The Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island Castaways dropped their buffs for the third time this season, with Zamba and Vuna becoming one – Osindile – at Merge. A whirlwind Tribal Council saw Immunity Idols – hidden, bequeathed and public – and Immunity Island advantages overturn the majority vote to see Marisha become this season’s ninth casualty and first Jury member.
Marisha started the episode on a high, spotting a Hidden Immunity Idol at camp and quickly summoning Renier to help her claim it. He chose to hang onto it, but shared news of the advantage with fellow ‘Zamba OG’s’ Shaun, Nicole and Amy. Over at Zamba, Wardah continues to decry Anela’s perceived uselessness, finding an ‘ally’ in perpetual double agent Santoni.
Treemail arrived at both camps, signalling the start of Merge and sparking celebrations amongst the Castaways at making it to the halfway mark of the game. The ensuing Merge Feast saw Chappies unashamedly hunting for any clues or Immunity Idols, drawing plenty of teasing from his fellow Castaways. A glass of wine too many saw him reveal news to an emotional Wardah of the video messages the winners received during last week’s Mexican Feast, riling up Shaun in the process. Not having found anything at the feast, he continued his shameless hunt at the new Osindile camp, with his hopes fanned by fake clues posted by Anela – taken during his last visit to Immunity Island.
The new camp was well-stocked with food and supplies – as well as two chickens. Anesu’s inner vegan animal lover saw her enlist Shaun and Marisha in removing them from their coop to give them a bit more freedom, but the strings they tied to their legs broke and the chickens made the smart move, and duck. Marisha immediately threw Anesu her under the bus, in front of the rest of the tribe.
With Chappies emerging as the common enemy, it’s evident from the start that there are two factions with six members each– the Zamba Originals and the Vuna
Originals. After Marisha’s Idol discovery, both factions also both possessed an Idol, which the opposition is unaware of. When news of Tyson’s second Idol spreads through camp, Anela told the Zamba OG’s about his ‘no vote’ disadvantage and his Tribal Insurance. Anesu, meanwhile, remained mum about her Tribal Pass.
The three Zamba OG women – Amy, Nicole and Marisha – become a concern for Anesu and Wardah, and Santoni finds Marisha’s promise to keep her in the game patronising. While out on his Anela-inspired wild goose chase, Chappies did discover something helpful – a ‘spy nest’ next to the water well, which he took to and listened intently as various factions met at the well to discuss strategy.
The season’s first Individual Immunity Challenge had a lot riding on it – with both sides praying that Chappies wouldn’t emerge victorious. After over three hours of uncomfortably clinging to poles, only Kiran, Tyson and Anesu were left in the game. Kiran brokered a deal to send Tyson to Immunity Island – and when Anesu and Tyson couldn’t hold on any longer, he won Individual Immunity and duly delivered on his promise.
At Immunity Island, Tyson answered Kiran’s prayers, opting not to ‘stay & play’ and returning home with the Immunity Island Necklace, meaning he could bequeath it to someone in danger at Tribal Council.
With double agents Santoni and Anesu working their magic, the Zamba OG’s believed everyone would vote for Chappies. Meanwhile, the Vuna OG’s were concocting a plan to blindside Marisha and trump Anela’s advantages. They made sure that Vuna believe they will all be sending Chappies home and that some votes might go to Nicole. When Shaun and Amy grow worried about the numbers, Anela convinced them otherwise.
At Tribal Council, Shaun takes Chappies to task about breaking their promise and being inconsiderate in telling Wardah about the video messages from their loved ones. Sparks fly as alliances are tested, with Chappies’ head apparently clearly on the chopping block.
Seismic moves then alter the game faster than the Castaways can comprehend. Tyson bequeathed his Immunity Necklace to Wardah, and Anela announced that he would be claiming Chappies’ vote with his Tribal Insurance. With the votes cast, Tyson played his Hidden Immunity Idol for Chappies, in a surprise move. Fearing for her life, Nicole asked Renier to hand her the Idol he claimed before leaving Vuna, with Marisha’s assistance – which he does, but only after an uncomfortable pause.
Six votes against Chappies’ name are nullified by Tyson’s gesture, with the four against Marisha – from Tyson, Kiran, Santoni and Wardah – making her the first Merge casualty, and the first member of this season’s Jury. As her parting shot, she hands her warm jacket to a shivering Nicole, setting the latter off in sobs – and leading Shaun to question the wisdom of voting out someone so kind.
Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island is produced by Afrokaans. Don’t miss it each Thursday at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) or on Catch Up. Visit the M-Net Website for exclusive show content and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #SurvivorSA and #mnet101.