The Best & Worst Moves of Episode 5 (RECAP)


Tiki Man

Season 46 • Episode 5

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Survivor Season 46 Episode 5, “Tiki Man.”]

Do you hear that? That’s the sigh of relief I just let out watching Yanu finally win its first Immunity Challenge. Thank goodness that team caught a break; I don’t know if I could have watched another depressing Yanu Tribal Council. With Yanu out of the woods, Survivor 46 could finally focus more time on other teams, revealing their strengths and weaknesses.

Nami is still undefeated, but Hunter is looking more and more like an all-around great player. Venus is still struggling with her social game, and her strategy of boldness isn’t helping her make friends. Siga, the only team not to lose a player this season so far (Nami lost Randen to a medical emergency in Episode 3), showed its cards when preparing for Tribal. A few of the contestants stood out from the pack, while others landed themselves in the bottom with shoddy strategy.

The most notable players of Survivor Season 46 Episode 5 all came from the Siga tribe. Here’s our Power Players ranking for the episode.

Best Player: Ben

Robert Voets/CBS

Ben doesn’t have a vote, and yet he still orchestrated Siga’s first elimination. Jem went into “chaos mode” in the hours before Tribal, as he described it to Maria and Charlie, and it rubbed almost everyone on the team the wrong way.

As she campaigned for Ben’s elimination, she tried to save face by being really intense in talks with Tim in an attempt to look eager to connect. It was all talk and no action, and Ben and Tim saw through it. Ben’s ability to control the elimination without revealing his lost vote — all while convincing Maria to use her extra vote — is the mark of a smart and savvy player.

Worst Mistakes: Jem

Robert Voets/CBS

Jem had her vote and a hidden Immunity Idol at her disposal, and yet she still got voted out. Ben provided great commentary explaining why Jem wasn’t playing well in this episode.

“She’s on endgame mode,” he said. Thinking only about winning the $1 million but not each step to getting there was her fatal flaw. Jem didn’t realize her all-women alliance wasn’t as strong as she thought, and she didn’t notice the tight alliance between Maria and Charlie to boot.

She evaded capture after planting the fake Beware Advantage for several days, but she failed to realize that the way she hid the decoy advantage was harder than Jeff Probst would ever allow the game to be. This made Tim and others suspicious, leaving her as an untrustworthy member of the tribe. She was so eager to impress the future jury, she didn’t think about making it to the next day. Jem became the fifth person voted out of Survivor 46 as a result, and with an idol in her pocket. Maria’s extra vote sealed the deal.

Dark Horse: Tim

Robert Voets/CBS

Tim has long suspected that Jem was behind the Beware Advantage trick, and he was right. He showed his strategic and social skills when helping orchestrate the Jem elimination of his dreams, allying himself with the right players to get it done. He also created a new alliance with Hunter from Nami and Q from Yanu on the Journey while still protecting his vote.

With the fight for the merge coming next week, Tim protected his voting power and set himself up for a majority alliance once the teams combine. There won’t be enough time between this new deal and the merge for Tim, Q, or Hunter to lose interest in the plan. Right before the going gets tough, Tim set himself up for success in spite of his team’s first defeat.

Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS

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