Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 9 review: Did we get a blindside?

Ben DriebergenSurvivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 9 started off with Mike putting on his best rat costume. Basically, he engaged in a healthy game of throwing everyone under the bus! Mike put the target on Cole and Joe and, in turn, we wonder if Mike is putting the target more on himself.

The one pre-challenge scene that stood out more than anything with Mike, though, was Ryan making the super-gutsy decision to show Devon the immunity idol. While this may have been smart at the time, it’ll come back to bite him later.

From here, we move on to our first challenge of the day — which was of course for reward and a chance to hang out on a luxury yacht. Who wouldn’t want that? We don’t really care so much about the ins and outs of the challenge (as awesome as JP swimming underwater was) so let’s just get to the results. Joe, Chrissy, Mike, JP, and Cole all managed to get the reward, which isn’t really a shock given that there are multiple physical titans in this group. Also, Cole’s getting something to eat — he’ll appreciate that. (It was basically the first thing that came out of Cole’s mouth the moment after he got onto the yacht.)

The aftermath of the reward challenge was when everything started to fall apart a little for Ryan. He told Ben about the immunity idol, which made Ben suspicious of him and the game that he’s playing. He decided to bring in Devon with his “secret,” and of course Devon already knew. This moment meant more to us than some of the others we saw beforehand with Joe intentionally being a jerk and daring Chrissy and Ashley to vote him out.

The immunity challenge

Did all of that food actually help Cole as he’d so predicted? For a little while it definitely seemed to be the case, but it couldn’t get Cole to where he needed to be. Lauren actually beat him in this battle for endurance and we give her all the credit in the world. You could see the look on everyone else’s faces that they were thrilled to see Cole lose. (We know that Cole’s not the easiest guy to root for due to some of his food-snatching antics, but we never like it when it’s obvious people are rooting against someone.)

Are we on the cusp of an actual blindside?

It seemed possible going into immunity challenge; yet, after Cole lost it felt like we were looking at an obvious vote. Yet, obvious votes rarely ever work out like that.

First, why are we considering Cole to be such a big threat in the first place? This is a guy who doesn’t seem to have much of a strategic or a social game. Beyond that, why was Ben so pushy to split the vote between Mike and Cole? This annoyed Ashley to the point that she got Chrissy and Devon on her side to push for Joe. Chrissy did her part to convince Ben that Joe was more dangerous than Cole.

At Tribal Council, Mike attempted to make some sort of big move by putting more of a target on himself and calling out everyone else in the game — he insisted that he had a plan and we were very curious to see what that plan was going to be. We really hoped that it was the Round Table group of seven deciding not to split votes, but that didn’t happen. Basically, what Mike seemed to achieve was not all that much unless he somehow convinced the vote to flip towards Cole at tribal rather than Joe. It was fun, but it may not have changed the end result and he’s now short an immunity idol. Sorry Mike, and sorry the remaining members of the Healers – Cole went home.

Here’s the big problem

We here at CarterMatt like craziness, and no matter how much the show dresses things up it doesn’t change the fact that we basically just watched another person get picked off the minority alliance. This was a better episode than last week, but this is still a season in the midst of a gameplay-related slog.

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