Survivor Strategiser – Final 4

And we’re back. Tonight, we saw the second to last episode of Australian Survivor All Stars, & we were all on the edge of our seats as we watched the Final 4 battle it out for a spot in the Final 3. Let’s get right into it.

The episode began with a clear rivalry marked out. Brooke was out to win another immunity challenge & see Dave out of the game, knowing he was the biggest threat remaining. She also thought Sharn & Moana were missing the mark in not voting for Dave. Meanwhile, David was reflecting on what the game & winning sole survivor means to him, talking about his family & how important it was for him to win individual immunity at the next challenge. Ultimately, the battle lines were drawn, with Brooke on one side, Dave on the other, & Sharn & Moana firmly in the middle. And I think we’d all agree it was quite different without the kind-spirited Tarzan at camp.

To the immunity challenge, & we bore witness to what appeared to be multiple challenges we’ve previously seen, or at least elements of those challenges, all rolled into one. First, rolling a ball down a ramp & navigating quickly through an obstacle course to catch it in time. Second, shooting the ball into a hoop of sorts netball style. Third, throwing coconuts at two targets to break them. Fourth grabbing a puzzle bag & dragging it under an obstacle to get to a ladder template. Fifth, putting the puzzle pieces in place correctly to build the ladder & climb over the top. And finally, grabbing a bag containing three balls, which would be navigated up a hole-filled wall one at a time to be deposited in three correctly shaped holes at the top, using a pulley-based mechanism. A grueling challenge. Brooke & David were well out the gate at the start, with Brooke gaining the lead for a short time. She was soon overtaken by David, however caught up once again, & took the lead again for a very short time. David was right on her tail though, catching up & overtaking her, gaining a bit of a lead on the puzzle. Meanwhile, Moana & Sharn were left behind, still attempting to get through the first obstacle. Dave & Brooke were now on level pegging yet again, however, Dave managed to get through the puzzle & onto the final part of the challenge first. Brooke was right behind him. After both dropped their first ball, it was anyone’s game. Both got their first in place, however, Brooke fell behind after dropping her second. This gave Dave the opportunity he needed, allowing him to gain a good lead after securing his second ball. With everyone on the edge of their seats, we watched as Dave shakily progressed, getting his ball higher & higher up the wall, Brooke still on her second. And while Brooke came close, David managed to pull through, winning a second individual immunity this season, & securing his place in the Final 3.

After the challenge, Brooke knew she was likely to go. Dave was understandably emotional, given he had needed to win this challenge & did. Back at camp, Brooke came up with a pitch, & put it to Sharn, telling her that she couldn’t beat Dave at the end, & questioning whether Dave would even take Sharn to the end. Sharn was wary, however, Moana was also wary of Sharn, knowing she could easily flip. Dave & Moana seemed solid, & even though Brooke made an effort to sow seeds of doubt in Moana’s mind, it seemed Moana was set on voting for Brooke. Brooke obviously wasn’t going down without a fight.

The same was evident at tribal council, where Brooke put her strong social game on full display. After a she said-she said situation between Brooke & Sharn, with both pointing fingers at the other, denying they said certain things themselves, Brooke put it out there that Dave was a strong challenge competitor & would be most likely to win the final immunity challenge, & likely the game, if she went home. Yet her pitch clearly wasn’t enough, as all three of the remaining Mokuta alliance put their votes on Brooke, sending her to the Jury Villa. And so, we have our Final 3.

Analysis & Predictions

Tonight was a fairly straightforward one as soon as Dave won individual immunity. Brooke was obviously in the firing line, & Dave knew he had to ensure her elimination from the game so as to ensure he could win. Brooke was the only other player who could beat Dave, & likely would have if she got to the end, with the majority of the jury being her friends. She also would have likely voted him out at the next tribal provided she won the final immunity challenge, & taken Moana to the end. Brooke played a strong social game, & her attempt to turn Moana & Sharn against each other was a testament to the player she was. However, it seemed that remarks made at tribal & the argument that ensued between herself & Sharn cemented Sharn’s vote for her, & Moana was always likely to stick with Dave on this vote, likely knowing Brooke would easily beat her at Final Tribal.

