Australian Survivor 2019 episodes 21 and 22 recap: The endgame

Ten Network
Ten Network /

From the Final Six to the Final Four, we saw some audacious gameplay emerge from Australian Survivor 2019 episodes 21 and 22 earlier this week.

Episode 21

Reeling after the Simon blindside, the continued endgame push of Pia as a potential winner of Australian Survivor 2019 is neither graceful nor understated. It seems as though the show put all their chips in the Shaun vs. David basket early on and forgot to build up most of its Final Six characters as candidates to win the game. Before the intro, we are once again reminded that Pia is fighting hard to win the game, although she will have tough competition ahead.

Meanwhile, Luke is also reminding us all that he’s a fan favorite, too, and he can totally win the season, as well! We even got another video package reminding us that Luke is playing for his young daughter at home, as the A$500,000 will help support his family and the healthcare costs associated with his youngest kid’s cystic fibrosis.

There’s a reason why the endgame of Survivor in the United States is usually truncated at the end of the game, and Australian Survivor is showing us why; there’s not much to talk about. We’re starting to hear the same things over and over again, with Harry making a plan to make the next move before the Immunity Challenge and Janine talking about how far she has come as a businesswoman who only knew business things before appearing on the show.

Must Read. Let’s Rank the Survivor Seasons by Their Locations. light

Seriously, the first 16 minutes of a 50-minute episode was dedicated to possibilities of alliances and groups coming together before we even had a guarantee who would be vulnerable, as the wrong player winning immunity could throw things for a loop. This challenge combined untethering rope to navigate an obstacle, throwing sandbags to hit a target pushing out a key on the other end with a simple “fill in the Australian Survivor logo” puzzle at the end.

The mystery of how much rope you needed to unspool added a minor layer of strategy into this challenge. For example, Luke powered through to the rope bridge, but Abbey didn’t get tangled, allowing her to cross first. Those two were so far ahead that they started working on their puzzles before the other four even made it across the rope bridge.

However, with Luke and Abbey slowing down, Harry, Baden and Janine caught up at the puzzle section to make things interesting. Though Abbey had hoped she would win her first immunity, Luke ended up winning both his third of the season and in his career with a narrow victory. So much for the forming alliance of Harry, Baden, Pia and Janine!

Despite having just one player loyal to her, Janine heading into camp strategy talks like she was untouchable. Her business-like businessing was clearly a stroke of overconfidence, as she felt like she could convince Baden and Harry to flip on someone they worked hard to flip in the first place in Abbey.

That morsel of information was enough for Baden and Harry to convince Abbey to get out Janine, but Abbey was told too much information by the remaining Contenders. She revealed to Luke that Baden and Harry were planning to vote him out had he not won immunity, which was obviously concerning to Luke.

It was enough to float the idea that the Champions coming back together in order to vote out Baden, but considering it was a horrendously noticeable audio edit to suggest Baden (and nobody else mentioned Baden at all), I had to wonder why bother to make a third potential plan when two were interesting enough regardless!

With Luke and Abbey throwing their keys in the bowl and not knowing which way they would swing, Tribal Council seemed to be all about Baden and Harry talking about creating a four-person alliance and everyone else pretending that wasn’t in the cards. Once again, it was an overly long exercise in saying nothing while anticipating something, which doesn’t make for compelling television.

It’s the aftereffect that really kicked things into high gear. With Harry exclaiming that he is the God Killer to Australian Survivor’s Godmother, the votes came in 4-2 in favor of voting out Janine. Pia, once again, was blindsided by a late-game elimination, and now she’s on the bottom playing from behind once again.

Episode 22

Pia had to put on her smiling face back at camp before she started plotting her next assassination within Australian Survivor 2019, but Abbey had other plans. She’s a lot more ruthless than she once deserved credit for, as she has evolved from a player who cried when voting out her AFL idol ET to someone cutting the throats of her closest allies. She aims to take out Pia next to complete her massacre in hopes of securing a spot at the Final Two.

