1. It’s a little too sentimental for my liking, but I’m happy for the castaways that they get to see their families. I imagine seeing these disheveled, unshaven and generally-filthy people would be quite a shock for the family.

    The final immunity challenge is always a doozy. My gosh, I felt pain in my feet just looking at the pedestals that they had to stand on, and I was lying on a comfortable couch.

    I’m rooting for Harry, going into this, but either of the others would be mad if they took him to the final 2 with them, so he’s only got a 1/3 chance of making it through.

  2. I hate the endurance challenges -it’s torture watching. What’s next- nailing them to a cross?
    Dumb lazy game planners.

  3. And with that, Baden just won half a million dollars.

    I don’t see Pia beating him in front of the jury, and there’s no way he’d take Harry with him to final 2.

    • Not sure about that. He and Harry have an understanding, and I think Pia would present a better resume.

      Juz, I heard elsewhere that there is no Reunion show. Not necessarily a reliable source, but the epg seems to indicate that as well.

      • I’ve never thought that. I think Harry has an unbelievably-good resume, to present the jury. He’s the god-killer. He survived that long, with his entire tribe gunning for him, far longer than he should’ve. That in itself makes for an epic story.

        I’m disappointed Baden ousted Harry, but not surprised. With those three, Harry was unbeatable.

        Pia, by contrast? I don’t see her having a good resume at all. What did she do? She’s a great actress and played a good game of subterfuge, but that’s a very quiet, in-the-background game. I don’t think that will present well, in front of the jury, at all.

        I don’t see Baden losing, from this point on.

        • I was thinking that the jury have had days and days at the villa to compare notes, and for Janine to reveal all the moves they made together. I don’t think Pia’s moves have been that hidden.

  4. Holy crap.

    It’s jury time.

    Someone throw Baden a life-preserver.

    He’s drowning.

    If he just focussed on Pia’s lack of gameplay, a little more directly (you know, his whole strategy for dealing with her should’ve been just to remind the jury that she hid behind Janine for 40 days), then I think he’d be doing a little better. As it is, yikes.

    Although I liked David’s point, that somehow, this is the season where 2 goats made it to the end. I don’t think he’s right — because at least one of those goats made the deliberate choice over who to take with them — but it’s a powerful argument, given that they’ve both played subtle, behind-the-scenes games.

      • There’s a genuine problem with the very long season and relatively few idols. That’s almost always going to mean, as it did in this season, that the front runner gets knocked off almost as soon as they emerge. In turn that makes happy time for goats.

        For example in Worlds Apart, Mike’s immunity run was 3. Luke had already won 4 and needed to win 2 more to make the final.

        They need to address this.

        • Shannon discussed this with Rick Devens on the last RHAP podcast. And they touched on the point Pia made, about US and Aus rewarding different game play

          • I think I said it just after Dave was booted. If there ever is an international all stars season I want to see Sandra and Pia on the island.

      • It could equally be that David remembered Baden’s speeches from previous episodes and expected him to hit one out of the park.

  5. David’s comment about goats came across a bit bitter, but I was wondering if he was trying to imply that it was a valid gameplay option, and just wanted to work out which was a deliberate ploy and which an accidental one, Personally, I thought the last goats were eliminated several votes ago.

    Pia didn’t present as well as I expected her to, she seemed quite nervous, but did better when aroused in anger a little. Baden kept trying to hark back to removing Harry. Unfortunately, one big move isn’t enough, and Pia had checkmated the move the night before by suggesting he needed to remove the player that no-one else had been able to remove.

    I didn’t expect a unanimous result, but I love hearing the reasons. And Luke was the best – no sour grapes at all there. I expect his gofundme has rocketed tonight. And how lovely is Pia’s husband, he’s a keeper.

  6. “We came looking for Alibrandi, but we found Scarface.”

    Gosh, say what you like about the rest of it, but this was a *good* season for one-liners, wasn’t it?

    Anyway. I genuinely believe, for a lot of the jurors, that vote came down to the final performance in front of the jury. Baden’s performance in front of the jury was diabolical. Like I said on FB, you could tell which one of the final two was the actress (someone who’s good at confidently expressing themselves in front of crowds of strangers), and who was the nerdy and reserved PhD student.

    And the poor bastard didn’t receive a single vote. It was a one-sided landslide. That’s rough. I feel sorry for him.

