'Survivor: David vs. Goliath' recap: Dan Rengering ousted after playing idol due to new "idol nullifier" advantage
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/23/2018
Survivor: David vs. Goliath eliminated Dan Rengering after a dramatic Tribal Council in which two secret advantages were played as well as a hidden Immunity Idol during Wednesday night's Survivor Season 37 episode on CBS.
Dan, a 27-year-old S.W.A.T. officer from Lake Butler, FL, who currently resides in Gainesville, FL, became the tenth castaway to leave the game on Day 25 through a 6-3-2 vote at Tribal Council.
Dan had played a hidden Immunity Idol for himself; however, Carl Boudreaux played his "idol nullifier" to void the power of Dan's idol. In addition, Nick Wilson played his "steal-a-vote" advantage, stealing Alison Raybould's vote and voting twice for Dan.
"You think when you have an idol you're golden, but I just got knocked out of the game. Who would've thought that there was a doggone idol nullifier? Who's ever heard of that?!" Dan said following his Survivorouster.
"It took the Davids two advantages and turning some Goliaths to take me out. I take a lot of pride in that. I'm pretty sure [Kara Kay] flipped her vote. It kind of hurts a little bit, but if she wants to work on the bottom of the Davids, then that's her problem, not mine."
The broadcast began on Night 22 at the Kalokalo tribe.
At the beginning of the episode, the castaways still competing for $1 million were Dan; Christian, a 32-year-old robotics scientist from Baltimore, MD, who currently resides in Tallahassee, FL; Angelina, a 28-year-old financial consultant from Sparks, NV, who currently resides in San Clemente, CA; Alison, a 28-year-old physician from Leawood, KS, who currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC; Nick, a 27-year-old public defender from Williamsburg, KY, who currently resides in London, KY; and Carl, a 41-year-old truck driver from Beaumont, TX, who currently resides in Houston, TX.
The rest of the players were Kara Kay, a 30-year-old realtor from San Diego, CA; Mike White, a 47-year-old filmmaker from San Diego, CA, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and has previously competed on The Amazing Race; Alec Merlino, a 24-year-old bartender from San Clemente, CA; Davie Rickenbacker, a 30-year-old social media manager from Orangeburg, SC, who currently resides in Atlanta, GA; and Gabby Pascuzzi, a 25-year-old technical writer from St. Augustine, FL, who currently resides in Denver, CO.
On Night 22, Davie was so proud of his move to play his idol for Christian Hubicki and take John Hennigan out. He told his tribe Survivorhas evolved enough to the point where everyone should just respect each other's gameplay and not take things so personally.
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Kara, Alison and Alec were then shown discussing how they wished they had another idol or advantage to play, because if the original Davids had one, they could take control of the numbers and pick the original Goliaths off one by one.
The Goliaths still had a 6-5 advantage, but Alec said Alison and himself were contemplating flipping. Mike White had held them back from doing so, and now Alec feared it was too late to be anything but Goliath strong.
Meanwhile, Dan was frustrated he had played his idol for the wrong person. After Tribal Council, people also had side conversations that didn't include him, and so he felt unappreciated and taken advantage of. Dan didn't even feel "rock solid" anymore with Kara, and he said it hurt his feelings.
Dan then expressed his anger at Kara, and she said he was too emotional, "coming loose at the seams," and "letting the game get to him." Kara admitted Dan felt like "an anchor" that was pulling her down in the game and she may need to cut ties with him soon.
"I know it sucks, but it has to be done. I have to separate myself from [Dan] if I'm going to win this game," Kara told the cameras.
For the challenge, the castaways were divided into two teams of five, and each team was required to make their way through an obstacle to retrieve a bag of numbered tiles, and then make their way to the finish where those tiles would release a key.
The key would unlock a snake puzzle, and the first team to finish the snake puzzle would win Reward in the form of cheeseburgers, bacon burgers, veggie burgers, cold beer and soft drinks.
A random draw resulted in the following two teams: Angelina, Christian, Alison, Gabby and Nick vs. Mike, Davie, Dan, Alec and Kara. Carl, however, drew the wrong rock and was unable to participate in the challenge at all.
Mike unlocked the puzzle before Christian, so his team had a lead. And in the end, Mike's team -- whom Jeff said had a "clear physical advantage" -- won the competition.
Gabby hoped to speak with Alison after the challenge and convince her to flip on the Goliaths and come to the Davids, whom she called "the good side." Gabby had a good relationship with Alison, and so she thought there was a real potential there to work with her.
Gabby pitched the idea of taking out Dan to Alison, but Alison was totally torn between staying Goliath strong or making a big move for her Survivor resume. Alison thought she might have security within the Davids and then would be in "a beautiful position" to play this game.
