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Survivor 44 Episode 7 Recap
“Let’s Not Be Cute About It” – Castaways must find the key to unlock a new twist in the game. Then, one castaway finds themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, on SURVIVOR, Wednesday, April 12 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured (L-R): Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, Jaime Lynn Ruiz, Lauren Harpe, Carson Garrett, Danny Massa, Yamil "Yam Yam" Arocho, Carolyn Wiger, Frannie Marin, Matt Blankinship, Kane Fritzler, and Brandon Cottom. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of CBS

Twists in reality television used to be something we, as fans, lived for. But in this new era of Survivor, absurdism, I fear, is running rampant on the islands of Fiji and there seems to be no stopping the madness.

In Wednesday’s episode, seven (!) out of the 11 remaining players won immunity as twists upon twists were unleashed on the castaways during this week’s challenge. Not only did challenge winner Frannie snag immunity for herself and her team (which included Heidi, Danny, Carolyn and Kane), but Jeff Probst couldn’t — and wouldn’t! — stop there! He let Carson (who picked the gray rock and couldn’t play) select a team to back and he picked Frannie’s. Boom — immunity! And Brandon, the player who outlasted everyone on the losing team? You guessed it — immunity!

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This all really sucks if your name is Matt, Yam Yam, Lauren or Jaime, especially since the winners (plus Carson) weren’t even allowed to vote at Tribal Council. Is something in the water out there in that Fijian paradise? And a follow-up question: WHY?!

Survivor 44 Episode 7 RecapIf that wasn’t enough, Jeff had yet another crazy, incredible surprise in store for the four sadsacks vulnerable to the vote. After the winners sucked down a reward of some iced tea and PB&Js, they earned the chance to race around the island in search of the correct key to a new birdcage lock. Heidi found the needle in the haystack which won her the Control a Vote advantage. This allowed her to choose a member of the losing bunch and force him or her to vote however she wanted.

All of this combined is a bit excessive, dontcha think? Pure insanity, even! A gift we didn’t ask for and can’t return. (But hey, if we fans survived the Medallion of Power and the Have/Have-Nots twists, we can survive anything.)

While the show still hasn’t pulled anything as egregious as the hourglass twist in the few seasons since, all of this hullabaloo still feels like… well, hullabaloo. It is simply too. many. twists. But the Man With the Orange Hat already told TVLine that a “back to basics” season is not in the cards any time soon, so like the players themselves, we’ll just have to adapt, friends! (And very possibly/occasionally whine about it in weekly recaps.)

THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN | When Jeff questioned the players, it seemed that Matt and Yam Yam were the only two in jeopardy (despite much gossiping beforehand about Lauren’s extra vote), as Jaime, Brandon and Lauren held the majority as Ratu members. Through tears, Matt told Jeff a bit about why his Survivor experience meant so much to him, while Yam Yam acknowledged that he uses humor as a defense mechanism. I don’t know about you guys, but either way this shook out, it was going to be a brutal loss for the season.

Heidi used her advantage on Lauren, forcing her to vote for Yam Yam. But when all was said and done, Yam Yam and the other two Ratus wrote down Matt’s name and he became the first member of the jury, as poor Frannie could only weep from the sidelines. (Read our Q&A with Matt here.)

So let’s hear it: Was this episode too much? Sad to see the showmance split up? Rooting for Yam Yam? Post all of your comments below! 

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