Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 46 recaps
A wide variety of mistakes
By Damnbueno | Published: March 7, 20234
Survivor 46 Episode 2 recap/ analysis

A wide variety of mistakes

Here’s what I’ve learned since the first episode.

Nami tribe

Randen is pretty observant. In the episode, he identified Venus as a femme fatale Parvati type, and Venus confirmed in her confessional that his conclusion that she was sneaky was correct. Also, in a Secret Scene, Randen labeled Tevin his tribe’s biggest threat, saying “So, Tevin is the Pied Piper of my tribe, and we all follow him because he’s got a great voice. He’s dangerous. I love him, but I can’t follow him when he plays that little instrument of his.” Randen’s problem is that he’s too willing to share his observations in a confrontational way. While trying to warn Soda about Venus, he unintentionally turned Soda against him. Soda feared he’d just as easily warn people about Soda as he did about Venus. Now he’s got two players plotting against him, when he thinks he’s got an ally. He could be setting up his own blindside.

Tevin lied to his tribe about the Journey. He told them he won’t find out if he’s got an Extra Vote until he goes to Tribal Council. The observant Randen said in confessional he suspects Tevin is lying.

Yanu tribe

Tiffany knows her Survivor challenges. When Treemail about the Immunity mentioned reptiles, Tiffany immediately named a vertical Snake puzzle that has been used a few times since Winners at War.

Q definitely sees himself as his tribe’s leader. In another secret scene, he talks about how it will be his job to put everyone in the right positions to win the Immunity challenge. Also, Q and Tiffany are both very strong-willed people. When debating between booting Jelinsky or Jess, their body language reflected two mountain goats butting heads for supremacy. Q stood with arms folded, while Tiffany stood with one hand on her hip, and the other one doing a lot of pointing. I won’t be surprised if more tension develops between them.

Between scenes with her tribemates and her confessionals, Kenzie referred to those on her tribe as “numbers.” Most cringeworthy was this exchange from the episode between Kenzie and Bhanu: Bhanu – “I definitely wanna be on your side. I wanna work with you.” Kenzie – “Yeah, yeah. I want numbers.” Warning to Kenzie – there’s a long line of players who treated others like chess pieces. The majority of them spent most of their Survivor time on the Ponderosa. Bhanu didn’t notice her slip, but if she keeps it up, she’ll get herself into trouble.

Siga tribe

This tribe seems the most united and cohesive of the three, and it looks like Ben is the glue. Ben had all of them working together and laughing while they failed to build a fire together. Considering how much all of their members seem to like him, its odd that so far, none of the women want to include him in an alliance.

And finally, after freeze-framing Tiffany’s Beware Advantage note read “...Until you have taken possession of the Idol, you can’t vote at Tribal Council. That’s why it says ‘Beware.’ If you find yourself living on a new beach, the same rules apply.” This might mean we’re definitely in for a tribe swap this season. Then again, that phrase could also apply to a merge.

Will someone talk themselves out of the game as badly as Jelinsky did? I doubt it. But we’ve got a couple of players who are already pointing the gun at their own toes. Who will it be next?

And away we go...

Bhanu confirms Q got his way at the Jelinsky vote, and he knows he’s the piece caught in the middle.

Bhanu meditating

Kenzie: “Bhanu at Tribal is not a good liar.” The tribe just booted the worst liar on the tribe, but his admission to Kenzie just made himself Kenzie’s next target.

Q: “We gotta watch Kenzie.” This tells me Kenzie is playing too aggressively.

We’re getting a lot of shots of Q laying in the shelter. I remember J.P. from Cook Islands, and Drew Christy from San Juan del Sur both did that. Drew even did it while his tribe was working on the shelter. Neither of them made it to the merge.

Recumbent Q

I like getting the opening sequence with each player again, but sometimes it gives things away. For example, we’re seeing Q chopping a rope in a challenge. Now we know he’ll be in the game at least until we see him chopping that rope.

Soda: “If no one trusts her (Venus) as a number, she’s not a number to me ether.” That’s a very astute observation, but you shouldn’t let it show to Venus. You earned her trust by warning her about Randen. Don’t lose it by suddenly being distant.

Venus to Soda “Do you wanna talk?” Soda: “Maybe not today.” So much for that plan.

Venus knows Tevin is the most connected too, but it was a bad move by him to just blow her off and start talking about what he wants to get done. The best Survivor players find a way to make everyone feel included, especially the people they may not care for. In Cambodia, Jeremy and Kelley Wentworth were really the only ones who never butted heads with Abi-Maria. Abi-Maria got on everybody’s nerves. Jeremy and Kelley played the two best games that season.

