Hello all, welcome back to the Edit Bay! This weekly feature takes a dive into the edit of the latest Survivor episode, analyzing the key stories, main characters, and top winner contenders.
While intended as a condensed version of Edgic, for this season, I will be including my ratings for each castaway at the end of the article.
This was one of the more straightforward episodes of the season, a classic Survivor blindside episode where the viewers are privy to what’s happening before the blindsided player. That player was Hai, which didn’t come as a huge surprise based on the trajectory of his edit. As I said last week, Hai’s time up was rapidly approaching, and the Rocksroy vote seemed primed to blow up in his face.
But the journey to Hai’s elimination put a few things in perspective. It cemented the top contenders while continuing the downward momentum of some others. And there are story beats in place that are likely to carry us through the remaining three episodes.
With that said, let’s take a dive into the individual character edits after Episode 10.
The Intro Crew
Reminder, the nine players that received intro confessionals in the first episode were: Jonathan, Drea, Omar, Lydia (full confessionals), Daniel, Marya, Lindsay, Hai, and Mike (one line confessionals).
At this stage, only Jonathan, Drea, Omar, Lindsay, and Mike remain of the original intro confessional-getters. But five of them making the final seven is a pretty good batting average and a continued plus point for the importance of intro confessionals.
Jonathan — This was a quieter episode for Jonathan, which might not be the worst thing coming off of the week prior. His slipping into the background could act as a sort of refresh. That said, he continued to be peppered with negativity from his fellow castaways, particularly from Lindsay.
Once again, Lindsay told us that Jonathan is not good at strategy, and Omar backed up her assertions. They discussed Jonathan’s plan from the last Tribal Council and how stupid it was. Lindsay worried that Jonathan’s poor strategy was rubbing off on her. So this wasn’t exactly the greatest look for Jonathan, especially as he didn’t receive any kind of rebuttal or content to prove Lindsay and Omar wrong, at least not in the moment.
Later in the episode, we did see Jonathan catch on to Hai’s fake idol plan. He saw right through it and went to tell Omar about it. So he at least has some game awareness, even if he’s blind to how his closest allies feel about him. His one confessional didn’t tell us a lot, just that he was nervous about Hai’s plan to target him and happy that Mike suggested voting out Hai. Jonathan did not seem like a proactive player when it came to this vote, which was put in the hands of Omar and Lindsay.
Now that Hai has gone, I expect Jonathan to return to the limelight, especially as there are loose ends to tie up with his old Taku tribemates.
Drea — A quiet episode for Drea, too, following the previous week’s highly emotional Tribal Council. While she wasn’t massively active in terms of the vote, she had a mini-narrative across the episode of refocusing her game and playing with her head.
In her first confessional of the episode, she touched on the “emotional” Tribal from last week but reconfirmed her commitment to the game at hand. “So as long as I still have a leg in the game, I’m gonna play it as hard as I can,” she said. Later in the episode, she echoed similar thoughts, stating, “After the last Tribal, I realized that… I need to stop playing the game with so much heart.”
There wasn’t a lot of personal or strategic depth here. She told us that taking out Hai would be good for her game because it would improve the strength of the Amulet advantage. And we saw her having a bit of game talk with Lindsay in the shelter. But, other than that, there wasn’t a lot to grab onto here.
With so much power in her hands still and her determination to play hard, I expect a big move to come from Drea. But she continues to float at the bottom of the winner contenders.
Omar — Everything is still looking great for Omar, who got his way once again in this episode. From the start of the episode, Omar laid out his goal, “My plan is going to be to bring Mike closer to me and sever his relationship with Hai.” And we saw him put that into motion throughout the episode and ultimately succeed in doing so.
Omar successfully fed a lie to Mike and got him to sever his alliance with Hai. He narrated his moves and explained the whys and the hows. And we saw evidence of his plans working. There was definitely a villainous vibe to Omar’s edit this episode, though mostly in a good-natured way. However, it did make me wonder if this more villainous turn was an intentional editing trick to soften the blow should Omar not make it to the end. Right now, Omar seems like the front-runner, but that could change if his villainy is amped up in the edit.
The other slight worry for Omar is that he started to second guess himself towards the end of the episode. Despite having laid all the groundwork for the Hai vote, he began contemplating saving Hai and targeting Jonathan. While he ultimately stuck with the Hai vote, I wonder if this indecisiveness will become something more significant in the remaining episodes. He even said that he thinks getting out Jonathan might be the better play, worrying that Jonathan could Immunity win his way to the end. Could that be foreshadowing?
I still think, on the surface, that Omar is the favorite right now; he’s always shown to be in control of the vote. But there are a couple of small signs that could manifest into something more if it turns out Omar is not the winner of the season.
Lindsay — After a decent episode last week, Lindsay received a proper breakout edit in Episode 10. She is finally fulfilling that potential she talked about in her intro confessional. We got a good idea of where her head was at in regards to the game, who she considers a threat, and who she considers as allies. And while Omar ultimately took over her plan for the vote, she still remained an active part of the strategy.
There was a mini-narrative across the episode of Lindsay finally winning something. Over the past couple of episodes, we’ve seen Lindsay trying to remain optimistic after constant losses. She just hasn’t been able to get a win all season, and it seemed like this episode was heading the same way at the start. “Can’t rely on winning everything. I haven’t won anything yet,” she said as she began hunting for an idol. But she came up short, missing the idol by mere inches, which Maryanne found in the following scene.
However, Lindsay’s fortunes turned around as she won both the reward and immunity challenges. This gave her some agency in the game and the confidence to start pitching her plans. She approached Hai about taking out Jonathan, and he was receptive. However, at the reward, Omar took control, planting the seeds against Hai. This wasn’t the worst idea for Lindsay, who explained that taking out Hai would benefit her due to the Amulet advantage. So Lindsay had options.
