Survivor 46

Episode 1 – The Edit Bay

What is the edit telling us after Episode 1?


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.

For those new to The Edit Bay, it is a condensed version of Edgic, highlighting some of the stand-out story beats from the most recent episode. It also includes my weekly Edgic ratings for each castaway at the end of the article.


Survivor is back for another season, and so is The Edit Bay, meaning we have a whole new cast of characters to get stuck into. Across the two hours, we heard from all 18 castaways, some more than others, and are already seeing the early seeds of relationships and potential story arcs.

In terms of overarching themes, Jeff Probst’s opening statement felt very pointed. He told the cast that at least one person among them has no shot at winning this game due to their personality.

“No matter who you go to the end with, it won’t matter,” Probst said. “Something about your personality is not going to gel with this group, and you won’t get the votes.”


This was obviously said to encourage each castaway to play hard, but I’m sure Probst gives similar pep talks at the start of each season. But this part, specifically, made the edit, which suggests it’s relevant.

So, with that in mind, I’ll be paying close attention to the characters this season who are perhaps playing hard but at the expense of their social game. On the flip side, I’ll be keeping an eye out for those developing close social bonds and relationships, even if they’re not necessarily out front and center in terms of bold gameplay.

Now, as usual, this first edition of The Edit Bay will focus on each player’s opening confessional and what it might tell us about their stories and winner chances.


As with last season, eight players received intro confessionals, six of them with full confessionals and two with shorter ones. Those players were Tevin, Bhanu, Jess, Hunter, Charlie, Tiffany (with the longer confessionals), and Venus and Kenzie (with the shorter confessionals).

Using the intro to determine winner contenders can be hit and miss, but it’s obviously a solid starting point. It at least gives you a handful of players likely to be the season’s major characters. For example, last season, Emily, Jake, Drew, Katurah, and Dee all received intro confessionals.

So, taking the eight this season, you’re probably looking at least half as significant long-term characters, a couple of big pre-merge boots, and maybe even the winner.

In recent seasons, the marooning mat chat has been just as crucial as the intro. However, this season’s mat chat was a little different. While we heard a couple of side comments from the likes of Soda and Tevin, we didn’t have the usual scene of Probst calling on specific people. Instead, that time was dedicated to Probst’s speech, which, again, further emphasizes his words as thematically important.

Now, let’s get into each player’s first confessional.


Tevin: “Survivor is 18 people coming together from all different walks of life. And they are here, all together at one time, having to trust each other, build a society, play challenges with each other with different strengths, different weaknesses. And to be able to trust one another while also not trusting anyone because you’re playing a game that is built on deceit. And you have to be vulnerable, and you have to be authentically yourself. And you have to overcome and adapt to all the challenges in which they are guaranteed to face, because that is what Survivor is about. But it is in that moment right there makes the game so worth playing. And I’m ready for it.”

This was a very interesting first confessional because it was not only our first introduction to Tevin but also our intro to the season as a whole. Rather than the usual Probst intro, Tevin was given the role of narrator, with his voice-over playing through the marooning. I don’t think a “narrator edit” gets much clearer than that.

Tevin is obviously a huge personality, and based on this intro and his first episode, I expect him to continue providing narration. He is the viewer’s voice for the season. On top of that, he also received alliance content in this episode, which shows he’s got his own game going on beyond simply narrating the broader dynamics.


My gut says Tevin’s content was too in-your-face right away to be a top contender, but it’s early days, and it’s hard to say what type of edit approach this season will take. Tevin seems too obvious if it’s a more subtle, slow-and-steady approach like last season. But if they go for a more overt, coronation-type edit, Tevin could be the man.

Bhanu: “I applied for Survivor the day I become a citizen of the United States of America. I came out of the courthouse, and I was like, “Hello, Survivor team, Jeff Probst!” From slumdog to Survivor, baby!”

Bhanu’s intro confessional was about his journey in life, and I believe his Survivor experience will be part of that journey. Much of his content revolved around his coming from India to the United States and embracing his new life. He appears to have come into the game of Survivor with that same gusto.

But other parts of Bhanu’s edit gave me pause. He claimed he was going to be the first person to find the idol, but Tiffany beat him to the punch. He also seemed to be getting too emotional about the first vote-off, which suggests his heart getting in the way of his head. It’ll be interesting to see if that becomes a consistent theme in Bhanu’s edit.

Jess: “I actually think that the biggest risk to my game is, like, I might be socially awkward. And my personality is, like… I know I’m a little odd. But I don’t really care. But I’ve come to realize that I’m competitive. I mean, I have an identical twin. I’ve been competing for nutrients since we were in the womb.”

Jess’s first confessional tied into Probst’s opening statement regarding personality conflicts. Throughout the episode, Jess struggled to fit in as she battled her own inner struggles. But one thing she has going for her is her self-awareness. Right from this first confessional, she clearly recognized that social awkwardness could be the biggest risk to her game.

Yet, despite her social pitfalls, Jess told us she was competitive, and we saw that fighting spirit from her later in the episode, even amid her mental fatigue. I suspect we’ll continue to see Jess fighting hard, even if the game ends up running away from her.

Hunter: “I grew up in a small town in Mississippi. I lived there my whole life, and I teach there now. And so there’s experiences that I haven’t had that I know a lot of other people have. There will be this barrier of maybe not being able to relate on a full level. You know, if people bond over, you know, being huge Taylor Swift, you know, fans, I won’t have that.”

Another first confessional that tapped into Probst’s personality theme. Again, like Jess, Hunter showed self-awareness regarding his potential inability to relate to people. He reemphasized this later in the episode when he said, “Being from a small town, I don’t fit in perfectly because I’m very introverted, and there’s a lot of energy, and I cannot keep up with them.”

However, despite his concerns, Hunter did find common ground and a potential ally in Tevin. And, from what was shown, his other tribemates also seemed to have warmed to him. So a big part of this personality theme could be about adaptation, how a player overcomes those obstacles to fit in and build relationships to better their game.

Charlie: “I got my Taylor Swift socks. I got my Taylor Swift Eras Tour merch. I ride the Swiftie bus on the way to law school, but I’m not planning on mentioning I went to Harvard because you got to keep your threat level down.”

This confessional followed immediately after Hunter’s, which is understandable given the back-to-back Taylor Swift references. What I liked about this for Charlie is that he didn’t just get painted as Swiftie; he also got to mention going to Harvard. So straight away, we know there’s more to him than meets the eye.


We continued to see both sides of Charlie throughout the episode. There were the fun T. Swift moments and Savvy task blunders, but we also saw glimpses of his social game and strategy, with the women’s alliance and the guys both wanting to work with him.

Tiffany: “I’ve worked with major brands like Nike, Adidas. I had my artwork displayed in Madison Square Garden. I’m self-taught. Me and YouTube University is all I had when I was figuring out my job as an artist. ‘Cause at the end of the day, being an artist is a hustle. But that’s what I do. I’m a hustler.”

I thought this was a great first confessional from Tiffany. It reminded me of a classic winner’s intro confessional, where they talk about their job and what it says about their personality and how that might apply to their game. Think back to Tony’s intro in Cagayan, where he talked about being a cop. Straight away, we know that Tiffany is a “hustler.”

Tiffany showed that hustler spirit throughout the episode with her hunt for the idol. We already know she’s someone who will play hard and make things happen. In addition, she was shown to be making allies and bonding with her tribemates. All strong signs for a potential top tier player.


If there is a downside, it’s that Tiffany didn’t get her way with the vote. She was the loudest voice pushing for Jess, but ultimately, Q got his way and moved the target onto Jelinsky. It’s early days, so it by no means counts her out of contention. But it’s something worth bearing in mind.

Venus: “I may look tiny and weak, but I am mighty and strong. I’m gonna do some sneaky s*** and I’ll deal with the repercussions later.”