Venus talks about how strong Persian women are ... while she’s talking about how weak her game is so far. I say it’s time for her to show some backbone, and find a way to work herself in with a majority. If you feel nobody is talking to you, then you have to start initiating conversations yourself. You need to create reasons for your tribe to want someone else gone. I might pick Liz since she’s allergic to every kind of food in that jungle.

Pouty Venus

Ben quotes Bruce Springsteen: “You can’t start a fire without a spark.” Ok, I like this dude now, and not just because he made a fire.

Ben: “I haven’t been the sharpest tool in the shred.” Ok, I like him even more now.

Ben: “Somebody should approach Maria.” Charlie nominates Tim. Good move Charlie, that way you won’t expose your alliance with the women.

Siga men by the fire

I like how Charlie leads Maria into pitching the partnership that he really wanted. And its nice to see people remembering how strong the Malcom and Denise partnership from Philippines was.

Malcolm and Denise part 2

Venus and Randen both think they’re on the bottom.

Venus on Tevin “He has too many links with too many people. There’s nothing I can do to compete with those.” Venus, that’s the wrong attitude to have in this game. There’s ALWAYS something that can be done.

Randen finds the Beware Advantage. Leave it alone dude! Who am I kidding? Of course he’s gonna take it.

Advantage: Randen

Last week, I said Tiffany reminded me of NaOnka from Nicaragua, but I didn’t know why. Now I know. Like NaOnka, Tiffany passes instant judgement without giving it much thought. And she also wears knee high socks. I don’t think Tiffany is a quitter like NaOnka was, and that’s a good thing.

Kenzie pitching Jess and Bhanu on blindsiding Q or Tiffany so early is playing with fire. She absolutely gave them information they can use to turn Tiffany and Q against her.

Bhanu, Kenzie, Jess

And it backfires immediately.

We should vote her

And now, Jess is pitching Q on a plan to boot Kenzie. This is what Venus should be doing on her tribe.

Ben is handing out nicknames for everybody. Phillip did that in Caramoan. It didn’t work out so well for Phillip. Hopefully Ben isn’t wearing pink underwear like Phillip did. I still can’t purge that visual from my memory banks.

Charlie mentions Taylor Swift and both Ben and Tim roll their eyes. He’s killing me with this Taylor Swift obsession, and she already screwed up my football season. In my eyes she’s got one song – the one in which she wants people to feel bad for her because she’s the victim.

Side eye from Tim

My thoughts exactly. And I’m a huge music junkie. But I will say there’s huge value in being able to keep the tribe entertained. Yam Yam rode that train to a win.

But I have to say I’m absolutely loving learning so much about these players so early.

Liz: “There’s a special type of man who can deal with someone making so much money, and not actually needing them.” Wow. Does Liz know how this show works? Does she have any idea how that statement almost guarantees she won’t win? Who wants to give money to someone who can say that out loud? The last person who bragged about being young and rich was Shirin in Worlds Apart. She drove her tribe nuts. She made herself a target on day 1 in two straight seasons.

Liz speaks

Randen throws Venus under the bus on day 1, then pitches a partnership with her on night 4? That’s who he picks to be his ride or die partner? That’s who he reveals his Beware advantage to? I’ve often wondered if a “Frienemies” partnership could work. Maybe we’ll find out this season. But they have to convince the others that they sincerely dislike each other. This could be interesting.

In confessional, Venus says she might be able to use Randen’s Advantage for herself. I think as soon as she realizes he won’t stick his neck out for her, she’ll throw him under the buss to save herself.

Randen and Venus

Soda: “How’s the food?” Damn girl. Based on your pregame, I thought you’d be the peacemaker who’d never get into a fight. I have no problem admitting I was wrong about that. That was a very bad move on Soda’s part. Now I hope Soda falls on the wrong side of a swap and finds herself surrounded by Yanu members. But I like seeing some trash talk before a challenge.

Probst: “Fortunately, I always carry a knife with me.” Uh-huh right. You carry a knife when you watch the dailies and see Venus putting a yellow headband on the Idol.

This challenge is similar to one they used early in Cagayan. I remember Garrett screwed up twice in that one – first by not attaching his wheel to the cart correctly (it fell off), then by dumping puzzle pieces all over the course. But J’Tia took the fall for that loss.

Wheels on the cart

Ok, there’s Q chopping the rope. Disregard what I wrote above. Q, Jem and Hunter take the initial spotlight roles.

I love how the intense challenge music just disappeared so we could see Liz and Moriah chatting.

Check out the big brain on Venus! She’s the first to figure out the word.

Venus: Persistence

While I think Yanu made the right call in booting Jelinsky, they sure could use his height in this one.

Moriah: “I love your glasses.” Liz: “Thanks, I love your socks.” Is this the beginning of a sitout alliance?

