HOLLYWOOD—So the merge, it has been the moment fans of “Survivor 41” have been eyeing for weeks and it happened sort of with a major twist on the latest episode, ‘Ready to Play Like a Lion.’ How so? The level of twists this season just keeps on coming people and it might have reached a level of overload if I’m being honest. So we are giving a twist within a twist with this merge, where there is NO TRIBAL this time, but the contestants will battle some will be left out and someone will gain an advantage that totally shapes the game as we know. Now you have to earn your way into the merge people, how crazy is that.

One team gets safety at the merge, one does not, they have to compete for safety in the next immunity challenge. Then on top of that we have a draw where two people will NOT compete and then the winning team will determine who is safe and the other person will be sent off. My head is literally spinning right now because of this twist it’s too much.

Shan and Ricard had a lot of tension. So the trust between these two is so fractured and might not be good moving forward. Yase seem to be united, however, Liana still does NOT trust Xander, and with Luvu, Naseer wants to keep the 6 strong, but that is not what DeShawn wants. So we have two teams of 5, Yellow (Heather, Xander, Liana, Shan, Tiffany) and Blue (DeShawn, Danny, Ricard, Sydney and Evvie) and Naseer and Erika’s fates to be determined.

So it was Blue in the lead, Yellow battled, but Blue edged out the victory; they were safe for now. With all the twists this season, something crazy is about to flip this game upside down people. So Blue had to choose between Erika and Naseer, one would eat, one would be sent to an isolated island with nothing for 2 days (they don’t know that person gets an advantage). Naseer was joining the merge feast, but Erica was not looking happy people. Little do they know Erika has an advantage coming and it could shake the game in an epic way and I like that angle.

Cannot believe that we are ONLY on Day 12 people, the pace is quite fast. Ricard and Evvie were fishing for information about Luvu’s connection with Erika and Danny was worried about a gender balance and he was focused on sending a woman home, particularly Erika, which if the editing tells us anything that is NOT going to happen. So the audience is finally getting a bit of a story for Erika who seemed invisible up to this point, but again “Survivor” knows a way to tug at your heart and make you empathize with characters that you want to root for.

Gosh this is a very loaded episode, so much to the point that we needed two hours. Back at the Luvu camp, Tiffany was paranoid as ever, starting to doubt Liana because she didn’t immediately share her advantage with her. Liana didn’t like that she was forced to share her advantage with Shan and Tiffany. The more you share the more dangerous it becomes. Xander bonded with Naseer noting that he was the only guy who could be eligible to be voted out.

Danny was really pushing Erika, which I know it will not work. Evvie, Sydney and Tiffany wanted to target Erika, but little do they know what Erika’s advantage in the game could be. Something tells me it is a game changer people. Shan went with the majority and she knew something. It was apparent Shan, Liana, Danny and Deshawn wanted to work together and to be honest, we just witnessed epic gameplay with a Black alliance with The Cookout on “Big Brother 23” who changed the game as we know it. Rather these four can do the same thing is to be determined.

When Jeff Probst noted there was no vote out in this week’s episode, I thought he might be lying, but he wasn’t which means next week has to be a double boot or at least 2 hours. Erika was surprised to see Jeff arrive and this is where the latest twist in the game came into effect. Jeff informed Erika she had tremendous power in the game, an hourglass. So she can leave the game in its natural state or she can go back in time and change history to change the outcome of yesterday’s challenge. By doing so, she forces the team with immunity to have to compete for safety and those who lost to gain immunity, which totally changes everything. She had just a day before leaving the island to make the decision. Of course, we get a cliffhanger, but we all know what is coming.

Erika would be an idiot not to reverse the game because you become safe. If the majority of your tribe sent you to exile why do you care? It wouldn’t even need to think about it. I’m safe and the people who sent me here are NO LONGER safe. Let’s shake this game to the core, of course the producers want this twist to cause ripples in the game people. I’m certain this is a “Survivor” first where we had an episode where no one was voted out, so next week “Survivor 41” better make up for this week’s episode.