Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: The Ol’ Switch-a-Roo

Logan Saunders recaps the eighth episode of Week 4 of Australian Survivor which features a fake out by production.

Australian Survivor: The Ol’ Switch-a-Roo


Previously on Survivor AU: With AK in control, Outcasts Locky and Tara fought for survival on Samatau. But with bad blood running deep, Tara knows her time is running out.

At Asaga, the camp was on the run as Mark set out to avenge his close ally Sam. When Asaga lost the immunity challenge, Mark found friends in Luke and Jericho (even though Luke said he didn’t have Jericho with him during this episode). Together they tried to break up the new power couple of Henry and Jacqui. Come Tribal Council, ex-soldier Mark was out-maneuvered with Henry getting rid of another rival.

Seventeen remain; who will be voted out tonight?



Rain. Lots of it. Henry says Mark outing him and Jacqui as a power couple is one hundred percent true, but hopefully, nobody believes it (well, two already do). Ben applauds Mark for his speaking skills which is a great compliment since Ben is the greatest speaker on the tribe.

Everyone tries to get into the shelter during the storm.

HENRY: There’s no space next to the power couple.

Henry loves drawing attention to this, eh?

Not everyone stays in the shelter. Jericho wanders away. Is there another cookie urn? No.

JERICHO: Seeing Mark gone is upsetting because he’s the fire guy, he’s the shelter guy, he’s the machete guy, he’s the challenge guy.

The Fire Guy? Ryan Howard from The Office would NEVER want to be “A Guy”–let alone The Fire Guy.

And I thought Jericho had always been The Machete Guy rather than Mark?

JERICHO: I decided that if everyone is going to decide that Mark goes out then the fire goes out.

Wow. This is…yikes.

Jericho walks to a stream and fills up his canteen. He returns to the camp and, you guessed it, he puts out the fire. I am amazed that fire is surviving the rainstorm, but it won’t survive the storm of Jericho’s sanity.

After Jericho puts out the fire, he sits up at the shelter and stays at the now non-existent fire.

JERICHO: The minute you vote somebody out like Mark you’re voting based on vengeance. If you’re gonna play like that, then I’m gonna play like that. There is no Asaga in my blood anymore. I am completely disowning them. It’s gonna be a bloodbath for every single one of these guys. I don’t care. I just want them to suffer.

Who knew The Son of Blood would want a bloodbath.

By the way, Jericho put out that fire with relative ease. Considering tens of thousands of people have been evacuated here in British Columbia due to forest fires, I think Jericho needs to switch his flight attendant job with being a firefighter and fly over here to help my people in this crisis!

And yes, I can’t believe I am saying this, but Asaga is more of a mess than Samatau.

Intro time.



        Ziggy             Locky       Anneliese      


       Tara               Jarrad           Tessa


       Peter                AK


      Mark W – Gone. His intro shot has him starting a fire. Too bad Jericho’s intro shot is not of him putting out a fire.



     Michelle        Sarah          Henry                 Luke


         Kent              Odette           Jacqui

jericho Ben  

      Jericho          Ben


DAY 19

Locky says Survivor is great and the ultimate adventure. He goes fishing. This is a blatant copycat of Ziggy’s confessional from last episode when she was fishing. It’s the only time anybody is allowed a solo confessional, apparently.

Tessa summons Locky back to camp. We get a close-up of Locky’s tattoo on his left shoulder: “FAMILY”.

Locky wants a s**tload more of firewood. His subtitled words, not mine. He says AK is just standing around but can get this tribe to do anything. Tessa is calling some shots, Petey is being strung along, and Jarrad is waiting for his move while Ziggy is going along with the flow. Granted Locky’s perspective may be a bit flawed.

LOCKY: Why they would follow AK over me is weird.

It’s like they feel as if they are in a much stronger position within the tribal dynamics when a silly and amusing buffoon like AK ensures they are all equal rather than Locky and Tara’s well-established hierarchy within the tribe that let everyone know where they stood in Samatau.

So weird.

Locky thinks he needs to get Ziggy on his side in order to make it further and believes Ziggy is on the outside, on the outside, on the outside of the alliance.

Locky claims Ziggy is annoyed that AK does nothing around camp. Therefore, Locky approaches her. Locky’s pitch is that AK will stay tight with Tessa and Jarrad. Therefore, Ziggy must be on the bottom (but what about Petey?). Locky says AK has lied non-stop so far and insists he will get much crazier once merge comes.

Ziggy knows her position is very powerful.

ZIGGY: I could make a game-changing move.

Game-changing/game-changer continues to be the most overused phrase in Survivor over the past couple years.

Locky’s lousy pitch to flip Ziggy is it for Samatau for now.


DAY 19

Asaga has no fire! Oh no! Jericho is casually chopping a coconut while everyone is stunned the fire is out.

BEN: The flint guy is gone. That sucks!


You can see the wheels turning in Henry’s head.

Luke is annoyed that they lost Mark because two people want to call the shots.

Note that if it were up to Luke, it should be only one person calling the shots.

Everyone says they have lost a lot of muscle while Luke jokes with Jericho that everybody wants him to start the fire.

LUKE: Part of me wants to say “I don’t even want to start the fire”.

Luke refuses to start the fire even though he is now the appointed fire god.

LUKE: The only time they need me is now.

JERICHO: Let them be miserable…You voted out Mark? You start the fire.

Luke decides that Henry will be gone the first chance he gets. Considering his plan to eliminate Robin failed, you may as well go for Batman. That may be difficult when nobody wanted to align with him to get rid of Robin.



Samatau’s jaws drop when Asaga walks in without Mark.

PETER: Holy crap.

LOCKY: Wow wow wee wow.

OK, Borat.

JLP asks Anneliese about her reaction.

ANNELIESE: We said it as a joke that Mark would be voted off.

JLP turns to Jericho.

JERICHO: I hope that we’re still Asaga strong and we can still win challenges without him.

JLP: You don’t sound very convinced by your own words.

JERICHO: I think last night was unnecessary…I would be lying if I said I wasn’t gutted.

Take a drink.

Tara and Tessa joke about how tense Asaga looks. Remember, this is Tara and Tessa.

For this challenge, six people will transport a ball on a platform through a big obstacle course. Once finished, the remaining two tribe members will throw the ball to knock down four targets.

Their reward will be the sliding rocks at Papa C.J. Pampering, champagne, cheese, and crackers. I will presume these will be the sliding rocks from the episode 9 reward of Survivor: Samoa.

Jacqui opts to sit out on the fabulous bench.

I should note the ball is balancing on a small round surface attached to six ropes. The six ropes are held by each of the tribe members.

AK and Locky will be throwing the ball for Samatau.

Kent and Henry will be throwing the ball for Asaga. AK and Henry love these showdowns.

Their first obstacle is two parallel balance beams. Three people are on each beam. Asaga is first to drop the ball. Then they drop the ball a second time. Samatau moves very slow. Asaga is grilling Ben on how to properly hold the rope and walk.

Asaga completes the first obstacle. The second one is a steep ramp. Asaga has nearly caught up. Jericho is not sabotaging this challenge.

Asaga finishes the first obstacle. Samatau has moved about one percent up the ramp. I think they are taking about one step every five seconds. Asaga is very slightly ahead. Jericho is in the leadership position. Ben is in the awkwardly contorted position.

Samatau drops the ball.

LOCKY: Frick!

We’ve gone from “s**tlock” to “Frick”!

JLP reminds them that this will be their first chance to brush their teeth in nineteen days. Hopefully, production covers dental bills for the losing tribe.

Asaga completes the second obstacle. Now they must put the ball into a gutter. The gutter will fire it down a pinball chute. All six players must crawl through the pinball chute really fast and catch the ball at the end of the pinball chute with their platform before the ball hits the ground.

This is the most unique thing I have seen in a while. Everyone scrambles but Jericho held the base of the rope rather than the handle. Luke must run the ball back to the pinball chute. Only Luke has to sprint through the net this time.

Samatau nearly catches their ball at the other end of the chute, but it has too much momentum and rolls off.

Asaga barely catches it as Sarah was underneath the platform to study the angle. Asaga keeps it and completes the final obstacle. Samatau has caught their ball at the chute and should be there in seconds. Samatau is moving so damn slow.

Kent hits a target. They only have the one ball. Kent hits a second target. Henry is the one stuck playing fetch–he’s like Adam & Andrea of this challenge.

