Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 46 recaps
We need more speedbumps!
By Damnbueno | Published: May 9, 2024
Survivor 46 Episode 11 recap/ analysis

We need more speedbumps!

The new era whack-a-mole tradition continues. Soda emerged as a strong social player, so Tevin took her out. Tevin, who was also a social threat, then emerged as a strategic threat. When he took credit for blindsiding Soda, Liz took Tevin out. Q tried to hijack Tribal Council, then plummeted to the bottom to be used as a distraction. Hunter emerged as a challenge beast, then enlarged his target by revealing he had an Idol. Tiffany’s game was blown up by Q when he told others she had an Idol. That made her target #1.

We watched several players in the new era suffer similar fates including Evvie, Shantel, Ricard, Swati, Hai, Omar, Karla, Jesse, Frannie, Kellie, and Drew.

Last week, we saw Maria leading the effort to blindside Tiffany. So, does this mean Maria will be targeted next? Perhaps even this week? I’d say it’s a certainty.

I’d also say a good chunk of the players I mentioned will get a chance to correct their mistake if/when they get invited back for season 50.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, this season isn’t even over yet. Let’s get back to Maria. Charlie, Liz, Ben and Q all know Maria took the lead on the Tiffany boot. Venus and Kenzie know they weren’t part of the plan. For that reason alone, it shouldn’t be hard to gather support against Maria. The only question is who will stick their head up and ask others to do it, knowing it would likely make them the next target? Charlie seems to be the logical candidate. And if Tiffany’s exit comments are accurate, Charlie already asked Tiffany to help take Maria out next. But of course, Charlie could have been lying to Tiffany as a means of making her feel safe. We’ve already seen Charlie volunteering to fill that role when Hunter left.

Would Charlie take Maria out, knowing he could follow her right out of the game? I’m not so sure. I think the smarter play is to remove one of the two goats left – either Q or Venus. Q is the bigger goat, so I think his target should be Venus.

Removing Venus means Charlie still has a strategic edge over Liz, Ben, Kenzie, and of course Q. Liz and Kenzie are very unlikely to team up with Q under any circumstances, so this gives the Siga 3 an advantage they wouldn’t have if they took Maria out now. It also maintains Maria’s loyalty. Charlie (with Ben’s help) could set Maria up for a blindside at 5.

But of course, we also have to consider what Maria’s move could be. I think she’s savvy enough to know she’s an attractive target. But she’s also the only one who still has a degree of trust with Q. It might be in Maria’s best interest to go after Charlie. Maria was able to convince Liz to let Q hang around once. If she can do it again and take Charlie out, she could enter the final 5 with the strongest connections. The only one who’d be hesitant to working with her might be Venus. There’s a good chance Charlie would respect the move, and advocate for Maria on the Ponderosa. Yeah, Maria really needs to put Charlie on the jury.

Ben hasn’t tried to take the lead on a vote yet. Liz tried but got overshadowed. Then she whined about it. Venus thinks she took the lead on a few votes but doesn’t realize the jurors don’t see it the same way. Kenzie tried to take the lead on Tiffany but backed off that plan and watched Maria push it through without her help. And of course, nobody is listening to Q anymore.

So, entering this week’s episode, I’m most interested in seeing how Charlie and Maria approach things. They’re the last solid pair left, and I’m sure neither of them want to set themselves up as the biggest target entering the final 4. Sticking together reduces that possibility, but simultaneously makes it more difficult for one to beat the other in the end. Which one will blink first?

And away we go ....

We’re sure seeing a lot of Maria in the “previously on” recap. Hmm ...

Kenzie publicly acknowledges everyone left her out of the vote. She just confirmed it for anyone who was still wondering about that, like Venus. Most of them already knew, so why remind them?

Kenzie left out

It’s an interesting switch up to see Kenzie alone on the boat instead of Q.

