Previously on Survivor New Zealand, in the wise words of my dearest friends the Spice Girls two became one as the tribes merged. This lead to a shit tonne of feasting, reuniting alliances and the reminder that Matt and Dave went to school together and that Dave would be safe. As such he held on tight to his idol as Renee decided it was time to jump ship and save herself, joining the OG Khangkhaw to take out Arun.
Back at camp Brad and Lisa celebrated their success, with Lisa continuing to play the innocent mother and echoing how bad she felt. Dave on the other hand was feeling bad to see Arun go, wishing that he had left instead as it was so painful to watch. Which I guess is simultaneously sweet and idiotic. Thankfully both Renee and Adam were proud of making a move and getting rid of a threat, with Adam reminding us that he is kind of the Sandra Diaz-Twine of New Zealand in that no one sees him as a threat – well, on her first two appearances – despite controlling the game and being hella sassy.
The next day Renee, Matt and Tess were discussing the importance of toast, in both quantity and toppings. Though maybe that was Matt’s way to distract everyone from their feelings, as he is concerned about how Dave and Eve must be feeling trapped on the bottom. Sadly for him Adam is dead set on getting Dave out ASAP, as is Tess and Br … wait, Brad is wanting to make a move! Sadly for him, Matt decided to channel SDT and lurked in the bushes at the exact right moment, hearing that Brad and Tess were open to taking him out. Making it super awks, Matt emerged from the bushes forcing them to about face and talk about taking Dave and Eve out at the next two tribals. While Matt was more than ready to take one of them out.
Back at the camp Tess gushed about her love for Renee who was using her time to coach Brad and Adam how to braid hair. Renee gushed about her decision to flip at the last tribal council as it was giving her the best hope for being the only Chani to flip to the other alliance and make it far. The entire tribe then joined the braiding party before Dave reminded us he owns an idol and Renee spoke about the importance of getting rid of Dave.
But enough of camp life – Matt Chis is here and we’re ready for the reward challenge where Dave unveiled a new look to try and fit in with the long hair club! The challenge required everyone to run out and untie sandbags before returning to the starting mat and throwing them into a series of targets. It was for ingredients to make tuna melts – which explains Tess’ tin salmon chat – and I am literally vomming at the thought of how shit it is. The tribe clearly weren’t overly impressed either, casually walking to collect their bags before tossing away. Renee got out to an early lead, followed closely by Dave, Matt and Brad before Dave and Brad overtook her, with Brad snagging himself the worst reward since the bag of melted chocolate. Inspired by Jiffy Pop, Matt then gave Brad the opportunity to share his reward with just one other person, selecting his main target Dave as he wanted to be fair. As such, Matt gave him the chance to choose another person this time forgoing the fair third place, selected Tess. Since it appeared to be a struggle, Matt gave him one other person to share with with Brad selecting contestant Matt.
The victors arrived at reward to kick off the episode’s product placement portion, making he feel violently ill. There was gushing, talk about flavours and it looked fucked. Not even mayo smeared around Matt’s mouth could excitement me. Dave decided to take the opportunity of being stuck on a reward with each other’s rancid tuna breath to try and flip Brad and Tess to his side. He then went on and on while the boys tried desperately not to fall asleep while Tess’ eyes almost fell out of her head from rolling them so much. He felt it went ok though, so that makes he think he isn’t as self-aware slash good as I thought he was.
Back at the camp Adam was entertaining the girls with his shark attack victim performance as the winner’s arrived, vowing to punch Dave in the face if he complained about being full. Eve then pulled the biggest move of her game, asking Brad to give them a run down of everything they ate which infuriated Adam who wanted to take ALL the tuna melters out.
Matt and Dave went for a walk to digest said food and talk about Dave’s pleas at reward. Matt then caught Dave up, telling him that Tess and Brad plan to target him no matter what and he needs to find a way save Dave that still benefits his game. Dave shared that he has an idol, which was music to Matt’s ears at it meant he could help pull off a blindside without getting his hands dirty. The unspoken qualifier is that he also knows that Dave is too nice to deny the move should they make final tribal.
