Logan Saunders recaps episode 11 of Survivor NZ: Thailand ahead of episode 12.
SURVIVOR NZ: THAILAND Episode 11: “Sugar Rush, Idol Rush, and Evening Rush”
Previously on Survivor NZ: With old alliances falling apart, Tess felt isolated and alone while Matt’s confidence was at an all-time high, but not everyone shared his vision. While Dave told his old school mate everything, cracks began to show in their secret alliance. But at a fiery Tribal Council, the tribe turned on Ne Ne.
Seven are left; who will John West satisfy tonight?
Dave explains to everyone that he never broke his trust with Renee since the Josh vote. Adam clarifies what Renee meant.
ADAM: There was no communication. She couldn’t separate the speculation from the lies.
DAVE: . . .
Dave has a confessional about Renee’s blowup has successfully ruined his game. We cut back to camp where Dave is upset about everything
ADAM: That annoyed me. I think he feels personally attacked because the stuff is true. He’s a liar. I reckon Dave needs to go next.
Adam really sticks with one target until he goes home, eh? Dylan for seven rounds and now Dave for the next four. Dude is focused.
We get a full intro! Huzzah!
Tess is sleeping in the purple hammock. Adam and Matt are joking around. Matt has more gameboty confessionals in between drinking water at a very long range. His plan is to keep moving forward with Matt and Dave.
Lisa tells us she is sure she can’t beat Matt and knows it would be easy to go to Final Three with Matt.
LISA: As long as Matt doesn’t win immunity, I can grab enough people to vote out Matt. Get to the end. Maybe win.
And integrity to the season would be restored.
MATT: For a mouth-watering reward, you have to take your game to new heights.
A high challenge? That’s gonna break Survivor NZ’s financial budget.
Eve has a confessional about how Adam hasn’t had a food reward for a long time.
POST-MERGE REWARD CHALLENGE #3
Sala is on an adjacent bench reflecting on whether or not they voted out the right person from Tribal Council.
They must balance a bowl of corn on the end of a pole. At regular intervals, they’ll extend their pole thus making it harder to balance. Once the bowl falls, they’re out of the challenge. The last pole held erect wins reward.
And in the latest edition of “Who Copied Who?” between Survivor NZ and Survivor South Africa, they’re playing for a “chocolate extravaganza”. Chocolate Bickies? Chocolate milk, chocolate cake, and chocolate bars.
Hasn’t every reward been mostly based around food thus far in Survivor NZ?
ADAM: I want food. This is another strategy for my game. Just make it from reward to reward. It’s my only way of eating because I am refusing to eat rice anymore. I am not eating any more rice.
You don’t get your chocolate until you eat your rice, Adam!
Chisholm teases them with a sample test of tiny pieces of chocolate brownie. Tess’ breasts shake in the excitement which makes the immature part of me giggle on the inside. Everyone has their taste.
CHISHOLM: Gonna give you a minute to get sorted, then we’ll rip into it.
Oh, I love Chisms.
We are ready and into it!
We quickly transition from one pole to a second pole. Those poles are stiff as everyone’s hands are low!
We reach the sixth section of the pole.
LISA: No one likes a floppy pole.
I never expected the mom of the crew to be the first to make a phallic joke.
Lisa messes up the transition as her pole flops. Tessa’s pole flops. Gotta keep it up, guys!
A fly is on Matt’s pole but he doesn’t flick it off.
We hit the seventh section. Tara is out. Matt’s pole is shiverin’. Adam’s pole shatters. Dave is barely keeping control of his pole like it’s a wand firing off a spell.
Matt’s bowl collapses. Now it is just down to Dave and Eve.
I don’t know how the hell Dave is doing this as he is -constantly- moving and Eve is completely stable. It’s like Dave is trying to write a name in the sky.
Dave keeps moving rapidly. It’s time for another pole. Dave can’t do it.
Eve wins reward!
CHISHOLM: Another brilliant balancing battle.
