“Survivor” Season 46, Episode 9, Reviewed

Vaughn Armor ’25 recaps the latest, action-packed episode of “Survivor,” including a tense Tribal Council meeting with a tied vote.

“Survivor” Season 46, Episode 9, Reviewed
In this week’s episode of “Survivor,” contestants competed for immunity in an intense endurance challenge. Graphic courtesy of Nina Aagaard ’26.

On April 24, “Survivor” released episode nine of Season 46. This episode was heavily impacted by the events of the previous Tribal council, which clearly established that Hunter and Q were on the outs.

Q’s attempt to quit at the past tribal angered the other players because of the unnecessary chaos and confusion it created. Q genuinely felt guilty for complicating the vote by telling people Tevin was going home; he was trying to fall on his sword. However, he lost a lot of respect and might not have a chance of winning now. I feel bad for Q because I like him a lot, but I also get where his fellow castaways are coming from. It’s tough to get on Survivor, so threatening to quit is disrespectful to all who would kill to be on the show. I’ve always been anti-quitters on Survivor, but now I feel conflicted — I’ve never been as big of a fan of a potential quitter as I am of Q. Q’s original Yanu tribe members, Kenzie and Tiffany, were furious with him. Before that tribal, Q told Maria and Charlie about Tiffany’s idol, which got back to Tiffany during Tribal. Kenzie and Tiffany can no longer trust him — that bridge is burned.

Liz was mad at Q for a different reason. She was the main driver of the Tevin blindside, but Q’s wild tribal performance overshadowed her move. Liz blindsided Tevin to stake her claim as a power player in the game and was frustrated that Q took that spotlight away from her. In “Survivor,” it is typically better to make strategic moves behind the scenes, but I understand why Liz wants a bit of the limelight; she is scared of being viewed as a passive player if she gets to the end. Unfortunately, in “Survivor” women are frequently viewed in this light.

The Survivors then learned that they needed to split into three groups of three for the immunity challenge. All being fans of the game, they knew that these groups would compete against each other until there was one group, and then the members of the final group would compete for immunity. Q tried to get Charlie to throw the challenge early to eliminate Hunter’s shot at immunity, but Charlie was not interested. He wanted to win.

The groups were Ben, Kenzie and Tiffany; Charlie, Maria and Hunter; and Liz, Q and Venus. In the first part of the challenge, Survivors crossed a long seesaw, untying two handles halfway. They then used the handles to take a buoy across a balance beam. Once they got the buoys, they had to dig up three rope rungs before continuing on. Kenzie struggled with this, leading to her group’s elimination.

In the following section, contestants used their rope rungs to build a rope bridge. Once all three players climbed across their bridge, they could move on. Hunter, Charlie, and Maria did this the fastest. The final section was pure endurance. Charlie, Maria, and Hunter had to stand on a small wooden perch pressed against a wooden board. The last one standing would win immunity. It looked incredibly uncomfortable, but the Survivors lasted a while. It came down to Hunter and Charlie, with Charlie shocking everyone by taking down the season’s most dominating player. He won immunity, leaving Hunter vulnerable.

Throughout this episode, Q and Hunter were noticeably on the bottom. At this point, everyone knew that Hunter was the biggest physical threat on the island. To make things worse, his second-best ally (Liz) just blindsided his closest ally (Tevin). Hunter didn’t really have anyone on his side, so he was overjoyed when Kenzie brought up the possibility of a blindside. Tiffany’s idol threatened her, so Kenzie wanted to take Tiffany out while she wasn’t expecting it. Ben, Charlie, Maria, and Venus were also on board with the plan.

However, Tiffany grew antsy. She knew people were aware of her idol now and told Charlie she wanted to play it to get the target off her back. The idol threat scared that coalition away from writing her name down. They pivoted towards Hunter, as he was a more significant threat than Q. He was better in the challenges, and Q’s antics in the last Tribal made Q an extreme long shot to win the jury’s favor at the end.

However, Hunter felt antsy as well! He saw how this group blindsided Tevin in the previous vote — he never saw it coming. Hunter told Liz, Kenzie, and Venus he had an idol and would play it that night. Some believed him, and some thought Hunter was bluffing. This conversation happened right before Tribal though, so there wasn’t much time to change plans.

Ultimately, Tiffany and Hunter chose to hold onto their idols. Tiffany made the right call, and Hunter made the wrong one. The first vote was a 4-4-1 vote between Hunter and Q, with Q voting for Ben. The re-vote was 6-1, sending Hunter home. Going home with an idol is one of the toughest outcomes in the game, but I can’t blame Hunter for his decision. “Survivor” is a game of risks, and him surviving that vote with an idol would have been exponentially better than surviving that vote without one. His gamble could have paid off massively, it just unfortunately didn’t.

With Hunter gone, the physical threats in the game are dwindling. Tune in next week to see if the tribe follows the trend and takes out Q, or if a blindside is in order.