Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: Vendette

Logan Saunders recaps the fifteenth episode of Week 7 of Australian Survivor which highlights the zany bunch left in the game.

Australian Survivor: Vendette

EPISODE 15

Previously on Australian Survivor: At Asaga, outsider Peter was on the chopping block until Sarah started plotting against her own alliance. When Samatau won reward, they chose Peter and Sarah to join them at a feast. Luke smelled a rat. Asaga lost the immunity challenge. And Samatau got to sit in at Tribal Council and hear their dirty laundry. Before the vote, another big twist in the game: Peter taking the chance to rejoin his old tribe, leaving Asaga confused and divided.

Thirteen are still left; who will be voted out tonight?

asaga

NIGHT 32 

Tara thinks all five need to hug it out. Luke says Petey ran away with his “tau” between his legs. That’s a stretch for a pun.

Jericho views this as the lowest point in this game as his two closest allies go after each other.

LUKE: I was told that you had been gunning for me before the pasta!

She didn’t even wait for the cannoli.

Luke confronts Tara.

TARA: He tells one story and doesn’t back it up…He’s erratic.

Tara insists to Luke she is standing up for herself. Sarah thinks Luke is looking worse and worse in this argument. She concludes Tara will work with her.

SARAH: We’re getting to the pointy end; everyone just needs to do what’s best for them.

Such tribe unity.

Intro time. Ugh. I have to switch names as to who is on what tribe again.

samatau

nicolalockyjarradtessa

        Ziggy            Locky            Jarrad            Tessa

michelleHenrypeter

        Michelle     Henry           Peter

asaga

sarahluke

     Sarah              Luke                       

odettejerichotaraAnneliese

       Odette            Jericho          Tara           Anneliese

samatauNIGHT 32 

PETEY: Coming back here feels amaaaaazing.

Heh. Petey’s comment is in the exact same tone as Kelly Kapoor from The Office when she describes the new celebrity babies.

Obviously, everybody is telling Petey that he made the right move to mutiny. What else are they gonna say to him? “You’re a stupid moron go back to Asaga wtf”.

HENRY: Petey coming back to Samatau is good for everybody except me.

And there it is.

Henry and Locky talk about it. They say it pushes both of them further down in the alliance along with Anneliese. Henry thinks he is on the bottom with Michelle but is keen to make #bigmoves.

asaga

DAY 33 

Thirty-three days pre-merge. This must be getting absolutely brutal. Once again every single person has their own private spot on the beach. Jericho looks like he has been instructed to jump into a cauldron of fire with no other alternative.

JERICHO (emotionless): We let our emotions get the better of us.

TARA: Too tired to chat?

JERICHO: . . .

Sarah asks Jericho if he believes her that she wasn’t going to vote out Luke.

JERICHO (weakly): I believe you.

SARAH: Hopefully [Luke]  continues trusts me because I think we could make some really good moves merge. Michelle, you, me, Luke could all get back together again.

JERICHO: . . .

SARAH: You’ve got to trust I am looking out for you at the end of the day.

JERICHO: . . .

Poor Jericho. The Cookie Army crumbled.

We cut to Luke watching the water move. He acknowledges the target on his back. He wants an idol.

LUKE: I’ve been making too much noise.

Literally and figuratively.

Luke digs; Luke searches; Luke wants an idol. That forest is about to lose a lot of oxygen as Luke tears trees apart.

asaga

DAY 33

It’s a chin-up competition. Luke does a bunch of chin-ups. He has good form.

ODETTE: We’re getting closer to merge and individual game. I am excited about that because I am a physical threat, and once we get to that merge I feel I am going to be a lot stronger in this game, but it’s not just a physical game. It’s a social game. I don’t really have an alliance anymore–I am a free agent.

Did she ever have an alliance?

ODETTE: I suppose I am with Jericho or Luke, but I could also be seen with Sarah and Tara.

So…still no alliance.

ODETTE: So far I have been voting with the majority which is gameplay for me…I am just a number. I’m not really out there…the others showed their dirty laundry and now have bigger targets on their back. My strategy is working very well.

Better pick a side now. It’s 2-2 and everyone will be counting on your vote. This isn’t a twelve-person tribe anymore.

Sarah still wants to work both sides. She asks Tara for permission to talk strategy with her. They think the other three will vote one of them out. Sarah’s new plan is to eliminate Odette.

SARAH: Odette is a very smart person in real life, but she does not get Survivor. She just wants to go with the easy vote and get to the next day, and that’s it. And I can’t work with somebody like that.

And Odette may be punished for not staking a claim in an alliance after 33 days.

Sarah informs Tara that she will make sure Odette votes Luke to sell he is a dead end but tell Luke and Jericho to eliminate Odette.

