It’s time for the bi-annual throwdown where five Survivor websites enter and one emerges victorious. It’s time for Jury Jeopardy!
In this fifth installment of the competition, I will be representing Inside Survivor as I go head to head with Sarah Channon & Logan Saunders of Rob Has a Podcast, Jeff Pitman, Pat Ferrucci & Ryan Kaiser of True Dork Times, Ianic Roy Richard of A Tribe of One and Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred.
Last season, I scored a second consecutive victory for Inside Survivor, but can I continue my winning streak and emerge with the hat-trick? With a season that has been pure unpredictable gold, I’m not feeling confident – there are no slam-dunk choices here, and with the game as fluid as it’s been since Day 1, I wouldn’t be surprised to see everything hinge on a move we haven’t even seen yet.
Nevertheless, this game is all about bragging rights, and it’s definitely worth playing for.
For each Juror (and each potential Juror), each website will rank the Final Six by likelihood of receiving their Jury vote.
For example, for Juror Elizabeth, I have ranked Nick > Davie > Kara > Alison. This means that I predict Elizabeth will vote for Nick if he makes the Final Three under any circumstances, but she’ll vote for Davie if Nick doesn’t make the Final Three. If neither of them makes it, Kara will get the vote, and Elizabeth will only vote for Alison in a Final Three of Alison, Angelina & Mike.
Each blogger will score one point for each correct guess, for a possible high score of ten points. A correct guess is determined by the Juror giving their vote to the highest ranking castaway in the Final Three. For instance, if the Final Three is Angelina, Davie & Kara, I would score one point if Elizabeth voted for Davie, but I would not score a point if she voted for Kara or Angelina.
Once the votes are read, the decision is final, and the person with the most points will be declared the winner of David vs. Goliath Jury Jeopardy.
But if score results in a tie, who wins? Do we go to rocks? A challenge? Do we… fight for it?
It comes down to a game of numbers: who guesses closest to the actual vote distribution? A unanimous 8-0-0? A scattershot 4-3-1? This could decide it all!
Bloggers ready? Go!
THE JURY SO FAR…
Our mayor of Ponderosa is a David through and through, and I have no doubt that Elizabeth will cast her vote for one of her fellow underdogs if she can. Although both Davie and Nick voted her out, everyone else in the tribe wrote down her name at the merge, so she can’t hold that against them. Between the two of them, it’s a close horse race, but I’ve given the edge to her fellow Thoroughbred Nick, with whom we saw an explicit alliance (even if it was only alluded to in the premiere), over Davie, who was willing to throw her under the bus and pull apart her bed over on Vuku.
Of the Goliaths, it’s harder to predict. We know she doesn’t like lazy people or stupid people, but none of them easily fall into any of those categories. But I can see her looking to cast her vote for a woman and for someone in relative need of the money, which rules out Mike on both counts. She spent the most time with Kara on the swapped Vuku tribe, and the two did seem to share a connection over faith and equine interests, so that gives her a leg up. Between Alison and Angelina, I think Elizabeth’s vote would go towards the doctor, as Angelina’s overt Jury pandering on her way out the door seems like it would sour Elizabeth on allowing that “move” to be retroactively seen as effective.
The Mayor of Slamtown knows how to play the heel, and I can’t imagine that the easy-going wrestler is going to be anything other than a Wednesday Night Delight come this week’s Final Tribal. He seems to be the kind to be gracious in defeat, and for this reason, I think Davie has a great chance to snag John’s vote. Using his Idol to blindside John was a killer move and I expect John will respect that. Although he didn’t have a relationship with him, I can also see John voting for Nick due to the scrappy and clever gameplay he executed to scramble his way to the end.
Yet for the Goliath-iest of the Goliaths, I can’t pin down where John’s vote would go in an all Goliath Final Three. Of the four remaining, Angelina was the only one with whom he was clearly aligned both on the original Goliath tribe and post-merge, so perhaps she’ll have a chance to lock in his vote. Between Alison, Kara and Mike, though? He’s got the entertainer connection with Mike which might neutralise any prejudice against Mike’s “fame,” but I think he’d vote for Alison. He spent the whole game on the same beach with her, and for her to make it to the end with the huge target on her back would be a compelling story.
Of the Jury so far, I expect Dan will be driven the most by his emotional perception of the remaining players, and so his tense and reluctant relationship with Angelina and Kara’s betrayal feel like they could loom large. He also seemed to feel gipped by the Idol Nullifier and may view the Davids’ move against him to have been unfair and may not give Nick or Davie as much credit for the move.
Nevertheless, I can see Dan being one of those players who is swayed by a good story or the overall Jury perspective. If Davie and Nick can get to the end, their uphill battles to get there would be hard to ignore. They’ve fought hard and used their advantages to outwit and outplay not only the Goliath majority but also the threats within their own alliance. Davie gets the edge simply because Nick’s vote steal assisted in besting Dan and he also visibly flubbed his Idol at this last Tribal – but it really could go either way between them. Of the Goliaths, I think Mike might have the best chance with his ability to tell a story well and a few decisive moves to his name. In an all-female Final Three, though, I think his fellow Tiva Alison might edge it out over his perspective of a traitorous Supergirl and the infuriating Angelina.
