Gus and Ali, a real-life couple and fans of Survivor, will be individually ranking the Survivor Season 38 castaways into two categories, Hot or Not, based on who they think has potential longevity in the game. Hots are indicative of castaways who we think played well this week or who are setting themselves up for success; Nots are indicative of castaways who we think didn’t and aren’t.
Go ahead, hit us with your best shot. We’re probably wrong anyway, but that’s why it’s fun!
WARNING: This segment uses content from the “Next Time On” preview. If you are someone who doesn’t like watching those segments prior to the show, do not read further. You’ve been warned.
GUS: DAN “WARDOG” DASILVA – NOT
Dan is playing very well, and I don’t think he’ll go home this week. That being said, I’m worried for his long-term survival in the game, particularly with how much he seems to have been rubbing his tribemates the wrong way; as I recall, Wentworth had a confessional mid-conversation with Wardog in which she commented, “Wardog is a crazy person.” This plus Lauren saying to Wentworth that “[she doesn’t] go to rocks for Wardog” implies that he’s on the bottom of the minority – a situation that’s very much a big danger for him. I don’t think he’ll go home this week because I don’t think that one of the OG Manu will be voted out (I think Kama is going to do some infighting first). Even though I love watching him, this past week wasn’t at all good for the Wardog, and I’ve gotta give him a Not.
ALI: DAN “WARDOG” DASILVA – NOT
“Do I really want to go to rocks for this girl?”
Overplaying, overplaying, overplaying… and now, everyone’s aware that it’s happening. He’s lucky he didn’t go this week, and now he’s on everyone’s radar going forward. Now, I will give him one thing; his plan was spot on. But, I think, as in every week, his delivery leaves a lot to be desired. Everything he was doing was driving a wedge in his once tight alliance. As David said, “Wardog is starting a war” at a time where they needed to be united most. On top of that, his obvious idol hunt was a terrible look and led to someone who is now looking at him as a potential target finding an idol. And, the girl who Kelley is closest to (who was Wardog’s potential target this past week) has an idol too. I don’t think Kelley’s going to keep Wardog’s intentions toward Lauren a secret. Kelley told Lauren that she has an idol, and Lauren confirmed the existence of her own idol. That’s a huge trust-building move. Kelley will ultimately pick Lauren in a conflict with Wardog, and I think Wardog is going to be in some trouble around mid-merge. Playing for seventh place does not earn a Hot.
GUS: LAUREN O’CONNELL – HOT
Oddly hard call for Lauren this week. Despite her idol, and her demonstrating possession of absolute balls of steel in not playing said idol when she thought votes might be coming her way, she was still tossed out as a possibility by her own teammates. And she does remain as part of OG Manu, which is at an 8-4 disadvantage (even though that’s likely to be an 8-5 disadvantage pretty soon). Still, I feel like there are much bigger fish to be taken out before Lauren is targeted (Joe, the other returnees, any bad blood that has been simmering at OG Kama beach), so I feel like the soccer player will have another couple of weeks in this game at the least.
ALI: LAUREN O’CONNELL – HOT
“I think that they’re gonna vote for me.”
Lauren’s read this week was spot on, which makes me optimistic about her play going forward. Now that the merge is here, it’s going to be difficult for Wardog to turn on her in the next few votes. If anything squirrelly happens, Lauren has that idol in her pocket. Hopefully, we can get her a snack and a nap so that our girl gets some spring back in her step.
GUS: KELLEY WENTWORTH – HOT
Wentworth is the all-time master at successfully playing idols (or if not, you can’t deny that she’s at least up there), and she thrives when she’s on the bottom. Despite the bad position that Lesu finds itself in, I find myself thinking that – as I know I’ve already said elsewhere – Kama will turn on itself before they try to take out Lesu, or that we’ll find ourselves in a returnees vs. newbies zone. If that happens, I’m all but certain that Lauren and Wardog will join the returnees in that battle – even though Lesu has had its share of infighting, I doubt they would be foolish enough to turn on one another this early. And if they do, I think Kelley will figure it out, and we could have yet another “Wentworth, does not count” clip to gleefully watch when we’re having bad days.
