By James Rowland

Instragram – @jrowl

Twitter – @jamrowl

Episode 7

We start off on Hermosa who are mourning celebrating the loss of Georgia. Barb, Nate, Sala and Avi are pleased with their vote and feel a tight connection, this could be an alliance that goes into the merge solidified.

Shannon joins the Hermosa tribe the day after Georgia had been voted off. The four from Hermosa are tentative upon Shannon’s arrival, aware that she may not be trusted. Shannon is quite nervous talking to the group, quickly disowning her alliance to captain Mike and his jolly pirates. Nate in his typical cautious fashion is sussing Shannon out, he lets us know that ‘The game starts for me today’. 

Mogotón continue to bro down, Tom feels quite comfortable in his new alliance but is still aware that he is on the bottom of the four. Mike is feeling hard done by, seeing that Georgia has been voted off Hermosa. Mike even goes as far to call voting her off ‘Treason’, sounding a little like Emperor Palpatine here Mike.

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Hero Reward Challenge

We enter the venue for the hero reward challenge. This is a gruelling challenge, the run into the crashing waves combined with the repetition of jumping on the plank would tire anyone out. It’s Avi who edges out Lee to snag the win. Avi and his tribe are delighted with the comfort items and a sloppy bag of chocolate.

Lee jumps (photocredit Scott McAulay)
http://www.scottmcaulay.com

Back At Camp

Back on Mogotón, Mike is still frustrated, stating ‘four bigger older people have targeted little 25 year old Georgia, they’re now on my hit list’ – he does know that voting someone from the majority out when you get the chance is Survivor 101 right?

Mike comes off a bit arrogant here, I understand his frustration but he needs to tone it down a bit. If this is clear to other members of the game then they clearly know that he and Georgia were and potentially (if she returns) are a tight couple.

The next scene is one of my favourites so far from the season. The men on Mogotón are still acting like buffoons and Shay gives the best deadpan confessional i’ve seen. Something along the lines of – ‘I’m glad I got married before this show because if I didn’t I would of lost all hope in men’. Just the way she delivers that line, resembling Pam from The Office.

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At Hermosa, Shannon is still working out how to ingratiate herself into her new tribe. She correctly calls that these people won’t respect scrambling and to really be accepted by the tribe she will have to fight hard and win her way into the good graces. Nate and Shannon have a good talk, Nate is still weary of Shannon but she does gain some confidence from Nate.

Redemption Island Duel

We head to redemption island, where the duel will be viewed by everyone. Georgia and Izzy battle it out and both look quite nervous stacking their plates. It does seem as though Izzy is doing better, her arm is more steady and Georgia is shaking quite frequently. All of a sudden though, both girls drop their stack at almost the same time. The dramatic ad break cut away is brought out – NZ taking a leaf out of every single Australian reality show ever. It’s declared that Georgia is the winner by the skin of her teeth. Bit of controversy, it looked like Georgia touched her plates before Izzy’s dropped. I think Izzy’s stack was falling before Georgia touched hers. 

Mike is ecstatic with Georgia’s win, knowing how easy it will be once she re-enters the game. If she re-enters the game.

EPISODE 8

Tom is happy with the dynamics at Mogotón and he believes he has a close bond with Jak, he believes his bond is stronger than the one he had with Izzy. Tom is very trusting here, if it comes down to the same situation with Jak that he had with Izzy, Jak would do the exact same thing, no doubt about it.

At Hermosa, Shannon is working Sala in a very subtle but effective way. Shannon is playing on his heart and Sala who tends to give people the benefit of the doubt could be persuaded into keeping Shannon over someone like Barb. Avi and Sala are playing around before the challenge, they have a very strong bond and perhaps a new power couple.

Immunity Is Back Up For Grabs!

At the challenge, Mogotón is all set to throw it in order to vote of Shay. They must have enough finesse to make sure Hermosa and Shay don’t realise they are purposely losing the challenge here. Jak hands back old mate idol to Matt and the challenge is underway.

Hermosa get out to a strong lead, getting the hang of the water throwing quickly. Shay is struggling in her attempt to heave the water to Tom, making the boys’ job of throwing the challenge a bit easier. Shannon and Barb start on the puzzle with a 10 minute headstart on Mogotón, Jak fumbles around with the key and Sala begins to suspect something is up.

Shannon and Barb really struggle with the phrase puzzle, Mike and Jak are purposely fumbling through the puzzle – something about a ‘tight ass’. Matt lets out a hint even Jeff Probst would sneeze at ‘I say this phrase at redemption island’. Shannon and Barb finally get a spark and solve the puzzle, Shannon collapses with joy.

Shannon emotional (Photographer Scott McAualay)
http://www.scottmcaulay.com

Sala and Nate suspect the challenge was thrown, Jak and Mike were too complacent at the puzzle table and gave it away. This will get out eventually and possibly tarnish someones game in this NZ/Aussie ‘mateship and loyalty’ style season of survivor.

Tribal Council

Shay tries to persuade Tom and Jak to vote out Mike, under the false pretenses that they will run the game after he is voted out. Jak and Tom listen to her but never truly consider it. Shay is as good as gone. Tom brings up the idea to Mike and Jak that he might throw a vote Mike’s way, in the case that Tom may be able to play a double agent role come the merge. Not a bad play as long as Mike is okay with it.

Tribal council comes and goes, Shay is voted out 3-2 with Tom casting his vote on Mike.

Urn awaits (photocredit Scott McAulay)
http://www.scottmcaulay.com

Merge Thoughts

  • Will Shannon stay with the new Hermosa? Really hard call, I believe it hinges on wether Shay or Georgia comes back.
  •  Jak had a reasonably strong outing, solidifying a strong bond with Tom and successfully throwing the challenge to vote out Shay. He won’t be seen as an immediate threat.

  • Avi and Sala are a tight pair, they will try to sway Tom to rejoin the group and if Shay comes back they are in a strong position.
  • Nate and Barb will definitely stay with the new Hermosa alliance, they will target Mike or Lee and try to gain majority.
  • Mike is in big trouble and is the most typical merge boot on this cast. Could be toast.

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