Logan Saunders recaps episode 2 of Survivor South Africa: Philippines ahead of episode 3.
SURVIVOR SOUTH AFRICA: PHILIPPINES Episode 2: “ROCK HARD PACKAGE”
Previously on Survivor SA: On the Mindanao tribe, Marthunis quickly got on everyone’s nerves. Stacey-Lee and Jeanne started a female alliance. At the Luzon tribe, the immunity challenge loss meant things escalated between Tom and Seamus. Ace became the swing vote. At a dramatic Tribal Council, Ace sided with Tom’s alliance leaving Josie, Palesa, and Vusi in the minority.
Seventeen are left; who will be voted in a thankfully shorter episode?
Tom recognizes he was “damn close” to going home.
ANNALIZE (to ACE): You followed through, little man.
Yes, Little Man Ace. As opposed to Fake British Accent Ace from Survivor: Gabon.
TOM: This five will be the Tight Five until we merge.
Survivor NZ has already stolen that alliance nickname. Sorry. Taken.
ANNALIZE: We’re The Big Five. I’m the lion.
Palesa is angry that the one person who betrayed her and her alliance is the one person she needs.
We now get a full intro again.
And let’s take a second to remember that Werner ate a hidden immunity idol clue.
Jeanne and Werner use the black tar to brush their teeth. Jeanne says there is a woman’s alliance and another with Toni, Jeanne, Stacey-Lee, Tevin, and PK. However, everyone wishes to oust Marthunis so the conflicting alliances don’t really matter.
Tevin tells us the original five alliance is still together against Marthunis. The alliance laughs about PK throwing down the hammer (literally) when Marthunis confronted him.
Palesa discreetly grabs a hidden immunity idol underneath a seashell. The same seashell which Ace touched seconds later but didn’t flip over. She grabs it while Ace is about four or five inches away. Palesa is a quiet assassin.
The clue points to an idol being under a platform–the same platform Werner read about before the contents of the clue entered his digestive tract.
TRIBAL REWARD CHALLENGE #2
@NicoPanagio! Like Panago pizza in Canada.
Mindanao is flabbergasted Seamus is voted out for some reason.
STACEY-LEE: Shame on Seamus!
For today’s challenge, four members will be on a platform. They’ll pull themselves towards a structure. Once there, they’ll climb it to retrieve a key and slide down a pole then swim to put it on a keyring. All four members will do this. Once they’re done the other four will unlock boxes containing colored cubes. They must stack the cubes so there are no repeating colors on any side. The first tribe to complete this wins reward.
The reward? Chicken or rice. Choose one.
Mindanao opts to sit out Jeanne from this challenge. She doesn’t have the fire within her today. Jeanne didn’t turn out to be an almighty swimmer too, I guess.
Neil-Todd-Vusi-Chane for Luzon is pulling.
Mindanao and Luzon are in a dead heat pulling themselves to the structure. Luzon has a very slight edge, but it ain’t much. Once at the structure, Chane falls into the water. This lets Mindanao have a good twenty-second headstart.
Nico refuses to elaborate who are the four for each tribe until we get to the key portion of the challenge. It takes a bit of detective work which is annoying. Tevin didn’t slide down the pole but rather just outright drops Eliza Vanuatu Style. Nobody has a significant lead whatsoever. Mindanao might have about fifteen seconds at the most.
Toni is unlocking the first cube. She struggles which allows Josie to pass her in unlocking the box.
Josie-Palesa-Ace-Annalize is unlocking the keys for Luzon.
Murischa-Toni-Katinka-Stacey Lee is unlocking the keys for Mindanao.
Murischa runs away before opening the second box as Jeanne yells at her to go back. I guess even if you unlock it you have to push the lid open.
Luzon has all four boxes open and transports the cubes. About thirty seconds later Mindanao has their four cubes too. Ace and Palesa are outright tussling over the cubes. Nico doesn’t have to scream at Neil in this challenge, thankfully.
Luzon is stumped; Mindanao starts cheering. They spin the cubes. They come from slightly behind to win reward. Mindanao breezed through those cubes.
Nico reminds them of the 3-0 streak.
NICO: What’s the reward gonna be?
TONI: Winner winner chicken dinner.
