'Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' recap: Alan Ball voted out after tribal swap, secret advantage and an idol!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/19/2017
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers featured a tribal swap and voted out Alan Ball during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
After a tribal swap, Alan, a 31-year-old NFL player from Detroit, MI who currently resides in Houston, TX, was voted out of his new "Levu" tribe -- which was comprised of a mix of Healers, Hustlers and Heroes -- on Day 11 of the game through a 2-2 vote instead of Joe Mena, a 34-year-old probation officer from Bronx, NY who currently resides in Tolland, CT.
Although it was a tie vote, Joe played a hidden Immunity Idol for himself, meaning the votes against him did not count. Meanwhile, Alan's fifth tribemate, Devon Pinto, was unable to cast a vote at Tribal Council because a secret "advantage" given to him by a castaway on an opposing tribe blocked his vote.
"I don't know where Devon came up with this thing... I don't know what he pulled. But things just fell apart and I blame a lot of my fate on that damn Immunity Idol," Alan said following his ouster.
"Me and [Ashley Nolan] discussed putting votes on [Desi Williams], but I guess I just didn't measure everything as calculated as I should have. I gotta give credit where credit is due. They played a hell of a game and they got me."
The episode kicked off on Day 9, with the original Levu, Soko and Yawa tribe's gathering together to meet Survivor host Jeff Probst.
Jeff then instructed everyone to drop their buffs for tribal swap.
The new Yawa tribe was comprised of (original Healers) Jessica Johnston, a 29-year-old nurse practitioner from Cape Girardeau, MO who currently resides in Louisville, KY; Mike "Dr. Mike" Zahalsky, a 43-year-old urologist from Parkland, FL; and Cole Medders, a 24-year-old wilderness therapy guide from Little Rock, AR; (Hustler) Lauren Rimmer, a 35-year-old fisherman from Beaufort, NC; and (Hero) Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID.
Ben noted that it looked very bad for Lauren and himself, but he was going to remain optimistic.
The new Soko tribe consisted of (Hustlers) Ryan Ulrich, a 23-year-old bellhop from North Arlington, NJ, and Ali Elliott, a 24-year-old celebrity assistant from Eastvale, CA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA; (Heroes) JP Hilsabeck, a 28-year-old firefighter from Los Angeles, CA, and Chrissy Hofbeck, a 46-year-old financial analyst from Glen Gardner, NJ; and (Healer) Roark Luskin, a 27-year-old social worker from Palo Alto, CA who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.
In addition to (Hero) Alan and (Healer) Joe, the new Levu tribe was made up of (Hustler) Devon, a 23-year-old surf instructor from Carlsbad, CA who currently resides in Solana Beach, CA; (Hero) Ashley, a 26-year-old lifeguard from Satellite Beach, FL; and (Healer) Desi, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Peachtree City, GA who currently resides in Newport News, VA.
Levu figured they were a physically-dominant tribe and could therefore dominate in the challenges ahead.
Jeff then surprised the three new tribes with an immediate Reward Challenge -- winner take all.
Three members of each tribe were attached to a braided rope and had to work together to untangle it. Once separated, the tribemates must use a rope to hook a sled and pull it back to them, after which the remaining two players on the tribe would use the pieces on top of the sled to solve a puzzle. The prize was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as an individual bag of potato chips for each of the winning tribemates.
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Alan, Joe and Ashley started off the challenge together and struggled to get a rhythm, landing them in last place. Afterward, Chrissy and Ali worked well on the puzzle together, as did Mike and Jessica.
In the end, Yawa won Reward.
Back at camp, while everyone was enjoying their sandwiches, Ben told the cameras he could be a target and so he needed to earn respect and gain trust. Jessica then realized a "secret advantage" was in her chip bag. When most of the group went into the ocean and talked about how Chrissy was "nice" and Alan was a "hothead," Jessica quietly read her advantage at camp.
Jessica discovered she had the power to block one person from voting at the next Tribal Council session. If her tribe won immunity, however, she could send it anonymously to a person on the losing tribe whose vote she'd like to block. The recipient of Jessica's advantage would not learn of its power until he or she sits at Tribal Council.
Jessica immediately shared the news of her advantage with Cole and Dr. Mike, since they're all former Healers. But Cole then decided to tell Ben and Lauren about the advantage in order to gain trust.
At Soko's camp on Day 9, Ryan told Chrissy about how he had found an advantage on Day 1 when they were on the boat and decided to give it to her.
Ryan told Chrissy that he just got a good vibe from her and wanted to play with her, and Chrissy said she felt "loved" when she had received the advantage. Chrissy didn't know if Ryan looked at her like a mother figure or something, but she felt secure with him and considered themselves allies.
