Episode 15 – ‘Get a Grip on that Pole’ OR ‘Show Us Your Pink Bits’

I’m not going to beg you, but if you want to check out my analysis of episode 14 before you dive into episode 15, you can do that here.

It really was very nice of J-LaP to give me a shout-out tonight, thanks brother
Merge is here and in the words of Robert Pollard “now the fun begins”. Not that we haven’t been having fun for the past 33 days, but as we all know, the games shifts post-merge and tonight was as good an indication as any of how crazy things can get once it becomes even more of an individual game. And with a thirteen person tribe (the largest in Survivor history) things are even a little crazier than usual. What better place to start our discussion than with Sam’s ‘good kid’, Conner.

Fall-out Boy (think about it, that works on so many levels, I’m quite proud of myself)

Barely hanging in there…
Conner was loved by many and in turns made us both smile and cringe. His mixture of youthful naivety, and puppy-dog playfulness, and earnestness in the face of unfamiliarity brought him many a fan. Unfortunately, while he was the New Kid On The Block, he did not have The Right Stuff….baby. His failure to pull together any sort of alliance in this episode saw him come undone. We all know however that this wasn’t the only failing that led to his downfall. Aside from turning on Bianca back in episode 2 (had he not done that Saanapu would have been very different) I would argue that his exploits in episode 5 when he tried to turn the tables on Flick and call some people out on their duplicities really sowed the seeds for his departure tonight. He never really recovered any ground in the eyes of the original Pu, and while I don’t think they necessarily were out for revenge, they knew he was volatile and his unpredictability could destroy their games. He struggled to find his feet after being exiled to Vavau in episode 5, finally finding what looked to be a solid two with Kate in episode 14 (who should forget that trust ceremony, nawww). Well that was over before the honeymoon had even begun! We didn’t see either of the newlyweds have a family meeting and try and balance the family budget. Conner’s crucifixion isn’t all his own baby-jesus faced fault.

What the Hell Vavau?

So let me get this straight, Sue, Conner, Kate and Kristie voted Matt, Nick, Kylie and Conner respectively? And Saanapu voted exactly to their suggested five-four split? So much for Kate’s “We need to get the good guys together, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!” What were Vavau hoping to gain from voting individually? We saw a glimmer of game in Sue when she said something like ‘I’m not happy about it and I’m going to do something about it’, I was thinking ‘about time, what magic are we going to see from Nanna’, and she didn’t do shit. Very disappointing. How they voted aside, we didn’t really see them scramble at all. All we saw was Conner try and talk to Sam. He couldn’t do that the way he wanted to, then effectively just said ‘oh well’ and shrugged his shoulders. Maybe he was coming down after all that sugar. Given he didn’t get the pre-tribal conversations he was hoping for I thought that we’d at least see a last ditch effort from him to blow shit up at tribal and drop some truth bombs about Nick (which we expect would have backfired anyway given he has an idol), but he just lay down, even through a J-LaP grilling. J-LaP gave him every opportunity to stir shit up and out Nick (I would even argue J-LaP went too far with it), but he just seemed, much like the jesus he apparently resembles, like a dead man walking.

Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up

“socially, strategically, economically, spiritually”…there’s no denying the man can rap.
What were these guys doing for 3 days after the merge that they didn’t get a sense of where the tensions lay in Saanapu? They could have and should have been spending time figuring out where they could drive a wedge or split a seam or plant a seed or frack the Murray-Darling basin that is Saanapu. I was pretty confident that once we hit the merge we would see a coup against Nick. We’ve seen plenty of times in Survivor when a tribe hasn’t been to tribal for a while, they almost relish being able to finally do so, just so that they can get the person out who has been shitting them for so long. Nick is that person. Earlier in the episode when he kind of started calling the shots (more on this in a bit) I thought to myself ‘wow, what has he done to be able to turn things around for and really ingratiate himself into this tribe’. Shortly after that we got about three or four snippets of conversation or pieces to camera with Saanapuans revealing they think he is a snake and want him gone. Why then did they go for Conner? I guess Conner has proven himself to be flaky, whereas Nick on the other hand, actually hasn’t shown anything concrete to them in terms of flakiness. Yeah he comes off as shady, but unlike C-dog he hasn’t actually done anything shady. I mentioned above that he was calling the shots so to speak, but that was only after asking The Pu what they wanted to do. He then just told them how to do it.

Good Game

So far I’ve talked a lot about the shite gameplay this episode, but did we see anything good? Hmmm, the strongest player that comes to mind is Brooke. Brooke is someone that has slowly but surely worked her way into a solid position in this game over the last couple of weeks. Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to be invited to contribute to my favourite Australian Survivor podcast to discuss the season thus far (you can listen on Soundcloud and iTunes) and Brooke was certainly someone who was brought up as a possible end game player in that discussion. This was confirmed this episode when not only did she win immunity, we saw her involved in all of the major conversations, either there organically because she had grown alliances with the right people, or inserting herself into conversations that weren’t hers to be in to make sure shit didn’t go awry (possibly the most awkward conversation we’ve seen so far). Gold star for robot girl (to bastardise Robert Pollard).

Where to from here?

The happy family?
With twelve people left in the game I am not going to run through possible moves for every player. As I mentioned in my analysis of the previous episode the best thing for anyone to do so early in the post-merge and with so many players in the game, is to lay low and let the tall poppies stick their necks out (#analogymashup #beenlisteningtoandrewtoomuch). Admittedly, there has been a show of solidarity from Saanapu in the first vote, but surely, the cracks have to appear eventually. As viewers we can see those Saanapu crack, I’d imagine that Vavau will see those Saanapu cracks before too long. If they don’t become visible by themselves, a pointed question or two from Sue will elucidate them.

Other Points of Interest

Nick has an idol. Lee has an advantage. How these came about was interesting. We had the classic Survivor auction. A Survivor staple. Though I’ve never seen it with 13 players before. Usually in these cases we see players fall over themselves to try and get the advantage/s from the auction. Tonight was the opposite. Lee’s advantage was probably the cheapest auction advantage in Survivor history at $80. Nick really protested upon discovering what he had bought was an advantage. I guess it comes down to where in the season the auction is. At this stage, people don’t wan’t to be seen to have an advantage because they don’t want to have targets on their backs. In the past when we’ve seen auctions and they have been later in the game, advantages are more advantageous, you need something to get you through just one more tribal. Regardless, Nick’s advantage is an idol clue and he really wastes no time in finding that idol. Lee catches him looking and Nick is left with no choice but to involve Lee in the looking. At this point I wondered if maybe Nick thought both their advantages were clues to the same idol and they had to race to get it. After finding it he shares it with Lee. I’m not convinced that this was a good move. To me it looked like he had an opportunity to pocket it without Lee knowing. He could then have kept looking and Lee could back up his story that he hadn’t found it. He could have continued to share the clue with his alliance (gaining their trust) and kept looking. I’m not sure how long one could keep this up for though. Either way, he’s got an idol, I can’t wait to see how he uses (or misuses) it. I’m sure he said he was going to share it with his alliance but I don’t think I actually saw him tell anyone but Lee he had it. Maybe I missed a scene, you can correct me in the comments below.

Lee’s advantage is a little more interesting in that it is not so common. Though we’ve seen this advantage in previous seasons, I think we’re yet to see it used effectively. Unfortunately with it being in Lee’s hands, it looks like we may not see that this season either. I’d be happy to be proven wrong and to watch Lee use it to bowl a maiden over. I’m hoping that maiden is Flick.

Pink bracelets. Actually I think the less said about that the better.

Now that Saanapu has Conner out of their system I’m really interested to see how the individual game shakes down and maybe see what some of these sleeper players in Lee, El, and JL, and even Matt can do. Sammy’s a fuggin’ write off. I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Episode 16 analysis here!

Episode 10 – ‘Dish Best Served Cold…’ OR ‘Humble Pie’

Want to check out the analysis of the previous episode before you continue? Do so here.

