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Australian Survivor Report Card - Brain vs Brawn - Week 2
Featuring Benny, idol hunts, Mitch, rhyming and Cara
Previously on Australian Survivor:
A seemingly endless series of Wai puns were unleashed, George subverted the fundamental principles of democracy and an AFL legend was voted out.
Here is the report card for the second week of Australian Survivor
Hey, remember that guy with the beard who popped up in a Brawn tribal council late in the first week and nobody knew who he was? Turns out that’s Benny the real estate agent, and he’s here to let us know that Emmett’s not going to have it all his own way when it comes to being the tribe’s biggest douchebag.
He bursts onto the screen early in the second week, showcasing his ineptitude at challenges, general social interaction and keeping his feet out of his mouth. It’s enough to get even the most casual viewer concerned about his immediate prospects in the game. For as Chekhov famously said ‘If in the first act of an Australian Survivor episode you have a Benny on the screen, then just before Tribal Council, he must go off.’
And so it turns out.
Benny’s all-round awfulness makes him a target despite being part of the dominant alliance. The game momentarily morphs into Brains vs Brawn vs Benny and in such a contest, there can only be one winner. Or, to be more precise, one loser. And that loser is Benny.
He tries to win his alliance back with some last minute negotiations, saying things like ‘A Benny saved is a Benny earned’ and ‘Benny for your thoughts’, but it’s far too late for life-saving wordplay and he’s voted out.
On the plus side, however, Benny is pretty sure he’s found a young married couple interested in purchasing the Brawn shelter as an investment property. Just waiting on approval from the bank.
The players in the minority alliances on each tribe, meanwhile, are all madly hunting for idols.
Simon, on the Brawn tribe, manages to stumble onto two of the things. One in a tree, one in a pillow full of bacon. (The rewards are getting weird this season.)
Over on Brains, George reveals his deep love of Survivor in all forms and how it inspired him to enter politics. In fact, George is such an Australian Survivor fan that he joined the ALP because he thought they said JLP.
He also manages to find an idol — one that Baden found the clue for — then somehow uses that same nabbed idol to win Baden over to his alliance.
But George’s alliance is still too small. So he instead chooses to wear his idol around camp to let everybody know he’s immune. He also sunbathes with it, perhaps hoping to sunburn the idol into his skin so he can use it every time. A wild ploy, but if it’s good enough for that Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s good enough for George.
Anyway, can’t wait to see George lead Labor to the next Federal election.
We start the second night of the week wondering which Brawn tribe member we’ll grow to despise this episode. But just as we’re running through the options, Joey steps forth for Brains.
Classic Australian Survivor twist, that.
Joey, growing more frenetic and wild-eyed by the second, decides that it’s time for George to go. He rallies the numbers against him, cackling ‘very smart, very smart’ like Gollum on crack.
But then George does his previously mentioned Idol Strut™.
So they vote out Dr Mitch instead. Remember Dr Mitch? No? Never mind. He’s out of here. Game, set and Mitch.
Next episode begins with George furious that his plan to build a majority alliance broke down the previous night. Two of his key swing votes (let’s say, Rachel and Hayley) broke away to the other side instead. A 33.3% swing against George? Grim polling. Antony Green pops on screen and declares Joey to be the new leader of Brains.
George’s tantrum at this ballot box defeat flows all the way into the reward challenge, which Brawn inevitably win, even though it includes the dubious prize of spending time with Joey. Brawn plan to pump Joey for information about the relationships on his tribe, but he cleverly speaks in polysyllables and throws them off the scent.
Back at camp, Rachel calls George out on disrespecting the tribe while on the pre-challenge mat. A classic mat chat spat!
This isn’t the only bit of rhyming to take place this week. Earlier, when George found his idol, he composed a spontaneous limerick:
“An Australian Survivor contestant named George
Refused to find alliances to forge
‘This isn’t MacGyver!
This is Survivor
And on the sweet taste of idols, I’ll gorge’.”
According to Channel Ten promos, next week’s episodes will be performed entirely in iambic pentameter.
After the mat chat spat, George drops some further truth when he declares he needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Drat!
A terrible feeling, isn’t it, when you realise you need to pull a rabbit out of a hat and you voted out Phil in the first tribal? Could Phil crochet a rabbit? Of course they could.
George starts working on wilder and wilder plans. He considers telling the rest of Brains he’s allowed to leave Tribal Council with half the tribe again. Just claim he can do it every time.
Then he contemplates volunteering to vote first, scribbling ‘IA’ on all the other parchments and hoping enough of the Joey alliance write his name near to his scrawl, so that they’ll be mistaken as votes for Georgia. No bad ideas in a brainstorm, George!
But finally, he remembers that Cara looks a bit like a rabbit. Or, if she doesn’t, she’s perfectly willing to climb into a hat, if that would make George happy. For Cara is an empath, and the power of George’s emotions draw her to him like a moth to a flame. The most empathetic and flammable moth you’ve ever seen.
So Cara finds an idol, takes it to Tribal Council, passes it around the now three-person alliance (her, Baden and George) before finally playing it on George and sending herself home on a vote split revote.
“Why would you do that?” says a sobbing George.
“Because I sensed the strong feelings the producers have for you remaining on the show,” she replies.
And she’s correct. However, just as she’s about to go home, one of those same producers runs out and tells her she can go join the Brawn tribe instead. “Okay,” shrugs Cara.
Which is a shame, because I had a joke about an Australian Survivor ‘Cara curse’ ready to go and everything…
Still, genuinely impressed that everybody spelled Cara correctly. No wonder they’re the Brains tribe.