After three episodes of the new season of “Survivor,” only the Healers tribe has avoided a trip to tribal council, keeping their original six in tact heading into tonight’s tribal swap. That’s right, Jeff Probst is asking the 15 remaining players to “drop their buffs” so they can be sorted into new tribes — a shake-up now common to most seasons of the reality TV series. Last week, the Hustlers sent their second member home, leaving remaining players Ali Elliott, Lauren Rimmer, Ryan Ulrich and Devon Pinto vulnerable to the larger numbers of the Heroes and Healers tribes.
Can the Hustlers overcome their numbers disadvantage at the swap or will one of them be the easy vote to send home? Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of Season 35, Episode 4, titled “I Don’t Like Having Snakes Around.” 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. – I’m super anxious to find out who is on which new tribe. But before we get there, how many new tribes will there even be?! With 15 players left we could see them reshuffled into three new tribes of five, but my guess is that we see a repeat of what happened on last season’s “Game Changers.” When that cast was down to 15 players, the three tribes merged to two tribes of seven with Debbie Wanner being last chosen and exiled until one of the tribes voted someone out and she returned to replace them. Could this be Lauren or Joe Mena‘s ticket to safety (both predicted with leading 2/1 odds of elimination)?
8:01 p.m. – Whoa, the episode is starting with a challenge and I see three colors on the course so it looks like the tribe swap will be three tribes of five?
8:02 p.m. – Here are the new tribes: Blue/Levu – Alan, Ashley, Desi, Joe and Devon; Yellow/Soko – Ryan, Ali, Chrissy, JP and Roark; Red/Yawa – Jessica, Mike, Cole, Lauren and Ben.
8:03 p.m. – Ben Driebergen is in a bad position–not only is he separated from Chrissy Hofbeck, but he’s also the only person on his new tribe from his old tribe. Same goes for Lauren.
8:06 p.m. – It’s a reward challenge. Three members will unravel a braided rope and then lasso a sled to pull back to them. The other two members will then solve a puzzle to complete the challenge. The reward is a PB&J with potato chips party and there will be only one winning tribe (instead of two).
8:08 p.m. – Ben, Lauren and Cole Medders move really quickly for Yawa and get off to an early lead. Joe, Ashley Nolan and Alan Ball fall behind for Levu and are the slowest at the start.
8:10 p.m. – Ben is first to lasso his tribe’s sled so Jessica Johnston and Mike Zahalsky are the first to begin the puzzle. Ben is already proving his worth to his new tribe.
8:12 p.m. – Jessica and Mike finish the puzzle quickly before anyone at Levu can even lasso their sled and win reward for the new Yawa tribe.
8:16 p.m. – At the reward picnic, Ben is already thinking about how he’s going to earn trust and stay safe with three Healers holding majority. Meanwhile, Jessica opens her bag of chips to find a note that says “special advantage.” Wonder what it says!
8:18 p.m. – It gives her the power to block someone else’s vote at next tribal council. If her tribe wins immunity she’ll get to bequeath it to anonymously someone on the losing tribe. Obviously she’s already telling Cole about it.
8:19 p.m. – OMG Cole has the biggest mouth on the entire island. He immediately runs to Ben and Lauren to tell them about Jessica’s advantage! What?! He’s trying to earn trust, but Lauren is already seeing right through it and vows to use it to her own advantage. Jessica is not going to be happy with Cole. This is the second time he’s broken her trust.
8:21 p.m. – At Soko, Roark Luskin is feeling vulnerable as the lone Healer, but Ryan is thankful that Chrissy came to his tribe because he’s confiding in her that he sent the episode 1 advantage to her. Her reaction is so priceless–she feels “loved” and is immediately drawn to him now. Ryan is playing this game hard and incredibly smart.
8:23 p.m. – At Levu, Desi Williams is happy with her new tribe and plans to angle to pull in Devon, the lone Hustler, to her side so that she has an advantage over the Heroes. Those Heroes are Alan and Ashley who have bad blood with one another and are unlikely to want to stick together, but they agree they need to pull Devon in to their side in order to take out a Healer.
8:25 p.m. – Joe makes up a complete lie and tells Devon that the Heroes came to him and said that they want to vote him out. Devon isn’t sure if he can trust Joe, but nevertheless feels like he could be in trouble if they lose immunity.
8:29 p.m. – Lauren is working at Yawa to pull Mike away from Jessica and Cole. Her plan is to tell him about the advantage and pointing out that because someone from his original tribe told her, but not him that he shouldn’t trust them. Oh man, Mike is running to Jessica to tell her. This is either going to spell doom for Cole or Lauren.
8:31 p.m. – Cole is telling Jessica he didn’t tell Lauren, but then he breaks down and admits to her that he told Ben. Is Cole one of the most dim-witted players ever? Could be. Jessica feels betrayed and isn’t sure what to do about it.
8:32 p.m. – For the immunity challenge the tribes will carry and maneuver a crate of puzzle pieces through a puzzle and under a net. They’ll then unlock another set of pieces and use all of the pieces to finish an interlocking puzzle. Two tribes will win safety and the third will vote the fourth person out of the game.
8:34 p.m. – Levu has found a way to work together and is the first tribe through the maze, but Soko and Yawa are right behind them. In the net, Yawa pushes through and takes the lead.
8:36 p.m. – Yawa and Soko are the first tribes to unlock the pieces and advance to the puzzle. Ashley at Levu struggles to find the right keys and creates a situation where they have to come from behind.
8:38 p.m. – Yawa breezes through the puzzle and earns the first spot for immunity, winning back to back challenges as a new tribe and creating a situation where Jessica gets to send her advantage to someone else. Soko finishes up second and earns immunity. That means Levu is going to tribal council and one of them will get protection from Jessica. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t play her advantage to protect her Healer friends Joe and Desi.
8:43 p.m. – Ashley gets some time with Devon who tells her that Joe said she wants to vote her out. Devon had a gut feeling Joe was lying and trusts that Ashley is telling him the truth. Devon gets the episode title quote and refers to Joe as a snake. Is Joe going to be smart enough to use his idol?
8:44 p.m. – Sounds like Joe is smart enough to hatch a plan to make sure that the other players vote for him so that he can successfully use his idol instead of risking them voting Desi out and him wasting his idol. His plan seems to be picking a fight with Alan. And Alan, of course, is biting and engaging in a heated discussion about who should go home. Joe throws Ashley under the bus and confesses that he’s voting her out. Alan retorts that he isn’t voting Ashley and he’s not voting Devon.
8:46 p.m. – Desi tells Joe his plan likely backfired and now they’re going to assume he has the idol. She wants him to play his idol for her. Meanwhile, Devon, Ashley and Alan are discussing the possibility of an idol and who they should vote for. And just before they head to tribal council, Devon finds Jessica’s secret advantage in his bag. He won’t find out what it is until he’s at council.
8:48 p.m. – I feel terribly for Desi. At tribal, Jeff is asking them about Joe’s outburst back at camp and the look on Desi’s face is pure helplessness. Alan makes it clear that there’s talk of an idol and that his vote is going toward Desi or Joe. Devon says his vote will be based on who he feels he can move forward with in the game.
8:50 p.m. – Alan smartly points out that this is Devon’s chance to put a dent in the Healers tribe of six by taking out either Joe or Desi so that they can’t rejoin with their old tribe once the merge hits.
8:51 p.m. – Oh! Devon’s advantage isn’t an advantage. Jessica has used it against him, which means Devon does not get a vote tonight.
8:52 p.m. – The votes are in, but first Joe plays his hidden idol for… himself.
8:54 p.m. – Jeff reads the votes: Joe. Joe. Alan. Alan. Because votes for Joe don’t count, that means Alan is voted out. Incredible move on Joe’s part. He points to Ashley and tells her he read her face to know who to use it for. I love this show for the unforgettable tribal councils that happen every. single. season.
8:58 p.m. – In previews for next week’s episode: Ashley and Devon vow to stick together against Desi and Joe and possibly go to rocks while Chrissy throws Roark under the bus to JP about her attempting to build an all-girls alliance against him. Sounds juicy! See ya next week.
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