(CBS ) – Survivor is back! Survivor was off the air for exactly 497 days – and man, does it feel good to have my Wednesday night ritual back! Did you happen to miss last night’s episode? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here’s what happened…
This season takes us into the game like never before! Survivor 41 has pulled back its curtain to give us viewers a glimpse into the making of this incredible show! Host Jeff Probst , was on @CBS TikTok LIVE Tuesday night to give us a glimpse of how hard these producers work… and if you watch the footage from last night, you can tell!
Right at the beginning of the episode, we get this intense scene with Brad, the Wyoming hunter and rancher. Brad is still troubled about what exactly happened at the last Tribal Council. He feels like he can not trust JD since he was a complete wild card in the last vote. So when Brad notices both J.D. and Ricard leave to go get water together, he immediately sprints. Brad sprinted around the entire camp to secretly hide and spy on the two (much like the two-time Survivor winner Tony Vlacho in his spy shack), listening to what was being said.
Backstage at TikTok LIVE, Probst talked about how discreet the camera crew had to be while filming this fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled scene. When you only see it on TV, you do not always realize all that it takes to get a shot – and this scene in particular shows just how talented (and fit) the production team really is! Luckily, Brad made it back to camp without getting caught… or did he? Since Brad did a pretty impulsive scene, Shan, the tribe’s pastor, starts to wonder if she can really trust Brad in this game. So what does she do? She tells Ricard how Brad spied on her, of course. A good move for Shan? Eh…time will tell.
The Luvu tribe is off to a great start this season. Without going to Tribal Council, this tribe is still six men strong. One that stands out so far is Naseer, who we learned a lot more about in this episode. Naseer impresses his tribe right off the bat, as his survival skills shine. As he effortlessly builds a fire, we get a little insight into what makes Naseer Naseer. In the premiere, we learned that he actually learned the English language from watching the show Survivor. He comes from Sri Lanka, where he spent his entire life learning survival skills that he needed for his life then – and for his life now in the game Survivor.
Naseer shows that he is an important asset to his tribe – but will his skills be enough to keep him in the game for long?
Meanwhile, the Yase tribe has all sorts of strategies in mind. Even though it’s only day 4 in the game, this tribe is exhausted. After Abraham is voted out at the first Tribal Council, the alliances are becoming clearer.
Evvie, who has been in the thick of things, has developed a solid social game for herself. She’s in a three-way alliance with Voce and Xander… As well as with Liana and Tiffany. Yes, this girl is working everyone! On the one hand, Evvie feels like she can count on forming a female alliance with the other two women. But Evvie also works with these men, who provide her with important information…
Xander, who received an extra vote in the last Survivor Summit, has also found the new “Beware Advantage”. This cautionary advantage is exactly as it sounds – an advantage with risk. After scouring the jungle and finally finding it, Xander had a choice whether or not to risk opening this “said” advantage. He decides to risk it and gets the advantage… but there’s a catch.
This “Beware Advantage” is a 3-way sharing Immunity Idol – a brand new element in the game. However, this Immunity Idol can only come into play if every advantage can be found in every camp. This means that there are two more advantages hidden in both the Ua and Luvu camps. The thing is, the only way Xander will know if the other advantages have been found is if all the “secret phrases” are revealed. Yes, you read that right – secret phrases. On the next Immunity Challenge Xander has to say his secret phrase to sign to the other tribes.
His secret phrase is:
“I truly believe that butterflies are just dead relatives saying hi.”
… just when you thought Survivor couldn’t be more creative! Yep, and that’s not all. If the other two tribes haven’t found their advantages, then Xander cannot vote… until all three are finally found! What a twist.
Immunity Challenge and Reward
The Castaways fought for immunity as well as reward in this challenge! The first TWO tribes to win not only gain immunity from Tribal Council, but each of them wins fishing gear (the first-place tribe is rewarded with more equipment).
But first, Xander snuck in his secret phrase to indicate he received his tribe’s “Beware Advantage.” And, it was clear – no other advantages have been found:
…cue the cricket sound effects.
The challenge itself was exhausting, especially for Yase tribal member Tiffany. After navigating her way through a series of floating obstacles, Tiffany was quite exhausted. On the balance beam, she moved slowly and cost her tribe immunity, allowing the Luvu and Ua tribes to win.
But before they left – since the Luvu tribe took first place – they had to decide which person from the losing Yase tribe to send to the ‘unknown’ Survivor Summit. Luvu chose Evvie to go. They then had to choose another person to go with Evvie, including someone from the Luvu tribe itself. Without hesitation, Deshawn came forward and offered to go to the summit as well. Was this a smart move?
As we saw in last week’s premiere, the Survivor Summit is an unknown place that can hold all sorts of twists and turns. Since Evvie knew from Xander’s experience how things were going to go, she believed she had the upper hand. Not wanting to risk her vote, she tells Deshawn that he can risk his vote to get the extra vote advantage. This builds trust between Deshawn and Evvie, who are on their way to getting to know each other.
As Evvie knows, Xander already has not one, but two advantages in his pocket on Day 4. Xander believes he can trust Evvie – but we have seen Evvie try to work with everyone – and that now includes Deshawn. While Deshawn and her are alone at the summit, Evvie reveals more and more vital information – hoping that she can now team up with him. Evvie then starts spilling all the secrets she has with Xander and how he has this new “Beware Advantage.” I remind you that in the game, it’s extremely risky to give information to a completely different tribe member… even the Survivor winner (and Survivor legend), Boston Rob, had something to say about the way she plays:
In short, Evvie giving this information to Deshawn could either be incredibly smart or incredibly stupid for her future in this game! …Or maybe both? We will see!
After her brutal Immunity Challenge performance, Tiffany returned to her tribe with all sorts of excuses for what had gone wrong. Both Voce and Xander did not like it. Because of her lack of strength, they were confident they could vote her out. But let us not forget that Xander does not get to vote now! He has to wait until the other two Beware Advantages are found before he can vote again.
This is a massive disadvantage for Xander, but he feels secure in his alliance with Evvie and Voce to convince Liana to vote Tiffany out. However, since Evvie plays both sides, she shares all of Xander’s business with Liana and Tiffany.
Since there was a lot of information to give, including Xander’s secret phrase and the fact that he can not vote, Tiffany was quite confused. So confused that she panics to both Liana and Evvie and comes up with all sorts of “what if” scenarios. On Survivor, it’s hard to trust people, especially those who do not listen closely or get paranoid early on. When Tiffany showed some insecurity, Evvie and Liana began to wonder if they had aligned themselves with the right person.
In the end, to reassure Tiffany, the women chose Voce over Xander, who was voted out for the third time this season of Survivor.
I think it’s safe to say that Survivor 41 is pretty unpredictable. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, we now get to hear these humorous “secret phrases” sprinkled throughout each episode! What do you think of all the new twists?
Don’t miss Survivor 41, Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS, as well as streaming live and on-demand with Paramount+ or the CBS App!