Logan Saunders recaps Episode 13 of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.
Survivor Heroes v Healers v Hustlers:
Previously on Survivor: Ben’s alliance was turning against him. At Tribal Council, Ben made his target clear cuasing complete chaos. In the end, everyone voted for Ben but it didn’t matter when Ben sent Lauren to the jury.
Six are left; who will be voted out tonight?
SOLEWA – NIGHT 33
Everyone reflects on a “crazy freaking Tribal Council”.
RYAN: That might have been better than my idol play.
Might have been. It is something that will be debatable for ages.
Ben talks about being the first person ever to cast the sole vote for who went home (other than somebody who wins individual immunity at Final Three).
DEVON: If there are Survivor gods, that was a move made by the Survivor devil.
Indeed. Devon’s game was flipped upside down, but at least he still has Ashley.
DEVON: You voted out the wrong person, Ben. . .because I’m not going to let you win immunity.
That’s right. Devon is going to be unstoppable in immunity challenges. Watch out, everyone.
Everyone agrees that it would be suicide to go against Ben at Final Three. So Ben must go.
SOLEWA – DAY 34
Ben knows at least one hidden immunity idol must be re-introduced. He uses “gathering wood” as cover. Something tells me everyone assumes he will be idol hunting. This is the ninth freakin’ hidden immunity idol this season.
Chrissy and Mike estimate that Ben has already been searching for forty-five minutes. I am curious how much their perception of time is thrown off after being in the jungle for 34 days.
DAY 34 – TEAM REWARD CHALLENGE #4
Instead of the usual final reward of it being 3 vs. 3, it shall be 2 vs. 2 vs. 2.
Each pair will be attached to a rope that is woven through a series of obstacles. Get through the obstacles. Once finished, they must throw five rings onto a post with three prongs. First pair to finish wins reward.
Winning pair will be taken by chopper to a private resort on a private island. They’ll enjoy chocolate mousse, chicken, cocktails, and a real bed. None of this fake Christmas tree BS.
Probst is surprised that people are throwing themselves over a series of posts.
Ryan yells at Mike to return to one of the posts because the rope is too tight for him. Mike wants him to push through the pain.
After a blurred shot, Probst shouts “NICE MOVE BY ASHLEY”. Mildly funny.
Ben and Ashley complete the first obstacle. The second obstacle is a log low to the ground. Ryan and Mike nearly headbutt each other when they throw themselves over the second obstacle. Ben and Ashley are at the third obstacle which are four posts with two gaps in each post for them to maneuver.
Ben and Ashley barely beat Devon to the final obstacle. Ryan and Mike were way behind but are finally making up time.
Now it’s time to throw rings. The backdrop for this challenge is pretty sweet.
PROBST: It comes down to a backyard game of ring toss for a huge reward.
How many backyards have ring toss set up?
Probst switches from naming the individual people in each pair to referring to them by their colour.
Devon eventually lands the final ring. Reward is theirs. Ryan will unfortunately not get to share that real bed with Chrissy. He will hate Devon forever.
Oh, but Probst gives Devon and Chrissy the option to invite one person on the reward. Ryan’s dream comes true while Ashley’s own dream is SHATTERED. She looks like somebody ran over her dog and cat at the same time in the driveway while she saw from the living room window.
Probst keeps pointing out how shocked Ashley is about not being picked.
Ben really wanted a clue to the idol, but will focus on taking advantage of Ashley being “hangry”.
DAY 34 – SOLEWA
Ashley and Mike are miserable to lose out on reward.
MIKE: I was so pissed. I don’t know why Devon and Chrissy didn’t pick me over Ryan unless they wanted to lose a million dollars.
Mike says Ryan shouldn’t have been picked because he is the youngest in the game and therefore has more energy, and that he can’t keep a rope and a knot straight. I don’t know if Ryan’s body is capable of possessing a lot of energy in its current state. I think a marine and a lifeguard have more energy than him in conditions like this.
Ben asks Mike if he is next to go. The answer is pretty clear. Once Mike goes, Ben tells Ashley that they need to take out Mike and that everyone is going to come after her and Devon. Ashley doesn’t believe the word of a guy who is on the bottom.
BEN: Oh, Ashley. You basically told me there is nothing I can do to get you to help me.
Mike is refusing to follow Ben anymore because he is confident he has searched every single spot on the island.
MIKE: I feel pretty confident Ben is going home.
DAY 34 – REWARD
There are a lot of drinks with umbrellas–that’s when you know this reward is fancy.
Chrissy suddenly has a flower in her hair as she proposes a Final Three alliance. Devon wants to start this game with Ryan and end this game with Ryan. Apparently Devon was already thinking of working with Ryan.
