Survivor SA

It’s finally game over for crafty Survivor SA player Jacques!

23 August 2019
Love him or hate him, Jacques certainly played an interesting game in Survivor SA: Island of Secrets.
Survivor SA S7 Jacques Exit Web BB

Whether you love him or loathe him, there’s no denying that scrawny industrial engineer Jacques Burger (27)  kept his fellow castaways on their toes – and viewers on the edge of their seats – with all his sneaky moves, wise-cracks, Immunity Idols and well-earned advantages in M-Net’s firecracker local series Survivor SA: Island of Secrets. This week, however, he lost the battle against “the seven-headed dragon”, as he referred to the remaining contenders who’re now playing for the title of Sole Survivor. Fighting till the end, Jacques became the fifteenth person to be voted off Survivor SA: Island of Secrets and the seventh member of the jury. 

Jacques, who happens to be a superfan of the show and even ran a podcast about the previous South African season, played the game with gusto right from the get-go. So, going into merge with an Idol in his bag, it was no surprise that the Tribe’s “senior management” (another Jacques-ism) saw him as a potential threat. Little did they know, however, how ingeniously he would use his prized possession to save his own skin not only at one Tribal Council, as most Survivors would do, but for a number of Tribal Councils in a row. His main motivation: to stay on the island until the family visit to spend some quality time with his beloved wife. He knew, after all, that the family visits usually come in the form of a reward and he pocketed an unprecedented advantage on the Island of Secrets: a Reward Steal. 

While Jacques was still in possession of the Reward Steal in this week’s episode, he had no choice but to play his Immunity Idol at the previous Tribal Council after becoming persona non grata on the island. Some Tribe members – especially Steffi – was furious about his decision to disregard their agreement to flush his Idol. Instead, he proved a point by dramatically buttoning down his shirt to cover the Idol at Tribal. But the last straw was Jacques unfortunate word choice at a heated conversation after Tribal. It turned him into “enemy number one”.  

While Steffi received a secret visit all the way from South Africa – in the form of her best friend, Gina – Jacques ironically never saw his wife. For everyone but Steffi, this week’s Reward Challenge was not the home visit, as expected, but a food auction. Then, in a near win, the engineer lost the Immunity Challenge to Mike who built a house of cards with tiles first. His only hope was to find another Hidden Immunity Idol, which his searching hands missed with inches. It was then later found at the well by Laetitia who decided not to tell anyone about the treasure.

Why Jacques had the tongues wagging during his stay on Survivor SA: Island of Secrets:

  • While the other castaways were focused on playing the very first challenge, Jacques, who was picked as the weakest member of his Tribe already had his eyes wide open, looking for clues or advantages. Lady Luck was on his side and he found an extra vote for the first Tribal Council after Merge, immediately establishing himself as someone to look out for.
  • Then, at Tribe Ta’alo, Cobus shared the clue he picked up at the Island of Secrets for a Hidden Immunity Idol with Jacques. In a sneaky move, he didn’t tell Cobus when he found it on his own. 
  • At Tribe Ta’alo’s first Tribal Council, Jacques’s bestie Ting-Ting was convinced that Jacques would play his Idol for her. But when the moment came, his loyalty, courage – or both – deserted him, and he decided to play it for himself. As it turned out, Jacques would have been safe anyway if he had saved his closest ally and chatterbox Cobus would have had his torch extinguished.
  • The fact that he had stayed mum about it up to that point raised question marks over his loyalty. He didn’t want to repeat the same mistake and decided to share the fact that he found his second Immunity Idol at the well with Felix. But Felix wanted more; he said if Jacques really wanted to win his trust, he would have to hand over the Idol to Felix for safekeeping. Jacques would have none of it. Both ended up fuming.
  • Moving over to Tribe Laumei after the Tribal Shuffle, Jacques became the mastermind behind the plot to take out Felix, where Durāo, Tania and Jacques delivered Oscar-worthy performances to convince 29-year-old Sales Consultant Felix from Pretoria that he had nothing to fear.
  • At the next Tribal Council, he reminded The Misfits alliance from Laumei that they could benefit from his Immunity Idol and an Advantage later on in the game, which sent Tania, instead of him, packing. 
  • Arriving at Merge as part of the Spit Shakers Seven formed at Ta’alo after the second Tribal Shuffle, Jacques duly played his legacy Advantage – two ballots at Merge.
  • But then the Spit Shakers seven started leaving Jacques out of decisions and he had to start manoeuvring ways to bounce back. Maybe he should have listened to Danté ’s pleas for the “loose change in the tribe” to stick together. 
  • Some may argue that Jacques made many mistakes, he continued to wriggle himself out of joining the jury and managed to find the most Hidden Immunity Idols and Advantages in the game. Despite proclaiming himself as the show’s puzzle master, though, his cognitive skills didn’t count for much at many of the mental challenges.
  • But, he was never scared to ruffle feathers, “say it as it is” and rock the apple cart with his comments at Tribal Council.

Now that Jacques is on the jury, the dragon that destroyed him will have to cut off one of its heads. Who will it be?

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 visit www.mnet.tv/survivorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @Survivor_SA / #SurvivorSA and on the official Survivor Facebook page.