Survivor NZ: ThailandRob Has a Podcast

Survivor NZ: Thailand — Logan Saunders Episode 1 Recap

The sleeper hit of 2017 is back for its second season. As one of about two hundred people who watched the first season outside of New Zealand last year (and an even smaller group that blogged about it all the way through), I cannot be happier to see it back for a second season.

The Good About Season 1:

– Unique casting.

– Matt Chisholm is the funniest TV host ever on Survivor/The Mole/BB/The Amazing Race worldwide.

– No hidden immunity idols.

– An older rancher lady brands herself as Marlon Brando from The Godfather.

– The showdown between Avi and Tom at Final Tribal Council was really fun to watch, and the Final Three all being at the bottom at one point or another.

– Shay vs. Tom

– Sala vs. Thinking about his family, and thinking about his family, and thinking about his family

– Matt Chisholm stealing a pizza from a team’s reward after the challenge because he was hungry and screw you if you eat his pepperoni pizza.

– The unfiltered reunion show. “Was the relationship physical?”

The Bad About Season 1:

– It wasn’t actually forty days. Day 40 was the reunion episode.

– Too many episodes for too little action.

– Forcing both tribes to vote somebody out on day one.

– A Final Three.

– Redemption Island.

– Redemption Island.

– Redemption Island.

– The miniscule financial budget which made challenges really really small scale.

For season two, Redemption Island is gone. Hooray.

But hidden immunity idols are going to be in this season. Boo.

Hopefully season three they get it right where there aren’t any idols nor Redemption Island. In fact, the only twist outside of Redemption Island in season one was having a tribe swap with eleven players left in the game.

And you know what? They could just as easily decide to not have hidden immunity idols for season three. I wish Survivor in the US would decide every other season or so to not bother with idols. Especially when we have a huge catalog of twists and advantages that can be used after eighteen years of this game.

*

Matt introduces us to Thailand–The only country to not be colonized by Europe!

The prize money has been increased to 250k, apparently. I tried reading the bios of everybody prior to the start of the season, but I already can’t put names to faces in the opening confessionals because I am still jet-lagged as f–k.

After everybody freaking out about the jungle and tigers, we head into a FULL LENGTH INTRO. Take that, Ghost Island!

 

ARUN

JOSE

JT

DAVE

EVE

RENEE

KARLA

LIAM

FRANKY

 

KAYSHA

TARA

MATT

ADAM

TESS

JOSH

BRAD

DYLAN

LISA

 

Adam is the only dude with longer hair than me. I’ll surpass him by next year.

The two boats dock on a tiny island where Matt summons them in. I can’t get over his accent. Thailand is an easier word for him to say than Neeceeeragwaaaa.

RENEE: The other men look physically fit–they look like Greek gods.

Aren’t all Kiwi men as physically fit as Greek gods? Except maybe Jesse from TAR Australia 3: Australia vs. New Zealand?

Dave and Matt are actually really good friends from high school. That’s how small of an application pool they had within New Zealand. They’re mates, eh? Bloody good mates. Like two orcs in a zorb!

Matt C officially announces Hidden Immunity Idols, no RI, and the bump in prize money. Nobody complains.

Liam looks like a teenager with his hair slightly sticking out of his black backwards baseball cap.

MATT CHISHOLM: There are heaps of surprises to come.

Heaps! Heaps!

We go straight into an individual challenge.

 

INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE REWARD #1

Untie a bag of numbered tiles tied to a pole. First nine to untie a bag and race across the green line go on to the second round.

In the second round, nine will swim to a pontoon. Untie a box tied shut and grab another bag of numbered tiles. First three will immediately swim to land where there is a puzzle table and sort the numbered tiles from 1 to 100. Winner wins reward.

CHISHOLM: Wanna know what you’re playing for?

CONTESTANTS: Yeah!

CHISHOLM: Well you’re gonna have to wait to find out.

Five minutes in and Chisholm has already done one of his trademark trollings. Classic Chisholm.

NOTE: I was trying to figure out which contestant is being referred to as “Yos” by Chisholm, and it turns out to be Jose. As somebody who just returned from a month in Latin America, this is a huge adjustment for me.

The challenge begins. Instantaneously Yos is first to finish. Franky and Matt cross too. Renee and Josh. Eve. Kaysha. Arun. One left. JT beats Brad in one of the funniest floundering fails by Brad I have ever seen.

ROUND 2

Yos. Franky. Matt. Josh. Renee. Eve. Kaysha. Arun. JT.

Chisholm is REALLY excited as he shouts that “everyone is in the drink”. Franky is first to start untying her box. Josh, Matt, and Arun are there too.

CHISHOLM: Franky is lookin’ sharp!

Franky opens a box but it is empty. She moves to another one. Arun and Matt find a box with tiles. Yos lucks out and unlocks one. Franky opened two empty boxes. Tragic.

FINAL ROUND

Yos, Arun, and Matt. They are back in the drink. These will make for great intro shots. Yos is first to her puzzle table by about three seconds over the other two players.

Chisholm is counting along with the players’ tiles. Yos signals she is done. He repeats for the other two to stop. Chisholm manually counts and declares Yos the winner.

Yos is told to share the reward with one person. She chooses Matt because he was second place.

The reward is that they get to pick their own tribes. YAY! MY FAVOURITE SURVIVOR TWIST! NO PRE-DETERMINED TRIBES LIKE THE PAST TWENTY SEASONS IN SURVIVOR US! Awesome.

Yos also gets to pick her buff colour. Blue or yellow. She picks blue.

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

She wants strong and healthy people on her tribe after picking Arun.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

Tara is mildly surprised. Matt thinks Tara has a level head. Literally a level head?

We get a series of picks without explanations.

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

EVE

DAVE

Matt didn’t want to pick Dave because he can use Dave as a number if there is a swap or a merge. Wise move. Ali and Patrick didn’t get the same benefit.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

JOSH

TESS

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

EVE

DAVE

FRANKY

LIAM – Liam hugs everyone.

RENEE – Yos quotes Christina Aguilera and tells her to come on over.

JT – His whole strategy is to be inoffensive and non-threatening but not be the last pick.

KARLA – Devastated to be last pick.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

JOSH

TESS

BRAD

KAYSHA – Shocked to be picked because she was always first picked in school.

ADAM

LISA

DYLAN – Wears a black Dodgers cap but wears it properly unlike Liam.

Blue’s tribe is Chani which is ‘given’ in Thai, and also the name of a contestant from The Mole in Belgium. Yellow’s tribe is Khangkhaw which is ‘bat’ in Thai.

Chisholm directs them to their longthaos and reminds them they have very light supplies. Like, Libby or Chelsea light.

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Teams finish paddling, temporarily set foot in the drink, and are on land. They comment on the lack of food and the water well. They drink the water straight from the water well. No boiling. Eve notes Yos is automatically the leader because she won the first challenge. She points out that Yos already has a target on her back.

It’s like Jolanda all over again. Or should we say Yolanda?

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

Adam knows nothing about Thailand. He only knows Pad Thai. He acknowledges he can’t survive on his own. Josh starts chopping up some bamboo and constructs a shelter with Brad

How long until we see some idol hunting?

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Karla nicks herself with the machete and HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF BLOOD! She wants a medic as two fingers are cut. Her fingers have turned into a tomato!

JT tells us he has no “discernible” Survivor instincts. His goal is to figure out if anybody will play similar to him. He spies on Arun also looking for an idol and approaches him immediately.

LIAM: I am stoked to see nobody is walking around having conversations with everyone.

We cut to JT forming an alliance with Eve.

LIAM: We’re all on the same page. Nobody is into doing that yet.

We cut to JT forming an alliance with Dave.

LIAM: It’s important not starting trouble before we actually need to.

Dave talks to Franky and a five-person alliance is born of JT, Dave, Franky, Arun, and Eve.

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

Tara’s occupation in a confessional? Mother. Much like another Tara we have seen play Survivor in Australia very recently.

Lisa’s plan is to come across as the nerdy superfan mom and wants to “give it a go”.

LISA: I want to say “I just want my family to be proud of me” but that’s utter crap.

Lisa also wants to be seen as non-threatening. She initially looks for an idol but retreats back to camp. Tess proposes they look for an idol.

TESS: Might be worth it to have a look around the island.

LISA: Pretty suspicious if you do that. . .if someone saw you doing that that’d be really dangerous for you.

TESS: Oh. OK.

Tess admits she is a rookie with Survivor and knows nothing about the show.

TESS: Lisa is giving a crash course on Survivor.

And now we break the fourth wall.

LISA: Her questions are disingenuous.

PRODUCER: You really think she is making it up?

LISA: Yeah.

Lisa tells Tess to her face that she is shocked she didn’t watch a single season before coming onto the show. Hopefully Tess’ Tarot cards can be loaned to Lisa.

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Arun is not happy that he is being seen as a leader, and has shown too much of who he is. Arun stands in the middle of the camp looking very concerned.

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

They start making fire. Kaysha gives it a go amongst others. They say fire is the only way for them to cook food. No mention of water. I am very curious why the water is clean for them.

After failing with fire, they decide to soak their rice with cold water and eat that for breakfast.

 

The sleeper hit of 2017 is back for its second season. As one of about two hundred people who watched the first season outside of New Zealand last year (and an even smaller group that blogged about it all the way through), I cannot be happier to see it back for a second season.

The Good About Season 1:

– Unique casting.

– Matt Chisholm is the funniest TV host ever on Survivor/The Mole/BB/The Amazing Race worldwide.

– No hidden immunity idols.

– An older rancher lady brands herself as Marlon Brando from The Godfather.

– The showdown between Avi and Tom at Final Tribal Council was really fun to watch, and the Final Three all being at the bottom at one point or another.

– Shay vs. Tom

– Sala vs. Thinking about his family, and thinking about his family, and thinking about his family

– Matt Chisholm stealing a pizza from a team’s reward after the challenge because he was hungry and screw you if you eat his pepperoni pizza.

– The unfiltered reunion show. “Was the relationship physical?”

The Bad About Season 1:

– It wasn’t actually forty days. Day 40 was the reunion episode.

– Too many episodes for too little action.

