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 Joel Klug from Borneo and Gervase Peterson from Borneo and the first Blood vs Water season!
(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!)
PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR
After Josh recruited Jaclyn and Jon, there was a new power alliance, including themselves Reed, Keith, Wes, and Alec. They were targeting Jeremy as the leader of the pack. When Jon was sent to Exile Island, Jaclyn’s new alliance showed their true colours, disrespecting Jaclyn. At Exile Island, Jon found a Hidden Immunity Challenge. At the Immunity Challenge, Jeremy won a memory challenge and was safe. Jon and Jaclyn began to doubt their alliance, and they flipped on Josh’s alliance, voting Josh out. Ten are left.
When the tribe returns to camp, the winning alliance group hug silently. Numerous people ask Reed how he is doing. He says that he is doing as well as can be expected. He confesses that he is furious not to be able to play with Josh. Now, he just has to worry about himself and develop a plan to survive the minority. Jon tells Missy that he feels bad about leading Josh on so much. Jon reveals in his confessional that the disrespect Jaclyn experienced was the deciding factor in their decision. He knows that he needs to trust his instinct. Keith confesses that he and his son are in a bad place. He tells Missy that they turned on the couples, but Missy says that he is trying to pin it on her, and that he abandoned them at the merge too. Keith confesses that it is getting to crunch time.
The winning alliance quietly hugs after returning to camp. (Image credit: CBS)
For the Reward Challenge, the contestants will be divided into teams and then face off one-on-one. The two active contestants must stand on a wobbly beam over a mud pit, attempting to knock the other person off the beam and into the mud. The first person to enter the mud loses the square off, giving the other team the point. First team to get to five points wins will board a luxury fishing yacht, where they will be able to enjoy sandwiches and beverages (alcoholic and virgin) while traveling down the coast of San Juan Del Sur.
The Day 22 Reward Challenge teams. (Image credit: CBS.)
The teams are Jon & Jaclyn, Wes & Keith, and Missy on the blue team, and Alec, Baylor, Reed, Jeremy, and Natalie on the yellow team. As the challenge is about the start, the rain begins to come down. In the first square off, Wes takes on Reed. Jon tries to pump up Wes by reminding him of the award at stake. The begin shaking the beam intensely. Reed makes a move for Wes but it backfires, and Reed begins to lose his balance. Wes then makes a lunge, but fails to knock Reed off, instead plunging himself into the mud. One point for the yellow team. Natalie and Jaclyn square off next. They swat each others hands away until Jaclyn attempts a lunge. She is unable to knock off Natalie. Another point for the yellow team.
Jaclyn and Natalie face off in the challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Jon and Jeremy then square off with Jon quickly knocking Jeremy off to score for the blue team. Missy and her daughter Baylor then square off. Baylor’s never seems to lose balance and is able to maintain her position on the board while her mother fails at a lunge and falls into the mud. Keith then squares off against Alec. They wobble the board for the long time until Keith stops, faking Alec out. As Alec begins to lunge, Keith reinitiates the shaking of the board. Alec loses his balance and falls with arms wide into the mud, scoring the blue team their second point.
Alec loses his balance. (Image credit: CBS)
For the next round, Reed and Wes rematch. Wes slaps mud into Reed’s eye, disorienting him. Reed loses balance as Wes shakes the board intensely. It is now tied 3-3. Jaclyn then rematches with Natalie with the same results, Jaclyn lunging but failing to budge Natalie. Yellow leads by one. The next rematch is Jon and Jeremy which also has the same result as the first match up, with Jeremy quickly falling off the board and into the mud. The teams are tied 4-4. The final match is a rematch between Baylor and Missy. Once again, the results are the same. Missy cannot knock her daughter’s balance and she falls into the mud. The yellow team wins reward.
