Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers

Survivor Heroes v Healers v Hustlers: Champions vs. Contenders

Logan Saunders recaps Episode 7 of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.

Survivor Heroes v Healers v Hustlers: Champions vs. Contenders

levuHeroes: Ashley, Joe, Desi, Devon



Healers: Chrissy, JP, Ryan



Hustlers: Cole, Jessica, Mike, Lauren, Ben



Previously on Survivor: At the Yawa tribe, three Healers, a Hero, and a Hustler remained undefeated. At the Levu tribe, Joe’s game was looking up. At the Soko tribe, JP and Ali were on the chopping block.

At Tribal Council, Chrissy and Ryan (and JP) sent Ali home.

Twelve are left; who will be voted out tonight?



Chrissy felt sorry for Ali and tried hard not to smile.

CHRISSY: I think I am dominating the social game on this tribe. . . both guys are closer with me than they are with each other.

Really? You mean Ryan and JP don’t have more in common with each other?


DAY 17

Mike proclaims they will win a challenge if there is another tribal one today. Cole likes Ben because he is a good guy and expects Lauren to stick with them. Then, you know, the three Healers will stay together.

COLE: We have the unity that nobody else has.

He may as well borrow Rick James’ UNITY rings and keep Yawa altogether.

Ben is still concerned about Cole and Jess.

BEN: They sit there and play pattycake on the beach all day.

Hey, they aren’t the only one to play a children’s game. Joe plays hide-and-seek with an inanimate object near Tree Mail.


DAY 17

Thirty-nine days is the amount of time you can go without food. Well, a couple days without pizzas has Levu completely broken down. Their stomachs are empty. No food. No rice. No chicken. No fruits. No vegetables.

Well, they’ve got sugar.

ASHLEY: If we don’t get food today, we might die.

Another Survivor first!

Devon walks slower than Mel White from The Amazing Race 14, Tim Conway, and a turtle combined.

Devon’s confessional is at a record slow pace. We cut to a unique shot of a camera zooming up from Devon’s passed out body on the beach. He eats the last bit of sugar. Sandra and Michaelia are annoyed that nothing is left.

NOTE: What would Levu have done if they didn’t win reward?



We have three stations set up. Clearly, there’s a challenge here. Probst notes Desi is dragging up the tiny incline of beach. Soko isn’t moving much faster.

Everyone wants food. They are gonna get it. Buffs are dropped. Cole probably drops again. It’s the merge.

BEN: Now Survivor starts!

No disrespect to all six pre-merge boots, of course.

Shortened intro time. Somebody online says it has been about forty episodes since an episode has had a full intro.

SOLEWA (I hate it when the merged tribe name combines previous tribe names and not do anything original).


Chrissy asks Probst if he has ever seen so much more love at a merge. It won’t be long.

Everyone asks Probst if there is a catch. He admits there is a catch.

PROBST: You are usually rewarded with a big Survivor style feast.

Devon’s eyes light up like a maniac.

PROBST: That is not going to be the case today.

DEVON: Don’t say that.

Devon turns into Billy Madison.

PROBST: ‘Cause we’ve got something better! We’ve brought Outback Steakhouse!

Everyone is floored.

JOE: Give me that steak! Give me that steak!

PROBST: The steak authority will be in charge of the merge feast. And because Outback Steakhouse lives by Aussie Rules which is just No Rules, just right. You are boning (so are Cole and Jess soon) natural-cut ribeye–

BEN (jumping in the air): Ribeye!

Man. This is a freakin’ good plug.

PROBST: It will be made to order cooked just how you like individually. Baked potato with all the fixins. Salad.

JOE: With lava cake? Is there lava cake?!

PROBST: The authentic chocolate thunder from down under. Plus cold beer and Gold Coast (brita?).

NOTE: I have never seen an Outback Steakhouse.

First, we have spoonfuls of sugar and now Outback Steakhouse. Two Sandra tributes already.

