May 17, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT


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

Halloween is still over five months away. Plenty of time to figure out what hilarious or horrifically scary costume you are going to sport for the big day. For the past 20 years or so, my dad has dressed up as Superman. It’s kind of become his thing. He walks around Washington, D.C., dressed as Supes and seems to enjoy all the bizarre looks he gets from everyone, because I guess it’s not all that often you see a 70-something dude playing make-believe as a caped crusader. In any event, there is some fine print on that Superman costume — a mildly humorous warning/disclaimer that comes with the package reading, “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”

Now, to many that would seem a tad on the unnecessary side. I mean, unless you are rocking an awesome blond Afro as the Greatest American Hero, it’s not like a cape and spandex are going to suddenly imbue you with the power of flight. My dad is under no illusions that a change of outfit will make him able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The point is, in this case, I think you’re pretty safe in putting on the Superman costume without reading the fine print.

But evidently there is some fine print one should read, and it comes in the form of the words “non-transferable” on a Survivor vote steal. And Cirie learned this the hard way. I’m going to try to set this up to explain what happened, but honestly, it is all so confusing you may as well just put on a Superman costume yourself and fly into a tree, because your head will probably hurt equal amounts either way. In any event, it went down like this: Cirie warned Sarah that Tai was after her, but Sarah didn’t believe her. However, in an attempt to build trust, Sarah told Cirie about her vote steal advantage and let her hold onto the steal through the next vote.

Things only got more convoluted from there. Worried that Sarah would get blindsided, Cirie decided to play Sarah’s advantage against her will in order to put two votes on Tai. Not only that, but the person from whom she was planning to steal the vote was none other than Sarah herself! So, in essence, she was stealing Sarah’s vote with Sarah’s own advantage to keep Sarah in the game. Crazy, right? But I feel like I am now about to sell you some Ginsu knives over late night television, because WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Cirie astutely realized that Tai very well may have an idol and would then use it if he saw someone stealing votes, so the get-off-the-couch lady went to Tai and made up a story about how they were all secretly targeting him but that she was using the vote steal to save him so he would not get freaked out and play his idol. Smart. Very smart. There were already so many layers to this thing, it felt like Patagonia’s High Alpine Kit. But once again, take a good look at how this knife cuts through a penny; however, don’t tell me yet how much you would pay… BECAUSE WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!

Because right after Jeff Probst announced at Tribal Council that it was time to vote, Cirie stopped him and announced, “Jeff, I just have to say there is a rat in this group, and the person I save by exposing this rat will thank me tomorrow when they wake up here on day 36.” She then announced that she would be using the vote steal advantage and stealing Sarah’s vote. However, Sarah said she couldn’t and she wanted it back. Cirie responded that she couldn’t have it back because she had given it to her. Sarah countered by saying she couldn’t give it to her because it was non-transferable. Finally, Jeff Probst basically did the equivalent of an NFL referee stepping under the hood to take a look at instant replay by having Cirie read the instructions, and sure enough, there were those very words: non-transferable. Whoooooooooops!

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Here’s my question, ladies and gentlemen: Why? Why non-transferable? Some of Survivor’s greatest moments ever have come from people giving things to other people. Why, look no further than when Cirie convinced Erik to give his immunity to Natalie in Survivor Micronesia. Situations like that almost always pay dramatic dividends, so I remain shocked that producers limited the powers in this case. If idols and immunity can be passed along, why not the vote steal?

However, said producers for the billionth time proved themselves far smarter than I am, as they ended up getting their drama anyway. That’s because after Jeff Probst gave Cirie the Heisman on using the vote steal, Whisperpalooza 2017 broke out. Sarah went over to Tai. Then Cirie to Sarah. Then Michaela joined in. Then Troyzan — who, after exhaustive research and reporting, I have finally confirmed is indeed a contestant on this season — attempted to join before being told to back up by Michaela. (Dude just can’t get any respect from editors or players.) Then Sarah decided to use her vote steal because evidently you can transfer it to yourself. But she used it to steal Tai’s vote. And then Tai still didn’t use one of his two immunity idols.

At this point, I was screaming at my TV screen as if someone had depleted the world’s entire supply of Milwaukee’s Best: “WHY IS TAI NOT USING HIS IDOL?!?!?” Because he was not the target, that’s why. And neither was Cirie. Because they all pulled a fast one — and that is meant literally because they had to come up with this plan very quickly on the spot — and voted out Michaela. Soooooo, to recap: Sarah gave Cirie an advantage that was not able to be used by Cirie. Cirie attempted to steal Sarah’s vote to save Sarah. And then Sarah stole Tai’s vote to not vote out Tai. Got all that? (I feel like I am stuck in an old “Who’s on First?” routine.)
(Recap continues on page 2.)

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