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 sixth episode.
The tribes have merged! (Kind of)
Christine: Last week’s episode was odd on just about every level, starting with this convoluted merge twist, which Jeff called “earning” the merge. Our castaways were randomly divided into two teams, with two people (Erika and Naseer) sitting out. The team that won the (incredibly physically demanding) challenge—which ended up being the blue team made up of Danny, Deshawn, and Sydney from Luvu, Evvie from Yase, and Ricard from Ua—earned a merge buff and immunity at the first merge Tribal Council.
That team then chose to exile Erika over Naseer, and the twist got even more complicated after getting into the hourglass of it all. I was a bit relieved when I realized there was no Tribal this episode, since it at least meant we wouldn’t be getting a rushed merge vote squeezed in after all of the time spent on the twist. But the lack of Tribal made for a very odd “merge” episode. It is a new era, after all, but there’s something to be said about letting the dynamics of a merge vote play out as-is instead of trying to artificially add layers of complexity via a twist like this one.
Christine: This wasn’t a big game moment or anything, but Tiffany dropping a “Baruch Hashem” while eating the Loser Rice was one of the more talked-about moments on social media this week, especially among Jewish fans of the show. Even when she’s not at the center of a vote or involved in a twist, Queen Tiffany always manages to get the people talking.
Erika learns to time travel
Gia: Of course, they were never just going to send Erika to Exile for nothing, right? Obviously, there would be repercussions, even if her former Luvu members didn’t see it coming. The rest of the castaways agreed that voting off Erika next would be the most peaceful option, but little do they know she’s just become the most powerful person in the game.
Erika has the choice to reward immunity to the other team—and give herself immunity in the process. If she chooses to reverse the decision, then the team that just exiled her will have their immunity revoked. We’ll learn what Erika’s decision is in this week’s episode, but given everything she gains if she changes the outcome, I’d be shocked if she sticks to the status quo.
Gia: Oh Danny, I have such high hopes for you. The former NFL player had a bit of a mixed edit this week. On the one hand, it’s clear he’s getting paranoid about the number of men that left consecutively. Not to mention he told Evvie, of all people, who I will remind you, wrote “men” as their pet peeve in their bio, about this fear. He also fumbled his explanation to Erika about why they picked her to go to Exile over Naseer, and now she’s the most powerful person in the game.
However, he still appears to be in good standing with most of his tribe, and is making connections with the other castaways as well. Most notably, he and Deshawn have formed an alliance with Shan and Liana, affectionately dubbed “The Campout” by Twitter. I can’t help but think this alliance will come into effect soon, so I’m not particularly worried about Danny going home this round, even if he does lose immunity.
Christine: Previously, Liana came into possession of one of the most powerful advantages Survivor has seen thus far. Right at the merge, Shan put Liana in a bit of a tough spot by asking her about the advantage right in front of Tiffany. Liana recovered with Tiffany as best as she could, but the roots of a potential Liana vs. Tiffany battle might be on the horizon, with Liana clocking in her confessional how dangerous of a force Tiffany might be in this game.
Building on their connection during their summit meeting last episode, Shan and Liana now also have a new alliance with DeShawn and Danny. With this alliance and her advantage, Liana seems poised to be one of the major players in this merge, especially if she uses her advantage at the right time and in the right way.
Gia: If there’s one thing to be gained by this mind-numbing merge twist, it’s that we finally got to see more of Erika. Us Erika Truthers have known she is great, but now we finally get to see her shine on her own, away from a tribe where she is clearly on the bottom. We learned more about her outside of the game and saw how she persevered on Exile while everyone else was making connections.
Of course, the episode ended on a cliffhanger, where she was given the choice to switch the outcome of the immunity challenge and give herself safety in the process. Honestly, this isn’t really that much of a dilemma, but I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome nonetheless. Now, if only we could get Heather some screen time as well…
Gia: I’m starting to think that the “game within a game” for Season 41 is actually production testing how many advantages they can squeeze into 26 days. Now that the three tribes are history, we’ve decided to use our third section for a much-needed Advantage Watch. There’s a lot to keep track of, and we’re going to do our best to keep everything in order for anyone else that’s also confused.
Christine: Since there was no Tribal this episode, the question of idols didn’t come up too much. They did, however, factor into the near-immediate bond Naseer and Xander made at the merge when they recognized they would both be targets sooner rather than later and should work together. The public nature of the idols this season allowed for a moment like this, where two players who had previously never met could form an instant connection based on a shared power in the game.
Gia: As of now, Shan, Xander, and Deshawn all have extra votes. Shan eventually got hers back from Ricard, while Xander has built himself up to be quite the target with his hoard of advantages. We’ve heard very little about Deshawn’s extra vote since he has yet to go to a Tribal, but I can only imagine it’s going to come up soon, especially if he loses his safety.
Knowledge is Power
Gia: Liana is still holding on tight to the Knowledge is Power advantage, despite the minor drama that unfolded when Shan asked her about it in front of Tiffany. For those confused, Liana can steal an idol or advantage from someone if she asks the right person if they have one. Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem, since the phrases have made it abundantly clear who has what. She might not need to use it this round if Erika changes the outcome of the first challenge, but I’d still be worried if I were Xander or Naseer.
Turn Back Time
Christine: Erika was granted unprecedented power at the end of this episode when Jeff informed her that she could “change history” and “turn back time” if she wanted to, simply by smashing an hourglass with a hammer. Ignoring how goofy the metaphor here is (she doesn’t need a hammer! She’s just turning back time, not destroying the concept of time itself!), this twist feels a little lopsided in that there’s absolutely no incentive for Erika to keep things as they are. The player sent to Exile was excluded by the winning tribe by design; of course they’re going to choose immunity for themselves!
We’ll see what Erika ultimately decides this week, but it feels like an obvious choice given everything we know about OG Luvu and the way Erika was feeling when she got sent to Exile.