Rose-Lee's torch is doused. Pictures: Supplied/M-Net

Crime scene analyst, Rose-Lee Smith, 33, became the fourth castaway to have her flame doused in the intense season of M-Net’s Survivor SA: Island of SecretsA cage-rattling Tribal reshuffle offered Tania another lifeline at the expense of Rose-Lee, who was deemed the weakest player in her Tribe, Laumei.

Nico had promised to shake things up and, boy, did he ever! The Tribes were called to what they thought to be an Immunity Challenge. Instead, they were told to drop their buffs, and were introduced to a Tribe reshuffle. The Amigos were immediately rattled as they would be torn apart. Each castaway received random new  buffs and Tania – who had been sent to The Island of Secrets – returned and got to choose a new Tribe. After careful consideration, she chose Laumei. The newly formed Tribes had little time to become acquainted and form new alliances, as the very next day would be the next Immunity Challenge.

This is the makeup of the new tribes:

Laumei: Seipei, Jacques, Felix, Tania, Rose-Lee (voted off) and Durāo.


Ta’alo: Rocco, Laetitia, Rob, Danté, Meryl and Nicole.


Sa’ula: Nathan, Steffi, Mike, Cobus, Geoffrey and Mmaba.

 


This is what it entailed:

Each team picks four members for the first section: The first participant makes his or her way through an obstacle course by walking plank-and-rope “skis” to the next station, to link up with a tribemate by connecting their planks, using pins. This continues until all four tribemates are joined up in a plank-and-rope “train” that moves to the final station, where they retrieve a key. Back at the starting point, the two remaining tribemates use the planks to complete a puzzle staircase leading up to a box. It is unlocked using the key. Inside they find small sandbags, with which they take aim at five wooden crates. The first Tribe to land a sandbag on all five crates wins Immunity. In addition, the challenge also offered a sumptuous reward to the winner: an all-you-can-eat Steers rib feast... and a barbeque grid! Finally, they get to send a member of the losing tribe to The Island Of Secrets, where he or she will escape Tribal Council. Second-place finishers receive two sizable racks of ribs to share.

Rob got off to a flyer for Ta’alo, with Sa’ula’s Cobus hot on his heals. Durāo’s start was disastrous for Laumei. He simply couldn’t get the hang of the plank-and-rope walking technique, and each time he came off his plank, he had to go back to the start. Ta’alo continued to stretch their lead, and became the first team by some distance to retrieve the key, with Sa’ula making steady progress behind them... and Durāo bringing up the rear at a snail’s pace. Ta’alo was first home, and Rocco and Laetitia, who had stayed behind to complete the challenge, had their puzzle staircase sorted in double-quick time. Rocco soon landed a sandbag for his tribe, and Laetitia followed it up with two in a row.  At this point Mike and Steffi were ready to fire away, and it was game on!

Difficulty increased along with the distance of the crates. Ta’alo was first to four points... and that’s where they got stuck. Sa’ula drew level with them by the time Laumei got going, and the latter’s Felix and Jacques proved to be sandbag hotshots, claiming four points in quick succession. Three Tribes in a nail-biting dead heat! It was too little, too late for Laumei, alas. Rocco claimed the spoils for Ta’alo, and Mike nailed second place for Sa’ula. A forlorn Laumei had a brutal Tribal Council lying in wait. Winners Ta’alo picked Seipei to depart for The Island of Secrets, where she would be assured of staying in the game.

Sa’ula then received an unexpected windfall: Rob handed over their flint and shared a moment with Nathan. Back at their home base, Ta’alo tucked into their rib feast with abandon. Of course, Laumei’s vibe was downright grim.


Durāo expected the worst at Tribal Council. He had cost his team a lot of time, perhaps robbing them of Immunity and the feast of their lives. In desperation, he and Rose-Lee plotted to outwit their rivals by pretending to have an Immunity Idol. Of course, Jacques knew better, so it crashed spectacularly.

Jacques found himself in a tight spot of another kind.  He felt miserable about unnecessarily playing his first Immunity Idol at the previous Tribal Council. The fact that he had stayed mum about it up to that point raised question marks over his loyalty. He didn’t want to repeat the same mistake, and decided to share the fact that he found his second Immunity Idol with Felix. But Felix wanted more; he said if Jacques really wanted to win his trust, he would have to hand over the Idol to Felix for safe keeping. Jacques would have none of it. Both ended up fuming.

Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets is screened on M-Net every Thursday at 7pm.