Posts Tagged ‘survivor 44’

“Survivor 44” Premiere Recap – Scary Accident Eliminates One Player from the Game

March 1, 2023
“Survivor 44” (CBS)

Welcome to, my personal blog where I’ll be posting “Survivor” episode recaps all season long. For exit interviews with all of the eliminated players and the RETURN of the “Survivor” Power Rankings, be sure to check out my YouTube channel!

Survivors, Ready?!

Holy cow, we kick things off with production trying to explain to Carolyn how testimonial interviews work. And…it’s…amazing. 

From there, we’ve got three boats, filled with six people each (all wearing similar colors), speeding down the Fijian coast. First up, we get to meet…

  • Carson who describes the many spreadsheets that are going to help him…excel…in the game. (I hate myself for that.)
  • Claire who is used to giving people money as a venture capitalist. So…like a professional “Survivor” juror?
  • Jaime who believes in speaking things into existence. And uses a fun “Bing” noise to express this talent. OK…
  • Yam Yam who is so excited to see Jeff, not eat, not shower, and poop in the ocean. In that order?
  • Josh who wasn’t supposed to live through childhood. Yikes, tough testimonial to follow Yam Yam’s pooping.
  • Frannie who loves taking tests. 
  • Bruce who is all energy.

Finally, Jeff Probst welcomes us to “Survivor 44.”

Aww…I miss the catchphrase.

39 26 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Ratu Tribe (wearing orange)

  • Brandon, 30 – Security Specialist
  • Jaime, 35 – Yogi
  • Lauren, 31 – Elementary School Teacher
  • Kane, 25 – Law Student
  • Maddy, 28 – Charity Projects Manager
  • Matthew, 43 – Barbershop Owner

The Soka Tribe (wearing green)

  • Claire, 25 – Tech Investor
  • Danny 32 – Firefighter
  • Frannie, 23 – Research Coordinator
  • Heidi, 29 – Engineering Manager
  • Josh, 34 – Surgical Podiatrist
  • Matt, 27 – Security Software Engineer

The Tika Tribe (wearing purple)

  • Bruce, 46 – Insurance Agent
  • Carolyn, 35 – Drug Counselor
  • Carson, 20 – NASA Engineering Student
  • Helen, 29 – Project Manager
  • Sarah, 27 – Management Consultant
  • Yam Yam, 36 – Salon Owner

The trio finally reaches the beach where Probst welcomes them with a wonderful speech about “Survivor” and what it asks of its contestants.

He then says he’s going to “birth” them into this game with the first reward challenge. Not sure how I feel about that terminology. But, it’s been 23 years, I figure Jeff has earned the right to get a little weird.

Reward Challenge Time: One pair from each tribe will run through obstacles and retrieve a pair of puzzle pieces. Then, the next pair will go until each player has retrieved one puzzle piece. From there, two people will complete the puzzle. Once the puzzle is completed, one player will race to toss rings off of a high pole. 

The first tribe to complete these tasks will get a pot, a machete, and flint.

The second tribe gets to decide between the “sweat” and “savvy” tasks back at camp. The losing tribe gets what is left. I like that twist.

Result: There was a scary moment early on where Bruce busted his head open against one of the obstacles. Medical was called in, and fortunately he was able to stay in the game.

Once the game resumed, Yam Yam and Carson were the first to complete the puzzle for Tika. With Soka finishing it second. Jaime and Lauren had real problems, but eventually figured it out.

Weirdly, Carolyn did a terrible job with her tribe’s rings. She legitimately stopped to take off her pants at one point. Soka and Ratu are both able to pass her and claim first and second place respectively. 

At Soka Beach

The green group seems to be the Kumbaya tribe early on with everyone declaring that none of them are “Too cool for school.” Danny thinks that’s a double-edged sword as there are no easy targets.

Later on, they discover a mysterious padlocked birdcage. The first assumption is that it must contain the Beware Advantage.

Everybody assumes Danny will be the fire maker, but Heidi manages to strike up a fire in no time. Also, why would you assume a fire fighter is good at starting fire? I’d think it’s the opposite.

In other news, Frankie and Matt seem to be bonding. Ooh…and he’s just out of a relationship. Rebound! They form an early alliance.

