(CBS) – The 41st season definitely throws out every expectation you’ve had of Survivor. This week’s episode brought in an entirely new twist, with some unpredictable outcomes. Here’s what went down in this episode…
Last week, while we were busy prepping for Turkey Day, an unexpected blind-side was cast onto arguably one of the most strategic players in this game: Shan. Her strongest ally, Ricard, made one heck of a move which finally resulted in her getting her torch snuffed. If you missed last week’s episode, I strongly recommend watching it on Paramount+!
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) December 1, 2021
As Shan was exiting the game, her last words were about how she’ll vote for Ricard to win the million dollars if he makes it to the end, along with announcing how Deshawn is a “snake.” Needless to say, this statement didn’t sit well with Deshawn. Now, he’s paranoid as ever and even attempts to make a big scene back at camp. Later on, he explains his outburst was to shine more light onto Ricard’s strategic gameplay, but it overall just looked like Deshawn was bitter and blaming others for his actions on turning against Shan.
His defense, though, Deshawn only voted for Shan last week because she threw him under the bus. However, as Ricard explains it later on, Deshawn may appear to be a “snake” in the game as it seems he’s not fully committed to anyone, and he doesn’t take much ownership for any of his sneaky moves. Now, the biggest targets are on both Deshawn and Ricard – but for different reasons.
Since Liana wasn’t in on voting her ally, Shan, out last week, she feels hurt and betrayed by Deshawn and Danny, who voted for her. These four originally agreed to have an all-black alliance and they seemed pretty strong. Since last week’s decision had many reasons to vote out Shan, Deshawn is now doing his best to convince Liana that he’ll never leave her out of the vote again. However, Liana isn’t buying it – at least not for now. She’s ready for revenge… but will she get it?
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) December 2, 2021
Individual Immunity Challenge
Before the challenge, we hear more about who Danny is as a person. Now on Day 21, he’s spending this day remembering his dad, who passed away 25 years from the date. He explains his resentment of him dying in a car accident when he was eight, and how he’s struggled with being angry about missing his father. It was a touching moment to watch, as he shared how Survivor brought him closer with his feelings, and he’s now reached a point of letting go of that resentment. It definitely goes to show how being out there can certainly redefine your values and spirituality!
At the challenge, host Jeff Probst introduced yet another game-changing twist. This one was unlike anything we’ve seen before. It was named the infamous Survivor ‘Do or Die’ challenge. Probst explains how it’s one of the deadliest twists yet, as it’s highly dangerous to the player’s game. The twist is, the first person to drop out of this Immunity Challenge will be faced with an individual game at the next Tribal Council, which will control their fate. Win the game; you survive. But if you lose – your torch is getting snuffed. This was one risky twist no castaway wanted to face!
Before starting, the remaining seven castaways got a chance to choose whether or not they’d want to participate in the Immunity Challenge. Both Heather and Liana sat out, leaving Deshawn, Danny, Xander, Erika, and Ricard a chance to win Immunity. The challenge was each player had to use only their hands to balance a small ball on a set of block-like cylinders. After some time, the castaways would have to face new rounds and add more cylinders to their set, making it much more challenging to balance.
So who was the first person out and was faced with the new Do or Die game-changing twist? Not even three seconds into the challenge, Deshawn immediately dropped his ball. This makes him face a difficult change of events later on at Tribal. Will he survive the Do or Die?
Once Erika dropped, it was between Xander, Ricard and Danny to win it. These guys were pretty locked in for quite some time. But, back-to-back, both Ricard and Xander suddenly dropped, giving Danny his first Individual Immunity win! He was so grateful for it, as he later mentioned how he just wanted to make his father proud. It was certainly a special moment for Danny.
Uncertainty is among us – yes, it even was for us watching at home! The tribe itself has no idea what could happen at Tribal, now introducing the new Do or Die game Deshawn must play. With that in mind, the castaways all need to plan just in case he’s safe after all. Since Xander partnered up with Ricard, Heather and Erika, and took out Shan last week, these four feel secure with their alliance. Heck, Xander is so elated, he’s even surprised he’s lasted this far.
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) December 2, 2021
Ricard has built quite the Survivor resume for himself. Let’s not forget how he not only led taking out his entire original Ua tribe, but he’s made some serious blind-siding moves like voting Naseer and his closest ally, Shan, out. The target of getting him out sooner than later is getting much bigger, but people like Xander and Erika are still hesitant. They know keeping him around is essentially their “shield.” If Ricard gets voted out, they’ll for sure be next. But, the question is, how long is too long to keep him in the game?
On the other side, Danny, Deshawn and Liana have agreed to stay together – for now, that is. As people of color, these three, along with Shan, share a special bond, especially through the recent Black Lives Matter Movement. At Tribal Council itself, this topic of discussion got pretty real. These three lead the convo about how special it is to represent their culture and be part of a diverse cast this season. And with that in mind, they highlighted their struggles of being black – which resulted in some heavy emotion from Deshawn. He explains how voting out Shan was tough, especially since they’ve bonded on a deep, personal level. But, Survivor is a unique game that tests people to their cores. The beauty of the game is highlighted through the many cultures of people and seeing how they physically, mentally and theoretically survive on this island together. This specific convo shined light on what this show really is all about!
After an emotional Tribal discussion, Deshawn continued raising his emotions by competing in the first-ever Do or Die Survivor challenge. The game was simple: pick one out of the three boxes to declare his fate. One box would have a fire symbol inside, indicating he’s still alive – and the other two boxes would have sculls, which means he’s “dead” in the game. Deshawn trusted his gut and picked the first box. And you know what they say, always trust your gut! Because just like that, Deshawn was SAFE. That means he automatically advances to the final six.
Despite Deshawns happiness, it was immediately time to vote. Probst read eight votes total – which means Xander used his extra vote, giving it a 5-3 vote against Liana vs. Ricard. The majority vote meant Liana was voted out on this week’s episode.
Wow! How bout’ these past few episodes? Is it just me, or does it seem like Ricard’s got this win in the bag? His game has been incredibly impressive, and I respect him for getting out his closest ally last week! But, we also can’t forget how much Xander has been fighting to survive since being on his original Yase tribe. My predictions are that one of these two will win it all! Let me know your thoughts as we’re now down to the final six castaways. Tweet me @mick_cloudy !
Don’t miss Survivor 41, Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS, as well as streaming live and on-demand with Paramount+!