– Forcing both tribes to vote somebody out on day one.

– A Final Three.

– Redemption Island.

– Redemption Island.

– Redemption Island.

– The miniscule financial budget which made challenges really really small scale.

For season two, Redemption Island is gone. Hooray.

But hidden immunity idols are going to be in this season. Boo.

Hopefully season three they get it right where there aren’t any idols nor Redemption Island. In fact, the only twist outside of Redemption Island in season one was having a tribe swap with eleven players left in the game.

And you know what? They could just as easily decide to not have hidden immunity idols for season three. I wish Survivor in the US would decide every other season or so to not bother with idols. Especially when we have a huge catalog of twists and advantages that can be used after eighteen years of this game.

*

Matt introduces us to Thailand–The only country to not be colonized by Europe!

The prize money has been increased to 250k, apparently. I tried reading the bios of everybody prior to the start of the season, but I already can’t put names to faces in the opening confessionals because I am still jet-lagged as f–k.

After everybody freaking out about the jungle and tigers, we head into a FULL LENGTH INTRO. Take that, Ghost Island!

 

ARUN

JOSE

JT

DAVE

EVE

RENEE

KARLA

LIAM

FRANKY

 

KAYSHA

TARA

MATT

ADAM

TESS

JOSH

BRAD

DYLAN

LISA

 

Adam is the only dude with longer hair than me. I’ll surpass him by next year.

The two boats dock on a tiny island where Matt summons them in. I can’t get over his accent. Thailand is an easier word for him to say than Neeceeeragwaaaa.

RENEE: The other men look physically fit–they look like Greek gods.

Aren’t all Kiwi men as physically fit as Greek gods? Except maybe Jesse from TAR Australia 3: Australia vs. New Zealand?

Dave and Matt are actually really good friends from high school. That’s how small of an application pool they had within New Zealand. They’re mates, eh? Bloody good mates. Like two orcs in a zorb!

Matt C officially announces Hidden Immunity Idols, no RI, and the bump in prize money. Nobody complains.

Liam looks like a teenager with his hair slightly sticking out of his black backwards baseball cap.

MATT CHISHOLM: There are heaps of surprises to come.

Heaps! Heaps!

We go straight into an individual challenge.

 

INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE REWARD #1

Untie a bag of numbered tiles tied to a pole. First nine to untie a bag and race across the green line go on to the second round.

In the second round, nine will swim to a pontoon. Untie a box tied shut and grab another bag of numbered tiles. First three will immediately swim to land where there is a puzzle table and sort the numbered tiles from 1 to 100. Winner wins reward.

CHISHOLM: Wanna know what you’re playing for?

CONTESTANTS: Yeah!

CHISHOLM: Well you’re gonna have to wait to find out.

Five minutes in and Chisholm has already done one of his trademark trollings. Classic Chisholm.

NOTE: I was trying to figure out which contestant is being referred to as “Yos” by Chisholm, and it turns out to be Jose. As somebody who just returned from a month in Latin America, this is a huge adjustment for me.

The challenge begins. Instantaneously Yos is first to finish. Franky and Matt cross too. Renee and Josh. Eve. Kaysha. Arun. One left. JT beats Brad in one of the funniest floundering fails by Brad I have ever seen.

ROUND 2

Yos. Franky. Matt. Josh. Renee. Eve. Kaysha. Arun. JT.

Chisholm is REALLY excited as he shouts that “everyone is in the drink”. Franky is first to start untying her box. Josh, Matt, and Arun are there too.

CHISHOLM: Franky is lookin’ sharp!

Franky opens a box but it is empty. She moves to another one. Arun and Matt find a box with tiles. Yos lucks out and unlocks one. Franky opened two empty boxes. Tragic.

FINAL ROUND

Yos, Arun, and Matt. They are back in the drink. These will make for great intro shots. Yos is first to her puzzle table by about three seconds over the other two players.

Chisholm is counting along with the players’ tiles. Yos signals she is done. He repeats for the other two to stop. Chisholm manually counts and declares Yos the winner.

Yos is told to share the reward with one person. She chooses Matt because he was second place.

The reward is that they get to pick their own tribes. YAY! MY FAVOURITE SURVIVOR TWIST! NO PRE-DETERMINED TRIBES LIKE THE PAST TWENTY SEASONS IN SURVIVOR US! Awesome.

Yos also gets to pick her buff colour. Blue or yellow. She picks blue.

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

She wants strong and healthy people on her tribe after picking Arun.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

Tara is mildly surprised. Matt thinks Tara has a level head. Literally a level head?

We get a series of picks without explanations.

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

EVE

DAVE

Matt didn’t want to pick Dave because he can use Dave as a number if there is a swap or a merge. Wise move. Ali and Patrick didn’t get the same benefit.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

JOSH

TESS

 

BLUE:

YOS

ARUN

EVE

DAVE

FRANKY

LIAM – Liam hugs everyone.

RENEE – Yos quotes Christina Aguilera and tells her to come on over.

JT – His whole strategy is to be inoffensive and non-threatening but not be the last pick.

KARLA – Devastated to be last pick.

