Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 46 recaps
More sneaky sneaky, less sloppy sloppy
By Damnbueno | Published: April 11, 2024
Survivor 46 Episode 7 recap/ analysis

More sneaky sneaky, less sloppy sloppy

Last week as I was about to watch, I was apprehensive about what I was gonna see. I was hoping there wouldn’t be a split squad immunity challenge. My worst fear was that 7 of the 13 players would have Immunity.

This week’s feeling isn’t as bad as last week’s, but that’s because I already know two people will be leaving tonight. They said as much in last week’s teaser. This means another split squad challenge with teams once again chosen by the annoying rock draw. I’ll say it again. Why not let the players pick the team? It’s much more strategically interesting to see if the captains choose teams by strength or loyalty. If Charlie is a captain and picks Maria first, everyone will know who his #1 is. Does he risk being separated from her by picking Hunter or Q first? With Moriah gone, Charlie needs the Yanu 3 to vote with him. So, if he picks Hunter first, does he anger Q? Would that in turn cost Charlie a chance to recruit Tiffany and Kenzie? Who would Venus pick next if she had the choice? Does she pick anyone from Nami who she knows wants to vote her out? Would anyone pick the person they want to vote out, then throw the challenge? All of these possibilities disappear when teams are chosen by a rock draw.

Gabon is one of my least favorite seasons, but one of the swaps in that season is more to my liking. Everyone had to rank their tribe members in order of “Importance to the tribe,” however they wanted to define “important.” The two ranked “Most Important” (which turned out to be Matty and Marcus) became team captains. Each player had to pick one player from the opposing tribe. There was a lot of politicking happening. Randy asked Corinne to take Susie instead of G.C., who’d been hinting he’d quit. Ace failed to convince Kenny to pick Bob instead of Kelly. Kenny figured Ace had a deal with Bob. Kelly promptly told Kenny she was on the bottom of her tribe, and Kenny patted himself on the back for picking a potential defector.

Wow, I never thought I’d find myself reminiscing fondly about Gabon, which was a sloppy season chock full of unpredictable wild card players.

But enough of my grumbling about what we’re not gonna see in this episode. Let’s explore what we know going into an episode that will once again be decided by random chance instead of player skill.

Venus was put on notice that she’s in danger. She knew she was one of two boot choices, and she should also know she got saved because Moriah didn’t speak up enough about her position on Siga. Venus also tried and failed to switch the vote to Charlie. That probably labeled her a “vote we can’t control.” Nobody needs an Emily-esque adjustment more than Venus.

The “Journey 6” alliance hasn’t quite been solidified yet. Q, Hunter, Tevin and Tiffany are all in, but Tim and Maria are questionable. How hard will the first 4 stick out their necks to protect the non-committal Tim and Maria? Will Tim pay the price for not informing Maria soon enough? The Yanu 3 sided with Nami at the last vote. Will they stay in the middle and vote with Siga this time? How vulnerable are they if one of them gets put on the other team? And if you’re a Nami member not named Venus, how do you handle her? Do you try to bring her back into the fold, or do you try to get rid of her ASAP? What if you and Venus end up on a team surrounded by Siga and Yanu members? And speaking of Venus, will Charlie’s lone vote for Venus come back to haunt him? If she finds out, will she pitch Yanu on becoming their 4th against both Nami and Siga? Did Charlie blow any chance of luring Venus into Siga’s alliance? Oh yeah, and last week, Hunter said “Liz hates Soda.” Could the lack of unity on Nami mean one of them is leaving tonight?

The possibilities could still be interesting, depending on how the teams are split. But it would be so much more fun to anticipate this episode if I knew the players were making the choices. Let’s see what happens.

And away we go ....

The merged tribe name is NuiNui. I haven’t cared about the merged tribe name since Malcolm named it after his mother in Caramoan.

Venus is going on a Rupert-esque “Who voted for me” rant without the roaring. It didn’t work for Rupert, so why do you think it’ll work for you?

Venus, death stare

Tevin: “Soda didn’t listen to me, and now they’re (Soda and Venus) showing people how toxic they are. It will slide them closer to that snuffer and slide me closer to that million dollars.” Great line, Tevin!

Charlie comes clean about voting for Venus. Why would he do that? Why not let Venus stay angry at Soda? Now she’s gonna be mad at you.

Charlie voted for Venus

Q: “Why you admit to voting for Venus?” Is there an echo in here?” I like Q as a person, but as a player, he gets too preachy. Why does he feel he’s the one who should teach everyone how to play? He should leave that to me.

