Following last week’s elimination of Sami Layadi from “Survivor 43,” only the Top 6 players remained in the running to win the $1 million grand prize. Of this group, Jesse Lopez, Karla Cruz Godoy and Cody Assenmacher each possessed hidden immunity idols, while Owen Knight, Cassidy Clark and Mike Gabler had nary an advantage between them. So whose torch did Jeff Probst snuff out just one week before the season finale?
Below, read our minute-by-minute “Survivor 43” Episode 12 recap/live blog of “Telenovela” to find out what happened Wednesday, December 7, 2022 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 take home the $1 million grand prize.
Keep refreshing/reloading this “Survivor 43” live blog for the most recent updates.
8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Survivor’!” In the 11th episode, Karla and Owen outlasted the immunity challenge by holding their breath under a steel grate until the tide receded, so Jeff made the unprecedented decision to give them both necklaces. Cody also earned safety because he bet on Owen to win after finding an advantage hiding in plain sight. With so many people safe, Sami felt in danger and used his Shot in the Dark to try to save himself, but it was unsuccessful and he was ousted unanimously. Who will become the next member of the jury?
8:01 p.m. – The morning after Sami’s elimination, the final six gathered around for another group sunrise moment where Owen reflected on the thwarted plan to expose Karla to Cassidy. Still, Owen wanted to drive that wedge further in so he pulled Cassidy aside to plant the seed that Sami told him Karla was contemplating taking a shot at her. It was news to Cassidy that she wanted to investigate directly with Karla, thinking it possible that Owen was not telling the truth. Karla reacted “calmly” by basically gaslighting Cassidy with the tearful lie that she was the one being loyal and now Cassidy was questioning that.
8:04 p.m. – At the tail end of Karla’s convo with Cassidy, she told Cassidy to talk to Jesse to verify that she had been faithful to their alliance. Karla then went to Jesse with the full story, but Jesse was not so keen to support Karla in this situation. He went to Cassidy and told her that everything she’s heard about Karla is actually true. Jesse’s intention was the same as Owen’s, to drive that wedge further between one of the strongest pairs in the game and to get them both focused on going after one another.
8:05 p.m. – Later that day the players competed in a rare reward challenge. For this challenge they were divided into two teams of three with one player strapped inside a ball who had to guide the other through an obstacle course and a table maze while they were both blindfolded. The teams were Jesse and Gabler with Cassidy strapped in the ball for red and Cody and Karla with Owen strapped in the ball for blue. The blue team was much better at navigating the obstacle course and reached the table maze first, properly setting Owen up in the ball to see the maze from a good angle. Blue was about halfway through the maze by the time the red team reached the table. Surprisingly, the red team was able to gain in the maze section by taking advantage of a few erroneous moves by the blue team. Blue struggled some more in the final section of the table, but eventually succeeded in sinking their ball in the hole merely moments before red was able to. The win earned a trip to the Survivor Sanctuary for Owen, Cody and Karla where they’d feast on coffee, tea, and pastries.
8:16 p.m. – At their reward, Karla opened up about feeling like she has a big target on her back, telling Cody and Owen that she does not have an idol and then pushing out the “telenovela” tears again with a story about how hard it is for her to play when everyone thinks she has an idol and she doesn’t. Cody and Owen bought Karla’s lie, considering that if she had an idol she would have used it already. They also discussed that they need to “break the girls up” and devised a plan to get the boys to take Karla and/or Cassidy out next.
8:18 p.m. – Back at camp, Gabler suggested to Cassidy and Jesse that they could be a good final three together because they all have different stories to tell. His intention was to plant the seed with Jesse that Cody needs to go and with Cassidy that Karla needs to go. Gabler saw it as “hiding in plain sight” that he’s maneuvering through the game with no one actually seeing how much he’s playing the game. It was at this point that Cassidy finally threw Karla under the bus by telling them that she definitely has an idol. That was news to Jesse’s ear, but made it clear to him that Gabler is correct that both Karla and Cody are major threats.
8:20 p.m. – When the others returned from reward, Gabler furthered his plan by telling Cody that Cassidy said Karla has an idol. That told Cody that Karla is playing the game hard and had just straight up lied to him and Owen about not having an idol. That set the wheel in motion for Cody to want Karla out immediately, solidifying for the guys that they should work together against the two girls.
