Welcome to episode 12 of Australian Survivor! This episode we see the fallout of Ziggy finding the super idol and we get our first proper tribe swap which forces old enemies to reunite and new ones to form.
We begin this episode checking up on Ziggy the morning after she found her “super idol” which not only gives her the power of a regular immunity idol but also lets her prevent another contestant from using their hidden immunity idol at tribal council. She wakes up to a plate of food on her wooden bed that’s fitted with some pillows and blankets. Upon her arrival back to the Samatau camp, Ziggy decides that it would be in her best interest to lie to her tribe about her advantage. And what an interesting lie it was.
Ziggy tells her tribe that she has the power to give someone an advantage in the game but isn’t allowed to say what it is or else the advantage is void. The person that she gives this advantage to isn’t allowed to let others know they have been given an advantage nor can they say what their power is. To make things even better, Ziggy says that she isn’t obliged to give her advantage to anyone at all but that she has until the Final 5 to do so. Oh Ziggy, what a convenient power you have. To her credit, Ziggy appears to have gotten away with it with her only critic AK saying in a confessional that he doesn’t think she was telling them everything and that he believes she is playing a harder game that people are giving her credit.
Ziggy has definitely been an underreported story of this season. The fact that she has been able to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes speaks enormously of her social game, but she has been no slouch strategically either. Ziggy was a vital number in flipping on multiple alliances throughout the game but has yet to bear the brunt of any of her moves. Although the lie might not have been the greatest, her reputation as an honest and loyal player is evident in a confessional from Jarrad, who says that he believes everything Ziggy says and believes that she will share the power with him.
It’s hunting season on the Asaga tribe, and if you catch it you eat it! Tara has been developing an insatiable appetite for AK, and she wants her tribe to feast with her. She begins by laying the bait down and throwing her former Samatau tribe under the bus by labelling them as strategists before sinking her teeth into AK. And very much like a plump pig that is slowly rotating on a spit, Tara is roasting AK and feeding her tribe stories of his obnoxious antics. Luke is drooling, and his eyes widen as Tara describes AK as the biggest player in the game.
Things are being switched up with our first proper tribe swap of the season! Before the reward challenge begins, each contestant randomly chooses a buff, and they are assigned to new tribes. The new tribes are as follows:
Samatau: Henry, Ziggy, Locky, Michelle, Anneliese, Jarrad, Ben and Tessa.
Asaga: Odette, Sarah, Peter, Tara, Luke, AK and Jericho.
This makes Michelle the newcomer of the new Samatau tribe and Peter and AK the newcomers of the new Asaga tribe. Tara expresses her happiness to be with Peter again after he had flipped on his alliance to vote Aimee out whereas AK is happy with the challenge of having to integrate into a new tribe.
The reward challenge is the always fun “knock the statue off each other’s sticks challenge” where each player must knock a little statue off the other player’s tiny pedestal. This challenge is always fun to watch because of the many different approaches there are to competing in it. In the end, the new Asaga tribe take it out.
Upon coming back, AK is set on rectifying the reputation that Tara has managed to tarnish during her time at Asaga by relying on his social game. He uses the chocolates he got from the reward and the gift he got from his girlfriend last episode as tools to ingratiate himself to his new tribe. However, Tara is seeing right through his act and is beginning to panic at the thought of the new Asaga tribe falling for his sweet guy charm.
Luke, the self-proclaimed King of the Jungle, has been outspoken and cocky this entire season. He says that he has been in control of the game since Day 1 and now that the tribes have swapped it is time for him to prove that. It’s AK versus Tara. Rabbit season versus Duck season. Luke, the Elmer Fudd of this situation, is the inept and unqualified hunter that will aim one way and shoot another. Nevertheless, he has his gun cocked and a target firm in his sights.
Back over at Samatau, the heavens have opened, and the angels are singing for Locky as he rejoices in the absence of AK. Locky is enlightened and says that now AK is gone “people can flourish and play their own game.” According to Locky, people are happier, and they are now set free from the evil suffocating strangle hold that AK had on every one of them. Who knew someone swapping tribes could be such a good thing?! AK swapping tribes cured my acne, made me grow taller, made my voice deeper and solved world hunger. In all seriousness, Locky’s self-aggrandizing and antagonistic speech is his way of saying that he no longer has to wake up to someone who plays the game better than he does. AK moving tribes is a great thing for Locky’s game… just not for any of the reasons that he is saying.
