We’re back again for week nine of Survivor NZ, and with only nine castaways left we’re starting to see old alliances fall apart, as new partnerships form. Luke Harries recaps.
The old tribal lines of Chani and Khang Khaw are more blurred than ever, and following Renee’s big move to flip on her old Chani alliance, there’s more than a little tension in the air at camp.
The Survivor Salon
I can’t think of a better way to start the week than with a bit of pampering, and Brad was lucky enough to get his luscious locks styled by who else but our top-knot king Adam.
With a bit of technique coaching from Renee, Adam managed to perfect the “Man Plait” (also known as just a “Plait”) on Brad. Brad’s hair was absolutely snatched, and I wonder if this was an intentional strategy of Adam’s to pull Brad’s hair so tight that he couldn’t concentrate in the next challenge.
Dave, clearly feeling a little left out that he couldn’t rock the man plait, decided to fashion a wig from rope. Dave is absolutely stunting on these other queens with this legendary wig. Matt Chisholm is shook.
The Tinned Tuna Reward
This week’s reward challenge sees the castaways tossing sand bags to win a special feast, this week sponsored by John West. Brad wins the challenge, and after labouring over who to bring with him, picks Dave, Matt and Tess to join him.
I can’t help but be reminded of a reward earlier in the season of fishing gear, which seems to have been woefully ineffective. I could be wrong, but I don’t think we’ve seen anyone catch any fish, so I guess a few tins of briney tuna is the next best thing. Brad can’t wait to get stuck right in, and he goes straight in with a knife – I probably would not recommend this method of eating canned fish.
After eating more tuna melts than anyone thought was physically possible, everyone is ready to settle into their food comas. That is, of course, except for Dave, who keeps everyone up by launching into a lengthy speil on why they others should save him in the next vote.
Arriving back at camp from the reward, Brad begins his performative apology to the other players who weren’t picked to join him on the reward, while Dave stands in the corner groaning because he ate too much. Adam isn’t having a bloody bar of it, and we’re treated to a few more of his legendary impressions.
At the top of the episode, we saw Tess and Brad talking a bit of shit about Matt, who they see as their biggest competition in the game. They aren’t wrong – Matt is strong, charismatic and has played an excellent social game so far. Matt, overhearing this, thinks it might be ready to break away from the Khang Khaw tight five.
Brad thinks he’s running the show today, and instructs his alliance to put votes onto Dave and Renee, to cover their bases in case Dave has an idol. Lisa, Adam and Matt aren’t too keen on this, and don’t want to throw her under the bus after she helped them vote out Arun.
With some of the original Khang Khaws feeling bossed around by Brad, Matt seizes the opportunity to suggest to Lisa and Adam that they could take out Brad, one of the biggest threats in the game. It’s a huge risk, especially for Adam who would be blindsiding his closest ally Tess.
If you thought that immunity necklace looked funny on Matt last week, it is absolutely drowning Eve. That thing is obscenely large and I reckon the props department are just having a laugh at this point.
Arun, who was voted out last week has become the first member of the jury, and so returns to the cave tonight. Arun is sitting so awkwardly close to Matt and the remaining castaways, which makes it even more awkward that he isn’t allowed to talk during tribal.
Speaking of the jury, this season Survivor NZ has a TVNZ OnDemand companion-series called Jury Villa which follows the jury members as they process their elimination, get cleaned up after weeks in the jungle, and most importantly, the drama that ensues when their allies and adversaries join them in the villa. I have a feeling it’s gonna be juicy.
We hear a little bit from Tara during tribal, who at this point seems to be following Lisa’s lead, and not doing too much strategising of her own. Chissy asks if Tara plans on keeping the same pace through the game, and Tara responds bizarrely by threatening to fight a kangaroo.
Blindside Rating: 10/10
Brad really had no idea this was coming, and he now holds the unfortunate title of being the very first player on Survivor NZ to be eliminated with an idol in his pocket. Brad was one of the biggest physical threats of the season – I mean, the guy is basically Tarzan. I genuinely think that if he wasn’t voted out tonight, he would’ve made it to the end.
Matt did an incredible job of orchestrating this move without Brad or Tess suspecting a thing. This was a huge play for Matt, and I think will make him a frontrunner for the jury vote if he can make it to the final tribal. Adam didn’t vote with Matt and Lisa, but he definitely knew about the plan and didn’t tell Tess, so he’ll have a lot of explaining to do back at camp.
Chisholm-ism of the week
“Omega-3 up the wazoo!” – Chissy heralding the nutritional benefits of filling ya boots with tuna.
Survivor NZ Quick Stats
4 – Slices of toast Matt would usually have for breakfast
9 – Cans of tuna eaten by Brad at the reward
0 – The number of kangaroos Tara could take in a fight