TARA: Odette’s an easy vote. She could very likely go into the merge and go “Hi, I’m here”. She could flip; she could flop. She is one dangerous girl.

It’s true. Odette could really fly under the radar once merge hits as the tribe balloons up to twelve or thirteen people once more.

samatau

DAY 33 

Petey and Tessa strategize. They want to go as far as they can with Ziggy and Jarrad. Petey warns Tessa about Henry then they can eliminate Locky.

TESSA: We’re in control.

Nobody is in control. Have you been following this season?

Jarrad is happy with Petey’s return. He also wants Henry gone, but worried about Locky’s bromance with Henry.

JARRAD: Henry is the perfect package. He is strong in challenges, super likable, and has come out squeaky clean on both sides.

Unless you ask Michelle.

asaga

DAY 33 

That was a quick Samatau scene. Luke catches what he proclaims to be the biggest hermit crab ever.

SARAH: I think me and Luke’s relationship is not dead…I think I could convince him to trust me again.

Oh, my word. Sarah is about to prove she is a really strong player.

Sarah begins her pitch to Luke for Odette’s elimination. They both laugh during the conversation. Luke says the feud brought them closer. It is like a sibling relationship. Both are aware it is dumb to refuse to work with one another in the game.

LUKE: Don’t forget…I’ll be coming for her at some stage.

That’s fine with Sarah. I think she’s coming for you too…eventually. Samatau just looks really scary and Odette may not contribute anything to the post-merge cause.

bar-4

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #15

Petey catches the Samatau flag into the challenge. JLP points this out right away. Henry says Petey is awesome. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Real Immunity is back up for grabs.

For today’s challenge, they’ll hang onto a rope on a steep A-frame. As time passes, their arms will tire and fall off the A-frame. Last person left standing wins immunity for their tribe.

This is a unique endurance challenge.

Jarrad, Anneliese, and Tessa sit out.

A storm is coming.

BLUE FRAME

JERICHO-ODETTE-LUKE

TARA-SARAH

RED FRAME

ZIGGY-HENRY-PETEY

MICHELLE-LOCKY

It should be noted whoever is on top of the “A” frame is bound to collide with the person beneath them on the “A” frame.

Locky really struggled. Michelle begs for him to let go of the rope gently. It’s a wise move for Locky to be on the bottom as he lets go of the rope after a bit of cursing.

Luke is dancing on the bottom of the frame.

JLP: He is doing a River Dance!

Everyone laughs at the commentary, including Luke which probably does not help him. Down he goes.

Henry’s hands are slipping. He manages to fall to the left of Petey as Petey leans to the right. Collision averted.

Sarah drops out of nowhere.

Petey is using his legs as well. JLP comments Tara is slipping.

TARA (surprised): What?

JLP. All-knowing.

Sarah slips. JLP praises everyone’s efforts.

TARA: What up?!

(TARA instantly loses a grip on the rope but recovers.)

Michelle is leaning very close to the rope, hunched over.

Tara’s hands go beneath the knot. She is disqualified. Everyone applauds. Michelle’s hands are gone after twenty minutes.

JERICHO-ODETTE

ZIGGY-PETEY

Petey shakes each of his arms out. Two of the people still in it appear to have the steepest incline on this.

Odette warns Jericho she is done. Jericho wants her to stay in. Odette very gently lets herself down with a lot of strength.

Jericho poses like a model.

JLP: Jericho has brought his A-game to the A-frame.

  1. That’s one of the best bit of witty commentary lines I have heard in Survivor. You know Jonathan is proud of himself on that one.

Ziggy’s legs drop against the wall but she keeps herself on the frame. Impressive.

JLP: Your hands have to be on fire at this point.

Thirty minutes have gone by. Petey looks absolutely done. He counts down to letting go of the rope.

Ziggy is extremely hunched over while Jericho has a very stable and upright pose.

JLP asks why each of them is still holding on.

Jericho is doing it because he believes in Asaga despite how publicly divided they are.

ZIGGY: I’m just in it because of competition.

Ziggy slips a tiny bit after she let go with one hand to get blood circulation again. She is hunched over more than ever. She is nearly hyperextending her arms.

An hour has passed.

Jericho is gritting his teeth. He keeps trying to walk up but he is clearly unhappy.

TESSA: C’mon Jericho. Just drop.

Now it’s ninety minutes.

Jericho’s head is touching the knot. Sarah cheerleads for him. Jericho’s back is ultra sweaty. Anneliese repeatedly says Ziggy has “got this”.

Two hours have now passed. Jericho has the tiniest moustache after thirty-three days.

JERICHO (quietly): Champion.

Ziggy appears to be asleep on the frame.

