Australian Survivor 2019 – “Can I Have Your Socks?”

Kidnapping, popcorn diving, and confessionals for all, Australian Survivor continued to surprise viewers this week, and we can’t thank them enough.

SPOILER ALERT! This review contains spoilers on this week’s episodes of Australian Survivor!

EPISODE 9 RECAP

Shaun discovers his idol given by David is actually fake, thanks to Janine and Abbey informing so.
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Day 19 begins on the Contenders where our resident liar Harry is spinning his fake child story all too well to everyone on the camp. Oscar Nathan Hills has thus far gotten more mentions than Hannah at this point, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is doubting Harry’s mysterious kid. Who would lie about having a child anyway? Abbey certainly buys the ‘family man’ ideal Harry’s been throwing out there, so there’s no reason as to why this lie should blow up in this episode anyway…

On the Champions, Andy informs the viewers that David has become his closest ally on the tribe. David on the other hand? It’s a big, “no”, from him. The main alliance on the tribe consists of David, Luke, John and Daisy, but one alliance member (Daisy) is missing her former partner in crime, Shaun, who remained on the Contenders during the tribe swap. David lays out the tribe dynamics from his perspective, more specifically how his game racks up to be 1000 times better than Shaun’s. Knowing both Daisy and Shaun are oblivious about the fake idol, David is wrapped in a big hug with himself. Cocky? Yes. Great Survivor player? Yes as well! He’s fantastic at this game!

Resembling the ‘Witches Coven’ from Survivor: Cambodia, Pia, Abbey and Janine sit in the shelter as a powerful trio of women.
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Returning to the Contenders, Pia reminds the viewers that the super tight female Champions alliance is a force to be reckoned with, Janine taking care of the mental portion, Abbey on the physical, and Pia sticking with what I think is most important in Survivor, the social. It’s a perfect mix. This alliance is huge. Even on the Contenders, Janine realises David is the most dangerous player in the game, and compares notes with her alliance leading to them targeting him as public enemy number one. Bit of a problem ladies, he’s not on your tribe! Don’t worry though, the girls have a plan, create mistrust with Shaun about David, by revealing he was given a fake idol. WHAT?! GAME CHANGER! Shaun is almost heart broken, he can’t believe the idol he’s been holding for ten or something days isn’t real. But now he’s out for vengeance. And I couldn’t be happier. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE David, but this kinda gameplay is too good to not be excited for.

Contenders and Champions join Jonathan at the Reward Challenge where wrestler Matty points fingers at Hannah as the weakest member of the Champions tribe. Semantics aside, there’s a challenge to get to! And once again a one on one match-up surfaces where each tribe member attempts to knock over the other tribe’s idol to score a point. A classic Matty vs Luke showdown begins, where very quickly Luke pulls out the first point for the Champions. Hannah and Pia take each other on, and Hannah brings the Champions to a 2-0 lead (eating Matty’s words huh…). John and Simon battle, where John accidentally knocks over his own idol by throwing Simon down, 2-1. The weather proves difficult to manage, but Andy and Ross wrestle, where Andy brings out a 3-1 lead. The next two match-ups see Harry defeat Baden and Daisy defeat Abbey, 4-2. Abbey’s knee takes a hit, forcing medical to come out and take a look. It’s not too much of a worry, both medical and Abbey are feeling positive about it, so she’s okay for now. In the showdown we’re all waiting to see, David and Shaun (real vs fake idol) are lined up to battle. They size each other up, and Shaun manages to keep the Contenders in it, 4-3. John and Harry are up again, where John’s aggressive approach pays off and the Champions are treated to their first win as a new tribe. What was most exciting was when Shaun whispered to Daisy that David switched him a fake idol, pleading with her to take him out. Is this the downfall for king David?

