Logan Saunders recaps episode 11 of Survivor South Africa: Philippines ahead of episode 12.
SURVIVOR SOUTH AFRICA: PHILIPPINES Episode 11: “SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY”
Previously on Survivor SA: Sitting at the bottom of the alliance, PK got a lucky break at the reward challenge. Toni’s loyalty to PK kept her in the dark about TC. Just before TC, PK suspected something was up. At TC, the simmering tension between Toni and Katinka boiled over.
Jeanne called out Palesa and Chane for their treatment of Tom. This prompted Palesa to play her idol with Werner and PK following suit. The idols canceled votes for PK and Werner, prompting a revote between Chane and Tom. Chane was voted out.
Eight are left; who will be voted off tonight?
PK: You thought you could blindside me???
TONI: Of course they can’t blindside you because Katinka gave it away.
PK: Last minute.
TONI: At the last minute Katinka told PK.
KAT: At the last minute PK asked “are you voting for me?” and I said “I don’t know.” That’s what I said.
TONI: Dead giveaway.
Yeah, I’m gonna have to agree with Toni on that one. Not giving a straight-forward answer means you are 100% percent voting against them.
Toni rounds up PK and Werner. It’s time for Werner to get grilled.
TONI: Tell me how getting rid of PK focuses the numbers on the alliance. Thank the Pope you’ve aligned yourself with some dumbass.
WERNER: He’s playing an emotional game.
TONI: He committed–committed to me TODAY that he is committed to YOU.
WERNER: Don’t shout at me. Toni, I want to bring you in then you have an ultimatum.
TONI: Let’s have a f–king opinion.
TONI: OH! I didn’t realize that. I see how it goes. I have an opinion. My bad.
WERNER: We bring you in each time before we vote–
TONI: Why do you have to bring me in? I should be there already! Then who the f-ck are these people? Who’s Annalize to you? You should bring them in to us!
WERNER: You should be there! But–But they’re voting with me–
TONI: Big deal.
WERNER: It’s a big deal to them.
TONI: Katinka–The biggest dumbass on Survivor.
WERNER: These dumbasses have voted with me each time.
WERNER (confessional): The problem is that the rutter that is steering Toni’s boat is her emotion and in this game that is a very difficult thing to determine.
Ah, Werner went the “Toni is emotional” route. This is her only blowup all game and suddenly she is emotional.
Let’s edit Werner’s confessional with what he REALLY means.
WERNER (real confessional: The problem is that the rutter that is steering Toni’s boat is a smart and strong social and strategic game. It will be very difficult to beat her in the end. However, if I align with Jeanne, Katinka, and Tom, and take them to the end, and Annalize being an obvious threat to boot prior to day 39, I should be guaranteed to win this game.
TONI: I wish I had written down Tom’s name tonight and he would have f–king gone home.
WERNER: I thought Chane was your vote?
TONI: No, I wrote down Chane because you all said Chane and stick with what we are talking about. Funniest part is you aligned yourself with some dumbass who exposed your plan to PK the minute just before you go to Tribal Council. Katinka ruined your game plan.
(TONI spreads her arms in a Kevin Garnett-like fashion)
TONI: This is the person you aligned yourself with.
I assume eliminating Chane wasn’t a bad thing for Werner either, though.
Vusi collapsing into the water like a body that has just been shot with several bullets will never not be funny to me.
Toni sets her target on Katinka. Gotta go after the goat!
For some reason we get a shot of Tom’s butt for the second week in a row.
TONI (confessional): They are playing with somebody who throws them under the bus, puts on the water works, gets a cuddle. She is playing a great 19 year old game.
I don’t remember Michael from Ghost Island getting cuddles. Trust me, the ladies on his tribe tried.
Katinka and Toni talk on the sand. Kat doesn’t like the way Toni said she ruined the game last night. We cut to a confessional where she accuses Toni of picking on her. Meanwhile Toni explains to Kat that her plan failed because if she had written Tom’s name down then Tom would have gone home, and that Kat really didn’t have a plan.
