Previously on Australian Survivor Kate was heartbroken to see Andy was booted at the first tribal council of the season before Khanh wiped it from everyone’s mind as he beasted the Water tribe to victory at the reward challenge. The Blood tribe meanwhile were growing nervous about Kate given she is Andy’s sister and could play a similarly cutthroat game, though obviously Sandra was not phased because, well, she is the threat. Despite being way behind, Blood narrowly took out the second immunity challenge. Back at camp Briana started to spiral as she searched for an idol, which was found by her closest ally leading to Khanh pushing for her to hold onto it and ultimately sending Briana home.
The next day things were far more zen at the Water tribe without Briana’s paranoia, while Chrissy was just mainly shocked to still be in the game. They hung around laughing it up, joking about Briana trying to take Jordie’s bag on her way out the door as she was so shocked by her blindside. Which is a word Chrissy just learnt, despite Briana not actually being blindsided. Chrissy and Khanh meanwhile were growing close, despite not having ever spoken of an alliance between them, Chrissy felt she could rely on him. Khanh meanwhile shared he was pretending to not care about the game as he quietly built up his resume, while cooking up a storm to charm his way through the competition. We then learnt that Khanh was ready to make a move and firm up an alliance with someone strong and as such, approached Mark to lock something in. Which Mark readily accepted, seeing the immense value Khanh offers his game.
Which ugh, I love – they started out as lovers and now they are allies!
Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe they were singing filthy freestyle ditties, living their best lives and well, making Sandra nervous since she is used to playing down and dirty. That being said, she knows that she will have to gladly blend into the background until things start to get dirty enough to take control. David was talking to Sam about his nerves for Briana while Sandra shared with us that David only played the game for his daughter and as such, he doesn’t really know what is going on which is why she will push for the tribe to vote him out if and when they go to tribal council.
Sophie, Jesse, Sam, Amy and Dave caught up by the well with them trying to figure out who they should target when they go to tribal. With David saying that Sandra needs to go ASAP to eliminate their biggest threat. While Sophie cautioned that people either want her here long term or for her to go soon, David continued his push, particularly thinking she will flourish when cracks start to form which is a perfect read on her game. While Sandra promised us she will destroy anyone that throws her name out.
And this episode is going to get very interesting soon, isn’t it?
The tribes met Jonathan by the river where David’s fears were realised as he discovered Briana became the second boot. As he tried to hold back tears he explained to Jonathan that he was surprised his baby girl was voted out and vowed that things are well and truly personal now. Sandra jumped in and agreed that the protective love of being a parent is different to all these bonds and as such, understands how he must be feeling in this moment.
But more importantly, they had a challenge to get to where one person would swim out to two pontoons and attach them to a rope, one at a time, which the rest of the tribe would pull in and then unload sandbags. Which they will use to build a tower before releasing a flare. All for the chance to visit the Survivor shop where they can select a bunch of comfort items. Jesse darted through the water and quickly got the Blood tribe out to an early lead, while Khanh valiantly stayed close enough behind despite not being a triathlete. As Jesse attached the second pontoon, Jordie tagged out at Water and despite whipping out, realised he didn’t have the rope and had to go back.
Despite their seemingly epic lead, the Water tribe quickly closed in on the Blood tribe. More importantly, Jesse looked like a dream in his speedos and well, I continue to stan him and his brother. Particularly their style choices. Both tribes slowed down as they continued through the challenge, with Water slowly starting to close the gap. Sadly though, it was too slow as Blood built their tower and ascended to the top to release the flare and snatch their first reward.
Given Jonathan is messy, he told them that only one person would be able to go and while the tribe wanted Sandra to go, Sam stepped in and told them Dave should go since he just lost his daughter. To make things messier, David was then given the chance to take someone from the Water tribe with him, ultimately settling on Khanh because he seemed trustworthy and Dave wants answers about his daughter’s boot.
As the duo arrived at the store, Khanh was trying to hide his awkwardness about leading the charge against his daughter. We learnt that Dave could select three items, or choose to take two and give one to the rival tribe, while any advantages wouldn’t count. Immediately they spotted a twin idol which are each complete on their own, but if they are combined later in the season, they will form a super idol which can be played after the votes are read. While Khanh felt bonded by the idol, Dave didn’t want to give him any items and even when Khanh offered him information, he still refused to give their tribe any comfort.
After selecting a net, jerky and some nuts, Dave asked why Briana was voted out with Khanh diplomatically explaining it was only because she immediately riffled through the tackle box after the last reward in the hunt for an idol in front of the tribe and spooked everyone. But he assured him that she went out gracefully with a smile. Before they parted ways, the duo decided that they would wear their hats to future challenges and should someone remove their hat before, that will signal that they played their idol. Oh and we learnt that Dave’s choice to not give Khanh any items was to sow paranoia on the other tribe and have them questioning his motives. Which is far smarter than I’ve been giving Dave credit for.
As Khanh arrived back at camp, he immediately admitted that he wasn’t given everything but did share that he and Dave both found idols.Though held back the fact it could become a super idol if it joins with Dave’s. And while the plan was to create chaos, the tribe trusted everything Khanh said and were happy with his honesty.
Back at camp Dave was welcomed back as a hero. As he showed off the loot, Sandra waited to see if he owned up to any personal gain from his little shopping trip. He regaled them with a tale about how he dominated Khanh and refused to give him anything before pretending he thought he found an idol but instead was disappointed to discover it was soap. Without producing any soap. As such, Sandra was well and truly sketched out by him and even more ready to send him packing, just like his daughter.
