Logan Saunders recaps episode 7 of Survivor NZ: Thailand ahead of episode 8.
SURVIVOR NZ: THAILAND Episode 7: “GET A WHEE WHIFF OF ANOTHER BLINDSIDE!“
Previously on Survivor NZ: The tribe swap made room for new alliances to shift. But new Chani resorted to desperate measures with a scramble where no one was safe. Not even Barb. Dave stuck his neck out to save his BFF Goldeneye buddy Matt, and his tribemate Renee. And the tribe pulled off a MASSIVE blindside that makes Liam look like child’s play.
Twelve are left; who will be voted out and sent to drink Bio-Strath while chowing down some Pizza Hut pizza TONIGHT?!
Thanks to Survivor: SA, I keep wanting to spell Chani with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘i’. How can a tribe be a person? Oh right. Morgan.
MATT: Absolutely gutted. Josh and I were each other’s strongest alliance.
I’ve lost count. Are you gutted I have lost the count?
Matt and Dylan tease each other about not living up to their word. Matt is upset Dave blindsided him.
DYLAN: The game is afoot.
Don’t go the Tarzan route, please. Anyone but Tarzan. Do I need to better explanate?
DYLAN: Old Chani has proven they want to work with me. That’s exciting.
But for how long, mate? Do they need you anymore?
Tess prances around until she opens the Tree Mail.
TESS: AH! A SCORPION IN THE MAILBOX!
You know what would’ve been awesome? If it was Sub-Zero instead! FINISH HERRRRR.
And you know Tess is a recruit when she refers to Tree Mail as a ‘mailbox’.
HOLD ON TIGHT OR THIS REWARD WILL SLIP AWAY
JT’s junk is the reward challenge? Well this escalated to 18A pretty quickly.
Khangkhaw eats their terrible rice. Lisa says the extreme heat and lack of food and water leads to not-so-ideal conditions. She is also nervous who was voted out last night because Matt and Josh are her closest allies.
Then things get quiet as we watch a lizard chilling. JT is in a hammock and has been sick for a week. Man. Dude looks like a zombie.
JT: It feels like I’m not even playing Survivor and am putting myself at risk.
Please don’t be the medevac. I’ll be. . .well, I’ll be gutted.
Adam and Renee walk into the jungle.
ADAM: When Josh went last night, I cried all night. . .I don’t think people realize Dave and Arun are really villains. Throw the challenge and trick ’em is the most ruthless thing you’ve seen all game.
Oh c’mon. The most ruthless thing was Dylan smirking when Josh was voted out. Haven’t you seen Twitter?
Renee is open to writing down Matt’s name at next TC. Adam smirks. Y’all are villainous.
Adam is sitting on the information he has about the Khangkhaw alliances, but wants to bring Renee in to his future plans. Finally cross-tribal lines are forming.
Back at camp, Dave and Matt chat.
MATT: I will not be fully trusting Dave until Arun is out of the game.
What a Bro-Triangle. It’s like a Kiwi Soap Opera! You broke his heart like peeling back a 5 cheese stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut.
Matt is shifting his focus from talking to Dave to talking to Arun. We get a bunch of shots of Arun in the shelter playing with his hands in a ‘muahahahaha’ style of manner.
REWARD CHALLENGE #7
Tess is absolutely shocked. Adam shakes his head at Brad. Tess fears what will happen if Chani goes to another Tribal Council.
Chisholm asks for Brad’s reaction.
BRAD: Big loss for everyone.
Actually, just you, Tess, Matt, and Adam.
Matt openly states he was surprised. Are there any hidden alliances left in this whole game other than the possible Renee-Adam and Dave-Matt connection?
CHISHOLM: I think some people were outwitted and outplayed last night.
Way to diss the minority, Chisholm.
For today’s challenge, one person will wrap themselves around a post in the mud. Two people from the opposing tribe will drag that person to the mud to score a point. First tribe to three will win reward. JT looks traumatized.
CHISHOLM: My favourite reward yet?
Nope. It’s chickens. . .dipped in chocolate. Choco Chocobos! Nah, just kidding. Just chickens.
CHISHOLM: No one is standing down in this challenge.
(JT looks down at the ground.)
Adam and Eve are on the posts for their tribe while eating an apple.
