Survivor 43 recap: Those glorious bastards have done it again (2023)

Sometimes when it comes toSurvivorIt's the weird things that turn me on. You know I love myself in an orange hatjeff probstAwkward and overzealous product placement is always a winning factor in my opinion, especially when gamers are so obsessed with carving out screen time that they go out of their way to lavish subpar praise.Twenty-onemovies, disappointing Sprint phones, or mid-range restaurant chains. And the thrill I get after seeing a person always shaking hands after winning a challenge is enough to fuel the drug cartel's profits for an entire year.

But I am able, at times, to also look at the big picture. or at least onebiggerimage. So let's talk about the merger. Fusion is exciting! That means a whole new phase of the game, a new name (Gaia?) and alliances being made and broken everywhere. But if there's been a weakness in the post-merger part of the game over the past few seasons, it's been the challenges. All too often, they simply lined up players in a row in some sort of balance or endurance contest.

I understand why the show does this, and Jeff Probst really explained it very well in oneinterview I posted today, in which he said, "Once we merged, we shifted our focus to creating challenges that are as fair as possible for all players, regardless of age or physical abilities." That makes a lot of sense. And individually, each of these casting contests is good enough. But since they keep happening week after week, you can't help but feel a little bit the same. If only they could break some of that monotony and get these people moving every now and then. What if they could incorporate some of these big builds from the pre-merger part of the game into the post-merger stage.

Survivor 43 recap: Those glorious bastards have done it again (1)

Robert Voets/CBSThe cast of 'Survivors' 43

BOM,Survivorhe's done both this week and in an excellent way. Not only that, but it brought back one of the show's endangered species to do it, resurrecting a relic of the past in a clever new setting. let's get ourChristopher Nolancontinue forwardMemorystyle and start at the end of the challenge and then work backwards to explain.

Four people fought to see who could hold a bucket at 25% of its weight before the game the longest. Okay, so that sounds like exactly what I was complaining about: another escalation endurance test. Oh, but that was justThe stagemuch greater competition. Probst surprised the contestants and viewers alike with a note sent to camp informing them and us that the players would compete in teams of two. Hmm, that's interesting. And certainly a way to mix things up. But the surprises did not stop there.

When the players accepted the challenge and organized themselves into adorable groups of two, the host explained that the contest would take place in three stages. Only 4 of the 6 teams would advance to stage 2. And only 2 of the 4 teams would make it to the final stage, where they would split up and compete individually. Talk about a throwback!SurvivorI used to do these knockout stage challenges pretty regularly and wasn't a huge fan.

This is because many times the story leading up to the competition has focused on an individual who was clearly in great danger of returning home. This meant that the drama centered on whether or not that person could gain immunity to save himself. But what happens when that person has been eliminated in the first or second phase? There would be no drama in the final stage. However, that's what makes it so brilliant to resurrect the idea so soon after the merger. The game is still open at the time, so there wasn't a single player that needed to advance to the finals to pay dramatic dividends. You can take an awesome challenge and let it work for you.

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And boy did it feel great, and boy did it work. The first stage of crawling through a muddy, twisting web was dirty, devilishly, and sneakily difficult. Two players, Jeanine and Noelle, couldn't even tell the difference, as if they were caught in a spider's web. Ever the competitor, Noelle even had her artificial leg removed to try and pass, with no luck. "This is the first time I've been moved here," said the Paralympic athlete through tears. "This sucks!" For her, yes. Not for us. It was incredible television.

The decision to have the players compete in pairs in the first two stages worked out perfectly, especially in the second stage as we had a big crash from Karla and a disappointing falling out between Ryan and James after the elimination. And then we got to the final stamina stage, which in and of itself would have been fine, but when all the contestants joined in on it, one that was so long it even featured a super rare commercial break in the middle of the challenge, it was an epic contest .

Which brings us to the result. Say what you will about Gabler, and a lot has been said about his facial hair, but what the 51-year-old just did was pretty legit. Mystery wrapped in an enigma cradled at the bottom of a question mark drew minute-by-minute inspiration to feed on again and again. He was inspired by former patients, by servicemen, by brave fellow tribesmen. However, as the minutes passed, he seemed to be struggling. Not holding the bucket, mind you, but finding other inspirations. At one point, he even had to turn to inspiration from royal pets and status.

