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Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 9 – Edgic


Inside Survivor analyzes the edit of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 9, mapping the stories, characters, and winner contenders. Edgic is a feature co-written by Martin Holmes and two-time Survivor player Shirin Oskooi.

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 Key

NewColours

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
Adam2Adam MOR3 UTR2 CP4 CPP5 CPP3 CP4 MOR2 CPN5 CPN4
Bret2Bret MOR4 UTR1 UTR2 MOR2 MORN3 UTR1 CPM3 MOR3 OTT3
Chris2Chris MOR4 MOR2 MOR3 MORM4 CP5 UTR1 UTRN2 CP3 MOR2
David2David OTTM5 CPM5 CP5 CP5 CPM5 UTR2 CPM3 CP3 CP3
Hannah2Hannah CP3 OTT3 OTTN2 UTR1 INV CPP3 CP4 CP3 CPP3
Jay2Jay MORN3 CP4 MOR2 UTR2 MOR3 CPP3 CP5 MORM4 CPN5
Jessica2Jessica CP4 INV CP3 MORN4 MOR2 CP3 CP2 UTRP1 UTR1
Ken2Ken MORP2 CPP4 CPP4 CP5 CPP3 CP4 UTR1 UTR1 UTR1
Sunday2Sunday UTR2 UTR2 MOR2 UTR1 UTRN1 UTR1 MORP3 UTR1 CP3
Will2Will UTR2 UTR2 UTR1 INV INV UTR1 MOR3 MORP3 MOR2
Zeke2Zeke OTTP4 CP3 MOR2 UTR2 MOR4 CP3 MORM3 CP4 UTR1
Taylor2Taylor OTTN3 OTTN3 MOR3 OTT1 OTTN3 OTTN4 OTTM3 OTTN5 OTTM5
Michelle2Michelle MOR2 CP3 UTR1 INV CP4 UTRP2 MORP2 MOR2
Michaela2Michaela UTR1 CPM5 CP2 OTTP2 CPM3 OTTM3 CPP5
Figgy2Figgy CPN3 OTTN5 CPN3 UTR1 CPN3 CPM5
CeCe2CeCe UTR2 UTR1 MORN4 UTR1 MOR4
Lucy2Lucy UTR1 INV UTR1 OTTN5
Paul2Paul UTR3 OTTN3 OTTN5
Mari2Mari CP3 MOR3
Rachel2Rachel OTTN4

What did this episode tell us?

This episode was a continuation of the stories and themes set up last week. The concept of revenge was still very much prevalent. Most obviously present in the Taylor and Adam storyline, with Taylor once again talking about avenging Figgy. But we also saw Sunday worrying about Jessica holding a grudge over old Gen X votes. Also, at tribal council, Jay represented revenge-thinking when he said he’d “love to write Adam’s name down again.” With Taylor leaving, it once again shows us that those playing for revenge or holding grudges will be unsuccessful in the game.

Another big theme of the episode was what Chris said at tribal council about finding the cracks. Several players were looking for cracks and trying their hardest to exploit them for their advantage. Some people were more successful than others. Jay was trying to find cracks, hoping to work his way back in with the Millennials by approaching Hannah and Adam but was ultimately unsuccessful. Sunday talked about cracks and fractures within the Gen X alliance and actually named the divide (Sunday/Bret/Chris versus Jessica/David/Ken). Sunday was also unsuccessful in trying to exploit these cracks and turn the vote against Jessica.

In terms of ratings, this episode cemented some things and confused others. Taylor, while not the goat like we suspected he could be, ended his game pretty much how it started, completely OTT. He might be one of the most OTT characters in Survivor history. It was evident early on that he had no chance of winning and was there simply as a representation of the negative millennial qualities. Other players like Will and Jessica continued on the same path – Will, the young kid that is just along for the ride, and Jessica, only relevant when it’s through the eyes of other players.

