Survivor: David vs. Goliath

Episode 2 – Hot Or Not

Who is Hot or Not after Week 2?

Photo: CBS

In our new feature, Gus and Ali, a real-life couple and fans of Survivor, will be individually ranking the Survivor players into two categories, Hot or Not. The Hot list symbolizes anyone we feel has put themselves in a good position or exhibited good gameplay that week. Those people are individuals we think will not go home in the next episode. The Not list is people that we feel have had their Survivor stock take a significant hit that week. We will then share our rankings with one another and have a chance to trash talk each others’ analysis. Also, we encourage merciless teasing to anyone who has someone on their Hot list go home the following week.

Go ahead, hit us with your best shot. We’re probably wrong anyway, but that’s why it’s fun!

Ali: Alison


“Clean. Brows great. Hair awesome.” Alison was hot last week, and now she’s in the “not” section. Maybe she can pull a David and crawl her way back up. I’m rooting for her because she seems like an absolute sweetie. However, Alison needs to kick it in gear. Strategy talk is happening around her, and she’s left out at every turn. Her biggest content was getting hit by a wave and checking for boogers. It’s hard to be hot when you’re covered in sea water.


Gus: Alison

AlisonNotAlison essentially did nothing this week. More than that, she’s one of the only people I can see that does not have a concrete alliance. Last week my Hot was in praise of her aloofness, but it seems that we’ve taken that somewhat too far.


Ali: Dan

DanNOT“Listen girl; nobody’s going to expect that my idol is in such an obvious spot.” Oh Dan, SWAT are you doing? Hiding the idol in plain sight. Making your showmance so obvious that your island girlfriend wants to distance herself from you. Spilling Natalie’s name out of your mouth when she thinks she’s in good with you before your tribe has lost a challenge. Your gameplay this week had me shaking my head. You are not long for this game, my friend.


Gus: Dan

DanNOTThe Jacket episode was absolutely hilarious, for what it’s worth. It seems that Dan is wholly oblivious to things outside of the showmance that he has crafted. That being said, he has an idol, and his showmance partner appears to be the one in his tribemates’ crosshairs, so I believe that Dan will at the very least remain on our screens for a bit. He also showed a good bit of self-awareness when he mentioned that, actually, he probably should not have revealed his idol to multiple folks on his tribe. So Hot Cop is not yet a hot, but he’s warming.


Ali: Kara

KaraNOT“It’s really difficult to be in an alliance with Dan because he’s so obvious about it.” Kara isn’t playing badly. She’s making great connections with her tribemates, solidifying her place in the alliance of six. However, Dan laid all of his cards on the table from day one, and gave everyone a peek of Kara’s hand too. As Jeremy said, “I think Dan is in a showmance. I think Kara’s in a strategy.” Kara’s definitely the brains of the showmance. The problem is, everyone knows it. In Survivor showmances past, the women are often the brains of the operation: Cole and Jessica, Figgy and Taylor… And in those showmances, the women go home first. Everyone knows that Kara is the dangerous one in the couple. Dan can’t even properly hide an idol. When the axe falls on this couple, why would anyone keep Kara over Dan? In her preseason bio, Kara stated that she would play like Figgy, but without a showmance. Strike one. And I don’t think that her similarities with Figgy will end there. I’m just sorry that Dan is going to ruin the game of someone who could have been a great player.


Gus: Kara

KaraNOTFor what it’s worth, Kara’s Not is not really her fault. It’s in no small part because of Dan’s over the top showmance tendencies that I’m ranking Kara as a Not. As Jeremy put it, “…Dan’s in a showmance. I think Kara’s in a strategy”. The Goliath tribe has their eyes on Kara, and they’re realizing that she is going to use Dan as a stepping-stone. If she were sneakier (read: if Hot Cop could be sneakier), I would have Kara as a hot, but, alas.


Ali: Mike

MikeHOT“Actually, in this game, information is the advantage and having that information is probably more powerful than the idol itself.” Snaps for Mike! He was drawing dead in the premiere, and if it weren’t for Natalie, he would have been on the chopping block last week. However, when the girls were at the water talking about targets, they stated that Mike was not a threat. Mike formed a relationship with Jeremy, to the point where Jeremy felt comfortable revealing vital game information to him. Mike gets the award for most improved this week. Ultimately, he’s right. Information is the most important advantage in this game, and I think his duo with Jeremy has the potential to take him far.


Gus: Mike

MikeNOTI feel that Mike’s argument of “Kara and Dan are a bigger target, which means I’m safe” is rooted in truth. Having concrete evidence that he does not have the Hidden Immunity Idol also suggests Mike will no longer find himself his tribe’s target in the first few tribals, and it’s very possible he could hold together through a swap. That being said, I don’t feel like Mike has much in-game capital at this point. And so, he is a not for me.


