Hello world! My name is Stephanie Lauw. I’m a 21-year-old student from Singapore, I’m Asian but unfortunately not crazy rich. I’ll be taking over the weekly Next Time On Survivor blog from Tillie Reilly this season. Big shoes to fill there, hope I’ll do this feature justice!
“There’s a new war, a new target, and a new man in charge.”
After an emotional ending to the premiere, Jeff Probst’s anaphoric narration rings through the preview trailer for the second episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. To begin my untrained attempt at making some spoiler-free speculations: it’s clear that the preview highlights three individuals – Natalie, Lyrsa, and Christian – who will, to differing extents, be brought to fore in episode two.
A New War
Natalie Cole already had a rough start on day one. Appearances and first impressions alone had her set apart from the rest of the Goliath tribe. Yet, this wasn’t unexpected news for the 57-year-old publishing CEO – pre-season interviews showed her awareness of the things working against her, and a resolute plan to overcome them. So it came as a surprise to me that she seemed rather unwilling to unobtrusively connect with her tribemates; instead, she came across as straightforward and bossy while the rest of the tribe built the shelter. From the preview, we know that this dynamic continues past day three. Natalie’s demeanour around camp aggravates at least Natalia and Kara, most certainly raising her name as a target to be voted out.
However, it isn’t a “war” if she goes softly without taking some impactful shots at others. As such, I actually think that operation “Natalie napalm” will work. I feel that, should the Goliaths end up going to tribal, she’ll be able to gather enough people – perhaps some older members of her tribe – to target someone else.
A New Target
Similarly, on the David tribe, I don’t think that Lyrsa is in real danger of being sent home. Besides the fact that previews can’t be that revealing of what actually happens, the fact that Lyrsa hears that her name is being thrown around is telling of a trusting alliance. We’ve seen her form an unexpected partnership with Elizabeth Olsen, and doesn’t seem to have rubbed others the wrong way.
There’s not much information to determine a clear pecking order on the David tribe just yet, but my hunch is that Lyrsa was just an easy name to target because she doesn’t seem to be an obvious physical asset for challenges (the Goliath tribe certainly thought so). My prediction is that her alliance with Elizabeth and the social bonds they both make with others in the next episode will be able to counter whatever reasons she’s being prematurely targeted.
A New Man In Charge
As for our resident slide puzzle-solver, Christian will be stepping up as some sort of leader on the David tribe. I’m not sure what this entails – a leader around camp, a pacemaker for the challenge? I’m leaning towards the latter or at least a more fluid idea of a leader rather than a position that puts him distinctly as chief. Two reasons: Christian has proven to be great at puzzles. And secondly, he knows the game well, at least in theory. I feel like Christian would know that stepping up will put him more noticeably under a spotlight and thus he wouldn’t be that fervent in taking up the role.
Then again, I also feel that at some point Christian will overthink his moves and/or be slightly too unaware of himself and his “on paper” strategy (we’ve already seen him getting carried away in that hilarious time-lapse confessional).
Tribal Council Predictions
Moving forward, I’m fairly certain that the Davids will be sent to tribal council. How else would we get that scene of Lyrsa on the chopping block? It’s quite a stark change of tribe atmosphere from Pat’s emotional exit and the heart-to-heart bonding as they waited out the rain. Furthermore, the Goliath tribe looks more physically adept to win challenges.
Assuming I’m right about the Davids, I can’t really choose who I think will be voted out. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s not much information to ascertain a pecking order here, and their social bonds seem rather fluid and open as well. Nick’s name was thrown about, and while it appeared that it was either him or Pat if they had to go to tribal council in the premiere episode, I don’t believe Nick will be a for-sure to go next week either. For no particularly overt reason, my guess for a David elimination would be Nick or Bi.
If I’m wrong and the Goliaths go to tribal, a few obvious names immediately come to mind. Natalie, of course, and at the same time Natalia, for being perhaps too vocal about Natalie. And then, “Mr. Schneebly” Mike White for placing a target on his back when he went off to search for the idol.
These aren’t terribly exciting guesses, so what I can add is that I think Dan, who found said idol, will be on the chopping block. Probably not in the next episode, but somewhere down the line I feel like him sharing the information with Kara and Natalia will catalyse his downfall. In general, the Goliath women on this season seem really smart (and alpha?), so I feel like the pair will be able to out-strategise Dan and that’ll cost him.
All in all, it’s definitely difficult to say anything for sure this early on in the game. My wild picks for the safest players next week are those in the middle of the pack – Carl and Davie on the David tribe. Angelina and Jeremy for the Goliaths. My winner pick remains as Gabby as she looks to be in a good position off the bat.
With my horrible luck though, this whole article might just be a bad fanfiction. But who knows? Till next week. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!