It’s time for the bi-annual throwdown where four Survivor websites enter, and one emerges victorious. It’s time for Jury Jeopardy!
In this third installment of the competition, I will be representing Inside Survivor as I go head to head with Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred, Sarah Freeman and the team of Rob Has a Podcast and Jeff Pitman of True Dork Times.
Last season, Martin scored to a joint victory with the team from RHAP. So will I be able to score a second victory for Inside Survivor, or will there be a new sheriff in town? It’s all about bragging rights, and it’s definitely worth playing for.
THE FINE PRINT
In view of the Fiasco of the Fine Print last episode, we should first lay down the rules of this Battle for Blog Supremacy.
For each Juror – or potential Juror – each website will rank the Final Six by the likelihood of receiving their Jury vote.
For example, for Juror Hali, I have ranked Sarah > Cirie > Brad > Aubry. This means that I predict Hali will vote for Sarah if she makes the Final Three under any circumstances, Hali will vote for Cirie only if Sarah doesn’t make the Final Three, and Hali will only vote for Aubry in a Final Three of Aubry, Tai, and Troyzan.
Each blogger will score one point for each correct guess, for a possible high score of ten points. A correct guess is determined by the Juror giving their vote to the highest ranking castaway in the Final Three. For instance, if the Final Three is Aubry, Brad, and Troyzan, I would score one point if Hali voted for Brad, but I would not score a point if she voted for Aubry.
Once the votes are read, the decision is final, and the person with the most points will be declared the winner of Game Changers Jury Jeopardy.
But if the score results in a tie, who wins? Do we go to rocks? A challenge? Do we… fight for it?
It comes down to a game of numbers: who guesses closest to the actual vote distribution? A unanimous 10-0-0? A scattershot 5-3-2? This will decide it all!
Blogger ready? Go!
THE JURY SO FAR…
Hali seems particularly intent on voting for the best game-player, given her own approach to the season was making up for wasting her chance on Worlds Apart. I would wager her vote will go to the game players first (Sarah or Cirie) followed by the scramblers (Brad or Aubry).
Given Sarah has been playing the biggest and most overt game this season – between advantages and flipping sides – I think there’s a very high chance that Hali will reward this gameplay with her vote if the cop makes the Final Three. A close second is Cirie, who has also played a strong game that she could articulate well at Final Tribal Council. Her blunder with the Vote Steal is not a great look, but if Cirie can recover from that move to make the Finals, Hali would hold that gameplay in high esteem.
Despite their conflict on the beach, I think Hali would then consider Brad, who co-led his alliance through much of the game and after losing the numbers, would have had to fight his way to the end through Immunity wins and possibly some strategic play that might sway Hali’s vote. Aubry would have a similar argument if she makes the Finals – that of having to scramble through the game from the bottom. I give Brad the edge over Aubry simply because his fight from the bottom is a more visible underdog story.
I don’t believe there would be any scenario that Hali would give her vote to Tai or Troyzan. Tai’s Idol plays could hold some weight, but I think his wishy-washiness will not impress someone who wants to see players grab the game by the horns. As for Troyzan, he’s coasted through the game largely unnoticed, and even if he uses his Idol effectively in the Finale, it won’t be enough to sway the vote.
Ozzy values loyalty highly, and he’ll likely give his vote to someone who showed some degree of integrity. However, he’s not completely oblivious to strategy, and I doubt he’d give his vote to someone who simply skated to the end.
His history with Cirie has certainly had its ups and downs, but I can’t envision a scenario where he wouldn’t vote for her if she made it to the end. They were allied this season, and Ozzy has seen firsthand that Cirie knows the game well and plays it hard – she’d have his vote no matter what.
Second and third rankings are tough: would he reward his ally Aubry who will have had to fight her way to the end? Or a turncoat like Sarah who will have plowed her way to the Finals? Even though she betrayed him (and Ozzy rarely takes such things lightly), I think he’d give his vote to Sarah because her bigger gameplay, particularly if she can put him at ease with her move to take him out.
In a potential all-male Final Three, Ozzy’s vote would most likely go to Tai. The two men were kindred spirits on the Island, bonding over fishing, survival and the island life. I think Ozzy would likely vote for someone who he can see represents the aspect of Survivor that means the most to him.
Debbie wanted a woman to win Koah Rong, and she may do everything in her power to ensure that happens again. Of course, the master of all jobs can also be fickle and unpredictable at times and can hold a grudge.
Her two top choices would be Cirie and Sarah. I think Cirie has the edge – partly because her moves to get to the end would possibly be more finessed than Sarah’s more aggressive style. I wouldn’t be surprised if Debbie is also impressed by seeing a fellow older woman take out the win. That said, I think Debbie would value Sarah’s command of the game and her athleticism. The other reason Sarah isn’t ranked as number one is that Sarah was responsible for Debbie’s exit from the game – something Debbie held against Aubry back in Kaoh Rong.
