Survivor Recap: A Crushing Defeat Sets Up a Potentially Big Blindside — Did Social Savvy Sink [Spoiler]’s Game?

Wednesday’s two-hour episode of Survivor was filled with tears, drama, hurt feelings and the potential for what could’ve been one wild blindside. With the crosshairs slowly shifting Kenzie’s way, were the social butterfly’s wings clipped for good? Let’s break it all down.

Kenzie’s social prowess is clearly out in the open. She’s made relationships with everyone on her tribe, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Q and Tiffany. She even tries planting seeds with Jess and Bhanu as a way to keep all her options open. But all that conversation does is make Jess realize how dangerous Kenzie is, since she can easily “make you feel like you’re her best friend.” So what does Jess do? She runs straight to Q and spills the beans on Kenzie’s pitch to vote out the strongest people.

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Over at NAMI, Tevin and Soda don’t trust Venus one bit. Venus can tell that Tevin doesn’t like her, and since he seems to be one of the biggest personalities there and the top of the food chain, she thinks she’s more or less screwed. “It feels like I’m not even worth talking to,” she says through tears. She says she’s struggling to connect emotionally, possibly due to the others’ perceptions of her, but she realizes that no one’s really making an effort to play or get to know her.

She does, however, connect with Randen, who after finding the idol box, wants to share that info to form a bond with someone. He also sees how the hierarchy on the tribe is shaking out, so he figures why not share the idol news with the one person (Venus) he didn’t really trust from the get-go. It’s a risk, but it’s one he’s willing to take. Elsewhere on Nami, Liz can’t stop talking about the many businesses she owns and how she really doesn’t need the money whatsoever. Let’s give her one loud Carolyn Wiger-style: “GURL!”

SURVIVOR 46 Episode 2
SURVIVOR 46 Episode 2

At the SIGA beach, oh my… ladies and gentlemen, MALCOLM AND DENISE ARE BACK!!! Well, maybe not in the form of the dynamic duo from Survivor: Philippines, but a 2.0 version of that powerhouse alliance has indeed formed. Since Maria secured an extra vote, the men want to pull her into their group. But with “Charlie’s Angels” percolating as well, it seems that Maria and Charlie are caught in the middle, prompting the latter to approach the former about becoming the Denise to his Malcolm. And you know what? I… kind of love this duo? Maria is a total badass, socially and in challenges, and Charlie? He can name every song in Taylor Swift’s discography! (Sorry, Swifties, but that’s not gonna be of any use if you’re ever stranded on a deserted island.) He does beat Ben in a song-naming challenge (Ben chose Metallica as his musical artist for this exercise), but unfortunately for the young buck, that doesn’t earn him a trip to the Survivor Sanctuary or, well, anything at all.

IMMUNITY IS BACK UP FOR GRABS | The tribes must guide a wagon along a course, carrying a set of treasure chests that are filled with… puzzle pieces! (“Pretends to be shocked” GIF here.) While all three teams struggle to dig out these excruciatingly heavy boxes, I couldn’t help but love Moriah and Liz nerding out over each other’s glasses and socks on the sit-out bench. While there does feel like there’s a decent amount of filler in these stretched-out two-hour episodes, it’s little moments like these that help make the players more endearing. (Could’ve done without Liz’s “Nami” chants though, but whatever.)

These puzzle blocks look so heavy, making for disaster after disaster after disaster. Not a single tribe seems capable of balancing the letters up long enough to complete the word (the letters must form an arch that stands on its own), which quickly leads to panic, sweat and in Tiffany’s case, unbridled screaming. Nami finally gets its act together (which leads to even more shrieks), but when the hellacious challenge comes to a close, it’s Yanu that’s heading to Tribal Council once again.

TOE-RN APART | The Nami tribe gets back to camp looking to pop some pretend champagne, but a moody and injured Venus isn’t having it. No one listened to her, she says, which led to the giant wagon steamrolling right over her toe. (Why didn’t they show the injury, I wonder? If you’re so hurt, Venus, rip off that sneak’ and get some sympathy points!) Venus is right to air her concerns, but her chosen manner and timing of it all seemed a bit… off. It has to be hard feeling like you’re playing from the bottom, but there must’ve been another way to deliver her message without all of the defensiveness and… whatever else that was.

YANU CRACKS | After a devastating loss, Tiffany goes off on her own to cry it out, worried about how the other tribes may have perceived her. Bhanu tells Jess that it’s going to be one of them. But wait! Jess could find an idol, right?! Well, a fake one, anyway. Using Jelinsky’s water bottle beads, Kenzie fashions a decent fake idol, and using Tiffany’s real idol clue, they plant it in the rocks for Jess to find. After that’s a big fail, the group decides to have Q give the idol to Jess under the guise of securing her vote. And as Q tells us, he might even set the target on Kenzie. To Jess’ credit, the woman isn’t stupid — she’s well aware that the idol could be fake. She puts in one hell of an effort to try and convince Bhanu and Q to help her vote Kenzie out. But is Q playing them both?

SURVIVOR 46 Episode 2
SURVIVOR 46 Episode 2

TRIBAL COUNCIL | Tiffany tells Jeff that the tribe needs to think about who they can play with after the tribe portion ends. Jess says they need to be realistic, and that she and Kenzie have been tippy-toeing around strategy talk. She notes that everybody thinks Kenzie is their BFF and that she’ll eventually eat everyone alive. As Jess is talking, she’s smiling and soft-spoken, but Kenzie appropriately clocks it as an attack. (Which, let’s be real, it is!) But seriously, was that not the nicest way of throwing someone under the bus possible? Adorable!

Jeff calls out Bhanu for being forward (too forward) with his thoughts and feelings both at challenges and at Tribal. After all, they might be banking on Jess not playing her Shot in the Dark. Bhanu says he can keep a tight lid on things, buuuut he hasn’t shown even the slightest inkling of that. While we are teased with a Kenzie blindside and a Bhanu banishment (oops, wrong show), Jess tries to play the fake idol and is denied from our hostmaster general. She’s then ousted from the game by a vote of 4-1.

Did you think a Kenzie blindside was a sureshot? Is there any hope for the Yanu tribe? You know what to do. Go full tilt boogie in that comments section!

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