Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: Fighting Fire with Fire

Logan Saunders recaps the twenty-fifth episode of Week 11 of Australian Survivor complete with a Mexican standoff.

Australian Survivor: Fighting Fire with Fire


Previously on Aussie Survivor: After 51 days, marooned far from home, just four survivors remain.

Peter. Jericho. Michelle. And Tara. At the last challenge, Jericho won a massive advantage. The right to eliminate one member of the jury. Unsure who on the jury was with him or against him, he chose Tessa.

With half a million dollars in reach, who will be voted out tonight?

Insta-Intro time. None of this nighttime back to camp reflection BS.




       Michelle       Peter         


  Jericho           Tara


Waterfalls. Mass jungle. Waves crashing into rocks. Palm trees. This is Samoa.


Things must have been boring at camp. JLP says there is a reward but no challenge.

PETEY: Oh no.

Petey knows what’s coming. He is already crying.

JLP goes from recapping their journey in the game to talking about their loved ones. Here come the tears.

JLP: The people you care about the most right here right now.

JERICHO (whine): What the heck????

I drooled on myself from laughing so hard. Everyone needs to replay Jericho saying this. The audio is so funny. It comes out of left field.

For me, it would probably be Andre 3000, Demetrious Mighty Mouse Johnson, Amerie, and Homer Simpson.

Petey instead has his mom and dad.

Michelle only gets her sister Sam.

Jericho is keen for his brother Paul. Everyone keeps laughing and laughing as Paul has the slowest entrance ever. I think Scout from Survivor: Vanuatu was faster.

Tara wants to see her husband and kids but knows it is asking too much.

She gets her husband and her kids. This is officially the record for the most people to come out on a loved ones visit.

Alright, now I’m bored. Make me laugh, Jericho.

You can probably fill in all of their answers to each question JLP asks.

Paul says he will stop breathing if Jericho is a Survivor winner.

JLP asks Petey’s dad if he is proud of his son. He said he would be if he hadn’t heard he was a goat from Locky when the families were briefly staying at Ponderosa.

Nah, just kidding. He is proud of his son.

They return to camp with them for a few hours.

Tara’s youngest asks why she is so muddy. Tara shows them where she sleeps. Luckily Locky was voted out a couple nights ago or else this could be REALLY awkward.

TARA: And this is where Locky and I sleep.


LOCKY: Yeah! C’mon kids, I’ll teach you how to swim and we’ll go hiking in the jungle!

CHILDREN: Yaaaaay!

(LOCKY teaches them how to swim in the deep water as TARA and TARA’s HUSBAND watch.)

TARA: Locky is so amazing.

TARA’S HUSBAND: I’m sure he is.

TARA: Look at him! Junior is diving on his own! They caught a fish! How cute!

CHILDREN: Wow! We did this all by ourselves!

LOCKY: Yeah, you guys are naturals at this!

(LOCKY dives in himself and catches three sharks with his bare hands.)


LOCKY: Hahaha! I’ll show you kids how to properly prepare shark for dinner!


TARA: Isn’t he great? He’s been doing this the whole time.


CHILDREN: I wish you were my dad, Locky!

LOCKY: Hahahaha, now now, I’m sure your father knows how to do all of these things too, and can make fire without flint.

(LOCKY and CHILDREN rejoin TARA and TARA’s HUSBAND on shore.)

TARA’S HUSBAND: Did Locky teach you kids how to swim and fish?

CHILDREN: Yeaaah! He’s the best! Can he come over dad? Can he? Can he?

TARA’S HUSBAND (grumbles): Ask your mother.

(LOCKY hugs TARA while holding the shark in his left hand and the spear in his right hand. Sweat is dripping down from his neck. TARA holds onto the embrace for a second longer than she should, and slaps LOCKY’s butt as he walks away.)

TARA’S HUSBAND: Now listen here boy–

(JERICHO emerges from the jungle with a machete.)

JERICHO: You sir shall not interfere with the harmony in our camp! Hyyyaaaaaah!

(JERICHO jumps up with his machete and decapitates TARA’s HUSBAND.)


(CHILDREN flee.)

TARA (forming a protective stance trailing behind her CHILDREN): Run children! Go! Now!

(PAUL emerges from the jungle also with a machete.)

PAUL: And your challenge beasting abilities shall not interfere with my household having a Survivor winner! Hyyyyyaaaaaaah!

(PAUL jumps up with his machete and decapitates LOCKY.)

PAUL: La sangre que derramo para mi familia!

  1. I have too much of an imagination. Let’s get back to reality.


The first thing Jericho does with his brother? Grabs the machete. I’m not even joking. He shows off his machete skills with a coconut. So Jericho.

