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Survivor New Zealand |Week 8 Episode 15 & 16 Recap – Avi’s Heart Breaks in Two

By James Rowland

Instragram – @jrowl

Twitter – @jamrowl

Hello and welcome to week 8 of Survivor New Zealand. As we near the end of the inaugural season I’d like to thank anyone that has read along with my blogs as the episodes have aired. This is the first time I’ve written about reality television and I’ve loved hearing the feedback, so thank you.

Redemption Island

Shannon, fresh from her boot arrives sheepishly to redemption island. I was interested to see how Mike and Jak would react to Shannon, would they be sour or have open arms? In true Kiwi fashion they both greet Shannon with a big smile and a ‘what the hell!?’. Shannon admitted she got a taste of her own medicine and is more subdued than she was previously. Much like the turtle in the prior images, Shannon has popped her head back in and lost her cut throat nature, which is a shame.


We have been hearing quite a bit of confidence from Avi and how he thinks every single person left on Casar trusts him. Avi does admit he wants to stick to his loyalty and that everyone can trust him – In Survivor there will come a time young Avi… Where a vote must be cast and you have given too many promises. Remember that.

Remember when Barb was a total badass and voted out the humble Sala in cold blood? Remember ‘that’ Barb? Either she’s gone on vacation or she is really ramping up the lies,  Barb tells Tom to his face that she wants to get him and Avi to the final three and that she would be mortified to get there herself! Is this a false sense of security for Tom or is Barb truly scared of getting to the end? I’d hope she was fooling them but I’m not sure she is.

Next up we have Tom and Shay, the bitter rivals turned frenemies. They continue to reassure each other that they’re set for final three and that even though in the past they have been at each others throats, this time they are solid. Which immediately cuts to Shay, ‘I don’t trust Tom’. Which cuts to Tom, “I don’t trust Shay”. These guys are hilarious, I bet they both thought they were getting away with reassuring the other and they both pull that confessional. So good.

Shay, suspicious of Tom goes to Avi and tells him that Tom is coming for him. Avi, shocked that his good friend would do this goes directly to Tom and asks him if it is true. Tom is bewildered at this accusation and swears it is false. I don’t know what Shay was thinking. Of course Avi, the honour and integrity poster boy is going to ask Tom if it is true.

Avi is pretty upset at Shay, he kind of does let her off the hook by stating that she may of misheard (of course she didn’t). The audio from this scene is under a shot of a spider catching what seems to be a bee in it’s web, another cool shot. Shay has been caught just like the bee.

Reward Challenge

At last there is a reward challenge! And oh boy it’s a big one. The winner will go on an overnight stay at a resort and indulge in food and drink. I’ve never seen Nate so bloody happy, hearing Matt describe this reward.

The challenge is where the players must jump in a pool of mud and get as much as possible into their buckets. Loving the slow motion shots of Tom’s cannonballs in this challenge. The ten minutes is up and it’s time to weigh the buckets. I’m surprised they didn’t air the part where they weigh the buckets, you’ve got 75 minutes and no tribal council yet you cut out a suspenseful part to show? I don’t understand. Nevertheless, Avi beats barb by a decent two kilograms and wins reward.

POST CHALLENGE Tom weighs mud (Photocredit Scott McAulay) (7)
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Avi is allowed to pick one person, he chooses Tom because he has ‘not been on a reward’. Matt does say after he has picked Tom that he can choose one more, Avi toils a bit on his decision before eventually selecting Barb. Nate and Shay seem to take it pretty well. Avi has done okay with his selections here.

The three really indulge in the reward, they are living up the food, drinks and really having fun. We get another confessional from Barb stating that the would love to see these two young men in the final three. It seems legit from Barb.

LUXURY REWARD Barb, Tom, Avi (Photocredit Scott McAulay) (38)
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Back at camp

You know when you are left alone with someone that you just don’t click with, no matter how hard you try and make small talk it kind of just never flows? I have never seen a clearer case of that than here with Nate and Shay. They would of had to spend almost 24 hours alone together, barely talking. Cringe.