With Harry finally getting his “scalp” by knocking out Janine (seriously, these are some grim metaphors), he’s now shifted his focus on voting out Luke. In all seriousness, it’s in everybody’s best interest to vote out the guy with the ailing kid at home who has a killer social, strategic and challenge game, so Abbey, Harry, and Baden all come to the agreement to take him out.

Must Read. Survivor: Ranking 36 Survivor seasons of the show. light

If he’s not available thanks to a crazy immunity streak, then they would focus on voting out Pia as a group. It’s a simple enough premise at the Final Five; use the majority of three to control the numbers for another vote. Pia’s strategy to counter being targeted is to play happy while we received, yet again, another promotional package of her children back home. We get it; she’s likely going to win the season!

When two players are getting winner edit packages, might as well team up in hopes of keeping each other safe! While Luke has some trust in Pia, the only thing he can truly trust is maintaining his own safety via idol or a power. That sets him off to go on an idol hunt, eventually finding a note standing on a tree’s perch hinting at a coconut holding power on his beach.

Upon finding the coconut, he simply went back to camp to search for the machete, not so slyly taking it and swiping it at bushes near the camp. After breaking open the coconut, he found that he received an insanely powerful advantage that allows him to send home a player at Tribal Council. They cannot vote, but they cannot be voted for, either.

Getting rid of 20% of the votes is an insane power, but it becomes a bit too powerful when combined with winning immunity. The Australian Survivor 2019 episode 22 Immunity Challenge was the “setting up dominoes in a trip hazard obstacle” classic, combining patience, dexterity and speed while risking knocking your stack over with just one trip.

Harry, Abbey and Luke were leading early, but one slight misstep from Luke followed by Harry gave Abbey the lead. As Baden and Abbey reached the end with Luke not far behind (before tripping up), those former two had spacing issues with their dominoes. In a rush to beat out Abbey, Baden tripped on his obstacle to lose his entire stack. Abbey didn’t fare much better, as her domino push fell short two-thirds of the way in.

Must Read. Survivor Athletes: Ranking The Best To Play The Game. light

This suddenly opened up the path for Luke and Pia to secure victory, with Luke’s long legs helping him high step his way to victory. His fourth immunity win is tied for the Australian Survivor record; not bad for somebody who didn’t have a single individual win in his first season! The problem for everybody else is that it meant going to Plan B, which seemed to be Pia.

While Abbey, Baden and Harry were pinky-swearing over voting out Pia as a group, Pia and Luke were standing at camp watching it unfold. Instead of rolling over and dying, however, Luke’s wheels were spinning. He basically told Pia he has something that will forward their collective games and to trust him without telling her what his power is.

It’s clear that Luke knows how to play up the craziness in Australian Survivor, but nothing we’ve seen could have prepared us for his attempted blindside of Abbey. He headed into Tribal Council with the intention of blowing up everybody’s games in front of the jury, and the fact only he knew what could happen before is a testament to his willingness to entertain.

Luke wasted no time in dropping a

Ben Bomb

Luke Lashing, as he used his Send Away (or whatever you want to call it) advantage to send Baden back to camp almost immediately upon sitting down. This allowed him to stand up and whisper two different things to Pia and Abbey separately as he started to hint towards taking out Harry.

Harry was left completely out of Luke’s side conversations, although Pia gave a loving whisper of “I think you’re awesome” to at least prepare to send him out of the game with a Champions-strong group. For what it’s worth, Dirty Harry held his own, saying that you can weaken Luke by sticking to the plan in a non-Keith-Nale way.

Next. Survivor winners: Ranking 36 Sole Survivors by season. dark

When the players stood up to vote, it seemed like the lack of information provided to the audience was perfect editing. Even Harry’s fake idol grab reaffirmed the smart decision of Pia and Luke to throw their votes onto Abbey, effectively employing a 2-1-1 vote to perfection amid the chaos of the moment. It’s another tip of the cap to Luke Toki; a player who will win Australian Survivor 2019 if he gets to the Final Tribal Council.