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Survivor: Edge of Extinction Episode 8 – Hot or Not


Who is Hot or Not after Week 7?

Photo: CBS

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. In order to avoid what Gus likes to call “hedging bets,” Nots cannot be given to more than half plus one of the castaways. For example, with twelve people remaining in the game, the maximum number of Nots that can be given out is seven.

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.

VATA

Kelley

GUS: KELLEY WENTWORTH – HOT

It’s already been said, but it bears repeating that Wentworth and Lauren both have been tremendously gutsy to not play either of their idols this deep into the game, knowing that they’ve been in the minority and have been more or less continuously targeted since…well, day one. I was proud of Wentworth this week for defying my expectations – she extended an olive branch to David before David came to her, and it seems as though they’ve properly made up. It makes sense to me that these two WOULD be able to reconcile their differences – returnees tend to be better at setting aside the emotional aspect of the game. And they’re not in a Tony/Sandra Game Changers situation wherein it’s early enough that any perceived betrayal must indicate a long-term problem in strategy – but I honestly was concerned that Wentworth would leave David in her crosshairs for a while, continuing her bizarre strategy from last week’s episode of scrambling and hiding. Major props to her for bringing it back and working with David.

ALI: KELLEY WENTWORTH – HOT

“It’s just about a gut feeling and hoping you are right.”

Kelley has big cojones for not playing her idol last week. That gamble paid off as she’s now sitting comfortably in the majority with an idol in her pocket. There will probably be a storm coming for Kelley once again, but she has the weapons at her disposal to stay in the game. I feel good about Wentworth this week.

Davod

GUS: DAVID WRIGHT – HOT

Same vein as Wentworth here. David managed to pack up all the emotional baggage from last week and smother any fledgling fears of longer-term betrayal by Wentworth (at least for the time being) and form what is at least a voting bloc of Lesu and is at best a proper alliance of five. I don’t see Wentworth and David turning against each other in the near future, especially as they’re the only returnees left in the game proper, but I would also be surprised to see them sitting next to one another at the end. There is an argument to be made that turning against Kama was a mistake for David; that he’d have been much better off riding Ron and Eric for a few votes and then turning things around after some of the Lesu had fallen and the Kamas were starting to self-destruct. But, Kama already started self-destructing this week, so as far as I can tell there was no other move that David could have made without entrenching and drenching himself in Kama Strong rhetoric, which would have been horribly transparent as a tactic. His pushing Julia and Eric towards making the move that Wardog encouraged them to make earlier in the episode was both well handled and decently subtle enough to hopefully dissuade any Kamas from coming after him for it. At this point in the game, I think David has the most options for getting to the end of anybody – he’s hardly anyone’s number one enemy, though some of Kama might be bitter about his betrayal. The biggest variable in his near-term gameplay is how Rick handles their break-up.

ALI: DAVID WRIGHT – HOT

“In Survivor, there’s always one conversation you look back on.”

David easily could have blown up his spot this week along with his other half. Instead, he managed to stay in Kelley and Rick’s good graces at the same time. David saw his path forward in the game was divergent from Rick, and he was able to express it without burning bridges. That’s masterful play. David stuck to his goals and now finds himself in a better position than the previous week. Now, time will tell if Rick will hold this week’s vote against David. I don’t think he will, because David outlined pretty clearly for Rick his goals moving forward. However, it may be that this idol situation could come to a head this week. If it does, I trust David to keep his head about him and play well. Rick, on the other hand…

Rick

GUS: RICK DEVENS – NOT

Wow. Talk about a face-heel turn. Devens went from near the top of my list for “yeah this guy could absolutely win” to the top of my list for “who is this clown?” A commonly heard mantra in Survivor goes something like “say yes to every plan that comes to you.” That’s an exaggeration – I would argue that the ideal strategy is more along the lines of “listen to every plan that comes to you and make sure people feel heard, even if you’re not committing to their plan.” What the mantra is NOT is “shut down people who want to work with you, insult them in the process, and then gloat about how powerful you are and how you don’t need them anymore.”

I understand where Devens was coming from in his conversation with Wardog: he felt hurt by Kama’s choice to senselessly target him at last week’s vote, and he felt welcomed by Kama for not targeting him (wrong choice, I think, but, whatever). Still, if your perceived enemies decide they’re open to working with you, the least you can do is hear them out. That way, down the line, you can determine whether you want to work with them at some point – even if it takes a vote or two to commit to it. If you shut them down and rip into them for being horrible people, all you’re doing is guaranteeing that they’ll never want to work with you again. This was a shockingly stupid move for Rick to make, especially considering that he had practically no good data indicating that Kama actually wanted him as more than a number. And that David – his closest ally and the person who is HOLDING THE OTHER HALF OF THE  HIDDEN IMMUNITY IDOL – was openly telling him that he was making the wrong decision.

Oh, and let’s talk about that idol, shall we? Did anybody else crack up when Rick said (paraphrasing), “hey, I’d like that half of the idol back, by the way” AFTER ripping into Lesu and David TO DAVID’S FACE?! What did he expect, that David would just concede to the incredible superiority of Kama (and therein Rick) and surrender the idol for fear of being targeted? I’m surprised to say that I actually really am enjoying how this idol is affecting the game and it’s entirely because Devens decided to obliterate his alliance with the person he shared it with. Who will wind up with it, if anyone? I don’t know. I’m hoping for a double Zahalsky/Rimmer situation at Tribal.

ALI: RICK DEVENS – NOT

“I’m dying to get back with the old Lesu… Except that I don’t want to f***ing get back with you guys at all.”

Wow, that was just an epically bad week for Rick. Here I am thinking that he was going to be the winner of the season, and now I’m just in shock at how poorly he played this. Rick alienated his most trusted ally, and lost half of his idol so that he could play from the bottom of the Kamas. Either way, Rick was in a bad position, and I understand that it might be difficult to work with people who burned you. Sometimes, you have to put your emotions aside in the game of Survivor. Rick failed to do that this week, so it’s a Not from me.

Wardog

GUS: DAN “WARDOG” DASILVA – HOT

Part of me hopes that Ali gives Wardog a Not this week so I can roast her for it. This guy is a VERY strategic player, and his skill came out in spades this episode. Talking Julia and Gavin (and maybe Aurora) into making this move this early in the game was a truly impressive feat – making half of the opposing MAJORITY alliance feel as though they were in imminent danger from their own leadership is never easy, especially when they outnumber you by such a wide margin. Even more than that, Wardog has never received votes, and he’s been a strategic element for pretty much the entire game. That’s either the mark of a goat (I doubt it) or of someone whose strategic game is hovering just far enough under the radar that people aren’t picking up on it yet – but is also close enough to the surface that he could reasonably take credit for his moves at Final Tribal Council. At the risk of conjuring up a Joe Anglim style boot, I’m going to paraphrase what Ali said a couple of weeks ago about Joe and say, “this is the best I’ve felt about Wardog all season.”

ALI: DAN “WARDOG” DASILVA – HOT

“You keep fighting in this game.”

Dan, baby, I know we’ve had our differences in the past. We haven’t always agreed. You’ve overplayed, I’ve said sassy things. But Danny, baby, I want you to know I was wrong. I want you back, Dan, baby. So this song goes out to you…

Wardog’s play this week was masterful, plain and simple. He’s the reason all the Lesus are still in the game. Kudos, Wardog.

Lauren

GUS: LAUREN O’CONNELL – HOT

Most of what I said above about Kelley can be said about Lauren too, but I’d like to add to that how much I loved her entire Immunity Challenge arc – from “I’m feeling a little dizzy” to “I can’t see anything, I’m about to black out” to “DAMMIT!” Lauren maintained an almost spooky air of calm in a situation that would freak many people the hell out. I’m not sure if it’s her background as an athlete, who likely is used to pushing her body to its limit, or if it’s just indicative of Lauren’s general badassery, but WOW is that woman hardcore. Gameplay wise, not a ton from Lauren this week. She’s good at things. She’s probably not too good at things. That’s about all I got.

