Survivor SA: Philippines

Survivor SA: Philippines — “The Not-So-Hidden Immunity Idols”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 3 of Survivor South Africa: Philippines ahead of episode 4.























Previously on Survivor South Africa: Hidden Immunity Idol clues were found at both camps. At Mindanao, Katinka spilled the alliance about the women’s alliance as Tevin and PK hit back, and Stacey and Jeanne were on the outs.

At Luzon’s second Tribal in a row, Ace flipped on the Tight Five causing a tie and sending Neil home.

Sixteen are left; who will be voted out after a shortened intro tonight?




TOM: Well that sucked.

What? Losing your most stable and strongest member of the tribe?

We cut to Tom’s confessional.

TOM: Somebody doesn’t know what honour is. . .Ace is pathetic.

After the newfound majority alliance celebrates around the fire, Tom blows up at everyone for not mourning the loss of Neil, and asks them to work harder around camp in the morning.

TOM: The only thing South Africa is gonna see is you are gutless, you are spineless, and you are a weasel.

South Africa will also see a guy who ate a hidden immunity idol clue.




Ace tries to explain his decision to everyone around camp. Annalize repeats that he doesn’t have to explain his decision.

ANNALIZE: Ace, the Judas, has moved over to the other side.

They should change his name in the opening credits.

Tom walks away before Ace can continue on with the justification for his vote.

TOM: Not all snakes are legless. . .sometimes the most dangerous creatures are the ones sitting next to you, and revenge is a meal best served cold.

I can’t imagine how intense Tom will be by day 39.




Stacey pinky-promises to PK that there is no girl alliance. Tevin makes fun of PK for not following his orders to keep quiet about their knowledge of the girls alliance. PK is shown asking every woman if there is an all-female alliance. Jeanne also denies the existence of such an alliance.

Werner, the Clue Eater, reads out Tree Mail. You know, Tree Mail. That note which hints what the upcoming challenge is supposed to be.




Ace reads out the Tree Mail; it is the only time Tom sticks around to hear what Ace has to say.

Palesa pieces together by the Tree Mail that it applies to the photograph on her Hidden Immunity Idol clue.



Both tribes paddle in on a raft to the platform. The hidden immunity idols are anything but hidden as Werner and Palesa spot the idols instantaneously. There is no mystery.

NICO: Neil voted out at the last Tribal Council.

PK: Wowwwwww. Doesn’t make sense.

PK sums it up well.

For today’s challenge, both tribes will start on a narrow balance beam. One by one, they’ll start from the back as only one person can be touched at a time as the person tries to reach the other side of the beam. The first tribe to get all of their members to the other side wins reward.

The reward? Hammocks, pillows, chairs, and a tarp.

Mindanao opts to sit out Marthinus and Murischa.

Jeanne sees Luzon’s box has a clue for an idol and assumes her own side will have the same clue.

Jeanne tells Stacey about the clue out loud. Werner overhears this. Meanwhile, Palesa spontaneously falls but doesn’t collect the idol. Werner decides to jump seconds after PK genuinely falls. Werner is more of a leap as he picked up the idol. He whispers that he collected the idol to Tevin, and knows everyone has it.

We see a montage of people falling as Chane and Annalize have both crossed. Tom signals for Chane to pick up an idol underneath her on the platform. He gives up on being discreet and says it aloud. Palesa watches as her idol is taken.

TOM: Put that in my pants as it belongs to me.

Actually, it belongs to Chane.

Josie has three people done with the challenge. Then Palesa. Mindanao has nothing.

Ace crosses in fifth. Vusi is pointed out as a great communicator. Vusi crosses over in his speedo. Six. Then Tom is done. 7-0 shutout. Their first challenge win happens to be an absolute blowout. I don’t think Mindanao has any interest in winning.

PK is visibly pissed; he wanted to go 5-0.




They are on a Sebastian-like high after their first victory. Chane and Tom retreat into the woods.

PALESA: It’s great cause we -know- they have the hidden immunity idol.

Tom, Chane, and Annalize open the idol in the woods. It is in Tom’s possession. He is set on idol’ing Ace from the game.




Werner gathers everyone except Stacey, Jeanne, and Katinka. He comes clean about the idol and says it is for the team. They decide whether to go after Stacey or Rosie O’ Donnell.

TEVIN: Stacey is so annoying that nobody wants to be with her; if we pick Jeanne she will make a play.

Stacey and Jeanne do laundry by the rocks. Jeanne makes the wise move of telling Stacey that they need to shut their mouths because they are “getting side-eye like nobody’s business”.

Jeanne cries as she cradles a chicken while PK sharpens a machete; she gives up the chicken and goes to cry on the beach. Murischa comforts her. She points out the need for protein to Jeanne but I don’t think it is helping as her pet gets sliced to pieces.