This was one of the two shorter intro confessionals, but it told us a lot in two quick lines. Venus told us the common perception of her (“tiny and weak”), how she actually is “mighty and strong,” and how she’s going to play the game, “do some sneaky s*** and deal with the repercussions later.”

Now, if I were a betting man and had to pick the person who could best fit Probst’s opening speech right now, it would be Venus. I’m not saying she had a bad personality; she seemed great. I’m talking strictly about what the edit showed us and told us.

In two different confessionals, she said she was going to be “sneaky” and also said she would “get her hands dirty” and “cause chaos.” In addition, she said, “I’m already envisioning myself at Final Tribal Council saying “screw you” to everyone who underestimated me the first day and thought I was some princess who wasn’t gonna get anything done.”


Perhaps that is too on the nose, but right there, you have a player mentioning Final Tribal in the context of being combative with the jurors. She was also compared to Parvati, which she took as a compliment “because I love strong women.” Yet, while Parvati did win a season, she also lost a season as Final Tribal after losing the jury’s respect.

I think Venus has a very interesting edit to keep an eye on, and I’m intrigued to see if this continues. From the premiere alone, it seems like Venus is going to be a key character who will be sure to shake things up for as long as she’s out there.

Kenzie: “I’ve got my stilettos on, disco ball spinning. I’m just waiting for the club to open. Like, I’m ready to party!”

The second of the short intros, Kenzie’s confessional might seem like fluff on the surface. But it did come immediately after Probst’s, “In the end, only one will remain to claim the $1 million prize,” which certainly highlights it more than it would have otherwise.

What’s good for Kenzie was the rest of her episode, where she was shown to be at the social center of her tribe. Her second confessional, where she talked about her hair salon job and how “building connections and repertoire is her bread and butter” before talking about each of her tribemates, was pure Michele Fitzgerald in Kaoh Rong.

I mean, the Kenzie and Michele confessionals are so similar that it’s worth looking at them side by side.

Straight away, we know what Kenzie does for a living and how the skills she uses for her job will help her succeed on Survivor. And we saw her succeeding, as she appeared to be getting along with everyone in her tribe.

However, just like with Tiffany, the one downside here is Kenzie not quite getting her way. It did seem like she was on board to boot Jess over Jelinsky, though she wasn’t as vocal about it as Tiffany. And she initially mentioned Jelinsky as part of her alliance yet ended up voting him out. That said, I think the edit showed us why the plans changed, with Kenzie specifically taking offense to Jelinsky’s journey blunder.

Soda: “I’m wet, people around me are wet, but I’m about to play 100 per-freaking-cent, bruh. I’m ready, man. I’m here to prove me to myself. And for all my students, like, you can say yes to the adventure. You can conquer anything. I’m here to, like, be a model for them, 100%.”

Soda got the first post-intro confessional and one of only two during the marooning mat portion. It was a solid introduction, if not spectacular. We got to know her mindset going into the game, plus a little bit of background teaching children.

My initial thoughts were journey edit, given the goals she set herself in her first confessional. She wants to prove herself and be a role model to her students, goals that can be achieved on Survivor without winning. And we already saw her proving herself as she quickly made fire at camp. There’s a chance Soda’s edit could grow beyond journey, but right now, that is where my gut is leaning.

Q: “I started playing football when I was nine years old, and it made me, at an early age, be very, very competitive. I do not like to lose. So I’m going to play this game full speed from day one. I’m the QB. I’m quarterbacking the game. Put the ball down, say hut.”

Q was the only player besides Soda to get a marooning mat confessional. It summed up his character pretty well; he is super competitive, hates losing, and wants to lead. That was reemphasized across the episode, especially through the Sweat challenge. And he took charge post-immunity challenge when he turned the vote away from Jess and onto Jelinsky.

