Survivor: David vs. Goliath

Episode 3 – Hot Or Not

Who is Hot or Not after Week 3?

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.

Last week, Gus and Ali both ranked Jeremy as a Hot, so both of us have egg on our faces. But, come on, who could have seen that implosion coming?

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

Disclaimer: Our article contains discussion centered around information revealed as part of the “next time on” preview segment. Should you wish to watch this coming week’s episode without any foreknowledge, don’t read this article!

Ali: Christian

ChristianNOT“Now, we’ve broken this game apart in a million pieces. So, we have to put them back together in a way where we don’t get targeted.”

As much as I hate to say it, Gus was right last week. I underestimated Christian’s willingness to overplay and throw a loyal ally under the bus. In my opinion, it’s a huge overplay and puts a lot of power in Nick’s hands. I understand why he feels eager to work with both sides, but if Gabby, Elizabeth, or Lyrsa catch a whiff of what’s been going on with the Mason-Dixon alliance, it only spells bad news for Christian. Christian should realize that loyal allies are better than immunity idols in this game. I don’t understand why he would give up a powerful alliance to avoid some responsibility, but here we go. Also, the swap is coming, and remember Christian revealed how much of a puzzle threat he is on day one. I predicted that would come back to bite him eventually. In modern seasons, merge challenges are all balance, endurance, and puzzles. If I were anyone else on Christian’s season, I’d want him gone before the merge. I don’t think he’s going home this upcoming week, but I think he could be in some serious danger come the merge.


Gus: Christian

ChristianHOTBelieve it or not, this was kind of a toss-up for me. The main issue was: why shove the blame to Gabby?! It was a mistake for Christian to instantly gun for his secondary (primary?) partner in the game. It wasn’t even the best move for someone who chose to take the “play the middle” approach. The better thing to have done would have been to sandbag Jessica since there’s very little chance of her being able to hurt his game (Outcasts twist 2 when?). I think that it was wise for Christian to choose to play the middle. A player who’s seen any of the modern era of Survivor could predict that a swap is approaching. And Christian is clearly in that group – so he’s sitting relatively pretty in terms of being able to swing with the Bi/Carl/Davie trio and the Lyrsa/Elizabeth/Gabby trio. Unless his “throw[ing] under the bus” of his sand playmate returns to bite him (edit: I just noticed in a rewatch that it was actually Nick who first said this!).


Ali: Gabby

GabbyNOT“The nerds have it. Like, we are in.”

Gus has taken to calling himself a “Gabby Truther.” He really doesn’t think Gabby has long for this game, and this week certainly was terrible for Gabby. Her crying in the preview for next week suggests she discovers Christian’s betrayal. The swap could definitely be a saving grace for Gabby. If she knows what’s good for her, she’ll drop Big Bang Theory in favor of a better show.


Gus: Gabby

GabbyNOTThrough very little fault of her own, Miss Pascuzzi remains a Not for me this week. With Christian (a player recently described by Gabby as “my number one ally in this game”) and Nick actively muckraking all over her, Gabby is an unwitting target for close to half of her tribe. Davie, Bi and Carl have it in for her; Christian and Nick are willing to cut her loose (which, by the way, looks like a WAY better move for one than the other – more on that in a bit). That’s five to three. With a swap in the mix, I’m worried that, should Gabby find herself in the minority in her new tribe, even former Davids may be open to seeing her head back to Ponderosa. Add that to the Goliaths who should be calling the shots, and it bodes very ill for her.


Ali: Lyrsa

LyrsaNOT“Are you okay?”

Lyrsa is a not for much the same reason as Elizabeth. She isn’t in a tight alliance of five after all. However, she knows now that she has a strong partner in Elizabeth. Loyalty in this game is more valuable than any immunity idol, and last week proved that. Unfortunately for her, others are not as sold on the concept of loyalty. If Lyrsa can get on a strong tribe, then she could be around for a while. However, if she swaps onto a losing tribe, a target could easily fix on her.


