Survivor: One World Review, Season 24, Episode 8,
“Just Annihilate Them”
Airs Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on CBS
Now that is how you play Survivor. This week, Kim and Sabrina enact a clever plan to push the guys even further towards nothingness. Jay and Troyzan recognize the threat of imminent Pagonging by the women, but several wise moves keep them divided. The physically imposing Michael is the target, and all it takes is a few quick words from Kim to flip Troyzan against his ally. The simplicity of her move is the best part about it, and she wisely assumes that she won’t get called out. Even if the move falls apart, the women still have the six-person majority to boot Michael. Troyzan seems like a solid player, but he definitely underestimates his allies this week. Although 10 players still remain, Kim is already envisioning a final three next to Chelsea and a goat like Alicia or Christina. Forward-thinking moves have been in short supply this season, so it’s impressive to observe a real strategy from the front runner.
While Kim shines this week, Chelsea is starting to look more like a pretender. She’s letting Tarzan’s antics get to her (more on that later) and doesn’t seem that well-liked by the group. Another issue is her asking Jay about evicting Michael in front of nearly everyone. It’s bad enough to reveal their plans to him, but throwing out the idea in a crowd is stupid play. It does lead to Kim’s best moment of the episode (there are a lot of them). Jay is basically one word away from telling Michael he’s a target, and she ends the conversation by telling them to vote for Christina. This is a masterful interruption and clearly shifts the discussion away from her plans. Kim’s confidence sells the deception and gives Michael little reason to worry. He’s made some interesting moves in the past, which makes his inability to recognize the danger even more surprising.
This week’s episode is sponsored by 7UP, and the reward challenge winners travel to a “7UP Oasis” for steak, hot dogs, and lots of amazing soda. The bar is pretty low for a show that offered a sneak preview of Jack and Jill as a reward last year, but this still was a bit much. Thankfully, the challenge is fun and has players go down a giant slide before retrieving massive puzzle pieces from the water. Teams are split through an unseen schoolyard pick, which would have been fun to see. Predictably, Tarzan is the odd man out and sits out the challenge. It’s hard to picture him going down the giant slide, so not participating is likely wise. Leif, Michael, Kim, Christina, and Sabrina enjoy the “taste of victory” after stealing the win. The wonderful Leif steals the show with an awesome chant of “Barbecue! Barbecue!” that riles up the losing team. Although he’s not a very good player, Leif is one of the most entertaining contestants this season.
Tarzan doesn’t receive much screen time this week, but he continues to receive the Phillip Shepard edit. When Chelsea accuses him of pulling wood off the shelter for the fire, he loses it once again. The highlight is his attempt to mend their fractured relationship. Pulling her aside for a chat, Tarzan gives the theory that a bad experience with a plastic surgeon created her animosity. Although there’s a bit of logic in his thinking, it reveals a lack of self-awareness about his crazy behavior at camp. It’s also just a really strange question to ask someone. Tarzan has no chance to win the game, but his ability to reach the end just keeps growing. There have been many examples of players reaching the Final Tribal Council with few chances to even get a vote. If the opportunity presents itself, it’s hard to believe that Kim or Sabrina would rather face each other than Tarzan.
The immunity challenge starts with a generic walk across a ladder bridge, but the puzzle is one of the most complicated in Survivor history. Kim, Jay, Alicia, and Troyzan reach the final round and must place 60 pieces together in a specific pattern. Choosing the wrong pieces can cause major headaches near the end and force players to backtrack. Jay takes some flak from Jeff for being in last, but his deliberate approach pays off and gets him the victory. Alicia’s near-win is interesting because she has not performed well in most challenges. The editing has shifted away from her since Colton’s exit, which indicates that she may last for a long time. On the other hand, everyone seems to like Jay, which makes him a serious threat. The target will likely shift to him next, which is a bad sign for his long-term chances.
At Tribal Council, Jeff receives zero raised hands when he asks who doesn’t feel safe this week. This isn’t a major surprise since Michael has no idea what’s about to happen. Everyone keeps their cards close to the vest this week, though Tarzan gives up another “the game is afoot” comment to lighten the mood. The final vote tally is seven votes for Michael, two for Christina, and two for Tarzan. Something is amiss with this count, especially since Troyzan, Jay, and Leif all vote for Michael. The likely scenario is that Alicia and Christina write down Tarzan in case Michael has the idol, but it’s not clear. In that case, all it would take is one more vote for Christina to knock her out. It’s possible they’re not privy to the strategy talk and pick Tarzan on their own, but that makes little sense. If Christina and Alicia aren’t being involved in the big decisions, that raises the possibility of a major shake-up next week. Kim and Sabrina seem to have the power, but nothing would be shocking in this unusual season.