Previously on Survivor New Zealand, eighteen Kiwis were marooned in a small chain of islands in Thailand and were divided into two tribes by first boot Jose. She started off a string of strong females getting the boot before the swap turned everything on its head and the men found themselves sitting ducks. In that time Brad and Dave secured immunity idols – after Eve misplayed her’s – cross tribal alliances were made and broken – by Josh – before JT the snake was felled by illness which I assume is extreme gastrointestinal distress. After both tribes attempted to throw the immunity challenge, Chani found themselves returning to tribal council where Dylan was voted out against all reason and Renee’s better judgement.
Back at camp the tribe were shocked about being called sneaky pricks on Dylan’s way out the door, despite blindsiding him against the Chani’s best wishes. Adam on the other hand was thrilled to finally best his nemesis, while Renee lamented the fact it has probably screwed them as there is no way Matt is sticking with them. As long as queen Renee is safe, I don’t really mind though TBH.
We dropped by Khangkhaw the next day where Tess was rolled up within a bamboo mat … before she explained that it was because she heard a critter trying to attack the chickens throughout the night, and at that point, I felt a deep and profound connection with her. Lisa was feeling thankful that the cage saved their chickens, sad that JT mede-quit and hopeful that the merge was right around the corner and she could throw of the shackles of her persona and own the fact she is about to school anybody and everybody on her way to the win. Meanwhile over at Chani Adam was back to being entertaining and friendly without his hatred for Dylan ruining his edit. Renee continued to worry about her alliance with Dave and Arun, concerned they don’t value her opinion and nor do they make logical decisions. As such, she pulled Adam aside to size up a potential alliance and by george, I think she has got him … on the hook and may have a fighting chance. The kiwi queen stays kiwi queen, adios.
Shocking everyone that was expecting the merge, Matt returned to lord over another reward challenge and allow Adam to celebrate Dylan’s untimely demise at the last tribal council. The challenge involved each tribe shooting balls at a target and knocking out a line of tiles … for an unknown reward, which Matt promised was a beauty. But sadly, avoided saying in the drink or old mate idol. Tess got Khangkhaw out to an early lead and set off a pattern of the men bombing the challenge and the women schooling them. Since Khangkhaw was dominated by the remaining female castaways, they took out victory … which tragically didn’t matter because, psych, this is a merge after all.
The remaining castaways celebrated their accomplishments, with Lisa giddy about having her vote steal in play for the first merge tribal council to guarantee Adam and Matt would stay true. Before heading back to camp, Matt shared how happy he was to make the merge after promising his girlfriend her would before leaving for the game. He then broke down about missing her and went straight to the top of my faves (behind Renee). Particularly when you remember he flashed his but in episode two. Host Matt then sent the castaways back to camp for their merge feast and surprised the reward winners that they will in fact have a reward awaiting them at tree mail.
Tess was giddy arriving back at the merge camp, particularly since she was reunited with Adam and Matt. Thankfully Matt too was thrilled to be reunited with his allies, while Arun started to have the first glimmer of regretting taking out Dylan at the last tribal council as her felt like an outsider. But there isn’t time to dwell on that as the castaways discovered the feast and then got to work gorging on everything in sight. None more so than Dave who fluctuated between close to vomming and continuing to eat. Lisa then likened melted butter on a burger to the love for a child, and TBH, I don’t see how that could be wrong. Oh and Dave continued to teeter on the edge of vomtown before smashing some dessert.
Adam then questioned whether they were even a tribe anymore since it is now an individual game and Tess confirmed that Eve and Arun screwed themselves out of any potential alliance with the OG Khangkhaw tribe. The besties then reconnected by the shore and Adam used the time to focus his Dylan rage on Arun and continue to paint the target on his back. He did explain that he was planning to lie to make people look bad as a strategy which goes some way to explaining why he bullied Dylan.
Dave was feeling hopeful that he and his school friend will be able to work an alliance out while Brad and Tess spent some time to complain about Tess being boring as shit and like talking to a brick wall. She then went to treemail to collect her reward – maybe the producers are trying to make her interesting – which allowed everyone from the winning team to select a luxury item. Brad went with a toothbrush, Lisa went with toilet paper, Tara grabbed a towel, Eve went with a pillow and ever resourceful Tess went with a chocolate bar.