Gus: Lyrsa

LyrsaNOTI believe Lyrsa is playing well; my worries in her court stem from the unfortunate (and arguably incorrect) perception of her as the weak link. My fear for this past vote was that Nick and Christian might well switch back over to the Bi/Davie/Carl group and push for Lyrsa’s removal in the event of a David Tribal. If Lyrsa is considered the weaker player on the new tribe she winds up on, and if they go to Tribal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her voted out for similar reasons to those originally dumped on her. A label is a very sticky thing.


Ali: Davie

DavieHOT“Luckily, I have the hidden immunity idol right now, and that’s something that can save me.”

Davie was on the wrong side of the vote last week, but he still has an idol. More importantly, that idol is still a secret. If Davie gets a whiff of trouble, he has the means to save himself. This means he’s in by far the best position going into the swap.


Gus: Davie

DavieNOTHard call either way for the Fisher King. Being in the minority alliance isn’t good. The Hidden Immunity Idol that’s in his pocket is good. Falling for Nick and Christian’s lies about Gabby isn’t good. Our foreknowledge that Nick and Christian could work alongside him is good. I ultimately slapped a Not on Davie mainly for his misread insofar as lies from Mason-Dixon are concerned. Davie is at their mercy, in a way. I will, however, concede that his Idol very well could turn things around in a nailbiting way should Davie find himself as the target.


Ali: Carl

CarlNOT“I didn’t expect this game to be this hard.”

Poor Carl isn’t having a great time. He had a teary confessional and didn’t seem very happy in the background of the Christian and Gabby scene. However, it seems like his little group is working its way back in with Christian and Nick, which could be a good sign. On the other hand, swaps are so unpredictable; there’s a solid chance that the Survivor gods could lasso a cowboy. At the end of the day, I didn’t get enough content from him to give him a hot.


Gus: Carl

CarlNOTWrong side of the vote with Jessica, misled by Nick and Christian, and stuck with Bi who I think was at one point accusing ally Davie of being the flipper? Or did I just mishear that? I’m afraid that Carl is in desperate need of some refocusing and shuffling of the deck. I don’t know how to forecast for him as far as an upcoming swap goes; we saw him wary of Gabby and Christian’s in-depth conversation about Slamtown, so it seems like he’s worried that his tribemates might jump off the David ship. All told, Carl is a little bit too in the dark.


Ali: Elizabeth


This week, we saw the alliance that might have been formed last week get thrown under the bus. Where does that leave Elizabeth? Unfortunately, we don’t know, because we weren’t able to hear from her. However, the signs are not great at the moment. This week is going to be difficult because we have a swap coming up, so who knows what the future holds for her or any of them. We can only go off of what we were shown in this episode. From what we’ve seen, Elizabeth isn’t in as secure of a position as I once thought. However, if she can keep Lyrsa by her side, Elizabeth might have a bright future in the game.


Gus: Elizabeth

ElizabethHOTThe hat-wearing Texan is staying pretty steady from her former ranking, as she had a nonexistent presence in this episode. Being a David as the swap approaches is troubling, but I feel like Elizabeth is in a decent spot.


Ali: Bi

BiNOT“It woke me up. It was like, okay girl, time to play. It’s happening.”

Bi’s reads this week weren’t great. Her first instinct told her that Davie was the one who betrayed them. Then, she said she knew from the beginning that Gabby was the one who turned on them. Girl, which is it? She’s decided to wake up and actually play the game, but Killer Bi is more of a drone this week as she plays right into Christian and Nick’s hands. Furthermore, her knee injury could be a death sentence going into the swap. Without her physical ability, Bi is dead weight. Maybe she can pull a Sleeping Beauty and wake up in this game in time to save herself. However, if she keeps taking things at face value, I doubt it.


Gus: Bi

BiNOTSo far, Bi has been the challenge powerhouse (apparently) of the David tribe; with a newfound knee injury, such an identity could be in doubt. Without prowess in challenges, Bi is just a member of the minority alliance and is dependent on Nick and Christian’s allying with her to carry her further. With a swap in the mix, I could see her being the “not good in challenges” elimination – an unfortunate conclusion for the young professional MMA fighter.


Ali: Nick

NickNOT“That puts the Mason Dixon line right in the middle.”

When Nick said this, Gus started slapping the couch and screaming, “I told you so!” Nick was able to strengthen his position in the game, very much at the expense of Christian’s game. Nick wants Christian to be loyal to only him, so why not make sure that he tanks Christian’s relationship with Gabby? Honestly, it was a good move. However, I still feel like Nick is overplaying, and I feel like a bad swap could mess him up, especially if he faces off against that big alliance of six. I think, much like Jeremy, some of the smarter players in the game will see right through that southern charm.


Gus: Nick

NickHOTAhh, Nick. Ya gotta love a guy who loves to play the middle. He’s latched himself right onto Christian’s “ruin Gabby’s entire game” plan. He’s still got his “thoroughbreds” named alliance of himself and Elizabeth. He was working to create some bonds with the Carl/Davie/Bi trio. If this keeps up, I would not be surprised to see Nick even attempting to inflame tensions in the team of Gabby and Christian, effectively trying to play the middle of the middle. From what we can see, the original argument against Nick has disappeared, and he is sitting pretty where he’s playing his best: right in the middle (although, let’s not kid ourselves – this is NOT a JT in Tocantins game).


Ali: Natalie

NatalieNOT“You talked that brother/sister love stuff, and you showed me no love. So that stinging sensation you feel in your eyes right now? That’s Natalie Napalm. Get off of my island. By the way, your skin’s gorgeous darling.”

I knew it! People get bored on the island, and after a while, the obvious boot gets old and the target shifts to someone else. This amazing quote was enough to make me consider giving her a hot, but considering her gameplay, that would be downright irresponsible. Natalie managed to survive this week, but it looked less like the work of Natalie Napalm, and more the bungling of the Jeremy Jackhammer. If anyone needed a swap this week, it’s Natalie. This could not have come at a better time for her. Hopefully, she’s going to take advantage of this second chance and find a path ahead.


Gus: Natalie

NatalieNOTI really wish that I could make Natalie a Hot, because her performance at Tribal sure was excellent – and WHAT a voting confessional. Despite Natalie’s claim that she will remain “Goliath strong,” I would hope that she considers attempting to play the middle post-swap. As she’s survived three episodes, I don’t expect Natalie to be voted out next week. I think it’s more likely we’ll be seeing a David leave, or either Kara or Dan have an idol flushed. Natalie, I hope, has entered that point where she kind of is forgotten about for some time as other, more significant, game threats get voted out, and she becomes the “eh, we’ll vote her out eventually” of the season. It’ll take her far more than I think she can do to flip the game around and win, however, so for the time being, Natalie is still a Not.


Ali: John

JohnHOT“The game for me is about connecting with people.”

Gus is going to be thrilled. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when he’s right. The more John hangs around, the more I like him. Last week, I thought John was playing poorly sticking his neck out for Natalie, but this week the play seemed prophetic. Up until this week, there wasn’t enough positive strategic content for me to mark him as a hot, but this week he really wowed me. His confessional about how Survivor is helping him with old-school skills like conversation is a great sign. If he can focus on building up his social connections, his longevity could branch beyond his archetype’s typical merge boot placement. Plus, he got exactly what he wanted this week without shifting the spotlight on himself. Angelina took on the responsibility for the move he wanted, which spells good things going forward.


Gus: John

JohnHOTTHIS GUY ROCKS. Even people on the David tribe want to be in Slamtown! John is stupendously charming – the other players seem to adore him. In challenges, he’s clearly an asset. He was even shown in the provider role (with the world’s second smallest fish, but, you know). Moreover, I’m thrilled about his gambit to ally with Natalie having worked. I hope that she will become a meat shield for him. John is 1) in a majority alliance, 2) on the larger tribe, and 3) in the alliance that has an idol. The only way I see him being eliminated this coming episode is through Davie’s idol, or some weird rock draw situation, or… yeah, no I’m really not sure.


Ali: Daniel

DanNOT“We’re not her employees.”

Thanks to Jeremy, everyone knows that he has the idol. His power in this game keeps shrinking, and his threat level in the game keeps growing. I don’t think he’s going to go in the event of a swap, because I think his tribe is going to want to keep him for strength. But hey, I didn’t think that the Malolo tribe would get rid of Brendan either, and look what happened.


