Welcome to Week 3! Let’s get going!
- We see the immediate aftermath of Shona’s boot. Phil is apologetic. Dino is frustrated. Dante is still pissed that Meryl and Marian didn’t believe him about how dangerous Dino was. In his head, they should have listened to “the messiah” (gross). He goes to complain about them to Palesa, who finds the whole situation comical. Meryl and Marian see what Dante is doing and immediately put two and two together.
- The next morning, Dino has recovered and goes to talk to Phil at the water well. Apologies are had. Palesa walks up and rightfully confronts Phil for screwing up the plan. He says that he was giving Shona the sign to play her fake idol, but she was paying attention to Dino instead. Palesa tells them that she still wants to work with them, but she tells us that she is not so sure.
- On Masu, Tejan shores up his alliance with Toni by sharing his idol clue. They try searching for it at the well until Pinty walks up.
- Time for the challenge! Nico informs Masu that Shona was voted out, not medevaced. However, they have to bring in the medics for Killarney who gets a little lightheaded. She thinks the issue may be either the tightness of the wrap on her leg or a lack of water. However, the medics get her in good enough shape for the challenge, which is a blindfolded maze that leads to a puzzle for the caller to solve. Dino does a really good job calling by focusing on each member of the tribe. Of course, Masu had a disadvantage with tribe members not knowing right or left. On his way to solve the puzzle, Dino whispers to Thoriso, the caller for Masu, that he is next to go.
- However, Shane comes up with a really devious plan for this particular challenge. Since the previously blindfolded contestants end up on the platform where the callers are, Yontau is right next to Thoriso, so he tells the tribe to make enough noise to confuse the remaining Masu members stuck in the maze. It works really well. Dino also jumps in by sidetracking Toni when she was getting close to where she needed to drop off the last bag of puzzle pieces. All of this gives Dino enough time to experience “the sweet taste of victory” and send Masu to Tribal. Shockingly to me, Marian does not use Diplomatic Immunity to save Steffi.
- Back at camp, Masu complains about the noise. I personally agree with Felix’s take that they can’t really complain about “dirty play” when their tribemate bodyslammed Shona at the last challenge.
- Yontau gets to experience a trip to the Fresh Stop Survivor Shop, a new take on the iconic reward from Australian Survivor: All Stars. Each Yontau member gets three minutes to go in by individually and eat & drink as much as they can. Everyone knows that there is an advantage, so they decide to be fair and draw lots. Meryl gets first while Marian gets last and is sad about it. When she goes, Meryl correctly picks up on the fact that the cake has the season’s symbols on it. When digging in carefully, she pulls out the Tribal Council Pass, which forces a person to leave Tribal Council immediately. You may remember this as the Safety without Power advantage, so it will be interesting to see how Meryl uses it. Meryl doesn’t know if she will share it or not, but if she does, then she plans to share it with Marian, obviously. We then get a montage of the other Yontau members stuffing their faces and checking for advantages, ending on a weirdly triumphant note for Marian. Winner’s edit, perhaps?
- After the reward, Dante still wants Dino out. He tells this to the Full Package ladies, but Meryl reminds him that Dante gave Dino all of the clues, so Dino could reverse engineer Dante’s way out of the game. After leaving that conversation, Dante talks to Palesa about potentially taking out Meryl, since he worries that her and Marian are getting too close to Dino and Phil. Palesa is just happy to be in the role of double agent.
- We now spend the rest of the episode with Masu. Pinty gets into another fight about food, but this time, it is with Steffi over the rice. It is quickly diffused, but the tension remains. We unfortunately get another example of the editors basically saying how the vote is going to go with a confessional of Toni telling us that she plans on lying to Thoriso/Felix/Pinty, which basically means that one of those three is the next boot since Toni and Tejan are the swing vote unit. Anyway, Felix says that his group wants Killarney out. At the fire, Steffi asks Pinty who she wants out in front of Killarney. Pinty obviously hems and haws. At this point, Killarney is pulled into old Masu, so they have the numbers. During this exchange, Steffi is really to happy to see Toni 2.0 and wants to work with her, which is interesting as she is the prime target of Diplomatic Immunity and is a key part of the Full Package alliance.