YELLOW:

MATT

TARA

JOSH

TESS

BRAD

KAYSHA – Shocked to be picked because she was always first picked in school.

ADAM

LISA

DYLAN – Wears a black Dodgers cap but wears it properly unlike Liam.

Blue’s tribe is Chani which is ‘given’ in Thai, and also the name of a contestant from The Mole in Belgium. Yellow’s tribe is Khangkhaw which is ‘bat’ in Thai.

Chisholm directs them to their longthaos and reminds them they have very light supplies. Like, Libby or Chelsea light.

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Teams finish paddling, temporarily set foot in the drink, and are on land. They comment on the lack of food and the water well. They drink the water straight from the water well. No boiling. Eve notes Yos is automatically the leader because she won the first challenge. She points out that Yos already has a target on her back.

It’s like Jolanda all over again. Or should we say Yolanda?

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

Adam knows nothing about Thailand. He only knows Pad Thai. He acknowledges he can’t survive on his own. Josh starts chopping up some bamboo and constructs a shelter with Brad

How long until we see some idol hunting?

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Karla nicks herself with the machete and HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF BLOOD! She wants a medic as two fingers are cut. Her fingers have turned into a tomato!

JT tells us he has no “discernible” Survivor instincts. His goal is to figure out if anybody will play similar to him. He spies on Arun also looking for an idol and approaches him immediately.

LIAM: I am stoked to see nobody is walking around having conversations with everyone.

We cut to JT forming an alliance with Eve.

LIAM: We’re all on the same page. Nobody is into doing that yet.

We cut to JT forming an alliance with Dave.

LIAM: It’s important not starting trouble before we actually need to.

Dave talks to Franky and a five-person alliance is born of JT, Dave, Franky, Arun, and Eve.

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

Tara’s occupation in a confessional? Mother. Much like another Tara we have seen play Survivor in Australia very recently.

Lisa’s plan is to come across as the nerdy superfan mom and wants to “give it a go”.

LISA: I want to say “I just want my family to be proud of me” but that’s utter crap.

Lisa also wants to be seen as non-threatening. She initially looks for an idol but retreats back to camp. Tess proposes they look for an idol.

TESS: Might be worth it to have a look around the island.

LISA: Pretty suspicious if you do that. . .if someone saw you doing that that’d be really dangerous for you.

TESS: Oh. OK.

Tess admits she is a rookie with Survivor and knows nothing about the show.

TESS: Lisa is giving a crash course on Survivor.

And now we break the fourth wall.

LISA: Her questions are disingenuous.

PRODUCER: You really think she is making it up?

LISA: Yeah.

Lisa tells Tess to her face that she is shocked she didn’t watch a single season before coming onto the show. Hopefully Tess’ Tarot cards can be loaned to Lisa.

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Arun is not happy that he is being seen as a leader, and has shown too much of who he is. Arun stands in the middle of the camp looking very concerned.

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 1

They start making fire. Kaysha gives it a go amongst others. They say fire is the only way for them to cook food. No mention of water. I am very curious why the water is clean for them.

After failing with fire, they decide to soak their rice with cold water and eat that for breakfast.

 

CHANI

DAY 1

Yos is stoked to be knee deep in Survivor. Chani doesn’t have a fire either, but Yos is very happy with her tribe.

YOS: Thanks to what I achieved; my game is in a good safe space.

Franky refers to Yos as a loud soul who doesn’t stop talking for one minute.

 

TRIBAL REWARD CHALLENGE #1

DAY 2

Tess is happy with the shelter.

Chisholm asks if they have the fire. Khangkhaw says they cooked rice. Chani doesn’t believe it.

Today’s reward: An abundance of tools, a tarp, and flint. That’s a massive opening tribal reward.

For today’s challenge, they will square off 2 vs. 2. There will be a bag in the mud. Once you have the bag, you need to bring it to your mat. To score a point, you must touch the bag and the tribe mat simultaneously.

CHISHOLM: We’re going to rip into it–it’s gonna be a doozy.

ROUND 1:

LISA & TARA VS. RENEE & YOS

Renee is first to the area where the bag is going to be. Everyone keeps searching the mud. Chisholm says the bag can be up to a foot down. Yos has the bag and no one is remotely close to her. Easy point for Chani.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 0

MATT & ADAM VS. ARUN & DAVE

Adam retreats as the other three are digging. Arun holds down Matt as Adam comes in assuming a bag has been found. Nope. No bag. Adam returns to defense. Matt has the bag but Dave tackles his buddy. It’s a four-person dogpile.

CHISHOLM: Four blokes all over this!

Or that.

We see a slow-motion suplex thanks to comedic editing.

Arun and Adam are the only two standing as they get into a huge tussle. The other two come into tackle but Adam touches his tribe mat to score the point.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 1

ROUND 3

TESS & KAYSHA VS. FRANKY & KARLA

Tess pulls out the bag as the other three women swoop in. They’re wrestling in the drink! Everyone has to wipe mud out of their eyes.  Tess presses Karla’s face into the muddy water. This is violent. Tess breaks away but falls over into the mud. Kaysha holds down the other two women. Tess is EXHAUSTED as she crashes onto the mat.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 2

Karla says Kaysha was drowning her.