Brad and Aubry are tough to separate. Debbie has grudges with them both, and between them, her vote could easily go either way. I reckon Brad has the edge simply because he had nothing to do with Debbie going out of the game, and since then, he’s had to scramble his way to the top. I think Debbie might reward that gumption again.
Geek goddess Aubry might stand a chance to finally get Debbie’s vote if she’s up against Tai and Troyzan. She’s got the gender edge, but I also doubt that Debbie would respect Troy drifting into the endgame without making moves or Tai – who didn’t get her vote last time and hasn’t significantly changed his game from the last time around.
Zeke wants to give his heartiest congratulations to the players that evolve the game and make big splashy plays. He might be the butt of a lot of #BigMoves jokes, but I think it’s simply that Zeke wants to see players hungry for the win and doing everything they can to get it.
Sarah is going to get his vote no matter what, and it’s not even close. They were tightly aligned in the game, and even though she had a hand in voting him out, Zeke is not one to take the game personally. Her bold moves and self-interested play are exactly what he’s looking for in a Survivor winner.
As a huge fan of the game, I can’t see Zeke denying Cirie a vote if she’s up against anyone else. She is a legend that he respects as a player, and she’s shown that she’s still got game in her fourth go around. If there’s somebody on the Jury most likely to give Cirie a vote simply for her Survivor legacy, it’s Zeke.
Brad is a bit of an off-kilter choice, but Zeke seems to be a fan of the Culpepper Renaissance this season. He wanted to work with him, and Brad’s scramble to the end has the kind of game aggression that interests Zeke. Aubry has played quietly but effectively if she makes the Final Three and her understanding of the game and her ability to clearly articulate the game would definitely impress Zeke, particularly if she’s up against a non-offensive Troyzan and an often directionless Tai.
Loyalty to her alliance has marked both of Sierra’s games, and I think she’s most likely to reward people who she worked with or she considers to be friends.
Her closest ally throughout the game was Brad, and if he makes the end, I’d be surprised for her to deny him her vote – especially if it comes out that he wasn’t involved in her elimination. However, Sarah was Sierra’s “It Girl,” and her excellent gameplay will definitely impress Sierra. The only reason I ranked Sarah behind Brad was due to the off-chance Sierra will hold a grudge for Sarah betraying her to commandeer the Legacy Advantage.
Troyzan is unlikely to get many votes if he makes it to Final Tribal, if only because he’s been playing such a background game in a season called Game Changers. However, one of his best chances for a vote would be from his ally Sierra. Even if he’s up against a bigger player like Cirie, I could see Sierra throwing him a vote out of loyalty and friendship – after all, she gave an unconventional vote to Carolyn in Worlds Apart. Cirie also fits this same mold of savvy player, so I wouldn’t rule her out from the Sherriff’s vote either, especially if she’s up against Tai or Aubry.
Andrea is one of the most congenial players ever to play the game, and if you have doubts about that, revisit her blindsides in Caramoan and again this season. Andrea will certainly reward her allies and friends, even if they took her out of the game, but also prizes strong gameplay.
As another fan of the game, Andrea will almost certainly give Cirie her vote if she’s able to make it to the end. Her reaction at her blindside suggests there is no bad blood, and Andrea will surely reward Cirie not just for her gameplay this season, but for her game-changing play in Survivor history. Failing that, Andrea would give her vote to Aubry, who seemed to be a very close ally from the merge forward and someone whose game intelligence and friendship would be worthy of a vote.
If her close allies aren’t an option, I’d wager Andrea’s vote would go to Sarah. Her game has been a strong one, so much so that Andrea was beginning to plan to take her out as a threat. She’s guided most of the trajectory of the season, and as Andrea has voted for Rob and Cochran in the past, I suspect she’d again vote for the commander in chief of the season’s game.
If it came down to the three men, I expect Andrea would vote for the person who’d been the biggest decision maker. Even if Tai and Troyzan are able to make some big idol plays at the next couple votes, Brad has been the nominal ringleader of his alliance, and I expect this would earn Andrea’s vote.
Michaela did not make the Jury in Millennials vs. Gen-X, so we have no precedent based on her previous votes. She might come across as quite an emotional player, but from what we’ve seen of her game values, Michaela has always put aside personal vendettas in favour of logical gameplay. My best guess is that similar values will prevail come the Jury Vote.
Cirie has Michaela’s vote locked down. Not only was she her closest ally and a mentor, but she’s also played a strategic game – Michaela has even been privy to many of Cirie’s subtle moves (e.g. the merge boot manipulation). If Cirie doesn’t make the end, but Aubry does, I can see Michaela favouring her ally. Aubry’s intelligence and from-the-bottom game is something that Michaela could possibly relate to, which could be enough to earn her vote.
