Despite pledging her support to both sides during the course of the week, she saw her position as the all-powerful swing vote evaporate into thin air at Tribal Council when she admitted her head wasn’t entirely in the game – possibly the only thing that could have united the fractured tribe.
Murishca was the only ‘outsider’ in Visayas, having found herself as the sole former Mindanao member alongside four former Luzon members (Tom, Chané, Palesa and Vusi) in the new tribe after last week’s tribe split. Both sides – Tom & Chané and Vusi & Palesa – attempted to woo her over to their respective camps, and she committed to both throughout the week, but Tom’s comments about the fact that she was ‘dead weight’ incensed her and nudged her over to the latter side.
Things still weren’t entirely cut & dried though, as it was common knowledge that Tom was in possession of a Hidden Immunity Idol, which he very publicly asked Chane to scoop up for him at the balance beam challenge two weeks ago. Palesa, who had the clue to the location of that Idol, but failed to capitalise on it, had picked up a second clue to the location of another Hidden Immunity Idol at the tribe split last week, but would have to wait for a visit Tribal Council before she could collect it.
She wouldn’t have to wait long for that visit, after Visayas threw away their chance at Tribal Immunity when they bickered their way through a combined Reward & Immunity Challenge which tested both mental and physical strength, to finish third behind Mindanao and Luzon, respectively. For their efforts, Mindanao picked up a reward of a healthy food stash and Bio-Strath immune-boosting elixir – along with the Tribal Immunity Staff – and Luzon celebrated their come-from-behind success with a watermelon and the second Immunity Staff.
Despite their favourable positions, there was still plenty for the other tribes to think about. At Luzon, Josie was amazed to find that Werner, Jeanne and Toni were still none the wiser about why last week’s eliminee Ace had been digging up their camp, and resolved to find a way to continue the search for the Hidden Immunity Idol, knowing she was still on the outside of the former Mindanao bloc. There were cracks, though, with Jeanne’s continued struggles in physical challenges leading Werner to consider cutting her loose to make the tribe more of a force. When she tried to talk to him about partnering up to work towards making it to the final, he was noncommittal, at best. Meanwhile, Josie’s hopes of kindling a “girls’ alliance” were quickly extinguished when Toni firmly shut down her idea of voting Werner out next.
At Mindanao, Marthunis continued to rub everyone the wrong way – first when he told PK he wanted to vote Tevin out and then when he inferred that his life was more valuable than Katinka’s because he had a family relying on him, back home. PK and Tevin sat him down for a chat to try to bring him back into line - which they codenamed ‘Operation Discipline’ - but his insistence on making his own decisions in the game wasn’t even tempered by their threat of ‘throwing’ another challenge to give them the chance to vote him out.
After an expletive-ridden blow-out at camp between Tom and Palesa over the division of food, Visayas headed to Tribal Council. Palesa shocked everyone – including alliance member Vusi – by stepping up to collect her Hidden Immunity Idol from the plinth in plain sight. That immediately changed the tribal dynamic, and when Nico Panagio gave the castaways the chance to have a mid-Tribal Council strategy session, Murishca immediately turned to Vusi & Palesa, while Tom and Chané made plans to vote her out on the basis of her head not being in the game.
Unsure of the result of the discussion between Murishca, Palesa and Vusi, Tom chose to play his Hidden Immunity Idol, while Palesa gambled and held on to hers. In the end, Murishca failed to convince Palesa of her loyalty and resolve and the latter’s vote – added to those of Tom and Chané – ensure that the Marketing Manager became the fifth Castaway to depart the game this season.
Tune in to Survivor South Africa: Philippines next week (Thursday 7 June, 19:00 on M-Net 101) to see if the Tribal Council turning point is enough to heal the Visayas rift and give them some momentum against steamrollering Mindanao and the delicately-poised Luzon.
Survivor fans can also have great fun online. For the first time ever, M-Net has created a Virtual Reality experience for fans of the show. By simply logging on to www.mnet.tv/survivorsa viewers can click through to a full 360 degree experience of the Survivor SA islands, living areas as well as each challenge site as the weeks progress. Fans can now see and experience the surroundings of the exotic Philippines exactly as the Survivor contestants did, and stumble upon some clues along the way that could put them in line to win some great prizes while doing so!
Survivor SA is powered by the Huawei P20 Pro and is produced by Afrokaans Film and TV.
The show is also available on DStv Catch-Up and Catch-Up Plus within 24 hours.