Each week, Christine Pallon and Gia Worthy will round up the previous week of Survivor 45 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.
Top 3 Moments
Gia: It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got a traditional tribe swap in the new era! While they are (unfortunately) still keeping with the three-tribe format, the dynamics of each new tribe has proven to be just as entertaining as the first go around. Each of the remaining Lulu members were swapped onto new tribes and are currently dealing with their own new sets of dilemmas. Kaleb is working on integrating with the OG Belo members, Emily is stuck between two pairs and Sean… well, we’ll get to him in a bit.
Bruce Returns to Tika Beach
Gia: Long before we got to know Uncle Bruce for the goofball he is, he was known for the tumultuous 12 hours he had on Survivor 44 before he was medically evacuated. Upon being swapped onto Lulu, he immediately recognized their camp as the former Tika beach, where he was pulled from the game last time. It was an unexpectedly emotional moment and something that could only happen in this new version of Survivor that returns to Fiji every season. This was a full-circle moment for Bruce’s journey on 44, but now we can move forward with Bruce’s game on 45.
Sean Shocks Everyone
Christine: Heading into our first post-swap tribal of the New Era, it seemed like we were set to get a big Sifu blindside. The OG Reba women looked ready to send him packing over Sean despite his strength in challenges, and planned to make him feel as safe as possible leading up to the vote. In the end, everyone (including us) got blindsided in a different way when Sean abruptly announced his desire to be voted out live at tribal council. His announcement led to a 3-1-1 vote, sending him out of the game, with Dee still throwing her vote on Sifu. With the plan to oust Sifu potentially exposed, Sean’s exit might end up having a massive impact on the rest of the game.
Gia: Emily’s arc from the bottom of Lulu to the safest one on Belo will be studied for years to come. Quite possibly, two of the tightest pairs in the game, Drew and Austin, Kellie and Brando, found themselves all on the same beach in the new Belo tribe. With neither pair interested in turning on their other halves, it’ll be up to Emily to determine which duo will be separated. We saw Austin and Drew make their pitches to Emily this episode, which makes me believe that we will be seeing Kellie and Brando make their cases sooner rather than later (and perhaps be the pair that comes out victorious).
Gia: Not even a swap of chance can separate Katurah and Bruce, and our 90 minutes are all the better for it. New Lulu consists of Kaleb, Bruce, Katurah, Jake, and Kendra, but it’s the Katurah and Bruce rivalry at the center of everything. With Katurah doing everything in her power to give Bruce the boot as soon as possible and Kaleb doing everything in his power to not be the obvious vote, this truly feels like the tribe where anything can happen.
Christine: On new Reba, it’s basically just old Reba plus Sean. Dee and Julie remain a duo, with J. Maya as their number three. While J. Maya was on the outs of Old Reba, Sifu was more on the outs than she was, allowing her to squeeze into the power structure of this new swap tribe over him. After searching Sean’s bag for an idol (and retying the knot perfectly), the Reba women ultimately decided to keep him over Sifu despite the latter’s strength in challenges. Julie wasn’t particularly happy about this decision because her biggest concern was not returning to tribal again before the merge. Still, she ultimately got her way unexpectedly when Sean announced his desire to leave the game at tribal council.
Top 3 Contestants
Gia: Dee is running a tight ship over on Reba, and something like a quit is not going to stop her from following through with her plans. She is one of the players who fared best in this swap, being paired with her closest ally, Julie and two other OG Reba players who wanted to work with her. Sean’s quit may have ruined their blindside of Sifu, but I’m not worried about her ability to bounce back.
Christine: Emily continued to further turn around her rough start in the game this week with the swap to new Belo. She lucked out the most in terms of swap numbers as the sole Lulu sitting in between two Rebas and two Belos. Confessionals from her new tribemates confirmed that she was able to successfully turn on the social charm and completely change their perspectives on her.
In the enviable swing position, she buddied up to Drew and Austin, who are also the two advantage holders on her tribe. I’m not yet convinced Emily has what it takes to win it all in the end, but this swap has certainly put her in a position to make a deep run in the game, especially if her ally Kaleb makes it out of his swap tribe alive.
Christine: Katurah was, hilariously, swapped with Bruce to the new Lulu tribe this week. She took that opportunity to put Bruce in the hot seat by asking Kaleb to corroborate his story about the journey he went on with Brandon and Drew a couple episodes back. This was a smart move for Katurah to get more information about the game, but it was a bit rough for her socially since it further tipped Bruce off that she was against him. Between this moment, her continued attempts to turn players against Bruce, and her iconic wordless confessional in response to Bruce’s lost flint joke, Katurah continues to be one of the stars of the season.
Christine: Sean’s quit was certainly a disappointment, especially since he gave no indication to his tribemates that he wanted to go prior to tribal council. While I don’t think it’s great that we got two quits in one pre-merge, I don’t hate Sean for deciding that staying in the game just wasn’t worth it for him. I’d rather he give other players the chance to play rather than stick out something he didn’t want to do anymore. I just wish he had been able to give the Reba women more of a heads-up rather than leave them hanging by throwing a curveball at them right before the vote.
Looking to the future, I’m interested to see if Jeff’s tribal questioning will change at all. This New Era trend of asking players to eulogize themselves before the vote might have unintended impacts in terms of encouraging them to reflect on their games with a sense of finality before it’s actually over. I wonder if Sean would have come to this conclusion had he not been asked that question, and I have to imagine production is wondering the same thing too.
Gia: To be completely honest, quits on Survivor do not impact my viewing experience as it does for many fans. I treat it like another element of the game: most players are voted out, some are medically evacuated, and some decide to leave on their own. I don’t like that Sean quit, but I’d rather he leave than someone like Sifu, who clearly wants to be there. At the end of the day, Sean had other traumas he had to face that were just not going to be overcome in 26 days. I hope he has come to peace with his decision and is surrounded by his loved ones who will help him through this process. That being said, I’d really appreciate it if the remaining eliminations from here on out are only by way of votes.