ALI: LAUREN O’CONNELL – HOT

“Damn it!”

When I was in high school, I was in the choir and the glee club. Essentially, I was that musical theater nerd that wouldn’t shut up about Wicked. Every year, without fail, we would have at least one student faint during a practice because they locked their knees while they sang. This challenge was essentially designed for people to faint because contestants were required to lock their knees in order to keep the block upright. Not sure what the challenge creators were expecting on this one. I don’t think Lauren’s hunger had anything to do with it.

Despite Lauren’s fainting stint, don’t start comparing her to a fainting goat. This girl is here to play hard, and I’m thrilled I made her my winner pick. Like with Wentworth, Lauren’s position in the game was improved this week, and she has an idol in her pocket to boot. Next week’s shenanigans will probably not affect the fainting queen.

Ron

GUS: RON CLARK – NOT

I stand by the choice I made last week to make Ron a Hot. He could have played well from there, and he could have played badly, and I was hoping that he would play well but worried that he would play badly. Turns out, he played badly. Very badly. Laughably badly. I’m going in on Ron a little bit here, but honestly, if he’d been on Ghost Island or if he’d handled the outliers of his alliance better he’d still be in a really good position this week. His failure was in pushing his bizarre groupthink mentality about the family visit and in not devoting enough individual time to his alliance members. I think Ron may have slipped a bit too much into teacher mode, by which I mean he may have been operating under the assumption that his objective was to be listened to and/or obeyed rather than working as a team-builder or leader among peers. A domineering player is never something that is appealing on Survivor (unless they’re acting so comically buffoonish that you can write them off as a final tribal goat), and Ron’s gameplay these past few weeks was just off enough that it resulted in his downfall.

I think Ron’s biggest sin, though, was his failure to manage his alliance. It was clear that he was close to Eric and apparently to Julie (as I had predicted in the preseason – yay!), but his failure to mend fences with Aurora and his (well, mostly Eric’s) inability to reassure Julia led to the majority of his own alliance feeling alienated from him. It’s never good when FOUR people within an alliance of roughly seven are reacting so poorly to your leadership that they choose to destroy the alliance rather than remain under your guidance. Also, if you ever say on a reality TV show that you’re a “puppet master,” it won’t end well for you (editor’s note: unless you’re Dr. Will Kirby). Just as a general rule of thumb.

ALI: RON CLARK – NOT

“I’m the puppet master.”

Oof. It’s never a good look when someone calls themselves the puppet master. Typically, that means they’re in for a rude awakening. Ron nearly went home this week, and I believe he was only saved because Eric was a bigger physical threat. This teacher is clearly the leader of his alliance, and it may behoove the others to eliminate him going forward. Ron couldn’t keep his scheming a secret, and gave Wardog a great opportunity to shake things up. His tribal council performance also left much to be desired, and Jeff was easily able to poke holes in his logic. At this point, I doubt Ron will see the family visit.

Julia

GUS: JULIA CARTER – HOT

This was surprisingly a hard call to make. I agree with Victoria that making this move this week was too early, and I also don’t think Julia really showed much agency or worked in her best interest in making this move. It was very much a plan that she (and Gavin) inherited from Wardog, and it was most definitely designed explicitly to help Lesu get further in the game. With that being said, Julia’s efforts to figure out the truth of the Kama situation were genuine and thorough, and the evidence that she gathered did indicate that Eric did not see her as his ally. Her pulling in SO MANY PEOPLE (Victoria, possibly Aurora, although I think Aurora flipped separately and of her own volition) is also indicative of a larger strategic move than just following Wardog’s marching orders. Had Julia done this poorly, she could have easily brought votes upon her head, but she played it very well, and I think set herself up for a level of strategic mobility as the game continues.

ALI: JULIA CARTER – HOT

“It might be my time to make a big move.”

