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Survivor: David vs. Goliath Episode 5 Edgic


What is the edit telling us after episode five?

Photo: CBS

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.

You can read all our Edgic posts for last season here.

Color KeyNewColours

Name EP 1 EP 2 EP 3 EP 4 EP 5 EP 6 EP 7 EP 8 EP 9 EP 10 EP 11 EP 12 EP 13 EP 14
AlecAlec UTR1 UTR2 UTR1 CP5 UTR2
Alison2Alison MOR2 UTR1 UTR2 INV UTR2
Angelina2Angelina MOR3 MOR2 CP4 UTR2 CPM5
Carl2Carl CP3 MOR2 OTTP2 MOR3 UTR1
Christian2Christian OTTP4 CP5 MORP2 CPP4 OTTP2
Daniel2Daniel OTTP5 OTTN3 UTR2 UTR2 MORP4
Davie2Davie OTTP2 OTTP3 MOR2 CP5 UTR2
Elizabeth2Elizabeth MOR3 CP3 UTR1 CPP5 CP2
Gabby2Gabby CPP4 MOR3 MORM3 OTT3 MOR2
John2John OTT3 MOR2 CPP4 MOR2 UTR2
Kara2Kara MORP2 CP3 UTR2 MOR4 CP4
LyrsaLyrsa MOR3 CPM5 INV UTR1 MORM4
Mike2Mike CPN4 MOR2 CP3 CP3 MOR3
Nick2Nick CPM4 CPP4 CP3 CPP3 CPP4
Natalie3Natalie MORN3 OTTN5 MORN5 OTTN3 OTTN5
Natalia2Natalia MOR2 MOR2 MOR3 OTTN5
Bi2Bi OTTP2 UTRM2 MOR4 UTRP1
Jeremy2Jeremy UTR2 CP5 OTTM5
Jessica2Jessica CPP3 MORM3
Pat2Pat OTTP5

THE CHARACTERS

Under the Radar

CarlEdgEp5

This episode confirmed to me everything I said about Carl last week. He has what I like to call the “shiny new advantage edit,” which basically means he only needs to be relevant enough for the casual audience to remember who he is when he eventually uses that advantage. There is no nuance or consistency to his edit to suggest a larger role in the narrative.

The drop to UTR1 this episode is the biggest indicator so far that Carl is a mid-tier character at best. He spent last week on Exile, found a new advantage, and returned to a brand new tribe. And yet he didn’t have a single confessional talking about any of this. His only comments about Exile came from his brief introduction to Alec and Kara. The Previously On segment reminded us he found the Idol Nullifier and that was the last we heard of that. Other than that, his main scene this episode was reading out the Tree Mail informing the tribe of the evacuation.

We did see one other brief moment of Carl. He asked Kara how tight she is with Alec following the blindside. But it was Kara who had the urgency in this story. It was Kara who had the confessionals and talked about her strategy to charm her way into the David majority. Carl simply functioned as an instigator for Kara’s narrative. And that is how I see Carl’s edit this season. He will be a functioning part in the bigger stories for bigger characters and will likely drift in and out of relevance until his advantage is played.

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After his CP coming out party last week, Alec was back to his familiar UTR setting in this episode. And that tells you everything, right? He made this “BIG MOVE” and yet he never got a follow-up confessional explaining his reasoning. He didn’t have any strategy scenes with the Davids. And his one confessional was narrational about how the weather had destroyed the Vuku camp.

The bulk of Alec’s content in this episode came via Kara. It was all about how Alec had blindsided her and left her exposed. Kara criticized his decision, said that he’d “blew it” and how he made a big move too soon. In talking to Kara at camp, Alec said he is still with her and that he made the move on a gut feeling. He also explained how he doesn’t look at the Davids as “strategically real players” but simply as “an extra vote.” That kind of dismissive, overconfident attitude is another red flag.

Alec then had his name thrown under the bus by Kara. She talked to Carl about trusting the Davids more. She spoke with Davie about how Alec is too much of a physical threat to bring to the merge, which Davie seemed to agree with. However, Elizabeth wasn’t buying what Kara was selling and instead talked about how she’d rather stick with Alec because he is going to need her a lot more than Kara in the long-term. Again, we didn’t hear from Alec at all during any of this.

We now have a story of Alec versus Kara with the Davids in the middle. This will probably be the main story on Vuku until the merge. And based on the edit so far, I don’t see Kara losing the battle. Alec just doesn’t have the care, consistency and connections in his edit that Kara does. He feels irrelevant to the overall narrative.

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This was easily Davie‘s quietest episode of the season so far, but as a cooldown after last week’s big CP5 rating, I think it’s okay. His two confessionals were both narrational, but with that added Davie charm. The first was about the cyclone (“get my black ass outta here!”) and the second was about winning the chickens (“Everybody needs a little KBC!”).

The one strategy scene we saw from Davie was in his talk with Kara, about how Alec needs to go before the merge. It’s hard to know if that is Davie’s true intention because unlike Elizabeth, he didn’t receive a confessional explaining his real thoughts on the matter. It could also be foreshadowing a push-and-pull between the Davids in regards to who should go next out of Alec and Kara. After this episode, on the surface, it seems like Davie & Carl are siding with Kara, and Elizabeth is tighter with Alec. And that could lead to tension should Vuku go to Tribal Council again before the merge.

I guess my concern for Davie is that he does sometimes feel a little bit disconnected from the wider narrative. Yes, he hits on the “nerd” theme, but I’m not quite sure if he has a story beyond that other than having fun and being “Devilish Davie.” His connections seem a bit thin or inconsistent. For example, how he went from an alliance with Carl in the premiere to Christian and Nick being his “top guys” in Episode 3, despite no evidence of that in the edit. Last week he made a deal with Alec and then this week he’s talking to Kara about taking him out before the merge. There is no real solid relationship or long-term strategy. But maybe that’s just Devilish Davie? Maybe he doesn’t need consistency because his story is simply to have fun and keep things interesting.

AlisonEdgEp5

Alison returned to the edit this week but still struggled to pull herself out of the UTR slump. She had the one confessional and it was mostly narrational about the weather with a brief recap of the season so far. She talked about the two cyclones and the medevac and a person quitting. “[The game] is moving at a lightning fast speed and it’s up to us to keep up,” she said. That seems more like an overall comment on the season rather than something directly linked with Alison’s story/edit.

Whatever Alison’s role is this season, the edit certainly isn’t giving us much faith in her word. Once again we were shown Alison making a wrong call, this time about the weather, when she said the storm cloud was “just gonna blow right over.” If this was a one-off you could brush it aside, but that is now multiple times the edit has shown Alison to be wrong about something. It’s ominous and makes me think Alison is going to wind up making some mistake in the game.

Another point worth mentioning is that, once again, at the tribe mats before the Reward Challenge, we saw Angelina and Alison making eye-contact (or at least it was made to appear as if they were looking at each other). After they learned about Natalia’s elimination, they shared shocked expressions. It keeps these two women tied together and so it makes me think Alison still has a part to play in Angelina’s story.

JohnEdgEp5

This was a quiet episode for John but his content was decent. He had a narrational confessional about the weather (everyone on Tiva except for Daniel spoke about the weather) and talked to the craziness of this season so far. And we continued to see scenes of John bonding with his tribemates, whether on the beach watching the sunshine or bro-ing out with Christian and Dan.

The “brochachos” scene was a fun little moment and it kept the John/Christian connection alive. But it was Dan who we heard from most in this segment. He was the one that had the confessionals about Christian joining his and John’s group and how Gabby would be the first one to go. I found it interesting how John (and Christian) didn’t comment on the dynamics of the tribe here. It was either editorial protection or an effort to build suspense until this group eventually has to come to a decision.

Something we have to talk about in regards to John’s edit is the fact that Natalie was eliminated. Earlier in the season he talked about wanting to work with Natalie and how she might be able to help him down the line. Does that suggest John is going to be low on numbers if he makes the merge? Maybe. But that whole thing with Natalie could have just been included to show that John was playing the game early on. He subtly succeeded in saving Natalie in that first Goliath vote by airing his suspicions about Jeremy to Angelina, who then pushed for Jeremy to go. Without that, all we’d have had from John would have been growth content.

