Survivor: Winners at War - Episode 8 Recap
This Is Where the Battle Begins
By Jim Van Nest
April 6, 2020

Survivor Winners at War

Hello good people and welcome back to a completely Corona-free recap of Episode 8 of Survivor: Winners at War. I hope your quarantine is treating you well and you and yours are all safe, healthy and at home washing your hands and not touching your faces!

We're back for the MERGE episode of WaW and I'm totally ready for it. Also, someone is coming back in the game from the Edge. Hopefully, my boy, Yul is strong and ready to jump right back in where he left off. Either way, they won't make us wait long, I'm sure of it.

We begin tonight's episode on the Edge as they get word that the time has finally come and they can all place their fire token orders before the challenge. Natalie tells us that she used 1 token on an advantage in the challenge and her other 3 on an idol, should she get back in. Rob tells us that Amber gave him her token and then he matched Natalie with an advantage and an idol. As they head to the beach to get on the boat, back in the real game it's time for a...

Probst sighting!! There's a bit of a shock at the missing Yul. But that only lasts a second as, "Drop your buffs." It's time for the merge. Everyone puts on their new buffs and Jeff calls in the Edgers to become the 12th member of the new merged tribe. We hear from Natalie, Tyson and Rob talking about the difficulty of the Edge and then it's time to get to the challenge. It's the exact same reentry challenge from the first version of EoE. They have to go over an obstacle untying bags of sticks. Then they have to dig up string and make a pole to retrieve a key. Once they have the key, they can get to the snake ball maze puzzle. Ethan, Danni, Tyson, Rob and Natalie all have an advantage in the challenge. They don't have to dig for the string. I should go ahead and mention that this is one of those times where lasting longer in the game (Yul) puts you in a bad place. He had no chance to get a token, so no chance for an advantage. He's screwed before the challenge even starts.

Anyway, back to the challenge, Rob is first to make his pole and get the key. Natalie and Tyson are right behind. All 3 of them get to the snake maze and have a decent sized lead on the rest. Eventually, everyone but Amber is on the maze and we have a few close calls, but people are dropping right and left. Ultimately, it comes down to Tyson vs Rob. They've both fallen a couple times but now seem to have it figured out. They're neck and neck heading up to the hole. And with only a split second between them, Tyson wins his way back into the game! And the scream Tyson lets out after the win is some emotion we've never seen from him in 3 other trips to the island. He is in it to win it. He gets his new buff and joins the merged tribe. Everyone else will head back to Extinction to wait for one more chance to get back in. They will also start coming to Tribal as the jury beginning with the next Tribal Council.

We come back from break to the new tribe returning to camp. The first thing they see is a new fire token menu and prices have gone up. Tony is lamenting his lack of tokens but is thankful that the merge feast is free. As they dine on the feast, Sarah asks what happened with Sandra. So, Denise tells the entire story of how she idoled the Queen out of the game. Sophie, while impressed, wonders why she would tell that story. Tyson tells us that he's worried that perhaps the game has passed him by. He also says that he would vote him out ASAP because if he gets embedded, he's tough to get rid of.

Right off the bat, Jeremy and Wendell seem to be getting along well and they start trying to put together the first merge alliance. Jeremy learns that Nick is Wendell's #1, which immediately puts a target on him. Jeremy wants to be that #1, so Nick might have to go. Ben and Tyson are talking about putting a "big targets" alliance together. Ben's a big target? Really? Anyway, Ben tries to pull in Jeremy and Tony. Tony is thrilled to have someone open to working with him. And Neb wants to target the same people Tony does, the Nick's, Wendell's and Michele's of it all.

We come back from break to rain. Probably the first rain of the season, but everyone seems pretty miserable. Adam went through a cyclone on his first season, so he's not too worried about the weather. Everyone else, though, is soaked and freezing. Wendell and Nick have their eyes set on taking down Denise. Apparently the Sandra play has had an almost immediate impact on her threat level. And with that...

Probst sighting! Today's challenge is a Survivor classic. We're gonna hold onto a pole as long as we can. The Ozzy challenge. Along with immunity, the winner will earn a fire token. And, to make it interesting, there will be a male and a female winner. They don't get very far before Michele loses grip and takes a hard fall on the sand. Jeff checks on her, but she doesn't want medical. Adam and Sarah drop next, followed by Tyson. Whoa - he's actually won this challenge before. The rain makes a difference. Wendell and Tony are the next out followed by Sophie. Kim finally loses her grip - which makes Denise the winner for the women. And right after, Ben drops out. Nick and Jeremy are the only people left on the poles now. After a bit of back and forth, Nick finally drops out and Jeremy wins immunity and a fire token. As we head to commercial, Jeremy tells us that with the necklace on, he has a bit of power. He wants to get Nick out, but doesn't want to be looked at as the boss.