ROUND 4

JOSH & BRAD VS. JT & LIAM

Lots of wrestling even before the bag is found. Everyone is taking it very slowly. Josh has the bag and tosses it to Brad. The strategy works as Brad has a clear sprint to the mat.

Khangkhaw wins reward!

Eve admits they won’t be eating rice. The other eight players insist they will.

CHISHOLM: Adam, happy birthday!

ADAM: I’m soooo excited. I can’t believe it.

It’s like an episode of Oprah. Where are the fancy watches?

YOS: I’m so gutted we missed out on that one.

Ah. The gutted count. Oh, how I’ve missed you.

GUTTED COUNT: 1

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 2

We see them get fire. Tara loves fires at home and was the one to start it. She could be Pyro in the next reboot of American Gladiators.

Everyone quietly watches the fire. I worry about this tribe.

 

CHANI

DAY 2

An elephant ejaculates out of its nose as Chani tries to use a stick and wood. Dave’s hands are abused with blisters. I have never seen a season of Survivor where a vertical stick has triggered a fire.

Renee says they tried to use the sun to cook the rice. . .would that actually work?

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 2

They put rocks onto their fire to help cook the rice. The rocks start exploding like firecrackers. This is hilarious. It’s like a series of bombs. Somebody nearly gets it in the eye as they opt to pour water on the fire and start over.

I can’t believe we nearly had someone evacuated because of exploding rocks.

The tools drastically improve the shelter. Adam wonders to himself if anybody is noticing he isn’t doing anything and is “puttering around”. The hike to get water is also a ridiculous fifty feet. Adam shouldn’t have to work on his birthday anyway.

Kaysha and Dylan are hunting for non-exploding rocks as Kaysha brings up if they should go idol hunting. They note the three dudes are getting along too well. Lisa and Tara are allies they want, but don’t want Tess because she is the boys’ kryptonite. Adam will instead be their fifth.

A plan is hatched.

Everyone sits down to their first rice meal.

Heidi-hoody-tao-clik. . .Heidi-hoody-tao-clik is repeated to the rhythm of the ‘happy birthday’ song for Adam. So that’s what they do in New Zealand. It’s a pleasant meal.

 

CHANI

DAY 2

Dave can’t eat the rice. It’s terrible.

DAVE: That was rock hard.

LIAM: Dude, it’s delicious. . .I mean, it’s not like rock hard.

Everyone else digs in. It’s crunchy rice. Raw rice. Yos attempts to rally her tribe to win the immunity challenge.

YOS: We’re hungry.

Both in terms of challenge and at camp.

 

TRIBAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #1

DAY 3

Use a set of wooden poles to build a staircase, race through a maze, go down a slide. Then somebody will maneuver a key through a rope obstacle and use it to unlock a machete. Use the machete to release puzzle pieces. Two people on each tribe will solve the puzzle.

First tribe to solve the puzzle wins immunity.

Chisholm unveils a sitting tiger hidden immunity idol. One of the coolest idols I have ever seen. Fire in the form of flint is also up for grabs.

CHISHOLM: Give you a minute to strategize then tear into it. It’s gonna be a beauteeee.

The challenge commences. We are into it. All three challenge builds have been bigger than any challenge we saw in season one. This is great.

Khangkhaw has their staircase built. Chani is only halfway there. Yos wants them to leap and not bother completing the staircase. Eve says they’re required to build it all.

Khangkhaw hits a dead end in the maze. Chani doesn’t hit a dead end and find the rope a few seconds before Khangkhaw. Adam tries working on the knot but struggles, letting Brad take over.

Chani unhooks the rope. They are all on the mat as Franky is the one guiding the key through the rope course. She’s agile as hell. Khangkhaw is on the mat and Matt is flying through it too. He overtakes Franky. Lots of shouting from the sidelines.

Matt has the machete and releases the puzzle pieces.

Dylan and Lisa are working on the puzzle. Franky only needs two chops to release the puzzle pieces.

JT and Karla are working on the puzzle for Chani. Khangkhaw is really far ahead on the puzzle. Chisholm says Khangkhaw are rearranging their pieces to create suspense, but only two pieces need to be rearranged.

Khangkhaw completes the puzzle and wins immunity.

Chisholm asks Yos why they did well with the maze.

YOS: I led the way. The game plan was we had one person scoping out the moves and everyone blindly follows. . .I was diving through holes and everyone blindly follows, there’s that trust there.

Chisholm asks Franky about the key maze.

FRANKY: It was pretty shit.

Nice way of putting it.

 

CHANI

DAY 3

Franky is nervous she is on the chopping block. She goes to the water well with Renee and Dave. Renee refuses to go any longer without food. Renee wants the weakest link out.

FRANKY: That would be Ka-Ka-Karla.

BILLY MADISON: To-to-today Junior!

Karla tells us she feels like the weakest link.

KARLA: I’m at the bottom of the heap and is the easy vote.

Yos talks to Eve about what’s valuable to keep and who they can afford to lose. No kidding.

YOS: This is the part of the game I wanted to avoid as long as possible.

You avoided it for two days.