Another piece of Tree Mail. Jeanne hears the chatter about throwing an immunity challenge. Tevin doesn’t want to throw it and neither does Werner. However, four people wish to throw it. Marthunis wants to use himself as a decoy boot and PK is on board with it as they talk to Tevin and Werner about it.

Stacey wants to eliminate a guy today before any cracks form. Toni plays along but is secretly not on board.

STACEY: The next immunity challenge we definitely can’t win.

. . .While six people on your tribe want to vote out your #1 ally.



Both tribes will go through an obstacle course collecting wooden poles that act as traditional warclubs. At two points in the game, they’ll get to make a decision–stay on the course as is or take a shortcut. Each shortcut adds ten puzzle pieces to their puzzle at the end of the challenge. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Mindanao is sitting out PK and Tevin. Yeah, they’re throwing it.

Challenge commences. Werner is flying through it. Luzon is first to enter the tunnel as Marthunis immediately chops the shortcut without hesitation.

Luzon is on the balance beam. Tom is first to cross it after going across like a drunken redneck on a Saturday night trying to find his pickup truck.

Luzon crosses the balance beam as Mindanao has five members. Stacey keeps failing the balance beam–she even fails it with one step to go. Sigh.

Both tribes are putting together the puzzle; Mindanao has just ten extra pieces.

Tom coaches as Ace, Palesa, and Chane.

Mindanao has Stacey, Jeanne, and Katinka doing the puzzle.

TEVIN: Don’t worry guys. Take your time.

Luzon keeps speculating if Mindanao is throwing the challenge. Marthunis out of nowhere starts directing the tribe. I guess he didn’t want to make it too obvious.

NICO: It’s like the last thing Mindanao wants to do is win immunity.

Tom asks Vusi for a kiss on the cheek–he obliges. Odd moment.

Luzon sees just a few pieces to put on the table. Immunity is won. Tom grabs Palesa’s butt when she leaps onto him. It’s a very touchy-feely celebration for the whole tribe as they skip TC for the first time all game.

When you finally get IMMUNITY. . .Naturally!

Mindanao doesn’t seem disappointed about the loss after Luzon walks back to camp.




Tom kisses the immunity idol like it is Vusi; he vows to catch oysters for lunch and dinner.

TOM: I want that feeling again and again.

What? The feeling of a kiss from Vusi or winning immunity?




Jeanne won’t feel confident about the vote until Marthunis has his torch snuffed by Jeanne.

Meanwhile, Marthunis, PK, Tevin, and Werner agree to pile six votes on Jeanne and three votes on Marthunis.

WERNER: And those three people are going to be surprised.

I don’t know about that.

Jeanne approaches Toni.

JEANNE: If anybody else’s name is going to be written down, I am going to be f–king pissed. . .tonight we’re voting for somebody who has driven a wedge between the tribe.

So Jeanne is voting for herself?

Stacey talks to Jeanne.

STACEY: Today made me realize it’s not been fun. I hate losing.

JEANNE: What are you telling me? You want to go home tonight???

STACEY: I think that’s the smartest thing to do.

JEANNE: You’re going to give me three more days with Marthunis. . .if getting rid of Marthunis is not the goal, then why the hell did we lose the challenge?

Stacey is alone on the shelter. Marthunis, Tevin, and Werner have a nap together.

Jeanne tells Murischa, Katinka, and Toni about Stacey’s intention to self-evict; Murischa tells us she is annoyed because she really wants Jeanne to go home.

PK: We’re told Stacey is ill; I think this is rubbish. There’s no way that news is true.

MARTHUNIS: I don’t believe it for a second. Like what’s the chance that somebody is so sick and we don’t know. I was sick for a few hours and everyone knew.

Not all illnesses result in an Adam-Survivor NZ style of chronic vomiting, Marty.

Tevin thinks Stacey’s illness is a fat lie.

WERNER: These people are immature Survivor players. We threw a challenge out of frustration and irritation. . .qualities you need to control in this game.

MARTHUNIS: The only way we’re voting Stacey is if she asks us all to vote for her.

Jeanne needs Stacey and wants her.

STACEY: You’re being a big baby, Jeanne.

JEANNE: I’m a huge baby. I told you that a long time ago. Your decision has been made. . .I hate adolescence.

Murischa, Toni, and Werner talk in the water. Toni is not threatened by Stacey. She fears Stacey will quit after Jeanne goes and they’ll lose two players.

Everyone sits together for one last meal.

PK (to STACEY): Did you purposefully fall off the balance beam three times?

STACEY: I was just dizzy.

PK: Liar. She was completely fine.

He calls her a liar in front of the whole tribe. PK tells us in a confessional they’ll vote Stacey if she asks the tribe to do so.






