Edgic is a weekly feature analyzing each player’s edit, mapping characters to their story-arc. Note that our focus is not solely to determine the winner, as is typical of other Edgic sites. For more information on how Edgic works and rating definitions read our Introduction to Edgic article.
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Lyrsa earns the unfortunate distinction of being the first INV rating of the season. That doesn’t fill me with good vibes. I mean, on its own, an INV rating is not an edit killer – remember Wendell was INV in the second episode last season. You have to look at the context. And given the context of this episode, I’m not sure an INV rating for Lyrsa is a good sign for her narrative importance or winner chances.
In the last episode, Lyrsa was the alternate boot option. She received votes at Tribal Council and she survived. To then not receive any sort of confessional or even small camp scene reflecting on her survival is rather damning. She completely disappeared. Only spotted briefly passing through the background of scenes. Nobody was talking about her at all. You would imagine that if Lyrsa was the eventual winner, she would have been given more urgency in this episode, even if she wasn’t directly involved in the drama that followed.
Now, the edit this season is a lot more balanced than recent seasons (the fact we’ve only had one INV across 3 episodes speaks to that), so Lyrsa could easily move back into the forefront again soon. But the extreme drop in content from Episode 2 to Episode 3 has made me swing back to my original premiere read of Lyrsa’s edit – it will be more circumstantial rather than purposeful.
Under The Radar
Elizabeth is receiving a very generous offer this week with an UTR1 rating because she could have very easily been INV. She didn’t have much more content than Lyrsa, but there were a couple of moments that swayed me towards UTR.
Firstly, at the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst commented that Elizabeth (and Carl) has worked with ropes her whole life. It was a minimal character related comment, and under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t usually consider it, what with it happening during a challenge. However, that comment combined with the fishing scene seemed just enough to scrape a low-vis UTR. There were a few shots of Elizabeth in the ocean fishing while Bi, Davie and Nick chatted on the raft. It wasn’t just a background shot. The camera focused on Elizabeth. She was the only person in the frame. And so even though she wasn’t name-checked, I felt it was enough to warrant UTR.
All that said, I have similar worries about Elizabeth’s edit that I do about Lyrsa’s. Elizabeth was a big part of last week’s vote, she helped corall the votes to save her friend Lyrsa and named Jessica as the target. Her plan worked, and yet the Previously On segment gave her zero credit, and she was practically absent from the fallout and subsequent David tribe drama. Part of me wondered if this was protection? The edit intentionally keeping Elizabeth out of the firing line and perhaps implying her story (and maybe Lyrsa’s too) isn’t directly linked to these other David players at the center of Episode 3. But even if that’s the case, it still would have been nice to hear a brief confessional from Elizabeth about the previous Tribal Council.
I wouldn’t be so hasty as to rule Elizabeth out. She has had some nice content up until now, not to mention an intro confessional. But I would say she needs a strong bounce-back episode next week and possibly some talk about her future in-game plans. Right now she is slowly slipping into the second-tier of importance.
Alec is drawing dead at this point. Three low-vis UTR ratings in a row. Zero personal content. We haven’t heard him talk about his own strategy and alliances. The two confessionals he has had have been short and generic or about another player. There is very little, if any, upside to his edit and nothing that points at him becoming a significant character to the season’s overall narrative.
He had two little scenes in this episode. One near the start, when Natalie summoned him to come and tie a knot on the flag post. It was just a fluff, nothing scene that was there to reflect on Natalie’s edit rather than his own. Then, post-Immunity Challenge, we briefly heard from Alec when Angelina was pitching her plan to get rid of Jeremy. Alec sided with Natalia in wanting Natalie to leave before Jeremy. He said that Natalie will “tarnish” all of them at a swap, and that while Jeremy is charming and a good talker, you can trust him early in the game. Of course, in the end, Alec voted with the rest of the tribe against Jeremy, but we didn’t hear the reasons behind his decision.
The one takeaway here is that the edit placed a little more emphasis on Alec and Natalia as a pair. Remember, in Episode 2, when Angelina put together the women’s alliance, she noted Natalia & Alec as a duo. We hadn’t seen much evidence at that point, but here we saw Alec & Natalie chatting about Starbucks on the beach and then fighting to eliminate Natalie side-by-side. It’s a loose connection compared to the many other more established relationships we’ve seen so far, but at least it’s something. Although, the fact there are these red flags around both Alec and Natalia’s edits doesn’t give me much faith in their overall game success.
This was a much quieter episode for Daniel compared to his first two. For one, he didn’t receive a single confessional, which is a little bit worrying in an episode where his tribe went to Tribal Council – and where his name was brought up as a potential target by Jeremy. It’s because of how often his name was mentioned though why I gave him a 2 visibility as opposed to a 1. Even though he didn’t speak much himself, his name was in the mouths of others, or at least Jeremy’s.
So what does this tell us about Dan’s overall edit? Well, I don’t think much has changed in the grand scheme of things. He still had a scene with Kara, teaching her to bounce pebbles in the water, which continues the showmance narrative. Jeremy also spread the rumour that Dan has the idol, and while right now that info backfired more on Jeremy than Dan, it could be setting up potential plot points for the future. Dan’s story is still very much about Kara and the idol. He was included in the group strategy sessions but seemed secondary to Angelina.
I don’t think the UTR is too harmful to Dan as a character in this season because it doesn’t really change the direction of his story. His content across the first two episodes never painted him as this strategic mastermind character or the complex, journey character. He was the OTT hot cop that loves beautiful girls and was careless with the idol. Nothing here really changes that and I still expect Dan to continue with that arc for however long he’s around this season.
Alison‘s edit remains one of the more subdued of the season so far. Even attending Tribal Council this week didn’t really increase her air-time or narrative focus. The one confessional she had came post-Immunity Challenge and was a generic speech about Natalie and how she failed at the puzzle and therefore put the final nail in her coffin. Of course, it turned out not to be the final nail because Natalie survived the vote.
Since the beginning of the season, the edit has subtly undermined Alison. At the marooning, Probst pretty much called her out when he compared her upbringing to Pat’s. She was also shown making incorrect assumptions about who would win that first challenge. Something similar happened in this episode when Alison remarked “Just borrowing it for now” after Angelina handed over Immunity to Probst. Again, she was proven wrong when the Davids won the challenge. Also, saying she “LET” Natalie participate in the puzzle was not a good look. And last week the only thing we saw of Alison was her getting hit in the face by a wave. What this tells us is that we can’t rely on Alison as a narrator.
Another interesting point to make about Alison’s edit is that this is now twice that she has been usurped by Angelina. In the premiere, it was Alison who broached the subject of women not finding enough idols, yet it was Angelina that took over the scene and received the confessional. Here, Alison was pitching why Natalie should be voted out, only for Angelina to suggest an alternative idea and then take over the scene and the rest of the episode. This says that Alison is much less important to the overall narrative than Angelina. I’m not seeing a lot of upside in Alison’s edit as either a winner contender or a major character of the season.
A quiet episode for Kara this week, though she did get one brief game-related confessional. Kara’s edit is in this weird place where she doesn’t get the highest visibility but she’s always present. We hear from her at least once every episode. She’s never completely disappeared like an Alison or Elizabeth or Lyrsa. That tells us the edit cares about her and therefore she has a part to play in the narrative. The question is – how big a part does she have to play?
This episode Kara got to comment on Jeremy and the overall tribe dynamics. We saw her talking with John about non-game stuff and it was one of the conversations which triggered Jeremy’s paranoia. Kara was approached by Jeremy who tried to warn her about the side-conversation epidemic. In confessional, Kara told us she wasn’t strategizing (which the edit backed up) and that the tribe doesn’t need to talk game right now because nobody is getting voted out. She said Jeremy is paranoid. Kara had a correct read of the situation, but nothing she said had the depth or complexity to push her out of an UTR rating in my opinion.
What worries me a little with Kara is that after the Immunity Challenge we barely saw her. Her only other real focus of the episode was throwing pebbles in the water with Dan, which was there to continue the showmance story and kickstart Jeremy’s sequence of throwing Dan under the bus. While we did see Natalie wanting to talk to Kara before the vote, that scene was about Natalie and Jeremy, not Kara. In the group discussions about the vote, Kara was present, but we never heard her opinion on the matter. So while it was okay for her earlier in the episode to say there was no need to strategize until they had to vote someone out, when it did come time to eliminate someone, we still didn’t hear her strategizing.
I do think Kara has one of the more intriguing Goliath edits. She has avoided that negative-tinge that many of her fellow alliance-mates have over their edits. She is shown to be perceptive at times. And as previously mentioned, she always features in the episodes to some degree. But right now her role looks to be that of a secondary character and not a main protagonist. Her key story is still the showmance, and while I’m sure that will provide air-time and drama, I’m unsure if it will be a season-lasting narrative or winning story. Kara could really do with a couple of new stories within the next couple of weeks to keep her in contention.
Middle of the Road
Davie had been living the high life in the first two episodes of the season. His octopus-catching, idol-finding ways had earned him two strong OTTP ratings that reflected his likable, exuberant personality. Episode 3 was our first chance at seeing Davie in a vulnerable position. There were definitely positives in his edit this week, but also a couple of moments that need further analysis.
