Australian Survivor

Australian Survivor: They Didn’t Even Have to Out AK–Today Was a Good Day

Logan Saunders recaps Episode 1 of Australian Survivor. You can follow Logan on Twitter: @logsupacoowacky.

Australian Survivor: They Didn’t Even Have to Out AK–Today Was a Good Day

Welcome to Australian Survivor season four–er, wait, we mean two! Definitely season two.

On the one hand, I am extremely excited for this season. On the other hand, I feel very sorry for the cast that has to play following Kristie’s victory and a season overall that was the most fascinating season to watch in nearly fifteen years. The last two American seasons and the first New Zealand season has not come anywhere close to the quality of what we watched last year. And did I mention how Kristie is one of my all-time favourite Survivor winners?

24 Players. 55 Days. 1 Survivor. Let Australia’s biggest battle of attrition … begin!

They are filming in Samoa AGAIN! WTF!

–Casual Fan Complaint #1



Jesus Christ. They replay one of the very rare emotional moments in Survivor history that didn’t make me laugh. My friend Cam still has that scene as her cover photo on her Facebook profile page.

Ah, there’s JLP. I wonder if Grant Bowler is still pissed he didn’t get to win the Reality TV Hosting Triple Crown?

This is more looking like Film Noir rather than Survivor. Where the hell is all of this rain coming from? Everyone is shivering.

We are introduced to MARK W. He was in the military and has good vibrations.

LOCKY. Adventure Guide. He is done scuba diving, free diving, shrimp diving … every type of diving you can think of.

LOCKY: I am going to win.

WINNER’S EDIT!!!!!!!!!!. Nah, too early for that.

JACQUI is fabulous and fifty. She is a marriage celebrant. Before I can Google what a marriage celebrant… If you ask her a question, she won’t hide anything.

JACQUI: Yeah I’ve had my eyeline done. Yeah, I’ve had my botox. No, I haven’t had my tits done.

All I am going to say is this: Barb from Survivor NZ is also fifty, and I don’t think her first confessional would be about her cosmetic history nor about plastic breasts.

Jacqui shouldn’t get her tits done anyway. Implants feel very uncanny when touching them. Just trust me on this and we’ll move on before this blog gets too weird.

JACQUI: 21, 000 people applied for this show. Now I only have to beat 23. I’ll show them.

Yet there can only be one Kristie–I mean one winner.

Next is SARAH. The token model. She wants to be more than just a pretty face and knows every trick. Even more tricks than Matt the Magician.

Now we are introduced to MARK H. The man who caught my attention pre-season because he looks like my uncle from Cherryville–a town of 800 people near where I live here in the Okanagan which consists of hippies and draft dodgers who jumped into the Canadian border.

There is an Olympian. A doctor. A burger flipper. A plumber.

AIMEE is the plumber. She says people think she is a hairdresser. Nope. She goes down pipes and hops on goombas. She is even wearing a New York Yankees hat.

JLP: Some aren’t what they seem at all.

Cue up HENRY. He is a labourer. He will use his manbun and his blue eyes to lie from day one.

JERICHO says he has a strong Christian background but in this game there will be blood shed. If his blood is shed, he wants to drag someone with him down to hell.

Are you related to Shay by any chance, Jericho?

JARRAD is here to play for the freaks and weirdos. He is the only contestant with hair longer than mine and has a moustache that rivals Lee’s from Survivor NZ. He wants the little guy to take on the big boys.

Now we have JOAN, the escape room owner.

JOAN: I can definitely do better than everyone did last year.

So … you are somehow going to win twice in 55 days? Or win by a unanimous jury vote rather than 8-1? Good luck with that, Joan.

AK is a wedding DJ. He wants to be remembered as the player who played big.

AK: I want to be remembered as the heroic villain.

So…first out?

A small boat approaches the ship containing all 24 players. JLP boards the ship and channels his inner Somali pirate. He gives a speech.

JLP: It is as tough as it gets.

Sounds like somebody tried to avoid a copyright infringement with the UFC slogan.

JLP points out MARK H.

JLP: That is a bloody excellent beard.

MARK: It’s attached.

