Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers: Balls in Holes x2

Logan Saunders recaps Episode 5 of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.

Survivor Heroes v Healers v Hustlers: Balls in Holes x2

levuHeroes: Ashley, Joe, Desi, Devon



Healers: Roark, Chrissy, JP, Ryan, Ali



Hustlers: Cole, Jessica, Mike, Lauren, Ben

colejessicamikelaurenbenhhh-barPreviously on Survivor: At the Yawa tribe, Cole broke the Healers’ trust and got caught. At the Soko tribe, Ryan had an old alliance with the Hustlers and built a new bond with the Healer tribe. At the Levu tribe, Devon held all the power. At Tribal Council, the game turned upside-down and Joe seized the opportunity–making a big move and sending a hero home.

Fourteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?



Random guy yells in the jungle.

Ashley compliments Joe for his idol play.

ASHLEY: My entire jaw dropped. Everything in my whole world just stopped.

Both are blatant exaggerations, but whatever. Even Kalia from Big Brother 14 didn’t exaggerate this much other than her “That is the understatement of the century” quote.

Joe claims he read Ashley’s face regardless of the fact he had a fifty percent chance of playing it on the right person.

Ashley thinks Joe is crazier and crazier.

ASHLEY: I knew you were crazy, but I didn’t know you were crazy and smart.

JOE: I am crazy and smart.

Sure. Let’s go with that. Joe tells us being nervous was all an act. Devon says every Tribal Council is scary–probably because the kid couldn’t vote.


DAY 12

Ben plays with a pot. Lauren stokes the fire. Ben finishes the laundry. The bamboo in the fire pops as Ben approaches.


Nothing physical happened. It was just a loud explosion like Brick from Anchorman. We go into an extended discussion of PTSD from his days as a marine. Ben finds it difficult to not be around people who don’t understand why PTSD is legitimate.

BEN: I used to live in the past. That’s not a good thing for anyone. I look forward to the future. The past will eat you alive.

Unfortunately, that’s true for too many damn people–mostly those who don’t even have PTSD.hhh-bar


It’s time for Balls in a Hole Part One.

Ben and Ali are both shocked by Alan’s elimination. Now we move on.

The three-team reward from Millennials vs. Gen X is being replayed.

Feet will be tied together and arms will be bound to their sides. They will slither through the sand pushing a ball relay style through the course. When you reach the finish, the remaining tribe member will throw the five balls into a very high basket. First two tribes to finish wins reward.

Winning tribe gets iced coffee, tea, and a huge amount of pastries.

Second place tribe gets one jug of iced coffee.

Soko is sitting out Chrissy.

Yawa is sitting out Lauren, I guess. Or she guesses.




Desi is tearing it up on the course. Ashley already has the ball. That was fast. I like how everyone’s head has to collapse on the mat. Mike now has it. Roark gets the ball to Ali. Joe has it then finishes it. They freakin’ tackled it. Mike constantly shoulder checks the ball. The big hill on the second relay is huge.

Ali finally gets the ball to Ryan. Mike is truckin’ along. Ryan loses the ball as it rolls back down a hill. This opens the window for Mike to get the ball to Ben. Ben makes it through easily.

Oh, meanwhile Devon has been able to miss 1, 000 shots under the hoop with his five balls. Ryan lets the ball fall backward after getting it to the peak of the hill.

Ben is done. Cole tells everyone his secret that he is a pro basketball player and also tells the secret of Probst quoting Foo Fighters in the last episode.

Ryan effs it up for a third time on that same hill.

Devon and Cole are essentially in an unofficial three-point contest. Devon lands the fifth ball. Levu dominates a challenge that doesn’t require any mental strength.

Ryan finishes the hill on his fourth attempt; he struggles to undo his straps or get on his feet. JP has no choice but to pick him up and punt him onto the mat as if it were the Kicking and Screaming reward challenge from Survivor: Cook Islands.

JP doesn’t get to fire off one ball. Cole has all five. Challenge over.

Levu is all smiles. Started from the bottom now they are here. Somebody on Yawa does an eagle-like cakaaw when they pick up the iced coffee.

Ali says that Ryan has been her buddy since day one, and she needs to have his back despite how useless he was in that challenge. Like Khia, she needs to save his neck and his back.


DAY 13

Desi talks about the pastries, iced coffee, and tea as all four enjoy the meal with sand all around their eyes (except Devon). Devon’s mind is in the game and he thanks the tribe for trusting him to shoot the balls.

DEVON: Knowledge of the game, strategically, Joe is a scary player.

Which obviously leads into a strategic conversation between Devon and Ashley. They want to bring on the rock draw. Ashley is confident she can sway Desi to avoid a rock draw.

Yeah, Joe ain’t lasting too long.


