Australian Survivor – Sun, Sept 25

Finally – a real merge – not just a shuffle. The fallout from this is going to be fun.

It’s Day 32 already – the days just fly by when Survivor is on three nights a week.
At yellow, Conner, Kristie and Kate are wasting away. They are going to go nuts and get so sick when they finally get that merge feast.
Everyone heads in to what they think is a challenge and the fans quickly realise the seating indicates it’s the Survivor auction – yay!
There are gasps as blue realise that Phoebe is gone.
The editors play sad music as Kate speaks about how many players their tribe lost and the camera cuts to Conner and Kristie.
JLap starts talking about how hard it’s been, laying down the adjectives and the contestants get restless as some of them twig he’s about to announce the merge. Except Spidey Sam, who says: “What’s going on here?”
Meanwhile, Nick is happily chanting: “Say it! Say it!”
Yes, it’s the merge (the real one) and they are now all competing as individuals, with new black buffs.

They get $500 to spend and can bid in $20 increments. There’s no sharing of money or food, which I know is standard in US Survivor these days but it would have been kind of interesting to let the Aussies do it to see where the alliances lie. Usually with the auction, the people who are playing hard will save all their pennies as the final item is usually an advantage or clue to an idol – or occasionally letters from loved ones. This makes me think Nick and Magic Matt won’t be buying any food and we’ll see who else is in it to win it. Plus with a merge they usually get a feast, so hanging out a few more hours won’t hurt the former blues, who have enjoyed many helpings of Hungry Jack’s and a Samoan feast.

The auction begins
First up is salt and vinegar chips and a cola. El makes first bid but Conner is the only other bidder – poor kid – he must be starving. JLap reveals Conner gets and extra three softies, which go to Kristie and Kate and his old tribemate Sue. Aww, he’s a good kid.
Next is chocolate cake and choc milk. El bids $60 but is immediately outbid by Conner with $440!! That’s his whole stash gone. Fair enough, kid – he knew he didn’t have enough money for a clue so made sure he got some food. That cake is going to make him so crook.
Next it’s the old secret item trick. It’s going to be a bowl of rice. Sam bids $240 (after Nick drives up the price in what looks like a deliberate move). JLap does the old “but do you want it or this other covered item?”. He sticks with the original and it’s nachos and a margherita. But we don’t even see what was under the other hessian cloche.
The following item is also covered and the keen players sense it’s something special. Nick, Brooke, Lee and Sue all place bids. Sue for $220 gets steak and chips.
Up next is a hot bath with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Brooke gets it for $20 and has to hop in in front of everyone.
Next is what they’ve been waiting for: an advantage. El and Lee bid for it. Magic Matt stays quiet, knowing these advantages can come back to bite you.
Kate for $500 buys spag bol and a red wine, so expect to see her topple of the bench.
The final item is covered and Nick outbids Lee for $440. He has won an advantage and he doesn’t look too happy. “I didn’t want this … I didn’t want a big, fat target on my back – that’s what that is.”

Too right, Nick. The advantage holders will open their scrolls back at camp. If I was Nick I’d do it in front of everyone and read it aloud. Lee may get away with doing it secretly as everyone trusts him.

They all return to their new home beach and everyone’s sad to learn they are at the crappy yellow camp, with the comforts of blue camp left behind. Chester the chook has at least made it over. It seems there’s no merge feast so I feel sorry for poor Kristie, who didn’t get anything at the auction.
Everyone gets to work expanding the shelter but really they are dying to cement alliances.
Conner is worried he’ll be targeted and rightly so – Flick wants him gone after his perceived earlier betrayal (because she’s the only one allowed to play the game) and Brooke and El are on board.
Sue lays it out to the camera: “They’re all ra ra ra over there like a university sorority house. Full of their own arrogance.”
Sue warns Kristie and Kate that Conner is in trouble. Conner takes Kylie off for a super casual walk to show her the well and she seems to be on board. I hope she is, as she has’t shown herself to be good at strategy or the social game. Conner is keen to turn Sam back to his alliance, but I don’t know that Sam would break up with his new BFF Lee. Interestingly they aren’t talking about approaching Jenna Louise, a former yellow. Is that because she’s in the pretty girl alliance and we don’t know it?
Really, the old blues should target the unsuspecting Kylie and get that idol out of the game.

