Last time on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, a stunned Ashley was voted out, and she was clearly angry at Devon for not having her back. If Devon makes it to the final three, I don't think that he can count on Ashley's vote.
This episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, "Million Dollar Night," sees the five remaining castaways of season 35 doing their best to claim the one million dollar prize. So, who will win the title of "Sole Survivor?" Let's find out!
Get Ready for Another "Ben Bomb"
There are two Heroes (Chrissy and Ben), two Hustlers (Devon and Ryan) and one lonely Healer (Dr. Mike) still in the game. After tribal council, Dr. Mike hugs Chrissy and thanks her for saving him. Ben, as usual, takes off right away on a new idol-hunting mission. The others agree that Ben is the next to be sent home, and they rejoice in the knowledge that there are probably no more idols left for him to find.
Ben has no illusions about his precarious position, and while the others are sleeping, he is desperately looking for an idol. Ben's tenacity is admirable, and it pays off once again. He spots a dig sign on the raft, and unearths his third idol.
Chrissy decides that she would like to make up with Ben and asks if they can be friends again. They hug, but for Chrissy, this is just another strategic move so that Ben will think that their relationship is improving. She asks Ben if he wins immunity, will he take her to the final three? Ben isn't falling for it, and decides that he needs to blindside her and get her out of the game. Chrissy's resume is good, and Ben feels she is a serious threat.
Immunity and Reward Challenge
For this challenge, the competitors must swim to a floating platform, race up a stack of crates, leap off and grab a key that is dangling over the water. They must then walk across a balance beam, grab another set of keys, and then use them to unlock a ball puzzle. The contestants must maneuver the balls through an opening in the center of a spinning wheel. The first competitor to line up all the balls with the correct corresponding color will not only snag immunity, but also win a reward. Jeff informs them that the lucky winner will enjoy a feast of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, and cheesecake. Not bad, right?
Devon is off to a commanding lead, but then Dr. Mike surges ahead during the balance beam portion of the challenge. The puzzle looks easy, but it is actually very complex. Mike, Ben, and Chrissy fight it out at the puzzle, and Chrissy emerges victorious. This is her third immunity challenge win. Chrissy can choose two people to share in the comfort food reward, and she chooses Dr. Mike and Devon.
The trio arrives at the table, and they each have their own chicken to eat! Dr. Mike thinks that everyone should look for a secret clue or advantage before eating. They finally sit down after checking everywhere. They toast to sending Ben home, but Chrissy brings up the remote possibility that Ben may have another idol. Devon shoots down the possibility, and Chrissy is pleased that Ryan "is babysitting" Ben.
Chrissy makes a remark about the dead super immunity idol that Ryan gave to her at the first tribal council, and Mike comes up with a devious plan. They decide to plant it for Ben to find, or tell him that they found a clue at the meal and found the idol.
That afternoon, when Ben says that he is going to look for an idol, Chrissy flashes the fake idol at him. She also gives him the paper work to read, and Chrissy informs him that she is giving the idol to someone, but not to Ben. Ouch! Chrissy and Ryan believe that Ben doesn't have an idol, but Devon is feeling weird vibes from a resigned and quiet Ben. Devon considers writing down Dr. Mike's name in case Ben has an idol.
First Tribal Council
The group discusses the last crazy tribal council, and Ben's skill at finding immunity idols. Chrissy pulls out her fake immunity idol and flashes it around. Jeff congratulates her on being within one win to tie the record for immunity wins by a woman in Survivor. Ben pretends to be sad about being going home.
Ben detonates his "Ben bomb" and plays his idol to everyone's amazement. Any votes against Ben will not count, and the next shocker is that both Devon and Dr. Mike receive a vote. Dr. Mike asks Devon if he wrote his name down, and Devon admits that he did. Now Ben, Chrissy, and Ryan must vote for either Devon or Dr. Mike. Ben once again votes for Devon, and Ryan and Chrissy vote for Dr. Mike. The physician that is unable to cure his love for Survivor is voted out. Before the others head back to camp, Jeff teases them about an upcoming big twist in the game.
Final Immunity Challenge
At the final immunity challenge, Jeff tells the group that the winner will not only be guaranteed a spot in the final three, but will also be given the final secret advantage. The challenge is daunting. The players must place colored tiles on a wobbly wooden platform to correctly spell out the words "Heroes," "Healers" and "Hustlers." They must also lock the platforms in place with a foot pedal when they think that they are done.