Kat joins the ‘Overthrown Benevolent Dictators’ Club. Say hello to Kevin Rudd for me.
Another delicious episode served. Let’s go ahead and digest it. It looks like I’ll be writing the word ‘Phoebe’ a lot again tonight. Firstly, how great was Phoebe’s opening piece to camera, admitting that she had been stupid and blind not to see Kat’s backflip, eating a big old slice of humble pie. This was in stark contrast to Kat’s behavior tonight, which was the opposite of eating humble pie. That’s right, regurgitating conceited sandwich. She was just throwing that shit up left, right and centre. I haven’t witnessed so much bile since Stephen Fischbach’s #SevereGastrointestinalDistress. C’mon Kat, I must have said it at least three times already this season, when you are blinkered by revenge and emotions, you get blindsided. Obviously Kat hasn’t been listening to me. I guess she doesn’t have wifi on island. Now Phoebe has distanced herself from the sceptic projectiles Kat is spewing she at least seems in a slightly better position than at the end of last episode. Let’s breakdown just how she made it through yet another tribal.

Clueless, or Batgirl?

WIth an idol in her hands she bedevils playthings… (No, we’re not off to a good start are we?)

Phoebe must have done a lot of things right tonight, though some of them certainly seem questionable. Firstly, she found the idol. It’s about time we had someone proactive about finding the idol. Desperate times called for desperate measures and Phoebe certainly rose to the challenge. Great work. What about telling Kat and Kristie though that she had it? pheo idol works.gif
I almost shat myself when she did that. After what Kat had done to her last tribal, and after Phoebe telling us that ‘Kat is dead to me’ I was shocked that she would even consider telling Kat she had the idol. We know now that she voted against Kat, but I’m not convinced that she had already decided to do that when she told Kat about the idol. We did see a scene with Phoebe and Craig where Craig had told both Phoebs and Kristie that he would let them know which way old Vavau was voting. Perhaps that’s a scene we didn’t see and this happened before she told Kat about the idol. (Incidentally how beautiful was it to watch Craig switch it up in that scene once Andy appeared? Andy’s BS radar must have been playing up because if that was me mine would have been bing bing binging more than Hector Salamanca!hector.gif). If she had made that decision before telling Kat about the idol, then this may have been a really smart way to dissuade Kat from voting against her, with minimal repercussions as when Kat goes so does one more person who knows/suspects that Phoebs has an idol. Fark it’s risky though. You can’t herd a Kat. My sense is that Phoebs told those women about the idol moments before heading to tribal, not allowing Kat to use that knowledge in some other way.

There’s also the possibility that Phoebs switched her vote to Kat after hearing what Kat had to say at the tribal, that she had approached Vavau and had told them she was with them. If this is the case though it would seem like potentially a throw away vote if no-one else is voting Kat, unless of course Phoebs decides to play her idol, which she doesn’t. I suspect it’s more likely that Craig told her that the play was against Kat, or she found out some other way. Conner? Did Andy tell her to sure himself up for his Craig coup? I’d like to think that Phoebs was gunning for Kat from the moment Kat wrote Roh’s name down last tribal. If so, damn girl that was stone cold! What a way to serve your revenge! I guess we’ll never know the mechanics behind Phoebe’s move, but it’s fun to speculate.

Kat Gets Creamed

I’ll let you caption this one yourself. I’m not going there…
After the shenanigans of last tribal it was pretty clear that old Vavau just wanted to use Kat to split up RohBe and flush an idol and then they would be done with her. If Kat was ever going to make it through another tribal she needed to do more post-RohGo than preen, prance, and crow around camp. Not only was it not becoming of her to her tribe mates, but it actually doesn’t achieve anything. Things may have been different had the tribal not flushed the idol. Old Vavau may still have had a use for her then. If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts then Kat may still be surviving. I don’t know that there’s actually anything she could have done to save herself tonight short of using Phoebs idol against her, but it seems she was not given the opportunity to do that. I would actually argue that her biggest downfall was not knowing what was going on around camp and generally feeling she was safe and in with Old Vavau. Some tribe awareness would have gone a long way tonight. If she had even the slightest hint that votes were coming her way she could have at least made a scene at tribal, outed Phoebs as having the idol and maybe, just maybe, she could have deflected some votes. Perhaps Andy really was a solid plan B for Craig and Kat, and dropping such a bomb might actually spook them enough to enact plan B. ‘Ifs’ & ‘buts’ huh? Was Andy really on the chopping block though?

Animal Man

Will tomorrow night’s episode serve up some Andy steak?
Though I usually don’t like to discuss the show itself and the editing, preferring mainly to focus on the gameplay, one couldn’t tonight escape the rough treatment Andy was getting. According to who you ask on any given day the man is a shark, a rat, a sly-dog, a sloth or a snake with the personality of a fish. The man is a walking fucking menagerie. We also learned that when Andy suits up to ‘get down to business’ he puts on his hat. Just what fucking job does this man do where he needs a special business hat?! If I were more talented here is where I would post a photo of am Andy-faced rat wearing a hat and shooting fish in a barrel. Unfortunately I’m not that talented so you’ll just have to use your imagination. For those that have none, trust me, it’s a fucking hilarious image. Anyhow, whether he just dodged a bullet tonight or not, it appears that not everyone is as down with Andy as we first thought. Perhaps he ain’t playing the under the radar game as much as he suspects. In my experience rat-faced sly dog snake shark emus generally don’t blend in to the background. His name was thrown around a lot. First by Kate. I can’t get a read on Kate, was this her attempt at employing some strategy? Craig does a great job of listening to her and telling her what an awesome idea she has had, but I don’t think we see the idea of booting Andy discussed with anyone else other than Aganoans, which leads me to believe that this was a red herring for Kat, and for the audience. What we’re left with though is a pissed off Andy, and that is one particular zoological oddity that I would not want to mess with. Again, if Andy’s smart, and fuck knows he’s told us often enough that he is, he will not let those emotions get in the way of his strategy. Though I’m all for getting rid of people who want you gone, I don’t think that Kristie actually has the power to do so. He’s much better off taking the opportunity now to strike against Craig if that is his main target. If he doesn’t move soon Craig is going to scoop up Kristie and Phoebs and use them for his own purposes, of which we are sadly unaware. What would Phoebe and Kristie’s (Phistie?) best course of action now be?

Phistie of Phury

I suspect that now that Kristie has lost her Kat (a real shame for me as I wanted them to hook up with Kate so that I could use ‘KKKlan’) what is she likely to do? Well she has told us in the past just how dubious she is of trusting Phoebe, and she should be even more so now that she contributed to voting out Kat (although Kristie might not actually know that, and if I were Phoebe I wouldn’t be telling her). But she may not have many other options. imageWe have seen Kristie try and bond with Kate and given their personalities the alliance is not inconceivable, in fact it may actually be a great move for them. Especially if the two of them can somehow get Conner, who in my mind and the mind of Andy is a floater. The three of them could then be quite the power trio (please tell me your suggestion for power trio names in the comments below, all I’m coming up with is Nirvana and we know how that turned out), and I’m sure Kristie could find some way to leverage her knowledge of Phoebe’s idol. Either in recruiting Phoebs, or outing it’s existence to Old Vavau to create a new target. Phoebs may actually choose to tell Kristie that the idol was all a ruse to get Kristie to board her train. Though I suspect that such a move would actually only reinforce in Kristie the idea that Phoebe is dangerous and not to be trusted and will work against Phoebe in the long run. Unless of course Phoebe’s move now is to shift the target to Kristie so that she can see out another tribal and get one step closer to the merge. Whatever that case we can see there are a plethora of options for Phistie and I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with.

So what about Conner and Kate?

As mentioned above, if they can get together they can actually have some power in this tribe. They’re both reasonable at challenges and it seems no one has anything against them. I think the best move for them is to a) hook up, and then b) just sit back and let the rest of Vavau come to them. You’ve got Phistie looking for some foothold to stay in the tribe, and you’ve got Andy on the hunt for his big game. Sit back and let those two sides plus Craig come to you, and then assess your options. There are pros and cons for all of those and going down that particular rabbit hole is too much of a head spin for me this late at night. I have to get sleep at some stage. Tell me what you think.

