‘Survivor 41’ episode 9 recap: Which 2 players were voted out in ‘Who’s Who in the Zoo’? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Heading into the ninth episode of “Survivor 41,” both of the Yase turtles (Xander Hastings and Evvie Jagoda) knew they were on the outs as the other eight players (Heather Aldret, Naseer Muttalif, Shan Smith, Erika Casupanan, Ricard Foye, Danny McCray, Deshawn Radden and Liana Wallace) had come for them repeatedly. Host Jeff Probst shocked the group of 10 when he split them into two groups and said both would eliminate someone at their own tribal councils. Did Xander, Naseer or Shan finally use their hidden immunity idols?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of Season 41, Episode 9, titled “Who’s Who in the Zoo,” to find out what happened Wednesday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite castaways on CBS’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most and who you think will ultimately join the “Survivor” winners list and win the $1 million grand prize.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Survivor 41” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Survivor’!” In the eighth episode, Tiffany Seely was voted out of the merged tribe in a wild tribal council in which four people received votes. (Tiffany got six, Xander got two, Heather got two, Naseer got one.) How will Heather and Naseer react to having their names written down for the first time? And how will the 10 players be divided into two separate groups? Let’s go!

8:01 p.m. – Immediately following another turbulent tribal council, Deshawn was upset that the “perfect” plan got thrown into chaos when Heather got up to whisper in people’s ears and Shan attempted to switch the vote against Heather. Deshawn’s issue with Shan not listening to other voices began well before this tribal and so this instance of feeling shut down by her did not help matters. Shan could not understand that why, once they kept with Deshawn’s plan to vote out Tiffany, he was still up set her since from her perspective it seemed like she was in fact listening to him and the group was going along with his plans, not hers. Deshawn’s feelings that night were that he wanted to play with different people and wouldn’t be playing Shan’s game — all music to Evvie’s ears.

8:03 p.m. – The next morning, Deshawn was feeling very differently, pulling Shan aside to apologize and to air grievances. Shan also learned from the situation and acknowledged that she can listen to other people more. Still, Shan finished that conversation and quickly started discussing her thoughts that Erika and Heather need to go next. This was not where Deshawn wanted Shan’s head to be at in that moment and so he returned to feeling like he might need to find new people to work with. In another conversation with Evvie, he told her that he likes being able to communicate with her and they made a deal to not vote each other out.

8:04 p.m. – Elsewhere, Naseer wanted to clear the air Heather and himself, insisting that he can move on from her voting for him. She promised him that she didn’t vote for him (she didn’t) in earshot of Xander, who knows that he’s the one that voted for him in order to stir up more chaos. His plan was working because Naseer was not buying Heather’s story of events, especially after she pulled Evvie in who confirmed Heather was trying to turn the vote against Naseer.

8:06 p.m. – Despite being deaf in one year and having to rely on reading lips to stay on top of all the conversations happening in the game, Ricard felt like he was in a good place within the tribe. He’s been hard of hearing for most of his life and didn’t expect to “thrive” in the game as much as he has because of it, but now sees a path for himself that could make him the first hard of hearing player to win. For now he’s working within the alliance with Shan, Liana, Deshawn and Danny, not knowing that Deshawn may have other plans for that group. Speaking of, over on the beach those five were with Xander and Erika and decided to openly leave to make plans without the two outsiders. It miffed Erika and Xander so much that they considered bringing in the other three players to build an alliance that could vote out Ricard or Shan. The other group, though, was hoping to pull in Naseer for themselves and vote out Xander. But there was Shan, thinking differently that Erika is more dangerous than Xander.

8:12 p.m. – Without a proper reward challenge this week, Jeff laid out the plans for the immunity challenge. In another balancing-endurance challenge, he asked them to stand on a perch with their hands on poles behind their head. To make things more interesting (because why not!), he divided them into two groups of five that would compete separately, resulting in two winners and two tribal councils of five where ultimately two people would be voted out. In addition, the last person standing between the two groups would earn the reward of chicken and beef stew for their entire group of five. Worth playing for? Certainly!

8:14 p.m. – The two groups were randomly chosen: Danny, Xander, Liana, Evvie and Deshawn in one group and Heather, Naseer, Ricard, Shan and Erika in the other. After 10 minutes, pain was already starting to show on the players’ faces and Evvie became the first to drop out. In succession, Heather, Liana and Shan all dropped as well, leaving three in each group still competing. Danny and Ricard fell next, making way for either Deshawn or Xander to win from one group and Erika or Naseer from the other. On the sidelines, Shan was rooting very openly for Naseer to last longer than Erika, but unfortunately for her Naseer couldn’t straighten himself out and fell, giving Erika immunity. Unable to stay up to win the stew for her group, Erika dropped, meaning the other group of five would eat. Liana and Danny were both hoping that Xander would drop, watching his face closely for signs that he might, but just like with the other group their wishes fell short when Deshawn dropped, giving Xander immunity. As the losing group, and in the interest of keeping the two “tribes” apart, Jeff sent Erika, Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer back to the old Ua camp where they’d remain until their tribal council later that night.

