Survivor: David vs. Goliath

Next Time On Survivor – Episode 5

Stephanie Lauw makes her predictions for the next episode!

Photo: CBS

Another blindside! This season continues to impress with an exciting mix of both character developments and strategic (or not..?) gameplay. Between the swap, expansion to three tribes, and the new idol nullifier advantage, Episode 4 definitely switched things up for the David vs. Goliath cast.

But first, the most apparent portion of the preview trailers would be the explosive storm forcing its way through the campsites. According to the episode description, the relentless downpour “puts a sudden halt to the game”, meaning that we’ll likely see a mass evacuation happen – the second-time ever in Survivor history, following the cyclone evacuation of Millennials vs. Gen X. This is accompanied by the alarming visuals of the Vuku and Jabeni camp wrecked, almost decimated with hefty branches and bamboo haphazardly strewn by Mother Nature.

The harsh Fijian weather has been an unforgiving recurrence since the season premiere, and it’s no question that the tribes have to be evacuated for safety reasons. Being sequestered by tribe and not allowed communication, I wonder how much strategy might be affected by this temporary arrangement. After all, every minute counts on a game that runs 24/7.

Moving on to the new tribe dynamics brought about by the swap: As a refresher, the Jabeni tribe (purple) consists of 3 former Goliaths – Natalie, Mike, Angelina – and 2 former Davids – Lyrsa and Nick. Tiva (green) is made up of Dan, John and Alison from Goliath, as well as Christian and Gabby from David. And finally, the Vuku tribe (orange) comprises of Alec and Kara who were former Goliaths, Elizabeth and Davie who were former Davids, and inherited Carl, a former David, from exile island, after voting out Natalia in the last tribal council.


But of course, as usual, Natalie Napalm gets on the nerve of her tribemates. After four episodes, there really isn’t much more to add. The former Davids on Jabeni quickly realised the character they’re up against, which led to Nick rightly identifying a blatant crack amongst the Goliaths. The episode trailer, however, further escalates the situation. Its setting up a Nick vs. Natalie division, and on a tribe of only five, it’ll certainly have a great impact on the vote. Personally, I worry for Nick. On paper, it seems to me that Jabeni is the tribe least geared for challenges which puts them at risk of meeting Jeff at tribal. Secondly, Jeremy, the previous player to cross Natalie’s path, was sent packing. I feel like at this point it’ll be more useful to keep Natalie around, precisely because she’s getting under everyone’s skin. She’d continually be a target and an easy vote.

Photo: CBS

Furthermore, perhaps in the interest of Mike and Angelina, evidence points to Natalie wanting to stay Goliath strong. As they reach camp post-swap, she unabashedly reveals to the camera that she wants the Davids on Jabeni gone. I feel like the most recent elimination of Natalia on Vuku might cement original tribe lines, especially as we approach the merge. Should Jabeni go to tribal with an overt Natalie vs. Nick scenario, I suspect Mike will be the swing vote, determining whether to stick to his original Goliaths tribemates or his newly formed Rock Stars alliance with Nick. Based on his calculated confessional weighing the heavier risk he needs to take, I feel like that is foreshadowing of Mike choosing his original Goliath tribemates over the relative unknown in aligning with Nick.


We didn’t get any new information about the dynamics on the Tiva tribe from the preview trailers. However, based on the episode, I feel like Christian’s charmpocalyse is a success! I see a strong bro-bond forming between him and John. And with his number one ally Gabby, it looks like he’s in a safe position on Tiva.

Photo: CBS

The player I think is in the best position, however, is John. The Mayor of Slamtown has plenty of options! He can choose to work with Christian and Gabby; he can choose to stick with the Goliaths; he can pull both sides together… And with the almost public knowledge of Dan’s idol threat, he might very well be able to flush the idol before the merge. (Yes, I’m still waiting for my Dan blindside.)


I’m still trying to rationalise Alec’s move during tribal. The best I’ve reasoned is that perhaps he wasn’t plainly putting Kara and himself in a minority against three Davids. I predict Carl and Davie working together – a huge duo to be up against, no less, with a hidden immunity idol and an idol nullifier. But I don’t really see Elizabeth as a strong member of that alliance. Both Davie and Elizabeth threw each other under the bus at at least one point in the last episode, and Elizabeth blindsided Davie in the Jessica vote. I don’t see Davie trusting Elizabeth enough to properly work with her anymore.

