Survivor: David vs Goliath

Survivor: David vs. Goliath — “Aren’t Strategic Dilemmas Just Adorable?”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 6 of Survivor: David vs. Goliath ahead of episode 7.


Episode 6 Recap: “Aren’t Strategic Dilemmas Just Adorable?”

Pat is gone. Jeremy is gone. Bi is gone. Natalie is gone. I declare this to be the episode that will determine if this season will have enough legs/characters to stand on through to the end of the game. Our biggest characters are early exits–can the other fourteen pick up the slack?

The Jabeni tribe was facing Tribal Council, and the Davids were outnumbered, but Natalie’s abrasive personality was getting old after just five episodes. At TC, Angelina had a master plan and tried to con Natalie in a never-before-seen scene from last week. Angelina was left empty-handed and breezy-armed.

Natalie. . .Natalie.  . .Natalie?

Fourteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?



DAY 16

Lyrsa etches the next tick into the tree. She is stoked to have more lives than a cat. She has been targeted at every TC she has attended.

Angelina publicly admits to failing her con with obtaining Natalie’s jacket.

MIKE: Natalie is going to kill me. I’ll have to change my address.

She’ll be tracking you down through Hollywood.

ANGELINA: Natalie going home was bittersweet. She was bitter, and for us it was sweet.

Mike, Lyrsa, and Nick gossip about how extreme Angelina went with her tactics to obtain a lousy jacket.

NICK: I know she’s a sketchball now.

That should be the name of Nick and Angelina’s alliance! The Sketchballs!



DAY 16

Christian explains Survivor spearfishing. The flippers. The mask and snorkel to ensure breathing. Oh, and the spring-loaded murder machine.  We get a full explanation of kinetic energy.

CHRISTIAN: I am not a food-seeking missile. . .if they are counting on me for large quantities of food, they may be starving to death.

Sounds like Tiva may need to hope for a bottle of Bio-Strath!



John looks like he is containing himself of all of the possible roid rage when he sees Natalie is gone. Editors invested a lot into the John and Natalie bond in the first three episodes.

For today’s challenge, one person will be attached to a heavy bag of coconuts. They’ll work to get the bag to the beach, move it to a ladder, let the person climb over the ladder and collect rings tied to a balance beam. Then everyone will go to the endzone where they will have to land four rings on four pegs.

First tribe to do so wins a helluva lot of kabobs, herbs, spices, and cooking utensils; second tribe to do so earns two kabobs; last tribe to finish earns a sense of adventure.

Davie’s reaction is hilarious to the reward.

PROBST: Last tribe to finish–

NICK: Nothing–

PROBST: Nothing.

NICK: Sucks.

Kara is sitting out for Vuku.

Alison is sitting out for Tiva.

Gabby, Alec, and Lyrsa are attached to the coconuts.

Gabby and Alec are in a tie up the ladder. That only took a minute. Lyrsa is about twenty seconds behind. She is slow on the ladder is probably about 90 seconds behind.

PROBST: This is a DISASTER for Jabeni! A disaster! Two tribes looking like they have played Survivor forever and the other playing for the first time.

Chill on your superlatives, Probst. This challenge is going to come down to the rings. Climbing the ladder and collecting the bags are going to take no more than five minutes. I am not exaggerating. It is funny to see Probst freak out over such a small lead.

John poses with his muscles while holding up the coconuts.

Vuku is done first but Alec sucks at tossing rings. It’s about as strong as his ability to follow NDAs.

Alec squanders the lead as Jabeni connects with a ring. Jabeni finishes as Nick is on fire with landing rings. Vuku’s lead is gone.

Tiva quickly secures all four rings and reward. Nick gets his third ring. Davie has two rings for Vuku.

Nick has perfect ring-tossing technique to get second place. What a ringer. That’s a future alliance nickname!

CARL: At least it’s not Tribal.

Yeah, missing out on a couple of kabobs in second place ain’t the worst.

Mike notes the glares he got from the Shaman of Glaring At You.



DAY 16

I wish they played for nachos (without Benji) so they could eat Brochacho’s Nachos.

Dan misses Kara.

DAN: I don’t know how I could be playing better right now…I found two idols, indoctrinated Christian with me and JohnI trust him to cover my back a lot more than Gabby.

Classic inevitable downfall quote. Thank you for playing, Dan.

Christian hand-feeds spicy peppers to John. He really hopes it’s the peppers burning his mouth rather than Christian’s fingers.

Christian and John look at each other in an identical way to Wendell and Dom.

Christian’s biggest fear is being ostracized. At work. At parties. He is amazed by the fact he is popular with every single person in the game thanks to a life of self-improvement.

JOHN: The thing that makes dancing cool is the visual misdirection the best example is the Moonwalk. The whole crowd pops when they do something unexpected.