At Ratu Beach

The sextet is greeted by the choice between “Sweat” and “Savvy” to claim their supplies. “Sweat” is a process of systematically moving coconuts along the beach with the net they’re holding getting heavier and heavier at each station. They’re given four hours to make it happen. 

“Savvy” is a brain teaser where they’ll only receive fifteen minutes and a single guess.

A good point is made that the other tribe is short a person due to Bruce’s injury.  But, they’re more comfortable moving coconuts than they are completing a puzzle they’ve never seen before. So, “Sweat” it is!

Matthew and Brandon are assigned to complete this task. And it seems to be off to a good start. But as advertised, it keeps getting harder and harder. They manage to pull it off with just a little bit of time to spare. 

At Tika Beach

Team Purple isn’t thrilled that they’re going to be doing the puzzle. But, Helen steps up because she enjoys brain teasers. Nobody wants to help her with this project, but Carson is kind of nominated against his will. It’s the glasses, right?

The puzzle involves counting rings in a sphere. The duo comes up with 18 and they are…correct!

While they’re figuring this out, the other four discover the mysterious birdcage. And, Carolyn thinks it makes her weird that she’s trying to figure out how to get the advantage without the key. I had the exact same thought. There must be a rule against it, or I’d be looking for a heavy boulder.

Oh no, Carolyn and I are having the same thoughts.

Later on, the tribe discusses their love lives and we learn that Carson has never been on a date before. Well, being hunky on national TV should fix that, buddy.

That night, Bruce is suffering from a severe headache. Medical is called in once again and the decision is made to pull him from the game.

Gah…hate to see that.

Matthew’s Moment

Oh boy…they’re going to follow a med-evac with the horrific fall we saw during the “Survivor 43” finale?!

We get to see Matthew leading his tribe and building a shelter. He tells us about his mother and his son and his husband.

And then we see him climbing a giant rock formation…

As foretold, he loses his grip and absolutely wipes out. He’s pretty sure he dislocated his shoulder and cut himself up. He pops his shoulder back into place, but he’s got a pretty severe cut on his foot.

Medical is brought in and they put him in a sling. Boy, medical has had more screen time this episode than Purple Kelly had in all of “Survivor: Nicaragua.”

The Tika Trio

With Bruce out of the game, it looks like Carson, Sarah, and Helen are working together. 

And, nobody outside of Yam Yam is talking to Carolyn. Between her challenge performance and her…unique…personality, it’s pretty clear that she’s in trouble. Wow, there’s just nowhere to hide in a five-person tribe.

The First Excursion

All three of the tribes are given the chance to send a member away on a little outing. The Tika and Soka tribes draw straws with Sarah and Matt getting to go. While Ratu pays tribute to “Survivor” tradition and draws rocks. Lauren gets the nod, but she confesses that she put the rocks in the bag, so she knew which rock was which. Sneaky sneaky…

The trio arrives at an island where they have to split up to play the game. They’ll reach into a bag that has three packages. If they get an advantage, they get an advantage. If they lose their vote, they lose their vote. If they lose their vote, they can choose to pull again, but if they get the second lose your vote, they won’t be able to vote for the next two Tribal Councils.

They have to pull a package no matter what. They can’t opt out and just keep their vote.

Sarah loses her first vote. She draws again and gets the “Inheritance” advantage. When she plays this new twist, she will receive all of the advantages and idols that are played at that Tribal. Huh…that sounds powerful.

Matt loses his first vote as well. He draws again and loses his second vote. Oof…

Lauren immediately gets the “Bank Your Vote” advantage, this allows her to secretly not vote at one Tribal and then keep the parchment to vote twice at a later Tribal. Meh…

Cagey Maneuver

As soon as Lauren leaves, her tribemates start hunting for the key…which Brandon finds! He tried to be nonchalant about it, but Maddy totally knows what happened. So, he lets her in on the secret.

They can’t really come to a consensus about what to do with the key, so they tell everyone about it. Maddy takes this as a sign that Brandon doesn’t want to work with her.

The quintet opens the cage to find a hidden immunity idol and a fake immunity idol. 

Brandon immediately regrets this decision as it puts a target on his back.

Sharing the Stories

When Matt returns to his beach, he tells them he only lost his vote for one Tribal Council.

Sarah tells the tribe that it was similar to previous seasons, and she isn’t sure if she’ll have a vote at the next Tribal or not.

