“DeShawn’s game is confusing to me – he’s very emotional and all over the place.” – laughed out loud at this Ricard commentary. 😂
Deshawn’s mad Shan called him a “snake” on his way out + told Ricard he has her vote for a million dollars…..which doesn’t make sense to me, b/c on the surface it may sound like only an insult to Deshawn’s game, but telling Ricard she’ll vote for him is actually a much worse hit – if anyone’s still awake in this game/strategizing at all, they’d realize Ricard is the bigger threat as he is the only player w/ a guaranteed vote for him in the end. 👁
Survivor ‘Do or Die’ Twist –
The first person out of the challenge will have to participate in a second separate challenge at tribal council – if you don’t complete it, you’re out of the game. You could also choose whether or not to participate at all. I don’t know yet how I feel about this twist, but initially I do like that this forces each player to strategize + think about a lot of different factors in the game (i.e. who else is going to either participate/not, their own personal risk level of going home, how likely they are to be able to at least outlast past the first fail/drop in this particular immunity challenge, how confident they are that they can complete this mystery challenge, etc.).
Xander – Ricard – Danny (final 3 challenge showdown) *Xander/Ricard drop within .5 second of each other*
Tribal Council –
Very disappointed that the overhyped ‘Do or Die’ challenge turns out to just be “pick 1 of 3 boxes”…… REALLY, SURVIVOR? 🙄😩 Literally just leaves it up to chance – only 33% it goes in your favor.
I actually think that voting out Liana was a great move, because having watched many, many seasons of Survivor, she may seem like a non-physical threat that you can easily take out of the game later, but much too often this person you’re not worried about ends up going on a challenge winning streak and/or gets lucky just enough times to end up making it to the end. Plus, you know Xander’s my mf boyyy … so it’s a smart strategy to keep a bigger threat in the game as a shield.
FINALLY someone says what I’ve been thinking (get Shan tf out!!!! #blindside) + I can’t believe it was Erika who finally said it. I guess Ricard + DeShawn are also smart enough to be aware of her threat level but where they differ is that they trust her to work with them to the end.
Ricard is really showing his strategizing strength once again in his ability to have this emotional bonding moment w/ Shan on the reward challenge + turn his back on her the next day (for extremely valid reasons ofc – just sayin’). Also in his ability to separate logic + emotion as well as think about each day in the game at a time. We can see this here – “I don’t like him [DeShawn], don’t respect him, he annoys me, but I still think he’s the best choice moving forward today, he can go home tomorrow.”
I also like what he said at tribal about how everyone has their own perception of themself and the ways it differs greatly between Erika feeling insecure b/c she really is on the bottom/powerless + then Xander feeling similarly even though he has great power in his pocket (but insecure b/c people know about it).
Reward Challenge –
At first, when I saw the star puzzle, I was surprised they’d do another repeat puzzle after Evvie knew the one last week by heart almost from practicing at home, but then I was like oh yeah…they DEFINITELY plan all this out way, way, WAY in advance 😂 and conveniently for producers, Evvie just* went home last week so I guess they don’t have to worry about any Superfan advantages anymore.
Also, Pizza Under the Stars is (as Jeff said) absolutely the best reward of any season. I must say, I really enjoy the “pick someone to go w/ you” + “pick one more person to go w/ you” decisions that come w/ the win b/c there’s so much strategy involved. Ricard picks Shan first – makes sense, his #1 alliance. Then he picks Heather + Xander. They play a confessional clip of Danny commenting on it as ‘playing the jury,’ which I think is true, but I would’ve liked the chance to think of it myself….this goes along w/ what I’ve said about the whole season. It’s like we’re just being told/shown everything straight up, when what I and a lot of Superfans love most about the show is analyzing + dissecting each player’s strategy behind each move. IDK – maybe I’ve just become too much of an introvert now.
Immunity Challenge –
Not at all surprised it came down to Ricard + Xander. Was hopeful for another Xander win especially knowing he got to go on reward + eat, but wasn’t surprised Ricard pulled that out. He’s shown he’s very strong when it comes to challenges requiring steady balance. Xander I think is a bit more like me – biggest challenge strength lies in our ability to endure/outlast (discomfort/pain/etc.) which I think is the best, (obviously biased), but the reason I say that is b/c it’s a duality – equally a mental + physical skill – and each 1/2 requires the other.
Tribal Council –
Ricard says to the camera in the voting booth “we both gave each other permission to do this when the times comes.” They had split the majority of votes between Shan/Liana + all went Shan upon the revote. AMAZING. FANTASTIC. I TAKE BACK ANY + ALL COMPLAINTS I HAD ABOUT THE SEASON (*until the next episode anyway…) B/C THAT WAS A BIG ASS MOVE + IT MF ROCKED !!!!!! LET’S GOOOOOO RICARD! 🏅
(also really excited for next week b/c of the preview of Xander saying ‘it’s too good to be true!’… hopefully will actually be good fortune for my #1 boi + not a producer trick)
If you take it from where you find it, you have to follow the directions (AKA do whatever it says), or just leave it there. Each tribe has one of these idols/advantages, so there are 3 total currently in the game. In order for any of these to have any power, all 3 must be found + activated – by each player speaking a unique secret sentence aloud + all at the same immunity challenge. Until then, you are not allowed to vote at tribal council(s).
I like the uncertainty/mystery aspect of this. It’s really interesting to think about all the factors at play here + the possibility of everything lining up perfectly in sync to potentially have a massive effect on the outcome of the game. 🔮✨
I also don’t like this concept b/c I generally am against anything that depends on other people + their cooperation… ik ik, that’s life.. (but personally would always prefer an individual reward or an individual to be able to work hard + earn their reward).
The fact that there are 3 tribes + 3 idols that must all be found also makes it pretty complicated to figure out the likelihood of that event. You’d have to try to analyze each person on the other tribe’s idol-finding competence levels + the timing around that. Definitely more like a shot in the dark, than a usual idol’s sure thing.
Immunity Challenge –
NGL the entire time, I was hoping the yellow tribe is regretting their decision to send Abraham home last week after watching Tiffany struggle + fall off the balance beam several times + cause them to lose the entire challenge. Abraham was very physically fit/clearly would not have had any sort of physical issue in competitions + who did he want to vote out last week again? …. TIFFANY! At this point, I hope to see most or all of yellow tribe go home, as they’ve already screwed themselves. 🤦🏼♀️
And continuing to completely f*** themselves over… Evvie decides to go w/ an all-girls alliance to vote out Xander + I’m screaming at the tv at this point. I understand Xander could be seen as a threat due to items in his pocket (extra vote from last episode + the new advantage), HOWEVER, he is as vulnerable as it gets. He has no power to use anything he has + can’t even cast a single vote for an undetermined period of time. This means at this point in time literally every other player is more threatening bc of the power of their vote.
If I were Evvie in this situation, I would not go the all-girls alliance route. How many times has that actually worked? I can think of ONE. It worked when there were 3 POWER PLAYERS aligned – one of whom belongs on the list of best players to ever play this game (Parvarti Shallow). Point being: It almost never works. Also, I would take advantage of Xander’s powerlessness to deepen that bond w/ him so once he does have an ability to use his firepower, I’m on the right side of it. One way she could easily do this is to just let him know she told Deshawn to look for the idol on his beach (b/c this could actually end up helping Xander out down the line). Plus, he actually reads more loyal to me than Tiffany, which was supposedly the whole point of keeping her…
And if i were Xander, I would try to use my potential (future) power to buy myself some time by deepening my bond w/ Evvie + making a promise to use this extra vote + advantage with her/never against her, if she proves loyal at this tribal (which obviously she didn’t, but since he’s still around, wouldn’t hurt to try it next week as I’m pretty confident they’ll be losing another challenge…). Share the power – even if you get yourself to a better spot in the game/change your mind later, people love to feel that they have power…😈
Tribal Council –
Tiffany basically straight up admits she can’t handle the physical living conditions of Survivor. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am NOT at all saying it isn’t hard, believe me i KNOW i’d be dying out there too – I’m just saying we have all seen proof of her mind + body already starting to give in this very episode + i can’t say the same for anyone else so far this season.
Physically – the balance beam portion of the challenge, obviously – not just because she struggled w/ it, because a few others struggled a bit, but no one else struggled THAT hard. Other people had to sit or crawl across, but she couldn’t even manage that. Was that really even her best effort, you might ask after she admits later at camp to not wanting to scrape up her legs on the beam? I say, if it wasn’t her best effort, she definitely deserves to go b/c anyone giving less than their best doesn’t deserve to play the game. There are so many people out there who would KILL to give this game their absolute ALL so I just plain do not respect that. If it was her best effort…this is only the beginning of the game…so if you’re thinking of keeping her around for loyalty (AKA taking her to the end/at least taking her pretty far in the game)… you need to think longevity. Who do you think can MAKE IT down the line in the game??? (OUTLAST is ⅓ of this, remember??)
Mentally – she becomes very paranoid right before tribal (we know this is right before tribal b/c Evvie just arrives back from her little decision-making island adventure) saying they need to vote out Voce (David). WHICH MAKES NO F***ING SENSE. She does not seem to understand strategy or be able to keep all the moving parts of the game straight in her mind, it’s like her thoughts are all jumbled.
Tell me why Evvie went along w/ this plan + kudos to you, bro, b/c I just cannot make any sense of it. Evvie SAW the note w/ Xander’s advantage – she KNOWS for sure his idol does not have any power. The only reason Tiffany suggested this move was to protect herself against a possible idol…and now you may have managed to alienate 1/3 of your alliance, as Liana was extremely straight up about not wanting to vote Voce. 😐
What would’ve happened if Xander never told anyone about the idol/advantage? Would he have been seen as a threat anyway, since he would’ve then been able to put his extra vote to use at tribal? Or would Tiffany have gone home? It seemed to me that it was more this second item in his pocket that made Evvie decide 100% to flip alliances.
I expected Voce to go much further in the game tbh. I don’t see Xander making it to the end, but I’m happy he didn’t go tonight b/c i’m interested in his approach. I’m looking forward to seeing at least a bit more of his strategy + gameplay next week.
Generally, I’d have to say I’m rooting for the blue tribe – they proved once again to be a very cohesive team w/ a strong balance of physical + mental abilities + pulled off another 1st place challenge win.
As previously mentioned, Naseer is an early favorite of mine so I enjoyed learning a bit more about his life growing up in a small town in Sri Lanka + was so proud/happy for him watching him successfully make fire! Also glad that in this case, he is seen not as a threat for these skills, but more so as “essential” to the tribe’s survival. Lfg.
Right now, I’m hoping the 3 boys who chose to either risk/protect their votes in episode 1 are the 3 (1 per tribe) who find the idols. Math is not at all my strong suit so I’m not sure what the chances are of this actually happening, but I think it’d be neat + right now, I’m a fan of all 3 (Xander, JD, Danny) – let’s gooooo!
Brad’s spy shack move at the beginning – LOVE to see it!!! YES!!! (If you can’t tell, big Tony Vlachos fan over here.) 👀🌴
Sweat v. Savvy Challenge – I thought it was really shocking that none of the tribes chose to attempt the triangle challenge… was really hoping at least one would. David annoyed me right away because initially he shows he understands the game when explaining the concept of it not being a smart move (on day 1 especially) to separate yourself from the tribe, which the 2 players participating in the water challenge would be doing. But when the tribe seems to lean toward the strength option, he offers to help out + says to the cameras that’s because he doesn’t want to be/look like a “weenie” + say “I don’t want to do that.” This shows lack of understanding of the game to me because he had a few other options here –
He could have deflected the attention off of him, complimenting someone else on how strong they are or could’ve asked about people’s jobs to see if anyone’s work is manual labor, or at least more physically demanding than a medical profession. Be assertive. Not aggressive. Not passive. A-s-s-e-r-t-i-v-e. It’s all about the tone.
