Listen to our recap of AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR week 1.
1) Production and Challenges looks as good as the American version.
One of the biggest fears Survivor fans had of an Australian version of the show is that it would not look or feel like US Survivor. Thankfully TEN has done an amazing job quelling those concerns. Hearing the traditional Survivor music, while only a small detail to many, makes the minority of superfans smile with glee. The first reward challenge while not the original Borneo “Quest for Fire” challenge many had hoped, was a modification of the marooning on recent US Survivor Season 31 Second Chances. The decision to leave valuable supplies behind, in the quest for fire is an interesting choice. AGANOA (Red), smartly deciding not to pursue fire, when the other tribes were ahead and just loaded their boat with supplies. Unlike the original season of Australian Survivor produced by NINE, the challenges were of the scale of what is seen in US Survivor.
2) The 3 Tribes an interesting mix.
The three tribes – Aganoa (Red), Saanapu (Blue), and Vavau (Yellow) all contain an interesting mix of players. Aganoa appears to have the two most physically strong males in Rohan and Lee. The most heavily advertised and hyped player preseason was Phoebe. She was hardly seen in the episode. In my opinion the breakout star of the show Des. A true whopper of a character! The Saanapu tribe appears to be the most diverse in terms of player types. On one side you have Conner the superfan, who burnt his hand tending to the fire and the other Sam Webb, yes he has a Web tattoo! Who readily admits he has seen about 20 minutes of the show. I’m not sure Celebrity Survivor counts Sam. Peter got called by his last name “Fiegs” from Jonathan in the challenge, a superfans dream. Kylie remains the one to watch. Genuine, compassionate and hard working, she is easily likeable, which could be her downfall in the game. Matt the Magician is the wildcard for mine. He seemed to form strong relationships and blitzed the puzzle. Vavau were the standout tribe. The tribe seemed to have more “students of the game” compared to its opposing tribes. While at times the Vavau tribe seemed to be heavily Nick focused, Andrew shone through with limited screen time. He appears cunning and ready to strike. I can’t see him wanting to cut his business trip short anytime soon. Craig is also one to watch. His confessional about stereotypical mucho men will surely foreshadow an upcoming challenge. The invisible women of preseason JL finally made her speaking debut. I think we will see more of her as the weeks progress. The Sue-nami is coming and I can’t wait! A complete “Bad Ass!”. She is a hard worker, and unlike many older contestants in Survivor she seemed to form genuine relationships with the younger players in her tribe. Time will tell whether that will help.
3) Everybody Loves… Nick!
Nick’s tribe aka Vavau, was heavily focused on his journey and his narration. Even when the story went and focused on the other (Dodos) characters, Nick appeared to be in the background, chiming in. Survivor RULE #1. Do not take on a leadership role on Day 1. Despite being a self proclaimed “student of the game,” he broke this rule. However he appears to be in a strong position socially within his tribe and an unlikely alliance of Nick and Sue seems a possibility. The quote of the night from Nick – “I even went to see a hypnotist for my fear of rats and mice.” He might need more than a hypnotist if he is going to last 55 days! Nick was everywhere last night, but was his heavy night one edit a sign of things to come, or just a red herring?
4) Aussie Jeff Hits the Mark.
“This is my first tribal council, so we’re in this together” Jonathan LaPaglia is stepping into arguably the most difficult hosting role on reality television. Living up to Jeff Probst, the American host of 16 years and 32 seasons is a gigantic mountain to climb. Finding the balance of using Jeff-isms to appease the superfans, while remaining authentic to himself, is a fine line. Jonathan is off to a positive start. While the questioning at tribal might need a bit of work, he exceeded my expectations heading into the show. He will continue to grow into the role, and by the end of the game, I have confidence he will be firing on all cylinders.
5) We lost a star in Des.
“If they don’t get rid of me first, they will be in trouble.” and so they did. Des did not have the social skills to sustain him in the game. His sound bites for one episode however will rank him very highly. I won’t be able to buy a Whopper any time soon without thinking about Des. He was dynamic in his confessionals. He is authentic and a good representation of an ocker blue collar Australian, rarely shown on Australian Television. TEN would have been disappointed to have lost a casting star so early. He broke Survivor RULE #2 – Don’t isolate yourself, always socially interact with the biggest group on the beach. Survivor is a game about numbers, you always want to be in the numbers and with the numbers to make it through to the next tribal. Des failed at this. Isolating himself in the water and not spooning with his tribe. Despite his best efforts to become useful to the tribe, it was too little too late.
Until next time. The tribe has spoken.
If you liked this article, go back and listen to our preseason podcasts on the 3 tribes and stay tuned for our recap podcast on Tuesday. Join our Australian Survivor Community and join the conversation – HERE
Listen to our recap of AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR week 1.