This article contains spoilers for Season 42 of “Survivor.”
Usually in the episode after a dramatic vote-out in Survivor there’s a lot of good, juicy drama and petty fights among the remaining players at the camp. With Lydia’s blindside in episode seven, this installment should’ve been one of those deliciously disastrous episodes. And since Lydia was my #1 fave, giving me some good entertainment after her vote-out was the least the series could do. Unfortunately, episode eight was a flop.
The only drama we get from the fallout of episode seven is the people left out of the majority vote feeling… left out. I mean, duh. Maryanne, Romeo, Chanelle and Tori all seem to be very hurt and caught off guard to find themselves at the bottom of the tribe, but this was no surprise for the audience. These people have already been the main targets for the last three episodes; telling me how tragic their positions were did nothing for me.
Maybe Jeff Probst knew there was a lack of entertainment at camp, because he gives us a lot to unpack by aggressively breaking the fourth wall two times. He explains before the reward challenge that he’s hiding a secret advantage under the sit out bench and menacingly expresses how upset and disappointed he’ll be if the player who sits out doesn’t find it. Okay, Jeff. We get it. You want to see people use advantages! There’s nothing I can do about it though, so I don’t know why I’m being scolded.
Luckily for Jeff, Drea sits out and finds the advantage. This at least adds something interesting and kind of funny to the episode, seeing as Drea already has a bajillion advantages in her pocket (okay, it’s four, but that’s a record for Survivor). Tori almost catches Drea in the act of obtaining her latest advantage, which got my hopes up for more drama, but alas, it leads nowhere.
Before the immunity challenge, Jeff breaks the fourth wall again to tell us he’s going to give contestants a chance to exchange their chance at immunity for rice. Then he reminds us that even though he’s going to give them rice, he’s not a softie and future Survivor players shouldn’t expect him to be so kind.
Maryanne, Lindsay, Drea and Omar all end up sitting out of the challenge in exchange for rice for the tribe. It’s a really underwhelming negotiation considering I have no faith that any of those players would’ve been able to win the challenge anyway. Tori wins immunity. Like most parts of this episode, I felt ‘meh’ about this immunity win. I don’t like Tori, but I’m not worried about her winning the game over one of my faves, so she can stay.
Since Tori has immunity and Maryanne graciously gave up her spot in the challenge for rice, the targets of this episode’s vote are naturally Chanelle and Romeo. Chanelle is meant to be the main choice to go home, and Romeo is the backup vote in case Chanelle has an immunity idol.
In the hours before tribal council, Romeo gets paranoid and starts scrambling for allies. Everyone in the majority alliance, namely Hai, gets pissed at Romeo for being paranoid (even though he definitely has a right to be) and starts to consider if Romeo should be the main vote target instead. This is supposed to be the juicy drama of the episode, but it’s forced and predictable.
The whole time this controversy is going on, I’m just wondering, “Why not vote for Jonathan?” Jonathan is so irritating and he eats larger portions of food than anyone else on the tribe. In my favorite season of Survivor, Season 20: Heroes vs. Villains, fan-favorite player James was voted out for eating too many bananas and he wasn’t even half as annoying as Jonathan is.
In the end, Chanelle goes home and I’m rolling my eyes.
Editor's Note: This was previously listed as a recap of season 42, episode 7 of "Survivor," but this is a recap of season 42, episode 8, which aired April 20.