Charlie was right not to let Q know he didn’t like being confronted. So now he wants Q gone? Not a bad plan, but not just yet. Wait until you see what the Immunity Challenge teams are gonna be. He might need Q at this vote. Plant the “boot Q” seeds when your position is stronger.

Q, Charlie shake hands

Ben had a bad dream? Was he dreaming his guitar was out of tune? Did he think he wouldn’t be able to listen to Van Halen anymore?

Kenzie helps Ben get through his panic attack. It’s nice to see a side of her that isn’t cocky and overconfident. Ben will remember that, especially if Kenzie’s in the finals, and Ben is on the jury.

I’d hate to be on the overnight camera crew. Most nights must be boring as hell listening to people snoring, but not being able to sleep yourself.

I remember this challenge. Andrea and Brenda had an epic battle on this one during Caramoan. They also used it in Cagayan, Cambodia, HHH, Winners at War, and Survivor 42. This must be a very cost-effective challenge since they use it so much.

Everybody is ON the doghouse

I like how the second group to go to Tribal Council won’t know who got voted out at the first one. Knowing who left could affect the second vote.

When we see this challenge start, they’re all on the top foothold. That means everybody made it through the first round with ease.

Soda, Venus, Tevin, Maria, Charlie & Liz vs Tiffany, Kenzie, Hunter, Ben, Q and Tim. Not a good draw for the Siga players. My money is on Kenzie and Venus. The shorter, lighter women usually have an edge in balance challenges like this (unless Ozzy is in it). I remember Courtney balancing on a barrel in Survivor: China. She could have fallen asleep and never budged. Then again, Hunter has probably done this challenge 100 times in his backyard.

The Alphabet game was hilarious. Charlie knew how pissed off Q would get. And Probst’s shout out to Jelinsky was great too.

I noticed when they moved to the top, everyone had one foot in front of the other. Are they not allowed to put their feet parallel, and turn to the side?

Tim: “Wussup Jeff?” Probst: “What’s up, Tim? Thanks for the shout out.” Q: “No, Jeff. That’s how black people ask you what time is it?” Probst: “Ahh, I learn a lot on this show.” I’m black, and I didn’t know that. But I knew it wasn’t just a shout out.

Babbling Tim

Look at Tim showing how much he’s learned about everybody. He’s the favorite to win the “Tribemate Trivia” challenge if they have one.

Kenzie wins on her team, but Venus doesn’t. 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.

Soda openly cheering for Tevin might make Maria want to vote for Soda.

Wow, what a recovery by Tevin! But Maria pulls it out.

Off-balance Tevin

Normally, winning the first individual Immunity challenge marks the winner for an early death, but that hasn’t happened a lot when two people get wins. Both Fabio and Denise won the game after winning similar split Immunity Challenges.

Maria and Kenzie immune

Kenzie has Immunity, and both Hunter and Tiffany have Idols. Once again, the 3 Yanu will swing this vote. That’s bad news for Ben and Tim. If Q thinks the “Journey alliance” is still possible, Ben is gone.

As much as I hate split squad Immunity Challenges, I don’t mind that the teams are separated before Tribal Council. Sure, it might be interesting to see how one team tries to influence how the other team votes, but if that happened, the outcome might be too predictable.

The winning team’s Tribal Council is much more interesting. Venus is upset at both Soda and Charlie. Tevin and Soda are upset at Venus. Tevin has said “Soda has got to go-da.” And as Hunter said, “Liz hates Soda.” It seems like Venus has to forgive (or at least appear to forgive) somebody. It doesn’t look good for Soda unless she can suddenly get some trust from Maria and Charlie. I’m thinking she won’t.

Venus just called Maria “my girl,” in confessional but she still wants to go after Charlie? Why does she think the Nami people will support her down the line after she so openly worked against them? Venus is overconfident too.

Q: “I haven’t shown my (challenge) ability yet.” I’ve got news for you Q. The entire tribe knows you and Hunter are the Immunity threats. But it’s nice to know he admitted to sandbagging. But if that was your plan, you should have started doing it in the first challenge to make everyone think “He’s not as strong as he looks.” They’ve already seen how hard you’ll compete. The first impression is usually the lasting impression.

Tim: “Hunter is a Nami.” Q: “He’s part of the 6.” Tim: “Hunter is a Nami.” Q: “He’s part of the 6.” Tim really doesn’t get it. Say “yes” when someone pitches you a plan. Tim just told Q he’s not down with the “Journey 6.” There are only 6 votes here, and 4 of them are supposed to have a secret alliance. You either need to cut Ben loose, or pitch Q on booting Kenzie. Tim is playing a team game, when he should be playing an individual game. Charlie was willing to cut Moriah loose. You should be willing to cut Ben loose. Tim might have just flipped the vote from Ben to himself.

