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The New Era Of Survivor Delivered With An All-Time Great Tribal Council: Season 42 Episode 3 Recap

Last night was an hour long reminder of why Survivor is still the best show on TV. That was Survivor reaching back for its fastball and showing it can still throw 99 on the black whenever it wants. It felt like for the first time in this "new age" of Survivor (41 and 42), all the new twists and advantages actually enhanced the game and made it more entertaining while adding new layers of strategy. It was probably a wet dream for Jeff Probst and the producers. Maybe the cast of 41 sucked or maybe it was just bad luck with how the game shook out, but all the twists last season felt like they were forced and didn't ultimately end up mattering that much. That was NOT the case last night. The risked votes and new idol twists all ended up impacting the game in a very meaningful way and led to an awesome tribal council. It might be a little recency bias, but I think that's one of the best tribal councils we've had in a long time. Definitely of 41 and 42 and probably one of the better ones since Cambodia. 

Let's get into the recap because there's plenty to breakdown. And a great way to do that? Listen to Snuffing Torches on Apple and Spotify. ANNNNNDDDDD.... Watch our full recap on YouTube

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This is a good episode that will help if you were confused with any of the split vote and tribal chaos. Now let's get into the written recap too. (I apologize in advance if there are typos. I write very fast and sometimes my fingers can't keep up with my brain. Had a busy day today so tried to rush this out as soon as I can instead of keeping you waiting longer since we're already late)

Taku Camp (Orange)

-Another week, another player telling people about their advantage. We found out after their tribal that Maryanne apparently told her whole tribe that she got the extra vote. Saying "we now have 5 votes instead of 4!" but then only matters if there's a tribe swap or merge. In reality, she now has 2 votes against the 3 votes of the Omar, Lindsay, Jonathan alliance. Well, actually....

-Maryanne then lost her vote and her extra vote because she found The Beware Advantage. Same thing Mike found last week where it's 1/3 of an idol. Gets activated when a player from each tribe finds it and says their secret phrase at tribal. But until then, they can't vote until the merge. Maryanne's secret phrase is “It’s another classic case of the bunny rabbit having dinner in the mailbox." 

-So with the rest of the tribe knowing Maryanne has these advantages but can't actually use them or vote, she should have a HUGE target on her back. She was already on the outs of that three person alliance and now, she can't even vote and will have TWO advantages at her disposal if she sticks around, the idol and the extra vote. Truly no reason to keep her. 

-One interesting thing to note on this tribe is that only Jonathan and Lindsay have votes at the next tribal council. As we saw later in the episode, Omar risked his vote and lost it. So he can't vote at the next tribal council. And unless the idol activates, Maryanne can't vote either. So basically Jonathan and Lindsay are safe at the next tribal unless they vote for each other would be stupid. Omar and Maryanne could be in trouble, but given how they're aligned with Omar, I'd be stunned if it's not Maryanne going home next time they go to tribal council. 

Vati Tribe (Green)

-For a guy who loves keep tracking of things, Daniel sure is bad at keeping track of things. After asking Mike to re-read the idol clue so he can see details, he lost it and they had to go searching for the note again. These two need to like staple it to their inner thigh or something and stop losing it. These two are a very entertaining duo and need a spin-off show

-The tribe dynamics at this camp were clear. Mike and Jenny are one duo. Hai and Lydia are another duo. And then Daniel and Chanelle are the duo in the middle. 

Immunity Challenge

The immunity challenge started super early so you knew some crazy shit was going to go down later in the episode. First two tribes immune with rewards up for grabs: fishing gear, a tool kit or fruit. Maryanne revealed her weird secret phrase about rabbits but since nobody from the blue tribe said theirs, Mike decided to not say anything and not reveal he had it just yet. A smart move but you have to wonder if eventually a Cold War stand off will happen if someone from the blue tribe wants to implement the same strategy. 

The story of this challenge was for sure Jonathan. My god what a showing. Maybe the single most impressive individual challenge performance in a team challenge ever. Just quite literally dragged his team across the finish line. The tsunami just had zero effect on him. Nobody else could swim a foot in those waters and Jonathan was carrying a ladder by himself and then literally dragged his teammates through the water too. AND THEN finished the challenge by himself and threw all the balls to win. 

Just a superhero. He sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the cast in terms of physicality, and it's showed so far. If he makes the merge, he could go on a huge challenge run but it would also put a huge target on his back. He could be a Joe type that wins some challenges, puts a huge target on his back, and then gets voted out once he loses. But he does seem to have a strong social game and good understanding of the game so far, so maybe there's more hope for him. 

The waters were incredibly rough and the other two tribes couldn't get out of the water. They waves were just knocking all over the place. They were basically in danger of drowning as Jeff Probst just didn't bat an eye and continued to do play by play of the challenge. 