Photo: CBS

For now, I see Alec aligning himself with Davie, and by extension Carl, in the majority. Even though the preview shows Kara reflecting on the blindside post-tribal, I don’t think she’s in much danger the next episode. She’s been portrayed as a socially charismatic, but also a self-aware player, and I believe she’ll be able to navigate the Vukus moving forward.


Final Thoughts

I mentioned that the line up of Jabeni seems the least suited for challenges on paper. However, looking at the immunity challenge press photos released on the CBS website, Angelina, John and Alec are seen neck and neck balancing and navigating the final puzzle portion of the immunity challenge. With the clear difficulty of the brand new ball puzzle, it seems like it’s anyone’s challenge to win.

I think that Jabeni will visit tribal council in either the next or following episode. The narrative and development of relationships there seem to be crafting some sort of face-off. Personally, I want Tiva to go to tribal too because it’ll be interesting to see how Christian and John operate on a smaller tribe.

Players most at risk? I’m guessing Nick for Jabeni, Elizabeth for Vuku, Dan for Tiva. Which tribe do you think is going to tribal? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Written by

Stephanie Lauw

Stephanie is an English literature and film graduate from Singapore who spends too much time analyzing her favorite TV shows. Besides patiently waiting for an Asian version of Survivor she can take part in, Stephanie enjoys dabbling with music, sound production, and writing, and would travel across the country for good Ayam Buah Keluak. Steph writes Inside Survivor’s weekly Next Time On Survivor feature.

5 responses to “Next Time On Survivor – Episode 5”

  1. I think if Tiva lose, Alison is at risk. We literally have no clue where she stands; sure she voted with Dan and John, but at least those two have had some minor scenes together. Then again, I really can’t see a situation where they go to tribal. They are just as physically strong as Vuku, and have the best puzzle solvers in the game.

    Vuku is definitely the least clear. I can’t see Carl and Davie splitting, but I also think Alec and Kara will stick together. It is the only tribe that doesn’t have a clear weak link. Elizabeth and Kara both had good edits, Alec is the clear middle man, and it would take a lot to get him out, and Davie and Carl just seem in such a solid position with advantages. Maybe one of them gets blindsided? I just think this tribe will come second in the immunity challenge, and send Jabeni to tribal.

    These seem the most likely to go to tribal, and I reckon it will be Lyrsa or Natalie. The only thing stopping me thinking it is Natalie is that I can’t see Angelina wanting to lose another number, and can’t see Mike as confident enough to make such a big change. I reckon he will be fine as long as Nick stays. Lyrsa’s edit has been so weak compared to almost everyone else that I just think she has to go soon.

  2. I think Nick will be the shocking pre-merge boot on the next episode. He is the most visible person on the show (edgic), a strong CP! I think you are 100% right about what will happen at Jabeni.

  3. I think the purple tribe will go and we’ll see Lyrsa leave. I think Mike will stay Goliath strong while also saving his side alliance with Nick

  4. I think you’re right about Jabeni. If they go to tribal, Mike is going to be a lame-o and vote out – once again – someone he has bonded with. (But if this does happen I will be annoyed with the editors for replaying the same tricks with us: Natalie is bossing people around; Natalie is discussed as a potential boot; someone else gets voted out.) I guess it is possible that Dan could be a potential target on Tiva because of his idol, although I wonder whether John would vote out a Goliath after the Natalya exit. I have a hard time seeing this – at least this week – but since Tiva is highly unlikely to lose there is probably no reason to debate this point too strenuously.

    As for Vuku: I simply can’t see Davie and Carl making the same mistake that Alec did and vote out one of their own, especially when they are on the cusp of leveling the playing field in terms of # of Davids versus # of Goliaths. If they did vote out Elizabeth, as you predict, it also means they lose the majority on the Vuku tribe and potentially face a 2-2 split at the next vote. Yes, Davie has an idol but why would he waste it in pre-merge if he has the opportunity, by voting out either Alec or Kara, of maintaining the majority on Vuku (the only majority the Davids would have on any of the three tribes)? The smartest thing to do would be to vote out Kara, since she is more likely to bond with Elizabeth. The thing that would make me happiest is if they vote out Alec. But one or the other is the correct move, and I will be disappointed if Davie doesn’t see this. Indeed, I would be surprised if Davie and Carl don’t seriously consider – and possibly decide to – throw the next challenge to ensure that another Goliath gets taken out in the next round.

  5. read an article where Jeff said they were on the fence about putting Natalie on the show then decided to go for it ..REALLY? they took a chance away from someone else and Natalie did nothing but make herself look foolish, and made life hell for others.

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