Survivor SA: Philippines

Survivor SA: Philippines — “The African Rift”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 5 of Survivor South Africa: Philippines ahead of episode 6.


Previously on Survivor SA: Tribes went through the game in disarray, but for Palesa there was a silver lining. After winning the biggest Survivor reward challenge yet, the new Luzon enjoyed the spoils of war, but Luzon’s winning streak was short-lived after losing the immunity challenge.

Ace and Josie spotted a clue for the hidden immunity idol. In a desperate attempt to stay in the game, Ace dug up the Luzon camp looking for the idol. No luck finding the idol, Ace was not about to give up.

At Tribal Council, the former Mindanao stayed strong.

Fourteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?



Josie knows she has no wiggle room within the former Mindanao alliance. She said that “digging to China” was a good enough story that the old Mindanao bought. Yep. Ace, the guy who played so hard he wanted to force a rock draw, spent his final hours in the game digging in the sand because he wanted to find China. . .or the Earth’s mantle. Whichever comes first.

Hey! We get a full intro but with the newly updated tribes. This is such a simple thing that American Survivor could do when they have two or three tribe swaps prior to a merge. The audience loves this reminder.























DAY 12

JOSIE: I’m surprised the tribe didn’t cut anon.

I even Google’d that phrase. Cut anon. But no results came up on Google. Maybe I should have used Bing.

Josie is digging in the sand while she thinks everyone is sleeping, but Toni comes over and hangs out in a hammock as she chats with Josie. Werner comes in with some fish. Josie’s new lie is that she is drawing pictures in the sand.

You would think former Mindanao would catch on that Ace and Josie are spending a lot of time playing with the same patch of sand during the exact timeframe when they are expected to go into the woods to look for an idol.

Why look for idols when you can play Solo Pictionary? Jackal. Jackal. It’s a jackal.



DAY 12

PK and Marthunis talk in the morning. Marthunis is sitting in a bucket while this conversation is going on.

PK: We keep mentioning Werner and Jeanne as the people we can’t have going into a merge. Those are the people we need to get rid of.

MARTHUNIS: There is somebody else. Tevin.

PK: I need Tevin. You need Tevin. We can’t think of getting rid of him. He is very loyal to both of us.

“And when I mean both of us, I just mean me. You need Tevin. . .Tevin has only been the guy leading the charge to eliminate you since day one.”

I love how Marthunis is visibly thinking on his face. He has spent thirteen days with PK and Tevin. He has to know these two guys are awfully tight based on basic day-to-day stuff that goes on in camp, and being in an alliance with both guys for a while. Right? Right?

PK and Tevin talk about what just happened privately. For the one-millionth time, Tevin wants to knock out Marthunis sooner rather than later. He is a broken record at this point. You keep saying you want to vote out Marthunis during every meal, every confessional, when you sleep, when you defecate in the woods, but yet you have actually followed through with voting him out.

TEVIN: If we take him too far, it’ll ruin a lot of our plans.

a) Putting your game into Marthunis’ hands is terrible for your game

b) Putting your game into Marthunis’ hands is awesome for the audience

Hopefully, the audience gets their way.

TEVIN: Marthunis is no longer my lapdog that I was going to take to the end.

Marthunis has three major components: He is very socially inept, he has no strategic awareness, but lastly, he always wants to be a leader.

If you ever wanted to combine three qualities that ensure you never make it to day 39 on Survivor, those might be the three. Well, other than being in poor physical shape or being atrocious in early challenges.

Katinka goes diving for fish and clams. She retrieves some clams. Katinka’s breakout scene. She brags to Marthunis about her clams.

MARTHUNIS: You risked your life, but I’m not going to. If you die, no offense, but life goes on. I have wife and kids.

KATINKA: As if I don’t have a life.

MARTHUNIS: I didn’t say you don’t have a life. You aren’t leaving people behind who rely on you. My business relies–

KATINKA: It doesn’t matter–

MARTHUNIS: But no one relies on it. My family relies on me.

“My wife and kids rely on me so much that even coming out here for 39 days is a bit of a risk. She’ll be so helpless that when I get home the garbage will not have been taken out. There will be hundreds of weeds in our garden. The fruits and vegetables in our pantry will be consumed by various insects. My son will not have showered in five weeks, and his clothes unwashed. They are all completely useless; I am their lifeblood.”

PK and Tevin make jokes about Marthunis’ commentary. Katinka and Marthunis need to talk more.

There is this priceless expression when Tevin looks at PK in the shelter. Both heard the entire conversation.



DAY 12

Palesa and Vusi continue to fight with Tom and Chane over Murischa like a Tug O’ War. It’s like hoping Jake Ryan will go out with you to the high school prom or show up on your porch with a boombox.

