On Wednesday, Nov. 2, “Survivor 43” released its most recent episode. It was a joy to watch, culminating in a surprising vote at Tribal Council. However, the “Knowledge Is Power” advantage made another unwanted return and was misused yet again.
The episode began with Jeanine scrambling. She talked to literally everyone in the game. She told them that she was okay with Elie getting voted out and just wanted to lie low for a bit. This was solid gameplay, but it’s unusual for one player to have that many conversations the night of Tribal.
The next day, the castaways headed to an immunity challenge. The castaways mainly competed in pairs. At the end, the two remaining pairs (Cody and Dwight, Gabler and Owen) had to hold up a bucket using a bar with rope attached. The more their grip loosened, the more the rope unspooled, and the lower the bucket dropped. Once the bucket hit the ground, they were eliminated.
This challenge was not only competitive, but also the funniest part of the season so far. After Dwight got eliminated, Jeff asked each player what they were using for inspiration. Gabler brought up his uncle Neil, who had undergone heart surgery the week prior. He dedicated the next minute to Neil. Owen brought up his love for “Survivor,” and how winning an immunity necklace would be a lifelong dream come true. Cody’s motivation differed slightly: He still regrets losing a high school wrestling match and was using this challenge to redeem himself.
Gabler likewise dedicated each minute of the challenge to someone or something else. His first couple of dedications were wholesome. He dedicated a minute to Noelle, who had struggled in the first part of the challenge, and one to Lester Tenney, a now-passed war hero that Gabler had encountered in the operating room. Eventually though, Gabler dedicated minutes to his dog, the state of Idaho, a small man named Muzzie, and even Jeff Probst himself. Gabler rode his motivation to the first individual immunity win of “Survivor 43,” outlasting Cody after an impressive 38 minutes of forearm torment.
Back at the merge beach, the initial plan was for those remaining in Baka and Vesi (Cody, Dwight, Jesse, Noelle, Sami, Gabler, Owen, Jeanine) to come together, and split the votes between Ryan and James. But James, Sami, Owen, and Dwight all found an advantage clue at the same time — throwing a wrench in the plans. The clue said that an advantage was under the tribe shelter, and somehow James was left alone for long enough to grab it. Word spread about the clue, and the players quickly reasoned that it was the infamous “Knowledge Is Power” advantage. This advantage can be used to ask any player at Tribal whether they have an advantage or an idol. They aren’t allowed to lie, and if the answer is yes, they have to give it to you. This advantage is insanely powerful, but only if you keep it to yourself. Thankfully, James did not do that.
Within hours, everyone on the beach found out about “Knowledge Is Power.” This basically rendered the advantage useless. They could now plan to switch who is holding each idol — James wouldn’t know who to ask. All this really did was paint a large target on James’ back. Because of this, I was certain that James would be the last player eliminated before the jury.
However, he wasn’t. This was a huge misdirect, and I was genuinely shocked. Cody had wanted Dwight out earlier in the episode, but I didn’t think that his plan would stick. It did, though, and Cody, Jesse, Cassidy, Karla, Sami, James, and Ryan took out Dwight. This was an odd group of people, and I was left wondering how this group came together.
Eleven players remain. Tune in next week for further explanation of this vote, as well as to find out who the first member of the jury will be.