Hand on the Rung (please singalong to the Paul McCartney & Wings song ‘Band on the Run’ or I’ve just wasted a pun)

This is what happens when you rely on google for all your jokes…
Just a quick note regarding tonight’s immunity challenge before I go. Damn that looked like a fun challenge. Great to see Matt and Nick working together on the rung puzzle, can’t wait to see which of these two win puzzle wars once the merge happens. Whenever I’ve seen this particular type of puzzle on Survivor in the past I’ve always wondered why nobody does the puzzle outside of the frame first. At least tonight it sounded like Craig had the same idea. Perhaps they’re not allowed to.

Until tomorrow night’s episode of ‘Everybody Hates Andy’, I got nothing else for you. Head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Episode 11 analysis here!

Episode 8 – ‘Stray Kat Strut’ OR ‘Sitting Duck Flap’

If you’re yet to read the analysis of the previous episode, then much like Nick said to JL, “maybe you should look it up” here.

An episode without a tribal council would usually mean little to talk about, in this case it actually means we could potentially talk all night. Unfortunately I try to have some sort of life outside of Survivor (otherwise I’d find myself divorced, again), so rather than run through what this shake up means for each of our top eighteen players, I’ll just focus on a few of the major players.

Merge & Purge

I am very disappointed they didn’t let the tribes come up with their own new names…what the shit?!
So it came as no surprise that the big twist that was coming tonight was the merge from three tribes to two. Once J-LaP announced that the tribes weren’t playing for immunity it was pretty clear that the advantage was the ability to choose your tribe. I don’t want to analyse The Pu’s choices too much as my gut feeling is that no matter how you use that advantage there will be pros and cons. Especially when you are put on the spot, you’re never going to be able to compare and contrast every possible tribe permutation. I guess it seemed smart enough for The Pu to go with a mix of ex-Pu, strength for challenges and someone who would be easy to shaft.

Nick’s shit list

Nick really is feeling bitter about the way he was booted from Vavau. While I’m a big believer in doing whatever you can to get rid of the people that want you gone, I do also believe that if you let your emotions blinker your vision in the game, you can be more easily blindsided. I’m not sure exactly what he was trying to do by pulling JL aside for a chat, but with Nick being Nick, it was never going to end happily. Did make for some fun television though. So what does Nick need to do from here to extend his life in the tribe? Well, as long as he sticks with the pre-merge Pu he should be safe for at least one tribal, if they choose to get rid of JL. I don’t see him having much life past that though. The way things are I suspect that move would see him on the bottom of the remaining eight. If he is to stick around any longer than this he needs to start looking for cracks in the original Pu. Though JL could be a number that he could use to help him switch up the numbers in Pu, I think it is just too dangerous to keep her around, she hates him too much. Given that (we know) Brick doesn’t want Matt long term, and Matt has already shown that he is wary of Flick (though it seems currently that he believes is comfortable with his Angels, more on that later) perhaps he can wriggle into that crack. Regardless which road he takes I am interested to see just what he is going to do to stick around. He will need to shake things up at some stage, and being Nick, I’m sure he will.


Where to for JL though? Wow, I don’t know. Unfortunately she has already burned the Nick bridge. While we don’t know much about their dynamic when they where in Vavau together, I think JL actually had an opportunity here to buddy up to Nick, shift the blame for the Nick vote onto one of the other Vavauans. Of course emotions and pride got in the way of smart play and it didn’t pan out that way. Now she’s between a rock and Rohan’s abs. Maybe she could hook up with Brick? Brooke sounds a little hurt that Matt got his way and they kept Nick instead of Teags, so maybe if JL went to Brick they might let JL take the place that Teags was to have. Though we know that that particular place was only ever going to be temporary, I guess it’s a start for her. I just can’t see what JL’s move is. Have you any ideas?


There’s reason we barely saw Charlie in Charlie’s Angels, he was a douche…
Matt, Matt, Matt… We had such high hopes for you. I’m hoping you can still turn it around but every episode it seems you just show us less and less.

“Roll up, roll up and watch the strategy disappear right before your very eyes!”

Dude, please get back with Sammy, actually work him properly rather than just buddy him. Get Lee and Maybe El on your side and break up Brick. For someone who makes a living with misdirection, it seems that you’re not realising that you yourself are being misdirected, by bosom. My Dad used to say “if you’re going to go out you might as well go out smiling” (that’s a lie, my Dad never actually said that, mostly he just said “give that Survivor shit a rest and get into a real sport, like drinking”). That was a cheap shot, both at my Dad and at Matt. We don’t even know, or care, if Matt is a fan of the bosom. What we do know is that it looks like he thinks he has his shit on lock with those women and if that IS what he is thinking, not only is he mistaken, but he doesn’t deserve the title of Survivor. Brick has already fought against him and he knows it, he just seems to have a short memory.

El to the Lee

Of all of the players in The New Pu I would argue that Lee and El are in the best position. All they need to do is sit back and let people come to them and assess what their best move is from there. I hope for their sake that they realise this. If you think I’m wrong about this, please let me know what I’m not seeing in the comments.

Have a Break, have a KateKat.

Kat got game bitches! Finally she has an opportunity to get her claws out and start playing this game. And don’t she just look like the Kat that got the cream? I would argue that Kate is in a very similar situation to Kat, kind of on the outside of the core alliance, with little she could do in her old tribe. Merge holds a lot of potential for KateKat, as long as they can identify those in the new Vavau who also need some direction, they can scoop them up and get some numbers. It would only take for KateKat to scoop Conner, Roh, and maybe Andrew and the game would really be shaken up. Phoebe’s and Craig’s pre-merge position of power would be made more impotent than a quadriplegic eunuch. I think Kat has it in her to do this, I’m less convinced that Kate does though. Kat would need to take the lead in that duo, which looks like it is the case from what we’ve seen so far. Whatever the case, Vavau is primed for a big shake-up.


craig delicious
Much like vegetable crudités, this scene was delicious.
Without JL, Craig has a lot of work to do to secure his life in the tribe. I suspect what he’ll try and do is boost his alliance of three (He, Andy and Sue) to one of five by drawing in perhaps Conner and Kate. We know however that that is not going to work as Andy is gunning for him. Does he suspect that? I don’t know. I get the feeling that Andy has done a pretty good job of maintaining Craig’s sense of security. For some reason in my mind’s eye I see him teaming up with Phoebs, they just seem like a good couplet. For now I might just stop speculating on Craig’s move as a lot could depend on what he does with that idol clue. I would suggest that he find that idol ASAP without letting anyone know about the clue, then he can start plotting what will work for him. Like I said, interesting times ahead at Vavau. I need to point out here how happy I was to see a clue in that buffet. As I said in the previous post, that has been sorely lacking in Survivor up until now, and though we didn’t see any players proactively looking for a clue in the banquet (I’m looking at you Andy!), it was still good to see that promise of the Vavau idol reappear in a classic Survivor way.


This switch-up is something of a stitch-up for Phoebs. Having lost her core alliance in El, I’m not quite sure what she is left with. At least she knows that Roh has the idol and she can use this information as leverage in a few ways. Firstly, she could bury the hatchet with Roh and she can use the idol vicariously through him to keep herself safe. I’m not sure that Roh is going to go for that, but at the moment it doesn’t seem like he has much else. Or she can try and form an alliance outside of Aganoa, bringing Kristie with her, and throw some shade at Roh from that side, convincing them that they need to flush his idol. There’s a lot of options here for her. None of them seem particularly strong to me. If ever there was a time to work your magic Phoebe and start bringing the social game that we suspect you have in line with your strategic game, and weasel yourself into something with old Vavau now is the time.

At a loss for words, and allies.
Rohan, you’re in even more dire straits, though at least you have an idol. My thinking is that the best thing for you to do is start looking for where the cracks are in old Vavau and choosing someone to align with, and showing them your idol to solidify trust. Can’t wait to see how this shakes down. Having two hidden immunity idols in one tribe is going to be epic!