This is going to sound a bit insulting for Katinka to read, but she is visibly not quite grasping Toni’s point. We cut to another confessional about Katinka claiming she doesn’t have the same life experience as Toni.
TONI: The night your name was written I came and hugged you. Last night I was sad and no one came over and comforted me. Nobody has comforted me since I’ve come on this f–king island.
KAT: . . .
TONI: How do you think that makes me feel?
KAT (stares into ocean): . . . .. . ……………..
TONI: I try to comfort everyone else and make them feel f–king safe. But nobody cares about f–king me. I have to sit on this island by myself.
KAT: . . . . ……..
TONI: I got rid of Tevin for you guys and not one person has been there for me.
TONI: No one will give me a hug and say ‘thank you for what you did’. So yeah, I’m f–king emotional.
(TONI walks away.)
KAT: . . . . ………………….
KAT (confessional): I feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway but without Wilson.
Instead you get a Rosie O’ Donnell clone, a pastor, a guy who makes out with spoons, and a woman named Annalize.
NOTE: Katinka was just a year old when Cast Away was released in theatres.
Katinka goes to the shelter and chats with Jeanne. Neither of them are going to speak to Toni because she is acting like “a high school girl”. Jeanne is never fond of people who are outside of her alliance.
KATINKA: In this game there is no age or levels of importance.
Unless you’re Michael Skupin. Then. . .then age is kind of important.
POST-MERGE REWARD CHALLENGE #2
It’s a duplicate of Australian Survivor! They have a wheel with an inside track. Keep a ball spinning inside of a track. They will be balancing on a balance beam. At regular intervals, they’ll go further down the beam.
Winner gets to spend a night in a real bed and receive TAPAS, bread rolls, cold meats, and a bottle of red wine back at camp too.
TAPAS! Spanish Tapas! Yummy Yummy!
Challenge commences! Annalize is fascinated by the wheel. She is eliminated within a few seconds.
They don’t have a foot on the beam yet. Jeanne is out too.
ELAPSED TIME: 5 MINUTES
Toni’s ball falls. She wears the wheel like a hat.
They now have to place a foot on the beam. Tom’s ball falls out.
TOM: Why did I change my rhythm????
Only a 13 year old would do that.
Tom notes Palesa is focused.
ELAPSED TIME: 10 MINUTES
Both feet are now on the beam.
ELAPSED TIME: 15 MINUTES
They have gone further down the beam. Werner is out.
PK’s ball stops. Frozen.
Now it’s just Palesa and Katinka.
ELAPSED TIME: 20 MINUTES
They are at the very bottom of the beam.
TOM: I really don’t like Palesa.
Well she don’t like you neither.
ELAPSED TIME: 30 MINUTES
As we hit thirty minutes, Kat steps off. Palesa wins reward!
Kat is super bummed to lose the challenge.
KAT (confessional): Toni was like “well done, Katinka” then I was like (brushes her aside like a boxer dodging a punch) “leave me alone! Don’t touch me!”
Wow. She does not like Toni.
Nico informs Palesa she can pick one person to share the reward.
TOM: Why don’t you pick someone you don’t like?
PALESA: That’s easy, Tom.
Palesa wants to go with the devil she knows.
PALESA: I’ll take Tom.
TOM: That’s insane.
PALESA (confessional): I’d rather be eating the fruits of my own labour with someone who openly dislikes me.
PALESA: We may as well dislike each other on the same bed.
Wow. I would not want to share a bed with Gino & Jesse from TAR Canada 3.
Palesa and Tom just can’t quit each other. Tom assumed she would plead her case to Werner. I think Palesa made the smart move by making the most unexpected move to provide the current dynamic with a much-needed shakeup.
Tom and Palesa wash up before their hot date.
PK: I thought they’ll do it later.
In the words of PK when Josie and Tevin were on Mindanao, something’s gonna haaaaappen.
For the third time this season, Palesa finds a hidden package. It’s a hidden immunity idol. Once again, the alliance at the bottom has their THIRD hidden immunity idol.
Palesa and Tom share wine. Palesa finds everyone else very boring and predictable as they wait to hand money to Werner or Katinka.
