Erika decides to smash the hourglass, rewinding time + changing the history of the game, which means the 6 people who were safe have to compete against each other in an immunity challenge.
I thought for SURE Sydney had it in the mf BAGGG. Betting she does yoga. Great balance, strong core + she was focused + taking her time. Ricard snuck up on her + Eevie (who had been in the lead from the start) to win it.
I kinda hate this challenge though… especially if I had thought I was safe + then had to do THIS mf challenge to try + stay in the game…. just sayin’… i’d be PISSED. I think it should’ve been an endurance challenge, but I could see production wanting to save those for when we get closer to the end of the game. The real nail-biters.
Ricard throws out “Eevie” right away upon returning to camp + Shan/Danny/Deshon/Sydney agree to vote that way.
Xander says he’ll play his idol for Eevie + luckily Tiffany spills the beans about Lianna’s ‘Knowledge Is Power’ advantage because Lianna’s dead-set on using it against Xander to steal his idol. So now that they KNOW, the smartest thing to do is for Xander to give his idol to Tiffany to hold onto during tribal council b/c the small print regarding stealing is “must be in their possession at the time.”
FAVORITE MOVE OF THE SEASON SO FAR –
Xander telling Lianna at tribal when she attempts to steal his idol “no, but you can have this fake.” AYYYYYYY, LFGGGGGG!!!!! THIS is what I’ve been waiting all season for. + I kept thinking for like 15-20 mins. of the episode ‘why TF does Lianna think she’s gonna pull this off????’ hahahaha. awesome.
Tribal Council –
HUGE MAD SCRAMBLE forever…. sorry I’m not a fan of this bc it makes y’all look like amateurs imo…. they can’t even pull together a backup plan in a reasonable amount of time. old school players would literally think out every single possible outcome + have backup plan on backup plan on back- you get the point…
Sydney plays her shot in the dark + sacrifices her vote for a 1 in 6 chance at immunity . Xander tells Tiffany not to play his idol for eevie bc he thinks if they thought eevie had idol they wouldn’t vote for her… he was 1/2 right on this – they split votes between eevie + sydney.
final votes: 4 ev | 3 deshon | 5 sydney
so even if Sydney had kept her vote, she still would’ve gone home b/c there only would’ve been 4 for Deshon, butttt he had also used his extra vote advantage for eevie, so if Syd voted + Deshon didn’t use his extra, could’ve ended up at a 3-way tie of 4/4/4.
Other thoughts/opinions –
Where yellow lacked physical strength/abilitiy to succeed in challenges, they make up for in loyalty + social game.
Overall I feel like this cast is lacking in personality – most obviously Lianna + Erika… but honestly just in general, I feel that a lot of these tribe members are v forgettable.
Xander’s my fav – truly showed his Survivor prowess this episode. that boi’s SHININ’.
(this may be the single MOST relatable AF thing that’s ever been said on the show🙋🏼♀️)
begins w/ drawing rocks – this will split everyone into 2 teams, however, 2 people will pull gray rocks. those 2 people will not participate in the challenge on either team. their fate will be decided by the winning team. the winning team will also receive their first proper meal in 12 days, a special Merge buff + don’t have to participate in the immunity challenge (automatically safe at Tribal Council)
aka HUUUUGE STAKES. (esp. since in previous seasons, usually everyone who makes the merge gets to partake in the feast.)
Challenge Rundown –
1st part – digging a massive boulder out of the sand
2nd – rolling the ball to each key station + one person has to climb it to grab the keys
3rd/final – climbing up the platform + solving a word puzzle
Blue – Ricard, Danny, Evvie, Deshon, Sydney
Yellow – Xander, Lianna, Tiffany, Heather, Shan
blue team had a clear physical advantage from the start yet still almost fumbled the mf bag – yellow team actually solved the word puzzle first, but due to blue’s time lead, they were still able to slide the letters more quickly + secure the win.
blue then chose which person to bring w/ them for the feast – Naseer or Erika. Danny tries to say they did rock/paper/scissors to decide, but Erika knows its a cover + understands she’s at the bottom + now has to spend 2 days/2 nights alone. “i didn’t expect to have moments where i was perfectly safe and felt so powerless.”
Danny later admits at the feast that it’s “important to keep the men’s number up” – commenting that he noticed other tribes kicking out the men, so that’s the real reason they chose Naseer.
Naseer is so cute + happy + loves his new Merge buff haha – “it smells really good + i love the color” 🥰
Shan spills the beans about Lianna’s advantage to Tiffany… now yellow is imploding. Tiffany doesn’t trust Lianna, Lianna thinks Tiffany is a ticking time bomb. Evvie isn’t even in the conversation atm + Lianna still wants Xander out.
Other thoughts –
finding myself like ‘is this a 2-hour episode?? feels long AF. usually the episode’s over before i know it/much too soon, but this one never ends….. #boringgggg’
not a fan of Evvie/others saying this is the hardest season ever…. it’s literally half the mf # of days of every other season….. soooo NO.
is Jeff gonna just pull a donkey kong right now, suddenly appearing on exile island + just hand Erika an idol?! (lol, glad i was wrong about that) 😂
F that cliffhanger ending!!! WE WANNA SEE SOMEONE GO HOME NOWWWWW!!! GTFO.
New Hourglass Twist – power to change the results of the merge challenge… the 6 who are safe would now have to compete against each other for immunity, while Erika + the other 6 would now be safe at tribal. (no real commentary just yet, TBD. let’s see how it goes. pretty sure Erika’s royally screwed either way, but you never know what’s going to happen in this game – it’s not over ’til it’s over!)
As soon as Genie says “I’m gonna go tell Shan + Ricard about this idol I found,” I’m screaming NOOO at the tv. Shan then says no one should open it, making the case against potentially losing a vote, but predictably opens Genie’s idol herself later + her/Ricard scheme about leaving a fake in its place – but turns out it’s Brad’s idol w/ the same broccoli saying + Shan has no vote. She gives her extra vote advantage to Ricard. Ricard (being v, v sneaky!) tells Genie they wanna say Brad’s phrase at tribal just to feel out if blue tribe has found their idol. GENIE, GIRL, WTF!? WYD?????? not suspecting a mf thing…🙄 agree w/ Ricard on this one about her role as a “spare tire” on the tribe.
Naseer on blue tribe finally completes the 3 idols on each tribe + their sayings, so now Shan, Xander + Naseer each have a working idol/POWER IN THE GAME. Awww Naseer saying “my daughter’s going to be so proud of her daddy” – cuteeeee. 🥰
Also love Naseer b/c he said what i was screaming at the tv all last week – whoever throws a challenge doesn’t stay in the game very long afterwards AKA IT NEVER WORKS!!! & Danny’s like “idk if Naseer’s someone i wanna work with” SMDH… Danny moving even further down the list of favs… sheesh.
WHILE Evvie + Xander are talking in private about how Xander should hide his idol/not keep it in his bag at camp, at that EXACT same moment, Lianna + Tiffany are busy digging through his bag + reading his idol note. 😂
LOL @ green losing the immunity challenge …. WHAT DID I F***ING SAY ABOUT SENDING J.D. HOME??????? (losing even more challenges)
CRINGE AF –
“Thanks for being so cool about me telling a lie.” – Xander 😬🤡
Shan + Lianna Decision Mountain –
Shan shares her story about being put into foster care, being affiliated w/ a gang, feeling like she didn’t wanna live at her lowest point, but then was invited to church + eventually became a pastor. Lianna/Shan quickly form an emotional bond + Shan warns her about Ricard – ‘if im not here by day 36, Ricard can’t be trusted bc he’s my #1.’ Shan agrees to not risk anything bc she needs her vote + to allow Lianna to get an advantage. (building trust + strengthening that bond)
Knowledge Is Power Advantage –
Lianna’s advantage allows her to ask one player/one question/one time. she can ask a player if they have an idol or an advantage + they will have to tell the truth + then give her that idol or advantage. (basically a ‘Steal-An-Idol’ *if used properly*). yikes… look out, Xander. new twist in the game comin’ ur way, bud. 👀
Ricard vs. Shan –
Sooooo then Shan tries to get her extra vote advantage back from Ricard, but he’s way too smart to fall for her crap – first + foremost, b/c it’s… **his own** crap – as he says in tribal, Shan “closes the ideas that I come up with.” Shan even calls Ricard “the strategist” in one of her confessionals. Ricard knows when she asks for the advantage back, he would be vulnerable without it, so understandably he’s thrown off by that + who wouldn’t be??? good for him for not panicking + blowing their games up – many other players have/would have. Shan shows true colors here wanting full credit for all their moves together + displaying nonsensical paranoia unless walking into tribal w/ full pockets (advantage + idol). WHY TF would she think Ricard would go along w/ this???? IDK. he’s obviously much too smart for that + his refusal to give in while still keeping his original word (to give it back to her tomorrow/after tribal) made me like + respect him a lot/more!!! Ricard be like ‘I AIN’T DUMB, MF!!’ he’s loyal + works w/ her closely, but he’s no doormat either. good for you. stand your ground. 👏🏻
If I were Ricard, I’d vote Shan out w/ “her” extra vote, if the opportunity arose. (“her” b/c she actually stole it from J.D. last episode) BTW this extra vote advantage would earn a for sure spot in the next Ghost Island-themed season featuring ‘cursed idols’/’dumbest Survivor moves’ in history.
andddd if I were Ricard, I’d get rid of Shan because… it would strengthen my own personal Survivor resume. he says during tribal to Shan, “we’ve been together on EVERY vote.” ….yes…. you need to separate your game from hers if you’re trying to get to the end + win. as he points out, he knows the other 2 tribes will work together to target whichever 2 are left from green tribe after tonight, so he should’ve kept Genie, who we KNOW by now cannot strategize or pull a fast one + he could’ve easily thrown her under the bus to the others. i think this would’ve at least saved him from being the very next vote out, maybe still would’ve been 2nd next. b/c honestly if it comes down to Shan + Ricard scrambling to save their asses, between the 2, Shan will have more pull *especially now that she formed a strong bond w/ Lianna. another reason she’s dangerous… 👁
Can someone tell me why Genie didn’t roll her die/shot in the dark????? Why just go out like a sitting duck???? 🤯🦆
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.
I know 100% my biggest challenge strength would be endurance. As a runner, I live Mind > Matter every single day. Here are the immunity challenges I believe I would win in order from 1-5 (with 1 = most likely to win and most want to try).
That being said, throwing back one of Jeff’s special ocean milkshakes might prove more difficult than I imagine, but it’s still one I’d love to take a shot at. 😂