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.
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Top 3 Moments
Belo Fractures Even More
Christine: At the start of this season, Belo seemed like the strongest of the tribes both physically and strategically, but the upcoming Belo Civil War seems more and more imminent. We had Bruce publicly call out Katurah for not wanting to vote out Kaleb last week, Kellie and Kendra nearly voting Bruce out, Jake admitting the Bruce idol secret to Katurah, and Katurah bailing on Jake’s plan to force a tie and vote out Julie. While none of them went home this week, this split tribal certainly set the stage for what’s sure to be a messy implosion of the OG Belos.
Get a Grip
Gia: The Twila Tanner Memorial Challenge is BACK! A Survivor favorite (for the viewers, definitely not the players) was back for the split tribal council. Both sides competed for immunity at the same time, but the last woman standing’s whole team was rewarded with a trip to the Survivor Sanctuary and going to tribal council second. Dee and Kellie were the winners of their respective teams, but Dee was the ultimate champion this round. Who would’ve guessed that the power of the big toe would be a recurring plot point of the season? Besides Dee, of course.
Christine: The New Era has had its fair share of surprising editing choices, and this week, we got the most shocking of all in the form of an extended flash-forward sequence. As Jake described his ideal outcome of Katurah helping them force a tie and scare Austin into flipping on Julie, we saw actual clips from the upcoming tribal council, including some of the votes.
Jake’s plan ultimately didn’t come to pass when Katurah sided with the Reba majority, but this sequence was far and away the most talked-about moment of the episode. I appreciate the editors continuing to find creative ways to play with the narrative of the show, but I’d rather not see something like this again in the future. To me, it signaled a bit too much that Jake’s plan would ultimately not work out and killed a bit of the suspense.
Top 3 Players
Christine: Kellie’s game continues to be a balancing act as she perfectly positioned herself to exert control over the vote without becoming the obvious driving force behind it. Her immunity win gave her safety at this split tribal, and she was able to keep the vote off of Bruce once she decided it was in her best interest to keep him around a bit longer.
It feels like it’s only a matter of time before people will start to clock Kellie as the biggest threat in the game, and I’m not convinced that keeping Bruce around long-term will pay off in the way she hopes. But for now, she’s playing one of the all-around strongest games on the island.
Gia: Jake has been laying low the past few rounds (it definitely helps when you avoid tribal council for all of the pre-merge), but now he’s ready to make some moves for himself. The split tribal was the perfect opportunity for him to try something different, especially when he learned that Kaleb was likely going home if he did nothing. Trying to force Austin’s hands in a tie was a pretty incredible idea, but his actions earlier in the game proved to be his downfall when Katurah wasn’t taking the bait. He may be down, but he’s certainly not out, and I’m sure he’ll have more tricks up his sleeve moving forward.
Gia: Katurah finally had the chance to play her own game, and she made the most of it. Of course, it would’ve been incredible to see the standoff that occurred if they were forced to go to rocks, but I’m glad we got to see Katurah make the right choice for her. Going to rocks for someone else is always a risk that someone loses out on, but when Katurah found out just how out of the loop she was on old Belo, I knew she wouldn’t be willing to take that risk.
I truly believe that she did the best thing for herself, an opportunity to put herself in a better position than she would ever be on Belo. Now, let’s see if she has any more luck with Reba.
Gia: Nothing new has come about on the Advantage Amulet side of things. Kellie and Austin were on opposite sides of the split tribal, and Kellie was immune, negating all opportunities for Austin to gain his second idol. Both sides lost a number going into the next round, so perhaps we will see some new motivation to get the other out now that we’re finally in the jury phase of the game.
Christine: The big idol-related question of this split tribal was whether or not Bruce would play his idol. He would have had good reason to do so, considering the fact that Kendra was genuinely gunning for him for a minute there. Bruce decided to trust in his alliance and keep his idol in his pocket one more round. Considering that he was at a split tribal of only six people, this was a bit of a risk, but it paid off. Meanwhile, Austin is still in possession of the Reba idol.
Safety Without Power
Gia: I’m not sure what is more shocking: Drew leaving his bag with all his advantages at his original camp or his name not coming up after the immunity challenge. Good on him for making it through to the next round, but I’m starting to wonder if his not playing this advantage at all will be better for him in the long run. After all, he seems to be doing fine without it.
Sifu and Kaleb
Christine: Sifu didn’t get much of a story this season other than, “Hey, this guy might have an idol” and “Hey, this guy really likes to play air guitar.” It’s a bummer that the editors didn’t quite know what to do with him beyond these couple of story beats because he seemed like a super fun guy. It’s unsurprising that he got cut here, as he never really managed to get a strong foothold in the game strategically or recover from the rumors of him having an idol.
As for Kaleb, after an electrifying Shot in the Dark play last week, he remained too big of a social threat to keep around. His chance at survival hinged on Katurah forcing a tie for him, but she didn’t have much of a reason to trust him (or Jake), given that they waited so long to tell her about Bruce’s idol. I’m sad to lose him because he was a great character, but at least he’ll be serving looks for us on the jury bench.
Gia: Double tribals rarely end well for me, but to lose two of our biggest personalities at once feels like a particularly egregious loss. Sifu never really had any power in the game, and it felt that he was on borrowed time, but it doesn’t negate what he did bring to the game. He was a lovable personality, a hype man, and a player who was genuinely excited to be there. He embraced every minute of his time in the game, and to have him just miss jury is a crime in itself. Even though he just missed his goal, I hope he knows how much he was loved for the time he was there. We don’t get a lot of players like Sifu, but I hope we start to see more.
Kaleb, on the other hand, had a roller coaster ride during his time in the game. It seemed like his positioning changed every episode, and it certainly didn’t help that his original tribe had frequent flier miles to tribal council. Of course, we will all remember him for his big move in the previous episode, playing his Shot in the Dark and negating 11 votes for him in the process, but we should also remember him for his resilience and eye for the game. He wasn’t the supervillain he was hoping to play, but I think he was something much bigger than that.