Survivor San Juan Del Sur – Episode 5 Recap Featuring Eliza Orlins & Ami Cusack


The new season of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur is here! After an entertaining episode it’s time to recap it! Joining us, we have our new resident recap expert, Clifton, plus Ben and the Ozlets chime in with their thoughts as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to some of the real experts in our good friends Eliza Orlins & Ami Cusack from Vanuatu & Micronesia!

(If you haven’t watched this weeks episode yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of it, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)


Since day one, the Coyopa and Hunahpu tribes have been going in opposite directions. Coyopa can’t seem to win challenges and can’t seem to get along. Hunahpu are living like kings, but even they couldn’t live in peace. Drew decided to throw the last Immunity Challenge, feeling that the tribe was full of snakes which he needed to deal with. He successfully threw the challenge, but his plan backfired. He was the first one voted out of the Hunahpu tribe. His lone ally, Jon, was left shocked and alone. 14 are left.



The Hunahpu tribe returns to camp, commenting that Tribal Council was a learning experience. Jon says that it was fun. He confesses that he recognized the fact that Drew was stepping on a lot of people’s toes. He knows he has a lot of damage control to do. He tells the tribe that Drew was essentially strong-arming him into being his ally. He approaches Jeremy, telling him that he hopes Jeremy realizes that Jon is on his side. He tells Jeremy that he should have been quicker to have Jeremy’s back. Jeremy explains in a confessional that Jon is on his apology tour.


Jon scrambles to reassure his tribe that he was not truly aligned with Drew. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 11


Coyopa finds tree mail the next morning, which taunts them (and thus us) about being tired of Hero Arena. It tells them that they will have to make their way there yet again. The tribe has coined the walk into the arena as the “walk of shame”, and Josh mentions that it will be awkward to be on the other side of it for once. Alec says that he hopes his brother hasn’t been voted out, and that he wants to face off against him in the arena.


Alec discusses Drew’s potential vote off. (Image credit: CBS)


The tribes enter the arena, and Alec is dumbfounded to see that his brother was voted out. Dale seems to be just as shocked as Alec is. Jeff wastes no time in capitalizing on this expressed emotion, and attacks Alec. Alec says that he doesn’t get it. He thinks that Drew was clearly the strongest person on their tribe. They must have seen Drew as a threat. Baylor seems shocked too, saying that she thought that Drew was “Mr. Popular”. Kelley laughs. Jeff says that he is shocked that anyone is shocked given that there has been no conveyance of information between the tribes. Josh says that that’s true and that they don’t know the other tribe’s dynamics. Jeff tells them to get ready for another shock. “Drop your buffs. We’re switching tribes.” The two tribes react to this news. Jeff asks Kelley if she would be excited to be on the same tribe as her dad. She says that it’s tough, explaining that the people without their loved one’s feel free and those with their loved ones feel like targets. Jeremy says that being in a pair is potentially dangerous, but he would give anything to have Val still be in the game. Josh is conflicted and says that he doesn’t know what he wants. His stomach hurts. They all draw new buffs. The new Coyopa tribe is Jon & Jaclyn, Dale & Kelley, Missy & Baylor, and Keith. The new Hunahpu tribe is Josh & Reed, Wes, Alec, Jeremy, Julie, and Natalie. Keith reveals that he doesn’t feel too good about being the lone single person on his tribe. He wishes he could be with his son and feels he might be a target now. Jeff remarks that the game has changed once again, and tells the tribes to go back to camp and get to know one another.


Alec catches the bag of buffs for his soon to be former tribe. (Image credit: CBS)


Julie tells her new tribe, “Mi casa, su casa.” The tribe discusses the fact that they have no food in their beach. They have barely two scoops of rice. Josh says that, at Coyopa, the tribe members only had one small portion of rice per day. They were rationing the food for 39 days. Reed explains that Hunahpu, on the other hand, was using it up much more recklessly. Wes is shocked by how little the Hunahpu tribe has, concluding that their use of the rice must have been why the Hunahpu tribe was winning. Jeremy confesses that the tribe swap is his worst nightmare. Wes, Alec, and Josh are all together. Jeremy, Julie, and Natalie are all together. That leaves Reed in the middle with his old tribe on one side and his boyfriend on the other. If Reed goes with the “old-Coyopa” people, Jeremy’s game is done. Josh explains that his relationship with Reed is what gave him the strength to “come out” to his family and friends. He confesses that hey are remaining abstinent until marriage, and says that that capacity for commitment is what is going to take them to the end of the game.


Josh and Reed embrace after being reunited on the new Hunahpu tribe. (Image credit: CBS)


Jon is delighted to see how much rice the Coyopa tribe has, and even more delighted to be with his girlfriend, Jaclyn. He tell her that he doesn’t care what it means for the game, he’s just so happy to be with her. He confesses that Jaclyn has been a huge support for him while he’s had to deal with his dad’s cancer. Jaclyn tells Jon everything about what’s happened on Coyopa since the first day. She remarks that she is excited that she can sleep with him. He smiles, obviously. Baylor confesses that watching them is like watching a honeymoon. She’s jealous, but is sure that her time will come… and that her mom’s forth time will come, too. Keith feels weird being the odd man out, but reminds us that he has a Hidden Immunity Idol as his ace in the hole.


Jon and Jaclyn hold hands after being reunited on the new Coyopa tribe. (Image credit: CBS)


Alec feels good about his new tribe, believing that they are the more athletic tribe. He tells the other Hunahpu members that he is surprised that his brother made it as long as he did. He confesses that he’s glad not to be in Drew’s shadow. He expected more out of Drew, but he’s glad that he beat him. Jeremy explains that the “old-Hunahpu” tribe needs Alec. Since he assumes Reed jumped ship, he is hoping that Alec might sway. Alec is without a loved one like Natalie, Jeremy, and Julie. Natalie says that she is going to work on convincing Alec to come with them. Jeremy explains that they need to approach Alec like firefighters approach an un-enterable house. They need to surround and drown. Jeremy tells Alec that Drew didn’t have the heart to make it in the game… but that Alec does. In his confessional, Jeremy says that Alec is like a little Drew, and that he needs to appeal to his ego.


Jeremy and Natalie discuss their plan of swaying Alec’s allegiance. (Image credit: CBS)


Missy and Baylor begin preparing the rice for the tribe. Dale suggests that they are using too much. Baylor is adamant that they aren’t using enough. Missy quietly agrees with her daughter, saying that she doesn’t appreciate being monitored by Dale. Missy is aware that Dale has been targeting Baylor in each round, and doesn’t want to see it continue. Dale says that it took every bit of his self control not to intervene when Missy was cooking the rice. This is his rice and his camp. Kelley says that she sees the battle forming between her dad and Missy. She tells him that he doesn’t want to come off as aggressive and that it is not worth creating drama over. Otherwise, the put a big target on their backs. Dale calls Missy “bossy” and a “bitch”.


Dale looks on while Missy prepares the rice. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 13


Josh and Reed admit that the weather will stay overcast, but that they don’t think it will. They are worried that the tribe is becoming lethargic. They are down to a handful of rice and beans. Reed i worried about where they are going to get their food, noting that, having watched every season, he knows the tribe is in trouble. Josh reiterated the fact that Coyopa was being very careful with their rationing. They were ready. The foolhardy players on Hunahpu are really disheartening to him. Alec says that they are going to have to trade a reward for more rice. Reed says that it won’t be that easy. Last time they bartered with Jeff the looked foolish, but they might not have another option.


The Hunahpu tribe departs for the Immunity Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)


The tribes enter. For the challenge, the contestants race to dig up a bad containing two keys. They then must crawl through the mud under an obstacle and use the keys to open a gate. They then must shake a pole, attached to the top of which is a bucket full of dirt and ten sandbags. One all ten bags are dislodged, the tribe must toss the sandbags onto a wobbly platform. First tribe to do so wins immunity. The challenge begins. Hunahpu digs more aggressively and has their bag first. They proceed through the mud obstacle and begin unlocking their gate. Coyopa uses this time to try and catch up but they only make up a marginal amount of time. Hunahpu begins shaking their pole, dislodging their sand bags. They have their ten and begin tossing before Coyopa makes almost any progress in dislodging their own. Hunahpu lands all ten bags before Coyopa lands even one. Once again, Hunahpu wins immunity. Jeff points out that loved ones working together was not effective, and that Hunahpu continues their dominance regardless of who is on the tribe. Jeff dismisses the tribes, but Reed gets his attention, saying that they need to talk to him when Jeff has a moment. Reed explains that the Hunahpu tribe is out of food and that they won on pure adrenaline. Jeff asks how bad it is. Josh says that they have basically nothing, explaining that, although Coyopa was rationing their food carefully, Hunahpu was not. Jeff notes that this may be why Hunahpu was so successfully in the first part of the game, but the the tribe must “now pay the invoice”. The cost will be steep, but Jeff says that he has Tribal Council to deal with. He will see the Hunahpu tribe tomorrow morning…


The Hunahpu tribe informs Jeff that they are out of food. (Image credit: CBS)


Back at camp, Keith confesses that he feels vulnerable. If the tribe votes him out, no one will lose their loved ones. It’s the easy vote to make. He knows, however, that there is tension between Dale and Missy. Dale explains that he finds Missy to be very pushy and has found Baylor to be flaky. He wants to work with Jon and Jaclyn. Dale and Kelley talk with Jon and Jaclyn. They seem to agree that Baylor is not reliable given her history in the game. The two couples both indicate that they want to work with each other. Jon and Jaclyn, however, are convinced that they need to get to know everyone better. They confront Missy and Baylor. Baylor tells them that she’s as unable to work with Jaclyn given the tribe dynamics, but that she loves her. Missy says that Kelley and Dale are really smart and that they are a huge threat for the end of the game. Missy tries to convince Jaclyn that Kelley is looking for an idol. Jaclyn confesses that she feels nervous about working with Baylor. It’s a big decision which couple they pair up with. Someone’s not going to be happy.


Kelley and Dale speak with Jon and Jaclyn before Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)


Tribal Council begins with Keith telling Jeff that he hopes it’s not six against one. Jeff explains that that would only last one Tribal Council and, thus, probably isn’t a smart move. A couple is going to have to vote against each other eventually. Jon says that it’s great to be able to trust someone 100%, referring to the fact that his girlfriend is on the same tribe. Dale points out that he and Baylor have had a rocky relationship. Baylor says  that she and Dale haven’t had a chance to get to know each other. Dale reminds the tribe of Baylor’s flakiness in the past. Jaclyn points out that she and Jon are in a good position. Dale says they are the hottest couple in camp. Jaclyn says they are the hottest couple – period. Kelley says she didn’t approach Baylor because of the relationship between Baylor and her father. The pressure of the relationships your loved-ones have already formed is like a fifty pound backpack. Missy can’t get past the fact that Dale has been gunning for her daughter. Dale says he didn’t target Baylor first. Missy says she’s operating on what Baylor has told her, and it puts a huge damper between her and Kelley. She has to protect her kid. Keith says this can maybe be good for him, but that someone’s going to be upset today. He hopes they can make it work for the tribe. Dale says there is no way to vote someone out and feel good about it because everyone has a loved one left in the game. They vote, but no votes or confessionals are revealed to us during the process. Jeff retrieves the votes and tells the tribe that now is the time to use a Hidden Immunity Idol if anyone has one and wants to play it. No one acts. The votes are read: Baylor. Kelley. Baylor. Kelley. Dale. Dale. Kelley. Kelley is voted out. Jeff snuffs out her torch and she departs. Jeff rhetorically asks if they can return to camp and work together as a tribe after what has happened. They depart.


Kelley’s torch is snuffed, making her the fifth person voted out of San Juan Del Sur. (Image credit: CBS)


Dale gambles with his fake idol, showing it to Jon and telling him that it is real. Hunahpu finds that nothing comes without a price. Jeff says that no tribe has ever needed as much help and its going to be a steep penalty.


Jeff Probst arrives at the Hunahpu camp, ready for a negotiation. (Image credit: CBS)









Well doesn’t that suck?

Once again my track record in the Survivor Oz sweep is appalling. First Marissa. Then Morgan. Now Kelley. No cash for me it seems. And it’s a shame, because I actually liked Kelley and thought she had potential. Even in this episode she seemed to be having some decent confessionals with some weight to them. Not once I feel it seemed like she was going, so it was good editing on that part. But still a kick in the teeth. Next season? Hopefully.

I don’t get the thought process on Coyopa though in not just taking out Keith. Yes, obviously there is some drama amongst the couples that perhaps wouldn’t work together. But you have yourself an easy vote out in front of you and you don’t take it? Get rid of Keith, you have 6 people left, 3 couples. Then you can go after the couples that don’t work with each other. What happens if you don’t lost another challenge through to the merge and are 6 strong? That could come in handy. Also, by creating one less couple that isn’t on your tribe you don’t have to deal with the reaction back at camp because with Keith gone, Wes isn’t there on your tribe to deal with the backlash. Call it me sulking over Kelley going, but I also just think they made a big mistake and don’t see any of the six left on Coyopa winning the game. At least Baylor survived though right? Another bullet dodged.