Chris and David have also become cemented as the strategic core of the Gen Xers. David, in particular, is having a great merge so far, his paranoid side gone and a more assured, accurate David is being presented. Sunday having her first CP rating cemented one of our earlier reads that she would perhaps become relevant post-merge in a Julia Sokolowski sort of way – a short-term story that isn’t hugely important to the season narrative as a whole but provides some short-term drama.

The confusing edits here are mainly Ken and Hannah. Ken had such a strong pre-merge edit with both game and personal complexity with significant visibility. He has now had three UTR1s in a row and no confessionals since Episode 6. He even won immunity and went on reward this episode and still didn’t receive a confessional. Why? Is this intentional to hide Ken and make his win less obvious? Or is Ken no longer relevant to the season? Hannah is almost the opposite of Ken. She had a topsy-turvy pre-merge edit, for the most part, a mixture of OTT and UTR/INV with some negative tone sprinkled on top. But since Episode 6 she’s been on a CP streak, with higher visibility and obvious positive manipulation. Again, why? We’ll dig in deeper to both of these in the individual write-ups.

Recap

The previously on segment started by reminding us of the old Gen X tribe dynamics. “It was Bret, Chris, and Sunday against Ken, David, and Jessica.” We saw Bret saying he didn’t trust Jessica and Ken telling Jessica that Bret, Chris, and Sunday don’t trust her. This obviously came into play this episode when Sunday further elaborated on these cracks and talked about wanting Jessica out. This is bound to be a story over the coming episodes.

“But after the merge, the Gen Xers put their differences aside.” David was positioned as the one calling the shots. “What needs to be broken up is the upper echelon of the Millennials.” We were told the Gen Xers formed a majority alliance with Hannah, Zeke, and Adam. And then David saying, “Michelle is the one to go after.” The recap made David look very good.

“But Adam and Taylor started sharing secrets.” This set up the main storyline of this episode with Taylor revealing Adam’s secret at tribal council. “And the alliance started to question Adam’s loyalty.” We were shown David wondering if Adam would flip and Hannah telling us that Adam couldn’t just “play with the weirdos, he had to sit at the Cool Kids table.” This continued into this episode with people questioning Adam’s trust and actions.

“At tribal council, the majority decided to trust Adam, leaving Taylor, Jay, and Will out of the loop.”

THE CHARACTERS

Under the Radar

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Jessica has spent most of this season tied to others, mainly Ken, whether he is trying to save her or her trying to save him. Since the merge, both Jessica and Ken have gone UTR1 with zero confessionals. Jessica was barely in this episode either other than mentions from other players (in particular Sunday and Bret).

All of Jessica’s content this episode related to the cracks in the Gen X alliance and how people don’t trust her. The recap reminded us of the early Gen X dynamics with Bret saying “I don’t trust Jessica as far as I can throw her,” and then Ken reemphasizing when he told Jessica “Chris, Bret, and Sunday don’t trust you.” In this episode, Bret and Sunday doubled down on those feelings, both stating their distrust for Jess and Sunday believing Jessica still holds a grudge. Are we meant to agree with Bret and Sunday that Jessica is untrustworthy? We didn’t hear Jessica’s perspective this episode so all we have to go on his b-roll footage and past actions.

We talked about b-roll footage in last week’s Adam section and the importance of it shouldn’t be underestimated. The images that the editors put on screen to accompany people’s words are often used to support or counteract what is being said. In this episode, when Sunday and Bret talked about Jessica we were shown footage of Jessica asleep in the hammock (being shown sleeping has a history of negative connotations in Survivor) and stumbling out of the water (we’ll talk about how this compares to Adam in his section). Those things certainly didn’t paint Jessica in the most positive light. As for past content that supports the accusations of untrustworthiness, we have Episode 3 and 4 when Jessica was the one “blamed” for breaking up the Gen X alliance and we have Episode 7 when she had her chat with Taylor and considered getting rid of Adam. As Taylor went this episode that conversation he had with Jessica was clearly not important to any future story, so its only function was to show Jessica as untrustworthy, lauding the laughable Taylor who the edit had not supported at all (it’s understandable why Ken was left out of this scene).

