Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 46 recaps
Was this chaos organized, dumb, or both?
By Damnbueno | Published: April 18, 2024
Survivor 46 Episode 8 recap/ analysis

Was this chaos organized, dumb, or both?

Like many obsessive Survivor fans, I check out the Secret Scenes each week. Most of the time, there’s not much to them. We’ll usually see a tribe reading the Treemail clue and trying to figure out what the challenge is gonna be. Sometimes we’ll see a player or two searching for (but never finding) an Idol or Advantage. Last season we caught a glimpse of the tribe conversations while one member was away on a Journey. We also saw Kendra and J. Maya leading their tribe through meditation sessions.

But this week there was a very interesting one all about Q. He shared his perspective on the merged tribe. Q said “I’ve always had this gift to connect with people. If you connect with people, they trust you, and give you information. I’ve got a little information from everybody, and now I can put the pieces to the puzzle together. For example, Hunter is a challenge beast, but he needs someone to think for him. He don’t have it in here (he points to his head). Tiffany is a social butterfly because she thinks that’s how you win in this game. Then you have Tim, who’s a smart guy, and for that, Tim is not to be trusted. Maria is the soft-spoken mom. You can’t let her get to the end. Kenzie is not a puzzle wizard or decision maker. She will follow for a vote. Charlie is a cool dude but hasn’t done anything in this game worth talking about. Soda is loud. She wants to be liked. She wants everybody to see her. She won’t make it to the end. Venus is a snake I can see. I’ma stay away from her ‘cause she will bite. Tevin is young, and naïve. He’ll lose the game but will probably make it to the end. Ben’s favorite player is Tony. Ben is playing a Tony game. It’s very deceiving, in your face, loud. He wants to be seen but wants to be undercover. The only person I don’t have figured out is Liz. And maybe there’s nothing to figure out about Liz just yet, but I’m starting to realize I’m about 12 hours ahead of these people, and I have to tread softly. I have to let them do what they do, and I’ll do what I do. If it backfires and spits me in the face, I’ll deal with it. But if it works, it’s what’s gonna win me the million.”


My impression here is that:

1) Q is greatly underestimating Hunter, Tiffany, Charlie, Tevin and Kenzie. All of them have shown intelligent insight when around Q, and he just hasn’t picked up on it at all.

2) Q’s read on Ben doesn’t appear anywhere close to accurate. Ben isn’t building spy shacks, doing llama impressions, or even lying to anyone like Tony was. Ben hasn’t discussed strategy much with anyone, including his #1 Tim. Tony could never stop talking strategy. He talked so much, 5 different players thought he was using 5 different strategies.

3) Once Q decides on a reason not to trust someone, he doesn’t budge from it. He’s just not very flexible. Moriah told him her favorite player was Aubry. Q feared Aubry’s game and concluded Moriah would play the same way. He seems to have made similar judgements about Maria, Venus and Kenzie. But most importantly ...

4) Q is overestimating himself. Q thinks he’s 12 hours ahead of everyone but has no idea where the Nami and Siga Idols are. He doesn’t appear to have given thought to Maria and Tevin’s Extra Votes, or whether or not Ben and Liz got anything on their Journeys either.

But the biggest oversight I saw on Q’s part is he doesn’t seem remotely concerned about how the other players are perceiving HIM.

We’ve seen Q assume a “teacher” role with Bhanu, Charlie, Hunter, and Tim. He blatantly scolded Charlie for making what he considered a bad move. This inspired Charlie to want Q gone. We’ve also seen Q straight up give orders to Tiffany and Kenzie, and now they’re thinking of cutting him loose. Charlie, Tiffany, Kenzie, Jess and Bhanu all resented the way Q approached them. It’s not a stretch to believe others may resent Q, especially those he may have written off as non-threats. For Q to be so unconcerned with how others feel about him is a huge flaw in his game. It tells me Q won’t have any idea what these people will want to see in a winner. How is Q gonna plead his case to them if he makes it to the finals with this blind spot? It’s likely he’ll assume they’ll all use the same voting criteria HE would use if he were on the jury. Unfortunately for Q, that’s the same approach Russell Hantz used.

