Survivor NZ: Thailand

Survivor NZ: Thailand — “Fools, Spools, Lacking Structural Tools, and New Rules”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 5 of Survivor NZ: Thailand ahead of episode 6.



Previously on Survivor NZ: Eighteen Kiwis found themselves cast away on a remote island between Thailand and Myanmar. But in a surprise not all were strangers. Picked for opposing tribes, they decided to keep a secret from the rest.

A downed tribe Chani fought hard and caught more than they bargained for. A not-so-hidden immunity idol shared by the whole tribe fell into Eve’s possession. An unlikely cross-tribal alliance was formed at the Outpost and Chani broke their losing streak at the immunity challenge, thus sending Khangkhaw to their first Tribal Council.

Brad rallied his Tight Five alliance for the vote but left Tara and Lisa in the dark. Sensing he was in trouble, Dylan lashed out Tribal Council, but it was Kaysha who was blindsided and sent home.

Fourteen are left; whooo will be voted out tonight?




DYLAN: Still shocked as hell. . .well done.

Yes. Dylan feels they made the right decision.

The whole tribe ignores Dylan as they casually put the fire together. It is not a friendly atmosphere.

MATT: Tight Five may have showed their cards tonight. . .I had a genuine connection with Kaysha, but she was a threat and had to vote her out.

Yeah, completely excluding Tara and Lisa may not have been the best idea.

Tara is not upset about the Tight Five excluding her. In fact, she confronts Dylan in front of the whole tribe about voting against her.

TARA: To be honest Dylan, I was a little bit disappointed in you.

I should note when Tara gives her confessional the occupation MOTHER is beside her name. This is the most motherly confrontation I have ever seen. “I am so disappointed in you!”

Dylan clears up it wasn’t a personal attack and it was just a matter of shifting the vote.

TARA: I was disappointed he used me, I guess.

This sounds an awful lot like a confessional from another motherly Tara I watched on Survivor last year. Oh my word.

Tara acknowledges the Tight Five deceived her about the Kaysha elimination, but most of her disgruntled attitude is directed towards Dylan. I don’t think Tara can win this game if she doesn’t understand that Dylan was like 99.999 percent certain he was screwed and was going home.

NOTE: Casting people who don’t fully understand other people’s perspectives and overall Survivor strategy is more fun to watch than casting a bunch of superfans who are obsessive over idols and advantages. This ain’t a Tara diss.

HEY! A full intro! Not even South Africa is doing full intros at this point in the season.





















DAY 13

Liam says the tribe is looking small but loves to win immunity and “shove it in the face of the other tribe.”

In other news, Liam is completely unaware they threw it. I love how oblivious Liam is in this game.

Eve talks about the public individual immunity idol. It’s a boring and redundant scene.

We watch a monkey eat a banana. I wonder if it’s Magalla from season five? Helen still has a bounty on that monkey’s head.



DAY 13

Adam and Brad are talking on Dylan’s trademark hill.

BRAD: We need Dylan gone well before a tribe swap or a merge. . .I have nothing against him, but he’s sort of an annoying brother. If he’s gone it’ll make life easier for everyone.

You know you’re in episode 5 and day 13, right Brad? Like, the chances of there being a swap today is roughly 33-35 percent judging from Survivor history. If only you could’ve thrown a challenge last night to get rid of him.

Adam imitates Dylan’s reaction to the votes being read. Apparently Dylan looked like he was spitting flour and mosquitos from his mouth based on Adam’s imitation.

Dylan is alone on a brand new hill as he spies on Brad and Adam. He admits defeat with his idol search

DYLAN: If we go to another Tribal, there is no way I am getting out of it. I am definitely the next person going home.

I feel like this same confessional has been repeated in episodes 1, 2, 3, and 4?


Chane walks in first followed by Khangkhaw. When they see Kaysha is voted out, Chane has a simultaneous orgasm.


Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies!

Renee admits she is very intrigued by how the vote went down.

JT: Everyone’s here to play Matty, and I bloody love it.

Bloody love it.

Chisholm asks Tara if the women feel like an endangered species. Tara thinks it is purely coincidental.

