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Survivor: One World, Ep. 24.03, “One World is Out the Window”: The chickens rule the roost

Survivor: One World, Ep. 24.03, “One World is Out the Window”: The chickens rule the roost

Survivor: One World Review, Season 24, Episode 3, “One World is Out the Window”
Airs Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on CBS

After only three episodes, it’s clear that much of this cast have seen very little of Survivor’s illustrious past. If Matt had studied previous seasons, he’d realize that the strong figurehead is an easy target. When choosing between him and the more likable (and less physically imposing) Bill, the guys make the obvious pick. Matt fails to realize that acting like a jerk is a bad strategy, especially when you’re down in the numbers. He spins a grand tale about roosters and chickens to Troyzan, who knows when he’s being conned. Even Matt’s fellow “rooster alliance” members Jay and Bill understand his time is up and vote against him. There’s nothing better than watching an alpha male get blindsided by the “chickens” he derides. While Colton is equally conceited, he does understand the value of having the numbers.

Speaking of Colton, he’s playing a short-term game that’s unlikely to take him to the end. Having the idol gives him a chance for a while, but he’s too much of a wild card to endure in a tight alliance. Colton thinks he’s running the show, but his pleas to evict Bill fall on deaf ears. Even Tarzan realizes that taking out Matt is the right choice. Colton’s focus on Bill is personal and seems to come from a general dislike of the cheerful guy. Calling him “ghetto trash” takes the hatred to a different level beyond the game. In similar fashion to Alicia, Colton’s trying to be an over-the-top villain and failing spectacularly. At Tribal Council, Jeff calls him out on his dim-witted strategy to hang out with the girls, and it’s clear the comments don’t strike a chord. While it’s possible he’ll be around for a long time, Colton’s game has serious flaws that will eventually come back to haunt him.

“One World is Out the Window” begins with a torrential rainstorm that sends the women’s tribe to the edge. Rejecting the guys’ offer to sleep under the tarp, they brave the brutal weather through the all-night storm. It’s a stark reminder that Survivor is no joke and can really test its competitors. Thankfully, no one pulls a Purple Kelly and quits, and the girls ride it out until the sun reappears. The rain is still falling during the reward challenge, a one-on-one memory test that the women take easily. The guys don’t even register a point and lose the chance at fishing gear and a canoe. The highlight (or lowlight in competitive terms) is a battle of futility between Kat and Troyzan, who seem to lack the mental capacity to remember the items. It takes seven rounds before she mercifully puts him out of his misery. By contrast, most of the others take only one look and are able to succeed. It’s a relief to see Jeff back to host this challenge, and returning to the traditional format really helps the show’s pacing.

Although the success of the One World concept is still uncertain, it does create some interesting dealings that haven’t been seen in the past. When the rain starts wreaking havoc, the women repeatedly venture into the men’s camp to ask for help. The guys provide some ember for the fire and let them hang out in the shelter, but it’s a tense situation. They ask to borrow the canoe in exchange, but the response is noncommittal. It’s tricky because there aren’t clear stipulations for how the tribes should interact. In the premiere, Chelsea had no reason to give away a chicken after she grabbed them. Without Jeff around to sternly lecture about rules, it’s pure chaos between the teams. Most players handle the situation well, though Alicia can’t help but antagonize them. This is another case where Matt fails in the social game and gets overly self-righteous. The girls are obviously suffering, and showing a bit of compassion might have helped his standing.

The immunity challenge brings back an old favorite that goes all the way back to Survivor Australia. Each tribe splits into blindfolded pairs and must traverse an obstacle course to obtain puzzle pieces. They acquire the bags by pulling a rope and getting doused by colored water. There’s so much to like with this challenge! One player is assigned as the caller for each team, and Bill and Sabrina take those duties. He shines in this role and the guys take a big lead going into the puzzle-solving portion, which the callers handle. This challenge is designed for comedy, and there’s always one pair each time that wanders the course aimlessly. Monica and Christina get that honor and do a lot of arm waving far away from the actual ropes. Including the intricate puzzle at the end is a clever twist because it has the potential to equalize the challenge. Sabrina masters this test and blows by Bill, which sends the guys to their first Tribal Council.

This episode shines because it includes entertaining moments unrelated to the ultimate result. Following the vote, Tarzan raises his hand and asks Jeff to see the other two votes. The host’s dry, yet obviously amused “no” response is classic and closes it out on just the right note. Earlier, the guys’ failed attempts to “strategize” reveal just how few true players there are this season. When five people stand out in the open and chat, it’s obvious that something fishy is happening. First Jay interrupts their meeting, and Matt’s arrival happens a few minutes later. It’s also amusing to watch how easily the “chickens” convince the four-man alliance to break. After just a few sentences, Jay is ready to jump ship and flip his allegiance. Unlike Matt, he understands the game’s basic survival concept, which could take him a long way with this gang of novices.

Dan Heaton