After surviving two Tribal Councils, and escaping a third that would certainly have sent her packing, 52-year old Tania Copeland finally had her flame doused in the sixth episode of Survivor SA: Island of Secrets. But as the colourful, strong-willed castaway had vowed, she fought tooth and nail until the very end and nearly pulled off another blindside.
Tania’s fate seemed sealed when her closest ally “Biker Queen” Seipei, called a meeting for Laumei after “The Misfits”, as the four Tribe members started calling themselves this week, suffered another Immunity Challenge defeat. Seipei, Jacques and Durāo reached consensus that Tania would be the next to go. As one would expect from Tania, however, she was not done yet.
The last card she played came within a whisker of turning the game on its head. In a well-crafted pitch to Seipei and Durāo she told them Jacques is a strong contender to walk off with the title of Sole Survivor and the R1-million reward. She, on the other hand, was guaranteed to be shoved aside after the Tribal Merge. It made them think. Yet, when it came to the final vote, both Seipei and Durāo stuck to the original plan. Perhaps they were swayed by Jacques’s reminder at Tribal Council that The Misfits could benefit from his Immunity Idol and an Advantage later on in the game.
Here’s a recap of Tania’s bumpy ride before she crashed out:
- Starting the game as a member of the Ta’alo Tribe, the rock climber and bank robber’s daughter gave the women of her Tribe a once-over and decided she’s the strongest among them. Unfortunately, behind her back, the men didn’t agree. Jacques saw her as a “wack job”, Cobus noted she had no influence on the game and Felix felt that she’d be the worst leader, as she never finishes anything. What didn’t help, was the fact that she was over-strategising and trying to establish more than one alliance.
- Then, after she had claimed his spot under the shelter in a heavy downpour, a showdown with Felix lost her more points with her Tribemates. Without her knowing, everyone agreed that she would be voted off should they be sent Tribal Council. Some even wished there would be a Tribal Council, just to get rid of her!
- When she finally picked up on the negative vibes towards her, the Sa’ula Tribe unwittingly threw her a lifeline. Sa’ula’s challenge victory allowed them to send a member from the losing Tribe, Laumei, to the Island of Secrets. They picked Tania. And so she got the option of returning for Ta’alo’s Tribal Council, or skipping it and joining another tribe – the obvious choice under the circumstances.
- As the time of the Tribal Reshuffle Tania returned from the Island of Secrets, choosing the new Laumei as her new Tribe, where she joined former tribemates Felix and Jacques, alongside the old Laumei’s Rose-Lee and Durāo, and Seipei, formerly from Sa’ula.
- With the new Laumei came a new Tania. She toned down the in-your-face attitude that alienated her Ta’alo tribemates and formed a close bond with Seipei. Not having a target on her back anymore, Tania played a crucial part in Rose-Lee and especially Felix’s departure.
- Unfortunately, when Laumei finally won a Reward Challenge, but finished last in the Immunity challenge, her time on Survivor Season 7 ran out.
More highlights from this week’s episode
Two Amigos, a shared Immunity Idol and tender moments on the Island of Secrets
As winners of this week’s Reward Challenge – a game of slingshot-and-catch – Laumei could send a member from both Ta’alo and Sa’ula to the Island of Secrets. On Seipei’s advice, Laumei chose Nicole (Ta’alo ) and Nathan (Sa’ula). Alone, away from their Tribes the two “Amigos” then bonded like never before. They each opened a box, to find half an Immunity Idol. This meant that they had to work together... but for now only one of them could benefit from the collaboration. Nathan had a tearful breakdown and revealed that Survivor was the hardest thing he’d ever done. Nicole also confessed that she didn’t feel save in her Tribe, which made Nathan decide that she should take both parts of the Idol back with her.
Lying and crying
Nathan and Nicole returned to their Tribes after the Immunity Challenge – a test of balance and judgement – won by Sa’ula. Of course, back at camp, everyone wanted to know what transpired on the Island of Secrets. And that’s when Nicole delivered an Oscar-worthy performance. In tears, she told them how she and Nathan had to choose between a clue leading to the Idol – for which they needed to cooperate – and a phone call to their families. In her fib, Nathan called home which left her with the clue. Later on she confessed to Rob, who believed every word, that it was all a lie. Little did she know, that some of the others suspected that it was all an act.
Danté’s master stroke
Survivor’s Aquaman Danté is showing that he may just be a force to be reckoned with. To strip Rob of his powerful position as the man in charge of fire in the Tribe, Danté hid Ta’alo’s flint. Rob thought he lost it… and great actor Danté played along!
What will happen next?
Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets is screened on M-Net every Thursday at 19:00. It will also be available on DStv Catch Up. Fans can visit www.mnet.tv/survivorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @Survivor_SA / Instagram @Survivor_sa / Facebook with the official hashtag #SurvivorSA.