I don’t think Natalie leaving hurts John too badly. He still has one of the best edits of the season. He fits into various themes and has connections with Christian, Dan and Angelina. I still believe he has a significant role to play in the overall narrative.

Middle of the Road

DanEdgEp5

Daniel was back in the spotlight this week and that was mostly due to him finding another hidden immunity idol. I went back and forth between MOR and CP, and while I could see the argument for CP, ultimately I just didn’t feel his content was complex enough to justify it. It was mostly narrational idol content and then a brief confessional about how Gabby should go first because she’s an outsider. There wasn’t enough depth there.

There was an entire Tiva segment dedicated to Dan more or less. It started with him and John bro-ing out with Christian. In confessional, Dan talked about how Christian is accepted as “one of the bros” and how that leaves Gabby as the outsider and therefore she would be the first to go. He said he wanted to make sure she didn’t have an idol and that led into all the idol narration scenes and confessionals. He explained how he knew what to look for and then finished by saying that “320 pound Dan” would be really proud of current Dan, both at home and in this game. The scene wasn’t as overly positive as some idol-find scenes, but it did have enough of a positive-bent to warrant P-tone.

What I found interesting about this scene is that, despite Dan retrieving the idol undetected at the challenge, as he was searching for the idol at camp, the camera zoomed in on Christian watching him from the distance. Initially, I expected this was leading to Christian following him and catching him red-handed. But that never happened. And so what was the purpose of this? Just to build some sort of tension? Or is it going to be brought up again later? Is it foreshadowing that Christian will become suspicious of Dan?

Here’s the thing, a big part of Dan’s edit so far is about how multiple people know about his idol. Now he has a second and he even said that “it is beyond important” that nobody catches him looking for it. On top of that, he seemed too overconfident that Christian was with the bros and that Gabby would be next out. We never heard how Christian feels about Dan and yet we know how tight his connection is with Gabby. It just feels like the edit is setting Dan up for a fall or at the very least a major wake-up call. For somebody that has two idols, his edit isn’t that of an intelligent power player with an immense social game. The sum of his edit is still mostly idols and Kara.

GabbyEdgEp5

Gabby‘s edit is a mixture of lights and darks. Sometimes she is on a major low, full of self-doubt and worry. Other times she is on these huge highs with renewed confidence and sense of self. This week leaned to the positive side, especially after last week’s emotional breakdown, but there were still these small moments of worry (which the edit validated).

The first scene at Tiva opened with some of the tribe watching the sun over the ocean. Gabby had a confessional about how she was “super worried” about her place on the tribe but how the sun felt like a “great sign for the future.” But she was still “scared it could be taken away at any moment,” and then, as if on cue, the grey clouds came over. The weather is almost a perfect metaphor for Gabby’s edit. It’s unpredictable and you never know if you’re going to be getting a bright rainbow or a torrential downpour. It feels like no matter what Gabby does, she will always have that “one big grey cloud” following her through the game.

In her second confessional, which came after the Reward Challenge, Gabby talked about some of her tribe being overconfident, and how if that was an Immunity loss, her butt could be on the line. The edit then supported this back at camp by showing the “brochachos” bonding and Dan saying how Gabby is an outsider and the obvious first one out. Gabby’s worries and paranoia, while sometimes extreme in presentation, are always validated by the edit.

Everything still points to Gabby being a major character in this season. Despite Tiva not attending Tribal Council, we still heard from Gabby twice, and she talked about her personal game/experience. It wasn’t just weather narration. No matter what tribe she’s on, the story always revolves around her. In the second episode, it was her justified paranoia about Bi & Jessica that caused the domino effect that led to Jessica’s boot. In the third episode, Gabby’s name was on everyone’s lips as the Davids threw her under the bus and plotted her downfall. Last week, it was about her feeling vulnerable on her new tribe after seeing Christian work his charm. There is no question, we are meant to care about Gabby.

MikeEdgEp5

Mike was a tough call for me this week. I couldn’t decide for ages whether he should be CP-lite yet again or a solid MOR. He did talk some game and he got his way with the Natalie vote but I’m just not sure there was enough complexity this time to warrant the CP-lite. It was mostly ‘Natalie is annoying and so I want her gone’.

