What a week on Survivor NZ, and we welcome Queen B with open arms as she opened up the wrath of hell in Nicaragua! Simon Knyvett joins me as always to breakdown this week’s episodes.

Episode 11 – Day 21-22


We’re back at tribal for a surprise immunity challenge. And just like Georgia, Captain Sparrow is screwed over by a twist. The challenge is a series of questions the castaways should have picked up along the way… Like, ya know, how many GREEN hats Matty has worn? Who pays attention this kinda shit? JAK does! And this wins him Immunity!


Shannon thinks Nicaragua, which is part of Central America, is in the Indian Ocean. Oh these people kill me…


Mike wants to say something… Matty is kinda surprised with his OKAY! So serious.

Aww yeah bro, you can say something!

Mike tries to get the others on board to vote out Shay, unfortunately it doesn’t work. It’s too late and there’s no time for Mike to scramble. The Captain is sent on his way to Redemption Island. Mike-5, Shay-3.

Bye-bye, Captain!

Mike farewells everyone with a “seeya, vote Shannon out next”. Sorry dude, you got played. But we know Mike is a huge force in challenges! There is a high chance this guy gets back into the game. And I honestly would like to see him do so.

Redemption Island. The bros have no idea how they went from hero to zero… cocky bastards. They talk about how the others will be smug back at camp, kinda like how they were on original Hermosa tribe, right?!

Casar. Barb says it pretty calmly, like nothing really happened, “that was a double bonanza”. This woman isn’t phased at all! And this is only the beginning of Barb’s wrath…

Tom and Jak are sitting near the fire thinking, fuck, what to do next?! Then in the dark corner ol’ Barb pipes up telling them “no worries boys, mama will save you!” 😉

Making plans even while seat-sleeping.

The whole Shay v Tom thing still hasn’t been explained… Has anyone realised that?! Anyway, WHO WILL LAST LONGER? is the main bet right now. Bidding starts at $100!

Tom has his own theories on why Barb would want to work with Tom and Jak. He’s pretty much on the ball. You need to break up the tight three in Shay, Sala and Avi… Although, I can see Avi being swayed if done properly.

Sala, Shay and Nate talk about possibly throwing Shannon into the lions den at Redemption Island…

That’s the spirit, Nate-o!

Barb tells Jak she’s tired, so tired… probably tired from trying to plot her win against all these jackasses! Mwahaha. No, but seriously, we’ve seen her sleep, A LOT! Barb tells Jak she needs to collect more intel before she can get Jak and Tom on board. She has got some tricks up her sleeve!

To be honest, she was probably sleep-talking this whole scene.

This mama is so much more observant and calculative than anyone realises.

Those tea-bags must have it’s own sonar bullshit radar.


It’s a “How well do you know me?” challenge, get an answer right and you can chop someone’s rope! And HALLELUJAH! Finally, a Pizza Hut food reward!

Smell that delicious pepperoni.

And even before the challenge begins, Shay looks at the bench and picks out her spot on it. Funnily enough, she is the first one out. Well done, Shay!

These were the question and answers:

  1. Who does not deserve to still be here? Barb. (Bitches…)
  2. Who would you trust with your life? Avi. (Hell yeah, I would!)
  3. Who most needs a wake-up call in life? Jak. (He’s still a young whipper snipper)
  4. Who does the least for their tribe? Jak. (But he gives the most laughs)
  5. Who would you most like to be stranded on an island with? Avi (Same)
  6. Who would you most like to never see after the game (Avi, cmon, stop being so nice!)? Jak. (I agree everyone needs a year off from Jak’s humour)
  7. Who would never survive on their own? Barb. (All she does is sleep anyway)
  8. Who is most likely to stab you in the back? Shay. (and in the front too!)

CONGRATS BARB! The mama lioness wins Reward and chooses Nate, Jak and Sala to join her. Her choice in Sala was obviously strategic… Be the sweet mama B, then cut em loose! What a sly dawg. Her game is ramping up!

Reward. Did the leftovers just go to waste?! Someone please tell me these went to someone and not the bin! :O


Also, I’m not happy with this pepperoni placement.