I expected to be playing, "It's Anybody but Tyson" right now, but it appears that we're playing, "It's Anybody but Nick." Who'd a thunk? Jeremy, Tony and Ben seem to have it narrowed down to Nick and Wendell. Jeremy really wants to keep Wendell, but he has to be careful with how hard he pushes for that. Ben tells us about Nick and how he ends up in everyone's conversation. And hats off to the editors, we get a whole bunch of scenes of Nick sliding into conversations. Speaking of Nick, he'd like to take out Adam.

Ben is talking to Adam and Sophie about either Nick or Wendell. Sophie is quick to say that Wendell should be the vote. She tells us that she thinks Wendell is Jeremy's man and she wants to cut off Jeremy by taking out Wendell. Tony and Sarah are on board but they're worried about what Jeremy will say. Ben takes it to Jeremy. And he plays this SO well. He tells Jeremy that he knows he won't be happy about it, but the rest of the group seems to be thinking Wendell. Jeremy makes the pitch for Adam and Ben is fine with that, but it'll take a lot of work to make a change happen now. Jeremy starts making a play for Adam. He's talking to Kim, Tony and then Denise. Denise says that she's fine to send Adam out now. He's not that attached to him.

Adam is freaked out and talking to Sophie about it. She tries to convince him that he's fine. She's voting for Wendell and if that doesn't happen, she'll be blindsided too. Adam tried to talk to Ben and clearly they still aren't getting along. Eventually, that's gonna come to a head. Maybe it'll be tonight. Adam, though, is completely freaked about everything and as we head to break, he tells us how much he just has to stay in the game.

And, we're back. Everyone gets to Tribal and Tyson gets a torch to light. Because fire represents your life in the game. Once you're fire is gone, so are you. Unless you get back in the game because of a game destroying twist. But, I digress.

The beginning talk is all around Tyson and coming back in the game. He says that getting voted out has definitely caused him to tighten up his game a bit, while Sophie mentions that she didn't even hear his name during the day. Tony jumps in and suggests that the dynamics of the game and the people in it have changed. So, the things that made a Tyson vote important earlier, no longer exist at this stage. And he's right, Sandra's gone. I'm so impressed with how calm and calculated Tony is being this time around. It's pretty awesome. Jeff asks a bunch of questions about the conversations that are being held and how you navigate them. Ultimately, this is a season of pros, they offer very little in the term of actual answers. It's a bunch of people saying the same thing. "I think I know what's happening; I guess I'll find out when everyone votes." Let's just get to the vote; trying to recap this is giving me gout.

We see Nick's vote for Adam telling him his reputation has preceded him. We see Adam's vote with a nice confessional, "It's either me or you tonight. I know that...but do you?" I guess we'll all find out. Jeff asks for idols and no one plays anything. Let's hear the votes. First vote: Adam. Wendell. Adam. Adam. And here they come - everything else comes up Wendell. Wendell is the 10th person voted out of Winners at War. Honestly, I can see how Wendell screwed up here and I can understand how he made such a mistake. He was too out in the open with his friendship with Jeremy. But why wouldn't he be? His first time around, it was the Dom and Wendell show and no one could do anything about it. This time - it's just better competition and the Sophie/Sarah alliance just took your ass out. And they did it so hard that even Jeremy voted against Wendell. Nick and Michele look to be the only ones that didn't know the vote was coming Wendell's way.

On his way to the boat, Wendell gives his fire tokens to Michele and Nick, one each. It would seem that even he knows who had his back and who didn't. Jeremy is a solid player. He knows better than to stay on board a sinking ship. Sure, he wanted to work with Wendell and he tried to save him. But when the writing's on the wall, you better get with the program or you're next. Michele and especially Nick are in some serious trouble next week. And one last thing before we get to the Next Time on segment. How awesome is Sophie? For many of the casual fans out there, I'd wager Sophie was one of the people that they didn't really remember. Something tells me they'll remember her after this season. She is killing it and her alliance with Sarah might turn out to be one of the most lethal in Survivor history. And if they pick up Kim Spradlin and Tony - watch out, there's your final 4. Just really impressed with what Sophie's doing right now.

Ok, Next Time on Survivor: Nick is determined to get back at everyone who double crossed him on the Wendell vote and we see him thrown our Sarah's name. That's quickly followed up with a Sarah confessional saying, "Mistake, brother, your ass is gonna go home." We get a few more shots of Adam freaking out, which seems to be all they're showing of him this season. He is definitely getting the zero vote finalist edit. The person that everyone wants to sit next to because no one will vote for him in the end. If that happens, it's a damn shame because that means someone that really deserves to be there will lose out. Til next week, kids, take care and wash your damn hands!