CHRISTIAN: That’s why the Pop-And-Lock has such a visual propelling element to it.

I have never heard somebody talk about the Pop-And-Lock in such a manner. What’s next? The Floss is a reflection of the Victorian era and patriarchy?

Gabby is depressed because Christian has other friends again. She refuses to lean on a woman named Hope and opts for a conversation with Alison.

GABBY (to ALISON): I need you. I don’t know who I have anymore.

It’s like a rom-com bit of dialogue.

Gabby cries to Alison because she’s the only Goliath who talks strategy with her. For some reason, Gabby thinks banking on winning immunity challenges until merge is a silly strategy. Gabby, it’s gonna work 67% of the rounds.

ALISON: I don’t think it should be David vs. Goliath. It should be Who Should I Trust?

We’ve got a theme for season 38.

Alison gets her first scene since episode one about how she shall blindside Dan. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when.’



DAY 16

Kara is cracking Elizabeth’s back as Kara is on top of her. This scene isn’t as hot as you would expect written down.

Elizabeth is upset nobody is splitting bamboos with her to help her back. So her and Kara start chopping mid-afternoon. Elizabeth says she couldn’t walk four weeks prior to the start of the game and knows how bad it can get. No one has helped her for sixteen days–specifically Davie and Carl.

ELIZABETH: There’s two things I don’t like: Lazy people and STUPID people.

She just described Davie and Carl as lazy and stupid. Yeah, I’m not touching that one.

Elizabeth says she shows it when she is irritated and everyone can read it on her face. She proceeds to pull off the Biggest Sneer in Survivor History.

Elizabeth proceeds to drag a piece of bamboo through the middle of camp past Carl. The bamboo borderline rapes him in the process. He’s gonna lose like six ounces of skin in the process.

Elizabeth freaks out at everyone over the lack of effort into the bamboo shelter. Davie and Carl both jump in on Elizabeth’s accusation that it wasn’t a group decision. They both look at her like she is from another planet.

Carl admits not doing well with know-it-alls and may switch to going against Elizabeth rather than aligning with her.



DAY 17

They’ll carry a large saucer to a water tower. Fill it. Make your way through a series of obstacles. Fill the well with water. Rinse and repeat until a bag of puzzle pieces are released. Solve the puzzle.

First two tribes to do so wins immunity.

Elizabeth is sitting out because the saucer is too heavy for her back; Gabby is sitting out for Tiva.

PROBST: For immunity–

(CHRISTIAN removes scarf.)

PROBST: Christian, you ready?

CHRISTIAN (double thumbs up): Yes!

It’s like M. Bison removing his cape before a fight.

I love Tiva pointlessly launching themselves over the initial obstacles like they’re hurdles to get to the saucer. They gained about 0.3 seconds.

Jabeni is last to the water tower but it’s essentially a three-way tie. Going back across the balance beam is very tough to do.

Jabeni loses nearly everything. Tiva lands all of the water into the well and it releases the puzzle pieces! Just one trip?

Vuku gets a chunk of water in there but not enough. Jabeni gets barely anything in there. After filling up at the tower, they are CONSTANTLY spilling water. Vuku releases the pieces on their second trip. Angelina is exhausted. Mike White is ready to die and sub in Mel. Lyrsa is in great discomfort.

Oh, meanwhile Tiva is freakin’ rockin’ this puzzle. Christian is doing this puzzle in his sleep with Alison.

Alec and Kara are putting pieces together.

Jabeni makes it to the well and they STILL don’t have enough in the well. Angelina is shaking out her fingers. Mike and Lyrsa complain of having cramps. Are they going to quit the challenge? Probst has to tell them one more trip will do it because of how close they are to forfeiting it.

Tiva wins immunity!

Angelina’s hands are bleeding. Vuku

Mike White doesn’t want to keep going because he is drained. Nick is the only one truly motivating everyone to continue.

Vuku is taking their sweet ass time putting the last few pieces in. No rush.

Jabeni is near the end of the beam as they DROP THE SAUCER! Holy crap. This is painful to watch. All of the water spills out except a trickle. They debate continuing on.

LRYSA: It doesn’t matter. They have one piece left.

Indeed. Vuku wins immunity.

Now THAT was a blowout. Mike apologizes to the rest of his tribe. He is shattered. Mike doesn’t want anyone to go home.

MIKE: I don’t like the idea of dashing dreams so to have one of them go home is not as fun as I thought it would be.

Is Mike White gonna quit? Be a med-evac and a quitter on two separate reality shows? Say it ain’t so, Schneebly!



DAY 17

The four of them joke about how muscle-bound the other two tribes are. The 7-7 Goliath and David split puts Jabeni in a very very very powerful position tonight. . .unless tribal divisions don’t matter since they were split up after two TCs.

