Welcome to Give Me Five! Each week, Brent Sullivan will look at the top five moments from the latest episode that could influence the rest of the season.
This week will be a little different. Like last season, I am going to go back and pick out five big moments that I got correct from this season.
1. Episode 3:
“Troyzan finds the idol. Another person on the bad side of a five to one swap. Troyzan had a bit more luck than JT though because he actually did find the hidden immunity idol. I love how the edit showed him finding it while the others were back at camp talking about how they shouldn’t leave him alone. This is a huge find for him, and is sure to make an impact real soon. Especially if they lose the next challenge and have to go to tribal. You can almost guarantee that Troyzan is going to play it, so the big question is… whose name is he going to write down and send home?”
This one took a long time to play out, but Troyzan did effectively play his idol. Had he not played it when Sarah, Tai, Aubry, and Brad were all safe, both he and Cirie would have had to draw rocks, and he might not have been sitting in the Final 3.
2. Episode 4:
“Tai finds and then plays an idol. Tai finding the idol was that big of a deal. In fact, they might as well have had a giant arrow pointing to the spot where it was and saved him some time. The big thing here is that not only did he play it, but he played it on the right person. Sure, it wasn’t him making the decision, but it was still his idol to play. So, Sierra and her legacy advantage live to fight another day, and we lose a significant figure in Malcolm. How will this shape the rest of the season? Well, for one it should make tighter bonds on each side for the ones that stayed loyal. Secondly, the Nuku tribe is not only weaker now, but they have an easy vote off in JT, so they may not even want to win immunity. Third, come merge time, we may get to see Round 2 of this battle take place. Finally, having another big alpha male go out this early may hurt Brad in the future when they start targeting challenge threats.”
This played out huge the entire rest of the season. Because of this move, Tai is in the Final 4, Brad is sitting at Final Tribal Council and Sierra is around long enough to team up with Sarah and entrust the Legacy Advantage to her. Had Malcolm not gone home here, who knows how this season would have played out.
3. Episode 7:
“Zeke stays calm. Okay, I am here only to talk about the impact things in the game will have moving forward. Despite all of the other ramifications that this may end up having in real life, in the game you have to look at is how will this impact Zeke? At the moment, I will assume that he is in pretty good shape. Everyone on his tribe felt bad for him and was sticking up for him against Varner. This will have to help his position in the game at least for an episode or two. There is no way that he gets voted out next after what happened. The fact that he stayed so calm and cool throughout the whole ordeal is also another good sign for him. How much time did this buy him? Once a few weeks go by, will the effect of what just happened start to wear off?”
It would be tough to talk about this season and not mention this moment. Although Zeke himself didn’t admit to this during the game, this had to play a role in him getting voted out when he did.
4. Episode 10:
“Sarah finds an advantage. I was super impressed here, and I bet that production was also super happy that Sarah found the advantage. It was sitting there right under Michaela during the whole challenge, but Sarah spots it from far away. She somehow even gets over there, unties it and gets on the boat without being seen. All very good moves. Then we find out later that her advantage is a vote steal. Now, we’ve seen this in the game before, and so far, it hasn’t turned out well for anyone who has used it. After she opens it up and reads it, we get the scene where she says that she will be the first person ever to play it correctly. Is this trying to trick us and she’ll fail or are they foreshadowing a bit here? I have a feeling that she actually will play it correctly, just not sure when.”
This was just another great scene with Sarah and another reason why she won. The fact that Michaela is the one who got voted out when the advantage was used was pretty amusing too.
5. Episode 12:
“Brad and Troyzan are the last two in their alliance. Now that Sierra is gone, Brad and Troyzan seem to be on an island all by themselves. Troyzan still has his idol to play, but other than that, these two don’t have a lot going for them. I have a feeling that they are both safe next week and that they will be around for another vote or Troyzan successfully plays his idol, and that is what knocks Andrea or Cirie out of the game. We don’t have a lot of time left; we will find out soon.”
Somehow, not only did they make it another vote or two, but they were both sitting there at the end. Did either man win? No, but they pulled off being the bottom two and making it all the way.
Now for the one that I believe that I missed the mark on the most.
“What does JT leave behind? Well when this episode started, I had my first talking point with JT finding the idol. I was going to talk about when he would play it… since that idea ended less than 60 minutes later with him going home without playing it, I’m now left with the thought of just the idol. Where is it? Will it be re-hidden? I guess probably not since it wasn’t played, but they sure showed enough of JT finding the idol at the start of the episode for him to turn around and not play it at the end. With Troyzan having and idol and Tai having a clue, I think that having two in play is enough.”
I was clearly way off on this. Having two idols in play clearly wasn’t enough, since there were three heading into the finale, but there were also three advantages throughout the game (Legacy, Extra Vote, Vote Steal). Plus, on top of all of that, most of them were all played at the same time!
There you go. Congrats to Sarah on a hard-earned win. This was a good season of Survivor with lots of ups and downs. Once again, I want to thank everyone who spent the time to read and/or comment on my article this season. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on Heroes, Healers, and Hustlers in the Fall.