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 and rating definitions read our Introduction to Edgic article.
We use a different color scheme than traditional Edgic. We wanted the bigger character ratings, the OTTs and CPs of the world, to stand out. So we made all of these colors bolder and brighter. Simultaneously we wanted the less important character ratings, particularly the UTRs, to blend into the background, as the characters do on the show. So we made these colors duller, more gray and brown. We also looked at the tonal dimensions — negative to positive — and wanted to make it visually consistent whether a character was portrayed positively or negatively. To that end, we reserved all variations of red and pink for the negative ratings, and all the positive ratings are variations on green.
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The recap started with the Jeff Probst voiceover telling us, “Sarah shared her secret to gain an ally,” reshowing us Sarah telling Cirie about her Vote Steal advantage. “And Sierra followed suit.” We saw Sierra telling Sarah about the Legacy Advantage and promising it to Sarah if she gets voted out. “But it backfired,” Probst said, as we got a clip of Sarah plotting Sierra’s elimination.
“At tribal council, Sarah’s plan worked, and she was willed the advantage.” Sarah was given credit for the move. All of this, including the focus on Andrea’s confused look at Sarah’s fake-shock, was setting up the events of this episode – Sarah taking out Andrea, Sarah giving Cirie the Vote Steal, etc.
Under The Radar
Troyzan finally got a confessional! It was only two sentences long, but hey, that’s something at least. His one confessional was to remind us that he is in possession of an idol: “I’m going to Tribal with my idol, and if I feel like I’m in trouble, I’ll play it.” He didn’t play it in this episode, so the mention of it now is probably a good indicator it will be used in the season finale.
Other than that, it was a pretty standard Troyzan edit. No insight from him on the wider game or the tribe dynamics or his plans on reaching the finals. There was one small interesting note, and that was when Aubry said, “Troyzan is someone who is likable…” It was somewhat out of nowhere given that the edit has barely highlighted Troyzan’s social game and relationships – it’s barely highlighted Troyzan at all! So why this? Is it to give a reason why people might vote him out before the finals? In a game sense, it’s hard to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to sit next to Troy at the end, so perhaps this was foreshadowing the reasons for his elimination. Unless he does make Final Tribal Council and this was included to make us believe he could get jury votes?? I mean, it isn’t going to work, it’s too late to make us think Troyzan is a contender.
Where does Troyzan end up? There is enough to suggest he plays his idol but after that? Who knows? There is nothing to his edit – which means he’s unlikely to be the “fallen hero” leaving in fourth place. I would guess he’s either the fifth place boot or a FTC zero vote-getter.
Middle of the Road
Michaela‘s exit didn’t really play into her overall season arc. Her elimination came about due to a chaotic tribal council where plans changed on the fly. So it’s hard to look at Michaela’s vote-off as a part of her story.
However, the rest of her episode did partly play into her season story – the woman unable to hold in her emotions, whether positive or negative. It was a relatively subdued episode for Michaela, but her main scene was when she told Brad to “go fish.” The scene was kind of played for laughs, with Michaela wanting Brad to bring in some fish before they potentially vote him out. “Brad is nowhere to be found ‘cause he’s off in the forest, so I volunteer to go find Brad and kind of just make sure that he’s not looking for an idol. And maybe we should get Brad to go fishing.” She included a strategic reason too (making sure he’s not looking for an idol) which stopped this from being an OTT moment. But given that Brad reacted negatively to this request, it showed that Michaela should have perhaps kept it to herself.
There was also a brief moment at the immunity challenge in the second part of the episode when she kicked the puzzle blocks. On its own it would have been nothing but Probst focused on it, “Michaela kicking the puzzle, that always helps,” he said sarcastically. It was yet another sign of Michaela unable to hold back her emotions. There was some small strategy talk from Michaela, mainly her conversations with Cirie in the second part. She also correctly called her demise: “Officer Sarah is confused. If she’s wrong about Tai, it doesn’t just screw up her game; it screws up my game and Cirie’s game.” The edit definitely portrayed Sarah as wrong about Tai and Michaela did end up getting screwed.