Jericho is back into his upfront position.

JERICHO: You guys did amazing. Good job.

Jericho lets himself down. The tribe hoists Jericho onto their shoulders for losing. Ziggy’s back hurts badly as she drops down. Both tribes hug it out. Ziggy once again excels at an endurance competition.

Ziggy does an epic cannonball into the water.

Jericho has a confessional after the challenge as his five tribe members are in the water heading back to the beach. I didn’t pay attention to what Jericho said in the confessional because the camera work makes it look like Jericho is AT LEAST TWO FEET SHORTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE.

asaga

DAY 33 

Everyone praises Jericho for his efforts. They are then amazed he gets the fire going again.

SARAH: How strong is bloody Ziggy in those challenges?

LUKE: F-cking beast.

ODETTE: She could go on forever.

Note for Ziggy: You’ll be using the Super Idol sooner than you think.

Odette wanders off on her own into the jungle.

Sarah quietly asks the other three if Odette shall be eliminated. They all agree. Meanwhile, Jericho considers eliminating Sarah.

SARAH: That was easy. Why couldn’t we do this every time?

Oh. Just wait.

Odette is lying down on the beach. Jericho goes up to her.

JERICHO: You look like you are at some sort of resort…Whatever happens, I’m sticking with you. I’m using your formula.

ODETTE: Just stay out of it.

JERICHO: Yeah, stay out of it.

ODETTE: For me, not wanting to strategize is half my strategy…after that last Tribal Council that got way too messy. Let’s just make it an easy vote and get out of there.

Odette tells Jericho that she thinks Sarah tries to make everyone her best friend. Meanwhile, Odette makes sure no one is her friend.

Sarah goes up to Odette.

SARAH: It’s all coming down to you tonight. You’re the decider. It’s coming down to me or Luke.

Luke watches them from the shelter. Odette plays along.

ODETTE: I could either pick Luke or Sarah. They’re the two names tonight. That makes me the most powerful person in the game. I’m like the swing vote.

Odette says to Sarah that she doesn’t know what’s best for her going forward.

Odette views Sarah as having Samatau connections and Luke as being a great shield.

Luke does not feel secure.

LUKE: Eh…I don’t know.

Man. Even Luke is indecisive about who he wants to target.

Everyone is at camp.

ODETTE: I’d flip a coin if I had one!

Non-commital when only four other people are on the tribe…that may not go over well.

Everyone tells each other they appreciate what they have done for each other since the start of the game.

LUKE: The king is on the edge of his seat; I could have been sold a whole lot of lies.

Welcome to Asaga.

bar-4

TRIBAL COUNCIL #16

(JOAN)-(ADAM)-(KATE)-(MARK H)-(AIMEE)-(SAMANTHA)-(MARK W)-(JACQUI)-(KENT)-(AK)-(BEN)

X

(JERICHO)-(LUKE)-(ODETTE)-(SARAH)-(TARA)

Sadly, what appears to be a smooth Tribal Council will be the one not taking place in front of Samatau.

Jericho says the tribe is peaceful now and everyone bonded after the initial post-Tribal Council meltdown.

JERICHO: At this challenge, these guys were my strength.

LUKE: You’re gonna make me cry.

JLP: It’s a much calmer Tribal Council than the last one. Does that mean you’re all on the same page?

SARAH: Hmmmm, uhhhhh, ahhhh, I don’t know.

So no.

Odette says the easy vote for Petey is nowhere near as easy for this one.

Tara wants to move forward for her own game. Sarah agrees it is definitely about individual benefit. Definitely. She expects there to be more deceit.

Odette thinks keeping bigger targets is better for herself. Jericho agrees. Luke knows the arrows are coming for him at the merge.

Jericho does not want to go into the merge with people who are against him, especially if they have charm and/or charisma.

JLP: People gonna be surprised by tonight’s vote?

ODETTE: I don’t think it’s gonna be myself, but it’ll be a surprise around here.

Alas, it is time to vote.

ODETTE (voting SARAH): You played a really strong game; you are a fantastic player but are a bit too much for me. See you on the other side.

SARAH (voting ODETTE): At this point, I’ve got to think about my long-term game plan and I’ve got better options.

Nobody has an idol. Therefore nobody is playing one. Sarah pats herself down. Nope. Nothing.

FIRST VOTE: SARAH

SECOND VOTE: Odette <3

THIRD VOTE: ODETTE

FOURTH VOTE: Odette

Odette’s exit is uneventful. She hugs everyone, smiles as her torch is smuffed, and that is it.

The four on Asaga all put their arms around each other.

JLP: A divided tribe came together tonight. We’ll see if this is a marriage made to last or a  one-night stand.

