Next Time is back! This is a blog all about decoding previews, commercials, and previous episodes in order to predict what’s coming next on Survivor.
Last week, Martin filled in for me while I was away, so let’s check out how he did!
Part One: Last time on… Survivor
I didn’t mention the Immunity Challenge above, but judging by the press photos, it seems to be the domino challenge. Hmm. I’ll say Tai for the win.
Grade: I was surprised by how well everyone did in general! I think only Brad knocked his dominos over (right?). That said, Andrea came out victorious, so I’ll have to give an F here.
The puzzle portion of the reward challenge will take over 60 minutes to complete.
Grade: These damn word puzzles, man. “Reinventing” is not an easy word in a jumble. That said, it looks like it took the blue team somewhere between 50 and 60 minutes to solve it. I’ll give Martin a B for getting close!
Andrea and Zeke will come after each other. Sierra will jump ship to vote with Andrea/Cirie, but Sarah will stick with Zeke, telling him about her Vote Steal.
Grade: I don’t think this vote went down like any of us expected. Andrea and Zeke were after each other for sure, but only one of them had immunity at tribal, and it wasn’t Zeke. And Sarah did tell someone about her advantage, but again, it wasn’t Zeke. I’ll give Martin a C- for predicting the plot, but not the conclusion.
Sarah will use her Vote Steal advantage on Andrea, and as a result, Andrea will be voted out.
Grade: Sorry, man! F.
A Preface to Part Two
As of me writing this blog, we haven’t yet received press photos or even a 30-second commercial spot about this week’s episode on Survivor’s YouTube channel. That means that the majority of this blog is going to be about Sierra, Sarah, their alliances and how I expect the next vote to go down. Buckle up!
Part Two: Sierra out on a limb
The first moment we see in last week’s “next time” teaser is one between Sierra and Sarah. It’s here that Sierra tells Sarah about her Legacy Advantage, something she’s kept to herself completely up to this point. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that Sierra would give this information to Sarah of all people. It’s because of Sarah that Sierra’s Power Six alliance went from unstoppable to very stoppable, so of all people, why tell her?
To answer this, we need to try and determine where allegiances on this tribe actually fall. We’ve been shown a kind of power struggle between two sides with Sarah having flipped on the majority, but last week’s vote showed both sides’ willingness to eliminate their own. Players we would have called Tai’s allies voted for him, and players who we would have called Zeke’s allies voted him out. I think at this point, we need to stop expecting each of these votes to be between two warring alliances, and instead, just try to recognize which pairs and trios of players trust each other, and which are just grasping to stay on the right side of the vote.
Sierra is clearly in trouble and has been in plenty of other players’ sights over the past few episodes, and she must know the alliance between her, Troyzan, Brad and Tai is deteriorating. If Sierra and Sarah have a decent friendship out there, and any sense of trust leftover from their former alliance, then I suppose it’s not so asinine for Sierra to go out on a limb to try and build upon that trust via revealing her advantage. And we do get a glimpse of a Sarah confessional right afterward where she says that “the door is opening for her to stay in.”
The next scene of the teaser shows Sierra, Michaela, Tai and Troyzan all high-fiving in the water, apparently solidifying their “unbreakable alliance,” as Probst’s narration would have us think. Does this mean we should expect a new fivesome consisting of the four listed above and Sarah? Is Brad included?
I’m… not sure. I’m sure Aubry, Cirie, and Andrea would be more than happy to take out Sierra before she has an opportunity to use her advantage. And even if Brad is in with Sierra and company, Sarah could steal a vote, turning what could have been a five-vote majority into a four-vote minority.
Let me try to turn this ramble into a brief, summarized prediction: I think Sierra is looking for anyone and anything to get her out of trouble. I believe she’s going to put a little too much faith in Sarah, informing her of her Legacy Advantage. I think Sierra, Troyzan, Tai, Michaela and Brad are all going to assume Sarah is with them on the next vote (where I believe that they’ll aim to take out Cirie because, well, she’s Cirie). Sarah will weigh her options, ultimately deciding that leaving Sierra in the game with her advantage is too dangerous. This will bring her to vote for Sierra along with Aubry, Cirie, and Andrea, and then use her vote steal to get the one remaining necessary vote. I think she’ll steal a vote from Tai to throw his alliance off of what the actual plan is as it might be too obvious to steal a vote from the target herself.
I also think Sarah is eager to play the advantage properly, so the moment she sees a vote potentially breaking into a 5-4 with her on the wrong side, she’s going to switch things up.
Part Three: Love!
The teaser showed us that the players are competing in their loved ones reward challenge this week. This is backed up by this week’s episode description: “An emotional reward brings loved ones together, and one castaway receives invaluable advice from their special visitor.”
I mean, can the second part be about anyone other than Brad and Monica? I think we’re all hoping that H.B. is coming out for Cirie, but I think “advice from their special visitor” is more likely to come out of the two-time player.
Part Four: Who’s gonna win, gonna win, gonna win?
Speaking of Brad – I’m still down with Brad as my third winner pick. Obviously, I get fewer points for picking him knee-deep in the season, but I’m still happy to back him up. I know Sarah has been a lot more prominent lately, but we’ve really only seen her in total game mode during every scene and confessional. I like that Brad’s been given plenty of time to show his strategic chops, but also time to show he has emotional depth. And even if he does get eliminated, at least Brad will have received some redemption from his Blood vs. Water edit. He really is a neat guy.
Part Five: Wrap-up!
No clue what the immunity challenge will be but Andrea is kicking butt, so let’s say she wins it.
Brad wins the loved ones challenge and gets some sweet advice from his neat wife Monica.
That semi-complicated scenario I laid out in part two comes true, and Sierra is voted out.
Even if Sierra isn’t voted out, this vote stealer advantage has gotten some hype from Sarah recently, so I’m expecting it to get played this week.
Brad will win Survivor: Game Changers.
Thank you for reading this week’s blog! Please feel free to share your predictions in the comments below, or start a conversation with me on Twitter, @JacobDerwin. See ya next week!