Another epic week for Australian Survivor saw one of the biggest names go down in a blaze of glory. Let’s dive into Week 2!
With another week of Australian Survivor‘s All-Star edition down, one tribe may be on its’ way to an all time low while another reels from a massive Tribal Council. Big names saw an exit, and twists weren’t far from the forefront. Let’s dive into Week 2.
WEEK 2 RECAP
Still reeling from Daisy’s epic blindside, Mat’s on the hunt for another idol to protect his minority alliance of four. Meanwhile, Locky is suspicious that there is a mole amongst his alliance, who leaked the Jacqui vote to Mat. Over on Mokuta, Henry attempts to find allies to keep him from going home, and sees Nick as an opportunity to do so. Nick is sceptical of Henry’s intentions, and doesn’t reciprocate a feeling to align.
At the Reward Challenge, AK calls out Henry in front of his tribe for giving an idol to Mat, much to the shock of Mokuta. One on one match-ups are key for this challenge, as each player is attempting to push the other off a platform using a large box. Some intense and even peculiar match-ups take place, with Zach defeating Jacqui and AK defeating Lydia. Vakama ends up winning when Tarzan beats Harry in the final round.
After winning fish and chips, Vakama is surprised to learn that they have to find their own fish and cook their own chips, DIY style. It’s a cruel twist, but it fits the All-Stars criteria, alright. While everyone searches around the material for an idol or clue, Mat manages to find the hidden safety, albeit exposed in front of everyone. Trust is also topical for Mat, as he divulges his trust in David to Moana, but she can’t hold Dave to the same regard. And she’s right to, because David’s secretly building a fake idol during the night.
The tribes arrive at the Immunity Challenge, where it’s all endurance and strength to see which tribe can keep their barrels up the longest. Shonee has a chance to grab an advantage hidden under her sit-out bench, but fails to see and claim it. After an hour and 15 minutes, Mokuta can’t keep their barrels, giving Vakama their second Immunity Challenge win.
With Tribal Council looming, Michelle is worried her physical weakness might cost her spot in the game. And rightfully so, as Abbey is concerned about strength, which means she’s gunning for Michelle, the weakest player and simple vote. Henry has other ideas however, as he is targeting Sharn as the best player to never win. Nick, intent on working with Sharn in future, decides to switch the vote onto Henry. With Henry previously giving an idol to Mat, it’s a tune that Nick can sell to his allies. With strength in loyalty versus challenges the theme of Tribal, it’s anyone’s guess where the numbers will lie.
Back at their second Tribal Council for the season, Mokuta focuses on strength and whether it matters going further in the season. Michelle makes bold statements, a wise move if she’s on the chopping block, by mentioning Lee’s weak performance in the first Immunity Challenge that cost them the win. Loyalty is also brought up, with trust a major element that can influence the Tribal decision. Everyone considers a number of components to the game, but everyone’s sole agenda is at hand just as much as well. After the vote, Michelle’s case of loyalty wasn’t enough to save her, as she is voted out in a 6-3-2 vote.
Still reeling from a failed attempt to blindside Henry, Nick worries what his next move might be. Henry asserts his plan to scramble back to the top, feeling betrayed by Nick the most, and hoping to appeal to those who value challenge strength. On a divided Vakama, Locky grows closer to Brooke, identifying her as his best ally. But Mat’s idol keeps everyone on their toes as he parades it around camp by wearing it around his neck. To make matters worse, Mat’s also after Locky, seeking a desire to take out the big guys.
The Reward Challenge poses one on one match-ups, where a good strategy might prevail over sheer physicality, to win some delicious soft serve ice cream. After an incredible final point which saw Henry prevail over David, Mokuta wins the Reward Challenge 4-1. Also, Locky and Phoebe play their advantage to join in on the reward, and enjoy ice cream with Mokuta at their camp.
Enjoying dessert and a laugh as well, Henry’s doing whatever it takes to appeal to his tribe as a member worth staying. Locky is also trying to make the opportunity work, questioning the tribe on the alliance divisions and where people stand. Mokuta doesn’t let much up though, and keeps all information to themselves. Elsewhere, Shonee is on the hunt for an idol and successfully claims it as it’s hidden underneath the well. This might just be the lifeline she needs if Henry’s on the hunt to get her out.
At the Immunity Challenge, a muddy and physically gruelling challenge pushes the tribes to their physical highest. Mokuta finds an early lead in the challenge, hoping to maintain it at the catapulting final portion of the challenge. Vakama manages to catch up, and even surpasses them by landing two of the five balls needed to win. In the end, Vakama wins, sending Mokuta back to their third Tribal Council.
With Nick once again wanting to ensure big threat Henry goes at this Tribal Council, he and his alliance seemingly convince the tribe to target Henry. But the athletes on the tribe are against taking out a physical asset, valuing strength quite highly, and thus targeting Shonee as the weakest tribe member and considerable social threat. With Shonee in real danger, Harry warns her that she is being targeted, yet she reassures him she might be okay because she has the idol. But with a tip off from Lydia, Henry’s last push to save himself (if he is indeed the target – which he is one) is to hide and find a fake hidden immunity idol at Tribal Council, possibly another trick in the magic bag.
Another Tribal Council for Mokuta, and the discussion of challenge strength versus loyalty are still paramount to the tribe. While strength is talked about considerably, Shonee’s quick to point out the tribes are even in challenge wins, noting that the tribe isn’t weak to begin with, and just facing a loss. Before it’s time to vote, Henry finds his fake idol, but Nick tells the tribe that he believes he hid it himself. When hidden immunity idols are called for, Shonee surprises everyone by playing hers, meaning Henry’s fate is sealed as he is voted out in a 5-
Vakama’s tribe morale is quite high after multiple wins, but no one is as chuffed as Mat, who continues to parade his idol around his neck, taking pride in knowing the opposing alliance may be scared of his power to eliminate another one of their members. He attempts to work with Locky despite this, but fails to agree on any name, thus keeping Mat’s target firmly locked on Locky if Vakama loses Immunity. Over on Mokuta, Shonee’s impressive idol play makes her public enemy number one. And knowing she’s physically weaker, Shonee hopes to hustle her way out of getting votes again. Seeking to form a new majority of five, the alliance of Shonee, Nick, and Harry hope to bring Sharn and Zach into the fold.
At the Reward Challenge, Vakama is surprised to learn one of the biggest players, Henry, was voted out of the game. The domino effect is tested in the challenge, as the tribes compete to win a pasta feast, much to their amusement. As Vakama prepares to push their dominoes, they lose half of their stack, only for the same mistake to happen for Mokuta. Both Vakama and Mokuta fail their first attempts to push the dominoes over, but successful on their second try, Vakama wins the Reward Challenge.
As Vakama sprints to taste their Italian delight, the tribe is brought to tears to find pictures of them and their mothers, prompting many emotional discussions about the loving relationship between the players and their parents/families. It really hits home, and goes to show that these players have real lives that they’re fighting to improve. It’s touching. It’s Survivor.
At the next Immunity Challenge, a water-based obstacle course sees a classic throwing balls final stage decide which tribe will earn safety for another night. Lydia and Shonee manage to bring up a small lead for Mokuta, but Mat and Flick manage to flip the lead for Vakama. John and Abbey struggle in the water, with John struggling to hold his breath under water, panicking. With a decent lead, AK is able to practice the final stage significantly, eventually able to close out victory for Vakama.
With a third Tribal Council in a row to attend, John apologises for stumbling at the challenge, although he’s reassured the performance was okay. Abbey in particular hopes to stick with physical players, specifically targeting Shonee to go home once again. Sharn worries she might be next after Shonee, and isn’t satisfied with Abbey running the vote and targeting weak players. Zach also has doubts, expressing desire to make a big move. He then leads a blindside against John with Sharn, Harry, Nick, and Shonee on board. It’s not enough for Nick though, who wants to flip it against him and throw Zach under the bus. With three names in the air, it’s certainly going to be a big Tribal.
Mokuta visits their fourth Tribal Council, where the idea of a big move versus keeping the tribe strong, is once again, a huge element to Australian Survivor and the initial eliminations. Everyone seems to be aware that multiple names are tossed around, but the knowledge of who will actually go is questioned. But Jonathan throws a sudden curve ball, telling Mokuta the two tribe members who receive the most votes will be sent to Exile Beach, where their fate will, “be decided”. A twist changes everything, and in the end, the vote falls into a 5-3-1 split, with Shonee and Zach receiving the most votes, and are thus sent to Exile Beach.
I have some varying thoughts post-week 2. Don’t get me wrong, Australian Survivor is still solid, there’s great gameplay, fun characters, good players, I love the season. But there’s one running theme that’s starting to bug me.
Before we get into that, this week was Mokuta heavy because they went to Tribal Council, so let’s cover the basics on Vakama. We finally got some much needed on content on Moana, discovering why she’s back and another look into her great strategic mind. Knowing David’s untrustworthy, great! He’s a real force and it’s refreshing to see Moana identify that and have that in her back pocket going up against Mat. Speaking of Mat, wow, another idol, it is impressive. And while some may not like the parading of the idol, it is a great fear tactic on the opposing alliance. Knowing that there’s a 1 in 4 chance Mat gets his idol play correct, that’s gotta be scary. And yet, no one seems too paranoid. Locky’s certainly got something to worry about, but because we never saw Vakama visit Tribal, we haven’t really heard from anyone else in the alliance (David aside). We also need some Flick content, ASAP. I’m worried for her chances to go deep now. Big LOL’s at Tarzan being told he looked handsome after seeing a photo without him in his beard. AK’s killing those throwing challenges, and watching him get emotional at seeing the picture of his Mum was precious. He’s also playing strategically well, and I think he’s got a great chance of going far! While I could ramble on and touch on everyone, there’s really only David worth mentioning for the reception he got this week. A massive move in Week 1, a fake idol to come out in Week 2. The guy’s a master manipulator and I think he’s here to stay for a while. There doesn’t seem to be a foreseeable elimination, edit wise.