Jon and Jeremy face off in the challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Natalie wastes no time after Jeff announces them the winners to ask if she can give up her spot on the reward to one of the people on the losing team. Jeff allows it. She gives her spot to Jon. Jeremy jumps in and does the same, offering his spot to Jaclyn. Jeff asks Natalie what the reason is for this move. Natalie says that they wanted to show appreciation for Jon and Jaclyn deciding to side with them in the last Tribal Council. She wants it to be a symbol of appreciation and a sign that they are truly together. Jon and Jaclyn appear to be very touched by the gesture and very excited to be able to take part in the reward. Jeff then revels that because they gave up their spots so quickly, the new winning team will be able to decide who goes to Exile Island. They pick Jeremy, saying that he already had his bag packed. Jeremy says that he is “good with that”. Jeff reminds them that “two minutes ago he was on a yacht”. Everyone departs. Baylor confesses that they chose to send Jeremy to Exile Island so that he can find the Hidden Immunity Idol there for their alliance.
Jeremy and Natalie give up their spots on the reward. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at the Huyopa camp, the challenge losers spend time cleaning mud off of themselves. Natalie reiterates that she chose to give up her reward as a symbol of appreciation, but explains that she also hopes to be able to use the move as leverage. Wes confesses that he is fully aware that the move they made was hugely strategic. Wes implores Natalie to let him know if he or his dad are going to be voted out, saying that he doesn’t want to be “hashtag: blindsided”. Keith confesses that this move was so that they can hopefully get enough information to be able to use their Hidden Immunity Idol strategically.
Keith and Wes talk to Natalie after the challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeremy arrives at Exile Island and finds his clue. He confesses that giving up his reward was the least that he can do for Jon and Jaclyn. He also explains that he came to Exile Island to find the idol to protect himself and leverage it in his alliance. As he cleans himself up in the ocean, he sees the yacht that he was supposed to be on pass by, whimsically lamenting the sandwiches and beer he could have been enjoying.
Jeremy finds the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol at Exile Island. (Image credit: CBS)
We then see the winning team enjoying their reward on the yacht. They all have drinks, plates of food, and react to seeing dolphins as they jump near the yacht. Jon confesses that he was very thankful for the reward, but he’s aware that this is a social game and the move that was made was a big social move. Reed confesses that Natalie is trying to ingratiate herself to everyone, and it makes him want to hurl because it is so transparent. Does it mean anything? Not if he can help it. He may need to stir up chaos to stay in the game, and that’s a risk he’s willing to take.
The winning team react to seeing dolphins jumping near their boat. (Image credit: CBS)
In the early morning two days later, Jeremy attempts to sleep on the rock bed while crabs and bugs crawl all around him. He confesses that he hates Exile Island and has been barely able to sleep. The night is long. There’s no shelter. It’s no fun. As the sun rises on Day 24, Jeremy explains that he feels extremely lethargic. He has been unable to find the Hidden Immunity Idol. He spent the entire last day climbing the pillar where Jon found the idol. He explains that he is pretty sure that Jon must have found it, but that Jon should have told him. There was no good reason for Jon to keep it quiet from his alliance.
After searching for the idol, Jeremy sits where it is supposed to be. (Image Credit: CBS)
Jon and Jaclyn walk on the beach in the morning. Jon explains that Jeremy will surely have a better clue to the idol than Jon had. Either people will think that Jeremy is an idiot and couldn’t find the idol with a very good clue, that Jeremy is foolishly pretending that he couldn’t find the idol, or, much more likely, people will suspect that Jon already has the idol and has been lying. Jon confesses that he hadn’t considered what would happen at this point. His entire cover might be blown.
Jon explains to Jaclyn why his cover might be blown. (Image credit: CBS)
Before the challenge, Jeremy returns to the game from Exile Island. Everyone applauds and he enters. Jeff comments that he looks beat up. Jeremy says that it was a tough couple of nights, commenting on the bugs and crabs. For the challenge, each contestant will unspool a rope, dropping wooden pieces into a basket. They must use the pieces to build a three level structure on a spinning disc and then place a flag in the middle of the structure. The catch: for the entire challenge they can only use their feet. Jeff comments that this is the first challenge in the history of Survivor to have this caveat.
