Survivor 44 Dropped Another Wild Episode, And Fans Have So Many Thoughts About Carolyn
Sometimes when I’m watching an episode of Survivor, I wonder if there will be a good topic or anything particularly notable to write about. Between medical evacuations and nonsense from producers, that has not been a problem this season, and it certainly wasn’t a problem with last night’s episode. Round 4 of Survivor 44 was wall-to-wall madness, and there are a handful of topics I could easily write two thousand words on. Like why do women keep getting voted off premerge? That’s four consecutive tribal councils. Or why did the producers yank three people off their tribes and hand each a temporary idol? Can they just chill out and let people play Survivor?
There are so many places to go, but if you look on social media, there’s one topic people want to talk about more than any other: Carolyn. The thirty-five-year-old drug counselor from Minnesota is one of the strangest and most vibrant players in the history of Survivor. She is fantastic television and seems like a great person. And this week, she started playing really, really hard, much to the delight of fans.
First, she set a trap to get someone to find the fake idol. She took two distinctive sticks and put an X on the birdcage with the clue inside. Then she put identical versions of the two sticks in an X pattern near camp with the fake idol tucked away next to it. As soon as the players saw the birdcage, they all started poking around and looking for the fake idol. Sarah eventually found it, much to the joy of Carolyn and fans who loved it.
Carolyn watching Sarah pick up the fake idol #Survivor44 pic.twitter.com/P6jL03vBxVMarch 23, 2023
I really liked Sarah a lot and wanted to see her play Survivor more. She deserved a whole lot better than she got. Also, I wanted to see her play the fake idol and get shot down by Jeff. Her finding out that thing was a fake would have been an all-time Survivor moment, both for the look on her face and the look on Carolyn's face. Those post-tribal confessionals would have been awesome too.
Except, we're not entirely sure what would have happened because there is a small but very loud contingent of Survivor fans who are convinced Carolyn messed up and accidentally gave her real idol to Sarah and kept the fake idol herself. Producers have not weighed in on the debate at all yet, but some viewers are convinced we are going to get another fantastic Carolyn moment when she finds out her idol is actually a fake.
can we get confirmation that carolyn knows the real idol from the fake bc im concerned #survivorMarch 23, 2023
This isn't some random theory a few people have on Twitter either. There is a loud contingent of fans who are convinced she accidentally gave away the real idol, and producers aren't telling us because they want it to come out in a big moment later in the game. Former players like Stephen Fishbach have discussed the possibility, and there are a lot of viewers who think that's exactly what happened. To be clear, there are many more who do not. They argue the fake idols on one tribe look like the real idols on another tribe, which is meant to cause post-merge chaos.
Regardless, it's all adding to the growing legend of Carolyn. Initially, she was one of the most divisive players of the season, and she even spoke out about how many hate messages she was getting. But over the course of the last few episodes, that divisiveness has turned into almost universal like. Social media is filled with posts from fans (and always opinionated former players) talking about how she's their favorite player. Here's one from former castaway Josh Canfield...
Here are my top 5 favorites this season:1. Carolyn2. Carolyn3. Carolyn4. Carolyn5. Carolyn#survivorMarch 23, 2023
Now, as much as almost everyone is loving Carolyn, the fanbase remains very divided on her long-term chances in the game. There are some who think, with a (potentially) real idol in her pocket and a good strategic mind, she could go a long way. There are others who think she's a bit too messy at tribal council and hasn't built up enough real allies so far, especially after she betrayed Yam Yam this past episode.
I tend to think she's going to have troubles post-merge, but there are some all-time great former Survivor players who have praised what she's done so far. Here's a message from Ricard Foyé, who I think is the best player we've seen in recent seasons...
Carolyn is playing circles round these girlies 💅🏽💕 #Survivor44March 23, 2023
I have no idea what Carolyn's long-term trajectory in this game is going to look like, but it is very clear, no matter what else happens, that she'll go down as one of the most memorable players in the history of the show. She's so distinct and full of life. She's so unapologetically honest, and she's an absolute delight to watch every single week. Here's to hoping her delightful run continues a lot longer.