Each player has a confessional talking about how this is their ideal Final Three scenario and has thought about it since the start of the round. Chrissy thinks Ashley has better relationships than Ben, and that makes Ashley more dangerous than Ben. She wants Devon and Ashley to be split up.
DAY 36 – INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #7
Ashley gives up immunity. They must race through a series of obstacles, toss a sandbag into a basket to release a ladder, use a hook to lower another ladder, then get to the top and put together the Cagayan cog puzzle to release their flag and win immunity.
The first obstacle is a ladder then going down a cargo net. I am amazed nobody injured their ankle. They then bust through a sawdust crawl in one go. They eventually get to the not-a-backyard sandbag toss.
Everyone lands their sandbag simultaneously except Devon. As JLP would say, the puzzle will be the great equalizer.
Everyone uses the monkey fist to release the second ladder. Devon is last to finish again.
PROBST: Devon is dead last in this challenge!
Yeah, by a whopping fifteen seconds.
This cog puzzle is big. Probst notes this is the same platform where Chrissy was puking. Oh, the memories.
Probst essentially uses the same piece of commentary to describe how all six players are putting the cog puzzle together. In fact, he does this multiple times. He just doesn’t want to sit back and observe.
Chrissy starts spinning the puzzle and wins individual immunity for the second time. Needless to say it’s not as special as her first one.
Everyone looks like they are covered in ultra lice at the end of the challenge. Chrissy now has to decide if she wants to target Ben or Ashley. A Hero shall fall.
DAY 36 – SOLEWA
What a beautiful green slug.
Ben asks everyone if they need water. Perfect cover for more idol hunting.
ASHLEY: If we could just go to Tribal, that’d be great.
Nah, needs more idol hunting scenes.
There are doubts that Ben will find a second idol.
ASHLEY: It could be scary if he finds another idol and has the lone vote to decide who goes home.
Naturally, this inspires Ashley to do a 2-2-2 split between Ben and Mike. Chrissy wants Ashley out more than Ben and persuade Ben into playing his idol.
CHRISSY: We have two more opportunities to get Ben out before three-he’s not going to win three.
Devon isn’t really in on this plan. He needs Ashley. Why doesn’t he just get Ashley and Ben to vote Mike is beyond me. Chrissy and Ryan still need him after this round anyway.
Ben finds a map to the newly hidden idol. It is underneath the floor of their shelter. He hopes nobody is back at camp. . .turns out the majority of the tribe is back at camp. They are talking about food. They won’t shut up about food. This is ten times more annoying than it usually is when Survivors talk about food for Ben, I bet.
Tribal Council is fast approaching. Everyone is packing. Ben makes his hand disappear through the bamboo. Is he gonna find it?
TRIBAL COUNCIL #12
Probst rubs it in that Devon didn’t bring Ashley onto reward, and Chrissy called Ashley a poor sportsman about it.
Everyone talks about the obvious points of Final Three deals.
MIKE: Survivor is about the play between lying and blindsides.
(JOE makes a confused face.)
Joe does not compute.
Ashley is now paranoid of a blindside against her.
Ben says resumes are getting looked at and “coasting along” will not get you to the end. Who has been coasting along? Ben wants everyone to start doing blindsides and leak their Final Three pleas. Devon says every vote has been a blindside and nobody is leaking their Final Three plea.
Ben pulls a Toy Story and pulls an idol out of his boot. He starts making sound effects to make his idol unveiling as dramatic as possible.
DEVON: Just because it’s around his neck doesn’t mean he’ll play it.
BEN (to ASHLEY): Want to go back to camp with me? *points at MIKE* (to DEVON) Want to go back to camp with me? *points at MIKE*
DEVON: I don’t believe you’ll play it.
Ben breaks the rules of Survivor and has his idol played and accepted before they even vote.
Ashley, Ben, and Devon make a lot of eyes at each other. Ryan, Chrissy, and Mike exchange glances too. No whispering this time though as it is time to vote.
PROBST: If anybody else has an idol, now would be the time to do so.
There was a second idol planted?
FIRST VOTE: ASHLEY
SECOND VOTE: MIKE
THIRD VOTE: ASHLEY
FOURTH VOTE: ASHLEY
ASHLEY: I can’t believe this.
FIFTH VOTE: ASH
ASHLEY: You guys are crazy.
Devon tries to hug Ashley like he is Coach and Ashley pulls the role of one of his victims by declining the hug. If it didn’t work then it ain’t gonna work now.
Ashley, the tribe has spoken.
Next Time on Survivor: Only five are left. Who will outlast all the rest and claim the title of sole Survivor?
Ashley is surprised Devon went against the alliance. She did better than she (and I) ever imagined.