8:26 p.m. – On Day 26, the six gathered again for the immunity challenge. In this challenge, they’d run a short obstacle course through nets and ropes to the final stage of the course which was a hanging bat puzzle. Karla fell behind in the first stage, still working through the obstacles by the time that all the other five had reached the puzzle. On the puzzle, Jesse and Cassidy got off to the strongest start, but were not too far along by the time Karla finally arrived. Eventually Cassidy pulled out in front with Jesse and Karla only a small fraction behind her. As she continued to gain on Cassidy, Karla started talking to Jeff about how her hands were going numb just before they started cramping, sending Karla into a tailspin of physical ailments that prevented her from focusing on the puzzle. In that window, Cody made big advancements on the puzzle, but Cassidy was closing in. Cassidy eventually called for a check and was wrong, but had a strong enough lead for her to make the correction and win immunity only a few seconds before Cody finished his.
8:38 p.m. – With Cassidy’s immunity win and two known idols floating around, Owen and Gabler considered that the vote could come down to only three of them being vulnerable: themselves and Jesse. Meanwhile, Cody approached Karla with a plan to both declare that they’re both for sure playing their idols in order to intimidate the others into voting either Owen or Gabler out. The plan was that they wouldn’t actually use their idols though, which would mean they’d both have them at the final five to secure spots in the final four. Karla went to Gabler, Owen, Cassidy and Jesse with the “scare tactic” plan. After that, Cody followed up with Owen to clarify that he told Karla that story but the actual plan would be to blindside Karla instead.
8:41 p.m. – Cody thought that all the guys (he called them “the four amigos”) were on board with the plan to take out Karla, but Jesse realized that this was a plan that would boost Cody’s game and leave him seen as Cody’s number two. For that reason, Jesse considered whether it would be time for him to make the tough decision to be cutthroat and take out Cody instead. Jesse weighed his friendship with Cody against the reason he came to the show, which is to win the million dollars to secure his family’s future. Having made his decision to move against Cody, Jesse went to Owen with a plan for him to use Cody’s idol (remember, Cody gave it to Jesse to watch over weeks ago) to flush Cody’s from the game and to spook Karla into playing her own to flush that one as well. With Cody’s idol no longer a threat, it would free them all up to actually take Cody out instead. The plan got around to Cassidy and Gabler as well, and everyone was on board, but Cody threw a wrench into the plan when he asked Jesse for the idol back in order to show it to Karla to reassure her that he’s using it.
8:50 p.m. – At tribal council, Jeff congratulated Cassidy on another immunity win and mentioned how physically demanding the game has been on Karla. Jesse mentioned that Karla and Cody both made it known that they’d be playing their idols, much to Jeff’s surprise. Karla explained that she’s been a target for a few weeks and playing her idol tonight is the only way to protect herself. Cody said that he also thinks he’s a target and the idol is his only way to get himself to the final five. Owen and Jesse played up the idea that they feel vulnerable in the event that the two idols get played, but Jeff said that Cody and Karla could be bluffing. Jesse said that they could be, but he’s not in a position to call their bluff so they have no choice but to believe them. When asked about their confidence level for this vote, Gabler said he’s confident, Karla expressed confidence, Jesse said he’s just willing to do what he’s been told, Owen said “as long as it’s not me” but he’s not confident, and Cody said he’s 95% confident that the vote will go the way he thinks it will.
8:56 p.m. – After the votes were cast, Jesse made his big move, pulling Cody’s idol from his pocket and playing for Owen. Cody looked immediately shocked with disappointment and worry spread across Karla’s face. Just as they thought she would, Karla was spooked into playing her idol for herself. With that, all votes cast for Owen and Karla would not count. Jeff read the votes: Owen, Karla, Cody, Cody, Cody. With a “wow,” Cody stood up to grab his torch and Noelle was saying to the other jurors “Jesse did it.” Before leaving, Cody shook hands and hugged Jesse and everyone else.
NEXT TIME: In the season finale, the final five start fresh from a new beach, Karla and Cassidy continue to go after one another, Owen appears “furious” about something, and Gabler is seen reading a clue or advantage.
Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on CBS. You’ll compete to win eternal bragging rights and a spot on our “Survivor” leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.