Before and during this week’s highly entertaining Survivor SA Tribal Council, Durāo, Tania and Jacques from the Tribe Laumei delivered Oscar-worthy performances to convince 29-year-old Sales Consultant Felix from Pretoria that he had nothing to fear. So, when host Nico Panagio read out the votes, Felix was dumbfounded with the chilling verdict. He was the fifth person to be voted off Survivor SA: Island of Secrets.
The show’s latest blindside was treachery of the highest – or lowest – order. Durāo – who barely escaped the chop after last week’s Tribe Shuffle – pulled of a shifty move by playing the martyr who had to resign to his fate after Rose-Lee’s departure. Felix bought his act hook, line and sinker! He even smiled broadly when Durāo’s name was the first to be read out by Nico. Then came the triple whammy of votes that sent Felix home!
Felix had counted on the pact between the former Ta’alo members to pull him through. Instead, biker queen Seipei, formerly from Sa’ula, teamed up with ex-Ta’alo members Tania and Jacques to form a fearsome foursome with Durāo that left Felix in no-man’s-land.
Durāo’s move to bond with Survivor superfan Jacques, who understands the trickery that underpins success in the game, clearly paid off. While Jacques – who happens to have an Immunity Idol as insurance – was the mastermind behind the plot, his fellow tribemates were also getting fed-up with Felix’s bossiness.
Finally, Felix sealed his own fate at the Immunity Challenge when he turned on Jacques when the latter wilted under pressure. The Tribe – with the exception of Felix – easily forgave Jacques, but Felix’s lack of loyalty was a deadly sin.
More highlights from this week’s episode
Smoothies, stamina, time to strategise, a surprise Hidden Immunity Idol clue and some sweeties
Ta’alo were brimming with confidence after a string of strong performances when the Tribes gathered for the episode’s Reward challenge, with an indulgent afternoon at a Biostrath Smoothie Bar on offer. Runners-up were to receive a fruit platter and a bottle of Biostrath to share.
The challenge consisted of a memory game played out on a grid work of tiles that flip over to reveal a symbol on the other side. There was a matching symbol hidden somewhere on the grid. One by one, each Tribe was to send someone in to flip two tiles. If they matched, they would score a point for their Tribes. The first Tribe to score seven points would win the challenge and the reward. Ta’alo and Sa’ula each had to sit out a member to even out the numbers, and they chose Rob and Nathan, respectively. It was the first time the pair got together since the Tribal Reshuffle, after being inseparable at Sa’ula. Not surprisingly, they soon start talking strategy, mapping out the way forward.
Laumei streaked into the lead, and squandered several chances to score a rare victory. Instead, it was Ta’alo who staged a coup and won the reward. Laumei had to settle for second place. Ta’alo got to send a member of Sa’ula, the losers, to the Island of Secrets, and the lot fell on Geoffrey.
At the Biostrath Smoothie Bar, Meryl – always on the lookout – noticed a clue hidden behind an icon. It was out of reach, so she conspired with the taller Danté, who grabbed it while she distracted the other tribemates.
Meanwhile, the mood was upbeat at Laumei after a rare success. After they had tucked into their treat, Felix started building a fire... and barking instructions at Durāo, who wasn’t impressed.
And, on the Island of Secrets, Geoffrey was confronted with a choice between dry firewood for his tribe – a precious commodity – and a bottle filled with sweets. He simply couldn’t resist the sweet temptation.
The next day at Ta’alo, Meryl, armed with a precious clue, was up at the crack of dawn and sneaked away, with Danté in pursuit. They read the clue, which revealed the Hidden Immunity Idol would be somewhere under a table at the Immunity Challenge.
At Sa’ula, Geoffrey returned and revealed what happened at the Island of Secrets. He had only eaten his fair share of the sweets, leaving the rest for his happy tribemates!
Jacques fails at the Immunity Challenge
Usually, everyone wants to win the Immunity Challenge to escape meeting Nico at Tribal Council. This week, however Sa’ula’s Nathan had another idea. His plan was to “throw” the game, forfeit Immunity and vote off Mmaba, physically the weakest member, who could hold back the Tribe in future. He confided in Steffi – who is way too competitive to even consider such an idea.
The Immunity Challenge was a relay game in which the Tribes had to retrieve a puzzle piece from a structure in the water, work the puzzle pieces through a board one by one, and then solve a sliding puzzle. The first two Tribes to do that successfully, would win Tribal Immunity.
Sa’ula sat out Steffi – one of their strongest players, which suited Nathan’s agenda. Ta’alo sat out Laetitia, physically their weakest.
Ta’alo completed the first section and Laumei soon joined them. Sa’ula looked doomed as Mmaba failed time and again to scale the ramp. When the leading Tribes reach the final stage, Jacques, the self-proclaimed puzzle maestro, boasted that he could wrap it up in ninety seconds. Well… he didn’t. Meryl whipped him to her own delight and that of her teammates. Ta’alo won again. The puzzle maestro had lost his mojo, and refused to take advice, sparking a bit of a temper tantrum from Felix – the one that would cost him so dearly a little later. In the end, Cobus sealed second place for Sa’ula, sending Laumei to Tribal Council.
Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets is screened on M-Net every Thursday at 19:00. It will also be available on DStv CatchUp. Fans can follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @Survivor_SA / Instagram @Survivor_sa / Facebook with the official hashtag #SurvivorSA