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MAR
20
6 MOS

Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor': Time for a Tribe Switch

The three-time competitor and winner of "Survivor: Micronesia" shares her insights into the CBS show every week on THR.com.

Survivor: CAGAYAN Odd One Out Episodic - H 2014
Monty Brinton/CBS
Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor"

Ta-ta-ta-tribe switch!!

It looks like we’ve got a show here, people! Does anyone else share in my enthusiasm about this much anticipated tribe switch? Honestly, part of my excitement may be due to the tall, almond milk cappucino I just poured down my throat, but that’s neither here nor there. We’re talking about Survivor and this is when people get uncomfortable and things start getting fun. Color me Brice’s-purple-pants-ecstatic! Woooo caffeine!! Donuts! Survivor! Tribe Switch!

This is the way it all shakes down after new buffs are drawn. The entire Brawns tribe, minus Sarah, stays together. This new and improved Brawns tribe (aka Solana) rocks purple buffs and absorbs two beauties, LJ and Jefra. You must be thinking what I’m thinking; this does not look good for our sweet, southern, outnumbered beauties. On the orange mat, we have Aparri, with three beauties, three “crap-for-brains,” and a girl cop. As the lone Brawns member joining this new tribe, Sarah looks like a muscular sitting duck in this equation.

PHOTOS: Meet the 'Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' Castaways

Now that we have new tribes, I’d say it’s high time we get to our first challenge. Coffee, sugar, carbs, sprinkles… PARTY TIME! All bets are off as we re-enact the Cook Islands koala bear, pole hugging, sand wrestling challenge. I remember getting my butt kicked by scrawny Candice Woodcock in this challenge years ago. Not my proudest moment. But presently, I would bet my life that any team sporting Cliff Robinson, easily the largest man on earth, will win the prize. And, I’m right. So, I can keep breathing. Thank you, Cliff. 

Seriously, the new Aparri tribe has zero chance of winning this challenge. Even with their two strongest men, Spencer and Jeremiah, tearing Cliff off the pole, they can only manage one half of his body at a time. He’s twice the size of Sarah. It’s actually hilarious how Cliff just lays there like a dead fish, cackling while the boys struggle with all their might to budge him. This only means, the Brains still can’t catch a break. The three of them, with their new beautiful members, scuttle off to their beach without any donuts. But, one consolation prize, now that they are on a new beach, they may at least have a little bit of rice. 

Meanwhile, at Solana beach, the new tribe members get chummy over lots of sugar and caffeine. Not everyone is getting along like pink, frosted cupcakes, however. Trish, annoyed with Lindsey, and full of Southie pride, opens the door for LJ to join her Boston tea party. LJ’s got this on lock. He’s a horse person, so he’s naturally intuitive and good at remaining calm in chaotic circumstances. It’s an endearing quality and unsual to find among paranoid Survivor contestants, so I understand why Trish is feeling LJ’s gravitational pull. He’s a magnet for anyone seeking stability. Cliff also possesses this magnetic quality. Around him, he’s pulled in Woo and Lindsey. He stabilizes them and acts as the epicenter of this alliance. So, where does that leave Tony? He was running the show at the old Brawns beach, and now he’s in a powerful spot once again. He’s the free agent. 

Over at Aparri beach, the Beauties are eating their own. Finally, the Brains trifecta can relax a little bit. They’ve been through enough, and now, it looks like they are going to be just fine. Each and every Beauty systematically approaches the Brains with desperate pleas to jump ship. The Beauties want to be Brains! Oh, how the mighty have fallen. 

Let’s see how these two new tribes match up at their first #immunitychallenge. Is anyone using the #immunitychallenge, anyway? Is that happening? I ask, because I’m curious. 

This challenge is going to take a major blast of brute strength. The teams have to hold a giant log and knock down walls. On first glance, it appears Solana will blow Aparri to pieces in this one, and the sad little Brains threesome will be marching back to tribal, again. But, I’m wrong! Even with giganto Cliff as the caboose, Solana barely loses the log puzzle in the end. They will have their first date with Jeff at tribal council tonight. 

While Spencer celebrates, “We communicated! We killed it!” Solana strategizes.

VIDEO: Watch the First 4 Minutes of the 'Survivor' Premiere

We already saw Trish making moves for LJ, but now things are getting real. She needs him and Jeffra to go along with her plan to dump Cliff. She’s threatened by his alliance with Lindsey and thinks he’s the most dangerous player on the tribe. I can’t say I disagree. Cliff is strong, athletic and likeable. Because he’s already a wealthy man, he’s a shoe in for final three and he’s got a solid crew around him, not including Trish. I hate to say it, but this is a good move for her. She easily sways LJ and Jeffra to vote her way, but still has to work on Tony. He’s not convinced. Tony voices concern about dropping Cliff too soon, because he helps them win challenges. I agree. This is also a legitimate reason to keep the gentle giant. Do you remember seeing the Brawns tribe attempt to throw the challenge in order to vote out Cliff in last week’s episode? Yeah, he’s in trouble. 

Heading into tribal council, we’re unsure whether Trish was able to sway Tony or not. Cue the rain. The Survivor gods always know when a blindside’s a brewing; they enjoy matching the weather to the occasion. After a bit of banter, we get to the vote. Tony’s mystery vote is “nothing personal, just strategical.” Oh, Tony, I’ve used this word before. Apparently, “strategical” is not a word. The word you are looking for is “strategic.” I’m sure one of our Brains is geeking out on that right now, rightfully so. 

Sadly, Cliff is out. Shockingly, LJ does NOT play his idol. I cannot imagine what he was thinking. Hopefully, I can get some insight as to what we did not see play out on the beach when I sit down with Cliff Robinson on Survivor Live. 

Tune into CBS.com/Survivor at 1pm EST to join our live chat with Cliff.

Tweet me your questions @parvatishallow using #survivorlive.

And, I’ll see you guys next week for more island fun!