We will be running Edgic as a weekly feature throughout Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, mapping each player’s edit and story progression. If you are unfamiliar with what exactly Edgic is then, you can get caught up with our Introduction to Edgic article. Rather than using Edgic to focus primarily on determining who the winner is, we will be using Edgic as a device to work out what it tells us about these characters and their story-arc.
Survivor Edgic – Cambodia Episode 1
Inside Survivor’s Edgic for Episode 1 was worked out based on our reading of the episode, combined with the opinions of the Survivor Sucks forum. However, while those who run Edgic on Survivor Sucks follow a strict set of rules, here at Inside Survivor we are a bit more lenient. For example, visibility is usually calculated simply by the amount of confessionals and tribal council questions a castaway receives, but we have taken into account the amount of physical screen-time (ie. how much a particular castaway is shown on screen – whether at camp, in confessionals, at challenges or at tribal).
|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|
What Does This Tell Us?
The Ta Keo tribe dominated the episode. Obviously, a big reason for that is because Ta Keo went to tribal council, but even prior to that, the Ta Keo tribe members received a more personal edit that helped flesh out their characters – which suggests they will play a significant role in the season. Whereas on Bayon, half of the tribe received low-visibility, neutral MOR edits, and Bayon’s Monica had the weakest edit of the premiere with an UTR1.
Under The Radar
Monica’s edit in Samoa started the exact same way – UTR1 for the first three episodes. Judging solely from this first episode, Monica is not only the least likely to win but the least likely to have an impact on the story-arc of the season. To receive an UTR edit in the first episode of a returnee season is not a good sign. The short confessional she was given was generic and situational rather than about her long-term strategy or thoughts on camp life. This doesn’t mean that Monica couldn’t last a long time, it just means she is unlikely to play a significant role in the season narrative.
Woo is in a very similar position even though he had slightly more visbility than Monica. The majority of Woo’s visibility came during tribal council when Probst asked him several questions. But he received this tribal council focus because he was out of the loop and therefore provided great sound-bites to sell the confusion and panic of the immediate tribal council twist. He was hardly present back at camp, and the early confessional he received was about winning his “black belt” – his character was unchanged from Cagayan. Woo will not be driving the narrative of the season.
Over The Top
On the opposite end of the spectrum are those with episode one OTT edits. There is a chance they could win the season but it’s much more likely they’ll be used as big characters to tell a specific story. If we look back to the last all returnee season, Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, four people received episode one OTT edits: Coach, Rupert, Russell and Sugar. Sugar was obviously the first boot and therefore dominated the episode with an OTTN edit. Coach was a significant character in the pre-merge game at the Villains camp. Rupert was the biggest embodiment of a Survivor “Hero”. And of course Russell was the new villain on the block that drove the narrative of the season.
They were all caricatures. And caricatures don’t win Survivor. Which isn’t a good sign for Abi, Joe, Stephen and Wiglesworth. As we covered in the Introduction to Edgic post, Abi has one of the most negative story arcs in the history of Survivor. That streak continued with the first episode of Cambodia. Despite talking about wanting to grow and learn from her mistakes, Abi simply went from aggressive to passive-aggressive. The story the editors are trying to tell with Abi this season is – can she change her negative ways? Judging by the next episode preview, the answer seems to be no.
Stephen has a different type of OTTN edit. He wasn’t made out to be a negative or aggressive person but instead he was portrayed as socially inept and out of the loop. He was given the buffoon edit, and shown to be making amateur mistakes – such as looking for an idol too early. Now, Stephen was shown to be out of his depth socially in the first episode of Tocantins too, but it was a much more subtle edit (his rating for episode one of Tocantins was MOR2). The ridiculousness of his edit this time doesn’t give much hope for Stephen long-term, but he could have a significant pre-merge story arc – similar to his former cast-mate Coach in HvV.
On the positive side of the OTT edits, we have Kelly Wiglesworth and Joe. The good sign is that an early OTTP edit means that there is a strong chance of making a deep run in the game. Rupert made it to sixth place in Heroes vs. Villains despite not having much involvement with the strategy or overall story arc – but he was a recognizable character that the editors could rely on to sell the battle between the Heroes and the Villains. This is pretty much how the editors will be using Joe and Wiglesworth this season.
