Thank you, tribe swaps! It is the gift that keeps on giving. As a diehard Survivor fan, I look forward to these early twists as they, more often than not, shake up the game and deliver a shocking round. This week on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers was no exception. We got new alliances, betrayals and a jaw-dropping Tribal Council I didn’t see coming. After three calm weeks needed to start off the season, this electric fourth week was a fresh welcome.
From a gameplay standpoint, the tribe swap divided the tribes perfectly. I love that each new group got an even amount of players from the previous tribes to keep the tension going. Seriously, look at the random draws: 2-2-1, 2-2-1, and 3-1-1. Only Lauren and Ben on the new Yawa tribe got shafted, but the others gave us potential options for wildcard votes later on this season. Sometimes the random draw becomes imbalanced and a tribe is overpopulated with members of one grouping. The way it turned out works to our benefit as viewers, especially as evident by the most recent Tribal Council.
Are you happy to see the return of the reward challenges? I am. I like getting to see these castaways work together to win a reward that lifts up their spirits. These treats are essential to the game of Survivor. As much as I prefer the strategic and survival elements, the lighthearted moments of the players coming together to celebrate winning food/luxury/survival items adds more to their character development. We get to learn more about them as people and see them at their happiest. Survivor can’t only be about backstabs and blindsides.
Ryan did the right thing by coming clean to Chrissy. This news benefited him and it created a new alliance that will help him in the game. As we saw in the first week, Chrissy was so happy to get the super idol – the emotional pull from the moment made Ryan look like an angel in her eyes. I like this new alliance between Ryan and Chrissy. They’re two of my favorites players in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers as they’re both strategic and fun to watch. It’s an alliance with traits that complements both players.
We can all agree Joe is playing too-hard-too-fast. He’s coming right out of the gate hard. There’s no doubt his actions this week will cause him to head straight to elimination pretty soon. Desi, his only former tribe member, doesn’t like him, but I think how he handled the Devon situation will be his downfall. He didn’t need to lie. Telling him the Heroes wanted to vote him out made no sense. Why would they go after him when he is the needed vote? Joe was just causing trouble. Devious players are essential to this game; however, he is not long for Survivor.
What are you doing, Cole?! Bad move! This may be the worst move yet on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. You never spill pertinent information to people who aren’t solid in your alliance. By spilling the dirt, he not only made Lauren, Mike and Ben question him, but he ruined his close alliance with Jessica. He had a great thing going with Jessica; now she can’t trust him because he shared her secret with the others. And don’t even get me started on his reasoning for telling Lauren and Ben… I. Can’t. Even. Cole doesn’t know how to play Survivor. I will be shocked if he makes it to the finals.
The real highlight of the night has to be Tribal Council. With Levu losing the immunity challenge, this looked to be an obvious progression of events: Joe and Desi voting on one side, Alan and Ashley voting on another side, and Devon stuck in the middle. Jessica giving Devon the punishment was a game changer. However, this was not the best move. I think the smartest decision would be to use it on Ashley or Alan. With a tribe set at 2-2-1, it is more advantageous to go after the wildcard than flip the other two. Her power should’ve hindered the former Heroes and not leave it up to a tie. Jessica didn’t see this outline – this could be a telling sign of how strategic she could be in this season.
Luckily for Jessica, the advantage didn’t affect the vote as Alan was voted out. I’m not surprised to see him go – he is a bigger physical threat than Ashley and he could dominate during the immunity challenges. If the others had voted Ashley, could Alan have won the season? I don’t think so. He and Joe bumped heads a lot in their short days together. Plus, we can’t forget how aggressive he was in the first few days. This turmoil, as well as Alan’s paranoia, might have come back to haunt him.
“I Don’t Like Having Snakes Around” delivered a stellar episode after a few calm weeks of building momentum. The early tribe swap shook up the game and kept these players on their toes. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next, especially after when they find out Alan got voted out.