What does this suggest for Jessica moving forward? Things don’t look good. We haven’t had her perspective on the merge dynamics, we’ve been shown people don’t trust her, and we haven’t even heard her talk about the Legacy Advantage for a while, which points to her not being the one to use it. A lot of her content this week is clearly set up for the Gen X divide in the next episode and we know that she will be a target. Her saving grace is being aligned with David who we know has an idol and has used one to save her already- but edgically, Jessica looks doomed.

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What is the deal with Ken? He had such a strong pre-merge edit with all the hallmarks of a winner contender – positivity, personal content, game complexity, strong game connections (David and Jessica). But since Episode 7 he’s all but disappeared. Surely there must be a reason for this?

Ken is a particular Survivor archetype, the athletic, attractive male. Usually, those character types don’t get a lot of depth in their edits. They’re often painted as one-dimensional and set up as physical threats which leads to them being targeted at the merge. Ken is different. Ken has been shown to be caring, compassionate, more than meets the eye – not the “Ken Doll” that appears on the surface. All of that told us that Ken is worth keeping an eye on as a proper contender because his pre-merge edit was so different from his archetype. Does that then excuse his UTR merge edit? Given that Ken is one of the most athletic and physical players left, he should be a major target. He even won immunity this episode! But nobody is talking about Ken as a threat and that’s a good sign for longevity.

But it’s hard to spin three UTR1s in a row with no confessionals into a positive, especially at the merge. And even more so when he’s won immunity and a reward. It’s extremely rare (maybe even unprecedented) for a winner not to have a confessional at the merge after having won immunity or reward. So that definitely knocks Ken down a peg or two. Also, he had a subtitled line this episode after the challenge when he said, “My knee hurts” and David told him to go sit down. Why highlight that? Very odd. It made Ken seem like an old man, which I guess follows on from him professing his love for language and vinyl records.

If Ken isn’t the winner, then why such a significant pre-merge edit? Well, maybe it was all support for David’s story. Maybe Ken being so gracious to David was more about showing how David had connected with someone and was developing bonds. Maybe all Ken’s positivity was supposed to reflect onto David. The fact that David is still very much present in the game while Ken is absent certainly speaks to David being the more relevant one in that partnership now.

If this is an intentional tactic to hide Ken before he comes back into focus for a late-game surge then we should know by next week. It’s a double episode coming up and if we don’t hear Ken’s perspective on the game then he should be done. If next week he once again tries to save Jessica and/or his relationship with David comes back into focus then Ken is still in this thing as a contender.

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This was Zeke’s quietest edit for quite some time. He was hardly present other than once again telling us about how Adam is a bad alliance member. An UTR1 for Zeke here isn’t such a bad thing. Unlike Ken who has three UTR1s in a row, Zeke has just come off the back of a strong CP4 last week where he looked to be in firm control of the game, and before that he had a mix of mid-to-high vis MOR and CP ratings. A quieter edit in an episode where his alliance continued on their path from last week taking out the minority is perfectly fine. There was no major shakeup that Zeke needed to comment on.

His one confessional told us about how Adam was making bad decisions. “Adam can’t be smart like the rest of us are, trying to bring Will and Jay back into the fold. Adam has to gloat and make Jay feel crappy. And I’m just like, “Adam, don’t be an idiot and make people feel like they’re on the bottom ‘cause that’s when they vote against you!”” It’s interesting that we keep hearing Zeke talk about not trusting Adam and wanting him gone because we heard similar stuff from him regarding Michelle and ultimately he voted her out. Does this suggest Zeke will eventually vote out Adam? 

Another good sign for Zeke is that he sat out of the immunity challenge to eat and yet didn’t receive any negativity for it (and neither did Will). There’s been plenty of occasions when people have sat out and the edit has harped on how bad of a decision it was for them or made it look like they didn’t care about the game. But Zeke and Will didn’t receive any of this negativity, which is good for both of them but even more so for Zeke because his overall edit is much stronger than Will’s and still has strong winner potential.