Tom wants Murischa to reaffirm her loyalty. Murischa tells him that she doesn’t need reminders.

TOM: The idol is not everything to me. I -will- give my idol to Murischa or Chane so we can keep the 3-2.

Is. . .Is that really necessary, Tom?

Chane reads the Tree Mail. It speaks of it being simultaneous reward and immunity. In an 18-person game, I s’pose we need an extra boot in the 39-day schedule somewhere. Well, two extra boots if we are to have a desired Final Two.



DAY 12

Tom gasps and Annalize grins when they are notified Ace is gone.

For today’s challenge, they will maneuver two balls through a roped A-frame. Make your way over the top, retrieve those balls, walk through wooden crossbeams, then proceed to the monkey bars. But there’s more! They are monkey bars without the bars.

So just monkeys. Nah, just kidding.

They have to insert the bars for the monkey bars using loose rungs. Go through. Then use those rungs to build a ladder puzzle across. Take those same rungs for a horizontal puzzle. Complete the puzzle and immunity is theirs.

First place gets a healthy feast. Scrumptious chicken wraps, fruit platters, fruit shakes, and BIO-STRATH! An all-natural food supplement that also increases your STAMINA and energy! Yes, Nico said STAMINA in all caps. He even threw a fist pump in there.

Second place wins a fresh delicious watermelon. Nico unveiled it with authority! Adam from Survivor NZ just creamed himself.

Top two tribes win immunity.

Mindanao sits out Annalize.

Visayas sits out Chane.

Survivors ready. . .Go!

No one has a decisive lead on the A-frame. Luzon isn’t attacking it as hard as the other two tribes. Onto the wooden beams. Carrying those monkey bars with them makes it a slow walk as it requires two people to carry each monkey bar. Luzon loses a bit more ground.

Mindanao forms a lead while putting in the rungs. Visayas isn’t too far behind. Luzon is lagging behind as Nico says.

The rule is only two people can only go on the monkey bars at a time. This is important as you have to remove the rungs after your first pair goes across. Nico has to enforce the rules a couple of times.

Luzon has to swap out Toni with Werner because Toni is too damn short. The Charla Problem.

Mindanao has also finished their puzzle bridge. Marthunis and Tevin start to work on the horizontal bridge.

MARTHUNIS: Don’t do that, Tevin. Tevin. Don’t do that.

The only time Tevin will take direction from Marthunis all game.

Jeanne can’t reach the monkey bars. She has to try to use it as legitimate monkey bars but that doesn’t work either. Werner has to act as a human harness and have her follow him to the other side. Werner and Toni deconstruct the whole bridge. It reminds me of the Final 8 reward in Australian Survivor where Jericho’s team was too short to progress in the challenge where they had to balance on each other’s shoulders to guide a key.

Visayas is now working on the puzzle. It’s Palesa and Murischa. Tom has no interest in puzzles.

Luzon is across the bridge. Jeanne and Josie are at the puzzle.

Tevin puts in the puzzle. MINDANAO WINS IMMUNITY! MARTHUNIS IS SPARED! Tevin spins Annalize in circles.

It’s a showdown as Luzon gets ahead. Jeanne does very well under pressure.

TOM: Guys! Talk to each other!

NICO: Tom and Vusi, you guys not in this challenge?

VUSI: We are!

TOM: We are!

MURISCHA: We prefer they shut up.

NICO: You’re a tribe. If it’s not working, don’t keep quiet.

It’s funny because Visayas’ 3-2 alliance split is all about both sides refusing to communicate with each other. Their challenge strategy? Have a 3-2 split when it comes to communication once again! Poetic. Perhaps Murischa was just tired of everyone in the tribe telling her what to do for once.

Luzon wins immunity! Visayas choked big time!

Mindanao earns immunity, delicious feast, but most importantly BIO-STRATH! RELEASE THE BEAST!

Luzon wins immunity and a watermelon. Perhaps Jeanne can chop into it while pretending it is Marthunis’ head.

Visayas exits the challenge.

MURISCHA: I don’t think Tom was used to being shut out. And I loved the fact I could tell him to shut up.

It came at the price of immunity, but it was worth it! But was it worth giving up BIO-STRATH! You’re missing out on those precious nutrients!



DAY 12

TEVIN: Before we eat guys, we need some supplementation. We have to have some Bio-Strath.

PK: It’s gonna last.

Yes. You HAVE TO HAVE IT. It’s like H2O on steroids.

TEVIN: We’re completely malnourished. We need any form of supplementation that we can get. Thanks to Bio-Strath, we actually got something. Because without the food, that’s the next best option.

