'Survivor' recap: Brad Reese voted out of with advantage and idol in his pocket over JD Robinson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/07/2021
Survivor 41 featured the UA Tribe voting out Brad Reese at Tribal Council with full pockets instead of Jairus "JD" Robinson and a new advantage twist for only three castaways during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Brad, a 50-year-old rancher from Shawnee, WY, was voted out of Survivor on Night 7 of the game with an idol and advantage in his pocket through a 3-1 vote at the game's third Tribal Council session instead of JD, a 20-year-old college student from Oklahoma City, OK.
"So I left within my pocket a steal-a-vote and an Immunity Idol. I made a multitude of mistakes," Brad said in his final words.
"In the end, I think I probably put too much trust in one person. I just got wrapped up in the fun of the game I guess, and didn't see the warning signs. But I totally had the adventure of a lifetime. Back to the ranch where I can surround myself with people I trust!"
TheSurvivor broadcast began on Day 5 at the Yase Tribe.
The Yase Tribe was comprised of Tiffany Seely, a 47-year-old teacher from Forest Hills, Queens, NY who currently resides in Plainview, NY; Evvie Jagoda, a 28-year-old PhD student from Westchester, NY who currently resides in Arlington, MA; Liana Wallace, a 20-year-old college student from Evanston, IL who currently resides in Washington, D.C.; and Xander Hastings, a 21-year-old app developer from Jacksonville, FL who currently resides in Chicago, IL.
The Luvu Tribe consisted of Naseer Muttalif, a 37-year-old sales manager from Sri Lanka who currently resides in Morgan Hill, CA; Danny McCray, a 33-year-old ex-NFL player from Houston, TX who currently resides in Frisco, TX; Deshawn Radden, a 26-year-old medical student from San Bernardino, CA who currently resides in Miami, FL; Erika Casupanan, a 32-year-old communications manager from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada who currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Heather Aldret, a 52-year-old stay-at-home mom from Charleston, SC; and Sydney Segal, a 26-year-old law student from Los Angeles, CA who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
The UA Tribe was made up of Brad; JD, Sara Wilson, a 24-year-old healthcare consultant from Sherman Oaks, CA who currently resides in Boston, MA; Ricard Foye, a 31-year-old flight attendant from Lynnwood, WA who currently resides in Sedro-Woolley, WA; Genie Chen, a 46-year-old grocery clerk from Los Angeles, CA who currently resides in Portland, OR; and Shantel "Shan" Smith, a 34-year-old pastor from Toronto, Canada who currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Liana was shown crying about the game and how she had wanted to make a big move and really play. Liana said she wasn't going to give up, however, because there's always an opportunity to life the narrative.
Suddenly Tiffany stumbled across an advantage in the fire early in the morning that said "Beware Advantage" on it. Tiffany learned if she takes it and opens it, she must do what it says -- or she could choose to ignore it and just leave it there.
Tiffany had to share the advantage with Liana and Evvie because the girls had watched her pick it up.
The three ladies decided to open it, and Tiffany discovered she must sneak out of camp and get on a boat that evening. Tiffany would be taken to an island where she must make a decision and then she'd return to camp.
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Failure to get on the boat would result in a loss of her vote at the next Tribal Council, which is why accepting the advantage was a risk.
Liana cried about not having found the advantage herself, and she wondered if she had just made "a million dollar mistake."
Over at UA camp on Day 6, Brad found the same advantage, and he chose to open it.
"Game on, man! Game on!... I just love high risk, and I guess the early bird gets the worm!" Brad gushed, knowing an advantage adds a whole new level to the game.
Around the same time at Luvu on Day 6, Sydney was shown telling Deshawn and Heather that Naseer had woken her up in the middle of the night to inform her that he wanted Danny out next.
Sydney spilled the beans that Naseer hoped to target Danny and then Deshawn, as Naseer was watching her talk to his tribemates from a distance.
"I feel like Sydney is playing a double-agent game. She talks to everyone, and you can feel from the vibe, I feel like I'm in trouble," Naseer said in a confessional.
Sydney accused Naseer of ruining the tribe and being a liability because he's so erratic, and although Naseer attempted to clear the air with his tribemates, Sydney wanted him gone.
Sydney then spotted the Survivor package by the fire and quickly scooped it up with no one seeing. She said she needed to get on the boat that night because she couldn't lose her vote in this game, and she didn't love having put herself in a dangerous situation.
At the UA camp on Day 6, JD took off searching for a hidden Immunity Idol. He already had an extra-vote advantage but wanted more. He wondered if Ricard had already found the idol since he's "sly, sneaky" and has a lot of knowledge about the game of Survivor.
