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Survivor Continues To Do Too Much This Season: Episode 6 Recap

Welp, after two really strong episodes, Survivor 41 took a huge step back last night. In an extremely rare Survivor occurrence, not a single player was eliminated last night. We've had episodes before where there's no tribal council, but that's usually due to a medical evacuation or a huge, crazy twist like Outcasts in Pearl Islands. That did not happen last night. Instead, we had this new merge twist and the "reverse time" twist. The merge twist I didn't mind. Sort of a unique spin on only half the people officially making the merge. But the Exile Island twist with Erika is one of the dumbest in show history. She should have smashed that hour glass right over Jeff's head. They built it up as this big massive twist of power. In reality, it's the easiest decision of all time. "Hey Erika, would you rather be safe at the next tribal council or not be safe?" I mean come on. 

Anyway, let's get into the full recap. But first, a reminder to subscribe to Snuffing Torches on Apple and Spotify. Leave a nice 5-star review while you're at it too, why don't ya? We did our full episode recap and also gave updates on our fantasy teams, Survivor Survivor pool, winner picks, and On The Chopping Block picks. Okay onto the breakdown...

Ua Camp (Green Tribe)

And then there were two. Shantel and Ricard get back to camp after voting Genie out, and tensions between them are still high over the extra vote advantage. Ricard has still not given it back to Shantel, and Shantel keeps asking for it. Shantel's argument is that it's rightfully hers. She only gave it to Ricard to hold on to in case she lost her vote getting the idol. Ricard, meanwhile, thinks Shantel is being selfish. She already has the idol and they're supposedly allies working together. Why can't he have one advantage for himself? In the morning, Shantel asks for it back AGAIN and Ricard finally gives in. Shantel says "the next advantage can be yours" to which Ricard responds, "Wow thank you for giving me permission." Honestly, I think both sides were in the wrong here. Shantel came off as very selfish and a bad alliance member. She is not giving Ricard much reason to trust her. But Ricard also would've gained trust with her if he just gave it back originally like he said he would. Ultimately, I think these two will end up turning on each other, and it will be glorious. The trust is clearly broken, so it's only a matter of time. Could be a cool showdown like Jeremy vs. Josh in Season 29, but I think Shantel will certainly be the winner in this one. She already is leaving him in the dust and has more outsides allies than he does. 

Yase Camp (Yellow Tribe) And Luvu Camp (Blue Tribe)

Both tribes get their tree mail that says a merge is coming.... sort of. 

Some people celebrated the merge, while others were wisely hesitant that a merge would be so simple given how hard everything has been this season. 

These dance moves almost make me look like Michael Jackson. Xander is saying he wants to stay Yase strong at the merge, oblivious to the fact that he's on the outside of an all-girls alliance. Meanwhile, Naseer is giddily saying "Luvu strong to the Final 6!" but others are skeptical. Deshawn even says the Luvu 6 are "shattered." We haven't seen too much of that since they haven't gone to tribal, but it seems like they're not a big happy family. 

Merge (Sort Of)

We get a brief explainer from Jeff about the merge twist. 

Cool how it was shot right as they walked in. Must have had to nail it in one take. That's why he's the best in the business. So basically the twist is that there's a random rock draw into two teams of five - blue and yellow. Then two others will draw a gray rock and not participate in the challenge. Their fate will be decided later. The winning team of 5 officially "makes the merge" and are safe at the next tribal council. Meanwhile, the losing team will then participate in an individual immunity challenge where only one is safe and the rest can be voted out. So all 12 players are eligible to vote, but there will only be 5 people that can actually be voted for. There's parts of this twist I don't mind. I think if they just did this exact thing but left out the Exile Island and time reverse twist, this could've been a unique spin. But they just to do too much, like they have all season long. 

So the tribes end up being Xander, Liana, Tiffany, Heather, and Shantel on yellow. Danny, Ricard, Deshawn, Sydney, and Evvie are on blue. Naseer and Erika have to sit out. As for the challenge itself, blue got out to a huge lead and didn't relinquish it. Heather had a great moment though. 

