Each week, Christine Pallon and Gia Worthy will round up the previous week of Survivor 41 as they list their top moments in various important categories. This includes the most essential information, the stand-out castaways, and the key moments from the week.
Here, Christine and Gia break down all the action from the season premiere.
Top 3 Moments
Savvy or Sweat
Gia: After Ua blew Yase and Luvu out of the water in their first challenge, the two losing tribes got to make a choice on how they would earn the supplies they lost. The tribes had to choose between two tasks: “Savvy” (correctly guess the number of triangles in a puzzle) or “Sweat” (two players fill two barrels with seawater while the rest of the tribe sets up camp).
Both tribes went with “Sweat,” with Danny and Deshawn filling the barrels at Luvu while Xander and Voce took the helm at Yase. Danny and Deshawn may have gotten themselves into some trouble with their idol-hunting break, but the important thing is that both tribes completed their task and were awarded accordingly.
Gia: In between their reward and immunity challenges, one member from each tribe was chosen to leave camp, make a decision, and leave right after. They had no idea what the decision was or who it could potentially benefit or hinder. Ultimately, Danny, JD, and Xander were chosen for what they discovered to be a Prisoner’s Dilemma.
After getting to know one another during their trip, each player had to individually decide whether they wanted to protect or risk their vote. If all three chose “Protect Your Vote,” then nothing changed. If they all chose “Risk Your Vote,” then they would all lose their vote at the next Tribal. If the decision was split, then the players that picked “Protect” kept the one vote, but the players that chose “Risk” earned an extra vote. Danny picked “Protect,” while JD and Xander chose “Risk,” meaning they now each have an extra vote.
It was a fun segment to learn more about each player, but the real fun happened when they got back to camp. Danny and Xander were able to explain to their tribe what happened pretty easily, but no one was buying what JD wasis selling, despite him actually telling them the truth (well, mostly).
Come on in!
Christine: For better or worse, this was the most talked-about moment of the entire premiere. At the marooning, Jeff asked the players whether or not he should drop the “guys” from his “Come on in, guys!” catchphrase in the name of inclusivity. No one had an issue with the word “guys” in that initial conversation, but at the immunity challenge later in the episode, Ricard spoke up and suggested dropping it. Jeff agreed, and that was that.
The backlash to this incredibly innocuous change (especially towards Ricard) has certainly been ridiculous, but I do take issue with how production approached this issue. There’s something to be said about the importance of airing these kinds of conversations, but the way Jeff sort of flippantly brought up the subject felt more like an opportunity to perform how much he and Survivor have progressed over the years rather than tackle a genuine concern.
This is a conversation that could have easily happened off-camera, with a quick note about why they changed it at the top of the premiere. Instead, Survivor put the onus on the cast—its most diverse yet, with several out queer players—to make that judgment call on-camera. These players are already subject to so much unwarranted online hate by virtue of simply existing in the public eye, so it feels a little irresponsible for Survivor to put them on the spot like this when they didn’t have to be.
Christine: Our blue tribe, Luvu, got off to a bit of a rocky start when they failed to unclip their boat in the opening challenge and came short of winning those crucial Day One supplies. Since they didn’t go to Tribal Council, much of what we saw on Luvu this episode related to the Danny and DeShawn idol-hunting shenanigans and Danny’s decision to protect his vote rather than risk it for an advantage.
By being safe from the vote in this jam-packed premiere, Luvu is the tribe we know least about going into Episode 2. Still, we can probably expect the conflict between Danny, DeShawn, and Naseer to come up again sooner rather than later.
Gia: Ua was all over the place this episode, experiencing both the highest highs and the lowest lows within the 2-hour premiere. They won their first reward challenge by a landslide, but they also had the messier of the two Tribal Councils, and it wasn’t even close. They told Jeff that it’s because they all love each other that the Tribal was so difficult for them, but I think it’s more so due to how cutthroat the Ua castaways can get.
As of now, this dysfunctional little family is by far my favorite of the three, and every one of them provided something memorable in the premiere. I hope they don’t go to Tribal again because I can’t bear to lose any more of them. However, if they do lose again, we’re probably in for wonderful content.
Christine: Oh, Yase. In this new era of Survivor, they’re the first victims of Jeff’’s brutal challenge commentary with that abysmal opening challenge performance. But, like Ua, we got to get a decent look at their tribe dynamics in this premiere.
Yase’s Tribal Council ended up being relatively straightforward, especially compared to Ua’s: a minor power struggle between Tiffany and Abraham, with Tiffany coming out on top in a unanimous vote. But moving forward, things have the potential to get very interesting on Yase with only five players left and Xander’s Extra Vote in play.
Gia: Abraham had a solid plan for the Yase tribe. He wanted to keep the tribe strong so that they would do better in challenges, a textbook example of what is expected in a Survivor pre-merge. To him, this means the obvious choice for the vote was Tiffany. Unfortunately for Abraham, the “keep the tribe strong” mentality scared the likes of Evvie and Liana, who feared that they would be on the chopping block next if that was the precedent set.
Unfortunately, this meant that the Cyber Security Analyst was voted out unanimously at the first Tribal Council. On another season, Abraham might have emerged as a successful leader amongst his peers, but this just wasn’t the case on Survivor 41.
Gia: We got to know quite a bit about Sara in the premiere, but unfortunately, that is where her time in the show ends. After going through some severe hardships in the midst of the pandemic, she was ready to fight for her place in the game every step of the way. She got along well with her tribemates, and up until the immunity challenge, it appeared that she was in a secure position in Ua.
Sadly, she was made into a target by some after she and Shan messed up the puzzle and cost them immunity. To be fair to her, Ua was all over the place for most of their time at camp, and this chaotic energy carried over into Tribal. In the end, Sara just couldn’t get the votes on her side, and her decision to not take her Shot in the Dark sealed her fate.
Christine: As the one non-eliminated player we’re highlighting this week, Shan stands out as one of the premiere’s breakout characters. Better yet, she was a breakout character despite not being involved in any of the episode’s twists or advantages, instead making her mark as one of this season’s charismatic narrators.
Despite initially having her name thrown out by Brad (right in front of her, no less), Shan ended up being able to maneuver herself into the center of the action at Ua’s chaotic Tribal Council. Plus, she’s the only player so far with their very own evil theme song—how can we NOT highlight her here?