Joe is the most recent golden boy. He is portrayed as likeable, strong, and attractive. But his edit in episode one was so over the top positive that it in a way it’s just as bad as Abi’s in regards to chances of winning the season. He was shown building the shelter, starting a fire, leading a yoga class, and winning the challenge. Even other members of his tribe gushed about him in over the top terms – namely Savage and Tasha. The edit never showed any development of Joe from the previous time he played. He did not present a new strategy. People talked about him in terms of being physical and attractive – no one is talking about how smart Joe is. In fact, the most telling part of Joe’s edit was Keith’s confessional where he mocked Joe and his yoga. If Keith is poking fun at you then you are not going to be the one running the game.
Similarly, Wiglesworth was presented as a screwed over, robbed Survivor goddess. She was the character that the entire Second Chance theme is centered around – whether she likes it or not. She was given the first confessional, she was introduced by Probst at the marooning (and received a round of applause), and the first immunity challenge was based on her previous failures. But Wiglesworth isn’t doing much of anything herself – she is working hard around camp and hoping that will keep her safe. It is the edit and Jeff Probst that are creating Wiglesworth’s story-arc, but it is a forced OTTP edit. This suggests Wiglesworth will be used like Rupert in HvV; she may not drive the narrative or win, but she will be used to sell the concept of the season.
Middle Of The Road
The MOR people are the hardest to read. Starting the season with a MOR edit is certainly not a bad thing; it means the editors want to keep these characters semi-present so that the audience is familiar with them should they become a more active part of the narrative later in the season. For example, Sandra started Heroes vs. Villains with a MOR3 edit. Eight people received MOR edits in the Cambodia premiere – almost half the cast! So how do we determine which of these players have the potential of making it far and which are non-entities?
There is a simple trick we can use to determine which of the MOR people will have a lasting effect on the season. All we have to do is re-watch the opening segment of the premiere and look at which of them received an introductory confessional. Out of the eight MOR edits, five of them had a confessional in the season-opening: Ciera, Kass, Kimmi, Savage, and Tasha. This isn’t a good omen for Keith, Peih-Gee and Terry. A MOR edit combined with no opening confessional would mean their chances of winning or running the narrative are slim to none.
Again, much like with Monica, this doesn’t mean that Keith, Peih-Gee and/or Terry couldn’t make a deep run. It just means that Cambodia won’t be the story of their journey – they will be side-characters in the narrative of bigger characters.
Those more prominent characters could be any of the other five that received a MOR edit and an opening confessional. Kimmi and Tasha, for example, were given prominent confessionals with loaded content. There is an argument that could be made for Tasha having an OTT edit, in the sense that what she said was very exaggerated: talking about how she isn’t going to play nice this time and how she’ll pray for forgiveness afterward is a very villain-like statement to make. Tasha’s edit in episode one suggests she will play a larger role later in the season.
Kimmi too had a very powerful opening confessional about the Angkor Wat temple and what this opportunity means to her. And she was given just enough screen-time at camp to keep her relevant. I wouldn’t say that Kimmi will become a strategic force, but her edit so far suggests she will be a remembered character.
Savage is interesting because his MOR edit was clearly a positive one. He was presented as the leader of Bayon with great work ethic. This edit isn’t a million miles away from Savage’s edit in Pearl Islands; the only difference is he got much less screen-time here because of the focus given to the Ta Keo characters. The story the editors are trying to tell with Savage is whether his style of leadership and gameplay can work in Survivor. Was he screwed just because of the Outcasts twist or was he always screwed because of his style of play?
Ciera and Kass could go either way. Kass was a big character in Cagayan and Ciera became a big character towards the end of Blood vs. Water. It’s difficult to call right now. They could have a short-term story-arc or become part of a long-term story arc within the next few episodes.
By and large, CP edits tend to have the best chances of winning and driving the season narrative. Characters that have a majority of CP edits are often victorious; take for example Mike Holloway from last season and Natalie Anderson from San Juan Del Sur – both had nine CP edits overall. This is good news for Jeff, Jeremy, Kelley Wentworth, Shirin, and Spencer. If you were to place bets after one episode then putting your money on one of those five would be the smart play.
