Survivor NZ: Thailand

Survivor NZ: Thailand — “Chani All Over Your Tatum”

























Previously on Survivor: Thrown into the deep end, they split into two tribes and set up camp and secret alliances. They went head-to-head in two challenges with Khangkhaw gaining both fire and immunity leaving Chani to turn on one of their own and eliminate Yos from the game for good.

For good. No Redemption Island.

*insert Dave burying his face into his hands shot here*




LIAM: I was shocked today. I did not expect Yos to go home. I’m at a loss.

What?! Liam didn’t know what was going on with a vote? That’s never gonna happen again! A one-time thing!

Everyone lays down on the bamboo. JT says Yos threw out his name as a target and publicly admits he wants her gone.

JT privately tells us that he thinks Yos was the biggest threat to form a counter-alliance against him.

Franky and Renee add that Yos didn’t include them on the vote and is why they turned against her.

We see Arun and Liam write down Karla’s name. Karla assumes correctly as to who voted against her. She tells everyone as they fall asleep that she will prove they made the right decision.

We get a full intro. Awesome.




I just noticed Renee is wearing a proper blue LA Dodgers hat. I never thought two Kiwis would be big Dodgers fans.

Oh, and they’re eating rice. Dave cites that Karla is stepping up with cooking rice et al because she feels she is on the chopping block. He then turns into Daydreaming Davey  as he wonders what Matt is doing on the other tribe.




Dylan notes certain players spend more time together. Particularly the beefcakes in the form of Josh, Brad, and Matt who sound like a group of guys you went to high school with and all entered the same fraternity in college.

Josh proposes to Tess and Adam that Dylan will be an easy goat to keep. The group of five is himself, Brad, Matt, Adam, and Tess. Tess nicknames it the Tight Five. Josh refuses to nickname the Tight Five.

TESS: I can’t stand Kaysha. I don’t like her.

As Laura Boneham says, girls have rivalries.

ADAM: I love Kaysha. She is a strong woman in her culture. . .it’s unfortunate she is aligned with Dylan because he’s such a dick.

TESS: We want to keep kicking Chani while they’re down.

Well, let’s get to the third kicking cause it’s time for:



Kaysha hates losing as she watches the losing tribe enter without Yos. Khangkhaw starts laughing and giggling. Especially Dylan.

Yeah, it’s a bit different from season one.

JOSH: No one likes a dictatorship so it makes sense.

KARLA: We all had our own reasons. It wasn’t a dictatorship.

So much for Josh’s theory.

For today’s challenge, relay style, they’ll swim to a pontoon, smash a tile, retrieve a key. Once all five keys are collected, they’ll unlock a box to retrieve a ball as one person will try to smash five tiles. A very familiar challenge.

CHISHOLM: It’s forty degrees guys so pace yourselves. It’ll be like swimming in a hot bath.

Yeah, make seventeen

Fresh tropical fruit is the reward. Everyone goes bananas. No pun intended.

ADAM: Watermelon! One of my favourite things in the world!

I thought Survivor was?

Survivors ready. . .Go!

Dave and Adam swim out first. Into the drink! Dave has a one second lead on Adam.  Both smash their tile. Adam overtakes Dave on swimming. Surprising as Adam collapses onto the tribe mat.

Renee has a tough time getting up the ladder as she overtakes Tara. Tara awkwardly smashes the tile to cost her about fifteen seconds. She starts swimming backstroke.

Liam leaps into the water. Nearly walked on water like Jesus. Kaysha is right behind. I would say Liam’s lead is about a minute on Kaysha.

Kaysha tries to smash the tile and. . .fails. Her hair is covering her eyes too.

Chani has a full one person advantage as Karla shows up. Karla nearly breaks two tiles simultaneously.

JT is out for key #5 as Kaysha gets onto the mat. Chisholm calls for a medic because Kaysha looks awful. She is spread on her back and gives a thumbs up as medics attend to her. No worries, mate.

Matt is fourth to the pontoon as we see an entire unblurred butt. He passes JT. Good thing Chani has the advantage. JT brings back the fifth key.

Josh smashes the final key. Lead is probably about 90 seconds at the most. Josh has the final key.

Chani opens the box. Franky and Arun are designated to throw at the tiles. It’s only Arun making attempts. He has two of five tiles smashed.