AK hits a target. Henry hits a target. Then Kent blasts the final one. Asaga goes crazy. They didn’t need Mark! Kent has much more coordination than what anybody was expecting.

MICHELLE: I miss getting champagne with the girls.

I love that production has to bury Michelle by editing her as the one who needs to be pampered. Birthdays on the island were the worst days, now she gets to drink champagne when she thirsty.

JLP says it is their first reward in eighteen days (isn’t it their second?) and Samatau must head on out to camp.

AK: It’s just a reward challenge. I don’t give two rats about cheese and champagne.

Oddly enough, rats give two rats about cheese.


Nearly everyone on Asaga trips on the rocks. There is a picnic table set up near the waterfall. There is even a table set up in the middle of the water. Luke and Henry gorge on food then hit the water. Sure enough, Luke thinks he has found a folded up note but says nothing. Henry sees it too.

Henry points it out to Luke and shoves it down the front of his bathing suit. Kent was with them too. Luke sees a second folded up note on another table, but is able to retrieve that one without anybody looking.

Michelle talks about shampoo and feels like herself again because her hair is not knotty.

JACQUI: I feel like I just want to get in bed with myself.

I think Jacqui might be taking the mirror with her back to the shelter at camp.

Sarah says this is the first time she has enjoyed the elements. What about and each other?

KENT: Ben spent more time looking at himself in front of the mirror than all of the girls combined. Luke felt the need to shave his testicles. I find that strange. I don’t know why he did that. I got rid of that terrible beard. Do I look young and hot? Do I seem hyper? Because I’ve had a ton of sugar.

It’s OK, Ben. I would be staring at myself in the mirror too.

Kent starts throwing around his shirt in the air. I hope that’s his shirt, anyway.

Henry kills the fun atmosphere as he retreats to the rocks and wants to read the note right away. He wants to come up with a lie for what is inside the note. There is a huge amount of suspense…



Oh, it’s just tweezers and scissors. Luke opens up his “note”. Same thing.

LUKE: Oh well. At least I can do my nails.

Michelle would find that more important than an idol.


DAY 20

It’s another rainstorm. Locky says he and Ziggy are the only two who keep the fire going. He keeps pleading with Ziggy to flip as they see AK laying in the shelter once again.

LOCKY: AK just frustrates me. I am going to literally grab AK by the throat and go it’s unfair that we’re out here every time. We’re the strongest people in the team. That’s why AK doesn’t care when we lose…I think he’s happy when we lose because he gets to run the show.

Not as happy as when Henry loses.

Ziggy hates lazy people. Who knew a two-time Olympian hates laziness?

Locky promises his word on his mother’s grave that he’ll vote for AK.

LOCKY: I am putting all of my eggs in Ziggy’s basket, and now have to watch them all hatch. Hell could break loose if this all happens.

Something tells me eliminating AK would have the opposite effect.


DAY 20

Ben is trying to start a fire as others watch him. Nothing happens. Luke is hungry and tired. He decides to step up. Instantly fire is made.

LUKE: It’s good being the hero.

Which hero would that be? Batman is already taken.

We see Luke stretching Kent’s back as he talks about helping everyone.

LUKE: They don’t think I am strategizing, but I am always strategizing and no one knows.

HENRY: Luke is a social threat…so I got to target him now.

Wow. Luke was found out quick. Time for our two heroes to go after each other in a showdown!

HENRY: Jacqui and I are in one hundred percent control of Asaga…I have everyone on my side except Luke.

And Jericho.

HENRY: I want to keep Ben; he’s useless. I want to keep Michelle; she’s useless. Sarah has her trust back in us. I reckon we’ve got to keep taking the threats out…We’d have to pull a lot more weight around camp…Remember, the reason Mark said we are the power couple is because we are the power couple and we show how powerful we are.

My god. Henry is so gone at the start of a merge.

And I will be amazed if anybody thinks Luke is not strategizing.



In pairs, they race to unlock a series of gates. Once the path is clear, they will pull a heavy sled through the gates carrying a tribemate. They will then light a cauldron at the end of the path. First tribe to the end wins immunity.

Something that is purely physical. A challenge Asaga has to do without Mark.

Sarah is sitting out.

We watch everyone briefly strategize before the challenge.