Moriah and Liz

Wow, a commercial break in the middle of a challenge? How often does that happen? I think it has only happened when there has been an injury.

Bhanu’s temper is gonna come back to hurt him. If he can scream at Jess like that, he’ll scream at anybody else too. Ok, maybe not Q.

Siga gets their pieces placed, and Ben takes 10 minutes to get to the mat? I’d be screaming at him like a Bhanu.

Even Probst can read the obvious body language Tiffany is throwing out there.

Tiffany, arms folded

This is a tough call for Yanu. If they suspect a swap is coming, it might be smarter to keep Jess around. It’s becoming clear she’s not a long term threat to win, so why not take out a stronger player physically or strategically now? You can still put Jess’ vote in your pocket. Kenzie says she wants Jess gone, but it might be smarter for her to go after Tiffany. She’s got an Idol she probably won’t use for you. If the Idol leaves the game with Tiffany, there’s a possibility you could find an Idol that replaces it later on.

There sure are a lot of extended promos for CBS shows tonight. It makes me wonder if they’re not selling as much advertising as in the past. If that’s true, that’s not a good sign for Survivor.

Venus needs to stop standing around and scowling. Can’t you at least pretend you’re happy your tribe won Immunity?

More pouting Venus

Venus: “You guys have to find a way to work with me.” You need to have the opposite attitude. In Survivor, you have to find a way to work with the group. Pouters don’t usually go far in Survivor. I love watching you play, but you’ve got to get it together. Pouting and scowling is probably why Tevin called you a princess.

Soda: “She (Venus) plays the victim a lot.” Kind of like a Taylor Swift song.

Tiffany: “I don’t like the way I lost control.” That’s another thing that reminds me of NaOnka.

Kenzie makes a phony Idol. Now all they have to do is convince Jess to look for it.

Kenzie's fake idol

I’d be suspicious if someone asked me to go Idol hunting with them. Especially if that person hasn’t strategized with me before.

I’d be even more suspicious if someone just handed me an Idol out of the blue. I might go so far as to ask Probst if it’s a real Idol at Tribal Council. But I think Jess is too brain-fogged to wonder why so many people are trying to help her right after an Immunity loss.

Kenzie is really full of herself. Is she trying to be a villain on purpose? She’s not Russell-level nasty yet but she’s close. She’s not Courtney Yates-level snarky either. She’s probably closer to Boston Rob-level nasty. Players like that make me think they’re playing more to make themselves famous than to win the game.

Kenzie in confessional

Jess to Bhanu “They think you’re too emotional.” So Bhanu reacts by being very emotional.

Another episode, another Q vs Tiffany battle to control the vote. Q won the first round. He might secure Tiffany as a loyal partner if he didn’t push and let her think she convinced him this time. I’m of the mind that says loyalty is more important than strength.

Jess to Kenzie at Tribal Council “You’re gonna eat everybody moving forward.” Don’t take the bait, Kenzie.

Kenzie and Jess

Kenzie: “So what do you want to do, throw me under the bus? Beautiful.” She took the bait. When Kenzie says “Beautiful,” it sounds like she means “to me, you a fool.”

Bhanu: “Someone told me I was too emotional.” This is two weeks in a row that Bhanu exposed too much info. That’s a bad look for a long-time ally.

Probst: “Bhanu, you’ve done this twice now.” Good lord, Probst and I are thinking alike. That’s scary. Bhanu will unintentionally spill your alliance’s plans, and the whole tribe knows it.

Remember how Jelinsky talked himself out of the game last week? That’s what Bhanu is doing now, even though it might not happen at this vote. These people won’t stick with him long term.

Bhanu rants

Q, Kenzie and Tiffany all just told Bhanu to keep his mouth shut. So what does he do? He stands up and asks everyone how to vote. Is there a better way to say “Don’t trust me anymore?

One vote and Bhanu is already grabbing his things. He has zero poker face.

Bhanu: “I feel like a fool.” You did it to yourself, my man.

Bye, Jess.


I don’t know that we’ve seen a meltdown like Bhanu’s in a long time. Last week, Jess played Tribal Council so badly she all but guaranteed she’d be the next one gone. I think that’s exactly what Bhanu did this time around. He’s just too honest at Tribal Council, which is the place you need to lie the most. Its like he doesn’t realize that Probst is the enemy. Bhanu thinks Probst is an impartial referee who’ll clarify and enforce the rules.

What do you think? Are Q and Tiffany on a collision course for control of the tribe? Has Kenzie’s aggressiveness become a liability? Has Bhanu already ended his game? Is Venus really a princess or can she get it together and start playing more stealth? Did Soda make four enemies by trash talking before the challenge? Who do you think is playing a good game so far. I say it’s Maria. Let me know in the comments.

damnbuenoDamnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.