Keep on rocking brother, you’re in a good spot at the moment. Pick your alliance wisely and you’ll take down Craig. Just don’t tip your hand man, or he’ll whip out his idol. Best thing you can do now is show Craig you’re still strong with him so that he’ll either warn you about his idol, or he’ll never see you coming. Like when JL is “wearing it”, sharkskin looks good on you.

Yep, that was a long one. After that, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Check out Episode 9 discussion here!


Episode 7 – ‘Telling Whoppers’ OR ‘Would You Like Lies With That?’

If you missed my analysis of the previous episode, you can get into it here.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.48.35 PM
The Last Saanapu. We expect a merge tomorrow!

How Now less-Brown Vavau?

Before we get into The Pu, last post I said I was interested to see what was going to go down in Vavau now that Andy has shown the audience his hand in terms of flipping on his alliance and eliminating Craig. We got to see a little more of this at the start of the episode. He finally actually starts putting his plan into action with step one, talking to Conner and Sam, who quite wisely, seem to be just hanging back and waiting for the tribe to come to them. We also see Kate doing the same thing, though for mine this was done a little more subtly, but actually less convincingly. If I were Sam and Conner I’m not sure which of the two I might align with. Given the way that Andy approached them I would imagine that their impression of Andy could be that he is a strategic mind. Though Kate was a lot more subtle, she for mine gave off a very ‘maybe’ vibe when she spoke to them, I would have less confidence that she is willing to go with me and also less confidence that she has any power to do anything. So in one way they are in a good position, if they can work it to have both Kate and Andy vote their way then suddenly they have the numbers to flip it and vote Craig, Sue, or Jennah-Louise. Do Craig, Sue and Jennah-Lousie have any clue what is happening in the background? I guess time will tell. I’m glad they didn’t go to tribal yet, I’m happy to watch this particular boil fester more so that when it finally pops, everybody ends up with mess on their face. Speaking of…

Armpit of Despair

This post wouldn’t be complete without some mention of Vavau’s honorary eighth member, Violent Femme. The blister in the sun. To be honest this whole section took up way too much airtime for my taste. This would have been ok had Kate gone home, but instead things happened differently.

Pu in a Pickle

All eyes on Nick. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Pu’s physical weakness since losing Sam and Conner was evidenced by them losing the immunity challenge despite Nick’s best efforts, and being sent to tribal. Unsurprisingly, this led to us seeing Nick scramble to keep his head above water. He comes up with a two pronged plan. Prong A, leverage the fact that he has been valuable around camp and in challenges. Prong B, convince the rest of the tribe to split the vote to flush the idol, and send the other vote Tegan’s way. To me this was unexpected as we’d heard in the lead up to this that Nick thought Teags was his strongest ally. Good play though. He clearly saw that the threesome of Brick and Matt were not going to be split up (though I’m surprised that Flick still trusts Matt given he voted against her two tribals ago), and with Kylie having an idol, it came down to he and Tegan. So he had little choice but to throw her under the pus, er bus. Kylie once again showed that she really isn’t or can’t play a strategic game. Perhaps her strategy was just use her idol to get through to merge and start from scratch. If so, it worked. Hopefully for her she can actually form an alliance tomorrow when we see the three tribes merge into two (unless we see another crazy twist).


Unlike Nick, Tegan ingratiates herself into her tribe by playing a social game. Since episode one I and many others both in game and out have said that Nick was overplaying it. Tonight we saw how just how striking the contrast between Nick’s overplaying and Tegan’s underplaying (?) is. I was watching thinking that this would work in Tegan’s favour. How wrong I was. But just because I was wrong doesn’t mean that Pu was right. Was this the right move or the wrong move for The Pu? Let’s compare the pros and cons of keeping Nick against the pros and cons of keeping Tegan. If you keep Nick, it’s possible that post-merge he is a bigger target, which takes a vote off you for at least one tribal. However, strategically it could be argued that Nick actually is a bigger threat. You know he’s going to stop at nothing to get as far as he can. And while I’ve said before that there is no way that he will win the game, he only needs to make it through one tribal more than Matt or Brick for it to be proven a bad move for them.

nick grope
Footage of Nick explaining why he would want to keep Tegan around.
If you keep Tegan, then arguably you could be more comfortable that she is not going to do something unpredictable and maybe you can actually have an alliance with her. Other than Nick she has no-one else in the game, so once Nick goes she is easy for Matt and Brick to bring into the fold as a tight number. Perhaps they thought though that if this were the case she would recognise that she was on the bottom of that particular four and try and find a way to flip it. What’s more likely, and more stupid, is that they kept Nick because he is better at challenges and they can’t afford to lose another challenge. Well, that backfired now that the three tribes are about to merge into two. Sure, they didn’t know that a merge was coming, but they fuggin should have! History tells us that in seasons with three tribes, they will generally merge into two once the number of players remaining is two more than would be in two tribes. In this case, 8 per tribe plus two, which is where we’re at. The fact that nobody is (seemingly) talking or thinking about when the merge will come is disappointing to me.

Whopper Clue-nior?

burger cheers
Disappointing too is that no-one in Vavau looks for an idol clue in their reward. Vavau is the only  tribe who haven’t found their camp’s hidden immunity idol. As this is the last reward before merge this would be the perfect opportunity to hide the clue somewhere in the reward. It’s great for hungry Jack’s too, as it would result in lot’s of close-ups of their product and packaging. Anyway I’m not going to tell you how to do your job channel ten, and I understand that if you’re hungry and malnourished and seeing a burger for the first time in weeks, then looking for clues might not be top of mind. It’s easy for me to sit on my comfy couch with a bellyful of bratwurst and sauerkraut and judge Vavau for not thinking game instead of food. Still…FUCKING HELL HAVE ANY OF THESE MORONS ACTUALLY WATCHED SURVIVOR? That’s enough ranting from me, I’ve got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Get your analysis of Episode 8 here! 

Episode 6 – ‘Exposing Cracks & Licking Rope’ OR ‘Pack Your Ba(g)z’

If you want to catch up on my analysis of last week’s episodes, you can do so here.

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The only non-white colour disappears from Craig’s “eclectic box of crayons”

After the twists and turns of the last three episodes, it was a welcome relief to have an episode free of surprises and audience blindsides. Not only did it make things easier for my fragile, sleep deprived sensitivities, but it also meant that we finally got to see some gameplay in the Vavau tribe, which has been sorely lacking in the series up until this episode.

Conner & Sam

With Conner and Sam deported to Vavau, I thought we’d see some more of the Conner hustle. Him understanding that he is on the wrong side of the numbers, trying desperately to shake things up to keep himself alive in the game. Whether by design or by default, we didn’t see that from him, and that really worked in his favour. As I was watching things play out on camp, and with it initially looking like Conner was going to go, I started thinking whether Conner had made the right move in bringing Sam over. sam-conner.gifI think I understand why he did it, because at the point that he had to make that decision Sam was arguably his closest ally in the game. It just made me think that it may have been prudent to bring over someone that was going to be less of an asset to Vavau than Sam is. Regardless of whether or not it was his best move, I can’t really judge his decision harshly. He was forced to make a snap decision without any forewarning, you’d have to go with your gut in that situation. As I was saying though, I thought it was smart of him not to try and hustle as I suspect that would surely have led to him being voted out tonight. Vavau just got rid of a big strategic player in Nick, they don’t want to replace him with another one in Conner. Had they seen any hint of this in Conner, there’s no doubt he would have been given the boot. Instead, Conner played the ‘please keep me around, I will be an asset and be in your debt’ card. A move which in the past I would have thought had no hope of having any influence whatsoever, but here seems to have actually kept him in the game. It certainly seemed like before he made this speech he would be going home tonight. He sincerely worked those naive little puppy dog eyes and it paid big dividends, with the tribe ultimately sending Baz packing. But was this a good move for the tribe? More on that below. Sam, does nothing, and that works out just fine for him. I’m disappointed in Sam. All we saw was him try and find out what was going on through Kate, arguably the least ‘in the know’ member of old Vavau. Sam, it’s about time we actually started seeing some gameplay from you…

The Great White Shark


As we’ve suspected all along, Andrew got game! Firstly, we see him casually talking with every member of his tribe today. It’s pretty clear to astute observers looking at these relationships that his social game is strong, something that I was worried about as we haven’t really seen evidence of this before. But we also get some meaningful face time, where we learn that he is a shark and Craig is his prey. While I’m watching this I’m thinking ‘YES!’ we are finally seeing the emergence of his strategy, but at the same time I’m yelling at the screen “NOT YET ANDREW!!!”. There was no way that a move against Craig was going to work this early. Especially when everybody is already feeling conflicted about Barry vs Conner. I think I can see what he was thinking, that there’s some new blood and some new numbers here, maybe he can use those to his advantage. Smartly, he assesses where this move would sit with his current alliance before talking to Conner and Sam. Double smartly and doubly smart, when Sue warns him against voting off Craig, he drops it.

cheeky craig
“You wanna start some shit boy? Didn’t think so…”

I am interested about Sue knowing that he was going to talk Craig, makes me think there have been some conversations there that we’ve not been privy to. There’s obviously a lot more going on in this four than we’ve been led to believe. Perhaps there was more discussion leading up to the Nick vote than we were shown. I guess when you haven’t gone to tribal for two weeks, you can’t help but start running multiple scenarios in your head and this may be evidence that Andrew has started to form an alliance within that core alliance of four. Clearly much smarter than Matt’s effort last week, who showed us he had not even thought of a plan B. Damn I hope Vavau go to tribal tomorrow night so that I can see more of this. I should point out though that I don’t really see why Andrew thinks Craig is a threat. I can see why Nick was, Craig not so much. I guess it will become apparent once we see some more of Craig in action.

The Baz Boot

I intimated above that I wasn’t convinced that getting rid of Barry was right for Vavau. Though I think it was right for Andrew’s purposes, as he now has the option of using the old Pu’s as his new crew for the Craig coup (and my son says I can’t rap, h’yeah right), I really don’t see the reason that you would get rid of Baz, unless you felt that his vote randomiser was trained on you. Even if it is, unless he has people with him, which he doesn’t, then, much like a weasel with a rolly-ball, there is no power behind his chaos. Much better to keep him around until merge, where his vote is actually useful as you know he won’t vote a Vavau. Give me your thoughts below?

What Would Sue Do?

A more colourful Vavau?

Now that we know that Andrew is starting to position himself to get rid of what he sees as a threat, I do wonder what the rest of the Vavau four is thinking? I come to the conclusion that we haven’t seen enough of them to know. They seem tight enough, and there’s enough of them that they could comfortably make it through to first merge without any of them going home, provided that if they do go to tribal they just boot Conner or Sam. As they are this tight, I suspect that may actually be the best move. Stick with the four until merge. As much as I’d love to see Andrew overthrow Craig, I’m just not sure where it would put him, and Sue if she chooses to go along with it. It makes them much weaker going into the merge. We also know that Sue is seen by Nick, and maybe Tegan, as not trustworthy given what has happened to them, if she meets up with them again and Craig is no longer around, she will be seen as a threat. Maybe that is what Andrew is counting on, that it will look like Sue is masterminding this. As far as Jennah Louise goes, I have no idea where in the four she stands, closer to Craig, or closer to Sue/Andrew. Again, I’m hanging out to see more of Vavau in the episodes to come. That’s enough Vavau for now, how about a quick discussion on the little we saw of Saanapu and Aganoa.

Nick is a Playa!

It was bloody delicious when we saw Tegan talking with Brooke about how Nick had chatted up the two of them (if you missed this tasty morsel, or want to savour it agin, do so here). I said it last post and I’m even more confident now, Nick will not win this game. Great pick up from Tegan to see that Brooke didn’t trust Nick, and she started making moves to distance herself from him. Though I don’t think she could crack the Brick (see previous post), she could certainly be the wasp nest sticking to it while the season is right.

Pulling Weeds and Planting Seeds


I’ll finish off with a quick acknowledgement of Kristie tonight. Kristie tonight reminded me very much of Aubry from the most recent season of the US version of Survivor. Started as a neurotic, paranoid and anxious ball of cry, and is now starting to show us that she has had some strategic thoughts. I get it. I think I would be the same in some ways. It could take me a while to get my bearings and get comfortable in a new environment with new people too. I’m so glad that she is still here. The way we saw her subtly start building the relationship with Phoebe was very encouraging. To me she came across as very human and genuine in her conversation with Phoebe, yet she knew that Phoebe was not to be trusted. While I don’t necessarily think that Kristie has moved into a threesome with Phoebe and her El-iance, she certainly showed that she has what it takes to form a strategic pairing with someone, she just needs to find fertile soil in which to plant that seed. I really hope that we see Kristie blossom into something Aubry-esque this season, that would be magnificent.

Until next episode, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

Episode 7 Analysis Here!

Episode 5, pt 2 – ‘Pick-n-Flick’ OR ‘Get Nicked’

Want to check out pt 1 of the discussion? Do so here.

This double tribal is gonna take a long time to eat and even longer to digest. Let’s tuck in now, one bite at a time.

The Pu Hits the Fan

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Kylie’s suspicious idol activity sends The Pu into strategy overdrive, and what a clusterfug that is to behold.

Firstly, Flick quite reasonably starts thinking about a backup plan if they can’t vote Kylie out, and not surprisingly her thoughts turn to Conner. She shares this with Matt, who up until this moment we all assumed was a ‘super-fan’. What sort of super-fan hasn’t thought about the pecking order of his alliance? Regardless, because he hasn’t thought about it, he tells Flick so, which I liked. Matt comes across very human in these moments and not strategic at all. Which to me shows that he’s trustworthy and honest. My perception must be off though as Flick doesn’t see it that way at all, and runs off to Brooke to tell her that she has changed her mind and wants Matt off as he can’t be trusted. That’s right, a Flick-flip. Meanwhile Matt tells Sam what Flick has told him, at which point I’m thinking, why is The Pu freaking out, they’re not even going to tribal yet? Anyway, Sam is somehow even more shocked than Matt that somebody is actually thinking of backup plans. In my mind these two have just slipped from being the Batman and Spider-Man of the game to being Bill & Ted.

‘Con-Air(head)?’ or ‘He ain’t no Con-ner’ (yeah, I might be running out of puns hey?)

As we’ve seen before with the Bianca vote, Conner tries to start some shit. It seems that he and Matt are actually quite tight and he does not want to lose the magic. I’m not sure if this is the right move for Conner, I’ll need to think about it some more. On the one hand, if he has Sam and Matt, and it seems like Kylie, then that’s a four that could easily take out Brooke or Flick (hereafter referred to as ‘Brick’). That’s a big IF he has Sam and Matt, and it seems like he does at this stage. On the other hand, if Sam really is slick to stick with Brick and pick Mick, I mean Matt (sorry my fingers were on auto then (insert masturbation joke here)), then  I think it would be best for Conner to just ride that one out. So, for Conner it really comes down to what Sam wants to do, which the audience doesn’t see until the votes are read. By which time Conner has really screwed the pooch and it seems like his ridiculous tribal display has forced Matt to reconsider his vote, which ultimately leads to his Saanaboot-off.

Where’s Your Head Matt?

Did Matt go into tribal thinking he would vote for Flick? If so, arguably that would have been a better move than switching to Conner, given that Sam votes for Flick. I went into this episode thinking that Sam and Matt were as tight as Bill and Ted, but if Matt doesn’t know what Sam’s doing then that’s clearly not the case.