RYAN: This is like the playoffs now.

Yes, a shortened season followed by a hyper-extended playoff format because that’s where all of the sponsours and viewership be at.

They specifically show Joe ordering two steaks.

COLE: I usually eat on a regular day eight thousand calories.

To put this in perspective, my female friend who does bodybuilding eats just over two thousand calories per day.

So my question is. . . what the hell is Cole eating?! No wonder his body has been in a state of shock for seventeen days. My diet of a banana for breakfast, a six-inch sandwich for lunch, and salad with potatoes for dinner would make me be able to handle the starvation on Survivor better than Cole does.

COLE: The steaks fall off the bone and melt in your mouth.

We see everyone cheer over the army of steaks. Joe talks about his multiple steaks, desserts, idols, and here comes the chocolate thunder from down under.

Jessica takes note of the Aussie server.

JESSICA: This Aussie waiter brings me a thunder from down under, and I say, “I love your thunder from down under”. That is not something that typically comes out of my mouth. As a virgin, I try to stay completely moral and holy.

Something tells me it’s not just the waiter who wants a good tip today. She should go on a double date with Hayley and Hagan the bush pilot from TAR 26.

Somehow Jessica is able to transition from losing her virginity to the Yawa + Healer idea she has.

After Chrissy is done talking about how obnoxious Joe is, she uses the noise of the wind to talk to Ben about teaming up again and wondering if Joe has a second idol.



Cole says it is everyone for themselves as we see him looking for a clue or an advantage. One blinks on-screen but he doesn’t see it. In fact, nobody sees it.

Meanwhile, Jessica and Desi talk about Joe. Desi trusts Joe.

JESSICA: I’m feeling like a Queen Bee at the moment!

Ah, classic last words.

Devon and Ryan reunite. Their plan is Heroes + Hustlers vs. Healers.

RYAN: This vote decides who is going to dictate the rest of the game. A Hustler doesn’t wait; a hustler makes alliances.

Oh, so we’re still going by the made-up pre-game labels that did nothing except to market this season. Oh, and the first post-merge vote hasn’t dictated the pace of any recent season.

But hey, producers love to hype up a merge, and Ryan is doing a good job of it between this quote and “This is the playoffs!”


DAY 18

Devon says the twelve worthiest people have made the merge as they all watch the sunrise. He notes the Healers and Heroes have been on opposite ends of the battlefield.

Devon goes into the jungle with Lauren and a few coconuts. He says the Hustlers are sitting pretty. Lauren wants to stick with the Healers because she likes Yawa, specifically Doctor Mike.

She immediately rats out Devon’s intentions to Mike.

LAUREN: I made a vow to you, Mike.

Where was that footage?

Mike expects a war.

Devon talks to Chrissy and Ben about eliminating Cole or Joe.

CHRISSY: I can barely take a whole lunch with [Joe].

We can read it on her face when she says it, baby girl.

Ben doesn’t want to join the alliance but is hesitant to trust Cole. He walks by Cole eating cinnamon sticks on his own and talking about how to eat a cinnamon stick.

BEN: He doesn’t respect anyone here. He just respects himself. You need help to get to the end, period. And I need someone right now that I can trust.

Well, he respects Jessica. Or rather, parts of Jessica.

Ben reports Cole’s one millionth food infraction to Jessica and a couple others. Jessica is annoyed to hear the news.

JESSICA: He just doesn’t think. And he goes off by himself and doesn’t talk to the group and eats alone. You can’t do that in Survivor. But Cole is my number one and I have a connection to him. We need to have another chat.

Jessica and Lauren inform Cole that Ben is upset about his food situation.

Ben asks Mike if they can vote out Yawa then move forward with the remaining four. Mike says voting out Cole would ruin everything.

MIKE: I thought at the merge I would be the only one person playing this game, but now I found out everybody is playing this game.

Always give credit to your opponents, and Mike is fully aware of it.

