Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: Putting Your Relationship with Pie Fingers to the Test

Logan Saunders transcribes Episode 3 of Australian Survivor: Season 4 and he reflects on what seems clear based on Week 1.

Australian Survivor: Putting Your Relationship with Pie Fingers to the Test


Previously on Survivor AU: There is an ultra marathon runner, a barrel racer, and a miner who is a loose canon! A fake yoga instructor found a hidden immunity idol! A poker player found a clue but lost the support of his alliance when unknown occupation AK unleashed havoc at Tribal Council! He used the idol to win favour with Jarrad as Adam became the second person knocked out.

22 remain! Who will be eliminated tonight?



Everyone praises AK with his Tomfoolery–or rather Adamfoolery. He is stoked.

Jarrad is still confused why an idol was played for him. He pulls AK aside. It was indeed a move to gain trust. I think Jarrad just wants AK not to go rogue anymore even though he likes the guy.

JARRAD: You just need to ask for a fresh start with everyone.

That ship has long sailed.

JARRAD: I just wanted to coast under the radar.

Another ship that has sailed thanks to AK.

Poor Jarrad. This guy has done absolutely nothing wrong. AK really really really wants an alliance with him, and an idol play has made that completely clear to everyone else in the game. It’s like AK is The Cable Guy and Jarrad is Matthew Broderick. Everyone thinks they must be best buds, and no matter what Jarrad does down the road, he will never be able to shake off that label. Jim Carrey is stuck to him and he kind of has to accept it.

And we’re off to our marathon intro…



    Michelle        Sarah             Henry                Ben




     Mark W          Kent             Odette           Jacqui


      Jericho        Samantha          Luke




      Ziggy              Locky          Anneliese         Mark 




     Tara              Jarrad              Tessa              Kate


      Aimee            Peter                AK



Luke is cuddling Jericho during the storm because his wife will be upset if he spooned any women. Mark and Samantha, a.k.a. Sammy, are spooning and even wrapping their legs around each other in the shelter. Jacqui was Mark W’s day one cuddle partner,but was quickly replaced.

JACQUI: She’s never more than two feet from him. . .Don’t make it so obvious!

Especially when the previous season had a couple make it to the Final Three together. It will work once, but nobody is going to fall for it twice in a row.



Who should go? Kate or Tessa? Locky and Jarrad talk about it.

JARRAD: I’m not too fussed.

Man. Such an indifference.

Tessa is pissed that Tara flipped on the alliance against a guy who was 6’4″ and a solid number. I don’t know what his height has to do with it, but whatever. Also, welcome to the confessional count, Tessa.

Locky has already named his own alliance–The Misfits: Jarrad, Aimee, Peter, Anneliese, Tara, AK, and Locky.

NOTE: I always want to write down JK instead of AK. TAR Asia 5 is still in my head.

Tessa, Kate, and Tarzan are on the outs of the tribe.

We learn about Tessa. She has been a doctor for five years, and her back is never against the wall. There is also a shot of a rainbow. She is banking on a switch or a merge.



A merge. . .with 22 people.

Tessa and Tara strategize.

TESSA: Her response was very wishy-washy.

How wishy-washy?

TARA: I haven’t spoken to Adam–what’s his name? Locky or anyone.

Yeah, maybe a bit wishy-washy. Locky is not one of those names you forget.

Tara proclaims she will do anything to win this game. She tells Kate and Tessa to separate because the majority is always watching and think the two of them are coming off as a strong alliance.

TESSA: Tara. . .in my mind, she’s gone.

Man. Tara has taken over Adam’s role of burning bridges with previously close allies.



MARK W: Samantha is half my weight but twice as dangerous.

In a game that is fifty-five days, nothing is as lethal as a player who is a professional when it comes to endurance.

Michelle wants to find a watchdog like Mark W to be her boyfriend in the real world.

Everybody is observing the power couple. Henry refers to himself and Jacqui as the power couple but wants to separate the obvious power couple.



