This week’s two-hour episode of Survivor was a very interesting one, with two unpredictable boots. It began with the fifteen remaining castaways, fresh off Nina’s well-deserved vote-off, resuming the game following the previous Tribal Council. At Nagarote, the whole tribe was glad that Nina was finally gone. Hali, in particular, thought that she’d gotten what was coming to her. Still, she confessed to Will that she’d voted for him because they were afraid of Nina having the hidden Immunity Idol. Will was hoping that they could have a strong unit now that Vince and Nina, the two oddballs of their tribe, were gone. Especially since he knew that he would be next if they went to Tribal Council again. At Escameca, Mike killed a snake for some food, which was good since they weren’t catching fish. He offered some to Kelly, who reluctantly tried some. Meanwhile, Rodney wanted protein and had some, as well. But what was strange was that he and Mike were starting to mend fences from their earlier tiff.
The first Reward Challenge of the episode (and the first one of the whole season) saw the castaways electing one person per tribe as their caller while the rest of the tribe would be blindfolded. Giving verbal commands, the caller would instruct his or her paired tribemates to go out onto an obstacle course, retrieve an item, return it to the starting point, and hoist it to the top. Once all items were gathered, the castaways would then head out for their tribe flags, which they had to return to be hauled to the top by the caller. The first two tribes to do so would win reward — three egg-laying hens and a rooster for the first-place tribe, and ten eggs for the second-place tribe. With one extra member, Tyler sat out the challenge for Masaya. With two extra members, Escameca sat out Rodney and Mike.
So here’s how the challenge shook down. Carolyn was the caller for Masaya, Sierra was the caller for Escameca, and Joe was the caller for Nagarote. Max and Shirin started off quickly for Masaya, as did Jenn and Hali for Nagarote. Lindsey and Kelly, on the other hand, went more slowly for Escameca. Jenn and Hali got Nagarote’s first item back, as did Max and Shirin with Masaya’s. Kelly and Lindsey continued to struggle, though, with Escameca’s before they finally got their first one back. Nagarote actually lapped both tribes, as Jenn and Hali got their second item back even before Escameca could see Lindsey and Kelly get theirs, or Masaya could see Max and Shirin get theirs. Jenn and Hali worked very well to get their third item. Max and Shirin managed to get Masaya’s second item, while Lindsey and Kelly struggled with getting Escameca’s second. Both tribes also got their third items just as Jenn and Hali were getting Nagarote’s fourth and final one. But during the hauling, Dan, who was raising the platform for Escameca, dropped the platform hard onto Kelly’s head, causing Probst to pause the challenge to have her looked at. She was fine, just bleeding a fair bit, so the challenge kept on going.
With the challenge back on, Max and Shirin, aided by Joaquin as the hauler, raised Masaya’s third item, and then went out for their fourth and final one, which they got back. Lindsey and Kelly finally got Escameca’s third item, as well. With their items obtained, Jenn and Hali got Nagarote’s flag, worked with Will to haul it up, and Joe took it to win reward for the tribe! They would be taking home the hens and the rooster! So it was Masaya and Escameca now, looking for second place. Max and Shirin were in a good spot to find Masaya’s flag, while Escameca still had to wait for Lindsey and Kelly to find their fourth and final item first. They got it, so they rushed out to grab their flag. Max and Shirin got Masaya’s flag and brought it back to be raised, just as Kelly and Lindsey were a hairbreadth from grabbing Escameca’s. Carolyn took Masaya’s flag, and they won reward! This meant that the ten eggs would be theirs! So for the first time, Escameca had lost a challenge, and they would be going back to camp with nothing.
At Nagarote, the tribe celebrated having the hens. And better yet, it was a good gift for Will, who was celebrating his forty-second birthday. He missed his family and hated spending his birthday away from them, but it was the game. But Jenn and Joe had a bit of a disagreement with Joe, who wanted to kill one of the hens even though she could give them eggs. They did. Jenn left so she wouldn’t be able to watch it. Instead, to help get her mind off it, she decided to poke around their camp to find the tribe’s hidden Immunity Idol. She knew to look in unique landmarks and locations. And finally, in an odd-looking tree, she found one! So now she had protection in case she was in trouble! And it’d all happened while Joe, Hali, and Will were eating their hen.
At Escameca, Mike was giving props to Kelly for taking her hit to the head and taking six stitches. Because of that respect, he wanted to get her on his side and go far with her. Something that might be needed, too, as he knew that he and Dan were on the bottom of their tribe at the moment. Elsewhere, Lindsey started to get mad at Rodney when he went on a sexist rant about how women should hold themselves at a higher standard than men. He used an odd analogy relating to hooking up at clubs. Lindsey said that this the problem with many male/female relationships nowadays. Men thought that they were better than women, when both sexes should’ve been equal. She fought back against Rodney with that very point, and that put him off. Still, he kept himself from getting mad.
At Masaya, the tribe immediately began to boil a few of their eggs — five of them, one of each of them. Shirin was a bit thrilled that they didn’t win the whole prize for the challenge, knowing that no one on the tribe had killed hens or roosters before. Shirin had, since she’d watched some videos of how to do it before coming on the show. Joaquin likened her to a sociopath, especially after she’d mentioned killing mice and rabbits as a kid. The whole tribe was so weirded out by her, they were all tempted to send her packing. Also, Max put out a weird pitch to not sit Shirin out at the next Immunity Challenge out of fear of upsetting her. He thought they should sit out Carolyn instead. But Carolyn was disturbed by this, as she knew that she was far more athletic than Shirin. She was afraid that he was turning into a cult leader. Shirin was odd, but Max scared her more. They were reluctant, but Tyler and Joaquin agreed.
The Immunity Challenge saw the castaways being attached to ropes. They’d maneuver through a rope obstacle, grab a bag of balls, head to the finish, balance on a beam, and try to maneuver a ball through a maze of holes to reach the top. If a ball fell through a hole, they would have to start over. The first two tribes to get three balls sunk would win immunity and be safe from Tribal Council, where the losing tribe would go to vote the fourth person out of the game. With two extra members, Escameca sat out Lindsey and Dan. With one extra member, Shirin sat out for Masaya.
So here’s how the challenge shook down. Hai went through the obstacle first for Nagarote, Joaquin went first for Masaya, and Mike went first for Escameca. Joaquin finished first, letting Carolyn go second for Masaya. When Mike finished, Sierra went second for Escameca. Hali finished for Nagarote, allowing Will to go second for Nagarote. And he struggled yet again in the challenge. Sierra flew through the challenge and finished, letting Kelly go third for Escameca. Carolyn finished, letting Max go third for Masaya. Will finally finished, letting Jenn go third for Nagarote. Kelly finished, letting Rodney go fourth and last for Masaya. Max finished, letting Tyler go fourth and last for Masaya. Jenn finished, letting Joe go fourth and last for Nagarote. Rodney finished, and Escameca ran out for their bag of balls. Joe actually passed up Tyler and finished, so Nagarote also got to run out for their bag of balls. Finally, Tyler finished, and Masaya went out for their bag of balls.
Once they got their balls, it was time for the maze. With a good lead, Mike maneuvered Escameca’s ball while balancing. He had a tough time of it when he dropped one. Joaquin maneuvered Masaya’s ball and easily got their first one, giving Carolyn a turn. Joe, meanwhile, got Nagarote’s first ball, letting Jenn take her turn. Mike finally got Escameca’s first ball, letting Sierra try her luck next. Carolyn got Masaya’s second ball, and Jenn got Nagarote’s second one, letting Tyler and Hali go for their respective third and last ones. Sierra also landed Escameca’s third ball, letting Kelly try for their third and last one. But when a ball went through a hole, Tyler swapped out for Max instead to help Masaya’s efforts. It was really close, but . . . Hali sank the third ball for Nagarote, and the tribe won immunity! So that left it down to Kelly and Max for Escameca and Masaya, respectively. When Kelly fell off the beam, Rodney switched in to take her place and tried to fight it out with Max. But Max dropped a ball and tried again. Rodney got close for Escameca, but dropped his ball at the last minute. Max made some huge moves, and this time . . . they paid off! He sank Masaya’s third and final ball, winning the tribe immunity! This meant that Escameca would be going to Tribal Council for the first time and seeing the fourth person voted out of the game.
Before Tribal Council, the potential targets emerged — Rodney and Lindsey. Rodney was targeted for blowing the challenge and for not being pleasant to be around at camp. But Lindsey was targeted by Rodney for being weaker and for going after Rodney. Apparently, the weeks of Dan and Mike being on the bottom of the tribe were in the past. They were forming an alliance with Rodney and Kelly to go after Lindsey and Sierra. But Kelly wasn’t as sure just yet. She and Mike, as it turned out, were a tight pair now. Neither of them trusted Rodney at all and wanted to go after him. But at the same time, Lindsey wasn’t much of a prize herself. At least Rodney brought strength to the tribe. Lindsey brought brains, but the challenges were mostly physical. It was all going to come down to whom they felt were the side in the right — the guys (Dan and Rodney) or the girls (Lindsey and Sierra). Mike and Kelly were definitely the swing votes here.
At Tribal Council, the question was answered. By a vote of 2-2-2, a three-way tie vote resulted among Rodney, Lindsey, and Sierra. So the tribe got to revote, with only Rodney, Lindsey, and Sierra as the options, and only Kelly, Mike, and Dan eligible to vote. On the revote, by a vote of 3-0, the fourth person voted out of Worlds Apart was . . . Lindsey. Much to the sickening pleasure of Rodney. So Kelly and Mike went with Dan and Rodney. (Oh, there was no look at the original votes. But Dan, Mike, and Kelly all voted for Lindsey on the revote.) So her torch was snuffed, and she was sent on her way.
Was I sad about this? Well, a little bit. From what I saw, I liked Lindsey okay. She said what was on her mind and didn’t take crap from anyone. But she did make an error. As she said in her final words, she had a dust-up with a guy with a huge ego, and that made him forget about his women’s alliance and run headlong to Kelly and the guys. So he got his way, and Lindsey didn’t get hers. Sorry, Lindsey. Hope you can recover from this. But what is it with people named Lindsey on this show? They’re all going out early, pre-merge! Africa’s Lindsey left right before the merge, Cagayan’s Lindsey quit the week before the merge, and now, Worlds Apart’s Lindsey gets voted out fourth!
Fresh off Lindsey’s vote-off, the fourteen remaining castaways resumed the game following the previous Tribal Council. At Escameca, Mike explained to Sierra the reason for her getting votes — that Lindsey was suspected to have a hidden Immunity Idol, and Sierra was the backup target in case she did have it. But then, Dan started going after her, bringing up some apparent mistakes we had and hadn’t seen. For one thing, not being able to do the puzzle in the first Immunity Challenge and having to get Mike to do it. Then, apparently missing more shots than were shown in the second Immunity Challenge, even though she’d sunk several of them for their tribe. He called this “airing grievances” for the sake of tribal unity, but I think he was just thumping his man-chest and being a jerk to her since he knew that he was in the majority alliance now. The men on Escameca are really pissing me off with how sexist they are. Dan and Rodney, meanwhile, but Mike’s not too far behind. Sierra felt alone to have lost her closest ally and was tired of her whole tribe. Rodney didn’t care about how she felt, but Mike seemed to do. But he knew she’d never trust any of them again.
The Reward Challenge appeared to be set up for three tribes. But that was just a misdirection. The moment the tribes learned that Lindsey was gone, Probst told them that they were switching tribes. The tribal swap arrived, and they were going from three tribes to two! White Collar, Blue Collar, and No Collar were no more! So they all dropped their buffs. Only Escameca and Nagarote would be around, with Masaya totally dissolved. Probst gave them hidden buffs, with their colors determining their placement. As a result, Sierra, Dan, Mike, Rodney, Joaquin, Tyler, and Joe were on the new Escameca tribe, and Kelly, Will, Caroyln, Max, Hali, Jenn, and Shirin were on the new Nagarote tribe. Sierra was unhappy with the new tribe, since all three of her tribe’s men were on it, and she strongly disliked them all. Meanwhile, Kelly felt vulnerable to be the only Blue Collar on her new tribe, which had three White Collars and three No Collars.
