First and foremost, I want to say that I adore this revival of Australian Survivor. I think it’s been great, considering the US version has been rapidly decreasing in quality in the last few years. With that being said, it pains me to admit that All Stars– as a whole- has been okay at best. For the last week or two, people have been getting out their frustrations with this current season in terms of the editing. This is nothing new, as there were some fans who picked up on this last season. While I enjoyed last season, I have to admit that it was pretty predictable towards the end. With this week, the tribes swapped- which lead to a not-so-compelling result. Shonee and Zach, who were voted off to Exile Beach, simply returned- with Shonee going to Vakama while Zach simply went back to Mokuta. As far as the swap went:
For Mokuta- Abbey, Harry, John and Lydia all swapped to Vakama
For Vakama- David, Jacqui, Moana, Phoebe and Tarzan all swapped to Mokuta
While I appreciate the show not doing the Exile Beach duel again, leaving those two contestants felt kind of pointless in the end. However in the following episode (Episode 8), both tribes went to Tribal Council- in which they found out they would be voting for someone to compete in a fire making challenge, with the loser out of the game completely. Personally, I feel like having another wild card thrown in so soon was too much. As far as confessionals go, some contestants are barely in the season- most notably Flick, who was one of the most memorable contestants from the first season of the revival. Despite its downsides, I’m still able to enjoy the season for what it is.
Stand Out Contestants
For Mokuta, I’m going to go with Moana. I really liked her in her first season and was super bummed when she was voted off so early. In her second time around, she’s now made it further. With the swap, she’s still with her allies- Tarzan and Jacqui. Despite her Season 3 ally Mat still being on Vakama, she’s been able to adapt to her new tribe. This week, Moana’s been upping her game strategically- trying to keep her people close to her. Right now, she’s been shown to be working with David but Moana also wants David to be eliminated. This is risky business for Moana- which might result in her just coming short of making the merge and/or jury.
For Vakama, I’m going to pick Shonee. Coming back from Exile Beach, she’s been having a great week. No matter how much her tribe tried to get rid of her, she’s been able to stay in the game whether it be with an idol play or a tribe swap. I liked Shonee in Season 3, as she was a quirky character that had a great social game. She was also the last of the Contenders in her season, making it to the final four that year. Shonee has already been fun to watch this season. One of my favorite moments from the first week was when Shonee told her tribe how she ended up with her current job after petting a dalmatian. This week, Shonee is loving it on Vakama. In a confessional, Shonee said the tribe was like the “pure joy of finding a decent margarita on happy hour special.”
My favorite challenge this week was, hands down, the reward in Episode 9- which was the Survivor Auction. While usually done during the merge portion of the game, the Auction was done while the contestants were still on tribes. The lone season in the US show’s history to do this was Thailand (Season 5). However unlike Thailand, the contestants competed for items as individuals- with each tribe being given a total of $2000 to spend. For those unaware, the Survivor Auction is my all time favorite challenge from the show. It’s fun to see the contestants bid on things such as food and letter from home- which have lead to some iconic moments. The most memorable moment from the auction this year was seeing Phoebe bid $500 on the first item- which was an advantage. It ended up rewarding Phoebe with all of the food offered in the auction, which she shared with AK from Vakama.
In Episode 7, Abbey Holmes became the sixth person voted out of the game. For a good part of the game, Abbey had the numbers on the original Mokuta with her “sporty” alliance. Swapping over to Vakama, there were five original Mokutas on a new tribe with five Vakamas. However, one of those five Mokutas that had swapped was Shonee- who had been voted out in the previous Tribal Council. Shonee chose to side with the old Vakamas- eliminating Abbey.
In Episode 8, Lydia Lassila become the seventh person voted out of the game. In a unique Tribal Council, she was originally voted by her tribe to compete in a fire making challenge- where she was beat by Phoebe. As to why Lydia was voted out, she was part of the alliance over at old Mokuta that had plotted against Shonee. With Abbey out, Lydia was just next on the chopping block.
In Episode 9, John Eastoe become the eighth person voted out of the game. Like Abbey and Lydia before him, he was also voted out for being in that alliance that had tried to vote out Shonee. However, the vote could’ve been tied had Mat not played his idol- which he did. With that, Mat’s three votes cast against him didn’t count- eliminating John in a 3-2-0 vote, with the other two vote being for Locky.
With any lucky, the season might get better. With the swap out of the way, perhaps there’s a shot that next week is a little stronger.
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.