Heath Chick is back to recap the events of Australian Survivor episode sixteen.
Fifteen episodes and thirty-three days in Samoa and we are down to a dirty dozen as the Conner-less Fia Fia tribe return to camp following Tribal Council. A pretty obvious vote and according to Brooke the old Vavau tribe are simply “sitting ducks” moving forward.
However, Kate has other ideas.
She’s not ready to give up just yet as her plan is to pull in the “good guys” to form a rebel alliance. Kate’s plan is to bring in Sam, Lee, and Kylie from the old Saanapu tribe, and along with Kristie and Sue, form an alliance that is committed to playing an honourable, competitive game.
As the boys look to renovate the shelter at camp to accommodate the larger tribe, Kate starts her campaign with a chat with Kylie. The idea of the “good guys” getting together appeals to goodie-two-shoes Kylie who is interested in taking power away from the core of the old Saanapu alliance.
Meanwhile, Flick, Brooke, and El are talking strategy and target Kate as their biggest threat and the next to go. Flick seems content that the three girls are on top in the pecking order, controlling Lee and Sam underneath them.
“Dude we got this. It’s easy. We won Survivor!” laughs Brooke.
Kate moves her attention to Sam and Lee, and with some scratching in the dirt, she maps out the current pyramid of hierarchy within the tribe. She puts the three girls on top along with Nick and shows Lee and Sam on the lower level which seems to open their eyes a little to the true dynamic. Sam confesses that he doesn’t trust Nick and would be happy to see him go, while Lee spills the beans that Nick has an idol. Kate’s pitch seems to have worked, and they agree that they will try and flush Nick’s idol without him playing it.
“You’ve given me a glimmer of hope now!” says a relieved Kate.
The girls head to the beach where they seem to have opened their own beauty salon, braiding hair and popping blackheads. Nick loiters in the background in an awkward way that is part trying to fit in and part just a little bit creepy.
While Sam and Lee try to get Kristie on the same page, Flick, El, and JL chat with Nick in the water. Nick would prefer Sue to go, but is just happy to go with the majority.
“I don’t think anyone on this tribe trusts me. Wait, I know that no one on this tribe trusts me!” Nick says to the camera before talking about his new approach to the game. “I’m just a number, and I’m going to fade into the background like so many people on this tribe like to do. The more you stand out in this game, the more chances you have to go home!”
We finally head to the immunity challenge for this week which is brought to you by the tight budgets of the Survivor accounting department. Each player is given a hoop and a ball. And that’s it. The idea is to spin the ball in their hoop using centrifugal force, and whoever keeps the ball in the hoop longest will be deemed the winner. Snooze.
Sue lasts all of one minute, and the others start dropping like flies until it’s quickly down to El and Lee. El seems to be enjoying herself, chatting and singing away, while Lee, as a former professional cricketer, is clearly suited to this challenge. Incredibly these two last a full hour spinning this ball round and round in little circles before Lee loses his concentration for a moment to hand El a surprise victory! El gets the immunity necklace, but more importantly, some rare TV time to remind everyone that she exists.
Back to camp and the scrambling continues. The original alliance decides to keep it simple and split the vote – girls vote for Kate, boys vote for Sue. But this is Survivor, and nothing is simple.
Kate is still working on the “good guys” alliance. Lee is worried that Nick will play his idol, but Kristie says that it will work as long as no-one panics then he will have no reason to play it. You know you’re in trouble when Kristie is the one telling you not to panic.
Sam works on Kylie who is now seemingly put in the position of the swing vote. She wants Nick out before Kate, but she is worried about it backfiring against the core alliance. Sam says that he’s happy to take full responsibility and cop any backlash that may come from the move. Kylie compliments Sam on finally starting to play the game as she’s put in a great spot to make a big move and shake up the game. So what does she do?
She runs back to Brooke and tittle-tattles like a school girl. Urgh.
Kylie said she doesn’t want to go against her word. No doubt she’s a great competitor, but her want-to-please-everyone attitude just doesn’t work for the game of Survivor.
Chaos now erupts as Flick and Brooke no longer trust Sam, and when the group comes together, it seems clear that no one has any idea what’s going on.
Anything can happen here as we head to Tribal Council!
Lee and Kate talk about playing the game with honour, but Flick points out that this is Survivor, and everyone is a threat. Thank God there is still someone like Flick who is willing to play the game.
Kate says that she’s the one going home tonight, so she decides to go down swinging. She says that the old Saanapu are the ones in control and that the “suppressed” people at camp need to wake up and start making their own decisions. It’s now an individual game.
Nick speaks of his affection for the old Vavua tribe and says that he considers Kate a close friend. Kate can’t help but roll her eyes and muffle her giggling. Once again Tribal Council comes back onto Nick and his evil, evil lies. He defends himself by saying that besides his lie about the idol clue back on Vavua, he has played an honourable game. Kate doesn’t agree, and Sam calls him a snake.
“Everyone has a little bit of blood on their hands,” says Nick.
As a viewer who enjoys the gameplay of Survivor, it’s frustrating to see Nick persecuted for trying to play the game. In fact, because of the nature of the cast, Nick has been forced to hold back from playing the game hard, knowing that he stands out as a threat. It’s a shame as the players I consider the best Survivor players of all time such as Boston Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow, Tony Vlachos and Russell Hantz all played a ruthless, aggressive game. That doesn’t make them bad people. Deception is part of the game, and I want to see players applauded, not targeted, for their gameplay.
Sue whispers that she is sick of hearing Nick’s voice, while Lee says he’s bored of this chat. He’s sick of going around in circles. He’s over it. I’m not sure what Lee was expecting from a strategic, social game, but apparently talking strategy wasn’t it.
“I’m lost mate, seriously,” says Lee before saying that he will be trying to stop his emotions getting in the way of his word when it comes to voting.
“Have the balls to vote for who you want to vote for,” pleads Kate before the votes are cast.
Host Jonathan LaPaglia is about to read the results when Nick pulls out his hidden immunity idol. “Well, Jonathan…I never wanted it. I probably need it, but even if I don’t, I’m going to play it,” says Nick as he’ll be safe at least for tonight.
It looks like a genius move when the first four votes cast are for Nick. Sue pulls two votes, but the remaining six votes are for Kate who becomes the 13th person voted from the game.
It seems that the Saanapu alliance held firm, with the exception of Sam who swung meekly to the minority and will now be under pressure to defend his position in the next episode.