    See, I don’t think Baden was ever in a totally hopeless situation. He just approached it all wrong. And the shy, nerdy college student picked the worst time ever to rear his head and re-emerge. Baden’s game was one of intelligence. He made friends with people, to get information out of them and act accordingly. He knew when to step forward, and when to keep quiet. The entire back-half of the game, the contenders were self-destructing around him, and he had the sense to quietly step back and let them all implode. That wasn’t an accident, he deliberately chose to do that … and it was a bloody good strategy, since it got him to the final 2. He needed to tell the jury that. He needed to point out that, yes, he played a quiet game, but a quiet game (by default) isn’t a bad game, because it was a successful one. He knew when to act and when not to.

    And if he’d just talked about that? And played up Pia’s goat-ness a little more (she really did hide behind Janine a lot), I think he would’ve stood a chance.

    But he just crumbled.

    I do take David’s point that, it looks like two goats made it to the end (while all the big names knifed each other around them), but both of these castaways played a good game. It’s just, only one of them was able to explain to the jury *why* that was true.

    Now, onto the bette question, did the right person win? Eh. I wanted a contender to win, but the second Harry stepped down off the torture poles, that was done and dusted. I didn’t much care for Pia’s game at all, actually, and ultimately, the season had some serious problems (bad editing and incredibly-stupid castaways being the main ones). It wasn’t a bad season, and there were far less-deserving winners. I don’t know. Talk to me tomorrow.

    Next year is an all-star season? We’ve only done 4 seasons!

    But if they get Robbie Skibicki back? Well, a boy can dream.

    • Windsong I agree with all the points – I was a little deflated with Harry’s exit as well.
      I do think Baden crumbled next to Pia and I think he lost the jury when he said he played in the middle – who wants to reward average? Middle should really have been as you said, quietly.
      He did get close with referencing Pia hiding within a strong alliance that helped her orchestrate her supposed strategic moves – sure that’s her game and it got her there but it’s not a big risky game play.
      I don’t care for how she went after Baden – whiny and belligerent

      • Of the final four, Harry still played the best game, in my eyes. He was such a character, and he survived *long* past his use-by date. It’s frankly astonishing that he made it as far as he did, but the second he stepped down off the torture pegs, he lost. Maybe Baden would’ve had a stronger chance if he *wasn’t* up against a professional actress, in the final tribal council, but I don’t see Baden winning either way. Hell, I don’t think Pia would’ve survived up against Harry either. She might’ve still got Janine and Abbie’s votes, but I don’t see the ex-contenders voting against Harry, no.

        As for Baden, I honestly do believe he played a good game. He was the only contender to survive the catastrophic mass-stupidity that took down the rest of his tribe. And he made it to the end. We can criticise him all we like, but he still made it to the end. Who cares that it was a quiet game, when it worked perfectly? And I really think that point is getting lost in all this, “Pia is the smiling assassin” talk.

        He just framed it all wrong in front of the jury. He was up against a professional performer, and — with Janine egging Pia on from the peanut gallery — he was out-classed and lost his nerve. That’s it.

        I also thought Pia was passive-aggressive and rude, during the final speeches. She kept interrupting him and dismissing him while he talked. I don’t think she was bullying him, but she was certainly taking advantage of his general meekness to keep him defensive.

        • Excellent point Windsong. I found Pia quite aggressive and abrasive last night. I felt that she was very rude to Baden. He looked shell-shocked and I feel sad for him that she made him feel like that.

        • I agree that Harry would have won over the others if he had made it there. But I didn’t see any rudeness. In fact, it was annoying me that every time a question was asked, Pia turned to Baden to allow him to answer first. Maybe that was a debating tactic, in order to have something to refute, but I didn’t see her interrupting or talking over him, any more than he was to her.

          Pia actually won the game the night before. It was touch and go who Baden would keep, until she checkmated him by saying his only hope was to remove the person nobody else had been able to remove. On his way out, Harry “doffed his hat” to Pia, knowing that with one short statement she had beaten both him and Baden.

          • I think Harry or Luke would have been ambushed and shut down the same way Baden was. Whether it would have worked as well is another question. Harry possibly, Luke not so much.

  7. Next up is an All Stars Survivor. Will Luke be coming back for a third time? Though I suspect his GoFundMe funds should keep him happy!

      • It’s been established on that page that they are going to Luke and his wife Mary, and gofundme have also put out a statement confirming it. It’s 413,000 now and I would not be surprised if it cracked the 500,000 mark by tomorrow. It’s good people are passionate about Aus Survivor, and even better that it’s translated to an extra season next year.

          • I think there were actually about 30!!! But apparently only three are active. The spokesperson from gfm said they’d make sure money from the other accounts was funnelled into the main one and/or reached Luke correctly.

  8. Does all-stars really mean the “best of…” or is it just really second chance for most? Most of the ones who were at the end of this season would be reluctant to back up so soon. I suspect there may be some players we don’t remember. As long as they don’t divide them by some spurious characteristic. I would prefer them to just divide them randomly with some planning to make the tribes physically comparable.

  9. As long as David is back I will be happy. I will do a post in the next few days listing who has played in the past and we can pick our dream tribes.

    • I ended up totally Team David too, even though I dont like him at all! David the survivor master trumps the David I don’t like so much, So much so that he became the first person I would look at on jury. His face when Luke didn’t have an immunity was real. He knew exactly what it meant.
      Definitely want him back!
      Yes – it will be fun to discuss who we think they should have. I am not sure about it overall though – surely they realise that not everyone is a Luke like performer and there is gold out there – the likes of John and Fenella prove that there are ‘normal’ people out there who would be fantastic.
      I wonder if they will bring in some US all stars? I know Russell wasn’t a super success but there are probably others who people would enjoy seeing.

    • Try to remember that crankiness on FB is music to the producers’ ears. More controversy and argument is exactly what they want. If not, they would show everyone’s exact moves in the game, instead of shaping the edit in certain ways.

      Also, because this season has been so successful, there are a lot of Survivor newbies jumping onto the show. When you are a newbie (and I have been there – LOL) you 1. don’t really understand how the game works and 2, get way, way overinvested and take moves made in the game as personal slights against your hero.

      That said, if I was on FB, I couldn’t resist looking. One of the reasons I will not go there!

      • You know I am a Survivor snob, Fijane 😉 Don’t look on Facebook. There is vitriol aimed at Pia the likes of which is usually reserved for child murderers. It’s appalling

    • I don’t get FB at all and hardly ever look at it.

      I just rewatched the episode, and then had a quick look at the FB comments. Some are over the top, but the great majority focus on Pia’s rudeness and her bullying at the final. I don’t think either of those things are particularly admirable and I suspect in time some of the jurors will come to regret their votes.

      If it had been Harry or Luke pretty much the same thing would have happened, although I think Harry and Luke would have replied a lot more effectively than Baden.

  10. ‘I’ll either be voted out first, or win the game” Pia, episode 1
    The editing really sucked big time this year….

    • She also said way, way back “Sometime I will have to turn on Janine…”. In hindsight, it was a slight flaw in her game that she came to be so attached to Janine that she wouldn’t have done it. She was lucky everyone else did it, without her knowledge, because it kept her “innocent” in Janine’s and other’s eyes.

  11. Either we are so knowledgeable about this franchise, or it was incredibly poor editing but it was fairly obvious from the beginning that Baden and Pia were going to make it close to the end. And for anyone who doubts it, just look at how many people voted Baden to be the winner.
    And we all know enough about the game to acknowledge that whoever gets to the end has played a good game. It may not be a flashy game, or a overtly clever game, or a tough game but you don’t beat 24 people by just sitting in the corner and staring into the middle distance.
    Good on Pia.

    • I think in the US version, you can get to the end doing nothing, but not in our version. The first season I watched was won by the worst non-player of the game, purely because there were three in the final, and nobody wanted to vote for the others. And she was only there because none of the end people believed she could get a single vote.

  12. After watching Survivor for years, I must admit that was the most shit ending I have ever seen. The jury council seemed so rushed. Although, I’m sure a lovely lady, I dont think Pia deserved to win. I am sure we didn’t see any of the “similing assassin” that Janine kept banging on about. I also didnt like how they allowed the jury to speak on behalf of the two finalists. Janine all but had Pia’s name in lights. I thought by Janine’s speech it gave Pia some pointers. Poor old Baden just looked awkies the whole council

    • I didn’t much like the ending, either.