Ben is the first to finish, but he has a letter upside down. He comes close several more times, but loses pieces every time, as do the other castaways. It is a nail-biting contest, and Chrissy once again nabs immunity, and the secret advantage. She ties for the most immunity wins by a woman in one season. That is a commendable feat. Ben becomes teary-eyed at his loss. (Something tells me that Ben is going to find a way to stay in the game.)
He is still trying to win, so he goes to Chrissy to plead his case. She agrees to listen to him plead his case at tribal.
Chrissy steals some private time and reads her advantage. It is mind-blowing. Chrissy will choose one person to take to the final three, and the remaining two contestants must earn their way to the end with a fire-making challenge. Wow!
Chrissy is the only one with this knowledge, and she believes that the only person who can beat Ben in a fire-making challenge is Devon. Chrissy tells Devon that she is taking Ryan to the final three, and urges Devon to practice his fire-making skills. Chrissy stresses that she doesn't want Ben to know. They also clue in Ryan. Devon has experience making fire, and he tries to keep calm and cool ahead of this challenge.
Second Tribal Council
Chrissy tells Jeff that she shared her secret advantage, but not with everyone. Jeff asks her to read the advantage aloud for the jury and a confused Ben. Chrissy tells Jeff that she is taking Ryan to the end, and the some of the jury members look surprised. Ben is elated to have a second chance to win the money for his family, and finds it fitting that two fighters will battle it out.
The men must build a fire high enough to burn through a cord and raise their flag. This is nerve-wracking as the men hammer at the flint. Ben has the first real flame as Devon tries to ignite his fire. Ben wins before Devon even gets a spark going. Chrissy and Ryan are not happy castaways because Ben is going to the end with them. Devon becomes the eighth member of the jury.
Final Tribal Council
The final day dawns and all three competitors feel lucky to be there, and they enjoy a hearty breakfast with champagne. At the final tribal, the conversation will be broken in to three separate sections: outwit, outplay, and outlast.
Desi wants Ryan to convince the jury that he belongs in the final three. Ryan floats the idea that he came up with the idea of the seven strong, and touts his social game. Ashley confronts Ryan and points out that he never had a strategic conversation with her. Ryan responds that he used Devon for some of his communications. Joe appreciates Ryan's social game play.
Joe calls out Chrissy and Ben for not being focused on the social game. Ben explains that the social aspect of the game was hard for him, and social relationships are also difficult in his real life. Chrissy tells the jury that she was always loyal to her alliance, and that she knows real things about everyone in the game. When Joe challenges her, she responds about how his parent's' divorce has affected him. Ashley compliments Chrissy's social game.
Cole confronts Ben about painting a target on his back because of Cole's food issues. He asks Ben if harping on Cole's eating habits was a strategic move and Ben says that it was. Ryan balks at Ben's assertions.
The conversation moves on to how the castaways dealt with whatever was thrown their way in the form of challenges, rewards, and daily survival. Cole states that Ryan hasn't done very much at camp or in the challenges. Ryan explains that he never had experience cooking or camping before, but the jury confronts him on his lack of participation.
Ashley compliments Chrissy for winning so many challenges, and Chrissy tells the jury that she was terrified to participate in physical activities and that she conquered her fears. Joe asks Ben if it was hard for him to locate the idols, and Ben tells of all the time he put in working to locate them. Desi wonders why the other competitors left Ben alone long enough to find all the idols. Now that just may be the one million dollar question.
In conclusion, Ryan trumpets his social game even though he failed at challenges. Dr. Mike interrupts and asks Ryan what he learned from the game. Ryan responds that he values the simple things in life, like his family.
Ben tells the jury that he had a hand in voting out each one of them, which seems to strike the wrong chord with the jury. Dr. Mike congratulates Ben on playing "one of the best games in Survivor history." The good doctor asks Ben to give a reason why he should win the one million dollars. Ben recalls being a King of the Round Table, and then being on the outs with everyone. But no matter what, he never gave up and he hopes that his story will be an inspiration to other military vets battling PTSD. Chrissy reaches over and rubs Ben's arm.
Chrissy explains how she killed it in the challenges, and played a great social game. She goes on to state that all Moms are heroes, healers, and hustlers. She also states that she tried to get join the show for 16 years, and never gave up.
There are a lot less fireworks at tribal than I expected, especially after such a chaotic season.
The winner of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers is Ben!
What did you think of the fire-making twists? What did you think of this season? Were there too many secrets? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Image courtesy of CBS)