- Pinty proposes to Felix that they need to take out Steffi because she is going to be social trouble at the merge, which is a really great read on Pinty’s part. Thoriso immediately says no because Killarney has no interest in working with them. However, Thoriso tells us that her plan is to be the last goat standing, which is a plan, I guess, so Killarney has to go now. On the way to Tribal, everyone is worried about being outplayed. Tejan mentions that he is the swing vote, but we kinda know where he is going to go.
- At Tribal, Killarney complains that she is lethargic, but she is trying to drink more water. I fear that we are setting up a medevac for her, but maybe not. Since this is New Masu’s first tribal after the swap, we get a lot of talk about tribal strength and the swap. Everyone feels like they arethe target. Pinty does not want to be blindsided, but someone else points out that the votes have all been blindsides (probably not Tania’s, but besides that), so maybe it won’t be a blindside. Tejan and Steffi both want the most cohesive unit going into the merge.
- At the voting booth, Steffi votes for Pinty and says that she needs to be more introspective. Thoriso votes for Killarney because Thoriso doesn’t want her on the jury if she is at FTC, which is thinking way too far ahead.
- The votes start getting revealed, 3 for Killarney and then 3 for Pinty. At this point, Pinty immediately calls out Toni, who says that it wasn’t just her. Instead of going to Tejan, Pinty then accuses Felix, who swears that he voted for Killarney (which he did). We then see that the fourth vote is for Pinty. Toni is tearfully apologetic, while Felix and Thoriso immediately recognize that they are in trouble. Another blindside in the books for the season.
- After tribal, Felix is dejected by the results. Toni and Tejan tells them that the vote-out was not against them, but everyone knows that currently Felix and Thoriso are at the bottom. The next morning, after confirming that everyone else is asleep, Toni sends Tejan to go look for the idol. He finally finds it, but he also finds out that is a pre-merge only idol for a Yontau member. He immediately thinks to send it to Dino, but he has to run it by Toni. After reading the scroll, she also immediately thinks of Dino. Tejan gives the idol to Toni, who will be extra schmoozy to Dino to transfer the idol and hopefully secure him as a number come the merge. It will be fun to watch this after their last interaction was her cussing him out at the maze.
- At Yontau, Shane approaches Phil and wants a secret alliance. He says that he will not write Phil’s name first and that he is worried about Dante’s emotional voting style. Shane even says that Meryl is down and maybe even Marian, which is not 100 percent accurate, but okay. Shane tells us that he needs something to ensure that he doesn’t stay so entangled with Dante while Phil does not trust anything Shane says.
- The immunity/reward challenge is an obstacle course that involves dragging a huge wrecking ball that ends with using the ball as a wrecking ball to destroy four targets and raise their flag. Winners get immunity, pizza, and beverages. Yontau obviously sits out Marian, the smallest person left this season. It gets incredibly close and Yontau almost loses it because they forgot to raise their flag, but they do pull it out. The highlight for me is Marian trying to look for an advantage on the sitout bench, even getting on all fours to do so. After the challenge, Toni encourages both tribes to hug it out and is able to give Dino the idol. Marian still does not use Diplomatic Immunity.
- After the challenge, Thoriso and Felix are desperate to stay and change their odds.
- Meanwhile, at the reward, Dino is convinced that people saw what happened, so he tries to bluff them by saying that she was asking if he was okay and also that Killarney had flipped to Masu and they were going after original Yontau. Palesa saw the exchange and is pretty sure that there was an idol involved, so she tells original Masu about her fears. She is generally worried that Dino is now Toni’s number one, which is the position she wants. Shane goes and tells Dino about Palesa’s fears to secure a Dante blindside and keep his target low. However, Dino is not convinced that Shane is telling him the truth.
- At Masu, Toni tells Steffi about the idol and how she had to give Dino the idol because she is worried that Felix saw the exchange. She also says that she doesn’t want Tejan to know that that Steffi knows. Toni still hopes that Dino will be bound to them at the merge. They join up with Tejan and talk about who they should vote out with the help Killarney. Their primary target is Thoriso, but they are worried that Dante gave Felix something during the hug session. Tejan proposes a split vote, then Steffi says that if an idol played, then they will just take out the other one on the revote.