Meat configuration is off-point.

Casar. I actually love this next scene where Shannon is learning how to cut open a coconut. You go, girl. I bet there are so many contestants out there who just wait for someone to do it for them. I’m also impressed she didn’t completely sever her hand!

Shannon admits she’s a flipper! And you know what they say about flippers… Keep them around coz no one will vote for them to win… Unless you’re Sarah Lacina. Sala wants to keep Shannon on side. For him, not a bad idea. Shannon is a wild card, unpredictable, and as much as I love watching her game this season, I do wonder if she would get the votes at the end with this jury. They seem like they will be bitter Betty’s. Barb and Shannon on the other hand are on the same wavelength.

The lioness plans her attack with her newest cub.

Redemption Island. Mike thinks Lee is so deserving and deserves to win this game. I beg to differ. Lee never showed us that he wanted to play, or be strategic, and he pretty much relied on Mike to get where he is. A bit hypocritical acting that way, then having a go at Shannon for playing the game and voting him out. But enough of bagging Lee…


Jak and Nate sit in for this duel, and I am awful and wanted to see Mike and Lee rip into Shannon… The boys are pretty devo she’s not there either. Wasted opportunity for gripping TV! 😛

The duel involves a balance beam, a bunch of bags and a confusing block puzzle at the end. Beastmode Sparrow is just too good for the wannabe Ozzy and he wins the duel!


Lee leaves Redemption Island and becomes the first ever jury member of Survivor NZ! Really great effort by Lee to get this far. He was lucky enough to start off at the original Hermosa tribe and have a solid alliance all the way to the merge. Being under Mike’s wing put a massive target on himself and really, it was his time to go.

But where’s Lee’s Ponderosa/Jury Villa/Kiwi Hut?!

Check out Lee’s exit interview HERE

Episode 12 – Day 23-24

Redemption Island. George Michael lives on in my heart…

Mike finds Georgia’s carvings in the wood… Aww. ❤

Casar. My poor, sweet Avi is going cray cray. He is not coping at all. Someone help him!


He doesn’t even see Barb playing dead again.

It’s her!

Sala starts talking about family and how rich his life is… Uh oh, although very sweet, it definitely spells the end of his time on Survivor!

It also makes me sad Tom hardly cracks a smile anymore…

Stunkface forever.

After seeing how much Avi has failed at fishing, Jak comes up with an idea to draw fish his way… And I’m not sure what kind of fish he’s talking about, but it involves his junk and a loincloth.


Shannon knows she’s playing a risky game, but she wants to ensure the others know Barb is playing both sides (well, she never really locked in an alliance with Sala and co did she?!) to take the heat off herself. Not a bad move from the cub though! Put other threats out there before yourself!


Umm, how much does Matt look like Probst at this challenge?! Hubba, hubba! He even tells the castaways to ‘dig deep’. I don’t even care if it’s not original. ❤


What Barb said, it’s not a challenge for big people. Jak and Nate sit out of the 2nd round, I mean why waste your energy when you know you’re not even close to winning. And finally, we see Tom smile again!! This guy has totally been saving his energy for challenges. Tom wins his first immunity.

“Smells like Jak!”

Casar. And the plan IS ON. The blindside of Sala is imminent. And Nate is not comfortable with it. But, it has to be done. Sala is a huge threat to win this game, not only is he a lovely guy, he has the sympathy vote at the end as well… And I’m not just saying it, it has happened many times in Survivor with someone pulling out a sob story and winning the game. It’s a pretty solid way to get votes! Meanwhile, Shay, Avi and Sala are all set on Jak getting the boot. Nate plays along with them, but he knows what the plan is.

“Oh darling, we’ll crack the champers tea-bags out tonight and celebrate!”


