With the season getting closer to the end, Australian Survivor All Stars continued with its sixth week. As much as I hate to say it, this might be the weakest set of episodes from the show in a while.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not crazy about this season- nor was I crazy about it to begin with. I think with any version of the show, All Star seasons are never perfect: most of them are boring, frustrating and disappointing. While I do like the contestants still in the game, this is another thing that All Star seasons struggle with: keeping the story interesting. With most of the contestants, their story was already told in their original seasons. However, I don’t feel the frustration that I do when watch US All Star seasons- probably because I know that we’re getting another season later this year.
What really set this week back was the twist thrown in during Episode 16: at Tribal Council, Jonathan explained that for the next two Tribal Councils- the contestants would be voting for people to go to Exile Beach. The three people with the highest number of votes would be the ones going. In Episode 18, the six on Exile competed in two challenges- where three people were able to get back into the game. The three remaining people, however, would be the only people vulnerable at the next Tribal Council- with one of them leaving the game for good. Had this been explained in Episode 16, I probably would’ve been okay with it. However, the viewers didn’t know anything until the following episodes. I have to cut the show some slack in doing this: based on last week, it seemed as if the three remaining Vakamas would all be pick off one by one (or pagonged- a term coined by fans after the first season of Survivor). Throwing in something like Exile Beach mixes things up. Still, I have to admit it wasn’t all that exiting to watch. However, the end result in Episode 18 was a solid arc closer.
Stand Out Contestant
Once again, I have to pick David. I know there are some people who aren’t happy with his style of gameplay and find him to be polarizing. For me, he’s been keeping the season entertaining. All season long, I’ve been cracking up mostly because of David. He’s obviously playing it up for the camera but I think he’s hilarious. David’s best moment this week, hands down, was in Episode 17 when he tried to keep the target off of him. Knowing that another three people would go to Exile, Sharn asked David if he would be okay with going to Exile and competing in the challenges- given that David was a strong competitor and could take the Vakamas out. David didn’t like this idea at all. In an effort to avoid being sent to Exile, David told Sharn and the other contestants that he had a cold. In reality, David wasn’t sick at all. Going into Tribal Council, David continued to cough and it managed to work. Whether or not his tribemates knew that he was lying, it was still fun to watch.
I didn’t really have a favorite challenge this week. Almost all of the challenges this week were variations of other ones and/or endurance challenges. If I had to pick one, I did enjoy watching the Jailbreak challenge from Episode 18. In this challenge, contestants must try to retrieve a key from behind a grated door. Contestants must create bamboo poles long enough to reach for their key. After unlocking the door, the contestants would have to compete in the classic fire making challenge- creating a fire big enough to burn through a rope. The first two contestants able to do so won their way back into the game- which ended up being Moana and Brooke. The reason why I pick this challenge is mostly because of Moana’s determination. She kept giving confessionals on Exile about how she was doing this for her family and how she was going to win this. Moana managed to get through the challenge fairly quickly, which made Moana break down and cry tears of joy.
In Episode 16, Lee Carseldine withdrew from the game due to a family emergency. Shortly after the reward challenge, Lee was approached by a producer to come over. Via phone call, Lee found out that his mother just had a stroke. Given her age, the doctors doubted that she would make it. With that, Lee told his tribemates that he had to leave the game. Sadly, Lee’s mother passed before Lee arrived home. With Lee’s sudden exit, he will not be a member of the jury. It’s a shame Lee had to leave the way he did. It’s rare when a contestant has to leave because of a family emergency. In the US, it’s happened to Jenna Morassca in All Stars (Season 8) and Terry Dietz in Cambodia (Season 31). Although this was filmed months ago, my condolences go out to Lee and his family.
In Episode 18, Zach Kozyrski became the 16th person voted off and the third member of the jury. The Exile Beach twist had AK, Brooke, Moana, Shonee, Jacqui and Zach all competing in the next two challenges. With Brook, Moana and Jacqui having won the re-entry challenges, this left AK, Shonee and Zach the only three vulnerable at Tribal Council. Once again, the Vakamas were down in numbers. However, Jacqui wanted to target Zach as a way of weakening David. Moana and Sharn, who also wanted to weaken David, allowed Jacqui to side with the Vakamas to avoid burning bridges. Zach had volunteered in going to Exile since he thought it would be the heroic thing to do. In the end, Zach’s decision eventually led to his demise.
There’s at least two more weeks left in this season. While my interest in the season has decreased, I’m still looking forward to seeing how this game ends.
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.