Brad is smashing tiles for Khangkhaw along with Tess.

Brad suddenly smashes four tiles quickly. It’s a 4-2 lead. He smashes the final one. The beefcakes make up for Kaysha’s collapse. Third challenge win in a row for Khangkhaw.

CHISHOLM: That was an ABSOLUTE ripper.

Kaysha is being held up by Brad and Dylan. Her foot looks swollen too.

What’s with people having the prefix ‘Kay’ and injuring themselves within the first four days of the game.

Chani is disappointed because of how close they came to winning. Chani walks back to camp. Nothing noteworthy here.

Khangkhaw picks up their plates of fresh fruit.

JOSH: Adam, you good?

ADAM: Yep.

(KHANGKHAW starts walking as ADAM moves a couple feet.


That was a solid five seconds of vomiting without a break! Impressive!

Medics apply ice pack to his forehead, they fan him, and Adam can’t stop vomiting until he is fine.

ADAM: My family won’t stop laughing when they see this. . .I feel much better now.

Was the reward worth it as they nearly had two tribe members pulled from the game? I dunno.




Adam probably vomited on purpose to make room for more watermelon. he gives a huge lecture on watermelon and what its various physical traits mean in terms of taste.

We see a tattoo on Adam’s arm where there’s a turtle, a peace sign, and within it are two watermelons. Wow. He backed up his love for watermelon. He wasn’t f–king with us whatsoever. Mad respect for him. He’s probably a huge fan of Andressa Soares from Brazilian Big Brother.




JT decides to check tree mail. It’s Outpost time. One person from each tribe will be selected to go to the Outpost. He relays this tree mail to the rest of the tribe.

JT reveals his insight to the rest of the tribe that it will involve a temptation. They are happy with him going to the Outpost. Dave is using this to test JT’s trust within the tribe.

FRANKY: You might be going to the other tribe.

That would suuuuck.

Franky thinks JT will be bright enough to twist whatever happens at Outpost.




Adam doesn’t want to go because his knee hurts and his stomach has turned into a watermelon.

Tess fears the Outpost because she thinks someone will swap too.

Dylan really wants to be picked for the Outpost; Matt says they should draw straws because he wants somebody from his own alliance to go.

The tight five and Dylan draw straws. Tess has the straw.

KAYSHA: Worst case scenario is she gets a hidden immunity idol clue; I hope it’s a tribe swap.

Others are concerned because Tess knows nothing about Survivor.

So JT, fan of the Funny 115, takes on Tess who doesn’t watch the show let alone read online forums making jokes about the show.

Couldn’t be more polar opposites.

JT and Tess show up at the Outpost. Chisholm explains the Outpost could involve a challenge, a dilemma, or both and will be a repeating function of the game.

TESS: Anthing to do with JT scares me.

Even his glasses? His arms? The tone of voice? It’s his ears, isn’t it?

Chisholm informs them it is a fire-making challenge. They have to build a flame high enough to burn through the rope. The rope is HIGH.

Chisholm says they are playing for reward but refusing to tell them what the reward is. I love the mystery rewards. We never see this on American Survivor.

Both gather tinder and start using their flint.

CHISHOLM: We’re sparking, now!

I’m going to use this description in every fire-making tiebreaker from now on. We be sparkin’!

JT is first to get a bit of a flame. However Tess’ is growing in size. JT’s fire erupts and nearly burns his five-day facial hair off.

JT’s fire is gone completely. Tess’ fire shrinks but stabilizes it. It becomes a legitimate fire. JT still has nothing. Tess talks to the fire like it is the tenth contestant on her tribe.

The rope snaps. Chisholm comes over to pour Gatorade on the fire like Tess won a Super Bowl or something.

JT: I have many skills in life but I now know this is one of them.

Chisholm presents Tess with a hidden immunity idol clue. He gives her a chance to discuss it with JT.

JT: Can I see what the clue says and I won’t say anything? It’s no use if everyone knows you got it. That’s how you’ll know I keep the secret.

Essentially JT goes the extortion and blackmail route.

TESS: I don’t think I’ve been playing smart so far. This is my first big Tesst.

Oh, puns.

