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Survivor NZ recap: A huge blindside changes the game and Dave sports a new look!

Previously on Survivor NZ: After 23 days the old Khangkhaw and Chani tribes merged to become Phsan. Arun was the first casualty of the newly merged tribe and the first member of the jury.

Dave is gutted after tribal, he says Arun was like a brother to him and now he has no mates. I think Dave is trying to keep his secret so hard that even he has forgotten that his secret school buddy Matt is still in the game.

Adam is happier about last night's tribal and says he was the mastermind behind the big move that got Arun out.

Dave is next on Adam's hit list and Matt has a big decision to make whether he sticks his neck out to save him like Dave has done for him in the past.

"He's a real threat"

Brad and Tess sneak off to strategise and decide that Matt needs to go next as he is a huge threat. Matt catches them in the act though and is wary of the pair.

This could lead to a new alliance between Matt and some of those looking to shakeup the game like Lisa and Renee.

Dave sports a new hair-do. Source: 1 NEWS

Dave shows up to the reward challenge with fake rope hair sticking out of his hat saying he wants to blend in with the other long haired lads who are dominating challenges.

"I get it" host Matt Chisholm tells him, but he may be humouring Dave who might have lost the plot from lack of food and sleep.

"He's out in front"

There might have been a method behind Dave's fake hair trick as he races out to the lead in the reward challenge that involves tossing sandbags into targets.

The reward challenge is on. Source: 1 NEWS

Turns out you can't beat the real thing though as Brad's flowing mane helps him take the win and a massive haul of tuna that he can share with another tribemate.

Surprisingly he picks Dave, now he can choose two more and less surprisingly he chooses good mates Tess and Matt. A little awkward, as even though Brad says he "loves Matt to bits" he was scheming to get him out earlier in the day.

Keep your frenemies close I guess.

Dave uses the reward to plead his case to the three others with him. Brad, Tess and Matt are in food comas though and would rather go for a nap then listen to Dave.

His long-winded pleas fall on deaf ears and possibly make him an even bigger target. Lucky Dave still has his hidden immunity idol up his sleeve.
"I'm going to punch him right in the face"

It might not be a warm welcome for Dave back at camp either as Adam jokes that he will physically assault him if he goes on about how full he is.

No punches thrown but Adam isn't happy that Brad apologised so profusely that he couldn't take everyone on reward.

Oh, and he's mad at Dave for not saying anything, you can't win with Adam really…

Matt and Dave sneak off for a chat and Dave confides in him that he has an immunity idol. This leads to a plan being hatched between the two to break up the powerhouse couple of Brad and Tess if neither of them win immunity.

Not much screen time for Tara, Lisa and Eve this week and it seems like they're the safest two going into the immunity challenge.

"You're all fighting for your life"

Eve looking composed during immunity challenge. Source: 1 NEWS

Chisholm seems to disagree with me at individual immunity which is an endurance challenge that sees the Survivors holding pots up with outstretched arms.

I know from the teaser promo that this challenge goes on for a very long time, so I'm ready for the multiple animal cutaways. Some good insect ones this time.

Surprisingly Dave is the first one out. Arguably he could have done with this win the most as he knows that he's on the chopping block. Perhaps knowing he has an idol had a part to play in it.

Matt receives medical attention after a hard immunity trial. Source: 1 NEWS

Unbelievably Eve and Matt hang on for over two hours and 15 minutes! That's nearly as long as a Marvel movie.

Eve hangs in there to take out an epic win and ensure she is safe at tonight's tribal council.

"The Brad situation"

No, it isn't the name of a bad rom-com, it's what Matt says he is thinking about now Brad didn't win immunity. Will he pull the trigger and try and take out another physical threat?

On the other side of the coin, Brad wants to split the votes tonight on Dave and Renee to guard against an idol.

Brad tries to keep Dave on his side by telling him he is voting for Renee but Dave knows he is in trouble and still wants to get Brad out.

There is dissent at Brad's plan to split the votes as Renee is well liked and Matt sounds out Adam and Lisa on getting Brad out instead.

Looks like Matt is putting himself on the line for his school buddy Dave. Adam and Lisa seem interested but are worried that Brad will play his idol and don't think it would be the best move.

"Biggest move of the season so far"

This is shaping up to be the most interesting tribal council so far. If Dave and Brad both play their idols it could be anyone going home, well except for Eve who won immunity.

Renee starts off tribal by saying she knows there are votes coming her way tonight.

Tara and Matt Chisholm somehow go off on a tangent about what she would do to a kangaroo if it jumped out in front of her. I suppose there could be a kangaroo that escaped from a Thailand zoo, but she's more likely to be confronted by a snake, human or otherwise.

The votes are in… Matt is shown to have followed through and voted for Brad, now we see if there are any hidden immunity idols to be played.

Shockingly there isn't and Brad is sent home in a move which leaves half of the tribe that were left in the dark stunned!

Dave and Matt's secret friendship is really coming into play now and has done some huge damage. Crucially Dave held his nerve and didn't play his idol lending the duo even more power going forward.

Tess not looking amused. Source: 1 NEWS

Tess looks angry and the fallout from this move will be huge next week.

Watch all episodes of Survivor NZ on TVNZ OnDemand.

List of Survivor's and vote status:

Adam, 28, Self-Employed, Auckland
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
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
Renee, 28, Real Estate Agent, Auckland
Tara, 44, Full-time Mum, Hamilton
Tess, 24, Office Manager, Christchurch

Tess not looking amused. Source: 1 NEWS