Shay talks about catching out people who are being fake… Let’s not forget Tom has been putting on a wonderful Emmy winning performance this episode! Sala talks about the struggle of building relationships and ultimately letting them go. Hope he remembers that in about 10 minutes! After all the chit-chat, Sala even looks concerned. As the votes are read out the alliance of three are filled with shock. Shay looks more livid than Sala! We see Barb grin, she just pulled off one of the biggest blindsides of the season. The vote just made sense though, and maybe Sala is too nice for this game. The dude has a big heart, I truly hope he’s not disheartened by the vote off. Sala joins Mike on RI! And poor Natey just couldn’t write Sala’s name down, the only win out of that is he might get Sala’s vote if he makes the Final 3. Sala-4, Jak-3, Shannon-1.

Big moves earn respect, right?

Predictions for next week: Avi obviously explodes, but gets his shit together and either joins Barb’s ranks, or tries something with Tom and Jak. Mike beats Sala at RI. Barb and Nate continue their rise and most likely target someone like Avi. But he’s soooo nice, guys! And I’m gonna call it now, Shady Shay makes the Final 3. :O The question is will the jury vote for how someone has played the game, or mainly on friendships? Time will tell…

And I’d like to end my recap with a huge thanks to Barb for giving us a juicy blindside, because seriously, the audience needed it!! 😉 She sleeps all day and plots all night. Never underestimate Jungle Mamas!

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A new Top Dog’s in town!


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This week’s episode of SurvivorNZ was a Game Changer (pun intended). While it was extra long and it blew my predictions out of the water it was just as satisfying. I have been talking a lot about a Sala comparison with Rupert (even though Sala > Rupert) and this two episode block reminded me a lot of Rupert’s first boot in Survivor: Pearl Islands. However it was not Sala who got an ominous edit. This episode really set up ominously for one of our adventure guides in Avi. His edit seemed quite similar to this Rupert moment 1 minute into this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-_s7kyYBkQ. I feel like this can only mean bad things for Avi who has really been provided with a very positive edit so far. Finally with Sala leaving the game it seems like Avi has had the biggest fall of the remaining players in the game this week.

In stark contrast Barb has made a stern rise in the game. This week she took her fate into her own hands. She displayed real shades of Kathy Vavrick O’Brien and the moments where Dawn displayed her best game moments in Caramoan. Barb cut Sala ruthlessly unlike Nate who took a bit of a coward’s way out and potentially with it isolated Shannon in doing so. Barb’s control has blown this game wide open and it is yet to be determined whether that is good for her game or not. While she and Shannon are close I feel like Nate’s vote may just have a negative effect. He effectively showed Shannon, he would prefer to vote her out than Sala.

Two players whose stock went up for sure were dead men walking Tom and Jak. While Jak’s social game seems to be annoying to some I am sure his humour is a lot more fun to be around than someone complaining. He seems to have endeared himself to Barb, which is good since she seems to have taken her place as Queen. Tom also seems to be able to work with most people in the game after this move barring Shay. Tom’s game definitely advanced here and I think he has the strategic chops to work his way forward. His enemy in Shay also effectively lost her number 1 alliance in Sala. Avi at least has been willing to work with both Tom and Shay.

From here the game looks like it could be any of the players remaining. All though our Mogoton duo of ShadyShay and Avi look like they will have the most work cut out for them. I am very happy with the calibre of our female contestants left in the game. While it was looking sad for a while there losing Izzy, Lou, Hana, Dee and Georgia (“oh stink”), the women remaining are all very entertaining and provide a lot more game moments than our men. Keep slaying ladies. It shows a lot for the greatness of Kiwi women (see: Kate Sheppard, Helen Clark, Dame Susan Devoy).

Predictions for what is coming up… hmmm I have got no idea. Barb’s control of the game is entertaining and would be great to see continue. As for Shannon’s balancing act to continue is great to see. I feel like we got our first official big blindside in SurvivorNZ, so will be great to see some of that continue. Tom is proving to be a fun to watch underdog while Jak provides comic relief. So to summarise, no predictions this week, I want to just see how these chips play out.

SZN Finale

Want to be a part of the audience at Survivor New Zealand’s live finale? Want to see if Dee is a true super fan and shows up bitter? Want to see Mike without a top on in the flesh? Head HERE to grab your tickets! The event will be held on Wednesday July 5, at the Civic Theatre, Auckland. SEE YOU ALL THERE!

Blog by Lynda Olson