“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)
Xander is so smart LFGGGGG. offered to switch spots with Erika who drew the grey rock to sit out. Xander keeps impressing me in this game. he’s THINKIN’, mfs. that boi is on fireeeee. (and not surprised with Erika accepting that offer. lol.) got SO excited watching Xander look all around/under the ‘sit out bench.’ i thought NO WAY he doesn’t get it. ugh.
not loving the whole Jeff talking to us/in the camera though…. i like not knowing if there’s something in the bench or if they just zoomed in on it. now it’s like we’re 5 years old in school + Jeff’s the teacher showing it to us straight up. booooo.
research + prep just might get you the win – survivor –– Eevie saying i knew that puzzle.
Xander double strategy on taking the bench – he said i like to be w/ the losers bc they’re raw/emotional + looking for someone to work w/ + he needs someone to work w/
Shan vs. Ricard b/c he won reward + got food/grilled cheese + Shan hungry + he had 1 bite of papaya. reminds me of the Clarence thing in Africa when he had 2 cherries while everyone else had 1 + he also opened a can of beans i think it was (?) supposedly for a sick tribe member but she + everyone else turned on him for that + never let it go.
Immunity challenge –
LOVE endurance challenges. stand on toes on wooden beam + balance a block vertically on the top of their head between their head and a top wooden beam. (record 1 hour 22 mins. – this time ended in like 3 mf minutes….)
twist – an individual can opt out of challenge for single portion of rice, multiple people can sit out for enough rice for everyone to eat for 3 days
negotiated # of ppl w/ jeff – ended at 5, xander says how bout 4? jeff says yes. Xander, Shan, Ricard, Naseer sit out. – Ricard it’s a GREAT move for him to repair his #1 alliance w/ Shan. 👏🏻
Eevie – unbelievable, shocked she won tbh, no offense lol. was thinking she should’ve looked over at the bench when she won the challenge, b/c she would’ve seen everyone’s faces + she’d know without a doubt she’s still very much on the bottom…. 😬
Xander made up my new favorite word – “betraydar”. LOL he know something’s up when they changed the lie from Naseer to Heather. good for him.
but these ppl really need to work together and take out Shan. she’s bossy, a threat, and obnoxious imo.
Tribal council –
Heather freaks out + tries to change vote to Naseer, then they all say let’s take Heather out + honestly i said hell yeah. she caused such a major issue here – mass confusion. you deserve to GOOOOO. i would’ve been PISSED if they voted Naseer, bc he could’ve won that immunity challenge + he only took a seat on the bench to get rice for Y’ALL ungrateful mf brats… anyway…
Danny gets pissed at Shan for not listening to his opinion. wish he would’ve just said fuck it let’s all vote Shan. didn’t lead to anything, but they showed 2 of these tense moments between them so guessing it’s going to come up again next episode.
& Ricard kept bugging Xander to play his idol – sneaky sneaky.. thank GOD he didn’t buy that + waste it. –– big question in my mind though is does he *GET* that they were trying SO hard to flush his idol???? he thanks them after the votes were read like they ‘saved’ him or something.. hm.
tiffany = voted out first member of jury. lame. what a messy tribal for a result equalling a whole lot of NOTHIN. predictable (again)…
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!)
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.) 👀🌴
Update: I tried the app! On my first attempt, I finished a 16-square slide puzzle (below) in 4 minutes. I have no idea of what a good time range for solving it would be, but felt pretty quick for a first attempt!