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 read our Introduction to Edgic article.
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What Does This Tell Us?
What is interesting to note about Episode 8 is that there weren’t any Middle of the Road ratings. This tells us that there was a lot of complex strategizing in this episode and that the game wasn’t straight-forward. If things were straight-forward and easy, we would have seen a lot more MOR ratings. That is a good sign for things to come. It should mean momentum keeps building because there is this majority alliance that we already saw starting to turn on each other, and even though they ended up back on track by the end of the episode, they were then thrown off track again by an idol. It was almost like fate intervening and saying, no, this isn’t a straight-forward story. The complexity of this episode and the strategy lets us know that the train is in danger of going off the rails.
Under The Radar
Oh, Kelly Wiglesworth. Still no confessional. Still UTR. This episode she was back to being the Borneo mascot, as Jeff Probst tried to milk a redemption story out of her reward challenge performance. Wiglesworth barely humored Probst.
There was something that did stand out about Wiglesworth’s edit this episode, though, and that was the fact that they didn’t show her tribal council vote over the end credits. As far as I’m aware (and let me know if I’m mistaken), this is the first time in Survivor history that the edit didn’t show us a particular player’s vote. Why did this happen? Was it a timing issue? If so, then why choose to leave out Wiglesworth’s vote and not somebody else’s?
During Keith’s tuk-tuk ride, Wiglesworth smiled and showed happiness. It was one of the first times we have seen her that excited. During tribal council when everyone else was smiling and laughing and gasping, she was back to her bored non-expression; totally disinterested. This is why we didn’t see her vote. She’s not playing the game. Her vote is useless. You can’t vote if you’re not in the game.
Kimmi is falling dangerously close into Wiglesworth territory. She has now had three low-visibility UTR edits in a row. We said last week that Episode 7 solidified her role as a tool for someone else’s story, and Episode 8 didn’t do anything to make us question that reading.
She received one confessional at the reward about how it was “super special” and how she felt “super excited.” It didn’t tell us anything about Kimmi’s perspective on the game or where she stands. It was super UTR.
“It was nice to get just a little glimpse of what life is like outside the game for just a little while.” This is the editors talking to us – the audience! The editors are saying, here’s a little glimpse of the people outside the game. Kimmi, Kelly Wiglesworth, and Keith (all on the reward) have the most consistent UTR edits and are the ones commonly seen as less active players within the game. This was our little glimpse of them. And what did they do? Keith took them all on a tuk-tuk ride as soon as Ciera started talking game. He literally drove them away from the game.
Abi-Maria continues on her UTR stint. She hasn’t had a confessional since the merge. We only hear her speak two or three lines per episode now. The funny thing is, everything she says could be referring to herself and her actions pre-merge.
“Get over it.”
“What are those creatures that eat dead people? Vultures.”
Abi has essentially turned into a comic relief character similar to Keith; except her comic relief is centered around negative commentary, whereas Keith’s comedy is always light-hearted and positive. She says what we’re all thinking, but normal social conventions would never allow us to say out loud – let alone in a social game! Her role as the Greek chorus at tribal council, commenting on the drama taking place around her, was clearly for the benefit of the viewing audience.
We are no longer getting the histrionic, argumentative Abi that we are meant to hate. We are seeing the comical mean-girl Abi that says what we’re all thinking. Her position in the game hasn’t changed, but her relationship with the audience has developed. And if you want to continue the “cancer to an alliance” story, she once again voted out a former ally, this time, Andrew Savage.
We talked last week about how Tasha’s edit was the least consistent out of her and the other top winner contenders (Kelley Wentworth, Jeremy, and Spencer). She returned to her previous Angkor only CP edit last week when the story revolved around her and Kass and had she continued on that trajectory this week then we could have definitely kept Tasha in the running.
However, with Kass gone, Tasha slipped back down into UTR. This kind of inconsistency is not a good sign. She was listed as one of the four people in power by Ciera at tribal council, and we saw Stephen approach her to try and sell her on voting out Joe – “we could do that” she responded.
