Survivor NZ: Thailand

Survivor NZ: Thailand — “Need Heaps of Idols”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 13 of Survivor NZ: Thailand ahead of episode 14.

SURVIVOR NZ: THAILAND Episode 13: “Need Heaps of Idols”

Previously on Survivor NZ: Matt thought he had control in the game. With Matt’s long term friend Dave in possession of a hidden immunity idol, Dave discovered what he thought was his closest ally wasn’t as forthcoming. And Lisa used Matt’s deception against him. Left out of Lisa’s plans, Adam was left to betray his closest ally.

And Lisa’s plan to carry out the game’s biggest blindside extinguished the flame of the biggest player thus far.




Lisa is relieved her plan worked. Tess is shocked to find out she wasn’t voted out. Lisa feels very conflicted about her decision to eliminate Matt, but also amazed and exhilarated by the rush.

They all talk together. Lisa says jury would have voted him to win. Everyone agrees.

Dave tells Tess he decided to eliminate Matt today. Tess catches on that Lisa has been running this whole game.

Adam admits to Tess that he voted against her.

ADAM: I thought it was unanimous. I thought it was between you and I. If you have any questions–

TESS: It was pretty clear-cut. . .you told me you would never vote for me, and you voted for me.

TESS (confessional): Am I the only person playing the game with morals here?

Aaaaand we get a reminder that Tess is the biggest recruit on this season. Good ol’ Mailbox!

Adam tells us that Lisa nailed the blindside

ADAM (confessional): Is there a three-person alliance that I never knew about?

Well, there was a VERY tight two-person alliance you never knew about that was broken tonight.

Intro time!






That’s it. That’s our five.



DAY 35

Adam says Lisa has been threatening to eat the chicken for days.

ADAM: It’s scary. She’s a completely different person after this vote.

First, you vote off people. You eat chickens. . .then you eat people! Then you eat library books!!!!

Tess is refusing to talk to Adam and won’t make eye contact with him. He notes nobody is talking to each other.

ADAM: It’s a real boring awkward hideous day.

Which is a prime recipe for an overload of snarky Adam confessionals.

Tess and Dave talk on Dylan’s Hill.

TESS: I don’t have any alliances. I don’t have friends.

DAVE: You have friends. . .you have to separate what happened last night from your friendship with Adam.

Ah. Dave is trying to help Tess. How kind of him.

Dave says there are so many unknowns now that his buddy is gone.

TESS: Immunity is my only option for staying in this game.

DAVE: Everybody is saying that right now. It might be hard to believe.

But it’s actually true for Tess. She’s so screwed if she doesn’t take the next two talismans. . .or talismen.

TESS: I need to get all sassy.

Or just win challenges sans sassiness. Leave ‘er to Adam.

Lisa finds Adam scary because she has never been on the same page as him.

ADAM: I am so gutted I didn’t realize Lisa was such a dragon until this vote. She was lisa before, and now she’s LISA. All of these signs I didn’t pick up yesterday.

Adam really has been off of his game since Dylan was voted out. So many steps behind.

ADAM: She is a weirdo. She has scary eyes and has a chicken skeleton.

At least her eyes can move unlike your uber botox injection.

ADAM: She hasn’t come across the wrath of Adam.

The Wrath of Adam who is an alliance of one.



DAY 35

Chisholm–er, Matt, asks everyone how they feel about the Matt blindside.

For today’s challenge, they’ll carry three bags of oversized dominos across a balance beam. First two to do so will unwrap the bags and line up the dominos to release a ball that will land in a bucket of water. First person to do so wins reward. This challenge debuted in Survivor: Gabon.

They’re playing for an afternoon of wellness on the banks of the lake. Food platters and iced cold smoothies.

TESS: I love Thai massages.

I really wish Tai from Koah Rong would appear just so we get a callback on the Tai massage joke.

We rip into it!

Oddly enough, Survivor: South Africa had a challenge involving balance beams in the same week.

Dave has two bags. Everyone else has one. Tara and Tess deliver their second bag. Adam has two.

Dave completes the challenge. Tess barely edges out Tara. Dave and Tess move onto the final round. This challenge has such a small budget.


The bags are being untied. Dave has an organized approach while Tess is thinking on her feet. Tara sighs as Chisholm repeats the reward that is up for grabs.

Dave is stuck on a ridge while Tess gets past it. Tess has a significant lead on Dave. Adam quietly cheers her on.

Dave loses a bunch of his dominos during the middle of stacking. Tess is working on spacing.

CHISHOLM: What do you reckon, Tess?

What do you reckon, Tess?

Tess pushes the pieces.

For some reason we head to a commercial break before we see it play out. It’s just a freakin’ food platter.

We wait for the pieces to get pushed. The ball is released. Reward is hers on the first attempt!

TESS: I’m sweating so much!


CHISHOLM: Another beaut challenge.

A challenge with such a small budget that they can’t even afford to say the full word ‘beautiful’.

Tess can take one person. It’s Adam!

TESS: My friend, Adam!

Adam awkwardly hugs Tess.

ADAM: Wasn’t that the most awkward hug you’ve ever seen in your life?