MURISCHA: We threw today’s challenge;  we just wanted to see you Nico.

TEVIN: We have a tribe member who wishes to leave the game.

This tribe is far more honest than Chani in Survivor NZ.

Stacey claims she has had a stomach bug for several days despite being medically fit to play the game. Nico reinforces her being medically cleared, and that she is quitting because she doesn’t have a strong alliance.

STACEY: I’ve had a strong alliance.

NICO: Which you’re going to let down?

STACEY: Correct.

NICO: And willing to leave the game?

STACEY: Correct.

Yeah, Stacey needs to go home.

WERNER: Marthunis is very lucky that Stacey came to the front and doesn’t think she can make another day. Otherwise we might’ve lost two people.

NICO: Is that fair to say?

MARTHUNIS: Absolutely not. I feel completely insulted.

Marthunis and Werner play the coverup well.

They talk about how Marthunis comes across as Tevin says some people wanted Marthunis out of the game. Everyone pretends to be surprised that Marthunis claims to be in an alliance.

MARTHUNIS: I’ve been here for eight days and assume I’m not in a single alliance. . .to assume I’m not in an alliance is foolish. . .I don’t do lying in my life and I am tired of lying.

I can’t tell how much of this is Marthunis doing his own bit of lying. He is such an oddball character–even moreso than Werner the Clue Eater.

MARTHUNIS: Everyone was voting for me tonight. . .

TONI sighs.

MARTHUNIS: All of us are different and I’m not going to force my principles on someone else. To be fake the whole time. . .I think people come to play Survivor think it’s only a game and go back to life and it’s different. I don’t think so. I think the real “yew” will be tested. . .I came out here to push my furtherest part when I’m starving that I’d stay true to what I believe and look at that pot of a million Rand and let it go for one laugh.

JEANNE: To insinuate that you come into Survivor and you’re going to lie and you’re not going to be genuine is bulls–t. To say that I’m fake or that people are fake and how they pretend for so long is nonsense.

MARTHUNIS: I don’t agree at all. I see everything black and white which a lot of people don’t understand. I see it as right and wrong. I get to conclusions very quickly. I make up my mind very quickly.

NICO: You would agree there’s a lot of grey.

MARTHUNIS: Not for me. No.

This is the most compelling Tribal Council discussion in ages and ages. Normally TC is so formulaic that I typically snooze through it until the funny moments come up.

Marthunis pleads to have nobody vote against him.

After some more banter with Marthunis, it’s time to vote.

PK votes JEANNE in case someone is pulling a fast one.

TEVIN grins before casting his vote.


SECOND VOTE: Stacey-Lee!!

THIRD VOTE: STACEY (small message at the bottom)






EIGHTH VOTE: Stacey-B???-Lee

And Stacey is gone per her wishes. Jeanne doesn’t realize how close she was to going home. Stacey’s sacrifice hopefully gives her a much needed boost in the game.

In other news, this tribe is far more united and structured than Luzon.

Next Time: Drop your buffs.

Yep. That’s all we get. Now we spend the next seven days begging for Marthunis and Jeanne to be switched onto a new tribe with Tom and Ace.


Finally, a Tribal Council discussion worth watching. It took a very long time but we got here. It makes you think about how much the American version needs to switch up the way it casts its own seasons. We need more players who have a strong core of ethics and how it gets challenged throughout the game.

Ever since the “Hide an Idol at a Challenge” twist was born in Survivor: Cambodia, this has to win the award for least disguised idols ever. Nearly everyone on both tribes saw it. It essentially became a disadvantage for both Werner and Palesa because they weren’t certain of how noticeable it was to everyone in their tribe.

We nearly lost Jeanne by the end of the third episode. That would’ve been tragic.

Ace is out of contention for winning this game. Half of his tribe no longer respects him and will likely never work with him again. In fact, Ace is in the worst position heading into a tribe swap.

Speaking of tribe swaps, it’s a shame we are getting one so early in the game because we have two very entertaining tribes. I wanted to see Luzon go to another Tribal Council or if Jeanne figures out there was a counter-alliance against her.

PK  and Tom are the two players who wear their heart on their sleeve the most in this game.

Katinka is the most invisible player in this game, and she isn’t even -that- invisible. Just two out of four episodes where she is barely acknowledged.

I could break down who I think is in the best position at the moment, but what’s the point when we have a switch anyway?

Those two votes against Werner was unexpected. All because he decided to do a Michael Jordan-esque leap for the idol, I suppose.

P.S. Why does Luzon always lose the first two immunity challenges but then rebound by round three? Should we expect them to lose the fourth immunity challenge in order for history to repeat itself, and “have the curse not be reversed”?

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