The merge on Survivor brings hard gaming and an extended commercial

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Previously on Survivor, they were undefeated at Yawa, Joe found an idol, JP and Ali were on the bottom and Ali was sent home.

First, a word on our sponsor. I haven’t seen such blatant corporate synergy attempts on Survivor in years. Of course, it’s a reasonable idea, considering that the players were starving and craved protein and cooked food. I just found it amusing how frequently Probst and the players kept mentioning various slogans and menu items. I’m not opposed to product placement, even obvious ones like here.

Whatever keeps Survivor on the air longer, sure, go for it. It’s not like it’s new, they did it in the first season. I have a strong suspicion that there was a pre-merge or post-merge reward challenge that was cancelled because everyone was so hungry. Or it was a big fakeout, that’s possible too. Hard to say, but I like Probst trolling the players.

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So … why did Jessica lose? I think it was a simple matter of numbers this time. Ben and Lauren were the pivot votes, the reason it was Jessica voted out and not Chrissy. Both Jessica and Chrissy had arrogant confessionals or actions, with Jessica calling herself the Queen Bee, and Chrissy getting a bit too obvious with Ben. I liked Ben’s note of “secretly” that made me chortle a bit.

Jessica’s blindness about Cole certainly didn’t help, and really it just became about her being the third target, and thus not the obvious one. The anti-Healer alliance knew that Joe was the danger along with his likely idol, and that Cole and Jessica were aligned. As Dr. Mike noted, everyone was playing, and it really came down to one alliance managing to get Ben and Lauren on their side.

Clearly they ended up agreeing with each other on votes, turning their backs on their former Yawa teammates. It’s tough to say whether or not it was the right move, but I think it was smart, for the most part. The only problem is that Chrissy is a savvy player, while Joe is a very out there player. He’s smart but a bit too hard of a player.

Dr. Mike had a mostly positive episode, with only his speech at Tribal problematic, as it seemed to trigger Joe taking out his idol. That was a bad idea, as he wasted it, although it’s always the “safe” move to play on yourself. Ryan and Devon seem to be sincere with their connection, so that’s a potential for something too.

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The Immunity Challenge was a fun new one, just because it was different and I liked Probst’s jokes about math. Desi performed very well, but we’ll see if it makes her a target. It was a pretty good episode, so hopefully this is the upturn for quality on this season.

Survivor airs Wednesday at 8:00 PM on CBS.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us what you think!


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