KHANGKHAW: BRAD AND TARA
CHANI: ARUN AND DAVE
Eve may be a bit smaller than Eve.
Tara and Brad can’t move the biggest dude in the game. Eve gets a wedgie after several minutes of getting to the mat. Everyone asks if she is OK. She is moving very very slowly and is blinded by mud and sweat in her eyes.
Both tribes discuss how unfair the matchup was. Arun didn’t feel good about dragging women through the mud unless it was Barb.
They try to figure out a fair solution.
CHISHOLM: These guys are willing to put a dude on the pole.
It’s like the Full Monty.
They talk for a while. Nobody expected one tribe to have just one woman while the other tribe to have four women and JT. Brad is the only big person Khangkhaw has while Chani has Dave, Arun, Matt, and the toughest woman in the game.
ADAM: It’s not even fair. This is bullshit.
Chani voluntarily gives up their reward to Khangkhaw and everyone on both tribes awkwardly claps. What an odd odd challenge.
Chisholm asks Dave why they came to that conclusion. Dave said it felt too physically abusive of a challenge against the women for him. Eve respects their decision and the chickens.
Chani has now thrown two challenges in a row for very different reasons. Chisholm asks what the chicken’s names are.
Cha and Ni.
DYLAN: I feel people can get real life and Survivor mixed up. . .it’s a competition and we’re here to win. Not hit woman and hit woman. I don’t know about mixing real life in the game.
And that’s what makes Survivor so complicated. Everyone draws the ethical line at a different point in the sand.
I wish they had this challenge in the American version in Amazon, Vanuatu, or One World pre-swap to see how the tribes would react.
Renee is happy with their call. Arun didn’t feel comfortable with this challenge being on TV.
ADAM: I could have been tickled off of the pole.
Adam thought everyone made the decision too fast.
ADAM: It was kind of stupid and I feel embarrassed about it. In my opinion my tribe was being very dramatic.
The former Khangkhaw members are getting an EXTREMELY positive edit since the start of this episode. I agree with Adam [for once].
This is a common challenge in Survivor history. They’ve already done other physical challenges like this in the season, and we’ve seen moments like in Gabon where Paloma was thrown to the mat by Randy Bailey. It’s Khangkhaw’s own fault for eliminating Liam in round five and sacrificing their own physical strenght. They knew the risk. A physical challenge comes up and. . .they get rewarded with a win because the other tribe feels bad?
I think Barb would have flipped the other tribe off if they wanted to concede defeat to her because they thought it was too lopsided. She’d pull out a Stone Cold Stunner or a Rock Bottom on their asses for insulting her like that.
JT thought the challenge was unfair and violent. He thinks he would have done as poorly as Eve did on the pole.
BRAD: It’s not secret we would have lost that for sure.
And yet you didn’t. Funny how Survivor works?
JT refuses to eat or suck an egg. He has never seen Lethal Weapon.Everyone else does, though. Danny Glover would be proud.
More Tree Mail! It’s Scorpion-Free. Matt pulls out an awkward Irish accent.
Everyone draws lots. Lisa wins.
TESS: Tick off your bucket list!
LISA: I hope it’s some sort of dilemma and I can use it to show everyone how “honest” and “loyal” and “straightforward” and “not wanting to win”. Brad said that to me how he appreciated I was not here to try to win.
Lisa is really rooting for Brad’s success.
Dylan wants to go to the Outpost, but Dave really wants to go instead and the tribe agrees.
So. . .who hasn’t been to the Outpost yet? Because they weren’t allowed to send any repeat players.
Matt reminds us he can’t trust Dave until Arun is eliminated.
It’s Lisa vs. Dave. Dave sees a tiny parchment next to what appears to be a puzzle.
It’s a tile of letters that need to be turned into a 5-word phrase.
CHISHOLM: The reward is in the letters and is definitely worth a nudge.
What’s the conversion chart for a nudge?
We watch them re-arrange the words for a few minutes.
CHISHOLM: Just waiting for the penny to drop.
YOU CAN STEAL A VOTE. Lisa wins it.
Lisa says her Survivor idols Cirie Fields and Stephen Fishbach have messed up this reward before. She can only play it at the next Tribal Council.
Dave snags the parchment from his table.