There are twenty knots to be undone before the brace can be moved and unlock the gate. Locky is first done, but both members of Asaga beat Anneliese–oh wait, Jacqui missed one last knot. Anneliese gets ahead. Jacqui’s short arms screw her over with the last knot.

AK and Tara are the second pair. They have to remove a million pieces of bamboo to build a bridge over a pool of water. Jacqui finally undoes the knot. JLP screams at them to open the gate, but they ignore him. Luke and Ben initially race out, but JLP sends them back.  They correct their mistake.

AK and Tara are moving slow as Ben and Luke rapidly catch up. AK is absolutely drained. Luke is becoming a madman as one piece is stuck. This costs them time as AK and Tara complete the task.

Peter and Ziggy sprint to the final gate. It is a peg maze. They have to reach through the gate to find both pegs. The pegs start at randomized spots. Kent tells Odette to watch Samatau do the peg maze.

Luke’s bamboo accidentally hits Ben in the face. They still have a couple pieces of bamboo. The last piece won’t fit in. Lots of cursing. Henry is nervous. The first time I have seen Henry be nervous. Luke starts to push every single piece back. They are done.

Henry and Jericho sprint out to the final obstacle. Clearly, Henry is not throwing the challenge. Peter and Ziggy are finding nothing but dead ends.

Henry and Jericho find their pegs. This is proving to be extremely tricky. Henry is first to find the key. There goes Samatau’s ten-minute lead. Jericho has his key too!

The gate is open for Asaga. Asaga has officially taken the lead. Now they must pull the sled. It is moving really fast even without Jericho pulling for several metres of it. Michelle is standing in the sled while holding a torch–hopefully, her hair does not get singed. The sled is slightly stuck on the bridge, but they get over it.

Neither Peter nor Ziggy has solved the peg maze. If only the peg maze was underwater.

The sled must now be pulled up the ramp. It’s up. Michelle lights the torch. Henry not throwing a challenge is what made the difference.

AK goes up to Peter and Ziggy and tells them not to worry about the loss, especially when they have three buffers because there is no way in hell Ziggy would flip just to trigger a 4-4 deadlock.

Asaga wins both reward and immunity this round. Away they go.

Samatau looks really disappointed. Tara accepts she will be eliminated tonight.

TARA: I will not give up until the flame is out.

It’s a good thing you are not on Asaga with Jericho.


DAY 20

Anneliese reminds us her, Tara, and Locky are on the bottom for the millionth time. Why do they all think they just need Ziggy to flip to send AK home? I even rechecked that Samatau has eight people to ensure I wasn’t completely crazy.

If we get twenty minutes of strategy that tries to make us think Tara isn’t going home, then that is a huge waste when we could have more goofy scenes of Jericho and Luke at Asaga.

Locky growls and throws up his hands in the air when alone. He talks to imaginary people if he should get the fire started or collect firewood.

AK confirms Tara must go home because she can’t contribute in challenges, and the fact she was able to get past Adam, Kate, and Tarzan speaks to her (short-term) social game. He wants to see where Anneliese stands because they want to split the vote against a possible idol play. Maybe they have a goose idol or a duck idol.

Anneliese opts to play double agent as the five inform her that the plan is for the girls to vote Tara and the guys vote Locky.

ANNELIESE: I’m going to abandon this circle guys ’cause I got to keep…

Keep your poker face before they realize you have no intention of being #6 in an alliance?

I am curious why women are voting Tara when one of those women needs to be Anneliese to ensure it’s a 3-3-2 vote and eliminate Tara in the revote.

Locky repeats his plan to Tara to flip Ziggy. He is currently unaware that they may not even need Ziggy if Anneliese throws away her vote and send Locky home.

LOCKY: Lying is the best strategy you can have.

Cue Ziggy inviting to talk to Anneliese where Anneliese admits she is voting AK.

Anneliese tells Tara and Locky that Ziggy is 100% in. I don’t know about that. Locky tells Anneliese to go away and pretend she hates them to ensure nothing is up…although I think everybody would find that suspicious.

Ziggy goes to Tara and says she is writing AK’s name down.

TARA: I don’t want you to be seen with me.

Talking to Ziggy a bit longer could really help, though.