Jeremy returns the Individual Immunity Necklace (Image credit: CBS)
The challenge begins and all the contestants start to unspool their tope using their feet. Jeff explains that, if a piece ever falls out of the basket, they can use their hands to put it back in the basket, but everything else must be done with their feet. He also reiterates many times that it will work out the contestants’ cores. Keith, Reed, and Jeremy are off to the quickest start. Jon struggles. Reed is the first to move onto his second level, with Natalie and Baylor starting just behind him. Keith and Jeremy and the next to move on. At this point, Reed finishes his second level and moves onto the final level. Keith moves onto the final level as well. Reed then knocks a large portion of his stack over, giving Baylor and Natalie a chance to catch up and move onto the third row. Wes and Jeremy are next to move onto the final row.
Baylor and Natalie unspool their rope. (Image credit: CBS)
Reed and Keith each only have a few pieces, but Keith knocks a large portion of his over. Reed struggles with his final piece. Baylor, moving slow and steady, comes from behind and finishes her top level only dropping one piece once. She then moves onto the flag and easily places it in the center, winning immunity. Everyone in her alliance congratulates her profusely. Jeremy and Alec console each other on how hard the challenge was. Jeff gives Baylor the Immunity Necklace and they depart. Jeremy confesses that because an alliance member won, he is happy with how the challenge turned out.
Baylor wins the Immunity Challenge. (Image Credit: CBS)
Back at camp, Reed confesses that he is bummed to have not won immunity. That challenge seems like it was made for him and now he feels like he is in danger. He says that he might just burn down the camp on his way out. He then finds Keith’s bag and begins to dig through it. He finds the paper explaining the rules of the Hidden Immunity Idol and takes it. Wasting no time, he takes the paper and shows it to Missy and Jaclyn, confessing that Keith made a rookie mistake leaving it in his bag. Missy confesses that she knows that Reed is scrambling, but if Keith has an idol, which he does, it’s not good, and it may be something that they need to take care of.
Reed shows Missy and Jaclyn the Hidden Immunity Idol rules he took from Keith. (Image credit: CBS)
Keith explains to Wes that he knows what is going on. He knows that the paper was in his bag and he is aware that it is now gone. Someone dug through his bag and stole the paper. Now, everyone knows that they have an idol. Keith confesses that different people must have different values. He wouldn’t go through other people’s things and expected others not to go through his. Jaclyn approaches Jon and tells him that Keith has an idol, which shocks him. During this time, they reveal that Jon burned his copy of the Hidden Immunity Idol Rules, so they must be Keith’s.
Jon and Jaclyn discuss Keith’s idol. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeremy then approaches Jon and tells her that he is confident that Jon has the idol. He searched everywhere. He and Natalie express that they are the only ones who they can truly trust. They then approach Jon, showing him the clue and asking where Jon thinks it would be. Jeremy explains to Jon that he came to the conclusion that Jon must have it. He tells Jon that if he does have it, there’s no reason for their alliance to suffer on Exile Island. They can send anyone without risk of the idol. Jon looks hurt that Jeremy doesn’t believe him but doesn’t support his case at all. He confesses that he thinks that Jeremy thinks he has the idol. He has to do something to change the course of the game.
Jeremy and Natalie discuss the Exile Island Hidden Immunity Idol with Jon. (Image credit: CBS)
Jon then approaches Missy. He tells her that he and Jaclyn trust her implicitly. He then reveals that he found the Hidden Immunity Idol on Exile Island. He says that he hopes that Missy is not offended, but that he hopes they can vote out Jeremy soon. Since Jeremy went to Exile Island and didn’t find the idol, he is going to start spreading rumours that Jon has the idol, and they don’t want that to happen. Missy seems to understand. Missy confesses that she is delighted that Jon trusts her enough to confide in her about his idol, and explains that now might actually be a good time to get rid of Jeremy. At the same time, she’s watches Jon and Jaclyn “barrel through people” and she has been aligned with Jeremy since the very beginning. She thinks the best move is for them to split the vote between Keith and Reed rather than rocking the boat too hard.
Jon and Missy discuss the possibility of voting out Jeremy. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff begins Tribal Council by announcing the jury: Josh. He then asks Jeremy how big of a factor trust is when you have six versus four. Jeremy says that trust is huge in an alliance no matter what the numbers are. They’ve been building trust all season. The move that he and Natalie made in giving up their reward was a sign of trust. Jeff asks if the gesture complicates the game. Jaclyn says that it doesn’t, it just reassures them of their decision. Jeff then reiterates that after being so noble, Jeremy was the one who was sent to Exile Island. Reed points out that it was not a selfless decision, but a strategically self-serving one to cement alliances. Jeremy agrees. Jeff says that the move is a win-win.
