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Survivor: Game Changers Episode 6 Edgic


Inside Survivor analyzes the edit of Survivor: Game Changers Episode 6.

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.

You can read all our previous Edgic posts here.

Color KeyNewColours

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.

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
Andrea2Andrea UTR2 INV UTRN2 UTR2 UTR1 UTR2
Aubry2Aubry UTR2 MOR2 UTR1 UTR2 UTR2 UTR2
Brad2Brad MOR2 UTR1 CPP4 CPP5 MORP3 CP3
Cirie2Cirie CP4 CPM3 CP2 UTR2 INV UTR1
Debbie2Debbie UTR2 CP3 MOR3 CP4 OTTN5 OTTM5
Hali2Hali UTR2 UTR2 CP3 CP4 MORP2 UTR1
Jeff2Jeff MOR3 MOR3 MOR3 MOR3 MOR3 CP4
Michaela2Michaela CPN4 MOR3 UTR2 UTR1 OTTM5 UTR1
Ozzy2Ozzy MOR3 UTR1 CP2 CPP3 UTRP1 MOR3
Sarah2Sarah MOR2 CP2 UTR1 INV CP3 UTR2
SierraSierra CP2 INV MOR2 MOR4 UTR1 UTR1
Tai2Tai MOR3 OTTM3 CP4 CPP4 MOR4 CPM5
Troy2Troyzan UTR2 MOR2 CPP4 UTRN1 MOR2 MOR2
Zeke3Zeke MOR2 MOR2 UTR2 INV UTR1 CP4
Sandra2Sandra CP5 CPM5 OTTN4 CPN4 CPM5 CPP5
JT2J.T. UTR2 MOR3 CPP5 CP5 OTTM5
Malcolm2Malcolm CP4 CP3 CPP4 CP4
Caleb2Caleb MOR3 CP4 MOR3
Tony2Tony OTTN5 CPN5
Ciera2Ciera CPN4

What Does This Episode Tell Us?

This was another weird episode where the edit was thrown for a loop not only due to another tribe swap but because of the overly-long scene with Cochran and Debbie. Alongside all of that, the episode also had to give a big focus to Sandra, given the monumental occasion of her torch being snuffed for the first time. It meant that seven players ended up as UTR, and four of those didn’t receive a single confessional.

Sandra’s exit kind of marks the end of the pre-merge story. Sandra has received the majority of screentime over these first six episodes and “the Queen keeping her empire intact” has been arguably the biggest narrative. She received confessionals in every episode, her visibility never dropped below a 4, and she had a mixture of positive and negative tone. Sandra’s elimination here, plus the previous vote-offs of equally significant sized edits (Tony, Malcolm, JT), is like the ultimate feed for the blood-thirsty sharks.

With just one episode left before the merge, it’s time to start setting up the narrative for the second half of the season, and there were some small seeds planted here that could be foreshadowing stories that will take precedent post-merge.

The Recap

The recap checked in with each tribe before the upcoming swap and focused on a few key characters.

“At Tavua, Troyzan was in the minority,” was followed by Zeke confirming that Troy was on the bottom.

“At Mana, Tai found a clue to an idol,” was followed by Tai reading the clue “You must soak a wooden board.” This was obviously setting up Tai using this clue to find two idols in this episode. But Tai wasn’t the only focus on Mana. “And Debbie lost her mind,” which was followed by Debbie shouting at Brad and in confessional. If the edit didn’t already bury Debbie enough last week, this recap with Probst saying she “lost her mind” certainly hammered the final nail in the coffin.

“At the Nuku tribe, Aubry and JT tried to rally the troops,” was followed by JT telling the tribe “It’s better for us not to have Michaela.” “But Sandra was leading the charge,” was followed by Sandra telling Jeff they could take out JT. The recap finished by telling us, “At tribal council, Sandra got her way… again. And Aubry was left in the dark.” Once again, Sandra was positioned as the power player heading into the next episode.

THE CHARACTERS

Under The Radar

MichaelaEdgEp6

After her big OTT episode last week, Michaela was back to her low visibility UTR rating. She was swapped onto the tribe that didn’t go to tribal council in an episode where the majority of screen time was dedicated to Exile Island and Sandra’s elimination. For those reasons, this isn’t the worst thing in the world for Michaela.

