Logan Saunders recaps episode 15 of Survivor South Africa: Philippines ahead of the finale.
SURVIVOR SOUTH AFRICA: PHILIPPINES Episode 15: “PROS–NOT AMATEURS”
Previously on Survivor SA: After cannibalizing those on the outside of the alliance, Katinka approached Tom about getting rid of the biggest threat. After Tom won individual immunity, Werner announced he would play the idol on himself. The consensus vote was Jeanne until Tom told Werner that Katinka was thinking of betraying him.
In a surge of power, Werner gave his hidden immunity idol to Jeanne which foiled Katinka and Annalize’s plans to use their extra vote.
Katinka was blindsided.
Four are left; who will be voted out tonight?
Jeanne hugs Werner. Annalize says out loud it was a Godfather move.
TOM: Every now and then you gotta let people think they are in control.
Tom also agrees with Werner being the godfather. They all say it repeatedly.
The Godfather has protected his two biggest goats. Annalize needs to win immunity. Will she foil Werner’s plans in the eleventh hour?
Tom and Werner talk on the beach.
JEANNE (watching TOM and WERNER with ANNALIZE): That’s what I like to call validation.
Tom and Werner bromance on the beach. Whoa. Can pastors bromance? That’s news to me. I thought pastors couldn’t do that.
It’s time for a rare Final Four reward challenge.
For today’s challenge, they’ll high-step through a grid. Jeanne is not impressed. They will balance blocks in such a way that when they knock the front domino the last domino will fall onto a gong and bang it.
Jeanne does a dance as Nico announces the reward. It’s time for some pampering. A day of relaxation. Massage. Freshwater. Winner will receive a CAMERA SMARTPHONE WHICH THEY CAN USE TO CAPTURE THOSE SPECIAL MOMENTS!
The challenge commences!
Jeanne has to lift her legs a ridiculous amount. Hilarious. Tom nearly has his whole domino streak formed as he triggers the grid and the dominos fall. Annalize falls too. Then Werner’s. Then Jeanne’s. Tom back in the lead by default.
The wind picks up. That sucks.
Nico keeps encouraging Jeanne as her row tumbles. The wind blows it for everyone. No pun intended.
ELAPSED TIME: 10 MINUTES
Wind sucks as Tom makes fart noises. Classy.
Tom knocks his dominos. The gong is hit. Tom wins reward! Awkward dance follows
TOM: Call me on my shell phone!
Nico instructs Tom to do his New Phone dance again. It looks like he is spanking someone.
NICO: You’ve won the E20Pro!
TOM: What PRO?! Because I am not an AMATEUR!
Tom takes Jeanne on yet another reward. Pedicures cometh!
TOM: I like you, baby. I’ve got you.
I hope he doesn’t do his New Phone Dance on Jeanne.
TOM AND JEANNE’S REWARD
Champagne and PRO selfies.
TOM: I feel like a winner.
Three days, Tom. Three days.
We watch Tom shower in his underwear. Jeanne is nearly itching her scalp off like she’s got lice all over her head.
TOM: I am going to miss licking my beard to taste what I had three days ago.
“I had hot dogs last week!”
TOM: What do I have?
TOM: And why is it a pro?
JEANNE: Because you are not an–
TOM: I AM NOT AN AMATEUR!
Werner and Annalize are at camp.
WERNER: I’m just glad we get to hang.
Yeah. Just hang. Chat about normal stuff. They know the score. Annalize ain’t going to get into FTC. Let’s just butter her up for the jury and pluck some sweet potatoes. It’s exactly Werner’s strategy indeed.
We watch Tom and Jeanne getting a massage. Jeanne daydreams about voting off Werner because he is a good dude and has played a brilliant game. Jeanne knows she has no chance against him.
TOM: I’ve got more of a chance of beating Werner than you.
JEANNE: No…the jury is trying to tell us with their eyerolls that they want him out because they will have to vote for him if he makes it to the end.
Jeanne talks to Tom about whether or not she owes Werner safety to the end due to his idol play. Do you owe Werner a million Rand in exchange for an idol?
Tom and Jeanne talk through the entire Tribal Council last night. Why did Tom vote the way he did rather than Annalize? Why did Werner save Jeanne? It’s all about who they have a reasonable shot at beating at FTC. It’s why Katinka went home, and it’s why Werner needs to go home.
TOM: I want to beat the best.
JEANNE: Beating the best doesn’t mean sitting next to them at FTC…it means voting them out. We’ve beaten the best so far.
PENULTIMATE INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE
We see a gigantic maze with really high posts for collecting puzzle pieces.
JEANNE: How am I supposed to collect the puzzle pieces?
