‘Survivor 45’ episode 7 recap: Which 2 people were voted out in ‘The Thorn in My Thumb’? [LIVE BLOG]

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Heading into the seventh episode of “Survivor 45,” the three tribes had finally come together in a merge following the ouster of J. Maya Krishnan-Jha. (after Kaleb Gebrewold negated a record 11 votes with his Shot in the Dark). That left just 12 people still in the game. But that number was about to be cut down to 10 after the castaways learned that this week would be a double elimination.

Below, read our minute-by-minute “Survivor 45” Episode 7 recap/live blog of “The Thorn in My Thumb” to find out what happened Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite castaways on CBS’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most and who you think will ultimately join the “Survivor” winners list and take home the $1 million grand prize. Jeff Probst once again hosts the long-running competition series.

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Here are the current “Survivor 45” contestants (click on each name to be brought to their individual profiles): Austin Li Coon, Bruce Perreault, Dee Valladares, Drew Basile, Emily Flippen, Jake O’Kane, Julie AlleyKaleb Gebrewold, Katurah Topps, Kellie Nalbandian, Kendra McQuarrie, Sifu Alsup.

SEE‘Survivor’ deaths: Full list of castaways we’ve lost

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Survivor 45” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Survivor’!” In the sixth episode, Austin, Bruce, Drew, Julie, Kendra, Sifu and Katurah earned their spots in the merge (as well as a yummy feast) by winning the challenge. That left just J. Maya, Kaleb, Dee, Emily, Jake and Kellie eligible for elimination. Emily warned Kaleb that he was in danger, so he played his Shot in the Dark … and it worked! All of the votes against him were negated, so the tribe re-voted and J. Maya was sent packing. Only 12 people remain in the game. Who will be voted out tonight?

8:02 p.m. – Obviously Kaleb had a lot to celebrate upon his return to camp following a Tribal Council where everyone on the island had voted to attempt to kick him out. While he did set two new milestones — first successful use of a Shot in the Dark when they’d be voted out and most votes nullified — he was incorrect that the nullified votes totaled 12. They totaled 11, an important nuance that everyone in the tribe missed out on because had they been paying attention they’d realize that someone didn’t cast a vote. That person was Austin, who sacrificed his vote in order to extend the life of his hidden immunity idol.

8:03 p.m. – With a unanimous attempt to vote Kaleb out, you’d think that everyone was still on the same page, but a division continued to brew within the group of original Belo tribe. Bruce brought up in front of many people that Katurah had been “on the fence” about voting for Kaleb in the first place. He was trying to create paranoia about Katurah, but it annoyed her further because he was taking Belo business beyond their Belo group. It also pissed Kendra off, pushing her to the point of being “nervous moving forward with Bruce” as an alliance member.

8:05 p.m. – The next morning Katurah affirmed her connection to Kaleb by letting him know that Bruce turned on him “immediately.” Katurah’s hope was that old Belo would take Bruce out and replace him in their alliance with Kaleb. Kendra was on the same page, but Kellie, despite being equally annoyed with Bruce, was hesitant about when would be the right time to cut ties with him. Kellie’s other point was a personal one because Bruce trusts Kellie more than he trusts anyone else.

8:07 p.m. – Emily and Kaleb touched base about her vote for him, but he understood that she couldn’t stick her neck out too far for him because they’re alone on an island and have to find ways to work with the others. Emily told Austin that Kaleb is still willing to work with her because she still has a good relationship with him and Drew from the swap. Austin confided in Emily that keeping Kellie in the game for some time is in his best interest because if she goes then everyone will know that he has the fully-fledged idol to himself, raising his threat level. For now, it makes more sense to keep Kellie around so that they’re both targets with the shared Steal a Vote.

