Alex Bennett and Coach Duggs Make Their Fighting Debuts In Rough N' Rowdy 18 — Friday 8PM ETBUY NOW

Survivor Had One Of It's Craziest Tribal Councils Ever

Well that was one of the best tribal councils I can remember in a long time. This season of Survivor has just delivered over and over and over again. Great cast. Great editing. The twists and advantages have enhanced the game instead of taking away from it. And it also has the benefit of following one of the worst seasons ever so it's going to look a lot better in comparison. Last night played out perfectly. At one point or another, it seemed like every single person but Omar had a chance to go home. The editing was just fantastic all around. Can't say enough good things about this episode. 

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Onto the recap...

Merged Camp

-Mike was feeling very high on himself after the Hai blindside. Said it felt great to see Hai's head rolling down the road and that he's the one who orchestrated the whole thing. Mike was definitely feeling like the Godfather and ironically was becoming the new Hai. Omar, perceptive as ever, picked up on this and said that Mike is doing exactly what he accused Hai of doing. 

-The five "power players" of Mike, Omar, Drea, Lindsay, and Jonathan were sitting together on the beach saying they needed to protect each other and duke it out in the end, getting rid of goats like Maryanne and Romeo. There was a pretty funny montage of Romeo just stuffing his face with rice over and over again. The plan was to get him out for doing nothing around camp, but to me it's dumb to get someone out for that reason this late in the game. That's a pre-merge reason to vote someone out, not an end game reason. I do get the idea of power players wanting to protect each other because otherwise your ass could be in the jackpot. But at this point, I'm trying to get to the end with goats. I'd rather come in 6th trying to do that than get to FTC and lose.

-The Romeo plan turned out to be a decoy though as Mike and others actually wanted Drea out. 

-Jonathan showed his first signs of physical weakness. Like when Superman got exposed to Kryptonite for the first time. He mentioned how much he's wearing down and how hard it is to keep his tank of a body running on such limited fuel. Drea described him as "hangry" which felt accurate. They were working on the fishing net and Drea said "Well you can help, Jonathan" which aggravated Jonathan as he felt he's done a ton to provide for the tribe and isn't being appreciated. And while it is unfair to expect Jonathan to do everything, he should also understand that fishing for the tribe isn't enough to win this game. 

-People were turning on Jonathan. Drea thought he was rude. And Lindsay has had it out for him for awhile now, thinking he's a bad ally hurting her own game. Those two plus Maryanne and Romeo could come together and get Jonathan out. It seemed like our sweet prince might be on the chopping block. 

-Other non-strategy stuff from early in the episode, Maryanne loses her toenails a lot. And Drea is allergic to coconut. It was nice to see so much camp life in an episode. Personally, I'd rather see extra camp life and strategy than a reward challenge any day of the week. 

Immunity Challenge

-The Do Or Die twist was unfortunately back. Jeff explained that the players had an option to sit the challenge out. But if they played, the first person out would have to play a game of chance at tribal council that could send them home with no vote and no protection could save them. Or if they won the game, they'd have guaranteed safety at tribal. 

-I hate this twist and hope this and the hourglass go away forever after this season. I see absolutely no reason to play the challenge. I wouldn't want to risk my game in a game of chance. Also for this challenge especially, I know I wouldn't win it so why risk it? I think the only way I'd play is if I knew my ass was definitely in the jackpot. Because then you can protect yourself by either winning the challenge OR the do-or-die twist could actually save you and act as immunity. I guess I'd also play if I looked like Jonathan. But I thought Lindsay playing was a dumb decision. Those are the only two who opted in. 

-It was a hard fought challenge but Jonathan pulled it out, winning his second individual immunity necklace. 

Pre-Tribal

-Lindsay got a personal package about how she is a tough competitor and used to play football with the guys growing up. I was waiting for a sad story about her getting paralyzed or something but turned out to just be a nice thing. 

-Then we had some chaos. There were quite a few different plans going on. First of all, if Lindsay lost the Do Or Die then she was going home and there was no need for a vote. But if she won, then backup plans were needed. At first, Drea still wanted Romeo out. But Mike actually wanted Drea out. And Omar was considering blindsiding Mike for being too big of a threat. A lot going on. 

-But then Drea made the huge mistake of letting Omar know about her Knowledge Is Power advantage. She told him she has the power to take Mike's idol and they could then blindside him. But when you share that knowledge, it becomes much less powerful. If there's one thing people should learn from this season, it's KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ABOUT WHAT ADVANTAGES YOU HAVE. It's pretty much always going to come back to bite you in the ass. 

-At first, Omar was eating the plan up. He kind of wanted Mike out anyway and this was a great way to do that. But when he told Lindsay about Drea's advantage, Lindsay had the idea to actually blindside Drea. Why give Drea the power of another idol? (Also Lindsay probably wanted Drea out so her amulet could become a full idol). So then the thought became "Well should we tell Mike about this, take the idol from him, then vote out Drea?" OR could they be even sneakier about it and take Mike's idol then still vote him out anyway? Let's work through the pros and cons of each plan from the perspective of Omar and Lindsay. 