Ali: Jeremy

JeremyHOT“I’m a lawyer. I know how to deal with difficult people.” Jeremy was on fire this week. Unlike Natalie, he has shown some crucial self-awareness. The scene with Mike when they were fishing gave me a lot of hope for his chances in the game. He was instructing Mike on how to hold the spear, and then said that he’s “bossy” and he’s working on that. It was a moment that didn’t even strike me as being that bossy, but he chose to make a lighthearted correction anyway. The fact that he took a second to check himself and correct his behavior, even when it was a small sin, made me very excited about Jeremy. He was shown bonding with Mike and Alec, and I’m hoping that means that he will be able to make the connections he needs going forward. His reads to Alec on the beach about Dan and Kara were spot on, and planted the idea in Alec’s mind that this showmance is bad news.

I was cheering when he went through Dan’s jacket and searched for that idol. This man came to play the game and isn’t that what we all want? He now has vital information in the game, which he rightly chose to share with someone on the outs. Jeremy, like John Hennigan, is trying to make connections with people on the outs. It’s a great move, and unlike John Hennigan, it seems that he’s building trust with people who will keep his secrets. In addition, his conversation with Natalie, though not well received, made me hopeful about his longevity in the game. His tactics in trying to appeal to her were solid, even though she wasn’t ultimately receptive. Since he’s able to keep a cool head with someone as stubborn as Natalie, I’m optimistic about his game going forward.


Gus: Jeremy

JeremyHOTExcellent week for Jeremy. He reached out and tried to connect with Napalm Natalie, and when rebuffed he turned it into something good for his game – another concrete target. The self-awareness that he showed in his short conversation with Mike – the “I am kind of, like, bossy. I gotta work on that” – moment showed some more depth. He also was first to make the showmance explicit. Oh, and the jacket thing? LOVED seeing that from Jeremy. He’s got a lot of strong bonds with a lot of people. I’m excited for the future of his game.


Ali: Natalie

NatalieNOT“Unless they’re all lying to me, which I doubt.” Honey! Welcome to Survivor! Everyone is lying to you all the time! Look, I love Natalie. I want to travel the world with her. However, this week showcased the assassination of Natalie’s game chances. And what is with Natalie trying to help people who might be targets before her? First, she told Mike to stop hunting for the idol, even though that would have definitely put him in front of her. Then, she goes to Kara and warns her to not be so obvious with Dan. Natalie, Survivor is sink or swim. If they’re sinking, let them sink! Who cares, as long as it isn’t you? Even the folks who wanted to help her turned on her this week. John Hennigan stuck his neck out to help her and she used that information to go on the warpath. Jeremy tried to warn her about her lack of social awareness, and she dug her heels in harder. Now, he’s saying that he’s “going into turbo-overdrive in getting Natalie out.” Who can blame him after that disaster conversation? Natalie is not long for this game. The only way that she’s hot is thanks to her masterful flameout this season.


Gus: Natalie

NatalieNOTI love Natalie for the entertainment she’s providing, but – at least from what we are seeing -she is NOT playing the game well. The only thing that it seems that she can hope for is to either undergo a complete revelatory transformation or get pulled to the end. Her fledgling plan of “I cannot win the game, so you really should keep me with you” could work – however, she has to gain a level of situational awareness which she appears to be lacking. I do want to mention that I think Natalie is being kind of super-villainized by the edit, and I think she’s playing less badly than it seems. Many of her suggestions we see aired aren’t completely outlandish.


Ali: John

JohnNOT“I like the idea of working with Natalie, because it seems like an alliance that no one would suspect. I want her to trust me and help me get deeper in the game.” Gus is going to kill me for this, but here he is. I want to make it clear, I have nothing against John, and I was all over the place trying to figure out where to put him. We’ve heard that he has built a strong relationship with Angelina, so I felt really great about him early on in the episode. He’s part of the main alliance of six, so he’s going to be fine. But wait, do you hear that kachunk-kachunk? That’s the sound of Natalie throwing John’s body under the bus. The minute Natalie starts rampaging around the camp demanding to know who threw her name out, people are going to start wondering who spilled the beans. John is there guiltily holding the empty bean bag and whistling the WWE theme song. Dan is supposed to be in this early alliance of John’s, so John’s given him a reason not to trust him. I suspect this alliance of six could be very short lived.


