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Survivor tribal swap unleashes extreme twist for one castaway

Could you live alone on a beach? Survivor brought back its Exile Island theme in a season that has already proven to be relentlessly brutal. The unexpected drama unfolded during a swap in which the Brains, Brawn and Beauty tribes were dissolved into two new divisions.

But since there were 13 castaways as a result of Caleb’s medical evacuation, one person was left out from the new tribal lines. The selection was entirely random as each contestant picked their new Buff. Six were blue (Chanloh tribe). Six were yellow (Gondol tribe). One was red. That solo person was forced to spend their time alone on the former, desolate Brawn tribe.

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And the unlucky winner of that torturous honor was Julia, an 18-year-old member of the original Beauty tribe. Her disappointment was clear. Not only was she less than enthused about living alone, she hated that the new tribal divisions would start making alliances without her being able to mingle.

Julia Sokolowski on Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Image: CBS

“Being out here alone is the hardest part of my game so far,” Julia said. Her time in essential exile reduced her to tears as she struggled with dehydration.

It may have sucked being exiled, but it was good for Julia’s air time since she has been mostly invisible this entire season. At least her bad luck gave viewers a chance to actually see her.

The silver lining? She was instantly immune from the next Tribal Council and would join whichever team voted somebody out after the Immunity challenge.

For those of you keeping track, here’s who landed on each newly formed tribe:

Gondol (former Beauty camp): Tai, Aubry, Peter, Anna, Scot and Joe.

Chanloh (former Brains camp): Debbie, Neal, Jason, Cydney, Nick and Michelle.

Beauty targeted

After the newly formed Gondol tribe lost Immunity, numerous strategic schemes were being planned. One group was ready to take out Tai. Some suggested voting out Anna. Meanwhile, Tai felt like he should use his hidden Immunity Idol to blindside Peter. To solidify his idea, Tai built confidence in Anna and Scot by showing them he has possession of an Idol. Interestingly, Scot hoped he could convince Tai to keep the Idol as long as possible. His secret plot involved getting Tai’s Idol to the merge where it can be connected with Jason’s to create the so-called “Super Idol,” which is permitted to be played after all votes are cast.

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Tribal Council was nothing short of predictable. As expected, Tai kept his Idol and the foursome of former Brains tribe members collectively voted to get Anna out of the game. Wait, who? Yes, Anna was one of those castaways who will likely disappear into reality TV obscurity faster than usual because she was rarely showcased despite declaring in her exit interview that she was playing hard.

Anna Khait's cast photo on Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Image: CBS

Another Idol unearthed

Before the tribal swap went down, Neal found a hidden Idol at the Brains camp. It was almost too easy as he stumbled on a bright blue clue inserted at eye level in a cracked tree. Really. With Neal’s discovery, that means there are three active Idols currently in play with Tai and Jason also having theirs. Does this mean a “Super Idol” may actually happen?

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Neal Gottlieb at Brains camp on Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Image: CBS

Did you feel bad for Julia as she struggled at the former Brawn camp alone? Do you think you could handle it? Are you happy Anna was voted off? At this point in the competition, who do you hope wins the entire game? Join the conversation and leave a comment.

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