerous. There are a ton of trees. Hopefully, she doesn’t accidentally ignite a fire and incur the wrath of the Samoan gods.

It’s 1:30. This is very Legend of Zelda-esque. She keeps winding down the river. More trees.

Now it’s 4:30 am. Ziggy falls into chest deep water in some spots. She finds the face and knocks it down. She smashes the face against a tree to reveal the idol. There was a ton of sand inside the face.

It’s hers. Ziggy is now not only at the centre of the Samatau dynamic, but now she is at the centre of power.

ZIGGY: With this super idol, I have no doubt I can win.

Although it may hurt her position more than it does help it.

Next Time on Australian Survivor: Having found the most powerful tool in the game, Ziggy must decide what to tell her tribe. And the game twists again. Old allies are torn apart and old enemies come together.

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What? A tribe switch right when the two tribes are lopsided in terms of strength and skill? It is a wonky format to keep tribes the exact same for seven eliminations and then switch them for just two eliminations.

I do not think producers regret this tribe switch because it did trigger one of the most bizarre moments since Mountain Dew sponsoured a season of Survivor that only allowed men to compete as Henry, arguably the one person with the most power in this game, gave it all up just to see how much he could truly dominate this season.

So far the move has backfired as much as it possibly can as his top two allies have been eliminated from the game, and Henry himself would have been gone too if Samatau attended a real Tribal Council for once and Henry was confident enough to not use his idol.

***

Speaking of which, we supposedly have four idols in circulation. Ziggy’s idol, Henry’s idol, Anneliese’s idol, and the mysterious re-hidden Samatau idol that we have not seen anybody find. Thankfully, Ziggy can cancel out one of the other three idols from things getting too Game Changers-y and possibly paralyze the game, but I can’t help myself to be worried as nearly one-third of the players hold an idol.

Hopefully, no more idols are hidden post-merge and these idols are all we see for the rest of the season.

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Of course, I have to acknowledge the Super Idol twist. I love this reward setup. Win it and the tribe votes on somebody who will have the tribe’s best interests to go on one of the sickest overnight adventures to improve the position of many people on the tribe. Watching Ziggy wade through that swamp like it was a saga caught on film is one of the coolest scenes I have seen in Survivor. It would have been much funnier if Osten from Survivor: Pearl Islands was elected to do this as he would have had to play in the water for over five hours in the darkness–he would have never been seen again.

Contrary to what you might think, I love this twist. Canceling out somebody else’s idol is an idea I haven’t really seen before. Sure, there have been powers I have had in the online games that I host where people can cancel out votes, but never an idol block. Any concept that slightly reduces the power of hidden immunity idols is fine by me.

Sure, the “Cancel Out An Idol” is canceled out by another idol being awarded on top of that, but it is the right amount of power that a Super Idol should have. Remember in Survivor: Exile Island when the Super Idol was introduced, and many of us caught onto its flaw by the second episode of the season? I mean, if my sister can catch on why the Super Idol in Survivor: Exile Island can ruin the game, then it’s something producers needed to reexamine.

I am curious to see how it plays out. Especially when the person who had the opportunity to obtain it would need to be in the best position of anybody in the game.

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It almost seems like a waste of time to talk about tribe dynamics when everybody is about to be split up.

Seeing how we just switched two rounds ago, the swap for this round needs to be significantly different. I am expecting three tribes of five. Because last season merged with thirteen, the individual game starts now as nobody expects this switch to be in play for more than two rounds.

Luke, Jericho, Sarah, Anneliese, and Michelle could all be in trouble if the split doesn’t go their way. Jericho and Luke may quit on the spot if they both can’t be on the same tribe.

The same can be said for AK, Jarrad, Ziggy, Tessa, Ben, and Petey. Man, I had to stare at my screen for a minute to see which name I was missing.

By the way, Jarrad becomes the first person on the planet to not have a confessional for eight consecutive episodes. He hasn’t given us his thoughts since Kate was voted out. I know he isn’t the greatest speaker based on his conversations with AK or Ben, but that is ridiculous.

***

I love the turnaround in Ben’s edit. He was the hero for the tribe and ultimately the hero for Ziggy as he hit those crucial blocks to defeat a tribe that never took him seriously in challenges.

***

And yes, Locky, Henry, and Odette will be extremely happy to see a tribe switch. They are probably crossing their fingers that all three of them end up on the same tribe. Again, just because the tribes will be tiny with only five members, I do not believe it will be enough reason for any of them to be kept around for long term challenge strength because nobody believes this configuration will be long term.

But imagine if it was? The tribe that votes out Locky first could be in for an epic trolling if the merge is delayed until eleven.

***

And what was up with that idol clue? Henry is way too optimistic if he thinks it will be enough to regain Jericho’s trust. Hell, Jericho shot that down within twenty minutes of getting the clue.

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When Big Brother 19 is being terrible, and TAR Canada 5 is having one of the worst TAR seasons I have seen worldwide (a task at an elementary school and an auctioneering task? And twelve times the word “Give’R” is uttered? Seriously?) Australian Survivor is the breath of fresh air and the relief we have all needed during a disappointing summer of reality TV.

Thank God for the Aussies. And hell, even the Kiwis too.

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