I went back and forth as to whether to give Julia a Hot or Not. On the one hand, I think that this move may have been too early. There would have been merit to sitting this one vote out, eliminating Kelley, and then flipping. Julia will have quite a few enemies going back to camp this week. However, I also have to look at what is best for Julia going forward. As of now, Julia was pretty much a nonentity in the game. In addition, had Kelley Wentworth gotten wind of a plan against her, she probably would have played her idol anyway. Ultimately, the question is if Julia’s target has grown since she made this move? I’m thinking no. There are so many bigger targets in front of Julia on both sides, and Julia did need to have some kind of move to claim as her own in order to win. Also, the fact that Julia was able to convince Gavin and Victoria to work with her (and not rat her out to Ron) indicates she may have more social capital than I thought. The chaotic tribal promised in the Next Time On makes it difficult to judge Julia’s security in the game, so I give her a hesitant Hot.

Julie

GUS: JULIE ROSENBERG – NOT

Although I still love Julie and am thrilled to have her in my draft (she’s the only one of my draft picks who I see as having even a semblance of a chance to win), her continuous sense of moral outrage at people who are trying to play Survivor is starting to grate on me. From her hypocritical horror at Kelley’s targeting Rick while she was getting ready to drink Joe’s blood to her weeping over Aurora’s bargaining with Victoria during Lauren’s fainting spell, it’s become clear that Julie really hasn’t had to play the game at all to this point. She said it herself right before the merge (maybe in a secret scene): “It’s hard to imagine us losing a challenge at this point.” There’s a secret scene wherein she’s rattling off all of the food items that Kama tribe had collected prior to the merge and realizing midway through that there was so much food she’d actually forgotten about a good deal of it. If Julie had ever had to scrounge or scavenge or scramble, I think she’d be a whole lot more sympathetic to her fellow castaways who are playing from the bottom and desperately trying to make things work. As it is, her attitude is only setting her up to either be gracelessly eliminated or to look like even more of a hypocrite when she starts scrambling.

ALI: JULIE ROSENBERG – NOT

“I’m gonna lose it.”

Julie voted in the minority this week, spelling bad news for her game. She’s been playing pretty emotionally lately, what with claiming that sending Rick back to Extinction is ‘evil’ and crying over Aurora’s negotiating with Victoria. Granted, I understand that the fainting episode, in particular, would be an emotional experience. It’s certainly never fun to see someone pass out, and, as a crier, I understand. Nonetheless, keeping one’s emotions in check is an essential part of the game, as is voting in the majority. I feel that we may be set up for a showdown between Aurora and the rest of the Kama. Based on Julie’s reaction to Aurora, I think there may be trouble ahead between these two. I don’t know if Julie will be able to keep her emotions in check while playing from the bottom, but I hope she surprises me.

Aurora

GUS: AURORA MCCREARY – HOT

This was really the only move for Aurora this week. Her alliance betrayed her pretty hard last week, and when she sought a measure of reconciliation, she had it thrown back in her face. There was very little she could have done other than flip over to the Lesu side. I’m not sure what her next move is; the game looks to have been blown wide open at this point, and she could work with just about anybody (well, except for Ron). Her extra vote is also going to make her either a highly valuable alliance member or be squandered or make her dangerous, but if she’s wise, she’ll keep that all to herself. As it stands, Aurora has a lot of options, and for both that and taking her destiny into her own hands, she’s getting herself a Hot this week.

ALI: AURORA MCCREARY – HOT

“I have no allegiances. I don’t care who I vote with at this point.”

I admire Aurora’s chutzpah. The lawyer in her came out this week during that negotiation scene, and I was living for it. Some found it distasteful, but all’s fair in Survivor. The question is, will this moment affect her game negatively going forward? At this point, it appears that the Lesu group is willing to work with her going forward, so it doesn’t look like she’s in any impending danger. Furthermore, Aurora has an extra vote. My one hang up is it looks like she may be headed for a conflict with Julie. As of now, though, she’s gotten herself in a much better position than she was in last week.