Gus: Daniel

DanHOTNot even widely spread claims that Dan has a jacket idol could bog him down this week. In fairness, all of Jeremy’s overplaying was unlikely to cause harm to Dan, as he’s part of a large majority alliance – which is really the biggest reason that he gets a Hot from me. He’s managed to blunder into a really dominant alliance while holding an idol. The Kara stuff rubs me the wrong way, and I expect that it always will. Nonetheless, Dan finds his way to the Hot list for his gigantic amount of game power. After a swap, I would expect that he will still remain in a majority alliance. My only worry is that he is separated from his group of 6. But, should he find himself alone, an idol flush does not necessarily lead to his being sent home.


Ali: Kara

KaraHOT“As for right now, we don’t have to strategize because nobody is getting voted out. So, that’s just paranoia talking.”

Okay, I’m finally starting to buy into Kara’s game. We didn’t see a lot of her this week, but I’m starting to feel like the six are a legitimate alliance, and I feel like the Goliaths have good odds going into this swap. This all spells good news for Kara. I think in the swap, she’s secure in the alliances that she’s built. I also think she has the social game to win others to her side. I think the only downside to Kara’s game is Dan, and hopefully, she doesn’t get caught up in his free fall.


Gus: Kara

KaraHOTAs has been said about both Dan and John, Kara is in a big alliance and has access to an idol, and she’s in a tribe with a numbers advantage. Kara should live a while longer, with the exception being that a swap leaves her and Dan isolated. As the lieutenant, I think Kara would be a very easy vote.


Ali: Angelina

AngelinaHOT“In my day to day life, I use the power of persuasion.”

I was definitely back and forth about where to put Angelina this week. On the one hand, wow, she really did that. On the other hand, did she do too much too early? Would it have really impacted her that much to send Natalie home instead of Jeremy? So, a part of what I am basing this on has to do with Jeremy’s post-eviction behavior. Jeremy’s exit press demonstrates to me that he will pull out all the stops in order to save face, even if that means resorting to personal attacks. All signs point to Jeremy being both a destructive force in the game and a bitter juror. Angelina would have had to get rid of him eventually, and she was right to act now rather than wait until he caused some real damage. Historically, it’s better to work with a predictable ally, like Natalie, than someone like Jeremy. And while I don’t believe that Natalie is necessarily predictable, I think her motivations can be more accurately divined. If Angelina’s persuasion skills this week are any indication of her skills down the line, then perhaps she’ll stick around a while. The question is, has she shown her cards and inadvertently put a target on her back?


Gus: Angelina

AngelinaNOTThis was hard. I ultimately felt that Angelina might have somewhat overplayed in her zealousness to eliminate Jeremy, as masterfully done as that move was. I worry that, as the game progresses, the success Angelina had from this move could push her to make even more aggressive gameplay moves. Then, her alliance members could begin to think of her more and more as the power player, which may result in Angelina being eliminated as a game threat. Cooling her heels for too long isn’t good, either – pulling off a unanimous second boot blindside won’t have much resumé capital in the endgame. It’s a very precarious gameplay line for Angelina to stride along, and I worry for her ability to pull it off.


Ali: Alison

AlisonHot“You don’t have a lot of time for second chances.”

How interesting that, despite Angelina’s “alliance of six,” we saw Angelina go to Alison first to pitch Jeremy as a target. I think I was right about Alison and Angelina keeping their alliance on the down low. It looks like Dr. Alison has her finger on the pulse of the game after all, but she’s got Angelina as a shield to hide behind. As we’ve learned from past winners, just because someone is playing a quiet game, doesn’t mean it’s not a good game.


Gus: Alison

AlisonNotAhh, poor purple Alison. I really want to know what Alison is doing. Sadly, except for her ultimately failing at the puzzle, then listening while told what to do by Angelina, I saw very little from Alison this episode. So, Alison gets yet another Not.


Ali: Natalia

NataliaNOT“For tonight’s vote, if I had it my way, I’d be writing a smiley face next to Natalie’s name.”

