I’m back and better than ever! Or at least exhausted. Extra thanks to Shawn for writing my blog last week while I was away in Cyprus and Greece.
As always, 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
1. Debbie is trying very hard to make friends, but in doing so will put a target on her back.
Grade: Not entirely certain if Debbie has become a target or not based on the last episode. It seems that she’s succeeded in making lots of new friends. Regardless, there’s no certain grade to give here, so I’m going to give Shawn an IOU.
2. Joe will get mad at Peter for suggesting that they throw the immunity challenge.
Grade: This was an entirely realistic idea. It just didn’t happen. F.
3. Julia is the next one voted out, and the Beauties will be quickly Pagonged.
Grade: Man, I agreed with this one too. That said, I don’t think Julia is going to be in trouble for a long time now. F.
4. At some point, a super idol will be “created”, likely with Scot championing the idea.
Grade: We’ll have to wait and see!
Part 2: Merge time, baby!
Going into the merge, we have a few strongly positioned castaways with generally positive edits. Here are some of the folks I’m keeping a close eye on:
Debbie: CHOO CHOO. I am proud to be one of the founding members of the Debbie train going into the merge episode. She may be presented as a crazy cat lady, but she’s a likable crazy cat lady. I swear every episode we have another contestant doing a confessional about how much they like and trust Debbie. Even players like fictional purple Nick have talked about working with her. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe she is the first player of the season to garner positive strategic relationships from someone from each of the three original tribes (Cydney, Aubry, and Michele come to mind). Unlike in Second Chance, an all-girl powerhouse alliance seems absolutely doable here, and Debbie will likely be the ringleader.
Aubry: Aubry may be the quietest, most unassuming challenge beast we have seen in a long time. The girl thrives in these water challenges, and she seems more than capable of handling puzzles and other mental tasks. Folks from the Brawn tribe may have the muscle mass, but in individual challenges that often involve balance ability and spurts of speed and stamina, players like Aubry have the potential to be sleeper threats. I think she is more than capable of regaining Joe’s trust and keeping herself in the majority.
Cydney: She has not been much of a narrator, but Cydney has played smartly so far. As far as I can tell, every player in the game likes Cydney, and she’s used this to her advantage. She is playing responsively instead of trying to convince people to work with her. Castaways notice her – they see a valuable asset in her – and she tells them what they want to hear when they go to her. It’s a simple, effective strategy. I don’t know if Cydney is bound to win the whole thing, but she is beginning to feel like a final three member for sure, and she won’t have to rely on her original tribe like most of the players still in the game.
Neal: Purple Neal jokes aside, the man has a hidden immunity idol that no one knows about, as well as a clear understanding of the social dynamics around him. As long as he can avoid the “snake in ice cream pants” label becoming his brand, I think Neal is in this for the long game. He just has to keep his allies from becoming suspicious of him.
Julia: Julia avoided what should have been a simple vote-off. Why? Because everyone sees her as someone they can use, or at the very least, cope with. She’s completely trustworthy: an easy ally. When the time is right and if she is gutsy enough, Julia will be able to go in any direction she pleases. I believe she will be the last of the Beauty girls in the game.
Part 3: Another victim
Probst showing up at your campsite is never a good thing. Though the 30-second commercial spot doesn’t say it outright, it appears it is time to brace ourselves for another medical evacuation.
The preview material is readable, as it was with the previous evacuation. If you count faces at the proper times, it becomes clear who is at risk. Now, it is always possible that the editors are straight-up messing with us, but I’m writing this under the assumption that I am not deliberately being led astray. I will not reveal who I believe the medevac is, but if you want to know where to look in the previews to figure it out, feel free to tweet at me and I’ll give you the necessary info. If you don’t want to know: it is definitely avoidable!
Part 4: Too many shots, man.
The number of crossfades in that end-of-episode teaser was ridiculous. I tried staring at each frame, attempting to decode what we were seeing, but I didn’t end up with much beyond a feeling of who the next boot might be. On top of that, the commercial implies a medevac (as we discussed earlier) so I don’t even know if Tribal Council is going to be a thing next week.
My guess is that Nick is in trouble. He went from invisible, to slightly more visible, but only because Debbie thinks he’s hot and Michele thinks he’s a douche. “This is our game,” he says in a quick cutaway. I’m assuming he is referring to his alliance with Michele, which we know is about as stable as Peter’s block tower strategy. He’s building a bunch of weak ties, likely due to his inability to be even remotely relatable, and it will be his downfall. It probably doesn’t help that immunity threats are going to start being targeted, and the Greek-god-looking dude kind of sticks out.
Part 5: Wrap-up!
1. The remaining Brains will be at the core of the majority alliance on the merge tribe. “Shoving geeks in lockers,” isn’t happening any time soon.
2. Cydney will remove herself from Jason and Scot.
3. We will have a medical evacuation, and it will suck. If we still have Tribal, Nick will be voted out.
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!