TARA: Internally I was like an eight-year-old eating ice cream. On the inside, I was like “neigggggh”. Ziggy and Locky are freakin’ amazing at challenges. Anneliese and I are eh, okay. But the four of us could do some damage and get the cockiness out of this tribe. Jarrad, AK, and Pete just sit around and do nothing because they think they’re safe. Why not let someone else run the game?

Ehhhh, I think AK, Jarrad, and Peter may do better than you at challenges–except at peg mazes. You’d have Pete beat at that.

As for the cockiness of the majority? Remember the time Tara when you spontaneously chose to eliminate AK and started laughing about it in front of your ENTIRE tribe except AK?

Perhaps absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Anneliese thinks the plan will be to vote out AK but knows she has said that before.

TARA: I have voted against AK three times.

Fourth time is the charm.

AK: Tara is a huge threat…Tonight I’m going to be back at camp still not helping with the fire.

In this season, who DOES help with fire?






JLP admits he didn’t expect to see Samatau as of the halfway point of the challenge. He asks Peter what happened.

PETER: I think Ziggy and I struggled on our part.

Yeah, that about sums it up. Can we move on?

JLP asks Tara about her belt. She only wears her belt for JLP, apparently. They talk about the Aimee blindside.

TARA: In my little head I had thought I had the whole thing worked out.

Tessa starts laughing. Maybe Tara saying she has a little head may have done it.

Tara thinks tonight is her last night.

JLP: Really? Wow.

LOCKY: I am just showing my worth…I am not a quitter but not a beggar.

So poetic.

JLP wonders if Locky is on the bottom then who is on top? Locky takes this opportunity to say AK is on top. AK claims it is far from true because it is less than halfway into the 55-day game and the alliance is equal.

LOCKY: He can come up with numbers in seconds.

Almost as quickly as he can produce chicken idols.

AK insists they are all equal, but Locky jumps in to say he said the same thing about the group of eight and divided that up.

JLP asks Tessa what the people on the bottom can do to get out of it like she did.

TESSA: That option isn’t available to them…We took a group of vulnerable people and we took control of this tribe.

So who is vulnerable here?

LOCKY: I just wish I had a Tarzan to give me an idol.

TESSA: Get your own Tarzan, Locky.

LOCKY: I mean, I would if I could. I wouldn’t have taken it if I could.

Everybody wants a Tarzan. I never thought Locky would be a Jane. And yes, I think Locky would take an idol if it was handed to him.

AK is nervous because there aren’t enough people to split the vote against an idol.

Ziggy talks.

Anneliese does not feel safe either. Locky wants the tribe to go forward with someone who will lay down their life to save the tribe–that’s a bit extreme.

It’s time to vote. I will never get over The Sims icon as a paperweight.

Tara votes AK.

TARA: I really hope this is the last time I have to write your name down.

Probably not in the way you are hoping.

Peter votes Locky.

Nobody is playing an idol. AK is anxious.









3-3-2. AK looks confused.

ANNELIESE: Oh, they changed it.

Anneliese could have voted off Locky right then and there.

The revote is between AK and Tara. Needless to say, Tara is now officially screwed. Locky hugs Tara.

In other news, Anneliese writes left-handed.

The revote is done. No idols can be played here.





FIFTH VOTE: TARA U (horseshoe)

Tara is out. Even with the gift of a split vote, Tara could not save herself.

JLP: Tara, the tribe has spoken. But, you will not be leaving alone. ‘Cause tonight TWO people will be voted out. You will be voting again and that vote will take place right now. Tara, leave your torch there and take a seat.

Tara sits awkwardly across from the group.







Everyone is stunned. Locky buries his face into his hands. Anneliese is unable to close her mouth. Tessa is grinning. Tara is smiling even though this means a tribemate of hers is doomed.

It’s time to vote.

ANNELIESE (writes down Locky): I don’t know how this could get any worse.

Oh. Just wait.

Locky goes to vote. Now it is time for the majority alliance to vote.

Ziggy goes to vote.


Anneliese’s eyes are ready to pop out of her head. I have never seen someone that simultaneously terrified and shocked in their life. It’s like Jessica when the idol was played for her in Millennials vs. Gen X.

Ziggy just decided who goes home.

Tessa goes to vote.


AK votes.


JLP says he shall count the votes for no reason as he sighs.