Ultimately, Natalia didn’t get her way, which means her alliance is willing to overrule her desires. She didn’t have enough clout in her alliance to get out a glaring target. That’s not a great look. And it was clear from her face at tribal that she wasn’t happy about the ultimate decision. Part of being in Survivor is being flexible, and her staunch declaration that she was voting for Natalie wasn’t good gameplay. Yes, Natalia voted with her alliance in the end, but if that first conversation is to be believed, she did it kicking and screaming. I’ve said it before about Natalia, and I’ll say it again, when you have a rival in the game that you are fixated on, you often leave right after them. Unlike Jeremy, Natalia is smart enough to keep most of her feelings to confessionals, but there are definitely moments when it seeps out of her. Natalie is going to pick up on that eventually. Natalia isn’t in a power position in that alliance, and if she continues to be inflexible, the alliance won’t see much of a reason to keep her in the long term.


Gus: Natalia

NataliaNOTNatalia does benefit significantly from all of the things that I list in all of her alliance members’ breakdowns – majority alliance; idol at her disposal (in theory); bigger tribe. That being said, her intended vote-out, Natalie, was not eliminated – and her unfortunate tendency for outspokenness may turn out to bite her as the game progresses.


Ali: Mike

MikeNOT“I feel like I’m bonding the most with Jeremy.”

Cue Jeremy going home. Mike can’t seem to catch a break in this game. This week, he’s forced to vote out his closest ally in the game. However, I have some hope for Mike. He’s managed to avoid being targeted this week, despite a rocky start. In addition, he voted with the majority, even though it didn’t end up benefitting him. He still has all of the information that Jeremy was able to gather during his brief time in the game. The upcoming swap could breathe new life into Mike’s game as the big threats on the horizon come sharply into view. Perhaps Jeremy died so Mike could live?


Gus: Mike

MikeNOTYour sole ally has vanished into thin air. Uh-oh. Let’s hope for good numbers at the swap. I think so far Mike has significantly benefitted from having a lot of money – I could see people wanting to bring him to the end should he be pleasant enough – however from an overall gameplay perspective, I can’t say Mike has been all that impressive.


Ali: Alec

AlecHot“Day one, it was ten egos in camp.”

I was really impressed with Alec’s performance at tribal this week. All of the tribemates were taking turns providing Natalie with “constructive criticism.” I thought the way that he put it showed some social finesse that I didn’t know he had. In addition, I feel his challenge prowess will keep him in the game for a while going forward.


Gus: Alec

AlecHotAlec wins challenges, most of the time. That’s pretty much my read for Alec. There is no reason for anybody to eliminate Alec early. Yay Alec.



Over the course of the season, Jeremy received:

One Hot and one Not from Gus.
One Hot and one Not from Ali.
Culminating in a total of two Hots and two Nots.


GUS: Oh man will this be a fun one

ALI: Alright, who should we fight about first?

GUS: Christian?

ALI: Man, him throwing Gabby under the bus was like a punch to the gut to me for some reason. I really didn’t like that. There are intellectual reasons too, but I wanted to first state that I’m hurt. Second, what benefit is there to throwing an ally under the bus like that? Loyalty is more important than gold in this game.

GUS: You have to start laying groundwork against your allies in the early game, lest you become a Ken McNickle.

ALI: Christian is hardly Ken McNickle, but I see your point there. I just feel like Christian would beat Gabby anyway, so the move felt unnecessary and a little gross.

GUS: Yeah, my thoughts were that he didn’t really have to, but it sure wasn’t poor enough gameplay for a Not from me. Also, didn’t Nick originally come to Christian about laying blame at Gabby’s feet? I feel that Nick was a real mastermind in that arena.

ALI: Not in the way the edit portrayed it, but it’s possible that’s how it happened on the beach. In the edit, Christian did it right away and then talked to Nick about it.

GUS: It’s very unlikely for it to come back and cause any harm to Christian was my thought. And it prevents him from a Carl/Bi/Davie target.

