Australian Survivor starts tonight

Yay – Australian Survivor is back and we’ve been promised a season of scheming – none of this “mateship” hooha.

Ten, tonight 7.30-9.10pm
tomorrow and Tuesday 7.30-9pm (aargh – such loooong episodes! How are we meant to watch everything?)
Everyone arrives on a cargo boat and, as per usual, JLap tells them they have to gather some supplies and swim to shore, where a big sack of rice awaits them. The twist: First team to reach the rice gets it and all their scavenged supplies, while the loser misses out on rice AND loses their supplies.
Those poor buggers, having to swim so far from the boat to the shore – and in their clothes – all the while knowing they might lose all the supplies they have gathered.
Both teams foolishly start loading bamboo lengths into their supply floats, when surely if they have a machete they can cut bamboo or similar on the island. I’d be grabbing the food and a tarp if there was one and making a beeline for the race.
Both teams end up jettisoning the bamboo during the swim and by the time they make land the Teal team is looking to be the buff alphas and Pink the kooky misfits. But, wonder of wonders, long-haired Asian photographer dude (yay – some diversity in casting!) from Pink proves a tenacious bugger and manages to find off Sam from Teal and grab the rice while perched on the shoulders of his tribemates.
(Sidenote: Sam from Teal already has her own Wikipedia page. She’s an endurance athlete and a World Vision ambassador. Does this mean she was headhunted by casting? Wiki here.

At their own beach, Pink is understandably stoked and lime farmer Mark H lives up to the laidback Aussie persona shown in the ads by saying people would give “their right nut” to be on Survivor. He seems more socially able than last season’s “Ocker”, Des.
For some reason Queenslander Tara is telling people she likes horses but is keeping a big secret. It’s that she works for ASIO. No? That she is a billionaire? No. It’s – wait for it – that she’s a barrel racer. Hmmmm. The only other famous Survivor barrel racer has been Sierra Dawn Thomas, and she doesn’t excactly go down in history as being a huge threat – although the Sheriff’s second season, on GameChangers, was a massive improvement on her first outing. Anyway, I think her tribemates could twig that something is going on by the fact she is shown later wearing a cowboy shirt covered in rhinestones.
The introductions continue, and I’m glad to see SA represented by a wedding DJ. Mark H tears up at the thought of his grandkids and I love that he tells everyone he is a crier. This guy is going to be a fan favourite.
As per usual, a tribe leader emerges and it’s someone who knows it’s a bad idea but does it anyway. It’s Locky, who’s an adventure guide and tradie and has one of those massive chest tatts with some kind of script.

Wedding DJ is working hard to look like he’s working, when in fact he’s schmoozing everyone. It’s good to see someone playing so hard, so early. I wonder if the others will twig?

Cut to add break and who do we have here but Lee, the runner up (buff ex-cricketer and part of the Mates faction from last season). He’s doing ads for Holden with his two boys. What, not El in the ad? They are still together.

Ah, Teal team is actually called Asaga. Probably the last time I’ll type that.
Model Sarah is getting a lot of air time and she was in the ads a great deal, although last season the same happened to many people who never made the jury.
Of course, poor Teal did not get to keep any supplies from the boat. In a confessional, endurance athlete Sam – who has strangely chosen to wear pink overalls as her Survivor garb – admits she is a control freak. This does not bode well for her. Her team faffs around trying to pick a spot to try and create a shelter.
The heavily tattooed mining driller who two autistic kids takes charge of the building process – they at least seem to have machetes – but he seems better at talking than construction. Former special ops guy Mark W, who has a jaw like the Bondi Vet, is wisely keeping his mouth shut when he knows damn well he could take charge. He’s not telling them about his former career – perhaps he’ll say he’s a barrel racer.
Token old guy, finance officer Kent, 51, at least knows he’s the token old guy. He has, however, swum the English channel. He has a sound strategy: “Find the dickhead. In every group there’s a dickhead.” His plan is to draw everyone’s attention to said dickhead.

