Survivor begins with a bang

Last night the new season of Australian Survivor kicked off what’s sure to be an exciting season.

Arriving on Samoa aboard a barge on a dark and stormy night, the 24 contestants were divided into two tribes – Asaga and Samatau – and thrown straight into their first challenge.

In a complex physical battle for camp supplies and rice, the two tribes had to gather necessities from the barge, load them onto their rafts and race to shore, where a bag of rice was hanging high in the air. The first tribe to reach the beach and grab the bag would win the rice and all the supplies.

With Jonathan LaPaglia officiating, the contestants scrambled to fill their rafts with supplies before racing to the beach. With items falling overboard and rafts struggling to stay afloat, it was a tight race to the finish line, with Samatau taking out the prize.

Settling into camp, the tribes got to work setting up their new homes and getting to know each other. At Samatau, adventure guide Locky, 27, reluctantly assumed the leadership role. As Locky directed the building of the shelter, wedding DJ Aaron “AK”, , had game play on his mind. But his desperate efforts to form quick alliances did not go unnoticed by the rest of his wary tribe.

Over at Asaga, endurance athlete Sam,  took the lead. But she was soon overruled larrikin oil driller Luke.  With Luke overseeing a sloppy shelter build, former special ops commander Mark, 37, watched on, hoping to not reveal himself as a threat so early in the game.

Without Mark’s interference, Asaga faced a sleepless night of rain and cold, without fire and food.

At Samatau, the middle of the night saw barrel racer Tara, 32, faced with a bout of sickness. But a bit of vomit could not stop AK from strategising with the mum of three as she was mid-retch.

With the sunrise a welcome sight, both tribes nominated two teammates to take part in a fire challenge. When Mark and marriage celebrant Jacqui, 50, built a roaring fire, earning flint for Asaga, Mark feared his army skills had been exposed.

The next morning, the tribes met Jonathan for their first immunity challenge. In an epic physical battle, the tribes had to climb ropes, lift 100 kilogram blocks, scale walls and build human pyramids before solving a complex vertical puzzle.

Despite talking up her puzzle-solving skills, escape room owner Joan failed to solve the puzzle, meaning Asaga would have to send someone home at the first Tribal Council.

Sam emerged as Asaga’s lead strategist, convincing the majority to vote for Joan. But not one to be told what to do, Luke orchestrated a blindside, convincing half of the tribe to join him in voting for chief financial officer Kent, 51.

At Tribal Council, the votes are split, with six going to Joan and six to Kent. After a re-vote, Joan receives eight votes, bringing her time on Survivor to an end.

Departing Tribal Council, Joan told her tribe: “Good luck guys.” and with that the game has begun.

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