We already know Michaela’s narrative this season. It’s the player that struggles to keep her mouth and face under control. When those things aren’t relevant to the episode, we don’t see or hear from Michaela. She only just scraped an UTR1 this episode because everyone got namechecked at the swap, and Brad also brought up her name in regards to never having met her before. Apart from that, she was barely in the episode. We didn’t hear her thoughts on the swap or being split from Sandra.

Like I said, it isn’t totally terrible for Michaela to have an UTR1 here because her story has already been set up and can reemerge whenever. She’s also on a tribe which is only going to be together for two episodes (assuming the merge is at 13), so the dynamics here might be irrelevant in the long-run. What it does suggest, however, is that she probably won’t be driving the narrative for the rest of the season. If Michaela was to be our tour guide through the remainder of the game, we should have heard at least one confessional from her here.

CirieEdgEp6

Cirie is very similar to Michaela edit wise. Her story was already set up in the first couple of weeks and therefore will only likely pop up when relevant to that particular episode. She is the only player that hasn’t attended a tribal council this season, so that goes some way in explaining her recent streak of UTR/INV. But, like with Michaela, it suggests Cirie won’t be a character leading the narrative.

Her only real story is her relationship with Ozzy. Yes, we had that small confessional regarding Troyzan, but the bulk of her content relates to Ozzy. The edit has given her very little else. She didn’t get to comment on this swap at all, just namechecked by Probst and mentioned by Brad, like Michaela. The positive of this is that it strongly suggests both Cirie and Ozzy will make the merge. Their narrative needs some sort of conclusion, and it’s almost impossible to see how that could happen while both are on separate tribes. The negative is that once that story is concluded, there is nothing else for Cirie. Unfortunately, she’s a side character stuck in a B-story.

HaliEdgEp6

This was Hali‘s weakest edit of the season so far. She was hardly present in this episode apart from Probst namechecking her at the swap and Brad saying he isn’t really tight with her. Apart from that, she was a complete afterthought this episode.

Hali’s edit is one of the harder ones to read. I said last week that she “doesn’t have an amazing edit, but she doesn’t have a bad edit.” Hali is very much an in-between character. But I think if she were a key component of the season or a main winner contender we would have heard some of her thoughts on the swap. Brad did bring her up to say that “while I was on the same tribe with Hali, we weren’t really tight.” That could maybe be a minor glimpse of a future story if Hali is to cost Brad somehow. Other than that, Hali seems like yet another secondary character.

SierraEdgEp6

Not a great edit for Sierra this episode. I said last week, “If she gets that CP combined with decent visibility, then it will cement Sierra as an important character and major contender for the season. Another UTR would start to damage her chances.” With another UTR (and an UTR1 at that!) we have to start reevaluating Sierra’s arc.

The positives for Sierra are her solid CP introduction in the premiere where she set out her goals for the season. She wanted to do “something big” this season, as well as keep the guys close. We then saw her approaching Brad and Ozzy to form an alliance. Her alliance with Brad has remained strong through every episode. However, the problem now is that we don’t see this relationship from Sierra’s perspective, we see it from Brad’s. Brad was the one that got to talk about the swap and his bond with Sierra – “I got Sierra– been with her the whole time.” Sierra didn’t get a single confessional here, which is not a great look in a swap episode.

There is a possibility though that Brad is being set up as the vocal leader that will suffer comeuppance. We have to remember back to Episode 4 when Sierra was the one shown calling the Malcolm boot, yet it wasn’t shoved in our faces (she was also the one shown directing the puzzle this week). We know that Brad is seen as the leader by the other tribe members, Hali literally said “He’s a leader,” last episode. Debbie sees him as a “dictator.” Whether it’s a positive or a negative, the edit is presenting Brad as in charge. It could suggest that if the tides start to turn against this alliance, that Brad will suffer the consequences, sparing Sierra and allowing her to reemerge later on. Maybe even Sierra will turn on him, fulfilling her promise of doing “something big.” Or maybe her other promise of keeping close to the guys will eventually hurt her just like in her previous season.

While Sierra’s chances definitely took a hit with this UTR1, there are still some avenues for her story to explore.

AndreaEdgEdp6

If there were any episode for Andrea to have a break-out edit, this would be the one. She finally attended a tribal council and helped take out the iconic Sandra. Nope, still UTR. But it was one of her best UTRs so far – it’s sad that we’re at that point of ranking the best and worst UTRs.

Andrea did get credit as the first person to bring up the Tai decoy plan. When Zeke said they need to come up with a story to sell Sandra and Jeff, it was Andrea heard (and subtitled) saying “Us versus Tai?” She then got a confessional to explain why she felt Tai was the perfect decoy. “Tai is dangerous in this game. He’s really good at finding idols, and he’s really sneaky. He’s all over the place, and it makes me very nervous working with someone like that.” It wasn’t overly complex, it’s stuff we’ve heard countless times from others, but at least Andrea got a confessional to explain it in her words this time. But that was Andrea’s only contribution to the story – she was just connective tissue supporting the bigger characters like Zeke and Ozzy who were positioned as the ones putting the plan into motion.

It might also be worth noting that Andrea’s content related solely to Tai. Her confessional was all about Tai and how she is nervous working with him. Then her only line at camp post-immunity challenge was when talking to Ozzy and Sarah, and she said, “I think we all know Tai is frigging all over the place.” Now, this could have just been to set up Tai’s erratic actions at tribal council, or maybe it is foreshadowing. Maybe Sandra’s concerns about the Kaoh Rong 3 (later echoed by Ozzy) have some merit. Maybe Tai will flip back to the Brad/Sierra/Debbie alliance? Maybe he’ll idol Andrea out? That’s now two people (Tai and Troyzan) that Andrea is set up against as a potential idol victim.

The good thing for Andrea is now she has some minuscule nuggets of a potential story. The bad thing is that her UTR streak means her chances of being the winner or lead character of the second half of the game are almost zilch.

AubryEdgEp6

Much like Andrea, Aubry continues her streak of UTR, but she got a little bit of content here that offers some potential action soon. Her chances of winning or being the main star of the season are pretty much zero, but there is at least a chance now for her visibility to bump up.

She was only really present at the very start of the episode. We got to hear her reaction to the JT blindside and where it leaves her in the game. “I’m constantly on the bottom, and I feel like I’ve been trying really hard to build relationships with those people, but then it all blows up in my face.” It’s interesting because the edit hasn’t shown Aubry trying really hard to build relationships this season. Her second confessional played into Sandra’s grand exit. “Clearly, Sandra is running the show. And I feel like she’s cutting my legs out from under me like a slow death. Without a doubt, Sandra is the best player here.” It was a refrain we heard throughout the episode, culminating in Sandra leaving with a round of applause.

The highlight here is Aubry saying, “[Sandra] is the queen of this game, and I need to learn a thing or two from her.” On first viewing, you might have expected Aubry and Sandra to meet up again later in the game. Obviously, that isn’t happening. So what to make of this statement? It could have just been further support of the “Sandra is Queen” narrative or maybe we will see Aubry take on some of Sandra’s traits now. We know that Aubry has spent most of her game outside of the numbers, so maybe she’ll adopt Sandra’s “as long as it ain’t” me attitude? Maybe she’ll do some sugar stealing of her own? While much like Andrea, Aubry doesn’t seem likely as a winner or big time character, there is now a chance of a small story.

SarahEp6Edg

Sarah dipped slightly this week but coming off the back of a strong edit in the previous episode it’s not a huge deal. While she didn’t have a big speaking part, she was present in the camp scenes regarding the Sandra vote. She also gave a fairly detailed account of Sandra’s game, which I could see an argument for MOR, but I left it as UTR.

While Aubry was confused about what happened with the JT vote and was looking to learn from Sandra, Sarah quickly picked up on what makes Sandra such an effective player. “The reason Sandra has won twice is because she doesn’t come off as the most dangerous person in this game,” Sarah said. “I almost feel like the way Sandra talks to people is she’s grooming us. She doesn’t pressure you. Her voice never raises. It’s calm. And she just starts to suck you in.” It was a very fleshed out explanation which again added to Sandra’s grand send-off. Even though Sarah wasn’t portrayed as leading this vote, her perception of Sandra backed up her claims of being able to read people. 

It could be a small negative that Sarah seemed more of a follower than a leader, but like with Sierra, that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Plus, there might be another reason she wasn’t shown as completely gung-ho with the old Nuku. Last week, Sarah talked about wanting to ditch the old Nukus that she was with on Tavua, calling the set four “stupid.” Three of that four joined her again after the swap (Andrea, Ozzy, and Zeke), and so, for now, she had to work with them. But her scene with Troyzan last week was so unnecessary if it doesn’t lead anywhere. That suggests that Sarah and Troy will both make the merge so that they can pick up this narrative thread. That then gives her the option to jump over to the Troyzan/Brad/Sierra alliance that was set up this episode and looking for a number.