Middle of the Road

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Will’s rating was tough to decide this week because while he wasn’t super visible the content he did have was slightly OTT. Not once, not twice, but three times Probst highlighted that Will could only drink soft drinks at the rewards. It was like Probst was making fun of him, and it was funny, as Will reacted with a child like “Ugh what?!” These were small OTT moments that the audience definitely got a laugh from and remembered, so it would be wrong to say he was UTR. But it would also seem wrong to label him OTT because he did have a confessional explaining his reasoning for sitting out of the immunity challenge. “I opted to eat because I knew I wasn’t going to win that challenge against surfer guys. They’re obviously gonna beat me, so I could lose and go back to camp with nothing, or I could eat and go back to camp with a full belly.” It’s not complex enough for CP but probably enough to justify MOR.

His story remains the same. The young kid along for the ride, eating his grilled cheese and drinking soda. Will isn’t presented as a key player or one of the people driving the direction of the game, he’s a passenger.

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Chris was another tough one to place. There were small CP elements to his edit and a CP-lite rating could be argued but overall there just wasn’t quite enough substance to push him past MOR. His first confessional told us that he is “gaining some traction and some control in this majority group” and we know that to be true based on his inclusion in the group strategy talks and also Bret and Sunday needing to talk to him about potentially voting Jessica. It paints Chris in a leadership, decision-maker role. He also told us that he feels “comfortable enough with the solid people in [their] group” but that Adam scares him. It’s not quite clear who Chris means when he says “solid people.” Does he just mean Bret and Sunday? Or is he including the likes of David, Zeke, and Hannah? We’ve heard David and Zeke say they are closer with each other than with Chris in the past. It’s possible that Chris could be too trusting in people that may soon turn against him and is focusing his fear on the wrong person (Adam).

His other confessional was just about Bret and didn’t offer any real strategic depth. His other key content was the talk about “cracks” at tribal council, and it’s that which could be argued into a CP-lite rating. “I’ve been on the wrong side of the line and you just work yourself back in. So play the game, get back in there. There’s cracks.” It was a continuation of Sunday’s confessional about fractures among the Gen Xers and sets up the upcoming storylines. Will Chris be on the right side of the line this time? Other than David, Chris is presented as the most strategic and in control Gen Xer, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good that Chris is set up as a power player and we can usually rely on what he says, but it’s bad in the sense that he’s visible as a power player (the opposite of Ken) and that type of person often becomes a merge target. That coupled with his past rocky relationship with David suggests that a Chris blindside could be in his future.

Over the Top

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Oh, Taylor. He might have one of the most ridiculous edits in the history of Survivor. Almost straight OTT from start to finish other than one rare MOR. From the first episode, his character was presented as the Millennial dreamer that refused to change whether it negatively effected his game or not. While our read of him being the potential Final Tribal Council goat was wrong, our Episode 1 read pretty much came to pass:

“It set him up as a thematic cornerstone of the season as a Millennial who does whatever he wants to do, but it also shows that he very likely can’t win when he said, “this is who I am, and I can’t change.” Every season, we are told a story about how Survivor relies on adaptation. Taylor’s story this season will be that of the Millennial who lost because he only embodied the stereotypical qualities of a Millennial and couldn’t change (i.e., not disproving the misconceptions).”

His pride over stealing the food this episode and Probst trying to brush it off as a Millennial attitude pretty much cemented that read. “People already know I steal food. Like, who cares?” He had no self-awareness. Taylor was doomed from the start, the edit didn’t care to give him any complexity, he was just a cartoonish, snowboarder bro. The reason he gets a Mixed tone for this episode is for the weirdly positive/uplifting music in his final confessional when he said, “Figs told me to fight as hard as I could, get to the end of this, and so that’s what I’m trying to do.” It was still ridiculously OTT but was presented in a positive light. Very strange. The rest was all negative, from the food-stealing and tribal council performance. And his overall season rating is OTTN – as much as Taylor claims to be “not a dumb surfer,” unfortunately for him that is how people will remember him on this season.