Ah, the movie 21 is quoted, I see.
Tom is demoralized after three losses. Try eight like Chani.
Chane apologizes for slipping during the challenge.
VUSI: It’s just skinny chickens.
Yeah, no one wants no skinny chickens. F–k them skinny chickens.
Luzon works on fixing their leaky roof and to make fire. Tom has a shirt with his own name on it. It’s like Steve-O having a tattoo of himself on his back.
Tom is annoyed he has yet to make fire in four days. His fingers are bleeding until the fire is lit. Tom emerges as the hero.
Morale boosted once more.
PK observes Katinka as a lone wolf and wants to scoop her up as a number. He offers her a spot in the alliance. This is quickly becoming to be the Bomb Squad from BB16.
PK: People are coming up with alliances here.
KATINKA: It’s too early, I think
PK: Aren’t you afraid from the beginning like who you are going to belong to?
She’s a social media influencer–not a social media influenced.
PK: Well you did come up. You did come up.
Katinka reveals to PK that she has been talking about an all girls alliance. Ummmmm, Katinka’s game is really interesting.
During all of this, we watch Marthunis snap a chicken’s neck in half. Jeanne wanted to save the chicken, but Marthunis needs to feed his MENSA sized brain.
TEVIN: I may need to switch to veganism after this.
Welcome to the club, Tevin. We’d be happy to have you.
Katinka and Jeanne sit in the water; Tevin’s paranoia is sky high when PK reports in.
TEVIN: Marthunis is no longer the target; it has to be a girl.
Katinka really blew it.
Toni and Stacey-Lee worry about Tevin and PK. They think they can calm PK and Tevin’s fears.
PK: We’re not even going to Tribal Council, but look at us.
PK Fire man. It’s just like EarthBound. Day 4 and the energy is burning within.
Tevin, PK, and Werner sit together.
TEVIN: Marthunis is no longer enemy number one. In fact, he might be my biggest buddy to the end.
Tevin reveals the attitude of the tribe to Marthunis and how he has been the biggest target since the opening minutes. Marthunis can’t figure out if this is an honest alliance or if he is being buttered up for a blindside.
Well, that’s a typo on-screen. Pretty sure it is night 4, editors.
JEANNE: Jeanne and Stacey get the first pick. We have to share. Food politics is how you get voted out first.
Murischa is irritated that Jeanne and Stacey are running the show despite both women being younger than her. Really? Murischa looks younger than both of them. Damn.
Everyone eats the f–king chicken. Except for Kimmi.
TRIBAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #2
We get a “hell yeah” from Luzon when asked if they’re ready for the immunity challenge.
Both tribes will assemble a staircase using different sized posts, go through a vertical maze, slide down a slide, then one tribe member will run a key through a key maze. Use the key to unlock a padlock which will release a machete. Use the machete to release puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces will complete a vertical puzzle. The vertical puzzle will reveal three numbers for a combination lock. Use the numbers to open the combination lock and a tribe flag will be released. The first tribe to do so wins immunity.
And yes, this challenge is identical to Survivor NZ’s first immunity challenge except for the additional combination lock. How the hell do they do this?
Katinka is sitting this one out; she should sit out from strategy too.
Marthunis directs putting in the steps for Mindanao.
Luzon thinks they have the steps in as Tom directs his tribe to climb it.
NICO: You don’t have it.
TOM: What? We do.
In the meantime, Mindanao has it and is going through the maze.
NICO: Luzon, you’re losing a lot of time! Too many cooks!
Mindanao has completed the maze. Luzon finally assembles the staircase. Tevin is responsible for going through the key maze. Nico keeps shouting at Luzon to hustle as Tom is huffin’ and puffin’.
Tevin completes the key puzzle. Luzon is down the slide. PK is using the machete to chop down the puzzle pieces.
NICO: PK chopping through that wood coloring like a tiger!
I love Nico’s commentary at times. Roar.
Vusi is going through the key maze for Luzon; he completes it as Mindanao debates the puzzle.
Luzon takes far too long to decide who is using the machete. It’s Tom. He releases the pieces as Mindanao tries assembling the pieces on the ground. Jeanne is telling Marthunis how to assemble it. There is a lot of debate.
NICO: So many cooks in this kitchen.
If only Keith Famie was in this cast.
Nico laughs at Luzon trying to create a number. It looks like if an ‘8’ and a ‘0’ was combined.
Mindanao has finished the puzzle. Marthunis puts in the numbers and the flag is released. 4-0.
Toni slaps Murischa’s butt spontaneously as they walk away.
Nico breaks the bad news once again to Luzon. No spontaneous butt slaps to be found here.
Annalize offers consolatory bananas to everyone on her tribe. Ace is not too enthusiastic as he picks away at his banana.
ACE: I know I am giving it my all, but often feel I am being undermined in challenges and dominated and not given a chance to do my best.
TOM: This is the first Tribal Council I am going to that I feel the Big Five is UNBREAKABLE.
Oh boy, Tom.
Annalize believes she is the lion within The Big Five as she wishes to target Josie. Neil doesn’t find Josie to be too outstanding.
NEIL: We have strength in direction. We have strength in purpose.
How does Neil have this way with words?
PALESA: I feel it is time for me to do something drastic and radical.
Do something crazy! Do something crazy! Kegstand! Kegstand!
Palesa tells Vusi and Josie that she has the hidden immunity idol.
JOSIE: That’s epic babe! That’s all we need!
Is it? How about the actual idol?
Palesa says she has a false package which she’ll use to bluff the other tribe.
PALESA: Nobody has a package like this.
Marthunis’ first words on the island.
Palesa thinks her package bluff could sway somebody as flippity-floppity as Ace. She prefers the odds of being 50/50 compared to 90/10. Palesa’s strategy is to be the absolute last person to speak to her.
Josie wants to die trying in this game. She wants Ace to become the Lioness and pitches to Ace. Vusi piles on that he doesn’t like Annalize.
ACE: Maybe we should take out Annalize. . .if I have the courage. I’m trying. I’m trying.
JOSIE: Just let us know. I don’t want to be blindsided like last time.
We cut to Ace and Tom in the shelter. Ace asks Tom if he has his back. Obviously, Tom is going to say yes.
TOM: Nobody is safe until the end of the game, but you know you are safe until five.
Well, unless Luzon keeps losing and Mindanao is relatively unified at the merge, but I understand what Tom is getting at.
Palesa subtly shows a package to Ace in the shelter when everyone gathers their belongings for TC; she notices his eyes beam. She thinks he is convinced of the idol. This is interesting.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #2
NICO: Neil. . .why is Luzon back?
NEIL: We’re back because we lost the challenge.
That’s generally how Survivor works. Solid answer.
PALESA: With eight people you can cut the tension. . .not even with a hot knife, you just need a nice blunt one.
Or a butter knife. I’d love to see that. You wouldn’t need PK to be a tiger to cut through it.
VUSI: There’s too many chiefs; not enough Indians.
That comment would not air on Canadian television.
NEIL: All of those voices that are shouting. Those are not leadership voices. Those are people who aren’t controlling themselves when they’re supposed to.
Tom tries to make an analogy about an ice cream salesmans and class captains.
Nico decides they’ll elect a leader right now. They all unanimously agree to vote for Neil as a leader. I can expect a confessional in round three about how much Neil hates being leader. Personally I think Neil will be a respected leader and won’t have to worry.
Josie jumps in saying she is more concerned about being voted out rather than being the leader.
We launch into another discussion about Ace being the swing vote for the second round in a row. It’ll either be 5-3 or 4-4. Annalize is freaking out.
ANNALIZE: I’m sitting on eggs.
Hopefully ostrich eggs cause ostrich eggs are huge.
Josie is equally paranoid.
NICO: I gather from your election that you’re safe, Neil.
NEIL: There are different forms of blindsides. . .I am surprised with their faith in me.
Yes, it’s all a ruse. Neil is going home.
We go into voting sooner rather than later. Nobody knows how to properly fold their votes.
Is anyone playing an idol or a package? Nope.
FIRST VOTE: JOSIE. . .
SECOND VOTE: JOSIE (top hat drawing)
THIRD VOTE: JOSIE :O
FOURTH VOTE: ANALISE
FIFTH VOTE: ANNALISE
SIXTH VOTE: ANNALISE 🙁
SEVENTH VOTE: JOZIE
Who spells it with a ‘Z’?