Overall, Michaela is CPM for the season. She’s a complex individual that the edit takes the time to show all sides of. We’ve seen her angry, happy, sad, hurt, confused. We had that amazing scene with Cirie at the merge. Michaela will be remembered as a character who had her ups and downs but was unable to hold in her emotions.
Tai had some strategy talk this episode but his story still primarily revolved around his idols. There was talk of him wanting to make a big move, “I start feeling I better show the jury some big move.” He mentioned targeting Sarah this episode but that plan didn’t go through, and Sarah actually ended up saving Tai in a sense.
The biggest Tai scene of the episode was his chat with Cirie where she tried convincing him of her Vote Steal plan. Tai, however, showed some hesitation. “I am completely freaking out. Can I use my idol? Maybe I should. I have two to play with. I don’t know. I’m terrified inside,” it played back into his paranoid story but also showed that he wasn’t entirely buying into what Cirie was saying. I said last week after his strategy talk with Michaela that Tai seemed a little more aware, and I think that continued here, especially with him correctly not playing his idol.
Where does Tai’s story end next week? With his two idols and the talk of wanting to make a big move, one would have to expect Tai to try and pull something off with his idols. The question is, will his plan(s) work? I could see a scenario where Tai makes the FTC, but I could also see a situation where his plan backfires, and he ends up leaving before. Either way, Tai isn’t winning the season based on his edit.
Over The Top
Brad is still Sarah’s main competition edit wise for the win. Each week I go back and forth on Brad and Sarah, but after this episode, I think Brad took a knock. He didn’t have a great deal of visibility but the content he did get had a distinctly negative tone to it.
His reaction after winning the second immunity challenge was pure OTT. Throwing sand and screaming and shouting at his tribe. It was also negatively toned, despite Probst saying it was “emotion,” due to the reaction shots of the tribemates, like showing Aubry’s eye roll. His one confessional was also OTT. “Michaela’s trying to be a princess and blackmail me into fishing for her. I’m not going to sit here and kowtow to some diva’s demands.” He came off this episode like grumpy Brad. There was no in-depth strategy talk. The closest thing to strategy was, “I’m just looking for a way for me to get back in this game to be able to make it another day,” which was very basic.
What does this late game sudden negativity mean? It’s weird because Brad’s edit has had a very positive tone to it throughout the season. There have been scenes which seemed unnecessary to the overall plot that heavily focused on how well liked he is. So is this OTTN there to throw us off and make us believe that Brad can’t win now? Or is it genuine negativity to foreshadow him losing in the end? I’m not sure which way I lean. On the one hand, this negativity, combined with his lower visibility post-merge edit, being out of the loop, and subtle pre-merge signs like the snoring in camp and “blue eyes” talk to Hali could definitely all add up to a loss. On the other hand, there are scenes such as the crying montage and bond with Aubry and Cirie which have yet to pay-off, which could suggest him clinching the jury votes.
One thing I’m confident of is that Brad will be in the FTC. His edit, especially pre-merge, doesn’t make sense to me if he leaves before the Final 3. Could he win still? Definitely. And I believe that is the intention of the edit; they want us to believe that Brad can still beat Sarah but are throwing a little doubt in the mix (both for Brad and Sarah).
Of course, the one week I don’t predict Andrea to leave, she is eliminated. It was obviously coming at some point. As I’ve repeated, Andrea’s pre-merge edit was so bad that there was no way she was winning. Then her sudden CP boost post-merge was very Ciera Eastin – only being focused on when attending tribal council. Since Andrea was a big part of many of the post-merge moves, she, of course, received air-time, but that extreme lack of depth pre-merge was always a bad sign.