Alec seems like the kind of player to reward the game that he wanted to play – one of social charm and big, bold moves. For this reason, the stellar underdog narrative of the Davids would be very hard to ignore, with their slew of (largely) well-utilised advantages and many effective side alliances throughout. Davie, again, has the edge as they have the Vuku bond that helped them conspire to eliminate Natalia, and his brand of excitable charm seems appealing for an Alec.
Of the Goliaths, Alec was most closely aligned with Alison, and I think that this could earn his vote if she’s able to articulate how she managed to dodge the fate that Alec suffered after being labelled the biggest threat. Of Angelina, Kara and Mike, Mike has the most visible “move” to his name, but Kara is well-spoken, naturally charming and has played a solid game navigating the middle. If she can present her case well at Final Tribal, I can see the chill Alec voting for her over Mike after his trepidations foiled Alec’s Strike Force or Angelina whose assertive personality doesn’t seem like the natural fit.
In the emerging pattern, the Davids have the upper hand going into the finale, and Carl will undoubtedly cast his vote for one of his fellow tribemates should they be able to scrape to the end – particularly given that neither were involved in his elimination. He seemed to be a little closer with Davie through the pre-merge compared to Carl’s initial poor impressions of Nick, so despite both being slam-dunk candidates for his vote if they’re the sole David in the Final Three, Davie gets the upper-hand again if they were to make it to the end together.
If it’s all Goliaths at the end, I expect Carl to vote out of loyalty. Of the four, Angelina was the only one not to be involved in the plot against him – and unlike some of the other castaways, Carl never seemed visibly exasperated with Angelina’s personality or actions. Between the remaining players, Kara spent the most time with him on Vuku and it’s for this reason alone that I would anticipate she gets Carl’s vote – though I do think Carl would share Elizabeth’s interest in awarding the money based on need, which certainly rules out Mike.
Gabby’s vote is a really interesting one, particularly now that Christian is out of contention. For someone who has been intent on the Davids getting the respect they deserve, I don’t necessarily think she’s a locked vote for the two remaining. Instead, I expect her head and heart would both lead her to vote for her friend Alison – particularly if the doctor can make a visible and decisive move to pave her own path to end in these last few rounds. Naturally after that, though, the combo of Davie & Nick come into play. I’m leaning into the growing trend of a Davie edge between the two. Nick has been more calculating, has overplayed and has had moments of pettier reactions – in contrast to Davie’s genuine enthusiasm and emphatic embracing of the game being a game.
If it were to come down to Angelina, Kara and Mike, I’d give Mike the best chance. Throughout the game, Gabby has gravitated towards good humour and has commented on Mike’s lightheartedness. He’s also emerging as a pivotal player in the endgame, and these game moves may impress the fan who wanted to go out of the game swinging rather than ride a path to the end in someone else’s shadow. While I could see scenarios in which Kara or Angelina gets Gabby’s vote, it would hinge on a critical play in this finale, so based on the game so far, they fall to the bottom of the list.
The professor has studied the game with fervour, and I expect Christian to vote accordingly. Fascinated by original strategies and a well-articulated compelling narrative, Christian’s first pick would be from the Davids. Given Davie was working with him up to his own elimination compared to Nick’s willingness to cut ties after the Carl vote, I’ve ranked Davie first, but the creative use of split votes and big gambles in the game of his buddy on the Mason-Dixon Line still gives Nick a run for the money.
For the Goliaths, Christian saw a resemblance with Alison – both perpetual targets often reluctantly gunning for each other but trying to work together where they could. If Alison can scramble her way to the end, she stands a great chance of sealing Christian’s vote, who will respect her difficult path to get there. I also don’t expect him to harbour a grudge, and if Mike were to claim responsibility for Christian’s ouster, I can see him earning the vote over Kara or Angelina.
THE FINAL SIX
Kicking off the active players, Alison is the player I feel is most likely to end her run as a Juror, given the persistent target on her back. If she lands there, I’m expecting to see her vote for her allies first. She’s been working alongside Kara for several votes now, and I can see Alison respecting the independent, middle-surfing game Kara has played. Her allegiance with Mike has been largely in the background, but it appears she’s looking to advance with him based on her conversation about the Nick blindside in the last episode. I could see this relationship transforming into a Jury vote if they end up on opposite sides of the Final Tribal.
I can also see Alison voting for one of the Davids – even above one of her allies – but I’ve ranked them lower simply because we have seen so little of Alison’s interactions with Davie or Nick. Between the two of them, Davie gets the preferential vote as he’s shown the willingness to work with Alison more recently in bringing her in on his Nick plan – but it really is a coin flip. The only certainty is that Angelina won’t get any more than an exasperated reaction out of Alison if she makes the Final Tribal – and particularly if the topic of the rice comes into play.
