It’s Sunday which means the start of a new week of Australian Survivor! This episode we see the aftermath of Samatau’s blindsiding tribal council led by a trigger happy AK and Asaga find themselves in an eerily similar situation.
We begin this episode on Night 13 and Samatau are returning from a tribal council that saw the former misfit alliance crumble at the expense of Aimee. Locky, being the incredibly normal person he is, took the blindside in his stride and instead of complaining he complimented the tribe on how well they were able to lie at tribal council. Tara, on the other hand, has enough drama for the both of them. She calls AK out for being a puppet master that is controlling his new alliance of Ziggy, Jarrad, Peter, and Tessa. As AK then correctly points out in his confessional, Tara didn’t do much in that moment to ingratiate herself with Peter and did little to increase their chances of working together again in the future.
Locky and Tara are also furious at Peter for flipping on his alliance and understandably so. Tara says in a confessional that Locky and herself had every intention of keeping Peter safe – whether that’s revisionist history, we will never know. However, Peter is adamant that he made the right move at the right time. Last episode, Peter correctly noted that he was not being perceived as a game player and that he was in a prime position to make a move against his alliance. Nevertheless, it is only Day 13, an impending tribe swap can occur at any day, and Peter has now pissed off three members of his tribe, but more significantly he has shown them he is a strategic player. He got impatient and couldn’t handle the thought of the game being played around him. In other words, if nobody thought Peter came to play before, they definitely do now.
Asaga – Day 14
The Asaga tribe haven’t been to tribal council since the first episode, and that is giving Henry a hunger that only a delicious blindside could satisfy. Conversely, Sarah mentions in a confessional that the lack of tribal councils has led the tribe to develop a strong connection with each other which will make it difficult for her to turn on her friends. Henry begins planning to break up Sam and Mark. W so he can leave Jacqui and himself as the only power couple in the game. The logic behind this is questionable considering they would be the next obvious targets especially considering that Sam and Mark are aware that Henry and Jacqui are pulling the strings. We end this scene with Henry recruiting Kent as a number, and they agree that Sam should be the next to go. Take notes Jericho; THIS is how you create an army of soldiers and not with your jar of cookies.
Samatau – Day 14
Back over at Samatau, Locky and Tara continue to bond over their disgust of Peter. Even though nothing brings people closer than a mutual hatred of somebody, in this situation, it isn’t adding much to their social games. As they watch bitterly on the side, AK cements his relationship with Peter and validates the move they made together. Peter confirms by saying that he saw himself as only an easy number for Tara and wants to prove that he can make moves himself. He then says that Tara would be the next to go in his mind. AK must be given props for his ability to demonise the misfit alliance and convince Peter to make a move that is arguably not good for his game. With comments such as “We just did what they did, but better, and now they are angry about it,” AK has created a good enough divide in the tribe to stop Peter from wanting to mend fences with his former alliance members.
The Reward Challenge
This challenge brings back a Survivor classic which requires each contestant to stand on a long pole suspended over the ocean. One by one each member must make their way across the pole while trying not to knock over their tribemates. Asaga struggle in this challenge with Ben being the most uncomfortable on the beam, even though he probably received more female physical contact he ever has in his life. Ultimately, Samatau wins the challenge and along with it an Aussie barbeque feast.
Upon arriving back from the reward challenge, everyone is happy and enjoying their meal until AK instigates the inevitable scramble for the clue to the hidden immunity idol. Nobody found it, but in case you were wondering Jonathan LaPaglia tweeted that it was in the bottle of tomato sauce.
Samatau – Day 15
Tara breaks down and cries in pretty spectacular fashion while AK’s cocky side starts to emerge. Tara begins to realise that she will be the next to go if they lose the immunity challenge and breaks down in Locky’s arms as a result. She is distressed and clearly in need of some emotional support. Meanwhile, AK has little sympathy for Tara and tells the audience that she should suck it up and stop playing the victim. An easy statement to make when you’re on top. This would’ve been the perfect opportunity for someone like Peter or AK to help in comforting Tara to try and mend the damaged relationship in hopes that it would provide an option down the road. Survivor is definitely a social game first and a strategic game second and given how quickly this season appears to be changing episode per episode, it would behoove some from AK’s alliance to develop some of those relationships.
Asaga Day 15 – Immunity Challenge
Back at Asaga, Sam clarifies that she is not in a power couple with Mark. W and it is instead just two mates who have each other’s back in the game. Yeah, that’s the same thing, Sam, sorry to break it to you.
Sam and Sarah don’t believe that Henry is a yoga instructor. They interrogate him about his yoga qualifications which makes Henry want to throw the immunity challenge… again. This time Henry is successful but not after pulling off probably one of the most blatantly obvious challenge throws in the history of Survivor. Henry was placing puzzles in places that clearly would never belong in a million years. It was like watching one of those “As Seen on TV” infomercials where the actors screw up in inconceivable ways. I digress, Samatau wins immunity and Asaga are heading off to tribal council.
After the immunity challenge takes place, the plan is set to be a vote split between Michelle and Ben. Meanwhile, Henry starts to rally together the numbers to vote Sam out and says that she is too big of a threat due to her playing too hard too fast. This is interesting because even though the show is editing Sam as being aware of Henry’s antics, she is still going along with the plan of splitting the votes and isn’t actively trying to get Henry voted out. Nevertheless, soon after Sam and Mark. W get the sense that something might be up and one of them could be blindsided which leaves Mark to try and find some answers. Mark ends up proving the value of a calm and collected approach towards confrontation during his conversations with Sarah, Kent, and Jacqui with each of them showing visible signs of stress and intimidation.
At tribal council, the topic of conversation surrounds relationships, aggressive gameplay, and power couples. Sam and Mark do the best they can to deflect the target off of their backs and push the idea that they need to keep the tribe strong for the challenges. Sam comments that someone shouldn’t be targeted because they are too sociable with other people. Despite their best efforts in trying to downplay their power couple status, Sam is the second player voted off the Asaga tribe.
Sam was the bossy Betty pocket rocket who’s less than half the size of everyone else. You’d think that she’d be overlooked by everyone (literally), but because she carried herself like she is 7 foot tall, she was hard to miss. Sam’s biggest problem was that nobody likes to be bossed around by someone who is less than half their size! That may sound harsh, but it is the reality, especially in a game such as Survivor. Coming from someone who is 5’ foot 6” (5’ 7” on a good day), all I can say is that as a shorter person you need to be able to have the self- awareness to understand that your height plays a role in the way people perceive you – especially in relation to power.
Sam didn’t do herself many favours early on in the game when she tried to dictate the vote which pushed Luke to go rogue. From that moment, she was seen as someone who was paranoid and playing the game way too hard. If Sam were able to mellow down and let Mark take some bullets, then she would perhaps have found herself in a less dangerous position. Sam was a great player with a great read on others like Henry, but it was her inability to use that perception to her advantage that ultimately cost her.
Check back tomorrow for Alice Barelli’s recap of Episode 7!