Superfan Joseph Harper tackles the first week of Survivor NZ, including a dead Barb, a rogue price tag and the worst papaya ever.
It’s finally here! Aotearoa has Survivor now and they even use stock footage from the real Survivor! Week one gave us the requisite bug eating and shelter building, it gave some definitely unlicensed Billy Joel/Bob Marley/Whip/Nae-Nae performances, and it gave us more pounamu than a Witi Ihimaera short story collection.
Matt Chisholm’s first go at being Jeff Probst went pretty well. There were a few bizarre clangers (“No surprise that Barb has gone for the vegetables!” wtf?), but mostly he rolled up his sleeves a little bit and got to work. Good on him.
The only obvious disaster was that he needed to drop a deuce during tribal council. Maybe this is confirmation bias, but you could 100% definitely tell.
The tribe has spoken? More like the turd is pokin’ (out his butt). I don’t even know why he was so stressed. The loo was right there the whole time…
Lmfao. I liked how some of the items they had to scavenge were aggressively useless. For example, a Dennis the Menace-style slingshot and apparently the Horn of Gondor.
Who the hell is writing the treemails? Y’all need to pay famous NZ poet/Survivor fan Hera Lindsay Bird ~$50 to do a pass on your prose because that was a disaster.
I don’t need something worthy of a Stephen Fishbach recitation, but those were the most fricked up treemail poems I’ve ever experienced. Sort out your meter!
Next, what the heck is going on here?
It’s like that scene in Fellowship of the Ring where you can see a plastic bag! Come on. I know this isn’t Christmas Island but it’s still good etiquette to take the price tag off any gifts you give out.
Finally, this was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen and it made me puke.
Alright, let’s get down to business. Here’s me rankings after week one, from best to worst.
My player of the week. I loved Shay in this ep. She’s all over the shop, with her fingers in all the pies. She made the smart move of jumping ship when she saw she wasn’t in the numbers.
And don’t think I didn’t notice that she managed to get off totally scot-free, despite committing the same original sin that got Dee sent packing.
Love it. Shan-Shay you stay.
Georgia and Shannon seem to be working in tandem at the moment and I’ve been quietly impressed. The way Shannon talks about the game betrays a low-key deep Survivor knowledge base, and Georgia’s already got quite a few pots on the boil. A lot to like here.
Tom is obviously a sneaky wee number. Unfortunately for him, everyone else reckons so too. In the past week I’ve had ~4 people thirstily tell me he’s the hottest thing they’ve ever seen, but that counts for jack if old mate’s sent packing for being a schemer.
Love his hat though. Really enjoying those ‘term one and four compulsory wide-brim hat at interval and lunchtime’ vibes. Good modelling, solid pedagogy.
“I don’t know where North or South America are” is maybe the most ‘NZer on Survivor’ quote imaginable. I am shocked at how well Lou is doing so far. She’s enmeshed herself in the tribe and seems to be in a pretty solid position.
Loved her stealing crap from the other tribe. An absolutely savage move I can get behind. Unfortunately, later in the episode she expired.
This is quite simply the best Survivor look since Sandra rocked a tiara at final tribal. Everyone seems to be chatting with him and including him in plans. It’s a good sign for Big Husky.
Innovative buff style there in what essentially amounts to a modified thing of Vogels. The exact kind of creativity you expect from a viral cop.
Also cool hat and great restraint in not issuing $150 tickets after this violently illegal truck behaviour.
Bit of a quiet opener for Mr Lee. Apart from the bug eating, he didn’t get up to anything noteworthy. He did, however, serve Colin Mathura-Jeffree levels of handsome during the immunity challenge. All that hair had him looking like the brown Fabio.
Wow. Also, lest we forget the original Survivor: Nicaragua was inexplicably won by a long-haired lout named Fabio. Hmmm…
Survivor, just like life and wooden beams in a challenge where you’re blindfolded, comes at you fast. Avi’s just doing everything he can to keep his life/nuts safe. Avi’s future may come down to whether or not he’s willing to say goodnight to Mr. Tom.
Sidenote: That copy of ‘Now That’s What I Call Nut-Crunch Sound Effects Volume 5’ has already paid for itself huh?
Mike’s ‘this is a tribe of heroes’ thing was super galling and honestly I reckon he might be a Scumbag Steve waiting to happen. Captain Mike Sparrow fancies himself as a true jester of Tortuga, but playing this cocky, this early is a surefire way to end up shipwrecked.
Also wtf is a “pirate-ess”?
I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure this is what people mean when they say “Middle New Zealand” in think pieces.
Barb went to get her (very) purple buff and said how much she loved the colour blue. Matt colour corrected for her and her (perfect) response was that purple “is a cool colour too”. Legendary interaction almost immediately.
I am praying to god that Barb isn’t mincemeat, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t curtains for her very shortly. Tbh – based on this alarming cutaway – she may be very very dead already.
Hannah got a raw deal, so I was kind of glad she triumphed at Redemption Island. She’s got a tough road ahead, though. Surviving week after week on Redemption Island is really hard, but what’s even harder is sticking around if you get back into the game.
Well, let’s all just cross our fingers and hope this powerlifter beats the snot outta Tony in next week’s challenge. Long live Redemption Island Hannah aka Flossay Flossay aka The Pinkredible Hulk!
Bossing your whole tribe around from the jump, then being kind of a misogynist, then threatening the members of your tribe when you get wind you might be on the chopping block. Great gameplay fella.
Laters Tony (please don’t kill me).
Oh man I feel so bad for Dee. I guess she spent too much time juggling and doing puzzles and not enough time devising efficient fishing stick assemblage strategies.
If it’s any consolation, you join the illustrious group of first boots that includes legends like Wanda Shirk and Chicken Morris. I hope you at least had a chance to “shit in the ocean”. RIP Dee.
political & climate reportersFind Out More
See you next week.
Survivor NZ airs on TVNZ 2 Sundays at 7pm and Mondays at 7.30pm
This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.