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Assuming they don’t throw the Google hangout, Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach are back to recap all the action of tonight’s episode live on Survivor Know It Alls!
As tends to happen, Stephen had no idea who would end up going home and enjoyed the suspense built up in the episode’s final 15 minutes. He knew the consensus among the Brain tribe was that J’Tia blew both the challenges tonight, but didn’t expect that to hold up until tribal council. Stephen first thought that Spencer was going to be untrustworthy in the long run, but considering both that J’Tia is erratic and that even the most untrustworthy of players tend to stay with their original tribes after a swap or a merge, he understands why Spencer was kept. He also recognizes that Tasha and Kass probably want Spencer to be a target ahead of them – because if the other tribes had heard about what happened with J’Tia and the rice, they would have known she’s not very threatening to them strategically. Rob compares J’Tia to Abi Maria: both are someone who will be loyal no matter what, but any tribe would vote out Tasha before a player like J’Tia or Abi Maria.
Stephen also points out that the person who everyone on a tribe ostracizes will always flip, but Spencer is just on the outs – he will want to have a solid group going forward, and feels no particular animosity to his tribe in the way that RC did on Survivor Philippines. He also feels that people want to play with people who behave rationally, so J’Tia will never thrive in a game like Survivor – if Spencer were to ever flip, people will want to know he might have actually had a rational decision to do so. Rob makes another comparison between J’Tia and Naonka – Sash put his eggs in the Naonka basket only for her to quit, and Kass and Tasha likely don’t want to repeat a mistake like that. Stephen gives credit to J’Tia, believing she actually did a decent job making her case, considering Tasha and Kass were still deciding who to vote out at tribal council. Rob agrees, and feels that Spencer might have even hurt himself at the immunity challenge by proving to be capable, thus making himself an early target after the merge. Stephen also wants to make sure it’s not overlooked that both of tonight’s challenge performances by the Brain tribe were probably two of the biggest upset losses in Survivor history.
The other big story of the episode was Sarah trying to mobilize the Brawn tribe to throw the immunity challenge so they could vote out Cliff. Stephen feels in some cases throwing a challenge makes sense, but neither he nor Rob understand the need to throw a challenge to get rid of Cliff. Rob says he’s seeing shades of the Tandang tribe, and the conversation goes back to the comparison about flipping: RC was always going to go against Skupin and the alliance that ostracized her, while Cliff isn’t anywhere near that disloyal that it should necessitate throwing a challenge. Stephen agrees, believing that you need to be more certain that someone is targeting you before you try to orchestrate a move like that. Rob says it’s tough to judge Sarah’s thinking because from her POV it makes sense, but we as viewers know that it doesn’t make sense because Cliff isn’t really coming after her that hard. Stephen disagrees somewhat because he feels there’s a difference between going after someone and hating someone, and this is definitely only the former.
Moving over to the Beauty tribe, Rob asks Stephen if the Know It Alls are sleeping on Jeremiah? Stephen believes it’s possible, given how he was able to handle the various alliances he was in last week and came out mostly unscathed. He does acknowledge, though, that he thought Morgan did a good job of telling everyone that Jeremiah had made numerous deals before tribal council in a way that didn’t dig her own grave as the odd person out. Rob says that it can be difficult to work with someone on the side who tries to out your alliance in front of everyone, recalling the time on Survivor Amazon after Alex was voted out when Rob tried to make a final two deal with Jenna, only to have her angrily call him out on it in front of the entire tribe. Rob also wonders if maybe Alexis is being slept on too, claiming she might have started to become wary of Jeremiah after learning about the scramble before the last vote.
To RHAP up the show, Rob and Stephen answer your questions: are there universal rules for throwing a challenge? Is it unfair for Survivor to tailor challenges to players with certain skills like Cliff Robinson and basketball? Which of the many dynamic duos this season will make it the farthest? And could a Spencer/Morgan rom-com-esque love connection be on the horizon? The answers to these questions and more on Survivor Know It Alls!
Special Thanks to Brendan Noel for Today’s Recap