WCWD (What Courtney Would Do) – He could have appealed to the team’s egos. I would have fluffed people up feeding them lines like ‘we’re smart, guys, we can figure out this triangle thing if we have all of our brains working on it, one of us is bound to come up with the right number.’ Make them feel smart + confident in their mental skill/ability. Maybe even talk down the other tribes a little bit – I would’ve pointed out that the Blue tribe didn’t even unclip their boat from an anchor before trying to row away in the episode’s kickoff challenge – ‘so we’re obviously smarter than them, right team??’ #outwit (*of course, this is still a risk b/c if you do end up failing the puzzle challenge, there’s a target on your back for advocating for it, but in this case his back was really up against the wall already anyway – plus, if you fail the water challenge it’s most likely you or your partner going home, at least with the triangles, you’d have a better shot at being able to spread the guilt since everyone participated.)
**note: i did attempt the triangle challenge afterwards + came up w/ 23… #fail (won’t spoil it + give the correct answer in case some people didn’t get to give it a try yet 😉 )
‘Come on in, guys!’ – While I have to admit I am a little sad that Jeff won’t be saying this anymore, since it’s really become a tradition spanning 40 seasons/20 years, I get it. I do. I appreciate their efforts to be inclusive + w/ the times, etc. – it’s one of the best things about the show in my opinion – the way they handle social issues w/ class + grace. I read somewhere on Survivor Twitter (sorry, no idea who to credit, if it’s you, LMK! 😊 ), that someone said they wished Jeff didn’t make it such a big deal (which really, I personally don’t believe this was all Jeff’s idea, more-so CBS team working on the show, but I digress..), and I really liked that point because the phrase could have been phased out without smacking us in the face with it…not once, but twice (2 different scenes). I also would’ve preferred even just the second scene, since the first makes it appear that no change will be made, which is a little deceiving since everything flips returning from the commercial break.
Tribal Council/Vote – I don’t have a whole lot to say here honestly… I don’t have a terribly great feeling about Green team since they started their very first vote w/ one of the shady, messy, everyone-whispering-to-everyone tribals – obviously not very unified, but we’ll see where they go from here. Only other thing I wanted to say is that when I saw the singular vote for Ricard, I thought Genie was just left out of the loop entirely + threw a random name down, but then I saw another perspective I liked better on Survivor Twitter (again, if you’d like credit, please just LMK!) – that Genie may have been thinking that Sara was going to use her dice roll + wrote that down in case Sara was lucky enough to come out of it w/ individual immunity.
Risk/Protect Vote – I knew JD would pick risk + WCWD is the same, b/c… I had absolutely banked on Xander choosing “protect,” which it turns out was not the case at all lol. I wasn’t sure where Danny would land tbh. I had him really in the middle, leaning just ever so slightly over to the risk side. (chose protect) So… this is interesting, because I never would have thought of Xander’s approach….to choose “risk” + then straight up tell your tribe everything… they do seem to genuinely trust him but it’s hard for me to see that working out positively for him. We’ll just have to wait + see on that one….. JD! I knew he would be a terrible liar, so I actually hoped I’d be wrong + he’d play it safe w/ protect, but he was predictable both in his decision + in his storytelling… laughing while you say a lie is a pretty clear/obvious tell, buddy… yikes. (but hey! He did survive this vote, so just goes to show once again, you really never know what’s going to happen in this game!)
Critical Mistakes – (overall) 😬🥲
At this point it hurts to watch people go look for an idol on the first day. In this case, they got lucky to have gotten away with it, but just…yikes.
Never get too confident when you’re in the lead in a challenge…you can lose it all in an instant. (👀Green tribe on the puzzle…not opening all their pieces – but even more than that, it was the panic they allowed to set in at the first sign of a setback.)
Yellow tribe voting out their ONLY strong player… yeah, yeah #oldschool opinion, strongly believe in strength focus/keeping tribe strong for at least the first few votes
Favorite Players – (***right now!) I really find myself rooting for the people who worked hard to get on the show + prepare themselves as well as they possibly could have. There obviously may be more, as we learn + hear more of the cast’s stories about their lives throughout the game, but so far I’m a big fan of JD + Naseer.
JD because he practiced fire for a year until he could do it well, and having attempted several times myself/knowing how difficult it can be, I truly admire + appreciate his tenacity + passion for the game. And he proved his skills on day one, making fire for the tribe. 🔥We love to see it!!! LFG!!!!
Naseer said he learned English from watching Survivor…. I have a lot of admiration + huge amount of appreciation for him as well, especially having lived in a foreign country, plus my experience Teaching English a Foreign Language (TEFL), let me tell you… that is straight-up badass + respectable as hell!!! He should be very proud of himself – what an accomplishment!
These 2 players I can say without a doubt are extremely deserving of their well-earned reward….the chance to play the hardest + best game on this mf earth.
The Cowboys – humble AF, cuties, w/ an adorable backstory to show how close their relationship is consisting of one of them getting kicked in the head by a bull + the other stayed in the hospital the entire time w/ him ❤️ – they’re also hilarious, underestimated AF (esp. their 1st season). i’m even guilty of underestimating them when they returned for All Stars + then they won the very first leg (including that season’s prized Express Pass)!!! 😍 while their downfall is 100% navigation-related, their reputation stands that once they get to a challenge, consider it DONE. they figure their sh*t out. you absolutely love to see it. (i will never get tired of seeing them play – here’s to hoping they get brought back AGAIN🤞🏻) 🥇
The Afghanimals (Leo + Jamal) – they play TAR like Survivor (Boston Rob-style, sneaky, manipulative, etc.), yet remain incredibly likable because of the pure joy they experience along the way. these two genuinely really enjoy themselves during every part of the race experience, it’s just nonstop joking around + laughing – also USC represent ! (update: JK H8 THEM NOW for U-turning the Cowboys. An unforgivable sin in my eyes. F*** U!!!) 😤💔 (jk…but also not….😬😅)
Rob + Amber – obviously. (so obvious i didn’t bother moving them to the top of the list 😂 ), it’s wild how good they are at absolutely f***ing everything (!) – also, the second time they played, i really loved seeing Amber partake in some of Rob’s tactics + be a little shady toward a team w/ a damn good coverup for later on when confronted #impressive – i also liked seeing her call him out a little bit toward the beginning. they really are such a complementary pair + power couple goals AF. 💪🏻👩❤️👨
The Globetrotters (Big Easy + Flight Time) – (Professional Basketball Players for the Harlem Globetrotters) these guys are so funny to watch + like the Afghanimals, are always enjoying every second of the race + completely unafraid to laugh at themselves – esp. when Big Easy’s physical size makes certain challenges extra difficult for them. they also give back – by generally keeping the mood light + being super friendly w/ all fellow teams, but even give back to the world too – one of my favorite moments of theirs on All Stars is when Big Easy is struggling to finish sewing a shirt + Flight Time decides to entertain the Sri Lankan clothing workers all around them w/ basketball tricks, bc he’s just sweet like that. 🏀
Mark + Bopper – OK, not gonna lie…at first was like WTF CBS casting… thought these two were just real weirdos, really out there… lol, but then you get to know them along the way + i got SO emotional over these two! 🥺 these best friends from Kentucky really, really need the $ for their families, esp. Bopper whose young daughter has health issues. (he even shaves his head to get a Fast Forward pass in their first season!). these two are some of the funniest + nicest guys around + again are a team truly enjoying themselves along the way + express such raw gratitude for the experience, explaining that they would never have been able to see the world like this any other way ––a gift + a true once-in-a-lifetime experience for 2 of the most beautiful, kind, deserving souls. love, love, love. ❤️🥰