…if I’m not mistaken this is the first time in Survivor history where a tribal re-vote has resulted again in a tie even though two voters changed their vote…

This has really left me confused about where Matt is at. I can see why he voted for Conner initially, the dude was just too unstable and volatile, revealing strategies and alliances left and right, I understand why anyone would want to get rid of him. But, unless you’re sure you have the numbers to do so, now is not the time to try and do that. If Matt had decided on the spot to vote for Conner, but wasn’t sure what Sam was thinking, then he did have the opportunity after he cast his vote and while Conner was voting to tell Sam that Conner was a go. Who knows whether or not this would have worked though. And given that he flipped to Flick on the re-vote, he can’t be sure that he is in with Brick any longer. Next episode will be a really interesting one for Matt, I can’t wait to see how he recovers. Incidentally, if I’m not mistaken this is the first time in Survivor history where a tribal re-vote has resulted again in a tie even though two voters changed their vote. Happy to be corrected on that.

Kylie’s Got to be Certain (see what I did there?)

Once it was announced no-one was going home tonight there was no way Kylie was going to play her idol. Which made the showing it in tribal all the more misguided. Am I right in thinking that voting Kylie out was no longer Plan A since Brickgate went down? If that’s the case, then Kylie just does not have her finger on the pulse at all, so, unless you’re Jim Morrison or Lenny Kravitz, don’t come to tribal with your idol hangin’ out. Instead come to tribal, assess the situation and then make a decision whether you need to a) reveal the idol and/or b) play the idol. Not smart play from her. Where to from here for Kylie? Well now two tribes know she has an idol. I honestly don’t know what her play here is. She’s got Nick and Tegan to deal with now as well. A lot to manage. Unless she can find a smart way to use the idol that I don’t see, she’s going to have to use it when she next goes to tribal to secure another 3 days and hope that an opportunity at alliance presents itself in the future. Do you have any thoughts on what her play could be because I’m stumped?

Thick as a Brick

“OH. MY. GAWD! Like I totally can’t believe he just did that y’know”
Brick now have a struggle on their hands. Not only does Sam no longer trust them, and Kylie has an idol, but they’ve got to deal with Nick and Tegan. The Pu really is a shitfight at the moment and I think it’s going to be incredibly interesting to see what gameplay develops from everyone. For Brick, they need to scramble fast. I don’t think it is outside the realms of their capability to win Matt back given how appallingly Conner behaved and without Sam around. It’s tough but do-able. They need to do something about Kylie and her idol but I’m fugged if I know what that is going to be. Nick and Tegan are the unknowns and it certainly seemed like from Flick’s reaction when Tegan joined that Flick has her eyes set on pulling her into the fold. I don’t know much about Tegan’s game at the moment other than that she is aligned with Nick. If Brick can get Nick and Teegs then that’s a win right there, they still have the numbers even if Kylie does use her idol to get one of those four out. I just don’t know if they can, and in fact I’m wondering if it’s about time Brooke stepped out of Flick’s shadow and started playing her own game. If Brooke can align with, well anyone else, Flick is an easy vote off and I don’t get the feeling that Brooke’s reputation is damaged as much as Flick’s is by what went down tonight. Food for thought.

Not So Mellow Yellow

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OK we’ve discussed the original Pu, but what happened and how do things now fare in camp Vavau I hear you ask?

Having a Barry

“…isn’t there something I’m supposed to do today…”
First I need to get this off my chest, Barry. So, so disappointing. Another one to take one of the precious few Survivor spots and not actually play the game. It’s not out-wit if you choose not to use your wits at all. I almost think he doesn’t even know what the game is. When he saw his name appearing on parchment it looked like he was thinking “that’s my name, what does that mean?”. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.

Nefarious Nick the Puckish Poet

In fact I’ll make my first ever prediction and say with 95% confidence that Nick will not win this game.

Nick suffered a classic case of over-playing from day one. From taking the lead while telling everyone that he didn’t want to be the leader, to the way he scrambled when his poem backfired. He just came off as a crafty fox to watch out for. There’s no denying that he’s an intelligent guy, but his strategies did not take into account what the other members of his tribe actually wanted. How he’s going to recover from this I don’t know, with at least five people back in old Vavau (six if you count Kate) who want him out, it’s going to be an incredible uphill climb. In fact I’ll make my first ever prediction and say with 95% confidence that Nick will not win this game. For him to go further the best he can hope for is that he bonds with Kylie, Sam, and Teegs, plays a more social game and they get him through a couple more tribals and hope that he can find something else to cling on to before they ditch him. As mentioned above we’re yet to see any gameplay emerge from Tegan. Watch this space(-cadet) I suppose.

The Four – Andrew, Craig, Sue, Jennah-Louise

I’m really interested to see what will happen with these guys now. The smart thing to do would be to stay a strong four, and pull in Kate and methodically take out Barry, Sam, and Conner (if they get that many chances). I suspect that is not the way that things will play out though. Having Conner there is like having a little Jack Russell Terrier at camp always wanting to start some shit, and given his track record and the fact that he will feel as though he really needs to scramble to save himself, I don’t think it will be long before his constant yapping starts forming cracks in the eardrums of The Four. Where could these cracks occur? Well it’s possible that Craig has taken Nick’s spot on the tribe as the mover and shaker? Craig will really need to go easy to ensure he doesn’t come across this way. One would assume Andrew is going to continue to play it cool and let others make stupid moves until it’s time for him to start being proactive, and that’s exactly the way for him to play his game. I’m sure that’s precisely what he’ll do. Time will tell just what game Sue and Jennah-Lousie are playing. I think that we’re really going to start seeing strategies emerge in Vavau now. I can’t wait.

I couldn’t finish the post without acknowledging just how beautiful this friendship is. Tai would be proud.

That’s the end for another week, unless of course Channel Ten have decided that I don’t need sleep and go ahead and air a few more episodes just for the hell of it. It has been a week full of surprises that have left me feeling very uncertain about where many of these guys and gals are going to go from here. Would love to know your thoughts, give me a shout out in the comments below. Until Sunday night, I got nothing for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Episode 6 analysis here!

Episode 5, pt 1 – ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’ OR ‘You Took the Snail Right Out of My Mouth’

Want to read my analysis of the previous episode before this one? You can do so here.

Apologies – I had some trouble with my recording tonight (damn you toddler playing with the remote control, do it again and you’re going in the cage with Chester) and so I missed the whole portion of the episode between Aganoa winning immunity and tribal council. As such I have not seen any of the big discussions and plays leading up to tribal. As a result this is only a third of a post. I’ll have the rest of the post up by Wednesday evening so be sure to come back then, or better yet subscribe, to read what I have to say after watching the entirety of the episode.

When you double the tribal you triple the trouble…

The Ol’ Flippity-Dippity

Well, I don’t know what to say. From the point of view of the average tv audience person, wow, what a twist. From the point of view of the player, and dare I say, the fans, what the fuck is this game? I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of Survivor where the contestants don’t actually know what they’re writing down names on a parchment for. I don’t want to dwell on this too much because the idea of my Drop Your Buffs! analysis is more that I analyse the gameplay than I critique the show, but I will say that I’m not sure that I’m happy about this. I know the game is supposed to have an element of surprise, that you don’t know what could happen at any given time, but in this instance the contestants have been tricked, and that doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Let me know your thoughts below.

So where does this leave our main players?

At this point I usually discuss where each of the remaining players of the ‘losing’ tribe are at and consider what their best moves are. With tonight’s double tribal that would mean fourteen contestants to discuss so instead I will just discuss what I consider to be the main players of interest. So come back in the next couple of hours once I’ve managed to watch the episode in its entirety and I’ll have my thoughts on where to from here for Kylie, Nick, Sam, Conner, Flick, Andrew, Barry, Matt and maybe a few others.

Until then, I got nothing for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Pt 2 of Episode 5 Discussion Here!

Episode 4 – ‘Off The Wall’ or ‘Pete-It’

Have you read my assessment of the previous episode yet? If not, read it here.

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Saanapu loses their oldest gunslinger
I’m sorry, I had a great discussion prepared regarding all that happened tonight. Unfortunately, at one stage J-LaP said the following: “Vavau half-swimming, half-running, like dolphins”. Does J-LaP know what a dolphin is? Has he just seen some fuggin amazing dolphins?

