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Last Week: Ashley paid the price for Ben’s unsupervised Easter egg hunt.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Alright, let’s take a closer look at the tribe…
The Solewa Tribe – Wearing Purple
Ben, 34 – Marine
Chrissy, 46 – Financial Analyst
Devon, 23 – Surf Instructor
Mike, 43 – Urologist
Ryan, 23 – Bellhop
Back at camp, Ben immediately sneaks off to go idol hunting. The others prove that they DON'T LEARN by saying that there probably isn't a new idol out there.
So…they don’t follow him.
If you hear a continuous low thud coming from Philadelphia, PA…that’s XFINITY’s “Survivor” expert banging his head against a coffee table.
Sure enough…and say it with me…HE FINDS AN IDOL.
I…I…I just can’t.
Seriously, is it too late to rename this season “Survivor: Easter Egg Hunt”?
The next morning, Chrissy approaches Ben and asks if they can mend their friendship. They hug it out and are pals again.
She promptly tries to get Ben to take her to the final four if he wins immunity, saying that he should want to beat the best. He doesn't seem interested in this plan because she wouldn't do the same for him.
Really? That was the plan, Chrissy?
Immunity Challenge Time: The players will retrieve keys while running through an obstacle course. The first person to unlock and complete their sliding ball puzzle will win immunity and comfort food.
Result: Chrissy wins her third immunity challenge. She’s allowed to share her food reward…and she chooses Mike and Devon.
Dead Idol Walking
At the reward, Mike, Chrissy, and Devon search the food for an idol clue. Oh, now you're worried about an idol?!
I'm sorry, I don't know if I've ever been so frustrated while watching this show. Ugh…
While they're eating, Chrissy raises the idea of using her dead idol from earlier in the season. They decide to tell Ben that they've found the idol so he'll stop searching. Sure enough, Chrissy uses the idol and the letter that came with Ryan's idol to try to fake Ben out.
Ben sells it perfectly, as they're now convinced that Ben is demoralized. This pleases Ben because now he doesn't have to fake look for the idol that he already has.
This is where we are now; Ben doesn't have to pretend to look for an idol he already has because Chrissy is pretending that the idol she didn't use in the beginning is still valid. This is how a bill become a law.
Ben starts to act like he's giving up, but Devon doesn't buy it. He's considering voting for Mike in case Ben has something up his sleeve.
Probst asks Chrissy why Ben has been allowed to hunt for idols. Chrissy claims that you can't follow someone 24 hours a day. Um…Andrea Boehlke did.
Then, Chrissy puts her dead immunity idol around her neck.
Ben thinks that Chrissy was gloating about her good luck.
Voting Time: Ben once again drops a “Ben Bomb.” He plays his idol for himself. We’ve got three votes for Ben, one vote for Mike, and one vote for Devon. A tie!
Before the revote, Devon admits to Mike that he voted for him. Yeah, and it's a good thing he did.
Voting Time Part Deux: We’ve got one vote for Devon, one vote for Mike, and the fourteenth person voted out and the seventh member of the jury is…Doctor Mike.
Before they head back to camp, Probst informs them that there will be a twist at the final immunity challenge.
Devon congratulates Ben on being the first person to write his name down.
Ryan points out that nobody has ever played three idols in a row before. And…hopefully they won't again.
Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stack letter blocks on a wobbly platform. The first person to spell “Heroes Healers Hustlers” will win immunity and a special advantage.
Result: Ben almost had this won twice, but his “U” was upside down the first time and he lost a bunch of blocks while locking in the structure the second. Chrissy manages to hold on and win her fourth immunity. That ties the record for most immunity wins by a woman in a single season.
Quick Aside: That challenge was so tense. It was amazing. Kudos to Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and his crew.
Ben is really beating himself up over the loss, but he's not ready to give up yet. He tries to get Chrissy to work with him. She agrees to listen to him at Tribal. Well…that's…nothing.
She sneaks away to read her advantage. She will cast the only vote at Tribal to decide who will sit with her at the end. The other two players will compete in a fire-making challenge. So…Ryan is safe and Devon…who was shown making fire earlier…will square off against Ben.
Sure enough, she goes with exactly that plan. She tips Devon off so he'll be ready.
Quick Aside: I’m not sure if I love this twist, but if it will inspire people to learn how to make fire before they go on the show, then I’m willing to give it a shot.
Ben is still bummed about the upside-down “U.” He says it will haunt him forever, but he’s proud of his game.
Chrissy admits that she didn’t share her advantage with Ben. She then reads it to everyone.
