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!
This week’s previews seem like a montage of rather typical post-swap soundbites. On Ratu, Carson shares, “Everyone on this tribe is sharing so much information with me, and it gives me a lot of power.” And on Soka, Jaime excitedly says, “I have so much more information than anybody playing this game!”
While Carson’s confessional feels more measured, showing that he’s gradually forming connections with his new tribe members, Jaime’s enthusiasm and (over-)confidence suggest that she’s not that aware of her standing in her tribe. This is apparent as Frannie remarks, “She doesn’t know that Matt and I are really close.”
I predict that Jaime will reveal to Matt that she has two idols (of course, one is fake) and that Matt will promptly share that information with Frannie. This might not be immediately relevant, as it doesn’t seem like Soka’s tribe strength will be sending them to tribal council any time soon, but I do think that this will cost Jaime down the line.
On Tika, it looks like tensions are high between newcomer Josh and Yam Yam. Carolyn dramatically gives an annoyed “those two” before NTOS cuts to Josh, saying, “I just don’t trust you,” and Yam Yam remarking, “What’s up with that bitch face?” in a confessional.
With three people left in the Tika tribe, there’s very little room to hide. Understandably, I think Josh may not be willing to work with Yam Yam after receiving a vote from him last tribal council. However, he should probably be building bridges rather than burning them on Tika, especially after we saw that his previous tribe Soka had plans to target him before he swapped out.
Here, I think Carolyn’s in the driver’s seat — will she stick to her original alliance with Yam Yam and Carson, or will she move forward with Josh after pulling off a successful blindside together in the last episode? She definitely has options with her idol and what seems to be a position where she is underestimated. My prediction is that she’ll play off last episode’s vote as a spur-of-the-moment decision, perhaps express some fake regret, and continue her game with Yam Yam over Josh.
In another preview featuring the upcoming challenge, Jeff adds, “This could completely change the direction of the game,” with the challenge scene ending with Matt falling rather unceremoniously. In the NTOS trailer, we’re shown a repeated shot of Matthew’s fall from episodes before. He sighs, “I’ve literally been training to be here for years, but I wake up in so much pain,” as we see Carson hugging him with his arm prominently in a sling.
All these build upon what Probst shared in the pre-season press about this season having a “record number of medical visits.” My sense is that we’ve seen Matthew’s terrible fall by the rocks a few times too many, that it’s more a vehicle to show how tough the game of Survivor is, rather than alluding to him being removed from the game due to medical reasons. As for Matt’s upcoming fall, I think the challenge will be stopped, but I’m hoping he’ll be okay to continue playing afterward.
To sum up, for no particular reason, I’m going to guess that Ratu loses the challenge and goes to tribal in this episode. I think Carson will certainly play the immunity idol he received when he swapped onto the tribe, sending Matthew or Kane home. As I’ve said previously, Matthew is an easy target because of his injury, and Kane may end up being eliminated because of his misplay in the first episode.
What do you think will happen? Leave your predictions in the comments below!