I’m just going to take a few minutes to process that one before I go on…..

so, you mean, like, a dolphin… with legs?
Okay, I think it’s best if I just try and keep that out of my mind. On with the show.

Tonight saw us finally say goodbye to Pete. I’ve already written at length regarding how I feel about Pistol Pete, and any contestant, pulling themselves from the game so I don’t want to spend much more time discussing this except to say that I wish P.P. all the best.

With Pistol Pete disarmed, Aganoa dodges a bullet

Let’s talk RohBe (Rohan and Phoebe for those who’ve not read yesterday’s post)

Firstly, if you’re out looking for the idol with someone else, my thoughts are that if you do happen to find it, you try and hide the fact that you found it. It looked like Rohan had the opportunity to do that, if so, he should have. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t, and that’s where the problems started.


Phoebe -“you said you would give it to me and you didn’t”. SAY WHAT?!?!

Why did Rohan choose not to give it to Phoebe? Does he not trust her? I hope that is the case as that certainly seems wise at this stage. The way Phoebe acted in the interaction where she confronted Rohan about him keeping the idol (above) just screamed treachery. There is no way I would give her that idol, however he didn’t do a really good job of letting her feel safe that he was keeping it, though I don’t know that there was any way he could have. This being the case what do you do? Well, if you’re Phoebe it seems that you get rid of Rohan. This would be a wise thing to do if you’ve got his trust and he’s not going to play the idol. But if I were Rohan I would not be feeling comfortable around Phoebe at all. While Rohan did not do a good job of making Phoebe feel safe, nor did she he. Interaction above aside, the whole interaction with El, Rohan and Phoebe about getting rid of Kat also seemed to my eyes and ears to be superficial. This should be enough to have Rohan feeling like he needs a new plan.

Roh, Roh, Roh Your Vote…

Any time I see two people on the bottom, or whose heads are both on the chopping block I think to myself, “would it be wise for these two to get together and flip it?”. In this case, I think the answer is a big yes. If Rohan is sharp he’ll realise that he really needs to scramble, Phoebe wants him gone because she can’t feel in control while he has the idol. El will do whatever Phoebe says and Lee has lost trust in him because not only did he lie about finding the clue, he also has not told Lee that he has the idol. Incidentally given that she wants him out it was a sweet move going to Lee and telling him about Roh’s idol. Machiavellian manipulation! Evan take note, interestingly this is the exact move that Evan tried which backfired and shifted El and to a lesser extent, Lee, against him. This is a great example of how it’s all in how you do it and the relationships you’ve already built. Back to Roh and Kat, Roh needs help as he’s on shaky ground. I think Kat can provide that. This is the third time for her that she’s faced elimination and I’m not sure that she fully feels stable with her group of women.

I’d like to think that if Rohan told Kat he wants to flip it, ….. he could save himself.

If Roh has a good enough relationship with her then maybe he could could bring her on side, showing her the idol might be one way to do that. Even if she already knows that he has it, he doesn’t know that she knows that he has it and she would know that (I think that works?).  I’d like to think that if Rohan told Kat he wants to flip it, shows her the idol, and perhaps lets her choose who to flip on, he could save himself. Of course two isn’t enough to flip it (though Roh does have the idol), but I suspect once you’ve got Kat, Kristie would happily follow. Keen observers will note that Kat and Kristie have sat together at every tribal council.

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This, as well as the fact that they seem to have bonded over being on the outs, tells me that they are an easy twofer. If they can get together and use the idol to vote out one of the other three, then that makes them three strong in a group of five. Of course this potentially makes Rohan a sitting duck once he no longer has the idol. In this situation Rohan would want to ensure that it’s Phoebe or El that goes, as well as keep Lee in on this as much as he can, or hope that Aganoa doesn’t go to tribal again before merge.

The not-so-dynamic duo

Two-Phaced Phoebe

Immunity idol notwithstanding, Phoebe appears to be pulling the strings. If others know and are threatened by this, as Rohan, and even Kat, should be, then Phoebe’s going to need to be really careful about keeping herself safe. Her only way of avoiding a situation like the one described in the above paragraph is to work hard to maintain and reinforce those relationships and alliances she has already built with the others. I warned in my previous post that if she were not careful about the impression she were giving, she might start to be seen as a threat and only thinking of  herself. She made a comment in this episode when talking with El, as she was thinking about all of the possibilities and permutations, where she said something like “I’m just thinking through putting all of the pieces in place that will work for me, and you”, as though El was an afterthought. The best thing for Phoebe to be doing now is rather than saying to her tribe mates and allies “we need to do x” is instead ask “what do you want to do?”. She’s got to get those guys working WITH her, not FOR her or pretty soon they’re going to a) realise that she is a threat, and/or b) start resenting it. If Phoebe didn’t realise this before tribal, it should be completely clear to her now that Kat has had her say about feeling left out. She needs to jump on that straight away and get her feeling safe or else Kat might actually do something that is not in Phoebe’s best interest.

Phoebe gives Rohan the finger

Kylie, The Pu, and P.P.

Before calling it a night I thought I might at least have a think about where Kylie stands now that her PP is gone. Her best case scenario is Saanapu doesn’t go to tribal before merge and hope that the buffs fall her way when tribes are mixed. Regardless, it occurs to me again as I write this, just how important it is that she just work on establishing and strengthening those friendships and relationships with the rest of the Pu and get herself in a good swing position ready for when/if cracks start to appear in the big four. As far as Conner goes, I don’t see him being that tight with the four and really have no idea where he fits or where his head is at, so I really don’t suggest, though I don’t think it would necessarily be unwise, for Kylie to try and buddy up with Conner. I think that could put her on the outer even more. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Until next episode, I got nothing for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Episode 5 analysis here!

Episode 3 – ‘Give Chickpeas a Chance’ or ‘Hommusty is the Best Policy’.

Yet to read the episode two wrap-up? You can do so here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 10.04.24 PM
Sing it with me… AGANOAN down,  AGANOAN down, AGANOAN bites the dust!!

Australian Idol

Finally we see the emergence of a hidden individual immunity idol. When the trailer hinted that there was some sort of twist to the reveal, I was certainly intrigued, although I was worried that Australian Survivor was messing with the tried and true formula too early on in the piece. What we got, to my relief, was the pretty standard honesty/tribe vs deceit/individual dilemma. And didn’t it throw a weevil among the legumes?!

Most everyone tonight agreed that it is a lose/lose situation for whomever chooses or is chosen to find out what the ‘special task’ is. I tend to agree, particularly when you’re so early in the game, and going off with one other person leaves a larger group of people at camp to speculate. I tend to think it’s better to stay with the numbers and solidify your place in the tribe than to potentially marginalise yourself by going off with one other person. Any time that you are seen as having more power or information than anyone else, regardless of whether the rest of the tribe knows what that advantage is, you are seen as a threat. I for one, if I could help it, would not choose to be elected one of the wise.

…just because you’re being honest doesn’t mean people are going to believe you…

This is one of those classic situations that has the audience all thinking about what they would do. For me, the first comment I made to the would-be Survivor widow beside me, was that as tempting as a hidden immunity idol is, I know I’m a terrible liar, and I doubt I could fool anyone. So I would have taken the big bag and just gone looking for idol without the clue. Of course, just because you’re being honest doesn’t mean people are going to believe you, so best not to put yourself in this situation to start with. I can’t think of an instance in previous seasons where a couple actually got away with such a lie. I also can’t think of a time where sharing a clue with the rest of the tribe has worked out well for everyone. Tell me what you would do in the comments below. Regardless, everyone chose to deceive. Some better than others.