The tribes reconvened with Jonathan where they would have to face off racing through a series of hurdles in a mud pit before chopping down two logs to climb over towers before unravelling enough chain to move a box to their mats before releasing blocks and using them to spell out a puzzle on a see-saw. Which is as big as it sounds.The Water tribe got out to the earliest of leads before Croc got a hold of the axe and quickly closed the gap and were neck and neck on the first one. Jonathan gave us the filthiest pun as the cousins ‘punished their logs’, before Water once again pulled away until Mark fell off the pole as he tried to climb over it. Despite the setback, Water continued to pull away while Blood madly tried to unravel their chest. Both tribes got to work on their puzzle with Sandra barking out the solution to her tribe while Chrissy screamed out the timings so her tribe would drop the letters at the same time and not tip the see-saw, which proved key as they took out their first immunity of the season.
Back at camp Sandra immediately got to work throwing people under the bus and enacting her ‘anyone but me’ strategy. Kate meanwhile was blown away that the game had finally begun, while Dave was thrilled given he has his super idol. Dave, Sam, Amy, Jordan, Jay, Sophie, Croc and Ben caught up at camp with Dave quickly pointing out they need to get rid of Sandra before she gets her foot in the game. While some of the others were nervous about an idol, Dave suggested they split the vote between Kate and Sandra given Kate has lost her pair. Which is a stupid move, given he also lost his pair.
Sandra meanwhile was busy charming Michelle, Jesse, Kate, Amy and Jay in the water, with Sandra admitting her game is always simple – she builds an alliance and works best with the alpha males and as such, she just needs to wait for one of them to approach her. Right on cue, Ben arrived in his speedo and quickly told her that Dave is throwing her name out and well, now Ben is my favourite player and I would die for him. With that Sandra fired right up and immediately decided to turn things on Dave, suggesting they divide and conquer to get enough numbers to quietly pile the votes on Dave and send him home. Ideally with his idol in his pocket.
Ben approached Michelle, Kate, Sophie, Jesse and Croc in the water, suggesting they all flip the vote on Dave given he is quite abrupt and without his daughter, and has become a loose canon. Ben shared that his strategy was to stick close to Sandra and learn from her so he can ride all the way to the end.
Jesse and Sam meanwhile caught up with Sam sharing that she does not want to see Dave go, given she feels she can trust him and he is more of a physical threat. While Jesse tried to explain to Jay that it would be better to keep the visible threat in, Sam wandered around camp telling everyone how stupid it would be to leave Sandra in, given her surviving just shows how good she is. Kate and Dave meanwhile were catching up with Kate suggesting that if you aren’t part of the plan, you are the plan. And that sadly made Dave realise that a lot of little conversations are going on around camp and as such, his name may now be on the block.
And shit, fuck – his idol is coming out, isn’t it?
At tribal council Sam spoke about how friendly and calm the tribe have been thus far, but admitted things quickly changed after the immunity challenge. Sandra agreed that things are far calmer in Australian Survivor, with everyone preferring to play it safe until they needed to worry, though cautioned Australians do love a blindwide. Jay spoke about needing to keep the tribe strong, which made Kate very nervous as she is one of the weaker people on the tribe and she wasn’t involved in any plans today.
Sam tried to downplay her paranoia, admitted there were so many plans and she ultimately heard a tonne of names which ended up making everyone nervous. Sandra admitted she only knew about two plans and as such, she is now worried given you’re only safe if you win immunity. David agreed that he was nervous, given he is only aware of one before thinking it was a good idea to say it made sense Sam heard so many names, given she flits from person to person strategising. Literally throwing the only person defending him under the bus.
This made Sandra smirk as Dave continued to dig a deeper and deeper hole before Sam stepped in and questioned why he was talking shit about her and asked everyone to confirm whether she had ever mentioned his name at camp. An irate Sam spoke about how the plan she had locked in back at camp had nothing to do with Dave but if he didn’t offer her something compelling, her plan may change. Dave continued to dig his hole saying that when trust is broken, he will turn on them, otherwise he is loyal.
As everyone stepped in to explain it didn’t make sense as she never flipped on him, he continued to pout as Sam straight up said she had only worked to get Dave’s name thrown out, while Sandra and Kate looked on with glee. Sam then got up and went person to person to whisper a new plan to get rid of Dave, while Jay shared his disappointment about Dave’s outburst given Sam truly did nothing wrong while Sandra jumped on the chaos and reminded everyone to make the decision that keeps the tribe united. Aka boot flame-out Dave.
With that the tribe voted, Dave rightly played his idol to save himself (from himself), which tragically sent poor Kate home with only a few votes to her name. Though thankfully, Sandra lived to fight another day. As soon as Kate arrived at Loser Lodge I started to quietly weep and pulled her in for a hug, heartbroken to see her go so soon. Without the idol, I feel like Kate would have been able to find her footing in the game and go far given she is such a kind, friendly person, but alas, David David-ed and now we’re down our first complete pair.
Eventually I was able to dry the tears from my eyes and was able to get to work in the kitchen, toasting what could have been with a piping hot Pokato and Tatham Casserole.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that potatoes are the ultimate form of comfort. Add in some leftover Christmas ham – side note, why are parents obsessed with buying triple the amount required – cream and cheese, and well, you have culinary happiness.
Pokato and Tatham Casserole
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated, plus extra for topping
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
6 potatoes, par-cooked and diced
2 cups ham, diced
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and capsicum together until soft and sweet. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook off for an extra minute or two.
Remove from the heat and stir in the milk before returning to the heat and bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and fold through the cheese and mayo and cook for a couple of minutes. Fold through the potato and ham.
Transfer to a baking dish, top with some extra cheese and pop in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until bubbling and golden.
Serve immediately, piping hot, and then devour.
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