Having worked with Jesse ‘the Kid’ since day two, Sam and Jesse were one of the strongest non-related power couples in the game. Finally reunited with their loved ones, the duo could have found themselves in a concrete four, but sadly Jordie and Mark had other ideas.
With Jordie and Mark’s relationship tense at best, Mark decided to make a move against Jesse, weakening Jordie’s foothold in the game.
But unbeknownst to Mark, Jordie and Jesse had found an Idol clue, and as Jordie uncovered the hidden Immunity Idol, Sam burst from the bushes. Realising she had to act quickly, Sam managed to convince Jesse that everyone back at camp would notice he had stashed the Idol in his shorts, but no one would be looking at her. So he handed it over to his ally, unaware that he was about to be voted out, with his idol now happily tucked away in Sam’s possession.
On this week’s Australian Survivor: Talking Tribal, the panel all raved about the expert move on Sam’s part, praising it as historic, strategic genius and — above all else — absolutely ruthless. Shannon Guss also weighed in on the idea that Sam ‘stole’ the Idol.
“It’s not stealing at all,” Shannon explained, “Unless you’re in like Season 5 of Survivor South Africa, which was pirate themed and you were literally allowed to steal and take it in that way, no one’s taking these Idols off the players.
“No one’s like… wrestling it away, it is being willingly given to them. Possession is being handed over and they make use of that.”
In the past, players have been able to manipulate, lie or bargain to have someone play an Idol on their behalf, but here Sam simply convinced Jesse the idol was safer in her hands for the time being.
“It’s not stolen, it’s handed, and there’s a lot of meaning in that because you literally hand someone your heart… and then, you know, you go home for that reason.”
Credit to Sam’s expert social game this season, this isn’t even the first time she has convinced someone to hand her their Idol, after it was clear Khanh was going to win individual immunity, Sam bargained with him for the necklace.
Though, at the time of his blindside, Jesse threatened to ‘blow up’ Sam’s game if she didn’t hand over the idol to his brother, while talking to 10 play, Jesse admitted that he willingly handed over the idol.
“That was the best way I could build trust with Sammy because I knew our relationship was being strained, as we were both being pulled towards our blood relatives,” Jesse said.
"That was a way I could show her, I do trust you, I want to work with you towards the end and that was one of the things I hoped would get them to vote with us… Unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
Though it didn’t work out, George Mladenov pointed out that Jesse “didn’t have an Andy Meldrum”, referring to Andy’s famous parting words outing David Genat’s hidden Immunity Idol.
“He didn’t scream out, ‘Sam stole my Idol’ and then walked off on his way to the Jury Villa, he’s told his brother, he’s tried to cut a deal after death with Sam and Mark, to look after Jordie, but nobody else really knows about that Idol and that’s what makes it so good!”
Hayley Leake agreed that, had it not been a Blood V Water season, Sam’s move would have been almost undetectable, making it even more deliciously devious.
Whether or not the move comes back to bite her in the coming weeks, we have to agree that Sam may have made the move of the season, if not the whole Australian Survivor!
See what else the Australian Survivor Talking Tribal gang thought of this week’s episodes in the video above.
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Monday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand