Previously on Survivor South Africa 146 castaways lined up to play across 8 seasons and while their were countless iconic moments – Chappies nude scenes, for instance – and blindsides, only 8 people walked away as winners while 136 exited the game as losers. Well, assuming my maths is correct. Which, TBH, it probably isn’t. In any event, it did lead us here, with zaddy Nico, to welcome back 20 castaways returning for a shot at redemption. Or more likely, to get their torch snuffed once again.
The castaways jetted in on speed boats where we learnt that the Yontau would be made up of pre-merge boots like Shona who was not thrilled to be on a tribe with chaotic players like Tania and Pinty. Thankfully the iconic Tania was ready to learn from her mistakes and take the back seat, while Killarney was thrilled to be a mystery to her fellow castaways given she played so long ago. And trust and believe, she will be using it to her advantage. Over on Masu who all made it to the merge on their first go around, Steffi wasn’t thrilled to be competing with Chappies given he was a dirty little food thief, while Meryl was thrilled to be reunited with her former ally Dante. Despite the fact it clearly makes them both targets. PK was nervous to see Tevin on the rival tribe, given he had already blindsided him once before while Marian and Shane were thrilled to be reunited. And hopeful their season was old enough that they would be considered unknowns.
And did I mention Queen Palesa is back? Because, work.
The two tribes’ boats docked on the shore and met up with Nico where Seamus was thrilled to be back and glad that he can’t place worse than his first go around, which is a very good point. Thoriso is glad to be a returnee despite not making the merge or playing well, while Tejan was nervous to be back after 11 long years. And Chappies was shitting his pants with excitement to be back after a matter of months, though also knew it was concerning as he is very fresh in people’s minds. Tevin meanwhile was ready for revenge on the two people that voted him out, while Marian pointed out that while she made the merge, nobody made the finale and as such, they all have something to prove. And yes, Queen Marian.
Oh and then Nico dropped the goss that they’d be playing for 2 million rand and well, they were overjoyed. Particularly Chappies, since it makes his loss make more sense, since he was destined for the double prize. Obviously.
Nico then warned them that they would have to earn that increased prize with the most intense season ever. And to prove it, they were put to the test in their first reward challenge for a flint. And said challenge would be a repeat of the Season 7 – and many US and Australian seasons too – classic where in pairs, they would have to race and collect a ring from a pole and get it back to their tribe pole, with the first team to three winning. And if the boys start pulling at each other’s clothes Australian style, we win.
Killarney and Thoriso were first up facing Palesa and Steffi, the latter of whom had an injured ACL and was worried she wouldn’t be able to replicate her dominant performance on her first season. Thankfully for her and Masu, she still made easy work of the challenge and jagged their first point without even breaking a sweat. Chappies and Dante faced off against Felix and Seamus and damn did they put up a fight. While Seamus was first to the ring, Chappies brutally tackled him before they all snuggled in a puddle and while their pants stayed on, I still ship them. Oh and then Dante made a break and scored a second point for Masu. But never forget the cuddle puddle. Tevin and Pinty battled Toni and Tejan to keep them in the game, which they did as Tevin darted out of the fray and scored the first point for Yontau. Meryl and Marian then played for the game against Tania and Shona and while they were confident, Tania and Shona put up a valiant fight, wrestling their rivals until they dragged them to the Masu pole and scored reward for their fellow post-merge returnees.
We followed Yontau back to camp where the tribe were shocked by how minimal their supplies were, while Thoriso was busy focusing on the fact their trees had symbols on them. Hopeful they would lead her to an idol. While Dino was just terrified about how little they had. Meanwhile at Masu, Dante was hoping to learn from his mistakes and keep all his options open and build relationships with everyone. The first apparently being with Chappies as the duo bonded over being strong challenge beasts and honestly, a little bit of fangirling. And since Chappies knows Steffi from outside the game, he was confident they would be a strong trio. Speaking of Steffi, she and Marian were gossiping about PK, Tevin and Toni all having matching tattoos and being close, and as such, decided they should get rid of PK ASAP. Which I assume means Marian is also in the alliance with Steffi, Chappies and Dante, whether she likes it or not. Toni and PK meanwhile pulled Tejan in and were ready to pull in Palesa as their fellow Season 6 player.
Over at Yontau Tania was trying to fight her instincts and stay calm, which meant she immediately approached Thoriso and Pinty to align. Then Killarney. Completely aware that she was sliding back into panicked Tania. Dino and Seamus meanwhile were bonding over how weird it was to be back, with Seamus opening up about how hard he was on himself after being booted first and how it has taken him a long time to heal. Back at camp Shona was suggesting they watch the sunset, though she cautioned they avoid smashing an unripe pineapple as they relaxed, in case it makes their stomachs sore. Which in turn made Pinty slip back into her old ways and get angry, before she went for a walk and calmed down, knowing she needs to keep it in check if she wants to win.