      But I completely agree with you. I do not see this amazing game that Pia seems to have played. Pia acted like she was everybody’s best friend, while Baden buddied up to people for information, but in my eyes, they played very similar games. They were low-key, quiet players who kept themselves out of the spotlight. Pia hid herself in an alliance with powerful figures (Janine, Simon and Abbie), while Baden had the sense to step back and let the powerful contenders battle to the death around him.

      But this idea that I’m hearing, that Pia played this awesome game as this master assassin that nobody knew about? I feel like I’ve watched a different show to everybody else, I really don’t get it.

      And with Janine spruiking her — which I doubt Baden counted on. I didn’t even think that would happen — Pia couldn’t have lost, could she?

      • I can’t see Pia as a great winner either. She had much less influence than she claimed and just played a Sandra ‘as long as it’s not me’ game. On the other hand, if Baden had won, we would be saying pretty much the same thing, although Baden is more relatable than Pia.

        They played very similar games at about the same level of skill until Pia, with a lot of help from Janine (and unintentional help from Baden) dominated the final.

  13. So that Gofundme for Luke has pretty much nailed it’s $500K target.

    Why did he go on the show, again, if a well-run crowd-funding campaign was just going to award him the prize money anyway? I’ll bet the producers never even imagined that outcome. And yeah, it’s not like he’s not worthy of it, but half the cast could’ve used that money. I could use a crowd-funded half-mill. It just seems like, what was the point, you know?

  14. Agree Windsong. I think it was unfair and deliberate that Janine did the spruiking. it really caught Baden off guard. I call BS that that Pia was trying to win the final challenge for Luke, as if he couldn’t win, she should win for him because she needed the money too… what the…? She clearly won for herself. The most animated she had been the whole series was when she did her final bid. She spoke amazingly and was direct and strong, which you could see threw Baden off. P.s I hope his mum fattens him up a bit. It gave me the heeby geebies everytime I saw a rib poking through his tee shirt

    • I would say Janine had watched a few US final tribals, which now have a looser format. We have seen some contestants there “pitch” for who should be winners, such as in Cagayan (which you all should watch, if you haven’t already. Super entertaining season).

  15. I feel the editing was not as good this year at showing us what was really going on. As seen by Simon making it to the jury and me still being surprised every time I saw his face. I know they can’t show everything but this year they focused a lot on the big characters (Luke, janine, David) and we did not see as much of the strat chat. Which makes it hard for us to appreciate the deliberate under the radar players because we have to take their word for it that they are geniuses. At least though Australia is “into” Survivor – only took 19 years

    • We need to remember that Pia had a winner’s edit. The edit comes after the final.

      Production don’t like shaky winners. They do whatever they can to tell a story where every winner deserves their win. And where, hopefully, no-one notices the structure makes it very difficult for big players to win.

      Castaways do whatever they can to present themselves as inevitable and they do it consciously from Day 1. If they didn’t, production would ask trajectory questions until they did.

      If we can’t see the Amazing Pia Game © it is not because Pia, a professional actor, and the editors did not try to show us. It’s because it didn’t happen.

    • If Luke’s description is accurate then we are dealing with a seriously naive jury who let themselves be played like a trout.

    • That article shows exactly how a good final tribal performance can be crucial. I also thought Pia sounded shaky in her first speech ( like Luke, I thought Baden had won it then) but she really shined when answering questions, whereas Baden made some serious errors.

  16. Poor Baden, not a single vote. I felt bad for him. That challenge looked excruciating. I have a sore foot so no way could I do that. Do we know what the longest challenge is on the US series? The US final challenges have been fairly tame in recent years. I remember in the early seasons they had endurance challenges.
    So if they weren’t going to have a live reunion show couldn’t they at least have let them freshen up & put clean clothes on for the final tribal?
    So for this all stars season I hope they don’t get those 3 bitches from the first season back. Can’t remember their names. Or the disgusting nachos eater from last year. I don’t think 4 seasons is enough for an all stars one yet.

    • Wow, 14 attempts on that tower challenge….wish we could see a lot more of this type of thing instead of waves, fish, snakes and trees 🤣🤣!!

      • Yes! I meant to mention that. How exhausting. I think it was Rick Devens on the RHAP podcast who said that tower looked terrifying and that Aus had far scarier challenges than US.

  17. Wow, I am surprised by the negativity here about Pia. Throughout the season, many here were tipping her for the win, and she was near the top in both “who will win” votes. Is it just because many also like Baden?

    My only complaint about the final TC was that there weren’t enough questions. Maybe they were edited out, but I think that is what is most indicative. It seems to me that Pia is copping flak for being the “strong, assertive” woman that people say they want women to be now. I didn’t see any bullying at all, just mutual disagreement between the two ie a simple joust of heated words between two people both trying to convince others. Considering Janine’s image with the contestants as being in charge etc, I would expect her endorsement to work against a person, but Pia showed very clearly how what she did was not by Janine’s command but her own decisions.

    Very worthy winner, IMO.

  18. She played like a mouse and then claimed to be a lion. She ambushed Baden by placing him a position where he had to call her out for dishonesty or accept her version of events. Baden at least owned being a mouse.

    If she’d been against Harry or Luke she would have shut them down in a similar way. We even saw the ambush she had prepared for Luke in her confessional where she claimed not to have much money. She’s made 11 films and 11 TV series since Looking for Alibrandi. That includes a couple of multiseason main characters. If she’s short of money she has the worst agent on the planet.

    • I watched every minute of the season and didn’t see any of this. I saw no mouse-like play (and, on the other side, I didn’t consider Baden inactive either). Every actor except the big hollywood stars live precarious financial lives – periods of good pay followed by long times of unemployment. John Howard (actor) said it just a few weeks ago in an interview. How much money would you lose if you didn’t work for four months? We were astounded when DH was off for that time. Additionally, having money or not has never been a criteria for being a worthy winner, otherwise no top three player could ever come back for a second season. When a season has half the players labelled as “champions” you have to expect that most of those are not on Newstart.

      The financial angle is a slippery slope. One could argue a PhD student must be doing okay to be able to take time for study and afford the uni fees. Unless we means test every contestant, the viewers just can’t make decisions on how rich/poor they think the player might be. We have no proof that Luke does not have ample finances, and most viewers made that judgement using the bogan stereotype. Would people’s views change if they knew that he had $200K inheritance, for example? At no stage did Luke mention his finances, people just assumed that he does not have the means, and that he would need more for his special needs kids (possibly true, but who knows?). We have to stick to Outwit, Outplay Outlast as the only criteria.

      • “We have no proof that Luke does not have ample finances”

        Well he does *now*, since he lost his bid to be sole survivor yet still received the prize-money after a solid crowd-funding campaign.

      • I don’t want to make this sound harsh, Fijane, but you also knew that John had never commented on challenge-throwing, and yet he did. Indeed you went so far as to call one of my comments exposition in inverted commas as though I had made it up.

        After I posted some actual transcript you wrote that you had obviously forgotten or not noticed a number of conversations.

        • Fair enough. I do believe I watched everything, but I remember you pointing out some things I obviously missed.

          I still stand by my other comments, though. The ongoing conversation about whether Pia was a good or bad winner shows that there are plenty of opinions on both sides (maybe that is a tribute to the editing?). And while it is clear that Luke and his wife have a very hard road ahead, I still believe that he never indicated that finances were part of it – just that it was so hard to leave his newborn, ill daughter. I don’t blame people for wanting to help, and sometimes the only thing you feel you can do is give money, but it has been based on as assumption that Luke is hard up.

  19. I worked with someone who was an extra. I have it in mind that he said most jobbing actors get about $30 an hour.
    Given that my gardener gets $50 an hour (and is in constant demand) I would suggest that most actors have second jobs and live in genteel poverty.

  20. And I don’t begrudge Luke any money. The costs, and strain, of having a child with such an illness would be unimaginable. It beats me how some people cope.

  21. And I really don’t get the hate on Pia, or Baden.
    Does it really matter what your strategy was if it worked? They were clever.
    I remember having a bet on a horse and winning $20 (big time gambler) and my boyfriend at the time (there’s a reason he is now ex) saying, yes, but if my horse had come in, we would have won $75. Begrudging.
    Pia won and beat 23 other contestants, and that’s not an accident.
    And Baden came second, and beat 22 other contestants, and that was no accident either.
    Let me be Captain Obvious. 22 contestants played badly and lost, and 2 played well and got to the finale.
    For goodness sake, people, be gracious and get over it.

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