'Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' recap: Simone Nguyen voted out of Hustlers "Yawa" tribe
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/05/2017
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers eliminated Simone Nguyen during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Simone, a 25-year-old diversity advocate from Worcester, MA who currently resides in New York, NY, was voted out of her Hustlers tribe called "Yawa" through a unanimous vote after the tribe finished in last place at the second Immunity Challenge of Season 35.
Simone cast her vote, however, for Patrick Bolton, a 24-year-old small business owner from Lanett, AL who currently resides in Auburn, AL.
"I'm very proud of myself for trying something that I was very uncomfortable with. I was able to adapt to the environment," Simone said following her ouster. "This definitely was a milestone for me. I'm thankful for the chance to connect with interesting people, but I got blindsided. My Survivor adventure is over and I'm sad, but I'm living with it."
In addition to Simone and Patrick, "Yawa" is also comprised of Alexandrea "Ali" Elliott, a 24-year-old celebrity assistant from Eastvale, CA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA; Devon Pinto, a 23-year-old surf instructor from Carlsbad, CA who currently resides in Solana Beach, CA; Lauren Rimmer, a 35-year-old fisherman from Beaufort, NC; and Ryan Ulrich, a 23-year-old bellhop from North Arlington, NJ.
"Levu," the Heroes tribe, is made up of Ashley, a 26-year-old lifeguard from Satellite Beach, FL; Alan Ball, a 31-year-old NFL player from Detroit, MI who currently resides in Houston, TX; Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID; John "JP" Hilsabeck, a 28-year-old firefighter from Los Angeles, CA; and Chrissy Hofbeck, a 46-year-old financial analyst from Glen Gardner, NJ.
"Soko," the Healers tribe, features Jessica Johnston, a 29-year-old nurse practitioner from Cape Girardeau, MO who currently resides in Louisville, KY; Roark Luskin, a 27-year-old social worker from Palo Alto, CA who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA; Cole Medders, a 24-year-old wilderness therapy guide from Little Rock, AR; Joe Mena, a 34-year-old probation officer from Bronx, NY who currently resides in Tolland, CT; Desiree "Desi" Williams, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Peachtree City, GA who currently resides in Newport News, VA; and Mike Zahalsky, a 43-year-old urologist from Parkland, FL.
The Survivor broadcast began with the Heroes tribe on Night 3. Chrissy was so glad everyone at the previous Tribal Council was angry because she had been on the bottom of the tribe. Chrissy was also pleased she didn't use her secret idol to save Katrina Radke because now she can use it as a "decoy idol" down the road if ever her head ends up on the chopping block.
"I was not expecting fists to start flying like that," Alan told the cameras, adding that his plan worked to paint Ashley and JP as a power couple and stir up suspicion.
Ashley said Alan was "off the hinges" and put a huge target on his back. Ben laughed in a confessional about how the tribe was like "old paint" because its members were "cracked and fractured." He thought the idea of maintaining a "core four" alliance was done and over with.
"Now it's every man for himself," Ben said.
Meanwhile, the Hustlers tribe had some momentum on Day 4, and Ryan felt like he was in a great place with Devon. But Ryan said he didn't really like Simone and that no one else seemed to have a connection with her because "she's weird."
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Simone admitted she's not an outdoorsy person and hated how there was no air conditioning on the island. She planned, however, to gain respect from others by working hard around camp. At one point, Simone gutted a fish for her tribe to cook, and Ali complimented her on putting herself out there. Ali actually saw her value and tried to pull her onto her side.
"I feel like, Simone, I could use as putty in my hands," Ali said.
Over at the Healers' camp, Cole confessed that he thought Jessica was "super cute" and he dug her energy. Cole acknowledged Jessica may not be interested in him since she's 30-years-old, but he could definitely see himself with her.
Dr. Mike then pointed out to Joe how everyone in his tribe was "hot and smart," except for the two of them. Joe enjoyed Mike's company, but he still wanted to send the doctor home, knowing he's a strategic and social threat. In order to keep himself safe, Joe ran off and looked for a hidden Immunity Idol.
Joe managed to leave the camp without any noticing, and he found a clue to an idol written on a tree. From what Joe could gather of the clue, he thought an idol was buried in the sand near a raft in the water. Since Cole had been fishing all day, Joe decided to go to Cole for help in finding it.
Cole, however, explained to Joe that the raft-looking item on the tree was actually the well at camp, meaning the idol was buried five feet away from the water well. Joe admitted he probably wouldn't have figured out the clue on his own, and Cole hoped Joe would view him as a valuable resource going forward because of that.
Joe was thankful for Cole's assistance, but he didn't want knowledge of the idol to be used against him. Because of that, Joe considered potentially painting a target on Cole's back.
