Welcome to Part 1 of Finale Week! WOW. What a lead up to what will hopefully be a finale to remember! This season has definitely ramped up so much more than I though, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching these Kiwis. I honestly like everyone who is left in the game and I wish them ALL the best of luck!!

EPISODE 17 – Day 33-34

Redemption Island. Shay is already planning her next move, and it includes helping Avi get to the end. In a way I’m not surprised. She’s said from the start it’s a game, and she hasn’t shown much bitterness at all. She still likes Avi, and why would she help Mike and Jak get to the end anyway? If she has to choose, Avi is her person! Unfortunately, most of Shay’s plans don’t come to fruition…

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“I have to live with these guys, AGAIN?!”

Shay is gone, so it’s time for a happy dance! Barb is officially the last woman standing in Survivor NZ. Who woulda thunk it?!

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REWARD CHALLENGE

Remember this challenge in Survivor Philippines and Abi Maria had no idea what the rules were and flipped the other castaways drums? Hehehe. I thought that was bad, but Tom did the same thing!

Avi and Nate end up winning this team reward. And I have to say, final four rewards are pretty nifty, but Survivor NZ offer them a f*cking PICK n MIX! WOW. Thanks Alison’s Pantry! And they don’t even get to bring back the whole shebang, only a bag each of nuts and goodies. Hahaha. Oh man, I love the el cheapo.

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Avi is WAY too excited for my liking.
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That water better be fucking S.PELLEGRINO!!!!

Casar. Barb is confident and happy with how far she’s come, and she keeps talking about how she’s now the enabler to help others get to the end, and her chosen two are Avi and Tom. Avi believes Barb could win this game as well, albeit playing a lowkey game at first. Do these guys realise what tribe she was on to begin with?! Obviously had to be lowkey so her and Nate weren’t voted out… But anyways,

We see our first ever mud crab games!

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Riveting stuff going on in Nicaragua!

Tom wants to get rid of Nate; he doesn’t fit into Tom’s final 3 equation whatsoever. And i guess it’s vice versa for ol’ Nate!

The tribe talk about the upcoming Redemption Island duel being the final and only ONE person will return, and they all think it will be Captain Sparrow! Barb is thinking it will be smart bringing Mike instead of Tom to the end as it will split the jury votes between Mike and Tom, meaning Avi will get the rest of the votes. This is good and all, but WHAT ABOUT YOU BARB!?

Tom and Avi are in total agreement that they want to go to the end, and both have a great chance to win. Avi is right, if Mike comes back, he really hasn’t played half the game. I personally feel if you’re voted out, including to RI, you’re out of the game. You shouldn’t win. And the tribe is silly to reward someone who does.

RI DUEL TIME

Jak is looking like Goliath at Redemption Island knowing over those planks! Shay thinks she can give both the boys a run for their money… Guess we’ll see. Let’s hope this IS the last battle on RI! I’m still banking on Mike, but anything can happen!

Ooh lala, look at Jak’s abs!! He’s obviously been working out a lot on RI!

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Jak’s abs v Mike’s abs. Clear winner!!

Another typical battle involving poles.

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I think Mike does this work out at home! 😉

And I don’t even think we’re 2 minutes in and Shay’s poles drop… Dammit! Honestly, I have enjoyed watching Shay this season. She’s provided much entertainment and showed shades of strategic game play, especially in the early days. Shay is sent to off the island becoming the 4th jury member.

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Check out Shay’s exit interview HERE

Mike and Jak are given the shock of their lives when Matty tells them to head back to RI camp… Ha! Surely not one of them will win!! It’s looking more likely that there will be ONE more duel and Mike or Jak will join the final 3 left… I don’t like this at all!

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Them facials…

IMMUNITY/REWARD CHALLENGE

And in a crazy twist of it’s own, we finish this Sunday’s episode with a combo whopper! Immunity AND reward are up for grabs, with reward being a video message from home. This is truly the icing on the cake for how el cheapo Survivor NZ production was… But hey, I’m not complaining! Yes it brings out the emotions, but I personally don’t enjoy the family visits all that much. I think it’s a real distraction in the game. In saying that we’ve seen MANY players enjoy this time with family and even boost their energy levels, so what do I know!

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Tom looking for his fifth win in a row!

The challenge is a physical/balance one with beams and bean bag throwing. You’d think going by past challenge Barb can’t throw, but boy was she wanting this win bad!! After Tom leading this challenge for much of the time, Barb, yes THE Barbfather comes out of nowhere and hits her last post giving her the win!! WOW. I am ecstatic!! Do not count oldies out. Barb is the last woman standing and she can proudly claim an individual immunity and now two rewards. You go, Barb! God I love old people!

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Everyone is shocked, even Matty!!

Matty shows Barb how to use this new mobile phone technology.

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Don’t kill me, Barb.

EPISODE 18 – Day 34-35

The boys Tom and Avi are pretty much settled into their positions and they are just counting on Barb to vote with them. The thought of Barb voting Nate out hurts my heart!! Will the most cut throat mama in Survivor vote with her head or heart? We have to remember everything Barb has done has been all game play and strategy, she rarely has brought emotion in. Also, she hasn’t really had many strong ties with anyone BUT Nate. Makes it easier I guess. I think Nate can sense he’s being targetted, and I’d like to think if Barb did vote for him he’d understand.

TRIBAL COUNCIL

The discussion is real cagey and you can tell Nate becomes more suspicious as the tribal council goes on! You can see on Barb’s face it’s not going to be an easy decision, but this is all part of her end game. Unfortunately ol’ Nate is send to Redemption Island in a unanimous vote. Tears I tell you, tears!! It would suck so bad voting out a true ally. Nate joins Mike and Jak before the (about time) FINAL battle! Nate-3, Tom-1.

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Pretty much, Nate! Look says it all!

Nate bids farewell to them all, and even GIVES BARB A HUG. OMG this guy is amazing!! I think the young ones could learn a few from him. It’s a game guys!

THE FINAL BATTLE

It’s time!! Who will join Captain Sparrow on his voyage back to Casar? Yes, I’ve already made an opinion on Mike returning. Bring it on Nate and Jak!

Interesting battle NZ has chosen. We first saw this coin balancing act in, ironically, Survivor Nicaragua (S21)! Stack coins up and if yours drop, you’re out! Matty informs everyone that the TWO people left standing will return to the game. Ooh la la! I just know Mike will be one of them. How can he not?! I’m not sure how many coins were stacked, but probably not very many… And poor Jak drops his stack. Gutted!! Jak becomes the fifth jury member!

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But I am SO happy for Nate! Matty tells Mike and Nate to join Avi, Tom and Barb back to Casar and these final two episodes are going to be JUICY AS!

Will Tom and Avi bromance it to the end? Can Barb and Nate resurrect their friendship? Although Nate was only out for a very short time. Will Mike return as the immunity king and know Tom off his pedestal?! And it looks as if Barb may be a swing vote! I look forward to recapping the final two episodes later this week. And for those who have been reading, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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My Final 3: Queen B and her minions. Kidding, I love Tom and Avi! Fingers crossed for these three!

SEE YOU ALL AT THE LIVE FINALE!!!


SZN Finale

Want to be a part of the audience at Survivor New Zealand’s live finale? Join the contestants and other Survivor fans for a 2-hour fun-filled night to watch the final episode and winner announcement! 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

ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT TVNZ AND PHOTOGRAPHER SCOTT MCAULAY. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.