Her boot being crammed into a double-elimination episode meant we didn’t get a great deal of Andrea, but what she did get was CP. Her story here was about targeting Sarah, and she explained why “Sarah’s so good at pulling people in. She’s very crafty,” and “Maybe Sarah is pandering to the jury already. Maybe Sarah is already pandering to Sierra as she walks out.” Andrea was aware that Sarah was reacting in a strange way at the last tribal council and saw Sarah as a significant jury threat. “We want to get to her when she’s not expecting it, and I think that the next vote would be the perfect time to do that.” Unfortunately for Andrea, Sarah was expecting it, and she got Andrea first.
Andrea tried to get her “vote out Sarah” plan off the ground, but it was shot down by both Aubry and Cirie. Aubry didn’t think it was the right time and Cirie had a better relationship with Sarah and felt she needed her to get to the end. While Andrea has been shown to be strategic, we haven’t received much insight into her relationships and social game, and that makes sense with how easily her allies turned on her here. Sarah even said she couldn’t stand “the girl,” which kind of came out of nowhere, but again, suggested Andrea’s relationships weren’t the strongest.
Overall, Andrea is CP for the season, which is a great achievement given her ultra UTR pre-merge. She shot up post-merge and took a controlling spot in the game. She will be remembered as a solid all-around player; strong in strategy and challenges.
Finally! Aubry has her first CP rating of the season – it only took until the penultimate episode. And she didn’t leave in the double despite her quiet edit all season! So why the change and what does it mean?
She won the challenge in the first part of the episode, and there was a big focus on how she broke Cochran’s record and how impressive that was. That focus, combined with her positively framed confessional (“That felt really, really good to have a high moment in a 33-day journey where I needed something to kind of start a résumé”), and her later teary confessional, all add to her P tone for the episode.
We also got to hear her thoughts on strategy fleshed out for a change. Not just her brief opinions on other people’s games, but her own! “Now I’m thinking a couple of steps ahead, and Troyzan is someone who is likable, but Brad is physically a big threat, so the time is nigh for Brad Culpepper.” Note the “I’m” rather than a “We.” She continued to speak about herself throughout the episode: “I am not acting on that gut feeling with Sarah because I fully believe it’s time to send Brad home.” Although you’ll notice that while this is good in one sense (she’s getting to talk strategy), it was a bad sign that she was incorrect. By not listening to Andrea (and her own gut) and targeting Sarah, she ended up losing her ally Andrea, and then later Sarah was targeting Aubry.
In the second part, Aubry continued to talk about her own game and what she needed to do to move forward. “I think Tai has been drinking the Kool-Aid that he needs to make a move in this game, but if I want to make a big move for my résumé, if I don’t get Tai out of here before he gets me out of here, my game is over anyway.” This was a weird confessional because she was accusing Tai of drinking the big move Kool-Aid but then immediately followed it by talking about how she needs to make a big move herself. And again, her read was off, she spilled Tai’s plans to Cirie, who then spilled to Sarah, and Sarah ended up wanting Aubry gone because she didn’t believe her.
Where will Aubry end up? She certainly isn’t winning with the edit she had, and I also don’t think she will be making FTC. With the sudden CP rating and talk of people not trusting Aubry, it’s likely setting her up to be one of the first two boots of the finale. I don’t think her edit points to the fourth place fallen hero, instead, as I’ve said before, she seems like a prime candidate to be an idol victim.
Cirie was the most visible person this episode and had a big hand in the events of both tribal councils. The problem is, her plan blew up in her face, and while that is bad in a game sense, we have to work out if that is bad edit wise too.
Yes, Cirie was made to look somewhat foolish by not reading the Vote Steal advantage properly. But because this was a game move, and one which really had no choice but to be shown in the episode, I don’t think it requires negative tone. It was a bad move not a moment editorially manipulated to make Cirie herself look bad. What was bad for Cirie, and it was very similar to Aubry, is that while she was giving lots of in-depth strategy talk, her reads were often incorrect.
The majority of her content related to Sarah. She wanted to take Sarah to the end because she thinks the jury she screwed over wouldn’t reward her. She turned down Andrea’s plan to blindside Sarah because “I need Sarah to stay in order for me to make it further in the game.” But with the way her plans later backfired with Sarah taking out Cirie’s closest ally Michaela, it perhaps suggested that this was a bad move. She also said: “Should Sarah and I get rid of Andrea and drop our numbers down? Or keep our five strong and go for Brad, because Brad is just too dangerous to keep around. He wins challenges.” She ended up keeping Brad, and then what happened? He won the next challenge and messed up her plans.
