What just happened?! Whenever there is an extra long, double episode of Survivor scheduled, you know that something BIG is about to happen. Betrayal. Injury. Blindside. The shock is well worth the wait. But this time around, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X brought back a voting moment we haven’t seen in a while: A rock tiebreaker!
Voting ties happen every so often in Survivor – it’s just part of the game for the castaways to be deadlock. A large majority of the times it’s because they’ve split the votes to flush out an idol or one was used to cancel votes. This week saw the castaways genuinely stuck between either voting out Zeke or Hannah, with none of the players flipping on the vote or agreeing to be unanimous. The elimination went to rocks and Jessica unfortunately picked the black rock.
Did anyone else’s heart break after she revealed her rock? Jessica was never on my list of potential winners for Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, but she seemed like a nice and kind-hearted person who genuinely loved the game. It was devastating to watch the realization appear on her face that her game was over.
I’m a diehard Survivor fan and I know I would be equally (if not more so) crushed to know my game ended because of rocks. (I mean…ROCKS!) Still, as a diehard Survivor fan, I can’t deny that this was one of the best and most dramatic Tribal Council moments we’ve seen in a while. The elimination was so up in the air that this could’ve been anyone who drew the rock. The game clearly could go in any direction at this point, and I love that.
Her elimination definitely outshined the first elimination of the night. Before Jessica’s vote off, there was Chris’ vote the round before (first half of the long episode). His vote off was more easily defined and explainable with the Millennials shifting to another voting bloc to get him out. But the big topic of debate is the new Survivor terminology that Hannah created (much to Bret’s disgust): a “Trust Cluster.”
Based on their description and explanation, a “trust cluster” seems to be a group of people and/or alliances that team up to work together in a grouping that is based on trust and a necessity. It is more stable than a voting bloc (groups of alliances and/or players who team up for a Tribal Council or two to vote certain people out) but less strong/committal than an alliance (more based on finale deals). In my opinion, it sounds similar to a voting bloc but the difference seems to be more based on a longer term scenario or in the event of who you can trust in that moment. We’ll see if this term continues beyond the season or if it was simply a one-and-done.
The competitions this episode were pretty top notch. Overlooking the typical swimming challenge and the balancing immunity challenge, the two new introductions of the snake relay and the blind puzzle were fun to watch. The snake challenge in particular looks simple enough, but in reality it’s a physically demanding challenge that requires a physical and mental aspect with the puzzle. We need more of these challenges interspersed with the generic balancing immunity challenges. Even the blind maze, which is really simply in concept, was entertaining watching the contestants fail at getting their key out of the puzzle.
With the end of this episode (Day 30), only nine castaways are left. I’d bet my money this will be a Final Three year – there are just too many players left within the short amount of episodes. The game is getting down to the wire and we’re starting to see the true sides of these players. How is it in an episode where Bret comes out to Zeke and they bond over this fact/Zeke is proud of his own accomplishments, we have them mock David at Tribal Council over his emotional moments and anxiety? Yes, David does use it as a crutch and he’s self-deprecating, but it is never right to belittle someone because of the root cause. It’s bullying, and I expected better of them.
On the flip side, Hannah and Ken are becoming more confident, and Sunday is pulling in the reins to be more of a leader. If things don’t turn against her, she’s looking like the best bet to win. That is, unless this voting bloc/trust cluster/alliance world doesn’t shake up the tribe yet again. Who am I kidding?! I would LOVE to see that happen again! Bring on more episodes like this.