After a merge episode with more twists than a bag of Twistos, Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach return to break down all the chaos live on Survivor Know It Alls!
It’s rare Stephen finds himself yelling at the television, but he feels this was one of the twist-iest tribal councils ever, with so many reversals and misdirects. Sarah is out of the game after Kass flipped on the Aparri tribe, meaning Rob and Stephen’s winner pick is gone. Stephen feels this was terrible play from Chaos Kass, and thinks tonight’s episode might be some of the worst play we’ve ever seen in the history of Survivor, including Tony and LJ blowing their idols and Sarah overplaying her role as the swing vote. Kass clearly felt this was a great move, but Rob and Stephen both feel it absolutely isn’t. While Stephen has been burned before trying to predict Survivor based on the edit, he’s inclined to agree with Spencer’s analysis that Kass has no shot to win the game now, because she’s pissed off her former allies and has jumped to the bottom of an alliance.
Rob asks for Stephen to dig deeper on why this is a bad move for Kass. Stephen reasons that Kass’ primary motivation is being annoyed with Sarah, and she’s acting out of emotion rather than strategy. She wants her friends (mainly Tasha) to be friends with her again and not Sarah. He also believes Kass was probably a lock for the final 3 before flipping. Rob recalls applauding Cochran for flipping to the Upolu alliance in Survivor South Pacific to avoid drawing rocks, and assumes the RHAP viewers will wonder what the difference is and why Rob thinks this is a bad move for Kass. Rob claims the difference is that Cochran correctly realized he was at the bottom of the Savaii and was, again, trying to avoid going to rocks. Meanwhile Kass was on the top of her alliance and, as Stephen said, acted like a jilted lover and behaved irrationally.
LJ and Tony revealed their hidden immunity idols this week, playing them for the other at tribal council to no effect whatsoever. Stephen loved the theatrics of Tony playing the idol, appreciating him trying to make good TV out of the move. Rob is also enjoying Tony and likes that he hasn’t gotten too mean spirited about his attempted game moves the way someone like Russell Hantz did, and thus comes across more likeable. Stephen credits Tony for realizing that Sarah’s refusal to commit to the Solana alliance before tribal council meant she wasn’t on board. Rob says he definitely underestimated Tony pre-season, and while he doesn’t think he’s the greatest player and doesn’t feel he will the game, he thinks Tony is an above average Survivor contestant. Both Rob and Stephen are on #TeamTV and would welcome him back on a future season.
It was also a bad night for Sarah, who went from the coveted “swing vote” position to being eliminated at the end of the episode. Rob says that Sarah overplayed her position, asking for too much for a deal from both sides. He also feels her read was really bad, as she wanted to vote out either Tony or LJ because she was so sure they didn’t have immunity idols. Rob says that two wrongs didn’t make a right: Sarah and Kass being unable to get over a pretty ridiculous feud ultimately tore apart their group. Stephen says that it’s fine not to trust someone, but it’s a bad game move to tell someone you don’t trust them, and it’s then even worse for that person to react with volatility. He thinks Tasha and Kass sounded like kids trying to talk about how to work with Sarah, further illuminating how little strategy went into tonight’s gameplay. Both Stephen and Rob hope that Kass is smart enough to realize she can’t just make the hard switch to the Solana alliance, but also acknowledge that swinging from alliance to alliance will be difficult, especially with 10 people still in the game. Rob wonders where Spencer and Tasha were during most of the Sarah/Kass feuding, but Stephen reminds Rob that the merge is crazy and everyone is scrambling.
Rob tries to remember the last time someone was forecasted to have such a good chance going into an episode, only for their game to fall apart. Stephen can’t think of a clear choice, and Rob thinks we might have to go all the way back to John Carroll in Survivor Marquesas, who had a similar power trip to Sarah’s tonight. Stephen also announces that Trish is the winner of this week’s Fishy, for basically saving the whole alliance by talking to Kass and getting her on their side. He feels Trish played the situation perfectly, asking Kass who she wanted gone and then making it happen – the opposite of what Sarah tried to do.
As always, Rob and Stephen RHAP up the show by taking your questions. What’s next for Kass? Where does Sarah land in the history of worst swing vote plays? And is there etiquette to follow for voting someone out at tribal council? Plus, Rob and Stephen break down the greatest hypothetical fight in Survivor history – or maybe not. It’s only on Survivor Know It Alls!
Special Thanks to Brendan Noel for this Survivor Know-It-Alls Recap