This week Australian Survivor’s favourite snake and Survivor super-fan, Nick Iadanza, gives us his thoughts on episode 9 and the season so far! But first, the recap…

Day 24-25

Post tribal. Jay is pissed Michelle is gone and wishes Adam luck being at the bottom of Gen X. Chris feels solid in his position right now with his boy Bret. Taylor and Jay try to think of a way to get into the core alliance. Taylor takes Adam aside and they agree to respect each others secrets, until one of them slips up! Taylor shows us his secret food stash, and is anyone really laughing along with him?! He’s been so frustrating to watch.

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We don’t want to see your mason jar, ya fool! [Image credit: CBS]

Jay and Hannah go for a walk where she opens up and explains why she didn’t go with the boys and her intentions to go far in the game. Jay appreciates her honesty and is impressed with her small steps forward. So proud of you Hannah!! She’s come a long way.

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Hannah bro-ing out with Jay. [Image credit: CBS]

REWARD CHALLENGE

Divided into two teams of 6, race thru obstacles to retrieve a key. Unlock a box and drag to the end mat. Unlock the bolos and throw all 5 on a post. Reward is a cheeseburger feast at a luxurious resort. Hannah and Chris are team captains for a schoolyard pick.

Purple (Chris) take the early lead and it only extends from there. The brawn on purple is too strong. Orange (Hannah) don’t even make it to the bolo throwing and Hannah admits defeat, in her team and future ability as sports captain.

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WE STILL LOVE YOU HANNAH. [Image credit: CBS]

Reward. The resort looks friggen amazing to say the least!! The burgers are MASSIVE. The cocktails come along and Bret becomes the life of the party! Keep the bad jokes coming, Bret… Sunday has a confessional about how fractured the Gen X group really is and how she wants to take control of her own fate in the game as she doesn’t trust Dave and Ken. It’s been great seeing Sunday talk a bit of strategy; she may be one to pounce further down the track.

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Bombs away, Bret!! [Image credit: CBS]

Vinaka beach. Jay takes Adam aside and they discuss what happened last tribal. Adam is worried he’s playing too aggressively, but admits he still has a stronger connection with Gen X than Jay. Adam then tells Jay that he’s definitely on the bottom.. Tone it down bro! Sigh, I feel Adam keeps digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself each week. Paranoia is definitely in the house, people!!

Jay tells the other millennials, Hannah, Zeke and Will, that Adam told him he’s on the bottom and was real nasty about it. Zeke admits he wanted Adam out last week. He thinks Adam is just making the game worse for himself, and I couldn’t agree more. but how good a position is Zeke in right now?!

Sunday is gunning for Lewis. Noo!! She approaches Jay and he says he will vote for whoever she writes down. Sunday thinks Jess is sketchy and needs to be taken out next!

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Stand on a narrow beam, balancing ball on a wooden bow. Move down beam at timed intervals. Last left standing wins. Twist: if you feel safe, sit out of the challenge and eat grilled sangas, potato chips, beer (and again, softies for the kiddies).

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Kiddies = Will. [Image credit: CBS]

Zeke and Will choose to eat! On the bottom beam rung it’s between Ken and Taylor. Tayls just seems so blasé about it all and falls off… Ken wins his first individual immunity!

Vinaka beach. Narrator Dave says splitting the votes is the way to go. Will is safe because he’s not a threat, so the votes will be split between Jay and Taylor and to flush out any idol. Sunday tells Bret she doesn’t want to vote for Jay and she’s worried about Jess. Sunday tells Jay that majority want him out and it frickin’ sucks. Don’t give up, Jay!

Taylor and Jay drown their sorrows, having their last meal together eating Tayls secret stash. Jay talks about playing his idol tonight either for himself or Taylor, or not at all. Tayls decides to tell Jay about Adams advantage and how they had a pact to not reveal each others secrets. Figgy’s name is brought up again and they still ain’t over that vote out! Things are about to blow up at tribal…

TRIBAL COUNCIL

Jay and Adam already start having a go at each other about being blindsided at tribal. Chris tells them that there are cracks in the game and Taylor pipes up! He then tells everyone that he hid three jars of food, WITH Adam. Jay gets in on the action and confirms it. Adam says he did not help or eat any of Taylors food and things heat up quickly!

It’s a showdown between Adam and Taylor. [Image credit: CBS]

All Adam did was keep Taylors secret. Taylor blasts Adam more revealing the confessional screamer is a bigger threat than them all because of his reward-stealing advantage. Adam comes clean about what his advantage is and how it’s not truly not an advantage at all. Taylor specifically uses the whole stealing a loved ones reward as a huge problem. Hannah asks Adam why the boys know and he admits to trusting Taylor incorrectly.