ALI: KELLEY WENTWORTH – HOT
“It’s Survivor, and it’s kill or be killed.”
I just want to say, Kelley calling David a girl was way below the belt. I really wish she hadn’t said that. Clearly, she was hungry, frustrated, and tired. None of us are at our best under Survivor conditions, and I love Wentworth, but attacking David’s masculinity is a crossed line that I think isn’t okay. I hope that in hindsight she can see that and perhaps make overtures to David about it. Gameplay wise, Kelley found an idol this week, managed to keep all her alliance members in the game (despite some terrible odds), got David’s target off her back, and eliminated Wendy (a player she wanted out all game).
GUS: DAVID WRIGHT – NOT
Why did I give Wentworth a Hot and David a Not? In no small part, it’s because David doesn’t have an Idol. Though I doubt that the OG Kamas are about to turn on the OG Manus, there’s still that little tiny voice in the back of my mind that’s yelling (in a very game-botty voice), “it’s the mathematically correct move!” David isn’t about to be voted out, I honestly don’t think; nor is he about to win the game for sure. But I can’t see him making many inroads with Kama folks, and with no Idol, that leaves him at a big risk of being voted out before too long. If Rick comes back into the game (or maybe Aubry), David’s odds will go very high in my eyes; however, as it is, he’s gotta get this Not.
ALI: DAVID WRIGHT – HOT
“I’m 44 years old and all I have is a two bedroom apartment and some DVDs on the shelf.”
Oh David, don’t sell yourself short. David wasn’t great at challenges early game in MvGx, but once the merge hit, he became a challenge beast. The same could easily happen during this game. And now, there are a lot of returnees and other threats who will be ahead of him on the priority list. Furthermore, David’s newfound closest allies in the game have two idols. Provided the OG Manu four can connect with Joe and Aurora, they’re looking at a tight six with two idols. You don’t have to be an actuary like Chrissy to like those numbers. Also, there’s an idol now back in play, and we know he’s good at finding them.
GUS: JOE ANGLIM – NOT
Joe played well this past week, but I worry that his days are numbered – within the normal side of the game, at least. Everybody knows that he’s a huge challenge threat in the merge, and I worry that his attempts to sway Julia to his side, even if they were successful, will not be enough to put the momentum behind him (more on that in Julia’s write-up). I feel that Joe’s best bet is to flip over to the Lesu four, ideally taking Aurora (and maybe Julia) with him; but even if he does do that (which I doubt he will be able to), I see almost no way for him to the end outside of an incredible immunity run. Wentworth has played with him before and knows his threat level firsthand – no way is she going to let him get anywhere close to the end. Short of pulling off a miracle (and honestly, Joe is the kind of person who could do that), I just don’t see a good path of play for Joe.
ALI: JOE ANGLIM – HOT
“It’s pretty obvious I’m a big target and I’m a challenge beast.”
I was actually impressed with Joe’s gameplay this week! Thanks to Aubry’s vote off, Joe has finally woken up and smelled the rice. He was thinking of new ways to keep himself in the game, and even better, we saw them working. First, Joe decided to fish in order to prove to his tribe that they need him. “Ah, the Ozzy strategy,” I thought. We’ve seen Ozzy try this in Game Changers… And South Pacific… And Micronesia… It hasn’t worked out great for him before. Tyson even tweeted at Ozzy that his fifth try, he should think about not fishing. So, when Joe started talking about proving to his tribe that they needed him, I rolled my eyes. BUT, this seemed to work. While Julie was preaching that constant refrain about getting rid of returnees, Ron didn’t seem as on board as he had been. Then, Joe made Julia insecure by emphasizing what a threat she is (lol). I’m very here for Joe’s newfound mist. I’m liking this Joe and I hope we see more of him. Plus, we’re about to go into the merge, and challenge beast Joe certainly has it in him to go on an immunity run. I’m feeling good about him for the first time all game.
GUS: RON CLARK – HOT
On paper, Ron is set. His tribe is far and away in the lead, and his alliance appears yet to have lost a member – so, his starting alliance also still has its entire complement. Due to this, Ron gets a Hot; even though I don’t think he’s winning, he’s just got too many advantages (not as in Survivor hardware advantages, rather just being really good at stuff and in a nice spot) for me to hit him with a Not.
ALI: RON CLARK – HOT
“I’m in a good situation.”
Ron is the leader at NuKama. We’ve seen others being willing to listen to his opinions and even take his orders. My only concern is that everyone knows he’s the one in charge. Going into the merge, I think that we are being set up for a six vs. six situation. Ron, Julia, Julie, Eric, Gavin, and Victoria will be on one side. Joe, Aurora, David, Kelley, Wardog, and Lauren will be on the other. The problem for Ron is that Kelley and Lauren have idols, which increase their odds over the other six. Yes, I know that there is someone else coming from Extinction, and unless it’s Rick or Aubry, the odds are they will not be willing to play with old Manu. Again, I point to the double idols. If Ron’s the leader, they could target him. For now, I feel like Ron may be okay. There are other people in his alliance (read: Eric) that I feel people may target over Ron. Plus, we know Ron is a puzzle god, so I think he may be able to pull out an immunity. Regardless, people are listening to Ron, and he’s got a good alliance around him. For now, he’s playing well. But there’s a possibility that the merge may shake that up.
GUS: JULIA CARTER – NOT
Joe this week essentially said “I need to trick these newbies into thinking they’re big threats,” which was actually a fantastic plan and is a huge credit to his strategic game. Unfortunately for Julia, the next shot was her very first confessional, in which she falls into his trap hook line and sinker and practically reels off exactly what Joe had said he was hoping for in terms of what a Tricked Newbie would believe. Not what you want.
ALI: JULIA CARTER – NOT
“I would rather get him out of this game sooner rather than later.”
We actually got to hear from Julia this week! Julia is in the majority alliance at the moment, and it looks like she’s about to reunite with the others. However, she fell pretty hard for Joe’s mist, and that’s not a great sign for her game going forward.
GUS: JULIE ROSENBERG – HOT
I feel like Julie’s recent hubris will be coming back to haunt her – especially in combination with her being the most open in her desires to get rid of Joe – but, I feel that her gameplay has been the best that it realistically can be. She might go home this week. She might not. It’s a merge. I’m kind of thrown on ALL of the players to be honest.
ALI: JULIE ROSENBERG – NOT
“It’s hard to even imagine us losing at this point.”
This week, we saw Julie preaching about getting rid of Joe, but Ron shut her down. It looks like Ron is in the leadership position on nuKama, so if Julie’s ideas aren’t being taken, it’s not a great sign. Beyond that, there isn’t much to say about Julie’s play this week.
GUS: AURORA MCCREARY – NOT
Still banking on the “everybody is going to go for Joe” train, I worry about Aurora taking a stray bullet should Joe win this week’s immunity challenge. That’s really all that I’ve got for Aurora.
ALI: AURORA MCCREARY – NOT
We have heard nothing from Aurora, and for all we know, she’s still on the bottom. While Joe was putting in work, she was dropping palm fronds.
GUS: ERIC HAFEMANN – HOT
Eric gets a Hot because he’s good, and he played a solid game insofar as not giving away the plan to vote out Aubry. Do I think he’ll do very well post-merge? I do not. Do I see him going next week? I also do not.
ALI: ERIC HAFEMANN – NOT
“Like all things in this game, it’s a balancing act.”
Eric was quick to throw a loyal ally in Wendy under the bus. Wendy had no other options and would have been an excellent goat. On the other hand, I can understand why he wouldn’t want to go to rocks for Wendy. Eric was between a rock and a hard place, but this week certainly wasn’t great for his game. Eric’s also a beefcake, and we’re entering the phase of the game where they become a target. If idols get played, Eric could be on the chopping block.
GUS: VICTORIA BAAMONDE – HOT
Victoria played really well this week. She might be in for some horrible backlash karma due to the Edge of Extinction, but that’s only if Aubry comes back, and I’d say there’s about a one in three chance of Aubry coming back. However, Victoria spearheaded the (very successful) attempt to eliminate Aubry, and that’s going to make her a target in the returnees’ eyes – if they’re told about it, which I would think all of them will be. Giving Victoria a Hot is based on my belief that she’ll be less likely to be targeted early and on her tremendous gameplay this week – gameplay which she could not have predicted having an EoE backlash, and which would have been incredibly strategically sound in any other season.
