Joe Mena has been our leading pick to go home in “Survivor” for a number of weeks and once again he’s leading our odds as the most likely to be eliminated next. Tonight the dominating Heroes-Hustlers super alliance will have two hours to send him home, which means someone else is likely on the chopping block, too. The likeliest candidate could be the other final Healer in the game, Mike Zahalsky, who is now idol-less, but there’s also a chance that the alliance of seven will turn on one of their own.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of Season 35, Episodes 10 and 11, titled “Buy One, Get One Free” to find out how it all unfolds. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite castaways and who you think can go the distance to win the $1 million cash prize. Keep refreshing/reloading this page as we’ll be updating live.
7:59 p.m. – It’s a two-hour block of “Survivor” tonight which means we’ll likely see two (or more!) eliminations. In the past, the airing of back-to-back episodes usually signifies the end of a Pagonging (y’know, when one alliance systematically dismantles the members of an opposing tribe) so Joe and Mike are in deep trouble. Let’s hope we get a Hero or Hustler out of here, too! We desperately need the intrigue this season because it’s becoming all-too-predictable.
8:01 p.m. – Chrissy Hofbeck is in high spirits after Cole Medders‘ elimination and because Mike wasted his idol. Mike confesses to the camera that he played his idol because he didn’t want to be a person that went home with one in his pocket and he had to do what he could to make sure Joe wasn’t the one the big alliance voted out. Joe is disappointed that he didn’t use the idol more strategically.
8:03 p.m. – Early in the episode, but we’re already starting a challenge! This one is for reward as individuals–they’ll use their feet to stack blocks in a circular tower in an effort to win an aerial tour of the island with a cheeseburger, fries and beer picnic afterward.
8:05 p.m. – Lauren Rimmer and Ashley Nolan get off to an early start, but Mike is also working strong and is the first one to get to the third level of his tower. After assembling his tower perfectly, while putting a flag over the top he knocks a piece over and opens the door for Lauren to come from behind and snatch the win right out from under him!
8:08 p.m. – As always, Jeff Probst gives Lauren the opportunity to bring someone along with her on the reward. Her first choice is Devon Pinto, her second is Ben Driebergen and her third (and final) is Ashley. Sounds like a formidable alliance if they get it together!
8:12 p.m. – While the four were on the reward, Mike was stewing at camp with a bunch of people he claimed to dislike, so for entertainment plotted with Joe to try to stir Chrissy into a fight. Ryan Ulrich was annoyed by Joe and Mike’s antics, but sees them as easy votes on the outside. With Chrissy, he plans out a road to the end that would involve taking Ben out first once it’s down to the seven followed by Lauren. They both believe that the alliance of seven will stick together for the next two votes to take out Mike and Joe before turning on each other.
8:16 p.m. – At the reward picnic, Lauren made it clear that she assembled this four to build a group that will have numbers over Chrissy, JP Hilsabeck and Ryan when the time comes. As a show of trust, Devon and Ben come clean about Ryan telling them that he has a hidden idol and then Lauren shares that she has the double vote advantage. Lauren’s next idea is that they use Mike and Joe while they have them in order to make an early move against the other three. With beers, Lauren, Ashley, Devon and Ben cheers to a final four deal.
8:19 p.m. – At the end of the picnic they find letters from their family which creates an emotional bonding moment for the four that I can’t help but see as even thicker glue to solidify their alliance. This is going to be a hard group to break apart!
8:23 p.m. – After reading his letter, Ben finds a clue to another immunity idol hidden in a clay pot back at camp. Is it just me or this season on advantage overload?! Sure enough, after a bit of searching in the trees, Ben finds a clay pot hooked into the top of a tree and inside is an idol. This is a big moment for a player that has had a pretty strong winner’s edit all season!
8:26 p.m. – For the immunity challenge the castaways will balance on a triangular buoyed platform with them having to balance on a narrow part of it as time expires. As a twist, Jeff offers anyone willing to accept the opportunity to skip the challenge and instead eat a bunch of peanut butter and chocolate. Even after a reward feast, Devon, Ben and Lauren all opt out of immunity and go for dessert!
8:28 p.m. – With six participating for immunity, Joe is the first to show serious signs of struggle while Ashley, Chrissy and Ryan all seem strong. JP gets a couple nice saves in before he falters and hits the water. After 20 minutes, the five remaining move up to the top of the buoy where they remain for the rest of the challenge. Seconds into that stage Chrissy tumbles followed by Joe.
8:32 p.m. – In a crouch position, Ryan eventually loses his balance and falls out, leaving Ashley and Mike as the final two. But then, out of nowhere, Mike drops (giving him the second runner-up spot of the night) and makes Ashley the winner!
8:39 p.m. – Back at camp after the challenge, Ryan expresses frustration that three of his alliance members chose to sit out the challenge, but resolves that at least Ashley was able to win in the end. Chrissy feels really comfortable, but Devon sees the confidence written on her face and gets even more determined to take her or Ryan out now.
8:40 p.m. – So the reward challenge four start weighing the pros and cons of who they should put their votes on. Devon’s plan is to have Ben vote out Mike so that no one on the other side will know that Ben is working with them. But in order to keep the numbers, they have to convince Mike and Joe to vote with them against Chrissy, Ryan or JP.
8:46 p.m. – At tribal, Jeff brings up Mike’s antics at the previous council and the topic of them as comedic characters comes up. But Mike makes it clear that he wanted to keep Joe around so that they could be a two that is useful for someone within the seven to make a move. Ryan isn’t buying it though and says the seven is sticking together.