Sarah may have been a key cog in voting Michaela out, but I’d be surprised to see her hold this against her. Sarah’s game has been full of smart strategic decisions, and as someone who was booted in their first season for planning too many moves ahead, Michaela would likely respect this kind of gameplay. If it came down to the guys, Michaela’s bad blood with Brad and Troyzan might be the deciding factor, but we also saw her form a partnership with Tai – and I could see him getting her vote.
THE FINAL SIX…
Aubry is a bit of a free agent going into the finale, but she’s worked closest with Cirie up to this point. Aubry has seen – and been a victim of – Cirie’s moves, but in the same way that she respected Sandra’s game in the pre-merge, I anticipate that she would also reward Cirie’s masterful game – with Cirie’s legacy serving as additional motivation for her vote.
If Cirie gets knocked out of the running, I expect Sarah to be Aubry’s next horse in the race. As a strategist and decision-maker, Aubry would likely vote for Sarah’s style of play to win (particularly as she lost her first game to a less overtly strategic player). Tai would be her third pick – between their shared history; I would suspect Aubry would give her vote to her “Missed Connection” out of friendship even if he wasn’t tracking for an overall victory.
Brad is another player who has yet to cast a Jury vote, so his endgame values have no precedent. I expect that if his only ally Troyzan were to scrape into the Final Three, Brad would reward the man with a vote of loyalty. However, when push comes to shove, there’s a substantial likelihood that Brad would vote for the more visible game.
Depending on how the next few votes play out, this could go to either Sarah or Cirie. It’s hard to differentiate the two from Brad’s perspective, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sarah’s more aggressive style and challenge athleticism win out over Cirie’s more nuanced social game.
Cirie’s vote would be particularly up for grabs and may be influenced by whatever the Vote Steal fiasco does to her relationship with Sarah. Barring a vicious fallout, I could see Cirie rewarding Sarah’s strong gameplay and ability to make it to the end with an ever-increasing target on her back. Failing this, I would expect Cirie to give her vote to Aubry, an ally whose game she’s seen the most of behind the curtains.
In a scenario where the women get taken out 1-2-3, I think Brad would gain Cirie’s vote. His fight to the end will have been an impressive feat, and even though Cirie made a big play to try to eliminate a threat in Tai, I think she would reward Brad’s hard-earned fight to the end over Tai getting a lucky break thanks to the fine print.
In Cagayan, Sarah cast a vote for someone who had betrayed her after swearing on his badge. She values game over personal vendettas. Even though Cirie broke her trust with the Vote Steal, if Sarah ends up on the Jury and Cirie makes the end, it’ll mean the gangster outsmarted the criminal. I would anticipate Sarah will put aside any bad blood to vote for that move alone.
Failing that, I can see Brad – an alliance leader who also rehabilitated his game from Blood vs. Water – and Tai – an Idol whisperer and potentially, a big move-maker – as her second and third choices. Coupled with Immunity wins for them both, Brad and Tai have played bigger games with criminal instinct compared to the subtle game of Aubry and the inoffensiveness of Troyzan.
Tai was a zero-vote finalist in Kaoh Rong, so again there’s no precedent for his Jury values. However, he’s seen two seasons of Aubry playing her way to the endgame. He worked with her in both seasons, so even though they’ve had a rocky relationship at times through their Survivor experience, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him bless her with his vote.
Between the other four, Tai’s vote could be a bit of a crapshoot. All four have betrayed him at some point, but I’m going to guess that Tai, who values Idols heavily, will lean towards the bigger gameplayers in Sarah and Cirie. To invoke the idols yet again, I think Sarah’s advantages could give her the edge – particularly if it comes out that Sarah’s use of the Vote Steal helped save him from going home.
Troyzan is a challenging one because, as seen in One World, his Jury vote can be readily influenced by personal conflicts. As such, the manner in which he ends up on the Jury – particularly if betrayal is involved – would likely be the deciding factor. Despite this, if Brad, his ally from the second swap all the way through losing numbers and fighting from the bottom in the merge, makes the end, there’s a big chance he’d get Troyzan’s vote.
The rest is very dependent on how the finale pans out, but I’m going to give the edge to Sarah then Cirie. Unless they personally offend him on his way out the door, their larger games could make up the difference. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Troyzan vote for Aubry or Tai – he’s zigged when the rest of the Jury has zagged before. Of all of the possible Jury votes, Troyzan’s remains the biggest enigma.
IN CASE OF
I predict that the vote will be lopsided, but there are enough question marks to make me suspect that we will not see a unanimously-crowned Sole Survivor. I expect that we may get one or two stray votes, and for this reason, I predict that the final Voting Tally will be: 8-2-0.
If you want to play along at home, leave a comment making your predictions or tweet under the hashtag #JuryJeopardy! And, of course, be sure to check out the predictions of our fierce competition: