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 sixth episode.
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Top 3 Moments
Earn the merge (minus the hourglass)
Christine: After first appearing in 41 and 42, the “earn the merge” twist is back, with one notable difference. After our tribes were joined together at Baka’s camp, they were broken up into two teams to compete for immunity, with odd-one-out Noelle getting to choose which team to bet her future in the game on. She picked correctly when she chose Dwight, Gabler, Karla, Jeanine, Jesse, and Ryan, who won the challenge, leaving the remaining players vulnerable to the vote.
The removal of the hourglass twist (thanks, Danny!) was logical since our 43 players saw it play out twice before filming, but the “earn the merge” twist now feels especially pointless. This vote ended up being pretty fun and chaotic, but why can’t we just have a good old-fashioned merge vote?
The merge feast (sort of)
Gia: While the losers were busy panicking and conspiring, the winners got to enjoy the sad excuse for the merge feast we now get. While the food may have been disappointing, no one can deny the tea was served, Ryan suggesting that they make an alliance of 7 was crazy enough, but that was just an appetizer to the main course. Most players were willing to vouch for their tribemates, but Gabler was all too excited to let everyone know that Elie could not be trusted. I don’t know how successful he was in gaining any long-term allies, but he was successful in taking Elie out of the game.
All hell breaks loose
Christine: After Jeanine tipped Elie off about Gabler throwing her under the bus, Elie directly confronted Gabler and asserted her innocence. Things got even messier after Elie and Gabler’s confrontation as Elie scrambled to get the votes off of her. Elie pulled Owen and Sami aside to warn them about Gabler and stay Baka strong, with a plan to align with Vesi and split the votes between Cassidy and James.
Meanwhile, news of Elie’s wheeling and dealing spread around the tribe in a chaotic game of telephone as Jeanine and Elie discussed the possibility of playing Baka’s idol. The whole mess was a classic Survivor pre-tribal scramble, with Elie getting blindsided in a 7-2-1-1 vote.
Top 3 Players
Christine: For better or worse (mostly worse), Gabler played a major role in how this week’s vote played out. His bold decision to throw Elie under the bus at the feast set the gears in motion for her blindside, but he got his way at the expense of his Baka tribemates’ trust. Jeanine was always against him, but his decision to expose Elie didn’t make Owen and Sami feel very confident about working with him moving forward. He had a big week and got exactly what he wanted, but I have a hard time seeing Gabler survive more than another vote or two.
Christine: Sami, once again, had a great episode. He was the only non-immune person who didn’t have their name thrown out or catch a vote. His ally Gabler really blew up his spot, but he managed to recover with Elie and keep suspicion off of himself even as he was still actively targeting her. Even better, it doesn’t seem like anyone considers him to be a threat right now. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect him to thrive in this game when reading his pre-season press, but he continues to impress me in every episode.
Gia: Despite him being in the firing line this episode, James was able to maintain his composure and correctly identify who he could trust moving forward. Most importantly, he was able to tell when Elie was lying about wanting to work with him. In comparison to his ally Karla, James has been getting a quieter edit, but what we’ve seen from him so far has been impressive.
Gia: Despite Jeanine wavering at the possibility of playing her idol, she decided to take the risk and keep it for another day. With Gabler’s idol officially null and void, Jeanine, Cody, and Karla are our remaining idol holders.
Christine: Not much talk this week of Noelle’s steal-a-vote. James and Owen know she has it since they helped ensure she got it at their summit visit, and Dwight is also in the loop. Other than that, we have no indication of how or when Noelle might play it.
Christine: Elie was one of my draft picks because I expected her to play a strong social, silent assassin type of game. I was terribly, terribly wrong. She had a lot of power week one, but she used that to take out a loyal ally in Morriah. Every subsequent episode felt like Elie was taking another leap toward her eventual downfall. She played too hard, too fast, blindly trusted Sami, and had little to no awareness of her actual position in the game until it was far too late. I was hoping she would stay around another episode or two so we could get more of her feud with Gabler, but her blindside here made for a fun “merge” downfall, so I can’t complain.
Gia: Elie was a force for the time she was in the game. Unfortunately for her, this bright light burned out quickly, just missing the jury. Things appeared to be going well for Elie, but she made a few mistakes that led to her demise. She trusted Owen too little and Sami too much. She made her duo with Jeanine too obvious and her lack of faith in Gabler too apparent. Nonetheless, she was one of the stars of the pre-merge, a player we are sure to remember for years to come.