Dave + Connor – a father/son team who both previously had cancer AND the last time they were on the race was cut short due to Dave pulling his Achilles tendon. Their second time around in All Stars was so adorable – it’s clear to see how strong of a team they make + how much they really love each other. Dave even reminisces seeing Connor receiving chemotherapy just a few years prior + not knowing if he would make it + here they are getting to see the world together. They’ve truly come full circle. Survivors AF. 🏆(also Connor looks so much like one of my ex boyfriends, it’s REALLY FREAKY lolol but they’re both sweetie pies 🥧 so if anything it worked in his favor + just made me root for him a little more*, if even possible… 😂)
Tyler + Laura – ok, i just finished season 26, where the theme was real-life couples vs. blind-date couples, which i thought was a really interesting theme, especially seeing the results of the top 3 teams consisting of 100% blind-date couples! 😳 anyway, Tyler + Laura were the strongest, most consistent team throughout the race for sure – they were completely unstoppable, nothing could get in their way. they learned how to deal w/ one another remaining friendly, encouraging + maintaining positive attitudes even during distress (like when they misplaced their fanny pack! other teams would’ve lost their mf minds, but Tyler + Laura were cool as cucumbers and still managed to place near the top of that leg!) they really balance each other out + work together extremely well, while having fun along the way. they are totally #GOALS 😍 (hope they became a real couple after the race… will have to google later) ❣️
**side note: season 27, episode 3 of the Amazing Race uses the same song/music from Survivor season 3 (Africa) – air dates ~14 years apart ❕
TEAM FUN – i don’t even know what to say about them!! best vibes ever. they’re hilarious + love watching them genuinely enjoy every min. of the race. dream team. 🤗
Colin + Christie – wow… the first time they played, wasn’t a fan, but seeing them play again 15 years later, it’s incredibly clear just how much they’ve grown together in that time 😍 just like Colin says – that they came back “with wisdom on their side” (vs. youth) – they really made me feel a lot more positive about getting older b/c they are incredibly fit, their minds are sharp, they’re able to have fun + be playful/goofy, and in addition, can manage their emotions + stay calm, cool & collected + make logical decisions under pressure (what the race is all about!). they are absolute couple goals b/c they worked so well together, always maintained kindness toward the other, + most importantly, each held their own – for example, Colin’s strength was great in some of the super physical challenges + his consistent reminders to stay positive/present improved overall team morale, while Christie’s strength seemed to lie more in the ability to really focus in on the main priorities each leg + her laser attention to detail is what really pulled out the win for them in the end during the final drum set challenge. (& had she not noticed they needed to grab a basket + the fish while in the round boats challenge, they would’ve lost time + possibly been out of the race in an earlier leg). they’re inspiring AF! anything is possible!!! 🌎✨
The Green Team 💚 – absolutely love Justin for pretty similar reasons as Team Fun – he definitely seems like a child at heart (and i mean that in the best way!) w/ his big smile + fun-loving spirit! 🤸🏼♀️ At the same time, what I really love most about Justin is his passion for the Amazing Race. He was a Superfan before coming on the show (like The Amazing Race’s “Cochran”) + was crying when he made a mistake that almost lost him the race in the very first leg. Fortunately, he survived that round + went on to do extremely well, putting his knowledge of the game to use. I believe he would’ve gone on to win too, however, he makes an absolutely FATAL mistake in the final leg to the finish line when he doesn’t keep his taxi + therefore, comes in 2nd. One of the saddest (albeit most preventable😬) losses in all seasons of the show. 😭 love ya Green Team! xo 💚