A pro's pro. But he did eventually realize that these people were in actual danger and decided to avoid a lawsuit (not unlike the Jackson situation). So they pulled both teams out of the water and had them pick up from the beach in a Survivor first. Ultimately the orange tribe won out and green was heading to tribal. 

Advantage Island (I call it this until we have an official name)

By coming in first, orange had the choice to send someone from green to this excursion and chose Chanelle. Then they volunteered Omar to go as well. At the island, they once again had to do the three hour trek to the top. It sucks for them that they don't even show how long and tough it is anymore. They make it seem like an escalator ride. Just torturing them for nothing. One positive from the episode that made it so good is there were no sob stories tonight. I was fully expecting to hear about every single problem Omar and Chanelle have ever had in their lives but instead they just skipped by it. 

The two bonded and then had a prisoner's dilemma at the top. Risk their vote or protect their vote. If they both risked their votes, both lost their votes at their next tribal councils. If both protected, nothing changed. If one risked and one protected, then the risker got an extra vote. 

It seemed like they had an agreement to not take the risks if it was a situation like this, but they did not follow through. Both risked their votes. This was a dumb decision. She knew she was going to tribal that night and said herself that she needs the vote. But she risked it anyway thinking Omar would protect her and play it safe? Wild assumption. Omar rightfully risked his vote thinking Chanelle would play it safe before tribal. I think it was the right strategic for him. It just didn't pay off and both lost their votes. 

Pre-Tribal Council

I don't know what changed in Chanelle's head, maybe just paranoia, but she got back to camp and immediately told Daniel she was afraid she lost her vote. And with Mike also not having his vote, they were in trouble. 

The foursome of Mike, Jenny, Daniel, and Chanelle wanted Lydia out, but they only had two votes against the two from Hai and Lydia. So they had to come up with a split to divide Hai and Lydia's votes. So Daniel and Chanelle said, "Hey Hai and Lydia, let's split our votes on Mike and Jenny in case of an idol. Boys on Mike. Girls on Jenny." And in reality, Daniel and Jenny would've voted for Lydia with Hai's one vote on Mike and Lydia's one vote on Jenny. It was a smart plan. 

But the way Chanelle presented it came off erratic. She was nervous and panicked, and Hai picked up on it. He knew in his gut that something was wrong. In retrospect, Daniel should've just told Hai and Lydia that MIke told him he found the idol and they need to split the votes. But instead Hai was jus left suspicious heading into tribal. 

Tribal Council

Those suspicious were confirmed when Daniel listed off Chanelle and Mike as people he trusts to calm him but left off Hai and Lydia. It was part of a weird speech that felt like it belonged at FTC where he talked about his paranoia and how he has zero chance to win. This mixed with Chanelle mouthing "Lydia" to Daniel caused enough suspicion for Hai to switch his vote to Jenny instead of Mike. So there was a tie with two votes on Jenny (from Hai and Lydia) and two votes on Lydia (from Daniel and Jenny). Mike and Chanelle couldn't vote. 

The revote was another tie, this time just 1-1 with votes from Hai and Daniel. Hai was perplexed how there were only two votes. 

Jeff had to reveal that Mike and Chanelle didn't have their votes but couldn't say why. So now there was an open discussion, and if Hai and Daniel couldn't unanimously agree on voting either Lydia or Jenny, then Lydia and Jenny would be safe with the other four drawing rocks. 

Daniel IMMEDIATELY threw Chanelle under the bus, saying he was just voting how he told her to and that he felt betrayed by her but really wanted to be with Hai and Lydia. It was a weird, erratic move that definitely burned bridges with Mike and Chanelle, but can maybe help secure his alliance with Lydia and Hai going forward. 

Hai was cool, calm, and collected and said he's go to rocks before betraying Lydia. He basically put Daniel over his knee and spanked him like his little baby. Just utterly dominated him. Daniel cracked and said he'd betray Jenny to avoid going to rocks. So Jenny went home. 

I think going forward people will sniff out Daniel as a rat and snake and be weary of aligning with him. It would make sense for Chanelle to team up with Hai and Lydia and leave the odd couple of Mike and Daniel on the outs. But we'll see. Overall just a great tribal council. The tie. The re-vote. The open forum discussion. It was all great. The twists paid off for sure here. 

Winner Rankings

This is a ranking of the players I think are most likely to WIN. This is not necessarily who I think is safest in the game. Don’t look at the person ranked last as the person most likely to go home next. Look at them as the person with the least chance to win. That person could very easily get dragged to FTC as a goat, but won’t win. This is ranking people based on their chance to actually win the game.

1. Hai

2. Omar

3. Romeo

4. Swati

5. Chanelle

6. Jonathan

7. Lindsay

8. Daniel 

9. Lydia

10. Tori

11. Mike

12. Drea

13. Rocksroy

14. Maryanne

And that's a wrap on a fantastic episode of Survivor. 

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