The beef with Natalie has been one of Mike’s only real stories since the third episode. Back in that episode he pushed for her elimination but was unable to talk down Angelina’s desire to vote out Jeremy. Here, again, Mike’s distaste for Natalie was made clear. He said she has a “Master’s in ungraciousness” and that she was “wearing on his nerves” and making him lose patience. He was ready to play this game without Natalie and that is ultimately what he got. But it’s interesting how the edit didn’t really present Mike as the deciding factor here, despite his vote being the one to send Natalie home.

After the Immunity Challenge, it was Nick who talked about wanting to get Natalie out and how he could potentially use his Rock Stars alliance with Mike to make that happen. The two then chatted and Mike suggested that Nick try and convince Angelina. It’s good that Mike got a confessional talking about how he wanted Natalie out but without upsetting the Goliaths, but this then put Angelina in the “swing position,” as far as the edit was concerned. It was Angelina who got the big important confessionals weighing up the pros and cons of the vote and what it could mean going forward. I just feel like if Mike was this hugely important character, or winner contender, that his part in this vote would have been edited very differently.

Mike has now lost both his closest ally (Jeremy) and his biggest adversary (Natalie) and that just leaves him with Nick. That is the only real connection set up in his edit. Maybe that can take him far? Maybe his story will not truly emerge until after the merge and could be about jumping from the Goliaths to the Davids and helping them take control of the game. Right now, I just don’t see where Mike fits into the overall narrative.

LyrsaEdgEp5

Lyrsa has the textbook definition of a circumstantial edit. That means that the edit only gives her real focus when she is directly involved in the plot of a particular episode. In both of Lyrsa’s high-vis episodes, she attended Tribal Council and received votes as the alternate boot option. In other words, there was no way to accurately tell the story without showing Lyrsa. When she isn’t tied to the plot, she is nowhere to be seen.

This episode was presented as a vote between Lyrsa and Natalie. The edit set up tension between the pair over the egg situation. Lyrsa aired her frustrations with Natalie in both confessional and to her fellow tribemates. She told Mike that she “just wants to make the merge” and “just doesn’t want to play with Natalie.” And after the Immunity Challenge, she told us that while Natalie might be an “adorable lady” outside the game, she is voting for her because in the game she “can’t stand her.” But Lyrsa wasn’t overconfident, she said she was “uncertain” and acknowledged if the Goliaths stayed strong then it’d be between her and Nick.

I gave Lyrsa mixed tone for this episode. She received some negative SPV from Natalie and Angelina in regards to her supposedly not doing much around camp. However, the overall feel of her edit didn’t feel outright negative. Even in the B-roll, when Angelina made those work ethic comments, the footage showed Lyrsa working, which sort of undermined the negativity. And it also felt like the edit was supporting Lyrsa in the whole jacket and eggs debate. That’s why I felt more comfortable with M-tone than straight up N.

Here’s the thing with Lyrsa, she is obviously a great personality and gives fun confessionals, and yet we barely see her unless she’s attending Tribal Council. It feels like if she was a major character or winner contender that we’d be seeing her on a more consistent basis. She wouldn’t be disappearing for episodes at a time. I feel like she’d also be given more strategic agency, but after the Immunity Challenge, we never really heard from her again until Tribal. It was Nick, Mike and Angelina doing all the plotting and scheming.

I suppose a positive takeaway here is that Lyrsa set herself some goals (1. to make the merge 2. to no longer play with Natalie). She achieved the second one of those, will she be able to achieve the first? I think it’s very likely at this point, but it’s a short-term goal and certainly doesn’t make me any more confident in Lyrsa as a pivotal character or winner contender.

Over the Top

NatalieEdgEp5

As soon as Natalie returned to her OTTN-ways in last week’s episode I could sense the impending danger. Like I said after Episode 4: “This was the first time where I seriously considered her edit could be leading to a pre-merge elimination.” For Natalie’s edit to have longevity, her story needed to change at the swap. Instead, she reverted back to her old ways, and once she talked about having the control and not needing to get to know the Davids, that was the death knell.

