During the pre-season, each contestant is asked several questions in their CBS bio to gather more information for the public to get to know them. The castaways are all primarily asked about their hobbies, pet peeves, accomplishments, why they think they will win Survivor, and which past Survivor players they’re most like. It’s that last question that is the focus of this new weekly feature.
After each player is voted out, I will compare their gameplay to the past Survivor player they mentioned they were most likely to play like. Then, based on that, see if they played like that particular past player, or if they didn’t, could that have helped them improve their overall placement in the game.
This week’s boot, Dwight Moore, said the Survivor(s) she would play the game most like is Wendell Holland.
Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I hope to emulate Wendell’s game from “Ghost Island” the most. He made it far due to an extremely strong social game, and I hope to create that same level of bond, such that people will want to keep me around, even if doing so would be detrimental to their long-term game. Also, he performed well in challenges, both in the individual and tribal phases when needed.
And with that, the pre-jury phase of Survivor 43 is complete. It was surprising to see Dwight eliminated last week, as he had a solid ally in former Vesi member Noelle and was seen working with other players multiple times. However, his blindside was mainly led by Cody and Jesse to “weaken” Noelle, who was deemed to be calling the shots. But before discussing Dwight’s elimination, it’s essential to go back to the beginning.
Dwight began the game at Vesi alongside Cody, Jesse, Noelle, Justine, and Nneka. Vesi won the first challenge, and Dwight was part of the first Summit of the season, where he risked his vote to get an advantage, which ultimately went to Gabler, and Dwight lost his vote. He quickly established an alliance with Justine and Noelle, while he entertained working with Jesse on the side as the rest of the tribe was pairing up.
As Vesi lost the second immunity challenge, Nneka was on the chopping block. Dwight tried to convince Jesse to align with Justine and Noelle, though Cody was highly distrustful of Justine, and Jesse wanted to keep the tribe strong while also not trusting Justine, so the latter was voted out, blindsiding Dwight and Noelle in the process.
After Justine’s elimination, Dwight lost trust in Jesse though he knew he needed the numbers to survive. Vesi once again lost immunity, and since Noelle had won the steal-a-vote at the second Summit, the target was on Nneka and Dwight, as they were the puzzle makers at the challenge. However, Jesse and Cody preferred to keep Dwight over Nneka as they wanted to keep the tribe strong again, ending in voting out their ally Nneka.
Fortunately for Vesi, they won the following two challenges keeping Dwight and the rest safe until the merge. Once at Gaia, the remaining players shifted their gears into overdrive as they all tried to keep up with revelations about other players and their advantages. At the challenge, Dwight was part of the blue team, earning their merge buff and being safe at the next tribal council. The target kept shifting between multiple people like Elie, Cody, and James, ultimately sending Elie out of the game.
In the latest episode, Dwight was able to secure a place at the last stage of the immunity challenge, though he could not win it. Once again, multiple targets were mentioned throughout the hours before tribal, mainly Ryan for being a physical threat and James for being a social player. As Noelle kept pushing for James and was seen as the driving force behind the vote, other players, including Jesse and Cody, decided to vote out Dwight to pull the rug from under Noelle.
Things looked better for Dwight for a second, as James found the Knowledge Is Power advantage, and the players who had advantages or idols decided to pass them around to throw James off the scent of who had what. Jeanine gave Dwight her idol in hopes of not losing it in case James asked her for it, though it was futile as Dwight was blindsided in a 7-3-2 vote with Jeanine’s now-defunct idol in his pocket.
Dwight chose Wendell Holland, the Sole Survivor of Ghost Island, as the player he would’ve liked to play the game most similar to. Wendell is mainly known for his social gameplay, which allowed him to advance himself and his allies at different points of the game and secure the necessary social capital to pull off blindsides or ultimately be safe when he needed it the most.
Wendell’s close relationships with Domenick Abbate and Laurel Johnson gave him a tight grasp of the game, both pre and post-merge, navigating himself to the final four, where he was able to claim the win over his allies. Coming back in Winners at War, Wendell was deemed one of the most dangerous players for his social connections and savviness, alongside his ability to win immunities. He was ultimately sent to the Edge of Extinction, where he failed to return to the game.
As always, it’s tricky to compare one’s gameplay to that of a winner, though Dwight did seem to possess Wendell’s social and physical abilities to back it up. Unfortunately for Dwight, his connections with former Vesi members and within the newly merged tribe were not sufficient to guarantee his safety. Had Dwight been given a little more time, or being on a season with a tribe swap, I feel he could have gained more allies with his social skills. That could have provided him the information he needed to ensure his safety, or even play Jeanine’s idol for himself.
Wendell’s ability to ensure that not only his allies trusted him over others, including his number one ally Dom, was a crucial factor in his getting to the end. He knew when to lay low, play an advantage, or when it was time to outmaneuver his enemies to survive another day. It is rare to see a player not actively control all votes but still have enough pull to receive the information they need to secure their safety. And sadly, Dwight wasn’t one of those players and just came up short of at least being part of this season’s jury.
- Survivor 43
- Original tribe(s): Vesi, Gaia
- Placement: 12/18
- Ghost Island, Winners at War
- Original tribe(s): Ghost Island (Naviti, Yanuya, Lavita); Winners at War (Dakal, Sele, Koru)
- Placement(s): Winner, 13/20
Similarities: Both were social players that had a close ally (Dwight and Noelle in Survivor 43, Wendell and Dom in Ghost Island); both were physical players and assets to their tribes; both were “laid back” when it came to playing the game; both went on “trips” to get an advantage (Dwight went on a summit, Wendell went to Ghost Island); both participated in blindsides and were blindsided when eliminated (Dwight in Survivor 43, Wendell in Winners at War).
Differences: Wendell’s social bonds held and kept him safe, while Dwight’s were unable to save him from being voted out; though both had individual immunity, Dwight’s was due to his team winning it, while Wendell won two individual immunities in Ghost Island; Wendell was part of the jury on his second season, while Dwight was unable to reach the jury phase.