Charlie is smart to approach Kenzie, but he shouldn’t have confirmed it was all Maria’s plan if he wants to take credit for it later on. He should have said it was a group decision. He just gave Kenzie a reason to vote for Maria in the end.

Kenzie: “It was MY move.” Not anymore. This is at least the second time Kenzie has said “I have to be more crafty.” The clock is ticking, Kenzie.

Maria is getting cocky in her confessional. She’d better not show that to the others. There’s already reason enough to want Maria gone.

Venus’s observations about Maria are 100% accurate, especially about letting Maria think this was her move. Too bad she doesn’t have enough social capital to convince others to go after her.

Venus and Kenzie

They’re all thinking Tiffany’s Idol will return. But historically, when players get blindsided with an Idol, those Idols are dead for good. Idols only tend to return when somebody plays them ... or when Ben Driebergen needs one.

Its weird that they all think Tiffany’s Idol will return, but they didn’t think the same thing about Hunter’s Idol. Maybe they weren’t convinced Hunter actually had one?

Venus: “I know where Tiffany found her Idol.” Tiffany found hers on a different beach. Why does she that think it will help her?


Venus finds an idol

Wow, Venus was smart to keep on searching with the others. I’m impressed. Nobody will think she’s got anything ... until she tells someone she’s got it, of course.

That is NOT Tiffany’s Idol. That’s an entirely new one. Nevermind when I said “nevermind.” Tiffany’s Idol was a string with small white, yellow and purple beads on it. Hunter’s Idol was a small bracelet with aqua and red beads. Jem’s Idol was a bracelet with a large brown bead and a few green beads. I knew my obsessive freeze-framing would pay off on this column one day.

Venus and her idol

Venus and Kenzie is a marriage of convenience, not a marriage of trust.

Venus’ eyeroll here reminded me of Sandra when she fooled J.T. about the sugar caper in Game Changers.

Venus eyeroll

Venus: “No one will ever catch a whiff of me having this (Idol). I don’t see any benefit in someone knowing I have this power.” That’s what Hunter said ... and what Tiffany said. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Venus: “I think the worst thing would be if I went home with an Idol in my pocket.” Uh-oh. That’s like saying “I’m in a good position,” or “This is a fool-proof plan.” Did Venus just awaken the Survivor Gods?”

Ok, Charlie and Maria are talking. This is what I was waiting for. They’re moving the chess pieces now. Who is gonna go after the other first?

Charlie and Maria

It sounds like Charlie wants to weaken Maria by removing Q. He should be thinking of removing Maria.

Liz to Kenzie: “Maria is the Kingpin ... Maria is obviously running things.” In my book, that means Maria just got labeled as a “leader.” However, she’s well past the normal 10th place finish position for most “leaders.” Both Yul and J.T. got labeled as “leaders” around this same point when they won.

Venus: “I could pull in a fourth vote.” I love her confidence, but she really doesn’t know what the others think of her. She doesn’t have the social capital to push a plan through.

Kenzie in confessional: “Charlie has been Maria’s jester.” I wonder if Charlie knows how Kenzie perceives him? If Kenzie ends up on the jury, that’s what she’ll tell the other jurors, and they’ll probably believe her.

Kenzie: “If Maria or Q get to the end, they could win.” Hopefully she’s not serious about Q winning. Hopefully she’s just saying that as a means of convincing Charlie to go after Maria.

Venus, Kenzie, Charlie

The most interesting outcome is if Maria wins Immunity. She’s capable of doing it for sure, but so is Venus.

Wow, I think this is a mostly-new challenge. We’ve seen variations of every part of it, but this is one that these players couldn’t have practiced. Although I bet Hunter anticipated it and has this one in his back yard.

It might be smarter to go for the further target first. If your arms are getting more tired, you’ll have a shorter distance to travel at the end.

Snake track

A tough part of this snake track might be adjusting your hand position as you extend your pole.

