Two months in and Carson Garrett, a current Georgia Tech aerospace engineering student, is still alive and thriving (mostly) after this week’s episode of Survivor. For those new to the series, I’m doing weekly recaps of Carson’s game and where he sits in the grand scheme of the season. Pack your peanut butter and jelly, let’s get into it!
SURVIVOR SEASON 44 EPISODE 8 SPOILERS AHEAD
During last week’s episode, Carson was part of a reward that featured a large spread of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, an incredibly beneficial source of protein and just plain ol’ food in the conditions of the show. Over the next night, he threw up what he said was eight or nine times, and then hurled again the following morning. He wasn’t sure if the PB&J’s were to blame, but regardless, as he put it, it sucked.
“It was one of the worst nights I’ve ever had in my life,” Carson said before the immunity challenge when discussing the previous evening with Jeff Probst.
The timing was not good for him at all. Tree mail that morning told the remianing ten players to split into pairs before the challenge, would would force one of the tribemembers in the awkward spot of having to pair up with the sickly Carson, dramatically reducing their chance at immunity.
But, the Va Va tribe members seemed to not be cutthroat about it.
“It was just really amazing to see everyone around me pretty much all willing to be paired with me. So that was a really heartwarming feeling,” Carson said before the challenge. Carolyn, the mama bear she’s been for Carson all season, ends up volunteering to do the challenge with him.
The challenge (Eve 5) itself was three stages, the first two eliminating pairs, and the final stage being an individual round. The first stage had players going through a twisted net and digging for three planks. The second stage was a rope bridge where the pairs had to traverse the bridge without falling only using the planks. The final stage, the individual portion, had players brace themselves between two posts with narrow footholds to stand on. As time progressed, they would move to narrower and narrower footholds.
Carolyn went first in the challenge for her and Carson, and immediately had a load of trouble, getting caught and staying caught in the muddy net for so long that by the time she had gone out Carson could barely get to the net before they were eliminated.
The puking episodes of the night before left his voice a little out of it, which gave us this hilarious scene of him trying to motivate Carolyn, but at such a low volume only the microphones probably even picked it up.
Back at camp after Lauren wins the challenge, Brandon and the Ratu crew, which according to Brandon does include Carson since he was part of their tribe for a small period of time, hatch a plan to vote out Frannie. With Ratu + Carson, they have five votes, only needing to pick up one of Yam Yam or Carolyn.
For the Soka members, they’re staring down the barrel knowing that Ratu is gunning for them, all the while the remaining Tika are able to hang out and just let chaos ensue above them. Soka does figure out that Frannie is the plan for Ratu, to which Heidi suggests voting out Brandon, also under the assumption they can get two of Carson, Yam Yam, or Carolyn to vote with them to get a majority.
When Danny gets wind of the Frannie plan, he tells her that he will use his immunity idol on her and enable the Brandon blindside. Heidi then tells Yam Yam and Carson about this plan. Carson then tells Danny about that conversation, which was not welcome news to him considering that the plan would fall apart if too many people caught wind of it while putting a target on his back. Carson even offers to play security guard around Yam Yam just to ensure he doesn’t tell a Ratu.
For Carson, not making enemies is his main goal here. He knows he’s in with the Ratu members, but still has a Tika banner flying over his head that makes him approachable for the Soka members to potentially work with.
Yam Yam considers telling Ratu about the plan, but holds off. Him and Carson do indeed vote for Frannie to give themselves cover, knowing Danny would play the idol for Frannie. The plan works flawlessly, sending Brandon home with only four votes.
So once again, Carson, with no advantages to his name, gets through another episode with people still liking him, being included on the inner mechanism of a vote, and with no target on his back. He’s done this really well all season. Assuming he gets his strength back after his sick day, he’s in a great spot where he can wield power with Carolyn and Yam Yam. Winning individual immunity will do a lot to help his cause with the jury. This episode was a good one for him to have the blindside feather in his cap.
Questions for Carson if I had the chance to ask: The puke night, how agonizing is that? When did you start feeling better? What do you think got you sick? What were you thinking when Carolyn was in that net? How fast do you think you would’ve gone through the net in your condition at the time? Did you consider telling Ratu about the Brandon plan? Did you vote with Ratu to cover yourself?
Jack Purdy is a non-revenue sports writer and co-host of Scions of the Southland for From The Rumble Seat. He previously served as The Technique’s assistant sports editor before graduating Georgia Tech in 2022. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackNicolaus