Survivor brings back a favourite winner and sends another packing

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Last week, JT was sent home after Sandra ate a lot of sugar. This week is full of lots of game-changing moments: lots of votes, Exile Island, and returning castaways.

 

Aubry has suddenly realised that Sandra is running the show – but…was this not obvious? Over on Mana, Tai starts hunting for the board with an idol clue – and pretty quickly finds another idol.

Dropping buffs never gets old

  • Mana (orange): Troyzan, Michaella, Sierra,, Cirie, Hali, Aubry, and Culpepper
  • Nuku (blue): Sandra, Sarah, Varner, Andrea, Tai, Zeke, and Ozzy

But who’s missing? That’s Debbie, of course! After her bout of crazy, I’m sure everyone is happy not to deal with her too much longer. With these new tribes, Sandra and Varner are suddenly on the bottom of Nuku, and Culpepper is on the outs of Mana as well.

Culpepper immediately starts scrambling to bond with a couple people, but Mana has a lot more drama. Sandra’s outnumbered and I was excited to see how she wormed her way out of that one. With Zeke and Ozzy immediately brainstorming how to get her out without freaking out Tai, it’s clear everyone is finally on the page that I’ve been on since first episode – get out the biggest threat when you have the chance. With such a Zeke-heavy scene, I was terrified he was going home but then it really became the Tai and Sandra story.

My favourite winner, Cochran, graces us with his presence

Lucky for Debbie, she missed out on all that drama at Exile Island. It’s absolutely stunning this season with a beautiful, fully stocked ship. Another ‘game changer’ of the season, I guess. And then… Cochran arrives as a “sounding board” strategist to help those in exile. This must be his favourite way to participate in the show since he loves the strategy part so much. But… all he does is tell her to worry more?She also gets to choose from three advantages to take with her: fake hidden immunity idol kit, extra vote, and a tribe challenge advantage. She easily picks the extra vote, which is honestly the only option that really seems that useful? But can Cochran take her place though? I miss him so much.

She also gets to choose from three advantages to take with her: fake hidden immunity idol kit, extra vote, and a tribe challenge advantage. She easily picks the extra vote, which is honestly the only option that really seems that useful? But can Cochran take her place though? I miss him so much.

They severely overestimated how difficult that puzzle was…

So the task: dive into water, race through monkey bars, lift heavy puzzle pieces into a sled, pull the sled to shore, then solve a barrel puzzle. Mana gets an early lead with the monkey bars, then gets a lot of help from Michaella and Culpepper in lifting puzzle pieces. Their lead did disappear a little, but they made quick work of the sled in the sand. Then, Mana’s Sierra, Cirie, and Aubry finished their puzzle in seconds. How… how did that happen?

Tai vs Sandra

Sandra still isn’t sure about that Tai story, so she goes around and starts putting ideas in everyone’s head – maybe Tai is the more dangerous threat. Obviously, with how good Sandra is playing that’s clearly not true but he also helps her along with how dumb he’s being. He announces to Varner that they all want to send Sandra home, and then we head off to Tribal as Sandra starts strategizing.

She plays this big sad story of going home before Tai starts in on her which really helps her case – albeit not enough. Zeke looks so scared about everything that’s going down, but he’ll be able to claim a big move this week which is exciting as well. Tribal seems to be forever changed. Everyone is breaking off into little packs to whisper about who they should send home – it’s become a lot more communicative and secretive, all at once.

I really hated Sandra, but now I love her so.damn.much. Which is a shame because it’s a little too late for that, but the fact that I thought she had almost switched everyone’s alliances really proves she’s good. The votes came down 6 – Sandra; 2 – Tai. It’s the first time she’s ever been sent home, and she handles it so well. You can tell someone loves the game with an exit like that.

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