As we entered week five of Survivor we were yet to see a man go home. Would this finally be the week? Yes, yes it would. Luke Harries recaps.
We’ve made it to week five of Survivor NZ, and I’m starting to think the men of this year’s Survivor cast might have it out for the women. All four of the castaways voted out so far have been female, including last week’s surprising blindside of Kaysha. Will this be the week we finally see a male castaway get the boot? Let’s take a look at the thrills, spills and twists from this week’s installment.
Three simple words turned the game on its head this week: “Drop your buffs.” This sacred Survivor incantation means it’s time to switch up the tribes. To figure out who is staying put and who is crossing over, the castaways each crack a paint-filled egg on themselves – yellow for Khang Khaw, blue for Chani.
It’s a huge milestone in the game, and Lisa grabs this opportunity to play up her “nerdy superfan mum” persona for the other players. We know from week one that Lisa is hamming it up to throw off her fellow competitors, but something tells me that this “character” is not a huge stretch for Lisa to play.
For Dylan, who was on life support in the original Khang Khaw tribe, this twist is a breath of new life for his game. But don’t fret, Adam and Dylan are still in the same tribe, so we can expect to see plenty more of Adam’s theatrical diatribes on how much Dylan sucks. Lucky us!
This week feels like an absolutely 180, and we even see underdog Dylan secure the immunity challenge win for his new tribe. Although, as expected, Adam still finds a way to be salty about this. Adam clearly isn’t about to let Dylan off the hook – and he is ALWAYS watching.
With so many hours in a day to kill, it would be impossible to expect the castaways to constantly be talking strategy. This week we saw JT and Lisa bonding over something rather unexpected: slime.
The best part of this was seeing the other original Khang Khaw members declaring that JT was “working on” Lisa. If by “working on” they meant “sharing the best Borax to PVA glue ratio with”, then they were totally spot on.
Eve’s Not So Hidden Immunity Idol
Eve’s immunity idol has been sitting in plain sight at Chani for a while now, and that becomes a bit of a problem when Eve finds herself moving to Khang Khaw without it. As one of only three original Chani in the new Khang Khaw tribe, Eve was feeling extremely vulnerable without the idol.
Later on, we hear that Eve has been called to see a medic. But it’s not a medic! Psych! It’s old mate Matt, who has a special delivery: Eve’s estranged idol. Chani tribemate Dave had quickly grabbed the idol to make sure none of the new Khang Khaw imports saw it – and it seems from there the producers took over.
At first this seemed odd – if Eve left the idol at camp, why are the producers hand delivering it back to her?! Surely it would be fair game for whoever found it at Chani. Apparently not! After consulting the Survivor sub-reddit, I learned that a hidden immunity idol can’t be stolen from the person that finds it, and that this kind of thing has happened in past seasons of US Survivor. The more you know!
At the new Chani tribe, it was pretty clear that Dylan was not going to be aligning with his original Khang Khaw tribemates, and he wasted no time letting Arun know. Dylan fancies himself as a strategist, and he hopes that his strategy paired with Arun’s brawn will keep them safe. I’m sure Arun is just thinking of Dylan as another pie he can stick his finger in.
Birthday boy Dave is finally reunited with old high school mate Matt. Having two contestants who know each other this well from before the game would certainly be much more controversial in any other Survivor franchise, but in New Zealand, this was pretty much inevitable. So far these two are keeping their bromance on the downlow, but the two did manage to sneak away for a passionate bro-hug.
Even with their history, neither is giving away too much information to the other. After all, this is still Survivor, a show that once literally had a mother blindsided and voted out by her own daughter.
At the new Khang Khaw tribe, the three original Chani are backed into a corner, and Eve’s idol is their only hope. The three try to extract some clues from the four original Khang Khaw about who they’re gunning for, but they aren’t giving much away. It’s pretty much a game of Russian roulette for Eve, JT and Liam, and it will come down to luck for Eve to play her idol on the right person.
It’s the first tribal council for the new Khang Khaw tribe. There’s a lot of chat about idols, and JT takes the chance to address some of the rumours swirling around him, saying “it’s bogus”.
JT is trying to do some image rehab here, after gaining an early reputation for being sneaky and playing the game very hard from the get-go. But Tess, who is no stranger to JT’s cunning ways, isn’t doing him any favours by reminding the tribe that “his words are like riddles”.
Eve plays her idol for herself, but it doesn’t matter. The original Khang Khaw has Liam in their crosshairs, leaving Eve and JT as the only original Chani left in their tribe.
There is a dramatic moment as Matt reads the last vote, when a crescendo in the music hints that maybe one of the Khang Khaw had flipped. They hadn’t, and we all know it, but kudos to the editors for attempting to add a little flair to this pretty clear-cut vote.
Blindside Rating: 2/10
There was only a 33% chance that Eve would play her idol for the right person; it was an unfortunate, but statistically unsurprising outcome for Liam. The odds just weren’t in his favour tonight.
Chisholm-ism of the week
“These puzzle pieces are both-sided.” Maybe they are also held together with both-sided tape.
Survivor NZ Quick Stats
25 – Days left
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$260 – Hourly earnings for whoever wins the $250k after 40 days
2 – High school buddies reunited
1 – Male finally voted out after 5 weeks
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