Well, that would never air on American Survivor.

bar-4

Next Time on Aussie Survivor: The moment they have all been waiting for. Two tribes become one. And the game goes into overdrive.

We see some of the vote reasoning in Odette’s final words.

JERICHO: You are a beautiful person, but I’m going into war and I can’t bring anyone that’s weakened my army.

TARA: You’re too dangerous to be going into the merge on your own.

Odette thinks one member of Asaga will win but thinks the tribe will divide. So a united post-merge Samatau doesn’t stand a chance.

Yes, Odette had more final words but I was just really bored.

***

Odette has one of the strangest trajectories of any Survivor player I have ever seen. She plays this game for 33 days and goes to Tribal Council seven times without really being viewed as a factor.

She was in the majority. Then she wasn’t in the majority. Then she was in the majority. Then she wasn’t in the majority. Then everyone else fights each other. Then everyone else reunites because no one knew where she stood.

She voted with Luke. Then didn’t vote with Luke. Then voted with Luke again. Then didn’t vote with Luke. Then thought she was with Luke again.

And nobody responded to how Odette was playing until this round. It took 33 days before somebody said “Odette? None of us have a connection with her or know how she will feel going to the merge. Will she go to bat for us as we enter the merge in a minority? Will she casually flow wherever hoping nobody can detect her in the game?  I have enemies on my tribe,  but eh, at least I talk to my enemies so much that we know where we all stand.”

That’s my best guess.

And there is absolutely no room to drift once you get down to five or six players. If you watch American seasons, whether pre-merge or post-merge, once your tribe is down to five or six there really is nowhere left to hide. You need a connection with -somebody-, whether it be on a personal level or a strategic level.

Odette essentially pulled a Barb from Survivor NZ and sat on the beach waiting for people to come to her and tell her what they want to do. However, Barb would just correct them on what to do and presented very clear thoughts. Odette just agreed and that was the end of that.

Oh, and Barb was already disliked by the jury at that point and was a prime person to take to the end for a 50/50 shot at victory.

Here Odette didn’t show any crazy personality traits. She just drifted and drifted and drifted until all of the lifeboats were taken.

I guess the short summary of why Odette failed tonight can be summed up as follows: Drifting works well when you start out the game with a bloated twelve-person tribe as so many conflicting plans are being thrown into the game and nobody needs to count on you as their primary plan, but that no longer works once you get down to a small tribe.

***

It might be crazy, but I think Luke, Jericho, Sarah, and Tara realize sticking together at the start of the merge may be their best plan. Whether they link up with Henry, Anneliese, or Michelle remains to be seen. They only need two of them to ensure they have room to play long-term.

***

This merge is going to be really confusing.

Luke and Jericho do not want to work with Henry.

Henry and Locky do not want to work with Michelle.

Sarah has targeted Luke and Henry throughout the course of the game.

Anneliese and Sarah have a strong bond. And an idol.

Anneliese simultaneously likes and feels threatened by Henry.

Locky and Tara have a bond.

Luke and Jericho have a great relationship with Michelle.

Jarrad, Petey, Tessa, and Ziggy have a tight alliance.

Ziggy has a relationship with Locky and Henry.

Ziggy is the biggest endurance threat.

Henry is the biggest overall challenge threat.

Anneliese is the biggest puzzle threat.

Sarah and Luke just aimed all of their arrows at each other but somehow aligned this round to eliminate Odette.

I guess what I am trying to say is I have no idea how stubborn those in the minority will be about not aligning with their enemies, or which ones in the minority are big enough threats that the others in the minority are willing to “wait it out” for the enemies in the majority to re-shuffle alliances.

Or maybe the tribe in the majority that holds three idols will just pick the minority off one by one.

I doubt anybody could accurately predict what will happen at the moment.

***

And yes, we saw a curveball with the pre-merge format this season compared to last.

We never had a three-tribe stage.

The switches were a pattern of 7-2-2-1 this year compared to 4-2-4-1 last year. That is a lengthy stage of “pure structure” followed by a mass number of twists. Just think the Super Idol wasn’t even part of the game until four rounds ago. Not to mention the Italian reward kidnap too.

***

Australian Survivor has definitely been utilizing the wide open format to the best of their abilities, and experimenting with twists we have never seen before. Most of them have worked out, and others have proven to be a bit lousy.

Hopefully, nothing gets too extreme as we already have a Super Idol and two regular idols in the game. If we start throwing advantages, nights on Exile, and more jars of cookies for Jericho…things could get messy and paralyze this game fast.

Luckily, even if that happens, we have twelve people who could be diagnosed with some sort of condition under the DSM-III guidelines.

And why must the network be cruel to me by airing three episodes each week starting now? My fingers are going to get tired from typing. Sigh.

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