Lisa and Dave casually talk.
DAVE: Who are your alliances?
DAVE: Are you opposed to working with Chani?
LISA: Yeah. Everyone.
It’s a twelve-person alliance.
LISA: Was it a 4-3? Did somebody play an idol?
DAVE: You’re not giving me much. . .someone did flip. It’s not as clear-cut as you think it is.
I think it was as clear-cut as it was. It was Dylan. Dylan flipped.
Dave wants to keep an eye out on Lisa because he views her as a clever woman.
Lisa returns to camp. She will lie to Eve and JT. Lisa tells Eve and JT that she won and earned the advantage but won’t say what it is.
JT views Lisa as the worst liar ever as Lisa keeps stumbling over her words.
LISA: Dave knows what it is but. . .
JT: . . .
LISA: . . .
JT: Maybe gives someone a double vote. That’d be good.
LISA: . . .
JT: Do you think it’s too early?
JT suspects it is a double vote. Great detective skills.
LISA: . . .
JT: If Lisa has a vote steal or double vote, it’s not great for my game.
No kidding. Especially when you correctly tell her to her face what the advantage is correctly.
Dave talks to no one; he goes straight to the well. The idol is his. He sees it as a ticket to 250k. Unless we see several more idols thrown into the game.
After collecting the idol, he joins the rest of his tribemates at camp. Dave reveals Lisa’s Steal a Vote. No deception whatsoever.
DAVE: Do we get her to Tribal before merge or after merge?
Ah. Dave cancels out her advantage if they win immunity prior to merge. Matt contemplates offering himself up as a double agent to collect info from Lisa at merge.
Lisa has a powwow with Brad and Tara.
BRAD: We can afford to immunity challenges. They can’t.
The Khangkhaw majority agree to throw the immunity challenge. We are really close to having both tribes throwing a challenge on Survivor.
Renee, Dylan, and Dave chat.
RENEE: If we go to Tribal, Matt goes home. If they go to Tribal, Eve or JT goes home. Think about the numbers. We f–king need them.
DAVE (confessional): There’s no way I can throw the challenge. It doesn’t work in my favour.
RENEE: If Matt goes to the merge, they have way more numbers than us.
DYLAN: We risk of having four people to their six. We need to continue our strategy of losing immunity challenges to eliminate Matt.
Dave is not comfortable with this. At all.
TRIBAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #7
Chisholm says this is the official halfway point of this game.
EVE: I am struggling with all of the drama.
What drama? This is the least drama-filled season I have seen in a while. And I watched season one of NZ. Has there been any mean-spirited conflict outside of Khangkhaw vs. Dylan?
JT: Mind is loving it but the body is a different story.
For today’s challenge, they’ll carry a large wooden box containing a series of puzzle blocks through a series of obstacles. Once at the end, they’ll solve the puzzle blocks. First tribe to do so wins immunity.
Chisholm repeats it is really hot outside today.
We rip into it. Chani has a huge lead right away. That long crate must be heavy as hell.
CHISHOLM: Chani off to a flyer!
What the heck? That’s a new one.
Chani is already at the end as they undo the knots.
Oh. Khangkhaw is obviously throwing it. They are barely moving it.
12 6 13 44 11. They are given the four different symbols of basic math ( + – / x ) and must equal twenty.
Khangkhaw reaches the end too. JT is doing NOTHING as everyone is slowly untying knots. Is JT throwing it too? JT and Lisa both look like they are about to die. They have the chickens but Chani appears to be far healthier.
Lisa is sitting down. Chisholm notes she looks like she is battling a migraine.
CHISHOLM: Doing some primary school math.
ADAM: Primary school math????
CHISHOLM: Lisa, you okay?
LISA: Just a bit sick.
TESS: She’s thinkin’.
Eve asks Lisa to do mental math. Even when she is sick she is their brightest member.
Matt rearranges the numbers but Khangkhaw solves it about one second earlier. Eve shouts for Chisholm.
KHANGKHAW WINS IMMUNITY!
Lisa is on her feet but goes back to sitting down. Eve asks for water. Lisa is extremely nauseous.
LISA: It’s really hard to throw a challenge, and even harder to throw a challenge when you’re sick.
You think it would be easier, but I guess you have to work harder to sabotage your tribe.