Chisholm asks if they are ready for the reward challenge.

CHISHOLM: You’re going to have to wait. . . . . . . . .





Drop your buffs.

Yep, no odd-numbered switch at 11 this year. We’re swapping at the very traditional number of 14.

Brad’s jaw drops; Dylan grins nearly Matty Whitmore style.

They’re going to crack a bunch of eggs; perhaps it is sheep eggs. Yellow goo means they are on Khangkhaw and blue goo means they are on Chane.

Eve’s goo is Khangkhaw.

Tess’ goo is Khangkhaw.

Lisa’s goo is Khangkhaw.

Renee’s goo is Chane.

Dylan’s goo is Chane. He wanted to be on a tribe with Brad so he can vote him out. Josh labels Dylan as the biggest snake.

Dave’s goo is Chane. He hopes Arun is on his tribe.

Matt’s goo is Chane. That’s the next best thing for him.

JT does some odd shoulder shrug before gooing himself in Khangkhaw.

Brad’s goo is Chane.

Liam’s goo is Khangkhaw.

Brad’s goo is. . .well, he can’t crack an egg. Danny Glover would be so pissed. The goo is Khangkhaw.

Adam’s goo is Chane.

ADAM: We look like gods compared to the other tribe. We’re huge, we’re fast, and we’re strong. . .but we’ve got Dylan.

Tara’s goo is Khangkhaw.

Arun’s goo is Chane by default.

Josh is happy with the swap.









CHISHOLM: For Lisa it’s like a second Christmas.

LISA: You said drop your buffs! TICK!

I wish a viewing of The Tick or the video game for the SNES would be a reward.










Chane does indeed look like the far superior tribe. The two weakest males other than Dylan and the two oldest women are all on new Khangkhaw. They have every woman except for the strongest one who ended up on Chane.

For today’s challenge, at one end, two tribe members will sit on spinning platforms. From the other end, different tribe member will race out to that platform, grab a rope and pull them to that starting line. The sitting and dizzy tribe member will have to get up and cross a balance beam. Once both members are back, they must get their entire tribe from one end of the pitch to their tribe mat using a variety of objects. They can’t touch the ground. First tribe to plant their flag wins reward.

Their reward? Mats, cushions, hammocks, pillows, peanut butter, and flour. It’s the PB and F that makes everyone go wild.

Yes, Chisholm did describe the field as a “pitch” in his explanation.


Liam is running first; Tess is spinnin’.


Dave is running first; Matt is spinning.

CHISHOLM: Let’s rip into it and see how these tribes match up.

Survivors ready. . .GO!

Liam and Dave are absolutely sprinting.

Both people are spinning. The pole Tess is attached to SNAPS and Tess’ head crashes into the metal pole! HOLY F–K! The audio has the sound effect of ears ringing. She is collapsed on the ground.

NOTE: This NEEDS to be made into a GIF!


We really ripped into it. Maybe a bit too hard.

We get a shot of Tess’ buff about ten feet away. I have never seen somebody smash their head into a metal pole like that since a stripper was on her first day of the job.

There is an umbrella, all of Chane, Chisholm, and medics surrounding Tess even though she is on Khangkhaw.

We have a complete reset; Tess is medically cleared and is smiling on the mat. Both tribes are on the mat.

CHISHOLM: We still need a winner so we continue with the second phase of the challenge.

Tess and Adam are sitting out because Tess has a worse concussion than Chuck Liddell in his retirement fights from the UFC.

We transition from the Tocantins inspired challenge to the Nicaragua “Use random objects to get across which we also used in season one”.

We’ve got barrels, boxes, and planks. Chani is the only tribe using every single object. Khangkhaw is trying to use fewer supplies.

This challenge is awfully slow in contrast to Tess having her skull smashed in like a rock containing a hidden immunity idol.

Hang on. I am going to rewatch Tess falling onto the ground ten more times. It’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos.

She is spinnin’ around like a Kylie Minogue song.

Watched it once.

Watched it twice.

Watched it ten times. The way her head snaps is prime concussion territory.