Considering Tevin is a medical doctor, this is the type of endorsement Bio-Strath dreams of.

I have a prediction: Somebody from New Mindanao MUST win this season because only winners drink Bio-Strath! It’s a scientific fact!

ANNALIZE: I’ve never been so excited to bite into anything.

Her boyfriend must be sad.

PK: I don’t think anyone can beat us. We’ve got speed. We’ve got strength. We’ve got puzzles. We are the complete package.

And you’ve got BIO-STRATH!!!!!!!



DAY 12

WERNER: We were thinking what we must dew!

Do the Dew, baby!

Werner and Toni acknowledge Jeanne is wearing them down in challenges. Especially when there are just four people and they can’t sit anyone out.

JEANNE: It bothers other people in my life more than it bothers me. My body’s who I am. I don’t give a shit. There’s other stuff I need to worry about.

Rona from TAR Asia 5 will want to recruit you on Instagram.

Toni says the priority is to keep the tribe strong. Josie tells Toni that Werner or Jeanne should go.

It’s like there are no other options.

Josie thought it was an all-female alliance, but realizes Toni is the one running things and she is super duper tight with Werner.

Jeanne approaches Werner to form a Tight Two. She reveals to him that she doesn’t want to sit next to Toni at the end.


JEANNE: Because I like you.

Oooooooooh, triangle. Do you like like him or just like him?

WERNER (confessional): I will not fight for her at the expense of my own game. I will only fight for Toni.

Jeanne notes that Werner always seems to be a target heading into a Tribal Council.



DAY 12

PK and Tevin go into Operation: Discipline. Subject: Marthunis. They sit him down.

TEVIN: It’s time to give Marthunis a little discipline.


MARTHUNIS: It’s pointless for me to be in the game if I’m going to be a tagalong. I want to make my own decisions. I don’t need some younger ladee to do my moves. . .I’ll come up with some plans to get rid of them.

TEVIN: If you’re not going to show us loyalty, we’ll throw the next challenge to throw you out.

MARTHUNIS: You need me.

TEVIN: I don’t need you. I am tall enough and can do the puzzles.

I like how height is now the biggest factor for who is the best person on your tribe based off of today’s challenge.

This is the first time I have ever seen it where an alliance leverages throwing a challenge as a threat to trap another person’s loyalty.

Tevin is still juggling whether he can find a way to drag Marthunis to the end or if he can cut him. If he’s gonna cut him, he has about one or two rounds left to do it before it gets out of his hands.



DAY 12

Chane is furious with Murischa because she told him to shut up.

TOM: Murischa is not the type of person who takes advice very well.

Couldn’t that statement apply to this whole cast?

Tom complains about Murischa to Vusi and then to Chane. He now believes Murischa is the weakest member.

TOM: That woman is dead weight. . .I am going to play my idol tonight. F–k, we’re going to lose the next immunity if we don’t get rid of her.

PALESA (confessional): I can’t believe it, but he is making some sort of sense right now. . .but we are not going to unite for one night. Not a chance.

TOM: Think seriously, please.

Palesa relays to Murischa the dead weight statement. Murischa may be the dead weight in challenges according to Tom (even though Murischa was on the winning tribe), but Tom is the dead weight when it comes to trust and a basic social game.

Tom meanwhile drags a log and is exhausted.

TOM: Can someone help me, please?!

Who is dead weight now?

MURISCHA: You call me dead weight and you are dead to me.

Tom’s social game, ladies, and gentlemen. Don’t diss your most crucial number to your biggest enemy.

Murischa proposes a plan to Palesa that they tell Tom that the target is Chane, make Tom play the idol for Chane, but in the process blindside Tom.

Chane asks Murischa to have her loyalty and have her back at the merge. She does not trust Palesa. Because of how much Murischa is pushing what Palesa and Vusi are supposedly doing, and the fact Chane sat out, Chane sniffs out what the real plan will be.

Palesa sees Vusi and Chane nibble at the fish discreetly, but now none is left. Palesa is upset.

TOM: Chane wouldn’t be the type to do that. She’s not a nibbler. So where’s the rest of it?

Yeah, she’s not a Futurama character.

Tom accuses Palesa and Vusi of being the nibblers.

TOM: Don’t be a child. Say “thanks for the fish, Tom”.

PALESA: You’re raising your voice. Don’t pretend like you’re the only one who does things around here like you’re the f–king cook.

TOM: Don’t swear at me. Don’t swear at me.

PALESA: You heard me.

MURISCHA: Oh s–t. They’re arguing

TOM: I don’t do it.

