In last week’s two-hour premiere of “Survivor 44,” the Tika tribe lost a natural leader in Bruce Perreault who was medically evacuated on Night 1 after suffering a head injury during the reward challenge. They rebounded by earning one of two immunities at the next challenge, sending the members of Ratu to Tribal Council where Maddy Pomilla was blindsided and sent home with only one vote cast against her. Which tribe won the second immunity challenge, and which castaway was the next to have their torch snuffed by Jeff Probst?
Below, read our minute-by-minute “Survivor 44” Episode 2 recap/live blog of “Two Dorky Magnets” to find out what happened Wednesday, March 8, 2023 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.
Here are the current “Survivor 44” tribe breakdowns (click on each name to be brought to their individual profiles):
RATU TRIBE: Brandon Cottom, Kane Fritzler, Matthew Grinstead-Mayle, Lauren Harpe, Jaime Lynn Ruiz
SOKA TRIBE: Matt Blankinship, Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, Frannie Marin, Danny Massa, Claire Rafson, Josh Wilder
TIKA TRIBE: Yamil “Yam Yam” Arocho, Carson Garrett, Helen Li, Sarah Wade, Carolyn Wiger
Keep refreshing/reloading this “Survivor 44” live blog for the most recent updates.
8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Survivor’!” Prior to the first Tribal Council of the season, Maddy made a last-ditch attempt to turn the Ratu vote on Brandon, who earlier in the episode had very publicly gained possession of their “birdcage idol.” Maddy was blindsided at TC when both Jaime and Matthew sacrificed their votes to play their Shot in the Dark advantages, Lauren sacrificed her vote with a new Bank Your Vote advantage, and Brandon played his idol to nullify the two votes against him from Maddy and Kane. That left only one vote in play — Brandon’s vote to oust Maddy. Ouch! Who will be voted out tonight?
8:01 p.m. – When Ratu got back from Tribal Council, Matthew was feeling like “tribal could not have gone better” while Kane thought it couldn’t have gone worse. Matthew congratulated Jaime on being the first player to ever “successfully” play the Shot in the Dark and then admitted in a confessional that his own play of the advantage was strategy to avoid having to cast a vote in either Maddy or Brandon’s direction. He sees it as a positive that he can move forward with no one knowing which side has his true allegiance, but Kane is left as the only player on the tribe that voted against Brandon. Despite being confused at Kane’s vote, Brandon decided to downplay how upset he was in order to “act cool, calm and collected” in front of everyone at camp.
8:03 p.m. – The next morning at Soka, Matt opened up to his tribe about how he was broken up with shortly before the start of filming. In a confessional he explained how he started the game in a “vulnerable state,” especially considering he lost his next two votes on the journey. Even though he says he’s started the game so horribly, the connection he found to Frannie is keeping his spirits up. Matt was clearly developing a crush on Frannie and following her around camp, which did not go unnoticed by the rest of the tribe or Frannie. After Matt opened up to Frannie about the truth of how he lost two votes, she decided to try to distance herself from him in order to not make the rest of the tribe think they’re too paired up. Still, the two of them were on Claire’s radar as a “liability for Frannie.”
8:07 p.m. – The members of Tika were still very much concerned with the birdcage at camp and wanted to resolve what to do about it. They decided it was in everyone’s best interest to go on a search for the key together. Though they were searching together, secretly each player felt pressure to be the one to find the key in order to score the advantage for themselves. Meanwhile, at Ratu, feeling the heat of his vote on Brandon, Kane was out and about looking for the idol that is historically put back into the wild after it’s used. The other four members of Ratu discussed how desperate Kane is, inherently placing him on the outside of the tribe.
8:10 p.m. – Back at Soka, Danny was the player looking hardest for the key to the birdcage while the rest of the tribe was content to play it cool. While everyone else was back at camp not looking, Danny found the key in a tree trunk without anyone else knowing.
8:16 p.m. – After Carolyn came across a snake on her search for the key, the rest of the Tika tribe was spooked into returning to camp. Carolyn kept on alone which gave her the opportunity to find their key. With the key in her pocket, Carolyn returned to camp to tell the others that she couldn’t find anything – “just snakes.”
8:18 p.m. – When the opportunity presented itself for Danny to go to the birdcage alone, he did. Remaining calm, he was able to retrieve the package inside and find both the real immunity idol and the note that explained the separate coin was a decoy that had no power whatsoever. He put the coin back in the package and returned the package to the birdcage just before Claire and Matt went to the birdcage to investigate if it had been found. Carolyn’s approach to the birdcage was very different. In her own opportunity to get to the birdcage, Carolyn rushed in and out with the package in her pants. Once she realized that she couldn’t leave the cage empty, she quickly pulled out the contents of the package, ran back to the birdcage and haphazardly returned the empty package inside and locked it back up.
