Three days after declaring himself on a mission to be the best Survivor player in history, Structural Engineering Draughtsman Jason found himself on the wrong end of a blindside – and became the first Castaway to have his torch snuffed on Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island tonight (3 June).
Despite losing the one-on-one Fire Challenge against Vuna’s Chappies and then costing his tribe, Zamba, an early lead in the season’s first Immunity Challenge, it was actually his unpredictable scrambling during the vote wrangling at camp, that cost him his spot in the game.
It was a frantic opening to the first-ever season of Survivor South Africa to be filmed on home soil, as the twenty Castaways arrived in the lush Wild Coast bush and were immediately split into two tribes by means of a random draw. OnZamba: Amy; Marisha; Nicole, Qieän; Thoriso; Anela; Dino; Jason; Renier & Shaun. On Vuna: Anesu; Carla; Pinty; Santoni; Wardah; Chappies; Kiran; Mike; Paul & Tyson.
Multiple opportunities for immunity, safety and subterfuge cropped up throughout the first episode – via snagging an Immunity Necklace during the first mad dash for supplies, by weighing up risk and reward on a trip to Immunity Island, a new ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ awarded to the participants in the Fire Challenge and via good old-fashioned hunting for Immunity Idols at the respective camps. Zamba’s Renier also reluctantly revealed that he’d picked up a Tribe Advantage at the first supply dash, which Nico revealed to be a Cape Union Mart starter kit containing a few essential items – but no flint, yet.
The introduction of Immunity Island was a new twist to the game, with the Castaways being slowly drip-fed information about the mysterious location and the benefits offered by being sent there. Zamba’s Thoriso was the first Castaway to visit Immunity Island this season, after being strategically sent there by Vuna after their Immunity Challenge victory. Faced with the option to ‘stay & play’ for an advantage or return to her tribe with ‘just’ the Immunity Island Necklace, which ensured her safety from the vote this week, she opted for the former, but couldn’t beat the timer. The missed opportunity saw her have her right to vote at Tribal Council taken away – though she was still safe by virtue of her necklace.
Back at camp, Jason was feeling the heat and formed an alliance with Shaun, calling themselves ‘The Blade Brothers’. He then set about trying to put the trio of Marisha, Amy and Nicole in the firing line – but Anela and Renier didn’t appreciate his methods. Stung by mention of Amy’s name, Renier set into motion a blindside by persuading the three ladies and Dino to write down Jason’s name, without too much trouble. Anela presented a tougher challenge, believing it would be better to vote out clear opposition in Qieän, rather than someone who might be brought into the fold – plus he was already in a fledgling alliance that included Jason.
With Dino safe this time around, thanks to picking up the Immunity Necklace at the supply dash and Thoriso out of bounds thanks to her trip to Immunity Island, Zamba figurehead Shaun set about painting himself as the likely elimination candidate at Tribal Council, on the back of not being consulted by anyone about proposed moves. He was almost as surprised as Jason when Nico read out the votes, with the self-proclaimed ‘Muhammad Ali of Survivor’ picking up five votes to Qieän’s two and falling at the first Survivor South Africa hurdle.
Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island is produced by Afrokaans. Catch all the action every Thursday at 19:30 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101). Visit the M-Net Website for exclusive show content and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #SurvivorSA and #mnet101.