Against all expectations, the dysfunctional Vuna tribe stuck together after the merge and bamboozled the original Zambas. Surely it can’t last, right? Right?
- Back at camp after Tribal Council, original Zamba are trying to account for the fourth Marisha vote and point the finger at Santoni. None of them seem to suspect Anesu.
- Santoni is annoyed that’s she’s the scapegoat and Anesu got to keep her cover. She must have been told to vote Marisha (Vuna needed her fourth vote for Marisha, because Zamba thought they had seven votes plus the negation of Chappies’ vote, so mathematically they could have put three votes on someone besides Chappies and not told Santoni and Anesu).
- In the shelter, Nicole goes fishing and asks Santoni why they didn’t include Anesu in the vote. Still annoyed, Santoni tells her that Anesu is playing double agent and is with Vuna but didn’t vote with them to maintain her cover. Santoni sees that Shaun is watching them. In confessional, Shaun vows revenge on Santoni.
- Reward challenge: It’s pretty innovative, requiring a lot of finesse and agility, but ultimate it’s another obstacle course/throw things at things challenge. Reward is pizza and beer. The 11 remaining castaways draw rocks to form two 5-person teams, whoever draws the white rock sits out. Another missed branding opportunity for the Purple Rock Podcast. Team Orange is Amy, Tyson, Wardah, and Renier, and Chappies. Team Green is Anesu, Nicole, Shaun, Kiran, and Smash. Santoni sits out and guesses that Orange will win. Orange wins.
- At the reward, Santoni says they might as well all look under the pizza boxes etc for an advantage. In confessional, Tyson is pissed that she can’t keep her mouth shut. Renier find a note. Hilariously, in confessional Santoni is just as upset at herself as Tyson is. She’s let two idols slip through her fingers, played an idol wrong, and now given away a clue. The clue says where to find an Idol at Immunity Island.
- Renier asks to be sent to Immunity Island since he found the clue. The original Vunas immediately put the kibosh on that. Back at camp, the people who didn’t go on reward are brought into the loop.
- Away from camp, Anesu checks in with Tyson to make sure she’s still good with the Zambas. He says everything’s fine. Tyson’s lack of warmth sets Anesu’s alarm bells off. Tyson is naturally so laconic that I can’t see how Anesu can tell.
- On the beach, Shaun, Nicole, and Amy discuss their suspicions about Anesu being a double agent. They then talk about blindsiding Santoni. But they need one more to do it. Shaun tries to recruit Kiran, then Tyson.
- Amy is upset with Santoni for breaking their bond after Amy had pledged to go to the end with her and Smash, and warns Santoni that as soon as Vuna has finished whittling down Zamba they’re going to turn on her. Santoni says that she knows this, and that she’s not in the group she really wants to be with but she had to play the cards she was dealt. Santoni decides to lay low for a while (ha!).
- Immunity challenge: It’s a color memorization challenge. I love these, since you can play along at home. I took the obvious approach of making ROY G BIV-style mnemonics based on the initial letters of the colors. Admittedly, I’m well-rested and have a full stomach, unlike the castaways, but I aced the first two rounds. However, I crashed out of the third round, which had too many consecutive Bs (black, blue) and Ps (pink, purple) and I got confused. Meanwhile, on the island it comes down to Anesu and Kiran for a second episode in a row, and once again Kiran wins. He sends Wardah to Immunity Island, presumably to Get Up and Go and preserve her vote.
- Amy says the plan is to pull in Anesu and Santoni. She sits down with Anesu, who says that it’s too early for her overtly betray Vuna (really, Tyson, Kiran, and Wardah), but presumably to maintain Amy’s trust, she lets slip that Shaun is Vuna’s target.
- The show isn’t really highlighting this, but Amy’s quite the double agent herself.
- At Immunity Island, Wardah understands the assignment and declines to play. It’s not made clear, but this apparently also means that she gives up the right to look for the idol that the reward challenge clue was about. It’s certainly what Renier thinks when Wardah returns to camp early.
- Kiran wants to target Smash because he’s the glue holding Zamba together, which Shaun can’t be because he’s too volatile.
- Santoni and Smash basically agree to work together after the upcoming vote. I’m not sure either is totally convinced.
- Kiran pitches voting out Smash rather than Shaun to Santoni. She adamantly disagrees. He wisely backs down, although he somewhat condescendingly attributes Santoni’s insistence on Shaun to her volatility and insecurity.
- Amy tells Shaun they can’t vote for Santoni or she’ll never flip over to them. Shaun approaches Santoni and proposes voting out Wardah. Santoni tells him it’s too late.
- At Tribal Council, Chappies is just grateful to be on the right side of the numbers, and Kiran is very aware there’s a growing target on his back. Wardah talks about information flows and trusted sources, basically calling out Anesu and Santoni with out calling them out. She says that the people in her circle of trust make decisions equally, with no one person in charge. Shaun, and then Nico, call her on this BS.
- Wardah bequeaths the Immunity Island necklace to Tyson, reciprocating what he did last time. The votes come in five for Wardah, six for Shaun, exactly along tribal lines, no double agents, no flipping.
- It’s amazing how much Anesu was able to skate by this episode, even though Zamba quickly caught on that she’s a double agent. It’s partly because Shaun was dead set on voting out Santoni, but I have to think it’s also because cool, calm, and collected Anesu is such a contrast to the erratic Santoni.
- Relatedly, it’s kind of stunning that Renier’s name never came up as a potential target. And Chappies isn’t wrong when he said they’re making a mistake letting him get this far into the game.
- The stage seems set for Anesu and Santoni to flip to the remnants of Zamba, but the Next Time On promises “the shock of the season” according to Santoni.
- Trinket Watch: Anesu has the Tribal Council Pass. Basically everyone has the clue to the Immunity Island Idol (it’s conceivable that Anesu and Smash don’t know about it).
- Island Hot Watch: Amy, Anesu, Shaun.
Assistant Dragon Slayer began watching Survivor in 2013 with Survivor: Caramoan, but continued to watch the show anyway. He is up to 59 seasons and counting (43 US, seven Australia, five South Africa, two New Zealand, two Japan). So there.
Favorite player from each country: Cirie Fields (US), Luke Toki (Australia), Santoni Engelbrecht (South Africa), Lisa Stanger (New Zealand), Sakiko Sekiguchi (Japan) [and Maryanne Oketch (Canada)]