ALI: VICTORIA BAAMONDE – NOT
“I don’t really care what people feel out here.”
Victoria earns a Not from me for the same reasons listed for Eric. This week wasn’t good for her, as someone who would have been loyal to her, and who she could have easily beaten at the end, went home. Again, the other side has two idols, and this week wasn’t necessarily great for her game.
GUS: GAVIN WHITSON – HOT
See above for Eric. Gavin is doing fine. He’s not going home this week. He voted out Aubry earlier than anyone has before. I don’t see him as the winner, but I also don’t see him voted out any time soon.
ALI: GAVIN WHITSON – NOT
“We’re gonna stick strong to our guns as well.”
GUS: REEM DALY – ASHEN
Reem isn’t about to quit, but I think if she’s not coming back into the game then she just might.
ALI: REEM DALY – ASHEN
“You think I’m that freaking stupid?!”
Oof, Reem, even if she does go back in the game, she’s not winning. I love her on my screen, but she’s drawing dead with those emotional outbursts.
GUS: KEITH SOWELL – ASHEN
Keith also isn’t about to quit, but I don’t think he’s about to come back to the game.
ALI: KEITH SOWELL – KINDLED
“Everyone was like ‘we’re all gonna go up there fair and square.’ I was like, ‘what? That’s not gonna happen!”
I was really impressed with Keith this week. For the first time, I saw the passion for the game come out. He had me rolling with laughter over all of his shenanigans, and I think there’s a good chance he may stick around a bit.
GUS: CHRIS UNDERWOOD – ASHEN
Chris will have eleven billion knots waiting for him when he arrives at the challenge. He’s not comin’ back.
ALI: CHRIS UNDERWOOD – KINDLED
“I don’t even know what to say.”
Despite Keith’s advantage against him, I think Chris is by far the most physically fit person out there. If I were to put my money on someone winning just by beast potential alone, he’d be my pick.
GUS: RICK DEVENS – KINDLED
I have a good feeling about Rick, and he’s only spent roughly a week over on this horror show of an island.
ALI: RICK DEVENS – KINDLED
“Do you have the fortitude to go into something you know nothing about, and see it through, and come out on top?”
Map king Devens over here! Now, if only other people weren’t taking advantage of his brains. Hopefully, this upcoming challenge is a map reading challenge.
GUS: AUBRY BRACCO – KINDLED
I just can’t make her ashen.
ALI: AUBRY BRACCO – KINDLED
“We’re in the Survivor waiting room.”
Aubry learned a hard lesson this week, but now she’s got some fire in her eyes. I don’t think she’s going to make the same mistake again.
GUS: WENDY DIAZ – KINDLED
She’s barely spent as much as half a day over there.
ALI: WENDY DIAZ – ASHEN
Wendy’s passion for the game was exemplified by her sitting there as everyone talked around her. Like her torch, Wendy’s gameplay lacks spark.
TRASH TALK ZONE
ALI: Wow. We disagree about a whole lot this week. I think this might be the most I’ve ever seen that isn’t us in the pre-season.
GUS: I take personal offense at you giving Julie a Not.
ALI: The only time we saw her this week was when Ron dismissed her idea. I think she’s playing fine, but her content was not enough for me to feel great about her place in the majority. It doesn’t feel like her game holds sway over the rest of the group. And we’ve seen this before. She talked about idol hunting to Victoria, and Victoria just kind of agreed and didn’t do it (at least that we saw). Julie’s content is weird because it’s just about pee and moves people should be making that they aren’t. If her alliance isn’t taking her feelings seriously, it doesn’t feel like she’s earned a Hot. Granted, she’s managed to make her way to the merge, so I think she’s going to be in a good spot, but I’m thinking long term and what I’m seeing is that the alliance isn’t there for her moves.
GUS: What is this? An Edgic article?
ALI: [Martin’s] not doing it this season. Maybe I need to take up the mantle.
GUS: Okay, but I’m not ranking Julie based on what her Edit is.
ALI: I understand that. However, I’m looking at whether or not the alliance takes her views into account, which is going to affect her going forward. Right now, it doesn’t look like her moves are really cared about, and that spells trouble going forward. That’s what I saw, and you know I watch every episode three times.
GUS: Okay, yes, but she’s also in a great spot. She appears to be well-liked, even if she’s not the strategic head of the Kama tribe (I agree that it is either Ron or Victoria). But she seems to be holding her own in challenges, and she’s set up for success down the road. I see how you’re giving her a Not, but I don’t agree with you.
ALI: It’s one of those things where I’m trying to decipher if I like her, so I want her to be playing well versus if she’s actually playing well? Is she safe because she’s not a threat or is she safe because she’s a good player? It’s hard to tell for me.
GUS: I can get behind that. But I just think she’s a neat lady. So I’m biased.
ALI: Oh, she’s neat alright. I hope I’m wrong and she wins the whole thing. Alright, let’s move on to Gavin. Actually, what I would love to do is talk about Gavin, Eric, and Victoria together. I had an across the board reason for giving them all a Not, and it’s Wendy (and Aubry, but mostly Wendy.) I understand why they had to avoid going to rocks, but I don’t think that this week was good for their games. An ally who had literally nowhere else to go, someone who would have worked with them down the line, was voted out. I gave Chris a Not for a similar reason a while ago. That kind of loyalty is hard to find in this game and there was zero chance of her flipping.
GUS: Oh, smart. They’re basically all the same person ranking-wise in my brain this week as it is. I completely agree with what you’re saying that they might have done well to keep Wendy, but it’s just as likely that it would have been disastrous to keep Wendy. Say they went to rocks. It’s a coin flip between “lose one of our very solid three” and “lose an opponent.” Let’s say they get a favorable coin-flip and an OG Manu goes home. Wendy still knows that she’s on the bottom of the Kamas, and the Kamas who are still on Kama maybe start worrying about her and maybe start distrusting the Manu-Kamas for it (wow, discussing tribes through swaps is sure confusing). Why should they risk their games to keep someone around who might flip back to the OG Manu? It’s pretty much a guaranteed thing that they’ll lose somebody with Manu ties if they simply vote out Wendy (who openly spoke about still feeling a part of the Manu tribe at tribal), as opposed to a completely unnecessary risk.
ALI: Wendy is an emotional player, which on the one hand makes her very unpredictable, but on the other hand makes her rather predictable if you’re paying attention to her priorities. Wendy refused to vote for Reem, based on the fact that they were friends. She’s not going to flip back to a group that she perceived as bullies, that’s not her way. And where would she realistically go? Bottom of Manu or bottom of Kama? Might as well stick with being in the minority of a majority with people she actually likes rather than a probable sinking ship.
GUS: I feel like two minutes with Lauren in a friendly hammock and some hugs and Wendy is right back to a Manu lovefest.
ALI: I’m not sure where you see that. They were pretty mean to her in secret scenes, and she’s emotional, not completely erratic. Plus, she was probably a goat and would have been great to take to the end just based on the chicken thing alone. Now, if she comes back, and she might, she’s a rogue agent and is truly unpredictable for either side. And she may come back, she was no slouch in challenges. In all, I don’t think that it was a great week for them on that score.
GUS: So they were better off going to rocks and flipping a coin to see if they lose one of them? How is that a better option than giving up a risky play in holding Wendy?
ALI: I’m not saying they did the wrong thing. I think they were between a rock and a hard place that was entirely producer manipulated. However, I don’t think it was necessarily good for their games in the long run. If we are looking through history, many tribes who kick ass in the pre-merge end up fractured and eaten alive once the merge hits and the players who have been forced to actually play do the work they need to stay. Now, they’ve lost a number that they could have used, and they’re coming up against a side of a now battle-tested alliance with two idols.
GUS: Yeah, but what I’m saying is they lost a number they MIGHT have had instead of flipping a coin to lose an ally that they absolutely WOULD have had.
ALI: I’m not debating whether they made the right move. I agree that they did. What I’m saying is that this week wasn’t great for their games, through no fault of their own.