Brilliant bit of alliteration.
CHISHOLM: You know I am coming for you, Dave? What’s more frustrating? Last or second?
DAVE: I don’t want to come last. It’s embarrassing.
(LISA loses it with laughter.)
DAVE: It’s not what I meant!
Chisholm asks the woman who came first, Eve.
Matt has a confessional about Eve’s multiple challenge victories being worrisome for his game.
Eve picks Dave for his FOURTH food reward in a row. Adam is also chosen. I think she just won over a permanent ally.
ADAM: There’s no way I could win this challenge because of the bloody botox. I have to look up and the botox was killing me.
We get our first Adam botox joke. Awesome.
CHOCOLATE ISLAND (NOT THE ONE IN SUPER MARIO WORLD)
Sadly there is no chocolate fountain like in Survivor SA. Holy crap there’s Ferrero Rochet. My word. There are M&M’s too.
ADAM: I could go four days off of this chocolate extravaganza.
Dave definitely doesn’t come last in this challenge as he moans the whole time while eating this chocolate. I am convinced Dave has gained weight since this game started.
ADAM: Dave is being dramatic. He hasn’t eaten heaps. I am watching. I’m not stupid. You haven’t eaten that much you attention-seeker. What an ANNOYING person.
We see Dave passed out and clutching his stomach like freakin’ Garfield after a plate of lasagna.
Tara thinks her and Eve are both playing subtle games with minimal moves.
TARA: I could definitely see myself sitting next to Eve in the end.
Lisa counts off Dave’s numerous food rewards.
TARA: Eve knows I wasn’t craving chocolate at all.
An Eve-Tara InvisiF2 would be awesome.
Matt goes all gamebotty on Eve’s endurance performance while fishing.
Adam talks about his adopted brother with cerebral palsy at nine years old and how he was abandoned at three months old. He quizzes Dave about the eight different medications his brother is on. He enjoyed their banter.
ADAM: We had good banter. . .but Dave still annoys me on the inside. You’re an idiot.
Well, that’s the closest thing to a compliment that Dave is gonna get from Adam, so I’d take it.
Lisa contemplates her Matt Attack plan. She pitches it to Tara. For some reason, we see a pillow behind them that has the ends of it in the shape of the Triforce. They talk about pulling in Eve and Tess.
Adam is annoyed by Dave at camp clutching his stomach AGAIN and we hear it gurgling. Adam is rolling his eyes so hard that it’s like Undertaker eyes from WWF. He does more Dave impressions.
Dave goes into the woods and lies on his back
ADAM: I don’t get why they’re still not sending Dave home, and that could be Matt’s problem. I have noticed Matt has been keeping Dave so exclusive and taking him off for little whispers, he can blindside, and lie to people’s faces. I don’t know why Matt wants to work with him.
Adam is slowly putting the pieces together.
Matt sneaks up on Dave in the woods and pokes him with a stick. They really are grade-school friends.
Matt and Dave promise each other they won’t reveal the secret if one makes it to day 39 but not the other. They’ll only reveal it if they get to the end together. Man, I really want to be the third person in that F3 now as the whole jury would be uber pissed.
Matt takes Lisa and Dave aside together for more gamebotting. Lisa automatically agrees with Matt’s nomination of Eve. Dave doesn’t want Eve to go but feels conflicted regardless.
MATT: Lisa seems really on board and is thinking the same thing as I am.
Lisa is a really good liar.
Lisa sees an arrow on the ground. Matt sees the same arrow and tries to discreetly scuff it with his shoe.
LISA: I’m going to sit here and meditate.
MATT: I was thinking the same thing.
Only Dave doesn’t want to meditate. Sadly Lisa and Matt have no choice but to be open with the arrow about each other. Matt climbs up the tree to claim it.
Please give it to Lisa, please give it to Lisa, please give it to Lisa.
They both kiss the idol. Matt decides to hang onto it.