OK, let’s cut back to the challenge. Chani notes their excess of items is slowing them down as Khangkhaw has a decisive lead.

Khangkhaw is on the mat. Chani hae Matt and Renee on the mat, but it’s too late. Khangkhaw surprisingly wins reward. I underestimated them.

CHISHOLM: Liam, you led your tribe from start to finish. Youngest guy out here.

He even led them into a likely concussion.

EVE: Peanut butter is my weakness.

I doubt Tess will even remember they won this challenge.

JT’s plan is to use an idol correctly to eliminate a Khangkhaw member.


DAY 13

Eve is happy to see the tarp.

EVE: I’m excited to get to know some of them or all of them.

Why some? Nice save, though.

Tess doesn’t trust Liam, Eve, and JT on her new tribe as she licks PB off of her fingers. Everyone’s fingers must be so dirty as they ingest that PB.

LIAM: I can’t even, bro.

You would think Liam would be the one capable of forming complete sentences rather than Tess right now.

EVE: The idol that was sitting in my possession is at the lounge in Chani.




No. Way. She didn’t bring her idol to the swap? So who the hell gets the idol now? Nobody? What are the rules in this scenario? Does she have to will it via confessional or hope somebody brings it to her at the immunity challenge?

This is such a gray area right now.



DAY 13

Dylan is embracing the brand new game for himself as he is sitting in the middle. . .or he assumes so anyway.

Dave SPRINTS into camp to grab Eve’s idol. He tells us he can’t technically use it and doesn’t even want it.

So we learn it can be grabbed but ineligible to be used. I have a feeling this rule will be revised in the future. It is such an odd situation.

Dylan takes Arun aside and gives him information about former Khangkhaw. Arun’s position is ridiculously good right now.

DYLAN: I’m willing to work with Chani.

ARUN:  Sweet, man.

Eve is confused as Chisholm summons her to see a medic.

EVE: There’s nothing wrong with me.

CHISHOLM: You’re not here to see a medic.

Once more the fourth wall is about to be broken. He explains to her about the idol. Dave handed the idol to production who handed it to Chisholm who Chisholm now offers to Eve. However, she can also gift it to somebody else. Eve opts to keep it for herself.

CHISHOLM: I can’t tell you how to play the game, but you might want to do a better job of keeping it.

And not force production to break the fourth wall. Kiwi Survivor is so goofy.



DAY 14

Everyone sings happy birthday to Dave. When isn’t it somebody’s birthday on Survivor?

Dave is missing his partner and family. However, being here with Matt has made it easier for him. They even have similar tattoos on their right arm.

They are planning to play Super Smash Bros. for the N64 in their pyjamas until two o’ clock in the morning but only AFTER their homework is done.

Dave and Matt now talk about their strategies. Matt tells Dave he suspects JT of having an idol because Adam saw him grab it. We get a flashback to the Strongman challenge where Adam sees JT checking underneath a bench.

MATT: I am aligned with Lisa and Brad and Josh.

That’s half true. The game is afoot.

Dave informs us he trusts Matt but isn’t throwing his whole game and taking his buddy’s word as gospel.

First conversation and Matt already provides Dave with unintentional misinformation that could ruin both of their games. It’s as tragic as Patrick and Ali’s friendship.



DAY 14

JT asks Lisa if they get to know what happened at their Tribal Council on Night 12. Brad reveals that Tara wasn’t included in the vote. JT suspects Tess and Brad are the tightest members within the former Khangkhaw’s hierarchy.

JT opts to sit back and evaluate all of the relationships from former Khangkhaw.

Brad and Lisa have a private conversation. Lisa loves having a majority on both tribes. Brad asks for a name from Lisa. She wants JT to go home.

BRAD: I think JT would be the only one with an idol.

So. . .JT is safe? Cause Khangkhaw can’t split the vote.

Strategystrategyblahblah strategystrategyblahblah. Lisa notes this is her first strategic conversation with Brad.

BRAD: I am here to stay strong with the Khangkhaw Four.

Former Chani needs, well, new Chani to go to TC.

Tara expects JT to play the game hard. She talks on the raft with Tess. Strategystrategystrategy. Naviti Strong. Khangkhaw Strong. Whatever.