Ryan, Joe, Joe, Mike, Ryan, Ben, Lauren, and Ben again. Eight idols in thirteen episodes, and seven of these idols in ten rounds. The crazy part is one more will probably still be hidden.
Of course the big story wasn’t so much that Ben played another one because that is what everyone was expecting, but -how- it was played.
Since Survivor: Fiji, the instructions are always “you must play the idol after the votes have been cast but before they are read”. Trust me, superfans have been screencapping the previous hidden immunity idol finds to confirm this fact, including this season.
So why did Probst let Ben play his idol before they even voted thereby violating the game’s rules?
1) Probst really likes Ben and is willing to bend some of the rules for him. Hell, there are people who think hidden immunity idols were introduced to let production’s personal favourites have additional power throughout the game.
2) Probst thought playing the idol beforehand is a disadvantage and Ben was only giving up his own power by doing so. Ben can’t just eliminate somebody with one vote this round.
Usually Survivor lets contestants create “their own world” and that Survivor has minimal rules, but this is a situation where a clear rule has been written down and should have been followed. Any motion to change the rule has to either be unanimously agreed upon by all remaining contestants or debated in the offseason.
Ben used playing the idol as a tool to try and get Dr. Mike eliminated. Clearly it didn’t work, but Ben had a purpose with violating the rule.
3) Probst wanted another ‘Survivor first!’ moment unless you include Gary Hawkins Landscaper.
After 35 seasons, any excuse for a Survivor first makes production go wild.
So are superfans right to be upset that production violated a basic rule just because Probst felt like it? Of course.
And now we are down to five.
Ryan – He seems like the biggest longshot of all five remaining. His game hasn’t been distinct enough when compared to the other four players left. I am curious what type of case Ryan pleas at FTC. It would be funny if he said “being the youngest and having the most energy brought me here”.
Dr. Mike – Dr. Mike continues to slip under the radar for the past few rounds. Well, everyone’s radar except Ben’s. Ben has had two opportunities to have a lot of power to oust Mike, but hasn’t been able to take advantage of either opportunity.
I am convinced at this point that nobody can beat Dr. Mike in a Final Three. Considering no one has promised him Final Three, he should be doomed to finish fifth or fourth. It seems like the trio of Chrissy-Devon-Ryan is impossible to break, and I am certain the trio can count the number of Healers on the jury.
Ben – Man, I think Joe is Ben’s #1 fan. Ben has gone from mildly dickish man at the centre of power to being an even bigger underdog than Dr. Mike.
Juries absolutely love it when a late game underdog can disrupt the majority’s plans and make it to the Final Three.
Ben is no longer the goat. He needs to find another idol and win one more immunity challenge.
As long as he doesn’t choke with his jury plea, Ben should have a very good chance of winning if he makes it to the end. It’ll be a close vote with Dr. Mike.
Chrissy – I like Chrissy, but the audience in general keeps getting rubbed the wrong way by her. People respect her, but people also seem to get irritated by her. Perhaps they sense a two-faced trait or the way she always puts herself in the right? The way she gets under people’s skin at Tribal Council like the way she talked to Ashley this week or the way she talked to Roark and Ali pre-merge?
It will be interesting if the jury’s attitude towards Chrissy will outweigh their respect of how she played. As somebody who was going to be voted out not long ago, she has found her way into a locked Final Three spot.
Can you imagine a scenario where someone votes her out?
Devon – Devon took the biggest hit this week. He blindsided his closest ally when there was already enough votes to get her out. Oh, and he joined the rung of a Final Three alliance where he is absolutely screwed if production surprises him with a Final Two.
Luckily Devon is the least douchiest and most authentic person left in the game. He has built more relationships than anyone this season, and that charm may outstrengthen any strategic missteps.
If Devon wins, it will be one of the most unique ways that somebody has won Survivor.
I guess the prediction I am making is that Ryan is screwed.
Now to serenade Ashley. Most of us thought she was gone pre-merge. She didn’t make the best first impression on her Heroes tribe. After the whole power couple *shudder* storyline, she really came into her own this season.
She tried to swing things her way and found herself in a lot of crucial alliances when it mattered most. Oddly enough though she was ditched. . .when it mattered most.
Ashley was very well-spoken at Tribal Council and quickly chased out Joe’s nonsense of labeling her as a goat. Not only was Ashley not a goat, but she was such a big threat that Chrissy was terrified of her. I don’t think too many people scare Chrissy easily.
This era of Survivor was ideal for Ashley’s style of gameplay. She didn’t lay back, she won immunity challenges to impress the audience, and wasn’t afraid to take the scheming to the next level and found a ninety-percent-loyal lieutenant in the form of Devon.
When Ben finds two idols and Chrissy has individual immunity, it’s a tough hill to climb.
The lifeguard did well.