Australian Survivor 2019 episode 7 recap: Crabs in a new bucket

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Australian Survivor 2019 has seen the Champions undergo many hardships. However, with a tribe swap approaching, will their losses bring them together?

In the modern US version, you might be a Tribal Council or two away from the merge when you reach Day 15. However, in Australian Survivor 2019, Day 15 is when the tribes first merge, as you don’t go through 24 players across 50 days without it being a long, drawn-out process for everyone. We even get pitter-patter about Shaun’s Contenders (fake) idol as he tries to reel Andy in, all while Andy decries the decision in a confessional.

As everyone dropped their buffs and swapped tribes, you couldn’t really argue that David and Luke became swap-screwed. The Champions have been eating themselves alive by losing challenges and voting out strong players. However, it was odd to see the old tribe names stay despite two Champions remaining on the OG Champions tribe.

The new Australian Survivor 2019 tribes look like this:

Contenders Tribe

  • Abbey
  • Casey
  • Harry
  • Janine
  • Matt
  • Pia
  • Ross
  • Shaun
  • Simon

Champions Tribe

  • Andy
  • Baden
  • Daisy
  • David
  • Hannah
  • John
  • Luke
  • Sam
  • Sarah

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Funnily enough, the Golden God who had found himself lording over the Champions is now at a 7-2 disadvantage while Simon, a player who I’m surprised knows how to speak to the camera, is now a strong guy in a tribe majority. However, Harry has a hidden trick up his sleeve to win the women in the majority alliance; make up a fake child named Oscar. Nobody with children has ever been voted out of the game! You can’t do that; they have a kid at home to feed!

As the OG Champions arrived at the “ghetto” beach (Bradley Kleihege would be proud), the OG Contenders were treated to fruit from fruit-bearing trees for the first time. It’s odd how that worked out; the beach that had athletes and celebrities for two weeks out the gate was so much better set up for living situations. It did help that the Champions know how to build a shelter!

For the umpteenth time, David reminded us that he’s down in the numbers. That made the Immunity Challenge that much more crucial to win, as pairs teamed up to hold a squat position while lifting a bar holding a stack of blocks in the middle of a ring. The last tribe to hold the position and not knock down the blocks with their shared squad wins.

The Champions saw John and Andy, Daisy and Sam, David and Luke, plus Hannah and Sarah face off in support of each other. Contenders saw Janine and Abbey, Matt and Harry, Simon and Shaun, plus Ross and Pia line up as pairs. Hannah and Sarah were the first team to drop shortly before 20 minutes elapsed, which is a long time for everyone else to hold a precarious position after two weeks of survival mode.

However, as people started to burn out, Harry slipped up to knock out Matt with him. Then Simon and Shaun fell right afterward, giving the Champions a 3-2 team lead. John got a little too cute with his squats, dipping too low and knocked out his and Andy’s blocks to even the score. 25 minutes in saw David and Luke push each other off, leaving it all on Sam and Daisy’s shoulders for the Champions.

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As Pia leaned too forward to knock out her and Ross’ blocks, we saw an inverse of fate; Abbey and Janine as OG Champions representing Contenders against Sam and Daisy, OG Champions, for the Contenders. Even with Luke contesting Janine to throw the challenge, her and Abbey powered through for 55 minutes to win immunity for their new tribe.

With half the Australian Survivor 2019 episode 7 runtime left after the Immunity Challenge, we had way too much time on our hands for a straightforward vote. Andy pitched an unconventional approach to splitting the vote; three youngest Contenders voting for Luke, three oldest voting for David and he flipping a “coin” in secret, so nobody knows who goes home.

It’s so tacky and manipulative, which is why it’s hard not to get David vibes from Andy. He’s playing like he has an idol to protect him when in reality, he has incredible dexterity that has helped him skirt through with safety up until this point. That can’t prepare for two players with an idol each, as David and Luke prepared to go through the OG Contenders one by one.

Despite getting stonewalled by Baden and Sam (the latter David thought was smug, which is enough for a vote, I guess), their attempts to do one-on-ones forced Andy to resort to desperate measures. He revealed to Sarah, Sam, Baden, and Hannah that Shaun had an idol due to swapping a live idol with David, which pissed off Daisy since she and Shaun were so close.

Instead of rationalizing that it would be smarted to deal with Andy either immediately in secret or take out a threat like David or Luke now and Andy later, Daisy went directly to John and pitched a five-person alliance of them, the OG Champions, and Baden to take out Sammy. Why not take out Andy, the person who blabbed information? Because Daisy wants Sammy out, for some reason.

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I understand Baden’s position in the flip, as he would normally be a target and a threat as a smart, but weak, player. However, for Daisy to give up flushing out an idol and one of the biggest threats and not even target the player who supposedly betrayed you makes no sense. Contenders’ inexperience in tribal dynamics came through early.

We arrived at Tribal Council with an “obvious” vote telegraphed as an obvious blindside in the works. Andy did his best job not to say “Contenders strong,” as this isn’t US Survivor, but Australian Survivor. Jonathan did his best to suggest that the game isn’t as easy as it seemed, as David and Luke sold a story that they found the cracks in the foundation and have broken the tribe apart.

Just before the voting began, Andy got up to whisper into John’s ears to vote for Luke, which freaked everyone in his alliance out (even the people preparing to flip on him). Daisy was shaken, becoming even more determined in her plan. With David and Luke not using their idols, the blindside was in play. Sam was voted out 5-2-2, with David and Luke receiving the other votes.

People give SEG issues with the way Survivor is edited at times, with players like Chelsea Townsend making it far in the game while being underedited. Ten Network, however, saw seven episodes of Australian Survivor 2019, the majority of which were 90-minute episodes, and Sam did not receive a single confessional. Not even once.

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We know David’s silly reason for voting Sam, but we saw none of her perspective of this game. No throwaway line saying the Contenders will stick together, or that she feels safe. We even saw Andy repeat the same lines over and over again! It’s an absolute garbage display in pursuit of a blindside so telegraphed that it took the wind out of its sails, leaving us with a head-scratching move against a nobody on the show.