Plan A: If you don't tell Mike about Drea's advantage, then he goes home and sure that's good because he's a threat to win. But then you're letting Drea have this big move in front of the jury where she takes Mike's idol and pads her resume. She also would then have his idol to use in addition to her extra vote and amulet. This would've just made her too powerful and made her look too good to the jury. 

Plan B: If you tell Mike what Drea is going to do, hold onto his idol, and vote out Drea, then you save an ally in Mike, get Drea out who is a threat with advantages, and can maybe keep Mike's idol if he's very appreciative of what you did. A guy like Mike is very unlikely to turn on you after you saved his ass like that. 

Plan C: If you tell Mike about Drea's advantage, take his idol before tribal, and then vote him out, you get out a threat in Mike, and get to keep his idol. But the downside is Mike will be very bitter and you likely won't get his jury vote. And Drea will know something is up and lose trust in you. Plus everyone will know you have the idol and did this shady move which will just paint a huge target on your back. 

So I believe Plan B was their best option. 

Tribal Council

-Just a jam packed tribal council. Probably one of the more eventful tribals the show has ever had. There was just so much going on. 

-First up was Lindsay playing Do Or Die. It was the same setup Deshawn had last season. There were three boxes. One had a fire which represented safety. The other two had skulls which meant she was done. She got to choose one box. She chose the second. Jeff then revealed one of the other two boxes to have the skull behind it and gave Lindsay the choice to switch. This is the Monty Hall problem. Basically if you stay, you have a 1/3 chance of being safe. If you switch, you have a 2/3 chance of being safe. The math works out but if you don't trust me then Google it and you can read all about it. But the statistically smart thing to do is switch, although that's hard where you might kick yourself for not going with your gut. But you also might kick yourself for not going with the mathematically right decision and thus not giving yourself the better chance of safety. 

-On the jury, Hai was mouthing that she had to switch. No surprise since Hai is a smart guy with an analytics background. But our king Rocksroy wanted her to stay. Trust your gut and ignore math. That's the Rocksroy way. Our king! Lindsay stayed with her gut and it worked out, giving her safety. Math lies sometimes! Pretty wild that it played out the exact same way two seasons in a row where the person initially picked the right box and didn't switch. I'm happy for Lindsay because she did not deserve to go out that way. 

-So now there had to be a vote. But before the vote, Drea used her Knowledge Is Power to ask Mike if he had the idol. The audience had no idea if Omar warned him or not. But it turns out he did! Mike played it well but said "No I don't." We then saw the flashback to Omar telling Mike about it and getting his idol. Everyone, especially Drea, was shocked. Except for Rocksroy. 

A calm king. 

-Drea used her extra vote but it wasn't enough. There were 5 votes against Drea and 3 against Mike (the two from Drea and then Romeo). So Drea was sent packing.

-It was a wholesome moment at first as her and Mike hugged and he said he'd go visit her in Canada. But then Drea basically gave an individual speech to everyone before leaving. Said she was rooting for Lindsay. Told Mike he'd win if he gets to the end, which he rightfully acknowledged as a "kiss of death." Said she never had a problem with Jonathan. Said Omar is the only person she ever told a secret to. I think there was more. Look, it's not the first time we've seen a player say stuff when leaving, but this seemed like more than ever and I never like it. Once you're voted out, you should leave the tribal council area immediately. You shouldn't get to blow up someone's game. Hopefully Jeff and production are better at stopping this in future seasons. 

-Drea was a solid player and I wouldn't be shocked to see her back in a future season. She never had the winner edit in my opinion though and that proved to be correct. 

-Just an overall amazing tribal council. 

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. Omar - The overwhelming favorite. I would be both shocked and disappointed if he doesn't win at this point. He's playing the best game by FAR and continues to impress every single week. His edit is great too. There was a shot last night where it looked like he was sitting on a throne similar to Cochran in Season 26. He hasn't had a vote against him all game. I would love to see him put together the Survivor perfect game. 

2. Lindsay - She has really skyrocketed up the rankings the last few weeks. She was invisible for the first half of the season, but she's been getting a lot more screen time lately and has been shown as a smart player who is always in the decision making on votes. I still think it would be crazy for the winner to be so under-edited for the majority of the season, but she makes more sense than the rest on the list. 

3. Mike - I think that Drea is right in saying Mike will win if he gets to the end. But because of that, I don't think they let him get to the end. People are catching onto how well he's playing and his ego is starting to grow. I think it'll catch up to him. 

4. Maryanne - Maryanne is a tough one. She hasn't really done anything to add to her winning resume. But she also hasn't pissed anyone off. I think she can only win if she's in the end with the two people below her. Her main fault is that she's just annoying. But if she can get a successful idol or extra vote play under her belt, maybe she can add to her resume. 

5. Romeo - I've had him higher but last night really showed that everyone kind of thinks he's doing nothing but eating rice and being dragged along. I still think he's smart and he did have a good confessional early about how the underdogs can rise up and take over the game. But until he actually does something, he falls in the rankings. 

6. Jonathan - It just seems clear that nobody really likes or respects his game. He's been mocked both to his face and behind his back. Even if he's at the end, I don't think he wins. And there's always the chance they take him out ahead of time for being such a challenge threat. 

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