For loyal readers, apologies for missing last week’s recap. Been going through some stuff, and am glad to have a new one up this week.
Episode 6 of Survivor 41 is in the books, and instead of the traditional summary/recap, I am here to breakdown the episode into 10 big moments, storylines, and takeaways.
10 Shan & Ricard are Good Friends but Terrible Roommates
The beginning scene(s) between Shan & Ricard coming back from last week’s Tribal up until the morning the next day was extremely tense. These two have ridden together as allies through the murky and unstable waters of the Ua tribe. They had a tribe full of people who lacked game awareness, social awareness, or common sense, and sometimes all three. Together, they were two logical players. Now, do I think Ricard took a little too long to give Shan her Extra Vote back? Yes. Do I believe Ricard saw Shan for the threat she is and rationally held on to the vote knowing that she values that extra vote more than Genie? Also, yes.
You would rather these two enter the merge under better circumstances; however, getting some space from one another may draw them closer in the end. Watching the two of them at their end of Ua is like when two best friends decide to move in, and then they get annoyed by every little thing the other does.
9 State of the Tribes Pre-Merge
Luvu talked about sticking together for at least the first few votes to make use of their voting block power, which was a bit of a façade. Danny, Deshawn, Sydney, and kind of Naseer are the actual alliance, with Erika and Heather on the outside.
Yase goes into the merge with their rag-tag group of four. Evvie-Tiffany-Liana is a solid female trio. Xander tries to navigate his way, either sticking with Evvie and Yase or looking at the Luvu Men as his potential new alliance.
8 Advantage Check
Idols: Xander, Naseer, Shan
Extra Votes: Xander, Shan, Deshawn
Special Power: Liana
Liana has the unique power where if she asks someone whether they have an Idol or an Advantage, they have to answer honestly, and she can take the item for herself. Xander could be in trouble as Liana knows he has an idol, and she carries a small vendetta against him, as she sees him as a massive threat. I feel bad for Xander, he played handcuffed due for four episodes due to the Beware Idol, and once it finally gets activated, it might get ripped out of his hands. At the end of this episode, he is also the only male eligible to get voted out. Naseer could get his idol poached as well if Liana chooses not to go after Xander.
Shan is in a great spot with an idol and an extra vote. Deshawn is sitting pretty as well; he has strong allies who can potentially work as shields for him.
7 Pre-Merge Challenge
Probst is having a lot of fun with this barebones version of Survivor. Watching the players simultaneously compete for the biggest immunity of the season and the merge feast was some hardcore shit. To no surprise, the team of Danny, Deshawn, Sydney, Ricard, and Evvie ran away with this physically intense challenge, even though it took them some extra time on the puzzle. They chose to bring Naseer in for the feast; Luvu looked out for their fellow MAN and pushed Erika farther away than they already had.
6 Merge Castaways
While Xander, Shan, Liana, Tiffany, and Heather missed out on the merge feast, at least they got some rice, and missing out on the merge emboldened them to one another. It is important to note; Tiffany became afraid once she saw Shan & Liana’s immediate bond as Liana has been her #1 to this point in the game. Liana noticed how bothered Tiffany was and how frenetic her energy had been all game, and now she is unsure about their bond. Real merge moments.
5 Merge Feast
I could eat a whole pizza before watching Survivor and would still get hungry when watching the Merge Feast. The food doesn’t even need to look good; it is the hungry eyes of the competitors that make it all look so appetizing. Due to the Merge Feast only having half the players, there was much less comradery and felt more strategic. It being 4 original Luvu members and then 1 Yase and 1 Ua did not help either. There being fewer people also made it harder for someone to covertly look for an advantage at the feast as they were in such close quarters next to each other.
4 Men vs. Women
To this point, Danny has played a fantastic game. Danny made a bonehead move by asking/telling Evvie that he was afraid Yase’s goal was to take out all the men in the game. It’s one thing for Danny to theorize/strategize based on a Male/Female divide, but when he asks Evvie, she automatically has to deny that as a/the game plan. This is hilarious because now that Evvie knows Danny thinks the men have to stick together as they are getting picked off, it gives her ammunition to unite the women against them.
There are certain things in Survivor you should just not say aloud.
3 Erika in Isolation
Erika has some of the most emotive eyes I’ve ever seen. Watching her peril and isolation on her own island felt escalated by 1000 because you could see her entire soul getting chipped away by the experience through her eyes. Although Erika avoided the first six tribal councils, she probably feels farther away from winning than people who have already gotten voted out. Either she can lie to herself and stick with Luvu and be the bottom of their food chain, or openly become public enemy #1 against her former tribe and turn into the easy target for everyone she already is. It’s tough sledding for Erika; even with a potential glass smash, she might need an extra advantage or idol to be played in her favor to have a chance at making it through either of the following two tribals.
2 The Campout
Liana, Shan, Danny, and Deshawn instantly connected, and it seems like there could be a sub-alliance running through this game. Similar to the Cookout from Big Brother, these brilliant black individuals see the diversity and opportunity available to them and are looking to capitalize on it. I can’t imagine these four sticking together to the end perfectly as the Cookout did in Big Brother because each of these individuals has pre-established relationships and alliances already. If they can find a way for them all to make it to the end, though, we are in for an all-time season because I think three of them are already building winning-game resumes in Shan, Danny, and Deshawn. Don’t sleep on Liana’s potential; she has been good in challenges and has an advantage that might flip the game on its head.
1 Will Erika Smash The Glass?
To most viewers, Erika smashing the glass seems like a no-brainer as we know the existing Luvu Tribe members are pushing for her to be the target. Since Erika’s gotten isolated on her own island, she hasn’t connected with players from other tribes yet. For Erika, she could view smashing the glass as a one-way ticket to getting voted out. Since Erika already feels as though she is on the bottom, she might as well take the big swing that could swing the tide of her game.
Evvie and Ricard being the two non-Luvu members currently with immunity are also why it might be beneficial to break the glass, as they are the least likely to hold a grudge, as they are strategic minds who could see this a chance to take a shot at Old Luvu’s existing muscle (Danny, Deshawn, Naseer, or Sydney). Erika could also walk away from the outcome with new allies who see the risk she is taking as a reason they want to work with her. Regardless of the outcome, I think we all want to see the glass get smashed.