Barb comes back, successfully downplays the reward and how amazing it was…

Redemption Island

How funny was Shannonymous and Jak talking on the coconut phones! ‘Oh man Mike is going to be there? what’s the point!”. Jak believes if he can psyche Mike out into thinking that Jak doesn’t want to win, he can have a mental advantage. I’d try it too if I was up against Mike!

All three are hoping that the winner will re-enter the game but their dreams will have to be put on hold as Matt denies them. One will be eliminated while the other two go back to redemption island.

They must hold their arm in the air and if they slip or lower their arm, the water will fall and they will be sent to the jury. The challenge runs for fifteen minutes before Jak starts trembling, it looks like he is just about done but out of no where Shannon drops her arm and loses! Shannon is sent to the jury and just like that my favourite is gone.

REDEMPTION ISLAND Shannon (Photocredit Scott McAulay (20)
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Episode 16

Ready to hear the same things repeated?

  • Mike is unstoppable
  • Avi is a good guy
  • Most Kiwi’s cant separate human behavior and survivor strategy
  • Shay trusts Avi – Not Tom. WE KNOW!
  • Barb is obviously the godfather and everything she does is part of a master plan – Right? Right!?

Avi is struggling with the nature of Survivor. He sees that the tribe is targeting Shay yet Avi has given his word to Shay. Tom plays on Avi’s heart here and explains to him, you’ve also given me your word. So you will break it to one of us. “If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment his heart breaks in two.” – Bart Simpson.

Nate is growing ever weary of Shay, he doesn’t trust something about her. Wether it is her running around and telling lies or her nervous laugh (which is noticeable) he just doesn’t trust her. I have no problem with Shay planting seeds of doubt, the problem is the people she’s telling trust each other and they just confirm with others that it is false.

Nate, mirroring myself is sick and tired of people putting friendships before gameplay. ‘It’s called survivor; not friends’. THANK YOU NATE.

Immunity Challenge

The players must balance a ball on a disc, from increasing distances and also from a thinner balance beam as the challenge progresses.

IN CHALLENGE Nate, Avi, Tom (photocredit Scott McAulay)
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Avi desperately wants a win, but falls out in the first round. You can tell he is such a competitor but he just can’t pull it together, he’s furious.

It comes down to Barb against Tom on the last stage, they fight it out for a few minutes before Barb drops her ball resulting in Tom’s fourth individual immunity win in a row! Very impressive. He might out have to win out at this stage though, he must be seen as a massive threat.

Back at camp

Avi is wrestling with the emotions on having to flip on a friend and he tells Tom he doesn’t want to write Shay’s name down.

Nate realizes that Avi is so likable that if he gets to the final three, he will be hard to beat. Nate is angry that Avi will not betray people and he would be the only one who could say that at the end. Lee and Sala would love hearing that. Nate asks Barb if she’d consider voting out Avi. She ponders this in her hammock and as soon as Nate leaves her sight she runs to tell Tom and Avi. Looks like Barb has severed ties with Nate pretty quickly.

Avi comes into some self awareness, realizing that maybe he was naive to believe he could make it through the entire game with full honesty. You’ve harped on about it all season Avi, is it too late to become the bad guy?


Matt asks the tribe about honesty, Avi tells him that you suppose you don’t turn on your own. Shay doubles down on this, stating that ‘suppose we already have turned on her own’. I think Shay knows the deal here.

TRIBAL COUNCIL Casar (photocredit Scott McAulay) (11)
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Shay is voted out unanimously and for the second time is on her way to redemption island. Avi has made the move from Harvey Dent to Two Face, what will the jury think of his ‘honest’ approach now?

Going into the finale next week, I will make some predictions.

  • Mike wins his way back into the game, but loses the first immunity and is voted out.
  • Nate is voted out fourth.
  • Final three of Tom, Avi, Barb.
  • Avi gets roasted about ‘honesty’ and how he wanted to play with integrity but ultimately could not.
  • Barb gets roasted for not doing much for the most of the game.
  • Tom is my pick to win if he makes it to the end as he never pretended to be honest and also smashed the immunity challenges.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!