The evil forces of…. The Decepti-cants


I actually liked Nick’s idea of coming up with his own clue. A shame he couldn’t sell it. He also had the awareness to realise that his tribe mates didn’t believe him, and did something about it. Another wise move. But who did he tell that he was lying? Craig and Sue for sure, but anyone else? If he then went and told the whole tribe that he had been lying I’m not sure of the wisdom of that. I’ll need more time to think on that. Luckily for Nick, time is one thing he has, as Vavau again escapes tribal council. Here’s hoping that by the time he goes to tribal this transgression has blown over and everyone has forgotten about it.


Pete is elected wisest on Tribe Pu, and chooses Kylie as his number two (yeah, I went there). The other tribe mates instantly regret this decision, but for the time being they have the numbers anyway. I suspect that if nobody else finds the Pu idol, in coming episodes when next Tribe Pu gets to tribal council, there will be much discussion about whether or not Pete and Kylie have the idol, and if so whom. We may even see a decision to split the votes. Pete and Kylie could and should use this power to attempt to sway maybe Sam or Matt. So far I’m not seeing that they could get their shit together enough to actually pull it off. Tomorrow night’s preview looks like it’s going to be all about the idol for all tribes, so who knows what could happen between now and when Tribe Pu next go to tribal.

Whatever the case, it’s been clear since the last tribal that Kylie is out of the loop, and at least she realises it. So what is her best move from here? Well, she’s started trying to ingratiate herself more with the rest of the tribe already. That’s a good start. My feeling is that she needs to keep that up and just hope that cracks appear in the four (Brooke, Flick, Matt, & Sam) and that Matt or Sam, or even Conner (ha!) try and use her to make a move against the girls.


Firstly, I need to get this off my chest. Chester the egg-laying chicken is a he? Geniuses these ain’t. Also evidenced by the below…

Is that a clue in your pants or are you just happy to… awww shit

A lot happening at Aganoa, I’ll do my best to walk through and break down all the aspects (to quote Rohan) that matter, please tell me if I miss anything.


Rohan and Phoebe head off to get the clue. Without hesitation Rohan chooses to deceive and sets in motion a chain of events which sees the downfall of Evan. Firstly, the duo’s performance upon return to camp was highly suspicious. It’s pretty clear that no one believes them. Evan sees this as an opportunity for him to win the trust of the rest of the Aganoa five and goes off to Batman some evidence. Good on him, nice play, and as luck would have it he finds the crotch clue. I only wish he had kissed it, now that would be gif worthy…

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts… Ain’t no way a clue slipping out of your shorts if you’re packing those bad boys…
What he does with this information is what I’m interested in. Should he have shared the information, kept it to himself, or confronted RohEl? We know that he chooses to share it with El, who goes straight to the one person Evan underestimates the most, Phoebe. Much like last week, it seems his acting skills aren’t up to scratch, as he is unable to hide the excitement that he feels when sharing this information and Phoebe sees, quite astutely, that he is really trying to leverage this information. Had Evan perhaps approached Phoebe in a different way would this have changed the outcome? I suspect not. Already she doesn’t trust him, now she has an excuse to put his name up for elimination with the rest of her tribe. Ultimately, though I don’t disagree with the move itself, it’s Evan’s blindness to the capability and status of his tribe mates that is his downfall. He is not sharp enough to realise that a) he’s not really all that tight with the Aganoa five; and/or b) Phoebe is much more strategic than he is aware of.

Evan let the cat out of the bag (or indeed the clue-budgie out of the budgie smugglers)

Had he kept this information to himself, he has an idol clue, which is just one step away from an idol. Also, he gets to see RohBe freak out when they realise they have lost the clue, and sit back and watch them implode from the sidelines (though I doubt Evan could ever contain himself enough to do anything from the sidelines). His other move is to confront RohBe and tell them what he found without consulting any other tribe mates. I’m not sure how this would play out. Given how Rohan reacted when Evan let the cat out of the bag (or indeed the clue-budgie out of the budgie smugglers), Rohan may have still been out for blood. Still, there’s a possibility that this move could generate a three-way alliance between them, (PhoeRohVan? Sounds like someone from middle earth).

Disproportionate Roh-action

Strategically I actually quite like Rohan’s reaction once he finds out that Evan has spread the fruit of Rohan’s loins. Rohan calls Evan out on deviously trying to undermine him, and this seems to only increase the distrust that the tribe has in Evan. Lee, however seems completely bamboozled that someone’s thrown a googly and something untoward has gone down with his bros. He doesn’t know what to think. I’m surprised that we didn’t see a greater backlash against Rohan for his skullduggery, perhaps a testament to the relationships he has formed, and/or his value to the tribe. Further evidence of this is that we see Evan desperately try to keep the peace with Rohan, perhaps for fear that he does have influence in the tribe and in the five. Which might have worked had he done a better job of this, and had already cultivated a good relationship with Rohan. As it was, it was too little too late. He only needed Rohan to vote Kat, and for Kristie to do the same, and he would have scraped through. I believe he would have had a chance that Kristie would vote for Kat had he done a better job of managing her situation last week (see my analysis here)

Where to from here?

So where does this leave the rest of the Aganoa tribe?

Aganoa just prior to losing their Evan-essence


Time to fuggin scramble girl. You only avoided the vote tonight because there was a bigger threat. Unless you can somehow eat the magic ‘do better at challenges’ cookie, while you’re in Aganoa you’re always going to be in danger. I think we did see her scrambling when she started talking about the ‘girls being four strong’. I don’t know how just how down the other girls are with that but I guess it’s worth a shot. I assume it would be easy to get Kristie on board, I’m not sure where Phoebe and El are with that though. Else, throw Kristie under the bus and hope you don’t go to another tribal before merge.


Get in the game. Easier said than done when you’re on the outs. At least she has lots of options. Team up with Kat and find one more and you’ve got three. Try and get the female alliance to actually happen. Or is there a way she can canoodle herself in with Rohan and Lee. Maybe. I think her best bet is actually to get close to Phoebe and let Phoebe use her as a number to enact whichever move Phoebe wants to enact next. In fact I see Kristie as a vote up for grabs. Everyone on Aganoa would benefit from keeping her close, whoever can do it first, has a good resource if they can keep Kristie’s volatility in check.


Seems to be doing a solid job of being friends with everyone, but has shown some untrustworthy colours in choosing to deceive with Rohan. If she can fly under the radar and judge who she needs to align with when, she can easily make it to the merge.


Being the only Aganoan other than Evan to vote Kat he may be feeling out of the loop. My sense is that by being Mr Loyal and honest, he has made himself unapproachable to those who could actually use him to make a move. If he wants to keep playing the honesty/mateship/loyalty game he needs to find someone he can do that with, and I think El is the only person that comes close to fitting that brief, even though she just lied to his face about the idol clue. I can’t see what move he can make next. He’s both low hanging fruit and a sitting duck. Play him right and you can pluck his loyal voting apple straight from the loyal tree, need him gone and I can’t see how he can put up a fight.


For once Rohan actually seemed quiet in front of J-LaP. Given that his deception has now been aired, this seems wise. For me, the best thing he can do right now is use that clue and find that idol, and take it from there.


Having just got her way and removed Evan, it’s time for Phoebe to sit back and reassess what next. I’m not even sure that getting rid of Evan was a good move for her right now. I get that she doesn’t like or trust him, but nobody does, I can’t suddenly see him start forming tight alliances that could move against her. I suspect Rohan is more likely to do that. I think she should have kept him around as a shield for bit longer. Now she has potentially exposed herself as a somewhat strategic player, she may have increased her own threat level. She’ll need to downplay this if she wants to avoid looking like a threat. Settle into the background a bit, solidify relationships with El, Rohan and Lee and let Kristie and Kat do something silly that in effect votes themselves off.

Next time on, Drop Your Buffs!

Hidden immunity idol looks sexy
Well, this week we have both a Monday night and a Tuesday night episode, so I’m going to be a busy and tired little vegemite. Fear not though faithful friends, I will still endeavour to get you my analysis on each episode mere hours after each episode airs. Tomorrow I suspect we’ll finally see somebody get a hidden immunity idol. I can’t wait to see how that shakes down. Until then, I got nothing for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers 

Episode 4 Analysis here!