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Bret’s edit took a very Keith Nale turn this episode. His main content was getting drunk at the reward and it was presented in a light-hearted, fun way, with his fellow tribemates laughing and joking with him, and Chris backing him up in confessional. There wasn’t quite enough to sway the tone to P here, Chris just said, “that’s just Bret. You know, he’s a big, loud guy.” It excused his drunkenness as harmless but it was hardly “Bret is the greatest human ever!” But Bret certainly came across as likable in this scene.

His other key scene was talking to Sunday about his distrust of Jessica, and how he’d talk to Chris about Sunday’s plan to vote Jessica out. It made Bret look subservient to Chris and not someone that has power in the game. Like we said back in Episode 1, “Since Chris had personal development in this episode, this points to Bret being a supporting character in Chris’ story this season.” That is still holding true from Chris commenting on Bret at the reward and Bret needing Chris’ permission to make a move.

Complex Personalities

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Welcome to the CP club, Sunday! Throughout most of the season Sunday has been UTR, so a CP rating here was a little out of the blue but follows on from our prediction that she’d receive a Julia Sokolowski style merge bump. Julia was also a player that was UTR/MOR for most of Survivor: Kaoh Rong and then at the merge got a sudden shot of CP which lasted three episodes until her boot (Ep9-11). It provided a short-term story and allowed other dynamics to form around it. A similar thing seems to be happening with Sunday. Her mini-feud with Jessica is set up as the catalyst of the Gen X fractures and will probably play a big part over the next couple of episodes.

On the surface, things looked good for Sunday here. She received strategic confessionals, got to talk about the dynamics of Gen X, where she stands in that grouping, how she doesn’t trust Jessica and the reasons why and told us that she wanted to make a move. At the reward, Sunday said, “moving forward what I want to make is a proactive move because I definitely feel like I need to take control of the game.” That move, she later told us, was voting out Jessica: “One of us is going to get each other first.” Then she told us how she wanted to make it happen, “I can definitely use Jay because right now he’s feeling like he’s at the bottom.” We then saw her chatting with Jay and she told him, “I’ll push for Jessica and I’m sure it will be an easy sell.” All of that accounts for her CP rating.

But the bad thing for Sunday’s edit here is that she didn’t achieve what she set out to do. It wasn’t an “easy sell.” She wasn’t able to turn the vote against Jessica. She had to concede. “I don’t like it but I’ll go with it,” she said to Bret about splitting the vote between Jay and Taylor. “If it were up to me, I would 100% like to see Jessica go home. But because of the way the numbers are, I don’t think there’s any way that I would be making the move.” This was also cemented when Bret said he’d talk to Chris about it, showing that Chris is the one that is needed to make the move. And lastly she straight up told Jay, “I can’t do anything about it.” It’s never good in Survivor to set a goal and then fail.

Does this mean Sunday is doomed? Not at all. Sunday has been shown to be a positive presence that values genuine connections. Even when talking about not trusting Jessica she said, “She’s nice. We connect as moms, but I just think because I voted for her, I feel like she really is gonna want to get me out.” Her reasons were logical and she still talked about a human connection between them. Her connection with Jay was also highlighted, “really good relationship.” And we already know she’s tight with Bret and Chris. What it means is that Sunday is unlikely to be the driving force making this vote happen, she needs others (i.e. Chris) to make it happen.“We have to do Jess next time,” she told Bret, and that could very well come to pass, but the edit tells us that other players will be more key in this story and its fallout.