Mike tells Cole that the Healers are going to be ganged up on, and it will be him or Joe being voted out. Cole can do nothing but offer a rock climbing analogy.



It’s a calm day. Tribal immunity is no more. Remember back when individual immunity with twelve people at the merge would always have two winners?

Two Australian Survivor staples are combined for today’s challenge. Stand on a narrow beam while spinning a ball inside of a circular wooden track. At regular intervals, they will move further down the beam. If you fall off the beam or lose your ball, you’re out. Last person left standing wins immunity.

Everybody starts spinning their ball.  Ryan lasts about eight seconds. That’s it.

PROBST: There’s so many ways this game can get you.

. . .Isn’t it just two?

Probst over-commentates this challenge. One foot goes onto the beam.

PROBST: How many people do this on a Sunday in their backyard?

COACH: I have.

Where did he come from?!

Mike is out.

PROBST: Brand new Survivor challenge. You’ll be the first person to ever win it.

Unless you’re El or Locky.

Jessica is out.

Probst taunts that Joe can’t wipe the sweat dripping from his face.

One foot now goes into the narrowest section. Ben is gone. JP has a Colby Donaldson meltdown and is out. Devon and Lauren are out back-to-back.

Cole’s pace is really uneven but somehow stays in.

Probst says the sound of the ball will seduce you into falling asleep. Yeah, it’s the Barry White of Fiji. Joe is gone.

PROBST: Your odds are increasing with every rotation that you will be the one to win this challenge.

It should be noted Desi has the slowest speed of rotation of anyone.

Ten minutes has passed. Cole is out in fourth. Chrissy smiles and drops a second later. Yeah, that was intentional.

We watch Desi and Ashley move their upper body hula hoop. We skip to thirty minutes.

PROBST: Ryan was the first person out at two seconds. Who is good at math? How many more times have they been up longer than Ryan?

CHRISSY: Nine hundred.

PROBST: It’s now 38 minutes. How much is it now Chrissy?

CHRISSY: 1, 100 and change.

PROBST: Put that on your resume.

RYAN: I will.

It’s right there along with Dwight Schrute Trivia.

Ashley can’t make the adjustment into having her second foot on the beam. Challenge is over. Probst’s foreshadowing of Desi being physically strong pays off as Desi wins the first individual challenge of the game. Perhaps she can be a rare female challenge beast. We haven’t really had one other than. . . Darrah? Kim Spradlin?


DAY 19

Cole tries to patch things up with Ben privately. Ben pretends to accept Cole’s apology.

COLE: I do that stuff without ever thinking about it.

I agree. Cole just doesn’t think rather than be selfish. I know people like that. He just don’t think, son. He is very oblivious.

Ben and Cole pretend to be reunited as Ben wants to keep the door open with Cole down the road.

Joe and Cole are now on a log.

JOE: Not to toot my own horn, but I should be a voted too.

Yes, he says this aloud to Cole.

Joe tells us that he thinks people are terrified of him as a strategist. He assumes it will be him or Cole.

JOE: Let me ask you a question. Why the f–k would y’all bring Ben it? He’s gonna flip on y’all!

One word: Denial. I don’t think Cole is the type to accept that he could be deceived and that his world is crumbling before him.

JOE: Ben is playing both sides. My Healer tribe has been compromised. They’ve been sipping on Ben’s juice right now.

That is not a scene I ever want to see on Survivor.

Mike pitches the idea of voting against Chrissy to his alliance. We cut to a bunch of quick clips of Chrissy walking on the beach showing off her glistening abs. Mike wants to eliminate her because she is really smart. He is convinced Lauren is with them to make it a strong six.

Lauren and Ben are in the jungle. Lauren wants to stick with Yawa because they are in good with them. Ben doesn’t trust Cole, therefore, he needs a Healer out first. The two of them are stuck in the middle. Primarily because I think they can make a deep run in both alliances.

