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
X Marks the Spot
Gia: At this point, I’d say we can all just assume that any funny business going on over at Tika is Carolyn’s doing. Tika started the episode by being greeted by a red X through their birdcage, raising suspicion amongst the tribe. Assumptions were made, but the truth was all the funnier. Turns out Carolyn wanted to ensure that someone else found the fake idol, so she used the red sticks as a fake hint to locate the decoy trinket. The craziest part about this plan is that it worked. Sarah found the faux idol, and she even left the game thinking it was real.
A Surprise Swap…and Three Surprise Idols
Christine: This week’s summit had a big twist: the three contestants – Jaime, Carson, and Josh – not only received free idols that must be used before the merge but were also forced to swap to a new tribe. Carson was sent to Ratu, Josh was sent to Tika, and Jaime was sent to Soka.
I have mixed feelings about this twist. I appreciate the attempt to make this swap twist more “fair” by giving each of them an idol. After all, they would only have a very short amount of time to socialize before the next tribal since most of that time would be spent doing confessionals and competing in the immunity challenge. Still, three fully-powered idols that must be used before the merge feels like a bit of an overcorrection at best and a cheap ploy to force more idol plays early in the game at worst.
A Messy, Messy Tribal Council
Gia: The Tika tribe had a good thing going for a while, but all good things must come to an end. After a successful first tribal council with Yam Yam and Carolyn reigning supreme, the two couldn’t be on more different paths now. The tension between the two is palpable, but the ironic part is that Yam Yam thinks it’s all for show, while Carolyn is genuinely frustrated with the plan to be the decoy vote. What started out as a fake plan had very real consequences when Josh played his idol for himself, Sarah was idoled out, and Yam Yam was left in shock.
Christine: Most of what we saw from Ratu this week focused on Carson’s swap over there. Carson said what he needed to say to paint Yam Yam and Carolyn as powerful as he could and himself to be as weak as he could, and as far as we can tell, everyone seemed to buy it. Beyond Carson’s new relationship with Matthew, we didn’t get a ton of insight into how his arrival will impact the dynamics of Ratu going forward. If anything, it doesn’t look great for Lauren or Kane if they have to go to tribal soon.
Christine: Watch out Soka, Hurricane Jaime has arrived! Like Ratu, we didn’t get much insight into how this shakeup changes Soka’s dynamics. They essentially lost one “easy consensus boot” in Josh in favor of another. Except Jaime has both a real idol and a fake idol she believes is real, so Soka is in for a big surprise if they go to tribal and try to boot her.
Gia: Just when you thought we would have an easy vote, Tika spun everything we knew on its head. Despite being the smallest tribe, much of the action from this episode came from the purple team. Sarah and Yam Yam became a new duo to watch out for, much to Carolyn’s chagrin. Josh being added to the fold seemed inconsequential, but Carolyn saw an opportunity for herself and ran with it. Sarah ended up being voted out with a fake idol and a very real inheritance advantage, and Tika made history as the first tribe to have all LGBTQ+ members.
Top 3 Contestants
Christine: What a week for Carolyn! Her goofy little stick plan worked, Josh was willing to play his idol for her, and she “won” the little battle she had with Yam Yam. This was yet another week of people underestimating Carolyn and paying the price. Yam Yam has to be breathing a sigh of relief that she and Josh didn’t vote for him after he more or less told Carolyn that no one takes her seriously, and it will be fun to see if the two reconcile or not. Going into next week, Carolyn is the swing on the 3-person Tika, giving her a whole lot of power if they ever have to go back to tribal before the merge.
Gia: Whether he knows it or not, being swapped onto Tika was the best thing for Josh’s game. He would’ve been the next one to go had Soka gone to tribal council again, and he didn’t make things better by lying to Tika about being a surgeon. But Josh did make one of if not the best move in this episode in telling Carolyn that he’d play the idol for her. Now he has a new ally and a higher place on the pecking order in his tiny tribe. Now let’s hope the good times will last.
Gia: Matthew is up to his old tricks, once again proving his versatility in the game. Losing an ally like Jaime Lynn in such an unexpected way could’ve been a game-altering twist for many, but not him. Instead, he made lemons out of lemonade, immediately pulling Carson in as a new ally and filling him in on all of the Ratu tea (except, of course, the fact that he has an idol). If anyone can come out of this conundrum unscathed, my money’s on him. I just worry that all of his lies may come back to bite down the line.
Christine: I didn’t get to see enough of Sarah as a person and a player to get particularly attached to her, but oof, what a way to go out. I’m glad she eventually found out her idol was fake before having to watch the season back. Still, I can’t imagine how she felt in the immediate aftermath with the “idol” and her inheritance advantage still in her pocket. I think the feeling of security that her “idol” may have given her perhaps also encouraged her to play a bit more aggressively at this swap than she should have.
There’s not much room to hide in a tribe of four, but maybe Yam Yam could have caught Josh’s attention as the biggest threat to the tribe rather than her. We’ve learned from her exit interviews that she and Carolyn didn’t have much of a relationship, though, so I’m starting to think Sarah was pretty screwed here either way once Josh got handed an idol.
Gia: Sarah had a great start to her game by being awarded the inheritance advantage and being in good standing with her tribe. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there, and not necessarily because of anything to do with her. That being said, she gave it her all every step of the way and rolled with the punches as they came. Her resilience is admirable, especially under these tense circumstances. Not to mention that she is joining what is quite possibly one of the most fun pre-jury villas that I have ever seen.