8:49 p.m. – The conversation of the entire council is about the strength of the seven (I sound like I’m talking about Game of Thrones!) and they’re all saying that they’re strong, but admit that the second you think you’re comfortable is exactly the time you aren’t.
8:52 p.m. – Jeff reads the votes after no one plays a hidden idol: Mike, Joe, Mike, Mike, JP, JP, JP, JP, JP. And with that JP becomes the third member of the jury as Chrissy and Ryan both looked shocked, Joe and Mike both look pleased and Ben tries hard to look shocked.
8:54 p.m. – After tribal, Joe challenges Chrissy to not be bitter which only pisses Chrissy off and makes her more angry. Ryan on the other hand plays it cool and gives his thanks that they didn’t take him out instead. Ben starts asking questions of the group as well, playing his double agent role and keeping him close with Chrissy and Ryan.
8:57 p.m. – Devon tells Ryan the reason he didn’t tell him about the blindside is because he knows he isn’t the only one that Ryan told about his idol. He warns Ryan that he wants to trust him, but it’s been broken.
9:03 p.m. – The next morning, Devon is feeling really confident about the four’s path to the finals. He speaks with Ben about having either Chrissy or Joe as the next person voted out.
9:05 p.m. – For the next reward challenge, the final eight are divided into two teams of four to collect bags of logs from the water which they’ll use to push through a long tunnel and then assemble into a puzzle. The prize this time is a trip to a spa with massages, showers and a chicken, veggie wrap, fruit and pie feast.
9:06 p.m. – The red team is Lauren, Ryan, Mike and Chrissy. The blue team is Devon, Ashley, Ben and Joe. Blue gets an early lead, but both teams reach the beach at the same time, but blue’s strength allows them to get their bags of logs to the tunnel first. At the tunnel, blue works quickly to get all of their puzzle pieces through by the time red begins to work for theirs.
9:09 p.m. – At the puzzle, blue has a huge head start, but Mike and Chrissy work quickly for red to close the gap amidst some errors at Ben and Ashley’s puzzle. Even so, blue pulls it together and gets the win.
9:14 p.m. – Back at their second straight reward, Ashley, Devon and Ben are in high spirits, but Ben has to continue the game of pretending like he’s on the outside so that Joe doesn’t catch out. That leaves Joe in the awkward position of feeling like he’s in a more powerful position than he is.
9:16 p.m. – While Ben showers, Devon and Ashley get a moment to themselves and they seem to have bonded really closely. They’re in a super powerful spot right now and I think they could be two, if not our only, finalists. Watch out!
9:18 p.m. – Back at camp, Ryan, feeling desperate for numbers, pulls Mike aside to try to propose something for the future, but Mike isn’t hearing it. In fact, Mike says “You never wanted to work with me” and basically says that it is too little, too late.
9:19 p.m. – At the same time, Chrissy is trying to work over Lauren by saying that she and Ryan had already discussed wanting to go to the final three with her (lie!). Lauren keeps it cool, but basically says the same thing Mike told Ryan which is that Chrissy could have done this sooner.
9:25 p.m. – After a rough rainy night for Chrissy, the group gathers for the next immunity challenge. For this one there’s an obstacle course that they must traverse to collect puzzle pieces that will be used at the end to spell a scrambled word.
9:28 p.m. – Ben, Devon, Joe and Chrissy are the only three that make it through the first obstacle on their first try. Ben makes it through the second easily, followed by Devon and Joe who moved a little more steady. With the puzzle pieces in tow, Devon takes a fresh lead, but Ben is on his tail. Out of nowhere, Ashley catches up to Devon by transporting eight blocks at a time instead of four like the guys were doing. At the puzzle, Devon and Ben seem stumped by the 12-letter word while Chrissy comes out of nowhere to put together the correct word “Invulnerable” to win immunity!
9:37 p.m. – With Chrissy immune from the vote, Mike, Joe and Ryan are left on the table for the four to choose from. Ben throws Joe’s name out and the other three agree. But that leaves them in a spot to trick Joe and Mike–their plan is to claim they’ll use Lauren’s extra vote to split the votes between Ryan and Ben, but in reality their four votes will send Joe home.
9:39 p.m. – Joe is totally on board with the plan and feels safe because of the group trusting him to know about Lauren’s advantage. Mike feels good about the decision because he’s ready for Ben to go home.
9:40 p.m. – Chrissy, Ryan and Ben discuss that the other group will split the votes and will likely target Ben. Ryan says that the other group knows he has the idol and Ben tells him he should play it to make sure that he saves himself. The perfect way to flush out Ryan’s idol!
9:41 p.m. – Later, Lauren and Ashley discuss how dangerous Ben is as a player and wonder if now is the time to take Ben out instead of letting him get close to the final where he’ll surely win. Ashley goes to Devon with the alternate plan and with some hesitation Devon seems open to the idea, but they agree that it’s a risky move at this point.
9:48 p.m. – At tribal council, Mike and Joe both seem confident and happy in their new alliance. The conversation turns to the testing of alliances and how only the voting shows where players truly are. Ben continues to play the part of being on the losing side of the numbers, which gives Joe and Ben room to be cocky, especially toward Ben who they believe was once at the top of the food chain in the game.
9:54 p.m. – Before Jeff reads the votes, Ryan plays his idol for himself: Ryan, Ryan, Ashley, Ashley, Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. As confident as he was, Joe goes home and Ryan wastes his idol! A successful play by Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley! Mike is left stunned.
9:58 p.m. – In the previews for next week, we see the traditional loved ones challenge (I’ll be a crying mess) and a glimpse of Ben feeling uneasy about his alliance of four and fashioning a fake idol because of it. Should be interesting! See ya next Wednesday.
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