Last Wednesday’s tribe switch on “Survivor” 35 set many of the players on new paths in the game, some of whom saw their fortunate spots at the top of their former tribes shift to more vulnerable spots at the bottom of new tribes. Tonight we’ll see how the dust settles for the new Levu tribe after a divisive tribal council and whether Lauren Rimmer and Ben Driebergen, on the outs and outnumbered at Yawa, can gain any ground among a seemingly solid block of three former Healers.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of Season 35, Episode 5, titled “The Past Will Eat You Alive.” Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your early favorites and who you think can go the distance to win the $1 million cash prize and title of “sole survivor.” Keep refreshing/reloading this page as we’ll be updating live.
7:59 p.m. – Once again I’m interested to find out which player is quoted in tonight’s episode title. I’m trying to think of whose past could come back to haunt them and only coming up with two candidates — Cole Medders, for spilling all of Jessica Johnston‘s secrets to their entire tribe (twice!), and Joe Mena, for telling Cole about his idol only to have Cole tell everyone at their tribe, including Desi Williams who is the key to Joe’s fate at the new Levu camp.
8:01 p.m. – After tribal council, Ashley Nolan says to Joe “I knew you were crazy, but I didn’t know you were crazy and smart.” That should strike Joe as a really dangerous thing to hear about himself because it’s a great reason for anyone to want to vote him out.
8:02 p.m. – At Soko, a burst of the fire triggers Ben’s feelings as a Marine and we get to learn a little more about who he is as a character–the struggles of his comrades who have PTSD and the disconnect he and other veterans feel among civilians. It’s moments on the show like these that we point to as part of a “winner’s edit” because they’re glimpses at the personality of the players rather than the game talk. They help build a narrative for the audience to root for and relate to certain players. I already thought Ben was getting a pretty solid edit, but this could confirm that he’s probably someone that lasts long in the game. Keep your eyes open for moments similar to this with other players!
8:08 p.m. – For this week’s reward challenge three castaways from each tribe are bound at their limbs and must slither across the sand pushing a ball with their head toward their fourth player who will use all three balls to shoot into a basket. With an extra member each, Soko chooses Chrissy Hofbeck and Yawa chooses Lauren to sit out. The prize is coffee, tea and pastries to take back to camp.
8:11 p.m. – With a strong starts from Joe, Desi and Lauren, Levu takes a huge lead. Devon Pinto is already shooting while Ryan Ulrich and Mike Zahalsky struggle big time for their tribes.
8:13 p.m. – As Cole starts shooting for Yawa, Devon makes his third of five shots in the basket and Ryan loses control of his ball for the third time in the sand. Shortly thereafter, Devon makes his fifth shot, winning first place for Levu. Before Soko can all get to their mat and begin shooting, Cole sinks his fifth ball and earns second place for Yawa.
8:19 p.m. – The reward win offers Levu a chance to bond and connect with each other after their tribal council that left them pretty clearly divided two vs. two. That being said, Devon has noticed how strong of a player Joe is and that he needs to be voted out. When Joe and Desi leave the camp, Devon uses the opportunity to confirm with Ashley that he wants to stick with her and they both agree neither of them will flip. They even agree that they’ll go to a tie if need be!
8:22 p.m. – Back at Soko, Ryan apologizes for his poor performances, but he seems to be really well liked because after making a joke about it everyone laughed and seemed to be eating up his personality. This kid is a master at strategy, I’m actually amazed.
8:23 p.m. – As the only original Healer at Soko, Roark Luskin sees herself as being in the middle of the other two pairs. She pulls Ali Elliott aside and suggests a girls alliance. Ali eats it up and sees Roark as an opportunity for her and Ryan to use her against Chrissy and JP Hilsabeck. Ryan agrees to Ali’s face, but is caught in a spot because he already has a close bond with Chrissy and will need to balance two sides going forward.