JLP gravitates towards MARK H. much like I do.

JLP asks SAMANTHA what it takes to win this game. We get a boring answer.

SAMANTHA: I am sh***ing myself and I am sure everybody else is too.

They will only go in with the clothes on their back. Production will regret that decision very quickly.

JLP summons a guy wearing a blue shirt and black cap. It’s LUKE.

LUKE starts rambling about Survivor being on his bucket list.

LUKE: You didn’t even ask me a question.

JLP: I can’t wait for Tribal Council.

HENRY talks about his manbun and that he is a yoga instructor. A yoga instructor rather than a labourer?

SARAH jumps in saying she is happy because there is a yoga instructor in the game. I wonder if she would have been onto his deception if he said he was a landscaper.

They are split into two tribes of twelve rather than three tribes of eight. Be prepared to play under-the-radar for the first chunk of the game, folks!

The one tribe brags about having Tarzan (MARK H.). My nickname is Tarzan so this is going to confuse the hell out of me.

LUKE says the opposing tribe has no chance. OK, Shane McMahon.

JLP says the ship has supplies, but what they really need is 200 metres behind him on the beach–a huge f***in’ bag of rice.

They cannot claim the bag of rice until all twelve members and the supply net are on the beach.

The gate for the barge is lowered.

JLP: Oh, there is one more thing. There is a twist. The tribe that wins the bag of rice will get to keep everything they take from this barge. The other tribe keeps nothing. The losing tribe starts the game with no rice and no supplies.

JLP: You didn’t come out here for easy!

Joan did. She expects to do better than anybody did last season.

With 24 people, this gets ridiculous and dangerous.

JLP: It becomes a game of chicken!


It’s a Race to the Rice! JLP is commentating as much as Probst. This is part of his pre-season interview where he promised to be more like Probst because the stupid casual fans were whining on Twitter that they wanted a Probst carbon copy.

It would be funny if both tribes swam to the beach with zero supplies just so they could claim the rice.

Both tribes appear to have an equivalent amount of supplies. It is a dead heat. The waves are making the rafts heavy. Everyone hits the mat at the same time. Jarrad is trying to take the rice off the hook. JARRAD and SAMANTHA have a wrestling match over the rice. The other twenty-two people are boosting them up. SAMANTHA slips and is hugging JARRAD‘s legs. He unhooks the rice.

My god. This was pure chaos.

JLP can’t help but repeatedly point with his index fingers for the past ten minutes.

JLP: This game …is on!

We now get the intro with all twenty-four names.



        Ziggy            Locky        Anneliese        Mark H


      Adam             Tara             Jarrad            Tessa


         Kate             Aimee           Peter                 AK



    Michelle          Sarah            Henry             Joan            


     Mark W          Kent               Ben               Odette


       Jacqui           Jericho       Samantha          Luke

In a way, three tribes was better for memorization techniques because you could classify everyone into more specific schemas.

Twelve people in one tribe on day one pre-merge is going to overwhelm the hell out of them.

Mark H. is already giving confessionals and doing Tarzan impressions. C’mon editors. I love Mark H., but don’t overdo it.

We are introduced to TARA.

TARA (Barrel Racer): I am your full sparkle, blingy, cowgirl.

She has two kids. She says she rides horses and horseman. For some reason, the camera cuts to an intrigued JARRAD.

TARA: I ain’t no stay-at-home mom. I am a freakin’ barrel racer.

AK introduces himself as a 29-year-old wedding DJ.

LOCKY reminds everyone he is an adventure guide. 27.

ADAM owns a small business. Owns a gym. He has two kids. Then he cries.

MARK H is 51 going on 52. He has the names of his kids tattooed on his body. He says he is a crier like ADAM.

MARK H says having emotion is no different than having a laugh. Is he having a laugh? Is he having a laugh?!

MARK H: This is normal for me. It is not just because I am stuck on an island with bloody people who want to kill me.

Wow, the contestants are really playing it big this year.

Locky really wants a shelter for tonight because of the shiverfest they had on the ship the night before. He realizes he is in a bad situation because he is already the leader.