Matt Chis returned for this week’s immunity challenge where each tribe member was required to hold two weighted discs with a pot attached between their hands and a pole, with the last person to drop winning. Though given only Dave and Eve feel in danger, it really shouldn’t take long. Sadly poor Dave was the first contestant out, leading to Adam dropping straight behind since he just wanted Dave to lose before Lisa and Tess after what felt like an eternity. The remaining five survived an hour and a half, leading to Chissy forcing them all on to one leg which saw Brad, Tara and Renee drop in quick succession. After a further 45 minutes, Matt started to struggle while Eve stood like a statue and snatched immunity.
The castaways quickly got to work scrambling back at camp with Brad, Lisa, Tess and Tara focusing on how to split the vote since Eve was immune. Brad then got uber cocky and decreed who everyone was voting for out of Dave and Renee before pulling Dave aside to assure him that he won’t be voting for Dave. Since Dave heard the subtext loud and clear, that pissed him off and he focused instead of trying to throw some votes on Brad. Renee and Tess caught up to talk about the likelihood of idols, with Renee assuring them that it is highly unlikely. Matt, Lisa and Adam then caught up to talk about wanting to avoid throwing votes on Renee for no reason, with Matt then throwing Brad’s name out there as a potential option. Which appeared to both excite and terrify Adam, who didn’t trust the numbers however slowly came to the realisation that it was the perfect time for a blindside and they really need to take it. Matt and Lisa were nervous about Adam running back to Brad and looping him in, however the longer it went on the more it seemed like Adam knew it had to be done. With the three of them locked it, Matt filled Dave in on the plan and they debated whether it were better to play the idol or not, lest it spook Brad to play his.
At tribal council Eve spoke about feeling relieved to be immune though didn’t seem to think it would have a difference on the game at large. Renee shared that she was feeling vulnerable and knew that votes would be coming her way tonight, Dave played the nervous target roll very well, likely because he doesn’t seem to believe he will actually stay safe. On the flipside, Brad spoke about his desire to start making some big moves before trying to pretend that he wasn’t trying to dictate the game and lead his alliance. Matt hinted that he is definitely about to shake up the game, vowing to play a game that benefits him rather than leaving it up to someone else. Tara vowed to stick to her own pace – which seems to be close to non-existent – before Dave tried to go for a last minute plea, though it ended up sounding more like he was reminding them that he has been hustling. With that the tribe voted and Matt and Lisa’s plan went off without a hitch as Brad was sent from the game much to the utter shock and disbelief of him, Renee and a livid Tess.
Despite the crippling rage burning inside him as he made his way out of tribal council, Brad quickly calmed down though TBH I think he was in shock. I sat him down in the Jury Villa and calmly explained that yes, he had been voted out, yes, he is no longer eligible for the money, yes, he has to return to the cave every couple of days before eventually voting for someone to win the prize he just lost. Where was I? Anyway, I rubbed salt in his wounds, then felt hella guilty so served him up a warm, nourishing Bradth Norris.
I know, I know – broth probably doesn’t feel like the most comforting thing to make someone that was brutally blindsided however, try it and then tell me it isn’t worthy. A fiery kick, eggs and the earthiness of chickpeas? It is damn breakfast perfection.
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp Harissa Oleynik, plus extra to garnish
800g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1L vegetable stock
2 lemons, zested and juiced
flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped to garnish
Heat a lug of oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until soft and sweet. Add the garlic cumin, harissa, chickpeas and capsicum with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Slowly add the stock and lemon juice and zest and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and crack the eggs into the pot. Cover and leave to poach for five minutes or so.
Serve the broth immediately with an extra dollop of harissa and a sprinkling of parsley. And devour.
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