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Australian Survivor Report Card - Brains vs Brawn - Week 7
Featuring immunity runs, Andrew, urns, challenges and Dani
Previously on Australian Survivor:
Gerald searched for a buried hatchet, George found a secret invisible hidden immunity idol and a trip was made to a KFC pub.
Here’s my report card for the seventh week of Australian Survivor
Down to the final seven now, and Andrew has a plan. And boy, can he not wait to tell us about it.
His plan is to get rid of George. He hates George with a passion. Also, Cara, who he perceives as George’s puppet. George and Cara have been — get this — lying to people and voting with different alliances, as they flip back and forth. That’s not the kind of Survivor game Andrew wants to play.
What kind of Survivor game does Andrew want to play? The kind where he wins every immunity from now on, thereby scuppering George’s game by dint of his sheer challenge indomitability.
Sigh. I miss Quiet Andrew.
Anyway, needless to say, he immediately loses the next challenge.
Hayley wins, after she does that thing where she refuses to help the host remove the previously-won immunity necklace before the challenge begins. I love it when players do that.
One time I’d like to see JLP respond to this ploy by just saying “Y’know what? Fuck it. Keep it, Hayley. Challenge cancelled.”
Certainly in this instance it would have saved him a couple of hours of standing in the sun watching people holding their arms over their head.
So now it’s mostly a simple 4–3 vote. The four Brains who voted together last time (George, Cara, Hayley and Wai) vs the two Brawns (Dani and Flick) plus Andrew.
Wai is the swing vote and George decides to ensure she remains with them by lying to her. He concocts a fib in which he claims that Andrew told him that he ‘totally wants Wai out and no mistake’.
Against all odds, Wai seems to believe this. But something doesn’t seem right to Cara.
“Andrew said that?” she says. “That’s weird.” She continues on, even as George makes the ‘zip it’ motion to her behind Wai’s back. “That doesn’t sound like something Andrew would say at all. Surely, Andrew would be targeting you, George. Right? I mean, why would he come at Wai? It makes no sen — Oh.”
And she shuts up abruptly, before flashing an all too obvious wink at George.
Nevertheless, Wai sticks with the foursome and Andrew goes home.
But it can’t be a simple majority of votes as has been tradition in Survivor for literally thousands of years. No, the producers have once again needlessly complicated matters by pulling yet another twist from their collective bottoms.
This time, it’s four magic urns. Once you vote somebody out, you choose a magic urn at random and smash it. If it contains a ‘safe scroll’ you’re not actually out of the game. You get to stay.
It’s all nonsense, transparently designed to fuel conspiracy theories in which favourite players are saved by urns being switched in and out, or perhaps by producer-triggered Bluetooth signals that destroy four separate scrolls by remote control acid.
Even more transparently, it’s a setup so that when an urn inevitably saves somebody, JLP can say ‘looks like you’ve urned your spot back into this tribe’ and then do that laugh he does, while everybody else is forced to chuckle along half-heartedly.
Another major gripe from fans this season has been the misbalance in the challenges. Here’s a scene from every single challenge design meeting this season:
JUNIOR CHALLENGE DESIGNER: What should the challenge be? Throwing things at other things? Or trying to stay on a pole?
SENIOR CHALLENGE DESIGNER: (puffing on cigar) Surprise me.
Anyway, George and Wai have had enough of all these brawn-centric challenges and stage a protest, sitting them out. “Meh,” they say. “Whatevs.”
Inspirational in its way.
Still, credit where it’s due. The jury may be out on Dani’s skills at playing Survivor, but she’s certainly excellent at throwing things at other things.
She therefore wins immunity. The others immediately target Flick. Hayley is forced to utter the godawful sentence: “I’ve really been taking these urns into account”. Cara plays her idol for no immediately obvious reason. Flick is voted out. Flick breaks an urn. Flick ‘urns’ her way back in. JLP is pleased with the wordplay.
A totally pointless episode. Oh sure, some might say it had some kind of impact, because it flushed Cara’s idol. But come on, we all know she could just as easily have misplaced it in a tree or something.
Then suddenly, with no clear warning, in the next episode there’s a challenge that ends with a puzzle. Yes, there’s an entire obstacle course before it. But it ends with an actual living puzzle.
Wai therefore comes from a zillion miles back in the obstacle course portion to smoke everybody else.
Which means suddenly it’s a split vote-a-thon. George and Cara want to split between Dani and Flick. Dani and Flick want to split between George and Cara.
And Hayley and Wai? They’re deliciously in the middle.
George is concerned. He approaches Cara. “Cara,” he says. “We don’t have a plan B if Hayley defects.”
“I don’t think she will,” replies Cara, beaming confidently.
“THEN WHY IN BLAZES DID YOU PLAY YOUR IDOL IN THE PREVIOUS VOTE?!?” is the screamed question that George immediately stifles. George is starting to doubt Cara’s Empath powers. You hate to see it.
Anyway, Flick finds an idol. It’s a thrilling climax to an entire idol hunt portion of the show. But less so, because it was spoilt in the ‘next time’ segment of the previous episode. And besides, the split vote would have negated it anyway, with Hayley and Wai siding with George and Cara to send Dani home.