Gus: John

JohnHOTReally light week for the Mayor. Buddying up to Natalie was a risky move, but if he is able to make it work, then I feel like she can be a good meatshield. I am still high on the Shaman of Sexy. Rip me a new one, Ali.


Ali: Angelina

AngelinaHOT“It almost feels sometimes like, is the end in sight?” Angelina is making moves, and she’s here to play. Last week, she was shown making connections with Alison, but this week Alison was not in her alliance talks. This leads me to believe that perhaps they’ve chosen to keep their relationship close to the vest. If so, I’m totally here for that. Last week, she also talked about how women need to be finding more idols. I have a strange feeling that this means she may be finding an idol going forward. If that’s the case, it makes sense that she’d have a bit more longevity in the game since Dan currently has the idol. She also has a relationship with John, which may prove important down the line. Overall, she’s shown being the strategic leader of the young women and being the force that brings them together. I have a feeling that this alliance of six will be short lived for many reasons, but I have a feeling that she at least will be unscathed by the implosion. However, I stand by my statement last week, this girl needs to tone it down still. Everything is going to change once a swap hits, and historically that will be soon. It’s better for her if she can keep her threat level low this early in the game.


Gus: Angelina

AngelinaHOTI don’t really know what Angelina was up to over this week’s episode. However, her part in the Goliath tribe’s all-girls alliance provided her with a strong enough position to get a very lukewarm Hot.


Ali: Alec

AlecHot“Bad move, brotha, bad move.” I was on the fence with Alec. However, we saw him making connections with Jeremy this week, and he was included in the alliance of six chats. He also showed some awareness in his confessional about the showmance, which made me realize that perhaps he has more game smarts than I initially thought. Regardless, Alec isn’t going anywhere if his tribe loses because he’s a challenge asset. I think he’s in a better spot than fellow challenge asset Hennigan at the moment because Alec wasn’t caught with his pants down this week.


Gus: Alec

AlecHotReally enjoying what we’ve been getting to see of Alec. The physical challenge carries that he’s providing his tribe are making me think we’ll be seeing Alec at least ‘til the merge. At camp, he looks to be in high spirits, so I doubt that his tribemates would want to get rid of him for pretty much any reason before they absolutely need to.


Ali: Natalia

NataliaNOT“Us three girls are clearly in charge, and we know it, and we have these boys wrapped around our fingers.” This week, we saw her get in an alliance of six. What gives? Why is she a not? Well, remember Corinne Kaplan in Caramoan? The episode she went home, she said, “It’s blindside time.” In the quote above, Natalia just declared, “it’s blindside time.” I audibly groaned when she talked about what a good spot she’s in. Something tells me that the editors are setting her up for a fall, and she’ll be so focused on getting Natalie out that she won’t see it coming.


Gus: Natalia

NataliaHOTThe second coming of Micronesia’s Black Widow Brigade is in a chrysalis; if Natalia, Kara and Angelina can pull it off, more power to them. At this point, Natalia doesn’t seem to be in too much danger – my concerns that came from last week seem to be unfounded. More than that, her knowledge of Dan’s idol is a huge boon.


Ali: Bi

BiNOT“I don’t think you all should go forth with that mindset.” This week, killer Bi got stung. That challenge performance this week was rough. The vote this week was even rougher. Bi’s poor challenge performance stood out during a week where it was clear the tribe was focusing on strength. Honestly, she was lucky that no one ended up talking about her. Side note: I thought it was hilarious how hard she was trying to downplay their loss back at camp. It felt like she was really trying to escape any potential heat she might receive for her performance. And, hey, that is a totally legitimate game move. But then, Bi and Jessica managed to spook Gabby into an alliance with ELYRSAbeth. I can see why. They were barely looking at Gabby and kept extolling the virtues of challenge strength. What conclusion is Gabby supposed to draw other than, “I’m probably next?” This week, Bi learned the hard way that there’s never just one name floating around. Now that the tribe sees that she’s not a challenge necessity, she could easily go next week. Maybe she can roll with the punches and learn fast, or perhaps she’s in for a TKO.


Gus: Bi

BiNOTI gotta say, I am not impressed with Bi’s gameplay so far in the season. Thus far, she’s given a few pep talks and mishandled some challenges, while also nonsensically dismissing Gabby when she wanted to discuss the vote. Every challenge thus far has been decided with a lengthy puzzle, so Bi’s enormous deficit against Alec really didn’t make very much of a difference insofar as the Immunity Challenge was concerned, but even so – Bi has not been turning in the best performances.


Ali: Carl

CarlNOT“You get rid of all your strong people first, what chance do you have of even coming close to winning a challenge?” Carl, Carl, Carl… How the mighty have fallen this week. Never bring up a name at camp unless there’s an imminent vote. Making moves too early gives the target time to change the tide, and this one came back on Carl with a vengeance. Think of the visual of Jeremy or Alison being soaked by waves this week. Tidal wave Lyrsa did that to Carl. And the worst part of this whole thing is that Lyrsa knows that Carl was the one gunning for her from the beginning. Lyrsa wants him gone now, and she has the numbers to make that happen. I believe in Carl’s ability to turn this around, but this cowboy needs to rein it in.


Gus: Carl

CarlNOTI have lots of hope yet for our Trucker friend; sadly, Carl overplayed and wildly misplayed his hand this week and lost a close alliance partner. A brutal blindside has set him back significantly, and he will need to massively re-evaluate his game and his standing in the weeks to come. I would be surprised if Elyrsabeth, Mason/Dixon and the Playmates went right after him in next week’s episode, so I doubt that Carl will be leaving so soon, but he’s gotta lot of damage control to work his way through.


Ali: Lyrsa

LyrsaHOT“Uhhhh… excuse me?” I’m so proud of this lady right now. Elizabeth trusted and cared for Lyrsa enough tell her about Carl’s plans. She played the exact opposite of Natalie this week. The editors beautifully contrasted their reactions to hearing their names going around. In that moment, Lyrsa knew that she had to keep her frustration to the confessionals. That is exactly how one should play when their name is going around. Had Lyrsa flown off the handle, she would have solidified her easy boot status. Instead, Lyrsa managed, with Elizabeth’s help, to wiggle into an alliance of five and pull off the season’s first blindside. Lyrsa could still be in trouble next week should David lose again. However, I assume this tribe of superfans anticipates a swap soon. So, when they’re deciding who to keep going forward, loyalty will surpass strength.


Gus: Lyrsa

LyrsaNOTThough Lyrsa managed not to be voted out, she didn’t really do anything to fix the underlying problem – apart from listening to her teammate Elizabeth to mastermind a plan to eliminate Jessica. Lyrsa had a lot of fun confessionals, but that’s it. For all we know, Christian and Nick very well may mix things up and eliminate her next week; they appeared to be uncertain pre-tribal as to whether they would vote for her or Jessica.


Ali: Elizabeth

ElizabethHOT“When you hear your best buddy’s name thrown out, you ain’t gonna just sit down idly and do nothin’. You gotta, like, get into gear.” Elizabeth managed to change what was once a foregone conclusion. Elizabeth could have allowed her friend to go home, but she understood this scenario wouldn’t be in her best interests long term. I admire a player who can look moves down the line and realize who they need in the game. And believe me, if Elizabeth is in trouble in the future, Lyrsa will not hesitate to help her out.


Gus: Elizabeth

ElizabethHOTIn my opinion, Elizabeth gets Player of the Week for getting the vote flipped around to Jessica. She saved her girl Lyrsa and found a way to do it while still keeping her hands mostly blood-free. Elizabeth is playing a very good game for this point in her season.


Ali: Davie

DavieHOT“My eyes are always surveying the premises, ninja style.” I can’t get enough of Davie’s adorable confessionals. This guy’s face fills me with glee. He was on the wrong side of the vote this episode, but I feel out of that four, he has the best chance of staying long term. He has an idol, and he’s proven his worth as a provider. Octopi have been known for their escape artistry. So shall this ‘blerd’ prove to be a master of escaping bad spots.


Gus: Davie


First of all, “LYRECA.” It was a tough call for the Fisher King this week. Davie does have an idol, and I would hate to cheapen the strength it lends him; however, Jessica was in his alliance (or, at least was close to apparent main alliance partner, Carl) and he is down in the numbers. I worry that his game (potentially even all of his alliance’s games) may hinge on either the idol or a swap.


Ali: Christian

ChristianHOT“Once we do vote, that’s when it’s clean cut. That’s where we know where everyone stands.” Jessica got the clean cut this week, and it left Christian on top of the heap with a solid majority at his side. He made a good move bonding with Nick, and it ultimately served him well. I think that he’s very clearly the leader of his alliance, and that may come back to bite him down the road. For now, he’s in a great spot, and he won’t go home next week.


Gus: Christian

ChristianHOTGood week for Christian. Last week I ventured a guess that Mr. Big Bang Theory could rub folks the wrong way; however, it doesn’t look like that’s a problem for him. He’s formed strong connections (the strongest with his playmate Gabby) and was pretty much the swing vote of the week. My hope for Christian is that as he goes forward, he will solidify his alliance with one or the other of the sides of his tribe, and roll that forward to a strong alliance during the merge.


