“Survivor: Winners at War” Episode 7 Recap: Ex Appeal?

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Winners at War”

Last Week: Nick was a fan who voted out his favorite, while Denise was a hero who voted out a villain.

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)

  • Denise, 48 – “Philippines”
  • Jeremy, 41 – “Second Chance”
  • Kim, 36 – “One World”
  • Tony, 45 – “Cagayan”

The Sele Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Michele, 29 – “Kaôh Rōng”
  • Nick, 28 – “David vs. Goliath”
  • Wendell, 35 – “Ghost Island”
  • Yul, 44 – “Cook Islands”

The Yara Tribe (wearing green)

  • Adam, 28 – “Millennials vs. Gen-X”
  • Ben, 36 – “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
  • Sarah, 34 – “Game Changers”
  • Sophie, 29 – “South Pacific”

Livin’ on the Edge

Parvati is really bummed out to be a pre-merge boot, but with the way this season has been headed, it was bound to happen. She feels a little better when Sandra shows up right after her.

Sandra regales everyone with the tale of her elimination and Rob is blown away that she would allow Denise to make the decision. Well, he isn't wrong. Sandra chalks it up to having feelings for Denise. OK, that I get

And then, Sandra shocks us one final time by deciding to leave the entire game. She figures that the odds of her winning a challenge are slim to none. So, she raises the flag and leaves.

Wow…Sandra managed to find a sit-out bench on the Edge of Extinction.

The next morning, Ethan is struggling with staying in the game. He and Parvati have a little chat and she recommends that he do some yoga. That's very on-brand for her.

Later on, the group receives a challenge. They're told there are four fire tokens hidden at the ends of paths on the top of the cliff. Rob immediately sprints out, which encourages everyone to follow him. However, Tyson isn't concerned with Rob getting too far ahead because he considers Rob to be a "Portly Chap." Oh man, you know he's gonna watch this season, right Tyson?

Tyson appears to find the first token, but nobody can locate any of the others. Rob, in desperation, asks Tyson to show him what the token looks like so he can know what to search for.

Buuut…this was all a ruse. Somehow Rob was able to find three of the four tokens before anyone noticed. That is super impressive.

An elated "Boston" Rob declares himself "the best that's ever played." Well…three pre-jury eliminations may beg to differ.

At Sele Beach

I assumed Wendell must've had buy-in from Yul and Nick to try to make a deal with Parvati, but apparently I was very wrong. (What else is new?) We find out that Yul is concerned about Wendell's actions at Tribal. The duo has a chat and it's unclear if things are really smoothed over.

The following morning, Wendell and Michele have yet another contentious conversation. We also learn that Michele gave one of Parvati's fire tokens to Wendell as a bit of a peace offering.

When it’s all said and done, it looks like Yul and Michele are both having serious second thoughts about working with Wendell.

Quick Aside: This may be a half-baked strategy, but is there something to being an alliance’s banker? In “Game Changers” alliances were giving each other their wedding rings to prove that they weren’t going to vote them out. What if one person who felt uneasy was put in charge of an entire alliance’s fire tokens? The person can hold onto them to prove that they’re safe. Something to think about.

At Dakal Beach

Everyone is basking in the afterglow of Denise's mega maneuver. Tony in particular is excited because he thinks this puts a huge target on Denise's back.

Jeremy disagrees. He still thinks Tony has the highest profile in the game. Buuut…isn't that what Jeremy wants to keep around? Big targets?

In other news, Kim and Denise seem to be forming a solid bond with Jeremy on their side as a third.

At Yara Beach

The big controversy with this tribe, other than Ben singing the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Time” song is; where’s the hidden immunity idol?

Obviously, Sophie and Sarah know that it's in Sophie's bag. But Adam is convinced that Sarah or Ben have it. He even goes so far as to say he's rarely been so sure of something in the game before. (Another example of the Adam-is-a-dope edit he's been getting.)

Quick Aside: It’s so weird to see Adam treated like an idiot and Wendell treated like a villain, considering how likable they were edited in their winning seasons.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will carry a large saucer over an obstacle course and to a water station. They’ll fill the saucer with water, then carry it back to a well. Once the well is full of water, it’ll release a bag of puzzle pieces. The first two tribes to complete the puzzle will win immunity.

Result: Yara, very smartly, completed the course as carefully as possible so as not to lose much water. This allowed them to fill the well after a single trip. They were the first to complete the puzzle. Then, Dakal was able to win by finishing their puzzle a fraction of a second quicker than Sele. Yara and Dakal win immunity. Also, Wendell was talking trash to Probst during the challenge, and Yul and Nick think that might have cost them the win.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

I can't believe it, but it looks like Yul and the Gang® is breaking up. First off, Michele tells Wendell that she'll vote any way that he wants.

Meanwhile, Nick tells Yul that he's willing to vote for Wendell. Apparently, the challenge trash talking left a bad taste in their mouths. They bring Michele into this plan and it's unclear which way she's leaning.

Buuuuut…Yul starts putting together a plan to get Wendell's tokens and that alerts Nick to the fact that Yul is very savvy. Well…duh… Aren't we past the point of being surprised when people in this best-of-the-best game are clever and conniving?

Tribal Time

Probst doesn't even greet them, he just stares them down. It's hilarious. Wendell immediately opens up which tells me he might not do well under interrogation.

Yul points out that the fire tokens twist has been huge because you have to make people think you didn't vote for them so you can get their coins. This has led him to lie more in this game than he did the entire time in the Cook Islands.

Yul also thinks he’s at a disadvantage because there are so many pre-game relationships.

In an interesting moment, Nick declares that he'll be willing to continue working with the rest of Sele if he gets voted out. Wendell and Yul aren't so sure they'd be up for it, but they're open to it. Michele deflects by saying she hopes she doesn't have to make that decision.

Voting Time: Wendell votes for Yul saying “Yul be on the Edge of Extinction tonight.” (Oof…that’s as bad as one of my headlines.) Yul votes for Wendell, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and nobody does. We've got one vote for Yul, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Yul, and the ninth person voted out of "Survivor: Winners at War" is…Yul.

Fire Token Bequeath’n: Yul leaves one token to Sophie and one token to Sarah.

Verdict: Ugh…I really hate that all the classic players are gone.  Like, really hate it.

That being said, I’m into all of these characters and the fire token twist has added an interesting layer of strategy, so I’m loving this season.

  • Michele - I don't know if I fully trust this edit. All we're seeing is negativity from Wendell toward her. And yet, she was the swing vote. I think she's closer to Wendell than we're being led to believe and she's making things happen.
  • Sophie and Sarah – They’re clearly running the show at Yara beach.
  • Ben - He did what he needed to do to make it to the merge. And when those buffs are dropped, he'll have quite a few options.
  • Nick and Wendell – I’m really not sure what kind of message you guys sent to your former alliance members with the merge right around the corner.
  • Adam - Whatever you've been doing at Yara beach is not working. The merge cannot come quickly enough for you.
  • Denise, Tony, Kim, and Jeremy – I can’t grade you if you don’t show your work.

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