Overall I will say it wasn’t the most exciting episode of the season but still interesting to see. Loving Jeremy and his dynamic on the new tribes in just staying quiet and watching things play out. Josh and Jeremy with each other is going to be very fun to watch and I look forward to seeing if they work together or go after each other. Looks as though it will be the latter, but hey my predictions are great right?

Trading again too next week? Wow. Do they think this Deal or No Deal or something?

As always bring it on, and bring on next week!



This episode left me speechless. Every episode this season has created a villain who’s social or strategic incompetence led them to be voted out. This episode made no such case for Kelley. It did, however, and along those same editing lines, make a case for Dale being voted out. Maybe I need to watch the episode again, but I found it to be one of the most out-of-left-field votes that I’ve seen in a few seasons at least. She got a lot of airtime last week – maybe that was part of the ramping up to her vote out – but the only real quote this week that was directly against Kelley was when the other couple mentioned that Dale and Kelley were smart. Given their aversion to Dale, it makes sense deductively that they were referring to Kelley. Still I’m shocked and upset. I really enjoyed Kelley and would have liked to see her go far. I hope next week we get a Hunahpu Tribal Council as I would really like to see the dynamics of that tribe play out a bit before the merge. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I’m suddenly highly perplexed in where the season is going… besides the fact that Josh is almost definitely winning, based on the editing. But given my reaction to tonight’s editing, I clearly don’t know anything. Tony still has no chance of winning this game, and seeing him fail is going to be highly amusing… right?



Since Heroes vs. Villains we’ve been 1 for 5 on even tribe swaps concerning only 2 tribes. Nicaragua had a good tribe swap, but One World, Caramoan, Blood vs. Water, and San Juan Del Sur produced 1 tribe which was more physically dominant than the other. If a merge happens at 12 or 11 though it won’t be a big deal for the underdog tribe, Coyopa, as long as you find yourself in the majority. In the previous B vs. W we only had 1 pair of loved ones on the same tribe but there were only 3 possible loved one pairs at that point in the game. This time out of 5 possible we got 4. And things were going to get interesting because players like Josh and Jeremy who had a good ride so far would be tested and players like Jaclyn and Baylor who have been in uneasy positions would be given a chance to obtain power. It’s unlikely, but I would like to see Hunaphu lose the next challenge to see if the division is exactly like Jeremy predicted or if some of the quieter players this episode like Natalie or Julie plan on making a big move. At least we have the food exchange between Jeff and Hunaphu to look forward to. The scene with Missy and the rice showed it wasn’t only Drew’s fault, it was the entire pre swap Hunaphu tribe who were poorly managing their rice and now put the new Hunahpu tribe in the whole they’re in. It was a tricky Tribal Council, and Jon and Jaclyn despite being on the outs of their original tribes at some point found themselves in the swing vote position…along with Keith. Keith got the Sarah edit today, since you would think Sarah (in S28 E6) would’ve been a potential swing vote but was overlooked. I would like to hope this was just the edit and Dale and Kelley didn’t simply neglect to confront Keith because in Survivor, every vote counts. Especially in a split vote. Dale and Kelley must not have bothered with Keith because he sided with Baylor and Missy. I could only assume Missy and Keith had a stronger bond than Keith and Kelley because of this, and it probably had to do with their age. I feel bad for Kelley but I’m just glad that this far in the game is the first time a loved one caused their other loved one to be voted out. Kelley’s only involvement in the Dale/Baylor conflict was being Dale’s daughter and she paid the price for it. Maybe Kelly was seen as a bigger threat than Dale and that’s why Dale was spared this vote. Dale’s done well to get this far, surviving 4 Tribal Councils, but he’ll definitely have more work to do if he wants to survive another. Overall, it’s been a good episode. I think a tribe swap in the future should involve a school yard pick to make the tribes a bit more even, but the tribe dynamics so far are still good and it’s been fun to watch.



For the first time in a long time, I felt like I truly had no idea who was going home…and I didn’t. What looked like a toss up between Baylor and Dale turned into the sudden demise of Kelley, one of my top picks to win the game. I loved Kelley despite her less than stellar edit and was devastated to see her go. The episode as a whole was incredible, showcasing an entirely new set of tribe dynamics that were never present on the original Blood vs. Water, with a tribe switch resulting in one tribe of multiple pairs and one single, and the other being the exact opposite. Stunning how Keith, the odd man out, became almost a non factor in the tribe’s decision making when he could have been an easy vote off. My big question is what happens if the NuHunahpu goes to Tribal Council. Will Reed and Josh be seen as targets or assets? And if NuCoyopa goes back to Tribal, is Dale doomed? Or can he and Keith form a pair of their own?