Ali: Gabby

GabbyHOT“If people are going on strength, that makes me uneasy, because I’m not that much better than Lyrsa at challenges.” I think Gabby has put herself in an even better position than Christian. She recognized that Bi and Jessica didn’t have her interests at heart, so she went out and found another deal. This move was the best for her game in the long term, so I feel great about her moving forward. At first, she didn’t look great. Her pitch to Christian almost sounded like whining, and it didn’t look like it had any impact on his decision. But clearly, something that she said got through to him and ultimately it seems like she gets the credit for that move. And since Christian has the spotlight on him right now, it looks like she’s got a brain meat shield in front of her, with a physical meatshield on her side in Nick. It’s possible that she could be the victim of an idol since lieutenants often get the stray bullet, but I think there are other targets in the alliance more tantalizing than Gabby.


Gus: Gabby

GabbyNOTI can already predict Ali’s trash talk for this one. Though Gabby was instrumental in changing the vote from Lyrsa over to Jessica, I don’t think that she deserves a Hot this week, in no small part because of where that motivation was coming from. Gabby was a paranoid mess for most of this episode – so much so that when Elizabeth approached her with talk of changing the plan by keeping the stronger players, Gabby’s first instinct was to cut her off to say, “It’s me. I know what you’re saying.” Hopefully she’ll be a little more together once we’re in the next episode because I don’t have very much faith that Gabby is in the driver’s seat of her alliance. And as we saw happen to Jessica, if the other side is able to get somebody voted out next time, it may easily be the lieutenant rather than the leader.


Ali: Nick

NickNOT“We’re like JT and Stephen from Survivor: Tocantins.” Sure, Nick, you’re like JT, except JT wasn’t a target in Tocantins… ever. And he certainly wasn’t a target in the first three days. When it comes to gameplay, you’re less a Tocantins JT and more a Game Changers JT. A hot mess does not a hot make. Kudos to you for managing to wriggle your way into a solid alliance. Your insistence on not only making multiple twosomes, but also naming these alliances, is going to be your downfall. I like to picture it like this, you’re sitting and talking to Elizabeth about your alliance and you accidentally call it “Mason Dixon.”Elizabeth says, “Hang on, that’s not what our alliance is called.” Now, you’re caught. The minute Christian and Elizabeth start comparing notes on your various alliances; you’re absolutely toast.


Gus: Nick

NickHOTI really have to hand it to Nick for his 180 from last week. A strong bond with Christian looks to have aided him in protecting his name, and his Thoroughbred alliance with Elizabeth may be in force as well at this point (we really didn’t see much of that this week). Big concern for Nick is that he could overplay in future; at this point, though, I’ve got faith in his game.



The following trash talk definitely doesn’t take place via Google Hangout while Gus is at work… Definitely not.


Ali: You might as well get it out now. Jessica was a hot for me last week and she went home and she was a not for you. Let me have it.

Gus: Yeah so for more context, Ali opened our first article by clarifying that “anybody who has somebody who is on their Hot list go home should be subjected to merciless teasing”, and then she gave me crap about having Jessica as a not. So, PHHHHTTBBTBPBPHPBPHPHHH! Alright, that’s that over and done with.

Ali: Okay. I have so many issues with your list this week.

Gus: So we disagree on pretty much all of the people. Do you want to rip me apart first?

Ali: Let’s talk about Davie first. First of all, how dare you?

Gus: He lost a member of his alliance and was out of the loop on the vote!

Ali: He got an idol this week!

Gus: An idol is not enough to balance that out. Dan got an idol last week.

"Appearances Are Deceiving" - Davie Rickenbacker competes on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 37th season, themed David vs. Goliath, with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

Ali: There’s no way they are sending him out first of those three.

Gus: No, but he’s still down in the numbers with no clear path to fix it.

Ali: But Davie is playing smarter than Dan. He misplayed a vote, but everything else he’s been doing indicates that he’s long for the game. He was shown doing some light bonding with Christian last week over nerd stuff. He can work his way back in.

Gus: Yes, he CAN, but that’s not enough for him to get a Hot from me.

Ali: He’s also the provider at the camp which is a HUGE reason to keep him around.

Gus: Yes, I do agree that if he leans into his provider role, he’ll do better. But, all of this being said, he’s not Hot in my book. He’s, like, tepid at best. I don’t think that he’ll go home next week. He was half a degree from hot. Shall we talk about your Not for Nick Wilson? Because that’s some HOT trash.

Ali: He is going to blow up and it’s going to be epic.

Gus: You used the same logic against Mike as you did against Nick, but you made Nick a Not and Mike a Hot.