An unreal quote by Jeff. That ominous music really made me think we were about to see Heather die for a second. Also a very funny moment with Naseer and Erika on the bench where Naseer just can't get Evvie's name right. To be fair, I had it wrong for awhile on Snuffing Torches too. But it's just amazing how Naseer steals every scene he's in. 

The word puzzle after the obstacle course ended up just being "Merge Feast." Crazy it took them that long to get it. You saw two five-letter words. You saw the letters there to spell "merge." Should have been like their first guess and taken about 30 seconds to figure out. Anyway, blue wins. 

The winning tribe of Deshawn, Danny, Sydney, Evvie, and Ricard now have a decision to make. Between Naseer and Erika, one will join them and be immune at the next tribal council. It's as if they won. The other will have to go to Exile Island for two days and two nights by themselves with little to no resources. Just a little bit of rice and water. Nothing else. They feign a game of "Paper, Rock, Scissors" as Danny called it (strange ordering), and decide to take Naseer, sending Erika to Exile. 

Naseer handles it like a consummate professional. 

I honestly was upset we didn't get Naseer on that island because it would've been a fun two days of The Naseer Show. Erika gets sent to Exile Island where, according to Jeff, she'll be getting a "historic amount of power." (Spoiler alert: it is NOT a historic amount of power). 

Merge Feast

Danny, Deshawn, Sydney, Evvie, Naseer and Ricard enjoy a nice feast. Their first full meal in 13 days. Naseer says the buff smells really good and has a cool color. Just an easy man to please. We also talked on Snuffing Torches about how funny it is that whenever there's a big feast on Survivor, these people who haven't had a proper meal in weeks just stuff processed meats and cheeses down their throats. Ice cream sometimes too. Have to imagine that leads to some serious bathroom trips.

One interesting moment was when Danny told Evvie, "I was afraid you guys had an all girls alliance brewing." Funny he just immediately assumed Evvie would be the head of it. But she tries to downplay it and assure him that's not happening. 

Meanwhile, the losing team of Xander, Tiffany, Liana, Shantel, and Heather have a few scoops of rice. I thought for a second we'd get a confessional from Heather there since everyone else was talking, but that did not happen. I should've known better. Every player in the game had a confessional last night besides her. 

Merged Camp

The 11 players besides Erika are now all on the same beach and alliances begin to form. But first, we had a crazy dumb move from Shantel. She goes to Liana, "So did you get that advantage?" RIGHT IN FRONT OF TIFFANY!!!!!!! When will these people learn to just stop talking about advantages so openly???? It's crazy that they're not learning. It's not like Liana and Tiffany are enemies but still, Shantel should've been a little more sneaky about that to not blow up Liana's spot. This sets off alarm bells for Tiffany. She's now weary of Liana for hiding that from her. You do NOT want to cross Queen Tiff. 

Another interesting point in that conversation was when Liana mentioned knowing that Naseer has an idol. Must have been from him saying the phrase at the last challenge. But we weren't totally sure who know what. 

Speaking of Naseer, him and Xander form a quick alliance as two big threats (who both have idols) and need to look out for each other. Shantel and Liana, already close from their isolated time together, pull in Deshawn and Danny to form an all African American alliance. I think a lot of people saw this as a possibility given the diverse cast and because the same thing happened on Big Brother and they ran the table to the end. I'm sure there are a lot of people very mad about at this, but at the end of the day, it's gameplay in my book. On Survivor, you have to use any bond you have with others to make an alliance. We've seen all girl alliances before too. So whether it's based on race, religion, gender, same state, same age, or whatever, I totally get using whatever you can to build a bond and alliance with people. More importantly, they're also four smart players so I think this alliance will work. Now, it is boring when one alliance runs the entire season no matter what that alliance is based on, but I can't imagine it will be a cakewalk for them given how many twists and turns and advantages are at play this season. And honestly, selfishly, my other thought was that I'm never getting on this fucking show and won't stand a chance if I ever do. 

Some possible targets thrown out are Xander, Heather, and Erika. Liana has been wanting to target Xander for awhile and can take one of his advantages. Sydney apparently hates Heather?????? That has not been shown at all. Didn't know it was possible to hate Heather when she's said two words all season, but Sydney clearly has her reasons. (We exchanged some DMs and she said she'll tell all on Snuffing Torches after the season). 

