Each week, Christine Pallon and Gia Worthy will round up the previous week of Survivor 44 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 latest episode.
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Top 3 Moments
Everyone catches onto Carolyn
Christine: A recurring theme this season has been “everyone underestimates Carolyn,” but this theme finally ended this episode. Following her (smart, if ultimately unnecessary) idol play on Carson last week, Carolyn got a bit too excited about her move and shared all the details about her idol with her tribemates: how and when she found it, her whole “red X” plan, Sara leaving with the fake, etc.
This served as a big wake-up call to the rest of the players in the game, and this episode was all about whether or not the vote would turn against her or not. By all accounts, this episode should have been a Carolyn blindside, given how much everyone was talking about her as a threat, but she managed to pull through despite the odds.
The Sanctuary: Where Good Things Happen
Gia: The Survivor Sanctuary returned, this time to offer an opportunity to discuss a fracture in the Tika alliance. Lauren, Carson, and Yam Yam won the reward challenge, leaving Carolyn, Heidi, and Jaime back at camp. Jaime suggested voting out Carson to Carolyn, with little success. Lauren had a bit more luck on her end with pushing Carolyn’s name to Carson and Yam Yam. The former was uninterested, but Yam Yam seriously considered the proposal. Unfortunately for Lauren (and especially Jaime), the attempted blindside didn’t pan out.
The Tika 3 Stay Strong
Gia: The big question of the episode was whether or not Tika would stay together into the finale. After Carolyn started to reveal all she had done throughout the season, Yam Yam was worried that this may be the time to take her out. Ratu members Lauren and Jaime were on board, but Carson and Heidi leaned more toward taking out a Ratu member. Yam Yam decided to stick with the three and keep Carolyn for another round, but I fear we won’t know whether or not this was the right call until the finale.
Top 3 Contestants
Christine: While it seems like Carson was never genuinely interested in taking out Carolyn, Yam Yam was more openly weighing his options. The final six vote is almost always pivotal, but this time the pivotal moment was what Yam Yam didn’t do rather than what he did do. Jaime leaving the game isn’t a massive shakeup or a particularly shocking elimination. Rather, Yam Yam (and Carson) choosing to keep Carolyn was this season’s major final six decision.
This episode was all about Yam Yam seeing Carolyn for the threat she is and making the necessary calculations to determine whether it was worth keeping her around. He ultimately chose to side with Carolyn and Carson, likely because Carson was unwilling to budge. We’ll find out next week whether or not this decision will come back to bite Yam Yam or not.
Gia: Heidi has been receiving votes at every turn, so I can’t blame her for being worried about history repeating itself here. She has the sole idol left in the game and is hoping to find another one to secure a place in the final four. Despite it not being revealed if anyone actually found the idol, online fans are convinced that she has it; hence the idol play this round. My only concern for Heidi is that I don’t understand her logic in wanting to move forward with Tika over Ratu. Perhaps she knows something we don’t, but it appears she is actively destroying her winning chances with this choice.
Gia: She might have lost her ally, but I still think this was a solid episode of Lauren. She has the right idea in splitting up Tika, and she secured her second individual immunity win. My qualm with Lauren is actually a qualm I have with production. Why aren’t we seeing more of her? She’s made it to the final five, and I think she has a better idea of what she needs to do to win than at least two other members of the final five. I’m not losing hope for her just yet, but she has a tough road ahead of her.
Christine: Heidi played her idol this week, just in case she needed it. She didn’t end up catching any votes. Still, given that she’s the last Soka standing, it was a reasonable idol play to guarantee her safety in the event that the Ratus and the Tikas decided to team up against her and prevent her from sneaking to the end as a free agent. While we didn’t see anyone find a re-hidden idol this week, there’s always the potential for one to be hidden at the final five camp, especially now that Heidi has played hers.
Christine: Our pixelated queen has fallen! Jaime was an immediate pre-season favorite for me, falling into a beloved Survivor archetype of mine: the Kind of Wacky Lady. She made history by having the first successful (if unneeded) Shot in the Dark play in episode one, found a fake idol, lost her fake idol, and made it all the way to sixth place. She was never quite able to get her game off the ground once Ratu fell apart in the merge, but she was one of the most delightful and memorable characters of the season for me, and I’ll miss her dearly.
Gia: Jaime was an underrated source of entertainment throughout the season, and I’m so sad to lose her right before finale night. Every moment of her on-screen was an instant boost of serotonin, and she even made a bit of history as the first contestant to successfully play Shot in the Dark. She didn’t get everything right, but my favorite players rarely do. Let’s welcome Jaime to the sixth-place Robbed Goddess club!