(CBS) - This new season of Survivor just gets more intense by the week! Did you miss this week's episode? Here's how it all went down...
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After last week's blindside of voting out JD – Genie, Ricard, and Shan all feel pretty secure in their now three-way alliance... so it seems.
Genie, who's been open about playing an honest game, announces to Ricard and Shan that she'll look for the newly hidden Beware Advantage. They all agree to be loyal to one another from here on out and keep no secrets... but then again, this is Survivor. What would the game be if there was no lying or manipulating?
Genie finds the Beware Advantage and immediately shares it with Shan and Ricard. But, since Brad (who's already voted out) initially found this advantage, these three castaways already have the idea of what this Beware Advantage could mean. As mentioned in previous episodes, if one finds the Beware Advantage, which is ultimately a three-way Immunity Idol, they cannot vote until this Hidden Immunity Idol is activated. The only way the idol is activated is if the member from each tribe who owns the advantage says their secret phrase at the next Immunity Challenge.
Knowing these consequences, Genie, Shan and Ricard found it risky to open the Beware Advantage just yet. They agree to keep it sealed for now, without any one of them claiming it...
...that is, until Genie goes off by herself.
Mastermind Shan, and her sidekick, Ricard, came up with a plan to open the Beware Advantage/Idol without Genie's consent. Knowing the risks, Shan opened the Beware Advantage and now has complete ownership of the Hidden Immunity Idol once activated. Reminder: she's out of a vote until she knows both the Luvu and Yase tribe have found their thirds of the idol. But, let's not forget, Shan did just snatch JD's extra-vote advantage from last week...
Meanwhile, on the Luvu tribe, both Danny and Deshawn are aware of the fact that more men than women are getting voted out from the other tribes. Since the Luvu tribe still has never gone to Tribal, Deshawn and Danny are reconsidering their previous ploy of throwing the next Immunity Challenge. They want to control the numbers on their tribe, so this time, they include Naseer in this potential plan.
Naseer, who's pioneered his own game thus far, is hesitant yet flattered these men want to work with him.
There's still a solid four left on the Yase tribe: Xander, Evvie, Liana and Tiffany. It seems like Evvie is still in the power seat. She's not only made a strong alliance with both Liana and Tiffany, but Xander as well. Both Tiffany and Liana are onto her and Xander's game and decide to take matters into their own hands... literally.
Because this is Survivor, ethics are out the window. Tiffany and Liana make a bold move and decide to sneak through Xander's bag while he's gone. They find the confirmation they need as they've rummaged through both his extra-vote and Hidden Immunity Idol notes. Pretty risky move if you ask me...
After strategizing with Evvie, Xander is motivated to build up the trust between him and Tiffany since he already feels he trusts her more than Liana. He then tells Tiffany about his Hidden Immunity Idol and includes the info about saying his secret phrase. But then, Xander got caught up in his own lie. He told Tiffany he had just found the idol that day, but Tiffany knew he shared his secret phrase aloud just a few Immunity Challenges back. Knowing he lied, Tiffany is now even more wary about Xander, and let's just say, things aren't looking good for him.
Immunity is, once again, back up for grabs! In addition to Immunity, the first two tribes would win some much-needed tarps to keep them warm and dry.
But, before the Immunity/Reward Challenge began, host Jeff Probst, prompted the castaways to share a bit more about their Survivor experience, as they're already on Day 11. And, before we know it, we hear a series of secret phrases... one after another.
While speaking in front of all three tribes, Shan secretly slips in her phrase:
"I didn't realize this till now... broccoli is just a bunch of small trees."
Followed by Xander, who then says his:
"I truly believe butterflies are dead relatives saying hi."
This means that only one person from the Luvu tribe needs to say their wacky phrase to activate this three-way Hidden Immunity Idol. And, in perfect Survivor editing fashion, we hear a confuzzled voice from the Luvu tribe...
"I'm confused as a goat on astroturf."
It was Naseer who said the last phrase! We immediately get a flashback of Naseer finding the final third of the Hidden Immunity Idol all by himself at the Luvu camp. He says he gives all the credit to his daughter back at home. That's because, before going on Survivor, his daughter would hide Immunity Idols in the yard for him to find. Naseer was so proud she trained him well!
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The challenge itself was exhausting – and without surprise, it was the Ua tribe who once again lost and now had to (once again) head to Tribal Council.
But before Tribal, the first winning tribe, Yase, had to pick one person from Ua as well as another castaway, in general, to head to the Survivor Summit. They chose Shan and then Liana from their tribe to go on the journey together.
The two castaways had to trek for hours in hopes of gaining an advantage. While trekking, Shan and Liana connected on a more spiritual level, unlike we've seen yet in this season. Shan opens up about her past and her journey of becoming a pastor. She explains how she hasn't been this deep to anyone in the game, even with her own tribe members, Ricard and Genie. Shan instantly feels a connection and trust with Liana and wants to continue this game with her in the future. To solidify this trust, like in previous episodes, when it came to the "risk or reward" decision, Shan decided to "save" her vote so that Liana could gain an advantage.
This was a big move for both Shan and Liana. The two seem all about working with each other in the future. And, the advantage? Yeah – it was a good one! Liana gained the first "Knowledge is Power" advantage, which ultimately means she has a chance to steal anyone else's advantage in the game. The only catch is, she must ask either the question "do you have an advantage" or "do you have an idol" one time, to one person. If she's wrong about the person, she loses her advantage. But if she's right, she's got a new (and stolen) secret weapon. And, from the foreshadowing of this episode, we all know she's got her eye on Xander. He better watch out!
And it was down to the final three... left on the Ua tribe. That is, until one more person gets their torch snuffed. And, the decision wasn't all that easy.
While Shan was at the Survivor Summit, Ricard and Genie had plenty of time to manipulate one another. Ricard, who has been Shan's strongest ally since Day 1, of course, lied to Genie and said he wanted Shan out. Genie, who's been honest and onto Ricard's sneaky game, knows this isn't true, though. Simply put: these two were both not interested in working with one another.
So, when Shan arrived, they all took turns "pitching" to each other on who should be the next person voted out. While Genie shared with Shan how Ricard was throwing her under the bus, Shan began to feel paranoid. Some drama did happen between both Shan and Ricard regarding the possession of the extra-vote advantage. It was some heated – and quite entertaining drama to watch between the two. But through it all, it's the trust that carries you to the end. Ricard and Shan stayed strong and once again controlled the vote. Genie's torch was snuffed this week – just shy of reaching the (potential) merge.
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AH, this season is nuts – in the best way. I feel like it's been so hard to predict who's getting voted out on each episode. What do you think of this season so far? 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!
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