After being one of our frontrunners to emerge as the champion of this season’s “Survivor,” Ben Driebergen is, for the first time, in the hot seat as our prediction to be eliminated Wednesday night. Ben has been working as a double-agent between a new alliance of four and the remnants of once dominant Heroes-Hustlers alliance, Ryan Ulrich and Chrissy Hofbeck who find themselves on the outs for the first time in the game. With only seven players left, it will take at least four to vote the next person out and earn a clear pathway to the final tribal council. Who will take the driver’s seat tonight?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of Season 35, Episode 12, titled “Not Going to Roll Over and Die” 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. – The looming question tonight is a hold-over from last week’s second episode: Will Lauren Rimmer, Devon Pinto and Ashley Nolan turn on Ben or will the four stick together until the end? The answer to that question has huge implications for Ben’s end-game and my guess is we’re getting that answer tonight. He leads our odds to go home!
8:00 p.m. – Mike Zahalsky and Ryan were both blindsided by last week’s vote and the revelation that Ben was playing both sides. Chrissy is also mad and tells Ben that he’s made an enemy in her–seems like the chances of them working together going forward are very slim! Ooh! And Chrissy gets the episode title–she says she’s “not going to roll over and die” and if she gets a chance to go after Ben she’s going to take it.
8:03 p.m. – Reward challenge already and to their excitement they’ll be running it in pairs with their loved ones! Ashley and Ryan are joined by their dads, Mike welcomes his wife, Lauren brings in her sister, Chrissy gets to see her husband, Devon is joined by his mom and Ben is reunited with his wife.
8:11 p.m. – For the challenge itself, the pairs will have to be in sync by choosing the same color marble in consecutive rounds until only one pair remains. The reward is the chance to bring your loved one back to camp for a barbecue. On their first draw, Lauren and her sister are out as are Mike and his wife. Ryan and his dad are third to draw and they’re eliminated, but both Ben and his wife draw black so they advance to the next round. Chrissy and her husband also pair up with black marbles, followed by a mismatch for Ashley and her dad and Devon and his mom. It’s between Chrissy and Ben.
8:14 p.m. – Ben is first to draw, but he and his wife did not match. Chrissy and her husband follow by matching with white marbles which means Chrissy wins and her husband Keith will return to camp for the day. Chrissy gets the choice to bring three other players and their loved one along with her and she goes with Ryan, Mike and Ashley. It seems the line is definitely drawn between her and Ben!
8:20 p.m. – At the barbecue Chrissy explains the dynamics of the game to her husband, specifically the choice to bring Ashley along because she seems like the easiest to break from the alliance of four. Her pitch to Ashley is that she’s aligned with “powerhouses” and that in order to win she’ll have to go to the end with the other side. Ashley knows that Chrissy is doing what she can, but she’s interested in the idea that Chrissy is willing to vote Ben out.
8:21 p.m. – Not at the barbecue, Ben devises a plan to make a fake idol to throw people off once they go searching for the idol Ryan used last week, assuming that it’ll be hidden again by the producers. He wants someone from the other side to find the fake idol, but Lauren is a little annoyed by Ben’s desire to attempt to make Chrissy look stupid by playing a fake idol. In the process, Lauren find a marker on a tree stump that leads her to HALF of a new idol. The other half? Hidden at the next immunity idol and she’ll need to grab that, too, in order to combine it with her half to make a legit, playable idol.
8:26 p.m. – And now for the immunity challenge! Each player will have to stand with their arms out holding two discs up by pressing at their fingertips. Last one with their discs up will win safety at the next tribal council. Sidenote: We never saw the players say goodbye to their loved ones, but it appears they have left the camp.
8:29 p.m. – Immediately, everyone starts struggling to hold on with a lot of slipping and sliding all over the place. After a decent recovery, Ben is the first one out followed closely by Chrissy. Third to fall is Ryan and then Lauren, instead of dropping hers, basically gives up and removes herself saying that she couldn’t do it anymore. In the process she is able to pick up the second half of her new idol!
8:31 p.m. – Of everyone left, Devon and Ashley seem to be doing the best and just like that Mike drops, leaving the two of them to fight it out. But instead of fighting it out, Devon makes it clear that he’s willing to strike a deal with who he calls his strongest ally in the game. After getting her to promise him a massage, Devon drops giving Ashley immunity for the second time!
8:37 p.m. – With immunity for herself, Ashley sees an opportunity to make a big move to set herself up in a position where she can tell the jury that she took strong players out. She tells Devon and Lauren that she is down to vote Ben out, but they push back a little bit saying that Chrissy has to go first because she’s also a threat. While the three of them were talking, Ben comes up and notices that they stop talking once he arrives which makes him suspicious. They tell him that the vote is Chrissy, but Ben feels like he’ll need to prepare for the chance that they’re actually voting for him.
8:39 p.m. – With that in mind, Ben approaches Mike and tells him that during the family reward Lauren found the idol and also has her double vote. Mike is down for it and when they go to Ryan with the vote he’s also down, but says that they’ll need Chrissy in order to make it work which will be tricky because Chrissy and Ben are at odds right now.
8:40 p.m. – When Ben approaches Chrissy she blows him off immediately, but he pulls her aside and tells her, too, about Lauren’s advantages. Chrissy calms down and sees open to the idea, but is worried that she can’t trust Ben after he’s lied so many times to her. Mike speaks with Chrissy later and tries to get her to commit to the vote against Lauren, but isn’t sure it’ll happen.
8:42 p.m. – Without Chrissy for sure on his side, Mike goes to Ashley and Ben and tells them that Ben is trying to blindside Lauren. Naturally, Devon goes to Lauren and tells her about Ben’s plans. From there, in an attempt to gain trust with Mike, Lauren gives him one half of her idol which he interprets as one of the dumbest moves in show history! I apologize, if it seems like I’m blurting through a lot of big information here I am! This is literally how quick we’re hearing about all of this on the episode.
8:48 p.m. – And we’re straight into tribal council with not much time left in the episode! Jeff begins by asking the group about Devon and Ashley being so open about how close they are. Devon says he was sending a message of trust to his alliance, which causes Ben to point out that he thought he was a part of that but not hearing his name included by Devon makes him feel worried. Ashley and Lauren immediately go in on Ben and tell him that his paranoia has caused them to question his allegiance. Chrissy and Ben bring up the fact that Lauren has an advantage and that makes her dangerous.
8:50 p.m. – Lauren says she left her two-vote advantage back at camp so she can’t use it tonight. Then Mike says he has Lauren’s half of her idol and in a shocker he gets up and throws it in the fire saying it’ll never be used! OMG, honestly, all seven of the players are talking at once and I can’t tell what is going on! This is crazy, but it sounds like it’s coming down to whether or not Ben or Lauren needs to be voted out. In the middle of that, people get out of their seats and start pleading to get on the same page to vote someone out. Ben, Ryan and Chrissy want to vote Lauren out, but Devon is trying to get Mike to vote Ben out instead. Mike seems like he isn’t sure, but the rest of them call for a vote.
8:54 p.m. – The votes are in and… Ben plays his REAL idol! No votes against him will count. Let’s read them: Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben. One vote and it’s Ben’s: Lauren. They ALL voted Ben out and he saved himself! They should have voted him out last week! This is so crazy. What is Ben going to do next week?
8:59 p.m. – In her going out message at the end of the episode, Lauren admits that it was her own error to give away her newfound idol that ruined her game and prevented her from saving herself. I agree! She had emerged as such a strong force in the game and now she’s out just like that. Incredible, but also incredibly frustrating. Great episode though! See all of you next week.
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