ALI: I thought it was really poor. It looks like in the preview that Gabby finds out what he did. If I were out on the island and I thought someone was close to another person and then they immediately threw them under the bus, it would cause me to think twice about working with that person. Plus, it seems to me that Nick won’t have any problem chopping Christian at his first opportunity. Strike one and two.

GUS: Ehh if Gabby had learned, then why was she hugging Christian and crying? I’d figure that she’d be crying by herself.

ALI: Could be she’s trying to strangle him and the editors made it look like a hug for the previews.

GUS: Hahahahahaha, oh man I hope so. Great, who’s next?

Photo: CBS

ALI: Let’s go Davie. He has an idol. Period. He’s not going anywhere next vote. Also, no one knows about it.

GUS: Agreed.

ALI: If there’s one person I feel confident is safe next vote, it’s Davie.

GUS: Yes. He is safe.

ALI: You put him as a Not.

GUS: And I did say that he was a real toss-up. My Not was predicated on the enormous misread of and hoodwinking by the Mason-Dixon folks. Also, his being allied with Bi, who I believe tried to pin a flip on him? Which, I mean, not so good.

ALI: It’s true. Not a great look for Doc Oc.

GUS: I think he will return to the Hot list, but this week did not help him. Let’s talk about Dan.

ALI: Everyone knows about his idol… Alec was shown questioning their relationship. I’m worried for him. If he’s not a target now, he will be really soon.

GUS: What about his alliance? The guy has like 6 of 17 remaining players in his alliance. Even with a swap, he seems likely to still have a firm grasp in terms of numbers.

ALI: Sure, but he’s also shown that he can be a liability as an ally because he doesn’t play his cards close to the vest. Could come back to bite him. If they’re looking for someone to target in that 6, why not go for the guy with an idol?

GUS: Cuz he’s got the idol. Better gameplay is to target Kara. Unless they assume that’s become the more foreseeable vote. Also, it would be tough for him to find himself down in the numbers. If he finds his way to a tribe that has a majority of Goliaths, then the idol should be safe. If he finds himself in a minority Goliath tribe, then no Davids know the idol.

ALI: But if they go for him now, then he’ll be blindsided with it. If they go for Kara, the idol is still in the game, and now he knows they’re coming for him.

GUS: No, I mean by way of getting his idol flushed. If he’s the ‘target,’ but Kara becomes the vote, then it burns the idol concurrently to his losing Kara.

ALI: It’s interesting how we have been talking about Davie and Dan’s relationships. I suppose it’s what you hold in higher esteem at the moment, alliances or secrecy. At the moment, I think Davie has the less of variables. When so many people are in on one secret, there are so many chances for things to go wrong. Davie has the ability to worry only about Davie when it comes to using that idol. I actually think it’s a better position ultimately. But I’d really like Dan to be safe too since he’s in our draft.

GUS: Right, it does elucidate our perspectives a little bit. Next?

Photo: CBS

ALI: I choose Elizabeth. Nick and Christian playing the middle is not a good sign for Elizabeth’s future game. I thought last week she was in a solid alliance of five; now she has Lyrsa and Lyrsa.

GUS: And maybe Gabby.

ALI: And you said yourself you think Lyrsa is gone potentially. If Elizabeth is smart, she’ll pick up Gabby. I think she’s smart enough to do that.

GUS: But she does have time to reorient in the swap. And I think she should be able to find a new branch to latch to if needs be.

ALI: I am absolutely rooting for Elizabeth to pull it out, but I think this week was bad for her game.

GUS: It was, but I don’t know whether it was bad enough to merit her being a Not. I had expected Mason-Dixon to play the middle from last week, but I still made Elizabeth one of my Hots.

ALI: I feel like her only true ally is in danger this week, so I am certainly concerned for her. To me, that was enough to give her a Not. She has very little protection going forward and that scares me. She could easily be a swap victim.

GUS: Oh, she could be. I’m really just counting the Hot as a carry-over, due to practically nothing having changed from my perspective after last week.

ALI: Fair. But that’s why I have her low for this week, even though I’m dying for her to go so far.

GUS: Also fair. How about Alison?