Leif would have to sit out of this challenge.
For today’s challenge, they’ll have to collect bags of puzzle pieces in a huge maze by using four stations of obstacles. After collecting the puzzle pieces, they must complete a 3D hanging puzzle. The first person to do so wins immunity.
Annalize tails Tom. Werner quickly crosses a swing bridge. Jeanne does a low crawl obstacle to collect puzzle pieces. Tom does a plank bridge. Jeanne does a swing bridge. Werner crosses poles that are far apart.
Werner has three bags. Jeanne has two. Tom has three. Jeanne intentionally or unintentionally gets in front of Werner in the maze to slow him down. Werner has the final bag. Tom encourages Jeanne.
Werner is already opening his bags of puzzle pieces. Annalize is second back with all four bags. Holy moly. Tom opening his bags. Jeanne is on the plank bridge. She is going very slowly. Nico keeps yelling at her to move it. And yells at her some more. Jeanne very slowly crosses the plank bridge again as Werner starts putting pieces up.
C’mon. We know Werner and Tom are good at puzzles.
Jeanne eventually joins the crew. Werner is studying the pieces Tom has put up on the board. He is studying everyone else’s pieces including Jeanne.
Has Jeanne snuck into the lead? Nico says she has. Everyone else is stumped. Jeanne calls for Nico.
JEANNE WINS HER FIRST INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE OF THE SEASON! Wow. IMMUNITY. . .When you need it. . .naturally! Bio-Strath!
Nico gives a speech about Jeanne rallying from behind.
WERNER: Bucket list, Jeanne! Bucket list!
If she were Lisa, the response would be “tick.”
Jeanne embraces her 1-in-3 shot at winning. While all four sit at camp, Werner says he wants to converse with each of them individually.
WERNER & ANNALIZE
WERNER: What will happen is the two girls will write my name; the two guys will write Annalize’s name. I know Tom will NOT break his word to me.
So clearly Werner has sniffed out Jeanne’s betrayal.
Werner asks Annalize if she is prepared to make fire against him tonight. Cue F-bombs from Annalize.
Jeanne keeps working on Tom saying it’s all on him tonight if he wants to make it a 2-2 tie or a 3-1 vote.
Werner tells Annalize that he’ll get Tom to vote against Annalize, Jeanne will vote against Werner, and then they will vote out Tom. Annalize is stunned that Tom is thrown under the bus.
Tom looks like his dog, cat, and wife all died twenty minutes ago. I have never seen him look so sad. Jeanne keeps pitching.
TOM (confessional while slowly drawing in sand): Werner has been keeping me safe in this game. He gave me a home and an alliance when I needed home. What happened if I do break my promise to him and I’m the next one gone after that, and it’s all for nothing? Tough decision.
Werner pulls Tom aside on the beach and tells him the fakeout he planned with Annalize. Annalize will vote Tom. Jeanne will vote Werner. Werner and Tom will eliminate Annalize to make it a 2-1-1 vote.
TOM: Holy f–k. That’s clever.
Werner hopes the trap to catch Annalize will work and he won’t even have to strike a flint.
Annalize and Jeanne will talk.
ANNALIZE: Are we making a move?
JEANNE: It’s not even a move. It’s the smartest thing to do. Tom’s in.
ANNALIZE: Can you teach me to make fire–
JEANNE: I just said Tom’s in.
Annalize refuses to believe it will be a 3-1 vote against Werner.
Werner summons Jeanne into his Godfather room, but for once Diane Keaton is invited in. He tells her it will be a 2-2 tie and he is fine with making fire.
WERNER: I walk into FTC with -another- thing on my CV. Or you vote against Annalize.
Wow. Werner is playing it hard. Really hard. Extremely clever manipulations.
Tom and Annalize talk. Now it looks like Tom’s grandparents have been run over as Annalize pleads with him.
Werner massages Tom’s butt. I am not joking. He will do -anything- to win.
WERNER: If both of them betray me, I at least make fire. I bank on one of them straying from their original plan.
If Werner pulls this off, he will go down as one of the greatest international Survivor players ever. Even better than Des.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #15
There is a big reaction to Jeanne wearing the talisman.
Jeanne talks most of Tribal Council at the beginning of it, and it is all about figuring out who to beat at FTC.
Tom says loyalty is important.
NICO: Going forward, is loyalty a factor tonight?
TOM: Yes, loyalty is -a- factor.
Werner and Nico talk about the moral dilemma. Break the bonds of loyalty or advance further into the game.
WERNER: Go write the name on the ballot and live with the consequences.
Werner is trying to play any mind games possible.
Annalize says she has no active deals left in the game, and it’s all about it being a competition.
