Previously on Survivor things were starting to look up for Genie on Ua as she stumbled upon the re-hidden threesome idol. Sadly for her, she took the information to Ricard and Shan and the three agreed to leave it where it is until they knew Luvu had found theirs. Or at least, that is what they told her as they immediately went to grab it and try their luck at immunity. Thankfully for them, Naseer found the third idol, activating them all and giving everyone their votes back. Sadly for Ua, they lost yet another immunity challenge and after Shan and Liana bonded on a journey, Shan left Liana to snag an advantage and joined Ricard to boot Genie from the game. But girl, they have drama.
That night Shan and RIcard returned to a very quiet Ua, heartbroken to have just booted Genie with Ricard more shocked that she was shocked to go. Shan admitted to him that she thought the two of them were tight but shared with us that she needed someone like Ricard to keep her focused on the game, rather than a kind player like Genie who reminds her of home. The duo then spoke about the awkwardness of the extra vote, with us learning that Shan only passed the extra vote to Ricard so that he could vote out Genie should Shan not get hers back with the idol. And ugh, should they merge tomorrow, I am not confident this duo is going to stick together based on this little fight.
The next morning Shan asked for her advantage back one final time with Ricard sassing her out for asking for it back, rather than quietly giving it back like they agreed. And again, this isn’t going to end well for this duo.
We next checked in with Yase where they found treemail announcing that merge was upon them, but first there will be fun. Which, ugh, appears to be another twist. That being said, the Yase four are pretty tight and feeling their oats, ready to dominate. Except for the fact it is actually a trio with Xander left right out. Meanwhile Sydney was nervous to merge over at Luvu, given they haven’t had the opportunity to test their bonds and nothing this season has come to them easily. Which feels eerily like foreshadowing for their downfall, no?
Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on the twist of the merge, with the castaways split into two groups for an epic challenge. The winning group would then send someone away to an island where, dun, dun DUN, they would be faced with a never before seen power that could change the course of the game. So basically, just another week of Survivor 41, no?
After dropping their buffs the TBC merge tribe were gagged to learn that they would need to earn their way into the merge with two teams facing off to dig up a massive boulder and push it through a course to release keys before, you know the drill, unlocking puzzle pieces and solving it. The first team, not tribe, to win would get to enjoy a feast and earn their merge buff. AND not need to participate in the first individual immunity, given they are already immune. Oh and to make it even more complex, only ten would be competing with two people drawing grey rocks and sitting out with one of them sent on a journey and the other lucky person joining the immune merged team.
Remember how simple it was to follow in Borneo?
Ultimately it was Naseer and Erika sitting out of the challenge as Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany and Shan battled Deshawn, Sydney, Danny, Yvvie and Ricard. Try as Xander may, the rival blue group got out to an early lead collecting two keys before the yellow group finally joined the fray. As the yellow group fought hard to close the gap, the blue team edged closer and closer to solving their puzzle, narrowly snatching victory and guaranteeing their safety at the first tribal council. Oh and a feast. But not before they decide who to take with them out of Naseer and Erika, while the other person would go to a separate island for two nights by themselves with only a major decision for company.
Obviously they didn’t want to make a decision, so instead did rock, paper, scissors which resulted in Naseer joining them and Erika stuck by herself, as the losing group returned to Luvu in preparation for their eventual merge there. When it was just Erika and Jeff, she admitted that she always assumed she was on the bottom of the group and as such, knew that she would be the one to go to the island but kind of appreciated the fact that they feigned rock, paper, scissors as the reason she went there.
We followed the victors to the merge feast with Evvie giddy to eat and officially be immune at the first vote. The group spoke about how hard this season has been on everyone, particularly since they have been given zero food. Talk turned to how the season is progressing, with Danny admitting to us that the rock paper scissor lie was all a cover to protect a male, given the other tribes have decimated their men. The Luvus praised Erika’s survival skills and pretended like she would be fine and ugh, why do I get the feeling that this choice will doom them all?
Erika meanwhile arrived on the island to discover her meagre supplies, though quickly got to work trying to get herself sorted. She shared how her upbringing set her up to fight for what she wants, with Survivor almost like a love letter to the skills her parents gave her. Oh and she is ready to fight after this experience and will return to the game with a new attitude.
We followed the losers back to camp with Xander feeling broken after the challenge, bruised, battered and knowing his only chance to survive the next tribal council is immunity or by playing his idol. As he went off to get water with Heather, Shan asked Liana whether she got the advantage from last week, right in front of Tiffany. Much to Liana’s frustration. With that, the duo went for a walk and Liana explained her advantage to Shan, with the latter explaining she needs to steal Xander or Naseer’s idol ASAP. With that, they locked in their alliance and returned to camp to eat some rice as Tiffany realised that she is on her own in this new group. As such, she was playing everyone and trying to bond with anything.
First up Tiffany pulled Liana aside to find out what the advantage is, with Liana irked by her intensity despite the fact she assured her that she won’t tell anyone. Oh and because Liana kept her advantage a secret from her, now Tiffany is out for blood. Like a Queen.
