'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X's merged Vinaka tribe votes out Zeke Smith
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/01/2016
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X's merged Vinaka tribe voted Zeke Smith out of the game during Wednesday night's twelfth episode broadcast on CBS.
Zeke, a 28-year-old asset manager from Brooklyn, NY, became the twelfth castaway voted out of Season 33 of Survivor on Night 33 at the game's twelfth Tribal Council session. He also became the fifth jury member.
"It's possible I went after [David Wright] and his side too early. I think maybe I was excited to play a little hard, but I didn't come here to ride coattails," Zeke said following his ouster.
"I came here to throw some punches and I wasn't going to go down without a fight, because I think when you play at this high a level with this caliber of players, it just makes you want to play it better. And maybe one day I will."
TheSurvivor broadcast began on Night 30 with Hannah Shapiro crying about how guilty she felt considering Jessica Lewis went home in her place. Jessica refused to write Hannah's name down so the tribe was forced to draw rocks at the previous Tribal Council.
David and Sunday Burquest assured Hannah that everyone decided to take that gamble and it wasn't her fault. Meanwhile, David was upset he had burned his idol for no reason. He had played it for Ken McNickle, but Ken didn't receive any votes.
David acknowledged he was in the minority alliance now with Hannah, Ken and Adam Klein so he needed to find a crack or else the other five castaways would pick them off one by one starting with him.
Zeke, however, felt like a warrior and he was proud of his gameplay. He spoke to Will Wahl, Bret LaBelle and Justin "Jay" Starrett that David had to go next. Zeke's group promised each other they were "five strong" going forward, and Zeke felt great about the fact David was going to lose this game.
On Day 31, Ken noticed a gift in his bag at camp. It was the "Legacy Advantage" Jessica had left for him. If Ken is still around on Day 36, he'll receive some type of advantage, and he was thrilled and grateful.
Ken said he had made powerful and genuine relationships in this game and now he had a good shot to give his daughter a better life.
When the Vinaka tribe met with Survivor host Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge, they quickly learned it was the loved ones' visit. Adam immediately broke down into tears, as did a couple of other castaways.
The loved ones who traveled to Figi were Sunday's husband Jeff, Bret's dad Don, Jay's sister Melanie, Hannah's mom Liz, Adam's brother Evan, David's dad Doug, Ken's brother William, Zeke's dad Sam and Will's mom Irene.
Adam was overcome with emotion and announced to the group that although he had a "Reward Advantage" to use, he could not possibly steal a castaway's opportunity to spend time with his or her loved one after 31 days away from home. The tribe thought Adam's gesture was thoughtful and selfless.
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It then became for the challenge, and the castaways were competing for Reward in the form of love.
The players were each attached to a rope that was woven through a series of obstacles. They had to race through the obstacles while unwinding the rope along the way. Jeff explained the winner would be able to take his or her loved one back to camp for a "good old American barbeque."
In the end, Jay won Reward. He was allowed to choose one castaway and his or her loved one to join him, and Jay picked Will and his mom. Jeff then told Jay to pick another pair, so he opted to take Sunday and her husband.
In a surprise twist, Jay got to ask one more castaway to join him, and although he had been "brawling" with Adam for most of the season, he said in tears he wanted to give Adam time with his brother since the player opted out of using his Reward Advantage, which was a move he respected.
Back at camp, Adam's brother revealed their mother stopped her lung cancer treatment because the side effects of the pill were too much for her to bear. Evan said their mom was getting stronger now, but Adam was upset, knowing she can't beat cancer without treatment.
Adam knew his mom was looking forward to watching him on TV, so his brother's visit inspired him to continue fighting and move forward in the game.
Adam then decided to give Jay his Reward Advantage with "no strings attached." Adam told the cameras he was playing for so much more than $1 million and the title of "Sole Survivor."
On Day 33, Will realized he needed to start playing the game because no one was giving him the credit he deserved. He therefore talked to David about how Zeke could beat them all in the end, and David was fully onboard with a Zeke blindside.
Will didn't want to be dragged to the end as a goat, so he was preparing to make a big move.