Ali: Not only is he making multiple alliances, but he’s naming them. Cheater’s guidebook rule #1, if you’re seeing multiple girls, always call them the same name. Him having multiple pet names for his alliance is going to blow up in his face so hard, and I can’t wait to see it.

Gus: Bachelor Nation reference notwithstanding I don’t see that going badly for him. He’s an intelligent person; I think he can hold the names separately in his head. Who’s to say he can’t roll all of that together later, anyway? It sure didn’t work for either Coach or Phillip, but if Nick, Elizabeth and Christian stay solid what’s wrong with all of them just having code names? I worry more about him taking a stray bullet meant for Christian or Elizabeth.

Ali: Another reason why I put him as a not. If there’s a stray bullet, it’s going to him. And now that Davie has an idol, it could definitely be Nick. His name was already on the chopping block and now that Carl and Davie have nothing left to lose, they’re going to go right for the biggest threats in that alliance. Nick is a sitting duck. ALSO, I did not use the same logic for
Mike. Mike managed to make social connections and minimize himself as a threat to the point where no one felt the need to eliminate him yet. This is a huge improvement over last week. Nick, on the other hand, was only not a target because people wanted to keep the tribe strong. He made connections with Christian and Elizabeth, sure, but he’s playing way too hard and making promises he can’t keep. That’s going to blow up in his face for sure. That’s why one is hot and one isn’t.

Gus: Shall we get to more controverchelle players?

Ali: We shall. John Hennigan.

Gus: Such a hater.

Ali: If Alison gets a not this week, John Hennigan gets a super not.

Gus: HOW?

Ali: I don’t hate John Hennigan. I think that he seems like an awesome person and I would love to get a beer with the guy. However, this week the only thing we saw of him was Natalie throwing him under the bus.

Gus: But Jeremy did the exact same thing. Jeremy approached Natalie and said, the tribe wants you out. Let’s work something out. John did the same thing.

"Appearances Are Deceiving" - John Hennigan and Mike White compete on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 37th season, themed David vs. Goliath, with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

Ali: Okay, I have a rant about this, so let me do this really fast. First of all, John was sitting pretty in an alliance with people. Granted, it’s not clear that he was told about this plan. However, he was making good enough social connections that Dan felt he could be open with John about who the target was. John then turned around, even though he was sitting in a good spot, and told Natalie everything. Now, you might ask how this is different from Elizabeth. Let me tell you, Elizabeth had the trust of her partner before she went to her with vital game information. John basically pulled a Ken from MvGX, wherein Ken told Jessica that she was in trouble and Jessica didn’t believe him because she had no reason to trust him. Then, Natalie turned around and outed him (even though we weren’t shown her specifically telling people it was John that told, that’s probably going to come out eventually). That’s terrible for his game. The people who trusted him aren’t going to trust him after that! Now, as for how this relates to Jeremy. Jeremy was shown with more strategic content, so even though his conversation with Natalie didn’t go well, he can be firmly in the hot spot. First, he was not included in that alliance of six, so it behooves him to push the envelope and make connections with people who are on the outs. His reads on situations, i.e. the showmance, were shown to be accurate, meaning he is aware of the tribe dynamics. In addition, he had bonding scenes with Mike and Alec. AND he had that amazing scene where he discovered the idol in Dan’s jacket, which gives him information in this game that John certainly doesn’t have. As Mike said in the episode, information can be more valuable than advantages. Jeremy is in a far better spot than John if the events of this episode play out the way I think they might. SPOILERS: In the preview for next week, it’s shown that Jeremy might be in trouble which could throw this entire thing out of whack, but I think this is a Lyrsa style red herring. Okay, rant over.

Gus: But that’s analyzing the edit. That’s comparable to my saying “well, Hennigan only got one confessional this week, he’s certainly not winning.” My feeling is that we can infer from what we saw that, since nobody mentioned John in a negative light, they were MUCH more focused on the fact that Natalie lost her entire mind. And, more than that, I feel like it’s not unreasonable to assume that John could spin it pretty easily as “I just wanted her to maybe stop wiggin’ out at everyone. So I told her to ease up with the commanding or she could wind up being the target”. I may be projecting a little too far, but I just don’t see this biting Hennigan – at least not until Natalie is the target, and he has backtracked against his original plan of protecting her. Jeremy did it this episode – he wanted to take care of her, but her freakout resulted in Jeremy saying that he would be “[going] turbo” to vote her out. Does that suggest that Jeremy will be the target in lieu of Natalie, or post-Natalie? I can’t imagine that it would.

Ali: You know what’s funny? I was really worried this column would be boring this week because we would agree on everything. Who do you want to trash talk to me about next?

