Last week, I predicted that Voce was going to be eliminated. I’m not sure I can repeat my luck this week as the NTOS preview feels even more oblique than ever, with an unknown new twist piling onto the existing complications of the three-way idol that’s in play from Episode 2.
Here’s my breakdown of the NTOS preview…
The preview begins with a gushing celebration shared between Brad and Shan from the Ua tribe. My immediate thought is that one of them found the three-way shared hidden immunity idol, similar to the one found by Xander on Yase. I’m guessing Brad was the one who found it, as I’m not certain Shan would have as readily shared the information with Brad, given the doubt she expressed about him in Episode 2.
Later on in the preview, we see JD and Ricard searching for the idol on the beach. JD is in the foreground digging sand while Ricard surveys a tree in the back. This quickly cuts to a close-up of Ricard’s side-eye while JD voices over “Ricard could have the idol,” and then a confessional from JD frustratedly expressing, “I still haven’t found it!”
Put together, my prediction is that Brad found the advantage and revealed it to Shan. As mentioned, Shan has expressed doubt in Brad’s trustworthiness before, so she may have revealed this to Ricard. This scene of JD and Ricard, then, may really just be Ricard “searching” for the already-found idol with JD in an attempt to pacify and upkeep their relationship though he’s actually working closer with Shan.
Over on Yase, the preview shows Tiffany, Evvie, and Liana on the beach—the three women who voted together in the last Tribal Council, saving Tiffany over Voce. I would have assumed the vote solidified their alliance; however, this scene is overlaid with a worried confessional from Liana, revealing, “I was right there, and I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe that’s my million-dollar mistake.”
A few possibilities come to mind: perhaps Liana is plainly referring to the preview scene we see, and she has allowed a plan she’s not fully on board with set sail as Evvie and Tiffany strategise. Secondly, this may have something to do with Xander, the final member of Yase. Perhaps Liana was caught strategising with him, or she overheard one of her alliance (Evvie?) working with Xander and is now worried about her standing in the small tribe.
It’s a really open statement that brings countless possibilities to speculate. However, I’m leaning towards a relatively simple sense of regret over the last Yase vote, as we saw Liana rather pressed by Tiffany’s insistence of voting for Voce over Xander, who is holding on to two advantages. Ultimately, my prediction is that Liana isn’t happy with the strategic direction of her alliance on Yase but feels that she isn’t in any position of power to change it up.
The titular “million dollar mistake” may also be about the big new twist that we’ll see in Episode 3—a player seems to be visiting a separate island at night, very likely for an advantage. In Probst’s “strategy test” for the coming episode, he mentions “[sneaking] out of camp at night.” I don’t think it’ll be another prisoner’s dilemma sort of twist as we’ve seen in the first two episodes, as avoiding your tribe and sneaking out of camp is in itself already a challenge. Whatever the advantage is, I’m sure that it’ll contribute to the upcoming Tribal Council vote.
Things end with Sydney positing that “this is a very dangerous season of Survivor. I’m scared. I really am scared”, though she still looks rather collected. This reads as one of those catchy soundbites summarising the new era of the game that has been hammered into us so far. But I’m wondering if this confessional is said because Luvu is going to Tribal and Sydney has to consider the risks of all the possible advantages in play as well as the Shot in the Dark die that offers players a chance at immunity.
If Luvu goes to Tribal, I’m predicting that Naseer gets eliminated as he still stands out as one of the wilder cards despite his contributions to the survival aspects of camp life. If Yase goes to Tribal again, it’s got to be Xander going because the women would want to take him out before his advantages come into play.
However, I’m predicting that Ua loses the challenge and goes to Tribal in Episode 3, resulting in either JD or Genie getting voted out. JD, in a blindside, as a cumulation of the NTOS scenes discussed above, or Genie as a relatively throwaway choice as we haven’t seen her at the fore of most of the alliance-building on Ua.
Leave a comment below with your predictions for the next episode, and feel free to share any particular part of the previews you like as well!