A new episode of Survivor airs tonight on CBS. Read a live recap here.
Shan and Ricard return to camp after tribal council. Shan liked Genie on a personal level, but she believes she needs Ricard for the strategic aspect of the game. However, she admits in her confessional that she doesn’t fully trust him. In addition, Ricard is bothered Shan wanted him to give her back the extra vote advantage before tribal council. Ricard says it made it seem like Shan doesn’t trust him, but Shan reminds Ricard that she saved him when Brad, JD, and Genie wanted him out. The next day Shan asks for the advantage back. Ricard doesn’t want to give it back to her since she also has an immunity idol in her possession. However, he finally returns the extra vote advantage to Shan.
Over at the Yase and Luvu tribes, they read tree mail and believe the merge is next. Xander believes the Yase 4 of he, Liana, Tiffany, and Evvie will stick together. However, Liana is still planning on targeting Xander. Sydney says in a confessional that Luvu doesn’t have solidified alliances since they never attended tribal council. Naseer believes they can make it to the Final 6. Deshawn says in a confessional that the tribe has fallen apart, but he hopes they can be together for one vote at least.
Before the tribes greet Jeff, he shares some intel with the audience. Speaking to the camera, Jeff says tonight’s episode will be two parts. Tonight’s episode will have no tribal council. Instead, there will be a challenge that results in one player getting a lot of power.
The castaways greet Jeff and he informs them they have not merged yet. Instead, they will have to earn their way into the merge. They will draw rocks to determine teams. The winning team will get a meal and a merge buff. They also won’t have to compete in the immunity challenge. The losing team will have to compete in the immunity challenge for a second chance at safety. In addition, two players will sit out from the challenge and await their fate. All players draw rocks, and Naseer and Erika have the gray rocks. They will have to sit out of the challenge.
Yellow rocks – Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany, Shan
Blue rocks – Danny, Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, and Evvie
The challenge begins. Both teams will have to push a massive boulder through a series of obstacles while retrieving keys along the way. They will then use the keys to unlock puzzle pieces. The first team to solve the puzzle will win. The blue team gets ahead, but the yellow team is still fighting. They blue team struggles solving the puzzle while the yellow team is trying to pull their team members up a human ladder to the puzzle-solving station. The yellow team eventually begins their puzzle, and Jeff remarks how the blue team lost their lead. Both teams are trying to solve the puzzle, and the blue team eventually solves the puzzle. Danny, Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, and Evvie win safety and a merge feast. In addition, they must choose between Naseer or Erika to join them for the feast. The person they do not choose will be sent to isolation for two days and two nights. The blue team chooses Naseer to join them. Erika will live on an island alone without any shelter.
The blue team and Naseer enjoy their merge feast. Evvie remarks how the Yase tribe ate nothing the last three days. Ricard and Danny agree the experience has been very tough. Danny admits in a confessional how he was worried the women were knocking out the men. He didn’t want to see another man voted out, so that’s why he wanted Erika sent to isolation and potentially targeted at the upcoming tribal council. Meanwhile, Erika arrives at the island she will spend for two days and two nights. She gathers supplies and works on building a fire.
The yellow team returns to camp and they lament losing the challenge. Xander shares in a confessional that he plans on using his hidden immunity idol at the upcoming vote. However, Liana has her advantage that allows her to steal an advantage from another player. Shan asks Liana about the advantage she got from the summit, and Liana talks to Shan about the advantage. Liana contemplates stealing Naseer’s idol, but Shan suggests taking Xander’s idol. Meanwhile, Tiffany becomes concerned about Liana’s sudden bond with Shan. Tiffany pulls Liana aside and she asks her about the advantage. Liana shares the details about the advantage. She also suggests stealing Naseer’s idol so they can vote out whomever they want from Luvu. After their conversation, Liana says in a confessional that she’s bothered by Tiffany’s pushy demeanor. She’s unsure if Tiffany is someone she wants to work with long-term in the game. Tiffany is also suspicious about Liana. She doesn’t like how Liana hid the details of the advantage until Shan brought it up. Tiffany says she, Liana, and Evvie were a tight three, but now Liana has already formed something with Shan. Tiffany believes Liana could flip to the other side.
The castaways who went on the feast return to camp. Xander and Naseer talk game, and they agree to work together. Danny throws out Erika’s name to Xander and Naseer. Danny is worried Erika could come back with a grudge. Sydney, Tiffany, and Evvie also discuss targeting Erika. Erika’s name spreads to everyone as there is concern she could come back with an advantage. Shan and Liana think the plan to vote out Erika seems too easy and too good to be true. Shan notes how this season is the most diverse cast she can remember. Shan, Liana, Deshawn, and Danny discuss having an alliance of African American people.
Jeff visits Erika on her island. He asks her how she’s doing, and she says she feels like she’s been left behind. She’s worried about all the catch-up she has to do. Jeff informs Erika she now has the power to change history. He places an hourglass in front of her and tells her she has the power to reverse the outcome of yesterday’s challenge. There can be another merge challenge. The castaways will repeat the challenge, but with new outcomes. If she wants to keep everything the same, then she can leave the hourglass alone. If she wants to change history, then she can smash the hourglass with a hammer. Erika has until the morning to make her decision.
And that wraps up tonight’s episode of Survivor. What did Erika decide? Come back next week for another live recap.