With only one week left to go, the competition on Australian Survivor heated up some more. While last week’s set of episodes were just okay, this week was luckily an improvement. With six people left in the game, it’s certainly an unpredictable race to the finish line.
This has been a fun post merge to watch. The power shifts have been wild this season- leading us up to a final six that consists of one man and five women. I enjoyed both episodes this week but as per usual, I preferred the Tuesday episodes given the longer runtime.
It’s especially interesting to watch the game when there’s more of one gender over the other. Looking at the numbers, the women could easily pick off Brian if he doesn’t win immunity. However, it’s not that simple: Brian still has ties with Fenella, Shonee and Monika. Left with only two in their alliance, Shane and Sharn really had to put their heads together this week.
I said last week that I will evaluate all of the players left in the game. I’m saving that for the end of this article.
I did enjoy the immunity challenge in Episode 21 (pictured above)- which is called Spin Cycle. It’s another endurance challenge but I really liked the design of it.
My favorite challenge this week was the immunity challenge in Episode 22, Fire and Water. In this challenge, the contestants are each given a see-saw-like contraption. Both ends have a bucket on them. The contestants will start on one end and try to make a fire. Once they are able to keep their fire stable, the contestant can then move on to filling the bucket on the other end with water from the ocean. To make things trickier, the water bucket on the see-saw has a hole in it. The contestant must try to rush back and forth to the water bucket, which will then raise the fire bucket. If the fire is kept at a good level, it should burn through a rope at the top. The first to do so wins immunity. This challenge was fun to see as it’s an old school challenge from The Australian Outback (Season 2). It was only used again in All Stars (Season 8) so it was nice to see AU use it.
Fenella McGowan was voted off in Episode 21- becoming the sixth member of the jury. With Fenella’s vote out, she was voted out as the result of an idol being played by Sharn. Sharn told Shane about her idol and together, the two tried to sway someone from the other side to vote for Sharn. Brian and his alliance had agreed to split the vote between Shane and Sharn, just in case one of them had an idol. If that went through with Sharn’s idol play, the votes would’ve been tied 2-2 between Fenella and Shane. However, Shane was able to convince Brian to vote for Sharn- as Shane was trying to save herself. The plan worked and because of Brian’s flip, Fenella was the one voted out. Fenella was targeted due to her alliance with Shonee. The two were inseparable and would always vote together. Taking out Fenella would break up that alliance.
In Episode 22, Monika Radulavic was voted off- becoming the seventh member of the jury. After Brian’s screw up with the Fenella vote, Shonee was not happy with Brian. Ties were further severed when Brian picked Monika to go on the reward in Episode 22 with him. Just like that, Shonee decided to align herself with Sharn and Shane to vote out Brian- proudly calling themselves the SH Alliance. However before Tribal Council, the women noticed that Brian was a bit more relaxed than usual. Suspecting he had an idol, the SH Alliance decided to put their votes on Monika instead. This was smart thinking as Brian ended up playing his idol. After a 3-2 vote against Shane, Monika was voted out.
The Final Four
With four people remaining in the game, I will now evaluate each player.
As a member of the Champions tribe, Brian came into the game on the outs. While his tribe seemed to like him, he was still the odd one out. Still, Brian was a good guy to keep around for his strength in the tribal challenges. When the tribes swapped, Brian came fairly close to being vote off- given that people like Mat and Sam couldn’t trust him. However, Brian was able to make it to the merge. As the game moved along, he was able to take part in Mat’s blindside. It was around this time that Brian began to have a rise in power, especially after Benji was voted out. After the Benji vote, Brian was winning challenges and had the the former Contenders and Monika on his side. He is also the last man left in the game.
Chances of winning: I don’t think Brian is winning. Since last week, we started hearing from his former Champion tribemates- saying how Brian didn’t deserve to be there. Now with this week, his power has declined. Looking at all of the possible final 2 scenarios, I think he loses in each one.
At 63 years old, Shane is the oldest player from this season. Much like Brian, Shane started on the outs- even going out of her way to find an idol. However as the game moved along, Shane became a valued alliance member. She’s has been very loyal and has even managed to pull off some impressive moves- such as Lydia’s blindside and getting Brian to flip.
Chances of winning: While I picked Shane last week as the stand out contestant, I’m now beginning to think that she’s not going to win. While Shane has several allies on the jury, I’m not sure if they would vote for her to win if she’s with Shonee or Sharn in a final 2. Again, she didn’t come into this game all that well. Still, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Shane won. In fact, I would be happy to see a win from Shane. If she won, she’d be one of the game’s oldest winners- up there with Gabon (Season 17) winner Bob Crowley- who won at 57 years old.
Looking back at previous weeks, Sharn has played a very solid game. In the early part of the game, she was able to form an alliance with Mat. She was able to branch out later and form bonds with the rest of her tribe. When the tribes swapped, Sharn moved over to the Contenders tribe- where she built bonds with contestants such as Robbie and Benji. She’s also won several immunity challenges, perhaps one of the strongest competitors this season.
Chances of winning: It’s very likely that Sharn will end up winning. I think swapping to the other tribe helped her out. She’s also been very loyal to her allies, which usually equates to jury votes. In any final 2 scenario, I think she wins. While her win would be predictable, I wouldn’t mind it.
As the last Contender standing, Shonee has played an impressive game. Not only has her relationship with Fenella gotten her far but she hasn’t been afraid of working with the people she was against- such as Benji. Like Sharn, Shonee switched tribes. While she was shown to not be enjoying her time on the Champions tribe, she managed to make it to the merge. Reunited with Fenella, the two were able to make their way through the game. Along the way, Shonee wasn’t afraid of working with the former Champions- which has gotten her to where she is now.
Chances of winning: Shonee could win this game, depending on who she ends up with. Looking at the final 2 scenarios, I think she wins against everyone except Sharn. Another thing working against her is that most of the jury consists of the Champions. Until now, I had forgotten about her confessional at the Champions tribe- in which she said she was bored there. I don’t think that one confessional means she’s losing but it could give some insight as to how much she’s tried to built her bonds. Then again, the jury seem impressed by her gameplay- especially in this last episode when Monika was voted off.
I’ve been enjoying this season a lot. The final week looks like its shaping up to be the ultimate showdown.
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.