When they had close-up shots of their poles, I couldn’t tell if I was seeing Venus or Maria because both of them had green snakes. They only used 5 colors for the snakes. Two of them were green and two were yellow. Were they trying to save money on paint?

More snake tracks

Maria pulls it out. That’s a great win for her. A lot of winners pulled out an Immunity win when they were most vulnerable, even if they didn’t know it. I think Dee was in that position.

Maria needs to pick Liz on this one. She needs to leave Charlie at camp. He’s her #1 and can give her info while she’s gone.

Maria picks Ben first. That’s not a bad choice, but he shouldn’t have been her first choice. You can’t leave Liz behind again. Even leaving Q behind is smart because he’ll share whatever information he gets too, and he won’t be expecting to go along since he just ate.

Maria: “For me, it’s about who is physically falling apart.” That wasn’t a smart statement. Everyone sees themselves as falling apart, even the ones who just ate at the last Reward. Liz is a very obvious choice here.

The silence is deafening, and I can sense people getting angry with Maria already.

Maria: “Venus, Liz and Q, make your case.” That’s a VERY smart way to handle it, especially after Charlie and Kenzie stepped out of the running. One of them could say something to kill their chances.

Liz: “I ain’t too proud to beg.” I like every version of that song. The Temptations’ classic, the Rolling Stones’ cover, and TLC’s completely different song of the same title. And by the way, TLC should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They’re the biggest-selling female group of all time.

More deafening silence.

Maria's choice

Rock, Paper, Scissors was fair, but wasn’t as smart. Jurors don’t like indecisive finalists.

When I play Rock, Paper, Scissors, it’s usually 1-2-throw. They went 1-2-3-throw. Q wins, and Liz mutters “That’s fucked up.” My thoughts exactly. Maria is gonna take heat for this for sure. She just put a speed bump in her path.

Venus: “When she said ‘Venus make your case,’ I wasn’t gonna beg.” I guess Venus doesn’t like that song.

The pizza losers

Liz: “I can’t respect anybody who is playing the game with that jerk.” Maria might have just cost herself Liz’s jury vote.

Charlie is smart for saying “Q is Maria’s #1.” If Q leaves, that makes Venus the best finals goat now.

Ok, this is about the fourth shot of a bird or bat eating some fruit. Wussupwitdat?

Fruit-eating bird

Maria: “Its time to get Venus out.” It’s like Maria is reading my mind. But I think Q is the one who planted the seed in Maria’s mind. Then again, Maria already knows she can’t work well with Venus Q’s suggestion might be like saying “I think we should breathe oxygen.”

Venus can control this vote if she reads the room right. Too bad she hasn’t read the room right very much.

I love when Venus rolls her eyes.

More Venus eyeroll

Q to Charlie: “The real plan is Venus.” Q still thinks he’s running the show.

Maria is doing decent damage control with Liz. Getting her talking is a great start.

Liz and Maria

Having Q on the jury isn’t a bad thing for Maria. He’ll vote for Maria for sure. And even if people don’t listen to him on the Ponderosa, he’ll still lobby for Maria.

Venus to Charlie: “I’ve got something up my sleeve.” Don’t do it girl. Keep your mouth shut about your Idol. You might have blown it already.

Venus and Charlie

Charlie knows it. She already screwed up. Venus just gave Charlie a reason to want her gone.

Charlie in confessional “Venus is stonewalling me on something important. That’s a red flag.” As Q would say “Big mistake, Venus.”

And right on cue, Charlie is telling people what Venus said.

Ben: “Venus is creating chaos. She always freaks out before every Tribal, and she’s always running around trying to pitch some crazy plan.” Venus might have just saved Q.

Charlie is being indecisive in his confessional. Jurors don’t like indecisive players. He has positioned himself badly here, and now he’s bound to anger whoever he doesn’t vote with.

Last week, I said Q was a dick for leaving Liz behind. This week, I’m saying Probst is a dick for this licorice thing. But at least he brought red licorice. Black licorice sucks.