Looking at Mokuta, the athlete alliance is really something. Lee, Lydia, Abbey, and John, they’re all in a seemingly good spot considering they’ve been able to hold much authority over every vote. But none have made a massive impact on the game in any way, with Abbey probably the best contender going forward. She is a convincing player, and given she went super deep last time, she’s been around some great players like Luke, Pia, and Janine. But I think it’s setting her up for failure. Being in that leader role, it probably means she might be first on the hit list. Sharn’s still a big presence in the game even when she’s not talking to the camera. She is often included in strategic conversations, clearly in the middle, and formulating plans where needed (I take the Michelle split for example). Even though she was left out of the Shane vote, she’s bounced back, helped get rid of the person targeting her (Henry), and is in an alright position. It’s the lack of confessional screen time I’m worried about.
The little rascals, Nick, Shonee, and Harry, are fun to watch. A lot, actually. Nick’s an extremely strategic player, who identifies where the threats are and what matters down the road for his game, twisting it into what might be plausible for the tribe. This is new for Nick, who has learnt so much from his previous outing. Colour me impressed. Good job Nick. Of course, Shonee finding an idol and saving herself with it was a great move, but she loses points for not being able to save herself and get out of being targeted at the next Tribal. And again, we watched Nick pull the strings to target Zach and not Shonee. Editing? Probably. But Nick took credit and wasn’t targeted for it. I think Shonee walks away with a win this week, but only just. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to her now shes’ on Exile Beach. Speaking of which, the Zach attack’s also hitting the island, left out of the majority alliance. I appreciate the big move effort, but I’m surprised he wasn’t in with the athletes already considering he’s the largest guy there. Still, Zach’s social game is probably the weakest asset to him, so if he stays in the game, he’ll have to work on it a thousand times more.
Michelle and Henry, completely robbed! I think Michelle had an unfortunate situation she couldn’t talk herself out of. I like Michelle, a lot actually. But while she made valid points about keeping loyal players around, I think Michelle failed to make others feel as if she would be loyal completely to them. Had Michelle made an impact to form tight bonds with others, we would have seen those allies express a difficulty in voting her out. But she had none! That’s what sealed Michelle’s fate. No one was losing a close ally by voting out the weakest, everyone had practically only something to gain. Then there’s Henry, oh poor Henry. I was screaming when he started targeting Sharn. I didn’t want the Skype call alliance to end! (I have Skyped with both Sharn and Henry, and really wanted them to stick it out). All jokes aside, he did what he had to. I do believe Henry was one of the biggest names on the cast, so he had to play big from the jump. And targeting Sharn was probably smart, but maybe not necessary. I love Henry, great strategy, not quite the best execution, unfortunately. He tried though. And I know he loves the game a lot. It’ll be tough to watch the season go on without him, truly.
The big theme, like literally all week, was strength versus threats/loyalty. And I’ve only just realised this has literally been the theme for like, the entire franchise. And that’s because Australian Survivor is so physical. There’s little skills that are favoured by those that are challenged in those areas. Where are the puzzles? Those equalisers can’t be throwing all the time. And this leads to a repetitive series of Tribal Councils where challenge strength is a topical factor into every vote. Yet in the American series, it’s often not the case. There are so many other factors, namely alliances. If the show was able to turn down the sheer brutal physicality of these challenges, maybe players like Shonee and Michelle have a chance of getting through, and yes, they got through last time, but only when others didn’t on their seasons like Paige in 2018. This theme all week grew tiring, and while I think the show benefits from big challenges, just SOME times the other skills, I think, should be tested. That way Shonee isn’t always seen as weak, and those strategic conversations and being with the right numbers are the bigger factors into every vote. Just something to consider.
THE TOP FIVE
Each week, I will pick a top five for the week, based on what we’ve seen currently and previously.
SHARN COOMBES: Another week of a low amount of screen time, and I’m not happy about it. Sharn remains one of my most favourite players of all time, and given she survived a possible blindside quite easily, I think she’s good for now.
NICK IADANZA: The sheer strategic glow up on Nick is just incredible. He is so incredibly analytical and manipulative, it’s such a change from 2016. He may have targeted Zen Hen, but he did it in style. I’m impressed.
SHONEE FAIRFAX: That idol play really gives Shonee some brownie points. But with a trip to Exile, I weighed up putting Shonee in here. In the end, I respect good moves and great gameplay, and Episode 5 was a Shonee standout.
DAVID GENAT: Still sitting firmly at the top, a fake idol in the works, and many loyal allies seemingly keeping him off the radar, David’s learnt from prior mistakes but still maintains the same charisma we love him for. He remains in the top five this week.
AARON ‘AK’ KNIGHT: AK’s two-week arc over this season has been very strategically driven, and I’m not surprised AK’s become such a strategic force to his alliance. I can’t wait to see more, and is my wildcard pick for a big move next week.
Australian Survivor‘s Review is complete, stay tuned for the Review for Survivor: Winners at War out soon!
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Australian Survivor: All-Stars continues on Monday at 7:30pm on Channel 10!
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