Tess elects to share the clue with JT. It’s hidden at the challenge either underneath a biggon or a bat. It sounds like only one idol is up for grabs rather than one for each tribe. Tess instantly regrets sharing this information.

TESS: I shouldn’t have said anything.

CHISHOLM: You didn’t think about it for long did you Tess?

TESS: Well, that was my mistake. I learned from that. You’re good at these games, [JT].

CHISHOLM: He did say it was his time to shine.

TESS: He is playing this game to the T. . .I’m buggered because he could find it before I do. . .and buggered as to what to tell my tribe. . .and buggered cause they’ll figure out I lied to them.




Tess returns to tell her tribe she won a fire-making challenge.

TESS: The prize was mattresses and tarp and hammers but for both. So it was all-for-nothing. I said no. . .but they don’t get mattresses or tarp. So I’d still get them down.

The lie. . .wasn’t the worst one ever.

Adam says they’re sleeping fine without the mattresses. The tribe supports her.

KAYSHA: I don’t think she told the truth.

DYLAN: I’m concerned Tess has been given some sort of clue to a hidden immunity idol at our camp.

As I said, not the worst lie ever. It was obvious a more personal dilemma had to be involved rather than as a tribe.




JT tells them Tess won the challenge and the blackmail approach, the idol is hidden at the challenge, but is only for their tribe.

ARUN: JT’s clever. I think he could choose what he wanted to say.

JT pulls Arun aside and gives the leftover five percent of the truth. He wants to wait until the challenge to see who from Khangkhaw goes for it and see who Tess tells about the idol.

Eve and the others guess if it’ll rain.

FRANKY: It’s quite hazy. I think we need to think about the rain. If it does start raining then it’s gonna be shit on a stick.


Shit on a stick, it is!

DAVE: It was the worst night of my life. All of our clothes are wet.




They all look miserable. Eve looks like she is at a funeral. Franky keeps throwing up and puts a banana leaf over her eyes. Apparently medics came over to Franky but she elected to stay in the game.

RENEE: I thought I was going to wake up to a corpse.

Oh, Jesus. Never heard that confessional before.

Karla was shaking all night. I don’t know why we didn’t see any of that footage. The rain must have been miserable even for the camera crew.




Tess informs Adam about the hidden immunity idol clue. It is an unlikely duo. Tess believes the Watermelon Man is genuine.

ADAM: So you actually had a fire challenge?

TESS: Yeah.

ADAM: And you beat him?

TESS: Yeah, kicked his aaaaass.

Well, that’s the best part of the story.

Tess warns Adam about JT winning the battle of wits.




A medic comes in to check out Franky. She feels feverish and is struggling to breate and is coughing to the point that a lung is ready to pop out of her.

Karla says Franky’s medical issues gives her a possible escape route at the next Tribal Council.

The medical team examines her. She is allowed to remain in the game. Karla is secretly bummed inside.




The Tight Five all know about the immunity idol clue. Tess is very nervous. Everything reaches a standstill.

Franky doesn’t think they’ll have the strength or endurance for a physical challenge.

For today’s challenge, three members will have a pole on their shoulders. At regular intervals, weight will be added to somebody’s pole. Members of the opposing tribe will decide how the weight is allocated at regular intervals. Last person left standing wins immunity for their tribe.

I love this challenge in Survivor. Wish it was used more often.

Brad intentionally had his shoelaces undone prior to the challenge, and casually digs up the idol. I don’t think anyone noticed. Clever plan by Brad.



The beefcakes should have this.


Brad and Dave are assigned weight.


Josh and Arun.


Kaysha and Renee

Even distribution.

We fast forward through a bunch of rounds of adding weight. It is unknown how much weight are in the bags.


Brad has 60 kilos.

Josh has 40.

Kaysha has 10.

Arun has 30 kilos.

Renee has 30.

Dave has 40.

Each round adds ten kilograms. That is equivalent to 22 pounds for the American, Myanmaran, and Liberian folks reading this. Liberians are perhaps my biggest fan followers.

Every time Khangkhaw is uttered I think of the atrocious film Kung Pow.

Dave is up to 50 kilos. So is Josh.

Dave ditches just 110 pounds. That is perhaps a record low for this challenge in Survivor history. They chose the wrong guy. 260 pounds is the record, by the way.