The Hustler + Hero group talks about what they should do to neutralize Joe’s idol. This is playing exactly as I thought it would this week. Joe has an idol. Cole is too obvious to be saved by an idol. So let’s go after Jessica. Yep. That’s their plan.

Chrissy and Ben are alone on the beach for a brief moment.

CHRISSY: You’re not talking to me because you’re playing it cool, correct?

BEN: Yeah.

Chrissy is sounding more like Joe at his job back home.

BEN: We’re going to war tonight.

It’s always war.

Hey, nobody said the phrase “power couple” this round.





Mike saw a lot of scrambling and nervousness and how everyone doesn’t feel safe.

JOE: Jeff, we could go back and forth and go “I’m all paranoid”. Only three names I heard in reality. I smell bulls–t.

Probst goes meta with his questioning as he asks Cole about how there are answers for Tribal Council then answers aimed at specific people.

Chrissy says the criteria for a voteout right after the merge is not about physical threats this season.

JOE: I’m strategic. I’m physical. And I’m a smart dude. But there are bigger threats out there! Everyone keeps talking about trust, though. You about that life, though? I’m about that life! . . . Do you want someone with you throwing out names saying I’m with you THIS Tribal, then next tribal deuces. All these people here buh buh buh buh that’s all they do.

MIKE: If I wasn’t in the bottom of the Healers. Joe said since day one I told you guys I had your back except Mike. Mike, get out of my circle of trust. Deuces! He’s like Mike is looking for the idol, but he found an idol.

JOE: Did I say I found an idol? No, I find idols. Let’s not talk about this vote. Let’s talk about next vote. . . I’m going to rock it and am going to shut up right now.

For how long?

Everyone keeps adding ‘deuces’ at the end of each answer. Cole is worried that Joe has an idol which means he could be screwed. He reminds Joe of finding the first idol with him (which essentially led to Joe being able to find that second idol). Ben out of nowhere says battle lines are drawn. Probst asks him what it means. It essentially means nothing.

We vote. Probst asks for anybody to play an idol.

Joe takes off the idol from around his neck.

JOE: It’s only right to start off fresh. That’s for me.

Subway and Outback Steakhouse this episode.

Joe plays an idol; he probably saw it from Ashley’s face.


Cole looks like he is ready to faint again.











Lauren twitches.


Probst smuffs Jess’ torch. Ben is smiling.


Next Time on Survivor: Healers’ future looks grim, but they’re not going down without a fight.

Jessica felt the biggest blindside of her life. She thought only guys could crush her. She wants a date with him when Survivor is over. Perhaps the thunder from down under can be her back-up.


There was just too many damn Healers for everyone else to ignore. Perhaps if all six Healers were evenly distributed among the three tribes, it would have been easier to not look as intimidating. However, three Healers were on an undefeated post-swap tribe and it just so happened to be home to the Healer who couldn’t get along with Lauren and Ben at all.

I was surprised that it was Ben leading the charge given that Lauren is typically the one who doesn’t put up with BS. Perhaps Lauren could handle Cole’s BS since it was unintentional BS rather than Patrick’s semi-intentional BS.

Lauren knew Cole is a good kid at heart; gingers not so much.

And because Ben wanted to flip back to Chrissy and oust Cole, Lauren didn’t want to get stuck in a lousy rock draw. So away from the Healers she goes.


We put up with multiple pieces of challenge commentary pre-merge that Desi is very physically strong. With Desi winning the first individual challenge, I can’t help but think we might have our first female contestant who can rack up a five immunity challenge winning streak. Kim and Morasca both got four overall wins (granted two of Morasca’s was a coconut chop and shuffleboard if I am not mistaken), and Monica won three very similar challenges in the middle of Blood vs. Water. Darrah won three in a row. Wiglesworth got four in a row.

So it’s been a while since Wiglesworth’s record female streak.

Or maybe Desi loses the next challenge, Joe finds another idol and plays it for himself, and Desi goes home.