This was full-on OTTN Natalie (“OTTN: Over The Top Natalie” could be its own rating). The editors clearly had great fun with her in this episode. They no longer cared about subtly protecting her with underlying details. It was straight up undermining and negativity from the start. Whether it was bragging about being able to handle the weather and then asking to leave. The great egg debate of 2018. Trying to strongarm Nick into stealing Lyrsa’s jacket. Or her back and forth with her tribemates and Jeff Probst at Tribal Council. The Publishing CEO had gone Full Natalie Cole.

There is not much else to say. You don’t need me to spell out where her N-tone came from. Natalie was a huge pre-merge character and the edit milked her for all she was worth. She will be remembered for her explosive personality aka Natalie Napalm. No doubt OTTN for the season.

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On the flip side of Natalie, is Christian, a character who exudes positivity. He didn’t have a big part to play in this episode, but the scenes we saw continued to show him charming his way into the Goliath majority. Because his one confessional was simply weather-related (“We’re all Davids today; that’s the Goliath” was quite the OTT buzzworthy tagline) and his main camp scene was comical, OTTP felt more appropriate than any other rating.

At the Tiva camp, Christian was shown bro-ing down with Dan and John. He was nicknamed a “Ka-genius” and accepted into the Brochachos group. It was a very goofy OTT scene, but it told us that Christian is putting his social charm to effective use, just like he told us he would last week. Dan, in confessional, said that Christian is part of the group and is one of the bros. It all felt very positive and accounted for Christian’s P-tone (on top of him winning the Immunity Challenge for his tribe, which got a subtitled “Thank you” from Gabby, again, keeping that Christian as protector role alive).

While it’s obvious Christian is one of the season’s biggest characters, I have a slight concern that might put a bit of a damper on his winner chances. It doesn’t feel like he has his own story. Yes, we hear from him a lot, and yes, he hits many of the key themes, but doesn’t his story always seem second fiddle to Gabby’s? It feels like everything he does, the edit wants us to know how it affects Gabby. Christian charms the Goliaths, but how does that make Gabby feel? Dan accepts Christian into the group, and therefore Gabby is a target, but does she have an idol? Christian wins the challenge, and therefore Gabby is safe.

I feel like Christian’s story will always be interconnected with Gabby, and at some point, he is going to have to make a big decision. On both of his tribes, the edit placed him in a similar position. He was caught between Nick and Gabby on the David tribe. And now he’s caught between Gabby and the Brochachos on the Tiva tribe. I think his decision whether to stick with Gabby or not will be a significant post-merge storyline (I don’t see either leaving before the merge).

Complex Personalities

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Angelina had a big episode this week. We heard from her every step of the way. She had narrational confessionals about the weather and the Reward Challenge win (where she shared some personal info about being a vegetarian). She was a big part of the post-Immunity Challenge strategy scenes at camp where she explained her thoughts. And she had a mixture of tone to her edit.

What’s interesting to note about Angelina’s edit in this episode is how she was presented as the swing vote between Natalie and Lyrsa. The way the vote played out, on paper, Angelina wasn’t the swing, Mike was, it was his vote that sent Natalie home. But Angelina was given the agency in the story. She talked about the pros and cons and how this was a “pivot point” in the game. She talked about trust and the upcoming merge and the fact that Natalie going home would put the Goliaths at even numbers with the Davids. All of this presents Angelina as an important character, at least as far as the strategic game goes. Her decisions matter (even if they ultimately didn’t matter in reality).

The other big part of Angelina’s edit was, of course, jacket-gate. There has been this secondary theme relating to the elements that has popped up a couple of times now in Angelina’s edit. In Episode 2 she said: “We have just been in a constant state of being wet, cold. And it’s crushing because it almost feels like, sometimes, ‘Is the end in sight?'” That topic of being cold came back in this episode and was given as the reason for why Angelina wanted Lyrsa’s jacket. There was definitely a villainous vibe to Angelina’s edit, especially when she said, “I’m not sorry,” but she also got to explain her reasons for needing the jacket. She also said she’d prefer someone else to do the dirty work, and we saw her succeed in that went Natalie went on the offensive.

That said, I still didn’t feel like this was a total N-toned edit, even though I believe Angelina is certainly an antagonist in this narrative. It felt like she was protected somewhat with how she defended the jacket heist at Tribal Council and the way Natalie spoke positively about her. Like Lyrsa, an M-tone felt more appropriate. Angelina also got some positive challenge content this week, correctly calling her shots. “I’m heating up,” she said as she nailed a basket (that might have just been fun wordplay with how cold she ended up being). And she correctly called Nick nailing his basket too.

On the surface, Angelina has put herself in a vulnerable position on her tribe, but I feel there is enough substance to her edit that she will make the merge at least. There are loose connections to John, Kara, and Alison to be picked back up and I still feel like her story of “being a force to be reckoned with” has legs.

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Nick continues on his run of CP episodes, by far the most complex-edited character on the season. In every episode, whether he attends Tribal Council or not, we hear where Nick is at in the game and what his plans are moving forward. Nothing was different here. He followed through on his alliance with Mike this week and used it to sway the vote towards Natalie.

The P-tone I went back and forth on. Other than some minor challenge compliments, he didn’t receive any direct PSPV. But the “bullying” confessional felt tonally weighted to me. The way he talked about people using their power to coerce or threaten, and how he doesn’t tolerate bullying, had a positive-bent to it that was held up in contrast to Natalie’s negativity. I definitely think the audience was meant to be on Nick’s side in this situation.

As with many others, Nick received a narrational weather confessional at the start of the episode. Then after the Immunity Challenge, he sprung into strategic action, he talked about using his Rock Stars alliance with Mike to get the votes on Natalie. We then saw him put that into motion in conversations with both Mike and Angelina. Again, he mentioned how the Davids and Goliaths will need to work together to have success in this game. And in the end, Nick got his way, Natalie was eliminated.

Much like last week, there isn’t a great deal of change in Nick’s edit. He continues to be a CP strategist with these splashes of tone and he has all these lingering connections/storylines (Christian/Gabby/Davie/potentially Elizabeth). Nick is merge-bound and I expect him to remain a pivotal character.

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There are parts of Elizabeth‘s edit I really like and other parts that give me pause for concern. The positives are that when she is given a confessional it’s often very well-reasoned and accurate. She seems to have game-awareness and a decent read on what is going on around her. The negative is that she sometimes disappears at important moments.

For example, Elizabeth was the alternate boot target at last week’s Tribal Council, and yet, upon returning to camp, we didn’t hear from Elizabeth at all. It was all Kara. There was no reaction from Elizabeth about what went down at Tribal, what Alec whispered to her or how she felt about being part of the move to take out Natalia. It felt similar to how she vanished in Episode 3 after pulling off the Jessica blindside at the previous Tribal Council. It makes it seem like Elizabeth’s part in the story is secondary to other more important characters.

However, when we did hear from Elizabeth in this episode, she was shown to be perceptive and not falling for Kara’s charm. Kara told us she wanted to charm her way into the Davids group, but Elizabeth wasn’t buying it. She said that while she wanted to trust Kara, she sensed that Kara would ultimately be more loyal to the Goliaths than the Davids (and that was perhaps backed up at the tribe mats when we saw Kara looking to her old Goliaths and shaking her head about Natalia being voted out). Alec had already severed his ties and therefore, to Elizabeth, it meant Alec would need the Davids more. As Elizabeth explained, for her, it was about weighing loyalty and numbers, and it was “obvious Kara needs to go home.” This was definitely a CP-lite confessional, we understood exactly what Elizabeth was thinking about her current game and the future game.

The thing I’m trying to work out is, was Elizabeth’s distrust of Kara a positive or a negative? And I think the answer comes down to who you think has the better edit overall. Personally, I think both edits are strong and I wouldn’t hesitate to have both women in my top handful of contenders. But overall, Kara’s edit is more consistent – she’s had a confessional in every episode, always explains herself, and hits the social charm theme perfectly. Not to mention she has lingering connections to Dan and Angelina which feel unfinished. Whereas Elizabeth’s connections don’t necessarily guarantee future follow-up; her relationship with Lyrsa could have simply being to set up for the Jessica boot, and we haven’t heard about the Nick alliance since the premiere.

So where does Elizabeth go from here? If Vuku loses next week, I think it will either be a story of Kara working her charm and eventually swaying Elizabeth over to her side OR Elizabeth targetting Kara only for it to backfire. I could easily see both women making the merge, but if it becomes a head-to-head battle, I feel like Kara’s edit has more longevity, whereas Elizabeth could leave at any time, and as long as she fights until the bitter end, she fulfills her key theme of the David fighting spirit.