Mike, Angelina, and Lrysa talk about eliminating Nick. Lrysa refuses to do so despite Angelina wanting a Latina alliance.

ANGELINA: That puts a nail in her coffin. It’s clear as day. It’s Lrysa for sure.

Angelina tells Mike to work on Nick to switch it from 2-2 to 3-1.

Nick and Lrysa talk privately. They will work Mike.

Lyrsa and Mike talk.

LYRSA: I will not offer her my jacketmaybe a sock because it has a hole in it.

I love how the whole jacket debacle has taken over two consecutive episodes. It is one of the more unique ongoing storylines in Survivor in quite a while.

Meanwhile, Angelina and Mike talk.

But the real duo that is together…is The Rockstar Alliance. Mike and Nick are judge and jury tonight.

MIKE: Safe part of me says Lrysa because she won’t be a threat…but the other part says to take out Angelina…I trust Lrysa in a way that I don’t trust Angelina…I like a lot of the other Goliaths and don’t want to piss them off.

Survivor 37 may be determined by what Ned Schneebly decides to do tonight. I would expect nothing less by season 37.






Merges in 20-person seasons always happen with 13 people. That’s all they talk about is the 7-7 split.

Nick says David vs. Goliath is a theme that is over in his mind.

ANGELINA: I’ll go to bat for Nick. . .he is a pleasure to be around and can look into his piercing blue eyes and see what he is thinking.  ..and trustworthy.

Lrysa is aware what Angelina is doing tonight.

It’s time to vote.

ANGELINA votes LRYSA. “This time is actually a vote FOR you.”


No mention of idols. I like these classic Survivor strategic/moral dilemmas. That’s when Survivor is intriguing to watch.









No School of Rocks tonight. Nick blew that pun from happening.

Lrysa has half as many lives as a cat. Time to snuff her torch meow.

Merge is predictably here and the best laid plans often go awary.

Lrysa didn’t see it coming. Nick played her good. It sucks to lose, but it sucks even more that she’ll have to sit next to her at the reunion and go with her to Ponderosa.


So. Mike White didn’t jump ship alone to eliminate a Goliath. Angelina had done it with him. That’s a unique piece of editing for American Survivor where information about a vote wasn’t explained until the ‘Previously On’ segment.

Survivor doesn’t like to stick with merging at the exact same number too many seasons in a row. I presume a 13-person merge happened this season because production did not have any confidence whatsoever that Jabeni could win an immunity challenge. Carrying a saucer led to fingers bleeding, backs hurting, and legs shaking. Unless they switched to a 100 percent puzzle, Jabeni was probably screwed. Who knew Mike White isn’t the most physically fit person in the game?

It was interesting to see every single combination of players on Jabeni try to figure out how to approach who to eliminate. It wasn’t just a matter of figuring out who you trust on your own tribe, but figuring out how everybody on the other two tribes will react, and all of the different combinations of allies and enemies that comes along with your decision.

Glaring from the Shaman of Sexy may indicate that eliminating Angelina could only do more damage.

Eliminating Nick may ensure a bunch of the Davids never work with Mike or Angelina.

Eliminating Mike would make Angelina look like the biggest schemer possible.

Eliminating Lrysa? . . .Eliminating Lrysa had the least amount of consequences for everyone involved.

I love votes like this on Survivor where every option has a clear risk-and-reward to it, and everyone is so tight-knit that a moral dilemma enters the equation too as every option involves appeasing your own personal guilt.

I am sure there are endless venn diagrams out on the forums to identify who trusts who, who will get jealous of other alliances, and who won’t work together at all.

The simplest breakdown I can see happening is Tiva and Jabeni aligning together to eliminate a very splintered Vuku. Carl and Davie aren’t getting along with Elizabeth, Kara is eager to get back with Dan and Angelina, Alec is an island of distrust, and I can’t see Vuku uniting at all. 3-tribe merges tend to have two of the tribes initially work together, and I see that being the case. Two of the first three post-merge boots should be a Vuku.

<insert Elizabeth sneer here after she finds out this news>

When Elizabeth is freaking out, Carl and Davie should’ve just accepted Elizabeth for being backshit crazy–er, batshit crazy and just help her unconditionally. She wasn’t in a mood to hear about daylight. Just appease her for now and wait for confrontation when she isn’t keen to sneer up a storm.

Alison is our most invisible player left this season, but yet had the biggest scene of foreshadowing as she is eager to take down Dan’s two idols. That Danfall is coming. I hope producers give us a payoff within the next three episodes.

After just five Tribal Councils, we’re merging. Your record is safe, One World. Let’s see how the next phase of the game plays out.

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