It’s week seven of our favourite reality show and things are getting awkward for our celebs.
Our favourite celebrity castaways have spent three long and filthy weeks marooned on a beach together, and things have gotten tense. Nobody is sleeping, everyone hates rice, and there’s only one pair of Art Green’s shorts to go around. Now that the teams have merged into one, these brave celebrities are fighting a firestorm of strategy and tactics, with only a slip n slide and five packets of Arnott’s chocolate chip cookies for protection.
As the individual game comes in to play, who will align with whom? Does Lance actually know what he’s doing, and will Buck ever find his banana? These are big questions that must be answered, so let’s rip into the rankings.
ELIMINATED: Lana Searle
Lana was cruelly eliminated before we got the full story about how she killed her sister’s budgie, and it seems a big ask to wait until CTI: All Stars (let’s make this happen) to hear all the juicy details. That’s CTI for you, wacky stories and fun times one minute, then a heartbreaking elimination the next. I know this is just a game and not a bird death in the family, but either way, both the budgie and Lana were gone too soon.
8) Buck Shelford
Somehow Buck is still on this beach after 21 days. Does he wake up in the morning and wonder how the heck he ended up on a reality show? Does he ever disappear into the happy memories of his All Black glory days and then look up to find Edna Swart smelling a dead crab, and wonder which hand of fate placed him directly on this hard wooden plank in a Northland beach hut?
We’ll never know, because this week Buck’s biggest worry was finding his banana when he arrived at merge camp. Clearly, a crime has occurred. Maybe Blind Jim the possum got to it first, maybe it was swallowed up by the sea of negativity that flooded Repo after Buck and Edna’s argument last week, maybe Candy ate it when Buck wasn’t looking. Not pointing fingers, just asking the questions.
7) Anna Simcic
We’ll never look at a long piece of plastic again without remembering Anna Simcic’s tragically short slip during the slip ‘n slide challenge. It was less a slide, more a quick lie down, but I loved it all the same. She who shall not slide shall not slip any further in these power rankings, which is regrettable but also the terms and conditions we all signed up for.
6) Edna Swart
Edna is playing her own game and her enthusiasm is off the chart, even though she’s three steps behind everyone else. She was stoked to create a side alliance with Jess (who already has a side alliance with Lance) and was fizzing to align with Brynley, Chris and Lance (who were already in a secret alliance). This hectic approach could actually take Edna all the way to the final, and did we mention how good she is at sliding biscuits down her face? Full of surprises.
5) Candy Lane
Let us all take to life with the energy of Candy Lane burying Edna’s cooked rice in the ground. RIP us, RIP Edna’s rice reputation, hello to a thousand tiny rice trees growing on that beach in six to eight weeks. If that rice could tell a story, it would say “had Candy been voted captain, this would have been a different game”, and then it would tell us what really happened to Buck’s banana. Sadly, this is just a TV show and in the real world, rice cannot talk.
4) Brynley Stent
Love to see Brynley assert herself as captain, hate to see it only for one day. The merge saw Brynley reunited with BFF Chris and safely cocooned in an alliance with Lance, and she spent the rest of the week sitting on the beach in a fluffy dressing gown, eating grapes and getting a massage. It’s an absolute junket, and Brynley is getting her money’s worth. Love your work, Puzzle Queen.
3) Jess Tyson
Full marks to Jess for being the only one to realise that voting Brynley as captain was a terrible tactical move for the Ovary Agreement, but the merge puts Jess in an interesting position. She’s positioning herself as the swing vote, by keeping Edna sweet and retaining her friendship with Lance, but also going in with Candy, Buck and Anna. She’s on a mission to prove that beauty queens aren’t dumb and, based on this game play, I am bloody convinced.
2) Lance Savali
Oh sweet prince, how well you play. Lance continued to pull all the strings by pretending he’s not doing anything on CTI. He’s absolutely clueless, apparently, so clueless that he eliminated Lana, strung Edna along in the alliance and bid with money he didn’t have at the pirate auction to make his fellow castaways spend all their coins. The game goes on around Lance like he’s not playing, yet he’s always in control, even when he’s asleep.
Behold, the genius Lance Savali approach to CTI:
1) Chris Parker
Is it a coincidence that Chris Parker becomes the most powerful player as soon as he puts on an old pair of Art Green’s shorts? He’s a champion of the social game, he’s physically strong, and persuading the Ovary Agreement to vote Brynley as captain was an brilliant power move that saw Chris slip ‘n slide safely to the merge. With a secure alliance and a gazillion clues hiding in the pocket of Art Green’s pants, Chris Parker is exactly where he wants to be.