Tara says she will follow Locky like a puppy dog and does not mind watching him. Wow, we have a voyeuristic barrel racer.

ANNELIESE (Student): If a big mountain had a child with a rugged forest it would spit out Locky. He is the most ridiculous version of a manly man that you could ever try to possibly create.

Some contestants refer to Locky as Captain Locky to his face. Locky may be screwed at a switch, but I think he is more popular with his tribe than he wants to believe. On the first day, anyway.

AK says he has not helped with the camp but is busy with alliances.

AK: I am not here to make friends.

In other news, AK is officially out of the running to win this season.

He makes an alliance with MARK H. because he reminds him of his Uncle Mark. So MARK H. reminds us of all of our uncles, eh?

AK asks a random person on the tribe if he is homosexual. He confirms he is homosexual. This was far less awkward than the Shannon Elkins and Sash’s exchange. AK jumps in saying one of his best friends is gay.

AK (confessional): Actually I don’t have any gay friends.

… Why doesn’t that surprise me, AK?

AK attempts to relate to everybody. Tara’s child is named Nash. AK tells her he wants to name his second boy Nash. Wow. He is trying waaaay too hard.

He makes an alliance with JARRAD, TARA, that tree, the waterfall, and the feces in the latrine. Just relax, man.

AK: You’re either going to get dragged along to the end with me and I’m going to win the 500, 00 Dollars. Or you’ll be sent on a plane back to Australia.

NOTE: AK will be on that plane with you.



We now learn about the Asaga tribe.

SARAH (model): I can’t think of a more beautiful place to stay for the next however many days.

More days than AK, I know that much.

Also, Asaga has to be the most appropriate name for a tribe in a game that lasts 55 days.

HENRY reinforces his yoga job by introducing himself repeatedly as Zen Hen. He even came up with a fake nickname for himself.

JOAN says they were on a high even though they lost the opening reward challenge. I already forgot they lost the opening reward challenge. That’s how unimportant the challenge has been over the years. I just laughed at SAMANTHA hugging JARRAD‘s shorts until the end.

They have a team meeting. They want a coconut to celebrate before making a shelter.

SAMANTHA is an endurance athlete and motivational speaker. She has run across India and South Africa. Impressive. She is also a self-professed control freak.

NOTE: Hopefully SAMANTHA is such a control freak that she can control her controlling behaviour on Survivor.

LUKE says they spent three hours picking a spot for shelter.

LUKE:We’re like headless chooks at the moment.

Thank you TAR Australia 1 for teaching me this term. Most people in the West probably think chooks is some sort of derogatory remark.

LUKE works in the mining industry and is a driller. He drills holes repeatedly. He is the Stanley Yelnats of this game.

Speaking of things he likes to drill, he talks about being married to his wife who is an absolute babe.

After winning the game, he wants to buy his wife a nice dress, his kids some shoes, and the rest on red at the casino




Yeah, I think his wife handles the finances.

Luke brags about building his first shelter since I was seven.

LUKE: It was a ripper.


MARK W is in the military. He says the shelter is bad but does not want to go too far with his skills or tip everybody off about his background.

We are introduced to KENT. He is 51 and a chief financial officer. He previously swam the English Channel.

What is Kent’s first quote of the season?


It is a great transition because Kent has one goal:

KENT: The old folks do not have a long shelf life in this game… My current strategy is to find a d***head. In every group there is always a d***head. So all we got to do is point the dickhead out to everyone and say, “Do you really want to spend 55 days with this d***head?” … but if you look around and can’t find the d***head, it’s you and you are in trouble!

Kent jokes to somebody else about looking for a hidden immunity idol.


A guy is pretending to be a naked humpback whale in the water. Everybody else is laughing. It was Locky.

AK: Everybody wants to relax and I still want to play the game. That’s perfect for me. Everybody has it in their head and is relaxed. I will continue to go to work and think scenarios through.

Dude. Relax. It’s day one. Just fit in and go along with the flow.

The rain kicks in at night.

AK: I want it to rain for 55 days. My head is solely about the game. I don’t care about the conditions.

Tara feels sick in the night to vomit. AK walks over.

TARA: AK comes over and asks me “We’re still good”? Not if I am good, but if WE’RE still good. I am literally vomiting and he is still asking me if we’re okay. He is playing the game too hard, too quick.

Ramona Gray from Survivor: Borneo was too little, too late. AK is the opposite. Too hard, too quick.

It is Day Two. Adam reveals he would have killed for a pillow last night. If Tara suggested a victim for this trade, it probably would have been AK.

MARK H grabs more airtime by being the one to read Tree Mail to the tribe. It’s a fire challenge. Apparently, ADAM and MARK H are going to make fire today. MARK H has been rubbing sticks together since the beginning.


MICHELLE (nanny) has her first confessional. It’s a boring one.

JACQUI and MARK W are the two volunteers.


We head to the challenge. Four out of twenty-four players are present. That has to be a record low percentage.

JLP asks the four how last night was.

MARK H: I’d be lying if I said it was a day at the Sheraton.

JLP: How’d you sleep?

MARK H: Off and on.

ADAM: He’s actually talking it down a little. We slept really well. We had a full shelter, roof, wick walls, the whole lot.

JLP: Really? You’ve been eating the rice?

ADAM: Yes.

MARK H. laughs.

JLP: Why you laughing, Mark?

MARK H: You’re better off telling it like it is, eh.

JLP: You couldn’t cook the rice?

MARK H: No, mate.

JLP: So you got the prize but half a prize?

MARK H: We feel like we got ripped off, mate.

JLP: Hey, you gotta earn your keep in this game. What about you guys, did you get a fire?


MARK H: At least you’re honest.

Well, MARK H and ADAM won’t be working well together in this challenge. In fact, something tells me they will have to target each other at the first vote. I am amazed they didn’t talk about their Q&A strategy prior to showing up to the challenge.

Or rather, it would be helluva lot funnier if their strategy was to disagree with each other’s answers in front of the other tribe just to confuse them as much as possible.

It is a 2 vs. 2 fire-making showdown. First tribe to make fire returns to camp with a lit torch and flint. I hope it rains and the lit torch goes out before they return to camp.

Much like Survivor NZ, we are going to have three challenges before a Tribal Council.

MARK H is first to make a flame. MARK W is scraping magnesium onto the base. This challenge is truly about good Marksmanship when it comes to succeeding at this challenge.

One-sixth of Asaga barely edges out one-sixth of Samatau and wins reward.

MARK H: I nearly burnt me beard off.

Wait, the tribe where two guys directly contradicted each other seconds before the challenge couldn’t pull off the victory?


Everyone goes apesh** over the flint and torch. Somebody mocks Joan for crying.

MARK W rounds everybody up.

MARK W: I was a fire bug when I was a kid.

MARK W proceeds to be worried that he has exposed himself and put himself in a dangerous position.

Dude, it’s day two. Just chill. Nobody is going to care about your success with fire in about 48 hours.


It is day three. They spend the morning chasing down a shark in the water. MARK H and LOCKY are wearing a matching wife beater and red shorts.


Joan said she slept really well last night because she had all of the padding and fell asleep until sunrise. For some reason, we get shots of everybody else being pissed off.

They strategize about who is a good swimmer or good at puzzles. JOAN says she might be good at puzzles.

JOAN: I am a puzzle master. I run an escape room. My job is to design puzzles. This is what I am good at. Put me on a puzzle and I’ll blast through it.

JOAN: It is so so so important to win this challenge right now.

Those are only three Sos. All of them would probably lead to being voted out first.



Another Q&A session. JOAN receives the first confessional. I am concerned for her safety in this game.

In this challenge, which we are about to rip into, everyone crawls through a low obstacle course. Two will climb ropes to release a cargo net and let everyone else climb up the tower. They will then transport six massive crates to stack and let everyone climb another massive tower. They will then slide down a huge ramp to a mat. Then they will build a human pyramid to release a bag of puzzle pieces. Then two tribe members will complete the puzzle to win immunity.

With twelve people on each tribe, they can afford to have these really big physical challenges. Some guy named Peter climbs a rope along with Jarrad for Samatau. Cargo net is released.

Luke and Mark W release it for Asaga.