JD also pointed out how Shan is smart and probably wouldn't tell him if she had found an idol. Genie was also looking for an idol, and JD wondered if Brad had discovered something at the shelter since he basically never left the shelter.
But then Brad revealed he and Genie had found the "three-way shared Immunity Idol" just 30 minutes earlier. Brad found the idol and Genie saw her "closest ally" reading it, and so he obviously shared its contents with her.
Once all three idols have been found and all three players announce their "secret phrase" at a challenge, all three idols would have power. But until then, these people are not allowed to vote at Tribal Council.
Brad's phrase is, "I didn't realize this 'til now... broccoli is just a bunch of small trees." Brad realized Xander had one of the other two idols because Xander had said at the previous challenge, "I truly believe the butterflies are dead relatives saying 'hi.'"
The guys just needed a third person to announce, "I'm as confused as a goat on AstroTurf."
Brad now had two advantages, and he called it "an amazing feeling." He then shared the news of both his idol and advantage with Shan, who realized Brad really trusted her and must have considered her to be his "No. 1."
Shan wondered if she should back Brad up and consider working with him or take him out of the game since he had so much power early on.
In the middle of the night, Brad built a body in his bed with sticks and materials to make his tribemates think that he was sleeping in his usual spot. JD, however, had kept an eye open.
Tiffany and Sydney also hopped on their respective boat and were taken to a well-lit island.
The three castaways gathered on the beach at the same time and immediately formed a bond. The players had to choose between two advantages -- a tarp, which would be a useful tribe advantage, or steal-a-vote, which would be a personal and individual gain.
But the decision came with risk. If all three players chose "tarp," all players would receive a tarp. If all three castaways selected "steal-a-vote," all the players would lose their vote at the next Tribal Council.
If there was a split decision, all of the players who chose "tarp" would receive nothing -- but all of the players to pick "steal-a-vote" would receive the advantage.
Sydney, Tiffany and Brad were able to discuss the situation as a group, but they'd be making their final decisions in private. Tiffany declared she'd be willing to lose her vote and then Sydney announced she wanted the tarp.
Brad also wanted to steal someone's vote, but Tiffany was pretty adamant about her decision and made Sydney think that she was playing too hard. Sydney immediately didn't trust Tiffany.
"You don't win this game by playing it safe," Brad told the cameras, before choosing steal-a-vote.
But Sydney opted to collect a tarp since she figured Tiffany would be choosing steal-a-vote.
Tiffany acknowledged how Sydney's energy was off but she needed to do what's best for her own game. In the end, she decided to protect her vote and make a decision that would benefit her tribemates.
On Day 7, the three castaways returned to camp and Brad discovered his steal-a-vote advantage.
It then became time for the season's next Immunity Challenge, and both Brad and Xander said their phrases, which didn't make sense to any of the other castaways.
For the Immunity Challenge, one castaway at a time was required to swim out, cross a rope bridge over water, and then dig up a sack of sandbags on the beach as a team, before several other tribe members attempt to land the sandbags on a series of high targets.
The first two tribes to finish would receive immunity and be safe from the vote at the next Tribal Council session. The castaways were also playing for a reward in the form of fruit, which was full of natural sugars and hydration.
The first-place tribe would receive more fruit than the second-place tribe. The losing tribe, however, would get nothing and lose its flint.
Luvu sat out Heather and Erika, and then UA sat out Genie for the challenge since those two tribes have an extra player or two.
Deshawn won immunity for Luvu and then Xander's Yase tribe finished in second place.
UA therefore had to face Tribal Council, and Brad realized his idol was not activated yet. Brad said JD oversells himself and then underperforms, so he wanted to see JD go next.
JD said he needed to go to the bathroom, and once he returned to camp, Shan noticed a piece of paper sticking out of his waist and that he had found an advantage. Shan accused him of getting caught instead of coming clean, and she said his gameplay had been "a little sloppy."
Shan and Ricard discussed voting either JD or Brad, who were both untrustworthy in their eyes.
JD worried he had lost Shan and Ricard's trust, and so he said he wouldn't be surprised if they targeted him. In attempt to make it up to Shan, he let her hold his advantage.
"This either is a brilliant play by me or one of the dumbest mistakes in Survivor history. The best avenue for me, since I'm not using it, is to give it to her as a form of trust. I'm a ballsy player," JD noted.
Shan felt bad about eliminating someone that evening who felt like family to her.
At Tribal Council that night, Ricard announced someone in the tribe had lied to him, and Genie said, "He thinks he's got his alliance, but I have mine."
It became clear Ricard was talking about Genie, who had written Ricard's name down at the first Tribal Council.