Australian Survivor 2019 episode 11 recap: Waterworks

Photo: Nigel Wright / Ten Network
Photo: Nigel Wright / Ten Network /

Australian Survivor 2019 episode 11 reminds us all that there are some things you don’t do to a player on the outs, especially when food is on the line.

Something I haven’t noticed in comparing Australian Survivor to its US counterpart is that we’ve rarely seen camp life directly after Tribal Council. Shaun confirmed that they split the votes with Hannah in anticipation of a possible Luke idol play, which once again shows that the Contenders on this tribe valued Hannah less than the unknown possibility of two idols to take out one of their own.

David and Luke are so far on the bottom now that they even have Andy out of their grasp. Daisy could have gone home if they listened to him, and the power would have shifted dramatically more than voting out somebody the majority valued less than nothing. Now it looks like the Golden God and the King of the Jungle have to hope they don’t go to Tribal Council before the merge.

While Janine and Ross enjoyed the David Attenborough view of the camp, and Harry and Matt tried to grab some coconuts, Abbey rejoiced in the strength of their numbers. The majority of five Champions on the Contenders 2.0 tribe seemed content to keep things the way things are while Casey looks to sell out her minority alliance at every opportunity.

Speaking of minority alliances shooting themselves in the foot, David laments that he should have just voted Hannah out to weaken the tribe’s leadership group. At the same time, Shaun wants to make sure that David cannot feel any sense of safety, revealing to everyone on the tribe David’s fake idol and just how mischievous he truly is.

As we got to the Reward Challenge, it became clear that nobody seemed to value Hannah in the game if Matt is going to dog her continually, even after her Australian Survivor journey finished. The Reward Challenge itself was a simple monkey bar race over a river of water, with one flag equalling one point out of a necessary three to win. If a player falls, they’re out of that race. Both players falling mean that head-to-head match is over.

With private screenings of loved ones’ videos alongside popcorn and soft drinks on the line, Matt and Luke continued their age-old rivalry in the first matchup. Luke slipped immediately, and Matt coasted to a 1-0 lead for the Contenders. Outside of Ross’ underhanded attempts to rattle Andy, Ross slipping mid-way saw the teams tie things up at 1-1.

Abbey vs. Baden was the first man vs. woman matchup, as Baden’s lanky, slender body allowed him to leap two notches at a time and race towards a 2-1 lead fairly quickly. Simon took on David in an attempt to continue his challenge redemption arc from the last episode, but a last-second slip and attempted takedown saw David grab a 3-1 victory. It felt bittersweet for David, who told Simon he was likely next to be voted out of Australian Survivor as the challenge ended.

We’ve seen idols and clues at Reward Challenges before, especially in rewards where players go off individually. However, John and Daisy gave David the hugest out by saying David should go first to see his kids. Daisy followed up by saying David should go first in the order, only realizing afterward that hey, maybe the tribe shouldn’t be giving outsiders exclusive rights to search for an idol.

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Just like Ryan Ulrich in Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, David was keenly looking for a power. It’s clear that David was moved by his family’s message, but the editing gave us so much GIF potential and juxtaposed hilarity. He ate into the popcorn like a dog on four legs while downing Fanta drinks and eating chocolate drumsticks like a madman, eventually finding a Hidden Immunity Idol in the popcorn pile.

Upon return from the reward, David poured on the waterworks, tapping into a very real emotion while convincing others that he’s just a humble family man. The rest of the tribe fell for it hook, line and sinker, although Luke and Andy were fully committed to searching for an idol while chowing down and getting caught up in their family videos. All I can say is the dichotomy in sadness combined with people frantically scarfing down treats was pretty awkward.

Meanwhile, the Australian Survivor 2019 tribal dynamics came to the forefront, with the old Champions of the new Contenders acknowledging that they need to keep David and Luke safe if they want to keep the numbers advantage at the merge. This saw athletes like Abbey coming to terms with the fact that they will have to go against everything they know as professionals by throwing the Immunity Challenge.

Speaking of, the Immunity Challenge saw pairs of players balancing a ball by holding a ball on a bar suspended by both players standing on beams on opposite sides. The tribe with the last pair wins immunity, but with the balancing beams getting increasingly more narrow, it would prove to be more challenging over time.

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All teams made it to the second section despite the majority alliance of Contenders trying to throw the challenge. Janine’s back adjustments led to her being able to hide her sabotage, as she and Abbey were the only team not to make it to 30 minutes. It was in the transition to the final stage that Pia took out an unknowing Harry by slipping off and Simon cemented the Contenders’ fate for their first Tribal Council vote since Day 5.

Harry was convinced that the majority alliance threw the challenge, and those suspicions were confirmed when Casey overheard the athletes and CEO talking about it before the challenge. That allowed him to tell Casey and Matt to vote out Abbey and pray that their three will be negated by an idol.

Casey, however, has been playing

double agent

outright Contenders traitor since arriving at the 2.0 tribe. Here she tells Abbey that she will receive votes, but Abbey, Janine, and Pia are suspicious of her double-agent status. They get Ross to convince Matt to vote out Harry in a vote split attempt, which Matt does consider. Matt does want a Contender to win this game, and Harry does get Ross to spill the beans that he’s the vote target tonight.

This set up an interesting Tribal Council dynamic where it was clear Harry was going to play his idol but who went home was uncertain. Harry and Janine reignited their old love-hate relationship by pinning her as a leader once again, but fireworks started to slowly ignite after Harry threw out accusations of throwing the challenge.

Abbey and Janine were adamant about the athletes coming from a place where that doesn’t happen. However, Matt confirmed he heard the old Champions would throw it. Once Casey “bought” the notion that the old Champions wouldn’t throw it, Matt rightfully revealed that Casey told the trio that the old Champions women told her they were going to throw it.

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See, Casey didn’t have to say she was told about the plan. Just overhearing the majority women talking about it is more than enough, especially when they admitted to the possibility of Casey overhearing their talks. This led to Abbey’s name completely disregarded, as Harry nullified the four votes from Matt, Ross, Simon, and Casey. The rest of the tribe voted for Casey, sending her home as the 10th player out of Australian Survivor 2019.