Another Healer was sent packing during the second week of post-merge on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. This is the beginning stages of “Pagonging,” where one tribe picks off the members of the enemy tribe one by one. It’s a tried and true strategy as it has worked many times in the past. Seriously, rewatch past seasons of Survivor – many tribes are eradicated when they enter the merge. Still, it’s not to say this strategy sticks around long. Sometimes the power alliance members turn on each other earlier and when that happens… it’s a bloodbath. I’m getting the sense this is going to happen soon.
Desi being the one voted out this week had good and bad benefits. She has proven herself to be a strong physical competitor and a likable person. We saw her at her strength the last two weeks, with her winning individual immunity the week prior. So, voting out a physical person is a great idea, especially as the numbers dwindle and it becomes harder to win challenges. Desi had all the makings of a potential Survivor winner; in fact, if she had not been stuck with the Healers’ alliance, she could’ve made it far. It’s understandable why the others went after her during the re-vote.
The chance to vote out Joe, on the other hand, was a major missed opportunity. He’s known for finding and hoarding hidden immunity idols. You can’t keep someone like that in the game because they’re unpredictable and could use their idols to shake things up. Sure, Joe’s chances of winning Survivor are pretty slim. He’s going to need a serious miracle and string of luck to get people on his side and push him forward to the finals. However, he’s cementing his position as the “goat” of the season. He’s not going to win, but his hot-headed moves with idols, challenges, and alliances could cause some of the majority alliance members to be eliminated. Uncertainty is a dangerous thing to have around.
Speaking of uncertainty, Cole should make sure to use the hidden immunity idol drama to his advantage. If done right, some of his castaways could be shy of voting him out. Only Chrissy and Ryan know the truth, especially since Ryan has the idol, and if he can utilize the uncertainty, create doubt, and form some new partnerships, he could last a bit longer.
Let’s talk about the immunity idol drama for a bit. I loved that the clue was hidden away on the plate during the reward prize. It favored those later in the prize order as the pasta would be mostly gone by then. Cole’s big mistake was not removing the glass plate; Ryan had the right idea because keeping the plate there meant that other people could eventually see the clue as well. I still find it shocking that only Chrissy and Ryan were self-aware enough to realize a clue to the immunity idol would be hiding here. This is Survivor 101! JP, Devon and the others should’ve known this.
When it came to the chaos, the pandemonium was fun to watch! Watching the castaways frantically attack the sand hill to find the idol heightened the tension at camp. And, having the idol placed there, it evened the playing field so that everyone would be well aware that another idol was somewhere in play. Paranoia causes lots of trouble in Survivor. I can’t wait for the backlash from the idol to eventually find its way to the next Tribal Council.
Ben could be in trouble after his blow-up with Joe. He allowed Joe to play with his mind and by reacting to the side conversation, he put the target on his back. People see Ben as a potential winner now, which makes him A HUGE target. Everyone on Survivor talks about each other; it’s a natural part of the game to scheme, campaign, and throw someone’s name out there. The problem was that Joe hit Ben right at the nerve, and it made Ben spiral. If he’s not able to change the conversation and be ahead of the game to vote out his enemies, Ben could be the first casualty of the Heroes/Hustlers alliance.
Lauren’s extra vote could be a game changer if used right. The numbers are dwindling and eventually an extra vote could send someone packing at a crucial tie. I don’t think the others will suspect her of being the one who withheld her vote. Only Ben knows the truth and he doesn’t seem like the type to spill that information if it doesn’t help him. However, someone like Chrissy or Ryan will do the math after the latest Tribal Council and the paranoia will begin again. “Playing With the Devil” had a consistent theme for this week’s episode: it created a lot of potential paranoia for next week.