PALESA: I hope he buys these are the last wishes of a dying horse.
Tom promises Palesa that he will tell her when she is going home, and will try to eliminate PK if he doesn’t win immunity.
TOM (confessional): I started this game as a guest and an adopted child. I think I am playing one hell of a game.
Whether Tom follows through with his word is another matter.
Tom and Palesa snooze after Tom says he’ll tell Palesa when she is going home.
INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #3
For today’s challenge, they’ll hold onto a rope that balances a tilting table. They’ll collect blocks one at a time to stack the word ‘IMMUNITY’ on their table. First person to do so wins immunity.
It’s the same challenge that debuted in Survivor: Blood vs. Water and has been played a million times since then.
Everyone is stackin’ blocks.
ELAPSED TIME: 10 MINUTES
Tables tilting. Blocks are repeatedly dropped. Several players have ‘UNITY’ spelled. Tom loses UNITY. How fitting.
We see Annalize spell ‘MUTINY–er, I mean MUNITY’.
PK stacks the blocks on his head. HEY! A new strategy after seeing this challenge played out a dozen times.
Annalize has MMUNITY.
ELAPSED TIME: 20 MINUTES
Tom also at MMUNITY. PK too. Tom’s tower is gone. Lots of swearing.
Annalize is halfway to the table and it tips. Her first time losing all of her blocks.
PK has the ‘I’ on his head. He puts it on top but it tips seconds after the tower drops.
Toni is in the lead with MMUNITY. Mmmm. MMUNITY.
Tom tips again.
ANNALIZE: You’re making yourself tired. Just slow down. Slow down.
ELAPSED TIME: 42 MINUTES
Jeanne kicks the air when her tower tips.
Toni has IMMUNITY and is one foot away from winning. All she needs is a foot on the mat. Nope. She takes too long and it tips.
Werner now has IMMUNITY.
ELAPSED TIME: 50 MINUTES
Everyone keeps tipping. Werner is extremely close. Centimetres away.
NICO: 3. . .2. . .1. Werner wins immunity!
And with an idol still in his pocket. He is one step closer to having an enormous amount of power in this game.
JEANNE: The champ is here! The champ is here!
Jeanne is very much in Werner’s pocket.
Werner thinks votes will be aimed at Palesa or PK or both. Any name in the opposite alliance and he’ll be happy.
Werner strategizes with Kat. He thinks PK has an idol. Kat wants votes split between PK and Palesa.
Annalize and Jeanne strategize. Jeanne wants to vote against Palesa. Annalize wants PK. Jeanne points out PK is expecting to be voted out tonight.
PK and Palesa talk. PK does indeed expect to go home because the others assume he’ll have another idol. Palesa doesn’t reveal her idol secret.
PK: I highly doubt [there’s another idol].
PALESA: I just want to know if it’s me then I can just live happily ever after on my last day on the island.
Annalize and Jeanne agree not to eliminate Toni.
ANNALIZE: She could turn–
JEANNE: To who? Who can she turn to? She’s putting everybody under the bus. The only person she can talk to are jury members and the longer we’ll keep her off the jury the better.
I have never heard of that strategy before. Keep somebody in the game as long as possible with the sole purpose of preventing their influence on the jury. Essentially you hold an outsider hostage on the island.
Jeanne believes Palesa is very strong in challenges and therefore needs to go. She talks about this with Katinka. Jeanne points out Toni is now talking to Palesa.
Werner, Katinka, and Tom have a powwow. They agree to all vote Palesa. Six votes on Palesa. No splitting.
Jeanne and Toni surprisingly strategize. Toni also agrees to eliminate Palesa. Why even bother letting Toni in on the plan?
JEANNE: If by some miracle Palesa plays an idol, whoever Palesa and PK vote for will be going home.
PALESA (to TOM): Is it me?
PALESA (confessional): If I go home tonight with the idol, it’s gonna be terrible. But it’s my lifeline in this game and the only way to climb up the island. If I play my idol and they don’t vote for me, then there is no more climbing up.
Unless you find an idol clue/real idol for the fourth time in a row. It’s what Survivor is now.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #11
We have generic conversation about if people are thinking about the jury. Tom knows both jurors won’t vote for him to win.