8:26 p.m. – At Yawa, Lauren voices how annoying she finds Cole’s habits at camp. The last time Lauren found someone annoying was Patrick Bolton and guess who went home… Patrick. Watch out, Cole!
8:27 p.m. – After Cole betrayed Jessica’s trust last week, she decides that she might need to form a better bond with Mike because he’s more trustworthy. Together they go looking for the idol and Mike unearths it from the sand. Remember, Jessica and Mike were originally at the Soko tribe where Joe found that camp’s idol. Now they’re at Yawa so this is the red tribe’s hidden idol that Mike finds. Great for Mike, but all I can think about now is why hasn’t Joe considered that the idol he found at Soko will have a sibling in the same spot at the Levu camp he’s at now?
8:32 p.m. – Time for the immunity challenge! For this challenge, the tribes will retrieve bags of rice from boats docked in the water, shove them through a fence, carry them across a balance beam and then dig out a ball from each to use to complete a maze. First two tribes to finish will be safe from tribal council. Having to choose new players, Ryan sits out for Soko and Mike sits out for Yawa.
8:35 p.m. – Soko and Yawa get their bags through the fence first, but Levu is stuck trying to get their second bag through. But Levu makes a strong comeback to finish the balance beam first while Soko have a hard time with it, relying on JP to carry all the bags over the beam.
8:38 p.m. – Ben gets the first ball through the maze for Yawa, followed by one by Ashley for Levu. Before Chrissy can get Soko their first in, Jessica comes through with Yawa’s second, followed by one for Soko by Ali and a second for Levu by Devon. Cole easily makes it through the maze for Yawa and gets their third ball in, winning safety for his tribe. Chrissy is back on the maze, but falls and Soko debates whether switching her out. This opens the door for Desi to fly through the maze and get their third ball in, earning immunity for Levu. That leaves Soko–Chrissy, Ali, Ryan, JP and Roark–all vulnerable to the vote at tonight’s tribal council.
8:44 p.m. – After struggling at the immunity challenge, Chrissy feels in danger of being an easy vote. With a plan to “play big” she takes Roark down to the beach and suggests deciding on who to vote out together. Both women put on a good face during their conversation, but in asides to the camera both admit to not trusting the either and want to target the other for elimination. Chrissy tells JP that Roark wants an all girls alliance and he’s immediately down to vote her out. Ryan tells Chrissy that Ali and Roark are probably voting together so they decide that JP/Chrissy/Ryan will all vote for Roark. But playing both sides, Ryan tells Ali that he’ll vote with her and Roark to vote out Chrissy.
8:48 p.m. – As we enter tribal council, it loooks like it’ll be Chrissy or Roark tonight with Ryan being the deciding vote.
8:49 p.m. – With the first question at tribal, Ali and Chrissy promptly start arguing about Chrissy’s poor performance at the challenge. Then Chrissy gets into it with Roark about how they never spoke strategy with one another prior to the moment where they were facing a tribal. Jeff Probst points out that this is now two strikes against Chrissy with two members of her tribe. Yowza.
8:51 p.m. – Roark thinks she’s the swing vote between the twosomes of former tribe members, but Chrissy disagrees as they head in to vote. Roark votes for Chrissy and Chrissy votes for Roark, but with pretty frosty comments aimed at one another as they put their ballots into the box. Love it!
8:53 p.m. – The votes are in: Chrissy. Roark. Chrissy. Roark. Last vote and next eliminated: Roark. That’s officially a blindside and Ali turns to Ryan and rolls her eyes! That’s a really risky move on Ryan’s part, especially if Ali gets to a place where she can use his betrayal against him at a merge or second tribe switch. But seems like that secret advantage bond that he made with Chrissy is pretty strong and he’s willing to milk it for all it’s worth.
8:58 p.m. – Previews for next week show Ali confronting Ryan about his vote and the conversation getting pretty heated between the two of them. Also, at Soko we see Cole faint at camp and Jessica worried that she may have to play the game without him if he’s removed. Sounds like another dramatic episode–can’t wait! See ya then.
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