Victoria

GUS: VICTORIA BAAMONDE – HOT

Victoria was right when she said that flipping this week was too early. But, Ron’s mismanagement of his Kama alliance was so blatant, and Victoria was so very aware of the massive cracks that were forming, that she had no choice but to go along with it, so she did. I think this was a good move for Victoria because it allowed her to go with the flow in a way which is ultimately very likely to benefit her game while simultaneously keeping her out of anyone’s crosshairs – and just far enough under the radar that she’s not going to be triggering anyone’s “big move” alarm bells just yet. It also opened her up to additional alliances in the future (maybe) while only shutting her off from Ron, Julie and Rick, who it seems like she was already considering moving against at some point. All told, this was a good week in Victoria’s game.

ALI: VICTORIA BAAMONDE – HOT

“I just think you go one vote before you do any of this, I do.”

I think Victoria was right that the move was too early. However, she didn’t dig her heels in and ultimately went with the shifting winds. That’s good gameplay. Ultimately, I trust that Victoria will be able to manipulate her way through whatever chaos goes down at the next tribal.

Gavin

GUS: GAVIN WHITSON – NOT

Giving Gavin a Not this week when I already gave Julia a Hot may seem confusing at first, but let me explain. Julia, as outlined above, did a ton of strategic legwork this week. Gavin, as far as I know, did not. Gavin listened to Wardog. Gavin was there when Victoria was brought in on the plan. Gavin has many of the same avenues open to him that Julia does. But what differentiates Gavin and Julia is that Julia made the plan happen, and Gavin was just a number. How is this different from Victoria? It’s subtle, but Victoria has established herself as a strategic force and went out of her way to voice opposition to pulling a move like this so early. Gavin just kind of went with it. When it comes right down to it, even though Gavin did make a big move this week, there are none of his fingerprints on it – not even in an under-the-radar way. That could be good, in other cases, but I don’t see it as a good thing in this case – Gavin still has very little ink on his resumé, and all he did this week was act as he was told.  It was gutsy, it was brave, but it was handed to him on a tray.

ALI: GAVIN WHITSON – NOT

“I’m stepping my game back up and I’m coming in guns blazing.”

Gavin’s willingness to turn on Eric this week very much confused me. Up until last week, we saw the two of them working closely together. In post-game discussions on Twitter, Eric revealed that he too thought he and Gavin were a tight pair. It’s odd to me that someone would willingly choose to send someone they were close with to Extinction on the word of Julia and Wardog. To Gavin’s credit, it looked like he tried to sway Julia to vote out Ron instead. Regardless, Gavin’s move to send home a close ally went against his own interests, so I don’t know if I can give him a Hot this week. Plus, there’s going to be a reckoning for this move, and with Gavin being the most physically threatening of the flippers, his target will likely be the biggest.

Extinguished

Reem

GUS: REEM DALY – KINDLED

Yeah there’s not much to say here other than that Reem is great.

ALI: REEM DALY – ASHEN

“Don’t get too excited.”

Reem’s a gem. I think, at this point, her chances of getting back in the game are slim. However, I can’t wait to hear that jury speech.

Chris

GUS: CHRIS UNDERWOOD – KINDLED

No change.

ALI: CHRIS UNDERWOOD – KINDLED

“I’m comin’ for ya, Aubry.”

Physically, Chris should rock Extinction. By physique alone, he has one of the best chances of getting back in the game.

Aubry

GUS – AUBRY BRACCO – KINDLED

ADVANTAGES ABOUND HOORAY FOR AUBRY!

ALI: AUBRY BRACCO – KINDLED

“I already have my shoes on, because I know what happens when there’s news on Extinction.”

Found an advantage and sent Aurora an extra vote. Editing wise, it doesn’t look like Aubry’s story is over. From a storytelling perspective, I’m wondering if Aubry’s the one who gets back in.

Joe

GUS: JOE ANGLIM – ASHEN

I am not claiming that Joe is ever going to quit, but he sure is awfully bummed out.

ALI: JOE ANGLIM – KINDLED

“That’s all you gotta do; just keep it — keep it together.”

