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 NTOS extends the Soka vs. Ratu narrative we saw in the early portions of the last episode. We see Danny telling Frannie, “We’re gonna make a big move,” followed by a confessional from him saying, “We need to take someone from Ratu out.”
I think the original players from Ratu are sticking together, as we saw that Brandon, Jaime, and Lauren were firmly unswayed last tribal council. From the other players’ perspectives, it was also assumed and felt like a given that they were going to vote together. As such, I believe those three players, plus, Kane, will stick together as Ratu strong.
Of course, four isn’t enough on a tribe with ten players. My first guess is that they’ll try to secure Carson on their side. He swapped from Tika to Ratu, spending a few days with them, and even formed a nerd alliance with Kane. If the lines are truly drawn as Soka vs. Ratu, leaving Tika’s votes in the air, the three Tikas will lean towards working with Ratu, especially since Heidi had just controlled Lauren’s vote to target Yam Yam in the last episode.
We’ve seen a couple of hints pointing towards Danny as a possible target from Soka — he’s depicted as the leader, a strategic force. Matt also shared his suspicions with Kane, Yam Yam, and Brandon in Episode 7 that Danny has the Soka cage idol and planted the fake idol back in the cage. So I won’t be surprised if he goes this upcoming episode or at least gets thrown out as a dangerous player to vote out.
I’m not sure that the lines are so clearly separated between Soka and Ratu, though. Relatively, we haven’t delved as much into the three players originally from Soka — Heidi, Frannie, and Danny. Frannie might not want to work with Danny if she’s heard that he tried to set Matt up with a fake idol. Nonetheless, I think it’s going to be a temporary alliance to preserve themselves against what seems to be a strong Ratu group, but I believe Soka won’t be sticking that close to one another in the long run.
Another highlight of NTOS features Carolyn screaming, stuck in the nets of a challenge, while Jeff Probst yells, “You gotta twist!” In another preview trailer, we see more of the challenge, and it looks to be the same challenge as last season, where players pair up to compete. With a closer look at the trailer, we can make out the following pairs: Jaime and Heidi, Kane and Brandon, Yam Yam and Frannie, Carolyn and Carson, and Danny and Lauren.
To summarize my predictions, I think Ratu’s votes will be split between Danny and Heidi. This would ensure they have a contingency in case Danny plays his immunity idol. The vote won’t be that straightforward, though, with the many twists and advantages this season.
I feel that Brandon and Kane are also at risk of being voted out. There’s a scene in NTOS where Brandon reveals, “We are dictating the way this game is being played,” as the visuals centre on the two of them. This looks like one of those over-confident statements that perhaps happens before the vote. Ultimately, I think either one of them will be blindsided.
What do you think will happen? Leave your predictions in the comments below!