After returning to camp following Tribal Council, Davie was the first person we heard from in confessional. He explained that Bi, Carl and himself had been blindsided by the Jessica vote. But he wasn’t angry or upset. He was composed and complimentary. Even though he admitted to being shocked, he referred to the move as “good gameplay.” He then reminded us that he has the idol which he can use to save himself if need be. But he wasn’t just relying on the idol; we also saw him approach Christian to try and get answers. Again, he wasn’t angry in his approach, he was accepting of the move but understandably surprised. All of that looks good for Davie.
The potential worry is what came next. Christian spun a lie about Gabby being the one responsible for the blindside and Davie seemed to eat it up no questions asked. In his next confessional, Davie talked about how “smart” and “manipulative” Gabby is and how she got his “top guys” Christian and Nick to vote against him. Is it bad that Davie believed Christian’s bs? Maybe. It’s also somewhat concerning that Davie called Christian and Nick his “top guys” despite us seeing no evidence of that prior in the edit. It might be suggesting a slight lack of game-awareness on Davie’s part, which would make sense given he was just blindsided.
However, I also think the edit protected Davie somewhat. Unlike Bi and Nick, we didn’t see Davie making it his mission to take out Gabby. Yes, he called her smart and manipulative, but he never stated his intent to vote her out because of that. And he was unusually quiet on the raft when Bi and Nick were talking about voting Gabby out next. In fact, he only uttered one word in that scene, when Bi said: “I don’t really know where you’re at Davie; because Gabby turned on Jessica.” All Davie responded with was a “Yeah” and then he looked away. That whole raft scene is fascinating, from the way it’s framed to how the camera keeps switching to Davie’s non-verbal reactions when Nick and Bi push their Gabby agenda. Maybe I’m reading too deeply into it, but my takeaway was that Davie is not fully on board… even the way he had his back to the conversation, the edit seemed to be using that framing to tell the story.
There are a couple of other reasons why I think the above might be the case. We have never seen a connection between Davie and Nick before this episode. However, we did see Davie and Christian bonding in the premiere over their love of Mario Kart. We know that Davie describes himself as a “blerd” and so falls into the thematic nerd arc going on this season. We know that Christian and Gabby have previously bonded over their shared nerdy qualities – something which was reemphasized in this episode. “The nerds have it,” Gabby said. Could it be that Christian ultimately chooses Gabby over Nick and so Davie sticks with them too? Especially if the groundwork laid about Nick’s multiple alliances and lies comes back to bite him? That might be a big leap, but either way, I’m not seeing the editorial evidence that Davie & Nick are locked tight or that Davie is fully on board with the vote Gabby plan.
I think there are a lot of positives in Davie’s edit so far this season and I think he has longevity. But I would like to hear more about his alliances and strategies going forward to move him up the contender’s list.
Christian had a nice cooldown this week after his couple of high-vis episodes to start the season. His main function was as an accessory to the Gabby versus Nick storyline. He appeared in scenes with both of his allies, and at this point, the question is up in the air as to which of them he is more loyal to in the long-run.
The robotics engineer received credit in the Previously On for the Jessica elimination, but back at camp, when talking to Davie, he placed the blame on Gabby. That could be a bad sign for the Christian & Gabby alliance if he’s willing to throw her under the bus like that. We then saw Christian and Nick quietly celebrating on the beach over a move well made. Christian said that the Mason-Dixon alliance have broken the game into a million pieces and now can put it back together in a way where they’re not targeted. I felt that was just enough forward-thinking to scrape a MOR rating. It was in this same scene where Nick told Christian he was going to start throwing Gabby under the bus. Now, we never saw Christian agree to this, but neither did we see him disagree. And as we’d just seen him do the same thing himself, it might be implied that he was okay with Nick’s plan.
Christian’s other key scene of the episode was with his other alliance partner, Gabby. The two bonded and laughed over their fascination with the Mayor of Slamtown aka John from the Goliath tribe. This scene served two purposes. Firstly, it continued the Christian & Gabby nerd alliance story, as Gabby said Christian is her number one ally and referred to him as “the sweetest guy” and “funny,” which accounts for his light P-tone. But it also doubled as potential foreshadowing of a storyline between Christian and John (and perhaps Gabby too). To have two tribe members talking so significantly about a member of the opposing tribe, and in a mostly positive way, really stood out. And Christian also had a confessional about John and how he couldn’t wait to learn more about Slamtown. Whether it was setting up a Slamtonian alliance or not, I suspect Christian and John will both be around long enough to cross paths.
There is a lot of strong content in Christian’s edit so far. We understand his alliances, his strategies, and his thoughts on other players, including those on the other tribe. He fits into the nerd theme and the underestimated theme. And he has a big story with his opposing alliance partners Gabby and Nick. Is Christian’s main story going to revolve around which partner he sticks with in the end? Or does he have story longevity beyond that? The John talk certainly hints at potential future stories.