Harry and Baden battle during the Reward Challenge to knock one another’s idol off the post.
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The Champions tribe received plates from home as part of their Reward Challenge win, David’s included messages from his three children.
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The victorious Champions return to their camp and are delighted to find their toasties reward, but even more exciting was finding plates from home with each tribe member’s loved ones writing a message to their Survivor counterpart. Heartfelt stories, conversations about home serve half the segment and it’s heartwarming to see, as we can quickly forget that these people are fighting for themselves and their family. It’s brought back to reality for a little bit (ironically enough). Burnt plates, five-second rules and overeating become small issues for the tribe, but maybe the biggest issue is for David when Daisy reveals to Baden that David switched a fake idol. Getting him out is ON!

At the Contenders, the female Champions three discuss the luck of them landing on the same tribe, but for Janine, one person she doesn’t trust is Harry (why not? He’s got a kid!). She can see that he’s attempting to sneak his way into their alliance, and she wants him gone. Harry is aware of his position, and is prepared to fight his way to the top. His latest plan is to tell original tribe mates, Shaun, Casey and Matty that he has the hidden immunity idol. Even better, he’s ready to make a big move and take out Janine to break the Champions up completely.

The Champions tribe stack a tall tower of blocks, attempting to win the Immunity Challenge.
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Arriving at the Immunity Challenge, David manages to grab Janine’s attention to say, “let’s chat”. She nods in agreement, probably wondering what he’s going to spin now. The challenge involves the transportation of several blocks through various obstacles before stacking them all to balance at the end. The Champions take a small lead, and the Contenders manage to extend it by being a little slower throughout the challenge. The Champions begin to bark orders at each other as the Contenders attempt to catch up. Daisy’s aggressive tone to Baden was uncalled for, as he was clearly trying to save the tower from falling when she’s yelling at him to let go. I get that things happen in the heat of the moment, but it was ugly to hear and watch. No disrespect to her though. It’s a game of whispers once again, as Harry tells Daisy that if he’s gone at Tribal, Shaun is next. Meanwhile, David asks Janine to play her idol to send Shaun home (despite the Champions having a majority). Regardless, the Champions grab immunity and in a shock turn of events, Jonathan tells the Champions that they will be joining him and the Contenders at Tribal Council, forcing everyone to question what twist is going to go down next.

The Champions are shocked to learn they will attending Tribal Council with Jonathan and the Contenders after just winning the Immunity Challenge.
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When the Contenders return after their loss, the tribe is vocal about Daisy’s aggressiveness towards her tribe and Baden. See, I’m not the only one! The Champions plan to target Harry at Tribal, agreeing that he’s the biggest threat. Casey and Harry discuss fracturing the Champions, where they agree Janine is the leader of the alliance and therefore the primary target. With Harry’s idol, it’s not as clear cut as one might assume. Casey is the mule and is tasked to spread rumours about Harry having an idol in an attempt force the Champions to split the votes. This only hurts Casey however, as Janine and Abbey identify her as playing both sides, and dangerous to the alliance.

Casey plays double agent with both the Contenders and Champions on the Contenders tribe, and discusses Harry having an idol with the Abbey, Pia and Janine (not pictured).
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Now aware of a few possible plans that the Contenders might have, they agree to switch the vote to Casey but lead the four Contenders into thinking the vote is Harry, potentially to flush an idol or lack thereof. She’s seen as just as dangerous, and Casey starts to smell something fishy. Harry is forced to concoct a new plan, by getting the Champions to throw all the votes on him and blindsiding them with a correct idol play. Everyone’s got an idea of how the vote’s gonna go, but nothing can quite be certain with the Champions tribe coming to visit.

The new Contenders tribe finally visit Tribal Council after losing Immunity.
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At Tribal Council, the Champions await the Contenders arrival and smirks are oh so evident on their faces. The 5-4 majority is discussed a lot, with Jonathan questioning the four Contenders ability to dig their way out of the hole that Luke and David managed to achieve when they were in the minority. Harry is out for blood and plays massive jerk at Tribal, in order to potentially swing the five Champions to vote for him. I for one, love watching Harry play massive jerk, it’s a clever way to create some mistrust and chaos at camp. I love players that take risks and big bold moves. It’s entertaining and more often than not can pay off really well. Remember Harry’s fake kid? Well Ross asks Harry if Oscar is real and Harry confesses to his ‘little white lie’. This adds fuel to Harry’s fire, and maybe he’ll get his way after all.

