After Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X‘s three-way tribe split and a fragmenting and fraying of alliances, a new tribe journeyed to Tribal Council. It had both millennials, aka the future, and Gen Xers, aka mummies-in-waiting, who actually had a majority. But the time on Survivor when people just stuck together with their original tribes—and original alliances—is over, thankfully, so we had another blindside.
Yet it was another blindside that, like last week’s twist ending, does not make sense to me. Chris didn’t want to stick with his Gen X friends, David and CeCe, in part because of David’s blindside at the previous Tribal Council. But they teamed up to vote out CeCe.
CeCe may not be the strongest challenge player, but David is worse. In this episode alone—at another spectacular mid-ocean water challenge location—he repeatedly fumbled a buoy and cost his team valuable time.
Plus, he just betrayed his tribe last week, so he is not a good person to have an ally if and when his tribe gets back together. He’s a known schemer who can’t be trusted, and as CeCe said to David, quoting Michelle, he’s the “weakest and you’re clumsy.” Yet Chris and Zeke (and Michelle) decided to vote off CeCe.
And why did David turn on CeCe, who’s he’s been aligned with all game, and not try to save her like he did Jessica, a person who didn’t even like him? What is happening this season?
Even more troubling is that it contributes to the pattern about women of color being voted out in disproportionate numbers early in the game.
An idol recovery, an idle start for a new tribe
David started the game in an awkward position, having played his idol to save Jessica and alienating his tribe. But then, during an idol hunt, David found another idol—basically resetting from his questionable decision, a decision so questionable that even he didn’t know why he saved Jessica.
“I can’t believe I was so fortunate,” David said, calling his idol find a “victory,” but really, it was incredible luck.
After the idol hunt, the tribes showed up for what seemed to be a reward challenge, but instead learned that they were swapping tribes. Here are the highlights of what happened on the other two tribes:
- Figtails survived the tribe swap, and Taylor said, “it could not go any better for me.” Then he realized that Figgy only wanted to mouth words at him around the campfire, not actually make out, in order to protect them with the new tribe.
- Adam, the only other millennial on the tribe, told us, “It’s my worst nightmare.” Ours too, Adam, ours too.
- Michaela was crushed about ending up on the third-wheel tribe—so crushed that Probst kept calling her out. Michaela said later in an interview, “I just wanted to flick him off right there, but I didn’t.”
But in an episode of turnarounds—for CeCe, who was in the majority; for David, who’d trashed his idol and betrayed his allies; for Jay, who no longer has his threesome—Michaela’s was the most satisfying because she surprised herself.
Her new tribe basically gave up trying to make fire, and was sitting around, depressed, when Michaela tried it. And she made fire and water, which came from her eyes after she made fire.
Then Michaela almost single-handedly closed out the challenge and gave her new tribe a victory at the immunity challenge. She snagged their basket and pulled it closer, and then sank basket after basket. It was an impressive performance and a terrific reminder about how quickly things change in this game. And in life.