It storms that night and everyone gets soaked, and poor barrel racer has to get up to vomit in the night. Dehydration, I guess. But scheming Wedding DJ puts his foot in it and tries to talk strategy with her while she is vomiting. Doesn’t even offer to hold her hair back! Not cool, man – and it irks her no end. And you don’t want to be irking people on your first night. (Sidenote: Any Silicon Valley fans here? AK the DJ reminds me of Erlich Bachman, another would-be manipulator.)

On Day 2 at Pink (Samatu) they get tree mail about a fire-making challenge. They have to send two people off for it and they pick Mark the Lime Farmer and poker player Adam (Sidenote: Poker players have never fared well on Survivor. Will he break the curse?). I wouldn’t be so keen to be sent away from the group so early.Surely everyone would be suspicious you would be getting a secret advantage while you were away? That’s what happens in US Survivor anyway. Teal team chooses Special Ops Mark and a Jacqui, 50, a marriage celebrant. Interesting that both teams picked people who weren’t pretty young things, perhaps perceiving their choices as more trustworthy?
It looks like Adam and Mark the Lime Farmer won’t be forming an alliance, as Adam tells JLap what a great shelter they have and that they’ve been cooking rice, while Mark just laughs at his teammate and spills the beans.
Teal team confesses instantly they don’t have fire.
The fire-making challenge is the one you usually see on Survivor. A piece of string strung from two poles. They are given coconut husks, kindling and flint to get a fire going. First to burn through the string gets to take home a lit torch and a flint.
Pink are first to get a flame going but they can’t sustain it, whereas as Special Ops Mark took his time prepping. When he finally tries to get a flame it’s an instant success and Teal wins. Note for future Survivor contestants: Practise Special Ops Mark’s (SOM) technique.

Back at Teal some of them are even crying with happiness, but SOM is worried, because he’s shown so early he has survival skills. D’oh!
Meanwhile, Pink gets the “fun tribe” edit, goofing around trying to spear a shark with pointy sticks.
At Teal, Joan the Escape Room owner is pissing her tribemates off because she tells them she slept like a baby. Come on, Joan – don’t rub salt in the wound! She says she’s good at puzzles, as you’d expect given her career. And she’d better be, because otherwise she’s a likely target. (Sidenote: Escape rooms are brilliant fun. Go try one.)

It’s the big obstacle course they’ve bee heavily promo-ing – trying to draw in some of those Australian Ninja Warrior lovers.
From Pink, Peter practically skips up the vertical rope, using only his hands, beating even SOM. All I know of Peter so far is that he wears glasses and is gay. And, now, he is going to be a huge threat at challenges as he’s strong AND nimble.
There’s a lot of crawling, climbing and pushing of dangerously heavy crates. I am just waiting for someone to crush a hand. Over at Pink they’ve decided not to stack their crates to the top, instead using Locky as a human ladder to hoist people to the top, while teal plays the long game building a staircase. They are close but now Locky has to get up. Luckily the team is able to hoist him – there are going to be some strained shoulders from that. In the end, they all get to the top around the same time.

The team then has to form a human pyramid to reach a handle and poor Amy the plumber takes a huge, hard tumble. So they send up long-haired Jarrad, who did such a good job in a similar position to secure the rice bag at the start of the game.
The puzzle making begins and they have to put some log sections in place to form a trunk with a tribal face painted on it. There is a lot of shouting from the onlookers. Joan the escape room owner is getting the negative commentary from JLap, being called “confused” and referred to as “costing” Teal time. The other Teal puzzler is older guy Kent – the one with the “find the dickhead” strategy, but Joan is a goner. Luckily for DJ AK, he was one half of the successful Pink puzzle solvers. I have no idea who his partner was.

At Pink, some of the previously unseen young team members get water and agree Joan has to go. Model Sarah, who was on the reality show The Face, tells Joan that Kent is going. Sam decides they need to do a spilt vote, throwing some votes to Kent, just in case. But joker Luke is worried Sam has too much power so early in the game. He tells some young, nameless blokes they should all vote Kent, just to show they can’t be bossed around. How many nights will it take before they realise he’s a wildcard?

