Last time on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur… Keith found an idol, Jon found an idol, and Natalie and Baylor found a clue to an idol on Exile Island. Jeremy is voted out at tribal council, leaving his closest ally Natalie seemingly alone in the game.
The first confessional we get after that epic Jeremy blindside is from Keith. Reed, Keith, Wes, and Alec get together and discuss what they’re going to do next. Reed is wondering what alliance he should go with. He calls Jon the “alpha male” and wants to target him out of anyone else.
Missy tries to reassure Natalie, who was also blindsided during the vote since Jeremy was her closest ally, that she’s still with their alliance. Jon tells Natalie about the idol to earn back some trust, but Natalie isn’t completely on board with him. She wants to give Jon a taste of his own medicine, along with avenging Jeremy, but she also has to figure out the best way to go about it. She wakes up in the middle of the night to try to find an idol using the clue she and Baylor found on Exile Island a few episodes ago.
Reward Challenge: The survivor have to dive into the water, climb a platform, jump off, grab a key, grab puzzle pieces, and then use the puzzle pieces to build a statue. They’re divided into two teams:
Yellow: Reed, Alec, Jaclyn, Jon
Blue: Missy, Natalie, Baylor, Wes
Keith sits out.
When Blue loses, Baylor starts crying because she really wanted her mother Missy to go on a reward. Reed, who criticized Natalie in the last episode for giving up her reward to Jaclyn, gives up his reward to Missy. Reed explains that he wants to get the ball rolling in taking out Jon, and the best way to do that is to strategize back at camp with Keith. Also, Wes is sent to Exile Island, but they don’t show any footage of his time there.
The Reward: Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, and Alec’s reward is to go on a trip to a baseball game where they’re treated with baseball food like hot dogs and popcorn. There are also a bunch of little kids at the game and Missy enjoys hanging out with them. The kids are also a way for Jon & Jaclyn to explain their sob story of Jaclyn being unable to conceive. However, from an editing perspective, Jon is the one who “benefits” from Jaclyn’s story. What bothered me about this scene was that Jon was the one who got to explain Jaclyn’s story and say what a good, upstanding guy he is for not abandoning her. Jaclyn got a few confessionals but it was mostly Jon who did the talking. Maybe this is all part of Jon’s winner edit, but I would have preferred Jaclyn to explain her own story.
Huyopa Camp: Anyway, Reed’s plan is for the four guys — Reed, Keith, Wes, and Alec, — to stay strong and vote out Jon. He has Missy and Jon thinking that Reed and Alec are on their side, so they’re going to split the votes between Keith and Wes; Reed and Alec will secretly vote for Jon.
Meanwhile, Natalie really wants to find the idol and she gets Baylor to help her look for it. Natalie ends up finding it and she gives a cute confessional about the idol being her Twinnie now that she’s lost both Nadiya and Jeremy. Baylor and Natalie still plan on voting out Reed and keeping Jon for one more vote so they have the numbers on their side.
Immunity Challenge: An endurance challenge! The survivors have to stand on a poll and whoever lasts the longest gets immunity. Of course, Jeff Probst presents them with tempting food items to get them to step off. Jon steps off seven minutes into the challenge for some candy… Ugh. It was a really smug move for Jon and showed that he feels incredibly safe in the game. Wes stepping off was probably worse because he’s on the wrong side of the numbers.
After 3 hours, Natalie and Reed are the last two people to hold on the longest. (Go Twinnie!)
At one point, Reed spits à la Keith and Natalie tries to copy him but it lands on her shirt. #Fail
Natalie doesn’t think she can hold on much longer but she doesn’t want to step off after 3 hours and not get some food, so she bargains with Jeff, who brings out a pizza. Natalie explains in a confessional that she knew she couldn’t hold on longer than Reed, so might as well get some sustenance in her body.
Reed wins Immunity!
The plan is for Reed, Alec, Keith, and Wes to vote for Jon. Reed and Alec tell Missy and Baylor that they’re voting with them and Reed, Alec, Missy, Baylor, Jon, Jaclyn, and Natalie will split the votes between Keith and Wes. Reed and Alec are blatantly lying to their faces, however.
Although Jon is questioning the wisdom of splitting the votes, Missy reassures him that Reed and Alec are with them. Alec himself reassures Jon and boldface lies to them. Jon believes him.
Tribal Council: Reed pipes up at Tribal Council and talks about Keith and Wes having an immunity idol. Reed is just acting, but Keith flips out and tells Reed to “stick to the plan”. Yikes. Everyone is confused. They start whispering to each other. I’m thinking, Keith just made one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen.
After the vote, Natalie whispers to Jon: “Dude, play your idol.” Keith takes that as his cue to play his idol. Probst tallies the votes.
Jon – 4 votes
Keith – 3 votes
Wes – 2 votes
Wes gets voted out!
Final Thoughts: What another hot, hot mess! Besides Reed and Natalie, these people have no clue what they’re doing. Keith royally screwed up Reed’s plan which would have flipped this game entirely on its head. Can Jon win the game? He’s clearly the #1 target, he hasn’t won an immunity challenge yet, and he’s clearly the biggest threat in the game, but his edit is very strong. Both he and Missy got some backstory in this episode during the Reward.
Wes: Bye, Wes. We barely knew you. I hope there are chicken nuggets at Ponderosa.
MVP: Natalie! She’s playing the game. She reintegrated herself in the majority alliance of Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, and Baylor. She found an idol. She almost won the Immunity necklace. Her game is extremely underrated. Unfortunately, her edit is also underdeveloped. But with Jeremy gone, maybe now Natalie will rise like a phoenix from the ashes! She’s the most strategic player left in the game, at the moment.
Next week… Jon & Jaclyn get into a heated argument.