I have to admit that I was really excited when I saw that last night’s episode of Survivor was going to be 90 minutes long. I was expecting some sort of epic immunity challenge or maybe even two tribal councils. Instead, those extra 30 minutes were used to spend showing more photographs of what the castaways do when they’re not competing on an island. I get that Survivor is trying to be a “nicer” show but the photo montages have been my least favorite part of the past three seasons. As I’ve said before, I don’t need to know who these people are in the real world. Everyone, whether they get to be on a reality show or not, has had tragedy in their life. Everyone has people that they care for. The photo montages seem to suggest that certain castaways just inherently deserve the money more than others and that goes against what Survivor was supposed to be all about. Survivor is about outplaying and outlasting. It’s not about who has the biggest sob story. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.
As for the episode itself, it centered on two men who are dominating the early episodes but who also probably won’t make it to the merge. Over on the Baka Tribe, Gabler has proven to be so annoying that Elie and Jeanine actually searched through his stuff so that they could find out when his immunity idol expires. Gabler does have an alliance going with Sami and Owen but it’s easy to imagine that even they will eventually get tired of him. I cringed when I saw Gabler trying to use the fishing equipment. If he doesn’t destroy or lose that spear next week, I’ll be stunned.
Fortunately, for Gabler, Baka won immunity and avoided tribal council. The other immunity idol was won by the Coco Tribe. That meant that the Vesi Tribe went to their first tribal.
Going into tribal, the Vesi Tribe was split into three factions. There was the Justine/Noelle faction. There was the Cody/Nneka faction. And then there was the Dwight/Jesse faction. Dwight wanted to join with the girls. The problem is that Dwight lost his vote at the summit last week so, for him to have any power in the Justine/Noelle faction, he would have to be able to bring Jesse in with him so that Jesse could vote the way that Dwight wanted. Unfortunately, for Dwight, Jesse felt more comfortable with Cody/Nneka.
Shortly before tribal, Cody found a beware advantage and made the mistake of opening it. The message inside told him that unless he retrieved beads (which I guess were handed out when the castaways first reached the island) from all the bags of his tribemates, he would lose his vote. With the help of Jesse and Nneka, he was able to convince everyone to give him their beads. (He claimed that he wanted them to decorate his hat and, because Cody is kind of an eccentric guy, everyone believed him.) So, Cody did not lose his vote.
At tribal, Noelle and Justine split their votes, one for Cody and one for Nneka. They did this under the assumption that Jesse would vote for Nneka. However, Jesse joined Nneka and Cody in voting for Justine. With Dwight not having a vote, Justine was voted out by a vote of 3-1-1.
And that sucks. The episode wasn’t bad. I enjoyed watching Cody scramble for the beads. But Justine seemed like she had the potential to be a far more interesting player than Nneka. (If the tribe wants to keep losing immunity, I guess it makes sense to keep Nneka.) But that’s the way it goes, sometimes. It’ll be interesting to see if Jesse and Dwight’s friendship survives this. Dwight did not look happy.
Justine, 2nd person voted out of Survivor 43