Werner says his bonds and relationships have allowed him to take everyone aside tonight.
JEANNE: The common goal is the money. . .tonight, no moral dilemma.
Nico insists they don’t waste any more time and just cast a damn vote already.
It’s time to vote. Werner silently meditates.
Everyone votes. Tom winks at Werner as he returns to his seat.
One vote left.
The FOURTEENTH PLAYER VOTED OUT AND SEVENTH MEMBER OF THE JURY:
The tribe has spoken.
KATINKA (to JEANNE): It’s sad but well done.
Jeanne gets all of the credit. All of the credit.
Werner retreats into the darkness.
Tomorrow there is a Final Immunity Challenge and there will be a FINAL TWO! YES! A FINAL TWO! OH, GLORIOUS DAYS!
Next Time on Survivor SA: Three are left in this special two-hour finale! The winner of the immunity challenge also eliminates a member of the jury!
Werner is gutted to go home right before the end but loves he got to play for as long as he did.
Katinka and Werner will both be Monday Morning Quarterbacking if they started to go after each other one round too early.
For Werner: Since Tom viewed Katinka as the bigger jury threat, letting Jeanne go home at five meant Katinka would go at four and would mean Annalize would have to go home at three.
For Katinka: If you didn’t go to Tom about eliminating Tom one round before you were actually going to, and wait to open your mouth like Jeanne did, you could have a shot at the F4 immunity challenge and still have Annalize on your side to do a 2-2 tie vote in your worst case scenario because Annalize really wanted to split up Werner and Tom.
It’s interesting because it is one of the few times we have seen this before. Katinka, Werner, and Annalize all have seen their alliance with Tom and Jeanne as their ticket to an easy victory on day 39 if it is a Final Two or a Final Three.
“They’re super loyal to our alliance and they’re easy to beat. I will do -anything- to ensure they are safe. I’ll even massage their butt!”
But goats on Survivor are people, too. An ounce of game savvy and the goats can band together to take control of the game.
Final Three? Sure, one super well-liked person can go to the end with two goats. Congrats Annalize, you win Survivor South Africa by default!
Final Two? Oh. The two people nobody respected as having a chance at winning are now your only two options. Welcome to old school Survivor. Haven’t you missed us? 😉
And that’s Survivor at the core. Most of the time it’s not about the whole jury feeling good about who wins.
Look at Survivor NZ. We had a player, Tess, who got to the end without ever breaking her word or her alliance and cast ZERO elimination votes once nine players remained in the game. That’s why having three at the end is too damn much because you can get to the end without ever getting your hands dirty. Tess just needed to hang onto two poles and she came within a vote of winning the game. Again, I love a player like Tess nearly won Survivor, but the moral dilemmas and social politics are infinitely more interesting in the original Survivor scenario.
Here in classic Survivor where you have a Final Two? As Jack Bauer said to George Mason, “if you want to get results, I suggest rolling up your sleeves.”
Final Four votes require you to have somebody like Tom who looks like he would rather hang himself then write down the letters W-E-R-N-E-R on parchment. But he had to do it. He knows he can still get Annalize out at three, and win over Jeanne at two.
I love Annalize but we need that Tom vs. Jeanne Final Two. The two players hated around camp the most since merge are now your only two options for who to vote for on the table.
Who will win? Well, I know it will be a female. That’s for sure. But I think it’ll be closer than we think.
I am so happy with Survivor SA doing so many things right this year.
Three tribes until we are down to ten people? Thanks.
Even if a five-person alliance sticks together, make them go down to a Final Two? Thanks.
Rip our hearts out by seeing our favorites go early on post-merge, and then see Werner’s devastating blindside as we dissect his most fatal error in the game other than damaging his internal organs by eating a hidden immunity idol clue? Thanks.
Seeing a purple rock draw on a tribe’s second trip to TC because Ace didn’t know what to do with his position and finally commit to a side? Thanks.
Seeing half of the jury regret not throwing a challenge to eliminate Tom pre-merge? Thanks.
Anything PK did? Thanks.
Anything Marthunis did? Thanks.
Toni’s rants? Thanks.
Vusi emerging out of nowhere as The Man in challenges and being one of the best jury members? Thanks.
Palesa’s unorthodox gameplay? Thanks.
The challenges? Ehhhhhhhhhhh. We’ll let that one slide due to budget.
Now to resume catching up on six episodes of Australian Survivor. . .so this is what addicts mean when they talk about overdosing on a substance. . .
P.S. Remember when I said Jeanne had a zero percent chance of winning? Well, I feel dumb. Perhaps I am the victim of the biggest blindside of all. Matt from Survivor NZ can place his crown on top of my head.