Survivor Review: He's a Small Russell Hantz

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Semhar, Christine and Papa Bear. The first three people voted out of Survivor made sense in terms of strengthening the tribe, as there was no other obvious choices. This week, though? 

I can’t justify sending Stacey home ahead of two other very worthy candidates.

Brandon Hantz on Survivor

Brandon and Edna were insufferable and both were significantly better candidates to be sent to Redemption Island over Stacey. Removing either form the tribe would have improved tribe morale and improved their chances of winning challenges.

(On a side note, what does the record for weight in this week’s challenge stand at? Is it 240 lbs because Brandon and Jim reached 240 lbs, or is it what they successfully accomplished, i.e., 220 lbs? In my opinion it should be the weight that you were actually able to hold. Adding weight and then having the bar fall shouldn’t count for hoisting that amount of weight.)

Upolu remains focused on having strong numbers going in to the merge. But are they sacrificing winning challenges before the merge? Doesn’t Stacey clearly give Upolu a better chance and winning challenges than Brandon or especially Edna?

To be fair, Stacey didn’t exactly ingratiate herself to the tribe. When Sophie and Albert talked about how the vote was going to be based on trust, I was sure Brandon was going home. However, it immediately dawned on me when Stacey was ousted that the lack of trust they were referring to was Stacey spreading rumors about Albert, Sophie and Mikayla in an attempt to save herself.

In the hubbub over Dawn and Stacey being the last people standing (and the performance by each was impressive), I was surprised more was not said about Albert’s gaff. He was not struggling with the weight at the time and simply slipped up. If he is able to take some weight, Upolu wins easily and we’re talking about Savaii going to tribal instead.

How I wish we were talking about Savaii going to tribal. While I’m skeptical that Jim and Cochran would have really been able to pull a coop and get Elyse voted off, it would have been far more interesting that watching whack job Brandon cry about Russell. Coach was right, that kid clearly has demons he’s fighting that we don’t know about.

What’s interesting to me about Jim’s plan was that he wanted to vote Elyse off and not Ozzy. Why not Ozzy? Voting Elyse off is a more obvious move than voting Ozzy off. Ozzy would know exactly what was being done with Elyse voted off. Would Elyse have taken Ozzy’s ouster the same way? She might be concerned, but would not interpret the move as a clear play to reduce her power.

Nevertheless, I was really glad to see Cochran take the smart route with Jim’s idea and go with it. He recognized the oddity of voting Elyse out instead of Ozzy, but realized the more important part was that it bought him three more days. As former Survivor winner Sandra always said (and I’ve repeated numerous times in this column) “as long as it ain’t me.” Amen, Sandra. Amen.

More from this week:

  • Ozzy was inspired by Robinson Carusoe by Daniel Dafoe. If you haven’t read it and like Survivor, go read it. Phenomenal book.
  • I thought she should have fired it this week, but a bullet Edna now has is to tell Coach, et al that Brandon told her she was on the bottom of their alliance. With Stacey gone it may be her only play to have Brandon go before her if Upolu goes back to tribal council soon.
  • Why did the Survivor’s get their bathing suits? I’m not complaining, just curious.  
  • I’m sorry. I don’t find Redemption Island interesting anymore. I fast forward the challenge because I don’t care. It’s hard to know if the challenge even matters or not because so little is known about what happens at Redemption. I believe this is the one time where knowing more about Redemption (who comes back and when) would make the game more interesting, not less.

Survivalism Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 2.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)
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Survivor Season 23 Episode 4 Quotes

Does [Edna] have an off switch? I don't think she has an off switch. She needs to be disconnected.


It's easier to believe a lie sometimes than it is to accept the truth.