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Probst is stunned!! [Image credit: CBS]

David says this confession is the nail in the coffin for either Taylor or Adam. Adam is beside himself and cannot believe what is happening. Jess has her two cents and Jay becomes annoyed that he’s been lumped in the ‘dumb surfer’ squad with Taylor, because he would never have stolen food, but he still ate it. Adam still cannot get across to Jay that he did not eat any of the stolen food. While Hannah’s reactions are gold!

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Now, I was at a viewing party in Sydney with 70 other survivor fans and everyone cheered when Taylor was eventually voted out! He joins Michelle on the jury. Taylor-7, Jay-4, Adam-1.

Sorry Tayls, the tribe has spoken. [Image credit: CBS]

NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR: Double episode week! Will stupidly tells Zeke that Jay has an idol and Chinese whispers is in play… Everyone ends up knowing!!

ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT CBS & CHANNEL TEN. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.


Episode 9 Q&A w/ NICK IADANZA

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Nick Iadanza made waves in this years Australian Survivor as the biggest ‘snake’ on the island. Nevertheless he gained popularity throughout the series and was undeniably one of the biggest personalities and game-players out there. Unfortunately, Nick was deemed too much of a threat and was sent home packing on day 37, becoming the 1st jury member. (Survivor dream, check!)

LyndzO: Welcome to Reality Ramblings, Nick! Thanks for joining me for this week’s episode recap.

NIadanza: Thanks for having me! I’m always ready to scoop into some of the Survivor crispy! Too early for a Redemption Island reference?

LO: Yes, it is!!

LO: So, we are over halfway through this season, are you loving/hating it so far?

NI: I am actually loving it! I was not blown away by the premiere, however I think it has been super unpredictable since then and that’s exactly what I want. I just wish Jeff would stop shoving the theme down our throats. I’m having ‘mateship’ flashbacks!

LO: Now I know you are a super-duper fan. Did you, like many of us, look up the cast pre-season and is there anyone in the game who has changed your perception of them since then?

NI: Yeah I did a tonne of research on the cast before the season started. Straight away Adam stood out to me as someone who would be great on the show and especially because I identified with him so much (super fan, family tragedy, over enthusiastic). However in the pre-game I was NOT feeling Jay at all. He surprised me early on and I think that’s because the show really likes him and is giving him a fairly flattering edit. However in the last few episodes I am remembering why I didn’t jive with him to start with…

LO: How does it feel watching Survivor now since playing the game yourself? Has it changed the way you view the show at all or do you remain in ‘fan mode’ while watching?

NI: It definitely has changed the way I watch it. I have such empathy for them both mentally and physically. However most of the time I am just so into it that I purely watch as a fan. But then a memory will come back to me and I’ll turn to my fiancé and be like ‘as if I got to do that too!!!’

LO: You’ve been clear on Twitter that Mari and Michaela were your two winners picks pre-season, how devastated are you that they are both gone pre-merge?! (I miss Michaela’s sass!!)

NI: So I guess my skills at picking a Survivor winner are just as sharp as my skills at winning survivor! Hahaha. But seriously I was devastated. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Michaela so that’s an easier pill to swallow. However, Mari showed such promise and she went super early. It’s harder to imagine a scenario where she comes back. 😦

LO: Last week Michelle was voted out and came as a surprise to me and a lot of viewers. Do you think this was the right move for the core alliance when they could have targeted the likes of Jay and Taylor?

NI: I actually do think it’s the right move. Having lived it, idol paranoia is REAL. Sometimes the best move is to go for the path of least resistance. If they didn’t think she had one then it is the sure thing; could flush one of the boys idols and still remove a stronger strategic presence than a numbskull like Taylor. I thought it was clever.

LO: How do you feel about Adam’s mistaken trust in Taylor and sharing his advantage with him? I mean, if this was Australian Survivor this type of mate ship would be admired, right?

NI: There’s that ‘M’ word again… I think you are right, but I tried to mend fences with Sam after our blow up and it didn’t get me very far either. I think Adam was running all the scenarios and thought it would be good to build that bridge any way he could. However, playing has taught me that sometimes it’s best to focus on the relationships you do have rather than sacrificing those bonds for ones you will NEVER get.

Mateship… [Image credit: CBS and Channel Ten]

LO: To me, it seems that Hannah is really stepping up in the game and she’s taking small steps forward to secure her spot. What do you think of Hannah making strides since her panic attack a few weeks ago?

NI:  It’s odd that we barely had this character type for 30 seasons and then we get Aubry and Hannah back to back. While they have differences I really like both of them. I love the anxious weirdo; it’s me in many ways, just in male form. I can see a scenario where Hannah makes a deep run and if she does I am all for that.

