The Best & Worst Moves of Episode 2 (RECAP)


Scorpio Energy

Season 46 • Episode 2

rating: 4.0 stars

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Survivor Season 46 Episode 2.]

Yanu can’t catch a break. The purple team lost big again Survivor Season 46 Episode 2, which aired Wednesday, March 6 on CBS. With the latest elimination, they’ve hopefully cleared the way for future wins. But as it stands, there’s only one Yanu player who can lead them there, making them the player of the week in our Survivor 46 Power Players ranking below.

Just like with the Survivor 46 premiere, Tribes Nami and Siga were victorious in this week’s combined Immunity and Reward Challenge, meaning they got to keep their flint and scored fishing equipment. Yanu went home empty-handed, where Jess was so protein-starved that she started eating ants.

The challenge was a brutal loss for the tribe, as the arched puzzles frequently collapsed on Siga and Nami. The blocks went tumbling so often that it was impossible to predict who would win. And yet, the predictable ending came to pass. Jess, exhausted by the lack of food and sleep, couldn’t mentally engage enough to realize she could have been doing more to help (she often used just one hand to hold up the heavy blocks and left her other hand dangling). She was visibly putting in more of an effort than first-boot Jelinsky did in the premiere, but she couldn’t kick herself into high gear. Her lack of adrenaline was glaring in comparison to her teammates.

That’s part of the difficulty of Survivor. In order to survive, you have to find a way to get the adrenaline pumping when you’re suffering from a lack of resources. Q, Kenzie, Tiffany, and Bhanu were able to do this, and they couldn’t let Jess stick around for another week to see if could she could rise to the occasion.

After the challenge, Jess fell for a fake Immunity Idol trick planted by Kenzie, Tiffany, and Q. Jess finally started to strategize to when trying to orchestrate a Kenzie blindside, but she was asking the wrong questions to her teammates. Q is interested in voting Kenzie out, and Tiffany is not Kenzie’s ride-or-die no matter how hard Kenzie’s trying to make that happen. But even with shared voting interests, Jess didn’t have the skills to inspire confidence in an alliance with her.

Jess became the second player voted out of Survivor 46, but even with her pitfalls, she didn’t make the worst mistake of the episode. See our Survivor Power Players ranking for Season 46 Episode 2 below.

Best Player: Q

Survivor - Q Burdette

Robert Voets/CBS

Once again, this almost went to Tevin, whose social game is already the best of the season just two episodes in (although his hesitance to connect with Venus may be a mistake). Best Player is going to Q, as he faced more interpersonal challenges and successfully navigated them all, making himself the puppeteer of the Yanu elimination for the second week in a row.

Q led the charge of Yanu’s Immunity/Reward Challenge, and they would have had a better chance at winning had it not been for Jess’ frequent fumbling. When Kenzie, Tiffany, and Q made a fake idol for Jess to find, Kenzie and Tiffany failed to make Jess find it. Q concocted a smarter plan to get the fake idol in her hands, and he lied well enough to convince her to play it in Tribal Council. Q has proved in both of Season 46’s eliminations that he can execute a plan better than anyone else on Yanu. What’s even better is that he never relies on just one path forward, but his planning and moves are so good, his first choice has come to pass each week.

Q has his elimination sights set on Kenzie and planted the seeds for that plan in Episode 2 with Tiffany and Bhanu. He’s also laid the groundwork for a Bhanu elimination, should he want it. While Yanu has yet to win a challenge, Q has created several personal wins in just two episodes.

Worst Mistakes: Bhanu

Survivor - Bhanu Gopal

Robert Voets/CBS

Jess’ blunders can’t be understated. She was eliminated for them, after all. But her errors were the result of poor playing overall, which was also on display in the premiere.

Bhanu, on the other hand, made a “fool” of himself in Tribal Council in a fit of passion that the moment didn’t call for. His emotional speech detailing why emotions are a strength was impassioned, but he didn’t investigate the possibility of his elimination at camp enough to know that his name was a decoy to make Jess feel safe. His strategy seems to be to advertise his trustworthiness through authentic social connections and hope that a power player will loop him into their group as a result. He’s following the leaders instead of playing the game. That can be a smart plan, with proper execution. But Bhanu let his feelings and fears get the best of him in Tribal Council.

By speaking so intensely in his own defense, secret voting plans came to light. There wasn’t a target on his back before, but now the rest of Yanu doesn’t think he can lie — a necessary skill in this game. The leaders won’t be too eager to include him moving forward, so he’ll have to find a way to make himself necessary to the team if he has any hope of making it through the merge.

Dark Horse: Venus

Survivor - Venus Vafa

Robert Voets/CBS

Venus is struggling to connect the Nami players, the popular Tevin especially. She made attempts to improve this in Episode 2, but when that continued to be difficult, she smartly accepted Randen’s offer of an alliance. While Soda said she was “victimizing” herself after the challenge, it was smart for Venus to point out that Tevin ignoring her at camp resulted in her being ignored by the group in the challenge, causing a minor injury to her toe.

Excluding players doesn’t help a team win challenges (even though they did win again in Episode 2). Venus doesn’t have the social skills to turn her game around by making friends, but she appears to be a savvy strategist who could convince people that voting with her is in their best interests. The trailer shows that she’s setting her sights on Hunter next week. Was Randen’s Parvati Shallow comparison not that far off? We’re eager to see if Venus can be cutthroat.

Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS

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