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David’s edit stayed the course this episode, once again presented as the one calling the shot (last week he named Michelle as the target and this week was the first to suggest splitting the votes). The recap made David look great, he was the one saying what needed to happen and how it would happen: “What needs to be broken up is the upper echelon of the Millennials” and “Michelle is the person to go after.” That carried on this episode when he said, “Because we’re splitting the votes, I feel very confident that one of them is going to go home.” And that is indeed what happened. David, who had a shaky start to this game, is now shown to be accurate and in control.

He didn’t really come alive this episode until after the immunity challenge but that is fine. He didn’t need to be shown until it came time to vote and when that time came he was the one saying how and why they were splitting the votes, which leads to his CP rating. “In this particular instance, we think it’s the safest bet to split the votes between Taylor and Jay. Jay is the biggest schemer, the biggest plotter. Taylor is the least trustworthy of the two.” Interestingly, in the group chat between the majority alliance, it seemed more like Chris was leading the conversation, yet it was David who we heard from in the confessionals. David usurping Chris has been a common theme throughout this season.

We always knew David was going to be a big character and play a pivotal role in the season based on his early edit but his winner chances seemed less likely. However, right now his edit has stabilized. He’s been shown to be accurate and in control and no longer full of paranoia. We did hear from Sunday that half of the Gen Xers don’t fully trust him, so there is definitely set up for him being targeted down the line but there are enough positive signs that could point to a David win. Usually, someone like David would be a journey/growth edit rather than a winner but we’ve had surprisingly little talk of David overcoming his paranoia and anxieties; since the swap David has been all about strategy and forming bonds/alliances which is much more in line with a typical winner edit.

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There’s no question that Adam’s edit has taken a nosedive as of late. It’s a little similar to Tai Trang’s last season, where he had this strong CP, positive pre-merge and then at the merge he started to get a lot of negative SPV (second person visibility) that set up his zero votes at Final Tribal Council. Now, Adam never had quite the same amount of positivity as Tai did pre-merge but his edit was definitely positive tinged and he looked like a decent winner contender at times. But these past two episodes have heaped on the negative SPV and made it look like Adam would have very little shot at winning over a jury.

In terms of negative SPV, there was a lot. Most of it came from Jay who throughout the episode referred to Adam as “stupid,” “idiot,” “huge jerk,” and an “a**hole.” What made this worse was that we saw Hannah and Zeke agreeing with Jay’s assessment. There is definitely negative sentiment towards Adam in the game and that can’t be hidden, especially if Adam does make it to FTC and loses. But again, the edit isn’t totally burying Adam. “Even if I am at the bottom of Gen X, it certainly feels a lot better than being out of the game, which is where you [Jay/Taylor] tried to put me.” He explained why he voted with Gen X and the benefit of doing that (he would have been out of the game otherwise). And even during his chat with Jay, he still got to explain the reasoning behind his actions, “I’m worried that I might be playing too aggressively, that I might be playing too hard, but I have to prove my loyalty to my alliance, because I have a much stronger bond with Gen X than I certainly ever will with Jay at this point.” He recognized his flaws but told us why he was doing what he was doing. His execution may leave a lot to be desired but the edit hasn’t sent Adam to the OTTN-Taylor dimension just yet. 

Also, we touched on b-roll earlier and last week, and Adam’s b-roll doesn’t support the negative comments about him. Compare his b-roll this episode to Jessica’s. As we said earlier, when Bret and Sunday talked negatively about Jessica she was shown sleeping and stumbling out of the water saying “Ouch!” It made her look unaware and clumsy. When Jay and Zeke talked negatively about Adam he was just shown alone in the water or walking on the beach. And the edit has supported Adam in other ways. The big topic of tribal council was Taylor accusing Adam of eating some of the stolen food and Adam had to defend himself and deny Taylor’s claims. As viewers, we knew Adam was telling the truth. Why? Because last week the edit made sure to include Adam saying “I’m not even hungry, so you go to town,” (subtitled) making it clear he didn’t partake in eating the stash. Whereas when Jay denied eating and how his morals wouldn’t allow him to do such a thing, we knew he was lying because the edit showed him eating the food with Taylor.