It then became time for the season's next Individual Immunity Challenge.
Each castaway was instructed to keep two handles tense in order to keep a steel bar in place. If a player's arms released any tension, the bar would drop, a tile would break, and that person would be out of the challenge.
Jeff said the winner would be guaranteed a 1 in 8 shot of winning the game.
The castaways were eliminated from the challenge in the following order: David, Hannah, Will, Bret, Sunday, Zeke, Ken, Jay, and finally Adam, who won.
Once the tribe returned to camp, Adam said in a confessional he was making his Survivor dreams come true and his one checkbox left was winning the game. Adam also had a hidden Immunity Idol in his pocket to use if necessary.
David then told Hannah to vote Zeke no matter what anybody says. David was a little terrified that he was in the backseat of Will's plan, but he thought it could work.
Zeke could tell something was off because the four minority players were "calm." He talked to Bret and Jay about going after David, however, since he has "a nose for idols," the better target would probably be Ken. Zeke pointed out it would be too risky to vote for David.
Will tried to buddy up to Ken in order to sway his vote towards Zeke, but Ken wanted to "test" Will's integrity and values. He needed to confirm he could trust Will going forward, and in a matter of no time, Ken determined Will was authentic.
Will then told Ken that Zeke and his group were voting for him. Ken, in shock, immediately ran to Jay and asked what was going on. Will couldn't believe that Ken would blab the news, saying there was "about to be a rumble."
Jay was frustrated Will had snitched their plan, insisting he's just a young kid trying to prove himself. However, Jay admitted he still needed Will on his side. Will's plan to vote out Zeke came to light, and Will revealed to the whole tribe he was just trying to build his Survivor resume.
Jay told Will to wait it out until the five of them were left and then they could start talking about making big moves, like the Zeke vote. Ken told his alliance that Zeke's group didn't appreciate Will and they were taking advantage of him, but Will was furious at Ken for opening his mouth.
Will told the cameras that Ken preached honor and integrity but all he has is a big ego. Adam agreed Ken's "test" was more like a "betrayal," and he was really scared to lose Will as a number. Hannah thought her alliance lost Will as well because of Ken.
Zeke then spoke to Will, Bret, Jay and Sunday about how they should vote for Ken or Hannah since David probably has an idol. They needed to figure out which castaway David was least likely to play his idol for.
David and Hannah both assumed they were the target of the majority alliance. It all came down to Will, a swing vote, who had a big decision to make between sides. Will was proud that he was finally in control of the game.
At Tribal Council that night, the sides were explained to Jeff -- Bret, Jay, Zeke and Sunday vs. Ken, David, Adam and Hannah. Will was sitting pretty in the middle.
Will disclosed how he wanted to flip on Zeke but then Ken told the entire tribe the plan.
Sunday said Will didn't want to sit on the sidelines and was swayed to vote for Zeke. Will argued that people underestimating him was the problem and he was never "swayed," rather, he came to conclusions on his own. Will said he came to play hard.
Zeke pitched to Will that he wanted to play with him and had protected him in the past. Zeke said Will saved him at the last Tribal Council, and if Will voted to keep him in the game, he'd do the same for Will going forward. Zeke acknowledged he'd owe Will his life.
Before voting commenced, Will admitted Jay was the only person in the tribe who had ever treated him like an equal. Jay did agree they made moves together, like the Michaela Bradshaw vote. Adam also insisted Will was an equal part of their alliance's decision making, which Will didn't really buy.
Hannah said Jay was just "fluffing" Will up. Jay, feeling a little defeated and tired, told Will to make his mind up on his own and just go with his gut and what he feels is right.
Before the votes were revealed, Adam decided to play his hidden Immunity Idol for Hannah.
Jeff then read the votes aloud in the following order: Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, Zeke, Zeke and Zeke.
"It's been an honor to play with you all. Keep fighting," Zeke told the tribe on his way out.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Zeke, Sunday, Jay and Bret voted for Hannah, while David, Hannah, Adam, Ken and Will voted to oust Zeke from Survivor.