Josh sits alone on the jury. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff then asks Missy if there has been any idol talk, pointing out that no idols have been played yet this season. Missy says that it could switch on a dime and that she will never be comfortable. Jon says that he is extremely confident that someone has an idol. Natalie says that it is scary to know that the other alliance may have one, and that it is also scary when someone in your own alliance may be hiding one as well. Jaclyn diverts this point by pointing out that Wes and Keith have never approached her and aren’t scrambling. This confidence makes her think that they have an idol. Jon points out that this lack of communication throughout the game is also a reason why they didn’t go with them at the last Tribal Council. Baylor mentions that they may want to try talking to the women a little more. Keith says that he talks to her mother. Baylor, not impressed, names off the other women in the tribe. Keith says that he only talks to them “in passing”.
Jaclyn says that she suspects Wes and Keith to have an idol. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff asks Reed if all of these conflicts are good because they take the attention off of him. Reed says that of course it does. With so much bubbling under the surface, the whole situation can change at any moment. Natalie says that her alliance needs to stick to the plan and make sure nothing distracts them from their long term goals. People are desperate and will say anything to get what they want. They vote. Jeremy votes for Keith, wishing him a happy retirement. Keith votes for Reed. Natalie votes for Keith. Alec votes for Reed. Jeff retrieves the votes. No idol are played. The votes are revealed: Keith. Reed. Keith. Reed. Reed. Jeremy. Jeremy. Jeremy. Jeremy. Jeremy. Jeremy is voted out. He retrieves his torch. Natalie, angry, turns to Missy and says “What the [expletive removed], Missy?”. Jeremy’s torch is snuffed out. Jeff says that the vote was a brutal and beautiful example of why you never give up. Josh and Reed share a smile as they depart.
Jeremy’s torch is snuffed out. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
With Jeremy gone, Natalie is out for revenge and Jon is public enemy number one. She says that she wants to give Jon a taste of his own medicine. Alec confesses that now they are going to change the game.
Natalie is out for revenge. (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
Just to clarify, this was me watching the episode when Jeremy had his name read out as being voted out:
The curse of Ben strikes again! My favourite goes. And I am pissed!
However, putting all bias aside, this was a great episode and a great blindside for the viewer. Initially I tweeted that it was ‘poorly edited’ but I was pissed, so I was just having a sook. In hindsight it was brilliant. How often do we get an episode where we are well and truly blindsided like that. We had one tiny little reference to maybe Jeremy going, that was it. And then it happened. If anything I thought Jon was going to be blindsided as I thought Missy was going to tell Jeremy and then they would target Jon instead. But that’s not what happened and we had one amazing result. A result that has thrown this season wide open. And doesn’t that make it great? Still seeing the haters out there for this season, but it’s great to see a few people clearly coming around on this season after this episode. Better late than never.
I honestly feel Missy just won the game with that move. She has put herself in a strong position, is getting a strong edit and if she keeps herself with ‘Jonclyn’ who are going to be hated by everyone on the jury it seems, she is in a super position to win.
A special note to Jeremy. Great character, great player and I hope that we will see him play again, you rock Jeremy!
Last week I was vocal about how skeptical I was regardless the future of this season. I’m happy to say that for at least one week my predictions were wrong. This was hands down the best episode of the season. The tribal would have been unpredictable regardless, but the editing swerve with Jeremy going home was a great blindside for both the game and the audience. I still hold the opinion that this season will end up as a mid range season, and I still think pairs playing together means that we see half the effort from the players, but as the pairs eventually get split up, we’ll hopefully see some harder game play coming forth.
