Hard to believe it, but we’re nearly a third of the way through Survivor Season 33. With four episodes now in the rear-view, it’s time to look ahead to what will surely be the biggest game twist of the season thus far: The Tribe-Swap. Yes, as of tonight, if you identify as a Millennial or as a Gen-Xer, it’s only in your head, because as far as the game goes, that generational divide is a thing of the past.

Let’s get cued up for tonight’s big episode, and set the stage for what we might be in store for now that the tribe-swap is upon us.


The “Tribe Swap” is not to be confused with “The Merge,” as the latter is when it becomes an individual battle for Immunity. The “Tribe-Swap” still gives us two tribes, but each will be made up of new members, selected at random as they choose colored buffs from Jeff Probst. The big tease last week was dealing with the showmance of “Figlor” (Taylor and Figgy) and whether or not the two Millennial love birds would be staying together following the swap. In case you’re curious, here is the official synopsis given to us by CBS about tonight’s episode:

Episode 5 – “Idol Search Party” – Castaways form a search party to hunt for the hidden immunity idol and one tribe gets an unpleasant surprise when castaways drop their buffs, on SURVIVOR, Wednesday, Oct. 19 (8:00-9:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.


As the title of tonight’s episode implies, before the swap happens we will most likely see a mad scramble for the Gen-X tribe’s hidden Immunity Idol, which is now back in play following David‘s bold (and controversial) decision to play his Idol at last week’s #LiveTribal. David saved Jessica‘s game, despite Jessica having put more trust in Lucy than in David’s ally Ken. And as many astute readers of this column pointed out last week, I had made a mistake in my vote tally…it was Ken, not CeCe, who voted out Jessica (CeCe and David were the two votes against Lucy).  es, I made a mistake…it was bound to happen. That’s part of the drawback of writing recaps post midnight with a newborn.

But what’s done is done, and David played his Idol, and Jessica is still in the game. It seems like unfortunate timing for David that the swap would come right after his big move, but only time will tell if it was a smart decision, or a bad decision. And in any case and no matter what your opinion is on it, we must all agree: It was a heck of a big move, right or wrong.

With four people now having been voted out of the game, there are now nine Millennials to the Gen-X’s seven. The tribe split will presumably leave us with two tribes of eight, and although anything can happen, the odds are in the Millennials favor to have a majority at each camp. It will be interesting to see how things shake out. And going by Survivor history, the swap will be very bad for a few players and will be very good for a few others.  As of right now, only Adam possesses a hidden Immunity Idol and if last week is any indication, this season’s players will not be afraid to use it.

So before your brain explodes and your eyes melt off of your face when watching tonight’s Presidential Debate, make sure you tune into Survivor first, at 8pm on CBS. We’ll all find common ground and peace of mind when we regroup right back here at RealityTea tonight with my full Episode 5 recap.


“The Fans Have Spoken.” It’s no surprise that the comment board was dominated last week with talk of David‘s big move at Tribal, in choosing to use his Idol to save Jessica. Overwhelmingly, it seems like people feel it was a mistake. It’s definitely easy to Monday-Morning-Quarterback sometimes, but even Jeff Probst has said numerous times that the problem some people have when they play Survivor, is that they are looking too far ahead. In that regard, you have to play in the moment and make the best decision possible to set yourself up for three more days in the game. Sure, it doesn’t hurt at all to have a long-term plan, but how many players have we seen fail who were looking too far ahead and missed what was happening in the moment?

David‘s move, in my opinion, was a good one for his game, if you look at it as a move made in the moment. He had no idea there was a tribe swap coming. And let’s say that the tribe swap did NOT come this week, and he had saved his Idol and Jessica would have went home last week…he’d be in pretty dire straights and he could still play his Idol, but what if he played it on the wrong person or was the one sent home? He knew the votes were going to Jessica and he saw this as an opportunity to gain a number. I guarantee Jessica will feel loyal now to David. And as for Lucy going home, it doesn’t appear that anybody lost any sleep over it.


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets

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