Tim: Hunter's Nami

Tim isn’t reading the room right either. He thinks Nami is a united tribe, even though Venus clearly identified herself as a defector.

Q: “Tim, you’re going home tonight, and you just don’t know it.” Is there an echo in here?”

Q says Tim is going home

Soda tells Charlie she wants Venus gone, and Charlie is smart enough to give an immediate “yes.” Then Soda then shares her plan with Tevin but adds a bad statement in claiming “Me and Charlie are really tight.” Will Tevin go for it, or will he realize Soda is trying to put Charlie’s vote in her pocket? Like Charlie, Tevin gave an immediate “yes,” so Soda will think this vote is locked up. I think he knows Soda has a better chance of winning than Venus and will want Soda gone.

Tevin: “I can’t read Soda.” Then he goes straight to Liz (remember, “Liz hates Soda”) and asks her to boot Soda. Liz is smart enough to say “yes” to someone’s pitch.

Tevin and Liz

Liz: “I’ve been wanting to lose. I want Soda out so bad. She’s my #1 target.”

Charlie is a good example of knowing when to keep your mouth shut ... except of course when he says “yes” when he’s pitched an idea.

Venus: “I want to play with fire, I want to make big moves.” That’s what a lot of zero-vote finalists have said.

Venus, wanting to make big moves

Maria: “Poor Venus. She’s not reading the room.” I wonder if Maria’s fingers are wet? She just took the words right out of my mouth. But she failed to say “yes” to Venus’ pitch, which means Venus will form a plan that doesn’t include Maria.

Venus seems to think she’s got a lot of power when she has almost none. She just fell on her face at the last vote. Good for her for being persistent, but she needs to go at it a different way. Instead, she’s doing the exact same thing she did at the last vote. She’s right when she says she doesn’t think Maria wants to work with her, but that doesn’t mean she’s got the power to flip the vote any way she wants. There is zero subtlety to her game. She’s reminding me of a 5-year-old trying to pull off a hidden card trick, and repeatedly saying “No, that’s wrong, let me start over.”

Just the same, I like the ping-ponging targets. It probably won’t amount to an Edgardo-esque blindside, but its more fun to watch than I thought.

Maria to Venus: “I don’t know where I stand.” Maria STILL isn’t letting Venus think she’s on board. She had a chance to fix her first mistake but made it worse. Why would Venus ever come to Maria again? And now Maria is telling Venus to back off? Venus is gonna be on the jury. Maria might have just lost Venus’ jury vote, and I think Charlie knows it.

Eavesdropping Charlie

Venus to Maria: “I’m putting a lot on the line, and this lack of certainty is scaring me off.” Does Venus think Maria is obligated to go with her plan? Q did the same thing last week when he thought Venus should feel obligated to him.

Charlie: “I might play my Shot in the Dark.” Venus: “If you do that, I’ll vote with Nami.” Does Venus think Nami will still embrace her? Why does she think that’s a viable option?

Charlie: “Venus is totally chaotic and unpredictable.” He’s got an interesting decision. I may have to include his move in my next column on Wild Cards. Oh yeah, and this confessional is probably the worst green-screening I’ve seen on Survivor in a while.

Charlie in confessional

Hmm, Tim asks Tiffany if she’s cool with the “Journey 6” alliance. She says she is, then he turns right around and asks them to vote for Hunter, who’s a member of the “Journey 6?” Tim isn’t reading the room well either. Tiffany was smart enough to say “yes” to Tim and even added “I think Tevin will be fine.” Smart move, Tiffany.

Q: “We’re all 3 voting Tim.” Q just gave an order. Most players don’t like being given an order.

Q says vote Tim

Tiffany: “Tim thinks he’s a good liar and he’s not. Ben could be a secret agent of chaos.” That’s a great observation.

Hunter has power because he did NOT tell anyone about his Idol. That’s the only reason he’s got an edge at this vote. If he reads the room right, he could hold on to it. But it’s safer to play it.

Kenzie to Q: “Why is it you’re the only one deciding where the votes go?” Tiffany: “(Q) This is a conversation. You’re not just telling us where to put our votes.” I can see the level of respect for Q’s game plummeting. Somewhere down the line, Tiffany and/or Kenzie will use this moment against Q – either to get him voted out, or to keep jury votes away from him.

Q is playing like a power-hungry alpha male.