The main thing I want to talk about is the debate between Keith and Jaclyn and Jon. What a lot of people seem to have missed in this is how strong Jaclyn was with her words, versus the complete missed opportunity Keith had in the conversation. The actual context of the debate Jaclyn herself started was about the idol. She stated that Keith and Wes not approaching them meant that they likely had the idol. Keith turned it around and made a good point that since Jaclyn and Jon hadn’t approached him, by her logic that means they could have an idol. Jaclyn turned it around so quickly into the issue from last week where she wasn’t being approached about strategy in general. Keith and Wes clearly showed their weakness in confrontation, as they were so easily sidetracked by this that they never went back to the original point about the idol! This was a brilliant diversion that Jaclyn and Jon created by steering the argument away from what they themselves brought up, and Keith and Wes fell for it. Great piece of strategy that seems to have gone unnoticed this week. Maybe Jaclyn and Jon’s diversions ate strong enough to even work on the audience.
Sweet, Sweet Blindside!! Someone got #blindsided. I am so glad the obvious winner is gone leaving the game more open for unpredictability. Although the blindside was good and exciting, all I can think about is how annoying at least half of the people are in the game. SO MANY ANNOYING PEOPLE!!! Missy, Wes, Keith, Reed, and even Josh. Annoying people aside, this #blindside was actually surprising, because barely any time was dedicated to this idea. That one conversation between Missy and Jon definitely helped making such a shock. When I saw that I expected it to be a key conversation that would lead to Jeremy’s eventual vote out, but I am floored that it was for the next vote. Going down the line, I see Baylor, Missy, Jon, and Jaclyn being the strong powerful alliance. Hopefully making it to the final 4. This episode was so great, I see this season picking up a lot more now and hopefully people will see it as a good season.
With the exception of the greatest or worse seasons of survivor it’s usually a tale of two halves. Rarely do we have it both ways: an entertaining pre-merge and an entertaining post merge . Looks like at SJDS after a slow and possibly frustrating pre merge (and the unfortunate Julie quit at the merge, which may have been fortunate for some people) things have come to life this season. Blood vs Water has so many layers and the thing is we are seeing different issues pressed that weren’t as focused on in the original BvW. However one parallel was giving up the reward. There was a time in Survivor where giving up rewards was probably a good idea. I remember John Fincher’s selfishness definitely didn’t help him avoid his vote out in Survivor Samoa. But in recent seasons all it’s done is bite people in the ass. Brenda got voted out partially because of that gesture in Caramoan. Monica Culpepper giving up reward made her look questionable at Final Tribal Council. And even though their didn’t seem to be any direct correlation, it’s probably the same story for Albert Destrade, who gave up his reward to Cochran and voted him out that same night. I think at this point enough contestants have watched the show and are able to see past the kind gesture and see it more like the person giving up the reward is desperately trying to keep their pieces on their side of the board, or to put it simply, they’re playing too hard. So if anyone reads this and eventually plays Survivor, learn from Brenda and Jeremy (and Natalie) to not give up your rewards. The immunity challenge was very interesting: only using your feet! Incredible, and props to Baylor for winning that. Jeremy’s vote out was not only a big blindside for him but a blindside for the audience as well. It definitely seemed like either Keith or Reed’s torches would be snuffed. This leaves the game very much wide open . However, that may not be the case for long. Looks like the Jon/Jaclyn/Missy/Baylor quartet has remained in tact and they look set up to go to the final 4 unless Reed, Alec, Keith, Wes, and Natalie (what would be a very unlikely alliance) band together. One last thing, it was a good move for Keith to not play his idol and for them to vote out Reed because if Jeremy’s alliance of 6 plus Reed stuck together and split the votes, Reed would’ve been voted out 6-4. I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode and I hope you are too.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPERS: JOEL KLUG & GERVASE PETERSON
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 9th recap features Joel Klug from Borneo and Gervase Peterson from Borneo and the first Blood vs Water season! 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: Keith (Joel) Baylor (Gervase)
DARK HORSE: Jon (Joel) Baylor (Gervase)
NEXT TO GO: Reed (Joel) Keith (Gervase)
COUPLE MOST LIKELY TO TURN AGAINST EACH OTHER: None (Joel) None (Gervase)
PLAYER MOST SIMILAR TO: Jon (Joel) Jeremy (Gervase)
Join us next week as we are joined by Yau-Man Chan and Rita Verreos from Fiji to help us recap the tenth episode of San Juan Del Sur!
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