Before it appears to be time to vote, Jonathan reveals to everyone that no one would be going home and that the Champions are actually going to vote to kidnap one Contender over to their tribe. Dirty Harry’s plans are foiled and now it’s a guess as to how the Champions want to take this opportunity. Without any discussion, the tribe votes and in a unanimous decision, Shaun is chosen to switch over to the Champions, likely to meet her princess Daisy again and help the physical strength of the tribe.

Jonathan gives Shaun a Champions buff after he is unanimously voted to switch to the tribe in a surprise twist.
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EPISODE 10 RECAP

The Champion boys that have remained on the tribe sit in the water, unaware of the danger for their lives in the game since Shaun has joined their tribe.
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Shaun manages to convince David that he still believes the hidden immunity idol he was given is real.
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Opening with the Champions tribe, newcomer Shaun basks in the glory of being a Champion, having a new lease on life, and the harmonious dynamic ripent throughout each member. Except David, as eerie music clouds the positive vibes sprung from Shaun’s euphoria. David feels a little cast aside now that Shaun has entered the tribe, saying that he has taken over from himself and Luke as the tribe leader. Daisy is equally ecstatic that Shaun had landed on the Champions tribe, also feeling the good energy circulating at camp. The Contenders should stick together on the tribe, fearing David and Luke join back with the Champions at a merge. Shaun aims to gain David’s trust by convincing him he still believes the fake idol is real, hopefully ensuring David is truly blindsided and sent home with an idol in his bag. David and Shaun have a chance to talk, where David comes clean about the lie told in a few episodes prior, that he didn’t play his original idol. Shaun manages to convince David that he believes his idol is real, so once again David is holding his head high above water as the king of all things Australian Survivor.

Simon gives a passionate and motivational speech to the Contenders tribe, prepping for the Immunity Challenge.
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The Contenders tribe, who have now lost one of their strongest members, sit with low morale. Janine reiterates the loss of Shaun being detrimental to the tribe, but also welcomes the new tribe member to the Contenders, Dirty Harry. She also doesn’t back down from Harry’s fight, relishing in the idea of being a godmother (not the fairy kind) and running the tribe herself. Harry explains the impact of the previous Tribal, saying the twist completely failed his big plan. Harry also isn’t afraid of the fight, and there’s a potential CEO versus ice-cream man fight. Simon is graced with another opportunity to speak on camera, when he discusses the loss of Shaun, and attempting to reunite as a tribe without him. He gives an inspirational and motivational speech to the tribe, setting everyone off on their way to the next challenge feeling stronger than ever.

There’s no Reward Challenge today, as the tribes meet straight for an Immunity Challenge. Shaun makes a not-so-subtle comment about coming home to a family on the Champions compared to the Contenders. Mate, you’re gonna have to link back up with these guys soon, and they’re not gonna forget it. Another obstacle race, within the water this time, sees a chance for throwing balls into a box as a finisher. The Champions manage to take a lead early in the challenge, but they are unable to make any goals. This opens the door for the Contenders, with Simon shooting several goals and Ross managing to hold his breath for a large amount of time. This leads to a comeback for the Contenders who win the challenge and send the Champions to Tribal Council.

The Contenders manage to pull out an incredible comeback to win the Immunity Challenge, sending the Champions to Tribal Council.
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Hannah is beginning to feel unwell after returning from the Immunity Challenge at the Champions camp.
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After a shock defeat, the Champions return to camp with a clear target in mind, David. Shaun leads the charge, as expected, hoping to split the vote between David and Luke and send one away without use of an idol. Hannah is struggling physically on the tribe, feeling sick in her stomach. Shaun hopes to use this to convince David and Luke that Hannah is the target because of her weakness. For Hannah (finally!), the aim to mislead David and Luke and make them think the vote is her is somewhat easy for her. She believes she can play the ‘in trouble’ card well. Knowing how deceptive people can play, David is questioning the unanimous decision to vote out Hannah, as it almost seems too obvious. It’s not enough to convince him a blindside is in action though, as he still believes it’s truly Hannah as the target.

