It’s Tribal Councils like these that keep Survivor’s torch burning

surpJeff Probst called it “one of the craziest Tribal Councils ever” and he was spot on.

26 seasons on, Survivor still pulls off jaw-dropping moments, including this one that ultimately led to the exit of erratic contestant Phillip Sheppard, 54.

At Tribal Council it was a case of 7 against 3. The “three amigos” were Reynold, Malcolm and Eddie.

After Reynold won Immunity the 7 members of Phillip’s ‘Stealth R Us’ alliance decided to split the vote between Malcolm and Eddie. But that plan soon went out the window when Malcolm produced not one, but two hidden immunity idols -ensuring none of the three could be voted out.

The looks on the faces of the six was priceless and there in front of the cameras they began to whisper about which of their own had to be cut loose, completely ignoring host Probst while trying to scramble….

Meanwhile the three amigos spoke up and said Phillip was their target. Uh oh.

Phillip tried to call their bluff by suggesting both immunity idols may not be played, it would be smarter to keep them and urged his trusty team to stick to their plan. All but one did, effectively voting out one of the craziest and unlikeable players this season.

Phillip hadn’t even bothered to participate in an Immunity challenge involving water, with some wild story about an incident in his childhood (sorry, Phillip not buying it… you just don’t like to be seen to lose).

Admittedly he gave the show plenty of erratic drama.

But I sure was cheering from the couch when his flame was snuffed out.


  1. bettestreep2008

    I agree with everyone posting here – this tribal council was the best ever!

    I love seeing the arrogant ‘I’ve won this’ getting their comeuppance and Malcolm now deserves to win the title.

    However I feel unless he wins all the the other immunity challenges he will be the next to go…or will he?

    If the ‘three amigos’ were smart they should get rid of Cochran – because he’s way too clever this time around and then Eric because he has changed his vote too often to be trusted.

    If their is justice in the show – Malcolm should win this year hands down.

    Arguably one of the best played Survivors in 26 seasons – and it’s not even over.

    Sigh – isn’t it great when reality shows are actually entertaining and not rubbish like MKR and The Block?

  2. I have been a Survivor fan since the first season (even have them all on DVD) – and have to admit, this was the best Tribal Council Ever. Also agree with a few comments here about not seeing much of Brenda/Eric. Up till recently it has been more ‘The Brandon/Philip Sheppard Show’. Glad they are both gone, so now the others can get some more air-time.

  3. Brilliant tribal, superb television! I’d love a real curveball with all of this season’s ‘fans’ back for next season to see just how much fresh insight affects their gameplay.

  4. @ilovetv
    I would love for them to do an Australian version again, this time with proper production value. The two versions we had looked so cheap. The way they were produced was pretty pathetic. Not to mention the horrible casting, and the hosting was bad too.

    If they were willing to give it a good budget, good host, good location and good cast then it would be great. Fremantle would produce it, seeing as they have the rights to an Australian version of Survivor. But even with all that said, I unfortunately don’t see them bringing back an Australian version. I wish they would, though!

  5. @Rutzie, the alliance got rid of annoying Phillip and didn’t have to betray him to do it. They did very well out of Malcolm’s move.

    Hopefully Andrea finds out/noticed that her alliance, especially Brenda, was initially targetting her.

  6. I found phillip quite irritating but irritation turned to disgust when he got into that lovely pristine pool without showering first. Total arrogance.
    Good riddance!

  7. Survivor has been around for 13 years; and it just keeps on giving surprise after surprise after surprise. The only thing that Survivor can topple in reality TV is itself. It’s just that good! And I am loving it I am not getting spoilers from the US because it is being aired on the same day in Oz, unlike last year when Nine was being extremely tardy with scheduling Survivor. I lost interest in it after Survivor All Stars (the one with Rob and Amber) but since Survivor Samoa, I have been hooked, because of the brilliant casting, not to mention Russell Hantz who people loved to hate, he followed the Survivor motto to a tee, because he outwitted and outplayed the others.

    Sadly, I can’t say the same about Philip. I didn’t like Philip since day dot of Redemption Island because he repeatably claimed he was a former federal agent and people rose doubts over that… it was later proven true, but gee, you don’t have to repeatably state you were a federal agent.

    During Survivor Caramoan I hated Philip even more because of his inflated ego and arrogance. and he forced Brandon to the brink (even though Brandon seemed mentally unstable). The immunity challenge on Thursday was the last straw… I have never heard of anyone volunteering to sit out of an immunity challenge because he referenced a childhood incident, and I for one am NOT buying that story. If his head was on the chopping block, he would of partaken in it, mark my words.

    That came back to bite him big time. Reynold won immunity, Malcolm found an immunity idol, showed it off to everyone, but little did they know, he had a second one, which he gave to Eddie, and the Stealth R Us alliance’s plan was thrown out of the window and Philip should of just packed his bags right there and then, because someone was going to backstab him. Sure enough, someone did. And he was Gone! I want Cochran to win because he seems the most unlikely person to win.

  8. Just another quick thought. Why the hell didn’t they just change their vote to Sherri. Even though Eric voted for Phillip they still would’ve had enough votes to get her out and still have the majority alliance.

  9. I see Phillip as a great character to watch and has made this season great viewing. I would happily become a member of Stealth R Us. Long live “The Specialist”. Hope Cochran wins now.

  10. 209 K on digital. Not too shabby.

    With rattings like that I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a new Australian Version (but i could see the network having some doubt considering the 2 crappy local editions from years ago)

  11. I agree, wish they would show more Brenda and glad they started to show more of her last night!

    I love this season, last night was my favorite episode in a really long time. I love it when idols are played just right, but I think the 3 guys may be doomed from here on.

  12. This has been one of my most favourite seasons of survivor. Last night was absolutely crazy and was actually glad it happened. I hate seeing one alliance with the majority numbers just picking off the other alliance members. So when something like this happens, is so entertaining.

    Although this season has seen so many big players, I wish they would show more of the other big contestants. I loved watching Brenda in her last season with her mysterious moves and was glad she got back in this season….except there hasnt been much from her. But last night at tribal when the Stealth R Us alliance didnt know what to do, she was basically shouting out Andreas name to everyone. Thats the brenda i wished i saw more often.

  13. Agreed awesome tribal council and an example of why Survivor is still one of the best reality shows.

    Has to be the best move this season, regardless of what happens next. And even if Malclom doesn’t make it to the Finale, I think he has a good shot of winning the people’s choice prize with that move, after he was narrowed beaten by Lisa last season.

  14. carolemorrissey

    Yeah, it was a great episode. Funny seeing them all whispering what to do. Wasn’t sure for a minute there if Malcolm would play his idol. He hesitated and you could tell he didn’t want to but lucky he did or he would have gone.

    I read recently, but not sure how true it is, that they were going to have family members playing against each other in a future series. Imagine Russell playing against Brandon.

  15. If they are going to bring back past players every year, I would love to see:
    Survivor – Past Winners
    All 16 contestants made up of previous season’s winners.
    That way, none of them would be an easy target because no one wants to see them win “again”, and we’d see a lot of our favourite winners. With 26 seasons under their belt, I’m sure they could find 16 past winners that would want to return!

  16. Oh one other thing, Fillup (had to laugh at That spelling!) was quite happy to hang under the grid in the water last week so did he only remember the ‘incident’ this week. Sorry pal, you were way to sure of yourself.

  17. It was brilliant TV all along. I was cracking up at the juror who could not stop laughing and then proceeded to ‘count votes’ whilst the scramble continued.

    Malcolm was the stand-out in the previous series and lost out due to one small error at the end. I do hope he goes all the way this time.

  18. I had a feeling that this was on the cards when Malcolm pulled Eddie aside after he found the 2nd idol.

    I find it hard to believe that a fully qualified and decorated FBI agent would have a fear of being underwater…I thought that it would have been a requirement for the job. 😉

    His new Stealth name should be “Blindside”!

  19. I have to say, after 26 seasons I still get excited by this show. I was with you David, I couldn’t stop laughing and cheering when Philip got the vote, it was great TV.

    Survivor, perfect one series, even better the next!

  20. thegoldenbear

    I think I read somewhere that they plan on having returning players for every season now on – not necessarily fans vs favs. Unless he wins ofcourse, I can see Malcolm getting another crack at it – very smart player, and great at all challengers.

    Overall, I agree entirely with your article David. I still love what Survivor throws up. My wife always groans when I tell her it’s coming back and sure enough she’ll watch the first few episodes (“just because there’s nothing else on”) and then get entirely hooked again.

  21. Yes me too, could not stand him, arrogance coupled with self delusion is not a good mix. Plus I was happy that all three of the nice guys got to stay. Best Tribal Coucil ever.

  22. Brilliant Tribal Council. I love it when the arrogant one’s get blindsided
    I was hoping the “3 Amigos” would go down that path as the edit didn’t show them discussing between themselves what to do.

  23. AnnMareefromTaree

    This show just keeps on giving..last night was a classic Tribal Council……and you didn’t mention Dawn having a meltdown over her false teeth…ROFLOL if you missed it repeat is Sat arvo on GO!
    My tip for dark horse to watch for is Cochran,,a student of the game and much improved challenge participant!!

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