Survivor 46

Episode 5 – The Edit Bay

What is the edit telling us after Episode 5?


Hello all, welcome back to the Edit Bay! This weekly feature takes a dive into the edit of the latest Survivor episode, analyzing the key stories, main characters, and top winner contenders.

For those new to The Edit Bay, it is a condensed version of Edgic, highlighting some of the stand-out story beats from the most recent episode. It also includes my weekly Edgic ratings for each castaway at the end of the article.


With the Bhanu arc over, Survivor 46 finally expanded its story-telling in Episode 5, giving us a deeper insight into the dynamics of the Nami and Siga tribes.

This provided a better understanding of the season’s key characters and stories and highlighted some earlier misreads. For example, my belief that Siga was going to be the undefeated tribe with the more long-term narrative arcs proved to be wrong. I basically mixed it up. It was actually Nami who remained unbeaten pre-merge, while Siga had the more immediate stories relevant to the season’s second act.

Last week, I mentioned the Siga tribe’s lingering stories, such as, “Will Jem get her hands on the idol? What will the fallout of Jem replanting the beware advantage be? Will Tim defend himself against suspicion? Will Maria and Charlie become the new Denise and Malcolm?”


I thought these might have been third-act stories to be picked up later in the season. As it turned out, the majority were immediately followed up on in the latest episode. Jem’s idol shenanigans and Tim’s suspicions weren’t setting up a post-merge feud nor just filling time on the Kumbaya vibe tribe; they were laying the groundwork for Jem’s boot episode.

Meanwhile, the lingering threads on Nami, such as “Will Tevin and Hunter turn on Soda? Will Venus rise from her underdog position? Will Venus make a move against Hunter?” were the ones I anticipated to be incoming second-act stories. They still could be, as they might dominate the early merge, but the point is, they weren’t as immediate as the Siga drama.

With that said, I want to take a fresh look at each tribe before we enter the merge phase and see where the narrative might be heading and who stands out as potential contenders.


Now that Siga has finally attended a tribal council, there are a couple of interesting things going on. Firstly, let’s just get it out of the way; Jem’s content wasn’t purposefully placed to set up a winner’s arc; it was merely there to provide context for her boot episode.

So, was that read completely wrong? Or did I focus on the wrong Siga player? I want to discuss a player I’ve overlooked so far: Moriah. Her edit is similar to Jem’s in that it’s relatively under the radar, and yet she gets these seemingly random scenes, such as the whole “White Girls Can’t Jump” sequence in Episode 4.

My issue with Moriah’s edit is that her story appeared wrapped up in the first episode. She talked about her struggle to make friends but quickly made bonds with her tribemates. It was like a one-episode, self-contained journey edit. And she hasn’t had any real depth since then. However, now that she has been left out of a vote and betrayed by those so-called friends, her edit can flourish.

It was also telling that she got a chance to clock the Ben and Charlie relationship and how things might shift against the women.

Early in the episode, she said, “Where I worry is, Ben and Charlie chatting, and Ben is the most charismatic and likable, enjoyable guy I have ever met in my life. It seems Charlie’s Ben’s, like, special buddy… Ben can charm anyone. It’s a little bit intimidating. You can’t just say, ‘my alliance member.’ People change. People make their own decisions.’


So even though she voted wrong, the edit went out of its way to show Moriah recognizing the danger of the Ben and Charlie friendship and how alliances can change in an instant.

But her relevance to the season’s narrative and chances of winning wholly depend on her Episode 6 edit. We need to hear her reaction and thoughts on the Jem blindside, and she needs to explain her strategy moving forward. It is a perfect launching point for a post-merge arc. So, if Moriah doesn’t receive anything significant in the next episode, I think we can safely count her out of contention.

What about the other Siga members? Charlie and Ben both increased their stock. The edit highlighted their bond, calling back to their “name that song” battles, and it explained why they want to work together. They also both shared a strong read on the tribe dynamics, with Ben correctly surmising Jem was targeting him.

Ben also got talked up as this big social threat, someone who could be dangerous down the line. We’ve heard this talk a lot so far this season in regard to players like Kenzie and Venus, both of whom are still in the game. So this could be a foreshadowing of Ben making it deep and proving to be that threat others claimed him to be.

Charlie also looked great for explaining his reasons for wanting to keep Ben around, plus being able to get his way. He looked to be leading the partnership with Maria, which, in turn, lowered Maria’s stock.

I’ve had Maria as a top contender so far, mostly due to the strength of her premiere episode, which was a fantastic introduction. Plus, having her alliances detailed early on and an established duo with Charlie were all positive signs in her direction. But her edit has been slipping the past couple of weeks, especially so in Episode 5.


She outright said she wanted Ben out next, was solid with the girls, and how she didn’t trust Ben and Tim. But she ultimately went with Charlie and voted out Jem. Maria will need a big explanation scene in the next episode to undo this damage.