8:26 p.m. – Filling himself up on stew and with advantages in his pocket, Xander was looking forward to the opportunity to take out someone in power. Evvie was feeling good about her recent conversations with Deshawn, thinking he would be willing to vote with her and Xander to make a big move. Xander and Evvie were looking to take out Liana, as Shan’s right-hand player making decisions with her. Elsewhere, Danny was with Deshawn feeling good about having the power to easily send Evvie home. Liana’s worry, however, was that Xander could play his idol for Evvie and send whoever they want home. She went to Xander and devised a plan with him to send Deshawn home with the consideration (Xander’s words) that Evvie is too easy of a vote that everyone wants out anyway. Liana optioned to Xander that he give her his idol as a show of trust, but he obviously refused.

8:29 p.m. – At the Ua camp, Shan would be unable to vote Erika out and so her best second play would be to vote Heather out instead. She pulled in Naseer to make the plan to send Heather home, not wanting either of them to use their idols when they don’t need to. Naseer straight up went to Erika and Heather and said “I’m sorry you have to go home today.” He confidently said that he’s working with Shan and Ricard and they’ll vote her out, which put both Heather and Erika in a tough position without many options.

8:31 p.m. – Back at the main camp, Xander chatted with Danny and Deshawn (and Evvie) about how he’s wanted to work with them and if they’re looking to break up Shan’s power that now is their chance. He let them know that Liana told him she’s willing to vote Deshawn out, making Deshawn question his options. Evvie and Xander both vowed to vote for Liana, leaving the ball in Deshawn and Danny’s court. But later, Danny went to Xander and said that Evvie is very dangerous and it would be a better move to go after her over Liana. That worried Xander that maybe the guys aren’t working with him and that he should play his idol to protect Evvie in order to make sure Liana goes home.

8:34 p.m. – Ricard was not impressed with Shan and Naseer’s plans to take out Heather, knowing that she has no advantages in the game and is not a threat whatsoever. So, he went to Heather and Erika with the plan to blindside Naseer with the idol in his pocket. He told them that he’s going to have to make it seem like Naseer is safe so that he doesn’t play the idol, but to trust him that he’ll be voting Naseer out. Heather did her part to act like she knows she’s going home around camp. Ricard couldn’t keep it to himself though, and so he went to Shan with his plan who was not happy. Shan said she wants Heather out, prompting Ricard to ask for the extra vote so that he can cast it against Naseer to make sure he goes home. Shan was unwilling to give it away, and couldn’t promise that she’d use it to vote Naseer out because of how little trust she has in Erika, and by association Heather. Once again, Shan was coming under fire for her bullish opinions that weren’t leaving room for Ricard to make a decision.

8:41 p.m. – At the first tribal, the narrative was that Heather would be the easy vote and she continued to act she was in an impossible position. Jeff referred to the current situation in the small group as “dangerous” and said that wherever there’s danger, there’s opportunity for someone. In a touching moment, Naseer expressed his gratitude for Heather as a teacher and a mother, causing Heather to get emotional about her pride in making it as far as she has and how her kids will be proud of her. In the voting booth, we saw Erika vote for Naseer and Naseer vote for Heather. When it came time for someone to play an advantage or idol, no one stepped up so Jeff read the votes: Heather, Naseer, Heather, Heather, Naseer, Naseer. So the extra vote was played and Shan/Ricard forced a tie, shocking a disappointed Naseer.

8:51 p.m. – In the revote, only Erika, Shan and Ricard voted between Heather and Naseer. Without a chance to now play his idol, Naseer was left vulnerable as Jeff read the re-votes: Naseer, Naseer, Naseer. With that, Naseer was sent to the jury next to Tiffany where he’d sit in on the next tribal council.

8:53 p.m. – Upon entrance into tribal, the other group of five was shocked to see Naseer voted out, and it only looked like positive news to Evvie. Danny explained that he thought Naseer would have played his idol, but clearly he didn’t. This group felt the pressure of their own vote, with Deshawn noting that Xander’s immunity left him having to choose between three other people that he wanted to work with in the game. Xander said his choice is based on who has power in the game and who he wants to work with going forward. Danny said that Naseer’s elimination made him uncomfortable with the plans he thought was going to happen tonight, but everyone else expressed that they think the plan they think is happening is still going to happen.

8:56 p.m. – At this voting booth, we saw Liana vote for Evvie and Evvie vote for Liana. After the tally, no one opted in to using an advantage and so Jeff read the votes: Liana, Evvie, Liana, Evvie, Evvie. As it turns out, Xander didn’t save Evvie once again and Deshawn chose to not move forward with her, instead protecting his larger alliance with Liana. Even Xander seemed blindsided by their decision.

NEXT TIME: Deshawn and Danny want Ricard out ASAP to cut Shan off from some of her power, but when Liana goes to Shan with that information all hell breaks loose (again). But when Shan sees Ricard talking to Erika, does she decide maybe it’s time to cut ties with him?

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