I think this was a solid premiere for Q, one that gave us a strong sense of his character and some nice personal details. But this archetype doesn’t tend to do well on Survivor; those who are too competitive and focused on doing things their way usually come unstuck due to stubbornness.

Jem: “Right now, everybody’s laughing. They’re living their wildest dreams, but only one out of the 18 of us is gonna be the Sole Survivor. I’m so ready to just cut everybody else’s throat on the other side, and then guess who’s your Sole Survivor? Me.”

This was a confessional that felt very much “winner quote” loaded. And it’s positioning was interesting. It was the final confessional at the end of the marooning sequence and before the first commercial break. But calling yourself the Sole Survivor in your first confessional? That’s perhaps a little too on the nose.

But Jem’s episode as a whole was solid, nothing especially monumental, but she got everything you need in a premiere. She commented on her tribe dynamics and formed an alliance, first with Moriah and then bringing in Maria for a women’s alliance. She was also the one to talk about bringing in a fourth and name-checked Charlie. I would bet on Jem being a key strategic player of the season.

Ben: “There’s, like, the lockbox, and then there’s also this board with all these random letters. It looks hard-core, but if I go home tomorrow, like, I want to know I at least stepped up. And Charlie and I are like front man, guitar player. You know? Diamond Dave, Eddie Van Halen.”

Ben had a pretty good first episode, but this wasn’t the best first confessional. But even though this was mostly tied to the Savvy challenge, it still told us Ben is a player who is willing to step up while also showing off his personality as a rock star.

He also received a lot of positive comments from his fellow tribemates, which goes back to Probst’s opening comments. In terms of personalities gelling with the group, Ben was one of the players who fitted in and set the vibe of his tribe.


“At this point, my strategy’s to be myself, which is to just chill hard to make everybody laugh,” he said later in the episode, which gave us an idea of his approach to the game, at least right now. Yet, while he appeared to be well-liked, Ben was left out of the women plus Charlie alliance. So he might have to pick up his strategic game.

Tim: “I love my family. I want my sons to have everything that they imagine. So, Maria and I were rocking the parent narrative. “

Tim’s introduction was short, but we learned he’s a family man and that he bonded with Maria. However, as the episode went on, we saw Tim become paranoid about the women teaming up (which was true) and beginning to question his trust in Maria.

There wasn’t much content here, but the focus on the Tim/Maria dynamic seemed important, perhaps as a key short-term story.

Maria: “I told my kids, ‘Mommy is gonna lie, cheat, and steal,’ because there’s only one way to win, and that’s by taking everyone else out. Tim and I… we’ve connected over being parents, but I have no intention of being anybody’s mom. I just am not going to be in the flashy red car. I’m gonna be in my little minivan driving the game.”

I really liked this first confessional for Maria, but I’d feel more confident about her chances if it came a little earlier in the episode. But Maria had a fantastic start for the Survivor mom archetype, which is often neglected or shoved into a specific box. Right away, we know that Maria is a badass mom who isn’t going to hold back or play the motherly figure.

And we saw her being a badass throughout the episode, receiving high praise from Probst during the marooning challenge and expertly making Jelinsky fold at the journey game. In addition, she cemented an alliance with Jem and Moriah and also formed a bond with Tim. This gives her plenty of story options early on in the season.

Randen: “Who doesn’t want fire on their first night of Survivor? Clearly, our supplies are a big deal. And not having to do Sweat or Savvy feels like a million bucks. I’m not gonna lie.”

This was a bad first confessional. It was purely narrational and didn’t tell us anything about Randen as a person or a player. And he wasn’t even the one that made the fire. His only other content in the episode was calling out Venus for idol searching and then being undermined by Soda, who quickly squealed on him to Venus. Definitely not feeling good about Randen’s chances based on this premiere.

Moriah: “I’m this geeky, dorky nerd. Like, I love board games like D&D. I do crosswords. I do sudoku. I brew beer on the weekend. I’m aware that I’m a little out there, so I am… not everyone’s cup of tea. For most of my life, I’ve struggled to make connections and make friends. So I’m looking for this opportunity to prove to myself that I’m just not that loner. Like, I can forge a connection. This is my tribe. This is my game. I’m not here to say, like, ‘Oh, no, they don’t like me, I’m done.’ No. I’m here to play my game. I’ve definitely connected with Jem. I also bonded pretty quickly with Maria.”

Much like Maria, I think this was a really good first confessional for Moriah, but I just wish it came a bit earlier in the episode. But right away, we got a sense of Moriah’s personality, her likes, her anxieties, her goals, and her relationships. That’s pretty impressive for all those things to be established in a first confessional.

Again, this tied back to Probst’s opening statement. Moriah highlighted her personality as a potential obstacle in forming friendships and alliances. But, like Hunter and Jess, she showed self-awareness in regards to her difficulties in forging connections.

This could have been the start of a journey edit; however, what’s somewhat worrying for Moriah is how she already achieved her goal in the first episode. She found her friends in Jem and Moriah and forged an alliance. “I feel strong, and I have trust with them, but more importantly, I’ve made new friends. And it feels incredible,” she said.

It’s worrying when a goal is achieved so early in the season, as it gives little scope of where to go next.

Liz: “I’m Liz Wilcox, and I’m allergic to everything. Everything edible, anyway. I think I have at least a couple dozen allergies. Any and all nuts, cinnamon, avocado, coconut. I’m allergic to chicken. Eggs give me incredible brain fog.”

What an introduction! Not only did this confessional come late in the episode, it came after Liz had already ruffled some feathers during the tribe introductions when she talked up her business success. Right away, we shown Liz’s personality was not meshing with her tribe. And unlike Moriah, Hunter, and Jess, Liz’s edit didn’t have self-awareness.


Kenzie & Tiffany (Pair) — These two ladies quickly formed a working relationship and helped one another to find the idol.

Kenzie, Tiffany, Q, Bhanu (Tenous Alliance) — These four worked together for the first vote, but it’s too early to say if the alliance has legs.

Soda & Venus (Pair) — While these two didn’t cement anything official, Soda looked out for Venus after Randen aired his concerns. So it’s a pair worth keeping our eyes on.

Tevin & Hunter (Pair) — The self-dubbed Andy Griffth Alliance had a whole montage dedicated to them in the premiere. This definitely felt like one of the more important alliances established so far.

Jem, Maria, Moriah + Charlie (Alliance) — The women of the Siga tribe came together quickly and later brought Charlie in as their fourth (Maria even named them Charlie’s Angels).

Maria & Tim (Tenuous Pair) — These two bonded early on over being parents, but there were already cracks showing before the episode was over. Tim grew paranoid about Maria’s conversations with the girls and the advantage she won at the journey.

Ben, Charlie, & Tim (Tenous Alliance) — Tim brought the Siga men together to combat the women, but nothing about this seemed solid.


Top Tier: Maria, Jem, Kenzie, Tiffany

Second Tier: Soda, Tevin, Hunter



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
BenBen OTTP3                          
BhanuBhanu MORP4                          
CharlieCharlie CP3                          
HunterHunter CP2                          
JemJem MOR2                          
JessJess OTTM4                          
KenzieKenzie CP4                          
LizLiz UTRN2                          
MariaMaria MORP3                          
MoriahMoriah MORP2                          
QQ MOR3                          
RandenRanden UTRN1                          
SodaSoda MOR3                          
TevinTevin CP4                          
TiffanyTiffany MOR4                          
TimTim MOR2                          
VenusVenus MORN3                          
JelinskyJelinsky OTTN5                          


Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

2 responses to “Episode 1 – The Edit Bay”

  1. I hate the way Yanu is treating Bhanu. Q, Kenzie and Tiffany are all incredibly arrogant and condescending. It’s awful to watch them.

    Also Moriah is a nasty young thing. Watching her tribe digging and digging and telling us she just wants to laugh? You need to find your soul, Moriah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.