Survivor NZ recap: Emotions run high, as shock twist decides the final three

Previously on Survivor NZ: Tess and Adam mended their relationship after it was fractured in Matt's blindside, but the scramble for survival didn't pay off for Adam who was voted to the jury.

Now Adam is gone, Tess is worried she won't be able to crack the tight alliance between Dave, Lisa and Tara and make it to the final three.

However, she has hope as Adam promised to blow up Lisa's game back at the jury villa to prevent her from winning, helping Tess' chances if she does get to make her case to the jury.

I think Lisa has the biggest resume in terms of big moves and will be hard to beat in a final three.

The remaining Survivors also seem to realise this fact though and might be open to a move against her before it's too late.

"We're going out with a bang"

The final reward challenge is huge, a night out in a luxury hotel with the works.

This will be a massive boost going into the final individual immunity challenge for the winner.

Survivors have to cross a wobbly rope bridge using planks before solving a maze puzzle.

Dave races out to an early lead and begins the puzzle first. Despite a challenge from Lisa he manages to hold his nerve and win.

Now the all-important decision, who will he take with him on the reward? In a diplomatic move he decides to take Tara as she hasn't won a reward.

"I need to know what Tess is thinking"

Dave approaches Tess to see if she wants to work with him in case she wins the final immunity challenge.

However, in a solo piece to camera Dave reveals that he won't actually work with Tess if he wins immunity. Seems Dave is getting sneakier the more this season goes on.

He's still not a great liar though, as Tess sees through his offer and knows he can't be trusted.

"We can just vote Tess out"

The remaining Survivor's cling on for immunity. Source: 1 NEWS

This final immunity challenge is massive for Tess, if she doesn't' win it she's off to the jury.

It's a simple endurance challenge, with the Survivors wrapping their legs and arms around a pole and hanging from it upside down until only one remains.

This should be a good test of just who wants that $250,000 the most. Dave and Tara should have an edge after a good sleep and feed at the luxury hotel last night.

Lisa is the first to drop followed closely by Tara. Once again it's Dave and Tess battling it out, it's not made any easier for Dave who gets stung by an angry wasp on his leg.

After an amazing 80 minutes Tess wins and falls to the floor weeping with emotion.

Tess is overcome with emotion after winning immunity. Source: 1 NEWS

No one wanted her to win and it really blows up the game now, forcing Tara, Lisa and Dave to turn on each other and handing Tess all the power to decide the final three.

"Don't stop fighting"

Host Matt Chisholm points out the fact there is one more tribal council to go, Tess says she fought to win because "bugger them I'm going to put a huge spanner in their works."

Her battling underdog story might just help when she makes her case to the jury. Now she has to choose the correct people to take with her.

Looks like she has chosen to vote out Dave, but Tara feels too much loyalty to him and would rather vote Lisa.

Tara tells Dave she has a new plan to split the votes and vows not to write his name down. This would see a fire making showdown from those with tied votes to see who progresses.

"I don't think this is a game you can be honest throughout"

Final tribal council. Source: 1 NEWS

Bold admissions from Lisa at tribal council, as she tries to make nice with the jury who may eventually decide her fate.

Not much to be said at this tribal really after all the scrambling today and it's quickly time to vote.

Tess holds firm and votes for Dave, so does Tara who votes for Lisa.

In a shocking twist it's Tara who is sent home, meaning her secret plan was to get rid of herself to help get Dave and Lisa to the final.

Have to say I didn't see that coming, but Tara confirms it in an aside to the camera after tribal that it was her decision to leave.

There it is the final three is Lisa, Tess and Dave.

But wait there's more… back at the jury villa Matt has been blowing up old schoolmate Dave's game by telling everyone about their secret friendship and how it influenced the game.

Some interesting questions bound to be thrown Dave's way in the live finale next week.

Watch all episodes of Survivor NZ on TVNZ OnDemand.

List of Survivor's and vote status:

Adam, 28, Self-Employed, Auckland (voted out episode 13)
Arun, 30, Dairy Farmer, Waikato (voted out episode 8)
Brad, 27, School Teacher, Nelson (voted out episode 9)
Dave, 26, Clinical Pharmacist, Auckland
Dylan, 26, Retail Manager, Whangarei (voted out episode 7)
Eve, 26, Hiking Guide, Auckland (voted out episode 11)
Franky, 24, Journalist, Auckland (voted out episode 3)
Josefien, 23, Audio Post Producer, Blenheim (voted out episode 1)
Josh, 28, Chartered Accountant, New Plymouth (voted out episode 6)
JT, 32, Project Manager, Manawatu (left for medical reasons)
Karla, 37, Reporter, Palmerston North (voted out episode 2)
Kaysha, 24, Social Worker, Horowhenua (voted out episode 4)
Liam, 23, Videographer, Tauranga (voted out episode 5)
Lisa, 38, School Librarian, Christchurch
Matt, 25, Rocket Technician, Auckland (voted out episode 12)
Renee, 28, Real Estate Agent, Auckland (voted out episode 10)
Tara, 44, Full-time Mum, Hamilton (voted out episode 15)
Tess, 24, Office Manager, Christchurch

Tess not looking amused. Source: 1 NEWS