Meanwhile, as the heavens open for Locky, the ground is crumbling at the feet of Anneliese. The pits of hell have opened up, and the apocalypse has been unleashed onto her game as she now has to play the game with the same people that voted her off. Michelle is in a similarly precarious position being the only person who has never been in Samatau before. The tribe swap has hit Michelle hard by dragging her away from her position in the majority alliance over at Asaga. Her chatter box alter ego takes over as she tries to establish connections with her new tribe mates – much to Locky’s dismay.
Soon after, we discover that Locky wants to target Michelle because she is too much of a gossip. Typically in Survivor, you want to surround yourself with players that can be a bigger target than yourself, so you are provided with a shield of protection. However, Locky is threatened by anyone who draws attention away from himself which is why he is targeting Michelle. It’s now more than apparent that Locky is playing this game with emotion rather than strategy. His vote is dictated by what will make Locky happy as he believes that if he is happy, then everyone else around him is. Instead of admitting that he wants to target Michelle because she is the lone outsider of this tribe he insists that she must go because she is a gossip that talks too much.
Asaga Day 28
Over at Asaga hunting season continues. AK understands that he is the number one target and pulls Peter aside to discuss the move they should make. AK says that he is keen on voting Tara out and pulling in Sarah and Odette as numbers. Peter, although supportive of AK’s plans, says in a confessional that he is very aware of how dangerous AK is in the game but believes it’s beneficial for him to stay. Afterwards, AK begins to start working over Sarah and Odette. He pays Odette various compliments about her youthful appearance and beautiful eyes whereas he strategically approaches Sarah. Sarah and AK bond over the fact that they are fans of the game and both want to play hard strategic games. AK says in a confessional that he is feeling hopeful that the relationships he is forming will keep him safe.
Meanwhile, Tara is furious that AK might be getting the numbers to keep him safe and fears that she might be voted out as a result. To combat this, she vents to Luke and Jericho by telling more stories about how strategic and manipulative AK is at the game. Of course, Luke does what he does best and decides to create drama by planting seeds of doubt in AK’s mind that the women (Tara, Odette, and Sarah) want to take him out. Luke proposes a plan that all the men (Luke, Jericho, AK, and Peter) team up and make an all guys alliance. Luke ends this scene with a confessional where he says voting AK out will be the greatest trophy of this game.
The Immunity Challenge & Tribal Council
The immunity challenge requires the castaways to nominate two people to hold an empty bucket suspended on a string while the other participants throw water into the opposing team’s buckets. Of course, AK and Locky are both holding the buckets, and Locky uses this as an opportunity to further boost his already massive ego and prove to himself that he is stronger than AK. Ultimately, AK and Tara drop their buckets which mean the new Asaga tribe will be going to tribal council.
After the immunity challenge, the main plan set by Luke is to have the entire tribe vote out AK while leaving AK and Peter to vote out Tara. Luke continues to stir drama by reassuring AK of their plan to rally the boys together and vote out Tara. Despite this, Tara is still panicking as she is paranoid that AK will once again manipulate the tribe into keeping him once more. AK begins to scramble as he starts to realise that the all boys alliance promised to him by Luke may have been a ruse all along. He has a last minute chat with Peter and Sarah, and they try to establish an alliance against Luke and Tara.
Odette and Sarah both find themselves in the swing vote position leaving Sarah with the tough decision to decide where she wants to stand after the line in the sand is drawn. Sarah mentions that she clearly has a connection with AK on a game level and believes that they can work well together as they are both logical thinkers. Although, she then says in a confessional that her vote will be based on who she wants to move forward with in the game and hopefully get to the end with. At tribal council, Sarah decides to choose… neither side. Her vote ultimately goes to Peter leaving Odette to vote with the majority which means that AK is sent home by a vote of 4 votes AK – 2 votes Tara – 1 vote Peter.
AK came into Survivor playing extraordinarily hard. He was sprinting in a 55-day marathon, and ultimately his gameplay came back to bite him. The result was AK carrying the reputation of being a strategic gamer, and he was not able to shake it off. Players such as Peter, Tessa, Jarrad, and Ziggy were ultimately able to capitalize on this and used him as a shield that will always take the heat before them.
Even though AK has been an absolute pleasure to watch this season, it will now be exciting to see some new characters emerge as narrators and to watch the game unfold from different perspectives. AK was a super fan of Survivor, and it showed throughout his time on the island. He came into Australian Survivor wanting to experience everything that the game had to offer but unfortunately for him, tonight that included getting voted out.