'Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' votes out Desi Williams after Tribal Council tie!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/16/2017
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' merged Solewa tribe voted out Desi Williams during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Desi, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Peachtree City, GA who currently resides in Newport News, VA, became the eighth person voted out of the game.
Desi was voted out of the Solewa tribe and became the first member of the Season 35 jury on Night 21 of the game through a 5-1 revote at Tribal Council instead of Joe Mena, a 34-year-old probation officer from Bronx, NY who currently resides in Tolland, CT.
There was a revote after the tribe split votes 4-4 between Desi and Joe, and both Lauren Rimmer, a 35-year-old fisherman from Beaufort, NC, and Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID, received one vote apiece.
Lauren did not vote either of the times because she had found an advantage, forcing her to skip this vote but allowing her to vote twice at the subsequent Tribal Council session.
"It didn't go as I had hoped or planned," Desi said in tears following her ouster.
"It's truly heartbreaking and I'm certainly not used to losing. It's not part of what I typically do, but I guess in this game, I wasn't a part of anybody's plan moving forward. So I have to just realize it's part of the game and somebody has to go home, and I don't think I have anything else to say."
The Survivor broadcast began on Night 19 with Cole Medders, a 24-year-old wilderness therapy guide from Little Rock, AR, saying he just experienced what it feels like to be lied to by an entire group of people. Joe had also been blindsided by Jessica Johnston's elimination.
Ben, however, who had flipped on the Healers with Lauren, felt his plan went accordingly and was executed perfectly. Ben wanted to keep the reins on the Heroes and Hustlers group, but he feared one individual could mess everything up.
On Day 20, Lauren found a scroll inside the basket of nails that was given to the tribe at the merge. The advantage, if she chose to use it, required her to skip voting at the next Tribal Council. But the advantage would ensure she could vote twice at a future Tribal Council.
In order to skip her vote, Lauren was instructed to not write down a name at Tribal, and instead, tuck a blank sheet of parchment paper inside her clothes.
It then became time for the tribe to compete for Reward. The castaways were split up into random teams and required to race up a tower through a series of obstacles to the very top. Once there, one tribe member at a time must use a slingshot to launch sandbags at five targets. The first team to hit all the targets would win a spaghetti, bread, salad and red wine feast on a private island.
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In a twist, one randomly-selected person would not compete in the Reward Challenge, but he or she could automatically enjoy the Reward without putting any effort in at all.
One team was comprised of Cole; Ryan Ulrich, a 23-year-old bellhop from North Arlington, NJ; Chrissy Hofbeck, a 46-year-old financial analyst from Glen Gardner, NJ; JP Hilsabeck, a 28-year-old firefighter from Los Angeles, CA; and Devon Pinto, a 23-year-old surf instructor from Carlsbad, CA who currently resides in Solana Beach, CA.
The other team was made up of Ben; Lauren; Desi; Ashley Nolan, a 26-year-old lifeguard from Satellite Beach, FL; and Mike "Dr. Mike" Zahalsky, a 43-year-old urologist from Parkland, FL.
Joe drew the lucky white rock and got to sit out of the challenge.
In the end, JP's team won. However, Survivor host Jeff Probst explained that the spaghetti dinner would be "family style," meaning there would be only one giant plate. He also said only one person could eat at a time in private, and eat as much as he or she wants. Joe could also determine the order in which people would eat.
Joe hoped to establish "stronger alliances" and "better relationships," so he decided Devon could eat first -- since it was his birthday -- and he volunteered to eat last. Devon and JP ate fair amounts of the food, but maybe a little more than they should have.
Cole also consumed more than his share, telling the cameras that it was revenge for the Jessica blindside. Cole knew he was on the bottom, so he didn't really care what people thought of him anymore.
While wolfing down the spaghetti, Cole noticed there was a message on the plate underneath, and it revealed a hidden Immunity Idol was buried underneath the tribe flag. Cole decided to put a giant napkin on top of the plate in order to cover it up, but sure enough, Chrissy discovered it afterwards, as did Ryan.
Ryan and Chrissy are both gamers and knew to look for a clue somewhere around the Reward table. Ryan also made a smart move to hide the plate entirely, so once Joe ate last, he munched on the remaining pasta right off the napkin without seemingly realizing the setup was odd.
While Joe was eating, Cole could hear Chrissy and Ryan whispering about something, so he automatically knew they had found the clue as well.