But the main target everyone agrees on is Erika. She's isolated on her own island so it's easy enough to talk about her. And Luvu already doesn't trust her so she's clearly on the outs. Speaking of Erika…

Exile Island

Over on Exile, Erika only gets a little bit of rice and water. No shelter or anything. She describes herself as the person least equipped to survive in the wilderness on her own, but she does a decent job of it. She even manages to make a fire on her own (although maybe the camera people helped her???). She also gets her whole emotional package about her family and upbringing. Everyone is getting one of those this season, so that's not too surprising (well besides Heather of course). 

Later in the episode, the show doesn't end with tribal council. It ends with Jeff coming to Exile Island to give her this HUGE, POWERFUL advantage that he keeps hyping up. Aaaaaand…….

It's an hourglass????

Basically, Jeff tells Erika that she has a chance to reverse time and change the past. I thought maybe she could bring someone already voted out back into the game. Or say like "Actually, we're making an entirely new winner for Season 38." But nope. She just gets to decide who actually won the last challenge. So if she keeps things as is, Naseer, Danny, Deshawn, Sydney, Evvie, and Ricard are safe at the next tribal council while herself and the five others need to compete in a challenge where only one can earn immunity. 

OR………….

She can change the past and make Xander, Liana, Tiffany, Heather, and Shantel immune. Oh and also…….. HERSELF. SHE CAN MAKE HERSELF IMMUNE. SHE SHOULD'VE SMASHED THE THING OVER JEFF'S HEAD. WHAT AN EASY DECISION. 

So to clarify, she can either give herself a 0.0% chance of going home. Or, assuming she doesn't win the challenge, a 20% chance to go home. Now, the reason they say it's a "tough decision" is because she'll be screwing over the tribe who won, which has some of her former Luvu tribe members (Danny, Deshawn, Naseer, and Sydney). BUT…. these people literally just screwed her over and sent her to Exile Island! And she already feels like she was on the outs! 

And honestly, even if those people were her best friends in the world, I'd think they'd understand that she should be selfish and protect herself. Everyone would do the same if they have any brain. Live to see another day. Erika can protect herself and assure Final 11, and then there's a chance a new target pops up before the next tribal council. Sandra's old motto was "As long as it ain't me" and that worked out pretty well for her. Literally giving yourself immunity is a good way to assure it cannot be you. 

So they did try to build this up as a huge decision and a cliffhanger for next week, but this twist is a total dud in my opinion. It's really not that much power at all. And it has no power right after that day. I'd argue that even a hidden immunity idol is way more power and something I'd rather have. I like the shake up to the merge of the two tribes competing to get there, but they could have done it without this added twist. It's just another example of Survivor trying to do way too much this season. It's a shame becuase I think this cast has some potential. The episodes where the producers sort of got out of the way and just let them play normal Survivor were by far the best. It's a shame that so many twists and advantages have to be force fed down our throats. But let's hope the post-merge game is a little more traditional. I still love this show, but I'm giving it tough love because I care so much and I'm afraid that fans are souring on this season after the huge resurgence over quarantine. 

Tribal Council

Didn't happen because of really no good reason. 

Game Within The Game

This is a new thing that's an interactive feature for fans all season with word puzzles and shit online. You can play it here.

I needed the clue on this one. I knew the beginning was "Can I have your" and I knew the last word was "cat." But I just didn't know what that fucking thing to the left of the cat was. Apparently it's a jack. And it's "Can I have your jacket?" a reference to Angelina in Season 37. 

"Tent" was much easier. 

Winner Rankings

Tier 1

1. Liana - my new winner pick. I think Shantel has peaked too soon and shown some serious flaws in her game these past few weeks. Liana is a smart player, has a good edit and story, and has aligned herself well. 

2. Deshawn

3. Shantel

Tier 2

4. Evvie

5. Danny

I would put it at a 99% chance that one of the above 5 people will win. 

Tier 3

6. Erika

7. Ricard

8. Naseer

Tier 4

9. Tiffany

10. Sydney

11. Xander

Heather Tier

12. Heather

And that's a wrap for this week. A disappointing episode but let's hopefully bounce back next week. Remember to listen to Snuffing Torches and follow us @snuffintorches on Twitter and Instagram.