“Survivor” Season 46, Episodes Seven and Eight, Reviewed

Vaughn Armour ’25 reviews the seventh and eighth episodes of this season of “Survivor,” including tribe member bonding and intense alliance making and breaking.

“Survivor” Season 46, Episodes Seven and Eight, Reviewed
In this week’s episode of “Survivor,” four tribe members pass up a bag of rice to get a shot at winning immunity. Graphic courtesy of Nina Aagaard ’26.

On April 10 and 17, “Survivor” released episodes seven and eight of Season 46. They were both fantastic, but episode seven was something special. The best way I can describe it is freaking awesome. It reminded me why I love this show and had me smiling for ninety minutes on a Wednesday night — what more can you ask for?

The seventh episode started with Venus accusing Soda of voting for her at the previous Tribal Council. It made sense that her mind went there — Venus and Soda had been feuding the whole game. However, the mystery vote came from Charlie. He owned up to this vote, which frustrated Q. Charlie intentionally voted for Venus to confuse her, causing her to think a fellow Nami member (like Soda) took a shot at her. I get why Q was frustrated — Charlie’s plan was working wonders. However, his subsequent criticism of Charlie illuminated an issue in Q’s game: his inflexibility. It’s Q’s way or nothing, and multiple players, including Charlie, are starting to harbor resentment for that.

That night, Ben had a panic attack. Amidst heavy breaths, he called out for help. Kenzie rushed to his side and consoled him — a heart-warming, human moment. Kenzie and Ben are not aligned, but she wasted no time doing what she could to help him in a stressful moment. I’ve been critical of Kenzie this season for her “mean girl” behavior towards  Yanu, but this moment made me realize that she’s not all bad. Ben quickly felt much better, largely due to Kenzie’s support.

As soon as I saw the immunity challenge, I got incredibly excited. It was a “Survivor” classic: the perch challenge. In it, players have to stand on a perch in the water, slowly ascending to smaller foot ledges. At the challenge, the Survivors also learned that Jeff would split them into two groups, with the winner of each group receiving immunity. This meant that both groups would be going to Tribal. The purple group was Charlie, Liz, Maria, Soda, Tevin, and Venus. The yellow group was Ben, Hunter, Kenzie, Q, Tiffany, and Tim. Players stayed on for about 45 minutes before switching to the most challenging section, standing on one foot. I was especially hyped to see this part. In “Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs Favorites 2,” Andrea Boehlke and Brenda Lowe stayed up on their perches for five hours each. They went onto one foot of their own volition — the winner couldn’t have been decided otherwise. It was awesome to see “Survivor” take something that players implemented organically and make it a part of a challenge’s structure, especially something that occurred twenty seasons ago in Season 26.

Once they switched to one foot, players started dropping like flies. Kenzie narrowly edged out Tiffany for yellow, and Maria eeked it out over Tevin for purple. Maria lasted longer than Kenzie, so her group earned the right to go to Tribal Council second. That was a big deal, as the player eliminated from the first tribe to visit tribal would not make the Jury.

Back at camp, strategic beauty ensued. Hunter was the only Nami in the yellow group, and Tim saw that as an opportunity to weaken their numbers. In the game, Nami was up five to four (Siga) to three (Yanu), so he wanted to even things up a bit. Tim also saw Hunter as a massive immunity threat and wanted to take him out before he could string together multiple immunity wins. Tim told Q this, but Q was not happy about it. Q is loyal to the “plus one” alliance that he orchestrated with Hunter and Tim at the Advantage journey, which consisted of Maria and Tim from Siga, Hunter and Tevin from Nami, and Q and Tiffany from Nami. Tim’s willingness to vote out a member of that alliance put off Q, especially after Tim failed to tell Maria about the alliance before the merge. Q shifted the target onto Tim instead. Kenzie and Tiffany were not too pleased about how much Q called the shots, but they obliged. Tim went home, becoming the last player eliminated before the jury phase of the game.