TESS: We have three people who are the sacrificial lamb.

Or in this case, the sacrificial sheep cause, you know, Kiwi.

Lisa quietly talks with Liam. They bond.

LIAM: So you guys are pretty sorted?

I thought that was more of a Brit-ism.

Lisa has a nice feeling about Liam–it’s like he isn’t a strategic threat. Liam observes former Khangkhaw is awfully tight.



BRAD rambles about his “dapper” coffee.

CHISHOLM: Matt, what do you make about your new dicks?

His new dicks??? What?! I know there’s a lot of men left in this game. . .Oh, he said digs.

For today’s challenge, they’ll work in pairs to dive down into a cage. They’ll untie knots to release a gate and release three traps. Once that’s done, the seventh person will use the puzzle pieces in a trap to put together a horizontal puzzle of a couple of fish.

CHISHOLM: Give you a minute to strategize then crack into it.

Survivors ready. . .Go!

CHISHOLM: Both tribes off to a SENSATIONAL start!

Yes. Sensational.

MATT-ADAM are the first pair for Chani.

TESS-EVE are the first pair for Khangkhaw.

Matt already has the first trap before Eve can even get to the platform. It’s an early big lead.

DAVE-ARUN are already at the second trap.

LIAM-LISA are furiously swimming to catch up.

DAVE-ARUN have the second trap and are already back.

LISA-LIAM eventually get the second trap released. They are about 45 seconds behind.

RENEE-JOSH have their final trap.

BRAD-TARA are working on their final trap. They have it but fall further behind. Brad doesn’t seem to be the best in water.

Dylan is working on the puzzle for Chani. Khangkhaw is back where JT has the puzzle pieces. I like how those two guys automatically have the puzzle role every single time.

Dylan doubts the placement of his own pieces. JT appears to be making progress. Wendell has it done but is saying nothing. Sala is wondering if Chani voted out the right person on day 6.

Dylan has an epiphany and is really close. JT is somewhat close but Dylan rapidly closes it out like Mariano Rivera.

Yeah, that’s a baseball reference for you cricket-loving Kiwis.

Chani receives immunity.

LIAM: I would say we feel pretty gutted.


DYLAN: They gave me a good lead and put their lives in my hands. . .as a fan you want to do this and do really well. As Lisa would say. . .tick.

All he needs now is the world’s most comfortable chair.

Dylan grabs “Old Mate” which sounds like more of a nickname for a certain body part rather than an actual idol.

DYLAN: Peanut butter is nice but this is the only comfort I need.

JT prophesizes that old Chani members will be picked off one by one.



DAY 15

Dylan knows being a swing vote is a vulnerable position to be in. Well, less vulnerable than before, but still precarious nonetheless.

ADAM: I’m sure Dylan thinks he won it all on his own. . .without any help from us, god forbid. WHATEVER. If he weren’t there, JT would’ve definitely had it.

Let him have his moment, Adam. Let him have his moment.

Everyone speculates on who will go home from the other tribe.

DYLAN: If they’re thinking of merge, they’ll get rid of bigger physical players.

(JOSH looks uneasy.)



DAY 15

LIAM: At Chani, it was really easy. A name came up and that’s who went home.

Except for that time where Yos went home. . .but we’ll let it slide, Liam.

JT and Lisa are talking on Dylan’s Hill. The other former Khangkhaw see this and assume JT has an idol.

Brad thinks Liam and Eve are nice. They repeat for the 1000th time that JT might have an idol.

LIAM: I need to stick to old Chani. . .I couldn’t even write one of their names down to save myself.

Liam is bleeding blue a bit too much.

JT whispers to Eve that they must be voting for himself or Eve, and that they won’t even go for Liam. He pressures her idol to be played regardless.

NOTE: If Eve doesn’t play an idol, Khangkhaw will be up 4-2 and can split the vote anyway to neutralize the idol.

Eve and Liam sit with Tess. Eve vows their allegiance to Tess, but Tess says nothing. We really need a Barb to shake things up. These tribal lines are very rigid sans Dylan.






