Following up Week 2 wasn’t going to be easy for Australian Survivor. In that week, we had four brand new episodes- giving fans a whole plethora of content. With the show back to its usual Monday and Tuesday slot, we got two new episodes this week. Compared to the first two weeks, Week 3 pales in contrast. Nevertheless, this was still a good week of AU. There were some cool challenges, great moments and a few surprises.
Going into the episodes, I noticed that the running times were a little shorter compared to the ones from last week. Episode 7 was only 50 minutes while Episode 8 was an hour long. When it comes to AU and their episode output, they’re allowed to take up as much time as they need to. Not all weeks will call for longer episodes as this is simply how the game played out. So with that, I wasn’t expecting much from these episodes. Still, I enjoyed these two episodes as I thought they were entertaining and fun to watch. Of the two episodes, I liked Episode 8 better- which I’ll get back to in a little while.
With the US version, it has come to the point where the show relies on there being a blindside and/or big move to make an episode that’ll satisfy a majority of the fan base. When there isn’t a blindside or big move, fans feel cheated and feel like nothing happened. This is kind of what happened this week with AU but they know what they are doing: they have the characters to fall back on. So far this season, this season has set up for some good stories.
Stand Out Contestants
The Champions tribe have been an all around likable group of people for the most part. One of the reasons why I liked Episode 8 so much was because of the scene devoted to the tribe’s gifts from home- which they won from a reward challenge. This led to some very touching moments and let some background players get the chance to speak.
Mat continues to stand out this season. Not only did he find a new ally in Lydia but he also got to share more about this family. Last week, Mat opened up about his 12-year-old autistic son. This week, Mat talked about his parents as one of his gifts was a picture of them. Mat’s mother sadly passed away from cancer when she was 42 while Mat’s father took his own life a few years later. With all of the things that’ve happened in Mat’s life, you can almost admire the way he presents himself.
However for the Champions, I’m going to pick Sam as my favorite for this week. While there was more from him last week, the guy continue to be entertaining. While I enjoyed seeing him explain his shirt this week, it was nice to see his gift from home: a photo album of his science experiments, which had a picture of his cat.
For the Contenders, not too many people are being shown here as much as the Champions. I still like Fenella, who has had the chance to speak up this week. There’s also Zach, who has managed to irritate the tribe with his antics. Many viewers aren’t liking Zach but for me, I think it’s all a set up for a huge downfall. This week, Benji finally made himself noticed by leading the blindside of Tegan.
While Benji was in the last two weeks here and there, Week 3 has established Benji as a character and player. The young entrepreneur makes a little over a million dollars per-a-year, so he certainly doesn’t need the money. He just wants the title of sole survivor. Much like Zach, I think Benjiis going to have a decline in power at some point during the season.
If I had to pick a favorite, I’d still go with Heath. I’ve already spoken about him last week and how he was this friendly 7 foot builder with a wife and kids. Heathmade a power play this week, which I’ll go into a little later.
Of the challenges this week, my favorite is easily the reward challenge from Episode 8- a challenge known in the USversion as Hot Pursuit. In this challenge, the tribes must circle around an oval course- with each tribe member carrying a backpack or sack with weight in it. If it become too much for one tribe member, they are allowed to pass that weight to someone else. The tribe that is able to catch the opposing tribe wins. This challenge was first seen in Palau (Season 10) in 2005.
The Aussie changed things up by having different rounds, with three people per a tribe carrying the weight. The best after five rounds won, which the Champions were able to do after only four rounds. I wasn’t able to find any picture of this challenge but it was fun to watch.
I also liked the weight holding challenge (seen above and on the right), which was seen in AU 2017. This challenge is kind of similar to Hot Pursuit in that tribe members are able to pass weight. However in this challenge, the tribes have to try their best and not let go as there is a whole long bucket of colored water hanging above them. The tribe that’s able to not let go wins, which the Champions were able to do.
In a twist, no one was voted out of the game this week. Instead, the person voted off was sent to Exile Beach- where they would wait for the next person voted off. The two people voted off this week will be competing in a challenge, where the winner will re-enter the game. This is similar to the twist of Redemption Island, in which people voted off competed in a series of challenges in order to get back in the game. Host Jonathan LaPaglia revealed in an interview about this beforehand, claiming that this will be a short term thing. I’m not a fan of the RI twist at all but I don’t mind whatever AU is doing here. For this week, the Contenders went to Tribal Council in both episodes.
Tegan Gasior was the first sent to Exile Beach. The 32 year old managing consultant was blindsided by her own alliance, with Benji being able to turn the women over to the other side. Tegan’s alliance with Heath was seen as dangerous. In the game, the “power couple” is always targeted early on. With Heath being needed for strength, Tegan was the one to go.
Lastly, Anita Berkett was blindsided after Heath played his hidden immunity idol. All seven vote cast against Heath did not count and Heath’s one vote for the 50 year old sales rep sent her to Exile Beach. Had he not played his idol, Heath would’ve gone instead. With Anita, her name was being tossed around before given her age. While she’s been able to do well in some of the challenges, she is the oldest of the women on the Contenders tribes. Had Heath gone, Anita would’ve probably been next on the chopping block.
While not as good as the weeks before, I enjoyed these last two episodes. As always, I’m looking forward to 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.