Dave is now in the best position to win. Depending on the final immunity challenge, Dave has a very good chance of taking it out, particularly if it is endurance based. He’s been a strong competitor this season. If he wins the final individual immunity, Dave is likely to win, with one of the greatest resumes I’ve ever seen. I’ve been compiling that resume for weeks now, & so, seeing as we’re down to Final 3, here it is:

  • Vote Count: 5 (for a big player like Dave, that’s extremely impressive)
  • Engineered Jericho vote
  • Secret alliance with Mat
  • Engineered major tribal with Daisy vote, Mat’s correct idol play, the flushing of Brooke’s idol (without suggesting to her to play the idol. AK actually suggested it), & put on a very good act of surprise when the votes fell on Daisy
  • Played from the bottom & survived after tribe swap
  • Made a fake idol
  • Found an idol
  • Found a second idol using the clue Phoebe found & told him, putting her off the scent in order to secure it
  • First player in Australian Survivor history to possess two idols simultaneously
  • Engineered Phoebe blindside
  • Wore an idol at tribal council
  • Engineered the elimination of the original snake, Nick
  • Still possessed two idols going into merge, & all the way up to Final 8
  • Created a strategic narrative for the Mokuta 7 going into merge
  • Made Locky think he was safe & that the Vakama 5 had his & Zach’s votes, constructing & engineering his blindside
  • Engineered the vote on Harry, thereby eliminating all those that he played with in Season 4, leaving himself as the sole remaining S4 castaway
  • Elimination of Harry allows Dave to make the claim of most consecutive days on Survivor provided he makes it to the end
  • Eliminating those he previously played with means all those who knows how he plays are out of the game, giving him better odds of making it to the end
  • Ensured his safety from the Exile twist by manipulating Zach into voluntarily going
  • Played idol for Tarzan, protecting him from a potential rock draw so as to keep his most loyal ally in the game
  • Showed the second idol to Sharn to sow doubt in her mind about moving forward with the Vakama 3 à got her to vote against the V3
  • Getting Sharn to vote against the V3 allowed Dave to take out one of the only other players who could beat him at the end, & ensure Sharn falls out of favour with the Jury
  • Took a massive risk in not playing the idol, even though he knew he’d catch votes, which ultimately paid off with a 4-3 vote against Shonee
  • Didn’t turn on Sharn when he had the chance, knowing she’s his ticket to win the game
  • Voted out his right-hand man to gain the trust of Moana & Sharn & give himself a chance should he have lost immunity
  • Ensured Brooke’s elimination, ultimately resulting in all the players that could beat him being out of the game
  • Thinks about the game on all levels
  • Has won 2 individual immunity challenges

 

Dave’s resume is surely the most impressive of the remaining three. He could beat either one of Sharn or Moana, but if he wins the final immunity challenge, it’s likely he’d take Sharn with him to Final 2, knowing she’s fallen out of favour with the majority of the Jury after voting Shonee out. She will not garner votes from Shonee, AK & Brooke, & is also highly unlikely to garner votes from Harry, Locky, & Jacqui. Zach & Tarzan are guaranteed votes for Dave. If Dave was to go the other way & take Moana, it would be an interesting one, & would likely come down to how the two present their case to the Jury. Ultimately, I think Dave has it either way, so long as he wins that all-important final immunity challenge.

 

And so with that, we look forward to the Season Finale of Australian Survivor: All Stars on Monday night, & wait in great anticipation of who will be the Sole Survivor of an amazing season. Make sure to stick around for the Reunion Special after the winner is announced too. They’re always good fun. And if you aren’t onto it already, also make sure to check out Talking Tribal with Luke Toki, Shannon Gaitz & James Mathieson. There’s a new episode out right now.

I’ll be back with the final piece of this Series after the Finale. Enjoy!

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