Well thank god for that! After a few episodes of some very questionable gameplay, it looks like the castaways are really stepping things up and learning how to play the game. Let’s take a look at what went down on the latest episode of Survivor UK!
After Rachel’s departure, we pick up with the Caleton tribe, now down to just six members after going to back-to-back tribal councils. Despite being down in numbers, many of the Caleton members are high in spirits after surviving the vote and seem to form one of the game’s first official alliances. We see Jess and Nathan bonding over a morning chat, and they confirm that, along with Matty and Tinuke, they will work together as a foursome.
Whilst strong bonds are forming at Caleton, we start to see the unraveling of relationships over at La Nena. Ren notes that they have been playing the game quite a bit harder than they planned, especially after being in the spotlight after heading to the outpost earlier in the game. Ren’s trip to the outpost is still front of mind for Christopher, who decides to do a bit of fact-checking with new tribemate Leilani.
After a bit of cross-referencing, Christopher and Leilani clock that something does not add up with Ren’s story and deduce that Ren must have come back to camp with more than just a measly fish. Leilani suspects this news will spread through the camp like wildfire, and boy, is she right. Before too long, it seems like the whole tribe is gossiping about Ren’s little lie, all unbeknownst to Ren.
Both tribes receive Tree Mail inviting them to send their wisest, most trusted, and most powerful tribe members to an ambiguous meeting. La Nena opts to send Pegleg, Doug, and Hannah, whilst on Caleton, the main alliance has a chat to make sure that there is a mix of alliance and non-alliance members going, and in the end, opts to send Matty, Tinuke, and tribe outcast Shai.
The six elected players meet at a summit of sorts, with Joel dropping the bomb on them that two members from each tribe will have to swap to the opposing tribe. On the La Nena tribe, Doug puts himself forward, stating that he thinks he can do some damage to Caleton if he were to swap. He also notes that there is a lot of heat on Ren and that he would benefit from distancing himself from Ren at this time. Pegleg also joins Doug in dropping his buff tribe colours, whilst on Caleton, Matty and Tinuke opt to stick together and head off to La Nena, thus breaking up the majority alliance on Caleton.
As the summit ends, all six tribe members head back to their camps, and the remaining players are shocked to see they have some new members. Jess seems disheartened to see Matty and Tinkue have left, whilst Shai sees this shake-up as a new opportunity in the game, with new tribemates Pegleg and Doug potentially being the most likely to go next.
On their new tribe, Doug decides to solidify his relationship with Pegleg and reveals that he has the immunity idol in his bag. Despite receiving what some may feel is good news, Pegleg does not take kindly to this information and seems annoyed that Doug is only now revealing this to him.
Over on La Nena, Leilani is delighted to see Tinuke and Matty join her (despite them both voting her out a few days before!). Leilani instantly spills all the info she has to Tinuke, with Tinuke taking delight in knowing that it’s not all happy families on La Nena and that she has a chance of finding her footing in the tribe.
Later, Christopher once again decides to grill people on what information they have from the outpost, confirming the T&Cs of the visit. This guy is really not letting this issue go, and it doesn’t seem like he will stop until he has a frame-by-frame outline of events that went down. Things are really not looking good for Ren at this point, as they have seemingly been caught in HD lying about the outpost visit.
This episode’s immunity challenge is a classic. Tribemates will have to test their strength as they hold increasing amounts of sandbags on their back, with the last person standing winning immunity for their tribe.
Round by round, the weight starts to add up, and before too long, Jess seems to be struggling to stay in the challenge. However, she puts in a really impressive effort, pushes through the pain, and stays in the game for a while. Eventually, Joel has to step in and tell her that she must drop out of the challenge as the pain she is enduring becomes a medical concern. After an impressive effort, Matty also drops out.
Soon after, Christopher begins to enter the pain zone and is wailing in agony as he tries to stay in the challenge. After pushing through for a while, not only does he drop his sandbags, but he himself also drops to the floor and requires medical attention. It’s really impressive to see how far these players are willing to push themselves to secure immunity for their tribes, and it becomes clear that many of these players really have come here to play hard, which is great to see.
At this point, Tinuke is the last La Nena standing and realises that there is no way she can outlast both Dough and Nathan. Tinuke eventually drops out, meaning that Caleton is able to take home a much-deserved immunity win.
Back at La Nena, people begin to scramble before the night’s vote. Leilani ensures Tinuke that she needn’t worry about being voted out, as there are bigger fish to fry. Ren confesses that they are unsure where they stand in the tribe and can’t tell where people’s heads are at. Meanwhile, Ashleigh is making it as clear as possible where she stands and is telling anyone who will listen that she wants Ren out as soon as possible and will be targeting Ren at tribal.
However, there may be a hurdle in getting people on board with the vote, as Hannah reveals that she has always had a hesitation around trusting Ashleigh, and makes a plan with Ren to target Ash, with Ren noting that this vote would be a great way to cement a strong relationship with Hannah. Interestingly, it seems like Leilani is the person on La Nena who holds the most information heading into tonight’s vote, and it’s been great to see her go from rock bottom to finally get to exercise some power.
Whilst many on the tribe seem to finally be leaning into the strategy of the game, Lee seems averse to getting involved and sticks to his tribe-strong mentality, deciding to target Leilani based on challenge performance.
The time for tribal council has come, and it looks like besties turned rivals Ren and Ashleigh are the two on the chopping block. Throughout tribal, nothing particularly compelling happens, which unfortunately seems to be a theme through the season so far. The group discusses the difficulties between seeing someone as a friend or an alliance member, and before long, it’s time to vote.
Ren couldn’t look more uncomfortable if they tried, practically curled up into a ball as the group waits for the votes to be read. As Joel reads the votes out one by one, it becomes clear that Ren was right to be concerned, as Joel reveals that Ren is the fifth person to be voted out of the game, with five people opting to vote out Ren for their fishy outpost story.
All and all, it has been great to see some of the key elements of the game come into play, with alliances, tribe swaps, and idol paranoia taking centre stage in this episode. After what many said was a slow start to the season, we can really see the game hotting up and improving episode by episode. And based on the preview for next week, it looks like we could be seeing some mischievous gameplay and have our first challenge throw of the season.