Each week, Christine Pallon and Gia Worthy will round up the previous week of Survivor 43 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 ninth episode.
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Top 3 Moments
Distrust is Brewing
Gia: Despite both double tribal councils being unanimous votes, the means didn’t necessarily justify the end result. While voting out Ryan solidified Cody and Jesse’s trust in Cassidy, Sami letting Karla in on the James vote showed his cards to everyone else. It seems that Sami has gained a reputation for being an unreliable ally to both sides, something we hadn’t known previously. This definitely changes Sami’s chances of winning from what I previously thought. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but now we are finally seeing the imperfections in his game.
Reward Drama is Back
Gia: We finally got a reward challenge this season, and it did not disappoint. Noelle won the challenge in an incredible come-from-behind victory and chose to take Sami, Owen, and Jesse with her. While they spent the day reading letters from home, eating pizza, and targeting Karla and Cassidy, the other castaways were able to conspire against the winners, mainly Noelle herself. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten some reward drama, and I hope we get more in the future!
Jesse pulls off a heist
Christine: Jesse was already one of the undisputed main characters of this season, but the post-immunity challenge segment of this week’s episode really sealed the deal. Noelle’s elimination was presented almost entirely from Jesse’s perspective as text chyrons outlined each step of his “heist plan” to eliminate her while keeping the target off himself. His plan worked out and Noelle was eliminated 5-2-1, but he didn’t get off completely scot-free. A conversation between Gabler and Karla just before tribal strongly suggests that Jesse and Cody will be in the hot seat for calling all the shots sooner rather than later.
Top 3 Players
Christine: This was another big episode for Jesse, and with two idols in his pocket (one completely secret), it seems like his position in the game couldn’t be any better. Between those idols, getting to go on the reward and read his loved ones letters, and getting his desired outcome with this week’s vote, Jesse is flying high. I can’t help but feel that he’s going to get Icarus’d out of the game soon with a big blindside. As long as he has the intuition to play one of the idols in his possession, he’s golden for at least a couple more rounds, but I worry that he’ll get overconfident after such a successful past few rounds for him.
Gia: Cassidy had a quiet start this season, but the edit is finally giving her a chance to shine in its end stages. She survived the double tribal council and finally gained some momentum to take out the biggest threats to her game. Some castaways wanted to stop her before she got too powerful, so she came in with an essential immunity win to thwart their plans. Lesson learned, never underestimate the power of a superfan.
Gia: I’d argue that no one was in a better position than Gabler in this episode, not even Jesse. Despite Jesse’s confidence in how well-situated he was, it was Gabler that had the connections to spearhead a potential blindside. Even before that, he was the clear swing vote between the plans to take out Cassidy or Noelle. It was the perfect place to find yourself at the final 8, and he was well aware of it. While Gabler’s idea to break up Cody and Jesse didn’t come to fruition this episode, I don’t think this means that Jesse is in the clear just yet.
Christine: All three pre-merge idols are still in the game: Cody’s and Jeaine’s idols are in Jesse’s possession, and Karla is still holding onto the Coco idol. The biggest development this week was Jesse’s reveal that he knows Karla most likely has the Coco idol. We were previously led to believe that her idol was still a secret, but it’s apparently more of an open secret after all. With three idols left going into the final seven, I’ll be absolutely shocked if no idols are played at all next week, but stranger things have happened on Survivor.
Christine: I drafted Noelle this season, but in my assessment of her, I was skeptical of her longevity in the game. I worried she would be too competitive and would play too hard and too fast and make an early target of herself. But she proved me wrong. She was an absolute beast in challenges, was well-liked by seemingly everyone, and recovered from being on the bottom of Vesi after the Justine vote to get herself into a strong position at the merge. Her (ultimately unnecessary but still interesting) defensive use of her steal-a-vote last week didn’t translate to long-term survival, but she has a lot to be proud of from her time in the game.
Gia: Noelle was a powerhouse from beginning to end. I expect nothing less from a competitive athlete of her caliber, but it was still impressive to see nonetheless. Even though she was left out of the vote a few times, her determination and resilience are what fans will remember for many seasons to come. In Noelle’s final message, she said she hoped she inspired a whole new generation of fans to apply to the show. I have no doubt that fans of all ages are in awe of her journey on Survivor 43.