Nobody feels the two former tribes have integrated yet. Idols are brought up as a topic.

JT: People are bringing up what I have collected in my travels, but bogus.

JT is doing his best to try and bluff former Chani’s way through.

TESS: I respect JT but his words are like riddles.

He’s like. . .well, he’s like The Riddler. Minus the Jim Carrey arm flailings.

Luckily the TC discussion comes to an end after just three minutes. Editors know when nothing interesting is going on. Ghost Island needs to study this.

It’s time to vote.

EVE votes BRAD.

Chisholm tallies the votes.

Eve is playing an idol!

CHISHOLM: For yourself?

EVE: Yeah, for myself.

CHISHOLM: Is there anyone else who would like to play an idol?

. . .





Three votes Brad.


JT crumbles.

JT: Bro, I’m sorry.


SIXTH VOTE: Liam (I’m so sorry)

That has to be Lisa’s vote.



Correct move was to play an idol this round, but the odds just didn’t go their way.

Liam’s torch is snuffed. At least he gave a former Khangkhaw member a concussion as a pre-emptive strike of revenge.

CHISHOLM: The First bloke voted out; first hidden immunity idol played. The game is heating up.

. . .And our fourth Chani gone in five rounds.

EVE: Oh, Liam. I feel so bad. I would’ve given him the idol if I knew.

Next Time on Survivor NZ: Original Khangkhaw has the numbers and the control, but in a new tribe, Dylan finds new opportunities. And the old Chani go on the attack.

CONCLUSION: New Chani is going to intentionally throw a challenge to stop the extermination from happening on new Khangkhaw.

Liam suspects Brad is behind everything on Khangkhaw; he is shockingly aware.


The only way Liam’s storyline could be more tragic is if he and Tess switched positions in the reward challenge.

He was unaware, always in the minority, and couldn’t quite figure out how to ever rally in this game. Four trips to TC in five rounds while on the bottom meant it was just a matter of time before he was sent home. It’s a shame because he had great comedic potential.

New Chani seems to have only two storylines: Dave and Matt’s bromance, and Dylan Dylan Dylan Dylan Dylan. Hopefully, we have a good payoff where Dylan plays a pivotal role and sets up all of the storylines going into the merge. Otherwise, this is a gigantic waste of time.

Much like season one, we are still getting that overall theme of tribal and alliance loyalty being preserved on-screen. Much like Barb opting to swap due to her crappy position on her tribe in season one, we are seeing Dylan in an identical scenario here in season two. Nobody else is budging. We could see history repeat itself as the tribe that dominated the first five rounds of last season has their numbers completely shatter. Just ask Michael, Jak, that long-haired invisible hippie (Lee?), and Shannon.

Perhaps Survivor NZ’s budget hasn’t increased as much as we thought it did. Those poles for unspooling weren’t as stable as production thought they were. Tess can form sentences so she must be fine.

I want to see how much Dave and Matt’s pre-game friendship clouds their judgment throughout the game. Matt has already accidentally sabotaged it by assuming JT has an idol. Will Dave be able to return the favor with an incorrect observation of his own?

Editors are still framing Arun as the best all-around player in the game like they did with Avi. Will we really see the same type of winner two seasons in a row?

I am surprised by how complacent Tara and Lisa are on new Khangkhaw. Good on the Tight Five for making them feel like they apart of the seven-person alliance.

Khangkhaw eliminated somebody who Chisholm praised as one of their strongest members. They are doomed to lose until merge because seven of the eight most physically capable people in this game are all on the opposing tribe, and Brad isn’t a very good swimmer. He could very well be eighth rather than seventh. New Chani is going to have to throw it in order for New Khangkhaw to avoid TC. However, if I’m New Khangkhaw, throwing the next couple immunities to eliminate JT and Eve may not seem like such a bad idea.

In other words, we need New Chani to go to Tribal Council if we want an episode that can entertain on a strategic front. If not, hopefully, editors focus more on goofy moments or Tess experiencing another concussion that is far funnier than it should be on television.

P.S. Yes, Sala is deep in contemplation if Khangkhaw voted out the right person.

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