So if Andrea worrying about Tai is foreshadowing him flipping back to the Brad group, and Sarah’s scene with Troyzan is foreshadowing her flipping too, things could go very wrong for the Ozzy/Andrea/Zeke group. Interestingly, Sarah was the only one of that alliance not to badmouth Tai completely. Andrea said Tai was “sneaky” and “all over the place,” Ozzy said what he did was “stupid,” and Zeke called him out at tribal council. If Sarah and Tai do end up on the same side going forward, that could be why she wasn’t seen piling on him here. Also, if Sarah does turn on the Andrea/Ozzy/Zeke group, it would fulfill her promise of playing like a criminal.

Middle of the Road

TroyEdgEp6

Troyzan‘s edit was almost the same as last week. Once again, he was one of only two people on his tribe to receive confessionals (post-swap) and had a one-on-one strategy scene that set up potential allies and stories going forward.

It’s always good to get content at the swap and Troyzan was one of the first people we heard from. “When Jeff said, “Drop the buffs,” I was like, “Okay, this has gotta be some kind of good luck in my way.” I’ve mentioned before that it’s not great to always be relying on luck in this game, but we then saw Troyzan forming a bond with Brad. He explained his situation on the old tribe, “Being 5-1 on Tavua was tough, even though I’ve got an idol, I’ve just been sweating bullets all those days. So I thought anything that happens now could be good.” It reminded us once again that so far his story has been “Troyzan versus Everyone.” He’s very much the underdog, but he keeps finding glimmers of hope, whether it was the idol on Tavua, or now Brad at Mana.

What could be a bad sign here is that Brad was positioned as the one leading the strategy talk and therefore felt more complex. Brad gave a full rundown of the tribe and then talked about why he thought working with Troyzan could be a good idea. “Troyzan played with my wife Monica. I’m figuring that could potentially be a connection. He’s also a man and I’m a man, and we’re the only two men on the tribe.” We then saw Brad and Troy talking to each other, with Brad leading the conversation and offering a lifeline to Troy. But we got to hear Troyzan’s thoughts too: “Brad seems like a really up and up guy, but I also feel like we’re connected because we’re just two guys on a tribe with, you know, five women.” The scene nicely juxtaposed the Andrea/Troy scene back in Episode 3 when Andrea failed to make Troyzan feel comfortable, here Troy felt secure with Brad.

Regardless of who came off looking better in that scene, the fact this was the primary (and basically only) focus on the new Mana tribe means it’s important. Everyone else on the tribe pretty much disappeared post-swap, whereas we heard from Troyzan and Brad and saw the set up of their relationship (with a mention of Sierra being part of the three). While Troyzan has had some faults in his edit, we’ve kept track of him ever since the first swap, and it looks like he’ll be playing a role in the narrative going forward.

OzzyEdgEp6

Ozzy‘s edit this episode was about how big of a threat he is. Sandra told him he’ll be a threat at the merge and that he’s the type of strong player people would come after. Tai brought up Ozzy’s name alongside Sandra as the biggest threats. It isn’t a great sign for Ozzy in a season where the big threats have been going home.

Probst asked Andrea at tribal council what is the current state of the game, to which Andrea responded, “So far it’s all about getting rid of the big threats.” Later, when Tai named Ozzy as a target, he said, “I’m just keeping the tradition of voting out the biggest guy.” Ozzy did nothing to play down this image of himself as a big threat, and his edit so far has focused on all the typical things that make Ozzy a threat – his ability to provide and his dominance in challenges. He said they needed to go after Sandra because of how dangerous she is not realizing that is how people also perceive him. It really makes it seem like Ozzy’s days are numbered.

The positive for Ozzy in this episode is that he was involved in the strategy talks at camp. We saw him discussing the vote with Zeke, and then later he led the conversation with Andrea and Sarah. But on the flipside, again, these put Ozzy in a more threatening position. We also have loose ends when it comes to his story with Cirie, so you’d think both himself and Cirie will make the merge to draw a line under that arc. But given the ominous signs, I would say Sandra’s prediction of Ozzy being targeted come the merge look very likely.

Over The Top

DebbieEdgEp6

After last week’s editorial burial, things can only go up for Debbie. She had a large focus in this episode due to being exiled and meeting with Cochran. She also gained an extra vote advantage. It’s becoming more clear now why Debbie received an intro confessional in the premiere and has had consistent air time. Taking part in twists like this and having advantages that could potentially change the game is going to almost guarantee screentime.

