Welcome to Season 44’s Next Time On Survivor weekly feature on the Inside Survivor site! If you’re new around here, this is a tiny space where I give my best attempts at understanding preview trailers and make my predictions for the next episodes of the show. Let’s jump right in!
Big disclaimer before we proceed: this week’s post will have slight spoilers, on top of predictions, as the trailers and press photos disclose a little more than usual when you look closely at them. Read on only if you’re okay with this!
The biggest reveal from Episode 4’s preview content is the tribe swap that will be happening. The press photos of the challenge clearly show a switch up: firstly, Tika is now made up of Carolyn, Yam Yam, Sarah, and Josh, who was originally from Soka; Soka had an initial lineup of Matt, Heidi, Frannie, and Danny, and is now joined by Jaime from Ratu; Ratu is now Brandon, Kane, Matthew, Lauren, with Carson who was from Tika.
Other parts of the preview trailers also likely allude to this swap —Probst announces that “this can change the game.” We see Carson, Josh, and Jamie walking together, mostly likely on one of those summit journeys, and also see Jaime reaching for something in a bag. I think the three find out at the summit that they are to swap tribes, but to stir up the game, they also receive some advantage. This way, it ensures a little more fairness for them as the only “outsider” swapped into a new tribe.
In other parts of the trailer, we have a peek at pre-swap Tika, where an X formed out of twigs has been placed on their bird cage. Yam Yam exclaims, “who put that X in there?” In the exclusive promo scene, Carolyn admits that she placed the X on the cage and that “my plan worked!” At this point, we know that Carolyn has the idol, but it’s not been revealed if she placed the fake idol back into the cage and re-hid the key, like Danny on Soka.
I feel like this move is Carolyn inciting some paranoia among the tribe, perhaps hoping to signal that the idol is out of the game with Helen’s elimination or that the idol is void because of some time-based limitation. After all, it wouldn’t be unheard of as time-sensitive idols that have to be played within a given period have been seen in plenty of prior seasons.
My prediction is that Carolyn stays safe — nobody has suspected her of retrieving the idol, and she has a solid alliance with Yam Yam, at least. On the swapped tribe, I think it’s safe to say that the vote will be between Sarah (who was on the outs the last two episodes) and newcomer Josh if Tika goes to tribal council. I’m leaning towards Josh as he poses a greater threat as a new unknown player shaking up the dynamics of the original Tika tribe.
On post-swap Soka, I sense that the players may be more open and accepting of Jaime as she joins the tribe. Though it was a unanimous vote for Claire in Episode 3, the tribe is not a solid unit and doesn’t seem to be united. I predict that Danny, as the strategic player he is, will certainly reach out to Jaime, as she can be another option for him. As always, the pair of Matt and Frannie is a low-hanging target that can easily be played up. I think Danny can propose for Jaime to join him and Heidi to break the couple up.
If Soka goes to tribal council, I think Matt will be the next to go, as he poses a greater perceived threat compared to Frannie. Even though we know he came back empty-handed when he went on the summit journey in Episode 1 and even lost his first two votes, the rest of the tribe may still be suspicious of him and want to get rid of that uncertainty.
Finally, for Ratu, my prediction is that Matthew will get voted out. His arm is still injured in a sling, and he doesn’t seem to be able to participate in many challenges and work around camp. I think it’s time that the rest of the tribe use his injury as an excuse for an easy vote.
Leave your predictions for Episode 4 in the comments below!