But she wasn’t given any actual content of her own showing her flexing any power. She looked like a pawn or a messenger. She’s definitely in a solid position and perceived to have power. But she isn’t the one captaining the ship.
Hold on, the hero of Cambodia, Spencer Bledsoe, had a UTR rating? While some may be hesitant to rank Spencer as UTR, especially given his edit and story so far, it doesn’t hurt his overall arc or winner chances. In fact, having a quieter episode can often be a good thing, particularly since last week Spencer had a massive edit setting up the post-merge story-lines.
He had one short confessional this week that wasn’t very substantial – it was basically there to validate that Stephen wasn’t crazy for wanting to target Joe. But while Spencer may not have been overt in this episode, he had lots of positive content that really set him up as a long-term character and/or potential winner.
“A disaster!” Probst yelled when Spencer fell overboard at the reward challenge. Including the word “disaster” in a player’s edit is a huge red flag. Yet we saw Spencer get straight back on the boat, averting disaster. What does this say? It’s an analogy for his game. He can make a disastrous mistake and recover from it instantly; which we have seen him do time and time again this season.
Spencer’s game itself is far from a disaster. He was shown to be in the loop with the majority alliance. He was present for the big group discussion when Jeremy laid out the plan. He was one of the people Stephen went to with his Joe blindside plan. And the best thing, despite being in this big alliance, Spencer wasn’t called out as one of the power people. Instead, he was the only one out of the big group to acknowledge that Ciera had a point. He was also the only person shown to bring up idols.
“Maybe they’re just waiting for a flip…” Spencer said. There are clues that even though it appears as if Spencer is a cog in the Bayon Strong alliance, he is aware of what is going on outside of it. “If I was in your position I’d have done the exact same thing,” he said about Wentworth. He can empathize with the underdogs. With his talk last week about changing voting-blocs, Spencer could have been foreshadowing an upcoming flip.
Over The Top
Keith’s edit in Episode 8 cemented him as the season’s comic relief with a joyous OTT edit. As we said earlier, he is the opposite of Abi. He is the positive kind of comic relief. Taking us on a joy-ride from the game. He makes his fellow cast members laugh, and he makes us laugh.
“Here I am driving a tuk-tuk on the beach in Cambodia with my buddies, hauling ‘em around like a taxi driver. This is a heck of an adventure.”
It is funny, we have always referred to Keith as a passenger this season, and then in this episode, he literally became a driver. But I think it is important to look at what kind of driver Keith became. A “taxi driver”. What does a taxi driver do? They drive others to their destination. The taxi driver doesn’t get to go with them once they arrive at the destination – he has to go make his next pick up.
“My first goal on Survivor: make the jury. I’m like, “Wow, I did it.” It’s not often in life that you have these really huge, hunking dreams that you carry for years and years, and then suddenly it happens.”
That line is how Andrew Savage started Episode 8. He achieved his dream of making the jury. In the words of Jeff Probst “part of the idea of the second chance season is to rid yourself of those things that have haunted you”. Savage was haunted by Pearl Islands and not making the jury. In hindsight, it was evident from the very start of this episode that the edit was setting us up for a Savage elimination.
The edit continued to portray him as the OTT moral caricature that called others “disgusting” for scheming and lying; despite this being something Savage himself had done with Spencer and was planning to do with Stephen (he was even given Psycho serial killer music cues for his scheming). He was shown to be a hypocrite. Yet even in his hypocritical scheming, Savage couldn’t get what he wanted, as Jeremy put an end to his plans. “As a lawyer, I pleaded my case, and I’m used to kind of getting what I want, and I didn’t, so…I’m disappointed.”
He was also laughed at by Wentworth at the immunity challenge when he lost and flipped off the ball; the perfect foreshadowing of Wentworth taking him out later that night at tribal council. He was also laughed at by Abi upon leaving tribal council. Savage became a joke.