The crates are being rolled. Somebody accidentally rolls it over Rupert’s toe. If Tara was throwing up before, she’ll be throwing up now.

I think the six crates are bigger than every single challenge build in Survivor NZ combined.

Locky boosts everybody up the tower from the front.  They are only using two of the crates.  Peter pushes everyone else from behind.

Asaga took the time to build a proper staircase and are very quickly catching up.

Everyone except Locky is up.

EVERYONE ELSE: How is Locky going to get up?

Locky sprints up the wall while three guys use their arms to grab Locky’s body. Miraculously, it is enough. Jesus Christ.

Now they are at the human pyramid phase.

Aimee is going up for Samatau. Everybody is grabbing her ass. She reaches up then FALLS OFF THE HUMAN PYRAMID AND NOBODY CATCHES HER! OOPH! Right on her head! That’s a concussion. Maybe if her tribemates focused more energy on keeping her stable rather than grabbing her ass she might have been saved.

Asaga organizes a pyramid for Luke. Lots of ass grabbing. Samatau boosts Jarrad. He reaches up to release the puzzle pieces.

Anneliese and AK are building the puzzle. Short-term puzzles would be AK’s specialty.

Joan and Kent are building the puzzle for Asaga.

Everyone has to coach AK on how to do the puzzle. That sounds about right.

Joan is taking charge for Asaga. They appear to be in it.

JLP: Nobody wants to be the first person voted out of Australian Survivor!

Except maybe Peter from last season. He would have been cool with it.

Samatau has dismantled their entire puzzle.

Joan is confused as Samatau thinks they have it.

SAMATAU WINS IMMUNITY! AK GETS TO OVERPLAY HIS HAND FOR THREE MORE DAYS! Much to AK’s disappointment, the tribe receives fire in the form of flint!

Asaga saunters back to camp. Kent assumes it will be between him and Joan. Joan is equally nervous. Something tells me the one with the excessive amount of airtime will fall victim tonight.


Joan is still nervous. Kent is still nervous.

KENT: Do you blame the forward who scored ten goals then misses a goal in the last quarter of the match, or do you look elsewhere?

Did you climb up the tower to release the cargo net or the biggest part of moving the crates, Kent? That comparison may not be ideal in this scenario.

Because there are twelve people on this tribe, scrambling is pretty damn ridiculous. This isn’t like recent post-merges in Survivor where the two or three tribes come together and already have preset alliances. This is unprecedented.

Kent enters the water in a speedo that has the word ‘ADELAIDE’ written across his butt. He might be voted off just for that.

One of the women who has not had a confessional yet tells everyone else how pissed off she was that Joan slept well last night. There is a four-person voting bloc. Samantha spied on the conversation. Samantha is the control freak, remember. She wants to knock out Joan too.

Sarah tells Joan it will be an easy vote against Kent.

SARAH: Don’t worry, I haven’t heard your name. Kent says he is good at swimming and stuff.

JOAN: It isn’t enough.

SARAH: Yeah …

Sarah explains this is her first lie of the game and it was tricky.

Kent accepts his name will be written down. He projects it will be a 9-3 vote against Joan and is feeling secure.

KENT: Hopefully I am good at counting.

Samantha reminds us she loves to be in control. She wants six people to vote against Joan and four votes against Kent.

Luke picks up on Samantha being a control freak. When Samantha, Mark W, Ben, and Jacqui are walking around a corner, Luke yells at the top of his lungs to scare them. This is all in his plan to stir the pot and keep people on their toes.

Luke rounds up Ben and Jericho for our first interesting strategy talk of the episode. We learn Kent is nicknamed Clark Kent and Joan is Joan of Arc. Of course, this nickname is coming from a guy who will soon be nicknamed the Walls of Jericho. They contemplate flopping the vote against Clark Kent.

LUKE: They think they got control but I’m taking control. You can’t sit around thinking you’re the boss. I’m the boss!

Everyone knows there is like a quadrillion people still left in this game and there is another 52 days to go?

LUKE: You never know what’s going to happen at Tribal Council when I’m in it.

Hell, JLP could be going home at Tribal Council tonight.