LISA: I would have been 400 times more excited if I had been the only one to see the arrow.
UGH. Matt and Dave each have an idol. Our worst nightmares are coming true. This could really mess up the whole integrity and reputation of the season now. This could get ugly, folks.
Matt and Adam talk about idols.
ADAM (to MATT): There’s no idol. There’s no idol.
There is one idol. There are two idols.
Surprisingly, Matt refuses to tell Dave about the idol. At least we have some antagonism there.
LISA: Now that Matt has an idol I can’t see how I can win. . .I didn’t know whether or not I would win would be based on talking to Matt at the water well. . .based on not climbing that tree. . .I am struggling to know what to do.
Man. This is tough to watch.
Tess and Eve talk about their teeth. No, really.
Lisa has a strategy to get the idol off of Matt. She is going to tell him she is nervous about only him having the idol, and really play that up to Matt this morning.
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Lisa. Dammit. You were the chosen one!
LISA: Ah, this sucks.
MATT: Just say it.
LISA: I do really trust you, but I am nervous about like you just having it. You like having control of it–
MATT: No no no no. Honestly, I’ll say this like I swear to god–
LISA: No no no don’t do that.
MATT: I’ll never do that to you.
LISA: I had an idea. One of us holds it and the other owns it. That way we can never use it without the other person not knowing.
MATT: Okay, and so but then. . .
LISA: Like, so, if I didn’t bring it to Tribal Council then you couldn’t play it.
MATT: Aw that makes me feel nervous too.
LISA: It makes me feel nervous.
MATT: Lisa, you can one hundred percent trust me.
LISA: Maybe I’m getting Survivor paranoia?
Lisa wants to achieve slight distrust with Matt. He hopes he can move forward with Lisa. Luckily Matt tells us he has 110 percent faith in Lisa. It was worth a swing for Lisa but with huge risk involved.
INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #4
Adam’s talisman is removed in slow motion. Lisa has her millionth confessional about eliminating Matt if he doesn’t win the talisman.
First, they’ll maneuver a piece of bamboo through a tangled rope to a post.
Second, they’ll move a piece of bamboo along a balance beam. First five to do so moves on.
Lastly, they’ll navigate a bamboo through a series of obstacles. First three to do so moves on.
First to finish wins immunity. It’s pure agility.
We are into it!
Matt, Tess, and Dave are doing very well with this. Tess is first to finish stage one. Matt is second. Dave is third. Lisa is fourth. Adam is fifth.
No endurance = No Eve.
Anything = No Tara. She was dusting the piece of bamboo most of the time.
We’re into it again!
Tess is grinding that balance beam. Dave is hugging it with his stomach. Adam is standing. Matt and Lisa are doing a mix of strategies. Adam is acting like he is on his surfboard. Lisa falls off her platform.
Matt DESTROYS everybody in the second round. He is done. Tess is second. Lisa gets a ‘Thank You for Participating’ Ribbon. Dave gets third.
Matt is rippin’ into the final stage quickly but Tess gains a lead on him. . .until she hits a knot. All three are very close together as they escape the first obstacle. Now only one obstacle remains.
Tess and Matt are on the final knot.
Matt wins it by about a second!
LISA: Oh no. It’s Matt.
We all share that reaction.
Matt has the talisman.
LISA (confessional): I said out loud ‘oh no, Matt’s won which wasn’t a very good strategic move. I feel awful Matt’s won. What am I gonna do?
Wait until next round to get him out? Why is it absolutely do-or-die that he goes home on day 31? You’ve still got Tara. You’ve still got Tess. You’ve still got Adam. That’s 4-2, buddy.
Matt feels great.
EVE: That was awesome to watch.
Lisa has her trillionth confessional about being upset that Matt won individual immunity. She has no idea what to do now.
Matt quickly chats with Adam to vote out Eve. He notes everyone is sleeping at camp or resting in the hammock.
Eve asks Dave to vote out Tess.
DAVE: It’s too late to save Eve now.