Andy’s not gonna let this go easy though, as his trust in David leads him to inform David and Luke what is really going to happen. It’s a good move for Andy if he puts him higher on the totem poll with David and Luke and above Shaun and Daisy. He plans to flip his vote to Daisy with Shaun and Luke, therefore sending her home after David’s idol play. Luke and David can’t trust Andy though, so they don’t buy what he’s selling all too well. There’s a lot that’s been said and a lot of different ulterior motives at play. Heading to Tribal Council, we’re in for a shocker.

David pulls out his hidden immunity idol to wear around his neck, showing the tribe and Jonathan of the power he holds.
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At Tribal Council, Shaun’s addition is addressed as a positive impact to the tribe overall, and Daisy has no trouble blatantly being open about her alliance with him. Hannah’s acting starts to make David and Luke smell a rat with the plan, certainly beginning to think maybe Andy is right about the switch. A bit of whisper back-and-forth between Luke and David and David decides to reveal his idol to the tribe hoping to create as much chaos as possible and send home Shaun with his and Luke’s two votes.

Before the votes are read, Jonathan calls for idols and David stands, taking his cue, and playing his idol for himself. Luke also stands, and plays his idol for himself, giving both boys immunity at this Tribal. Jonathan goes to read the votes, and three votes for David are negated before two votes land on both Hannah and Shaun, with Andy’s vote going to Daisy. Now the tribe must revote between Hannah and Shaun, and while Luke and David vote for Shaun, the original Contenders vote out Hannah, sending her home.

Hannah’s torch is snuffed after a double idol play and tie between herself and Shaun, sending her home and out of Australian Survivor.
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To breakdown this massive Tribal Council, the split vote somehow switched from Luke to Hannah, so Luke wasted his idol technically, but perhaps morally it was the most suited move. Where the boys really failed was by not voting Daisy, with Andy, and sending her home. Yes, Shaun was a threat, but when you had the opportunity to take out his main ally, it would have worked effectively. Then with Andy on their side, they could have swung Hannah to make a 4-3 majority. Unfortunately, Hannah was unlucky and blindsided by her alliance. Now the boys have no idols and Daisy and Shaun are firmly intact.

EPISODE 11 RECAP

Pia and Abbey laugh and enjoy some hilarity while at the Contenders camp.
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Returning from a shocker of a Tribal Council, Andy is annoyed that the plan to blindside Daisy failed, and Hannah was sent home. Now he’s stuck with her, and sees Luke and David as idiots for not voting with him (as mentioned above). This prompts Andy to flip back to the Contenders, seeing Luke and David firmly on the bottom. Luke is also annoyed that he wasted his idol after competing in two seasons, but he appears to be more frustrated with his tribe mates than himself, as he should be. Not all veterans are masters of the game I guess. The boys are ona comeback trail now, but Shaun now senses the opportunity to take them out while they lack any protection.

As the sun rises on the Contenders, Janine discusses the beautiful environment that she is surrounded with in Fiji. Onto the strategy side of the game, Abbey (once again) discusses her alliance with Janine and Pia, and the extension of Simon and Ross, saying the team mentality fits with her in and out of the game. Casey on the other hand, isn’t so happy about the tight alliance of five, and rather than riding it out with her fellow original Contenders, she hopes to join forces with the Champions in order to reach the merge. Ross takes note of this play, as he describes her as a, “fireant”, who is conversing with everyone a little too much in such little time. The three Champion girls have a meeting about Casey, and how abrasive her strategy has been thus far. Pia does mention however that sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, and therefore may not necessarily have to be the first target.

Baden wears the fake immunity idol David gave Shaun earlier in the game when Shaun reveals it to the entire tribe.
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Returning back to the Champions tribe, David reiterates the trouble he and Luke face, as well as the mistake in not voting Daisy with Andy to send her home. While talking around the fire, Shaun intentionally (and stupidly) reveals to David that he knows the idol he has is fake. He’s out to get him back, but something tells me this showdown is going to last a little longer than planned.