Conversely, I’m anticipating Angelina as the most likely player of the Final Six to make it to the end and not have to cast a Jury vote (barring the incredibly unlikely situation of a tie two seasons in a row). Angelina has a lot of good instincts in the game, but her execution has continually come back to bite her between jacket-gate, her Jury pandering to Elizabeth and her continued attempts to leverage her rice negotiation – and although she can present an argument well, it would take a huge shift in the game for her to either end up on the Jury or emerge victorious.
Regardless, if she finds herself at the voting urn, I think she’ll choose Mike first. He’s been an ally for her throughout the game both strategically and socially. Although Angelina won’t fall subject to casting her vote solely for the David story – her own uphill fight through the game will be unlikely to be recognised in the same way – her next preferences would land with the Davids. Her relationship with Nick goes back to the Jabeni days, and he’s remained loyal to her since the Alec boot. Even though Angelina has been a voice for the female perspective, going back to her Idol conversation with Alison in the premiere, I don’t know if there’s enough of a relationship between Angelina and either Alison or Kara to substantiate a vote. And for this reason, Davie – as part of her ideal Final Four – sneaks into third place.
Devilish Davie will want to reward devilish moves, and with his mantra of not taking the game personally, I think he’ll look to reward what he perceives to be the best game – even if that person is responsible for his ouster. Handily, his vote would go to Nick if he’s at the Final Three. Despite his Idol blunder this last week, Nick has played an incredibly strong game that Davie has seen from the inside. There’s almost no way the last David standing would not get Davie’s vote.
If it’s all Goliaths at the end, though, I think Davie’s vote would first go for his fellow Vuku, Kara. He referred to her as a friend and someone who’d been looking out for him since Vuku in this last episode, and if Kara can present her gameplay well – pitching her ability to know what’s going on and move flexibly with the plan, she might cinch his vote. Behind that is Mike, who has the biggest move in his story with his direction towards the Christian blindside. If Mike can continue to govern the game, that could definitely earn Davie’s respect.
For the same reasons I think Alison would vote for Kara, so to do I expect Kara to vote for Alison, the player with whom she’s been most closely aligned through this latter part of the game. Kara is a smart player, and although her game is more reactive, it will allow her to see merit in a less flashy game, such as the defensive game Alison has played. Next, I think she would reciprocate the relationship with Davie, casting a vote for him due to their friendship and his stellar gameplay throughout.
Nick follows closely behind Davie again – I really didn’t expect to continue ranking Nick as the second fiddle of the Davids, but here we are. Davie’s game has been a little more hidden, but his bright persona helps bring it to light, whereas Nick hasn’t fully been able to shrug the “schemer” perception despite his equally impressive gameplay – and to this point, no votes against him. Nevertheless, if it came down to Nick, Mike and Angelina, Kara would choose the stronger game of Nick, even if she still saw value in the subtle aspects of the games played by her fellow Goliaths.
From the get-go, Mike has been out on Survivor for the experience, and although he enjoys the game and the social politicking, his perspective is so wildly different to any of his fellow castaways. Although I would be surprised to see him fall short of the Final Tribal, I think Mike would almost be inclined to vote based on whose story he enjoyed the most – even if it’s rough around the edges – in addition to his close social bonds. For this reason, I can see him voting for Rock Star Nick first and Angelina second – both allies from the Jabeni days with interesting narratives to get to the end.
Behind them is Davie with his cheekiness and ambitious game which seem like a natural fit for Mike’s priorities, but it’s a close race between him and Alison, an ally who has had a tough road to the end and could pitch a great story of avoiding a tightening noose. The only player I have trouble seeing Mike vote for is Kara – simply because we’ve seen next to no interaction between them.
Although Nick has already shown glimmers of being bitter in the wake of the Carl blindside, I would expect this fan to be able to put this aside for the Final Tribal vote – particularly if he’s sitting on the Jury because Davie managed to beat him to the punch. They’ve been in cahoots for a long time – going back to the original David tribe – and their games are similar even when you don’t look closely.
If it comes down to the Goliaths, I would see Nick looking to reward both game and loyalty. Mike ticks both those boxes soundly – particularly if he continues to play a key role in the last few votes. And even though Angelina’s game hasn’t been flawless, I could see Nick being partial to a strong and assertive argument from her in an all-female Final Three against Alison and Kara, whose games have been a little less proactive.
7 – 3 – 0
I could honestly see this finale playing out completely different. It’s a strong Final Six, and more than recent seasons, I have a gut feeling that moves made from this point on could play a pivotal role in the outcome. But based on what we’ve seen so far, gun to my head, I think we’re looking at a Jabeni Final Three of Angelina, Mike and Nick. Based on my vote predictions, it would then be a decisive win for Nick with 9 votes, Mike as the runner-up with 1 vote from Alison and Angelina as our 0-vote finalist. But with a field as open as this and an endgame that truly feels unpredictable, I’m going to increase that vote margin in my predictions to 7-3-0.
If you want to play along at home, leave a comment making your predictions or tweet under the hashtag #JuryJeopardy! And, of course, be sure to check out the predictions of our fierce competition: