“Survivor”: Season 46, Episode 2, Reviewed

Vaughn Armour ’25 reviews the second episode of this season of “Survivor,” expressing disappointment at the behavior of certain tribe members.

Sometimes, the bad guys win. It’s tough to watch, but it’s part of what makes “Survivor” real. The show is not scripted, even if we wished some moments were.

At the start of the second episode of Season 46, Tiffany began to question her trust in Kenzie. Kenzie is very social, and Tiffany saw her trying to build bonds with Bhanu, who is outside their alliance. Later, Kenie pulled Jess and Bhanu aside to talk about blindsiding either Tiffany or Q. This felt forced, as Kenzie hadn’t talked much strategy with either of them previously. Kenzie will only work with people as long as it benefits her — not the best ally to have. She is also condescending towards her tribemates, saying that Bhanu and Jess didn’t know “Survivor” in her confessional, just because they didn’t want to work with her.

On Nami, both Randen and Venus felt on the outs socially. They both searched for an idol, and Randen found the beware advantage. Despite viewing her as a social throat, Randen shared this information with Venus. He wanted to trust someone, and chose her by process of elimination. Soda, Hunter, and Tevin seemed like a tight three, and Liz’s constant bragging irked him. We’ll see how that duo works together, but I’m hopeful.

The last part of the immunity challenge took over a half hour in real time. Each tribe was instructed to make an arch from heavy letter blocks to spell a specific word. The tribes quickly realized the word was “persistence,” and that putting the blocks up was the hard part. Eventually, Nami came in first, and Siga came in second, sending Yanu to tribal for the second straight time.

Along with winning immunity, Nami also won a fishing gear reward. Despite the win, Venus was frustrated by her lack of a voice in the tribe. While Nami was pushing a wagon with the puzzle pieces, Venus yelled for them to turn left, but they ignored her and ran over her toe. Also, immediately after they won, Soda snatched the immunity idol from her, even though Jeff handed it to Venus. In a flashback, “Survivor” showed that this was the second time Soda grabbed the idol out of Venus’ hands. If I was in Venus’ position, I would be frustrated too. I hope she and Randen turn the tide on the Nami tribe.

Back at Yanu, Kenzie and Tiffany hatched an unnecessary plan. They wanted Jess out but didn't want her to play her shot in the dark (one in the six-shot at safety in exchange for her vote). To protect against that possibility, Kenzie made a fake idol. She and Tiffany planted it where Tiffany found her real idol, then Tiffany tried to lead Jess to that spot to “find” the fake idol. Jess didn’t see it, much to Kenzie and Tiffany’s chagrin. Again, they were both very condescending in confessionals, insulting Jess’s intelligence and being mean. Q then gave Jess the fake idol, claiming it was real and telling her to vote for Kenzie. Jess didn’t believe it was a real idol, but Q acted mad when Jess questioned the idol’s legitimacy. Jess played the idol at tribal, learned it was fake, and was eliminated.

Q briefly considered flipping the vote against Kenzie, so I can see why he wanted to carry out this plan. For Kenzie and Tiffany, though, the plan was unnecessary and mean. They spent the entire day gaslighting Jess and sending her on a wild goose chase just so they could later embarrass her at tribal. All the while, they were laughing at her and insulting her. There are much simpler ways to protect against a shot in the dark; for instance, they could have tried to convince Jess they were taking out Bhanu.

As you can tell, I didn’t love this episode. Jess never had a shot on her tribe — they all seemed to dislike her from the start for being socially awkward. I lost a lot of respect for both Kenzie and Tiffany in this episode, and I hope they get their comeuppance soon.

Tune in on Wednesday, March 13, for the next episode of “Survivor.”