"Appearances Are Deceiving" - Elizabeth Olsen, Gabby Pascuzzi and Bi Nguyen compete on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 37th season, themed David vs. Goliath, with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

Gus: Gabby. She was a paranoid mess. As you said, “her pitch to Christian almost sounded like whining, and it didn’t look like it had any impact on his decision.” But she really DOESN’T get the credit, in my opinion, for that move. It was Elizabeth who turned Christian around. And he even called her actions “practically begging.” Power players are not begging!

Ali: Did I say that I didn’t think it had impact on the decision? Hang on.

Gus: No, you said, “something that she said got through to him and ultimately it looks like she gets the credit for that move.”

Ali: Oh, I did say that.

Gus: But, I really did NOT see that.

Ali: What I think I meant by that is that she didn’t get a huge amount of credit for the move. The credit there largely went to Elizabeth, Christian, and Lyrsa in that order, with Nick as the swing vote.

Gus: But how is this a good thing for her [Gabby]?

Ali: I feel like Gabby did get some of those gears turning. She also, in my view, correctly read that she would be a potential target after Lyrsa. At this point, I still think that she’s Christian’s number one, and her read this week helped get her from an alliance where she’d be at the bottom to an alliance where she’s a key player. That’s significant. If you think about it from Gabby’s perspective, they’re talking about keeping the tribe strong. If they’re going to try to come up with an alternate target, they would probably bring up Gabby’s name. Also, with the way the girls were behaving toward her on the beach, I’m not surprised she was a little paranoid. There’s never really only one target, and Gabby knew that. Hence, her behavior toward Elizabeth and Christian. No one was telling her alternatives until that point, so she feared the worst. I don’t think that’s a bad read. And as my mama says, “just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”

Gus: Sure. But I feel like that bodes ill for her future in the game. I think she’ll continue to be a defensive, freaked-out player for a while. I doubt she’ll leave soon, but her entire game at this juncture is being Christian’s ally. Eh, maybe she’s doing a little better than I had originally felt.

Gus: Our further disagreements rest in Natalia and Lyrsa.

Ali: Let’s do Lyrsa last. Natalia.

Gus: Natalia’s playing fine currently, and I don’t foresee her being voted out before Natalie, or possibly even before Mike. Her team of 6 is solid enough, Kara/Dan notwithstanding, and though she WAS painted in a foolish light, that’s more of an edit read than anything. Gameplay wise, the only folks that know about Natalia being aware of Dan’s idol are Kara and Dan. She has the MOST, by far, capital with that idol.

Ali: Wait, how?

Gus: Jeremy had assumed that Kara would know about it, but nobody thinks Natalia is aware of it, which means that it really can’t hurt her. If it’s flushed, another alliance has no good reason to put votes on Natalia. She’s completely hidden all of her alliances.

"Appearances Are Deceiving" - Natalia Azoqa competes on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 37th season, themed David vs. Goliath, with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: David M. Russell/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

Ali: Valid point. However, when it comes to who Dan would play it on if there were trouble, Natalia is SOL.

Gus: Right – I’m saying it’s not clear that others are even aware that Natalia is connected.

Ali: And if one of those three are targeted, I think everyone is going to view Natalia as the safe vote.

Gus: But that’s what I’m saying. It’s not clear whether anybody actually ties her with Dan and Kara. Or are you talking the group of six? Because they’re in the majority. And the minority has no way of targeting the majority alliance since we know the idol has been found. Apart from a really solid deceit plan.

Ali: I think that it looks like they’re in the majority now, but already there are players in that six that are branching out, and it seems like they have other agendas. John was making moves outside of the six this episode. And we saw Jeremy and Alec bonding in the ocean and gossiping about the showmance. And if Angelina hears about that idol and if she has any reason to believe that three of her six knew and didn’t tell her, then I don’t feel like the six will last long. Angelina will rightly take that as a sign that she’s on the bottom. And if Jeremy is a potential target for next week, I think he’s going to use his information as soon as possible.

Gus: Sure, but – as I’ve already said, Natalia’s hands are pretty clean insofar as Dan’s idol is concerned.

Ali: Natalia’s hands are clean so far. But, I think that based on who she’s aligned with and how Dan has been really bad about keeping anything a secret so far, I think she could easily be outed.

Gus: A reasonable worry.

Ali: I think so. She could easily be screwed over in this whole thing, and I just can’t get past what a bad omen that confessional was.

Gus: Oh no, horrible confessional. Though I still feel like that counts as reading through edit.

Ali: I know that people will be annoyed that we’re talking about the edit, but that one sent up such huge red flags for me. I guess for this week she played well, but her alliance members could easily change that around for her.

