Top Five, Baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 recaps
Secrets, advantages, and spilling the beans
By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 4, 2021
Survivor 41 Episode 2 Recap/ analysis

Secrets, advantages, and spilling the beans

Welcome to “Top Five Baby!” where after each episode of Survivor, Brent Sullivan will try to break apart and find the top five moments that made a lasting impact on the season or moments that could at least affect the next few episodes. Sometimes the moments are obvious and other times ... not so much, but after years of watching and analyzing this show to myself, I like to share the ones that I think stand out the most.

This season really is moving 100 miles per hour. There has been so much that has happened in the first three hours of Survivor to start this season. This episode seemed to have lots of important stuff in the front half. Some of it is hard to keep track of. More advantages made their way into the game this week and lot of castaways telling secrets and spilling beans. How much of this will come back to haunt?

Let’s find out in this week’s “Top Five Baby!”

1. Quick spy shack

Quick spy shack

Not quite sure what to think of Brad here. On one hand, it was a brilliant move to see JD and Ricard wonder off and know that he could beat them to the water well. He even made it back without them seeing him. Plus, he actually got to hear some of the information that they were saying about him.

The problem with it was he just jumped up and ran off without warning or telling anyone what he was doing. Then he came back huffing and was out of breath and said that he would tell Shan later what he heard. The whole thing made him look shady and now Shan is worried that he could hide from her and listen to her conversations.

Between this and his questionable gameplay last week, I worry for Brad’s future in this game. He can easily be painted as a target who is untrustworthy now. The tribe generally seems to get along, so let’s see how this affects him next episode.

2. Naseer is now loved

Naseer is now loved

What a difference a few days can make .... I’m sure this is helped by Luvu’s challenge dominance, as they haven’t had to go to tribal council yet, but wow.

I wrote last week about how Naseer told on Danny and Deshawn while they were doing the water challenge because they stopped to look for idols, and how that blew back into his face when he tried to share that info with his tribe. But now it appears he can do no wrong. He is stepping in and making the fire, gathering the food by knocking the breadfruit out of the trees, and even Sydney said that their life in the game depended on Naseer staying around.

I am always fascinated by how much we don’t get to see and how much social interaction goes on between the castaways when we are not watching them. Plus, like I mentioned above, Luvu hasn’t been to tribal, so they are on our TV screens less than the other two tribes. So, what have we missed with Naseer? What has he been doing to get in the good graces with everyone? He seems like a fun character, and I am looking forward to seeing what he does next with his newfound fame.

3. The Beware Advantage

The Beware Advantage

So, it only took one additional week, but someone found the Beware Advantage that Jeff hid in the tree during his opening monologue to the season. Not only is this a new twist in the game, but it came with a huge downside as well. Let’s see if I can get this all correct.

Let me start by saying the clue he found has the potential to be an idol, which is huge for him, but he has to do quite a bit for it to become active. The other two idols and clues have to be found on the Luvu and Ua beaches as well, then a secret phrase has to be spoken from all three people that find the idol clue. Once that happens, all three idols are activated and can be played.

The bad part (at least for Xander right now) is that until all three idols are active, he doesn’t get to vote at Tribal Council. That is huge in these smaller tribes of five and six (four in Yase’s case now). The only part about this that we don’t know (or I missed it) is how long this lasts. If one of the other two tribes never find the clue, does Xander never get to vote? If Xander gets voted out, can the other two idols still become activated? Hopefully we find out more, but in the meantime, Xander has to suffer through until the others are found.

4. Survivor Summit, part 2

Survivor Summit part 2

Two more people get to go on the journey to the Survivor Summit (that’s what I’m calling it). Evvie gets picked by Luvu since they had to choose someone on the losing tribe, then Deshawn volunteered himself to go.

While they were on the journey Evvie volunteered a lot. First, Evvie volunteered to Protect the vote so Deshawn could choose Risk the Vote. Then Evvie volunteers to tell him all about Xander’s idol clue and that he had an extra vote. That was definitely a lot of information to give up.

The only thing I like about this is that Evvie knows Yase is down in the numbers and an ally from another tribe will be needed at some point. Finally, we didn’t see what happened when Deshawn went back to camp after volunteering to go and whether or not he told them the truth, but either way he now has an extra vote and tons of information about the Yase tribe.

5. Tiffany freaks out

Tiffany freaks out

This really is a tricky alliance member to have around. Yes, with the way she is playing the game, you would love to take her to the end with you, but at the same time, trying to keep her in check and keep her on the same page as you and your other alliance members is going to be real challenging.

In my opinion, Xander would have been the smarter move here. He not only has a couple of advantages already, but he also knows how to find them. Also, he may possibly be only one immunity challenge away from having himself a new active immunity idol along with two other ones being activated on the other tribes. Now Evvie and Liana have to try and keep Tiffany happy and vote her way to keep her happy.

Even though this is a short season, I can’t see people putting up with this sort of gameplay for that long. It will just get too tiring and she can make herself a huge target by not cooperating with the group.

So, there you have it for week two from Survivor. But I want to hear from you as well, let me know if I missed any moments or if you think I was correct in my thinking, the interaction is part of what makes this so fun!

Please catch more of me here next week where I will try to bring you more fun top five!


Brent Sullivan - Top Five, Baby!Brent Sullivan is a long-time fanatic of Survivor and has been writing about it for years. When he is not writing, talking about, or applying to be on the show, he spends his time with family, doing nerdy IT stuff, and watching movies. Follow him on twitter: @BSully_13