 

TRIBAL COUNCIL #1

I didn’t skip over any strategy talk. That’s all there was after the immunity challenge. It’s like season two of Survivor US.

(ARUN)-(DAVE)-(EVE)-(FRANKY)-(JT)-(KARLA)-(LIAM)-(RENEE)-(YOS)

CHISHOLM: You’ve been super positive in front of your opposition, but tonight it’s just you. . .and me.

OK, Chisholm. Where did this cold guy come from?

Renee attributes their immunity loss to Matt being a freak at the challenge.

Franky doesn’t feel safe.

CHISHOLM: Three days no fire, no food.

Dave loves the banter, though.

CHISHOLM: Solidarity in suffering. . .you’re all playing nice which is almost unbelievable playing a game called Survivor for 250 grand.

CHISHOLM: Have alliances been formed?

LIAM: No, we’re just one big alliance. It sounds so fake but it’s true.

CHISHOLM: It does.

LIAM: I trust everyone sitting here.

CHISHOLM: One hundred percent?

LIAM: One hundred percent.

CHISHOLM: I don’t believe it.

LIAM: OK.

KARLA: We might just be a Survivor first. We’re as loveable as we seem. Loving and trusting.

CHISHOLM: It looks like somebody is going to get blindsided tonight.

I think Liam is -always- going to be blindsided.

Everyone says they are worried. Karla is the most worried.

KARLA votes YOS.

LIAM votes KARLA.

ARUN votes KARLA.

An easy unanimous vote is clear against Karla.

Franky’s fists are digging so deep against her chin that it looks like it could come out the back of her head.

No one plays an idol.

FIRST VOTE: KARLA

SECOND VOTE: YOS

THIRD VOTE: KARLA

FOURTH VOTE: Jose *

FIFTH VOTE: Karla

SIXTH VOTE: JOS

Holy crap.

SEVENTH VOTE: Yos

EIGHTH VOTE: JOSEFIEN

Yos is the first person voted out. If this were Ghost Island, she couldn’t reverse Jolanda’s curse.

I should note the Tribal Council set is inside of the same cave as the Final Immunity Challenge from Survivor: Thailand.

For some reason, Yos takes her torch with her outside of Tribal Council. A possible twist down the road?

Chisholm tells them outright he is intrigued to see how the game will play out without Yos on their tribe. He gives them fire anyway.

This could be really bad for Chani.

Next Time on Survivor NZ: The elements take a brutal toll on Chani. Tribe loyalty is put to the test and the ultimate reward has unsettling consequences for Khangkhaw (including lots of vomiting). Oh, my word.

Yos didn’t see it coming. She still respects everyone. She gives herself credit for not being able to play a cutthroat game while giving everyone else credit for being able to do so.

Yeah, I think this is why Yos was first out.

For an 18 person cast and a running time of 55 minutes, we got to know all eighteen players. Everyone had their own brief scene in the episode. Whether it be emotional, strategic, physical, or comedic, everyone was provided with some sort of content.

Even though the post-IC strategy talks were limited to about 90 seconds, the episode as a whole provided an adequate explanation as to why Yos went home. It’s also great to take the audience off-guard like that because of how familiar they are with the American version.

The greatest weakness with the American Survivor nowadays is having ten-minute post-IC strategy talks accompanied by ten minutes of Tribal Council. It is why Ghost Island isn’t well-received because so much of it is redundant.

Here we get a whole diversity of content, and only see the crucial alliances or opinions about the player being voted out that we really need to see.

Survivor New Zealand, you are off to a fantastic start. I can’t believe how big all three challenge builds are too. The budget has increased drastically.

Episode 2 and episode 3 recaps are coming very soon, but the sleeper hit of the Survivor franchises has made huge strides in its second season.

And thank god there’s no Redemption Island.

It’s too early to say who is really on top or on the bottom since we got A LOT of content in this premiere, but it does appear that Adam and Liam are two players we can rule out as having a shot at winning this game.

Liam isn’t diabolical enough, and Adam probably won’t be respected by his tribe.

P.S. So glad I didn’t bother with watching BBCAN6 this season. Good luck with getting renewed for season 7, guys lol.

Yos is stoked to be knee deep in Survivor. Chani doesn’t have a fire either, but Yos is very happy with her tribe.

YOS: Thanks to what I achieved; my game is in a good safe space.

Franky refers to Yos as a loud soul who doesn’t stop talking for one minute.

 

TRIBAL REWARD CHALLENGE #1

DAY 2

Tess is happy with the shelter.

Chisholm asks if they have fire. Khangkhaw says they cooked rice. Chani doesn’t believe it.

Today’s reward: An abundance of tools, a tarp, and flint. That’s a massive opening tribal reward.

For today’s challenge, they will square off 2 vs. 2. There will be a bag in the mud. Once you have the bag, you need to bring it to your mat. To score a point, you must touch the bag and the tribe mat simultaneously.

CHISHOLM: We’re going to rip into it–it’s gonna be a doozy.

