Fitness model, all-rounded athlete and entrepreneur Steffi Brink, became the seventeenth person to have her torch doused and the ninth member of the Jury in M-Net’s Survivor SA: Island of Secrets. The over-confident former Sa’ula Tribe member was sure that she would be walking her way to the finale as a member of the Amigos alliance until it all came crashing down with a blindside orchestrated by her fellow Amigos, Rob and Nicole.
Three Immunity Idols were played in one fell swoop at an intense Tribal Council, in a bid to get rid of Steffi for betraying the Amigos. Survivor’s very own Lara Croft – who had been planning an all-female top-three finish – was ousted by fellow Amigo Nicole who ran to Rob with Steffi’s plans following his Immunity win.
At Tribal Council, Rob and Nicole referred to voting for “Icarus”, to which everyone believed was Durão, who was next on the pecking order. But to Steffi’s surprise, Nico Panagio’s offer for any castaway in possession of a Hidden Immunity Idol, to play it, saw three takers – Nicole who played hers for Durão, Rob who played his for Nicole and Laetitia who opted to play her Idol for herself. The Jury watched in disbelief as Steffi’s blindside was underway. Nicole turned to Steffi and said “You betrayed the Amigos,” which in their eyes was the ultimate betrayal, having formed and protected the alliance since day one of the reality series.
Steffi was a target on numerous occasions at Tribal Council, when members of the Manumalo Tribe attempted to break-up the “senior management”, but she remained in the game under the protection of the Amigos. She is also the only castaway to have visited the Island of Secrets four times and was a strong physical contender in challenges, having won many pre-merge and bagging Immunity for the first challenge post Merge.
For this weeks Reward, the castaways played for a visit to the Manono “bat” Island to enjoy a spread of decadent hotdogs and a range of beverages. The challenge involved holding onto a pole, attached to a disc, on top of which they had to balance a heavy goblet. At regular intervals, they had to add another segment of pole. With Steffi’s new gameplay in mind, she was determined to win both Reward and Immunity. Unfortunately for her, she was the first one to stumble and lost the challenge. Rob took the honours once again and chose Nicole to join him on the Reward and Laetitia as the lucky castaway to visit the Island of Secrets. At Laetitia’s very first visit to the Island of Secrets, she was gifted with a vote nullifier that she shared with Steffi, but kept a secret from the rest of her Tribemates.
At the Immunity Challenge, the castaways had to race their way through a giant maze, looking for five bags containing puzzle pieces. Once they have retrieved all five bags, they could start with the final part of the challenge and complete a three-tiered puzzle. The three ladies, Steffi, Nicole and Laetitia went in guns blazing into the challenge in an attempt to prevent Rob from winning Immunity. For their plan to work, it was important that one of them won the challenge. As luck would have it, Rob trumped them all and won took Immunity once again – squashing any chances that they had at blindsiding him.
This means that Rob, Durão, Laetitia and Nicole are the final four castaways to make it to the finale of the reality series, on Thursday 12 September.
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.