Survivor has done it again. After a head-spinning Thanksgiving double elimination, viewers were taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. From tears to a jaw-dropping conclusion, it was another satisfying 60 minutes of TV.
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It started when the final nine castaways were reunited with their loved ones. The tears immediately started pouring as each relative ran onto the beach. Jay expressed his deep bond with his sister. Zeke’s father said his son is his hero. Hannah was thrilled to see her mom, who had survived cancer.
That brings us to Adam. His journey on Survivor has been a wicked wave of nerves filled with wonder of how his mom was doing back home as she battled cancer. When his brother rushed out for a warm embrace, he sobbed as he sought answers on his mom’s health. He could have easily earned all the answers he wanted by using his Reward-stealing advantage. But he announced right there on the sand before the challenge even started that he could never rob somebody the opportunity to spend time with their family.
Sadly, Adam lost the challenge to Jay.
As expected, Jay was asked to bring along two castaways to join him on the Reward, which involved a barbecue with loved ones back at camp. Jay fought through tears as he explained his decision was based on promises made earlier in the game to bring Will and Sunday. Ugh. Both sucked in the challenge and are possibly the two people I thought deserved the prize the least.
But wait, there’s more.
When Jeff Probst told Jay to invite one more castaway, he did the right thing and picked Adam. After all, Adam could have forced a reversal on the Reward by stealing it all, but he didn’t. It was the right move for Jay. Game aside, Adam clearly needed that family visit more than anybody else in the competition.
Once at camp, Adam’s brother broke the news that their mom’s cancer treatments weren’t showing any progress. “She’s getting so much of her strength from you,” Adam’s brother said. The tearful moment was tough for me to watch on a personal level having lost my own mother to cancer at a young age. Stay strong, Adam. Sadly, we have learned that Adam’s mom passed away just a few days after filming this season wrapped.
Viewers were all over Twitter admitting they couldn’t stop crying throughout the episode.
To show his gratitude, Adam surprised again by gifting his Reward-stealing advantage to Jay. Smart strategy. Jay is somebody who clearly appreciated the gift, and now Adam doesn’t have to worry about it putting a target on his back any longer.
Will finally wakes up to play
Week after week, Will has been almost invisible this season. Suddenly, the 18-year-old high schooler realized it was time for him to start playing the game or he would never have enough reasons to win. Well, duh! His plan was to target Zeke out of fear he was the biggest threat.
Here’s where things got very interesting. When Zeke’s alliance started tossing around the scheme of blindsiding Ken, Will went and warned him. Ken, obviously, didn’t like what he was hearing, so he confronted Will’s ally, Jay. Suddenly, the plot was in shambles with Will in the middle of two different alliances: Zeke, Sunday, Jay and Bret vs. Ken, David, Hannah and Adam.
At Tribal Council, Will proudly boasted he was there to play hard with big moves. But his declaration was overshadowed by what happened next. As Probst went to tally the votes, Hannah whispered to Adam that she was worried. Unexpectedly, Adam rose to his feet and shoved his hand in his pants. As he scrounged around his crotch, Adam whipped out his hidden Immunity Idol and handed it over to spare Hannah.
While it was definitely a huge strategic play, Adam’s Idol truly didn’t have an impact because five votes — including Will’s — went against Zeke while Hannah only had four.
But still, what a moment!