We returned back to Masu where Meryl, Marian and Steffi snuck away to lock in an alliance, with Shane and Dante pulled in with their pairs. And then Chappies became their arbitrary sixth person after Steffi pulled him in. Which made her nervous, given she didn’t want her loyalty outside of the game – since they know each other – to ruin how she plays. Meanwhile Dante was on the hunt for an island wife with PK, as Marian was thrilled to date Dante. We then learnt that she and PK briefly dated a decade ago and while he thinks everything is all good between them, she was more than ready to cut him and get her revenge for being sketchy to her. Which is the kind of drama I live for.
The next day the Masu six were left alone at camp, shocked by their luck to openly strategise against the other four and figure out how to dismantle their bonds and take complete control. Meanwhile Palesa, Toni and PK were down by the beach with Toni feeling nervous about their position in the game and unsure how they will survive should they lose the first challenge. That being said, PK is busy painting the target on his back and that is enough for her to feel a little at ease given he clearly would go first.
We returned back to Yonatu where Tevin was ready to make a name for himself and not get stuck into his perceived trio with Toni and PK. As such, he approached Seamus and quickly locked him in as a number.
Back at Masu Shane was feeling confident in his alliance with Marian, despite the fact they haven’t even spoken. She then pointed out a symbol on a tree next to camp, leaving him to dig around the roots to see if he could find anything, while she darted off to loop in Dante.
The tribes then received treemail directing them to select two people to go on a journey to the Outpost where they would have to negotiate for supplies. Which obviously made everyone super nervous and paranoid. After much deliberation, Yontau selected to send Seamus and Thoriso to go on their behalf while Masu opted for Shane and Steffi. The latter of whom being selected by drawing the short straw. Much to Toni and Palesa’s disappointment.
As the foursome arrived at the Outpost they learnt they would be able to select two supplies for each tribe, with Shane offering for them to go first in the hope they selected flint and he and Steffi could jag what they wanted. Sadly for them Seamus bluffed and immediately selected rice, leaving Masu to get lentils and pap, while Yontau opted for the flint as their second choice. Before being dismissed, they read another note announcing that the four of them would now have to vote for somebody back at camp to receive the Outpost’s idol, the catch being it was only valid for the first tribal council. And should it be a tie, the tied players would draw rocks. And should the owner of the idol win immunity, they would still attend tribal council and play it at the other tribe’s tribal council. Which is quite the power, TBH.
The couples tried to outsmart each other, with Masu willingly pointing out their weakest while Yontau wisely opted to keep things quiet. Despite the fact Thoriso would have liked to keep to give Steffi and Shane something to keep her options open with them moving forward, but Seamus wasn’t interested. Which begged the question, has he learned as much from his first experience as I thought? Steffi and Shane received a heroes welcome as they arrived back at camp with all the food, while Palesa wondered what else they won at the Outpost. While they were tragically honest about the idol vote, proving it is never good to do these things. Back at Yontau, however, everyone believed every word Thoriso and Seamus said, so maybe sometimes you can win.
That night at Masu, Chappies got up to his usual overnight fun and started digging for an idol before he was quickly joined by Steffi. Sadly for the duo, however, Dante woke up and saw them, quickly looping in Palesa. Which you know can only mean trouble. The next morning, Dante pulled the Season 6 crew aside to let them know about Chappies and keep the target on him, as everyone agreed they didn’t want to deal with all that paranoia. Though Toni did admit that if Chappies isn’t being paranoid, someone else probably would be instead. But she is happy to have a target on someone else’s back. Meanwhile at Yontau Tevin, Dino, Pinty and Seamus caught up to see what they would do should they go to tribal council and while nobody was willing to name a name – despite the obvious Tania – they all appeared to be a little frozen by going out early their first time and are trying to hold firm until something big happens.
Speaking of something big, the tribes met up with Nico for the first immunity challenge where we learnt Seamus and Thoriso were way smarter than their post merge counterparts, loading their votes on Tevin while the Masus voted for Tania. Who tragically lost the following rock draw, giving Tevin all the power at the upcoming tribal council whether they win immunity or not. But back to the challenge, where they would have to break through a reed wall, use a monkey fist to release puzzle pieces, build a ladder, unlock or unite other ladders and then maneuvre their way through and over obstacles to light a flame at a tower at the end of the course.
Yontau got out to the earliest of leads, no doubt with the fire to guarantee one of them doesn’t go out pre-merge again (yet). After Pinty whipped through the knots, PK opted to unlock the ladders which only put them further behind. As Masu desperately tried to close the gap, Yontau slotted the final ladders in and lit their torch and secured themselves immunity. Guaranteeing one of the post-mergers would become a first boot. Just like Seamus in the Philippines.