Samatau walks in. Asaga has an enormous reaction to Adam’s elimination, not like a Corinne-Matty-Sugar type of reaction, but close.

Jacqui is stunned because you need big guys in the beginning, especially if you’re Samantha.

JACQUI: You need the big guys. Use ’em.

Anneliese thinks you have to “roll with it” in this game as a giant ball is directly behind her. Hilarious wording. The ball looks like the type that chased down Homer Simpson after he was incarcerated on the mysterious island for being Mr. X.

Pardon me, it’s a boulder. They must push a HUGE boulder through a series of obstacles. Like, bigger than the one in Survivor: Africa. Then two tribemates will balance on the boulder from one high platform to another platform. Once both are across, they will toss rings to release a ramp. The first tribe to push the boulder over the ramp and into the hole wins reward.

What’s their reward? Chair. Hammock. Sheets. Lanterns. Candles. Tarp.

The boulder knocks AK into a post and he hits the ground hard. Maybe some sense got literally knocked into him.

Asaga loses control of the boulder and has to roll it back to a bridge. Not even the American version has done this. The elevated bridge triggers a lot of momentum for the boulder.

Asaga is first to the platform. Jacqui is balancing.

Samatau is second to the platform. Jarrad is balancing and passes him. That is a long way up in the air without a harness.

JLP: You don’t want to fall from up there. It’s a long way down.

We might have more fatalities than Bulgarian Survivor with this challenge. Jesus.

I really wish a Rudy or a Cirie or a Sandra had to do a challenge like this. The audience would have cringed.

Jarrad is across. The boulder is rolled back for Kate. She’s got a six-pack. Impressive.

Jacqui is across. The boulder is rolled back for Jericho. He is flying through it. I am amazed he didn’t fall.

Both tribes are in a dead heat. This season sure loves their 2 vs. 2 showdowns. Dan Barry from Survivor: Exile Island would be haunted by the number of 2 vee 2 showdowns.

Samatau releases the ramp thanks to Jarrad closing his eyes before the final ring toss.

Jericho and Jacqui are annoyed. Samatau nearly loses their boulder on the side of the ramp. Mark H falls down the ramp. He comes back and shoves into the hole as Locky scolds Mark H for not slowing down as one of the underedited women falls into the hole and is nearly squashed by the boulder.

Before a feud can erupt, they claim their reward and retreat. Locky has to be reminded they won.

MARK H: I got Chest Eyes from Locky about tipping poor ol’ Ziggy over the edge. To pin blame on anybody was ridiculous. It was a bloody challenge for sh**’s sake.

For sh**t’s sake? I have never heard that expression before.



Mark H says they were ripped off by another reward.

MARK H: It’s the size of a handkerchief.

NOTE: It is bigger than a handkerchief. Mark may or may not be exaggerating.

Locky lays into Mark H.

MARK H: “Ya d***head, you pushed her in the hole!”

I don’t think Locky would use the word d***head. Pretty sure only the old dudes like Mark H or Kent use that word.

Mark H decides to test Locky by criticizing the tarp right before they finish the setup. He starts laughing at Locky to his face. This creates a fight. AK giggles about this “father-son” relationship from the sidelines.

Unlike Luke and Jericho’s self-described father-son relationship, I don’t think any cuddling will happen here.



Henry and Samantha ask each other if they can talk about general stuff with Michelle.

This cuts to paranoia as Samantha approaches both Odette and Kent individually. Both are flabbergasted.

KENT: Seriously, what would I know?

Kent loves to play the clueless old guy. He says people buy it. Samantha indeed does. So does Jacqui. She says she can do it well.

JACQUI: No one has told me anything.

Fabulous, fifty, and forgetful.

Samantha asks Sarah if her name has been thrown around. Sarah confirms Sam’s suspicion and says it is because she has been paranoid going around if her name is on the chopping block.

How. Ironic.



Strategy strategy with Kate and Tessa. They look for cracks. They find a book written by Rory Freeman under a tree on the island. Nah, just kidding.

They decide to go to AK and ask him to make a big move. Kate has a seventeen-year sales background and has relationships with clients. This sudden boost in airtime does not bode well for her.