A 4-4 tie? I assume it was a defense against Palesa’s idol. Nico reminds us of the standard rock drawing rule if they are deadlocked at 3-3. We aren’t shown any pleas by either Annalise or Josie due to time constraints.
We vote again. There’s no way we’re going to deadlock and force rocks in round freakin’ two.
FIRST VOTE: JOSIE
SECOND VOTE: JOZIE
THIRD VOTE: JOSIE
FOURTH VOTE: ANNALISE!!!
FIFTH VOTE: ANALISE
FINAL VOTE: ANNALICE
No one knows how to spell her name and WE’RE GOING TO ROCKS IN ROUND FREAKIN’ TWO. Why Ace? Why? Or everyone in general. We don’t even see the eight try to come to a consensus. I assume this is edited out due to time constraints as well.
Everyone has a rock. I can’t believe with 17 people everyone feels like it is do-or-die.
Palms facing upwards. . .then reveal.
Neil is out and Palesa celebrates and fist pumps. Holy crap. Luzon is doomed. Their most stable, smartest, and physically gifted and newly elected member is gone.
NICO: Your newly elected leader is gone. You are leaderless; you have some work to do.
Just a little bit of work.
Next Time on Survivor SA: Tempers flare at Luzon camp. And the reward challenge becomes a mad scramble for a hidden immunity idol.
Who goes to rocks this early? No, wait. How in the world do SIX players agree to be vulnerable and shove their hands into a bag? Annalize and Josie were happy, but it’s so damn early in the game that everyone knew they had time to improve their position. Chances are you only 2-3 rounds away from a tribe switch and the deck is reshuffled.
And if you already know Ace is such an indecisive player, you know you have a fighting chance to make it to the switch regardless if you lose the next two immunity challenges.
But instead, we saw six players give up their clear buffer zone where Annalize and Josie were probably going to be the next two gone, and decide to risk going home thirty-three days away from the end of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting to watch play out because it is unprecedented to have a pre-merge rock draw, but I am amazed not a single person flopped their vote on the revote.
Neil was elected the leader. He knew he wasn’t going anywhere. He was the safest on the tribe. Neil could easily flop his vote and find a way to justify it while keeping his position intact. Everyone would have understood. He had the most to lose by drawing the rock.
No one needed to draw that rock either except Vusi who had his name thrown around briefly this episode, but damn Neil, there was a whole lot of risk with very little reward. It’s only day six. Alliances aren’t really set. Ace changed his mind as to who to vote for about twenty times in each of the first two rounds.
I really hope in episode 3 we get some sort of explanation from the contestants as to why they were all stubborn. For it being the most interesting Tribal Council scenario I have witnessed in years, it’s a shame that so much of the material had to be cut down due to time constraints.
The good news for Luzon is they were reasonably competitive in both challenges this week. None of the blowouts were to the extremes that Chani suffered in Survivor NZ. Even with Neil gone, I think they have a reasonable shot at winning their first challenge. It’s not a big chance, but I am not counting them out either.
If they go to Tribal Council again, I could see Ace going home because nobody trusts him to commit to a side. . .or perhaps he just flips again. That’d be hilarious.
As for Mindanao? Clearly, the dynamics are still being established. Anti-Marthunis Brigade, women’s alliance, the five-person alliance, Jeanne-Stacey Lee ruling the roost, Marthunis no longer the bossiest, Tevin and PK figuring out who to trust, and it all stirs an anxious storm. If Jeanne can’t ease off a little bit, I am very scared that one of our more unique figures in Survivor history may suffer an early exit.
Also, this tribe has an unusual combination of people to be a tribe that starts off a season 4-0 in challenges.
Mindanao’s game is too fluid to determine who is in the best spot right now. Something tells me they’ll be as uncertain as Luzon’s first round of play and we will have to wait until Tribal Council before anyone commits to their alliances.
Overall, I am enjoying Survivor South Africa more than Ghost Island. Should we all just ditch Survivor: Ghost Island at this point? Because it is clearly the weakest of the three seasons on TV right now.