It’s time for another Reward Challenge, Matty continues to spin obnoxious comments, this time about the Champions sending Hannah home. It’s not a good taste, and I know it’s the character Matty plays in life and at challenges, but I don’t believe it’s entirely necessary to go so far. Like always, a one on one match-up is in play, where tribe members must race across monkey bars to grab a flag. This time for a cinema-treat and video from loved ones at home. Typically, Luke and Matty face off first, but Luke slips off immediately and Matty scores for the Contenders. Andy defeats Ross when the latter falls into the water, leveling the score 1-1. Baden defeats Abbey, and David defeats Simon, granting the Champions another win. The theme of conversations continues, as David tells Simon that he played his idol at the last Tribal and he’s next to go if they lose Immunity. The Champions then head out to their reward.

Matty is disappointed to lose the Reward Challenge to the Champions.
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Before entering the cinema, the Champions find out that they will each enter individually and one at a time(an homage to last season and the American Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers). David knows an idol or clue will be hidden at the reward, and hopes to go first, you’d think that wouldn’t be that easy though right? BAHAHAHA! John and Daisy allow David to visit the cinema first (because he can see his kids), unleashing Andy’s rage in a confessional who is furious Daisy gives out the order without deliberation and thus giving David and Luke first dibs at finding any potential advantage. “I decided to go last because I thought it was the right thing to do”, Daisy says. But it’s times like these where as a mega fan of Survivor, I can’t stand the players not so savvy with every inch of the game. Andy, I feel you brother.

David eats and searches for the immunity idol while his video from home plays at the Survivor cinema.
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David is wrapped (only adding to his ego) that the move was so easy for him, as Daisy begins to realise the terrible decision she has made. David’s loved ones video begins, but David is more interested in the food at bay, and eats to his heart’s content. He’s also on the hunt for that clue, but instead finds an entire idol hidden in the popcorn. I don’t wanna say I told you so, but…. David also sells the song, by returning to his tribe mates crying as if his loved ones video was considerably emotional. David, you’re just brilliant. The rest of the tribe follows in advance, where Shaun disregards even searching for a clue to focus on his loved ones video. Luke is on the hunt next, at least searching for an idol but still watching his message from home. Andy’s much the same as Luke, whereas Baden’s excited to see his cat, of whom he misses the most. John and Daisy enjoy the food and videos from home, and very quickly the segment ends with tears, laughter, idol hunts and idol findings.

The Champions on the Contenders tribe realise they need to throw the Immunity Challenge to keep David and Luke safe from going home.
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On the Contenders beach, Janine informs Abbey (assumingly from Simon) about David’s intel of the tribe. Abbey, Pia, Simon, Janine and Ross then agree to throw the next Immunity Challenge, in order to save Luke and David from going home at the next Tribal Council. The plan is now set, and Harry is the prime target based on the events from two episodes prior. The only stipulation is ensuring Matty, Harry and Casey don’t catch wind of the plan.

Entering the Immunity Challenge, it’s all on the Contenders and what they can pull off, as Abbey is able to tell David they plan to throw it. Thankfully, the challenge relies on pairs holding a ball situated in a gutter, balanced. The strategy for the Contenders relies on pairing an original Champion with a Contender so someone can throw it correctly. The only Champion pairing for the challenge, Janine and Abbey, knock themselves out first. This means Pia and Simon must manage to throw the challenge subtly enough with Harry and Matty as partners, respectively. Pia successfully drops, and soon after Simon does the same, throwing the challenge and granting the Champions an Immunity win.

The Champions and Contenders compete in the endurance-dominant Immunity Challenge.
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Harry is suspicious of the former Champions’ antics, and is almost certain they threw the challenge, possibly to get him out. Casey tells Matty and Harry that she was told they would throw the challenge, but Harry is confident they don’t know he has the idol, and asks the other two to help him and vote out Abbey (why not Janine herself, I don’t know). Casey is only out to ensure she stays safe, and hopes her ongoing attempts at joining with the Champions will pay off, especially when she tells Abbey she’s targeted for. Janine and Abbey tell Casey to trust her and vote out Harry, assuming Harry’s idol is actually fake. Janine, Abbey and Pia still can’t trust Casey, so plan to leave her as a contingency plan if Harry’s idol turns out to be real. Ross is tasked to talk with Matty about targeting Harry, and Matty agrees to do so, therefore granting the Champions a number to benefit them.