Kate has a chat with AK. Look at me using Aussie lingo.

KATE: They’re gonna get me first. They’ll keep you warm for the numbers. Then you’ll be gone.

AK: I know that.

KATE: Then you’ll be gone.

AK: I know that.

KATE: Then you’ll be gone.

AK: Yeah.

AK: One group has thrown me a lifeline.

KATE: We’re throwing you one now.

To make a group of four in a tribe of eleven.

AK is still processing his position of power as everyone wants his vote. It’s like they don’t feel threatened by him anymore or something.



Mark H has a self-imposed timeout on the beach alone in the rain. He has a nap. Tessa walks over to Mark H.

MARK H: I’m just having a bit of a lay. I’m shagged.

Do people actually say this?

Tessa comes to a conclusion.

TESSA: I need an idol.

Two potential idol plays in three episodes? That’s a bit excessive.

Tessa tells Mark H that he needs to look for an idol for her and Kate because nobody will question if he looks for it. I don’t know about asking the guy who is dead on the beach who may not be the most energetic guy to ask for help.

Mark H obliges as Tess touched his heart. Sure enough, he gets up and looks for it.



Samantha is nervous. She asks Henry and Jacqui if the alliance will stick together. Henry and Jacqui play along. So do Mark W and Kent. The fake plan is a split vote between Michelle and Ben.

SAMANTHA: I could tell Henry thinks he has his fingers in a couple of pies.

One of them being pumpkin spice.

Samantha instructs Mark W to follow Henry and Jacqui to the water well. Mark W catches up and the conversation is very awkward.

Once they return to camp, Kent informs Jacqui that Samantha asked Mark W to tail her.

HENRY: I am going to throw this challenge.

Man, dysfunctional tribes sure love throwing immunity challenges in the third round if they have yet to lose one. Pre-switch throwing rarely works out. Just ask Sook Jai.



JLP asks about the non-stop rain (except during this challenge as they finally have clear skies).

Michelle has learned that she is indeed a princess and likes the luxuries of back home. She hates camping more than Peter.

For this challenge, they will paddle a raft around three triangular crates. Attached to a buoy underneath the water is a key. Untie a series of knots to retrieve the key. Use the key to unlock a chest containing a stack of bamboo. Back on shore, build a bamboo tower that is higher than a huge pole on the beach. Once the bamboo tower is beyond the pole, they will win immunity.

Another unique challenge. Good job, Survivor AU production team.

Asaga strategizes. Henry says he can control the boat. This is going to be like John Carroll and Rob The General all over again.

The challenge begins.

JLP: That raft is heavy!

What isn’t heavy in Survivor AU, JLP?

Henry is last onto the raft. JLP is accompanied by two badass men on his boat. Samatau is having a helluva time trying to paddle.

Luke takes lead of Asaga’s paddling. JLP notes Henry is the only one not in sync.

Samatau is first to the buoy. Or as JLP says, “boy”. Locky is in the water.

Kent is diving into the water. I love that he has the same swimming body type as the Slovenian man who swam the Amazon in a documentary ten years ago. The resemblance is uncanny.

Kent and Locky are now in an underwater showdown. Kent is out of breath. Locky has the key. Is Kent in on the challenge throw?

Asaga sitting idly on the raft as Kent struggles with the knots. Tara shouts they have plenty of time.

Henry volunteers himself as the one to help Kent onto the boat. He promises to hold the mooring.

SPOILER ALERT: He doesn’t hold onto it. Whatever the hell a mooring is, he eventually fixes this mooring.

Locky unlocks the bamboo stockpile on shore. Mark H gives tips on how to build it. I estimate their lead is ten minutes. Henry discreetly sabotages the paddling whenever he can.

They make it to shore. Henry left the key on the raft. Kent has the honour of unlocking the bamboo raft. The tribe respects Kent a surprising amount.

Samatau is two-thirds of the way done. Henry is working very slowly on emptying the bamboo stockpile.

