It’s time for …. SURVIVOR!
I have to admit that Survivor 44 kind of snuck up on me. I guess I’m used to having a season of The Amazing Race in between my seasons of Survivor so, mentally, I wasn’t expecting to straight from Gabler winning season 43 to the start of season 44. But no matter! I’m glad it’s back.
Once again, 18 castways are in Fiji. Once again, the show is starting with three tribes of six. (I’m not really a fan of having more than two tribes at the start of the show but this appears to be what Survivor is going to be from now on.) First things first, here are the Castaways:
The tribes break down as follows:
RATU: Maddy, Brandon, Kane, Matthew, Lauren, Jaime
TIKA: Bruce, Yam Yam, Carson, Helen, Sarah, Carolyn
SOKA: Matt, Heidi, Frannie, Danny, Clare, Josh
As for last night’s episode, it was certainly a dramatic one and it was also one that featured a few Survivor firsts.
Things got started with a reward challenge, in which the tribes had to drag a bunch of rings across the beach and solve a puzzle. Soka won that challenge and, as a result, they had all of their supplies waiting for them at their camp. Meanwhile, Tika and Ratu both had to do an extra challenge in order to get their supplies. For Ratu, Brandon and Matthew had to complete a physical challenge of dragging coconuts across the beach. For Tika, Helen and Carson did a mental challenge where they had 15 minutes to correctly guess the number of rings in a spinning puzzle. Both Ratu and Tika completed their challenges and all the tribes got their supplies!
Unfortunately, Tika’s Bruce had taken a pretty nasty knock to the head during the initial reward challenge and even had to lie down and take some oxygen while the medical team looked at him. Bruce was cleared to continue in the game but, that night, he suddenly got a splitting headache and was medically evacuated. I’m going to guess that he had a concussion.
(The good news for Bruce is that he’s already been invited to appear on a future season. The bad news for Tika is that they were already down a member before the first immunity challenge.)
The next morning, over at Ratu, Matthew got so excited about being on Survivor that he climbed a cliff and then FALL OFF OF IT! When he landed, it was pretty easy to see that he had dislocated his shoulder. (Seriously, it was painful to watch!) Matthew popped his arm back into place and was allowed to continue in the game. His arm, however, was in a sling and his feet and his hands were pretty cut up as well.
While Matthew was narrowly escaping death, the rest of the Ratu tribe was looking at a locked birdcage that Brandon came across. Along with finding the cage, Brandon also eventually found the key. He discovered that the birdcage contained both a real immunity idol and a fake idol! Of course, for some reason, Brandon let the rest of his tribe watch him open the birdcage so they now knew about both the real idol and the fake one. As a former football player, Brandon is definitely a physical threat but, from a strategic point of view, he made a huge mistake.
The summit — which I hate — also returned last night. This time, it was Sarah, Matt, and Lauren who were sent to the summit and who got a chance to win a reward or a punishment. The twist this season is that, if a player loses their vote, they get the option of drawing a second time and either winning an advantage or losing a second vote.
Matt, being very unlucky, lost two votes.
Sarah lost a vote but also got the Inheritance Advantage. Basically, if she plays this at Tribal Council, it means that any advantages that are played at tribal will subsequently be given to her. It’s a bit confusing but it works like this. Let’s say Tika goes to Tribal. When it’s time for Sarah to cast her vote, she drops the Inheritance Advantage into the voting box. Then, if a member of the tribe plays an immunity idol, Sarah will have an idol waiting for her when she returns to camp.
Lauren received the “Bank your vote advantage.” Basically, this allowed her to not vote at one tribal and then have two votes at a future tribal. When Lauren returned to Ratu, she told her tribe that she had actually lost her vote specifically so she could use the Bank Your Vote Advantage at their next tribal.
At the immunity challenge, Brandon had a medical emergency due to dehydration and he had to sit out the challenge. With Matthew’s arm in a sling, that meant Ratu’s two most physical players were sidelined for the majority of the challenge. Ratu lost the immunity challenge and went to Tribal.
A lot of weird things happened at tribal. Brandon and Matthew both felt that they were going to be targeted and Brandon was right. Matthew played his shot in the dark while Brandon used his immunity idol. (I’m pretty sure this was the first time someone used an immunity idol at the very first tribal council.) Oddly, Jaime also used her shot in the dark, even though no one was targeting her.
Matthew’s shot in the dark did not pay off. He wasted his vote for nothing. Jaime lost her vote but she also became the first player in Survivor history to get immunity from playing the shot in the dark. With Lauren playing her Bank Your Vote Advantage, only Brandon, Kane, and Maddy voted. Kane and Maddy both voted for Brandon but since Brandon played his idol, their votes didn’t count. Only Brandon’s vote counted and he voted for Maddy.
So, by a vote of 1-0, Maddy was sent off the Island.
It was a wild start to the season! I can’t wait for next week, in which Carolyn is apparently going to go nuts. See you then!
I thought Matthew used his shot in the dark so he didn’t have to pick a side. He was friendly with Brandon but didn’t trust him completely yet. He didn’t want to alienate the girls so early in the game. I thought it was a good move since we haven’t seen a shot in the dark work until last night. I like most players but a few are annoying. Carolyn being on top of the annoying list. Drug Counsellor? She acted more like she was using. Lol. I know, I’m an old “get off my lawn” granny. She seemed nice just annoying.
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Carolyn and Frannie both kind of have crazy eyes and made me nervous. As for Matthew, I think he was worried that he would be voted out because of his injuries would make it difficult for the team to win immunity comps. But everyone seems to like Matthew so I imagine the tribe will cut him some slack,
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This was one of the best first episodes.Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S10, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone
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For some reason, Probst called Maddy “the second person voted out”. And no correction in episode 2.
That is strange. She was the second to leave the island (after Bruce) but she was the first to be voted out.
This season sneaked up on me too! I just watched both episodes this morning. I’m looking forward to getting to know this cast a little better, thanks for the summary Lisa Marie!