Kelley Wentworth had her shining moment in Episode 8. The culmination of a great idol story? Or the birth of a serious player? That is now the debate concerning Wentworth’s edit.
Everyone in this episode flirted with balls. Wentworth was the only one who had them. Everyone talked about making a big move:
Savage – “I know they’re planning a big move. I can see it in their eyes.”
Stephen – “The people who I need to make a big move are off on the reward bonding with Joe.”
Joe – “Voting out Stephen would be a pretty big move.”
Ciera – “Nobody wants to make a big move!”
Wentworth even said herself at tribal council “Somebody came to me to make a big move.” Emphasizing that others were talking about it, not her. She was happy to continue her stealthy, under the radar gameplay. But for all the talk of big moves, nobody followed through. Except for the one person who didn’t talk about making a big move. Wentworth finally used the idol that we have heard so much about, and to great effect.
There wasn’t any real complexity to her edit in this episode. She represented the highs and lows of the audience and the tension of the episode. YAY REWARD. YAY LETS VOTE STEPHEN. BOO JOE HAS NO BALLS; HE’S DEAD TO ME. IDOL DROP. BOOM. It was completely OTT and exactly what was needed to build to the climax.
As an audience, we were down when she was down at the beginning, and a Pagoning was imminent. Then we were high when she was high at the end when she played her idol. She was a magnification of the audience’s emotion. Literally dramatizing the emotional journey the editors were putting on throughout this episode. The question is, will she continue to play this role? Or will she fade into the background now that her idol has gone? The next episode will tell us a lot about Wentworth’s arc.
Most of the people left in the game have a relatively consistent edit with a couple of blips here and there. Stephen by far has the weirdest, most inconsistent edit. He started off OTT with negative tone. Then slipped to MOR with negative tone. Then became UTR background noise before emerging as a CP character but this time with positive tone. Then returning to MOR, and now back to CP but with a mixed tone. It’s tough to get a firm grasp on what story the editors are trying to tell with Stephen.
His mixed tone is mainly down to the negatives from Savage (“disgusting”) and Abi (“Debbie Downer”), and he also referred to himself as Ahab in his Moby Dick analogy – Ahab who was insane. But he also had support from others confirming that he wasn’t insane. As we said, Spencer’s whole confessional was validation for Stephen, and later Jeremy talked about how much he trusts Stephen.
This episode also showed that he had made solid relationships. “Stephen apparently has more connections in this game than I realized,” Joe said, which not only demonstrated Joe’s naïvety but further validated Stephen. Jeremy sided with Stephen over Savage – despite all the damage Savage had done to Stephen’s reputation back in the old Bayon days – finally bringing to an end that chapter.
Stephen had the connections and was seen doing the legwork to put his blindside Joe plan into effect. Jeremy was shown as willing to go along with this at the start. Had Joe not won immunity it was maybe a possibility. “I have to get in the front seat and drive.” Another driving reference that this time highlights Stephen’s arc – will he be able to take control of the game or will he remain a passenger?
Ciera continues to bloom like we predicted she would if she made the merge. Now three CP edits in a row. While she may have gotten negative tone in Episode 7, the edit has done a lot to protect Ciera. She is portrayed as someone playing a great game in spite of being on the bottom.
For example, at tribal council, Probst says, “Ciera you want big moves, make one, do you know who the four are? (in control)” Ciera then names them. That is the edit telling us that she just made a big move. And on top of that, she correctly named the people presented as being in control, including the divide between Joe and Stephen, who are fighting each other for that fourth spot. We are also shown Stephen being receptive to working with her. The edit is constantly showing us that Ciera is playing hard.
The crazy thing is, there is no reconciliation for why she is on the bottom. The edit seems to be saying that she just happened to fall on the wrong side of the numbers. Usually, if you are on the bottom it’s because you made a mistake or played a bad game, and the edit will be quick to highlight that. In the case of Ciera, they’re sweeping under the rug anything negative about how she ended up where she is.
