“Survivor: Winners at War” Episode 9 Recap – The Curious Case of Nick’s Birthday Buffet

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Last Week: Tyson returned, Tokens were earned, and Wendell was burned.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

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

The Koru Tribe (wearing black)

  • Adam, 28 – “Millennials vs. Gen-X”
  • Ben, 36 – “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
  • Denise, 48 – “Philippines”
  • Jeremy, 41 – “Second Chance”
  • Kim, 36 – “One World”
  • Michele, 29 – “Kaôh Rōng”
  • Nick, 28 – “David vs. Goliath”
  • Sarah, 34 – “Game Changers”
  • Sophie, 29 – “South Pacific”
  • Tony, 45 – “Cagayan”
  • Tyson, 39 – “Blood vs. Water”

We kick things off after Tribal where Nick and Michele are not thrilled to have been on the wrong side of the blindside. Nick is taking it really personally, talking about being out for blood. And, he’s actually very surprised when Michele tells him that his name was on the chopping block…on his birthday.

Michele’s bummed too since she’s been telling people that she would have loved to send her ex to the Edge.  Who wouldn’t?

Adam tries to talk her down, but she’s very angry and thinks they’re all a bunch of “Dingbats.” Whoa…don’t say something you can’t take back, Michele.

To make her feel better, he shares with her something he observed at Tribal Council. Apparently the fleur-de-lis medallion that’s in front of Probst’s podium is similar to Denise’s immunity idol. So, he plans to retrieve it before the votes are read and play it.

Oh…oh no. With the doofus edit Adam’s been getting…just…c’mon, buddy.

History Lessons on the Edge

Everybody at the Edge of Extinction receives a note that says something about history repeating itself. The crew takes this to mean that there must be a repeat of one of their previous challenges. So, they head up the hill and start looking in all of the old familiar places.

However, Parvati and Danni realize that it might mean the history of the Edge of Extinction itself. They head to where Aubry Bracco found her advantage. There Parvati discovers a 50/50 coin which allows a player to flip a coin at Tribal to determine whether or not they’re safe. Parvati can offer this to a player in the game for as many fire tokens as she wants.

Quick Aside: My memory is so bad. I would have never remembered where Aubry looked.

She decides to offer it to Michele, knowing she has the most coins in the game. And, since they’ve all kind of bonded, Parvati plans to use her fire tokens to buy food for her Edge of Extinction comrades. Aww…Parvati’s getting soft in her old age.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will be split into two teams of five by a schoolyard pick. They’ll swim to a net full of fish puzzle pieces, then bring it back to the shore. The first team to complete the fish puzzle will win Chinese food.

Teams: Nick picked Tyson, Adam, Tony, and Jeremy. Kim picked Sarah, Ben, Sophie, and Michele.

Sitting Out: Denise…because she wasn’t picked. She has no shot at reward. I get why they do this because it gives that person a reason to be mad. But, c’mon! They’re there to compete. Let them bet on the winner or something. Anything!

Result: Kim’s team picked up the win when Sophie and Michele completed the puzzle first.

Buuut…before we head off to commercial, Sarah offers to forfeit her reward to Nick because they blindsided him on his birthday. Huh…that’s definitely gonna put a target on her back.

Sure enough, Tony tells Sarah that her move could come back to haunt her. She thinks he’s making too much of it, but a quick shot back at camp shows that Adam, Jeremy, Tyson, and Denise all think it was a game move.

Also, if Sarah’s intention was to win favor with Nick, he makes it clear that he’ll vote her out the first chance she gets.

Fortune Favors the Cookie

While the winning team is enjoying their meal, they agree to open the fortune cookies together in case there’s an idol clue. It doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. Which is to say they’re like most fortune cookies in that they don’t really have fortunes in them, they’re like “good advice cookies.”

Later on, Michele finds Parvati’s advantage offer. She thinks four fire tokens might be a steep price for such an iffy advantage, but she remembers that her fortunes were “As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled,” and “Don’t be afraid of taking that big step.” So, she decides to empty her purse and make a big step.

Oh jeez, if that reward had been earlier in the season, I bet the fortunes would have said things like, “Edge of Extinction is kinda cool, right” and “Protect Boston Rob.”

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on dog house-shaped floats. At different intervals, they’ll have to move higher on the float. The last person standing wins immunity and a fire token.

Result: Kim outlasted Ben to claim the win.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

It looks like we’re going to see a pretty simple split vote between Nick and Adam. However, Ben tries to protect Adam and says they should go for Michele. Then all heck breaks loose.

First, Nick starts throwing names out there telling Tyson that Sophie is targeting him.

Then, Adam thinks they need to split up Sarah and Ben.

After that, Tyson is worried that Adam is able to bend people to his will.

Later, Ben approaches Adam, asking if he threw him and Sarah under the bus. Adam is shifty about it and things get ugly between the two. Apparently they had some kind of working relationship, but that quickly went all up in flames.

From there we get a mega montage of everybody talking to everybody, so many names getting thrown about, dogs and cats, living together…mass hysteria.

Tribal Time

Everybody admits that the afternoon is one of the craziest they’ve ever experienced.

Nick thinks that he, Tyson, and Adam are considered to be “easy votes.” But, he wants to work with people.

And then an open Tribal busts out. And it is messy. It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. But eventually Nick and Adam realize they were both told to vote for each other. That’s probably a bad sign.

The whispering continues for a while, and weirdly, Ben and Adam have a long continuous debate while this is going on.

When it’s all said and done, Nick says that he feels better. As you’d imagine, this causes Adam to feel worse.

Voting Time: Adam votes for Sarah, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Adam approaches the podium to retrieve the fleur-de-lis. However, the art department did their jobs and it is firmly attached. Probst plays around with the notion that it could be an idol, but it definitely is not.

Oh Adam…this is Scott’s Tots levels of awkward.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Sarah, one vote for Adam, one vote for Nick, one vote for Adam, one vote for Nick, three votes for Adam, and the eleventh person voted out of “Survivor: Winners at War” is…Adam.

Fire Token Bequeath’n: Adam leaves his token to Denise.

Verdict:  First off, kudos to Adam for trying. Better to swing and miss than watch a third strike go by.

However,I still don’t have a great idea of who is working together or what their motivations are.

Sure, Adam went home, but why did he go home? Was Tyson scared of him? Was Ben sick of protecting him? Because he said Sarah’s name? It’s so unclear and they don’t always tell us in the following episode like they used to.

Maybe that’s a small quibble in a season that’s been pretty solid.

  • Kim – Boy, did she pick the right week to win immunity. Keeping her name out of people’s mouths during that mess is going to be huge.
  • Tony – I was really impressed with how Tony kept such a cool head around Nick when he was freaking out. Same with when Jeremy questioned him.
  • Michele – Her buddies keep getting blindsided, but she keeps coasting along. And that social game earned her those tokens which are now an advantage.
  • Jeremy, Denise, Sophie, Tyson – What a whirlwind! We didn’t get full details on everything that went down, but this quartet deserves better than “Incomplete” due to their ability to stay above the fray.
  • Ben – There had to have been a better way to get through that Tribal. That long debate with Adam didn’t look good. But, kudos for keeping your cool.
  • Nick – The blood talk seemed really out of character for Nick. Nowadays, the game seems to reset after each vote. He should’ve just hung back. Instead he’s still a big target.
  • Sarah – Giving up a reward? Always raises eyebrows. Not a fan of this move.

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