Survivor New Zealand 2018

Episode 12 Recap – A Monday Well Spent

Evan Francis recaps the latest episode of Survivor New Zealand 2018.

The moment we were all waiting for finally happened. We had been wondering for several weeks now whether or not someone would be willing to make the big move in this game. Would we continue the ‘next one up’ mantra or would someone shake things up? Tonight we got the answer.

But first, the recap…

After last week’s tribal council, the group returns to camp to find their tarp they conveniently were using as a mattress was filled with water from the rain. What do you know, a tarp managed to stop the rain! If only it was being used correctly and had been placed on top of the shelter, this would have been perfect. Oh well, better luck next year. Adam informs us that this has sent him over the edge and he is annoyed. When is he ever not annoyed though?

Dave is distraught from yet another emotional tribal council and having to vote out a person he did not want to. Maybe his luck will begin to turn around soon, as we know, a Chani is winning this game (he’s the only option!).

Most of the drama from tribal was due to Tara letting Eve in on the fact she was going home. I get why she did so, as it probably would buy her some sympathy from Eve as a jury member – if Tara had a chance. The group decides Tess should be the next one to go as no one completely trusts her and she is an outsider at this point. Adam is upset. He doesn’t understand why the pot stirrer, Tara, isn’t being sent home as she has done nothing and will not get a single vote.

Well Adam, that is exactly why they are not sending her home. This is something I have noticed with a couple of contestants. They are using the “they don’t deserve to be here” reason to vote someone off. Isn’t that more of a reason to keep them? I mean not for our television viewing purposes, but you want people who you can beat at the end. Why is that such a confusing process to understand?

Photo: TVNZ

We have another Survivor New Zealand first in this episode. The Survivor auction! I am always fascinated by the auction, as there can be a lot of strategy involved in such a small event. Bidding on closed items and who will save money for a possible advantage are just two of these things. Matt and Dave want to get the advantage but also eat food. Listen, I haven’t played Survivor, YET, but if I were to get to an auction, I am for sure not spending any money until I think an advantage is at stake. The only food worth bidding on at that point is the item Luke won in Australian Survivor when was able to eat what everyone else bought too.

Closed items make this tougher though. I am going to assume Lisa was also going for the advantage as she saved her money until a covered item was put up, but got unlucky. Dave ultimately gets the advantage, only after being outbid several times before for food. He actually plays it off pretty well that he didn’t want it, as he does want food too, even though Adam saw right through him. But in reality, an advantage at this point in the game is only going to be one thing, a challenge advantage.

A couple of things I wanted to note about the auction. Lisa switching items so quickly was incredible. There is a game theory about the three doors situation that is similar that says it is better to switch, but this being two makes it more difficult. Still, I would switch every time too. Second, potato chips, pistachios, and a beer? Is that a thing? Doesn’t even seem filling but maybe that’s just the American talking in me. And lastly, what is a tucker? Matt Chisholm called Lisa’s sandwich a tucker. I’m lost here, folks.

At the plate stacking Immunity Challenge, it’s revealed that Dave’s advantage allows him to wait until the fourth plate to start stacking his items on the balancing disk. This is a classic challenge, but I was so confused by Adam’s choice of going sideways and putting things upside down so early. That just baffled me, but he still managed to hang in there for awhile.

Photo: TVNZ

Finally, we see poor Dave break through and win a challenge. It was becoming a great gag though, where Chisholm would make fun of Dave for coming in second all the time, and I was really hoping to continue that trend, but good for Dave securing him a spot in the final four due to his hidden immunity idol.

Back at camp, everything seems to be really easy. Five people go off and decide to vote out the one person not with them. Done deal, onto final five, right? Wrong. Things are never as easy as they seem. Also, I hated seeing Tess not fight for her life at all. She just rolled over and died. There were plenty of moves to be made and conversations to be had, and she just did nothing.

But everything about this episode belonged to two people and a lizard. Just kidding, the whole episode revolved around Lisa and Dave. Both had decent episodes, but both also made mistakes for sure. Let’s start with Lisa. Early in the episode, Lisa talked about how she assumed people would want to vote Matt out, as he is such a big threat, but that has not happened and now she will have to do it herself. My recapping colleague Chuck has gone through the same process as I have with Lisa, – if she is such a big super fan, why is she being so hesitant to make a big move. Time is now running out for her and she better get going.

We also learn that Lisa has trouble in social situations, big news, but  is able to comfort Dave pretty well by making him feel as though he came in and made so many friends. She knows Dave is an emotional player and uses this to obtain his full trust by letting him know Matt has been lying to him about having an idol. This is a huge move to make. It is do or die for Lisa. I love it. Everything I hate about what Tess was doing makes me love this so much more. I would rather get voted out for trying something than do nothing and get dragged along to the end. Lisa says this several times and it is perfectly said.

Photo: TVNZ

Dave gets his advantage, immunity, and is the swing vote in the biggest blindside yet. He is being forced to decide between his mate from home, who lied to him for a couple days, and a person he has built trust with on the island. I think it was a great idea to confront Matt to give him a chance to come clean. After all, it had only been a couple of days since he found it. Dave gives him one too many chances though, and this makes Matt suspicious. On top of that, he tells him he is in danger. At this point, if I am Matt, I am playing my idol for sure. Why save it when you only have one more chance to use it anyway?

After Matt tells Lisa he is going to play the idol, Lisa manages to talk him away from doing so by saying it is just classic superstition and it actually will be that easy. If this works for her, it would be an incredible effort on her part.

Why did Lisa refuse to go to someone else, say Tess, and ask for her vote to get Matt out instead? Throw a lifeline out to her and say it is you or him. That way you don’t have to deal with all the Dave telling Matt drama that unfolded. I guess she cannot trust Tess as much, but I feel like it was worth thinking about.

Tribal last week was so good; finally it had some action with Eve’s plea. I feel like tribal is slacking in Survivor New Zealand. This week’s was one of the worst. Chisholm asked several questions that went unanswered. That is just unacceptable. And Chisholm has to at least direct them at someone if no one is going to participate. There was just no action going on in this one.

Photo: TVNZ

The whole of the action came down to would Dave vote for Matt, and would Matt play his idol. Surprisingly, Matt held onto his idol, I don’t know why, he was even tipped off that he was in trouble. And Dave made the best move for his game to give him a chance to win. No one was going to beat Matt. Additionally, we got the hard to pull off 3-2-1 vote, as well as the immunity idol curse continuing, although I’m sure this will end next week.

During tribal, I had a thought. What if Dave votes for Matt, giving him three votes, and then plays his own idol on Matt to save him? I know it means he isn’t safe next vote and he could have just voted for the person with two votes instead, but doesn’t this buy some big moves points with the jury. Then you just have to come up with a lie about how you voted for someone else. Would be a crazy move to make, but honestly was intrigued if it would work.

Matt getting voted out is somewhat disheartening though, even if it did make for a good television move. I think Matt would have been a great winner. For starters, we never have had a winner with the same name as the host. That would have been neat, and it has been very tough on me, as someone who writes about Survivor, to mention the great Chisholm without referring to him as Matt. But also because I think Matt was all you were looking for in a winner. He played a great social, strategic, and physical game. He was universally liked and revered as being a nice guy. This was a perfect winner for a New Zealand reality show. He was extremely loyal and made big moves without making himself seem too coldhearted. It was very enjoyable to watch him play, so props to him.

One last thing before next week on, when the tribe was walking out, it looked like Brad was trying to make eye contact with Lisa, but she ignored him. She should have given him the acknowledgement of her move, like a wink, to show she was responsible for it. It couldn’t hurt at least.

Next week, it looks like Tess and Adam’s partnership will be broken after he voted for her. And Lisa is on a power high after her big move. Hopefully the blindsides can keep happening!

Written by

Evan Francis

Evan is a 23-year-old from Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Masters in Accounting and currently works in that field. He has been a fan of fan Survivor since the beginning when he was 7 years old. He plans to apply for the show as many times as it takes until they cast him. When he is not watching Survivor, he spends his time playing with his puppy and watching other shows such as The Amazing Race, The Challenge, and The Leftovers.

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