Survivor Recap: Siga’s Strength Becomes Dangerous at the Merge — Plus, How About That Rock Draw?!

Starting this recap with some sort of “Drop Your Buffs!” spin was one option for Survivor’s big “mergatory” episode, but I became wildly distracted by the fact that Tiffany named her hidden immunity idol. We know Yanu has been short a few members for a while, but I don’t think the idol counts as a full-fledged castaway! Yet still, it’s nice to see Tiffany and her new friend forming such a strong bond. It is a social game, after all.

Yes, it’s the super-mega, kinda-sorta merge episode this week and it didn’t take long for this power struggle to get all sorts of messy. Let’s recap from the top.

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While Yanu and Moriah are more than happy to discard their current and presumably dirty buff, the clock starts ticking for Hunter. He has until the time the other tribes arrive to find his idol box key and claim his prize. Luckily he does, and with a bit of editing trickery, it makes it seem like its down to the wire. Since he lost his vote on a past Journey, he was desperate to have at least some protection. So with Jem taking her idol out of the game with her and Maria’s extra vote gone, there are only two idols in play, Hunter’s and Tiffany’s, along with Tevin’s extra vote.

DAY 12 | And thus, here begins the second part of our tale. The tribes are in “Survivor limbo” without their buffs, and since we’re fully ensconced in the game’s “new era,” we know everyone’s going to have to “earn the merge.” (Wow, that was a lot of quotes.) But before that even happens, Venus is quick to tell Q that she wants to work with Yanu. She’s over Soda and Tevin and clearly doesn’t mind airing out her tribe’s dirty laundry. Tevin stays one step ahead of the story, warning Q and Tiffany about steering clear from Nami’s outcast.

Survivor 46 Episode 6
Survivor 46 Episode 6

Q checks in with Tevin, asking if Hunter talked to him about the +1 alliance. Tevin nods and seems game. Will Q, Tiffany, Hunter, Tevin, Tim and Maria run away with this thing? Well, since Tim didn’t bother to clue Maria in to the plan, maaaybe not. We all know Charlie is Maria’s No. 1, so time will tell if this turns out to be an “everyone vs. Siga” type of situation.

THAT’S SO VENUS | The fact that Nami’s biggest crack lies in Venus is evident to everyone. She offers Moriah and Tim a “name for a name,” meaning, an exchange of information where both sides reveal the cracks on each tribe. The Sigas take notes on how hard Venus is playing and how smart she is, which doesn’t really help her case, nor make her any friends. (Tough time out there for that one!) Tim finally gets to chat with Maria. She tells him she’s down for the +1 plan, but she tells us it’s an “option.” Not a bad idea to use it as a shield, I suppose!

IMMUNITY (AND A MERGE BUFF) IS BACK UP FOR GRABS | We all know how this works by now, yeah? Well this time, the rock draw creates one of the wildest, most lopsided team splits ever! For Orange, we have Charlie, Moriah, Soda, Maria, Venus and Liz. Purple has Ben, Q, Kenzie, Tim, Hunter and Tevin. This makes Tiffany’s decision pretty easy, right? She OBVIOUSLY picks the very stacked Purple to win, and like seasons past, she’ll win or lose with them. (The winning team is snagging immunity, a merge meal, a buff, yada, yada, yada…)

Survivor 46 Episode 6
Survivor 46 Episode 6

The challenge itself is a beast comprising of a mud pit, a heavy cart and sandbags, a hellacious climb onto a high roped platform, another massive tower climb, and of course: a three-part puzzle. However, every member will be put in charge of one-third of the puzzle-solving, breaking off in pairs of two to do it.

And the puzzle is an actual nail-biter! Considering the massive advantage the Purple team has, it’s amazing that Orange stays so competitive. It’s a real David vs. Goliath fight to the finish, but Orange heartbreakingly falls just a hair short, as Team Purple wins it all by just a few puzzle pieces.

STRATEGY | With three former Sigas and three former Namis on the chopping block, the challenge winners start sifting through names as they chomp away at their feast. Venus’ scheming is discussed, but Siga is hesitant to cough up a name. Finally, they relent and name Mo due to her knowledge about the game. But because Siga is so tightly knit, it sends up massive flares. Is splitting up Siga best for… everyone?

According to Hunter and Tevin, that answer is “yes.” But when Venus is approached about voting Mo, she asks: Why not Charlie? She tries to sway the women to vote out a bigger threat than Mo, but when word gets back to Q, he’s irritated and wants to switch his vote back to Venus! Madness!

Survivor 46 Episode 6
Survivor 46 Episode 6

THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN | While Venus can’t stop rubbing everyone the wrong way (especially as she refers to the winners as “the kings of the castle”), Moriah drops the Siga secret they’ve been trying to keep from everyone else: She’s actually at the bottom of her tribe and their last vote was not unanimous. Q makes it seem like her reveal is too little, too late. He asks her why she didn’t tell him that earlier, though I tend to think it was smart of her to hold her cards close until it was absolutely needed. But was it enough to save her?

Moriah winds up playing her Shot in the Dark, but even that can’t save her. When Jeff tallies up the votes, six are enough to send a second Siga member out of Survivor 46. (Read our Q&A with Moriah here.)

Was this one “mergatory” episode for the record books? Make sure to go full tilt boogie in that comments section!

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