Jericho compliments Paul’s chopping skills and says it is better than most of the tribemates’. So being a serial machete-wielding maniac runs in the family. All in the blood. . . line.

Paul strategizes with Jericho for them to vote out Jericho, but isn’t worried because he has two idols.

Michelle wants her sister’s advice in the game. I should note I would never ask my siblings or my parents for advice if they ever came out on a reward on Survivor–they aren’t as competitive as me.

Michelle’s sister asks her to vote out Jericho. Michelle listens because her sister has been in Samoa for fifty-one days with these players–oh wait.

Petey’s dad is so Aussie. Right down to the Crocodile Dundee hat. Petey reveals he named the rats that scurried around Samatau.

PETEY’S DAD: I’m proud as punch.

What the heckkkkkkk (Jericho voice).

Tara says her heart is now like a teenager.


This is one confessional we didn’t want to hear.

The family members finally leave. Everyone’s family. Thank god. Michelle says she is on the ninth cloud.


They survey the huge challenge build.

TARA: What the frick is going on?

JLP asks Tara about her family. Then Petey. The talisman is already back up for grabs.

For today’s challenge, they will pull themselves on a canoe over to a tower. They will then use a bucket to fill up a tank to retrieve a key. Once you have the key, swim back to shore and unlock a rope wrapped around a balance beam. Make your way across a beam and use the rope to pull down a bridge which leads to a puzzle. First person to solve the puzzle wins immunity.

It is like ten immunity challenges I have seen on Survivor merged into one. Whoever wins the talisman today is going to earn it.

Swimming, boating, agility, balance, coordination, power, puzzle-solving, and endurance.

Jericho is off to a quick start in the boat. Petey and Michelle are right behind him. Tara is somehow already falling out of it.

Tara fails miserably at the bucket dumping.  Petey and Jericho are mastering the bucket technique. Michelle is a bit short for the tank.

Jericho is first to retrieve the key. Too bad he didn’t do a cannonball into the water. Luckily he practiced swimming with Locky because he isn’t afraid to get back to shore. Petey is about thirty seconds behind, but he loses time because he swims in a zig-zag.  It’s like he is dodging the fish in the water.

Michelle has the key and lands butt first into the water like Julie Chen.

Jericho and Petey are unlocking the rope. Petey can’t even get onto the beam. Jericho is already halfway through. Michelle can’t even run up the sand.

Jericho is across the beam. Now to toss a monkey fist into the hoop. Yep, it’s called a monkey fist.

Tara is now on the beam and has caught up to Michelle.

Jericho is still missing on the monkey fist.

JLP: He comes coming up short!

Story of Jericho’s life.

Petey is now across. So is Michelle. So is Tara. After a million obstacles, this is dead even. Jericho finally lands it in the hoop. He is off to the puzzle.

Tara is second to hoop it. Petey is third. Michelle lands it too, but the rope slips out of the hoop somehow. That is tragic.

Petey puts on his glasses to do the puzzle. Nerrrrrrrrrd.

JLP: Her bridge is down!

I wish he said that in an Ahnold voice.

One of Petey’s pieces is on the ground. Petey and Michelle are now in the top two on the puzzle.

Petey is down to his last piece but there are two gaps. He is very confused. Petey finds it on the ground silently and puts it in. That’s it. Petey wins his first individual challenge of the game!

Hey, at least Michelle didn’t lose by two seconds. That would have been embarrassing.

Petey raises the roof upon having the talisman bestowed upon him.

Jericho is upset because Petey is the person who needed to be eliminated tonight and it was going to be a smooth 3-1 vote. Now he is nervous for the first time in 52 days.


DAY 52

We see a huge torrent of water gushing down one of the valleys in Samoa before we see the tribe return to camp.

JERICHO: I am spewing. Now that Peter has bloody won, nobody has a Plan B.

When all four return to camp, Tara openly states it is obvious that everyone will want to talk to Petey. They all decide to do a series of one-on-ones.

Petey speaks to Michelle on the beach first. He wants Jericho gone because he is the biggest jury threat and knows Jericho will not take him to the end. Michelle agrees.

MICHELLE: I think he’ll take it well. I think he’ll understand.

Just don’t let him bring the machete to Tribal.

The other three talk about how much the situation sucks, and that the band is breaking up. Who’s the Yoko here?

MICHELLE: The competitors don’t go to the Olympics and worry about how their opponents’ feelings are like after it’s over.

Petey and Tara are together. The ole friendship duo. Petey tells her Jericho is the plan. Tara volunteers herself as the decoy vote.

Petey and Jericho are last to talk. He wants to vote against her because he wants to beat the best. Jericho is keen to do so.