It was still an OTT edit. Her content was all super, big, emotional reactions. Whether it was elation of seeing that Exile was, in fact, a boat filled with food. To her shock at seeing Cochran – “best exile ever!” To her breaking down when talking to Cochran. We didn’t get much game complexity. Just big personality Debbie. Cochran gave her both positive and negative tone. He said he had his “work cut out for [him].” He also described her fatal flaw as “overconfidence” when she said she had no worries about the game. But then we also saw Debbie shed tears and be thankful for Cochran. It all culminated in a mixed tone for Debbie this episode.

As for Debbie’s ongoing story? She still seems like she’ll play a big part in the rest of the season, and as I said last week, her story with Brad seems important. She brought up her explosion at Brad to Cochran, and he told her to mend fences and swallow her pride. Whether Debbie can do that or not remains to be seen but it seems likely we will be following that arc, so I’d expect both Debbie and Brad to make the merge.

Complex Personalities

SandraEdgEp6

Sandra‘s reign finally comes to an end, and the edit celebrated her on her way out. I think the way I ended last week’s write-up on Sandra still applies: “It still feels like she’s set up to be dethroned due to her villainous edit but when that happens is anyone’s guess. It could be next week, or it could be in the finale. But the edit is getting all it can out of Sandra and lighting up her Edgic chart.”

While I wished it was the finale rather than “next week,” it cannot be denied that Sandra got the best edit of the pre-merge. The most visibility and joint most confessionals. These first six episodes have been the story of Sandra trying to remain the Queen, keeping her empire intact, and proving her legacy. She was given the credit for taking out the two other winners, and even in this episode, she was portrayed as self-aware and willing to fight until the bitter end. They also made it look like she almost flipped the vote at tribal council – and given that they all voted Sandra and Tai didn’t play his idol, the whole “let’s vote Ozzy” thing was most likely a ruse, so this was clear editorial manipulation in Sandra’s favor.

The whole episode was a celebration of how good a player Sandra is. She had tons of positive SPV (second person visibility). “Sandra is the best player here.” “She is the queen of this game.” “She’s the most dangerous player arguably in the history of Survivor.” Sarah’s whole confessional was about how and why Sandra is so good. Ozzy talked about how he started to believe Sandra after just minutes of talking to her. It all culminated in her receiving a round of applause as Probst snuffed her torch for the first time in 94 days. And with Sandra’s exit, it brings an end to the pre-merge story, as we now prepare to enter the second half of the season.

Her overall season rating is CPM. We got it all from Sandra; a fleshed out personality with positive and negative tone and game complexity. It’s the kind of edit everyone dreams of but only a few receive.

BradEdgEp6

Brad has one of the strongest edits of the season, and we continue to hear his thoughts on the game and tribe dynamics. He was one of only two people we heard from on post-swap Mana and was clearly set up as the most important voice on the tribe.

After the swap, Brad gave an entire rundown of his new tribe and where he stands with them. “I got Sierra– been with her the whole time. But while I was on the same tribe with Hali, we weren’t really tight. And I never had a connection with Cirie. And I never met Aubry and Michaela.” He then went on to talk about Troyzan and how there might be a connection there due to Troy having played with his wife Monica and the fact they’re the only two men on the tribe. We then saw Brad reaching out to Troyzan and bringing him into the fold. All explicit CP content. He was never shown to be cocky; he was aware that he still had work to do: “I definitely think Troy is an ally for me going forward. I feel good with Sierra. I feel good with Troy, but that’s only three, and I need a majority of four. So I’ve got some more work to do.” 

Brad’s relationships have been well established by this point. We’ve seen him with Sierra from the premiere onwards. He bonded with Tai on old Mana. His tense relationship with Debbie was the focus of last week’s episode and was brought up again in the Debbie/Cochran scene this week. And now we have the start of a connection with Troyzan. All of this speaks to Brad’s importance to the season, especially when combined with his previous positive tone – Cochran brought up Brad’s previous hot-headed nature from his first season, but we haven’t been shown anything of the sort this go around. The only worry for Brad is the talk of “getting rid of the big threats.” With him so out in front as a leader, does that mean once the big names like Ozzy are taken out, Brad will then be next in line? His edit has more complexity than Ozzy’s, but there is still a chance he’s been set up for a fall.