RANDOM THOUGHT: How was Ten, the network rumoured to go bankrupt, able to afford the costs of the first immunity challenge?



The sound effect from OutKast’s ATLiens intro plays as everyone dips their torch into the fire. We get a lot of shots of Luke and Kent. Kent’s Adelaide speedo is replaced with glasses. He appears to be confused when finding his seat.

Michelle, not Michelle Pearce-Denovan sadly, receives the first question. She talks about camp life. Blah blah blah camp life is good. She says Luke is a good comedian.

Luke wants to build a toilet and a Taj Mahal in the shelter. Sleep deprivation would be the biggest issue and–

JOAN: Maybe that’s why my name is on the chopping block tonight because I had a full night’s sleep last night. I put my head to my sand pillow and it was daylight.

JLP: So they’re going to vote you out of jealousy?

JOAN: … Out here the tiniest thing matters. You have to be really careful. You see conversations happening everywhere.

Joan worries not everyone is with her. Jacqui admits they are all strategizing and how your true self eventually comes out.

They talk about strategy talk. Luke says his criteria will be based upon challenge ability. Kent is worried.

KENT: On the puzzle, you’re the glory or the damned.

Why does Kent always talk about glory?

Kent refers to himself as an “old fella”. Samantha jumps in saying that is the issue because Kent and Joan would not be able to excel at another component of the challenges. Joan refuses to outright say she is an escape room owner.

JOAN: I was just really overwhelmed …I just couldn’t–we just couldn’t get there.

Nice save, Joan.

Joan accuses Kent of hanging back in the puzzle and not making any progress on it.

Kent says he used to play Doubles Tennis and a Doubles Tennis match loss was never blamed on the one partner.

It’s time to vote. Ben says it is all a dream, especially growing up reading Word Up magazine. Salt n’ Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine.

Luke goes up to vote.

Luke picks up the pen.

LUKE (turns around): HOW DO YOU SPELL HENRY?

You spell it as A-K.

There goes the blindside attempt on Henry. Luke actually votes against Kent.

Samantha says Kent has spent more time socially connecting with people.

Luke wants to put the game on its head right at the start.

JLP asks if anybody has a hidden immunity idol. Nope.





FIFTH VOTE: JOAN (stick person)


We’re tied three apiece.



We’re tied again.




Six votes Joan. Five votes Kent. One vote left.


6-6 tie. Man. Kaoh Rong and Africa having a tie at their first Tribal Council were understandable: 3-3 and 4-4 are much smaller numbers to work with. Other seasons, it is usually a 3-3-3 tie out of an act of defense against a hidden immunity idol.

But 6-6? That’s the biggest tie ever pre-merge. There are so many people on the damn tribe that somebody would be out of the loop and cast a rogue vote.

It’s a revote.

By the way, the woman with dreads is ODETTE. I only know this because she was the one summoned to grab JLP’s urn.

Watching 22 votes cast at Tribal Council takes a bit of time.










She’s out. Luke’s attempt to create drama for no apparent reason should cause a lot of chaos at camp.

As many of my friends online predicted before the season started, Joan was projected as most likely to be eliminated first based off of her pre-season video.


Next Time On Australian Survivor: Two tribes battle for dominance. Alliances are formed. Everybody goes hunting for hidden immunity idols. Sigh.

Joan being first out was her worst nightmare come true. She thinks Sarah will win because she is friendly.

JOAN: I would have not slept on the second night and not done the puzzle …It’s all good baby, baby!

LESSON #1 IF YOU WANT TO WIN: Don’t stick your neck out or play too hard in the first round of play.

LESSON #1 IF YOU WANT TO KEEP VIEWERS INTRIGUED: Take a bunch of pointless risks and tell a bunch of pointless lies for no apparent reason and see what the hell happens.

I think Joan may have been a tad bit overconfident that her Escape Room background would have translated well to cracking the puzzles on Survivor. However, the biggest puzzle of all in Survivor will always be the social game.

P.S. I am going to wait one more episode before I give my thoughts as to who I think will go far and who won’t. This premiere seemed to mainly be about who won’t go far–which makes for a fun premiere to watch.

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