Australian Survivor – Sun, Sept 11

The ads are talking up tonight’s ep as the “biggest blunder ever”, so let’s hope it’s not all hype. Does Phoebe set a honey trap for Rohan and convince him to hand over his idol (shades of Erik the ice cream scooper), then vote him out?

Here we go
Finally, yellow team’s Craig gets a chance to read the piece of paper he found in his napkin at the tribe shuffle feast. Plus he’s sporting a spiffy new tank top – guess since it goes for 55 days the contestants were allowed to pack more than one top this time. It gives him clues about the idol being hidden in a spot that gets covered at high tide.
Over at blue Jennah Louise is the odd person out, with no connections to her tribemates (well, other than Nick, but she’s his arch nemesis).
At yellow, Pigtails Kristie is using the tried and tested method of doing yoga on the beach in a bid to get Kate to like her. Kat is sucking up to yellow by giving Craig a massage (ick), saying he feels tight. “It’s probably because we sleep on logs,” he replies. I like Craig.
Former blues Model Rohan and Lawyer Phoebe know they have to come up with a plan or they’re toast – but Rohan has an idol.
Yellow is keen to win the challenge, given it is composed of people Nick basically rejected in the schoolyard pick for the tribe swap – or people who though they had voted him out on that twisty nighty where tribal was a fakeout.

Come on in, guys
It’s challenge time and for once it’s not in the ocean. JLap tries to elicit some fighting words from a few players before revealing that the mud pit in front of them is a take on the old Survivor challenge where they use their bodies to scoop up as much mud as possible. Usually this involves sets of scales or a bucket but today they have to fill up a wooden box.
The winners get to go somewhere where there is a shower, toothbrushes and razors. Flick is most excited about the razor, planning to cut a few throats with it later on.
The challenge begins and Conner uses his shirt to scoop up a bunch of mud and Lee carries a big blob on his head (a method Woo of the floppy hair employed effectively in one of his seasons). At first a couple of the girls don’t even get their faces or hair muddy – what the! There are quite a few “oh – sorry” moments as tribemates grab the muddy ones on their bits in a bid to scrape off the mud.
Blue team wins convincingly. At the very least Nick would be familiar with the challenge from past seasons, so perhaps they discussed a winning strategy.
“Do you want a hug?” a barely recognisable mud-coated Nick asks JLap. If only he’d said yes – that would truly set him apart from Jeff, and it’s not like he even wears the same shirt every day.
Pigtails Kristie tells the camera it’s ok to lose reward as long as you win immunity. Hmm, Kristie is getting a lot of air time. What does this mean?

At reward
The girls wash each other and shave their legs – why would you bother? The boys wash each other and Lee even cleans Jennah Louise’s ears with a cotton bud. JL is wondering how she can sneak her way in when Kylie starts telling her to not give in. JL is hopeful she can join up with El, Lee and Sam also, but we’ve yet to see evidence of this.

More Kristie confessionals as her losing yellow tribe heads to the ocean to rinse off.
Rohan uses the cleaning time to schmooze up to Conner and Andrew but Andrew is straight on to him. Rohan spills his guts to them about everything that happened at his old team’s past tribals (including that they tried to vote out Kat) and he tells them that he got the idol clue. Silly Rohan – Phoebe is going to kill you. Andrew straight away tells Kat what was said and she is quick to (wisely) throw Rohan under the bus, saying he has the idol. And even if he didn’t, I’d still be saying that he did.
Craig is finding it hard to get away from camp to look for the idol, given, as he says, the tides come in and out every six hours. He needs to tell someone so they can help him look.
Instead, he gets the whole tribe to go for a walk in the guise of “exploring”, which apparently they’ve never before done. This is hard to believe, so perhaps production told them they weren’t allowed to.

Blue team arrives back from the reward to find their whole camp is drenched, the fire is out and life sucks again. Over at yellow they are also freezing and sleepless but businessman Andrew seems to be tolerating it well, although he has more body fat than the girls. Nanna Sue is over being wet and not having had a decent sleep since the game began but, again, seems rather stoic about it.