Cole intended to grab the idol first, but once the team returned to Solewa's camp, he went off to go to the bathroom, giving Ryan a perfect opportunity to jump in and steal the idol.
Ryan grabbed it very quickly and asked Chrissy to cover up his tracks, but when Cole saw Chrissy digging, he freaked out and jumped in the pit to hopefully find the idol himself. Most of the tribe then gathered at the flag and all started digging at once.
At one point, Cole tucked his shirt into his pants, which made Ben think he had found the idol. Ben called Cole out on it, and said looking for the idol was a bad idea because it's just going to paint an even bigger target on his back.
On Day 21, the Solewa castaways met Jeff again for the second Individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
Each player was tasked with standing on a narrow beam while balancing a statue at the end of a very long pole. At regular intervals, the castaways had to move farther away from the statue, making it more difficult to keep the statue in place. If a person fell off the beam or dropped a statue at any time, he or she would be out of the challenge.
Mike dropped out of the challenge first, followed by Joe, Devon, Lauren, and Ryan. After 10 minutes, Ashley dropped, and then Chrissy, Ben, and Desi. Only Cole and JP remained in the challenge, and JP was out first.
Cole therefore won individual immunity and said he received new life in this game.
Chrissy said it sucked Cole won but they still had three other Healers to choose from as targets. Cole acknowledged the Healers were "a sinking ship." Ben, Ashley, JP, Chrissy and Ryan talked about the girls voting for Joe -- because he's a strategic gamer and finds idols -- and the guys voting for Desi since she's strong both mentally and physically.
Cole warned Joe and Mike that he didn't have an idol to play, and so Joe knew he was also in trouble. However, the two Hustlers could serve as swing votes since there were four Healers and four Heroes left, so both sides were working to get Ryan and Devon onboard.
Cole figured the opposing alliance would split votes in fear Cole or Joe had an idol, so they just needed one Hustler to join them.
Joe therefore explained to Ryan and Devon that Ben would definitely win the game if he made it to the Final 3 since he's a former Marine as well as a nice guy overall, but Ryan knew voting out Ben would anger Chrissy, his closest ally, and that wasn't okay.
Afterward, Ben and Joe got into an argument because Joe said Ben was swearing on the Marine Corps when making promises and deals with people, but Ben insisted that absolutely wasn't true -- and that's something he would never do.
Joe told the tribe there were bigger threats than "an idol hog like myself," pointing fingers at Ben, who was offended and pissed off.
Meanwhile, Desi knew she also had a target on her back.
Lauren then told Ben about her secret advantage, saying they couldn't split the votes anymore. If Lauren played her advantage and didn't vote, there would be three votes for Joe and three votes for Desi, giving the Healers four votes to take someone on their side out.
Ben realized Lauren's advantage was both a blessing and a curse, but Lauren had every intention of using it since she was playing to win the game for herself and her daughter. But Ben told the cameras they needed to split the vote no matter what in case Joe had an idol.
Ben needed a Healer on his side in order to make the plan work to take out Joe or Desi, so he worked on swaying Mike. Ben needed Mike since he believed votes were coming his way from Joe, Desi and Cole.
Mike found the discussion to be an opportunity to show his allegiance and get off the bottom, because he knew that if Joe went home, Cole and himself would be next. However, the idea of taking out a big threat like Ben was also appealing.
At Tribal Council that night, Ben insisted he was not running the game, that his alliance was like knights of the round table.
Halfway through the session, Chrissy yelled at Joe to stop talking because no one wanted to listen to him anymore, and Ashley pointed out that she didn't know whether Joe was really good at playing this game or just really annoying.
Once it became time to vote, Lauren didn't write a name down, and Jeff eventually revealed one person had voted for Ben, one person had voted for Lauren, four people had voted for Desi, and four castaways had voted for Joe.
As a result, there was a revote in which Desi and Joe could not vote -- and everyone else could only vote for Joe or Desi.
Desi put her head in her hands, clearly afraid that she was going home. On the revote, Lauren didn't vote again.
Jeff then revealed the votes in the following order: Desi, Joe, Desi, Desi, Desi, and Desi. On her way out, Joe assured Desi that he never flipped on her.
The episode's closing credits later showed that on the first vote that resulted in a tie, Joe voted for Ben; Desi voted for Lauren; Devon, JP, Ben, and Ryan voted for Desi; and Ashley, Chrissy, Cole and Mike voted for Joe.