The twelve members of Teal arrive at tribal. Let’s see if JLap’s tribal banter is a bit smoother than his first season. There’s a bit of fun chat but Joan decides to remind everyone what a wonderful sleep she got, without any prompting. But Kent doesn’t do himself any favours by saying he had to do puzzles because he’s an old fella. No, Kent – this is the time you tell them you swam the English Channel! Joan tells JLap she is normally good at puzzles and that Kent was deadweight with the puzzle anyway. Ouch! He mildly defends himself with a smile on his face. Is Joan trying to be a villain or is that just Joan?
Jokester Luke yells out from the voting station: “Oi, how do you spell Henry?” (That’s Henry, who in the ads tells us he’s pretending to be a yoga instructor when he’s a labourer but who actually has not made much of the edit thus far.) And then votes for Kent.
The initial vote is six for Joan and six for Kent. It’s a tie!

The producers must be loving it! It looks like jokester Luke Toki – or should we call him Loki? – swayed some young ‘uns to his way of thinking. Sam is going to be ropeable that her plan wasn’t stuck to.
Time for a revote and since JLap doesn’t bother to explain what will happen in the event of yet another tie, we know Kent or Joan goes home. Surely it’s Joan? And it is.
JLap has some good news for them: There is a bag of rice for them at camp.

NEXT TIME: It’s an obstacle course in a pool of mud and the hunt is on for hidden immunity idols. Hooray – last season they waited ages before showing any idol hunting and it was really annoying.
So, one down, a million episodes to go. What did you think of the premiere? I’m so glad there seem to be more people on this season who are familiar with the show, although of course at least half the cast is yet to get any meaningful air time.

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Ah, another bunch of willing suckers, I mean, contestants, getting stuck on a tropical paradise somewhere in the South Pacific, all manipulating and lying to each other for the chance to win the prize money (a buck fifty, with today’s economy).

I just hope they learned some lessons from last year. The first season started well and ended with a bang, but the middle third was just bad production and boring players (including the school-yard pick twist, which just ruined one team right from the start). Lord willing, everybody’s learned their lesson from that.

Bring it on.


Oh hello J Lap. You’re looking studlier than last year. Meanwhile, the second Jericho’s occupation flashed up as, “Flight Attendant”, my first thought was, yep, there’s the gay one. Apparently Peter is too. I hope at the merge they get together and have crazy make-out sessions on the beach. What?

Wow, they’re trying to kill the contestants right from the first episode.

Is it me, or is there a lot of very hairy contestants this season? Half these people look like they should be in a hair salon advertisement. Although Jarrad’s long locks are particularly enchanting.

Carole Morrissey

Yeah there seem to a lot with long hair. Last year there were a lot wearing glasses. There was a tribal council & nearly all of them had glasses on.


It’s going to be a race to see who gets voted out first!!! A few worthy contenders!


Luke is acting all freewheeling and brave… gonna vote for who he wants… NOT the 2 weakest players. “I’m turning man!” The phrase is “I’m flipping” idiot!

And Joan describing herself as she lists reasons why Kent should be voted out.


I kind of like Luke’s laid-back personality, and I think he’s the guy who you can never tell if he’s serious or not, but I’m not sure his approach to the game (or, indeed, life. Did you hear him describe what he’d like to do with the prize money?) will win him many fans.


Maybe he will grow on me… ?


I didn’t think that claiming she did the (failed) puzzle was a good recommendation.


If you have watched this show many times, as I’m sure you would if you are going to be on it, you would know that you would have a target on your back if you couldn’t compete in challenges! So to be short, fat, old or delusional… don’t be surprised to be the 1st or 2nd voted out.


I saw that model on one of the reality modelling shows. Izobel2 and Pandy will remember her. I think it was the Aussie series with Naomi Cammbell.

Carole Morrissey

Thanks Juz.
So that guy pretending to be a yoga instructor, I hope he learnt some yoga positions before coming on the show. He may be expected to do some classes so it will backfire on him if he doesn’t have a clue.
Fancy having a tie on the first tribal council. I know there’s been lots of ties in the US version, but can’t remember it happening at the first tribal.