Honestly, if there's one thing that was bad about this challenge, it's the fact that Cody finally hit the 38-minute mark before Gabler got really desperate and had to resort to inspiration from old Mastodon song titles ("This Minute Is For You, 'Aqua Dementia!'") and famous historical buttons ("This next one is for my main man, French composer Claude Debussy!").

In the end, Gabler broke the competition record of 25 minutes, lasting 38 minutes when Cody went down, and who knows how long he could have held out. It's impressive because he's 51 years old. It's impressive because look how weak and sick he is out there. And it's impressive because Gabler is a big guy! Remember, they were 25% of their pre-game weight, which is why challenges like this tend to favor smaller or thinner competitors with less weight. Not this time though.

Hell, Gabler was so excited that he took us to the commercial in full swing.Survivorrecruitment video, screaming at us "Do it!" To make things even weirder, Probst appeared and just stared at us in silence for a few seconds before finally saying that we should apply to be on the show. I can't express how happy it would have made me if Jeff had never said a single word: the camera was right on him as he stared into the lens without saying anything. And then he went to commercial. Tell me wouldn't that have been the best thing you ever saw inSurvivor. Yep, even better than when Courtney Yates rolled her eyes at a Buddhist monk.

As we progress through the season, we'll no doubt return to more common solo challenges, and that's fine. But this week showed that there are still ways to mix things up in new and interesting ways to keep players and viewers on their toes. It's so easy to screw up the show when it brings up a new wrinkle that doesn't work, and God knows I've done that a million times. But success stories also deserve to be celebrated. Was it too much to write 1,300 words about it? Perhaps. Maybe I should have done like the program and divided this summary into steps. In fact, let's do that now while we deal with other things from Episode 7 ofsurvivor 43that have nothing to do with Claude Debussy.

Survivor 43 recap: Those glorious bastards have done it again (2)

Robert Voets/CBSJames Jones in 'Survivors'

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What's in a name?

It's rare nowadaysSurvivorwhen a merge happens and all of a sudden a fancy new merge name appears on the screen and we have no idea how it got there and what it means. Now, I want to make it clear to Crystal Pepsi that I am not advocating that they waste precious time on episodes showing us tribesmen discussing possible tribe names. In the new age of all-killer, no-fillerSurvivor, it's usually dead weight that you don't need to make the final cut.

But that also doesn't mean you don't want to know where (and who) the name came from. Hopefully, a secret scene will tell us, just as we learn the meaning ofsurvivor 42merge the name of Kula (or Kula Kula, as the tribe actually called it) thanks to aEW exclusive deleted scene. Unfortunately, it seems that none of the names thatsurvivor 43cast placed there before the game likemix name possibilitiespassed, and I admit a measure of disappointment that theCurrent tribe name is not Dangily-Doodily.

Anyway, the new name of the tribe is Gaia. I have no idea what it is, who suggested it, or what it means. Go find those secret scenes and let me know!

change city

It's probably too soon to say that the Knowledge is Power perk is cursed, but it certainly didn't work for those who had it. Both Liana Wallace and Drea Wheeler tried unsuccessfully to play their seasons, as their would-be victims were forewarned and gave their trinkets to others in advance. Poor Geo Bustamante didn't even get that far. He only kept the damn thing for a few hours and was immediately kicked out. At least he took a nice souvenir, right? Mistaken. The producers immediately took the parchment from him after they extinguished his torch and put him back in the game. (To mean!)

James found the clue at the water cooler in front of an audience this week and told everyone he wouldn't get it before Tribal Council, which was about as believable as promising my kids I wouldn't steal the 3 Musketeers for Halloween from them. sweets after they went to sleep.Clearwent and got the best of it! The same way I treated myself to a big dollop of chocolate whipped cream the moment my kids' head hit the pillow, and if they didn't like it, they could file it with the letter T for difficult noogies.

Knowledge is power is weird. As a concept, I don't love it because I think any game mechanic where a player "can't lie" is super weird in a game that's almostfullybased on lies Imagine playing poker and there is some rule that tells someone if they are lying. It sounds weird. But damn if he hasn't given us some incredible moments over the past three seasons. This week led to a veritable swap meet, with players trading idols and perks with each other in a game of thugs so elaborate I'm sure Probst himself may have packed his bags at some point.