Contrast Q’s approach to Dee’s masterful game last season. I don’t think there was any moment during the game when Dee didn’t know how the other players felt about her. She knew when she was safe, and when she was vulnerable. Her accurate reads told her when to tail Austin and Drew when they were Idol hunting. Dee saw how Kellie was the glue holding the Belo tribe together, so she took Kellie out. Dee also knew to take Emily out when Emily appeared to be luring Austin and Drew away from her. Dee knew when to share information, and more importantly, when NOT to share information. She also knew how to send people out of the game without angering them. Dee entered Final Tribal Council with a reasonable chance at getting every vote, including Drew’s who was Austin’s #1 ally. Dee was 100% of the reason Kellie and Emily got booted, yet she got both of their jury votes. Q may have already cost himself votes from Tiffany, Kenzie and Charlie, and he doesn’t know it. After all, you can’t fix a problem until you know it exists. It’s also good gameplay by Hunter, Tiffany, Charlie, Tevin and Kenzie that Q isn’t suspicious of any of them.

Soda had a similar perception problem. She thought she had Tevin and Liz on her side. Venus is aware of how she’s perceived, she just doesn’t care. Liz keeps making statements that can put people off, which hints she doesn’t know how she’s perceived either. Those who do appear to know how they’re being perceived include Ben, Hunter, Tevin and Charlie. Everyone else is in the middle.

Oh, and speaking of Tevin, there was a lot of confusion about Tevin’s vote for Venus last week. We saw him lobbying hard to remove Soda, then out of nowhere he voted for Venus. The theory that makes the most sense to me is that Tevin was confident Soda would get votes from Venus, Maria, Charlie and Liz. So, to guard against a successful Shot in the Dark play by Soda should she get alarmed, Tevin put his vote on Venus to prevent a revote that could backfire on him. Also, voting for Venus gives Tevin the chance to tell Soda “I never wrote your name down.” I don’t think Tevin anticipated Soda giving credit to Venus on her way out, but Liz, Charlie and Maria all know he was the one who pitched the “boot Soda” plan. At least one of them will be on the Jury. They should back him up…if he doesn’t anger them. But for now, Venus is strutting like a peacock believing it was all her move, and you know she’s gonna own it to everyone. Tevin is gonna have to do more than merely whisper “no” to take ownership of this vote.

We finally get to see everyone maneuvering around the same single Tribal Council vote. Here’s where it gets really interesting. How will it play out?

And away we go ....

Right off the bat, we’re reminded that Tiffany and Hunter have Idols. Hmm, I wonder if we’ll see an Idol played tonight?

And we see Tevin cast a “just in case” vote. Mystery solved. Now he just has to rain on Venus’ parade.

Tevin: Just in case

Q doesn’t understand a basic rule of Survivor. Always stick physically close to the majority. If 4 people want to vibe with Ben, you should too. Q is sitting on the beach while everyone else is in the shelter. Q really thinks everyone is obligated to follow his rules. Tribal Councils usually last at least an hour, even if it’s a split tribe. Why does Q think he has to rush Ben into a private talk?

Venus: “Tevin and Soda voted for me. Soda said, ‘You got me.’” Venus can’t help patting herself on the back. She has no idea how bad a look that is. Maria is right, Venus is oblivious. I think that makes her the safest player in the game. Why vote her out now? Tevin is smart not to call Venus out in front of everyone. Its better to let her think she’s in charge. If he takes credit now, everyone might start targeting him.

But Liz thinks it was her plan all along? Hmmm ... maybe she shouldn’t spend so much time laying down in the shelter and start networking more.

