Next Time On… Survivor is a little blog I’m doing here on Inside Survivor, predicting the events of the next episode based on hints from the previous one as well as the preview trailers and commercials.
100-percent spoiler free speculation! Let’s do it!
Part 1: Previously On… Survivor
Writing the blog last week was a bit difficult. After analyzing the preview material for a few minutes, it had become relatively clear that Caleb would be medically evacuated from the game. During a shot of the entire crew in the teaser, you can see every member of the Beauty tribe standing or sitting, except for Caleb, who we don’t see at any other time in the previews.
I never like to see players go down like that. Caleb was proving to be a real force of nature, putting his all into every challenge. How much can a guy exert himself for some spices and a wok? Now we know. I’m glad he has fully recovered and expect to see him return in the near future. Consider that my first prediction of season 34, or whatever.
As for my other predictions, I was 50/50.
1. Someone on the Brains, I’m thinking Peter, will begin to figure out how to get the hidden immunity idol.
Grade: F. No indication that anyone on the tribe has found any clues.
2. Nick will say 20 words, tops.
Grade: I don’t deserve it, but I’ll take it. A.
Part 2: A snake in ice cream pants
Last week I made a somewhat random prediction about the hidden immunity idol on the Brains tribe’s camp. It had no basis other than – “Peter should probably go look for that idol really hard right now.”
In this week’s commercial spot, we get a brief glimpse of Neal looking up to the trees. We, the audience, know the key to the idol is attached to a tall tree. This could easily be the producers blatantly misleading us, but I like to believe it’s an indication of the Brains camp idol being found before the swap. And Neal, for whatever reason, has been labeled as a “sneaky” character despite not really being very sneaky. Not that he’s been a bad player or a transparent liar, we just haven’t seen Neal do anything particularly sneaky in the game yet. It could have all be foreshadowing for a stealthy idol grab! Regardless, the prospect of all three idols being found pre-swap is pretty exciting.
Part 3: A swap with a twist
“Drop your buffs.”
These words can fill a castaway’s entire being with feelings of dread or hope. At this point in the game, anyone who has seen Survivor before should expect some sort of swap. But, “swap” is not the word Probst uses in the commercial. He says, “We’re switching things up… just one twist…”
How do you add a twist to a tribe swap? The first thing that comes to mind is shuffling three tribes into two, but that isn’t much of a twist as much as it is a simplification. So, perhaps the twist is not about the tribe make-up, but the process of the switch-up.
My friends, I believe we are doing a schoolyard pick.
There’s a small covered item next to Probst in the previews and it’s likely a bag of rocks to determine the tribe leaders. And I know what you’re thinking: “Jacob, there’s an odd number of players right now! You don’t think they are going to send someone to Exile or something when they don’t get picked do you?”
Well. Yeah. I kind of do. And it’s making me rather nervous.
This season is all about brutality. And while I don’t believe anyone is being sent off to some tree-less deserted island, especially not after what happened to Caleb, I do believe someone will be exiled until the first Tribal, and that said someone will join the tribe who votes someone out. I think this theory is further validated by the description written for the episode: “The castaways drop their buffs and switch things up, and one castaway feels all alone in the game following the tribe switch.”
I guess the bigger question becomes, who will be exiled if this is the case? My prediction is Tai, and only because he doesn’t clearly fit into any plans. I can’t see players from other tribes necessarily wanting him for challenge strength (though he has done quite well thus far) or players from his own tribe needing him for strategic purposes as the Beauty Girls alliance doesn’t really involve him or Nick.
If this is all one big prediction gone wrong and Exile isn’t even in the question, I think it’s still fair to assume an incoming schoolyard pick with a disheartened last-picked castaway.
Part 4: A few things about the Brawn tribe
The conflict between Alecia and the men on her tribe has stirred up some arguments in the fan community. I see a lot of people not just defending but praising Alecia for coping with the bullies on her tribe. On the other hand, a lot of folks understood exactly why Scot and Jason were getting so fed up with Alecia. Where most did not condone their actions, it seems that many were willing to tolerate them.
I will not praise Alecia. She showed an extraordinary lack of social tact and communication ability throughout her time in the game. In 120-degree weather with her entire team melting in the sand, she kicked around the top layer in a uselessly desperate attempt of getting lucky. Pestering your teammates to keep trying, while they have clearly been working their asses off (illustrated best by Cydney), is annoying and unnecessary. Look, bullying is bad, and Jason and Scot are absolutely in the wrong and I will not defend them, but the praising of such a dull source of conflict only comes from the audience’s projection of themselves in any generic victim.
Cydney is the only player from the Brawn tribe who has any chance of winning this game. She listens before she speaks and doesn’t act out because someone is irritating her. Scot and Jason can be charismatic, but they only behave around people who they feel deserve their best. Obviously, you don’t get to pick your competition in Survivor. Scot and Jason are going to find themselves in some rough situations when they have to play with people they don’t like, which will absolutely happen with an eccentric cast like this. Scot in particular for he’s received a worse edit than Jason in terms of emotional confessionals, and Jason has possession of the idol.
Part 5: Wrap-Up
Let’s summarize, folks!
1. Neal will, at the very least, determine the location of the hidden immunity idol.
2. The tribe swap will consist of a schoolyard pick and a leftover castaway joining the tribe who votes off a member. If this is how it goes, Tai will be the leftover player.
3. Cydney will work her way into the majority alliance of whatever tribe she ends up on where Scot will find himself on the minority.
4. I believe someone from the Beauty tribe will be voted out. Their bonds with each other will likely be viewed as tighter than most others. If I had to guess further, I would predict Anna as the next vote-off. She’s not as sly as she thinks she is.
That’s all for this week, but feel free to tweet me @JacobDerwin if you want to tell me how wrong I am. Thanks for reading!