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Kara‘s edit was pretty much exactly what it needed to be this week. It finally feels like she has a story of her own and she once again hit the social charm theme I talked about a lot last week. There was one moment that is a potential red flag, which I’ll get into, but overall this was almost a perfect episode for the former NFL cheerleader.

Immediately after returning from Tribal Council, the story at Vuku became about Kara. She was the first voice we heard at camp, introducing herself to Carl. And she had the first confessional (remember in the past I’ve talked about the importance of that first post-Tribal confessional). She talked about feeling exposed after Alec blindsided her, and criticized his decision, saying it was too early to make a big move. We saw her talking to Alec about the move and where she stood with him going forward. We never saw her get emotional or express anger. She was very level-headed. She then told us her plan is to get in the good graces of the Davids. All CP content.

It’s massively important to note how Alec’s move became all about Kara and her position on the tribe and what she had to do to get out of it. Other than his brief chat with Kara on the beach, we never heard Alec’s strategy at all this episode. Alec merely provided the fuel for Kara’s new story; a story of her own away from the Dan content. After the Reward Challenge, we saw her putting into motion what she said earlier, working her way into the good graces of the Davids. She said she was going to throw Alec under the bus and that’s what she did in her conversations with Carl, Davie and Elizabeth.

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Most importantly though, she outright said: “I just plan on turning on my social charm as much as possible and outcharming Alec.” If there were any lingering doubts about the social charm theme and how closely linked it is with Kara, this scene surely ended them. From the moment Probst said “…versus the naturally charming” and the camera landed on Kara, that word has stuck with her, directly and indirectly. Her story is all about being able to use her social charm to her advantage. The question is, is it going to work?

That brings us to the potential red flag. I touched on it in Elizabeth’s write-up above. Kara’s charm did not work on Elizabeth. She still felt that Kara was more loyal to the Goliaths and told us she’d rather stick with Alec and send Kara home. But with the Vuku tribe not going to Tribal this episode, it kind of leaves this story in limbo. It feels like that was part one and we are awaiting the conclusion. Does Kara’s charm fail and Elizabeth take her out? Does Kara continue to work her charm and eventually persuades Elizabeth to join her in booting Alec? Or does Kara become aware that she doesn’t have Elizabeth and instead take her out? We can’t answer those questions yet but it feels like that’s what the edit wants us to be asking.

Kara’s consistency and the way she is presented feels very intentional. She has had a confessional in every episode, and long-term Edgic readers will know, that is rare for a character of Kara’s archetype. She isn’t the biggest personality nor does she have this huge emotional backstory. She is a good-looking, charming, socially adaptable player. And how often do those people, especially women, fall victim to the UTR/INV purple edit? Yet Kara remains a presence, she is never undermined, she keeps hitting on this social charm theme, she has connections across tribal lines, and now she has her own story with tension building obstacles in her path. I think she is going to be around for a while yet!

That is it for this week’s Edgic! As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Martin is a 30-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing, and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and ET Canada, previously Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull.



  • Ryan Neilson

    While I really hope Kara’s edit holds on, I feel like she could be our immediate pre-merge boot. Having the socially charming Goliath fail would seem fitting, and unless she just manages to avoid tribal council or has a swap, it is difficult to see how she flips the vote.

    • Gary Johnson

      She pretty much needs to reconnect with Dan though. They were built up too much in the first couple episodes. And Kara’s had a bigger story than Dan has and was protected when he wasn’t. So it’s hard to believe that her going next would be a supplement to Dan’s story.

  • Marionete

    Lyrsa’s picture says Davie.

  • Adli Hanif

    Hey, there’s an error on Lyrsa’s image. You put Davie name there.

  • Желязко Н.

    3rd positive episode for Nick, yet he is sneaky rat, I don’t feel anything positive about him at all.

  • Luiz Milagres

    This season is looking similar to Kaoh Rhong, with good characters, good game play and Kara being the new Michelle.

  • Gary Johnson

    Great article! I’m on board the Kara train now too! If not Kara, then… I’m not sure who… maybe Gabby?