ROUND 1:

LISA & TARA VS. RENEE & YOS

Renee is first to the area where the bag is going to be. Everyone keeps searching the mud. Chisholm says the bag can be up to a foot down. Yos has the bag and no one is remotely close to her. Easy point for Chani.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 0

MATT & ADAM VS. ARUN & DAVE

Adam retreats as the other three are digging. Arun holds down Matt as Adam comes in assuming a bag has been found. Nope. No bag. Adam returns to defense. Matt has the bag but Dave tackles his buddy. It’s a four-person dogpile.

CHISHOLM: Four blokes all over this!

Or that.

We see a slow-motion suplex thanks to comedic editing.

Arun and Adam are the only two standing as they get into a huge tussle. The other two come into tackle but Adam touches his tribe mat to score the point.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 1

ROUND 3

TESS & KAYSHA VS. FRANKY & KARLA

Tess pulls out the bag as the other three women swoop in. They’re wrestling in the drink! Everyone has to wipe mud out of their eyes.  Tess presses Karla’s face into the muddy water. This is violent. Tess breaks away but falls over into the mud. Kaysha holds down the other two women. Tess is EXHAUSTED as she crashes onto the mat.

CHANI: 1 KHANGKHAW: 2

Karla says Kaysha was drowning her.

ROUND 4

JOSH & BRAD VS. JT & LIAM

Lots of wrestling even before the bag is found. Everyone is taking it very slow. Josh has the bag and tosses it to Brad. The strategy works as Brad has a clear sprint to the mat.

Khangkhaw wins reward!

Eve admits they won’t be eating rice. The other eight players insist they will.

CHISHOLM: Adam, happy birthday!

ADAM: I’m soooo excited. I can’t believe it.

It’s like an episode of Oprah. Where are the fancy watches?

YOS: I’m so gutted we missed out on that one.

Ah. The gutted count. Oh how I’ve missed you.

GUTTED COUNT: 1

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 2

We see them get fire. Tara loves fires at home and was the one to start it. She could be Pyro in the next reboot of American Gladiators.

Everyone quietly watches the fire. I worry about this tribe.

 

CHANI

DAY 2

An elephant ejaculates out of its nose as Chani tries to use a stick and wood. Dave’s hands are abused with blisters. I have never seen a season of Survivor where a vertical stick has triggered a fire.

Renee says they tried to use the sun to cook the rice. . .would that actually work?

 

KHANGKHAW

DAY 2

They put rocks on their fire to help cook the rice. The rocks start exploding like firecrackers. This is hilarious. It’s like a series of bombs. Somebody nearly gets it in the eye as they opt to pour water on the fire and start over.

I can’t believe we nearly had someone evacuated because of exploding rocks.

The tools drastically improve the shelter. Adam wonders to himself if anybody is noticing he isn’t doing anything and is “puttering around”. The hike to get water is also a ridiculous fifty feet. Adam shouldn’t have to work on his birthday anyway.

Kaysha and Dylan are hunting for non-exploding rocks as Kaysha brings up if they should go idol hunting. They note the three dudes are getting along too well. Lisa and Tara are allies they want but don’t want Tess because she is the boys’ kryptonite. Adam will instead be their fifth.

A plan is hatched.

Everyone sits down to their first rice meal.

Heidi-hoody-tao-clik. . .Heidi-hoody-tao-clik is repeated to the rhythm of the ‘happy birthday’ song for Adam. So that’s what they do in New Zealand. It’s a pleasant meal.

 

CHANI

DAY 2

Dave can’t eat the rice. It’s terrible.

DAVE: That was rock hard.

LIAM: Dude, it’s delicious. . .I mean, it’s not like rock hard.

Everyone else digs in. It’s crunchy rice. Raw rice. Yos attempts to rally her tribe to win the immunity challenge.

YOS: We’re hungry.

Both in terms of challenge and at camp.

 

TRIBAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #1

DAY 3

Use a set of wooden poles to build a staircase, race through a maze, go down a slide. Then somebody will maneuver a key through a rope obstacle and use it to unlock a machete. Use the machete to release puzzle pieces. Two people on each tribe will solve the puzzle.

The first tribe to solve the puzzle wins immunity.

Chisholm unveils a sitting tiger hidden immunity idol. One of the coolest idols I have ever seen. Fire in the form of flint is also up for grabs.

CHISHOLM: Give you a minute to strategize then tear into it. It’s gonna be a beauteeee.

The challenge commences. We are into it. All three challenge builds have been bigger than any challenge we saw in season one. This is great.

Khangkhaw has their staircase built. Chani is only halfway there. Yos wants them to leap and not bother completing the staircase. Eve says they’re required to build it all.

Khangkhaw hits a dead end in the maze. Chani doesn’t hit a dead end and find the rope a few seconds before Khangkhaw. Adam tries working on the knot but struggles, letting Brad take over.

Chani unhooks the rope. They are all on the mat as Franky is the one guiding the key through the rope course. She’s agile as hell. Khangkhaw is on the mat and Matt is flying through it too. He overtakes Franky. Lots of shouting from the sidelines.

Matt has the machete and releases the puzzle pieces.

Dylan and Lisa are working on the puzzle. Franky only needs two chops to release the puzzle pieces.

JT and Karla are working on the puzzle for Chani. Khangkhaw is really far ahead on the puzzle. Chisholm says Khangkhaw are rearranging their pieces to create suspense, but only two pieces need to be rearranged.