LO: Seeing the cheeseburger reward, did you have flashbacks of Hungry Jacks in Samoa?

NI: Yep. The jolt of electricity that went through my body the day Jonathan dropped that curtain, it happened again. Such a dilemma because you want food sooooooooooo bad, but in that instance I would have played and let the burgers sit there. Tough call, but the right call.

LO: Back at Vinaka beach, Adam tells Jay that he’s definitely on the bottom and there’s nothing he can do about it. Is Adam being a straight up jerk or is he just blurting out everything that comes up in his head? It seems like he still wants to be friends with the cool guys…

NI: I think it’s too convenient a story to say he just wants to be in with the cool guys. Maybe it is that, but perhaps it’s just him trying to be more open and honest with everyone. I know how hard it can be in a game where nobody trusts you. Sometimes the right move is to try be as straight down the line wherever possible. But it seems for players like myself and Adam, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

LO: Sunday comes out and wants to vote out Jess, is this move too premature? She doesn’t seem to be a massive threat at this points in time.

NI: I liked seeing Sunday play strategically, but it might be a little too soon. Standing up and taking the bull by the horns is the quickest way to get gored yourself. That would be a ‘Sunday, bloody Sunday’ for sure. (I apologise for that awful, awful pun).

LO: How amazing was Tribal Council to watch?! Things got heated very early on. What secret do you think has the biggest impact on the game (for both Taylor and Adam, and overall) – Tayls stealing the food, or Adam’s reward-stealing-advantage?

NI: Definitely Adam’s advantage. Everyone so badly wanted a reason to confirm their suspicions of Adam and now they have it. ‘Jaylor’ played that well, even though they were being so illogical, unreasonable and frustrating. I really felt for Adam. Stay strong bro!!!

LO: Do you think Taylor did the right thing for his game to out Adam? And hypothetically, if YOU were Adam, how would you have reacted to the allegations?

NI: Yeah I think they did it right. When you know you are going home, you just throw everything to the wall and hope something sticks. It might not save one of them that night, but whoever survives that vote could benefit from all the ruffled feathers. If I were Adam I would have done exactly what he did, come clean. I also thought it was clever how he tried to downplay its power. His wording never said the word steal. A small thing, but clever nonetheless.

LO: Are you happy with who left?

NI: Yep. Shall I say that again? YEP! It would be so frustrating for someone like Adam to see a player like Taylor make it further when he does not respect or know the game 1/10th as much as he does. Catch ya Tay!

FINAL QUESTIONS:

LO: If you were cast on a season of US Survivor and had to choose ONE season 33 player to be in an alliance with, who would it be and why?

NI: Jessica. I feel she has the right mix of motherly vibe I could bond with as well as a desire to play the game that I could bounce off of.

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Nick is a fan of PinkEye too! [Image credit: CBS]

LO: Would you rather have a meal with: Taylor Stocker or Sam Webb?

NI: Sam for sure. Regardless of what happened in the game we still shared something out there. I’ve had dinner with him since the show and it’s been super fun to laugh about how much we annoyed each other while we were out there

LO: What have been your favourite moments of S33 so far?

NI: The way the idols have been hidden is definitely not one of them – LAME! My favourite was probably seeing Paul get the chop. I also loved David playing the idol for Jess. It’s terrible game play, but I like that in the future it will encourage even more idol paranoia in the usually idol free pre-merge.

LO: Who do you think will go home next?

NI: I think the double boot episode means we could have a bit of a predictable boot. I would say Will, and lets go… Bret just for fun.

LO: Who are your top 3 favourite contestants so far, and why?

NI: These are all super common answers but…
David – great narrator and erratic game play always makes the best TV.
Michaela – the sass! Holy crap the amount of sass is just too much and I live for it.
Jess – I am just intrigued by her and the way she talks to people.

LO: I know it’s still early days, but who do you think will be in the final 3?

NI: I have a feeling Zeke will be that 4th pace fallen angle. Sorry Zeke! My money’s on David, Ken and Hannah.

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Should Nick make a bet on these 3 now? [Image credit: CBS]

LO: How excited are you for Season 34 (without giving away spoilers)?!

NI: Are you kidding, I am DYING to watch! Knowing the rumours before I left, I was out in Samoa guessing what was happening just a few islands away in Fiji. It was a really cool feeling to know that the two games were running simultaneously. Very surreal!

LO: Any final words, Nick?

NI: Going on Survivor has only made my Super-fandom grow even more monstrous (if that was possible). I love connecting with fans so feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Instagram – they are both @nickiadanza. I love to get involved and hear your thoughts!