On Day 5, JP fed his Heroes tribe lobster and told the cameras he definitely wasn't in a power couple with Ashley. JP assured Chrissy of that, in addition to the fact he did not have a hidden Immunity Idol in his possession. Chrissy realized JP could be helpful in challenges, but she said he's "not that smart."
Chrissy viewed Ashley as a good player but didn't trust her entirely. Chrissy was also concerned about Alan's blowouts and antics, so she decided Ben should be the guy whom she attempts to align and work with.
Chrissy thought Ben's social charm would complement how she's always 10 steps ahead strategically, and she was right, because Ben was excited about the idea of becoming a secret power couple with her.
Chrissy and Ben planned to let everyone think they were working with them, but in reality, the twosome only promised loyalty to each other. Ben thought Chrissy had a great head on her shoulders and is intelligent, so the pair was excited about potentially riding their alliance all the way to the end of the game.
Meanwhile, Patrick on the Hustlers tribe was being loud and funny. He even called himelf "a wild banshee," but Patrick was rubbing some people the wrong way. Patrick assumed people were having a great time with him -- and that's how he'd avoid being a target -- but he was getting on Lauren's nerves, especially.
Lauren vented to the cameras about how Patrick always wanted to be the center of attention and acted like a five-year-old boy.
Lauren was trying to build a relationship with Ali, but Ali had teamed up with Patrick on Day 1. Ali explained in a confessional that she felt like she was babysitting Patrick, and so she began to reconsider whether sticking with him made sense since she didn't really need him anymore.
On Day 6, the three tribes gathered and met Survivor host Jeff Probst for the season's second Immunity Challenge.
Before the challenge commenced, Ryan noted to the cameras how Chrissy didn't know she had been the recipient of his super-idol advantage. Ryan looked forward to sharing that news with Chrissy in the future because it meant they'd automatically have a connection to bond them.
For the challenge, three members from each tribe were required to swim out to a floating net ring, dive down and maneuver a bundle of puzzle pieces through a cage. Once the players collected three bundles, the two remaining tribe members must solve sign-post puzzle.
The first two tribes to finish would receive immunity as well as Reward in the form of fishing kits. The tribe to finish in first place would receive the largest fishing kit, while the tribe to finish in last place must head to Tribal Council and vote a member off.
To make the numbers even, Joe sat out of the challenge for the Healers and Lauren sat out for the Hustlers.
The Hustlers tribe got off to an early lead. When it became time to work on the puzzles, Ali and Simone volunteered for the Hustlers, Alan and Chrissy worked for the Heroes, and Des and Dr. Mike attempted the puzzle on behalf of the Healers.
In the end, the Healers won the challenge, with the Heroes finishing in second place.
Devon told the cameras that Simone was "the least valuable player" on the tribe and proved that through her performance on the puzzle, so he said she needed to be the first to go.
Later that day, Simone apologized to her tribe for the puzzle. She knew she wasn't the strongest person in her tribe, so she decided to "re-shape the narrative" of her group by reminding castaways like Lauren how annoying Patrick basically was.
Simone suggested the Patrick vote to Ali and Lauren, who figured they could probably get Devon and Ryan onboard to vote with them. Lauren pointed out that while Simone wasn't great at challenges, she at least listened.
Meanwhile, Patrick felt pretty confident about his placement in the tribe and that Simone was going home. He thought everyone was on the same page as him, but Ali admitted to the cameras she had options.
Ali reasoned how Simone would follow her but Patrick had been with her since Day 1 and trusted her more than anyone else. Ali noted, however, that Patrick was "unpredictable."
Ryan and Ali then talked the situation over, with Ryan insisting the tribe would lose every challenge going forward if they took Patrick out this early. But Ali told Ryan that Simone was easy to control. Ali felt solidified in a three-person alliance with Ryan and Devon, and she figured they'd have the majority no matter what happened.
Ryan liked having predictability in an alliance member, such as Patrick, and he was scared of Simone's intelligence, so he didn't really know what to do.
At Tribal Council that night, the theme was maintaining harmony within the tribe. Patrick told Jeff that he wanted to keep the tribe strong going forward, but Ryan said different agendas were involved for different castaways, whether they be about physical or social/strategic aspects of the game.
The tribe seemed focus on keeping someone they could trust, and that's when Patrick made a mistake.
Patrick said that having trust "is huge" in the game of Survivorand he felt he could trust "most" of the people in his tribe. The word "most" instead of "all" sparked a reaction of shock and disappointment from his tribemates.
Patrick tried to cover up his error by insisting, "I meant to say 'all,'" and that it was a slip of words without intent behind them. Patrick confessed his heart was racing and he was nervous, but he promised his tribe he's an "extremely trustworthy person."
Before everyone cast their votes, Simone was shown saying, "Aside from the bugs, I don't want to go home."