Coming off of a solid first week, Australian Survivor 2019 gave us three episodes for Week 2. In my opinion, this week was better than last week. With it being the second week, the characters were expanded on- which resulted in a great week of 70 minute episodes.
I really enjoyed all three episode this week. With last week, I did like both episodes but felt that AU has had better first weeks years prior. Naturally with the second week, the characters will have their stories expanded and/or their arcs established. While there are still a few contestants we still don’t know too well, I feel like more of the cast was shown this week.
One thing I didn’t get to mention in last week’s recap was the way the show has been edited. Much like last year, we’ve been treated to cinematic footage of the contestants outside of the game. I really like this because it gives us an idea of what they do in their day to day life, making them feel like real people. It also shows that the show cares about the contestants, which can’t be said of the US version in recent years. With the US version, there’s a good five or more people that will get little to no screen time. Even the ones who do get screen time still might get a choppy edit- focusing more on the strategy and less on the people themselves. As far as the tribes go, the Champions have been shown more considering they didn’t win immunity during any of the three episodes this week. We don’t know about the Contenders as a whole tribe but we do at least know some of the members.
Stand Out Contestants
As with last week, I will pick one person from each tribe.
For the Champions, I’m still enjoying Luke. It’s still great to see him back in the game and this week was no exception. However for this week, I’m picking Janine. She’s been playing a solid game and is interesting from the casting perspective. As the founder and CEO of Boost Juice, Janine probably doesn’t need the money given to the sole survivor. Still, she’s pretty smart and I like what we’ve seen of her so far. She’s aligned with Luke and David, so she might be in the game for a while. In Episode 3, Janine found herself in a unique situation when she found a hidden immunity idol with limited powers. Instead of keeping it for herself, Janine would have to give it to a contestant from the Contenders tribe. If used correctly, Janine could gain an ally from the other side.
David has been having a good week too. Not only was he able to find a hidden immunity with Luke but he also created a fake idol. Since David saw Janine taking the the clue to the idol, Janine ended up sharing the information with him. The scroll that came with the idol also read that the same idol was also hidden at the Contenders’ beach, in which the person who found it would give it to a Champion. David took a wild guess and thought that Shaun would have the idol. During the reward in Episode 5, David was able to talk to Shaun briefly and Shaun did indeed have the idol. The exchange was made during the immunity challenge that same episode. However, David decided to give Shaun the fake idol he made while Shaun gave David a real idol. This is a ballsy move on David’s part. However, it could also cut him if he and Shaun should go further into the game.
For the Contenders, I’m still rooting for Baden. Luckily this week, Baden surprised his tribe during episode 3 of the reward challenge. More on that later. This week, I’m going to pick Sarah. The 45 year old cleaner from South Australia is already a true survivor as she was able to survive the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on Boxing Day of 2004. She survived by jumping off of a balcony, getting dragged 800 meters away and eventually being grabbed and pulled up onto a rooftop. For the reward challenge in Episode 4, the contestants were required to retrieve keys by jumping from a high perch into the ocean- swimming over to a platform as they waited for the rest of their tribe. Everyone was able to do this except Sarah, who stayed up on the perch- fearful of jumping into the ocean. While the Contenders ended up losing, the tribemates had her back, rushing back up to the perch and giving her a big hug. These scenes were all handled very well and to see Sarah’s tribe being understanding was touching to see. Even though Sarah wasn’t able to dive in the ocean, she’s an inspiration for other women her age in competing in this game.
I can’t help but compare this to a similar scene in Games Changers (Season 34) where veteran player Cirie Fields struggled to cross a balance beam. I feel Sarah’s scene was handled better. One of my ongoing issues with the US version is Jeff Probst’s need to make the show about himself. While I don’t doubt the emotions were genuine, that scene in Game Changers was extremely cringe worthy as Probst couldn’t help but narrate the scene as it happened- to the point where Probst said they’d wait till Cirie cross the beam. It was as if Probst thought he was Dr. Phil. With AU, Jonathan just acknowledged what happened while still showing compassion.
My favorite challenge this week was the reward challenge in Episode 3, which took place in an ocean trench. In the challenge, one member of each tribe will go up against a member of the opposing tribe. With a bell at each tribe’s station, they must try to ring the bell while also trying to prevent the other person from ringing the other one. The first tribe to win five times wins reward. I can’t remember the US version ever doing this exact challenge. It’s a very simple one-on-one type challenge but I like how the goal is to ring the bell. I really enjoyed this and it was a pretty close challenge.
One of the reasons why I liked this challenge so much is because Baden really redeemed himself to his tribe. With the tribes tied 3-3, Baden went up against professional surfer Ross from the Champions. From almost out of nowhere, Baden blazed pass Ross over to the other side within seconds- breaking the tie and scoring a point for the Contenders. The Contenders ended up winning the challenge, which came in the form of comfort items.
The Champions went to Tribal Council in all three episodes this week.
In Episode 3, Susie Maroney was the third person voted out of the game. The 44-year-old marathon swimmer found herself the victim of a blindside. Prior to Tribal, the Athlete alliance of seven had the numbers. Luke, David, Pia and Janine were on the outs and need two more in order to save themselves. Luke was able to build a connection with Ross while David was able to pulley in Abbey. With Ross and Abbey flipping, Susie was voted out. As to why Susie was voted off, she was seen as the weakest of the athletes. In several shot throughout the episode, Susie was shown to be doing nothing in the challenges. In an effort to keep the tribe stronger, Susie was eliminated from the Champions tribe.
In Episode 4, Nova Peris was the fourth person voted out of the game. With the new dominating alliance (now called the Fun alliance) in control, they had the numbers to eliminate the 48-year-old former Olympian turned politician. The reason why Nova was voted off is pretty simple: she ruffled one too many feathers as she was deemed as too controlling around camp- especially with the cooking. This annoyed her tribemates, with Ross hilariously calling her the “Soup Nazi” in a confessional. She was also defending the actions of Steven prior to Tribal Council, who had insulted Abbey back at camp. Speaking of which…
In Episode 5, Steven Bradbury was the fifth person voted out of the game in a unanimous vote. The reason why the 45-year-old former Olympic speed skater was voted off is pretty obvious: he lacked a social game. From Day 1, Steven came into this game playing hard. He assembled his Athlete alliance within a short amount of time, without really getting to know who his allies were as people. In Episode 4, he insulted Abbey by telling her she was “weak.” This brought Abbey to tears, which had the tribe concerned. When confronted, Steven claimed he wasn’t saying Abbey was physically weak but rather weak in decision to flip on the Athlete alliance. Steven could’ve very well been voted out that episode but he managed to skate through (pun slightly intended) until the next episode.
I really don’t have much else to say about these three great episode of AU this week. For Week 3, we’ll be getting another three episodes- so these recaps might end up being longer than last year’s. I’m enjoying this season so far.
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.