The winning group returned to camp where everyone giddily introduced themselves despite Evvie thinking they’d all be angry that they just smashed a tonne of food while they ate a tiny bit of rice. Xander meanwhile quickly caught up with Naseer, pledging his undying loyalty to him and reminding him that the men need to stick together. Danny joined the conversation and assured him that Erika will definitely be the first to go. Sydney meanwhile was catching up with Tiffany and Evvie, also floating getting rid of Erika as the best idea. Everyone looped in everyone, which ended up making Liana, Shan and Xander scared that everything sounds too good to be true.
Shan meanwhile went for a walk with Liana and quickly pulled Deshawn and Danny aside, suggesting that they form an alliance and push for another person of colour to join the winner’s circle.
We returned to poor Erika where her loneliness was interrupted by Jeffrey who dropped by to check on her set-up and have a chat. She explained that tending the fire is the only thing that has kept her sane, explaining to Jeff that otherwise she would have curled into a ball and cried, having epic FOMO while also worrying about how much catch-up she has to do when she returns to camp. But Jeff being Jeff explained that that may not actually be the case, given her stint on exile actually comes with an epic power. She can either choose to keep everything the same and return to the game tomorrow, compete in the immunity challenge and potentially be the next one voted out OR she could smash an hourglass and undo the last 24 hours and switch the result of the last challenge, meaning those that are currently immune would now be in danger while she and the losing group would be immune.
With that, Jeffrey departed and left Erika to mull over her decision. But given it guarantees she would make the top 11, we all know which decision she is making despite the potential backlash she will face. As the rain pelted down upon her later that night, she valiantly tried to keep the fire going before waking to a clear sky with the fire alight and ready to return to the game and take control with the full knowledge of what she can do.
The rest of the non-tribe arrived at the top of a mountain to meet Jeff before he brought Erika back to the game to the applause of her fellow competitors. Which quickly stopped after she spoke about feeling left behind as everyone bonded back at camp. And, you know, announced that she had the chance to reverse the outcome of the last challenge. Which she obviously opted to do, as Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, Evvie and Danny looked on, completely enraged, while Naseer sweetly looked gagged. And obviously the five losers were thrilled to now be guaranteed a spot in the merge.
Deshawn tried to downplay his frustrations before Probst introduced the immunity challenge he would now need to compete in, where they would each have to build a block tower using only their feet before slotting a flag in the middle. First person to finish snagging immunity. Ricard calmly worked away on his tower while Sydney and Evvie took an early lead, powering through their first two levels. Evvie’s toes took her to the third level as Deshawn, Ricard and Naseer joined Sydney in nipping at their heels. After Evvie popped their final block on the tower, they tragically knocked them off with the flag leaving Sydney and Ricard to battle for the win, which the latter took out as he landed his flag seconds ahead.
Before bidding the castaways adieu, Probst reminded them that everyone would be going to tribal council and voting that night, however it is only the five losers eligible to receive votes. Oh and the Shot in the Dark scrolls have been bumped up to 12, with 2 safe scrolls, meaning everyone could potentially play it and two people get saved.
Back at camp the almost-merged tribe quickly congratulated Ricard on his victory before Erika spoke about the harsh experience of exile. Liana was grateful to be safe at the upcoming tribal council, though was more excited about potentially using her epic Knowledge is Power advantage, despite how easy it could be to misplay given she can only ask specific questions. And Shan outed it in front of Tiffany meaning everyone could easily work around it. Meanwhile Danny, Ricard, Shan, Sydney and Deshawn were catching up, with the former struggling to process how they managed to go from feasting and immune to the few eligible people to go home later tonight. Well, not Ricard or Shan, but you know what he meant.
While Deshawn understood his frustrations, he also wanted Danny to move on so they could come up with a plan. Ricard meanwhile suggested that they load all their votes on Evvie, given Naseer has an idol. Despite bonding with Evvie on their journey, Deshawn was onboard and happy to take them out if it keeps him around one more day. Danny took the plan to Liana and while she was concerned about flopping on Evvie too soon, she admitted that she is most closely aligned with Shan so caught up with her to see what she wanted to do. While she continued to push away from Evvie and downplayed them as a threat, Shan was just as strong about their need to split up Evvie and Xander.
Tiffany and Xander meanwhile were catching up assuring each other that they will protect Evvie with the idol if required. Evvie joined them and broke down over potentially going home, before they looped them in on the fact they plan to play the idol on Evvie should it be needed. The only wrinkle being Liana’s Knowledge is Power advantage, but given Tiffany looped them in on everything, they came up with a plan to protect the idol from being stolen.
Ricard meanwhile was catching up with Erika, Deshawn was looping in Naseer as Xander caught up with Danny and Sydney, letting them know that he plans to play his idol to save Evvie and as such, they need to come up with a different plan. He then opened up about Liana’s advantage and shared that she kept it from the rest of the Yase tribe, meaning she has well and truly turned on them. Danny was then very messy, going straight to Liana with the information and ugh, I love him. This freaked out Liana who went for a walk with Shan to confirm they have a clear understanding of the wording of the note and a loophole is totally blowing this for her, isn’t it?