Over at Levu's camp, Desi told the cameras it would be easy to vote Devon out but she wanted to work with him because he could potentially be a swing vote. The only person Ashley didn't want on her new tribe was Alan because he was "a wild card," who was unafraid to "throw people under the bus." Luckily, she thought he was just as nervous and didn't want to do anything to send himself home.
Ashley therefore told Alan that they needed to work together and a Healer needed to go home since there were so many of them spread throughout the three tribes. Alan and Ashley decided to get Devon onboard with their plan, so the tribe was split in half, and both sides wanted to bring in Devon.
Joe had an idol in his possession, so he felt pretty safe, but he lied to Devon and told him that the Heroes were trying to take him out. Devon wasn't sure if he could trust Joe.
Over at Yawa, on Day 10, Lauren and Ben noticed that Jessica and Cole were tight, so Lauren tried to get Mike onboard to vote one of them off. Mike knew Cole had blabbed about Jessica's secret advantage to everyone, saying that he "can't keep his mouth shut." Mike then warned Jessica about how everyone in the tribe knew about her advantage.
At first, Cole lied to Mike and Jessica about telling the others, but once he realized he was caught, he confessed to Jessica he had shared the news with Ben. Jessica later cried to the cameras, venting about how Cole had "burned me bad." Jessica said Cole needed to protect their knowledge in the game and he really hurt her -- whether he meant to or not.
On Day 11, the three new tribes met Jeff again for the fourth Immunity Challenge of the season.
Jeff instructed each tribe to race out to a large crate of puzzle pieces, maneuver that crate through a table obstacle and under a net, and then once finished, unlock a second set of puzzle pieces and arrange those pieces so each intersection was the same color. The first two tribes to finish would win immunity and be safe from the vote at the next Tribal Council.
In the end, Yawa won, and Soko claimed second place.
Since Jessica had to give her blocked vote to someone on the losing tribe, she revealed that her decision was going to come down to keeping the Healers safe on the Levu tribe.
After the challenge, the Levu tribe needed to figure out whom they were going to send packing.
Ashley told Devon that one of the Healers needed to go, but then he told Ashley about how Joe had said she wanted him gone, along with Alan. Ashley promised Devon that Joe had been feeding him "bull," and Devon immediately trusted Ashley because his gut had initially told him that he was dealing with "a used car salesman" type of character.
Devon was surprised by how "shady" Joe was, and he said in a confessional, "Joe is a snake and I don't like having snakes around."
Desi then told Joe that she saw Devon and Ashley hug. Joe worried the pair had bonded over their love for surfing and the beach, so he wondered if he should play his idol. However, if Joe's tribemates voted for Desi and he played the idol for himself, Desi would be out and he would be next -- so that wouldn't help him at all.
Joe therefore attempted to talk to the tribe about keeping its strength, pointing out that Ashley was the weakest member of the tribe and so he was going to vote for her. Joe argued that Desi was stronger at puzzles than Ashley, but Alan and Ashley whole-heartedly disagreed.
In reply, Alan announced that he certainly was not going to vote for either Ashley or Devon.
As a result, Desi knew she was on the chopping block, since she had been compared to Ashley directly when the conversation was centered on the weakest member of the tribe. Desi was pissed at Joe because his over-confidence suggested he wasn't worried and might have an idol, so she felt like she was definitely the target.
But Joe told Desi about his idol, and she told him that he could make things up to her by playing it to save her instead of himself. Desi said if Joe played his idol for her, she'd remain loyal to him going forward. Joe was fine with playing his idol for Desi if it meant saving them both.
Meanwhile, Alan, Ashley and Devon didn't know whom to vote for in case an idol was in play. Devon then discovered a secret advantage in his bag, but he didn't know what it was. All he knew was that he'd have power.
At Tribal Council that night, Ashley declared that Joe's actions at camp may affect him that night, adding that she has never been a weak link in her entire life. Alan then confirmed his vote was going to Joe or Desi. It was out in the open that Devon was the swing vote and he needed to determine whom he wanted to work with going forward.
Joe insisted to Devon that the Heroes couldn't be broken, but then Alan threw in Joe's face that the Healers had been undefeated up to this point. Alan said Joe was just scratching and crawling to get whatever he could out of the situation.
Before votes were cast, Devon played his "advantage" and read it out loud. However, he quickly learned that his vote was being block and it was therefore not an advantage at all.
And then in the moment before Jeff read the votes aloud, Joe played his hidden Immunity Idol for himself. Joe later revealed that Ashley's face gave it away that he was the target instead of Desi, and he thanked her for that. Joe was cheering and smiling upon learning two votes had been cast for him and he was still safe.