- Toni decides to cover her tracks and tell Felix that he did see an idol exchange but it had to be given to someone else. She also says that she wants to play with him, but Felix feels like it is bullshit because that is what happened at the last tribal council. This then causes a discussion on the beach with Tejan, Felix, and Thoriso where he tells them straight up about the idol. He then starts talking the game with them, which gets Thoriso, in confessional, excited because it makes sense for him to work with them. Tejan likes Killarney’s loyalty, but he would rather play with someone he can strategize with like Thoriso.
- On Yontau, Marian and Meryl talk about Dino and how he could “trip and hit you with” an advantage, which worries them because he could take out Dante. During this conversation, Dino tells Phil about his idol and their plan is to go after either Dante or Shane. Palesa happens to walk up on them, which causes them to immediately spill what Shane told them. Palesa is flabbergasted that Shane is trying to play her double agent game but not doing it as well because he is giving up real information. She asks them what they have told him in regards to her, but they say that they haven’t told him anything because he is playing like “the don”. The plan, according to Dino, is to work with Palesa until the merge, so they can link up with Tejan and Toni.
- On Masu, Toni believes that she control of the tribe because everything she has wanted to happen has happened. Despite worrying that they are not filling her in as much, Toni wants to stick with Killarney instead of Thoriso. Toni fills Killarney in, which makes Killarney happy that her low-key strategy seems to be working. Meanwhile, Tejan wants Thoriso so he can strategy with her. Toni and Tejan have an one-on-one about their differing opinions, but ultimately Toni says that Thoriso will be a bigger challenge hindrance. The Masu majority gets together to confirm the split. Killarney and Tejan are the votes for Killarney, so if there is a second vote, then he has followed through. Tejan tells Felix and Thoriso about the split vote and assumes that they will throw their two votes on Killarney. Thoriso knows that in order to ensure her survival, she will have to vote out Felix, but she doesn’t know if she can do that.
- At Tribal, Tejan does his best tribe spokesman act that Felix and Thoriso are not on the bottom, but both of them know they are on the bottom. Thoriso knows that she is on the chopping block but fears this is little to be done. After being called out by Nico, she clarifies that her view of the game is that there are “problem-solvers” and “riders” in the game. Riders, or floaters, make their way to the game with ease, while problem-solvers, like herself and Felix, strategize a possible solution. Even being on the block, Thoriso is hopeful that she has persuaded the right people (aka Tejan) to go with her. Nico asks them who is in the majority alliance, which Felix quickly numbers off. Toni jumps in and says that it is a self-perservation alliance, which Thoriso immediately counters by saying that they are currently controlling the votes. Toni says that they are currently controlling their own fate, which is not a great response. Nico asks Killarney how she got in the majority, to which she responds with the fact that she is mature and they wanted a mature person, which immediately Nico, Felix, and Thoriso pick up on because good grief, what a bad answer. Felix says that it is either him or Thoriso, which causes Nico to say “don’t give up”. They both start stump speeches, but it is done facetiously. Toni says that they are all great players, so they have to write a great player’s name down.
- Time to vote: 2 votes Felix, 1 vote Thoriso, 1 vote Killarney, 2 votes Thoriso, and then 2 votes Killarney. Time for a revote and it’s for Thoriso. Production really should swap the second vote for Thoriso and Killarney to really make the betrayal sting. The camera lingers on Thoriso on her walk out. She knew what she had to do to survive, but she just couldn’t do it. However, she feels like she played a far better game this time around and she is thrilled she got to play again. I will miss her presence on the show.
Assistant Dragon Slayer will get the joy of recapping Double Tribal Council next time. The preview promises an interesting time is to be had.
After being an off and on viewer for 14 years, Barbara watched the season premiere of San Juan del Sur and the rest is history. And by history, she means winning two Survivor fantasy leagues, becoming the resident Cambodia contrarian and Survivor gossip queen and lurking in discussion forums. Oh, and she’s totally not a witch.
Favorite seasons: HvV, Philippines, Australian Outback, China, Cagayan
Favorite players: Sandra Diaz-Twine, Jerri Manthey, Denise Stapley, Aubry Bracco, Courtney Yates