Last week we were privileged to witness the equivalent of a royal flush play in a poker game as Xander Hastings pulled off the biggest move so far of Survivor 41. He proved he could be a fierce contender as he flushed out Liana’s power advantage and DeShawn Radden’s extra vote while simultaneously saving Evvie Jagoda and holding on to his idol and extra vote advantage.
Lots of juicy and pertinent information came out of that Tribal Council as well. Fast forward to this week’s show, episode 8, night 14 and we see Xander and Evvie just after tribal council talking about that stunning play.
What happened this week on Survivor?
Xander confronted Evvie about this newfound information that let him know she betrayed him by telling DeShawn and others that he had an idol and Evvie, in Evvie fashion, double talked her way through it, “I thought it was a secret that everyone was going to know”, uhmm yeah, if you TELL THEM! Takeaway number one, loose lips sink ships.
Tribal Council lead to a more fractured Yase Tribe as trust went out the window with all 4 members. Liana Wallace had already left her Ex-Yase Tribe behind when she aligned with new people and strained what’s left, if any, of the bond she had from her tribe of the past.
Day 15. Ex-Yase members, Tiffany Seely, Evvie and Xander scrambled to make new alliances, realizing their time on the Island was waning, while Liana tried to do a little damage control. I’m not entirely sure why the lower-tiered players did not band together to create a new alliance to rival the top power alliance.
They had numbers, all they had to do was rally the dead fish from the power alliance groups by making them understand they are the first to go when Yase was gone. Xander, Tiffany, Evvie, Erika, Heather Aldret and possibly Naseer as a group could have been the force to knock out Shan, Ric, Danny, DeShawn and Liana. Takeaway number two, gather the bottom players and regroup while the numbers work.
For the Reward Challenge, the newly formed Viakana Tribe was taken out on the water and divided into two teams of five with the odd man out not partaking in the challenge nor the grilled cheese and chips feast. Erika drew the stone that knocked her out of the challenge, but Xander offered to take her place which Jeff Probst allowed. Xander had the opportunity, while sitting out, to find a newly hidden advantage, but failed to find it possibly due to lack of food that may have diminished his eyesight and searching skills.
In a confessional Xander revealed the reason behind swapping places with Erika was purely selfish. He surmises being with the “emotional” losers may pave the way for new alliances which he desperately needs.
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The blue team, Erika Casupanan, DeShawn, Ricard Foye, Danny McCray and Evvie won the reward due to superfan Evvie knowing the puzzle at the end of the challenge. She had seen it on the Edge of Extinction season and practiced it at home, a good lesson for future Survivor players as stated by Jeff Probst. Another takeaway is to learn the game well to support your “Superfan” status.
Well-fed tribemates heading back to camp after their feast found the still starving folks eating some meager papaya Naseer Muttalif foraged. With melted cheese and chips still fresh on his lips, Ricard took a piece of papaya and ate it prompting Shantel Smith to “food shame” him for taking food from the hungry right after he was just partaking in a gluttonous meal. After the fact, this leaves Recard to feel that Shan may resent him now and could turn on him at some point. The takeaway, don’t pilfer food that’s on someone else’s leaf when you have a full belly.
It blows my mind that on Day 16 they hadn’t found yet that there were papayas on the island. How in the world does a group of starving people not find such a treasure sooner?
Day 16 of Survivor 41. Episode 8 finds the Viakana tribe at the Individual Immunity Challenge where Jeff throws in a twist. If enough players opt out of the challenge the whole tribe will be afforded rice to eat for three days. Negotiations set the number of players that need to drop out at 4 and Shantel, Ricard, Naseer and Xander choose to sit out. I’m sure the benefits of their decisions were not limited to the “food for all” result.
Six tribe members were left to compete and in the end, Evvie was the one left standing. The one who needed the win most, won, as seems to be the norm more often than not.
The results of the individual immunity challenge resulted in strategy chaos. Xander, Tiffany, Naseer and Heather’s names were all thrown about during strategy talks. It soon becomes apparent to many that Shan is trying to control the players and in turn the game and this makes them leery. DeShawn especially does not like how Shan treats his opinions, he confronts her and the two have a “discussion.”
Night falls and tribal council commences as usual with Jeff’s probe. After Jeff’s questions, it seems they are ready to vote, but then Heather whispers to Tiffany and this starts a tsunami of whispering waves. Each player tries their best to navigate those waves and stay afloat. The vote finally begins and the votes are counted. Tiffany is the one who goes underwater with the weight of the votes, but at the same time becomes the first member of the Jury.
It’s anyone’s game at this point and next week we will see the effects of this drama-filled tribal council. I’m hoping Shan’s “Pastoral Heart” won’t be broken as more and more tribemates are turned off by her controlling manner. Shantel may need more than a wing and a prayer if she’s to remain in play.
With the end of Survivor 41 episode 8, I can’t wait until next week to watch which way the strategy will flow, but for now, the scribe has spoken.