After the excitement Brad dropped by Adam to hear about how awful Arun was to him during the swap, as a way to chop the head off the Chani snake. The word bully was thrown around and damn is that hypocritical. Matt and Tess were reconnecting themselves, with Tess thrilled Matt survived the last tribal council against all odds. Matt however was realising that the swap brought Brad and Tess closer and as such, he wasn’t sure how long their alliance would last. While the reward winners collected their loot, Dave rallied Arun, Renee, Matt and Adam to lock in the vote for Lisa at the upcoming tribal … which will really test where those new alliances rest. Brad then brushed his teeth and was filled with joy, except when it came to Arun opting to ignore him at Adam words rather than trying to forge any sort of bomb.
Matt returned for the first individual immunity challenge where old mate idol was decommissioned and a huge ma’fuckin’ individual immunity necklace was born. Matt then announced that they would be playing the house of cards immunity challenge, where they each need to use tiles to build a 3m high tower. Lisa proved her superfan cred by building straight up, while everyone else focused on building solid foundations without realising that there are a finite number of tiles. Tess was the first person to drop, followed by Lisa which handed Matt the lead. Arun closed the gap before dropping his tower while Matt stopped building and decided to try and run out the clock and snatch victory. Which he did. Despite Lisa’s best efforts. He then slayed the runway, werked his immunity necklace and I am moister than an oyster.
Phsan returned to camp and got straight down to scrambling – after the requisite minute of congratulating the victor – with Arun gutted by his loss and concerned about whether he can truly trust Matt. Brad on the other hand was concerned about who to target, since he hates Arun and sees Dave as a threat. Matt and Adam took some time to debate which side to align with before deciding to check who Lisa is planning to use her vote steal on and just working with that. She told them both to vote Arun and it looks like Lisa and Arun will be joining in trying to get Arun out. Though given her confidence and it is one of the most cursed advantages, I’m not sure it will play out. Dave then checked in with Matt and got the distinct vibe he wouldn’t be joining the OG Chanis to take out Lisa, despite the fact Matt assured him that he has his back. The OG Chani members reconnected in the shelter and assured each other that they’d be voting for Lisa, though Renee was itching to make a move and I am prone to trusting her.
At tribal council Matt spoke about his relief in snatching immunity before host Matt congratulated everyone on making the jury and final three before reminding them their actions will now come back to bite them. Arun vowed to vote for the person who plays the best game, Brad didn’t seem phased about ignoring Arun back at camp, Tess wasn’t sure if anyone made new alliances post swap before Tara tried to downplay her alliance and say she did her usual rounds before tribal. Before the Chanis savaged her by pointing out that that was untrue and one by one said she didn’t talk to them. So essentially, Tara is Regina George and they are all feeling victimised. With that Matt went straight to … hold up, Lisa is holding up the vote like an older Hali, announcing that she will in fact be voting twice tonight, while Arun wouldn’t vote at all. Which tragically sealed his fate as Arun was sent out of the game to become the king of the jury.
Poor Arun was pretty cut up to find himself booted from the game, however wasn’t really surprised given how screwed Chani were after booting Dylan and Lisa stole his vote. Sure he didn’t love me rubbing it in like that – did I mention I berated him about that – but he couldn’t stay mad when he saw I came packing a big ol’ Arun Bowla.
What is a bowl-a? Isn’t a bowl a food receptacle, not a meal? To that I say, shut up. If Lukas Volger can dedicate an entire cookbook to bowl food – which is amazing, FYI – I should be afforded the chance to have a little bowl of goodness, ok? And yes, it may look like a mess, it is delicious. So please, leave me alone like ‘07 Britney.
3 limes, zested and juiced
¼ cup hoisin sauce
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 red chillies, sliced
200g rice stick noodles
4 shallots, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g turkey mince
2 carrots, grated
small handful mint, roughly chopped
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed
¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped roasted peanuts
Combine the lime juice and zest with the hoisin, tamari, fish sauce, sriracha, sugar and chilli in a jug and stir until combined.
Cook the noodles as per packet drain and allow to rest.
Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a wok over high heat and cook the turkey, onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes, or until the mince has browned. Pour over the sauce and noodles, and stir fry for a minute.
Divide the mixture between four bowls and top with carrot, mint, sprouts and peanuts. And hell, add another swig of sriracha for good measure. Then devour.