“Survivor: Winners at War” Episode 5 Recap – Hell Hath No Sele

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Last Week: A challenge at the Edge of Extinction left Ethan on the mat, Adam and “Boston” Rob’s relationship was a little Rocky, and Tyson was knocked out…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

Alright, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand.

The Dakal Tribe (wearing orange)

  • Kim, 36 – “One World”
  • Nick, 28 – “David vs. Goliath”
  • Sandra, 44 - "Pearl Islands" and "Heroes vs. Villains"
  • Sarah, 34 – “Game Changers”
  • Sophie, 29 – “South Pacific”
  • Tony, 45 – “Cagayan”
  • Wendell, 35 – “Ghost Island”
  • Yul, 44 – “Cook Islands”

The Sele Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Adam, 28 – “Millennials vs. Gen-X”
  • Ben, 36 – “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
  • Denise, 48 – “Philippines”
  • Jeremy, 41 – “Second Chance”
  • Michele, 29 – “Kaôh Rōng”
  • Parvati, 36 – “Fans vs. Favorites”
  • “Boston” Rob, 43 – “Redemption Island”

We start things off at Dakal beach where Nick is surprised to receive a fire token from Tyson. He takes this as a sign of respect. Yeah…I don't know about that one.

Later, Yul opens up about his relationship with Cook Islands competitor Jonathan Penner and his wife Stacy Title as well as their battle with Stacy’s ALS. If you’d like to read more about this and donate to ALS-related charities (Yul will match the first $50,000!), please visit this link.

Drop Them Buffs

The fifteen remaining players meet up with JPro on the same sand spit where the show started. Buffs are dropped, new buffs are claimed, and we're now divided into THREE tribes.

OK, it looks like we’ve got…

  • Dakal – Kim, Tony, Sandra, Denise, and Jeremy
  • Sele – Parvati, Michele, Yul, Nick, and Wendell
  • Yara – “Boston” Rob, Ben, Adam, Sarah, and Sophie

First Thoughts: Wow, there are potentially three functional idols on Dakal right now. And with Jeremy’s leave-Tribal-early advantage you could see a pre-merge Advantageddon. Parv and Michele are in deep trouble as there are no cracks in Yul and the Gang®.  And, even if Rob, Ben, and Adam can patch things up and work together, Sarah can still knock one of them out with her steal-a-vote.

®Yul and the Gang is a registered trademark of Freberg Industries.

Ooo…and Michele points out that her and Wendell used to be a couple. Now that's…that's a wrinkle. I have pretty good relationships with most of my exes, but there are one or two that if I was stuck on a deserted island with them, I'd probably start swimming.

At Dakal Beach

Jeremy is blown away by all of the amenities Wendell has crafted. He's also blown away by the amount of information he's able to pry out of Kim. Denise is also able to make substantial inroads with our favorite One Worlder.

But on the other hand, Tony and Sandra are able to convincingly bang the “We need to keep threats in the game” drum.

At Sele Beach

You know how Jeremy felt about Dakal's shelter? Wendell feels the opposite about his new abode.

In other news, Parvati is doing her best to figure out a way to work with the former Dakalians. First off, she learns that she's Yul's wife's favorite player. Then, she learns that she was Nick's high school crush. That first one is cute, the second is a bit awkward.

But, not quite as awkward as Michele trying to mend fences with Wendell. She alludes to him breaking her trust in real life, but doesn't elaborate.

At Yara Beach

They start things off with Rob asking why Amber was voted out of the game. Yikes…

Rob seems very surprised that Tyson voted with the group on that one.

Later on, the guys break down the  Ethan vote where Rob blindsided Adam and Ben blindsided Rob. This gives Sarah and Sophie hope that they can overcome the Sele numbers advantage.

Finally, everyone breaks off for an idol hunt. Sophie is the big winner, and once again it's the weirdo split idol. It's here that we officially learn that she returned Kim's half. Sophie decides to give a half to Sarah.

Immunity Challenge Time: The tribes will race through an obstacle course and then knock blocks off of a beam with sandbags. The blocks will then be used to solve a puzzle. The first two tribes to complete the puzzle will win immunity.

Result: Sele came in first and Dakal made a big comeback to claim second.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

The classic Selenians make a beeline for the water well and decide that they should stick with their numbers and get rid of Sarah. Rob also pitches a return of his classic “Buddy System” strategy from “Redemption Island” where everyone hangs out together so they don’t have to worry about someone trying to break up their alliance.

And they go for it…and it's amazing. So amazing. It's just Sarah, Sophie, and the guys bumming around the campfire. Sarah and Sophie are desperate to lure one of them away from camp. It's hilarious.

Meanwhile, they keep cutting to Adam and Ben who seem annoyed that they have to go along with this plan. Well, you don't haaaave to.

Eventually Sarah and Sophie head off to get water and Sarah gives Sophie the half of the idol back.

Tribal Time

The majority of the time is spent with Sophie and Sarah saying that nobody seems willing to work with them. Nothing terribly interesting or dramatic.

Voting Time: Rob votes for Sarah, Sarah votes for Rob, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to use an idol and…nobody does. We've got one vote for Sarah, two votes for Rob, and the sixth person voted out of "Survivor: Winners at War" is… "Boston" Rob.

Fire Token Bequeath’n: Rob leaves both of his tokens to Parvati.

Verdict: Wow, kudos to Probst for not bursting into tears when he snuffed that torch.

Anywho, solid swap episode. They did a good job letting us know all of the new dynamics. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see the Marianos try to run the show at the Edge of Extinction.

  • Sophie and Sarah - OK, we obviously didn't get to see how they managed to wrangle both votes, but it must've been solid for them to not waste Sarah's steal-a-vote. Well done.
  • Kim - She's got options and she's got an idol that nobody on her tribe knows about. She's the big winner in the tribe swap raffle.
  • Ben – Hey, there’s no shame in jumping ship when you don’t trust any of your…ship…mates?
  • Parvati – She’s making inroads and with the Michele/Wendell drama, she’s not the most obvious first vote.
  • Jeremy and Denise – I’m not quite sure what to make of new Dakal, but it seemed like they did a really good job of working Kim.
  • Adam - Why is Adam a step down from Ben after basically making the same deal? Because Yara took a hit when it comes to challenge strength. So, Adam's probably next.
  • Michele - You were doing everything you could. Keep killing Wendell with kindness? I dunno.
  • Wendell - Dude, she's trying to talk to you. Play the game. You have no idea if her or Parvati are packing idols.
  • Tony, Sandra, Yul, and Nick – I can’t grade you if you don’t show your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes