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Pop CultureMay 23, 2017

Survivor Power Rankings – Barb becomes the leader of the Teabag Mafia

barb eyes

Superfan Joseph Harper tackles the second week of Survivor NZ, including pelican eating, Lou’s evacuation and Barb’s cuppa. Click here for last week.

Big episode eh. This week we saw two of the ways in which people can get mercilessly rekt by the Survivor gods.

First we had poor old Lou who may have legitimately passed away (TVNZ PR people, I know you’re reading this so please send a pic of Lou holding today’s paper to prove she made it back from Nicaragua). Players getting medivac’d is always a bummer. This one was particularly brutal. The only real source of levity was Matt Chisholm getting thrown into the deep-end and FREAKING TF OUT.

Next we bore witness to the Survivor NZ equivalent of the Montreal Screwjob. The pre-merge tribe swap is always a bit of carnage waiting to wreck the lives of some of the Survivor players. Which is fine. Except that two of my favourites got furiously owned. Shay is in a world of trouble and Georgia aka Le Tigre is praying for redemption.

Ah well, thus goes the beautiful game.

Main takeaways of the week

Love how furiously they are flaunting OSH regulations out there.

Yum. Not tetanusy at all.

The Mogoton tribe finally winning something and celebrating with a lil dance was pretty cute. It’s too bad their honeymoon period was so short.

I also can’t believe what’s happened to the treemails. I know I was critical of the previous prose, but I didn’t want Bill Manhire or whoever was writing those things to get fired and replaced by some kind of cold, heartless, treemail app. I mean look at this!

Not sure if this Hemingway stuff is the new norm, but I’m already missing the beautiful nightmares of yesterweek. Truly a requiem for a treem(ail).

There was some very sloppy editing this week. In one confessional, Avi was wearing a blue buff before the tribe swap even happened. Come on mates.

Can’t say I’m super into the he-man woman hating club that is currently rocking around doing extremely questionable accent work on the Mogoton beach. Maybe it’s because I’m a massive Shay homer, but I reckon it’s probably a bad move to almost aggressively alienate the one member of your tribe who has strong ties to the potentially merge majority. Hmm…

I also thought this was cruising for a copyright infringement bruising:

The rankings


What could make a viral cop so happy? Could it be giving a ticket to a cyclist who isn’t wearing their helmet? Could it be racking up hundreds of views/clicks on a comedy/road-safety vid? Surprisingly, the thing making Constanoon Nate happy is a radical swing into the catbird seat.

Truly Nate has just gotten a better work story.


The swap only improved Sala’s position in the game. He’s now got pretty solid links to both original tribes and is as likable as ever. He’s so comfy that he’s busting out some mad sportsmanship during the challenges.

Sala’s main worry at the moment is Shay’s precarious position over on Mogoton.


Big week for Barb. The last few weeks she was looking D.O.A. but, if I’m not mistaken, Barb has a bit of pep in her step. Now that the Teabag Mafia is calling the shots, we’re getting to see a bit of Lady Grey in action and I am loving it.

All of that despite being legally pronounced dead for the second time this season. This time, Joffrey style.

Barb is kind of my new fav (Sorry Shay).


These two are sharing the role of Caesar in the Planet of the Apes. Tom is absolutely loving this chance to get back at Shay, and it’s definitely looking like he’s going to fully bro-down and ditch Avi and his former Mogoton pals. Mike, on the other hand, is still going full tilt and seems strangely confident considering two of his biggest allies (Georgia and Shannon) got wasted by the tribe swap. We’ll see.

Do I think the future is bright for these two monkey boys? To quote the famous, damn dirty ape himself, “No.”

#5 JAK

Interesting week for Jak. He definitely referred to the other tribe as Nazis. He also did a crazy thing where I think he was doing a Jimmy from South Park impression. I could see Jak hitting out as an extremely successful/stressful DJ on ZM or The Edge or something after this.

Like, couldn’t you just imagine Jak busting out a “Scotty n’est pas” at some stage??

Highlight of the week had to be Hungry Jak’s insane thirst for pelican flesh:

Good/illegal stuff.

#6 AVI

I don’t want to butt heads with any major New Zealand advertising firms, but I feel like Avi single-handedly disproved a beloved piece of ice cream rhetoric. Here he is, literally on the beach and yet…

Felt a bit sad that his therapy journal thing wasn’t a big hit.


As Shannon wastes away for lack of food, her chances in the game are somehow holding steady. She’s managed to wedge herself better than anyone else, between two of the major game factions. This could mean she’s able to flippity-floppity her way deep into the game a la Rob Cesternino/Will Wahl.

Or it could mean that everyone is going to totally hate her frickin’ guts for being a massive dishonest flake.


My number one! Shay! Nooooo!

Shay’s gone from top of the pops to six feet from the edge and she’s thinking, “Will these horrible boys throw a challenge to send my ass to Redemption?” She was proven totally right about Tom, and it’s probably killing her that she didn’t pull the trigger.

Still, at least she managed to get in the episode’s best zinger via being stuck on the “Planet of the Apes.”

There are two big questions at play now.

1. Can Shay survive this bro-down?

2. Should the Shay-faithful mournfully sing  “I want you to Shaaaaaaaay” (Rihanna) or “Won’t you, Shaaaaaaay with me!” (Sam Smith)

#9 LEE

Another week, another total absence of Lee. I wish that ~15% of the 500 hours we got of Tony complaining about Shay was spent showing Lee something. At this rate, we know that the moment Lee gets more that 10 seconds of screentime is the moment he is going home.


I wonder if Georgia is sadder about the fact that she got the boot, or that her last act was making this crazy face:

I don’t think all is lost for Le Tigre. She’s well suited for the Redemption Island challenges and could make it back.

#11 IZZY

Seems like a massive neg to wear a camo hat to the challenge where you beat the crap out of the old army man. I’m into it. Unfortunately, the editing around Izzy is telling me one thing: She ain’t gonna be around for much longer. Too bad, because I reckon Izzy has a tonne of potential. Maybe I’m wrong. We will see.

#12 LOU (Eliminated)

I agree with the closed caption. That was pretty rough stuff and I hope Lou is all g. She really fulfilled her destiny as New Zealand’s number one Beast Mode Cowboy, and I wouldn’t bet against a return to the Lou on a future season. Get well soon.

#13 TONY (Eliminated)

In a charming bit of happenstance, Mad Dog Tony got voted out in the same position as the original Mad Dog. I’m he’s pleased that he got to go out of the game, the way he played it: ranting incoherently about how Shay is a slip and slide.

Laters Tony. We salute you.

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