Kenzie: “Q is barking orders at us.” Like a power-hungry alpha male.

Q says not to vote Tim

Tribal Council #1

Tim goes straight after Hunter. Bad move. If for any reason Hunter stays, you’ve just blown any chance of working with Hunter down the line. You’ve also put his possible jury vote at risk.

Ben talking about how Kenzie helped him through his panic attack is equal to telling this group why Kenzie could win the game.

Losing team's Tribal

But Kenzie coming to tears over how hard it will be to vote someone out might backfire because everyone now realizes Kenzie is good at appealing to people’s emotions. Kenzie just enhanced a reason to keep her out of the finals.

And Q’s speech about Kenzie’s enduring positive attitude just enhanced another reason to keep her out of the finals, even though he was being totally sincere. Q just told everyone why they should vote for Kenzie in the finals instead of for him.

If I’m Hunter, I’m playing my Idol no matter what. You know you’re getting at least two votes. Only one more could make the difference. And if you’ve seen how Q is getting on Kenzie and Tiffany’s nerves, you know those 3 might not be so united.

Hunter keeps his Idol. That’s pretty ballsy.

Bye Tim. Much like Jem, you did it to yourself. If you’d made Q and Tiffany feel better about the “Journey 6” alliance, you’d probably still be in the game.

Tim, snuffed

Tim: “I was a leader, not a loser.” Dude, leaders usually lose the game of Survivor. In pre-game, I speculated that Tim would have a hard time convincing people how to vote. I have no shame in saying I was right about that.

Tribal Council #2

Liz: “I didn’t bring my bag tonight. I’m gonna go back to the fire at camp and get warm.” Even if you’re safe tonight, that’s a very dumb statement to make ... like saying “I’ve got a lot of money already.”

Second Tribal

Venus: “Unlike Soda, my butt is on the line. I hope the Survivor Gods are in my favor.” Venus is playing the “I’m the victim” card, and it’s annoying. Kind of like a Taylor Swift song.

Wow, we actually got a voting confessional! Maria “There’s just no way we can work together, you’re way too dangerous.” I wish we could see more of these.

Soda knows something is up since Charlie didn’t play his Shot in the Dark.

Shocked Soda

Soda is gone, but it doesn’t look like she’s bitter at all. Good move, Tevin. Venus thinks she pulled it off. So does Soda, and she just publicly credited Venus. How is Tevin gonna own this move? If I’m Tevin, I might have done what Jesse did when he blindsided Cody, and immediately said “I’m sorry Soda” and offer a handshake as soon as the last vote was read. At a minimum, Soda would know Tevin had a hand in planning it.

And now Venus is patting Maria and Charlie’s backs as if to say “Thank you, my new minions?” Yeah, she’s gonna try to own this move to everyone when they get back to camp.

Oh wait! Tevin voted for Venus? Wow, I was totally wrong about that. Venus DID get it done! Or did Liz get it done? I’m confused. We saw Tevin asking Liz to vote for Soda, but then he votes for Venus? Did he not check in with Liz? Did he ask Liz to switch to Venus, and Liz thought to herself “But I hate Soda,” and not tell Tevin how she was voting?

Tevin votes Venus


There were so many bad moves in this episode, it was hard to keep up. 1) Venus interrogating people to find out who voted for her. 2) Charlie admitting to Venus he voted for her instead of letting her stay mad at Soda. 3) Maria failing to say “yes” when pitched an idea. 4) Venus being too aggressive ... again. 5) Q barking orders at his alliance. 6) Tim rejecting the “Journey 6” alliance by continually pushing to boot Hunter. 7) Tim failing to have a plan B. He didn’t seem to consider that people could be lying to him. 8) Liz announcing she’s sure she’ll be by the fire tonight. Good lord, these people are sloppy.

What were the good moves? I suppose Ben, Hunter and Charlie’s ability to keep a cool exterior after the challenge helped all of them, but that’s not exactly a “move” is it? Tevin set Soda up perfectly for a blindside by saying “yes” when she pitched booting Venus. But then he voted for Venus himself? Is that what he really wanted, or was he just protecting against a possible Idol play or Shot in the Dark by Charlie? I’m confused. Tiffany was also smart for saying “Yes” to Tim’s request to boot Hunter. She set up Tim for a blindside too.

Who’s playing a good overall game? This season, I think it might come down to who has made the fewest mistakes. Right now, that appears to be Hunter, Tiffany and maybe Ben. Charlie and Kenzie are close too. We’ll learn more next week when we finally get to see everyone voting when only 1 person has the Immunity necklace. Let me know what you think 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.