Jeanne agrees people are being lied to within the alliance.
CHANE: They’re lying to her. . .she’s at the bottom.
Potentially, Chane. Potentially. Surprisingly, Jeanne’s name has never come up since merge.
NICO: What if you’re just looked at somebody who was dragged along?
JEANNE: Riding coattails is a strategy or sitting next to a massive target is a strategy.
Jeanne views going to the end with her alliance as they all made the same moves together and the tiebreaker would come to the social game.
How to win over a jury continues as the main discussion.
PK: I won’t respect anyone who is just riding Werner’s wings.
WERNER: I want to know who the weak player is that I can drag along because I see fire and passion within each person.
Toni says it is BS as Tom just admitted he wouldn’t receive a single jury vote. They talk about who is going home as Tom comforts PK.
Palesa looks sad and miserable.
Palesa is gonna play her idol when she has been in the bottom two or three every vote since the merge, right? Hopefully PK and Palesa’s votes bounce back on somebody.
Nico counts the votes. I didn’t realize how close the urn is to the contestants.
If anybody has a hidden immunity idol, and Palesa would like to play it, now is the time to do so.
Nothing?! Oh god. No.
FIRST VOTE: PALESA
SECOND VOTE: PALESA
THIRD VOTE: PALESA
FOURTH VOTE: KAT (small note)
FIFTH VOTE: KATINKA (another note)
SIXTH VOTE: PALESA
Palesa looks to the heavens. You don effed up, son.
NEXT VOTE: PALESA
And she’s gone. She doesn’t say a word about her idol. That torch be snuffed. I didn’t realize how short she was until now.
She took Tom at his word after living with him for 29 days?!
Next Time on Survivor SA: Two people must be sent to Exile Island.
PALESA: Getting eliminated with an idol was one of the things I was never going to do.
How do you go from wasting an idol one round to not playing an idol at all in the very next round without ever voting in the majority since merge?
For a season that had a huge number of unexpected shakeups in the first seven eliminations, we now have four Tribal Councils in a row where the majority stayed intact. Josie, Vusi, Chane, and Palesa have all been eliminated in a row without the core alliance breaking.
Luckily the moral dilemmas and huge characters have kept us entertained accompanied by very rare fun hidden immunity idol scenes. Idols being given out on both rewards sounds a lot more justified and consistent rather than “let’s hide them right next to where Ben sleeps each morning or at unprecedented times” in the closing days of Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.
Perhaps the one thing hurting this season since the merge is that the most interesting characters are at the bottom. Vusi, Chane, PK, Palesa, and Toni have been the bottom five in terms of position but perhaps the top five in terms of character moments over the past several episodes. Editors are inclined to agree as everything has been narrated from their perspective while Jeanne and Katinka have only been popping up over the past couple episodes. Annalize is practically invisible and Werner hasn’t provided too much entertainment since he ate paper on the first or second day.
OK, the one exception to this trend has been Tom. Seeing the relationship between him and the other Luzons who opposed him since day one has been really fun to watch unfold. He has this odd respect for Palesa but still found a way to undermine her at every turn. Palesa and Vusi saved and trusted Tom so many times when they clearly should not have done so. Survivor can be poetic like that.
Oh, and the fact Chane betrayed Tom which led to him putting his BFF on the jury is an additional layer to the whole dynamic.
Now that Tom has no more antagonizing Luzons to vote out, I am very curious to see what happens when everything is now squared in on PK. We assume PK has to be ultra screwed at this point. No one will even risk using him in a blindside to tip the balance of power in another direction.
Presuming we have another idol hidden at reward since Palesa’s idol is out of play, I really really hope Werner doesn’t find it or else we may as well skip to day 38 of this game to see if he gets taken out in the penultimate round. This season will shoot up several points if we can see a coup d’etat against Werner and Annalize.
Especially if this coup d’etat is led by Jeanne, Katinka, PK, Toni, and Tom. The biggest group of misfits ever to align and reach the endgame of any season of Survivor.
P.S. This episode needed more PK Fire.