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We Aren't Sure Exactly What Happened on Survivor, But Let's Talk About It Anyway

Sarah Aswell is a freelance humor writer who lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband and two kids. Her words have appeared in places like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Hairpin, and more.

The most chaotic Survivor Tribal Council ended with a surprising torch getting extinguished

I know that this Survivor recap is supposed to, you know, recap what happened on Survivor. But you guys, what happened on Survivor? I don't really know. Jeff Probst doesn't seem to know. The tribe members don't seem to know. The best we can do this week is take a deep breath and go over what we are pretty sure went down, and then discuss what might happen next week.

More:Two Players on Survivor: Game Changers Just Proved Everyone Wrong

The combined Tribal Council

OK, deep breath. After the second challenge, it seemed pretty clear what would happen at a traditional Tribal Council. On the Mana tribe, everyone was super-comfortable about sending Hali home (except for Hali), while the Nuku tribe seemed like it was about ready to oust two-time winner and creepily intelligent mastermind Sandra. But then Jeff Probst dropped a bomb: there would be a combined Tribal Council meeting in which both losing tribes would vote one person out. Wha??

Suddenly, it was looking pretty good to be Hali, and it was pretty scary to be most other people.

Tai continues to be a huge game changer

In a season called Game Changers, perhaps no other player besides Sandra has altered the course of the game more than Tai. Last week, he voted off his kiss-worthy friend Caleb in a move to show his loyalty to the rest of his alliance. This week, he found a clue that led to an much-needed immunity idol. He quickly decided to show it to his alliance and then to give it to Sierra at Tribal Council, saving her from elimination and securing a big win for the whole team. He keeps insisting that he's going to play the game smarter this time around and that he won't let his friendships interfere with his strategies. I'm excited to see where this takes him.

Is Sandra a Jedi? Or what?

Someone please explain to me how Sandra survived for another day? If I were anyone else playing that game, I would jettison her as fast as possible and without a second thought. She has already won the game twice. She is way, way, way too smart and cold-hearted to keep around, and she is easily everyone's biggest threat. And yet the Mana tribe went after Malcolm instead. How is she making it through these Tribal Councils, and is she playing mind tricks? Are people just scared to say her name, like Beetlejuice?

More than anything, she told Probst that she wasn't even worried about going home. “Oh, I’m not worried,” she said. “I know I’m not going home tonight.” Was this true? Did she have some sort of knowledge that no one else had? Or was she bluffing?

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