(CBS) - Survivor is BACK! For precisely 497 days, Survivor was off the air – and man, does it feel good to have my Wednesday night ritual back! Did you miss last night's episode? Don't worry, I got you covered! Here's what went down...
Photo Courtesy of CBS
This season is taking us into the game like never before! Survivor 41 has pulled back its curtain, giving us viewers a glimpse of what it's really like to create this incredible show! Host Jeff Probst, went LIVE on the @CBS TikTok Tuesday night to give us an inside scoop of how hard these producers hustle... and from watching last night's footage, you can tell!
Right off the bat, we open the episode on this intense scene of Brad, the hunter and rancher from Wyoming. Brad is still apprehensive about what exactly went down at the last Tribal Council. He feels he can't trust J.D. since he was a complete wild card at the previous vote. So, when Brad noticed both J.D. and Ricard going off to get some water together, he immediately sprinted. Brad dashed around the entire camp to secretly hideout and spy on the two (similar to Survivor two-time winner Tony Vlacho's spy shack), and listened in on what was said.
Behind the scenes on Tuesday night's TikTok LIVE, Probst shared how the camera crew had to be so discrete on filming this fast, adrenaline-rushed scene. Just watching it on T.V., we don't always realize what it takes to get the shot – and this scene in particular just goes to show how talented (and in shape) the production crew really is! Luckily, Brad got back to camp without getting caught... or did he? Since Brad made a pretty impulsive scene, Shan, the pastor on the tribe, started to question if she could really trust Brad in the game. So, what does she do? She, of course, tells Ricard how Brad spied on them. Good move for Shan? Eh... time will tell.
The Luvu tribe are off to a great start this season. Without going to Tribal Council yet, this tribe is still six strong. One stand-out so far is Naseer, who we got to learn much more about in this episode. Naseer impresses his tribe right away, as his survival skills are shining. As he effortlessly makes a fire, we get to see a little inside peek at what makes Naseer, Naseer. On the premiere, we learned he actually, in fact, learned the English language by watching this show, Survivor. He comes from Sri Lanka, where his whole life led him to craft essential survival skills necessary for his life then – and for his life here now in the game of Survivor.
Naseer is showing he's an essential asset to his tribe – but will his skillset be enough to keep him long in the game?
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Meanwhile, the Yase tribe is up to all sorts of strategies. Even though it's only day 4 in the game, this tribe is exhausted. After voting out Abraham at the first Tribal Council, alliances are becoming clear.
Evvie, who's been in the middle of it all, has been working a solid social game for herself. She's been in a three-way alliance with Voce and Xander... as well as Liana and Tiffany. Yep, this girl is working everyone! On one hand, Evvie feels like she can strongly trust keeping a female alliance with the two other women. However, Evvie's also workin' these men who are giving her some vital info...
Xander, who received an extra vote at the last Survivor Summit, also found the new "Beware Advantage." This Beware Advantage is exactly how it sounds – an advantage with risk. After searching through the jungle and ultimately finding it, Xander had the choice whether or not he wanted to risk opening this 'said' advantage. He decides to risk it and receives the advantage... but, there's a catch.
This "Beware Advantage" is a 3-way shared Immunity Idol – a brand new element to the game. However, this Immunity Idol can only be in-effect if each advantage is found at every camp. That means there are still two other advantages hidden at both the Ua and Luvu camps. The thing is, the only way Xander will know if the other advantages are found is if all the "secret phrases" are announced. Yes, you read that right – secret phrases. At the next Immunity Challenge, Xander must say his secret phrase to sign to the other tribes. His secret phrase is:
"I truly believe that butterflies are just dead relatives saying hi."
... just when you thought Survivor couldn't be more creative! Yep, and that's not all. If the other two tribes haven't found their advantages, then Xander cannot vote... until all three are finally found! What a twist.
Immunity Challenge and Reward
The castaways were competing for both immunity and reward at this challenge! The first TWO tribes to win not only got immunity from Tribal Council, but they'd each win some fishing gear, (the first place tribe would be rewarded with more equipment).
But first, Xander snuck in his secret phrase to indicate he received his tribe's "Beware Advantage." And, it was clear – no other advantages have been found:
...cue the cricket sound effects.
The challenge itself was exhausting, especially for Yase tribe member Tiffany. After navigating herself through a series of swimming-based obstacles, Tiffany was pretty spent. She moved slowly on the balance beam portion of the challenge and cost her tribe immunity – allowing both the Luvu and Ua tribes to win.
But, before heading out – since the Luvu tribe came in first, they had to decide which person from the losing Yase tribe would be sent to the 'unknown' Survivor Summit. Luvu chose Evvie to go. They then had to choose one other person to go with Evvie, which could include someone from the Luvu tribe itself. Without hesitation, Deshawn stepped up and offered to go to the Summit as well. Was it a smart move?
Photo Courtesy of CBS
As we've seen during last week's premiere, the Survivor Summit is an unknown place that can include any twists. Since Evvie knew what went down from Xander's experience, she felt she had the upper hand. Knowing she didn't want to risk her vote, she tells Deshawn that he can go ahead and risk his vote to gain the extra vote advantage. This creates trust between both Deshawn and Evvie as they're trekking along, getting to know one another.
As Evvie knows, Xander has not one but two advantages in his pocket already on day 4. Xander thinks he can trust Evvie – but we've seen how Evvie is attempting to work with everyone – and that now includes Deshawn. While Deshawn and her are alone at the Summit, Evvie continues to share more vital information – hoping she can now ally with him. Evvie then starts to blab all of the secrets she holds with Xander and how he has this new "Beware Advantage." Remind you, giving an entirely different tribe member information is extremely risky in the game... even Survivor winner (and Survivor legend), Boston Rob, had something to say about the way she's playing:
Simply put: Evvie sharing this info to Deshawn could be either incredibly smart or incredibly dumb for her future in this game! ...Or, perhaps both? We'll see!
After her brutal performance at the Immunity Challenge, Tiffany came back to her tribe with all sorts of excuses for what went wrong. Both Voce and Xander didn't like this. Because of her lack of strength, they were confident about voting her out. But, let's not forget, Xander now can't vote! He has to wait until the other two Beware Advantages are found until he can vote again.
This is a massive disadvantage for Xander, but he feels secure in his alliance with Evvie and Voce to help persuade Liana to vote out Tiffany. However, since Evvie is playing both sides, she shares all of Xander's business with Liana and Tiffany.
Since there was a lot of info to give, which included Xander's secret phrase and the fact he can't vote, Tiffany got pretty confused. So confused, she starts panicking to both Liana and Evvie, coming up with all sorts of "what if" scenarios. In Survivor, it's hard to trust people, especially those who don't listen carefully or get paranoid early on. As Tiffany showed some insecurity, Evvie and Liana
began to question whether they aligned with the right person.
But in the end, to keep Tiffany at ease, instead of Xander, the women took out Voce, as he was the third person voted out on this season of Survivor.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
I think it's safe to say, Survivor 41 is pretty unpredictable. Just when you thought you saw it all –we now get to hear these humorous "secret phrases" sprinkled through each episode! What'd you think of all the new twists?
Tweet me @mick_cloudy and let's talk Survivor!
Don't miss Survivor 41, Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS, as well as streaming live and on-demand with Paramount+ or the CBS App!
for more features.