If you think back to the first episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, one thing was very much clear: Alan was starting to lose it. His entire campaign against JP and Ashley as a significant force in the game was endlessly entertaining, but odds are nobody in the game saw it that way. Instead, they likely view it as some paranoia from a guy who didn’t need to be anywhere near so paranoid so quickly.
In the aftermath of that we saw Ben declare that all bets were off the moment the Heroes went back to camp — we’ve got a free-for-all now! Also, we know now that Chrissy is going to keep the now-dead super-idol previously given to her by Ryan as a decoy.
After the cold open, the Hustlers started to do what they could to “own” the Hustler mantra and keep the relationships that they’ve got going. Devon and Ryan seem to be the dominant alliance — meanwhile, Simone is the odd person out. We certainly feel for her given the edit that she got tonight with her comparing herself to a superhero for being able to take an aqua-dump. Those are her words, so don’t get bad at us for being the messenger! Simone is one of those people who is very much intent on proving herself — which is great. The problem is that she can’t expect validation for some of these actions since this isn’t life. It’s Survivor. Some people were writing her off, but Ali (smartly) realized that and brought her into the fold. This could be her good #1 ally — which is good given that her other #1 ally in Patrick is a complete crazy-person.
Let’s jump now over to the Healers, who may need some medicine after all of this given how much mental anguish Joe is causing everyone. After his “Mike has the idol” campaign last week he found himself at a loss to look for one himself. The problem is that he’s short on time … and his other problem is that he doesn’t know how to talk to other people about idols. He openly gave Cole information about where the idol could be located based on a clue he found, and this was enough for Cole to wake up from his infatuation with Jessica long enough to look. He probably didn’t need Cole to help in his search — he got the idol in the end, but somebody else knows about it!
Before the next challenge we jumped back over to the Heroes, where we learned that JP, while not exactly exciting television, was smart enough to distance himself from Ashley slightly. He played it cool around camp, contributed to the food, and tried to get in good with Chrissy — who was trying to get in good with everyone. She astutely pointed out why she felt like Ben was the right person for her — he was solid, smart, and trustworthy.
For the record we also spent a moment over with Patrick and the Hustlers but it’s hard to know what to say about him other than that he’s terrified of crabs. also, he’s annoying to everyone in the game, especially Lauren. We like Lauren mostly because she’s real and not someone on the show for anything other than a better life. Also, she wants to work with Ali. Consider this a sign that Ali is playing a great game right now.
It’s early in the game so this is the reward/immunity variety where. Unfortunately, the show got rid of Katrina right before there was a swimming challenge! To be fair, though, this wasn’t just about swimming ability. This was about swimming and untying knots, while also knowing how to work together. This also seemed like one of those challenges where Jeff Probst screaming at you would get to you if your diving-for-bundles skills weren’t up to snuff.
We’ll admit that about two-thirds of the way in our attention was somewhat shot given that the Healers were so far behind that it probably wouldn’t matter all that much. Luckily, our attention came back once we realized that this puzzle was the grand equalizer. It was deceptively hard and more about brainpower. This is where Urologist Mike comes into play! Despite looking like your high school science teacher he may be one of the more valuable assets out there.
After the Healers came back from behind we basically saw the Hustlers — namely Ali and Simone — really choke this away. Simone lost her confidence, and around the 39-minute mark we started to prepare ourselves for a Simone boot at the end.
Now, let’s get strategic
All of a sudden after the challenge the Hustler tribe became very much about men versus women. Simone, Ali, and Lauren were fine to get rid of Patrick; however, Ryan, Patrick, and Devon were originally intent on getting rid of Simone. Over time, though (and kudos to Ali once more), Ryan started to have doubts in this plan. Who do you keep — the more willing participant who’s not good in challenges, or the loose cannon and annoyance who can win challenges for you? Given that this is a six-person tribe we’d probably be more inclined to keep Patrick just for the sake of playing the odds. If you lose him and then lose two more challenges, you’ve got a 20% and then 25% chance of going home in successive tribal councils.
The best moment of the entire Tribal Council is when Ryan, for some reason, compared being there to being at a birthday party. Meanwhile, for Lauren it was more of a funeral. The second-best moment was Patrick saying that he trusts “most” people in the game — not all, but most. This had no bearing on the vote but it still made for a laugh.
Who actually went home? Apparently the players went to the future, read this review, and then went back to the past and voted out Simone. We do feel for her since she seems really nice and like she would’ve grown a lot out there. Unfortunately, she was a casualty of being on a tribe of six and being a key cog in losing the challenge that got them in front of Jeff Probst.
This was a fun, but also fairly standard pre-merge episode of Survivor. There were no idol plays or earth-shattering character moments, but it was nice to see that so many people were thinking and playing on the Hustlers tribe. It didn’t lead to a crazy blindside, but we are curious to see where things go with Patrick still around.
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