Eh, have you seen Palesa and Tom’s hugs on various rewards?



DAY 35

ADAM (confessional): I struggle to apologize to people in real life. I’m gonna have to do some real bloody character building exercises.

For the first time, Adam has to swallow something that starts with a ‘p’ but ends in ‘ride’. Adam and Tessie hug ‘er out and talk about the last vote.

Tara has a question. She asks Lisa and Dave if you would take Tess on reward for gameplay purposes.

DAVE: I would’ve taken Adam just to patch the relationship if I was Tess. Cause it’s her only shot.

Adam and Tess talk about Lisa’s super fierce game and her attempt to split up Adam and Tess by making them betray each other.

ADAM (talking about LISA): That’s not how you get people to vote for you at the end. . .draws you in making you feel very close. . .that’s not clever gameplay. That’s mean.

Lisa doesn’t feel good about them going on reward and hope they don’t find an idol.

ADAM: Tara was expecting us to bicker. That’s her whole game. She has expectations and it’s really weird. Tara has been asleep this entire competition. She doesn’t get to wake up on day 35 and go on reward unless she wins it.

It would have been funny though to see her clean and dust the massage table before lying down on it.

ADAM: Goodbye, suckers. You miserable pieces of–

(Camera cuts to an exterior shot of the island.)

Miserable pieces of beaut? Right?

Adam and Tess have a massage. Adam thinks Dave has been faking his poor challenge performance.

ADAM: Who comes in second that many times? Weird. Per usual Dave lost or choked the reward challenge for the miserable loser he is. it’s wonderful to be away from those three little schemy evil trolls. . .I let all of those people go home for those hideous players.

Adam is trying really hard to get his last licks in the confessionals as he is going down.

Adam wants Tess to plant a seed with Dave that he can’t beat Lisa at the Final Tribal Council. Adam is willing to align with Dave?



DAY 35

Lisa tells Tara the three at camp is who she wants on day 39.

TARA: I love Adam but I don’t think he’s played the game. He’s not fully into it. . .I don’t want to sit next to people who’ve been dragged along. I feel like the three of us have an equal shot of winning.

Oh boy. So much to impact there. However, she is right that Adam’s game hasn’t been as great as he thinks it has been.

LISA (confessional): I could’ve gotten to the top three without Tara really easily. . .she couldn’t have gotten to the top three without me.

Very true. It’s insane how much Lisa has been running things since day one.

Dave is alone laying on a pillow. Lisa walks over to him to make sure he is doing alright.

Lisa opens up to Dave that she is normally having a tough time opening up to people in her real life, but has been having an easy time in this game. She thinks Dave will get the least number of jury votes if he goes to day 39. I can’t see Dave doing well talking in front of a jury either.



DAY 35

ADAM: Oh my god! There’s watermelon without peeling it!

Screw the quarter mil! Adam has his watermelon without peeling it. He manages to bite into three pieces simultaneously.

Adam and Tess talk about how to convince Dave into eliminating Lisa.

TESS: We’re hoping Dave is thinking about himself here.

ADAM: I’ve never worked with Dave and I’ve never felt good about Dave.

This sounds like a major longshot.

ADAM: Everyone we worked with has been voted out by this little chicken wing.

You got outwitted by a chicken wing, Adam.


DAY 36

Lots of rain. Lots o’ rain.



DAY 36

Everyone is wearing rain jackets as Chisholm asks about the reward. Dave walks over in his dark pink jacket to give up reward. Or is it salmon?

For today’s challenge, they’ll hold onto a pole as long as they can.

ADAM (confessional): As soon as I see the challenge, I know I’m not winning. I’m big. The pole is not big. I hate heights. My hope is Tess wins immunity.

Isn’t the target on Tess, though?

This debuted in Survivor: Vanuatu.

We begin! We climb onto it!

Adam slides the pole very quickly. He’s out within seconds. Ten seconds at most. Lisa is already quite far down the pole.

Lisa keeps going to the bottom toehold. The rain and the jackets are making things very slippery.

Tara goes down the pole quite fast and is out. Dave is moving constantly either vertically or horizontally.

Lisa’s toes are below the final toehold. After clinging for a few seconds she is gone. Lisa weeps and weeps heaps of weeps.

We’re down to Dave and Tess. Dave is sliding down a lot. Grimacing. Groaning. He is centimetres from the bottom. Then he’s down.

That’s it. This challenge wasn’t even close. Second place for the millionth time. If only there was a reward from the auction.

Tess is awarded the talisman. Everyone talks about how badly they wanted immunity even if the challenge was over in about ten minutes at the most. There was not a single ELAPSED TIME update like Survivor NZ would normally do in challenges.

Lisa worries about the target on her back and knows she needs Dave to secure her safety tonight.



DAY 36

Big booming orchestra music plays as we return to camp.

Lisa and Tara say the plan was to eliminate Adam regardless and go for Tess next round.

TESS: I think they’re gutted that I won. Not cause they lost, but because they don’t want me here.

Tess and Adam really can’t read Lisa’s plans heading into any TC, eh?