Gus: Really, she was pretty on the fence with me. Let’s examine Lyrsa.

Ali: Okay, let’s talk about her. Pregame, everyone said she’d be an easy vote out. Some even had her as a first boot, and yet she managed to wriggle out of being the target this week AND last week. No one even looked at her last week. Also, I feel like when they were comparing these two women (Natalie and Lyrsa) hearing their name was going around, Natalie was the clear showcase of “this is not how you handle it” while Lyrsa was the model for how one should handle it.

Gus: I think both of them was a good showcase for the wrong way to handle it. Because while Natalie overreacted, Lyrsa sort of underreacted. Only Elizabeth tried to mix things up. Lyrsa kind of hung out.

Ali: Lyrsa didn’t hang out! Lyrsa stayed calm and allowed Elizabeth to help her maneuver out of the situation. Had she gone super hard, it might have just made her target bigger. She had an ally that trusted her enough to tell her about the vote, and who wanted her in the game enough to stick her neck out for her.

"Appearances Are Deceiving" - Lyrsa Torres competes on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 37th season, themed David vs. Goliath, with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS

Gus: Nothing prevents her from being next week’s vote-off when David potentially is heading back to tribal.

Ali: That new big alliance might prevent her from getting voted out?

Gus: But there’s no real evidence arguing said alliance is going to hold together. Christian and Gabby or even Christian and Nick may well swap back.

Ali: But what would their motive be for that?

Gus: If they’re losing!

Ali: Christian is a gamer, Nick is a gamer, Gabby is a gamer. Those three know that a swap is imminent in modern Survivor. At that point, loyalty is going to be the most important thing. If they have a pissed off Elizabeth, a pissed off Carl, and a pissed off Bi, they’re screwed.

Gus: If they rescue Davie, Bi or Carl, that’s a fivesome.

Ali: At this point, they have Carl, Bi, and even Davie as cannon fodder. They don’t need to win that badly now. If anything, it might behoove them to get rid of Carl and Bi since they’d probably flip without hesitation.

Gus: Arguably they might go either way, which is pretty exciting. I still feel like Lyrsa may not be long for Survivor, especially if they believe her not to be a helpful player.

Ali: I think they’d be stupid to flip over. Nick won’t do it alone; they don’t have the numbers. And why would Gabby and Christian flip to help people who clearly didn’t care much to work with Gabby? And who they have already blindsided in the game? Lyrsa might not be able to survive the swap, but I guarantee she makes it to the swap.

Gus: Ehh okay. I just don’t think they have too much reason to hold all that tight with Lyrsa.

Ali: There’s a lot of trust built by voting together. They worked to save her and therefore bought that loyalty. If they threw that away without any reason, they’re dumb.

Gus: Alright. I’m a bit more swayed. I still have concerns. But, less.

Ali: Alright, so, last thing I want to discuss. Pick one person you think is out next from David and one from Goliath. Should those tribes go to tribal.

Gus: Oh. That works. For the Goliaths, that’s Natalie Cole. But David… it’s… Oh, Bi.

Ali: Okay, I’m going to say for the Goliaths, I think it’s Dan. For the Davids, I think it’s Bi.

Gus: Wait I’m stupid. Dan is far more probable. Or Kara, actually.

Ali: Too late. Whelp, tune in next week to witness what Gus and I fight about on our runs.

Gus: Either that or we might just opt to overanalyze American Vandal. Either way, enjoy.

Ali: We aren’t getting sponsored by American Vandal… or anyone at the moment… we just really like American Vandal.

Gus: It’s super good!

Ali: Bye bye!

Written by

Alexandra Shields

Alexandra “Ali” Shields is a sketch writer and playwright from Chicago and a graduate from Northwestern University. Alexandra has published humor articles with The Second City Network and Alexandra’s play, Twelve, won first place in the Jackie White National Memorial Playwriting Contest in 2018. Ali writes Inside Survivor’s weekly Hot or Not feature with her fiancé Gus.

Gus Schlanbusch

Gus is a Chicago-based theater artist and Survivor fan. He and his fiancée Ali also co-run a small theater company and produce a podcast about The Wheel of Time called “Wheel Takes.” When he’s not busy with all of that, he’s probably playing board games. Gus writes Inside Survivor’s weekly Hot or Not feature with Ali.

2 responses to “Episode 2 – Hot Or Not”

  1. Gus has just gone “not” on the season’s eventual winner for the first two weeks in a row (not a spoiler, just a prediction. There is no one who should be more hot than Gabby.)

Leave a Reply

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

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