I guess Anneliese doesn’t have an idol since one is not being played.





FIFTH VOTE: annaliese

In perfect cursive.

That’ll do it. Anneliese is gone. JLP invites Tara too. Both torches are thrown into the slots.

JLP: Tara, Anneliese, the tribe has spoken. But tonight things are different. You have been voted out of the tribe but not out of this game because you will be spending the night on Exile Beach then tomorrow you will be joining Asaga.

I don’t think the Survivor: China tribal swap that Zhan Hu was hoping for where they get imported two members will be happening. Clearly, Samatau will need to be compensated.


Tara and Anneliese are extremely sweaty as they head to Exile Beach. They don’t know what to say or feel.

ANNELIESE: I couldn’t imagine going back there tonight.

I am sure Locky will have a lot of fun.

Tara is annoyed that Ziggy would build up her hope that much and deems it a cruel act.

Next Time on Survivor AU: Yep. Asaga has to swap two members, and they have to come to a consensus. On the spot.


So. Australian Survivor took a page out of Survivor NZ‘s book and forced a tribe swap with a prime number of players remaining in the game. 11? 17? Numbers you would expect production could do nothing with in a two-tribe format.

The swaps in Australian Survivor are far more logical than the tribe swaps we see in US Survivor.

US Survivor‘s swap format since the beginning is almost always “randomly pick a tile/rock/squish this egg full of goo and see where you end up or determine captains” with very minor exceptions.

It doesn’t matter what your position was beforehand. Typically, your strong position on the tribe is usually an indicator that you will be absolutely screwed post-swap as you will be separated from your alliance members.

But Australian Survivor minimizes the luck factor when it comes to a swap. You have to be in a bad enough position on your own tribe that they choose to vote you out, and only you and one other ally get to switch to the bottom of a nine-person tribe. You have to fight your way into a majority alliance.

And Asaga, because they won the last immunity challenge, get to have complete control over who they send over after knowing they will be receiving Tara and Anneliese.

Something tells me Henry and Jacqui will want to keep Luke hostage on Asaga and send over two of Michelle, Odette, and Jericho. They need to send over at least one weaker person in challenges to match receiving Anneliese and Tara, and also send somebody who isn’t in the core of their alliance.

If Henry and Jacqui agree to send Luke and Jericho over, I’ll be surprised. They’ll be giving up two of their strongest people in challenges and at camp, but also the two guys who they want to eliminate the most from the game. Luke and Jericho would certainly haunt them at the merge.

I am curious if Tara will know to lay low and let Asaga’s dynamics self-destruct, or if history is bound to repeat itself as she tries to make a really strong presence in her new tribe. And something tells me Anneliese will not be viewed as the weakest on Asaga as Michelle and Ben are both on the tribe (for now), and will likely go along with whatever the perceived majority tell her to do.

In fact, somebody like Anneliese will probably benefit more than anybody in this game from this tribal swap.

Asaga continues to be the more fun tribe to watch at camp. Luke and Jericho continue to increase their count of the number of ridiculous pranks they pulled without none of their tribemates knowing it until they watch the episodes on TV. Something tells me those text conversations Luke and Jericho have with everyone else have been fun over the past month.

Asaga was probably hoping to go back up to a two-person advantage, but receiving Anneliese and Tara to compete in challenges could hinder that. However, it ain’t gonna matter much if they knock out Tara and boost up their numbers that way.

Also, producers utilize Exile Beach. US Survivor had a strict Exile Island format for years where it needed to be in play every single round except for a swap or a merge round. It is not until the last season of Australian Survivor that the idea of reverting it back to the Survivor: Palau format where you only use it for rare occasions has now become the new trend. This appears to work out a lot better for production. Remember those riveting times in Survivor: Cook Islands when Adam was repeatedly sent to Exile? Some of the biggest highlights of the season.

The challenges continue to be unique, a few fun scenes at Asaga, the trolling by production regarding the tweezers at the reward, and a minor twist which nobody was expecting produced another great episode of Aussie Survivor.

Just…Just don’t waste twenty minutes again on thinking Ziggy would flip. Did anyone seriously buy that? C’mon.

P.S. Who knew a country full of kangaroos would incorporate a “switch-a-roo” into one of their Survivor twists.

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