The only cue that could explain her position is what Jeremy said at the beginning of this episode about wanting to target the girls because he believes the girls are targetting the men. That is the only reason given. Ciera’s whole speech at tribal council about “play the game” is why we are shown her as being on the bottom. She is upsetting the Bayon Strong/Jeremy status quo.
Jeremy had a quiet merge episode, but as expected, he returned to his comfortable CP position in Episode 8. In the beginning, we were shown that he was finally willing to blast away a meat-shield in favor of leaning on a strong bond (Stephen). He got credit for squashing Joe and Savage’s “big move” plans and was able to dictate the vote, explaining to the audience why that was the right move for him.
However, for the first time, he called the wrong shot. He talked about wanting to have “all the bullets”. He did not have all the bullets. Although he had most of them, he didn’t realize Wentworth had a bigger bullet. Fortunately for Jeremy, one of his meat-shields was hit before him.
There is also something to be said for his comment at tribal council about the girls not knowing what they’re are talking about. When his back was against the wall, and he was called out as a power player, he did a pretty bad job of deflecting and for the first time this season it made him look not perfect. 1) We as the audience knew that he was lying 2) He was condescending to the girls and 3) He pretty much acknowledged that he was in charge.
Last week he was the lone smart guy that told us “It’s always good to split the votes.” But this week he got cocky and comfortable. I don’t think this a huge strike against Jeremy or his chances of winning. It was possibly just set up because they knew he was about to lose out on the vote. There was still plenty of stuff he did right in the episode which was highlighted. How he recovers next episode will be telling.
Joe had his most substantial edit to date but despite winning the immunity challenge for the second week in a row, it wasn’t all positive.
“I know they don’t want me with them at some point.”
“People will only be loyal so long, and I myself am only going to be loyal so long.”
“Stephen is gunning for me. No surprise. He’s a smart guy, and I know I’m a threat. So I knew this was coming.”
“I know my name is being floated around everywhere.”
“Joe is a big threat” is a common theme this season but the person perpetuating that idea the most is Joe himself. The edit is pounding us over the head with Joe’s perception that everyone is gunning for him and that no one will be loyal. In reality, we are only really shown Stephen gunning for him. Others are actively trying to work with Joe: Jeremy, Savage, Ciera, Wentworth, etc.
Rather than working on creating deep bonds and relationships – something that Spencer has told us (over and over again) is vital this season – Joe is straying further and further away from that. Instead of establishing relationships and loyalty, he is already planning to screw people over because of his fear they’re coming for him. “Apparently, Stephen has more connections in this game that I realized” – i.e., apparently Stephen has more connections than me.
Could that be Joe’s downfall? Not so much that he’s a threat but that he is so paranoid about being a threat. This goes back to Episode 5 when the Ta Keo 5 alliance was created, and we saw Joe say to their faces that he needs protection at the merge because he will be the biggest threat.
This episode also highlighted that Joe isn’t a strategist. After winning immunity, Joe says in a confessional that he is going to take out Stephen. But when we see Joe attempting to put this plan into motion by talking to Ciera and Wentworth, the edit gives him goofy clown music. Wentworth laughs at him: “Look at you; you’re so evil right now.” It’s almost mocking in tone. Then, without Joe present, those in the alliance who are actually calling the shots, squash the Stephen plan and decide to vote for a girl.
Joe is shown to be in the dark; he asks Tasha “What’s going on?” He didn’t have the connections he needed to pull a strategic plan together and was out of the loop with his alliance. “Joe will not grow a pair of balls.” When the proverbial immunity balls are in Joe’s court, and he tries to flex his game muscles, he’s like a clown doing a circus act.
That is it for Week 8 of Survivor Second Chance Edgic. Please let us know in the comments how you would have rated each castaway based on Episode 8.