Immunity challenge time
Brooke tells JLap the spa challenge revealed a few people were lightweights at drinking champers but, sadly, we didn’t see any of that. I love it on US Survivor when people who are starving get drunk and say things they shouldn’t.
The challenge is basically a game of super rough basketball played in waist-deep water. Coma Kate proves a physical force for yellow and Lee and Rohan have a good ole wrestle now they are rivals – no doubt photos of this muscle-bound match-up will be popping up over the net by now. Nick sinks one for blue. Kylie takes numerous shots for blue (she’s probably the shortest girl out there) and finally sinks one.
I love watching Kat have a death grip around the waist of teeny Brooke, and again Kate sinks the ball. The last round is the all-boys challenge again. There’s a lot of giving each other boardshort wedgies. Eventually they are all so knackered no-one has the heart to chase down Magic Matt when he gets free with the ball, and he wins it for blue. There is much hugging, even between opponents – something you don’t see on US Survivor. I’m guessing the challenge took a long time to film and they were all just glad it was finally over.
So, Nick is safe for another night at least and Rohan must be panicking.

Back at yellow – after a little joking about how much Craig enjoyed holding some of those blue boys tightly – Phoebe is dispirited and we get a glimpse of the bandage under Kate’s arm but no boil update – dammit. She tries to get in with Kate but Kate’s non-committal (and, also, Kate isn’t exactly at the top of her alliance so she probably doesn’t know what’s happening). Rohan blurts out to Sue that the idol was found (then immediately regrets it) and, then, while Kat is within earshot, tells Sue and Conner how dangerous and evil Kat is and that he wants to target her.
“I’ll write down Rohan and it will be the greatest day of my life,” Kat tells Craig and Sue afterwards. Kat and Craig would be a great team going forward, if they can trust each other. Interestingly yellow seems to have totally embraced Conner as one of them, but they are dubious about Kat. “She’s a flipper,” says Craig as, in the jungle, Kat tries to convince Kristie to vote for Rohan.

Phoebe tells Rohan she will be the target and that she needs his idol, but doesn’t think he will hand it over. Well, people have fallen for the honey trap (such as Erik the ice-cream scooper) before, so you never know.
Phoebe tries to convince Kat and Kristie to vote for Sue, so that if Rohan plays the idol one of the yellow core will go home. Which shows a marked lack of strategy – why not go for a stronger player, like Craig? Sure, Sue has social game but Craig is an obvious triple threat and would look good as a “scalp” when it comes to showing you can make the big moves.

Tribal council
JLap starts with a chat about how they all felt about the tribe shakeup (it’s not a merge, JLap!). Andrew says how great it was to keep his original tribe together – how soon Jennah Louise has been forgotten. Andrew tells the former reds that if any of them are worried about their futures they need to join the yellow vote. Phoebe realises – and only just now, it seems – that she’s out of the loop. There’s a bit of whispering between Rohan and Phoebe and Phoebe and Kat. God I hope Kat goes with yellow, just so I can see Phoebe and Rohan’s faces.
Interestingly, a sick-looking Phoebe votes for Sue while Rohan votes for Kat (who’s wearing her striped palazzo pants). Andrew votes for Phoebe.

The votes are about to be read and Phoebe plays the idol – so Rohan DID give it to her. I feel a bit gipped we didn’t get a dramatic handing over at tribal. Let’s hope yellow split the vote.
JLap reads the votes: Rohan, Kat, Sue, Pheobe (sic), Pheobe, Phoebe, Pheb’s (sic), Pheobe (sic) and Rohan. Rohan is gone. Phoebe looks dreadful.
Phoebe turns to Kat: “We could have had four-four.”. Kat: “Now we’re all on the bottom.”

Next time: All we see is Kat talking about getting revenge on Rohan and annoying Phoebe. That’s it. No challenge preview, no strategising.
Vote reveal: Boy, yellow were lucky the old reds were so disorganised, as they left themselves wide open by all voting for Phoebe. We see Kat and Kristie cast the two Rohan votes.

So, Kat, Kristie and Phoebe will be in trouble next time round but their votes for Rohan may give them an in with some of the core yellows. Perhaps Andrew will use them to move against Craig – a desire he mentioned some episodes ago, once, and about which we’ve not heard since. And if the core yellow does decide to stick together there will be seem easy vote offs that will last them to the real merge.



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18 Comments

  1. Ah, the mud pit challenge. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find mud wrestling particularly sexy, so I’m not really sure about the appeal, here. What I did think was hilarious was Nick scraping the mud off his team-mates, and only a few seconds later did he start apologising for inadvertently groping, both his male and female team-mates.

  2. Another sexy physical challenge. I loved the plan of Craig to just hold Sam down and wrap his arms around him, and I laughed when even Craig’s team-mates were telling him to let go, and he’s like, “NO”. Good plan, Craig.

  3. I think the “biggest blunder ever!” was definitely hype and nothing more, since Rohan spent the entire episode making mistake after mistake.

    I don’t think the ex-reds were disorganised, though. I think it was all part of the ex-yellow’s plan. No matter what happened, they got what they wanted. I was surprised that Rohan had handed the idol to Phoebe (why could nobody spell her name right?), but it didn’t matter. If Rohan kept the idol, it was flushed out and new-Vavua keeps some muscle. If he didn’t play the idol at all, then they ditch manipulative-Phoebe (and break up the power-couple). If Phoebe does play the idol … then Kat and Kristie (who are trying to weasel in with Andrew and Craig) make sure that Rohan is ditched (and neither of them liked him anyway, so they would not have needed much convincing to go along with it. Hell, that was probably Kat’s idea).

    Phoebe, meanwhile, receives some visible comeuppance when she realises that playing everybody like fiddles for three weeks means that people get quite upset with you. The next time they lose, Phoebe’s gone, and I see Kat and Kristie (who’s still a bit of a wild card) voting along with the rest of them.

    Bring on tomorrow night.

  4. KristieYaaaaay lucked out but Phoebe was right, they could have been 4 /4 if they banded together. Not sure why KristieYaaaaaaaaay flipped though. Wasnt she part of the alliance with Phoebe and Rohan?

  5. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    I’m with you, I don’t find anything appealing about mud wrestling. I can’t think of anything worse & definitely would not like getting mud on my face or hair either. Not sure who it was, but someone said they could touch his doodle if they wanted while scraping the mud off. So hilarious.
    Jonathan tweeted that the basketball challenge went for an hour & they were exhausted. Talk about rough. I’m a wuss & would not be any good at that at all.

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    • Actually, I laughed when I heard that “you can touch my d…” line during the mud challenge as well. It was just like, really, *that’s* the word you’re gonna go with? I haven’t heard that description for a man’s best little friend since I was like 6 :). That made me crack up.

  6. That was satisfying. I really wanted Pbeobe gone, but Rohan will do for now. I can’t see why Kat would have any allievance to Rohan or Pheobe as she knows they were going to toss her out of the original tribe. But yeah, the red tribe were foolish not to split the votes between Rohan and Phoebe. But it all worked out in the end.
    Next Flick or Phoebe please.
    Also, I think the WORST thing on Survivor would be when its raining for hours and it’s cold. I would sooner eat duck’s eyeballs and fish guts than spend a night in cold rain getting all waterlogged.

  7. That may be the single stupidest TC I have watched, and i have watched quite a lot.

    1. A tribe that has 2 big guys against 2 big guys and is losing challenges does not need to send one of them home.

    2. I have nothing to say about Rohan voting for Kat. Hopefully casting will do a better job next time.

    3. Vavau may be the first tribe ever to produce the unique combination of a majority loser alliance co-operating with a minority loser alliance (Kat and Kirsty) to ensure that the other tribe wins every challenge between now and the merge.

    Fascinating TC in the sense that watching a train crash is fascinating.

    • It was Kat and KristieYaaaaay (spot on Bolders) that voted Rohan off but I don’t think the original yellows care too much about losing challenges, I think they’re counting having enough sacrificial lambs to get them to the merge. But then I’m new to Survivor so I might be viewing too simply.

  8. I actually felt sorry for Phoebe this episode. Yes, she’a been the villian up to now, but she seemed genuinely humbled by the turn of the game against her and showed no arrogance in her recognition of her new rank in the tribe.

    And before last night, I thought Kat was just ditzy. Now I despise her. Her vote was the ‘biggest blunder ever’, she let her emotions rule her head. Now she, Kristie and Phoeve will just be picked off. She is delusional if she thinks the alliance will pull her in.

    Loved the both the challenges – they are the highlights of each episode for me. If they’ve done the mud one before it must be a long time ago. I think the quality and variety have been far superior to any of the US seasons I have seen, so congrats to the producers for that.

    • I felt a little bad for Phoebe, but I felt she and Rohan were quite arrogant in running their tribe back when they were just the reds. It was an important Survivor lesson for beginners … you’re only one twist away from losing your power. Rohan was pretty and strong, but he was never that smart, and he was going to lose all threat-level the second the tribes got shook up … which is what happened. They aimed for Phoebe first because Rohan was physically stronger, but Phoebe’s done for next either way, just watch.

      You’re right about Kat. And maybe we do have a good contender for this year’s villain. As Alan said in another thread, she’s completely hopeless at the personality-aspect of the game, and she’s got no head for strategy either (this episode proved that). She and Kristie might’ve flipped, but they’re on the bottom of the totem pole. Surely they realised that? And if they don’t realise that, then they won’t be here much longer anyway.

      Kat’s not gonna make it far, if that helps. Either the ex-yellows all turn on her (or she turns on them. It’s entirely likely. You heard the threat from Andrew last night) or they keep her around as disposable/expendable when they need to. I see her making the merge or one or two votes after that, but not any longer.

      Alternatively, keep her around. Who *wouldn’t* want to sit next to her at the final vote? Nobody can really stand her.

      • You may well be right.

        The only time that strategy has ever worked was Tocantins and in that case they had JT who was not just a challenge beast but literally unstoppable in individual challenges. Craig is developing as a player but he is no JT. The strategy has also failed and failed repeatedly as in the infamous Sherry/Shamar alliance, Gabon and Nicaragua.

        Challenges are not just for immunity. They are also for food, comfort and ability in future challenges.

    • I think there was a plan, there (he and Phoebe assumed they were still tight with Kat and Kristie) to play the idol and force a tie. So either he was wasting that vote, or there was some plot that the audience didn’t hear. I thought he’d voted for Sue.

      • But then maybe I’m mistaking that, because I’m sure somebody voted for Sue (Phoebe, maybe?), and by that point I was still giddy from all the shirtless frolicking from the basketball game.

        • It was Phoebe, because that was the plan, but I think the five-strong got to K and K, and Rohan ‘went rogue’ voting for Kat. It should have been four votes Sue.

      • I think there was lots of scheming that we didn’t see. After thinking about it for a while, I’m thinking that the five-strong persuaded Kristie and Kat to vote Rohan (well, not much persuading needed for Kat) as a way of splitting the vote. If the five had split, there was a chance that the four leftovers (together) might have got one of the five, with their four votes. Convincing K and K to go Rohan meant that they could still get five votes together. I believe that Phoebe was thinking that way too, expecting the fives votes to be split between her and Rohan, and that the four leftovers together would win with four votes for Sue. But Rohan mucked it up by letting his emotions rule, and voting for his nemesis, Kat. If he had stuck to voting Sue, it would have been a tie, and he might have had a chance.

        I’m seeing either Andrew’s or Craig’s minds behind this – maybe both.

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