GUS: Besides this debate, I don’t think you’re giving them enough credit for getting Aubry out. That’s a vote that could have been completely destroyed by Big Wendy, but Victoria managed to remain calm and absolutely dupe Aubry. Look, you’re right that big alliances usually fracture, but I feel confident in at least part of this group NOT to have everything collapse as soon as they’ve got a big advantage after the merge.
ALI: I was hoping you’d bring up the Aubry vote, and I have a response for that too. The Aubry vote wasn’t a bad move. However, it did alert Joe going into the merge that Kama isn’t as strong as he may have believed. I think he’s going to correctly assume that they are also coming for him (he even said as much). That’s a fracture right there. And from what we can see, Aurora will probably go with him, because we’ve seen that she’s close to Joe. That gives the OG Manus two more people to work with. They also have two idols on their side. Could be that the other side is sitting ducks if OG Manu plays their cards right. It’s quite possible that Joe will point them right to those who voted out Aubry… for revenge, basically.
GUS: Could be. I think they’ll take out Joe before that alliance goes very far.
ALI: Probably… Does that bring us to discussing Joe?
GUS: It certainly does. What sane person is about to let Joe get deep into EoE? I mean, even with the Edge of Extinction there I would think that everybody still playing is worried that he can just win to the end. I mean, he has yet to see the Tribal set!
ALI: If we want to talk about people who were trying to play well with a s**t hand this week, it’s Joe.
GUS: Agreed, he did play extremely well with a garbage hand. But the hand is so very garbage that I just can’t make him a Hot.
ALI: I have to give credit where it’s due. I was impressed. That’s the best I’ve seen him play in all three of his seasons. He ascertained one of the few options available to him, and from what we can see, it totally was working.
GUS: Agreed. But it won’t work well enough, or fast enough for him to make it deep.
ALI: This is the best potential position he’s been in all game. He’s going into a merge knowing the score with his old tribe. He owes them nothing. He’s got Aurora and a small group that will be interested in working with him on the other side who have two idols with them. They aren’t going to want to keep him around long, sure, but they’ll want him long enough to do some serious damage to Kama, and by then, it’s possible for him to win his way deep into the game. Worst case, he gets voted out and goes to Extinction, and we know that place was made for him. I’m feeling the best about Joe that I’ve felt in all of his seasons.
GUS: It occurs to me that everyone is just taking it as free that Aurora will flip on Kama for Joe. We don’t actually know that, do we? I mean, we know that she likes him a lot, but does she know that she has been targeted? Aurora’s never gone to a tribal council, and we’ve never seen her speak to feeling on the outs or isolated. Could she maybe have been tricked into thinking that she’s not a target? What if she opts not to flip?
ALI: True. I suppose it depends on how obvious the Kama newbies have been about Aurora being on the bottom. I felt like they were pretty obvious about Joe and Aubry (then again, they managed to fool Aubry, but I think it was because she was isolated in all of her seasons and she was desperate for that to not happen again.) Aurora is a lawyer; I’m thinking she’s used to smelling BS, and since all we’ve seen of her is her connection to Joe, I feel like that may be the direction her game is headed in. But who knows? The game is young. However, even if Aurora doesn’t go with Joe, can I just say again… two idols?
GUS: On Lesu?
ALI: Yes. Joe will be protected for a hot sec.
GUS: Wow, hold on there Mrs. Fan Fiction. In what world does either Wentworth or Lauren even TELL Joe that they’ve got idols, let alone GIVE them to him?! That’s not going to happen. No way. If Lauren gives Joe an idol, she drops like a meteor in my book.
ALI: If it gets her further in the game? You need allies to go far. They’re often more important than an idol. An idol keeps you safe for one vote. Allies get you to the end. But I think Joe will probably win the first immunity challenge. The gang will all probably aim for Lauren, since they may be afraid Kelley and David have idols… and Wardog is scary. Lauren is the safest choice. She plays her idol on herself. Bam! Dead Eric. I’m assuming they go for Eric because his body type is threatening… maybe Ron because he’s sort of looking like a mastermind. Now, this may be Fan Fiction with a capital F, but I had a feeling last week that Aubry may be blinded by Victoria’s willingness to work with her and I was right about that. I felt that Aubry would be a target before Wendy and I was correct in that assumption. I was also correct that Victoria would not have any interest in working with Aubry for real. I could be right about this. Regardless, I feel that Joe may find the merge friendlier than the pre-merge, and all he needs is to get past the early merge and pull a Mike (and he’s capable of doing so).