JERICHO: All right, sweet as.

I think Jericho said sweet ass.

After the conversation breaks, Jericho suddenly stops in his tracks.

JERICHO: That doesn’t make sense.

When Petey, Jericho, and Michelle are together, Petey pulls over Michelle for a quick chat. Jericho is even more suspicious because if they are a 3-1 majority there shouldn’t be a reason for a private chat.

Jericho is holding a machete over the fire as he says aloud to himself that the plan for Petey is to get him out.

JERICHO: Shame on you, Michelle. Shame on you.

Jericho talks to Michelle about the vote. He tells her he is certain Tara will vote against her. Then reveals his paranoia about Michelle and Petey’s private chats.

MICHELLE: I’m not going to be threatened.

Jericho says he will get Tara to vote with him against her, and make it a 2-2 tie.

Jericho and Michelle argue over whether Michelle should have the freedom to have talks.

MICHELLE: If Tara goes off and speaks to Pete three more times this afternoon, I’m not going to threaten her and say–

JERICHO: I’m not threatening you! I’m going to save myself!

MICHELLE: I’m not just going to have one conversation and think ‘sweet, I’m safe’. I didn’t play this game for 52 days and just f-ck, just go out yeah, I think what I mean.

Jericho goes on to do a wild impression of Michelle in a confessional. Tara sits in on the fight.

TARA: I’m not going to miss an opportunity to make a big move.

Tara points out if she and Jericho go off to walk, Michelle will get paranoid. Michelle has no problem if they do that.

Jericho and Tara go off into the jungle.

TARA: The jury sees everything. I need to prove that I am in control of my game. I want to show I can go against the best in the Final Three. I can easily write down Jeri’s name and walk out there happy and fine, or I can try and get Michelle gone tonight.

Tara reveals Petey’s plan to Jericho in the jungle. She says Petey is worried that Jericho will be popular in the jury.

JERICHO: You know what? Let’s have a massive war. . . You are my lifesaver.

Jericho is always eager for battles and wars.

TARA: If I write Michelle’s name down, split the vote, do a fire challenge, and Michelle might win and go back to camp with her and hashtag awkward.

Tara is extremely nervous.

***Note I want to talk about how jury goats have a tendency to be more important in determining a winner than a jury ever could.***

JERICHO: I’m ready for battle.

You always have been for 52 days.





JLP asks Petey about the talisman. Petey is relieved to know he is not vulnerable. JLP confirms with Michelle if Petey was in danger. Michelle points out the obvious that not winning immunity only leaves you with two options.

JLP asks Jericho about whether Petey has all of the power entering the vote.

JERICHO: Just because this guy has immunity doesn’t mean he gets to pick who to take and who to send home. Who made this guy the sovereign of your decision tonight? Who made him king? I am going to fight for my shot in this game. Everyone has got one vote. The power really sits on you. You can pull in one more person and make this a fire challenge.

Jericho brags about how much practice he has had fire since the start of the game, and wants to fight to the Final Three.

JERICHO: I am not afraid and am not going to let anybody decide my fate tonight.

JLP: Wow. That was quite the pitch.

JLP wasn’t expecting it.

Jericho wants a battle and doesn’t want anybody afraid in the Final Four. Nobody should be scared of the risk. Michelle bites her lip hard.

Michelle says people are allowed to have conversations with whomever they like and base their decision on that.

JERICHO: She’s basically saying we had a conversation and I “threatened” her. . . If it’s just you and Peter, when it should be all three of us, I am going to assume they are voting against me.

Michelle immediately grills Jericho if he had a one-on-one with Tara and Petey.

MICHELLE: Did I get funny? So how come you’re allowed to but I’m not allowed to. We’re all missing pieces. That’s what a one-on-one conversation is.

This war of words is great.

Michelle then repeats that Jericho would go to a fire challenge if she kept talking to Peter.

JERICHO: That’s exactly what I said! . . . If you kept having those conversations, we MIGHT JUST GO TO A FIRE MAKING CHALLENGE.

I love how Jericho breaks out a f–king Sesame Street voice.

Michelle is fine with a fire-making challenge. Petey thinks a fire-making challenge should be unnecessary. Tara has such glee on her face during Jericho and Michelle’s fights. Petey is confident it won’t happen since there is a beneficial move.

Tara says her vote isn’t about eliminating the biggest jury threat at this point. Wait. What?

Michelle’s final words before voting are that it’s not a team sport, and everyone should do what’s best for them.

We see Michelle write down Jericho.

MICHELLE: You shot yourself in the foot.

It’s kind of funny because I think Jericho has shot many people in the foot.




Oh no.


Jericho fist pumps. Petey immediately looks at Tara. She puts her hands up as if she doesn’t know what happened.

For the first time since Joan’s elimination, it’s a re-vote. Locky is acting like a maniac on the jury bench.

Petey and Tara both re-vote. Locky keeps looking at Tara.



‘Tis a deadlock. Jericho taunts Petey in a Dave Crusher fashion.

And holy crap Locky, settle down.

Petey closes his eyes. His dreams are shattering before his eyes.

The fire-making stations magically appear. There are no chairs. Only Americans get to sit down.

They have the basic tools. Michelle goes to work right away as Jericho builds a little foundation at first. Jericho scrapes the flint.

LOCKY: It won’t work like that.

Neither did anything you planned all game, Locky. Simmer down now.

JLP keeps talking and talking during the fire-making challenge. Jericho gets the pile of magnesium to catch. The husk burns quickly, but it goes out. Locky and Tara both facepalm.

TARA: I can’t watch.

This is all you.

LOCKY: Blow! Blow!

He’s like the Firaga Whisperer.

Jericho has a HUGE fire erupt out of nowhere. Michelle has diddly squat. Diddly squat cannot compete as Jericho nonchalantly hovers over his fire as the rope burns.

And that is that. Jericho compliments Michelle’s non-existent fire.

Michelle’s flame on her torch is also extinguished. The epic showdown between Jericho and Michelle is over.

Jericho has his teddy bear under his arm. We’re back to a Final Four. The teddy bear, Jericho, and Petey will now battle over who gets to drag Tara to the Final Two. Maybe Jericho and the teddy bear can compete in a fire-making challenge next.


Next Time on Survivor: The finale. The challenge to end all challenges. Jericho, Peter, and Tara face the ultimate test. Who will overcome it all to claim the half million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor?

Michelle finds her exit painful. She put her trust in Tara, but realized she should have stayed with Jericho like she has for fifty-two days.

MICHELLE: This is what I get for letting the boys do all the work around camp.

Lesson for even the brightest players in Survivor: Make fire because Final Four is a really unpredictable scenario to try and survive.


The two greatest players of this season had a major clash in this episode. Seeing Jericho and Michelle fight it out for a whole episode was like watching Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth battle it out in court. Two people who are exceptionally gifted at the game of Survivor were left with no other reasonable option than to target each other.

Petey’s immunity win really messed everything up.

I know whoever was eliminated this round would be thinking “Why didn’t we just vote against Tara? Engineer a 2-1-1 vote as we manipulate Tara into throwing her vote away on Jericho?”

But Tara is clearly the easiest person to beat at the end. You can’t vote for Petey. So your choice is made by default. Michelle could have been sneakier and deceive Jericho, but Jericho is too smart. He only fell for the Tara decoy vote for two seconds.

Jericho said it himself–“it makes no sense for them to vote Tara. Oh crap, that means they must be voting for me.”


It annoys me to see Michelle not get more praise. I know the folks who only like super physical players on Survivor are probably the type of people who hate Michelle.

“She only won immunity over Locky cause Jericho told her to push the dominos!”

“She is so bossy!”

“Why does she keep playing for herself and nobody else!”

“She is so loud at Tribal Council!”

“She has no loyalty to anyone!”

Every single statement I saw about Michelle was either untrue, could apply to everyone else in the game, were very sexist terms, or were mad because she didn’t save their favourite player.

Michelle is such a rare female Survivor player to see. She pretty much played alone, had really good reads on people and alliances, didn’t use the ‘flirt’ card or her sexuality, she didn’t have an over-the-top personality, wasn’t quirky, was very manipulative, and was extremely well-spoken.

Hell, she was gonna blindside Henry before the merge despite being on the bottom at Samatau, and picked apart Ben in front of everybody at Tribal Council. Ben didn’t stand a chance. Then when merge hit, she ditched every Samatau player anyway and schooled them all.

I love the casting job Aussie Survivor has done for both of their seasons, and especially this year when we get people like Michelle on Survivor.


Tara wanted to make her own move by voting with Jericho. But will the jury think she was duped by Jericho since he is the biggest jury threat? Wouldn’t her own move be to get him out and maybe go to the end with Petey or Michelle who will be grilled by some members of the jury?

Is Tara like Kim Johnson in Survivor: Africa where she doesn’t think she has a chance of winning the game at Final Four, and is simply backing the players who she wants to see win the most?

Was it her last chance to settle the Samatau score with Petey and stop him from getting his way?

In any event, nobody really made a bad move this episode. And neither did the producers. . . except maybe minimize the family moments in previous episodes to not let this family visit seem like overkill.

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