For three Tribal Councils in a row, his alliance members, the so-called Spit Shakers Seven, kept him in the dark about their voting plans. But this week self-proclaimed social butterfly, architect Cobus Hugo (28), had to swallow an even more bitter pill. With five votes against his name – also from the people he once believed could take him to the top – Cobus became the thirteenth person to be voted off M-Net’s Survivor SA: Island of Secrets and the fifth member of the jury.
Before host Nico Panagio had snuffed Cobus’s torch however, Tribal Council delivered nail-biting drama. When it was time to read the votes, all eyes were on Jacques. He was supposed to play the Hidden Immunity Idol, draped around his neck. Instead, he just slowly buttoned down his shirt.
Then, there was another rude awakening for over-confident Steffi. Her name was written down as well and she heard Nico saying “… two votes Steffi… two votes Cobus … two votes Jacques”. If Jacques played his Idol for Cobus, as the jury wished, it could have been a tie! And, If Jacques’s bold move to persuade the other players at the bottom of the food chain that gunning for Steffi could be their saving grace, it could have been even worse for the former Miss Namibia.
How the Suvivors voted:
The consensus at camp – without the targets knowing, of course – was that the votes would be split between Jacques and Cobus. In the end the Amigos alliance – Rob, Nicole and Steffi – voted for Cobus. So did Durāo and Mike, who Jacques tried to win over by sharing his advantage with them. Laetitia and Mmaba followed the orders of “senior management”, as Jacques calls the power players, and went for Jacques. Thus, the two votes, received by Steffi came from Jacques and Cobus.
How the week’s episode played out:
This week’s Reward Challenge revealed quite a lot about the Survivor’s standing in the game as well as their strategy, needs and attitudes. Host Nico presented them with three options to play for: a hearty meal with wine, a letter from home or an advantage in the game. To win the reward, they had to keep two opposing forces (a set of handles) apart with a heavy metal bar shaped like a key between them. If at any point during the challenge they released tension on those handles, the bar would slip through, shatter a tile and eliminate them from winning.
Nicole and Durāo both picked the meal, but then Durāo realised that Nicole needed the nutrients more – and deliberately crushed his tile.
Most of the castaways were craving a letter from home. After Jacques, Laetitia and Cobus fell out, it was game on for Steffi and Mike. Taking his cues from Durāo, Mike thought it was an excellent plan to let Steffi win.
The final face-off for the advantage in the game was between Mmaba and Rob. Even though Mmaba needed it more than ever before, Rob didn’t budge. After his victory, Rob was sent off to the Island of Secrets to spend an evening alone and find out more about his advantage. The advantage turned out to be an opportunity to practise for the all-important Immunity Challenge as well as everything that was up for grabs at the Reward Challenge.
While an emotional Rob shed more than one tear when reading the letter from his dad, there were also plenty of red eyes back at camp. Steffi’s letter from actor husband Clint Brink made her all weepy and the others broke down at the thought of missing out on much-needed encouragement from home.
Rob’s winning spree did not end at The Island of Secrets. He came out tops at the Immunity Challenge, where he also won the opportunity to test-drive a Mahindra SUV for a month upon his return to South Africa.
But will all of this put a target on his back now? After thirty days on the island, it’s clear that everyone is there to win and that nobody can be trusted.
Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets is screened on M-Net every Thursday at 19:00. It will also be available on DStv CatchUp. Fans can visit www.mnet.tv/survivorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @Survivor_SA / #SurvivorSA and on the official Survivor Facebook page.