Lee reads his advantage in secret – he gets to stop someone from voting at a future tribal council, up until final five – and says he’ll tell his alliance.
Nick, meanwhile, talks about burning his but he just can’t help himself – he unwraps it. It’s an immunity idol clue and it sounds like it’s up a tree. He monkeys all over the place and is immediately spotted by Lee. At least when he knows he’s busted he shows Lee the clue and ropes him in to the search. Lee is suss but plays along. Nick finds it and tells Lee he will also only tell his alliance of six.
Sam finds some pink fabric washed up on the shore and the pretty girl alliance rip it up for friendship bracelets. The core alliance all get one – and Kristie. Way to stir the pot.

I wish we’d seen whose idea that was. Brooke’s?
And, still, no-one seems to be talking to JL. What does this mean?

Immunity challenge time
We don’t even get a welcome from JLap. Sam tells JLap the new tribe name is Fiafia, which is “happy” in Samoan.
The challenge is a Survivor classic: hanging upside down with your arms and legs wrapped around a poll. Girls often do well at this – and those who meditate – I’m guessing El and Kylie. If Kristie had had any food I’d guess her. In Survivor: Panama in 2006, it was won by Terry Deitz at around the 45-minute mark. In 2011, Andrea won the challenge on Redemption Island. The US usually holds this challenge above water for more drama, but this time we just have it above the sand – a cheaper option, no doubt.
Magic Matt is first out, then Sam. They know they’re not in danger. Conner, who knows how much he needs it, goes next. Next are Sue and FLick. Kate and Kristie are doing some awesome full body dangles. El and JL do a deal to drop out together and Lee is next, leaving Nick the last bloke. Kylie is encouraging Nick to hang on to the 60-minute mark and he just makes it.
Kate looks amazingly relaxed and in control and at 75 minutes JLap tells them they can only use one hand.
Poor Kristie is stunned: “I thought you were going to give me food.” (True – this often happens). Poor Kristie is destined to go hungry. She is the next one out – a great effort with no sustenance. Then Kate, who has been so strong, drops. It’s Kylie V upside down Brooke and Kylie makes the mistake of swapping arms, which is not allowed. Brooke wins the necklace.

Back at camp Nick wants Conner out, too, but he wants a vote split in case Conner has an island. He wants five for Conner, four Kate and they know Kylie may flip.
Matt, Sam and Lee go for a wander and Lee is wearing sneakers – so he must have had a second pair that survived the fire – and they chat about Nick’s general untrustworthiness, although, secretly, Matt doesn’t mind him. Lee asks Matt to explain why they need to do a split. Aaargh – come on, Lee! Get with the program. Sam and Lee aren’t happy that this seems to be all Nick’s plan.
Sam is not happy that his old tribemate, Conner, is the target, nor that Kate is the second option. He tells the camera: “He’s a good kid – baby bruvva.”
Sue sends Kate to talk to Kristie while Conner will work on Sam but the old blues have taken a leaf out of the Boston Rob playbook and don’t want to leave Sam alone. Brooke follows them as they try to chat. Kristie is also torn between proving loyalty to former and more recent tribemates because she could be the next target.
They head off to tribal and it seems either Conner or Kate will go home.

Tribal council
JLap chats to the final 13 and no-one says anything much, other than Lee echoing back to JLap that he’s playing based on mateship. Flick pretends she doesn’t know who’s in charge but then JLap brings up the pink wristbands. “Is that the alliance,” asks JLap. Brooke replies: “Definitely not.” JLap notes they must be friendship bands: “Friendship, in Survivor, means alliance.”
JLap tries to get Kate to plead for her life. “I’m not going to get down on my knees and beg,” says Kate. “I’m just going to be my own self.” (Soooo, Kate’s going home, then.)

Time to vote
We see Sue vote for Matt and Flick for Conner. “I’ll count the votes,” says JLap (I read an interview with him today in which he said some fans are upset he does not say “I’ll tally the votes”, Probst style.)
It’s Matt, Nick, Conner, Kylie, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner and … it’s Conner.
He gives a gracious speech about everyone being great competitors while inside his heart is breaking. Ah, Conner – you were a likeable lad who made some mistakes along the way that came back to bite you but I wanted you to make it a little further.

Next time: Pretty girl alliance is talking about how awesome they are. Please, please let them come a cropper.
Who voted for whom: JL, Magic Matt, Kylie, Brooke – voted for Kate; Sam (how could you!), Kristie, Flick, Nick, El and Lee voted for Conner; Conner vote for Nick; Kate for Kylie and Sue for Matt. So the underdog alliance couldn’t even agree to vote for the same person!