Asaga somehow surpasses Samatau. Samatau is in complete disagreement.

A bamboo piece knocks Kent in the forehead.  He is bleeding. Kent sits on the ground for a few minutes as the challenge progresses without stopping.  That would be an embarrassing way to be evacuated.

That piece of bamboo was probably sponsoured by Korey and Ivana from TAR Canada.

Both tribes are at the top. Everyone jumps down from the tower and runs onto the tribal mat. The tower stays up. Immunity is theirs. Everyone is stoked except Henry.

Samatau lost a challenge that the strongest guy on Asaga was trying to throw. Their tribe is much stronger than we anticipated. Or they suck at handling bamboo.



We never see a scene with the tribe that was victorious. Battle drums play. Like a cluster of Canadian painters, Tessa notes there is a strong Group of Seven.

Kate has three confessionals spliced into a single sound clip. It is an awkward edit.

KATE: The numbers are s–t.

That’s one way of putting it.

Locky wants to eliminate Tessa because she will be the least flexible working with the tribe, and Kate is stronger in challenges.

AK knows it will be risky as everyone else wants to split votes between Tessa/Kate/Mark W. A mass alliance is fragile when the votes are split.

Tessa seeks AK and Jarrad as she wants to oust Tara.

TESSA: AK wanted people who are loyal, solid, reliable, not big loud mouths, not flippers. People he could really count on.

Well, they do say opposites work well together. AK knows what he needs to find balance.

Tessa told AK that Tara referred to him as being bad news. She thinks eliminating Tara will make things more stable.

AK: I am genuinely considering voting with them.

Stable! This is such a fun tribe.

I know “big moves” are viewed as swinging for the fences where you go for the home run. But what if everybody in the game swings for the fences, doesn’t it cancel everyone out?

AK says it is about making a move at the right time. Dare I say AK is beginning to learn this game?

TESSA: That’s seven who voted together to get Adam out. That’s not an alliance. You’re going to vote together now. That’s shaky ass.

The Misfits or The Shaky Ass Seven.

Tessa’s pitch is Tara is emotional and wanted AK out because he took her spot in the shelter.

Jarrad tells us he thinks Tessa is a smart girl who presented a pitch of her and Kate being the level-headed ones.

Jarrad likes this position of being in the middle. He is treading carefully.

Mark H, Tessa, and Kate talk together. Locky joins them.

TESSA: You left me in a corner with Tara.

Nobody puts Tessie in a corner!

Locky talks about being a wildcard.

LOCKY: I don’t trust AK fully. Having him on our side is a good thing, but you never know with him. If he’s on the other side, you know he’s cocking up something crazy.

Welcome to Samatau’s world.

Tara and Tessa joke about sending each other home tonight. Tessa is direct about why Tara wasn’t with them anymore. Tara gives a fairly honest answer. Tara feels safe despite being a target.

TARA: As long as nobody does anything crazy. . .then tomorrow’s a new day.

That nobody being the guy who spent the first six days of the game bragging to everybody possessing a chicken idol. This could get ugly.



JLP asked why they choked at their second consecutive immunity challenge. Aimee had no idea Asaga had caught up.

Mark H wants to function more as a team in challenges and at camp.

AK wants them to become a team. JLP asks Tessa if AK has reintegrated into the tribe.

TESSA: He has found himself into a convenient group. . .a marriage of convenience. I don’t think it is a real alliance that can stick together in this game. Particularly, Tara was upset with the way Adam spoke to her which is what drove that flip and that blindside. It’s not a foundation for a lasting alliance.

Lots of eyes roll from the Shaky Ass Seven. Tessa’s expressions are identical to Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. I just noticed this now. It is awesome.

LOCKY: She got angry at Adam. It’s not flipping; she’s pretty much annoyed with someone.

TESSA: I don’t think being annoyed is not flipping.

TARA: I swear to god if she says flipping one more time. . .

Say flipping, Tessa! Say it!

TARA: I then went and went to find some people. A new alliance.