GUS: Sure. Alright. Who’s our last person?
ALI: David. We saw David’s idol hunt last week for a reason, and there’s an idol back in play. I’m feeling good about David finding an idol this week.
GUS: Hack cough hack fan-fiction.
ALI: I prefer to call it “interpreting the narrative.”
GUS: Hack cough reading the edit.
ALI: I reserve the right to use whatever methods at my disposal to make accurate predictions, and I would encourage you to do the same. Maybe if you had, you wouldn’t have marked Chris as a Hot. And just so we’re clear, readers, I don’t read any official Edgic because I find it too spoilery. I chose to interpret the narrative myself and come to my own conclusions. Never fear, those of you who don’t like to read Edgic. But I digress. Gus, if you want to look at these rankings from a purely gameplay perspective, you could not give David a Not this week. He went from being on the bottom of the tribe to getting in tight with Wentworth, (despite his misgivings about her initially, David managed to align with her to protect his interests… that’s good gameplay!). David correctly ascertained this week and last that the time was not right to strike against Wentworth, and despite his blindside, he made overtures to work with her. And, even though he did poorly in challenges, by the end of the episode, no one was looking at him as a target. He targeted Wentworth, and still no one is suspicious of his loyalties. I could only dream of playing such a careful, deliberate game. And, best of all, going into the merge he’s the least threatening of his alliance, even though he’s a returnee.
GUS: Wouldn’t that in some ways make him a nice first target, though? Cut out their numbers sooner, and aim at the one nobody expects? I’m making up some fan-fiction over here myself.
ALI: No, you’re interpreting the narrative… And that may be if it weren’t for David’s reputation as an idol hunter. That is the one threatening thing about him, and it will be the one thing that will keep people from overtly targeting him. Hence why Lauren will be the probable target next week. In modern Survivor, the lieutenant tends to get ousted first. David is not threatening, but only a fool would consider him a lieutenant.
GUS: I can see it. He was a very close call in mine, honestly. I don’t have a whole lot more to say about him than I said in my writeup.
ALI: Alright, let’s do a quick touch on the Extinction folks we disagree on, keeping in mind the length of this article and the fact that it’s 11:30 pm on a weeknight.
GUS: So my kindled or ashens were more in line with whether or not I was expecting the player to have a shot at getting into the game. I think the new folks do; I think the old ones don’t. Wendy has a shot, as she’s only spent half a minute at the Edge of Extinction; Keith doesn’t, he’s exhausted. Chris is about to get screwed by Keith’s advantage.
ALI: By that metric, the only one I vehemently disagree with you on is Chris. I think he still has a shot on athleticism alone.
GUS: But Keith is oddly vindictive towards him and wants to hamstring him in the return challenge. Did you see all of those knots? That’s a really big obstacle for him to surmount if it’s the challenge that you and I think it is.
ALI: It definitely could be, but we’ve seen people overcome bigger odds… I think he has a chance. Keith, I mostly gave a Kindled because this was the most I’ve liked his play all season, and it’s convinced me that maybe he’s going to stick around for a second. Wendy, I just feel like her arc may be over.
GUS: No offense intended to Wendy or her fans, but I really hope it is. She’s given us enough. Let her go home on a high note. With respect to Keith, however, I feel as though even if he were to come back into the game, he’d just head right back out again. Same with Reem. Rick, Chris and Aubry would be interesting, and Wendy would be a firecracker.
ALI: Alright. I think we’ve pretty much covered everything. Shall we do one person who is safe and one person who is going?
GUS: Let’s add our predicted EoE Returner.
IN TROUBLE: Wardog.
COMING BACK: Rick.
IN TROUBLE: Eric
COMING BACK: Aubry (but I also kind of think it’s Rick, I just wanted to be different).
GUS: Well, she was my backup choice too, so… yay. I think that does it for week 5/6?
ALI: Bedtime! Goodnight, party people, and sweet dreams (maybe of white rice)!