Matt is really in control of this tribe right now. My word. I am surprised Adam isn’t trying to push his own agenda.
Adam, Lisa, and Matt talk.
MATT: There is a weird feeling in camp.
It’s like no one was excited to see you win.
Lisa is hesitant to agree to vote out Eve because she has been the only one proven to compete with Matt in endurance challenges.
LISA: I don’t know if I can make a case for not voting out Eve.
I agree. I think you have to pretty much accept that you’re sticking your neck out waaaay too much if you push for a target other than Eve without losing trust with Matt.
Tara and Tess talk about cleaning teeth before talking strategy.
TARA: What if we get rid of Dave?
LISA: We can’t get rid of Dave.
Lisa has a confessional about Tara being quite erratic.
LISA: She’ll make herself a target if she goes around trying to get rid of Dave.
Tara really wants to keep Eve because she trusts her.
It’s funny that Tara wants to eliminate the one person who doesn’t want Eve to go home tonight either.
Tara is with Matt and Lisa. She keeps wanting Dave out in a passive-aggressive manner. Matt sniffs out that Tara is pretty much declaring her desired F3 is Tara, Lisa, and Eve.
TARA: Do I keep trusting Lisa or do I come up with another plan?
Tara and Tess talk in the shelter. Adam is there too.
ADAM: I can see why people think Eve is a threat, but I want Dave out next.
A coup is brewing.
MATT: It’s too late to save Eve.
And that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so!
Adam and Tara chat privately. They both agree Dave should go. They realize all they would need is Tess to knock out Dave. Tara proposes she talk to Eve while Adam talks to Tess. This is just a couple minutes before Tribal Council.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #11
Nearly everyone walks in with rain ponchos. Luckily TC is inside of a cave.
Chisholm asks if the bling on his neck puts a target on his back.
Eve starts crying because she is doubting the relationships when no one is looking her in the eye and no one is talking to her. She pleads to everyone that she has fought the whole time and hates people are backing out of alliances.
CHISHOLM: Who is backing out of alliances?
EVE: I am not going to name names.
CHISHOLM: Why not?
EVE: I was going to play this game with integrity and I am not going to name and shame.
CHISHOLM: Doesn’t mean you can’t call people out right now.
EVE: They know who they are.
Classic Chani move.
Dave volunteers that he has no say in the tribe. That’s a fair statement from Dave.
Matt says Eve’s strategic game and winning challenges has painted a target on her back. Eve cries really hard.
EVE: I want people to vote with their hearts and not follow the leader.
Matt is rolling his eyes.
CHISHOLM: If anybody else wants to say anything before we vote, the floor is yours.
Adam gives a heartwarming speech to Eve and that they have rarely talked strategy.
ADAM: If I change my mind tonight, I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow.
EVE: I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for how much influence you have in this tribe and how much people trust you. I know because I’ve talked to people that if you vote a certain way then others will follow. I know that. Here are the facts at this stage in time: It’s Dave or I. If you go with the crowd, yeah, it’s Eve going home. If you stand up for Eve, a couple more people will sway that way.
ADAM: I dunno.
EVE: I’ve had the conversation. They will.
My goodness. This is uncomfortable. It’s time to vote.
EVE votes DAVE.
MATT votes EVE but he has his voting confessional in such a whisper that none of us can hear a damn word he says.
Is anyone playing an idol? . . .
FIRST VOTE: (Eve)
SECOND VOTE: (Eve)
THIRD VOTE: (DAVE)
FOURTH VOTE: (Eve)
FIFTH VOTE: (EVE [with a picture of a flower])
She is outta here. No one wanted to bite the apple, eh?
CHISHOLM: I wonder whether when some of you will start thinking for yourselves.
Wow. Adam just got dissed by Chisholm and no comeback retort was made. Impressive.
Next Time on Survivor NZ: Tensions rise at camp. Secrets are revealed. And alliances called into question.
