Australian Survivor Recap: Week 2
Coming off of an impressive first week, Australian Survivor has done it again with their second effort. For its second week, four new episodes were aired all of this week from Monday to Thursday. While it’s a lot to take in, all of it has been great.
I enjoyed these four episodes. The challenges were all good, there were some solid characters scenes and there was even a touching moment or two. The one thing that I think has been constant in all of these last four episodes is the coverage of the tribes themselves. The show is so well edited to the point where the tribes have a personality almost. This is very rare in the US show. While the theme AU is pulling off this season, Champions vs Contenders, is something our show would’ve tried, our show wouldn’t have gone as in-depth as AU does. With the last few seasons of the US version, the contestants have been divided into tribes based on their age or job. Barely do we get to see the tribes as how they become themselves and they seem, on average, two dimensional.
While is season of AU is using a theme, the editors have been able to show what each of the tribes are like. With the Champions, they are hard workers and have been able to use their survival skills to thrive. The Contenders, on the other hand, are more free-spirited. They seem to be having fun any time we see their camp scenes. However, there is a division in the tribe it seems, between the men and the women.
Stand Out Contestants
With this week having four episodes, this gave Survivor the chance to flesh out these contestants and let them tell their story. Several of my favorites have gone this week, so it’s hard to pick from the people that are still in the game.
For the Champions, I’m going to go with Mat Rogers. The 42-year-old former pro rugby league footballer really got to stand out this week with his personal story. After winning one of the reward challenges, the Champions got the chance to feast on meat pies while looking at pictures sent from home. Mat’s picture was of his son running on the playing field to hug his father. When asked about his picture, Mat proceeded to tell his story: his twelve-year-old son, Max, was diagnosed with autism when very young. Seeing and hearing about Mat’s devotion to his son and autism as a whole is very touching. On top of that, Mat’s been playing a fairly good game: he’s strong in the challenges and seems to gel with everyone on his tribe.
Also standing out on the Champions tribe is astrophysicist Samuel Hinton. Sam has been fun to watch and it’s interesting to see someone like him on AU. With the recent US seasons, the producers love to cast the stereotypical nerd. Sam, by all accounts, is a nerd. Still, the guy has been a hoot to watch. All of this week, Sam has made some snarky comments and cracked a few jokes- leading host Jonathan LaPaglia to call Sam a “cheeky bastard.” My personal favorite moment from him this week was seeing him and Mat take on Contender Heath in the reward challenge. In a challenge that required two tribemates to pull an opposing contestant off of a pole, Sam suggested to Mat that they try to tickle Heath. While trying to do so, Sam remarked “Crikey! He’s got some big guns!”
For the Contenders, I’ve been liking Heath Davies. Standing at 7 feet, Heath might seem like an intimidating person. However, he is anything but that: the 33-year-old builder is a family man and willingly aligned with the women this week in order to eliminate Steve Khouw. Of the women, Heath has been seen with tribemate Tegan Gasior, who is also a parent. I’ve also been liking Anita Berkett and Fenella McGowan. Anita is wonderfully peppy while Fenella is adorably quirky.
Again, there’s a lot of people in the Aussie series so I can’t cover them all. I am liking this cast though. With the exception of maybe a few people, they’ve shown a little bit of everyone in the game.
The challenges this week were very impressive. I enjoyed all of them, even if most of them were variations of our US challenges. Of them, I really liked the immunity challenge in Episode 3 (seen above). In this challenge, the contestants had to move a rickshaw/cart looking machine while two other contestants tried to retrieve puzzle pieces with a grappling hook from above. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything like this on the US version and as stated last week, the Aussies really know how to pull off the challenges.
Damien Thomlinson became the third person voted out of the game. It was a little surprising to see him go, considering how much coverage the guy was getting before and during the season. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he was voted out. While Damien was well liked by his tribe, Damien’s situation with his amputated legs made him a liability. Looking further into the game, the tribe probably made the best decision.
On Tuesday’s episode, Steve Khouw was voted out of the Contenders tribe. As I said in last week’s recap, the guy was walking on thin ice. Right from the start, the guy was constantly snooping around trying to find idols and/or advantages. With this, his tribe couldn’t trust him. While he was able to get almost all of the guys on his side to vote his way, the women had the numbers and Heath’s vote.
The last two contestants voted out were eliminated due to injuries and illnesses brought on while playing the game. When the Contenders lost immunity again, they reluctantly voted out Jenna Austin. The FIFO worker had been injured her leg in a challenge last week, which had the medics put her leg in a cast. This week, Jenna’s condition worsened in another challenge. After being checked up on during an immunity challenge, Jenna was now in crutches. True to Jenna’s character, she didn’t want to quit the game. She’s a fighter. However during tribal council, Jenna tearfully told her tribe to do what was best for them. After a 9-1 vote, Jenna was the fifth person voted off.
The Champions went back to tribal council in the last of these four episodes, where they voted off Australian rules footballer Moana Hope. Of the four elimination this week, Moana’s is the one that bums me out the most. I was really liking her and her story. Moana shined in the first week after leading the blindside of Russell, certifying her as a bad ass.
This week, her story was shown: along with being a athlete, Moana cares for her disabled younger sister. Being separated from her was a challenge for Moana. She was able to find allies in tribemates Sharn and Mat. However, Moana was voted off as she had become sick. Prior to the vote, Moana told Jonathan that she wanted to quit the game. Her tribe, however, were able to convince her to let the tribe proceed with the vote. Even though her time in the game was short, I really liked Moana and her story arc.
Overall, this was a fun four episodes. Getting this much Survivor in one week has been quite the experience. For Week 3, the show will be airing on Mondays and Tuesdays for the rest of the season (at least for now).
I’ll see you all next week.
I'm a writer/journalist with a passion for music and pop culture. Having graduated from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 2014, I've been looking for a platform in which I can share my passions. Since 2009, I've been posting to my own blog- The Walrus' Music Blog- via Blogger. I'm also the author of two self-published books, "The Camp: Stories from the Summer" and "The College: Stories from King's." Together, the two books cover the story of my life from 2004 to 2014. I've been lucky enough to interview several of my favorite musicians over the years and go to concerts from time to time. I'm also very devoted to the CBS reality TV show Survivor, which I started watching in 2002 when its fourth season started. I currently live in New Jersey.