“Survivor 41” Episode 6 Recap – When Is a Merge Not a Merge?

“Survivor 41” (CBS)

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Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor 41”

Last Week: Idols were activated, which left Naseer, Xander, and Shan elated, and Genie was eliminated…

39 26 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

Alright, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Luvu Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Danny, 33 – Former NFL Player
  • Deshawn, 26 – Medical Student
  • Erika, 31 – Communications Manager
  • Heather, 52 – Stay-at-home Mother
  • Naseer, 36 – Sales Manager
  • Sydney, 25 – Law Student

The Ua Tribe (wearing green)

  • Ricard, 31 – Flight Attendant
  • Shan, 34 – Pastor

The Yase Tribe (wearing yellow)

  • Evvie, 28 – PhD Student
  • Liana, 20 – College Student
  • Tiffany, 47 – Teacher
  • Xander, 20 – App Developer

Ua Down to Two-a

Ricard is a bit confused because Genie seemed very surprised after the vote. Shan admits that it was a blindside and that she feels terrible because Genie reminds her of her back-home self, whereas Ricard reminds her to keep her head in the game.

Ricard isn’t psyched about last week’s extra vote debacle and he’s worried that if there’s some kind of shakeup that he won’t have any advantages. Things get heated when Shan points out all the times she’s put her neck on the line for him. Well, she isn’t wrong.

The following morning she asks for the extra vote back and things get very tense. It’s just a weird battle of word soup and it’s clear that they simply don’t trust each other. This rift doesn’t seem worth it over an extra vote.


A very vague note is sent out to the tribes and everyone assumes it’s time for the merge. Heading into it…

  • Yase is pretending to be four strong, but there’s an obvious split between the women and Xander.
  • Naseer thinks that Luvu should stick together and be the final six, but Sydney isn’t sure where everyone stands because they’ve never been to Tribal.
  • And Ua is still fighting over the stupid extra vote.

Hmm…before we get to the event, Probst lets us know that this is a two-part episode so there will be no Tribal Council. (WHAT?! Michele Fitzgerald and I Power Ranked for nothing!) Apparently they’re going to run a team challenge, after which they’ll send a person away who will be given a historic amount of power.

Historic? So, more power than a person who can just take someone else’s idol for funsies?

Probst builds it up, saying they’re now in the individual portion of the game. He tells them to drop their buffs and tells them they…are…not exactly merged.

Challenge Time: They’ll draw rocks for teams. The teams will dig a giant boulder out of the ground and push it through a series of obstacles retrieving keys along the way. They’ll climb to the top of a tower and unlock a puzzle. The first team to complete the puzzle will earn a meal, a merge buff, and they won’t have to participate in the first individual immunity challenge. Ooo…and everyone will vote at the next Tribal Council.

Anddd…two players won’t compete at all. Their fate will be chosen by the winning team.

They draw rocks and Naseer and Erika have the odd-person-out rocks. The yellow team is Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany, and Shan. The blue team is Danny, Ricard, Sydney, Evvie, and Deshawn.

So…probably a blue win?

Result: A blue win! Shocking.

Probst says the person they pick is basically a part of their team and will get to go with them to the merge feast. The other person will be punished by having to live alone.  So, the person they pick gets a big, shiny nickel and the other person gets a tiny, crappy dime.

Danny claims they did a rock/paper/scissors and Naseer will get to join the feast.

Erika will go off on her own, the losing team will go to Luvu beach.

Feast Friends

The Luvu crew says that they’re buddies with Erika, even though we know different. And, Danny confesses to Evvie that he was concerned with how frequently Yase was voting out their men.

Naseer, on a positive note, is having the time of his life. He loves his immunity, he loves his idol, and he even loves the color of the new buff. I love that energy.


I can’t take credit for that subhead. That’s from Xander, and I dig it. Our buddy is beat up, but he’s relieved that his idol will keep him safe no matter what happens. Well…about that…

Meanwhile, Shan asks Liana if she got the advantage IN FRONT OF TIFFANY! Some unforced errors from Shan lately. But, Tiffany lets her off the hook saying that she wouldn’t have told anyone about it either.

Liana isn’t thrilled with this development, but she tells both Shan and Tiffany about her Knowledge Is Power advantage anyways.

When the red buffs arrive, Xander and Naseer seem to form a bond as the two fellas with idols. Danny wants to work with Xander too and throws out Erika’s name. Actually everyone is throwing poor Erika’s name around.

Shan and Liana also float the idea of working with Deshawn and Danny, saying this is probably the most diverse season of “Survivor” ever.

Erika’s “Historic” Adventure

Unfortunately, being alone on a beach for a night is Erika’s worst-case scenario. So, two nights is definitely worse.

We’re treated to a really beautiful montage where Erika explains her background; immigrating from the Philippines to Canada and how hard her parents worked to give them a better life.

Later on, Jeff Probst shows up and gives her an hourglass. The deal is; if she smashes the hourglass, the results of the challenge will be reversed. So, the red buffs will have to compete for immunity, and everyone else is safe.

Her worry is that she’d be screwing a lot of her former tribemates out of immunity. But, there’s literally no way she doesn’t do it. Right?

Oh, and that’s the episode. Weird…

Verdict: Uh…well…um…it was…I guess…

I dunno, I feel weird wrapping this up without seeing how it turns out.

But, the “Survivor” formula works. Just let it work.

Power Ranking Results: Um…guess we’ll try again next week?

  • Deshawn and Danny – It’s hard to grade this week because we don’t know how this mess is going to shake out. But, these guys have got the Luvu angle and the Shan/Liana angle. They’re in great shape if they can survive whatever happens next week.
  • Tiffany – High five to Tiffany for how she dealt with Liana’s advantage secret.
  • Liana – Kudos to you for keeping it under your hat when Shan spilled the beans about your advantage. I hope it doesn’t come back to cost you.
  • Evvie –  Evvie was the only Yase at that dinner table and she fit right in. She’s so cool.
  • Xander – Pushing the fear of the female alliance button might be his best move.
  • Ricard – That extra vote train wreck thing is kinda unbelievable from two very savvy players. This extra vote isn’t worth blowing up your only ally.
  • Naseer – His energy gives me life, but everyone knows about that idol.
  • Shan – Did Shan feel off this week? Panicked? She chose to keep Ricard around, so they should’ve tried to get their ducks in a row for the merge. And why would she assume Liana told Tiffany about the advantage?
  • Erika – This hourglass feels like a damned-if-you-do kinda situation. Either way there’s a big target on her back.
  • Sydney and Heather – I can’t grade you if I don’t see your work.

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