DAY 13

Chrissy compliments Ryan on doing more than she did in the challenge. Ummmm. . .

RYAN: The argument could be made that I did nothing.

ROARK: That’s so funny.

Yeah, not winning pastries because of Ryan is high brow comedy.

Ryan says it is all about his social game as he cracks open coconuts and cracks jokes too. Ali wants to do a water run. Only Roark goes along as she wants to create a 2-2-1 divide. She obviously wants to be the one.

Ali and Roark opt to do an all-girls alliance on Soko, but want Cole, Ryan, and Mike they assume will join them at the merge. I presume Ali secretly wants Devon to make it two trios to the end.

Ali wants to build a closer relationship with Roark to sneak her into the Healer crew. She believes that aligning with Roark is the best move for them as they can eliminate JP then Chrissy over the next two Tribal Councils. Ali relays this information to Ryan that they have all of the power going into the next vote.

Of course, it’s really Ryan with the power.

RYAN: My two closest allies, Chrissy and Ali, would never work with each other. So I’m in the middle. I need to tread very lightly not to mess this up.

Well, you’ve got a 66% chance of winning immunity to avoid committing to a decision that will show your cards one-third of the way into the game.


DAY 13

Cole licks jam from a spoon in a basket. He licks his fingers.

LAUREN: Cole’s eating habits are bad. He’s like a pig. He’s very inconsiderate. He licks everything. Then he scratches between his legs. It’s just so gross. Ben is noticing it and rolls his eyes. I hope Cole keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper and maybe he’ll eat enough he’ll stick his lips together.

We see Cole volunteer to eat the rest of the rice that Lauren offers to everyone on the tribe. It’s a lot of licking like a bad poker tell.

Jessica goes on a water run with Mike. She is certain Mike can keep a secret but not Cole. The whereabouts of the idol from Soko’s beach is shared and she presumes the location will be identical on Yawa.

Mike starts digging.

JESSICA: Cole would tell us if he had it, wouldn’t he?

I’m sure he would.

In the first thirteen days, Cole has revealed all of the following:

Joe’s idol

Jessica’s secret advantage

What his sister bought his nephew for Christmas

Edward Snowden’s secrets

The meaning of life

The winner for season thirty-six

So yeah, I think Cole would tell somebody he had the idol.

As Jessica is savouring water from her canteen, Mike digs up the idol in his finest suit.

JESSICA: Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god! Oh my god!!!

Mike is trusting Jessica but says the idol is really his. Hell, he could have been fine with all of The Duggar family knowing he has the idol just as long as Cole wasn’t around.

MIKE: It has been the story of my life–you can never underestimate Dr. Mike.

Yes, nobody should dare ridicule somebody who is a urologist. Motherf–kin’ Dr. Mike deserves your respect!

 Only two more idols up for grabs!



Swim out to a boat and retrieve three bags of rice. Push the rice through a hole and get it across the balance beam to shore where bags will be sliced open to retrieve three balls. Maneuver the three balls to a hole at the top of a hole maze. Once all three balls are in (it is identical to the Kaoh Rong ball maze structure) immunity is theirs.

First two tribes win immunity.

Dr. Mike and Ryan are sitting out. Ryan sucks at both land and water. . . and with heavy objects.

Challenge is on. I swear I just heard Michael Jackson say “Oh!”

Cole tosses all three bags. Levu is the only tribe struggling, but everyone is pretty damn close. Soko has all three bags. So does Yawa. Levu is stuck with their second bag.

All of the muscled men try to figure out the most badass way to have the sandbags on their head.

Lauren and JP are trying to transport the first bag. JP does it. Devon does it for Levu as they now have all three bags. Devi is second on the beam and breezes through it.

PROBST: Desi is once again making a challenge look easy.

An underedited female getting heavy praise from Probst in just five episodes? Impressive.

Ali is trying to carry a bag on her head. That is going to trigger a migraine.

JP has the second bag across for Soko. Devon has the final bag. Joe slices open the balls. Yawa is second to the mat as Lauren travels across the beam alone. JP has the final bag.  Ben slices open the bamboo-less bag. JP finishes carrying all three bags.

Levu is already starting the maze. Yawa has their balls too. JP eventually tears open the ball sacks.

Ashley is operating the. . . ball hooks? For Levu. Ben is doing it for Yawa. Hopefully, none of the holes have a bamboo firework ready to be triggered on the other side of it if the ball falls.

Probst notes Ashley has had a lot of time to learn the maze. No pressure, Ash. Ben slips ahead and gets the first ball in. Jessica runs over to do the second ball. Chrissy is the ball operator for Soko and falls instantly.

Ashley has the first ball. Chrissy falls again and decides to take her sneakers off. Ali takes over. Jessica lands the second ball. Cole is going to be the Mariano Rivera of Yawa.

Ali lands the first ball for Soko. Chrissy is coming back in for some reason as Devon gets in the second ball. Desi is going to be the Trevor Hoffman for Levu.

Cole licks his fingers and tastes victory as the final ball is in. Yawa wins yet another challenge! They are four-for-four.

Chrissy channels her Inner Ginger as she repeatedly steps off the balance beam and refuses to let anyone take over. Meanwhile, Desi has more than sufficient time to finish the challenge.

Once again, Soko can’t get balls in the holes. No puzzle for Levu which means second place is theirs once more.

Devon yee-haws as Levu walks away with Yawa.

Roark notes that Chrissy struggled in the challenge and needs to go. Luckily Ryan sat out this time.


DAY 14

The tribe name lengths are equivalent to that of the abbreviated post-integration tribe nicknames for Survivor: Cook Islands.

Chrissy knows she has to trust somebody to survive this Tribal Council. This pretty much applies to any Tribal Council, anyway.

CHRISSY: If I’m gonna play, I want to play big.


Chrissy and Roark have their first conversation after five or six freakin’ days on Soko.

CHRISSY: Can we sit for a second? I just want to have a thoughtful conversation.

A thoughtful conversation is one that Chrissy put a lot of thought into even before talking to you, Roark.

CHRISSY: Roark is the next most dangerous player after me on this tribe. I haven’t been able to put my finger on her.

If it makes you feel any better, Ryan hasn’t put a finger on any woman.

Chrissy says Roark is the most strategic player. She says this to her face.

CHRISSY: If we send a boy home. . .

ROARK: I agree. . .

We cut to a rare Roark confessional.

ROARK: It’s the first day where Chrissy ever wants to talk game with me. Are you kidding me? Chrissy needs to go home.

Chrissy and Roark keep talking.

ROARK: I personally don’t have an objection.

CHRISSY: Is that a potentially workable plan?

ROARK: Of course!

We cut to a Chrissy confessional.

CHRISSY: I was really hoping Roark wanted to work with me going forward, but I don’t believe anything she says, and I wish I could stop and say to her, “You’re not the smartest player here!” but I don’t want to ruin my game. . . I want to create an imaginary girl’s alliance. Then clearly I would not be the one voted out and JP might think he was the next to go.

I think the personal objection I have is that Roark’s hair copies Kristie Bennett’s trademarked style from Australian Survivor. There is a lawsuit on Roark’s hands.

Also, there is a huge freakin’ spider on-screen that would terrify my brother.

Chrissy pulls JP aside and tells him about the fake all-girls alliance. JP instantly agrees and that is all we hear from him for this episode.

Chrissy pulls Ryan aside and tells him about the fake all-girls alliance, and how JP initially really liked Roark. OK, we never saw JP and Roark bond, but whatever. They did before. Ryan is on board with blindsiding Roark.

Roark and Ali are at the water well. They decide to blindside Chrissy because the Heroes need to keep going down, and Ali was annoyed with Chrissy’s Patrick-like challenge hog antics. She goes to Ryan as that crucial third vote.

Ryan is stuck in the middle. One person will hate him and one person won’t. I don’t know why he couldn’t just deflect the target onto the other Hero in the form of JP, but I suppose Roark could be the bigger social threat.

Lastly, no secret advantages or idols will be played tonight!






This is Roark’s first trip to Tribal Council. Therefore, she must light her torch.

Probst asks Ali if the Hustlers, Healers, and Heroes have shown their different approaches. Ali and Chrissy launch into a firefight. Ali says the Hustlers (minus Patrick) would have let somebody else take over the second they realized they were failing.

CHRISSY: I remember turning around several times and asking “Does anybody want to take this?” and everyone just stood there. There’s her side, my side, and the truth.

Ryan says the truth is what you make of it. He believes nobody tried to be controlling and everyone tried their best to win.

Chrissy admits she hadn’t talked to Roark until today.

ROARK: I hope we can speak more consistently about it. . . instead of soundboarding with me as we were going. So that’d be a preference moving forward.

Probst notes there are two strikes against her. One more and she’s out.

CHRISSY: She didn’t talk to me either. This is a two-way street! I specifically talked to Ali. Ryan came to me. I talked to JP.

ROARK: She just said she specifically talked to Ali; she didn’t specifically talk to me.

CHRISSY (rolls eyes): I have no comment.

Ryan says Chrissy and Roark talked on the beach without a word. JP is worried about the two girls walking away together. He is, you know, uneasy, you know.

Chrissy had expected it could be her tonight. Roark feels the same comfortable going into Tribal Council.

Ali says Roark hasn’t given trust of others yet because the Healers never went to Tribal Council. She thinks Roark will be making stronger allies tonight.