I think this is ultimately the sign of a successful turnaround. Even if it is not used correctly, or not used at all, can it affect the game and other players in an interesting way? Knowledge is power it certainly was. The question is, with players unable to keep their barks down, will we see this used correctly? Did you see James sayEach personon the island all about it? I haven't seen that guy this excited since the last Benny the Butcher mixtape came out. He apparently went from "Tana Talk" to talking time, andboy, he say.The racket game that followed all of that led to a very curious moment at Tribal Council, so here we go now.

no hand returns

First off, did you notice anything about Tribal Councils this season? There are no live tribals!!! All seated firmly in their seats. I don't know if the producers told the players to stop this season, or if they're just editing it out, or if it's just not happening, but personally I'm happy to see it. I always found it most interesting to see how players had to find a way to communicate thoughts and strategies to some tribe members without alerting others to their true intentions.

Live Tribals, where players could get up and walk and whisper to whoever they wanted, always seemed like a cheap, easy get-out-of-jail card to me. It also made it harder for audiences to follow what was really going on, which often became apparent during exit interviews when we found out that much of Tribals live never made the final cut. So I don't miss the Tribals show at all and I want to make sure it's understood that what I'm about to say has nothing to do with it.

With that said, let me ask the question: have Tribal Councils been the least interesting part of this season so far? Again, it's not the lack of live Tribals or the lack of idols. I've rewatched many old seasons that had none of these elements and were often still captivating. Looks like this season's contestants get along wellalsoGood. No disagreements. No arguments. No tension. No drama. I'm not looking for WW3 around and I don't want an ugly game, but a little more spice would be nice.

Wisely, the producers adjusted. They kept the tribals very quick and clean and gave us more beach time and challenges. We didn't even get a commercial break on this Tribal, which seems to have become the norm lately.

Survivor 43 recap: Those glorious bastards have done it again (3)

(Video) House of the Dragon: Season 1 RECAP

Robert Voets/CBSDwight Moore in 'Survivor 43'

but certainlyeraSomething interesting happened during Tribal this week, and it was during the reading of the votes. After Dwight's name appeared a second time, Dwight, who was holding Jeanine's idol, told her, "Gotcha". After another vote was read for Ryan, Jeanine secretly tried to remove her hand so that Dwight could return the idol to her without anyone noticing. Dwight responded with "I see you, I see you." After Dwight's third vote, Jeanine tried again. After Dwight's fifth ballot and just before the sixth and final ballot was withdrawn, she still triedagain, but left empty-handed.

The big question is, could Dwight have given him the idol at this point? Unlike the Australian version ofSurvivor,that allowed someone to transfer an idolafterbeing removed from the game in a recent season, these tactics were thankfully not allowed on the American version of the show. but what happensduringreading the votes? This seems to go against the spirit of the game, because if someone saw their name repeatedly, they could quickly hand over the idol before the final vote was read.

In the same way that idols can't be played once Probst starts reading the votes, it seems to make sense that they can't be transferred either, but just to be sure, I reached out to the host to get the final word. And the word is... you cannot hand over any idols or perks once the votes have started to be read. Which is totally the right decision. He canread exactly what jeff said about itin a separate article, but that's the big headline. Now what the show would have done if Dwight had actually given it to him is another question. I think they would have just edited the entire transaction and had Jeanine give it back to an off-camera producer, which seems like the cleanest way to handle it.

Of course, as we've seen, nothing is clean inSurvivor, and we'll see how people like Noelle, Owen, Gabler, and Jeanine react to not voting for Dwight. We'll have to wait until next week for that, but we still have some good stuff for you. sweet like memid-season interview with Jeff Probst, which you can read now. Freebies like an exclusive deleted scene showing a playerusing fish as a weapon in the game. and sweets likemy exit interview with Dwight. He has interviewed many big shots in his life, but now this big shot is going to interview him! The table is turned!

Oh, and there's still someone inGore? If so, can you follow me there (for now?)@DaltonRossFor manySurvivornews and opinions. I'll be back next week with another spoonful of crisis, which will be dedicated to everyone left on the planet that Gabler didn't give a minute of.

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