Extinction Island was made for Joe. He’s not going anywhere.

Eric

GUS: ERIC HAFEMANN – KINDLED

We’ve got a lot of tough guys at the Edge.

ALI: ERIC HAFEMANN – KINDLED

“Let’s use our numbers that we so craftily acquired.”

With Eric, all three members of my draft are on Extinction. I’m the First One Out of the Inside Survivor Draft. Josh Wigler, I am available for an interview. Physically, Eric has the best chance of my draft team to get back in the game. I need one of Eric, Aubry, or Reem to pull a Rick and reenter. Eric isn’t going anywhere.

TrashTalkZOne
ALI: First, I just wanted to officially pour one out for my draft team. Okay, let’s continue.

GUS: We’re shockingly simpatico this week. No disagreements besides Joe and Reem.

ALI: This week is making me so nervous, and this is just another sign that things are about to get crazy. I have my tin foil hat on. I’m freaking out.

GUS: Oh yeah. I have no idea what’s going to happen this week. It seems like we’ve fractured into three groups: Lesu (David, Wentworth, Lauren, Wardog), Old Kama (Ron, Julie, Rick), and New Kama (Victoria, Gavin, Julia, Aurora), and I have no idea who wants to work with whom. It seems from the preview that New Kama is actually fractured within itself, with names being thrown out all over the place, so I really don’t even know who’s being targeted. All of the history that we’ve been working from has been at least partially upended. Also, can I just admit that my betting on Ron did not pay dividends? Because it did not pay dividends. That was a big loss on my part.

ALI: I may have rubbed that in your face quite a lot during the episode. We had friends over. It gave them quite an insight into our relationship… Anyway, we have the makings of a three-way tie. We have an idol that’s split in half with the two holders working in different directions. This has the makings of a pretty explosive tribal.

GUS: I just want a 2 2 2 2 2 1 vote split. Is that too much to ask for?

ALI: That would be insanity… and epically bad gameplay on everyone’s part.

GUS: I know it’s completely unrealistic and there’s no indication that anything like that would happen, but I just… I really want it. Realistically, however, I think it’s much more likely that we see a three-way split with three idols played, supposing that Rick and David can reconcile their stupid (on Rick’s part) differences.

ALI: But it looks like Jeff’s comment about this being a crazy tribal occurs before the votes are read, which is interesting. That leads me to believe that it has something to do with that split idol.

GUS: Definitely. I predicted in one of my write-ups that we get a double Rimmer/Zahalsky, but I feel like after one of them drops it the other one dropping it doesn’t really carry any weight. Maybe they rock-paper-scissors for it during tribal?

ALI: That would be hilarious. Alright, let’s talk about our disagreements.

GUS: Oh yeah. Let me clarify that my ranking for Joey Ashenmazing is not reflecting my belief that he’s screwed or not going to come back. It’s indicative of his continuing bout of dismay and disappointment throughout the past few episodes. Less of a reflection of his ashen gameplay and more of a reflection on his ashen mood. He doesn’t seem to be making those terrific Extinction social bonds we’d hoped for; he’s not (as far as we know) doing a So-Pa Ozzy style fish-bonding with everyone on Extinction, he’s just sort of moping. And I don’t blame him for that, but if he continues, I’m going to be concerned about his winner potential (more than I already am).

Joe1

Photo: CBS

ALI: I get that. To be fair to Joe, everyone’s first day on EoE has a sequence of them moping. It’s not just him. So I think that was just a day one sort of sadness. I assume that Joe is going to go Survivor MacGyver once again and turn EoE into a very nice home for all of them. Joe also has the advantage of not having had a hand in any of the eliminations that have occurred during the whole game. No one has anything against him necessarily. I do worry for him once he’s back in the game because I think he becomes the instant #1 target. I think it’ll be similar to the Ozzy situation where he comes back in and goes right back out. If you’re giving him an Ashen for that reason, then I can get behind that. Mine was more due to the fact that he’s a big contender for returning (though edit wise, I think it might be Aubry.)