Thanks for the recap Juz, it was a great first ep.
JLap looks much more comfortable in the host position this year, much better questions at tribal etc.
Not really surprised that Joan was booted, unfair to put it all down to the puzzle makers but i guess at this early stage you just have to have someone to pick on.


I think that Joan had annoyed a few people already so not solving the puzzle was an good excuse to ditch her.


Luke was a dickhead last night. So he is going to let his ego rule? just because he didn’t like someone else calling shots , he decides his play on that? it’s not really a strategy. I am glad it didn’t work because useless Ken does good narration.
In fact I prefer his narration to what’s his face the host. I find his voice a bit annoying. A bit harsh on my ears. Or is that because he played the narcissistic doctor in Love Child?


It kinda looked to me like everyone was “as long as its not me” and happy for someone else to call the shots…


Erin, the smart ones know not to stick their head out.


This was my thoughts, they were happy for Sam (is that her name… short one with the hat?) to make decisions takes the heat off them…
Luke will get booted sooner of later for being too unpredictable sooner or later.


I think he’s just there to have fun with no strategy other than that.


Loki Luke: “Hey guys, no one is going to tell us what to do, so here’s what we are going to do. just do as I say”. Hmmm. I think Luke is going to be a pain in the bum.


I think Luke is likely to be this season’s spanner-in-the-works. Either they’ll figure it out early (and wasn’t the expression on Sam’s face hilarious when there was a tie and it all went south?) and move to be rid of him early, or they’ll all have to start working around him. “Here’s the plan and our contingency for Luke’s shenanigans is x, y and z…”

I was really impressed with both teams’ resident alpha male, Mark the ex-special forces guy, and Locky (who one of the girls described as the product of a union between a rugged forest and a towering mountain).

And it’s always interesting, this early in the game, to look at all the contestants (some of whom have had exactly zero screentime so far) and think, which one of you makes it to the end?

Carole Morrissey

I’m trying to remember how they started last year. Didn’t they have 3 tribes? Or did they start with 2 & reshuffle them later? I remember they’d reshuffle them every couple of episodes. It got a bit ridiculous.


Last year they started with 3, they had a crazy switch of two tribe members from only 2 of the tribes… then went down to 2 tribes (in a bad school yard pick reshuffle – i pray they have learnt from that), then merged.
This year i think lots will be expecting them to maybe go to 3, back to 2, then merge, but i think they’ll just switch around the 2 tribes a couple of times.


Didn’t rate well last night unfortunately. Thou never did well on Sunday nights against The Block room reveals. Also the fact that it doesn’t start until 7.30pm wouldn’t help – I’m sure there are lots of “I’ll just watch the first 1/2 hour of The Block (or whatever is on 7) and switch over”, only to get sucked in – this was me last night – i taped Survivor, figured it was better to watch the show that would start and finish first…


We did the opposite because there is universal appeal in this house about Survivor, but only some want The Block. We will be recording the Block encores the next day. We haven’t watched the last several seasons, so it will be a matter of watching the first few eps and then deciding if it is worth continuing with.
I enjoyed the premiere of Survivor, and I am looking forward to seeing how the contestants develop.

brain dead dave

How tough is Aimee the plumber? In the first immunity challenge she ‘s fallen from at least five feet flat on her back and barely batted an eyelid. That’s exactly the kind of grit I want to see in a reality tv contestant.

I don’t have much regard for the guy who lied about cooking the rice and the fake Yoga Instructor.


I thought being a yoga instructor was a really weird lie to tell. I would understand the SAS guy or the adventurer lying about their jobs but it just seemed odd that hhe would hide being a labourer and choose yoga instructor as his pretend job.


Great first episode, but as usual at the beginning of the season there are far too many players. I remember last year Jenna Louise and El not even barely getting a look in until very near the end. And Kate all but forgotten if not for boily armpit. Joan made a goose of herself putting her hand up for puzzles more or less the first day – I am not a Survivor Superfan but it seems like the smart option to calmly remain a middle packer until you really know who your allies are and you’re a couple of challenges down. Don’t make yourself known or accountable for any blame by being the best OR the worst at something. After all that’s how Kristy pulled a Bradbury last year.