Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

Survivor Cagayan’s tribe swap surprisingly successful

Survivor Cagayan’s tribe swap surprisingly successful
Survivor Cagayan's Brains, Brawn, and Beauty tribes are shuffled and merged into two tribes on episode 4, "Odd One Out." (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

You know it’s been another great Tribal Council when post-vote facial expressions clearly reveal who was surprised–and reveal exactly who cast which votes. The switch/merge allowed Trish and Tony to bail on their original tribe and keep things interesting for us.

I was very anxious about the tribe swap, in part because I didn’t want to see a post-J’Tia brains tribe to just be decimated, and the potential here is for original tribes to stick together and just Pagong the new stragglers. And honestly, with the exception of a dwindling tribe, there was no real need for producer intervention at this stage because we’ve had both drama and game play.

But the random swap worked out very well, because 1) the brains tribe were all in the same new tribe where 2) there were three people from the beauty tribe and a swing vote from the brawn tribe, and 3) some members of the dominant alliance in the new tribe where there was a Pogangable minority decided to bail on their original tribe.

Though it would eventually lead to a blindside, I thought the most interesting part of the swap was how the day-one decision to search for an idol clue or give one’s tribe extra rice came back to haunt Morgan, who’d lied about it to her tribe. She was unintentionally outed by Sarah and then targeted by Alexis, which went nowhere this episode but may come into play next week.

The swap really benefitted the brains tribe, who has new life in the game and finally won a challenge–a spectacular new* immunity challenge–by coming from behind. But the joyful results almost didn’t matter: a battering ram puzzle! Smashing things! A battering ram puzzle! That easily made up for the brutal but somewhat unfair pole-hugging reward challenge. Because of the tribes’ make-up, the match-ups were not always even, but at least it was for donuts and not immunity. (*As commenter Morgan Glasberg notes below, this was an identical immunity challenge from Survivor China‘s second episode; I had no memory of that, obviously.)

The old brawn tribe’s alliance was shredded thanks to both Tony and Trish, who bonded with LJ, sort of, hahahahaha. She also really doesn’t like Cliff, hahahahaha, and decided to blindside him, which really made her happy, hahahahaha. Also hahahahaha hahahahaha.

Though turning on Cliff fits into the strategy of purging potential post-merge threats, and Tony clearly feared Cliff’s physicality post-merge. However, Trish primarily cited Cliff’s laziness and “entitlement” around camp, which hasn’t really been backed up by what we’ve seen and seems like a lazy reason/excuse by itself. Hahahahaha.

They bailed on the brawn and the vote that left Woo and Lindsay’s mouths hanging open also leaves them pretty screwed. Woo comes across as a smart and flexible player who could overcome this, though the preview suggested Lindsay might quit as a result (a nighttime camp visit from Probst doesn’t indicate an empty threat) and leave him hanging even more. Then again, this season has continued to be both unpredictable and entertaining.



All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, we may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

About the writer

Discussion: your turn

The writing here is the start of a conversation, and reality blurred values your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching, the pop culture we’re consuming, and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, there are rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!