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It’s finally FeBBBruary and that means Stephen Fishbach and Rob Cesternino are back to break down the nuclear bomb that just dropped on the two-hour Survivor Cagayan premiere LIVE on Survivor Know It Alls!
It was a crazy premiere night, with two big blindsides at tribal council. David and Garrett were voted out of the brains tribe, and Stephen opens the show with an important question: is this the worst tribe we’ve ever on Survivor through two vote outs? Rob is inclined to say yes, because Luzon managed to lose two of their strongest players in the process. He points out that at least Denise and Malcolm were cutting fat from the Matsing tribe during their losing streak in the Philippines. Stephen adds on that the Brains tribe probably has the worst shelter since Rupert’s hot tub on All Stars, and now they’ve lost all their rice after J’Tia actually decided Brandon Hantz was someone whose game moves should be emulated. Stephen thinks Garrett is worse than J’Tia, though, and probably deserved to go home, because for a poker player he has a terrible tell in terms of strategizing with the opposing alliance. Rob wonders if some of the votes changed at tribal council after Garrett’s slip up, and Stephen thinks Kass’ probably did.
Rob asks Stephen if that was the right decision on her part, and Stephen doesn’t think so – because Kass would have been the third wheel on either side, she should have gone with the players who aren’t actively sabotaging the tribe. Rob also points out that even if she’s the Monica to a strong pair like Gervase and Tyson, she still has a better chance of making it to the finals with the clearly stronger players than the clearly weaker ones.
Rob tries to isolate the problem on the Brains tribe by wondering if having a tribe where everyone independently seems smart becomes chaotic when everyone is thrown together. He was at least pleasantly surprised that Spencer came across as less of a villain than he threatened to be. Stephen agrees that so far it was all bravado, and he’s definitely not taking on the mastermind role – but that’s the position he should want to be in. He particularly liked the way Spencer handled probing Garrett about whether or not David might have had the idol before the first vote out.
From there, the Know It Alls discuss some of the premiere’s other notable moments. Stephen and Rob both thought Garrett mishandled the group discussion approach to who would be voted out. Rob says that if you want to just strategize, just go do it – no one needs to give you permission or is forcing you to stay. Stephen agrees that the plan was horrible, but he mentions that similar situations have worked before and he wonders why it failed so badly here. Rob thinks it’s the lack of intimidation – people like Boston Rob or Phillip don’t force group discussions, but they threaten anyone who attempts to defect with immediate targeting.
Each tribe started the game by picking a leader, and Rob and Stephen evaluate the job they each did of picking the weakest player and how they’re faring in the game so far. Stephen thinks it’s possible that David thought a lack of remorse would make the decision to pick Garrett seem less personal, but it really turned out to be the opposite. On the note of David trying to target Garrett, Rob says that it’s a Survivor sin to think about a double-digit day on a single digit day – the right answer would have been to choose Kass, and Stephen agrees that you always pick the older lady. He feels they’re an easy vote and they might even be prone to forgive you for it later. Rob and Stephen were also confused people thought the “weakest” picks were actually being voted out of the game.
Stephen is a big fan of LJ, and was disappointed that the leader picks are kind of screwing him over. If he hadn’t had to make a judgment call of Morgan, he’d be sitting pretty with no blood in his hands – now Morgan and Brice are probably going after him, and their attempts to pull in Jeremiah at the end of the episode worry him. Rob credits Morgan for being much sharper than he thought she would be, and Stephen really liked her lie to the others that she chose supplies over comfort.
Stephen also feels that Sarah handled her leadership duties well on the Brawn tribe, as Trish didn’t even seem pissed off by her decision, just like he said before about the older women in the game. Elsewhere on the Aparri tribe, Rob felt it was a better night than expected for Cliff Robinson, who seemed to be really enjoying the Survivor experience through the first few days. He and Stephen both thought Tony’s “spy shack” was kind of a dud – it was really just a place to be hidden but probably not to actually discover anything. Stephen also felt that Tony very much mishandled the lie to Sarah about being a cop – he says that even Tony seemed on the fence about telling her during that entire conversation. As always, Rob remains baffled by every reality show contestant’s opinion that their job is so threatening that it must be concealed from their tribemates.
As they do every week, the Know It Alls wrap up the show by taking your questions. Where is Survivor headed when it comes to the destruction of food or the camp? What will happen to Garrett’s hidden immunity idol? And is there any recovery for J’Tia going forward? Plus, the answer to the age-old question: are cute girls more trustworthy than hot girls? It’s only on Survivor Know It Alls!
Special Thanks to Brendan Noel (@BrendanDNoel) for writing tonight’s episode Recap