Aussie contributor Alice Barelli recaps the shaken up tribes and random-choice strategy of Australian Survivor episode six.
Ah, another week of Survivor. Can’t wait to see what will happen following the previous episode which included: two tribes at Tribal Council at once, castaways meaning to vote someone out but sending them to the opposite tribe, a tied vote that led to two castaways flipping their votes ending in another tie, Conner volunteering to go to Vavau, and then the swapped castaways choosing a fellow castaway to kidnap and bring with them. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
I was 100% expecting Nick to implode first thing this episode. He didn’t do that, but his kind of maniacal giggling and vows of revenge are all him thinking with his emotions and none of the strategy. Saanapu just saw Nick get voted off so Nick will need a stellar social game to make nice with his new tribe. On a side note, Andrew said on Twitter that Barry’s vote for Nick may not have been such a random draw and that Barry “picked” Nick’s name after he learned that Nick might be after him.
Over on Aganoa, we have a new retreat vibe with Lee dancing around with coconut shells, Kat having her hair braided, girls doing yoga on the beach and all around goofy smiles. Lee says he is euphoric from the immunity challenge and that “winning is contagious.” The whole tribe is sitting in the sun on the beach, and things are A-OK.
Kristie states in her confessional that she is feeling more like a part of the tribe and that it is time to think of the big picture. Kristie approaches Phoebe about the alliance she has with her, and El and Phoebe say it’s her best option. Luckily Kristie takes this with a grain of salt because Phoebe quickly reveals El is her closest ally which should be clear given they are pretty much attached at the hip. I wonder if Aganoa would be so jolly if they knew their immunity win only prevented them from swapping some castaways.
Vavau tribe gets back to camp where the members of their core alliance seem glad to have Sam and Conner but not overly gleeful to have Nick still in the game. They welcome Conner and Sam to their ‘eclectic box of crayons’. Sammy Amazing seems genuinely confused how he came to wake up on the Vavau tribe. Conner – who chose Sam to go with him to Vavau – is lamenting how he will probably be the target now because Sam is better at challenges. Conner, YOU CHOSE SAM. YOU PUT YOURSELF IN THIS POSITION. When Conner picked Sam last week I was a little surprised but thought that relationship must be closer than we’ve seen on screen. Conner is 100% all for the Vavau tribe, but I’m not convinced that Sam would be when it comes to the merge.
Saanapu wakes up following the storm and Brooke teases Flick for staying (you’re still here, haha. Joke is on the viewers). Nick is still the reigning confessional King – last night the Survivor gods saved him and now the storm has washed away his sins. Lucky guy. Nick then says he’s going to play the ‘tried and true’ method of Survivor by being helpful and kind. That is a good tactic, but I’ll believe it when I see it – I don’t think Nick can help himself.
Tegan describes what might be a better strategy of working on relationships very quickly. Nick soon proves he can’t keep strategy away when we see that he used the same line on both Brooke and Tegan to get into their good books. He does have a saving grace in Matt who says he’s in the same position as Nick and that his alliance has flipped on him. Nick may have just found his in on the tribe.
JLP is really finding his feet hosting. I’m content with our Aussie Jeff. Aganoa is surprised to see nobody was sent home. Both Saanapu and Vavau seem to be using the line of being pleased to mix up their tribes and move on with happy faces.
The challenge involves three parts with a pair completing each section. Things seem pretty even until Vavau and Saanapu are working on their fire while Aganoa is stuck trying to retrieve their key. (While making the fire JLP says that Barry initially got fire for his tribe – didn’t we see back in the first week that Kate was the one who made fire with her optimistic attitude?).
Saanapu wins immunity while Aganoa is stuck at the second stage. Things are not over yet, though – Lee says ‘we’re going to pull something out’ with the most depressed look on his face that I have ever seen. There is still hope because Vavau can’t seem to get their fire growing – they have a little puny flame that isn’t catching onto the bigger pieces of wood. Aganoa manages to snag their key and Rohan jumps around like a cheerleader. Saanapu has turned around and is cheering for Aganoa! Lee and Barry both have their super serious faces on as Aganoa’s fire starts to climb. We see (in JLP’s words) the greatest comeback in the game so far, and Vavau is headed back to tribal council.
Gathered back at camp, Conner frets knowing that he is the number one target. Kate explains that there is the majority alliance of Craig, Sue, Jennah-Louise and Andrew and that this could be upset if Barry, Sam, Conner and herself were to work together. I thought we saw the emergence of Kate as a strategic threat here, but she never seemed to follow through with her idea and instead worked on ingratiating herself with the majority.
The majority agree that Conner is the one to go. Sam and Conner know that something is up because Kate says she doesn’t think she is allowed to tell them. Conner knows he has to do something, and that something is sit down with the tribe and sell himself as a loyal ally who won’t flip back to Saanapu. Watching this I thought there was no way it would have any impact except make the original Vavau members feel a bit guilty. Once Conner and Sam leave, the majority look very tense and discuss keeping Conner since he wants to play Survivor so much. (That is a silly reason to keep someone but to each their own).
Andrew checks in with Barry to see if he is holding to his pick a name out of the hat strategy, and Barry confirms that he is. Jennah-Louise seems pretty annoyed that Barry won’t stick with the tribe but doesn’t think it’s a good idea to vote out one of the original Vavaus.
Andrew then comes to the fore with his speech about being a shark in the game, only taking out others to keep himself safe. This confessional paints Andrew in a really favourable light – it’s suggesting that Andrew is serious about the game but that he isn’t malicious about it. It’s a viewpoint that I think Aussie viewers will really respond to.
Andrew points out that while Barry is sticking to his random choice strategy, he is not useful – he needs people who will make moves for him. Barry is clearly not one of these people. Out of nowhere, Andrew is suggesting Craig as an option to be voted out. He approaches Sue about flipping the game (or at least he approaches Sue to talk about strategy – we never see him say Craig’s name), and Sue asks him not to ask her to vote out Craig. At this point I thought the vote could go anywhere – the majority alliance could vote for Conner or Barry. Barry’s choice is random. Conner and Sam have never said what they will do.
Tribal council rolls around. JLP asks Sam and Conner how they felt to have swapped tribes. Kate reveals she was blindsided by the Nick blindside and hopes that the majority alliance will keep her in the loop from now on. JLP asks who the minority is, and Kate says it will become clear once the votes have been read.
Barry talks about teamwork and says that if somebody is bringing the team down, they have to go. Barry throws me off for a second when he says in the game you have to vote with your head, not your heart. Barry is not voting with either! He’s voting by a random draw!
JLP asks if the vote is going to be easy since there are two new people on the tribe. Craig talks around his answer and Sue says the decision they’ve made is the right one. Time to vote! Barry votes Sue (random draw). Everyone else votes Barry. Barry goes home 7-1. Twitter explodes.
The strangest thing is that Barry thinks he was voted out because he was the weakest in the challenge. Maybe in your eyes Bazza but mainly because you’re a rogue vote. You were a fun character, but your strategy (or lack thereof) ended up making you a target. Barry may have wanted to play the game with morals and integrity, but unfortunately for him (but fortunately for viewers), there is no room for integrity in Survivor.