Gabby didn’t have a ton of her own content in this episode, but her name was on everyone’s lips. She was thrown under the bus by Christian and Nick. Davie talked about how smart and manipulative she is. And Bi took the Jessica blindside as a personal affront from Gabby and made it her mission to take her out next. Gabby was the central focus of the David tribe, even though she was oblivious to all the chatter.
All of this Gabby gabbing tells us that she is an important character to the season. This amount of air-time and focus isn’t given to someone inconsequential to the overall narrative. Especially with this being an episode where the David tribe didn’t even attend Tribal Council. Everyone we heard from on the David tribe had something to say about her this week. I initially had her as a Negative tone rating because of Bi’s reaction being so personal, but when rewatching, Davie and Nick’s SPV didn’t seem pointed enough. Davie’s “smart and manipulative” comment could be construed as both a negative and a positive. And Nick’s throwing Gabby under the bus was a laid out plan to progress his own game, not a personal attack. I felt more comfortable with a Mixed rating in the end.
As for Gabby’s part in all this, she was shown to be unaware of the scheming going on around her. Instead, her story remained tied to Christian and the nerd alliance. She laughed and joked about the Mayor of Slamtown with Christian. But while Christian’s confessional was about John; Gabby’s confessional was about Christian. She referred to him as “the sweetest guy” and “funny” and called him “her number one ally.” In her later confessional, after the challenge win (which she received edit credit for winning), she again mentioned Christian and how proud she was to complete the puzzle alongside a dude with a Ph.D. in robotics. This alliance is definitely important and has been since the premiere, but it’s a little worrisome that Gabby is shown to be so trusting of Christian in an episode which started with him throwing her under the bus.
Gabby also has to deal with Bi and Nick coming after her. I’m not paying too much attention to Bi because I don’t think her edit has legs (that’s not a knee joke), but Nick is clearly a problem. Nick also referred to Christian as his “number one ally” and has made it his mission to remove Gabby from the game. However, while Nick’s edit overall is more complex than Gabby’s, I think it has more flaws. A little more negativity and signs of overconfidence which has been a recurring theme across these three episodes. Does that mean Gabby will come out on top of this push-and-pull battle for Christian? Maybe. Or perhaps it’s ironic foreshadowing and both Gabby & Nick lose Christian and are forced to work together. Whatever ends up happening, I see the Gabby/Christian/Nick story playing a big part in the season.
On my first watch of this week’s episode, I thought Bi was CP through and through. But on subsequent rewatches, I realized there was no real depth to what she was saying. It was a lot of “here is what I want” and not enough “here is how I’m going to do it.” It kind of mirrored Natalia’s content on the Goliath tribe. Personally-fuelled tunnel vision. Bi is now deadset on taking Gabby out of the game because she feels personally betrayed.
Here’s why I’m not that high on Bi’s edit. Of the three people who were blindsided by the Jessica vote (Bi, Carl, Davie), Bi came off the worst by far. Davie complimented the move and tried to seek answers in a calm and collected manner. Carl had this big emotional scene that focused on his family and rising up from the bottom. But Bi took things personally. She said she was “hurt” by the blindside and stated she was now “wide awoke.” That meant she was ready to start playing. She compared her gameplay to her fighting career, which is to be adaptable and ruthless. But this episode showed Bi to be anything but adaptable. She was laser-focused on Gabby at the expense of any other potential plan.
Bi said the only person she felt betrayed by was Gabby because she expected loyalty from her. However, the edit has given us no evidence that there was loyalty between these two. In fact, last week, the edit backed Gabby after Bi was shown to brush her off when she asked about the vote. Bi said it is “a lot personal” and that “in a perfect world” Gabby would go home next. She reiterated this later during the raft scene. She said she’d never trust Gabby again and that if they’re all on the same page they can get her out. It was all very one-note and lacked the depth required for a CP rating. It also doesn’t help that Bi fully bought into Nick’s lies about Gabby being the one responsible for the blindside.
The other big scene for Bi this week was to do with her knee injury. It was focused on during the challenge and afterward. We even went back to the winning tribe after the challenge, which rarely happens. Bi explained that she tore her MCL prior to coming out to play Survivor. The music here was weird. It wasn’t like the serious, heartfelt music which often accompanies a Survivor injury. It was funky and almost comical. Bi told us her knee is weak right now and that it isn’t going to be easy in such a physical game. I think there was definitely irony at play here after Bi was beating the “never give up/we’re all strong/challenge, challenge, challenge” drum last week. It’s also ominous it was given such focus. That leads me to believe that the knee will play a part in Bi’s ouster from the game, whether by medevac, quit or the reason for her boot. Overall, I don’t see a lot of upside for Bi’s edit.