The hunger appeared to be very real pre-merge. Yawa won the most rewards but Cole was clearly suffering. This round we saw a quick clip of how badly Levu was doing. Viewers at home assume the players do not suffer anymore but fail to grasp that producers are just not bothering to show that footage because it isn’t viewed as being very compelling TV after 35 seasons.

I want to see if they can push the level of starvation any further for next season.

Devon needed a freakin’ walker to get to the Outback Steakhouse.


Sandra. Australian Survivor. Australian Outback Steakhouse. Australia and Sandra–two crucial components that were highlights for Survivor in 2017.


For a season that swapped with three tribes into three tribes, it was impressive to see that all of the stronger bonds naturally reset back to who connected from the original tribes.

It truly is Heroes + Hustlers vs. Healers. I assume that it must stay this way for one more round because the Healers have proven to be savvy at finding idols. In fact, Joe and Mike are the only two to have found idols thus far.

As to who will find the idol next round? My assumption is Ryan will pick up one that isn’t in an envelope.


Jessica’s mixture of stubbornness, loyalty, and attraction to Cole is ultimately what got her eliminated from the game.

You know when your parents say “that person isn’t good enough for you” or they secretly wish you had stayed with your ex? It is pretty much how everyone treated Jessica’s relationship with Cole.

Nobody wanted her to keep seeing him in the game, but she refused to listen and let her heart guide the way. So many more avenues would have opened up if she stepped away and let Cole be pushed off the cliff, and then pick up less controversial allies from there.

Unfortunately, she was tied to Cole and Joe’s idol made Jessica the new Edgardo/Jefra/Matt/Keith/Whoever is the first voted out at merge because they are the least likely to have an idol played for them when there are too many people in each alliance to split votes.

Sometimes the most obvious voteout heading into a merge is indeed what happens. I’m surprised Jessica didn’t see this coming because she made it sound like she is nonchalantly sacrificing her game for Cole in previous weeks.


That moment when Ryan inevitably betrays Devon and/or Lauren sure is going to sting. If Soko won the previous immunity challenge, I am certain Ali would be running up to Devon this week flailing her arms shouting that Ryan is really really really close to Chrissy.

If Chrissy gets her way, which is what I think is going to happen, I sense a strong likelihood that the endgame will be her, JP, Ben, Ryan, and Devon. I think she has figured out that she would be guaranteed Final Three no matter what in that scenario. As to how she arrives at this Final Five is something I have yet to figure out. One more Healer goes and then I expect Lauren to be ousted because she is really sharp but alone in this game. I think Lauren became alone when she backed away from reuniting old Hustlers but then changed her mind right before Tribal Council. That is not going to look good.


I suspect we won’t be hearing from JP for a while.


Mike may be at the bottom of the Healer dynamic, but he is also at the bottom of the projected boot order for the Healers. The only person who knows he has the idol is now on the jury. If Mike lays low, he can really shock some people down the line.


I take back most of what I said about Ashley pre-season.


Cole, Ryan, Joe, and JP all have no shot at winning this game.


Joe incorrectly played an idol for himself again. Did he just not look at Ashley or did Ashley work on improving her poker face? Or is it the fact that playing an idol is a bit harder when it is not two versus two?


That advantage must be found soon. There is no way producers would blink an advantage on-screen and have it be completely irrelevant for the remainder of the season.


I really want to be wrong about Lauren going home after the next Healer.


My Verdict As of The Halfway Point: I forgot how much more I like Survivor when it doesn’t involve returnees. I have hated almost every returnee season on every reality show except for two of them. I have a tendency to like seasons that are simultaneously low-key and try new format changes. This is my kind of season.

Just ease a bit on the advantages, though. Please?


Jessica didn’t make the jury. I had to look it up on Wikipedia because I realized Jeff didn’t mention anything about it. Feel free to join up with Corinne and Kelly.


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