We’re only one week away from crowning Season 41’s Sole Survivor, and the million dollars is still anyone’s to snatch.
With an idol still in play and the Shot in the Dark now kaput, Tribal Council has remained unpredictable these last few weeks, and Wednesday’s episode was no different. With alliances continuing to crumble and form this late in the game, there’s only one way to ensure one’s safety: winning that coveted immunity necklace. So who was safe this week, and whose dream was smashed to pieces like a silly little hourglass? Let’s recap.
The aftermath of last week’s vote weighs heavily on Deshawn, who was hoping to sit in the Final 3 with the ousted Liana and pal Danny. Danny is peeved that Xander gave him his word about voting Ricard, but opted to side with Ricard instead. Xander explains that Ricard is his shield, so he needed to keep the guy in the game one more round. As a result, Ricard tells Erika that Xander is “such a loyal guy.” We’ll see about that!
Heather thanks Deshawn for sharing his issues at Tribal Council. She admits to being oblivious about his struggles as a Black player, and apologizes. “When something is brought to your attention that you might not have understood before, it’s important that I take that back with me,” she tells us in an interview. “I hate seeing my friend hurt, but glad it was revealed so I would understand something I didn’t even know was right there in front of me.” She pauses. “I want this season to make a difference.” (Heather may get a lot of flack for her lack of gameplay and screen time, but her empathy and ability to listen are admirable. We need more of that these days.)
REWARD CHALLENGE | Players are divided into two teams of three. They must dive down and release a set of buoys, which they must then collect and swim over to a platform. Finally, they have to sink all three into a basket. The reward: a choice of grilled chicken and veggies, or cake, cookies and candy.
Ricard, Heather and Danny take on Deshawn, Xander and Erika. It’s neck and neck as the teams race to get to the platform. Xander sinks the first basket, and Ricard ties it up, but it’s too little, too late. Deshawn then sinks his last two shots and wins food for his team. They choose the chicken feast.
CAMP | Deshawn uses his time with Xander and Erika to pitch his Ricard plan. (And with so much of the edit focusing on getting Ricard out, Ricard’s about to win immunity, isn’t he?) Deshawn even tells them he’d be fine sitting in the finals with them, though he confides to us that he doesn’t really trust anyone.
Knowing that he and Deshawn are on the bottom, Danny gets to idol hunting. It looks like he’s standing on top of the idol, but was it just a trick of editing magic? Heather and Ricard grow suspicious, and when Danny returns, “his vibe is shifted,” notes Ricard, “and it just makes me think he has an idol.” Heather also notes the “pep in Danny’s step,” and says they now have to factor that into the equation.
Erika worries that the jury might see her and Heather as one. Deshawn tells her that their new Final 3 makes sense, because they’ve all played such different games. He does what he can to get Erika to state that she can’t go to the end with Heather, and hopes the seed he planted will turn into some million-dollar fruit.
IMMUNITY IS BACK UP FOR GRABS | Players must unspool a coil of rope and get across a series of obstacles, all while collecting puzzle pieces along the way. The players cross a rope bridge and a balance beam, with Ricard being first to the puzzle. It’s a tight race between Ricard and Deshawn, but (of course!) Ricard pulls it out.
STRATEGY | Danny knows he and Deshawn are on the chopping block. Ricard asks Danny point-blank if he found the idol, but the ex-footballer pleads the fifth. We flash back to the day before, and find out that, no, Danny did not find anything, but Ricard searches his bag anyway.
Xander wants to keep Danny, thinking he could beat Ricard at the next challenge. Heather argues in favor of Deshawn. He may not have won an immunity yet, but he won the reward challenge for his team, and was only two letters away from winning immunity.
Erika knows Deshawn is the bigger threat, but she still goes to bat for her newfound alliance member. She tells Ricard that Danny could go on an immunity streak, but Ricard keeps his focus squarely on Deshawn.
Knowing that one of them is about to get booted, Danny comes clean with Deshawn about his past in the NFL, but Deshawn isn’t about to go down without a fight.
TRIBAL COUNCIL | Deshawn walks in smiling. He knows the other four are going to split the votes on him and Deshawn to flush out a possible idol, and then vote one of them out (which is exactly what happens). Deshawn and Danny tell the group that it’s insane that the group hasn’t voted Ricard out yet. But as Heather and Erika respond, every vote is entirely subjective, and they’re doing what’s best for their games.
Deshawn says that if it’s his last night out there, he has some tea to spill: “Erika is not taking you to the end, Heather.” He recounts the conversation he had with Erika, and tells the group that she’s played a very smart game thus far. It’s a Hail Mary play, but dude is going down swinging! Ricard thinks it’s odd that Deshawn doesn’t even know if he’s the target, but he just torched whatever he had going with Erika. Erika responds saying she never knew if she could fully trust him, and now she does.
The first vote is a 3-3 tie between Danny and Deshawn. After the revote, Danny is surprisingly the one sent to jury. “Go Cowboys,” he says with a wink to his friend on his way out.
Jeff then throws another curveball: They’re spending the remainder of their days on a new island with no shelter and minimal supplies. “You wanted the adventure of a lifetime? You’re getting it,” the host says.
Did Deshawn just sink his game? Surprised he wasn’t sent packing? Hit the comments section with your thoughts!