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“Survivor” Season 46, Episode 9, Reviewed

On April 24, “Survivor” released episode nine of season 46. This episode was heavily influenced by the events of the previous tribal council, which clearly showed Hunter and Q were on the run.

Q’s attempt to quit on the previous tribe angered the other players due to the unnecessary chaos and confusion it caused. Q felt genuinely guilty for complicating the mood by telling people that Tevin was going home; he tried to fall on his sword. However, he lost a lot of respect and may not have a chance to win now. I feel sorry for Q because I like him a lot, but I also understand where his fellow castaways are coming from. It’s hard to get on Survivor, so threatening to quit is disrespectful to anyone who would kill to be on the show. I’ve always been anti-quitters on Survivor, but now I feel conflicted. I’ve never been as big a fan of a potential quitter as I was of Q. Q’s original Yanu tribe members, Kenzie and Tiffany, were furious with him. Before that tribal, Q told Maria and Charlie about Tiffany’s idol, which came back to Tiffany during Tribal. Kenzie and Tiffany can no longer trust him: that bridge has been burned.

Liz was angry with Q for another reason. She was the main motivator of the Tevin blindside, but Q’s wild tribal actions overshadowed her move. Liz blindsided Tevin to stake her claim as a power player in the game and was frustrated that Q took that spotlight away from her. In ‘Survivor’ it is usually better to make strategic moves behind the scenes, but I understand why Liz wants to be in the spotlight a bit; she fears being seen as a passive player if she makes it to the end. Unfortunately, women in “Survivor” are often viewed in this light.

The Survivors then learned that they had to split into three groups of three for the immunity challenge. Since they were all fans of the game, they knew that these groups would compete against each other until there was one group, and then the members of the final group would compete for immunity. Q tried to get Charlie to take the challenge early to eliminate Hunter’s chance at immunity, but Charlie wasn’t interested. He wanted to win.

The groups were Ben, Kenzie and Tiffany; Charlie, Maria and Hunter; and Liz, Q and Venus. In the first part of the challenge, Survivors crossed a long see-saw, releasing two handles halfway through. They then used the handles to transfer a buoy over a balance beam. Once they had the buoys, they had to dig out three rope rungs before they could continue. Kenzie struggled with this, which led to her group’s elimination.

In the next section, the participants used their rope sports to build a rope bridge. Once all three players had climbed over their bridge, they could continue. Hunter, Charlie and Maria did this the fastest. The last part was pure endurance. Charlie, Maria and Hunter had to stand on a small wooden perch pressed against a wooden plank. The last one standing would win immunity. It looked incredibly awkward, but the Survivors held on for a while. It came down to Hunter and Charlie, with Charlie shocking everyone by taking out the most dominant player of the season. He won immunity, leaving Hunter vulnerable.

Throughout this episode, Q and Hunter were noticeably at the bottom. At that point, everyone knew that Hunter was the biggest physical threat on the island. To make matters worse, his second best ally (Liz) blindsided his closest ally (Tevin). Hunter didn’t really have anyone on his side, so he was overjoyed when Kenzie brought up the possibility of a blindside. Tiffany’s idol threatened her, so Kenzie wanted to take Tiffany when she least expected it. Ben, Charlie, Maria and Venus were also on board with the plan.

However, Tiffany became concerned. She knew people were now aware of her idol and told Charlie she wanted to play it to get the target off her. The threat of idols deterred the coalition from writing its name. They turned towards Hunter, as he was a bigger threat than Q. He was better in the challenges, and Q’s antics in the last Tribal gave Q an extremely long shot at ultimately winning the judges’ favor.

However, Hunter was also feeling antsy! He saw this group blindside Tevin in the previous vote – he never saw it coming. Hunter told Liz, Kenzie and Venus that he had an idol and would be playing it that night. Some believed him, and some thought Hunter was bluffing. However, this conversation took place right before Tribal, so there wasn’t much time to change plans.

In the end, Tiffany and Hunter chose to hold on to their idols. Tiffany made the right decision, and Hunter made the wrong one. The first vote was a 4-4-1 vote between Hunter and Q, with Q voting for Ben. The revote was 6-1, sending Hunter home. Going home with an idol is one of the toughest outcomes in the game, but I can’t blame Hunter for his decision. “Survivor” is a game full of risks, and surviving that voice with an idol would have been exponentially better than surviving that voice without. His gamble could have paid off enormously, but unfortunately it didn’t.

With Hunter gone, the physical threats in the game diminish. Tune in next week to see if the Tribe follows the trend and takes out Q, or if a blindside is in order.