In the second part of the episode, Cirie said, “Although Aubry is in our group, I can’t trust her that much.” This was an incorrect read because Aubry was shown to still trust Cirie by sharing with her the info about Tai. Then suddenly Cirie was back to trusting Aubry when Sarah questioned her on it. So this made Cirie look a little bit wishy-washy. There was also a little bit of hypocrisy when she said: “Tai works people, and he works on their emotional side.” Then later Cirie intentionally tried to use emotional manipulation to reel in Tai. And it didn’t quite work because Tai was shown to be weirded out and unsure of what Cirie was saying.
Cirie was correct on a couple of things though. She did surmise that Tai likely had an idol. And she did tell us that Sarah was wrong to be trusting Tai, as we did see him saying he wanted her out (whether he was just giving Aubry lip service is irrelevant because the edit made it seem like Tai’s true intention). But all of the other stuff, combined with the major tribal blow-up, makes Cirie’s winner chances less likely. It also for a second made me think perhaps Cirie is a losing finalist, but I don’t want to live in that world.
Where does Cirie end up? She has had one of the strongest edits of the season. We’ve seen her emotional side and her strategic side. There is definitely enough substance here to put her in FTC but edit wise I don’t think she beats Brad or Sarah, and therefore I’m reluctant to predict that Cirie makes FTC and loses because as I said, that’s just wrong. With Cirie’s gameplay being exposed, I suspect she will be a big target in the finale and be taken out before FTC. She is the most likely candidate for the fourth place fallen hero edit (along with Tai).
Sarah is still battling it out with Brad for that winner spot. Nothing here changed my feeling on her making FTC. But similar to Brad’s edit, there were a couple of moments that were used to create some doubt heading into the finale.
Firstly, the first part of the episode focused heavily on Sarah’s pandering to the jury. While Andrea felt that the jury saw Sarah as the biggest player, Cirie offered an alternative opinion, “I’d like to take [Sarah] to the end, and all the people she screwed over sit right there and decide who wins.” Like I’ve said the past couple of weeks, there are signs that Sarah’s “criminal” gameplay will end up costing her jury votes if the people she burned to get there feel hurt. However, with Cirie being incorrect a lot throughout this episode, that could suggest she was wrong on this thought too. The other thing that made her look bad was not believing Cirie about Aubry (when the edit showed us Aubry was telling the truth), and Michaela saying “Officer Sarah is confused.”
With that said, Sarah had plenty of positive moments too. Her confessional about how she played Sierra into giving her the Legacy Advantage made her look smart. Her saying, “If I had to pick, I want Andrea gone,” was also a great look, seeing as Andrea did end up going. And, of course, the way she took back her advantage at tribal and changed the vote made her look in control. She told us in a previous episode that she’d be the first person to play the Vote Steal correctly, and she did – even though she didn’t technically need to steal a vote, she used it to vote out the person that went home.
Where does Sarah end up? Suddenly this episode people were talking about Sarah as a big threat. There was talk of how the jury will see her as the most aggressive player. Tai saw taking out Sarah as the biggest move. But I just don’t see a way, editorially speaking, that Sarah goes home before the FTC. All signs point to her sitting at the end, explaining and defending her game to the people she lied to and screwed over. The major issue is that one that Sarah asked herself two episodes ago: “Hopefully, if I make it to the end, the jury will reward the fact that I was a Game Changer enough to make this type of move.” Will the jury reward her aggressive “game-changing” gameplay or will they side with Brad because they connected with him more emotionally and felt less betrayed? I believe that is the story that will dominate the finale. If I had to pick? Right now, after the Brad tantrum episode, I lean slightly more towards Sarah winning, but that could honestly change ten times over the course of the finale.
That’s it for this week’s Edgic. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.