It’s been a long while since a Next Time On Survivor post here, but I’m back for Season 41! A quick recap: the NTOS column takes a closer look at each episode’s trailers and any sneak previews we may get. I attempt to break down what I think is happening in these shrouded sequences and naturally offer my humble speculations for the upcoming episode of the season. Let’s just get right in!
Right off the bat, the NTOS preview begins with Brad running through the jungle, racing down the beach, and then hiding among the tropical plants. These shots are interspersed first with a confessional from Shan rolling her eyes and muttering “oh, my god,” and then a quick back view of Ricard and JD walking down the jungle path. Brad then narrates, “I dive right in there, sure enough, here they come right down the trail.”
This whole sequence reads like a typical idol hunting scene—one player darts into the jungle alone in search of the hidden immunity idol while coming dangerously close to being found out by other players.
However, I feel like this preview focuses less on the results of the idol hunt itself and speaks more about Brad and his relationship with his Ua tribemates. Though it may be spliced from a different scene altogether, Shan’s eye roll communicates an annoyance or even an exasperation. Put together with Brad’s crazed sprinting, I feel that the sequence undermines Brad’s position on the tribe, and I expect his name to be floated for elimination should Ua go to Tribal Council again in Episode 2.
Over on the Luvu tribe, this week’s NTOS trailer clearly shines the spotlight on Naseer. The 37-year-old has shared in his pre-season press about how growing up in a remote village in Sri Lanka has prepared him for the survival aspects of the show. Here, he is expectedly in his element foraging in the Fijian jungle and tending to his tribe’s fire at camp.
Unfortunately for Naseer, this seemingly triumphant sequence for him is framed by Sydney’s blunt, matter-of-fact confessional where she states, “We’re trying to learn as much from him so we can boot him.” This is in line with our parting understanding of Naseer in the premiere episode, where he was regarded as rather unattuned with the rest of the tribe.
It’s clear that this sentiment will continue in Episode 2. However, I do think that Naseer will be safe from elimination for now. Gone are the days where players were booted because they were a quirky bother to the tribe. If anything, I’m predicting he’ll be an easy name to throw out to set up a blindside of someone deemed more dangerous on Luvu.
The final portion of the NTOS trailer is set at Yase camp, ending with a rather generic confessional from Xander emphasising how “this is a new game.” To me, this merely reads just as an informational soundbite to nicely round up the preview. One thing of note here would be the shot of Liana, Evvie, and Tiffany together and a displeased Liana swearing. By elimination, I’m guessing one of the other women informs her that Xander or Voce is targeting her.
My prediction is that this sets off a plan where the three women form a 3-person majority to take out Voce. I’ll add to this prediction by connecting it to the “strategy test” that Jeff Probst puts forth to us for Episode 2—he asks: “would you ever allow your alliance to put your name out as a decoy vote?” My wild guess is that Liana’s placed in the middle of a plan risking her name as the sacrificial decoy to gratify the men, and we’ll see her unease weighing her odds and ability to trust the two other women.
On that note, if I had to guess the player that gets eliminated in Episode 3, I would pick Voce from the Yase tribe. As mentioned, I’m predicting the women stick together, and I feel like we’ll be seeing more of Xander compared to Voce. It’s really tough to choose one player as we can’t even be sure which tribe’s going to Tribal. Nonetheless, I feel that Brad and Naseer, the two players highlighted in the NTOS trailer, will not be eliminated as it’s just too on the nose to reveal it all in a preview.
This season’s off to a promising start! Leave a comment below with your predictions for the next episode, and feel free to share your favourite parts of the previews as well!