Lauren tells the truth about the bank your vote advantage, but tells them she lost and won’t be able to vote at the next Tribal.

Immunity Challenge Time: The tribes will row a boat around a buoy, then leave the boat and carry a heavy chest to shore. From there, they’ll pull it along a track. They’ll open the chest to find the keys that unlock a giant slide puzzle. The first two tribes to complete the puzzle will win immunity.  The losing tribe will also forfeit their flint. 

Before the challenge starts, Probst lets everyone know that Bruce has been checked out at a hospital and is fine.

Quick Aside: The immunity idols are a sword and a shield, and they’re pretty awesome.

Sitting Out: Matthew and Claire

Result: Holy cow, Medical was called in again to check on Brandon! And I get it, I’ve been on location, I’ve participated in these kinds of physical challenges. Hopefully it’s just a string of rough luck.

Anywho, the challenge is stopped. And once we’re sure that Brandon is going to be OK, they continue without him. Soka wins first place and Tika claims second.

Oh…and Matthew and Claire were chatting during the challenge. And during the conversation, Claire lets Matthew know that if Lauren had really lost her vote, she would have something to show them. Uh oh…

So, between Brandon having to bail on the challenge and Lauren clearly caught in a lie, we probably have an early look at the chopping block.

Pre-Tribal Politicking 

Matthew immediately lets Brandon know the little tidbit he learned from Heidi. And once word gets around, Lauren becomes a popular target.

Maddy, however, isn’t quite ready to get over the fact that Brandon didn’t want to work with her. She wants to go for him and immediately flush that idol.

And during the back and forth, Jaime is already debating playing her Shot in the Dark, even though her name hasn’t come up. Yikes…that kind of paranoia cost us Lindsey last season.

Tribal Time

Before things get underway, there’s some business about fire representing your life.

And then…vague vague vague…

Until Jaime declares that she’s going to play her Shot in the Dark. Her belief is that it won’t matter if she does or not if the things she has been told are true.

What?! Who’s targeting Jaime? And why?

Voting Time: No votes are shown, but Kane thinks the voting booth is dope. Also, Lauren banks her vote and Jaime does indeed play her Shot in the Dark.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an advantage and…both Matthew and Jaime have played their Shots in the Dark. So…there are only three active votes this Tribal?

Matthew is…not safe.

Jaime is…safe! Finally! 

This encourages Brandon to play his idol. So…Jaime was the target? Possibly? Who knows?!

What a mess.

We’ve got two votes for Brandon, and the second person eliminated from “Survivor 44” is…Maddy.

Verdict: Alright, let’s start with that Tribal. What a mess. I totally get why Brandon was targeted, why Maddy was targeted, etc. But I have no idea why Jaime and Matthew felt the need to roll their dice? Just extreme paranoia?

And all that aside, I’m psyched. Love this cast.

So, I guess I need a winner pick…it’s gotta be Kane! (That’s for you wrestling fans.)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a-.jpgKane – Looks like you’re coming out of that fiasco with the least amount of stink on you.
Claire – Love the move of making inroads with the other tribe at the sit-out bench.
Carson, Helen, and Sarah – A three-person alliance in the five-person tribe. Not bad.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is b.jpgJaime – I don’t want to go too low with your grade, because I’m assuming there’s a lot we didn’t see. 
Yam Yam – He’s not in his tribe’s dominant alliance, but he has some room to maneuver. And he’s so friggin’ lovable. 
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is b-.jpgBrandon – Good on you for using the idol correctly. But you’d have been in a much better position if you had just worked with Maddy. Now you’ve got no idol and your tribe is in shambles.
Matthew – Not sure what you were thinking. But, you should know better than risking serious injury just for funsies. 
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is c.jpgMatt and Frannie – In this day and age a showmance seems like a terrible idea. Especially when one of you won’t be voting at the first two Tribals.
Lauren – I like Lauren a lot, but I worry that she’s going too sneaky, too quickly. I have no idea what the fallout will be from tonight’s vote. But having Maddy gone won’t be good for her game.
Carolyn – A bad performance in the first challenge, awkward exchanges around camp. You’re a tailor-made first boot.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is incomplete.jpgDanny, Heidi and Josh – I can’t grade you correctly if I don’t see your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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