8:14 p.m. – Later in the day, Kaleb was concerned with how to repair his damaged partnership with Bruce. The two of them tried to hash it out, but Bruce remained condescending with Kaleb and it didn’t do much for Kaleb to feel better about their ability to work together. Kaleb’s goal was for Jake to feel like he’d be able to move forward with Bruce and Kaleb together because Jake was highly interested in keeping Kaleb around. Everyone working with Bruce was getting frustrated with his conversational skills, but even when Kellie tried to advise him against the way he questioned Katurah the night before he wouldn’t take it and fought back. That only frustrated Kellie even more.

8:18 p.m. – When Jake and Kellie were able to talk to each other, they weren’t happy that Katurah and Kendra were making their distaste for Bruce and love for Kaleb so obvious, but they agreed they need them as numbers. They also felt like keeping Kaleb and Bruce around would be just as important.

8:20 p.m. – At the challenge site, Jeff brought back a “classic” for them to compete in as individuals… “with a twist.” First, Jeff told them they’d have to hold on to a high-standing pole for as long as they could. The last person standing would earn immunity. Second, Jeff disclosed that they’d be divided into two groups and that the longest standing in each group would both win immunity. Third, the person that lasts the longest out of everybody would earn a taco feast for their entire group and the right to attend TC second because both groups would be voting someone out. To be clear, “two people will be safe, two people will be going home.” To make matters even worse for everyone, the person voted out first would not be included in the jury.

8:27 p.m. – To determine the groups, Jeff had every player draw a rock. The red group was Jake, Dee, Austin, Julie, Kaleb and Katurah. The blue group was Bruce, Sifu, Kendra, Kellie, Emily and Drew.

8:28 p.m. – Right away, Emily slid a ways down her pole and then eventually fell off. Moments later, Julie fell as well, leaving both groups with only five competing. The next to fall were Kendra, Jake, Sifu, and Bruce. That left only Drew and Kellie for the blue team. Austin was the next to fall for red and then Drew couldn’t hold on any longer for blue, meaning Kellie secured immunity for herself and would keep competing in the hopes of earning reward for her group. With three left in the red group, Kaleb showed signs of struggle and then fell. Shortly after, Katurah slipped and fell as well, meaning Dee earned immunity as well. From here it was time for Dee and Kellie to fight for reward and to secure a spot in the jury for their groups. Eventually Kellie couldn’t hang on any longer and she dropped, handing the win over to Dee.

8:41 p.m. – At their reward feast, the winning group was on edge about their looming TC because it was a split group with three original Reba members, two original Belo and then Kaleb. Julie was hoping that it would be an easy vote because they’d all just vote for Kaleb again, but Jake and Katurah were both siding with Kaleb and wanted to keep him around. From Jake’s perspective, he saw Dee as the most influential Reba member and so because she was safe his target had to be her closest ally Julie.

8:44 p.m. – Back at camp with the losing group, the decision was equally split with three original Belo, two original Reba and then Emily. Drew felt like he was in the precarious position because everyone believed Sifu to have an idol and so to be safe the others would probably vote Drew just to secure the elimination of a Reba player. With that in mind, Drew went to Bruce and Kendra with a plan to work with them. Kendra used that as an opportunity to tell Drew that she wants Bruce out and then they looped in Sifu and Emily about that plan. But they knew that Bruce also has an idol and so they had to be careful.

8:46 p.m. – Right on the money, Bruce hypothesized to Kellie that Kendra was throwing him under the bus because he could see her running around talking to everybody. For that reason, he considered that he may need to use his idol. Kellie knew that was true, but she also didn’t want Bruce to leave yet so she had work to do with Kendra and Bruce to get them on the same page about remaining Belo strong.

8:48 p.m. – With the red group, Austin told Dee that it may be to their benefit to keep Kaleb around a little longer because he works as a shield in front of the two of them who already have huge targets on their back. Dee understood that, but she preferred that they make the easy decision to just go with Kaleb because it won’t make any waves. Jake felt like he was being told what to do by Dee, so he wanted to find a way to keep Kaleb and flip things on the Reba players.

8:50 p.m. – Kaleb told Jake that they had to tell Katurah about Bruce’s idol because if they give Austin the chance to tell her then it would sink their ability to work with Katurah. In that spirit, they figured they’ll tell Katurah about the idol and align their three votes against Julie with a plan to force a tie and spook Austin into not wanting to go to rocks and flipping on Julie during the re-vote. Jake was convinced he’d be able to sway Austin at TC to take Julie out rather than risk himself going home by a rock draw. When the plan got to Katurah, she was perturbed that everyone on original Belo was informed about Bruce’s idol and left her out of that information. She immediately told Kaleb that it’s “big” that she wasn’t told about the idol because it means she’s at the bottom at Belo.

8:56 p.m. – Unsettled by Kaleb’s revelation, Katurah went to Jake to confirm that Bruce has an idol. Jake admitted that everyone was a part of the search for Bruce’s idol and that they intentionally left Katurah out of that trick about looking for Jake’s rings. That made Katurah feel like she might be better off voting with the Reba players in an opportunity to take some momentum away from the Belo tribe. Her concern was that she doesn’t know Dee, Julie or Austin very well.

8:58 p.m. – Sifu was feeling like he was an obvious “big target” among their group because it would be a shot to take out against the original Reba tribe. Meanwhile, Kellie and Kendra were still debating the pros and cons of keeping Bruce around. Kellie pointed out that Bruce is “an incredible shield” for them because no one will want to go to the end of the game with Bruce and they can rely on him as a Belo strong number as long as they need to. The other thing is that Reba is willing to take Sifu out and so it could be an easy vote for them without causing too many waves. They looped Drew into a potential plan to take Sifu out and so he had to weigh the option of working with Belo on this vote or trying to fix the target on Bruce instead. In a moment alone, Drew did his best to convince Kendra that it’s in both of their interest to get rid of Bruce now while they can.

9:09 p.m. – At the first Tribal Council, the stakes were “extra high” because it would determine who among them would make at least the jury and the one player that wouldn’t. Kendra said that it was “a good chance” to build trust with the people she wants to move forward with and that’s the benefit of voting within a small group. Bruce added that the small group has more room for small fractures to have a big impact and so trust-building is really sensitive. Sifu acknowledged openly that he sensed he was vulnerable because of how big of a threat he is and he can see the division in their group that the three original Belo will easily vote him out. His pitch is that he could continue to be a “meat shield” for anyone that needs one.

9:18 p.m. – After the votes were cast, no one played an advantage or an idol and so Jeff read out the names on the parchments: Bruce, Sifu, Sifu, Sifu, Sifu. So by a vote of 5-1, Sifu was eliminated and missed out on making jury.

9:20 p.m. – The second Tribal Council did not have the same anxiety about missing out on jury, so there was less sadness to their conversation with Jeff. Jake acknowledged that he likes everyone he’s playing with and that at the end of the day they just have to make decisions about where they have the most trust and who is a block in their own path forward. Katurah was unsure about her own trust in people and understood that she wouldn’t know for sure until the votes were cast and read. Kaleb was open about how he was the previous target and so his mission now was to take a step back to find a way to reclaim his value to others by being open and transparent. Dee countered by saying that people have to trust how they perceive what Kaleb told them, warning that Kaleb is a chatty and potentially manipulative player.

9:26 p.m. – At the voting booth, we saw Dee vote for Kaleb and Jake vote for Julie. No one played an advantage or an idol and so Jeff read the votes: Kaleb, Julie, Kaleb, Julie, Kaleb, Kaleb. By a vote of 4-2, Kaleb was eliminated and became the first member of the jury. He knew on his way out that Katurah was the one that flipped and then Jake admitted to Julie that it was him that voted with Kaleb against her and they “can talk” about it.

NEXT TIME: The six remaining women realize that they make the majority now and it could “be their chance” to take control of the game, Jake is hunting for idols, and a message arrives announcing the return of the famed “Survivor Auction.”

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘Survivor’?

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