But obviously, not all of them can win. Not all of them can even control the narrative. Just because you start with a CP edit doesn’t automatically make you immune until the merge. Plenty of players that began episode one with a CP edit became early boots – just look at Cirie and Tom in Heroes vs. Villains. So how do we differentiate the CP players? Again, we can use the opening segment as an indicator. The only CP people not to receive an introductory confessional were Shirin and Vytas, and of course, Vytas was the first boot. What does that mean for Shirin?
Shirin played a big role in the Vytas boot. She probably had the most dominant strategic edit of the episode. Good news for the short-term but not necessarily good for the long-term. All of her confessionals were situational; they were all relating to Vytas. She wasn’t shown talking about the second chance theme or how she plans to change this season. Perhaps more damaging is Jeff Varner’s assessment of Shirin in his confessional. Varner described Shirin as the conductor of the train, going a mile a minute and not slowing down. This paints an image of Shirin possibly over-playing.
Speaking of Jeff Varner, his CP edit was the most rounded of the episode. Everything that CBS wanted out of Kelly Wiglesworth – the old schooler coming to grips with the new school game – was delivered bigger and better by Varner. While the editors had to force an overly positive edit on Wiglesworth, Varner created his own narrative as an out of his depth old-timer coming to terms with the intricacies of modern day Survivor. The most hilarious thing is that Varner is playing the editors just as much as he is playing the contestants. We all know how much Varner has been playing pre-game – he knows exactly how fast the game moves – but he is portraying a journey. The man worked in television for god knows how long – he gets it!
Varner’s confessional about how this isn’t a mid-life crisis, but instead, a mid-life quest was probably the most positive and personal one of the episode. Judging by episode one, Varner’s journey is going to be a significant part of this season.
Kelley Wentworth went from the under-edited unknown in San Juan Del Sur, to the shining star of the Cambodia premiere. Obviously finding the idol clue and being the first person to take part in the brand new twist of the season (finding the idol at the challenge) meant that she was guaranteed to receive significant screen-time. If you remember back to the Worlds Apart premiere, Carolyn received a similar CP edit after discovering the hidden idol but then subsequently disappeared for the majority of the season. There is a possibility that that could happen to Wentworth too but there is a glimmer of hope because of two things. 1) She got an opening confessional 2) She got the most obvious winner quote of the episode:
“I think I definitely have to take into consideration the game I played last time. I didn’t take as many risks as I should have. You don’t always get second chances. And I’m not going to waste it.”
You can look even further into Wentworth’s episode one edit by focusing specifically on the opening segment and the title credits. In the opening where we saw each of the castaways walking through the Angkor Wat temple, Wentworth was first in line, leading the way:
But in the title credits we were presented with a completely different shot of the castaways walking through the temple (Ciera Eastin revealed on Twitter that production filmed multiple alternate versions of the temple walk). This time we see Wentworth in the centre of the shot:
This could be reading into things too closely, but it does bring up an interesting question. Why would production film so many alternate versions? The answer of course would be to give them more choice. But that then suggests there was intention behind that choice. Why include a different shot in the titles that immediately contradicts the shot that came just minutes before?
Then we have Jeremy and Spencer; the so called “game-bots”. Both of them received the most long-term strategic confessionals of the episode. Jeremy was quick to once again put an alliance together by having separate one-on-one talks with many of his tribe-mates. Last time Jeremy aligned himself with weaker physical threats and ended up becoming the main target at the merge – here he surrounded himself with alpha meat-shields. Spencer, on the other hand, talked about how this time he needs to connect with people more, and we saw him doing that with Terry, and he was on the right side of the vote. This is a good sign for both men. They were shown to be learning from past mistakes and putting new plans into action. Expect them to be around a while and to become strong narrators of the season.
Vytas Baskauskas, the victim of the first boot edit. There is certainly an argument that could be made for Vtyas having an OTT edit; especially with the way the editors portrayed him as a creepy yoga teacher. But, Vytas received a significant amount of screen-time and a chance to explain his thought process at tribal council. This leans more to a CP edit. However, because he was the first boot, the show needed to present an easy to understand the reason for his ouster, hence why his CP edit was a highly negative one.
That is it for Week 1 of Survivor Second Chance Edgic. Please let us know in the comments how you would have rated each castaway based on episode one.