TESSA: A new alliance. A new alliance. I don’t mean to berate you–

TARA: You are, but that’s fine. I did the right thing for me.

TESSA: I think you’ll keep doing the best case for you. No matter who you made a promise to.

I wasn’t expecting this, but I actually think Tessa won this argument. Tara did not win this war of words.

Kate rambles for a while about being on the bottom. She trusts people in and out of her alliance.

KATE: I. . .I trust AK.

I love how she had to stop herself for a second before confirming what her brain was thinking.

JLP asks Tara if she trusts AK.

TARA: He has changed, but we can’t just wake up one day and say “Hey AK! We’re going to be friends”–

TESSA: But it seems like you can wake up one day and say “Hey Tess! We won’t be friends today!”

Man, Tess just burned Tara.

Peter talks about flipping irony regarding her wanting AK to flip while berating Tara for flipping. Tessa wants a solidified group and get rid of the insanity.

TARA: I don’t want to be insane.

Tessa says she needs a miracle to survive the vote.

MARK H: This is the best place for [miracles] to happen. It’s where the mouse eats the cat on this show.

I really wish I could see that episode of Tom and Jerry. That’d be an interesting albeit disturbing visual.

It is time to vote after the comment about cat gestation.

Tessa writes down Tara’s name.

TESSA: Try telling Adam you didn’t flip.

But he’s a pokuh playa! A pokuh playa, darling!

Tara writes down Tessa’s name.

TARA: I didn’t flip!

JLP tallies the votes. He asks if anybody has an idol. AK tucks away the Skunk Idol. Everyone thanks him for it.











4-4-2. One vote left.

FINAL VOTE (after MARK H’s nose twitches and TESSA’s eye rolls): KATE by by

By who?

TESSA: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

So the underedited Kate goes home, and is practically invisible in her own boot episode.

Tessa is stunned.

JLP: Even in Survivor, miracles do happen.

Did Mark save her? He waves to JLP on the way out.


Next Time on Australian Survivor: Samatau is a tribe divided. Tessa and Tarzan fight for survival. A moral dilemma puts tribe loyalty to the test.

Kate has her final words. Her ambition was to be top three rather than bottom three.

AK: I didn’t trust you the second you said you don’t eat fast food.

Anti-anti-fast food and anti-velcro wallets.

KATE: I think Tessa will be the sole survivor. She’ll be the one to watch.

One miracle down. Twenty-one more to go and the crown is Tessa’s.


Well, it’s time for me to speculate as to why a person was eliminated based on highly edited footage–especially when the eliminated contestant had minimal airtime!

I could be wrong, but Kate being eliminated seemed fairly clear-cut to me.

A huge part of Survivor is luck. It could simply be a case of which producers assigning to the wrong tribe prior to the start of the game, or one too many tribe switches where you pull the wrong buff. Or those early eliminations where no one has a good reason for voting you out.

Out of the twenty-four people in this game, Kate just never seemed to fit in. Her confessionals and the footage at camp made it clear that she is far different from everybody else personality wise this season. On a tribe of twelve, she seemed to only connect with Tessa and Adam.

Kate is probably a great person in real life, but just doesn’t have that personality to do well at Survivor–o.Or at Survivor in a group like this, anyway. I would be curious to see if she would have that same struggle of fitting in with all three tribes in the previous season.

Tessa should have been out this round. Based on what we saw, she formed a strong relationship with AK and drew enough sympathy out of Mark H. to perform a selfless act and find an idol for her. This is after Mark H. constantly telling us he would be the most selfish person in this game. That is a hell of a social game when you stick out in a group of eleven people.

Due to the defensive idol vote split, it wasn’t the majority alliance who held the power as to who went home between Kate and Tessa. It was their own alliance member–Mark H.

Mark H. being able to relate and bond with Tessa more on a social level was enough to eliminate Kate.

Kate’s final words of saying Tessa will win this season despite being in the worst position of any of the twenty-two people left showed a lack of social awareness. Again, this doesn’t make her dumb or a bad person–it’s just that Kate just isn’t on the same wavelength with this specific tribe. She does not share an overlap of perspective when it comes to her tribemates.