GUS: Sure. I hear where you’re coming from there and I agree. He’s a huge contender. But he’s also going to get slammed with every single disadvantage that other folks are able to find because of who he is, so he’ll be playing from behind during the challenge. But I also feel like if he comes back in and is in the Final Tribal Council, he’s got nothing to say that’ll justify a win. Sure, pre-merge he kept his tribe safe, but he failed to do anything to secure safety for himself in the long-term, and the Kamas probably aren’t going to just hand him a win because he helped them earlier in the game.

ALI: The Kamas are definitely not going to hand him the win. Those folks are here to play this game, as last week showed. I think we both agree with Joe’s position in the game; I just don’t feel like I can give him an Ashen because the only way he’s leaving Extinction is with a challenge or on a stretcher.

GUS: Yeah, that’s fair. I just don’t really see anybody quitting at this point. For the pre-merge people, they’ll probably succumb to a sunk-cost fallacy and refuse to leave because they’ve been in the game for so long. For the post-merge folks, I don’t see them going because they haven’t even had a chance to get back into the game yet. Let’s circle back to Reem. I will never not give her a Kindled, even if she flat out says, “screw this, dude, I’m frickin’ outta here. This is lame, dude. Later.” She’s a damn gem, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she just angry’d her way into the Final Three. I mean, she isn’t going to win, but still.

ALI: Lol “angry her way to the Final Three.” I guess I’m just looking at it from Reem’s perspective. I’m there 20 something days at this point, I’ve made zero friends, and hunkcicle after hunkcicle is making his way to the Edge… It would be really tempting to quit. I love Reem, and I think she’s in it for the long haul, but if there were anyone who would say “screw it” I think it’d be her. I also think that she has the smallest chance of returning to the game out of everyone on Extinction.

GUS: No, you’re completely right. I just think she’s neat. It’s more a matter of principle than anything else. Shall we make our predictions? One safe, one not safe? I’ll be shooting in the dark this week.

ALI: As will I. I think safe… I feel good about Kelley.

GUS: I was gonna say Kelley, but I’ll say Lauren. I just don’t see either of them going out with idols in their respective pockets. In danger… I think Gavin could see some blowback from this week.

ALI: I think that’s a safe bet. I sort of want to pick Julia for similar reasons, but something about how the players have been hyping up this episode has made me feel like it’s someone really shocking that goes out.

GUS: By the way, does that kind of irk you a little bit? I’m all for hype, but the players trumpeting on social media how extraordinary a tribal is feels kind of like a spoiler because now we all know to expect something unexpected (#juliechenmoonves).

ALI: Consider me very irked. I like my crazy tribals to be a surprise. In terms of who is in danger: I think it would be strangely poetic, considering that Jessica went home in a rock draw on MvGX because of David’s civil war with Zeke… if David went home in a rock draw tonight. That’s my prediction. It’s David after Rick throws the idol in the fire and forces a rock draw.

GUS: I like it. Ooh, or maybe Rick throws his idol in the fire, but David grabs it OUT of the fire. That would be appropriately epic for all the reactions this week. I’ll tell you what: that’s my official prediction for the shocked faces.

ALI: That would be INSANE! You know, we should really write Survivor fan fiction. We’ve gotten really good at it.

GUS: Speak for yourself. My fan fiction is nonsensical at best. I think that’s a wrap?

ALI: That’s a wrap on week 8.

GUS: Later all!


Alexandra "Ali" Shields is a sketch writer and playwright from Chicago and a graduate from Northwestern University. Alexandra has published humor articles with The Second City Network and cracked.com. Alexandra’s play, Twelve, won first place in the Jackie White National Memorial Playwriting Contest in 2018. Gus Schlanbusch is a Chicago-based playwright, theatre director and Survivor fan. His plays have been produced in Chicago, Detroit and Boston. He is a relatively new survivor superfan, his first live season having been Season 33, but Ali has caught him up pretty thoroughly on what he missed before then.