Right now, Brad seems guaranteed to make the merge (he surely has to reunite with Debbie) and has enough legs to his edit to make a deep run. He’s certainly set up as a contender; it’s just whether he can escape the “big threat” tag.

TaiEdgEp6

Nothing changed for Tai this week in regards to how I’ve perceived his edit so far. He has been and will continue to be a key character of the season. He’s now armed with two idols (after already finding and using one) and so the potential for big TV moments is very high. It’s obvious that a character like Tai with that many advantages is going to be a large focus of the season.

What’s interesting about Tai’s edit here is the difference in how he was treated by the old Mana tribe and the new Nuku tribe. On old Mana, we saw people like Brad approaching Tai softly, appealing to what is best for Tai’s game, especially in the Caleb boot episode. Tai stuck with the Brad/Sierra/Debbie trio in that episode and was thanked for his loyalty in the following episode. He then continued to show his loyalty by revealing the idol to them, and again he was shown appreciation (and received a kiss). He then used that idol to save his alliance. Compare that to how he was treated on new Nuku. Andrea, Ozzy, and Zeke saw him as “sneaky” and “all over the place” and making “stupid moves.” They feared him because of his ability to find idols rather than using that to their advantage. They set him up as a decoy, but we weren’t shown them telling him about it and making him feel comfortable – instead, we were shown them having private chats without Tai and making him paranoid.

What does this all mean? As I mentioned in Sandra’s write up, it seems there must have been a consensus formed before tribal including Tai because the original Nukus all voted together and Tai was comfortable enough not to play his idol. But that’s not how the episode was edited. It was made to seem that the alliance left Tai out and therefore he became paranoid and started freaking out at tribal which almost cost him or Ozzy the game. Why edit it that way? Well, one explanation is to make Sandra look like she almost pulled off another miracle before she left. But it could also be to show us that Tai isn’t as tight with this group of old Nukus as he is with the ones on old Mana. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tai flips back over to Brad/Sierra and co at the merge, making the worries of Andrea/Ozzy/Zeke come true, and fulfilling Sandra’s premonition.

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Jeff finally broke out of his MOR3 streak! It was his first CP of the season and easily a CP. He narrated the swap situation, explained how he went from the top to the bottom, discussed the tribe dynamics, and explained why Tai should be going home instead of him and Sandra. He also had scenes at camp discussing the game with Zeke and Sandra.

The CP stuff is positive. The negative here is that Jeff was wrong. While he said that he didn’t completely trust what Zeke was telling him, he said that he had no choice. He then told Sandra that they weren’t on the bottom anymore and later declared, “I’m not going anywhere. Tai is going home tonight unless Tai pulls out an idol, and I’m hoping that’s not the case.” That was wrong. Well, the part about him not going anywhere was correct, but Tai did not go home, and it didn’t even take an idol. The edit made Jeff look gullible while Sandra was always shown as cautious and distrusting of the “Tai is the vote” ploy. 

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The other bad sign for Jeff is what I mentioned last week, “his story seems connected to Sandra.” I thought it could be suggesting they go far together as a pair, but now with Sandra out of the game it kind of leaves Jeff sinking without a life vest. While he’s been a decent narrator throughout the pre-merge and has offered his thoughts, it’s primarily about the other players. We haven’t had a lot of insight into Jeff as a person or player other than that he wants to “charge at it head first.” There isn’t the whole “mid-life quest” talk that made him such a CP figure in Cambodia, nor even any mention of wanting to make the jury for the first time. So with Sandra leaving, it’s hard to figure out where Jeff fits into the story going forward.

There are a couple of potential new stories that could develop. We saw him connecting with Zeke. Well, first of all, there was the scene on the mat after the swap where Jeff, Zeke, and Tai all hugged as Tai said, “Three gay men together.” I believe this is the first time Jeff’s sexuality has ever been explicitly mentioned on the show across his three seasons. We then saw Jeff and Zeke bonding over living in New York. “I will be the first one to admit; I like Jeff. I like him a lot. We have connected and bonded quite a bit,” Zeke said, confirming the scenes we had seen earlier in the episode. “And even though we’re gonna vote out Sandra and blindside him, I see Jeff Varner as a potentially desperate person who I think I could trust and save going forward in this game,” Zeke continued. This sets up a potential relationship and story between Jeff and Zeke going forward. Obviously, with Zeke blindsiding Jeff, it’s unclear if Jeff will continue to trust in Zeke, but it at least gives Jeff a new story now that Sandra is gone.

