This week we’re out of liminal Mergetory and fully in the merged portion of the season!
The latest Next Time On Survivor trailer for Episode 8 feels like one of those memes. Viewers: “How many names are going to be thrown out next week?” NTOS: “Yes.”
Indeed, a good bulk of the trailer splices snippets of conversations mentioning the names of the 11 players left in the game. After a chaotic Tribal Council, this scrambling is somewhat expected as players try to cement their relationships and alliances. Evvie, Tiffany, Naseer, Xander, and Heather were all named in this sequence.
Notably, the players who were part of these conversation snippets in the NTOS trailer are all from the majority alliance that voted together last Tribal. Heather, Erika, Danny, Naseer, Deshawn, Ricard, Shan, Liana split their votes between Sydney and Evvie, ultimately sending Sydney home.
I think this majority will still have plans to vote out the minority group of Evvie, Tiffany, and Xander, especially because it’s open knowledge that they have an immunity idol. However, the risk of the advantages in play will lead them to consider secondary options within their alliance. After all, an 8-person alliance is not going to hold up for long.
The second portion of the NTOS trailer focuses on Tiffany. She discusses with Xander whether the vote will be on him and her, then states in a confessional, “I do not know what the plan is.” I believe it’s clear that the two of them will continue working together, but it will be an uphill battle.
Next, we see Tiff directly asking Danny, “You think it’s me?” to which she receives a rather non-committal and oblique reply, “It could be.” My prediction is that this exchange sets Tiff on a plan to turn the vote on Danny instead. I think she attempts to gather players like Ricard, Erika, and Heather, who don’t seem to be in Danny’s closer alliance.
However, I don’t think Tiff will succeed in having the votes go her way. I think the core four alliance of Danny, Deshawn, Liana, and Shan has been set up in the last two episodes to last a while longer. Perhaps then, the episode title “Betraydar” is said by one of the four when considering if the likes of Ricard, Erika, Heather will blindside them and join Tiffany.
The lack of Evvie in the spew of names makes me believe they won the immunity challenge. I also don’t think the nebulous group of 8 players who voted together last Tribal will stick together this time. Thus, my prediction is that Erika or Heather gets cut because they’re not as close to the players controlling the alliance or maybe Naseer to get out a challenge threat before it’s too late.
If I had to pick one player for elimination, I would choose Naseer as there is added incentive to flush out his immunity idol.
Leave your predictions for Episode 8 in the comments below!