'Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' votes out Roark Luskin in blindside
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/26/2017
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers voted out Roark Luskin during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Roark, a 27-year-old social worker from Palo Alto, CA who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA, was voted out of her "Soko" tribe on Night 14 of the game through a 3-2 vote instead of her personal target, Chrissy Hofbeck, a 46-year-old financial analyst from Glen Gardner, NJ.
"It was a great experience. I would tell any Super Fan to do [Survivor], but I'm bummed. I feel like I had a lot more in me, and I suppose I trusted the wrong people," Roark said following her ouster.
"The problem is it was my first Tribal, so I can't tell who voted with me for Chrissy. I'm not going to blame it on being swapped. I always think there's something someone can do, and evidently I didn't do it. I own that."
In addition to original Hero Chrissy and Healer Roark, the new Soko tribe was also comprised 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; and (Hero) JP Hilsabeck, a 28-year-old firefighter from Los Angeles, CA.
The Survivor broadcast began on Night 11 at "Levu," which was comprised of (original Healers) Joe Mena, a 34-year-old probation officer from Bronx, NY who currently resides in Tolland, CT, and Desi Williams, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Peachtree City, GA who currently resides in Newport News, VA; (Hustler) Devon Pinto, a 23-year-old surf instructor from Carlsbad, CA who currently resides in Solana Beach, CA; and (Hero) Ashley Nolan, a 26-year-old lifeguard from Satellite Beach, FL.
Ashley admitted her jaw dropped when Joe played his hidden Immunity Idol at the previous Tribal Council. She said the fact Joe tricked everyone made him an even more scary player, adding that he was getting "crazier and crazier" as well as smarter.
On Day 12, original Hero tribe member, Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID, talked about suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following his three-plus years of service in the military. It was clear he didn't like loud, unexpected noises, and he admitted many soldiers have trouble adjusting to life fully after being in combat.
Ben, however, said his wife and kids saved him from his demons and living in the past, and he hopes to win the million dollars for them.
Also on the new "Yawa tribe" was (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; and (Hustler) Lauren Rimmer, a 35-year-old fisherman from Beaufort, NC.
On Day 13, the three tribes gathered together and met Survivorhost Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge.
One at a time, tribe members whose feet were tied together and arms bound to their side had to slither through the sand while pushing a ball relay-style through a course.
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Once they reached the finish, the remaining tribe member must shoot five balls into a very high basket. The winning tribe would be able to cool down with iced coffee and pastries, and also be able to bring some of that coffee and tea back to camp with them.
The tribe to finished in second place would walk away with a solo jug of iced coffee.
Chrissy and Lauren both sat out for the challenge to even up the numbers.
Ryan, however, really struggled during the obstacle-course portion of the challenge. He had to repeat the same task multiple times, dragging the rest of his team behind him. Ryan felt guilty, but his tribe cheered him on the whole time.
In the end, Devon shot the balls into the basket and won the challenge for "Levu." Cole shot for "Yawa" and landed them in second place. Soko therefore won nothing.
Ali admitted her ally Ryan didn't do well, but she had been with him since the start of the game and really trusted him, so she planned to have his back and fight for him to stick around.
After the challenge, "Levu" bonded through celebrating their victory. Devon then told the cameras he wanted to get rid of Joe because he's the strongest player he had met so far in the game when taking into account his physical ability and strategy.
Devon told Ashley as a result that he wanted the two of them to stay together and make the vote 2-2. Ashley was glad they were in this together, but they decided to work on Desi because they thought there was a strong possibility she might flip on Joe instead of voting for a tie at Tribal Council and then drawing rocks.
At the "Soko" camp on Day 13, Ryan apologized to his tribe for losing the challenge. He was relying fully on his social game to get him through the situation by making people laugh. Ryan said everyone has failure in the game of Survivor; he just didn't want his own failure to be getting voted out.
Meanwhile, Roark felt like she was on the outs of her tribe as the lone Healer. She wanted people to feel comfortable and safe with her so they'd talk game.
Ali seemed interested in working with the girls, so she and Roark discussed also joining forces with Ali's right-hand man Ryan and Roark's previous allies Cole and Mike. Ali hoped Roark would take her into the merge and give her the numbers she needed.