Liz and Tevin

Q pitching the Q skirt reminds me of the late Billy Mays pitching OxiClean. This is the fluff we miss out on in a standard one-hour episode.

There goes Q playing “teacher” again with Charlie.

Q: Listen, Charlie

Q should know Charlie will realize he’s the last one invited to the Six and won’t want to stick with it. Most people want to believe they’re the first choice, not the last choice. Charlie to Maria “This is the shakiest Six ever. Tim was in the Six.” Maria knows what’s up.

Maria reacts

Playing Hide and Seek's a great way to look for an Idol undetected. This game is a lot easier to play when each person has a camera operator following them around. Find a camera, find a player.

But these people don’t know how to play it. Whoever is “it” isn’t supposed to get help finding people from those he/she already found.

Liz finds Q

Q is so confident, I can’t wait to see him blindsided. Maybe even tonight.

Q is quick to claim Ben and Hunter made a mistake by hiding so well, but I think Q made a mistake by providing too much fun. He’s already seen as a physical threat. Now he could be making himself too likable. On one hand, lightening up might soften the harsh feelings he created with Charlie, Tiffany and Kenzie. But on the other hand, if any of them think people are liking Q now, that’s a reason to remove Q. The Survivor graveyard is full of players labeled “too likable to let reach the finals” starting with Gervase in Borneo, and Elisabeth in The Australian Outback to Cyndi in Guatemala (yes, I put a “y” in her name, as in “Why didn’t you give everyone a car?”), Denise in China, Brett in Samoa, Jane in Nicaragua, Phillip in Caramoan... (just making sure you’re paying attention), Trish in Cagayan, Sebastian in Ghost Island, Janet in Island of the Idols, etc.

I don’t really think Q will be too likable. I just wanted to print a list of likable players.

Why is Venus telling Tevin how she did it? She just told him how she might try to do it again later on. And even if Venus did pull this off, right now, she’s only rubbing it in Tevin’s face.

Tevin and Venus

Why is Tevin telling Liz how he did it? He just told her how he might try to do it again later on.

Tevin’s Eddie Murphy laugh is almost as good as mine, and I got paid to do it.

Tiffany: “I’d rather deal with a nuisance than a threat.” I like her insight.


Tevin thinks the fact that Tiffany did NOT throw out a name means she’s betraying their alliance? How in the hell does that logic work?

Kenzie is working on Venus’ hair? If Venus doesn’t see through it, that’s a good social move.

Q is very quick to point out everyone else’s mistakes, but wanting to take a goat to the end is a smart idea. Why doesn’t Q want to play that game? It sounds like Q is playing more to be memorable than playing to win the million.

I’ve lost count of how many times Q has said “Big mistake” about someone.

Q to Maria: “Tiffany has an Idol.” This is why Tiffany never should have told anyone about her Idol.

Q and Maria

How ironic is it that Q keeps preaching about staying loyal, then he goes after his #1 partner Tiffany? Q is starting to act like an unpredictable wild card.

We’ve seen this challenge a bunch of times. The most memorable time for me was when overconfident Ozzy told Tai he’d never beat him. Tai beat him, and Ozzy got voted out next.

I wonder if anyone has gargantuan toes like Dee last season? If so, they’re a lock to win it.

Getting a grip

I’m glad nobody went for the rice deal. Maybe Probst will realize this has played itself out, too.

Q has gone out first in two consecutive challenges. His sandbagging is a little too obvious. It’s better to go out in the middle of the pack.

For a second there, I thought Tevin was gonna try and talk everyone into submission like Christian did with Alec in David vs Goliath.

I love the “several” shout outs.

Last season, Dee won it in part by staying in a seated position with her feet above her waist for a while, then switching to using her toes in the footholds.

Oh Hunter, now you’re showing off. I know you’ve already been established as a challenge beast, but there’s no reason to enhance that image.

Upside-down Hunter

Tonight’s vote is wide open, but since we were reminded Tiffany has an Idol means she’s a likely target.