    My prediction is the blue team’s alliance (around Flick, Brooke, Sam, Matt, Lee and El) will go the distance, and attract people to it (that it will eventually start shedding one-by-one, the further we go) … but then this is “Survivor” and anything can happen.

    Bring it on.

  2. That opening sequence where we saw just how much weight the yellow team had lost … man, no wonder the teams merged. They looked like they were dying. The producers probably said, “Okay, we have to do this now.”

    And I actually loved watching the castaways celebrate when JLap announced it. Conner looked so happy, probably that he can finally have something to eat, heh.

    • I’m so annoyed that she’s immediately targeting Conner. How on Earth is he a threat? He has no sense of the game and he weighs like 30 kilos soaking wet.

      Plus, he’s just too damn cute to be eliminated … I said that out-loud, didn’t I? Eh, I stand by it.

    • I really dislike Flick JB. Her eyes have a nasty look. I was disappointed that Connor went. What was with all the names nominated. Sue thought she had an alliance but it was an alliance of 1.

      • Same, same all happening. That Flick looks like her bossy, mean streak didn’t just start on Survivor Island. And Connor was cute like a puppy.

  3. I think she and Nick both take it too personally. She should thank Conner for being the person willing to swap tribes.

    • I thought it was hilarious that he automatically assumed that Lee’s advantage was a clue to the idol … but it wasn’t, Lee got a whole ‘nother advantage. The fact that Nick assumed it was idol-related is probably going to help Lee a lot, because people aren’t gonna worry about it (because they think Nick got it).

    • Now that we’re heading towards the end, Kate has a huge target on her back because she’s so damn likeable. For that matter, I think Lee and Sam need to be watching their backs, as well. I can see Flick and Brooke already subconsciously plotting how to oust their really likeable team-mates.

      I want Conner to stick around just ’cause I like the kid, but I don’t think he will.

        • I want Sam to get with the program, realise that Nick and Flick are the real snakes and threats here, and make an alliance with Kylie and the ex-yellow tribe to save Conner. That’s what I want.

          What I hate about this is we’ve just spent 30 minutes listening to them strategise, when the result at tribal council will probably be exactly what it was 30 minutes ago.

    • Kristie: “I know my vote is valuable … and by valuable I mean they’ll keep me around while they can use my vote and then discard me like trash the very second they don’t need me anymore.”

      • While she’s a bit strange, I like the way Kristie understands exactly how the game works. Maybe her paranoia is an asset, as she expects the worst from everyone, and she is usually right. Being done over by Phoebe probably helped her as well.

  4. Nick vs Flick, I’d take Nick

    Wow didn’t know Brook was designated the gestapo – how was that but of intimidation when Conner called Sam over?

    Why can’t they just give Fluck the flick? Her and those stupid friendship bracket 🙄

  5. I’d be more worried about Brooke than Flick – she was pretty tough at the challenge and seems a bit smarter than Flick.

    • Brooke’s probably quite happy that Flick is calling the shots. That means Flick has the target on her back, everybody hates her at the end, and Brooke has a shield to protect herself.

    • It seems like a sound strategy in Survivor – attach yourself, quietly, to an obnoxious player, skate through on their coattails, and bide your time to assassinate them.

      I couldn’t cope with the sheer rudeness of following Conner and Sam. Now I’m not sure which I “hate” the most – Flick or Brooke. Both equally I think.

  6. Wow that was weak form – sue and Kate don’t have to beg but do say something eg say at the top of a five member alliance is better than being at the bottom of the 10 member alliance where is their game?

    • not only that, but they all voted differently!!
      at least try to look like cohesive unit so that if you want to attract a someone to switch your side of the sides looks the goods.

    • And Kylie went for Conner as well.

      Kylie, I just cannot figure out. It’s like, she thinks that she’s best friends with the blue alliance, but she just hasn’t figured out that nobody likes her that much. Surely she’s not that unobservant?

      • I believe Kylie voted for Kate, so at least she stuck true to her vow she wouldn’t vote Conner. Kylie is all over the shop. She could be this season’s goat.

  7. Fuck you, Flick.

    The thing that’s jonesing me now is the preview where Sam defiantly states that the good guy alliance (obviously pinned around him and Lee) has the ability to flip the game away from the bad girl alliance. And it’s like, uh Sam? You should’ve known that an hour ago, and like an idiot, you just helped vote out someone who could’ve helped you do that.


