Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Survivor recap: San Juan del Sur' recap: Resetting the game

A tribe switcheroo helps some and hurts others, while one tribe deals with the incredibly shrinking food supply.

Posted on

Survivor 02
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

It is perhaps the saddest thing I’ve ever heard uttered on Survivor. Yes, even sadder than Jon talking about his father with terminal cancer. Yes, even sadder than a contestant like Jonathan Penner crying while being medically evacuated from the game he loves. And yes, even sadder than the previous saddest thing ever uttered on Survivor, which were the words “And the winner of Survivor: All-Stars is… Amber Brkich!” The new champion of depressing statements came from the lips of one Alec Christy and it was this: “For the first time in my life I can say I beat Drew!”

For the first time? In your life? As in ever? How old are you, man? 22? So, not even in, like, checkers? Or Jenga? Or, I don’t know, Candyland? Candyland is 100 percent luck. I mean, there is ZERO skill involved in that at all so you just figure by the law of averages you would have had to have won at least once. Also, isn’t there a pretty good chance that at some point in whatever contest you were competing in that Drew would just opt out for a snooze halfway through, thereby allowing you an uncontested victory? Or did he later convince you to trade your win away to him in exchange for a pre-owned flint? So many burning questions here that clearly need to be delved into during my next round of Survivor couples counseling. But that’s for a later time and place. For now, let’s jump into the latest shenanigans that went down on episode 5 of San Juan del Sur.

After the blindside of Drew, Jon knows he’s on shaky ground and therefore begins his “apology tour.” As for Jeremy, he informs us that, “I’m right in the middle of where I want to me. This is beautiful. I’m in a beautiful spot right now.” I am convinced that uttering such statements on Survivor is not unlike reading passages of the Necronomicon that automatically unleash all manner of demon entities in Evil Dead movies—as soon as you speak them, you are immediately damning yourself to a swift and unsettling tribe switcheroo to undo whatever good gameplay has already been done.

Sure enough, that is exactly what happens as the contestants converge at the lamely dubbed Hero arena. But first, Coyopa takes a gander at the new Hunahpu, sans Drew. “I thought Drew was Mr. Popular,” says a shocked Baylor. That’s funny—so did Drew! Then Probst says it’s time for another shock, which only serves to remind me of the time I tried to convince myself that “State of Shock” was a good song because it was sung by Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson and they were two huge stars so how could their duet not be awesome? But deep down I knew it was not awesome. (What was awesome, however, is the video for another song off of that terrible record in which the other Jackson brothers literally used a wax dummy of Michael in their music video and hoped no one would notice—”Torture” indeed.)

No, the shock here is that it’s tribe switcheroo time. I went on last week about how while often the tribe swap is a godsend in terms of breathing unpredictability into stale voting patterns, I actually would have liked to have seen the original tribe dynamics play out more this time. Both tribes were just coming off big switch-up votes, with Rocker and Drew being the victims. How would the alliances have shifted as a result of those? I would have liked to have seen that play out a bit more. Of course, I’m sure you would have liked it more had I not rambled on about mid-1980s Michael Jackson misfires, so let’s just call the whole thing even and move on with our lives.

NEXT: Sizing up the new tribes