Natalia‘s edit remains consistently MOR; even if her obsession with Natalie is veering into OTT territory. What saved her from the OTT rating was that she did give a brief game-related explanation of why she wanted Natalie gone. At camp, she mentioned the threat Natalie could pose at a tribe swap. And even though she later said she didn’t care about strategy and wanted Natalie out for personal reasons, that tribe swap comment was future-thinking and therefore kept her in the MOR area… for now.
In last week’s episode, Natalia was presented as overconfident in her alliance and the power she held. This week was less about overconfidence and more about personal vendettas and not being able to get her way. After the challenge, Natalia said Natalie was the reason they lost and that if she “had it her way” Natalie would be the one going home. When Angelina told her the vote was going on Jeremy, Natalia was visibly annoyed, and after selling her reasons why it should be Natalie, she straight up said, “I’m doing Natalie.” In confessional, she said that people are thinking about the long-term game but because she dislikes Natalie so much she “doesn’t care.” Similar to Bi, her actions were personal, and saying you don’t care about strategy is probably not a great sign.
Natalia ended up voting for Jeremy along with the rest of the tribe. Now, she did say in her earlier confessional that the tribe needed to act in unison, so that does give a reason for her going along with the plan. But it also tells us she isn’t in control. Angelina was presented as the head of that alliance and the one who ultimately got her way. This could perhaps be foreshadowing tension within the alliance in episodes to come. Or it is just reminding us that Natalia is a secondary character whose content primarily revolves around Natalie. Whereas Angelina is a rounded character who will be more important to the season narrative. Despite her small connection with Alec, Natalia doesn’t have a lot of story options outside of Natalie right now. Her edit really needs to break some new ground next week if she is to become a more central figure in the season.
The gut instinct when it comes to Natalie‘s edit is to hit her with the OTT rating because she is such a larger-than-life presence. However, I just didn’t see the OTT-ness in this week’s edit. Nor did I see enough depth to justify a CP rating. While there was still plenty of Negative tone aimed at the CEO, Natalie herself came across as reasonable and composed in the face of Jeremy’s OTT actions and reactions. Because of that, MORN felt like the most accurate representation of her edit.
Natalie didn’t become a big factor in the episode until after the challenge. Before that, her visibility came mostly through SPV, though we did see her shouting for Alec to come and tie the knot on the flagpole. That little scene played into John’s confessional about Natalie. He said that Natalie is used to being the “boss b***h” and because of that, she is on the chopping block. But John said he trusts Natalie and he thinks that she trusts him. It was a follow-up on his confessional from last week and a reminder that despite the surface edit, there are people willing to work with Natalie. Angelina later referred to Natalie as the “status quo” vote but mentioned that things could change if people start talking strategy.
After the challenge is when Natalie’s edit picked up. While Alison and Natalia were quick to put the blame on Natalie for the loss, I’m not sure the edit completely agreed. There was a moment during the puzzle where Natalie picked up the correct piece and suggested it was the top of the pyramid, but Alison shot it down. Then, back at camp, Natalie accepted the loss and admitted she felt bad but all she could do was play it out. Again, this was a reasonable Natalie. There were no OTT elements here. She then tried to gain Jeremy’s support but he basically told her that her chances of surviving were near impossible. “An uphill battle.” Natalie said she was going to talk to people and Jeremy agreed that’s what she should do.
Angelina then took over the edit in terms of strategizing. She pitched the idea of keeping Natalie and taking out Jeremy instead. She referred to Natalie as “harmless” and “an easy second out.” And she said Natalie would be less of a concern at a tribe swap than Jeremy. It will be interesting to see if those statements prove accurate or if they were ironic foreshadowing. For her part, Natalie set about doing what she said she would do, talking to people. But this upset Jeremy who caused an argument with Natalie, accusing her of throwing his name out there. Again, Natalie was composed and the edit backed her up. We never once saw her throw Jeremy’s name under the bus; she was just talking to people to save herself, which we’d seen Jeremy agree she should do.
At Tribal Council, Natalie took a barrage of personal insults from Jeremy and held her own. She then revealed she is open to constructive criticism and listened to the feedback from her fellow tribemates. She was told she sometimes comes across as if she is talking down to people. And that she came on too strong at the start. But unlike when Jeremy tried to give her advice last week, this time Natalie took on board the criticism and admitted that she still has lessons to learn and perhaps needs to fix her delivery. She then stated she would remain “Goliath strong” at the swap and committed herself to the tribe.
As I said last week, there are signs of longevity in Natalie’s edit and it never seemed likely to be that she would be the first boot of the Goliath tribe. I didn’t expect her to survive by a unanimous vote, however, but here we are! Where she goes from here is hard to say. She could take the advice she was given and grow, or she could quite easily slip back into OTTN territory. It will probably depend on what the story of the episode calls for. But I still see Natalie being around a while and not the easy next one out that Angelina suggested.
