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!
The most obvious portion that stands out of the Next Time On preview is, of course, “Drop your buffs!” Six episodes in, we’re moving on to the next stage of the game. In the trailer, Carson excitedly says, “We’re all on the same beach,” as we see players from all three tribes meet each other joyfully. However, since there was no explicit mention that they have reached the merge, we can probably expect a mergatory situation like the last three seasons.
In all likelihood, the arrangement will probably follow last season’s, where the players were divided into two teams in the challenge and competed for immunity. All players then go to tribal council, though only the losing team is vulnerable to getting voted out.
From the preview, we see a glimpse of the two challenge teams: the purple team consists of Brandon, Carson, Carolyn, Frannie, Matt, and Jaime, competing against the orange team, which is made up of Danny, Josh, Kane, Lauren, Yam Yam, and Heidi.
Elsewhere in the trailers, Josh mentions that “Yam Yam’s a snake.” This checks out as although the two seemingly formed an alliance on Tika to vote Carolyn out, it also felt incredibly forced, as if it was done as a matter of saving themselves in the moment rather than any actual trust.
I think Josh is in trouble, as different scenes sort of set the stage for him to get voted out soon. For instance, Episode 5 ended with Carolyn disappointed she couldn’t boot Josh; before that, players on Soka like Frannie and Matt were going to vote Josh out before he swapped to Tika. I feel that come the merge/mergatory, Carolyn and Yam Yam could get together with these Soka players to boot Josh.
There’s also a Carolyn versus Danny and Brandon situation that may play out in the coming episode. In Episode 5’s journey scene, we saw the two bros bro-ing it out while Carolyn went unnoticed by them. Everything about the scene undermined the bros, so it’s surely just a matter of when Carolyn will take them out. She’s smart and has been underestimated, I think she’ll wait for the best moment and not act rashly, but I predict we’ll at least see her planting some seeds in the coming episode based on her damning impression of them.
I think it’s going to be quite an advantage-filled merge/mergatory episode. Danny and Carolyn have an idol each, Lauren has an extra vote, Jaime and Matt have fake idols planted by Matthew and Danny, respectively, Jaime and Carson also have expired idols that they may use as a decoy. And on top of these, Josh is trying with his attempt at a fake idol that he fashioned by himself.
My prediction for the upcoming episode is that Carson will somehow take control of the vote. He’s someone that seems to be highlighted consistently in episodes and previews. He’s had confessionals sharing how much information he’s gotten from everyone on Ratu and also his possible nerd alliance with Kane. I think he may regroup with Yam Yam and Carolyn, pull together some players from Ratu, and target Danny.
What do you think will happen? Leave your predictions in the comments below!