Then, it was time for the challenge. This saw the castaways launching balls out onto the beach, where their tribemates would attempt to catch them. Catching a ball from either tribe would mean a point. The first tribe to five would win reward — kitchen supplies like pots, pans, oil, and sausages to cook them with. In addition, any rewards won by Masaya, since that tribe was officially going to be vacated, would be sent to the camp of the winning tribe.
So here’s how the challenge shook down. Jenn from Nagarote caught against Joaquin from Escameca. Max from Nagarote caught against Joe from Escameca. Will from Nagarote caught against Joe from Escameca. Kelly from Nagarote caught against Tyler from Escameca. Shirin would launch for Nagarote, while Rodney would launch for Escameca. Rodney launched a shot that Max caught for Nagarote, while Shirin launched a shot that Joe caught for Escameca. Carolyn then launched for Nagarote, while Sierra launched for Escameca. Sierra launched a shot that Joe caught for Escameca. Carolyn launched a shot that was caught by Tyler for Escameca. Hail then launched for Nagarote, while Dan launched for Escameca. Dan launched a shot that was caught by Joaquin for Escameca, while Hali launched a shot that was just missed. Sierra got back to launch for Escameca, while Shirin got back to launch for Nagarote. Shirin fired a shot that was caught by Will for Nagarote. Sierra fired a shot that was caubht by Mike for Escameca, winning the challenge for Escameca! So they’d get the kitchen supplies plus Masaya’s rewards! So Nagarote would be going back to camp with nothing.
At Nagarote, Max, Shirin, Carolyn, and Kelly got used to their new camp. Since Hali saw that their tribes were three No Collars, three White Collars, and a Blue Collar, they knew that they had to get Kelly, the person in the middle, on their side. But Shirin, who knew the game, knew the same thing and quickly started to try and work on her. But Kelly wanted to reach out and build some trust first before choosing a side, as she was a swing vote. Shirin thought that she had her, though, so they could have the numbers.
At Escameca, the men were all happy there since it was six men and a woman, Sierra. Mike thought that they had the numbers advantage since their alliance was four Blue Collars — himself, Dan, Rodney, and Sierra — against two White Collars — Tyler and Joaquin — and a No Collar — Joe. But Rodney and Dan attacking Sierra at the campfire last night might’ve lured her over to the other guys, so he had to keep an eye on her. That might not have been a problem, though, as Joaquin hit it off with Rodney right away. Dan, Rodney, and Mike then went off to get water together. As they did, Sierra reached out right away to Tyler, Joaquin, and Joe. Tyler saw this as an advantage, as they needed her on their side. Mike saw her talking to them and knew that she could be a problem if she jumped over to them.
At Nagarote, Shirin was annoying her tribe by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” much too loudly and then whistling too much. Jenn already decided that she didn’t like her since she wouldn’t stop talking. Elsewhere, Max came back from the ocean with a stingray sting. Actually, two of them. Jenn helped to fix him up, having been a former lifeguard. She used some boiling water from their fire and had Max dip his feet into it. But he also had a plantar wart “the size of a quarter,” to quote Hali. This put her off that he put his feet in their drinking water for over an hour. Carolyn was annoyed by Max and Shirin both, and she was willing to flip to the original Nagarotes on the tribe (Jenn, Hali, and Will) to do a little damage to them and blindside one of them.
At Escameca, Dan and Mike talked about how worried they were that Sierra was going to join Tyler, Joaquin, and Joe. Mike told Dan that it was his and Rodney’s fault for laying into her at the campfire after Lindsey’s ouster rather than laying off her. He made him apologize to her, and tell her what a woman would like to hear. Dan didn’t like this, as he was twice Mike’s age and talked too many more women than he had. So all three original Escameca men were dicks. He talked to Sierra and tried to clear the air. Sierra made it clear how hurt she’d felt at getting attacked. Dan admitted that he’d done so at the wrong time, but Sierra had attacked him first (which had never happened). Sierra noticed that Dan was not truly apologizing to her, and seeing that she was getting nowhere with him, she decided to throw in with Joaquin, Tyler, and Joe, after all.
The Immunity Challenge saw the castaways sending two members of each tribe out to place pots on a sled and pull them through a series of obstacles. Once at the finish point, they’d run back and try again till all eight pots had been placed on pots. (Two were already there, six more needed to be placed.) Then, one tribe member would break them by swinging a wrecking ball at them. The first tribe to finish would win immunity and be safe from Tribal Council. The losing tribe would go to Tribal Council, where they would vote the fifth person out of the game.
So here’s how the challenge shook down. Joaquin and Tyler ran first for Escameca, facing off with Jenn and Hali for Nagarote. Joaquin and Tyler got a very early lead, but Jenn and Hali stayed in it with them for as long as they could . . . before they started to fall back. All four castaways placed their pots, and Joe and Rodney went next for Escameca, while Kelly and Carolyn went next for Nagarote. Joe and Rodney placed their pots quickly enough for Sierra and Mike to go next for Escameca. They went so fast, they lapped Kelly and Carolyn. They got back, the whole tribe ran through the obstacles, and Dan started swinging the wrecking ball. Shirin and Max ran to try and place Nagarote’s final pots. But by this time, Dan was already smashing the pots. He’d smashed all eight by the time Nagarote had all started to head for the pots for Will to smash. So Escameca, one of the most uneven tribes with way too many men on them, won immunity against a female-dominant tribe. It wasn’t even close. So Nagarote would be going to Tribal Council, where the fifth person would be voted out of the game. Max was waiting to exercise the power he, Shirin, and presumably Carolyn had established with Kelly, so he didn’t feel bad at all.
Before Tribal Council, the potential targets emerged — Shirin and Will. Shirin was targeted for being annoying and on the outside. Will was targeted for his weight, his health, and being too much of a challenge liability. But despite things looking clear-cut for Max, Shirin, and Kelly, Carolyn had other ideas. She told Jenn that she was in with them instead because she needed Max and Shirin gone. As soon as this was learned, a new target emerged — Max. He was targeted for being too much of a Survivor fan. If he was that much of a student of the game, then he could be dangerous. It was good to be a student of the game, but don’t ever tout it like Max was. Upon learning that Carolyn had flipped, Kelly realized that she might have to do the same thing. So with it pretty much cemented that it would either be Max or Shirin, with Will no longer on the table, how would the votes go? . . .
At Tribal Council, the question was answered. By a vote of 5-2, the fifth person voted out of Worlds Apart was . . . Max. Who was totally blindsided. Which is how, as a fan of the game, he’d want to go out, anyway. (Oh, and the lone votes were Max and Shirin’s for Will.) So his torch was snuffed, and he was sent on his way.
I was a bit sad about this ending. Max was a superfan of the show, and it’s always great to see superfans play the game. But he did no favors by practically boasting about his Survivor knowledge (he even mentioned a One World factoid at Tribal Council!), which made him look quite a bit more threatening than Shirin. Shirin might’ve been more annoying than Max, but Max was more dangerous. Still, you’d think he’d have known to keep his threat level lower since he actually even teaches a class on Survivor at his university back home. But either way, he’s gone, and if they lose again, Shirin might be next unless she can work her way in. Goodbye, Max. You might wanna reconsider what you teach if you could go out this early.
In other news, on the new tribes, I like pretty much everyone at Nagarote — Shirin, Carolyn, Kelly, Hali, Jenn, and Will. On Escameca, however, I only really like Joe, Sierra, and possibly Tyler. I hate Joaquin, Rodney, Dan, and Mike. But I hate Mike slightly less for realizing that Dan and Rodney were being unfair to Sierra this week.
Thirteen castaways remain. With March Madness preempting things next week, who’ll be voted out in two weeks? We’ll see then!