Tess and Adam try to figure out a way to save Adam. A 3-2 vote either way. Adam starts singing “I Need An Idol” to the tune of Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar”. I totally expected a song by Flight of the Conchords, but whatever.

Adam is deep in the forest searching for an idol. He is looking around the water well. I guess he doesn’t have much faith in Dave flipping. He decides to wash his muddy hands in the well. An idol found when Dave’s is still in play would be ridiculously excessive.

Meanwhile, Tess and Dave talk. Dave lies and says he hasn’t thought about if he can beat Lisa and Tara on day 39. Tess is open that the vote will come down to him tonight. Tess proposes the Her-Adam-Dave F3 plan and that they would vote out Lisa tonight. Dave is surprised and asks her why they can’t vote Tara. Tess is surprised to discover how protective Dave is of Lisa and how much he trusts her.

Adam swoops in on the conversation. He talks about how untrustworthy Lisa is.

Dave is caught in another dilemma. He is open with Adam that he is scared of him holding an idol.

NOTE: Dave has his own idol. Why would Adam holding an idol scare him?

Dave appreciates Adam is very straight up about his position and what he will do tonight.

A bird is underneath Tara’s hammock.

Dave asks Lisa about her relationship with Adam. She says there is no strategic relationship with Adam. She goes on about how Adam has changed his vote at Tribal Council twice this game.

Adam and Tess now approach Tara.

TESS: Tara, you want to vote with us?

TARA: You want me to be honest?

TESS: Yeah.


Ah. That’s pretty open and shut.







Tess feels she is “less underestimated” and Lisa “plays heaps of games.”

Dave cries about voting out Matt two days ago. He is grappling with staying true to who he is at a person. He regrets nothing. Tears keep comin’.

They talk more about Matt’s departure. Adam is scared of being eliminated tonight. Tara has only had one confessional this episode.

ADAM: I’m going to be added to the collection of manbuns to the jury.

I fit in with the Kiwis.

Adam asks Lisa about why they never clicked strategically. Particularly about why he wasn’t let in on eliminating Matt. Tess openly states she doesn’t trust Lisa. Adam points out to Lisa’s board game collection.

ADAM: I am looking at my companions on the jury and wondering why the hell I went down the Lisa route.

And that’s what makes Lisa such a damn good player. She is definitely the best Kiwi player we have seen.

Adam says he and Tess will vote against Lisa while Lisa and Tara are voting against Adam. Dave is fittingly (and probably required to) sitting in the middle.

Tess apologizes to Adam as she retains her talisman.

It’s time to vote.

LISA votes Adam. “Holy heck man, if I don’t get voted out then you’ve made my case to the jury better than I ever could.”

ADAM votes LISA <3 while announcing his vote really loudly and high fives Lisa on the way back to his seat. Penner would be proud.

Will anybody play a hidden immunity idol?




Nope. A souvenir for Dave.






Adam is the penultimate member of the jury. There is a weird echo on his mic as he talks to the remaining players. Tess is in tears as Adam exits.

In other news, Tess absolutely needs the talisman one final time or she is definitely out.

NOTE: In the additional Jury Villa segment, Matt breaks his word and tells Adam about his secret frienship with Dave. This conversation happens early on day 38.

Next Time on Survivor NZ: Things get a little fishy as the fallout from TC threatens one player’s survival. And alliances are tested in the scramble for the Final Three.


Adam had a lot of fun despite sharing a camp with Dave for about four weeks.


So Adam is gone. Adam had so any chances to catch on to what was happening since the merge and be a bit more aggressive within the game. However, his decision to be passive and sit back came to bite him in the final scramble for a spot in the Final Three. Once a day 39 alliance locks in with 5 or 6 people left, it is very very very rare for that to be broken unless the person in the minority has individual immunity.

Since Tess won immunity, Adam had no outs. After berating Dave in confessionals for nearly 28 days, it’s tough to flip him over and be like “hey best buddy, you wanna play with me? We could be mates, yeah?”

When Adam walked into Tribal Council on day 36 and looked at who was on the jury, he knew how blinded he was by Lisa in the game. He gave up his Renee crossover piece. He was too afraid to take a risk and keep Eve. He agreed to blindside Brad in what was guaranteed F3 with him and Tess.

At least he got rid of Arun. . .eliminating Arun definitely benefitted him.


Now we head into Final Four.

If Tess loses immunity, the episode will be very anticlimatic. It will essentially be equivalent to losing Nate and Michael in the finale last year. Everyone knows Dave’s secret, no one respects Tara, and Lisa wins in a shutout.

If Tess wins immunity, everything is up in the air except for the fact Tara will be dragged to the F3 as a goat. If Tess can get Lisa out, she wins the game in a shutout.

If Tess wins immunity and can’t eliminate Lisa. . .we’ll have a very suspenseful showdown and likely a very close vote to determine the winner.

P.S. I can’t wait for Dave’s reaction when questioned about his relationship with Matt.

P.P.S. It would’ve been funny if Dave was somehow blindsided with an idol. Seeing Dave and Matt go down the same way would have been hilarious.








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