‘Survivor 46’: Liz’s screeching public meltdown and another idol left unplayed in ‘Run the Red Light’

No one knows when to play their idols in “Survivor 46.” After the ninth episode when Hunter McKnight was blindsided with an idol in his pocket when he did not follow his instincts, the same thing happened again in “Run the Red Light.” Meanwhile, Q Burdette attempts to win back some goodwill, which consequently leads to probably one of the biggest dramatic public meltdowns seen in the history of “Survivor.” And Maria Shrime Gonzalez starts to take some independent control in this game. Let’s break it all down in this “Survivor 46” episode as we start inching closer to the end of the season with three episodes left to go.

Liz Wilcox has not been having a great last few days, from her feeling she did not receive credit for the blindside of Soda Thompson to now being left out of the blindside of Hunter, going instead for Q. Little does she know she would reach a huge breaking point, but as for Q himself, he knows he is a dead man walking and that he can only save himself by winning immunity. However, Maria also knows this and approaches him after tribal about the potential of them working together, which proves vital later in the episode.

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Q’s challenge prowess worked to his benefit in the reward challenge, which brought back the return of Applebee’s, last seen in the 39th season, “Island of the Idols.” After winning, he was allowed to choose three people and he went with Maria and his Yanu tribe mates Tiffany Nicole Ervin and Kenzie Petty. This despite desperate pleas from Liz, who has not had as much food as the other players due to her restrictions and allergies, causing her to have a visceral, loud breakdown in front of everybody. While it was an uncomfortable moment to watch, she was able to rebound back to normal quickly after her screeching cry at Q, who defended himself by mentioning her vote for him at the last tribal council. Meanwhile, Q attempted to reconnect with his Yanu tribe, to no avail.

Perhaps Jeff Probst also felt for Liz during her cathartic blow-up because at the immunity challenge, he offered the tribe rice if four people sat out – the same deal he made two episodes ago – but went further by offering portioned rice to each individual who didn’t want to compete, which Liz accepted. Even though it looked like Q needed this immunity win, Charlie Davis pulled off his second consecutive victory and it seemed that Q’s days were numbered.

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Except Maria had a plan to blindside Tiffany with her idol as it was coming down to the Final 7 and time was limited. Despite having the support of Ben Katzman and her closest ally Charlie, Kenzie – someone who was originally onboard for getting rid of Tiffany – backed out and reverted back to Q. That led Maria to try to rally Liz to vote against Tiffany and not for Q, which was a challenge given their recent history and their high tension at the reward challenge. But at tribal council, Tiffany did not play her idol, thinking it was a unanimous vote against Q and was blindsided by a vote of 5-3, with Kenzie and Venus Vafa also writing his name and shocked by the outcome, the former especially. Funny enough, after railing against Q the entire episode, Liz became the swing vote to save him from elimination.

We’re now in the Final 7, so what happens next? With Tiffany’s idol being public knowledge and now out of the game, everyone knows another one will be immediately re-hidden as shown on the “Next Time on Survivor” promo, where they will all be looking for it. Will it finally be played correctly? And even though Q was saved by Liz this vote, he is still on her radar as someone she (and Kenzie) wants going home, while Maria might have put a target on her back after leading the blindside of Tiffany.

As far as who will win the season, it is safe to say that Q and Venus are not likely to be the Sole Survivor, and if the other players are smart enough, they would take one if not both of them to the Final Tribal Council as neither of them have a lot of friends on the jury. But at the same time, they are both known for causing unnecessary chaos so how much longer will that last? The other five are still in the running, but Liz and Ben will have to step up their individual moves if they want to have a shot. And Kenzie was just left out of this vote (after initially wanting Tiffany gone earlier in the episode), which is not good this late in the game so they will have to make up a lot of ground to reach Charlie and Maria, a duo that has been quietly controlling the trajectory of this season.

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