This third episode finally cemented a satisfactory amount of airtime for the women on Samatau minus maybe Ziggy. The only comments I see about her online is “She’s cute.” What that really means is “We need to hear from her more”.

I had to constantly rewatch heats of the reward challenge to identify the Michelle-Sarah-Odette trio from Asaga. I’d rather not share how I distinguish among the three of them.

So Henry’s challenge throw was a dud. If James Clement taught us anything in Survivor: China, it’s that you really need that second person who backs you up to throw a challenge and ensure the plan goes through, especially when you are outnumbered 10-1 when it comes to people actively trying to win. He should have pulled one of the middle pieces of bamboo like a toddler disrupting a game of Jenga.

Samatau has had both of their Tribal Councils plagued by defending against a hidden immunity idol. The American version spends way too much damn time over the years talking about vote splitting to the point I got to fast forward through these scenes or find these episodes unmemorable in retrospect because it occupies too much of the airtime.

I do not think each episode was plagued by vote splitting or idol talk excessively. The second episode I was fine with because the idol scenario that round was simultaneously absurd and unique. The third episode? It was pretty formulaic. I want producers to not even bother with re-hiding an idol on Samatau until a switch or a merge or an unmerge. One of last year’s strengths is that they planted hidden immunity idols sparingly rather than frequently. It was a breath of fresh air for people who have grown weary of the American version’s constant idols and over-the-top twists.

After nine days and out of those who have had airtime, I think Mark H., AK, Tara, Samantha, and Ben can be ruled out from winning this game.

Mark H. due to already deteriorating and deviating from his initial day one focus. His sarcastic remarks are beginning to enter the territory of outright negativity. That could be a strain on a tribe where the individual phase is nearly a month away.

AK has attracted way too much attention onto himself. Yeah, he is “recovering” but the second he plays the game correctly is the day everyone becomes afraid of him and is bound to oust him from the game. I personally hope AK stops playing well and returns to being a disaster.

Tara. . .you’re a flipper. You’re a flipper. You’re the flippiest flipper to ever flip. Nah, just kidding. I just have a gut feeling that people are onto her, and I don’t think she will be the most believable when deceiving people. Much like Amanda Kimmel, I think Tara is fairly easy to read during her moments of deception on the show.

Granted her poker face is superior to the poker player whom she voted out one round ago.

Samantha lacks awareness and was too public with her later-to-be justified paranoia. It’s going to be tough to rally from the troops in that position unless they think she will be a good goat for the endgame.

Ben will probably make it deep, but I think he will be the easiest to dispose of whenever players are looking for an easy Tribal Council. They can’t play full throttle for fifty-five days. They’ll want to relax and chill at some point. I don’t think Ben has that life experience to defend himself in such a situation.


Lastly, I can’t help but appreciate the meta game that “season two” is expressing. The cast and production are a direct response to “season one” to make this season distinct and unique.

There is nothing wrong with how the cast played last year. Flick threw away her inevitable championship crown when it was down to seven to create the ‘wtf’ moment of the season, and put the endgame in complete disarray.

Bad gameplay by Flick? Absolutely. I understand why she did it. Being in complete control of every tribe you are on for over 40 days requires a lot of focus. All you have to do is ride out a game plan in a Georges St. Pierre fashion and the game is yours. It might bore some of the viewers, but Boy Georges does it work.

Watching smart people make bad moves simply due to attrition, exhaustion, and/or boredom is what made Aus Survivor such a great season to watch last year.

Was Flick’s move entertaining for the viewers and did it make her almost as popular as Kristie by season’s end? Absolutely. They made it clear that they were done with mateship.

So here we are for “season two” and everybody is sucking up that feedback and doing anything to avoid that mateship label. I am curious to see if players who end up on the bottom threaten others by labelling them as being a mateship that it spooks others into shaking up the game.


So there you have it. One week nearly four hours of footage is in the books for this season. Thank god next week is only two episodes because I am exhausted from all of this fun.

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