Then there’s Tim, who had a couple of decent reads in this past episode but feels like the third wheel to the men’s alliance. He did clock that Jem was acting weird and was behind the idol stunt, which was nice. But this lingering “parent alliance” with Maria doesn’t look so good. Tim sees Maria as his partner, even naming her his number one during the Journey pact. But we’ve seen Maria say she doesn’t trust Tim. That doesn’t spell a happy ending for Tim or the Tim/Maria partnership.


Nami’s content is kind of all over the place. These story threads are introduced and then seem to disappear just as fast. For example, in Episode 4, we had this sudden surge of suspicion from the tribe toward Soda. But in Episode 5? No follow-up on that at all.

In this episode, Nami’s content primarily centered on the beware advantage, with a side-serving of Hunter versus Venus. Tevin and Soda barely got anything other than basic idol-hunting narration. And Liz returned to her short but sweet comedic role, noting how she wouldn’t bother searching for advantages because “I can barely find my shoes.”

That left Hunter and Venus. This pair has been highlighted previously as a potentially contentious relationship. Venus told us that she doesn’t buy Hunter’s ‘just happy to be here’ act and sees him as the biggest threat on the Nami beach. And that carried on in this episode as she clocked him as the most likely to find the idol (which he did, though she failed to catch him in the act as she intended).


Hunter mostly looked good here, though, even if it was a lot of idol-hunting and (later) Journey-challenge narration. He managed to find the advantage, which made up for his failure earlier in the season, where he promised to be the one to find it. What’s also positive for Hunter is that we understand his relationships; we know he has a tight alliance with Tevin and potential enemies in Venus and Soda.

As for Venus, her edit has sort of faltered since the premiere. Perhaps it’s simply due to Nami continuing to beast challenges. But Randen’s untimely exit felt like it should have been a much more significant moment for Venus’ edit. Instead, she all but disappeared in Episode 4, and this week, she was shown as an antagonist who failed to stop Hunter in his idol quest.

If she is to make it to the end, like my first impression after the premiere, she’ll need a strong early merge that re-cements her arc as an underdog and personality clasher. If not, she could simply be the next Jem.


Last but certainly not least, we have Yanu, who reaffirmed their underdog roles in Episode 5. The remaining three, Kenzie, Tiffany, and Q, finally won an immunity challenge (and their flint!), saving them from another dreaded tribal. Their come-from-behind victory was met with swelling, uplifting music, and dedicated focus from Jeff Probst.

A big plus point in Yanu’s favor is that they weren’t JUST painted as the underdog tribe. The episode still spent time on their dynamics, continuing the story of Q trying to take out Kenzie and Tiffany being caught in the middle of her two allies. That suggests a relevance beyond their underdog status and a positive sign for the post-merge.


We’ve seen loser tribes overcome the odds, most recently with Survivor 44 and the Tika 3. And this season has had a lot of talk about Malcolm and Denise, the two surviving members of the infamous Matsing tribe that made it to the final four (with Denise winning). Just because the reference was made in regard to Charlie and Maria, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean those two are the Malcolm & Denise of the season.

Kenzie & Tiffany and Tiffany & Q have both been presented as pairs, so there is every chance one of those duos could make a deep run. I would probably lean more toward the former, given how this episode gave Kenzie and Tiffany the most air-time post-challenge win, both on the mat and back at camp in confessionals.


Top Contenders: Tiffany, Kenzie, Ben

Second Tier: Hunter, Charlie, Maria

Pending: Moriah



Name EP 1 EP 2 EP 3 EP 4 EP 5 EP 6 EP 7 EP 8 EP 9 EP 10 EP 11 EP 12 EP 13 EP 14
BenBen OTTP3 OTTP3 MOR4 UTR2 MORP4                  
CharlieCharlie CP3 CPP4 UTR2 MOR3 CP4                  
HunterHunter CP2 UTR1 CPP2 UTR1 CP5                  
KenzieKenzie CP4 CPM5 MORM4 MORM4 OTTP4                  
LizLiz UTRN2 OTTN2 MOR3 UTR2 UTR1                  
MariaMaria MORP3 MOR2 INV MORP3 MOR3                  
MoriahMoriah MORP2 UTR1 UTR1 OTT3 MOR3                  
QQ MOR3 CP4 CPM5 CP4 CPP3                  
SodaSoda MOR3 MORN3 INV MORM3 UTR1                  
TevinTevin CP4 MOR2 UTR1 CPP3 UTR1                  
TiffanyTiffany MOR4 MORP5 MOR4 MOR4 MORP3                  
TimTim MOR2 UTR1 INV UTR1 MOR3                  
VenusVenus MORN3 CPM4 MOR3 UTR1 MORN2                  
JemJem MOR2 UTR1 MOR3 CP4 CPN5                  
BhanuBhanu MORP4 OTTN4 OTTM5 OTTM5                    
RandenRanden UTRN1 CP3 OTTP3                      
JessJess OTTM4 OTTM4                        
JelinskyJelinsky OTTN5                          

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

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