    I hate this show sometimes.

  8. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    So they finally merge. How disappointing they didn’t get a merge feast. I know they had the auction but not everyone ate.
    I was hoping they wouldn’t do what the US one has sometimes done & had something gross under the cloche. That would be too cruel.
    So Nick now had an immunity idol so he’ll be safe for a while.
    Bloody Brooke, I was thinking when she followed Connor & Sam, fuck off you’re not invited.
    That pole challenge was massive. I can’t believe how long they held on for. Some of the girls were just dangling by their legs. I wouldn’t have lasted 1 minute.
    That voting was a total mish mash. I’m sorry to see Connor go.

    • If the main alliance was smart they’d turn on Nick ASAP and get rid of him and the idol. Those on the outs showed they can’t get their act together so aren’t a threat as yet.

      • Yeah, Flick made a big deal about justifying her decision because of Conner’s game-smarts … but it was an excuse. She wanted him to go because she couldn’t control him a month ago, so she wanted revenge. That was it. Part of Conner’s game is that he hasn’t got any game-smarts.

        They’re in control, at the moment, so they can do whatever they like, which means Flick takes petty revenge before they move on to the actual power plays. Absolutely Nick’s a snake, and he has an idol and they know about it .. which is why the boys should’ve figured out that they need to be going after Flick or Brooke.

        • Don’t you love how Lee and Sam were the last ones in the alliance to be told who they were voting for. Everyone knows they will do what they are told. There’s no way they will turn on the girls. Nick and Matt must know how dangerous they are, though.

          • The bad girls (formally pretty) alliance is running this show, and I feel like that’s a fairly obvious conclusion, regardless of Flick’s pleas of ignorance at tribal council. If you’re the last to know something, then obviously you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. The guys should’ve figured it out by now (Lee’s dedicated to playing nice, but surely he can figure out when someone else *isn’t*). And Matt’s smarter than to just go along with it, too, but you just can see them all going along with the girls until they start getting picked off one-by-one and, “Oh, we should’ve done something about them a few weeks ago”.

        • It’s Survivor. Everyone is a snake.

          Connor engaged in some snaky behaviour of his own and made himself part of the ‘Let’s eliminate all the muscles and brains from our tribe and then hope there is a challenge for who can make the best puppy dog eyes’ strategy.

  9. I’m glad I’m not Sam’s little brother. Fuckers. Connor is a sweetie. I was soooo hoping they’d get 7 and vote Nick. Or one of those mean biatches. Hopefully tomorrow they get their shit together.

  10. And I noticed he didn’t say the first member of the jury. Usually when they merge, the ones voted out are part of the jury.

      • I wonder how many more non-jury boots there are left. I’m only guessing there will be a final 2 or 3, and I guess a max of 9 jury members. Since its Australian survivor, with the larger cast vs US, surely they could’ve accommodated a 10-11 person jury?? Feel bad that Conner didn’t make the just because he could have had an important sway on the winner (ie not Flick)

  11. Bummer. Conner was just getting interesting. The old Sanapu are going to turn on their own very soon and Kylie missed her moment.

    So now it’s fffffai ffffai and cianti. What’s with the Hannibal Lecter theme?
    And I see neither coke nor Samboy were willing to cough up for product placement.

  12. Why didn’t the misfits vote together? Was there some sort of tactic (which I don’t understand) or they just couldn’t unite?

    I was expecting Conner to just drop a name in Sam’s ear, just before TC. He wouldn’t need to explain, or have a discusssion. It would have been understood that it meant “if you want to flip, here’s the name…”. Too late for Sam to dob, or change the alliance’s plan, but if the misfits had decided on a name, then it could have been the swing vote. And no need to make a performance of going off for a talk, and being rudely followed by one of the evil twins.

    If Kate can turn this around tonight, she will be a deserved winner of the series. Unfortunately, I can’t see her doing it.

    • i was trying to work why they didn’t vote together as well… certainly not a good sales pitch if still want try to get Lee, Sam, El, Kylie etc on their side.
      I can see Lee and Sam are suss on Matt and Nick calling the shots so i can see Kate could still get the numbers.
      Pretty girl alliance needs to be careful as i think they only have one or two more votes until the jury, if they piss off all the people on the jury they won’t vote for them in the end!

  13. I really don’t like calling them the pretty girl alliance, I just don’t think it suits them. I much prefer mean girls it seems more apt to me.

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