Eve says Lisa was their human calculator despite being on the verge of being medically evacuated.
LISA(confessional): I spent most of today trying not to throw up and trying not to throw an immunity challenge. I succeeded at not throwing a challenge. . .so we’re losing an old Khangkhaw.
Who knew those two things would be of near equivalent difficulty?
ARUN (confessional): Lisa has those two votes at merge and is gunning for me. She is very powerful.
A middle-aged woman who can’t stand up and is having a major breakdown of nausea is the scariest person in the game. What’s with middle-aged women nearly med-evac’d being the scariest people in consecutive seasons of Survivor NZ?
Dylan, Renee, and Adam are alone and discuss to vote out Matt.
Matt pulls Arun aside. He follows through with his offer of being double agent and to “brutalize them” before merge.
Arun sees Matt as his biggest threat since day one and fears working with Matt will shoot himself in the foot.
Dave is doing his damndest to keep Matt in the game. He needs both dudes.
Adam wanders off as Dylan and Renee are alone in camp. They both cringe.
Dave, Arun, and Adam now have a chat of their own. Arun says aloud that he believes Matt will bolt at merge.
ARUN (confessional): I always like to be two steps ahead.
I think right now Dave is two steps ahead.
Adam tells Renee that he expects Dylan will bolt to Lisa because she has an advantage.
Renee doesn’t trust Matt or Dylan. She has told some people she is eliminating Dylan while telling others that
DYLAN: When you’ve got a vote in front of you that’s 5-1 it seems so obvious. It seems too easy. Matt is sitting there on the block and it seems soooo. . .simple.
Almost like it’s too good to be true.
JT very very very slowly walks up the hill to the shelter. A boat comes in. Oh damn. This isn’t happening. Chisholm is on the boat.
TARA: This can’t be good. I take it this can’t be a good house call.
Way to decipher that, Tara.
JT: Mate, I’ve been dealing with a medical issue. . .I’m keen to leave the game to get that sorted out.
CHISHOLM: You sure you wanna do this?
JT: I’ve thought about it for a few days. . .It’s now affecting every part of the game for me. It’s now putting my health at risk.
JT is like an old man as he hobbles around to hug everyone minus the dentures and adult diapers.
EVE: JT was a trooper. . .he never complained about it to anyone. I didn’t know he was bad enough to the point he would leave the game.
A trooper who quits.
Tara cries and needs more hugs.
JT exits on a boat. No one on the tribe
JT: Survivor has been a twenty year dream but not my only dream in life. 32 year old me has a lot different priorities than JT and health is one thing.
32 isn’t -that- old, JT.
What was this illness? This is one of the greater mysteries in Survivor. He just says ‘illness’. My presumption is it had to do something with pooping and didn’t want the public embarrassment.
Maybe he was allergic to being voted out in the next round and didn’t see any outs?
Nah, JT wouldn’t be that much of a coward. It definitely had to do with pooping. Not only are we halfway into the game, but maybe JT’s body could only push halfway out as well.
Will the voteout be canceled? Let’s find out.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #7
Dylan wants to check off the merge box for him. Matt says you have to put it all on the table except chickens.
Chisholm brings up Renee’s first vote against her.
RENEE: I knew you would bring that up.
No you didn’t.
Renee didn’t like being the scapegoat if Dylan had played an idol.
CHISHOLM: Does anyone feel like they are on the wrong side of the numbers in this tribe?
(Only MATT raises his hand.)
MATT: I’m shaking in my space boots tonight.
Space boots? Who the hell you think you are? Buzz Lightyear or Cowboy Bebop?
We go straight to the vote after some pointless chatter.
MATT votes DYLAN.
We see smoke coming out from a torch behind him. I love this cave.
DYLAN votes MATT.
DYLAN: Two down, five to go.
He wants to knock out Khangkhaw. It’s even worse than that smirk.
Is anyone going to play an idol? Will Dave play an idol for Matt? Nope.
FIRST VOTE: (Matt)
SECOND VOTE: (DYYLLAANN)
THIRD VOTE: (DYLAN)
Dylan shakes his head.
FOURTH VOTE: (Dylan)
DYLAN: Sneaky pricks.
Renee is still on this tribe.