Arun is annoyed with Liam and Karla’s inability to evenly distribute the weight on his pole.

Khangkhaw keeps adding to Arun.

Renee’s arms give out. She’s down.

Arun has 50 kilos. Then 60 kilos. Brad also has 60 kilos. Brad lowers his arms and relying solely on balance.

Arun is in a lot of pain.

Josh has more weight added. Arun has 70 kiles. Arun drops.

A clean 3-0 sweep. Never done before in this challenge. Khangkhaw is now 4-0 in challenges.

FRANKY: We’re pretty gutted.


Franky says they’ve had one meal in five days, no dry clothes, and minimal rest. Khangkhaw is privy to all of this. JT is annoyed he didn’t see who snagged the individual idol as Lisa runs up to Chisholm to grab the tribal one.

Lisa grabbing the tribal idol from Chisholm was a bucket list moment. Chisholm asks why it is special for her but Brad has to answer for her because of how many tears are spilling out of Lisa’s eyes.

TESS: Winning is almost getting boring.




Renee says Adam told her that the whole tribe looks skinny and made a kissy face. Wow. Adam is not going to be working with Chani at the merge.

Arun then tells the tribe he had a quick chat with Brad. Dave also did with one of the other guys. They figure out the three beefcakes all know about the idol.

JT tells the tribe he felt around the location he thought it was and it happened to be where Brad was. He says Brad must have the idol then.

Chani sucks at the physical game, but are much stronger mentally.




Josh, Brad, and Matt swim together. They’re stoked to have the idol. Brad retreats into the jungle to read the hidden immunity idol note. The last time it can be used is when five players remain.

TESS: I trust the Invisible Five as much as you can on Survivor.

Yes, not the Tight Five but the Invisible Five. A five which Chani have already sniffed out.




LIAM: We can’t be thinking about anybody other than the weakest player.

Or just think about anyone.

Liam and JT take a walk. They think Franky is a bit of a threat because of her possible relationship with people on the other tribe. We haven’t seen any of this, but whatever. JT doesn’t know about Dave, clearly.

Karla is dreading TC and is banking on a Franky exit.

Renee and Franky have a chat while cleaning pots. They both want Karla out.

FRANKY: She’s really struggling.

From the person who has required multiple visits from the medical team.

Franky and Karla are the two obvious targets to go home. . .or maybe Yos will be voted out again somehow. Who knows.






CHISHOLM: Today you look like a tribe defeated before you even started. You think it’s fair to say?

EVE: No, I don’t think so. We were just honestly really tired. We had a really rough night with two massive downpours, no shelter, we haven’t eaten much in five days. It’s been tough at camp but morale is really good.

Nothing boosts morale like a medical team nearly pulling two of your tribemates out of the game and an 0-4 record and your leader already being voted out.

Chisholm asks who is surprised by how tough the game is. Everyone puts up their hand except Arun.

ARUN: That’s Survivor.

“What’s Survivor?” asks Tess.

JT: I’d bet my life Chani is going to win this game.

Ah, the good ol’ Jacob and Malolo mentality.

Eve starts crying about her loved ones and her parents.

CHISHOLM: Let’s get down to the nitty. . .gritty.

Why is there a pause between nitty and gritty?

Karla pitches her case. She has regularly camped over the course of thirty-seven years. Isn’t that like half of New Zealand?


KARLA: You’ve got so many more opportunities in your life. Mine are running out.

You’re thirty-seven! My sister is thirty-seven! You’re acting like you’re twice the age of Des!

Also, poor Liam.

Granted he will have more opportunities in his life to wear a baseball hat correctly.


I don’t think we’re going to see another blindside. Karla should be out unanimously here. Even Liam will have an elimination vote to his credit.





Wow. We’re not wasting any time here.


Women never do well in the early phases of Survivor NZ.

KARLA: I love you to pieces. . .love you heaps.

What about bits? Do you love ’em to bits? We need all of the Kiwi-isms.

Last time they got rice after voting someone out. . .sadly they don’t get a tarp this time. This tribe is a disaster. Let’s see if they recover.

Next Time on Survivor NZ: Khangkhaw starts turning on their own while greed for an idol penetrates Chani.

Karla is overwhelmed but expected to be eliminated. She wishes she could have shown more of herself. . .probably not as much as Matt. Karla cries as she thinks about seeing her family.