Where does Adam’s edit go from here? There’s no denying his edit is hanging by a thread right now. It seems like people are itching to vote him out but does his negativity now make him less of a threat? Could he be a FTC goat? We’ve been wrong on the goat reference in regards to both Figgy and Taylor, but maybe the goat talk wasn’t meant to point directly at a specific person, but just that there is a goat on the Millennials tribe. That could be Adam but it could also be Hannah or Will (seems less likely to be Jay or Zeke). Or can Adam turn this around and redeem himself? Another N toned episode would sink him but if he can scrape back some positivity or even go UTR for a week it would help somewhat.

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Jay has become really visible the past few weeks and has had a mixture of positive and negative tone. He is a complex character who isn’t easily pigeon-holed into one category. His negativity this episode came from being tied to Taylor and the stolen food. It’s hard not to be portrayed negatively when the edit showed him eating the food and then trying to take the moral high ground at tribal council with Probst having to call him out. There was some hypocrisy to Jay’s comments this episode. He called out Adam for eating the food when he was the one that ate it, and even earlier in the episode he “congratulated” Adam for now being on the bottom of Gen X, but then later got angry when Adam told him he was on the bottom. It fits with the Schrödinger’s Jay character we talked about a few episodes back.

Jay got to explain himself a lot this episode, he had a total of ten confessionals and each time we learned his thoughts and feelings on other players and/or the game. “So now in my head it’s like, “Dude, Jay, you might be next, dude. So try to find your way out of this hole, because even though I have an Immunity Idol in my back pocket, I’m in trouble.”” He was aware enough to recognize he was on the chopping block and talked about finding his way back in. He later had a confessional about his options going into to tribal council about whether he should use his idol for himself or give it to Taylor or “just be quiet about it, hope for the best, and just save it for a rainy day.” That was a very CP confessional and given that he went with this third option and survived the vote is a positive sign. We also got to see Jay working on his relationships, in particular with Hannah and Sunday, but we even saw him chatting with Adam although that one didn’t go so well (but the blame was put on Adam).

But there were some bad signs in his edit too. In his first confessional of the episode, he said, “I guess the big Gen X cesspool over there is gunning for the Millennials. And even the Millennial flippers don’t even know because they’re so stupid, like Zeke and Adam and Hannah.” But from what we’ve been shown this isn’t totally accurate. While Adam has obviously been a person of concern for everyone, we haven’t had any indication that the Gen Xers are coming after Zeke and Hannah. In fact, we know from this episode that the “Gen X cesspool” is not gunning for all the Millennials, as Sunday told us there are fractures in the Gen X alliance and that she wants Jessica out. Adam also got to defend his move by telling us he knows he’s on the bottom of Gen X but that is better than being out of the game, so he isn’t “so stupid” to realize what is happening. Jay also said, “my life is basically in Sunday’s hands at the moment.” It’s never good to have to rely on someone else to save you, especially when that person couldn’t save you! Then there are smaller things like saying, “Ken’s going down” at the challenge, which was wrong because Ken won.

The big positive for Jay is that he’s shown to be a fighter. “I gotta stay positive, gotta give good energy and, you know, the universe should be all right with giving it back.” From the first episode, Jay has been shown to be a positive energy, laughing and smiling (even when tied to Triforce negativity). “I’m still in the ring, still throwin’ punches. I’m not gonna give up.” Jay is now presented as an underdog and there’s enough substance to his edit to suggest a comeback. Jay’s negativity has predominantly come from being associated with Taylor and the Cool Kids, now with Taylor gone, Jay could find himself leaning back into a more positive tone like he had in Episode 6. Could he win? It’s not out of the realm of possibility but like Adam he needs to return to CPP or slip UTR for a week (although given next week’s preview that doesn’t seem likely).

