Survivor 43

Christine & Gia’s Island Round-Up – Episode 9

Christine and Gia break down Episode 9.

Photo: CBS

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

Two Tribals are Back

Gia: Survivor 43 has a few noticeable differences from the two other most recent seasons, but one thing that has stayed the same is the double tribal council at the final ten. This was probably one of the less exciting double tribal councils we’ve experienced, but we did see The Seven splinter here as a result of how the tribe divisions turned out.

What About the Big Girls?!

Gia: The three remaining women of the season showed up and showed out this episode, but the star of the immunity challenge was undeniably Karla. She didn’t win the PB&J reward (that particular congratulations goes to Cody), but she was able to win immunity on the Blue team while dropping the titular line of the episode. This one is for the big girls!

Photo: CBS

Owen vs. James

Christine: It’s a great time to be a Survivor Argument Appreciator! First, we had Gabler vs. Elie at the fake merge, and now we got Owen vs. James this week. Tensions were high after Owen realized that James had lied to him and tried to get him to vote Ryan at the last vote, and eventually led to an argument between the two once Owen realized he was a target. While the disagreement started at the water well, it soon moved to the main camp area with the entire blue team as the audience. The public fight was entertaining enough, but Noelle made it even funnier by interrupting to offer everyone a papaya. Perfect comedic timing; no notes.

Top 3 Players


Christine: It’s almost hard to believe how well Karla is playing without anyone clocking her as one of the biggest threats heading into the final eight. She scored an impressive immunity win this week with an injured finger, but I get the impression that she would’ve been safe at this tribal council regardless, thanks to her strong social game.

Sami seemingly greatly values her opinion and pitched her on the James blindside plan, which she ultimately agreed with. On paper, this wasn’t the best outcome for her since James was her close ally. But James being continually targeted made him more and more of a liability for Karla’s game, and his Knowledge is Power posed a major threat to her idol if he ever decided to turn on her. Even though James going wasn’t her best outcome here, she still came out of this vote with her idol still in her possession and plenty of options moving forward.

Photo: CBS


Noelle has been out of the vote multiple times, and it was clear that she was playing from the bottom for a while. This split tribal was her chance to shine, and she used everything in her arsenal to make it happen. She used her steal-a-vote to better protect herself from James’ Knowledge is Power and was the primary force behind his ousting. Noelle came out on top in this episode, so let’s hope this isn’t the highest her game will go.


Gia: Cody’s taken a backseat the past few episodes to make room for Jesse’s shenanigans, but he has proven that he can still hold his own. He won the Red team’s individual immunity, secured the reward, and won the right to have his tribe go second to tribal council. This was crucial in the decision to vote out Ryan over Cassidy and solidified Cody and Jesse’s standings as the true forces to be reckoned with moving forward.

Advantage Watch


Gia: Nothing has really changed on the idol front. Jesse and Karla both have their secret idols, and I’m guessing that Cody’s idol is either in his or Jesse’s possession. With only 8 people left in the game, I think we can expect at least one idol to be played relatively soon.


Christine: Noelle’s Steal-A-Vote finally got some action this week! There’s been a lot of talk about whether she “wasted” it or not, but I err on the side of “not totally necessary, but a good use of the advantage nonetheless.” By stealing Owen’s vote, Noelle was able to further protect her game by eliminating an element of chance (Owen potentially playing his shot in the dark and being safe) and keeping James feeling comfortable enough to refrain from playing any advantage he might have.

Keeping in mind that no one knows Karla has the Coco idol, Noelle’s concerns about making James feel as safe as possible are totally reasonable given that, from her perspective, he could just as easily have an idol. Again, not a totally necessary use of the Steal-A-Vote in the end, but it’s still a clever defensive play.

Knowledge is Power

Christine: The Knowledge is Power advantage remains unsuccessful once again, leaving in James’ pocket. I’m not totally against the concept of an advantage, but given its track record, I’m ready to see it retired for the time being. Bring it back for another Ghost Island season in the future to see if someone can finally play it right, but otherwise, I’m bored of it.

Fallen Comrades

Christine: James was one of my potential winner picks heading into the season, and he lived up to my high expectations when he and Karla started running Coco in the pre-merge. They seemed like an unstoppable duo, but James’ stock tanked when he was targeted at the fake merge and his Knowledge is Power became public knowledge, and he never managed to recover.

Photo: CBS

As for Ryan, he didn’t have much chance to get his game off the ground after his number one ally, Geo, was blindsided in the pre-merge. His ability to provide for his tribemates kept him afloat these past few weeks, but he was ultimately too big of a physical threat to keep in the game.

Gia: As a Day 1 Coco fan, I am utterly devastated to lose both Ryan and James here. Ryan is the type of contestant I wish we saw more of in modern Survivor. His strategy (or lack thereof) is similar to what we saw from the old-school era, and I know his fishing abilities would make his Survivor hero Rupert proud. I never considered him a likely candidate for the win, but what we got from him was genuine feel-good entertainment.

Photo: CBS

James was the opposite but still just as rootable as Ryan. James was one-half the dominant duo that was him and Karla in the pre-merge and was doing well for himself in the merge. Unfortunately, his bonds with those in the minority weren’t as strong, which cost him the game in the split tribal councils. James was a force, and I hope the fanbase remembers him as such. Plus, he’s a fellow Survivor: Fiji fan, so I know he has excellent taste.

Written by

Christine Pallon

Christine is a writer, musician, and lifelong Survivor nerd based out of Urbana, Illinois. When she’s not playing shows with her bands or working at her day job at a tech company, she spends her free time tweeting about bad horror movies, Kate Bush, and the filmography of Juliette Binoche. Christine writes Inside Survivor’s episode recaps for Survivor US.

Gia Worthy

Gia Worthy is a Massachusetts native and a lifelong fan of Survivor. When she's not helping to run the Survivor Diversity Campaign Twitter page, you can find her on her own Twitter, letting everyone know that Survivor: Marquesas and Fiji are criminally underrated.

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