NEXT VOTE: (Dylan 🙁 )
GET A WEE WHIFF OF THIS BLINDSIDE!
DYLAN: Sneaky sneaky.
How fitting for JT and Dylan to go home in the same episode.
Chisholm says the blilndsides keep coming. Indeed they do.
Next Time on Survivor NZ: Everything changes as two tribes become one shaking up old alliances and turn even the strongest friendships against each other.
Dylan has mixed emotions. He thinks a blindside is equivalent to being a threat.
DYLAN: I am still gutted.
ADAM: I am literally going to write down your name at every single Tribal Council until one of us goes.
Well, that’s a bit extreme, Adam. He really didn’t like Dylan.
I am curious how the players felt about Dave and Matt’s relationship after the game was over. Was Dave’s campaigning to keep Matt the difference between Dylan or Matt being voted out tonight? If that relationship didn’t exist, Matt would fit all of the qualities of a guy you eliminate a day before the merge.
I was somewhat surprised Chisholm never informed Chani about JT’s decision to quit the game.
I know there will be the hordes of people who will want JT’s head for quitting. I don’t really care if someone quits Survivor unless it is for a silly reason like their hamster died or they didn’t want to miss the opening of Avengers 7 or something like that. They didn’t “take your spot” since that spot was never yours to begin with. JT clearly wanted to play and because of an unknown physical ailment he couldn’t continue. I am amazed how tight-lipped the editing was about JT’s condition when we’ve had Adam, Franky, Lisa, and Eve receive medical attention on-screen and yet none of them went home.
Or compare it to Lou’s evacuation from last season where we watched her shivering to death for about five days straight and being pale as a ghost or Dan Barry from Exile Island. Where was JT’s shivers?
Why, we didn’t even see JT vomit! Other than hobbling and not engaging during challenges, we never saw JT do anything on-screen that made us think “man, I can’t believe he is hanging in there”.
Thanks to Dave-Matt and Renee-Adam’s relationships, and Lisa not being an idiot, I think the intense tribal lines will be gone at the merge. I hope so, anyway. If it’s just the four Khangkhaw members running this game to the end with Dave then it’s going to be a steaming pile of disappointment.
Arun has typically won the battle of wits in each episode, but I think he messed up here. Dylan is an ideal scapegoat to attract attention, and now all eyes will be on him. He dissed Josh when Josh offered him an alliance at the Outpost, and has no tight links with anyone from Khangkhaw. With JT gone, he should be absolutely screwed next round. . .
. . .Unless Lisa takes advantage of her Steal a Vote. She could use this as a signal to make her presence known and knock out a Khangkhaw, but then she would lose a lot of trust when there’s still a minimum of six eliminations to go. I think the Steal a Vote will be used as a tool to eliminate Arun. We saw Arun foreshadow how scared he is of Lisa.
And does Brad truly believe that Lisa is “rooting for his success”? Someone should have chatted with John Carroll and the Rotu Four before heading out to Thailand. Good luck finding Zoe, though. She’s on a ship with Zoidberg and Sebastian somewhere.
POWER RANKINGS GOING INTO MERGE
1) LISA (No one in her own alliance is figuring out what she is really up to. I don’t see her being hated for any betrayals because she has too much charm. It will be a matter of whether people catch onto her schemes in time.)
2) MATT (If he can find the proper shields and distractions to deflect attention, I see him going very far.)
3) ADAM (He has to be the real villain and will have his sidekick in the form of Tess by his side again. Plus eliminating Dylan was a huge victory for him.)
4) TESS (Would you be scared of somebody who referred to Tree Mail as Mail Box?)
5) RENEE (Flexible with relationships.)
6) DAVE (Matt will protect him but not for too long, yes?)
7) BRAD (Khangkhaw will see him as too big of a threat to carry to the end)
8) EVE (I can’t figure out where she fits into all of this. JT is gone and Arun should be dead in the water. She didn’t exactly get along with Renee, and Khangkhaw didn’t even tell her what cities they are from.)
9) ARUN (The easy vote to clear from the game at the start of the merge a la Lee before the game becomes ruthless.)
10) TARA (Day 39 goat? What is her confessional count even?)
I am very eager to see how this merge plays out. Let’s cross our fingers and hope the tribe truly integrates.