My “Pony” (Dale) lives to fight another day and by the looks of next week’s preview, it’ll be all guns blazing.

Overall, it was quite an interesting episode and I think we were given the first real insight into the capabilities of a number of players. Missy showed that she’s fairly game savvy, suggesting the split vote and convincing Jon and Jaclyn to vote with her and Baylor. However, her priority seems to be protecting Baylor rather than advancing herself in the game, which suggests that she won’t have what it takes to win. Jon and Jaclyn were discreet enough in their double dealings to not have the vote flipped on them, something that I didn’t think they would be capable of, so I’ll give them some props. And then there’s Keith, who continues to just hang on to his idol, even when he seems to be in trouble. It shows he’s either very good at keeping his cool, or maybe a little naïve to the possibility that people may actually lie to him (either way, his reads on people have been correct so far). Just on a side note, keep him away from the FTC because he’s sure to win everyone over on the jury.

The producers went all out in their efforts to deceive the viewer. I had no idea which way the vote was going to fall and definitely didn’t expect the eventual alliance to follow-through with the split vote. That shows confidence and holds them in good stead for the next vote.

It looks as though the Hunahpu tribe will continue to wipe the floor with Coyopa, unless the rice situation somehow manages to throw a spanner in the works. If so, I hope Alec is the next to go, as I get dizzy when he speaks (he moves his head around way too much).



Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of a pair of former Survivor contestants to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our 5th recap features Vanuatu and Micronesia contestants Eliza Orlins & Ami Cusack! Together they discuss everything that happened during this episode as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with their answers in the ‘San Juan Del Sur Five!’

TIP TO WIN: Josh (Eliza) Josh (Ami)
DARK HORSE: Reed (Eliza) Reed (Ami)
NEXT TO GO: Dale (Eliza) Baylor/Missy (Ami)
PLAYER MOST SIMILAR TO: Josh (Eliza) Natalie/Josh (Ami)

Join us next week as we are joined by Gabon contestants Gillian Larson & Bob Crowley to help us recap the sixth episode of San Juan Del Sur!



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1 Comment on Survivor San Juan Del Sur – Episode 5 Recap Featuring Eliza Orlins & Ami Cusack

  1. Ben, like you, I was crestfallen that Kelley was voted out. She showed so much promise and now we know that the reason she got so little airtime earlier in the season wasn’t because she wasn’t an interesting, fun character; or that she was an inconsequential player. It was because she didn’t go go far, because the retarded tribe switch screwed up her entire game. Kelley could easily have been a second Spradlin (whom she openly admires), but unlike Kim she was completely undone by the swap. Lest we forget – and as Troyzan so rightly pointed out in last week’s recap – everything worked out perfectly for Kim in One World because she landed with almost all of her key allies on the new tribe, not to mention all of the physical players. It was almost the exact opposite for Kelley. Surely if the producers are gonna continue to meddle with the game like this they should at least make sure that the new tribes are somewhat balanced; kinda like what they do at the beginning of the game. Why can’t we go back to a schoolyard pick? Those were always fun, and it should at least ensure that the tribes can competitively square off, which is what we wanna see in the game. No one wants to see the blowout that was this week’s Immunity Challenge. The fact that it was a purely physical challenge just goes to show that luck wasn’t on Kelley’s side. If there was at least a puzzle segment our girl might have been able to pull something out. As it is the IC was completely unfair. I understand that everything was probably completely set-up for this week’s challenge in advance, no matter how the swap turned out, but couldn’t they at least make it a balanced challenge, especially not knowing if the tribes were gonna be evenly matched?
    The fact that Kelley was an under-served character on a season that the fans are seemingly not loving probably means that they won’t bring her back either. Or maybe they will. They didn’t portray her in a negative light, and the fact that she said in her confessional that she would have preferred to play on her own might mean that the producers could be pursueded to put her on a singles only, regular season – kind of a reverse of what they did with Kat when she balled at the end of being voted out that she needed to come back just to redeem herself, and we saw her on the first BvW. Here’s hoping for our farm girl. Kelley’s far too awesome for her Survivor story to peter out so unceremoniously.

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