Liana caught up with Evvie and Xander with the latter tucking the idol in his pants and talking about how the idol will be on his person all night, so Evvie will definitely be safe and they will all boot Deshawn. With that, Liana went to Danny, Deshawn and Shan to share that Deshawn is the target but it isn’t a worry, given she will be stealing Xander’s idol at tribal council. Sydney meanwhile was paranoid about the duelling plans, given she could become collateral damage. While Xander assured her that she will be safe, she ventured to see Liana and Shan who assured her the same thing and damn, why do I have the feeling we could be losing our salty icon?
At tribal council Danny spoke about how finally attending tribal council is more epic than his days in the NFL. Sydney meanwhile was thrilled to be doing something different with new faces around despite the non-merge hurdle. Liana spoke about the surreal nature of living through the pre-tribal scramble while Tiffany tried to articulate why it is such a mess. Talk turned to the Shot in the Dark among the bounty of advantages throughout the season with Shan admitting it creates chaos but ultimately, relationships are all that truly matters. With Deshawn one-upping her and agreeing that the relationships he has built are all that matters to him.
Evvie admitted to being nervous since they are the only non-Luvu eligible to be booted tonight but they were confident that Xander would have their back. With that Xander outed his idol and shared that he would definitely be playing it for them, which Liana agreed was because the Yase tribe protect their own – lol – as Evvie spoke about how they have protected Xander all game despite him not having a vote for such a long time. This made Deshawn call bullshit on their bond, sharing that Evvie told him everything about Xander’s idol on their adventure to the Advantage Island Treetop Walk. This made Xander nervous about their relationship, with Evvie desperately assuring him that they are still solid. Liana piped up to agree that the duo are tight, which is why she plans to play her Knowledge is Power advantage on Xander, requesting his idol.
With that he handed over his fake idol before we learnt that all of his advantages had been handed off to Tiffany prior to tribal council, meaning he had nothing to steal and the trio would live to fight another day. Evvie thanked Liana for showing them that she can’t be trusted and as Liana simply reminded them that the game is cutthroat, Shan started talking about how Evvie is clearly in possession of the idol and as such, they need to come up with a new plan.
This set off an epic chain of whispers with Shan rallying a group to vote Syd, Evvie and Xander meanwhile were pushing for Naseer to join them to vote out Deshawn. Just as quickly as it popped off, it all went quiet as Shan pushed for them to vote and get it over with. This frustrated Deshawn who congratulated Xander and Evvie on their move, but admitted that given his name is on the block, he isn’t so eager to vote just yet. He then started whispering with Shan and pushed to keep the vote on Evvie since Tiffany heard their plans, while Tiffany, Xander and Evvie looped Sydney in on the fact the rest of the tribe now planned to vote her out. With that, she was keen to join them in voting for Deshawn as Tiffany suggested she could play Xander’s extra vote to get things across the line.
Deshawn meanwhile spoke about the fact Tiffany outed their plan before the super-group beckoned Naseer to loop him in on the new plan to split the vote on Evvie and Sydney since they only have one idol in their possession. Eventually everyone settled down and agreed they were ready to vote, after which Sydney shared that she had played her Shot in the Dark, which tragically left her Not Safe. Tiffany then tried to play Xander’s idol until he stepped in and assured her not to play it, much to Evvie’s simmering rage. Probst then finally started counting the votes with them piling up evenly on Deshawn, Evvie and Sydney before Evvie was gagged to discover Sydney had been booted from the game.
Much to the simmering rage of Sydney, while Evvie now praised Tiffany and Xander for holding their nerve with the idol. A complete backflip from their rage moments before.
But back to Sydney, my Queen. While I am heartbroken to have lost young-Sandra way too early, I was thrilled to be on hand to cheer her up before she departed Loser Lodge before I help the crew re-merch for Ponderosa. I’m going to forego the backstory about how we met – sassy people just find their peers, ok? – but I will assure you that Syd and I are the dearest of dear friends – we even got vaccinated together when she flew home! I pulled her in for a hug and while she immediately told me to calm down and that she is glad to be free of her tribemates, I held her long enough to get her admit she was gutted to be out of the game. Though thankfully a take away jar of Sydney Segarlic Sauce was enough to keep the disappointment at bay.
Sweet, earthy and a little tart, kebab sauce is one of my favourite things for a HSP – thankfully 41 filmed before Hayley dominated Brains V Brawn, so I had some spare. I mean, garlic, lemon and the joy of creamy, white liquids? Hook it into my veins.
Sydney Segarlic Sauce
Makes: 1 cup.
6 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup plain yogurt
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Ok, so brace yourselves, this one is hard.
Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Devour.
Or, you know, serve on a kebab or a HSP.
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