Khangkhaw completes the puzzle and wins immunity.

Chisholm asks Yos why they did well with the maze.

YOS: I led the way. The game plan was that we had one person scoping out the moves and everyone blindly follows. . .I was diving through holes and everyone blindly follows, there’s that trust there.

Chisholm asks Franky about the key maze.

FRANKY: It was pretty shit.

Nice way of putting it.

 

CHANI

DAY 3

Franky is nervous she is on the chopping block. She goes to the water well with Renee and Dave. Renee refuses to go any longer without food. Renee wants the weakest link out.

FRANKY: That would be Ka-Ka-Karla.

BILLY MADISON: To-to-today Junior!

Karla tells us she feels like the weakest link.

KARLA: I’m at the bottom of the heap and is the easy vote.

Yos talks to Eve about what’s valuable to keep and who they can afford to lose. No kidding.

YOS: This is the part of the game I wanted to avoid as long as possible.

You avoided it for two days.

 

TRIBAL COUNCIL #1

I didn’t skip over any strategy talk. That’s all there was after the immunity challenge. It’s like season two of Survivor US.

(ARUN)-(DAVE)-(EVE)-(FRANKY)-(JT)-(KARLA)-(LIAM)-(RENEE)-(YOS)

CHISHOLM: You’ve been super positive in front of your opposition, but tonight it’s just you. . .and me.

OK, Chisholm. Where did this cold guy come from?

Renee attributes their immunity loss to Matt being a freak at the challenge.

Franky doesn’t feel safe.

CHISHOLM: Three days no fire, no food.

Dave loves the banter, though.

CHISHOLM: Solidarity in suffering. . .you’re all playing nice which is almost unbelievable playing a game called Survivor for 250 grand.

CHISHOLM: Have alliances been formed?

LIAM: No, we’re just one big alliance. It sounds so fake but it’s true.

CHISHOLM: It does.

LIAM: I trust everyone sitting here.

CHISHOLM: One hundred percent?

LIAM: One hundred percent.

CHISHOLM: I don’t believe it.

LIAM: OK.

KARLA: We might just be a Survivor first. We’re as loveable as we seem. Loving and trusting.

CHISHOLM: It looks like somebody is going to get blindsided tonight.

I think Liam is -always- going to be blindsided.

Everyone says they are worried. Karla is the most worried.

KARLA votes YOS.

LIAM votes KARLA.

ARUN votes KARLA.

An easy unanimous vote is clear against Karla.

Franky’s fists are digging so deep against her chin that it looks like it could come out the back of her head.

No one plays an idol.

FIRST VOTE: KARLA

SECOND VOTE: YOS

THIRD VOTE: KARLA

FOURTH VOTE: Jose *

FIFTH VOTE: Karla

SIXTH VOTE: JOS

Holy crap.

SEVENTH VOTE: Yos

EIGHTH VOTE: JOSEFIEN

Yos is the first person voted out. If this were Ghost Island, she couldn’t reverse Jolanda’s curse.

I should note the Tribal Council set is inside of the same cave as the Final Immunity Challenge from Survivor: Thailand.

For some reason, Yos takes her torch with her outside of Tribal Council. A possible twist down the road?

Chisholm tells them outright he is intrigued to see how the game will play out without Yos on their tribe. He gives them fire anyway.

This could be really bad for Chani.

Next Time on Survivor NZ: The elements take a brutal toll on Chani. Tribe loyalty is put to the test and the ultimate reward has unsettling consequences for Khangkhaw (including lots of vomiting). Oh my word.

Yos didn’t see it coming. She still respects everyone. She gives herself credit for not being able to play a cutthroat game while giving everyone else credit for being able to do so.

Yeah, I think this is why Yos was first out.

For an 18 person cast and a running time of 55 minutes, we got to know all eighteen players. Everyone had their own brief scene in the episode. Whether it be emotional, strategic, physical, or comedic, everyone was provided some sort of content.

Even though the post-IC strategy talks were limited to about 90 seconds, the episode as a whole provided an adequate explanation as to why Yos went home. It’s also great to take the audience offguard like that because of how familiar they are with the American version.

The greatest weakness with the American Survivor nowadays is have ten minute post-IC strategy talks accompanied by ten minutes of Tribal Council. It is why Ghost Island isn’t well-received because so much of it is redundant.

Here we get a whole diversity of content, and only see the crucial alliances or opinions about the player being voted out that we really need to see.

Survivor New Zealand, you are off to a fantastic start. I can’t believe how big all three challenge builds are too. The budget has increased drastically.

Episode 2 and episode 3 recaps are coming very soon, but the sleeper hit of the Survivor franchises has made huge strides in its second season.

And thank god there’s no Redemption Island.

It’s too early to say who is really on top or on the bottom since we got A LOT of content in this premiere, but it does appear that Adam and Liam are two players we can rule out as having a shot at winning this game.

Liam isn’t diabolical enough, and Adam probably won’t be respected by his tribe.

P.S. So glad I didn’t bother with watching BBCAN6 this season. Good luck with getting renewed for season 7, guys lol.

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