ALI: Okay, I think I’m right in that Alison has a down low thing with Angelina. We’ve seen her secretly talking strategy with her twice. Alison is the first person Angelina went to to discuss her plans about Jeremy. So I feel like there’s some beautiful thing happening there, which makes me feel better about Alison’s position in the game. Angelina is a nice shield for her. I gave her a Hot because I think if Angelina can help it, Alison isn’t going anywhere.

GUS: Interesting. I do hope that you are right. I just wasn’t able to read that much from what we saw. I just saw her listening to everything that was told to her by Angelina. So, my thoughts had been that she [Alison] amounted to some sort of pawn for Angelina. A Sam from BB20, as it were.

ALI: Sure, but Alison is smarter than Sam.

GUS: Clearly; so far as her gameplay has been shown, however, I don’t know that her playstyle is much better.

ALI: Even if she is a pawn, then all the more reason for Angelina to protect her. And the way she conducted herself at tribal was promising.

GUS: You make a compelling argument. I’m really hopeful we will be seeing more of this UTR gameplay from Alison.

Photo: CBS

ALI: Okaaaaay. Let’s go with Nick. If Angelina is overplaying, Nick is overplaying.

GUS: Nick is not overplaying. Nick is more background than Angelina. He didn’t run around while rallying all of his tribe alongside him; all he’s doing is some background sneak moves. That’s much stronger gameplay than being a forward power player.

ALI: He’s made so many deals he can’t keep, and I think it’s all going to come tumbling down like a house of cards.

GUS: What? I mean, he’s made all of two. Nick is allied to Christian; Nick is allied to Elizabeth. In theory. Because I don’t know whether Nick and Elizabeth even have spoken in a week.

ALI: He also told Bi, Carl, and Davie that he’d vote out Gabby with them next. They think that’s an alliance too. And how’s Elizabeth going to feel if he backstabs her with that vote?

GUS: It’s still very early game. Then he can also blame Gabby. All he’s got to do is say, “I was scared; she played far too hard.” That oughta cut it.

ALI: I just feel like he’s setting himself up to get caught in his own web. Eventually, they have to see how tricky he is, right?

GUS: Not with swaps. This is a fantastic way to play into a swap. You lead with every alliance, which sets everything up if you find yourself tribe-bound to, say, the Davie/Carl/Bi group. He’s pretty gravy at whatever tribe he finds his way into.

ALI: It seems like this group is very unforgiving about overplaying though. Jeremy is an example of what I think could happen to Nick. And I wonder if smart players like John or Angelina will see through him.

GUS: Very possible. But Nick is a new entity for them, and most of their ire should wind up concentrated towards any challenge liabilities. Shall we speak of Angelina?

ALI: Let’s do it!

GUS: Let me be clear, she was a really hard call. I still feel like it was, long-term, not in her best interest to gun so much for Jeremy.

ALI: I think you are probably right about that. She was a tough choice for me too, but I think unlike with Natalia, she was shown being listened to by her alliance. Plus, this could give her a good connection with Natalie. Goliaths are going in unfractured, unlike the Davids. All of these things spell good news for her game next week.

GUS: In theory; although she could also be targeted as the next Jeremy. Not LIKELY, I know. But, long-term, I would not be surprised.

Photo: CBS

ALI: I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s targeted long-term, maybe even before the merge, but I feel like a David will go next. If a Goliath goes, I doubt it will be Angelina first. But you’re right, I worry about her long-term game. Okay, time for our fav game. Which two people do you think will go next?
Swaps are really hard for analysis and especially hard for this portion.

GUS: Yeah. A tough prediction to make. However, I’m predicting it’s either Bi or Carl. Each of them is more or less friendless; unless we get Nick and Christian helping, I don’t foresee a whole lot of good coming their way.

ALI: No! Not Carl! I’m predicting… Bi or… Natalie? No! I’m going to be different from you. Lyrsa or Natalie. Both break my heart. Alas.

GUS: Not good! Let us hope.

ALI: Okay, anything else we need to discuss?

GUS: That appears to be it! As always, thank you to everybody for reading. Be sure to check back in next week to see what we’ve been arguing about during our runs! Bye!

ALI: 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.

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