Probst eating licorice

Maria: “The first decision (on who to take along) was really easy.” Horrible opening statement, Maria. I don’t think anybody is buying it. Bickering with Venus might be good since most of the jurors don’t like Venus. But it’s not as good when you’re the only one defending Q. That would be like Sandra arguing with Russell while defending Jonny Fairplay.

Venus, you know you wouldn’t have taken Q or Maria. Just keep on destroying your credibility.

Kenzie, admitting in front of the jury that you were out of the loop is not a smart thing to do. That’s what they’ll remember if you make it to the finals.

Now Venus is doing the same thing. Wussupwitdat?

Liz answering Probst’s question with three straight groans wasn’t smart either.

Groaning Liz

I didn’t think it was possible, but Q and Venus made their chances of winning even worse with their little fight here. Liz didn’t do herself any favors either, but she’s still got more jury respect than Venus and Q.

Unimpressed jurors

Venus holds on to her Idol. Are we gonna go 4 for 4?



Maybe I was right last week. Maybe Idols are broken.

The jurors don’t look impressed with this move.

Why the hell did Ben vote for Kenzie?


There’s no way to know for sure just yet, but its possible that Venus merely hinting to Charlie that she had an Advantage was enough to tip his decision to boot her over Q. If that’s the case, merely hinting she had some kind of Advantage was enough to sway Charlie’s decision to boot her instead of Q.

I’m bummed Venus is gone. She was great comedy relief. She didn’t quite take Eliza’s eye rolling crown, but Eliza had two seasons to cement her position. I won’t be surprised if Venus gets a chance to take the crown. She’s good TV. And I’ll get to see how Venus cleans up too next week when she’s in the jury box.

Just the same, Venus ended her game at the merge. Her level of respect plummeted when she immediately started trashing her Nami tribemates. Everyone knew she couldn’t be trusted with information, and that’s how they played it with her. The final nail in her coffin came when Q made himself a bigger goat than she was. She almost won a couple of Immunity Challenges though.

So, we’re almost at the finale. Maria is clearly the frontrunner, and Q the ideal goat. The next vote will likely be like this one. Whoever doesn’t win Immunity between Maria and Q will be the likely target. Kenzie, Charlie, Liz and Ben should all know they can’t beat Maria. If they can’t vote Maria out, they’ll know Q threatens to take their finals seat. We’ve seen Maria, Kenzie, and Ben make fire. I think Q is good at it too. But who knows if Charlie or Liz is any good at it?

Maria doesn’t have a smooth ride at all, and she put a couple of speed bumps in her path this week. Why even give Q a chance to eat again? Venus will probably trash her at the Ponderosa, but I doubt Soda, Tevin, Hunter or Tiffany will give her views much respect.

I’m not sure if Charlie’s outlook is good. He just burned Kenzie and Liz. They have less reason to trust him now than they did before this vote. He’s almost stuck with Maria and Q now, unless he can enlist Ben to help him do damage control with the women. Then again, if Kenzie finds out Ben voted for her, that bridge might have been burned too. I don’t think Charlie can win unless he removes Maria. He might have to do that before the fire challenge too.

Liz needs a lot of breaks. She’s been the person who couldn’t get rid of Q. I don’t think she can win unless she get credit for removing Maria, and I’m not sure how she can make that happen without Charlie. Sandra won Heroes vs Villains after failing to remove Russell, but she also had the prestige of being a previous winner. And she could justifiably tell the entire jury “You should have listened to me.” Liz doesn’t have that on her side.

Ben has to hope for others to put their foot in their mouths, and as Maria proved tonight, she’s capable of doing it. I still believe he can “Fabio” his way to a win. Q can count his 3rd place $85k already.

What do you think? What’s the best move for each remaining player? Did Maria do more damage than good to her chances this week? How can Charlie remove Maria now? And why the hell did Ben vote for Kenzie? Let me know in the comments.

damnbuenoDamnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.