While enjoying their Reward, Mike tried to convince the original Goliaths to stick together as an alliance or else they'd be "forfeiting" their chances of winning this game when Davie went for a walk by himself.
Kara, Dan and Alec agreed to Mike's face, saying they should probably just vote for Christian again, but Kara admitted Dan was "a liability" to her game and she needed to get him out.
"It's no longer David vs. Goliath," Kara said in a confessional.
Kara wanted to flip with Alison and Alec on her side, so in order to gain their trust, she gave them a piece of information -- that Dan had a second hidden Immunity Idol he could play. Alec acknowledged Dan was a threat but he was "also the least strategic out of the Goliaths."
Alec said Dan's big mistake was telling people he had found idols, especially a charming girl like Kara. Alec, Kara and Alison then talked about blindsiding Dan, but it was a difficult decision for Alison to make because she had the security of numbers with the Goliaths.
On Day 24, Davie assumed there was another idol back at camp, so the Davids had a gameplan to wake up "at the crack of dawn" and look for another idol or advantage. The Davids looked out for each other and had each other's back.
Christian then discovered a hidden Immunity Idol. He was thinking about telling the Davids about his idol because since he was a target, he needed their help.
On Day 25, Kalokalo met Jeff again for the next Individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
Jeff instructed each player to race out to retrieve a ball and then balance that ball on a disk while crossing a beam. Once a castaway got all three balls to the finish, he or she would maneuver them through a track.
The first person to land all three balls would win immunity, while the losers would attend Tribal Council and someone would become the tenth person voted out of the tribe and the third member of Survivor: David vs. Goliath's jury.
Alec began the challenge furiously and ended up pulling out a win. He became the third original Goliath in a row to win Individual Immunity.
Dan was glad one of his friends won immunity because he felt Christian needed to go since he was the head of the snake.
Knowing about Dan's idol, she thought it might be necessary to split the votes, so she advised the Davids to vote with her. Kara suggesting splitting their votes between Dan and Angelina since they were both on the bottom of the original Goliaths.
Alison, however, changed her mind and decided to go with the flow and stay true to the original Goliaths. She realized her best move was not to make a big move at all -- yet.
Alison told Alec they should stay Goliath strong, and he agreed, saying they could get rid of Christian, maintain the numbers and then have a good idea where everyone stood. Alec said, "Mike is right. It would be a cake walk."
Once the pair pitched the plan to Kara, her head was in a whirlwind. She wanted to write Dan's name down and feared rallying votes for him to stay could ultimately hurt her own game.
Meanwhile, the Davids noticed the Goliaths were so segregated all the time. Nick Wilson wanted to execute a cross-tribal alliance, but he worried the Goliaths were lying to his face again.
Carl and Nick then shared with the Davids they had two secret advantages -- a "steal-a-vote" advantage as well as an "idol nullifier." Christian then shared he had found an idol. The question came down to what to play, how and when, and Christian noted they couldn't screw it up.
Dan announced he was absolutely staying true to the Goliaths, believing the game was still David vs. Goliath. Mike also said his priority was to keep the numbers.
Nick said the two tribes worked together to take out Elizabeth Olson and then they were supposed to work together to take out Angelina, but when a Goliath was supposed to go, everything changed. Carl said people needed to prove their trust, not just tell him to trust them.
Nick admitted he wanted to play when anyone and everyone so he could play his best game. He was frustrated with the initial tribal lines.
This vote was going to be a major turning point in the game, as a Goliath was going to flip and join forces with the Davids or the Goliaths were going to stick together and gain an even bigger numbers advantage.
Before it became time to vote, Nick chose to play his secret "steal-a-vote" advantage. Nick opted to steal Alison's vote, and she said it "hurt a lot" because she wanted to play this game. As a result, Nick got to vote twice.
Alison was then shown whispering to Alec, who then told Kara something that made her nod her head "yes." Dan subsequently asked Kara if he should play his idol for Alison, but Kara's response was unclear.
After the votes were cast, Jeff asked if anyone wanted to play a hidden Immunity Idol. Dan wanted to ensure his safety, so she played the idol for himself. However, Jeff then pointed out he had been given the "idol nullifier."
"The nullifier blocks the power of an idol if played against the correct person. This nullifier was played against Dan," Jeff declared. "Dan, your idol has no power. Any votes cast against Dan still count."
Dan yelled, "Oh my God," and he couldn't believe it.
Jeff then read the votes in the following order: Christian, Christian, Christian, Angelina, Angelina, Dan, Dan, Dan, Dan and Dan.
When Dan walked away, Carl took credit for his "idol nullifier" play.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Gabby, Carl, Christian, Nick -- who voted twice -- and Davie voted for Dan; Angelina, Dan and Mike voted for Christian; and Alec and Kara voted for Angelina.