Chani has now voted out two people and has one young woman on the verge of being medically evacuated. It’s amazing how much of a parallel it has to the first season. The one case people always have against players determining their own tribes is it increases the likelihood of one tribe absolutely dominating. Clearly pre-determined or post-determined tribes lead to identical thrashings after two episodes of play.

Yos was voted out because she was too outspoken and exposed herself as a leader and an easy target.

Karla was voted out because she was viewed as the weakest link and an easy target.

If Franky fully recovers, Chani’s votes are going to become a helluva lot more subtle and will disrupt the happy family. Yos took her elimination well because she didn’t want to “play the game,” and Karla doesn’t have quite the same competitive fire as the others within the tribe.

I should note I haven’t seen a tribe suffer as much as Chani but still be in such high spirits by the end of their second Tribal Council. Perhaps having Tribal Council in a cave meant they would be dry for a couple hours guaranteed.

Khangkhaw wasn’t free from the elements either. They put so much heart into preserving their 4-0 record that both Kaysha and Adam suffered physically this week. They also went a ridiculous 3-0 in the famous Pearl Islands immunity challenge which statistically should never have an entire tribe survive the challenge.

Editors clearly don’t want us to root for the Invisible Five. In fact, bashing us over the head with the fact Tess isn’t a Survivor fan is the exact trait which makes the millions watching at home not want to like somebody–especially if they were one of the ones that applied. Poor Tess.

JT is in control of the tribe and he knows it. No one dared oppose his proposal to go to the Outpost, and the whole tribe is relaying on JT’s wits to crack Khangkhaw should a merge or a swap occur. If muscles aren’t going to let you beat a tribe, then you need your best brain to take ’em down. JT is somehow the leader which I bet is not what he was expecting in round one when his strategy was to be as non-threatening as possible.

Liam received a vote from Karla for some reason. Don’t worry Liam, I don’t understand why either.

Arun should be very safe within Chani. He is the only player who can compete physically with the beefcakes on Khangkhaw. I do want to see Arun voted out next round just to see how hilarious future episodes are with Chani in physical challenges. This round it appears Dave has more of a gym bod than an Ozzy bod that is suited for Survivor. He is great strategically, though.

Renee is perhaps the most underedited player on the tribe so far.

Warrior points for Franky who has a fever under the worst Survivor conditions of nearly any Survivor camp ever. Her agility since the individual reward and tribal immunity challenge has probably been depleted a bit.

If Chani goes to Tribal Council again, I see JT wanting to take out a name bigger than Liam. Liam would be too easy of a vote for JT, and I don’t think anyone on Chani is playing under the assumption that anything other than a switch or an early merge will be coming. Keeping the tribe strong isn’t their absolute biggest priority–their smiling nature means they think they still have outs down the road.

Eve is breaking down a bit. Not as much as Adam when somebody stole one of his watermelons back home, but close.

Khangkhaw’s war is brewing. The Invisible Five have the clear advantage. Dylan and Kaysha are really far on the bottom with Tara and Lisa, and the only wildcard within the Invisible Five would be Adam, but he appears to be stable with Tess. And since Tess loves her Beefcake Trio, I think Dylan is poised for an early exit–especially when Adam is keen on Kaysha but not Dylan.

Also, I’ll eat my words when I thought people wouldn’t respect Adam. This second episode changed everything 180 degrees. The whole tribe likes him, he put in so much effort to the point he vomited for a minute straight, and educates the tribe about everything anybody ever wanted to know about a watermelon. He is definitely a contender.

I don’t see Liam making the 180 degree turn like Adam did. That I am reasonably confident in.

Again, it’s early in the season and I need one more episode before I develop lengthy opinions, but the clashes and early storylines are just starting to come to a head. I feel like one more Chani loss could make this game become really interesting because:

  1. a) They’ll be forced to vote out someone they never planned on voting out in the first place;
  2. b) Khangkhaw will become so restless that they are bound to throw the fourth immunity challenge because they’ll worry about a switch on the horizon or just want to vote out someone they don’t like out of the game.

Lastly, we haven’t had to hear the phrase “reverse the curse” about twenty times in two episodes. That phrase is officially in the drink!

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