Over The Top
I knew that Jeremy‘s sudden jump from UTR to CP was ominous. And as I said in his write-up last week, the fact he was going to battle with Natalie (someone with a more substantial edit) felt like a lost cause. And so Jeremy had his torch snuffed this week, but he certainly didn’t go out quietly. This was a huge, emotional, erratic ending for an early pre-merge boot.
Jeremy was all over this episode from start to finish. Things started quite well as he continued to bond with Mike while fishing. He talked about his dad having Alzheimer’s and delivered this really heartfelt, personal confessional about his father and becoming an “actualized man.” Mike also gave him positive SPV. He said that Jeremy is “hilarious” and a “person of depth” who has “seen and done a lot” in his life. But then came the bad omen. Mike finished his confessional by saying that Jeremy is sneaky and would do anything for the money. He said Jeremy is “his own worst enemy” and he doesn’t want to be taken down with him. Right then, the alarm bells started ringing for the lawyer.
The next time we saw Jeremy he had turned into a paranoid mess. He was scared of all the side conversations, even though the convos we were shown in the edit were innocent and non-game related. Kara stated in confessional that it was “paranoia talking.” Jeremy then painted a massive target on himself by holding a tribal meeting. He told the group the side-convos needed to stop. Mike again set off the warning alarm when he said Jeremy is the one constantly spinning strategies and that it was going to come back and bite him. John and Angelina came to a similar revelation in their conversation. Angelina said that Jeremy’s speech was all strategy to keep the target off himself. Jeremy then completely undermined his speech by going around and having side-convos about Dan’s idol.
Jeremy continued to show paranoia and a lack of self-awareness after the challenge. He caused fights with Natalie while accusing her of things he was guilty of himself. He said that she had poor self-awareness and was incompetent and overconfident. Yet Jeremy was the one displaying these traits. Mike again referred to him as his own worst enemy. Meanwhile, Angelina moved the target on to Jeremy, seeing him as a bigger threat in the long-run due to his charm and strategic thinking. By the time it got to Tribal, the writing was on the wall. All Jeremy could do was throw more shots at Natalie and he went way overboard with the insults.
Overall, I’ve rated Jeremy OTTM for this episode and his season as a whole. He had these moments of depth but they were overshadowed by his crazed paranoia and unnecessary personal attacks. The edit wasn’t afraid to undermine him either. I think he will be remembered as someone that had a chance but then completely blew up and ruined his own game with a paranoia-fuelled meltdown.
I said last week that Carl‘s third episode will reveal a lot about his edit and where his story is heading. Well, I was wrong. I’m still struggling to get a grasp on Carl’s edit and where it fits into the season narrative. He had a pretty strong premiere with some decent personal and game content. Then he followed it up with a rather weak second episode that had a slight negative-tint to it. And now in Episode 3, he has this big emotional confessional. Who are you, Carl?!
The confessional from Carl at the start of the episode was the bulk of his content this week and that’s why I went with OTTP. He was blindsided by the vote but unlike Davie, he didn’t really talk about it in the context of his strategic game. It was an emotional reaction. He talked about the game being hard and how Jessica reminded him of his daughters. He said he missed his family and felt all alone. But he then brought things back around to the season’s theme. “Being a David, I always came from the bottom and worked for everything that I have, so I really have to turn it up one more notch, y’know?” The sweeping score and the shot of him looking up at the moon. All very OTTP.
However, we never really saw Carl turn it up a notch in this episode. He had to ask Bi who actually voted with them. And while he agreed he wanted Gabby out next, it was Bi who got the majority of confessionals. We did see Carl again later in the shelter during Gabby and Christian’s conversation about John. The camera kept cutting back to Carl who looked annoyed with the “nerds” and their jokes about Slamtown. It kind of felt a little bit negative, towards Carl, but not enough to take away from the OTTP of his earlier confessional. But in a season which seems to have set up this positivity around the nerd theme, I’m not sure Carl being positioned against it is a good thing.
I wish I could offer some interesting, edit-based prediction on where Carl’s story will go next, but I really don’t have a clue. I could see him going on this “started from the bottom now I’m here” arc deep into the season just as easily as I could see him being the next boot. Right now, I will fall back on the tried and tested edit tells. The fact Carl wasn’t introduced until nearly half-an-hour into the premiere makes me want to stick with the read that he is a mid-tier character.
I thought Mike had a really good edit this week; one that looked even better on a rewatch. At first, I thought he was MOR but his thoughts on the Jeremy and Natalie situation were well-reasoned, logical and showed a level of awareness that pushed him into CP-lite. Even though he didn’t get his way with the Jeremy vote, his insights were still validated by the edit.