Following the immunity challenge, the momentum gathered against Hai, and Lindsay decided to put her Jonathan blindside on the backburner. “Originally, I was wanting Jonathan out,” she said, “but seems like pretty much everybody is on board to get Hai out… So right now, I don’t want to rock the boat. I’m gonna stick with the plan and call it a day.”
You could read this a couple of ways. On the one hand, it shows that Lindsay is able to adapt and go with the flow. And there were benefits to her voting out either Hai or Jonathan. On the other hand, you could see it as Lindsay not having that killer instinct to push her plan forward. She maybe starts to look like second fiddle to Omar. And, similar to what I said above with Omar, could keeping Jonathan around ultimately come back to bite her?
Overall, I think this was a positive episode for Lindsay, and I’d be much more bullish on her edit had she been featured earlier in the season. While it’d be foolish to rule out another Erika-type winner, I think it would be a stretch for Lindsay based on what we’ve seen. Remember, by this point, Erika had had personal content and was getting credit for votes; Lindsay hasn’t had that.
Mike — Mike’s edit continues to freefall. This was possibly his worst episode of the season, with his biggest editorial flaws on full display. He was once again revenge-minded, this time in regards to Hai, and was shown to be hugely gullible. Despite all the good in Mike’s edit until now, I’m finding it increasingly hard to see a winner being portrayed in this manner.
The start of the episode saw Mike airing his frustrations about Hai and the Rocksroy vote. Omar told us he was going to capitalize on this to sever Mike’s relationships with Hai. That is exactly what happened. At the reward, Omar sold Mike a lie about Hai referring to him as his “puppet,” and Mike ate it up. In reality, I’m sure Mike was looking for an excuse to turn on Hai, but the edit made it look like Mike was being completely snowed by Omar.
There wasn’t a lot of nuance or complexity to Mike’s edit. Other than the brief talk of his family after the loved ones’ videos, his focus was firmly on Hai. It was very OTT. He was talking about taking out the king, putting heads in guillotines, and reiterating over and over that he’s not anyone’s puppet. All the while, it appeared as if Mike had handed over his puppet strings to Omar, who was relishing in the lie he told.
Even though this all hurts Mike’s winner chances, he still has potential significance in the end-game. He has one of the biggest edits of the season and has a fleshed-out personality. Plus, he has these connections set up in the edit with Jonathan, Omar, and even Drea, who he made an agreement with back at the merge regarding their idols. So there is still a role for Mike to play going forward.
Maryanne — A relatively tame episode for Maryanne but another where she continued to look good. While she wasn’t a huge presence in the strategy of the episode, she was shown to be still playing hard. This was obviously the clearest in her discovery of her second idol, which came right after Lindsay failed to find it.
This idol find looks so good for Maryanne because it completely fits her outlier/underestimated narrative. She has often been left out of the big alliances, but this has allowed her to operate stealthily behind the scenes. And it’s interesting to me that her idol find was contrasted with Lindsay’s idol bust. These two women have been linked since the pre-merge, with Lindsay noting on more than one occasion that Maryanne could be dangerous down the line. So it’s fitting that Maryanne found the idol immediately after Lindsay failed to locate it.
“Being able to find an idol literally the next day shows me that the way that I’m playing this game is both right in the strategic sense and also in the moral sense,” Maryanne said after her idol find. And I think this is how we’re supposed to view Maryanne’s edit. Despite her OTT-ness at the start of the season, Maryanne has never been portrayed as a bad player or a bad person. She is the “weird” outcast with a big heart, open to love and living her dream, but also a shrewd player that isn’t afraid to use her emotions to her benefit.
Romeo — A very quiet episode for Romeo. He only received one confessional across the episode, and it was just talking about the terrible weather situation. He wasn’t proactive in the strategy scenes; instead, he basically told Omar that he’d do what he wanted. It didn’t really add anything to Romeo’s narrative; he still seems very much like a secondary character.
ALLIANCES & CONNECTIONS
Taku 4 — All four are still in the game, but there is obviously division within the group, mostly pointed at Jonathan. Maryanne has also been held at arm’s length from the core of the group, which at this point seems to revolve around Omar and Lindsay.
Jonathan & Mike — This pair continues to work together, as we saw Mike come to Jonathan with the Hai plan.
Drea & Lindsay — More of a connection than an alliance. Drea and Lindsay both have Amulets, and we saw them discussing voting out Hai this episode.
Omar — I’m still keeping Omar at the top spot for now, even if the potential villain turn gives me a reason to pause. Compared to everyone else, his edit is almost flawless. He’s had a clear theme/narrative from the premiere that has played out consistently across the season. He is portrayed as aware, strategic, and influential, always in control of the vote. On top of that, he’s had a fair amount of personal content. It would be foolish not to have Omar leading the pack right now.
Maryanne — If it’s not Omar, I believe it has to be Maryanne. Like Omar, she has also had a consistent narrative across the season. Her arc as the underestimated outlier is one that makes sense and is easy for the audience to grasp. She’s rarely, if ever, made to look bad. And she’s been shown to have strong game awareness, recognizing her own position in the game and that of others. Since early on, we’ve been told that if Maryanne made it far, she could be dangerous, and we’re now in the home stretch, and she has an idol and extra vote. Maryanne is set up in a big way heading into these next couple of episodes.
Drea — There is a pretty large gap between Omar & Maryanne and the rest, but I’ll keep Drea in the running for now. She has had significant screen-time across the season and has been portrayed as a strong player who isn’t afraid to take risks. I do think she’s lacking in personal content overall, and her relationships aren’t as well defined as others still in the game. But a Drea win wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility.
|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|