8:21 p.m. – In a confessional, Carolyn held up a silver coin on a string, calling it her immunity idol and then some beads that she said “have no power.” Unlike Danny, she did not hold up a real immunity idol or read the full note to the camera. Meanwhile, the four members of Carolyn’s tribe returned to the cage and immediately noticed that the package looked different as if it had been opened. Not suspecting Carolyn of opening it, the four players all looked at one another as the culprits. They agreed to return to camp to empty their bags to prove that they don’t have it. Yam Yam said Carolyn definitely doesn’t have it, Carson thought Helen looked most suspicious, Yam Yam felt a nervousness from Sarah, and Sarah clocked Yam Yam as her biggest suspect. When they showed the birdcage to Carolyn, she played off her own surprise and no one seemed wise to the fact that Carolyn might in fact have found it.
8:28 p.m. – For their next reward/immunity challenge, Soka made the decision to once again sit Claire out. The remaining five players from each tribe competed in an obstacle course of nets, bridges and ladders that ended with a snake-and-ball maze to be completed by one player. For reward the first tribe to finish would earn a full fishing gear set and the second tribe to finish would get a mask and snorkel. The third tribe would have to give up their flint and head to Tribal Council that night to vote someone out.
8:31 p.m. – Danny led the charge for a leading Soka tribe who were first to pass through the obstacles and reach the ball maze. Tika pulled into second place with Ratu once again falling behind. Josh handled the snake maze for Soka and Sarah for Tika. After the other two tribes already started on the maze, Matthew finally got started on it for Ratu. Making no errors and moving quickly, Matthew passed Josh and caught up with Sarah in order to get in the lead and win the challenge for Ratu! Looking for second place, Sarah dropped her ball 2/3 of the way up, opening the door for Josh to make a go for it and sink the ball for Soka! Josh’s success sealed Tika’s fate, sending Sarah and the rest of her tribe to vote someone out.
8:42 p.m. – At the end of the challenge, Matthew told Jeff in front of everyone that his success at the snake maze could be attributed to having built a version of that maze at home in order to prepare for the game. Back at his own camp, Carson reflected on that and said in a confessional that he, too, had built versions of the challenges at home (on his 3D printer), but was smartly deciding to keep that to himself so that others don’t see him as a threat. He was also hiding from the others that he’s a rocket scientist in order to downplay how intelligent he is.
8:44 p.m. – Helen and Carson discussed their options for the vote, landing on Carolyn as the player they feel they would be least confident moving forward with. They got on the “same page” with Yam Yam and Sarah later. Having lost her vote for this Tribal Council, Sarah knew that she had to “lock in” with three others to secure a vote against someone. Yam Yam had a different plan though, deciding that he enjoys Carolyn’s energy and wants to play the game alongside her more than some of the others. When he spoke with Carolyn, they decided together that Helen was the player that should go home.
8:46 p.m. – Carolyn and Yam Yam went to Carson with the plan to vote out Helen. Carson was on board with that plan as well, at least superficially. Carolyn was not confident that Carson was solidly with them, thinking that he and the other two could be using the Helen vote as a shield against actually voting her out. Later, Carson reiterated his allegiance with Helen and Sarah to vote out Carolyn, but then doubled back to reassure Yam Yam and Carolyn that he’s voting with them against Helen.
8:52 p.m. – At Tribal Council, everyone agreed that there was fear and tension all day at camp surrounding what plans others were making when you weren’t around. Jeff addressed the topic of “tribe strength,” to which there was differing opinions about whether challenge strength of loyalty strength is more important going forward. At one point Carolyn began to cry, but was backed up by Yam Yam who said that her emotional reactions to everything (like ripe papayas) is one of her strengths of character. Carolyn said she’s so happy to be out there playing and she’s scared of being voted out.
8:56 p.m. – After the votes were cast and no one played an idol or advantage, Jeff read the votes: Carolyn, Helen, Helen, Helen. Having no vote of her own to use, Sarah was just as blindsided by the votes to send Helen home, leaving her wondering what Yam Yam and Carson had done.
NEXT TIME: Kane is still feeling the pressure being on the outside of Ratu, Matt and Frannie are still a “liability” at Soka, and Danny somersaults into what looks like another advantage clue that he… eats?
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