Previously on Australian Survivor, Asaga was feeling washed out after Pete mutinied while he was loving being back at Samatau. Not loving it, were Henry and Michelle who slipped further down the pecking order. After a hard fought immunity challenge between Ziggy and poor, dim Jericho, the latter dropped from a pyramid over the water handing Samatau victory and sending the dwindling Asaga back to tribal where Odette learned Julia’s lesson, in that the person in the middle is oft run over.
Back at camp Sarah was feeling proud after uniting the two rival pairs to take out Odette, who really would be a nightmare at the upcoming merge giving her lack of loyalty. The next day, the final Asagans were still shocked to have survived 35 days. While Tara and Luke thought they were due for a challenge, Sarah was feeling the merge was well overdue and rallied the troops to plan who best to target from Samatau to sway to their side.
Speaking of the devils, Jarrad was feeling extremely confident to have his alliance back together and started to gossip about Locky being paranoid. Tessa was also feeling concerned, which makes me think one of Pete-Jarrad-Tessa-Ziggy is out tonight as they are coming across as smarmy.
JoJo was quick on the scene where the two tribes arrived for … THE MERGE. That is after Jericho butchered the English language, yet again. Everyone was thrilled as they unrolled their new black buffs ahead of the first individual reward challenge. The castaways were required to stand over an elevated glass bottle and swing a pendulum around it, without knocking it over. Sounds simple, but it is for the ultimate merge rejuvenation reward – new clothes, some pampering, food and letters from home.
Just as quickly as I had written off Luke, he spoke beautifully about how important his family are to him and I am now back in his corner. Michelle was first out of the challenge, quickly followed by Henny-Penny, Tara and challenge beast Ziggy. We ticked over the ten minute mark where Luke’s mind games backfired and he eliminated himself, followed by Locky, Sarah, Jarrad, Peter and Anneliese, leaving Tessa and Jericho to battle it out for reward. Given the fact Tessa is a doctor, I’m not shocked that her steady hands prevailed and she took out the first individual victory.
Of course Jonathan then offered her the chance to make a choice – to keep the entire reward for herself or to give up everything but the letter so that everyone can receive theirs. Making the most obvious decision, she opted to give everyone their letters. The newly formed … merge tribe returned to the former Asaga camp where everyone found their way to some coffee and treats while they read their letters. Michelle, obviously, saw right through her decision. While I do counter that their wasn’t an actual decision for the victor, it is probs going to create some drama so that makes me happy.
Michelle then questioned her family’s motives for writing the letter – they want some money – Tara sobbed about her kids, Pete sobbed about his relationship with his father, Henry and his nips looked beautiful while they struggled with his mother’s passing, Locky has a girlfriend and that is just fucked, Anneliese’s family sounds awesome, while Tessa and Jericho sound quite emotionally secure and their families weren’t too emosh. Sarah then sobbed through her letter, as did Ziggy leading to Luke’s moment in the sun while talking about his family and how much he loves them.
With the niceties behind them, the merged tribe got to know each other while Tessa spoke about her confidence that Samatau will stick together and get rid of the remaining four Asagans. Tara and Locky however reconnected by the fire and spoke about everyone being concerned about their bond. Meanwhile Jericho spoke about the merge being a David and Goliath battle, and while he is kind of a moron, I do believe they will prevail … for now.
Everyone ran around doing chores before Tara prodded Sarah to go reconnect with Michelle and try and work her into a new majority. Sadly Michelle had no interest in moving away from the majority and quickly told Ziggy as much. Henry however was more than willing to make the jump and got to work on Jericho and Sarah to form a new alliance. In the other corner, Jarrad and Ziggy got to work solidifying their numbers – he, Ziggy, Pete, Tessa, Locky and bonus points Anneliese and Michelle – before he suggested taking out Henry, who they acknowledged had definitely flipped.
Thankfully Jonathan returned for the first individual immunity challenge where we learnt the tribe went with the gang-bang naming convention, forming Asatoa. The challenge was another looks simple, sounds fucked scenarios where they have to balance themselves between two rails … to avoid being the next one voted out, and the first member of the jury.
Anneliese quickly dropped out of the challenge, followed by Tara, Michelle, Luke, Sarah and Pete. While everyone appeared to be struggling, Olympian Ziggy and Jarrad both looked solid before Locky dropped, followed by Jericho, Jarrad and Tessa, leaving Henry and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Henry’s muscles glistened as the sweat rolled over his tanned skin in the sunlight before dropping out of nowhere and giving Ziggy immunity.
Back at camp Jericho explained that his alliance’s only option was to pull in Locky and Michelle, while the majority debated the merits of getting rid of Henry – who they assume has an idol – and Luke, given he is unlikely to have found one. We then checked in with Henry who decided that getting rid of Jarrad is the best back-up option since Ziggy is immune. Given his numbers aren’t great, Henry pulled Locky aside to talk about joining he and Tara’s alliance to get rid of Jarrad, which Locky didn’t feel was the right thing to do at this time.
Wanting to lock in the numbers, Jarrad then approached Jericho to float the idea of working together, agreeing to underline their votes to prove their loyalty. Tessa then ran us through her numbers, convinced that Michelle was automatically in their pocket without actually trying to include her in anything. Tessa then fumbled the ball and told her that she is the last one in the alliance, so that’s why they weren’t involving her … which inspired Michelle to approach Locky about making a move together. Which of course, leaves me hella confused just as they left for tribal council.
Once there, Locky spoke about the confusion of trying to figure out where everyone stood giving the multiple swaps. Luke was feeling nervous, Henry felt like he was stuck in the middle of his allegiances, Pete was coy and Michelle signalled that a move was afoot, mentioning that she thought everything was locked a day ago, but now, wasn’t so sure. Jarrad then started to feel quite anxious, as is Tessa, while Michelle and Sarah gossiped quietly in the corner. Jericho then spoke about war, which made Ziggy feel grateful about having immunity while Locky was feeling tomorrow would make it clear where everyone stood and where the game would go.
Michelle then gave some more killer tribal grabs, which again sounded like a war-cry as they headed in to vote. The votes started piling up on Luke before everyone zigged – not Ziggy-ed – and voted Jarrad out of the game – with a baller underlined vote from Jericho, FYI – as the first member of the jury.
As an Instagram celebrity slash amateur model, I’ve known Jarrad for years, having bullied him into shooting 7 of my 9 nude portfolios. While he apparently found the experience to be traumatic, I somehow one him over and we became the dearest of friends. Though I think that has more to do with my Jarrot Fengel Soup.
Sweet, earthy and completely warming, it is the perfect dish to warm you up during that last push of winter … and after a brutal post-merge blindside. Though in the words of the great Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury?
Jarrot Fengel Soup
1 kg carrots , peeled, trimmed and sliced
2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 potato, roughly diced
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the carrots, fennel, onion, garlic, potato and thyme on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil and the maple syrup and bake for about twenty minutes, or until they are all starting to caramelise.
Transfer the gloriously caramelised veggies to a pot and add the bay leaf and stock, and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer for a further twenty minutes, or until everything is tender.
Take the pot off the heat, remove the bay leaf and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the cream, return to a low heat and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Serve with a drizzle of maple and devour carefully. You know soup has a penchant for burning the shit out of your mouth.