PALESA: You do it all the time. . .I’m not interested in being around you anymore.

TOM: No, you go home then.

PALESA: You go home.

TOM: Cause I’ve got the idol.

PALESA: I’ve got the idol too. You’re so full of it.

TOM (confessional): She’s so mouthy about an idol. . .so where is it?

Tribes of five or fewer, but yet all three tribes are a major mess. I love it. I love the whole “you shut up,” “no you shut up” bit to cap things off.






NICO: What is with this shuffle and shake-up?

Sounds like a dance.

If Tom and Palesa receive votes, both play idols, then there’d be a revote and Chane will presumably go home.

Chane reveals the 2-2 split to pull in Murischa to gain her “affection”. Tom says there is a massive rift between the two pairs.

It’s even bigger than the one near Malawi.

MURISCHA: It’s like living with my family but now the in-laws have moved in for holidays.

Murischa thinks she would be at the bottom of either alliance.

MURISCHA: I am partially in the game.

I’d say you’re fully into it. In fact, you’re the most pivotal position.

Nico goes into a deep philosophical discussion of how everyone has altered expectations of Survivor at various points and overly romanticize early success or how Survivor is going to go before you start.

Chane starts dropping down another language.

CHANE: I can’t take naps because. . .I wake up with a fright.

I should note “I wake up with a fright” was the part in another language. Which language was it? I need to go to South Africa. All I know about it is Garrett Badenhorst and Trevor Noah.

PALESA: There is something I came here to fetch. May I?

NICO: Absolutely.

Palesa casually strolls over to the podium beside Nico’s seat. Nico confirms what she grabbed is a hidden immunity idol.

TOM: I am sh–ting myself. Palesa, well done.

Tom is genuine.

NICO: Are you in this game?

MURISCHA: It’s hard because I’ll say ‘yes’ to anything you ask.

NICO: Strategize right now. I’ll give you all the time you want.

Palesa and Murischa discuss if Murischa wants to stay quietly. She does. Vusi jumps in with a plan. Two votes on Tom, and one vote Chane.

Tom and Chane whisper. They’re going to cast votes against Murischa.

Vusi has outwitted this scenario.

TOM: There is nothing I want more than burgers and my own family than to be on this show. . .You need to play this with your head and your heart. If you don’t have that, then you need to go. Murischa, I am sorry, but I don’t care about that rift. I know at the next challenge that Palesa will have my back. . .I humbly apologize but it needs to be said.

It’s a big dilemma as Palesa agrees with Tom’s statement. Tom squeezes Murischa’s shoulder in comfort.

MURISCHA: Don’t squeeze my shoulder.

Nico repeatedly asks Murischa if she wishes to play.

On that uncomfortable note, we vote.


He tried with spelling.

No other votes are shown.

Cue the chaos!

Will anybody play a hidden immunity idol?

Tom stands up to play his idol. Well, Palesa’s hand is going to be forced.

Tom announces he is playing it for himself. Palesa hangs onto hers.

FIRST VOTE: TOM (I’m no deadweight)





Damn. Murischa blew it. Perhaps the biggest case of somebody blowing the biggest power position possible. Both sides really wanted her as a number, but she couldn’t commit to not just a side but her efforts to stay in the game.

Vusi, Palesa, and Tom shake hands. Chane isn’t included. If they go to Tribal Council, things are going to get messy as hell.

Next Time on Survivor SA: Marthunis is public enemy number one. The search for the idol heats up at Luzon and the surprise awaits the castaways.


For the second round in a row, whoever was in the minority from the former tribe was eliminated. However, Ace was bad luck–Murischa was just getting overwhelmed by the fighting and conflict within the camp. That was insane to watch. If they go to Tribal Council again, Palesa and Vusi can no longer split the vote between the other two.

Is Luzon really going to ditch Jeanne in favor of Josie? It seems like the right time to do it as Toni and Werner haven’t trusted Jeanne since about day two. Josie is flying under the radar well.

Werner is going to have a tough time eating this idol clue.

I am curious to see what the long-term relationship will be like on Visayas. Tom is willing to sacrifice his own game in favor of personal beliefs and ethics.

Tevin and PK outed their own tight duo to Marthunis. If this was a typical game, Marthunis would be able to unite the other two to split up the pair. However, because Marthunis is such a wildcard and is such an outlier, Tevin and PK could reveal their whole desired boot order to Marthunis and it has no long-term effects in the game.


And two tribes going to Tribal Council? I really hope it’s my desired twist of two tribes going to Tribal Council separately rather than the Game Changers twist of having them go together. Please SA, producers. Don’t make the same mistakes Survivor US makes.

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