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Hannah has a very interesting edit. In the first episode of the season, she started with a solid CP3 rating, shown to be making a bond with Michelle, explaining her thoughts on the Cool Kids and trying to mount a counter defense. But in the following two episodes, she went completely OTT, scatterbrained and indecisive. After that, she all but disappeared and didn’t pop back up again until Episode 6. But the last two episodes she’s looked great, shown to be strategically aware and this week there was even editorial manipulation in a positive bent – obviously so.

Early on in the episode, Hannah had an entire scene where she talked with Jay about the previous vote. “I’ve loved the show since I was fourteen. And I’m coming out here and I’m actually playing with the intention of trying to win and build a résumé and it’s so fun!” The music swelled up during her confessional, overly positive. “It’s like I’m finally getting to play. And last night I– I realized that I could do it, and it’s addicting! It’s like I want to be able to pull off another vote! And now I finally get the chance to make some moves.” During this Jay complimented her and told her he was proud and gave her a high five. They probably could have cut to a Jay confessional here to undermine the scene and say that he was just telling her what she wanted to hear (after all, he referred to her as stupid earlier, along with Adam and Zeke, for aligning with Gen X). The fact the edit didn’t show Jay undermining her in this scene made it super positive for Hannah.

At the reward, Hannah was chosen as a team captain but her team lost the challenge. And while Probst referred to her picks as bad choices, Hannah got a confessional afterward explaining why she picked certain people, “I knew I wanted to keep Jay and Will closer to me because I know they feel on the bottom.” But she also acknowledged her error, “I picked a horrible team, and to make such a glaring mistake, it takes you back a step, but if I want to stay in the game, I have to prove that I can handle this.” The edit didn’t have to include this, it could have simply left it at Probst telling us Hannah made a bad choice and that’s it. The fact she got to somewhat defend her choices is a positive sign that Hannah’s viewpoint is important.

Now here comes the “but.” While all of this looks good and is pushing Hannah as a potential winner, it seems too little too late. Probst himself even used those words at the challenge in reference to Hannah’s team, “…as they try and fight to get back in this, is it too little too late?” And Hannah is shown saying “Yeah.” That sums up her edit. She is now fighting and “playing with the intention of trying to win” but does it make up for her flawed pre-merge edit? It seems unlikely. This has been a season of decoy winner edits; we are now two episodes into the merge and the edit is doing its best to not show its hand, keeping multiple people in contention. But this current Hannah surge seems like an obvious decoy. We’ve already seen Adam, Michaela, and Jay with super positive confessionals and one of them is gone and the other two are falling fast. There is no reason to believe Hannah isn’t just another distraction.

If this is a decoy winners edit then how far will that edit go? If Hannah continues on this strong CP streak she could very well make FTC but maybe as that “goat” that she referenced this episode. Is winning impossible? No. If other players, especially the likes of David, Ken and Zeke start taking big hits, then there might be more to this Hannah edit than we’re currently seeing. But right now it seems like a swerve.

Stories in Play

-Millennials vs. Gen X – the theme of the season, expected to continue throughout. Once again the players stated that the game had moved beyond Millennials vs. Gen X despite Probst constantly ramming the theme down their throats.
-Disproving Millennial Misconceptions – Will the Millennial players prove or disprove the negative stereotypes? Adam introduced this concept in episode one. Jay once again distanced himself from the negative millennial stereotypes by claiming to be different from Taylor and not just “a dumb surfer.”
-Cool Kids vs. Misfits – This theme has been present most of the season and still played a part here with Jay and Taylor representing the Cool Kids.
-Humility/Connections – A theme that has been best represented by Ken. We saw Sunday talking about connections this week, her connections with Bret and Chris and Jay.
-Cracks – There was a lot of talk about cracks and fractures this episode, mainly in regards to the Gen X alliance. Chris also talked about finding the cracks and working your way back in. This looks set to become important in the following weeks.

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 Hull, England represented by Berlin Associates. He graduated from the University of Hull in English and Creative Writing. But if you have found yourself on this website you probably know him better as “Redmond” – the Survivor spoiler.