Early in the episode, he was shown connecting with Jeremy. He said in confessional that he’s bonded with Jeremy the most out of everyone on his tribe and that he finds him hilarious. But Mike was also aware of Jeremy’s flaws and made it clear that he didn’t want to be taken down due to his association with the “sneaky” lawyer. Mike reiterated these points later in the episode. After the tribal meeting, Mike explained that while Jeremy had a point, it was Jeremy himself who was the most guilty of spinning strategies. And before Tribal Council, again, Mike talked about his love for Jeremy as a person but was aware that he’s “his own worst enemy.” He also explained why Natalie would be the better option to vote out – demoralizer around camp, weak in challenges, etc.
However, Mike did not get his way, he ultimately went along with the tribe and voted out his closest friend Jeremy. That tells us that while Mike is perceptive, he is not in control of the game. He’s done well to blend back in after his blunderous premiere episode, but he still isn’t within the core group making the key decisions. Like Carl, I find it hard to place Mike’s edit within the overall season arc. If I had to guess, I would say Mike’s role going forward is that of a reliable narrator and fun character. But I don’t really see him winning or becoming a force driving the action.
Nick continues to be one of the more complex players on the David beach, at least in terms of game-related content. He always explains his thought process and lays out his plans for the viewer. The edit then shows us examples of him putting those plans into motion. He told us last week that he is “going to win or die trying” and I think the Nick we saw this episode is an example of a player willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead.
To start, the Previously On segment gave Nick and Christian credit for last week’s Jessica boot. However, it also reminded us that Nick initially wanted Lyrsa out and that it was Christian who pushed for Jessica. That could be telling of the hierarchy of that particular alliance. But the Mason-Dixon alliance receiving credit played into Nick’s story this episode. He was on a mission to keep his alliance hidden and throw Gabby under the bus. We saw Nick and Christian celebrating on the beach, and in confessional, Nick talked about how the Mason-Dixon alliance made the best move and are now in a great position in the middle of the tribe. He then told Christian his plan to put the blame on Gabby. He explained in confessional that nobody suspects Mason-Dixon and that is the way he wants to keep it.
Later in the episode, Nick put his plan into action, throwing out Gabby’s name to Bi and Davie on the raft. He talked of how “scared” he was at how quickly Gabby got people to flip on Jessica. Bi was eating up what he was serving. He then elaborated further on why he wanted Gabby out. It isn’t just to protect Mason-Dixon but to make sure Christian is 100% loyal to him. Nick was shown to be aware of the closeness between Christian & Gabby and said he needed Gabby out of the picture so he could have Christian for himself. Much like Gabby, Nick referred to Christian as his “number one.” It further added to this alliance-triangle story which looks set to play a significant role in the narrative.
The question is – will Nick succeed? There was so much focus on Gabby as a target and yet it was completely one-sided. Gabby was never made aware of what was happening and so we never heard her perspective. It reminded me somewhat of Natalie’s content in the first two episodes – the obvious target that is TOO obvious. And like Natalie, Gabby has an edit with substance, so I don’t think she is leaving anytime soon. Nick has game complexity but he also has this lingering sense of villainy and overconfidence. He straight up said at last week’s Tribal that the game of Survivor requires deceit, and this episode he was out spinning lies. I just wonder if that will eventually come back to bite him. Regardless, Nick is a big-time character in this season.
John had a fantastic edit this week. All of that emerging CP in the past two episodes blossomed into a fully-fledged CP edit with a bunch of Positive SPV on top. He is a character that is fun, self-aware, perceptive and succeeding socially. And while there are still lots of growth/journey edit moments in this episode, there was also enough to shoot John up the list of winner contenders.
The Goliath content in this episode kicked off with John. He caught a small fish and brought it back to camp in a jokey, celebratory fashion. In confessional, he talked about everyone being in a good mood and how he is connecting with people. He explained that he wasn’t being the pro-wrestler, Mayor of Slamtown gimmick out on the island. He was just being himself, connecting with people, getting back in touch with “old school human skills,” and making people laugh. All of this was backed up with editorial evidence. We saw John talking to Jeremy about wrestling. He was making Kara laugh with some weird hermit crab puppetry. And he was cheering along with the tribe during the hermit crab race. All of this was a great look for John and played a big part in his P-tone.
But John was still focused on the game too. He continued where he left off last week with his plan to work with Natalie. He told us he trusts her and thinks she is someone he can work with. He said he needed to figure out a way to get her past the next couple of tribals and down the line. Now, because John wasn’t a huge presence post-Immunity Challenge, you might think he didn’t play a part in saving Natalie. You might want to give all the credit to Angelina. And while Angelina certainly was the driving force, you have to remember that after Jeremy’s tribal meeting, it was John who we saw asking Angelina what she thought of his speech. They agreed that Jeremy was sketchy and this then triggered Angelina’s confessional about how Jeremy might be a better first target than Natalie. I think the edit was subtly giving John partial credit for getting the ball rolling – and it’s the kind of credit you want early in the game, not too in-your-face.
John was later approached by Jeremy, who told him about Dan’s idol. But John told us he was leery of Jeremy and didn’t trust him. Again, the edit made it clear that John trusted Natalie and wanted her to stay over the untrustworthy Jeremy. The Mayor of Slamtown kind of disappeared after that. As I said above, he didn’t play a big part in the pre-Tribal scrambling, but he didn’t have to. He laid the groundwork earlier. And his game right now is about making connections and relationships. Not the kind of scheming that goes on before a vote. However, there was, of course, one other big scene relating to John that he wasn’t even directly involved in.
In a somewhat unprecedented scene, there was a segment on the David tribe dedicated to John. Christian and Gabby had a full conversation about Slamtown, cracking jokes, in a fun way, about John’s wrestling gimmick. Christian told us that he LOVES Slamtown and finds John “endlessly fascinating.” He said that, as a resident of Wimpville, he can’t wait to hear what Slamtown is like. This looked so good for John. To have two members of the opposite tribe talking about you, in a mostly positive way, and for that to be shown on TV. That’s huge. It sets up potential connections and story-arcs for John in the future. I also found it interesting that at Tribal Council, John said his goal is to take the Davids to Slamtown. Well, who’s to say that’s a bad thing? Christian and Gabby willingly want to visit, and so that could be foreshadowing a future Slamtonian alliance.
There is great care going on with John’s edit. He has connections with Angelina, Natalie and now Christian & Gabby. Also, his alliance with Angelina loosely ties him to the other members of that alliance of six. He is looking ahead long-term with his alliance with Natalie, and the Christian & Gabby content also points towards the future. I think John will be around for a while. Could he win? I still feel that a David is most likely to take home the victory based on the early edit, but if it is a Goliath, John is one of the more likely candidates. However, speeches about “growing as a person” could very well mean John is our latest Survivor journey-man.
Angelina‘s edit was really interesting to me this week. She delivered on her premiere confessional promise that she would be a “force to be reckoned with” as she controlled the direction of the vote. And she followed up on what she said last week, about her alliance being able to control the next few votes, at least partly. The first Goliath vote of the season, Angelina got her alliance to vote the way she wanted and removed her desired target.
What I find interesting with Angelina’s edit is that last week she was deadset on Natalie being the first to go. We saw her telling Natalie to her face that there weren’t any numbers to save her. I expected Angelina to be proved wrong and that Natalie would survive. What I did not expect was Angelina to be the one fighting to save her. I’m not quite sure how to take that. Does it undermine Angelina? Maybe. A little bit. But a player is allowed to change their mind and she explained her reasons for targetting Jeremy thoroughly in this episode. However, again, she stated Natalie was “harmless” and an “easy second out,” and given what we’ve seen already, I wonder if Angelina is going to be wrong about that too.
Angelina sprung into action after the Immunity Challenge and floated the idea of targetting Jeremy. She explained that he is smart, charming and a bigger long-term threat than Natalie. Even though some of her tribemates, and own alliance-mates, showed reluctance, Angelina was persistent. In confessional, she told us she has the “power of persuasion,” something which she uses in real life to get out of trouble with the cops or get discounts at restaurants. Like a lot of Angelina’s content, there was this villainous vibe to her confessional. Just listen to the music in the background (it was like the kind of music Dr. Will Kirby received in Big Brother 2 way back when). It’s not villainous in the sense of “oh Angelina is a horrible person,” it’s pure Survivor villain, as in, in a hypothetical Heroes vs. Villains season, she would be on the Villains tribe. Kind of like Parvati!
That confessional was the first time I seriously considered Angelina as a potential winner contender. Even though I see Angelina as a big character and someone with game longevity, I struggled to see her as a winner candidate due to that negative-tinge to her edit. But what if this is a Parvati black widow style winner edit? It’s certainly possible, though it would be such a variation from a typical women’s winner edit that I find it hard to fully jump on board with at the minute. It’s just not the way Survivor usually does things. However, the edit has already been surprising so far this season, so perhaps the winner edit will be different too.
Angelina said her ability to persuade people is what makes her a Goliath and noted that if she could get the votes to shift it would be her shining moment in the game… “one of many.” She did get the votes to shift, as every person voted for Jeremy at Tribal Council. But is it too much, too soon? She was rather forceful in her approach and that could create tension within her alliance and paint a target on her back going forward. Because if she isn’t getting a Parvati-style winner edit, that means she is getting the edit of a strong player who will eventually face a downfall. And if that is the case, her edit is filled with evidence of what will cause that downfall, whether it’s her forceful approach or underestimating her opponents.
That’s it for this week’s Edgic! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.