It seems like Q thinks everyone is obligated to follow his rules. “It was just idiotic.”

Q complaining

It’s great that Liz wants to have some influence, but she hasn’t been paying attention to recent seasons has she? Sticking her head up now will probably bite her in the ass in a vote or two. She just targeted Tevin because he stuck his head up, and now she wants Tevin gone. Does she not think the same thing could happen to her?

Liz pitches her move

Q: “My game is based on me being in control ... Tiffany broke MY rule! ... Hunter is doing what I did NOT want him to do.” Q is starting to sound like Boston Rob.

Liz: “Y’all do whatever you want, I’m voting Tevin. That statement might get rid of Tevin, but it also might get rid of Liz. She’s turning herself into a vote nobody can control.

Its interesting that after Hide and Seek, Q was dead set on booting Ben because he hid so well, but now Ben isn’t on Q’s radar at all. To say Q lacks focus would be a huge understatement.

My spidey sense tells me we’re in for some whispering at Tribal Council. Especially with 20 minutes left. We’d better get captions!

CBS sure is running a lot of ads for the Billy Joel rebroadcast. They should have known better than to cut it off in the middle of “Piano Man.”

Q speaks at Tribal

Q: “I’ma ask everybody to vote for me.” Whatchutalkin’ ‘bout Willis? That statement just guaranteed Q won’t win the game under any circumstances. Nobody will ever respect this ploy whether or not it’s sincere.

My thoughts exactly.

Kenzie reacts

Tevin reacts

Hunter reacts

And the whispering begins.

Ben nailed it.

Ben: He doesn't want to be on the bottom

Ben: I don't care for the shenanigans

Tevin: “If he’s this unhinged, he needs to go.” My thoughts exactly.

Hunter: “This is the dumbest thing ever.” My thoughts exactly.

Maria: “That’s my concern. He may do it again.” My thoughts exactly.

Liz: “He’s annoying the shit out of me right now.” You know what I’m gonna say, but I’m happy we got the captions.

Q is the agent of chaos Tiffany thought Ben was gonna be.

Charlie just pulled a Michele Fitzgerald. She was totally clueless at the Tyson boot in Winners at War.

Exasperated Charlie

Bye, Tevin. I guess now it doesn’t matter if he owns the Soda boot ... unless Venus is in the finals.

And Venus is starting to challenge Eliza for the title of eye-rolling queen. She had three great ones at this Tribal Council alone.

Eyerolling Venus


So, who engineered this vote? I guess Liz was the first to suggest Tevin, but after the Q-inspired chaos, can we really say she drove it through? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe sticking to her guns convinced everyone to “stick with the plan.”

For someone who thinks he’s able to teach everyone the right way to play Survivor, Q just gave a master lesson on how to lose the game. No less than four players called this the “dumbest thing ever,” and it’s all because of what Q did. Tevin is sure to share the details with Soda, and his message will be reinforced by several jurors. I have no idea what Q was trying to accomplish with this nonsense. Its hard for me to think of anybody who had a worse episode than Q aside from what’s his name from Island of the Idols. Whatever goodwill Q earned with his Hide and Seek experiment, he lost all of it at Tribal Council. I don’t even think Hunter would vote for him now. Q even voted for Tevin himself. After pushing so much loyalty to the 6, it turns out Q had the least amount of anyone. He was the first to suggest going after Tim, and Tiffany, and he spilled the info about Tiffany’s Idol.

This season is starting to resemble Gabon, but with more competent players. Nobody can seem to stick to any long-range plan except Hunter. The Charlie/Maria duo is probably in the best position because everyone wants to include them in their plans, but they both can’t win. One will likely turn on the other just like Jesse/Cody, Tommy/Lauren and even Maryanne/Omar. I have no idea which one has the edge here.

Normally I end my column by posing a few questions, but this episode was so bizarre, there are too many to consider. What the hell just happened? Please tell me something 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.