The purple vote was even more complicated. The tribe was split into four Nami (Liz, Soda, Tevin, Venus) and two Siga (Charlie, Maria). Maria had immunity, so Charlie was the only Siga player available to be voted out. This could’ve been an easy decision, but it was far from it. Charlie didn’t end up receiving a single vote. Soda wanted Venus out because of how much Venus distrusted her. Venus wanted Soda out for similar reasons, and also because of how tight she perceived Soda and Tevin to be. Tevin wanted both Soda and Venus out, as he thought both were shady, untrustworthy gamers. Liz wanted to lounge on the beach, and do whatever Tevin told her to do. Somehow, the Siga majority held all the power in this vote. They decided that Soda was a bigger threat than Venus, and blindsided Soda. Soda and Venus shared a meaningful hug as Soda exited the game. I enjoyed seeing that heated rivalry give way to mutual respect.

At the start of the next episode, the yellow half of the group was shocked to see Venus still there. Venus took the credit for Soda’s blindside, which Tevin found hilarious — he thought he controlled it. Tevin’s reaction angered Liz, who felt she had a large part in it. In truth, all three players had a significant role in Soda’s vote-out. Credit matters, though — it helps determine who wins the most jury votes in the end.

The following sunrise, Charlie, Hunter, and Q had an important conversation. Q invited Charlie to the “plus-one alliance.” Q formed this alliance at a pre-merge advantage journey with Hunter and Tim. The idea was that each player would have a plus-one from their original tribe. Tim brought Maria, Q brought Tiffany, and Hunter brought Tevin. Now that Tim was gone, Q wanted Charlie to fill his spot. Charlie accepted the offer and joined the alliance. However, he later told Maria that he was unsure of whether they should go to the end with the six. He views the alliance members as power players, and worries that he would lose against them in the end.

Once the rest of the tribe woke up, Q convinced them to play hide and seek around their beach. This was a hilarious scene, especially with Q interjecting how different players’ hiding positions influenced his perception of their strategic capabilities. I think he was over-extrapolating, — at one point he accused over half the tribe of making “big mistakes”' by revealing their sneakiness in this game — but I do believe there was some truth to what he was saying. Hunter won the game by hiding in a tree.  No one else could have pulled that off.

The episode’s challenge was a “Survivor” classic. Each player had to climb up and hold onto a long vertical pole for as long as possible. The last one remaining would win immunity. After seeing Hunter stay in that tree for so long, I was confident he would win this challenge. The other survivors did not share my confidence, though. Jeff offered an extra bag of rice to four tribe members who would volunteer to sit out, but not enough players agreed. I understand wanting to attempt a classic survivor challenge like this; I understand having confidence in yourself to pull out a win. However, these people are starving — you should take the food when you don’t have a shot at immunity anyway. Hunter won immunity, and the tribe didn’t gain any rice.

Tiffany pitched keeping Venus around to Tevin, saying they should take out a more dangerous player instead. While talking to Q, she named Maria as a potential option instead of Venus. Tevin and Q, especially Q, are more loyal to the 6 than Tiffany was, so Tiffany going against the alliance so quickly put them off. Q told Maria that Tiffany was coming for her and also revealed to Maria that Tiffany had an idol. That strengthened the bond between the two. Q now had his mind made up on eliminating Tiffany.

Because of Tevin claiming the credit for the Soda and generally being seen as the head of Nami, Liz began a campaign to take him out. Liz wanted to change her unambitious, passive reputation in the game,  while Tevin made plans to become a strategic force. It was easy to convince people — everyone saw Tevin as a significant threat. Ben, Tiffany, Kenzie, Venus, Charlie and Maria were on board quickly.

Once Q found out the plan to vote off Tevin, he was pissed. He wanted the six to stay together. Q fought incredibly hard to keep Tevin, even threatening to quit at Tribal. In the end, though, the majority got their way, and Tevin became the ninth player eliminated from “Survivor” season  46.

This was a top-notch pair of episodes. I had been lukewarm on this season, but now I am excited to see how this game will shake out. Tune in next week for the final nine vote.