Roark, however, warned Ali to be cautious of Chrissy and JP. Ali planned to vote out Chrissy next and then JP. Ali therefore told Ryan they should get rid of Chrissy, and he was glad he was in a position where people still wanted to work with him after the Reward Challenge loss.
But unfortunately for Ryan, his closest allies were Chrissy and Ali, who had never worked with each other in the game so far. He realized he was in the middle of two pairs and needed to make a decision that would be best for his personal game.
At the camp of "Yawa," everyone seemed annoyed with Cole's "disgusting" and "inconsiderate" eating habits. Lauren hoped Cole would just keep digging himself into a deeper and deeper grave.
Since Cole had spilled Jessica's secrets previously, she knew that Mike was paranoid about having Cole as one of his numbers. Mike, however, could definitely keep a secret, and so Jessica figured it would be advantageous to form a tighter bond with him.
Since the start of the game, Mike had been nonchalantly looking for an idol, and he randomly decided to dig for an idol by the well. With Jessica at his side, Mike started digging, and he ultimately got lucky and found one. Mike acknowledged there was danger in Jessica knowing, but he was okay with that and chose to trust her.
Mike insisted that people shouldn't underestimate him, as he just worked his way up from the bottom to the top.
On Day 14, the tribes competing in an Immunity Challenge.
Jeff instructed each tribe to swim out to a boat, retrieve three bags of rice, push the rice through a small hole in a wall, and then carry the heavy bag across a balance beam to get to the shore. Once at shore, each tribe must tear open the bag of rice, search for three balls, and then maneuver those balls through a maze of tiny holes to the top.
Ryan sat out for this challenge, as did Mike.
One big mistake for "Soko" appeared to be Chrissy refusing to give up her spot in the maze. She kept dropping the ball but seemingly didn't want anyone to take over for her, allowing "Levu" to catch up. With that being said, Yawa won the challenge and Soko finished in last place.
Roark said in a confessional after the challenge that Chrissy definitely struggled and needed to go.
Once "Soko" returned to camp, Chrissy did not feel safe. She had a hard time trusting people but noted that she had to go there in order to move forward in the game. Chrissy believed Roark was the next most dangerous player behind her, so she complimented Roark's strategic gameplay and attempted to work with her.
Chrissy talked to Roark about getting out a guy, and while Roark acted like she was onboard with that goal, she still wanted Chrissy gone. Roark didn't appreciate the fact Chrissy only wanted to talk to her when her head was on the chopping block.
Roark tried to lie to Chrissy, but it didn't work. Chrissy said she didn't believe a word Roark had to say, and so Roark became her new target. Chrissy pretended that Roark was trying to form an all-girl alliance in order to make JP feel like he was the next target.
Once Chrissy warned JP of Roark's alleged strategy, JP pointed out that Roark absolutely needed to go home next. Chrissy also thought she had Ryan, and so she hoped to blindside Roark at Tribal and send her home.
However, Roark and Ali were planning on voting out Chrissy, and the girls believed they had Ryan on their side. The girls thought they'd be stronger in challenges without Chrissy.
Prior to Tribal, Ryan told Ali that he trusted her and had her back, especially since she and Roark were looking to take out a Hero player. But Ryan liked Chrissy and JP as well, so he was definitely going to be the swing vote, knowing one person would be mad at him by the end of Tribal Council.
At Tribal Council that night, Ali blamed Chrissy for taking over at the challenge, but Chrissy argued that she wanted someone to step in and everyone urged her to keep going. Ryan didn't blame anyone for the loss.
Roark then announced that Chrissy should've used her as a sounding board earlier in the game, but Chrissy insisted communication is a two-way street and Roark also could have approached her to talk at some point. The girls clearly butted heads, and neither of them was trying to hide it anymore.
Chrissy told Jeff that she entered Tribal believing that she could be the swing vote and potentially in trouble, but Roark felt totally comfortable, revealing that she believed in the bonds she had made with the tribe.
This tribe boiled down to two Hustlers, two Heroes and Roark in the middle, but Chrissy acknowledged she didn't view the tribe as 2-2-1 -- instead, she thought three people could have joined forces along the way.
When it became time to vote, Chrissy told the cameras after writing Roark's name down, "I'm outsmarting Mrs. Smarty Pants."
The episode's closing credits later showed that Roark and Ali voted for Chrissy, while Ryan, Chrissy and JP voted to oust Roark from Survivor.