She chooses to keep Ryan safe, so we’ll get Devon and Ben in a fire-making challenge.
Ryan is thrilled that he’ll get to the final three, Devon is excited to have his fate in his own hands, and Ben can’t believe he’s getting a second chance.
Fire-Making Challenge: The first person to build a fire tall enough to burn through a rope will be the last member of the final three.
Result: It’s not even close, Ben wins his way into the final three. Devon is the the fifteenth person eliminated from the game and the eighth member of the jury.
Ryan is giddy that he made it to the final three. I hope that keeps him happy, because I can't imagine a situation where he picks up the win.
Chrissy points out that she went from puking at the first challenge to dominating at the end. That's a hell of a point.
Ben enjoys a mimosa in the ocean while going over his strategy of striking a balance between being confident, yet humble.
Final Tribal Time
Round One – Outwit: The Social Game
Desi immediately points out that everyone wanted to take Ryan to the end. He responds by telling her about how he used the super idol to get Devon and Chrissy on his side.
Ashley thinks Ryan's social game is weak because he never had a conversation with her. He claims that he spoke to Ashley through Devon. Devon seems to agree with that.
Joe respects that Ryan used Devon as his puppet. He doesn't respect Ben or Chrissy's game because they never communicated with him.
Ben says he had a hard time speaking with Joe after the argument about Ben swearing on being a Marine.
Chrissy claims that she didn't flip and move around. She stayed loyal to Ryan and JP.
Cole admits that he ate a little extra peanut butter, but Ben threw him under the bus for it. Ben agrees that he used that to paint a target on Cole's back. Ryan thinks Ben had a vendetta against Cole.
Ashley respects Chrissy's social game because she'd ask people about themselves. Ryan thinks she just remember facts.
My thoughts: I think Chrissy did really well, with Ryan and Ben probably tied for second.
Round Two – Outplay: Camp Life, Twists, etc.
Cole is very impressed with how well Chrissy did in the immunity challenges and how Ben found idols. He doesn't think much of Ryan's survival skills. Ryan admits that he doesn't have the best survival skills. He was happy to let people do things for him because they would do it better.
Desi doesn’t like this answer because she did a lot of things that she had never done before.
Ryan did well with the twists though. He found the super idol clue and the idol buried under the flag.
Ashley gives Chrissy credit for her immunity wins. Chrissy points out that the women took eight of the nine immunity challenges. Wow…that's awesome.
Ben knew his back was against the wall after Lauren was voted out. He woke up early every morning to go idol hunting.
Desi asks why they let Ben go out on his own. Ben says that he was one step ahead of everyone.
My thoughts: I think Chrissy takes this round too with Ben a close second and Ryan a distant third.
Round Three – Outlast: Does the jury respect your game?
Ryan knew survival and challenges wouldn't get him to the end. His neck was never on the line at a single Tribal because he worked with so many people and made strong social bonds.
Doctor Mike asks what he learned about himself. Ryan responds that the game is a series of emotions and that he learned an appreciation for the simple things in life.
Ben claims that he had a hand in putting everyone on the jury because they were a threat to stop him.
Mike tells Ben that he played one of the best games in "Survivor" history. However, Joe claims that Ben needs to do more to get his vote.
Ben responds that even when he was called "The King," he kept battling. He also says that him being on "Survivor" is a message to people with PTSD that they can still be happy and go on with their lives.
Chrissy says she kicked ass at the challenges and she made connections with everyone and that she played a good, solid game without leaving a path of destruction. She also says that she's a mother and mothers are heroes because they do what they have to do for their kids. Also…moms are healers and hustlers too. She finishes by saying that she's a winner they can be proud of.
My thoughts: Ryan isn’t going to win. That’s pretty obvious. I think Chrissy has it, but it’ll be close.
Voting Time: Lauren votes for Ben, Devon votes for Ryan, Ashley votes for Chrissy, and the rest of the votes are secret.
Tallying Time: We’ve got one vote for Ben, one vote for Ryan, two votes for Chrissy, two votes for Ben, and the winner of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” is…Ben.
Verdict: What a weird season. The first half was kind of meh, but the second half had some clever, bold moves.
Buuut…this is always going to be the season where Ben was able to Easter Egg his way to the end. And that's not good. You can't push yourself as the ultimate social experiment and then let someone gimmick their way to the end.
Power Rankings Results: Aubry Bracco and I both had one person in right place. The final score is Team Bracco 103, Team Holmes 112. Big thanks to Aubry for being such awesome Power Rankings competition!