Survivor turns the tables with a shocking tribal council

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Last week was a pretty dull episode, even though tribes switched (now there’s Mana, Nuku, and Tavua).

Reward Challenges

Did anyone else notice the @JeffProbst? Is he self-promoting his Twitter on this show now? The first person balances a ball on a pole going through obstacles (making their pole longer with each section), then the next player tosses sandbags to knock down targets. And that’s it. An entire five-person tribe has to rely on only two people to win them a reward of coffee… yikes!

Nuku has JT running obstacles and Malcolm throwing sandbags. When I saw the sandbags section I immediately knew he’d be doing that, because my-baby-Malcolm is great at those challenges (remember how he almost won singlehandedly last week?). Tavua has Ozzy and Troyzan, while Mana uses Tai and Culpepper. Another obvious choice on that one.

Ozzy made it through almost all the obstacles without dropping but it all came down to tossing sandbags. Malcolm makes quick work of it and helps Nuku into first place. Once Culpepper finally gets into the challenge he absolutely smokes Troyzan, easily winning second for Mana. Of course, the footballer wins a throwing challenge. Is anyone surprised? #CoffeeIsForClosers #WhyAreWeDoingHashtags?

Post-Challenge Excitement

We get some beautiful shots of Ozzy fishing in the ocean, but I can’t help but worry that him being so far from everyone for so long will only hurt his social game. Over on Nuku, Sandra is floating on cloud nine and getting way too confident. Malcolm and JT immediately start scheming to get rid of Sandra and creating a cute little alliance. Hopefully, this is a little more successful than Malcolm’s past alliances.

Immunity is for One

I don’t know how we’re 20 minutes into an episode and already starting the immunity challenge, but it just goes to show this season is changing up the Survivor we know and love. And to be fair, that versatility and adaptability is part of why I can’t get enough. This challenge is the classic caller and blindfolded sheep game, going through obstacles and finding bags. Then, there’s a moving table maze that you have to land 3 balls in. Oh and if that wasn’t enough? Three teams are competing for only one immunity idol.

Varner has a very loud voice which really helps, and Nuku manages to get to the maze first. JT takes on the maze first and gets the hang of it early on. Ozzy picks it up for Tavua first, and Sierra for Mana. Before everyone else has even situated themselves, JT lands the first ball and Michaella takes over – remember how good she was at this last season? Malcolm switches out and lands the second to give Varner a shot. Suddenly it’s Andrea on Tavua against Varner on Nuku for the win. After a few tense shots, Varner drops and Andrea wins. He’s legit sobbing after losing which was pretty heartbreaking, and we get a pretty massive twist.

The Weirdest Strategizing Ever

It’s not two Tribals tonight but one. For the two tribes. All together. I can’t get over how fantastic the producers and game show creators are this season. It’s like they’re throwing in new stuff at every turn, just to see what might happen.

Everyone is pretty thrown by this, and trying to come up with a strategy for something like this would be crazy. Malcolm and JT wanted to find a way to vote out Sandra, but their tribe Nuku has the advantage of 6 members to Mana’s 5 so if they all came together they could easily send the other tribe home. Then, they start talking who to send home: JT wants Tai while Sandra thinks Sierra? And then Malcolm whispers about Nuku targeting Sandra, and what better way to get her kicked off?

Over on Mana, everyone is gunning for Sandra and trying to figure out who to flip. Little do they know how easy that might be! Will Hailey flip to the ‘majority tribe’ even though that’ll make her a bigger underdog on Mana, or will she stick with Five-Strong and hope all goes well? Once Tai finds an idol, that answer seems pretty obvious.

One of the Best Tribal Councils Ever (with the worst ending)

 

Everyone tries to play it cool initially, pretending they’re rock solid with their tribe before starting to put out feelers towards JT and figure out who on Hailey might be gunning for. Sandra starts whispering to Nuku that Brad Culpepper might be the target, while JT just can’t deal with everything. And then Nuku’s Malcolm and JT are conferring about Sandra and then JT just walks over to Mana’s Brad for a conversation. He tells Brad it’s Sierra, then Hailey gets up and tells Sandra to vote for Brad, and then both teams break off for whispered discussions of who to vote for. WOAH. Jeff is just blown away, and I can’t get enough of these new Tribals.

We don’t get to find out anyone’s vote before Tribal because everything got so intense, and it’s definitely one for the books! Tai presents an idol, and they decide to give it to Sierra. And then the votes.

Sierra gets six votes but none of them counts. And if even Malcolm and JT voted for Sierra, that doesn’t bode well. So the first vote of Mana will tell all – and it’s the most devastating vote I’ve seen in ages on this show. They did a fantastic job of editing, making everyone seem so set on Sandra going home and creating this picture of Hailey who’s desperate to work with Nuku. Turns out, none of that was the case.

Malcolm gets the votes, and I honestly want to cry. He looks so gutted and tears up in his final journal entry and… how can I continue watching this show with my absolute favourite contestant gone? Now I have to hope they’ll do another all-star season soon enough that he joins – and that he finally befriends the right people.

 

But next week, Debbie seems to go a little crazy for no reason. So that should be interesting? Who do you think should be my new pick of the season?

 

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