Back at camp Yontau were living their best lives, with Tania more than happy to shamelessly celebrate the fact their rivals finally get to feel what it is like to truly be an outcast in the game. Seamus put his foot in his mouth again, pointing out that Masu tried to give their weakest player the idol and the strategy backfired anyway, before Phil and Shona stepped to say it was the other tribes perception and that they all love Tania and know she is a powerhouse. Proving to be far more adept than she is given credit for, Tania admitted that she knows she was likely going to be the first boot from their tribe, though is grateful nobody ever made her feel she would be. Which earned a lot of sympathy, and likely change some people’s minds. Assuming she is playing 5D chess like I’m implying. Tevin brought up the idol of it all, asking the tribe what they think he should do and while he appeared open to ideas, he is totally protecting PK, right?
We caught up with Masu where Shane was heartbroken to have lost immunity while Marian was frustrated that the tribe weren’t working together. More specifically, PK’s ego was the thing that got in the way of their victory. She and Meryl knew Tevin would likely be playing his idol for PK and Toni, leading to them joining up with Dante, PK, Toni and Tejan, with Toni and Dante floating getting rid of Chappies and splitting the vote on Shane. Which didn’t make Meryl and Marian feel comfortable, though they kinda felt like there was no other option.
As Dante, Marian and Meryl caught up with Steffi and Chappies to lock in the vote against Shane. Though it was very clear Dante was still ready to cut Chappies. Shane then caught up with Meryl and Steffi to loop then in on how sketchy he feels Dante is – since Shane has been watching him like a hawk – wanting to flip the vote on him instead. And while he assured them this would be the only thing he orchestrates, Meryl now felt he was a little too sketchy. Particularly as he continued to push for Dante. While poor Chappies admitted he was just trying to stay calm and hold firm.
We checked back in with Yontau were the tribe seemed to agree that Tevin should give his idol to Palesa, while Felix put his neck on the line to try and advocate for Dante. Which Tevin admitted was a good idea, given how loyal he is.
At tribal council Shane spoke about how difficult this season is, particularly since everyone is trying to rectify their mistakes from previous games. Shane then admitted that battle lines have been drawn since day two, while Toni wished she realised that had happened. She then spoke about focusing on Survivor 101 and sticking to their word, reminding them that flipping and lying so soon paints a target on your back. Steffi spoke about losing the challenge because they were fractured, while Tejan cautioned them not to give too much away, given they have an audience. Chappies reiterated that Tevin could throw a spanner in the works, while Meryl pointed out he has three Season 6 castaways he would clearly protect with the idol. While Toni and Marian awkwardly whispered before getting caught by Nico.
Nico then explained how the idol process would work, with Masu voting before Tevin would go and anonymously vote for who he would give immunity to. Oh and to help make his decision, he was able to ask his own questions of the tribe. He then opted for chaos, asking Steffi and Shane why they told the Yontau duo to vote for Tejan to get immunity. Which made everyone annoyed, asking why that was left out of their post-Outpost recap and why they decided he was on the bottom. Until Marian thankfully calmed them all down and reminded them that Tevin just wanted to create drama and as such, they all need to calm down.
With that the tribe voted before Tevin voted for the immunity and headed back to camp. Nico then collected the votes and announced that Palesa was immune before the votes rolled in between Shane and Chappies with Shane throwing out a single vote for Dante. Which ultimately saved himself from a tie and sent Chappies from the game as the first boot. With not even a single nude season to his name. Tragically.
Chappies was heartbroken as he arrived back at Loser Lodge, though admitted he was still happy to have gotten a second chance to play the game. I reminded him that I still loved him – despite the lack of nudity – and while he is the first boot, it happened because he came in with such a massive target on his back. And well, if it was good enough for Tina Wesson to go from first to worst, it should be good enough for him. Particularly knowing how she dominated on her third go. With that, he was well and truly perked back up and gladly toasted him success over a big bowl of Cheeseburger Chappies.
There is nothing I love more than turning a cheeseburger into another style of food and well these little babies are one of the best you can have. Yeah sure, these lean more towards the side of being a croquette, but who cares when they taste this good? Nobody.
Serves: 2 dear friends.
500g beef mince
½ cup American Cheese, grated
4 dill pickles, finely chopped
1 tsbp ketchup
1 tbsp American mustard
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups flour
1-2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
olive oil for drizzlin’ or olive oil spray
Pop the mince, cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, onion and garlic powders in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and scrunch until well combined. Form the mixture into chips and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the flour in a bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Take the chips out of the fridge and working one at a time, dip in the flour, then the egg followed by the panko until well coated. Repeat the process until done.
Once all the chips are gorgeously covered, pop them back on a lined baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp on the outside.
Once cooked, served immediately with your fave burger condiments before devouring.
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