EVE: I don’t feel fantastic. Pretty gutted. I am disappointed people changed their mind in the first place. . .I think Matt has got the reigns on the tribe.
So it’s down to just one Chane. . .er, I mean Chani. Damn you, Survivor South Africa.
If we are talking about winner’s edits. . .I think it is fairly safe to say neither Dave nor Matt are winning. Both of them have been buried by the edit over the past three weeks, and this week was definitely the hardest hits both guys took. In fact, I would say neither contestant makes it to day 39. My good friend Michael Harmstone proposed that Dave goes next round while Matt gets taken out at Final Four.
Perhaps the other four target Dave, and Matt tells Dave to play his idol when secretly they blindside Matt with the idol in his pocket or vice versa. Whoever remains plays their idol at five, and then gets taken out at Final Four.
Adam has definitely taken a huge turn from heel to (botox) face over the past three weeks. He repeatedly expresses the thoughts of the audience in a funny albeit mildly insulting way. He is quickly becoming the People’s Champion. It looks like everything is being set up for Lisa and Adam to be the top two of our season with either Tara or Tess being the day 39 goat. I think it is more likely to be Tara as the edit over the past two weeks is depicting her as someone not being respected by the tribe and “not understanding Survivor.” Ever since she dusted the puzzle platform, I can’t think of a single positive piece of airtime she has received.
I know people already feel like this season is being damaged by the Dave-Matt connection. The players are having some interesting reactions to it on Twitter. Contestants and the audience feel like it has had a significant impact as to how this game has played out thus far, and there have already been accusations of it interfering with the overall integrity of the season. If my assumptions turn out to be wrong and Dave and Matt do indeed make it to day 39, it will probably go down as the ugliest ending to any season of Survivor. That isn’t Matt or Dave’s fault. They can’t control both of them being cast together. I bet it must really suck to be in their position in a way because of the audience reaction they know has to be coming.
The good news for us is that everyone has already clumped Dave and Matt together as a pair. They don’t know why they are a pair, but they do indeed assume they have a very tight alliance. I think their alliance got exposed because Dave appears to have not really formed any bonds on his own while Matt has been doing all of the legwork, and is the only one who frequently talks to Dave alone. If both guys had pursued bonds separately within the tribe and not have any overlap in terms of who they aligned with post-merge, their alliance would have been hidden and could have easily dominated the game. Instead, they are now in a scenario where they may as well expose their pre-game bonds anyway because it won’t change how they are perceived within the tribe.
It’s a shame in four post-merge episodes that Eve didn’t get a single confessional until the night she went home. It’s even worse that it happened within an episode where Matt has a million confessionals about controlling the game and Lisa has a million confessionals about wanting to eliminate Matt from the game. I love Lisa as a character, but my freakin’ god this was more overkill than the Fast and Furious franchise. There’s Vin Diesel, they drive fast cars, and drug kingpins are frequently involved–how many times can people watch that?!
Next round really does seem to be this season’s D-Day. Matt or Dave must somehow get blindsided or else both dudes enter F5 with idols in their pocket, and enough power to automatically survive F4 and enter the FTC together. It should be even more intense. If they survive, I imagine the audience will be crying worse than Eve did at Tribal Council this week.
P.S. Won’t Adam feel bad if Dave is clutching his stomach because he is suffering from appendicitis and his appendix explodes on day 37 or day 38? He would literally be gutted.
1) Adam: He’ll charm a jury.
2) Lisa: Juries are always prejudiced against middle-aged women every single time.
3) Tara: See above but in a more severe way.
4) Dave: Last Chani Standing. He’ll either go here or in sixth. It depends if the others feel more threatened by him clutching his stomach in pain from the reward or Matt clutching the numbers on the tribe.
5) Tess: Either Dave or Matt will idol her out of the game.
6) Matt: If you have a quadrillion confessionals about how awesome your position is, you have to be poised for a downfall. It is either that or things are extremely anti-climatic.