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By Hein Kaiser


Survivor SA: More twists and turns in episode two

Episode 2 was a frenetic hustle and scramble.

Hack jobs, hustling and the blades came out in Survivor South Africa, Immunity Island. Last night the tables were turned, alliances shred to bits with frenemies hustling in a game of chess where, unfortunately and predictably, checkmate was given away before the endgame.

It was a bit of a disappointment to guesstimate the outcome of the Tribal Council well before the vote, but then again, perhaps getting it right in the end is part of the thrill from the couch. However, Survivor Season 8, filmed on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, remains the best instalment of the franchise yet.

There is only one way to watch Survivor and that is with a load of snacks and no interruptions. The action is that fast, the politics like white water rafting and navigating through its pace, riveting. The second episode saw Zamba return without Jason, with Vuna convinced it was in a stronger position than the opposing tribe and that unity lies in its essence.

ALSO READ: Survivor SA: Here’s what went down in episode one

This was soon proved wrong after losing the immunity challenge later in the show, with a flurry of scheming and sideshow lobbying that created a jaw-dropping insight into human nature under pressure or threat of loss. It was a fascinating but brief insight into the characters of some of the castaways.

But first, the reward challenge. Dashing to a submerged cage and retrieving puzzle pieces from the sea, then building it. For the first few moments it looked as if Vuna would take the spoils, but in the end it was Zamba that completed the task first. The prize? Fishing tackle and kit. This would come in handy after a handful of days on Survivor already seems to have taken its toll on some of the castaways.

The weather did not help, it became rather cold and rainy. The night before Tribal Council, Vuna evacuated the camp and took shelter in a nearby cave as the ramshackle settlement became a muddy puddle. Vuna’s Mike said he was so drenched that even his bone marrow was wet and cold.

The Immunity Challenge was tough and its balancing act foreshadowed the politicking to come for the losing side. Zamba’s Renier half face-planted himself by missing a step, but a fast and furious recovery by the tribe saw Vuna lose to a more agile and better organised effort. The coconut target hurling and puzzle rebuild were well done, the filming and editing fantastic and Survivor manages its viewers’ anticipation incredibly well.

Tribal Council and expiry of a Vuna member was a day away, but not before online store owner Santoni was sent to Immunity Island, where she won her challenge and was clued up on a secret immunity idol for later use. Did the quick glance at its location during Tribal Council give it away? That we will see next week.

pinty voted out of survivor

Pinty was blindsided in Survivor after frenetic politicking.

We saw a whole lot of rapid-fire manoeuvring instead. Vuna, now under threat, saw the “Formidable Four” alliance reduce to the “Formidable Three” as Mike was excommunicated sans his knowledge, with a huge target on his back. But it was Carla and Anesu who led a misinformation campaign against Pinty that injected some confidence in her tenure versus Mike.

But the overall direction of the codswallop gave the plot away a bit before the vote. Pinty was out and as a parting shot she inferred it was unexpected. So clearly the strategy worked.

Interesting though is the sideshow stratagem that Tyson is playing. In his own words, he is not actively lobbying but rather letting people come to him. This way he must be hoping to assume a bit of a powerplay position by taking a long-term approach to the game.

The question is, how safe will this make him at future Tribal Councils and for how long can he play outside of alliances?

Survivor South Africa, Immunity Island is broadcast on M-Net every Thursday night at 7.30pm and available on DSTV’s Catch Up.

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