ROARK: I am the swing tonight.

PROBST: If this is true, one of the twosomes is about to be broken up.

CHRISSY: I don’t see it as a two, one, and a two. I think it could be any other three people based on the relationships forming.

It’s time to vote. Ryan closes his eyes and exhales.

ROARK (voting CHRISSY): Next time, don’t come for me.

CHRISSY (voting ROARK): I am outsmarting Ms. Smartypants.

Ali covers her mouth with uneasiness.

Music straight from The Lion King plays.






Ali rolls her eyes at Ryan. Roark exits relatively quiet.


Next Time on Survivor: Tensions are high. And it all comes crashing down.

Roark would tell any superfan to do it and is bummed she went home early. She doesn’t know who didn’t vote with her against Chrissy.


For the third time in the past four episodes, Probst’s pre-season favourites have all been voted out. Luckily he’s still got a few left in there. Roark was supposed to be the quirky superfan in the cast that was projected to get a lot of airtime, but instead, she is the last underedited character to go home this season. It’s a shame that this is the only episode where she has any notable scenes since she was scared to climb up to light the torch on the first day.


Two more idols are left to be found. I presume the tribes will merge one round after the next idol is found, and the merge beach will be on the camp with the undiscovered idol.


Unless Yawa really chokes, they should all be immune until merge. Tribes that come in first place for four consecutive challenges in the three-tribe format should be nearly impossible to beat. Soko can’t sit anyone out in the future challenges which will put them in a deep hole. A hole which they won’t be able to get a ball into as we saw this episode.


My friend Spencer would like everyone to know that Lauren has nearly made the merge. Who knew she would be the one to be the best trash-talker of the season? She doesn’t care about your alpha males. Should Yawa lose, I think she will truly succeed at knocking out Cole from this game. Granted if Cole doesn’t knock himself out beforehand in the shelter.


I bet the stress at the Levu tribe was very intense prior to the immunity challenge. There is absolutely no way the four of them wanted to go to Tribal Council with that telegraphed 2-2 tie. Joe may be crazy, but he isn’t that crazy. As long as they can avoid doing a puzzle in an immunity challenge, they should avoid this dreadful Tribal Council.


And now to Soko. Ryan couldn’t find a way to unite Ali and Chrissy. He succeeded in protecting both of them tonight and still has some leeway with Ali to keep her loyal to him, but he made a choice and went with it.

Was there really a better option on the table? Regardless of what he did, either the Hustlers or the Heroes would be pissed off with him come the merge. My guess is that if he voted off Roark that he could still rope in both Lauren and Devon at the merge and explain why he did what he did. If he voted off Chrissy, that would completely shut out any options with the Heroes come merge.

You need a two-tribe majority when the merge comes, and Ryan’s decision probably put the Heroes and Hustlers in that two-tribe majority. Those Healers may start going down sooner rather than later–especially Cole.

By the way, in a Tribal Council where Ryan could align with the two young attractive women on this tribe or the woman who thinks she reminds Ryan of his mom, Ryan decided to shoot himself in the foot with the attractive women once again and decided to align with his mom.

You can’t help but laugh with the jokes that the editors want to come full circle on Survivor.


I really really really want this three-tribe format to stay intact for two more rounds because we now have some interesting scenarios.

On Levu, Devon and Ashley will have to try and get Desi to flip. If not, both sides have to figure out who they want immune in a rock draw and essentially which two players will enter a game of rock-paper-scissors to see who goes home. How loyal are these duos to each other?

On Yawa, it’s gonna be Cole vs. Lauren. Will Cole’s neanderthal eating habits and being prone to gossip cost him in his majority alliance or will Lauren be heading to Ponderosa with her ginger companion?

On Soko, Chrissy and Ali will be voting against each other no matter what. Now the real difficult decision hits Ryan as he must pick one over the other like The Good Son. Who is Ryan Crewson going to let go on the cliff and make her his Macaulay Culkin? Something tells me that person is going to be Ali, and Ali may want to accept that the Roark elimination was a permanent decision.


Roark believes there is something she could have done to save herself. My take? If Roark announced at Tribal Council that Chrissy planned an all-girls alliance, JP would have probably flipped at the last second (unless there is unaired footage where JP clearly wouldn’t flip on Chrissy). That would have ruined Chrissy’s deception. In fact, I am a bit surprised Roark didn’t do that since she was clearly going after Chrissy anyway.

P.S. Wouldn’t JP be a little bit suspicious that not a single vote was cast against a man tonight?

P.P.S. We need a memorable challenge and fast. If challenge entertainment banks on Probst referencing random albums of famous people he is friends with, then I think we should all be just a tad bit concerned.


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