ZekeEdgEp6

Zeke also received his first CP rating of the season after becoming almost invisible for the past three episodes. I said last time that it was becoming less likely Zeke would be the driving force of action this season, but he was portrayed as the one driving the Sandra vote in this episode.

He was the first person we heard on the new Nuku tribe saying Sandra had to be voted out. “We have to get Sandra out of the game before we hit the merge. If you don’t, she’s gonna beat you.” He said it was “going to be tough” and it was, Sandra kept fighting to the end, and the edit made it seem like Tai almost blew things up. We then saw Zeke putting this plan into motion. He approached Ozzy, and they talked it through, Zeke suggested feeding a story to Sandra and Jeff. Andrea came up with the idea of the Tai decoy, and then Zeke went and put it into motion in his conversation with Jeff. It was blatantly obvious we were meant to see Zeke as the one leading the charge against Sandra and conning Jeff. And it finally backed up his premiere goals of wanting to “lather in the blood of [his] enemies.”

Like I said last week, the reason we didn’t see much of Zeke on Tavua could be because those dynamics weren’t massively important to the season as a whole. We now have a potential story set up between Zeke/Jeff and Zeke/Tai. As discussed above in Jeff’s section, we saw Zeke and Jeff bonding, with Zeke saying he likes Jeff and wants to go forward in this game with him, although he had to betray him in the process. There’s definitely potential for content there. And we also saw Zeke talking about how “tricky” Tai is and how he’s “known for flipping.” He also admonished Tai at tribal council, shouting at him about who he actually trusts in this game. As mentioned in Tai’s section, this could be setting up Tai flipping on Zeke and this alliance down the line.

Overall, Zeke finally got some much needed content that puts him back in motion as a character this season with a potential part to play in the narrative.

Main Stories In Play

-Michaela’s mouth – the story of Michaele being unable to hold her tongue. Not in play this episode but seems likely to pop up again.
-Debbie/Brad – the relationship between Debbie and Brad looks set to continue even though both are currently on different tribes.
-Sarah the Criminal – no mention of playing like a criminal this week but she did back up her ability to read people when she read Sandra’s tactics.
-Troyzan versus Everyone – Troyzan again talked about his luck of the swap and how he’s playing by himself. Brad reached out to him offering him a lifeline.
-Will Tai flip? – There was tons of focus on whether or Tai can be trusted and if he’ll flip. We’ve seen the two different ways Tai has been treated by different tribes – one with respect and appreciation, one with worry and concern.

That’s it for this week’s Edgic. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Martin is a 28-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing, and recaps/reviews TV shows, currently for Yahoo TV. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. When not writing Martin can usually be found attending Wrestlemania events.



  • Gary Johnson

    Woah! This is the first week where my chart completely matches your chart! 😀 😀 😀

  • Ishay

    There’s a point I want to bring up. This episode, again, brad mentioned Monica. In the past, we had a lot of returning players from both BvW seasons, and none of them talked about his loved one as much as brad does with the exception of Jeremy. With brad talking about wanting to play like Monica, and him mentioning her a lot, I see this as a storyline and another reason for brad to be seen as a serious contender.

    • Pavlos Siaperas

      Well Brad said “What would Monica do?”. What did Monica do? She went to the end and was a goat. And this is strongly reinforced by Brad saying that he has found his foot in the game and immediately cuts to a goat bleating while losing its footing.

  • They were brought up by Brad when he was running down the new Mana tribe. He said that he’d never met Michaela, and had no connection with Cirie. It was very minor, but we got to hear about them via another player ever so briefly. Hence just scraping UTR1. 🙂

  • BobbyKe

    The vast majority of the story so far has been told by the players voted out. I think clearly pre merge & post merge will be 2 VERY different games. Most players left haven’t even begun to have their story told yet mostly because a lot of the big names left early & they had to tell their stories but they also know with the ones left they can afford to hold off on the main parts of their story & don’t need everythin told right now

    Overall though, I think among the content they’ve gotten the 5 players with the most relevant long term arcs should be Sarah, Brad, Sierra, Troyzan & Hali. The Ozzy & Cirie story seems very short term, a lot of the others don’t even have stories & Tai just seems set up to mishandle his idols. Sarah will do something devious, Hali will strike in an aggressive manner when the others aren’t expecting & Brad has set up alliances with both Sierra & Troy. Of the post merge I think they are most relevant