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Waikato Farmer makes first jury member

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After 24 days in the game, Waikato farmer Arun Bola became the first member of the Jury and the eighth person eliminated from Survivor New Zealand.

Tonight, as two tribes became one, old alliances were shaken up turning even the strongest friendships against each other.

As Khanghkaw and Chani readied themselves for the Reward Challenge, many began strategising for the anticipated merge - questioning alliances and trying to work out who they could and couldn’t trust.

The Reward Challenge saw tribes, one by one, fire sandbags from a slingshot at a wall of targets. First tribe to hit five targets in a row - took out reward.

However, tonight’s reward meant everyone was a winner - as Matt Chisholm announced to all castaways to ‘drop their buffs’ as they were now one tribe ‘Phsan’, meaning ‘to merge’ in Thai.

The Immunity Challenge became a different game tonight. For the first time, each castaway walked into the challenge with their life in their own hands. Win, and they were safe. Lose, and they only had themselves to blame.

The Individual Immunity Challenge set each person up with 120 wooden tiles to build a house of cards. The first person to reach three metres or the highest stack after 20 minutes wins immunity.

Tess and Lisa were neck and neck, but both quickly lost the lead when their towers toppled to the ground. As the timer went, Matt’s stack reigned supreme giving him the win and individual immunity.

Going into their first Tribal Council as Phsan, alliances were unknown. Would old pacts prove strong, or had cross-tribal lines been formed?

Having spent time together in Chani post tribe swap, Arun put his faith in Matt and the alliance he thought he had. However, an Outpost puzzle win gave Lisa an advantage in the game - a double vote that she decided to use against Arun. Coupled with a move that saw his original Chani alliance, Renee turn to new allies and vote out an old friend - Arun was eliminated from the game.

Looking back at his time in the game Arun said: "Survivor, what an amazing experience! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it all. I met some amazing people and have made lifelong memories and friends.

"From the get-go, I wanted to play as hard as I could. From throwing challenges to rigging sticks, to making sure I had my fingers in as many pies possible!

Going in to merge, odds were well stacked against me. I tried my hardest to pull votes, but the beast that is Survivor ultimately saw me outplayed."

Arun will remain in Thailand until the final Tribal Council on Day 39, where he and seven eliminated Survivors - known as the Jury - will decide who becomes New Zealand’s 2018, Sole Survivor.

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