Ross asks Harry for his socks in an indirect way of telling him he’s the one to go next on the Contenders tribe.
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Matty still second guesses himself, saying he wants a Contender to win the game and voting one out won’t benefit that ideal. He also wants to establish trust with the Champions however, and is very conflicted. Harry sees Ross as a loose cannon, and approaches him to ask for one honest answer, and if the Champions are staying strong. Quite hilariously, Ross tells Harry that he’s with everyone and Harry disagrees saying he must vote for someone, and therefore can’t be with everyone. Harry tells Ross that he doesn’t have to give him a name, but Ross cuts him off to ask, “can I have your socks?”. *audience applause*. Ah, perfect. Just too good, Ross. Harry knows this means they’re voting for him, and assumes his vote will be able to eliminate Abbey.

The three remaining Contenders on the Contenders tribe, Matty, Casey and Harry, await the outcome of Tribal Council.
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At Tribal Council, the new tribe member, Dirty Harry, is discussed almost entirely, as the tribe agree he is the sneakiest tribe member at camp. Janine tries to denounce the idea she’s a godmother, saying Harry has no idea how her or the alliance’s gameplay is. Casey reiterates this to Jonathan, perhaps trying too hard to show she is attempting to be loyal with the Champions alliance. Whether the Immunity Challenge was thrown is also discussed, but it’s a he said, she said, situation. Casey’s game begins to blow up, as Matty and Harry reveal that Casey was the one who started the rumour the challenge was going to be thrown. She attempts to defend her game, saying she was thrown under the bus, but despite her protests it is evident the tribe mistrusts her even further than already believed.

Despite the accusations and defences, the tribe goes to vote. When Jonathan returns with the votes, Harry plays his idol and successfully negates four votes against him. Casey on the other hand picked up the exact same amount, and is voted out in 15th place.

Casey is idoled out of Australian Survivor, leaving Matty and Harry as the sole Contenders remaining on the tribe.

REVIEW

I know why this season is being branded as the best season of Australian Survivor. It is truly impressive to see so many players truly fighting to stay/win the game. There’s a few mishaps though, like Daisy allowing David to go first to the cinema. Personally, I couldn’t call it the best season ever just yet, but there’s no denying the gameplay is incredibly rewarding for viewers, after three seasons of absolute greatness. This edition never disappoints true Survivor fans, worldwide. It’s no surprise this week’s quote goes to Ross with, “can I have your socks?”. Classic.

Last week, I explained that I had high hopes for Casey after what I thought was an impressive episode showing her capabilities but it’s clear it was a misfire. Casey is a great person, and I think she definitely had a chance to stay in it but clearly she was unable to give off the right vibe that she truly wanted to work with Janine, Pia and Abbey. It sucks. But that’s a part of the game. Now that she and Hannah are gone, the invisible girls (Sam included) are no more and all that’s really left is Simon who managed to gain some more confessionals in Episode 10. Some players take a backseat and while I think there’s no chance Simon wins the game, it’s great to see what we do from him.

I definitely think we’ll see a merge this week. My guess is probably Tuesday, as there will be 12 players and that first merge boot won’t make jury. Of course, we could have our first final three for Australian Survivor, and I know Jonathan teased a twist during the merge phase that’s never been done before worldwide, so who knows when that’ll occur.

This week also saw my perception on a few players change rapidly, and I’ll go through them very quickly. Shaun’s game infuriates me sometimes, just when I think he’s taking two steps forward he takes another step back. He’s not entirely cut out for the strategic portion of this game (unlike wife Megan Gale), but at least he’s still a likeable character. Daisy on the other hand I’m starting to lose my grasp on. She’s okay at the game, she’s definitely got some strategy in her but (while Baden thinks it may be okay) her mistreatment of Baden during the Immunity Challenge in Episode 9 left a sour taste for me, and I don’t think Daisy’s a bad person at all. I understand she’s competitive and really wants to win those challenges but if Survivor has taught me anything it’s that your perception is only your own and everyone else is seeing something different, just because she thinks the tower is stable doesn’t mean it is, and Baden quite possibly kept the Champions in it and enabled them to win. Ross and David are still fantastic television, whereas Pia and Janine are still fantastic players. Andy, maybe taking a dive from his original strategy of domination, because now he’s making very little influence on the game. But Harry is managing to pull off crazy little moves, that might see him manage to go pretty far.

There’s some inconsistencies with some players and I’m still waiting for the true jaw-dropping Tribal Council, like Mat’s blindside in the previous season. I know it’s coming. It’s almost here. But I guess we’ll have to wait for the merge.

MATTHEW’S TOP FIVE

In no particular order, each review I will reveal my top five players of the week, considering all factors like physicality, strategy, social game, likeability and visibility. Not much has changed, but with Casey exiting the game, someone new rejoins the fold.

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DAVID GENAT is back in the top five this week and it’s truly because he’s just so good at this game. He’s got another idol in his pocket, successfully played one to save himself this week, but he’s bouncing off the weaknesses within his fellow tribe mates. He’s a huge threat, but he’s still here. Love him or hate him, he’s playing the game well and while his cockiness might seem a little lost on the viewers, he makes up for it by pulling out impressive stunts that pay off. Please, for the love of all things Survivor, let this guy make merge.

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JANINE ALLIS is a godmother who’s taking all her targets down, one by one! It’s great that she’s managing to be the leader of her alliance albeit unintentionally and discovered by Harry (that’s why Pia’s the real ringmaster). I do think she’s going to find herself back against the wall with so many people coming for her, and I’m not entirely sure how she can get herself out of it. But she has an idol, a tight alliance, and also a way with words any CEO should. I’m loving what Janine is selling this season, so much so I bought two Boosts this week, just for her.

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ROSS CLARKE-JONES, my man. “Can I have your socks”, will go down as one of the greatest, probably underrated, lines of Australian Survivor. Not only was it an ingenious way of telling Harry he’s on the chopping block, but what guy wants another man’s socks? Yeah, island life, maybe. But I’m gonna say it’s a Ross thing, he doesn’t care. Regardless, Ross is playing an impressive social game. He’s capable of making moves and I know he’s got it all figured out somewhere. He’s a lock to make merge and I can see himself sitting in the middle wondering where to shoot some chaos next.

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PIA MIRANDA has stayed in this position since Day 1, Week 1. She’s without a doubt a fantastic and under the radar social player this season and I think if you look hard enough you can tell she’s truly in charge of her Champions alliance. I don’t think anyone quite sees it yet (though they will), so once she makes merge if she can rely on some numbers, Janine as a shield, she might see herself in the last stretch of the game where it’ll be make or break to see if she can win it. I struggle to believe she will lose the game if she’s at the Final Tribal Council, but getting there will be the toughest call. Look at me, thinking about the end game already.

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HARRY HILLS stays in the top five this week despite a couple X’s to his Survivor resume. The kid lie, gone. Dirty Harry, revealed. He’s not in the best position on the Contenders tribe but I somehow think he’s gonna find a way to worm out of it. He’s got good instincts, and I think he also has a great read on his tribe mates. He needs to find a way to get into the alliance, or at least expose Matty as a bigger target, to ensure he hits the merge. If he makes it there, I can see him laying low for a little bit until he finds an opportunity to strike against his adversary, Janine.

Still firmly likeable but not quite the high achievers this week are Andy and Luke, who I still like and hope do well in the game. Abbey, Simon, Shaun and John not far behind. With Baden, Matty and Daisy bringing up the rear. Still a great cast, great season. But more is definitely what I’m hungry for this week!

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Australian Survivor continues tonight, Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10!


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