The last person to leave the game, the person so close to the end they can taste the money but has their opportunity to plead their case taken away at the very last moment. That person becomes ingrained in their respective season as the final recipient of “The Tribe Has Spoken” and earns a place in a very special group in Survivor history: The Day 38 Club.
Inside Survivor contributor Ian Walker continues the countdown of the updated and revised Day 38 Club rankings. The list takes into account the strength of a player’s game, character, and the power of their story.
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No. 16 – Rick Devens (Edge of Extinction)
Breaking news! Rick Devens has finally landed on the Day 38 Club list. Between his bombastic flair at Tribal Council, great challenge ability, and penchant for finding idols, Rick emerged as the player to watch during the home stretch of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, becoming a scrappy underdog that his other competitors were determined to get out.
Rick was also the embodiment of the season’s big twist. He survived the Edge of Extinction to re-enter the game and was determined to make use of his second life and become the first player in Survivor history to win the game after being voted out. It looked like he would reach that goal, until an even bigger underdog emerged to snatch the win away from him, sending Rick from potentially the winner’s circle to the Day 38 Club instead.
Despite a rough start, Rick found a natural ally in returning player and fellow Day 38-er, David Wright. The bad news was that his tribe, Manu, was a hot mess, losing the first three challenges. Bad turned to worse at the tribe swap, when five out of the six original Manus got swapped onto the new Lesu tribe, putting him and David in a terrible spot that eventually saw Rick voted out.
However, the Survivor gods weren’t ready to deem Rick a pre-merge boot just yet. Unexpected salvation and potential redemption awaited him at the Edge, offering Rick a shot to get back into the game. After surviving rainstorms, meager supplies, and a barrage of “screw you, dude!” from one Reem Daly, Rick proved triumphant at the return challenge and re-entered the game.
Upon returning, Rick had a renewed vigor as he dove back into the game, not fearing his torch being extinguished, having already experienced that grisly fate once before. His reunion with his buddy David was short-lived, as the Survivor veteran was voted out at the Final 10. After David’s dismissal, a new prime objective emerged for the other players: get Rick Devens out.
Unfortunately for the rest of the tribe, Rick became the pest that would not die. From the final nine to the final five, Rick put together an impressive run of protection for himself, either winning Immunity or playing an idol in every one of those rounds. Furthermore, he tapped into his newsman skills by maximizing the value of his protection by putting on a spectacle, selling the story to the jury that he was the scrappy underdog, clawing and scratching his way through every vote. With every passing round, Rick’s threat level grew, and he seemed unstoppable.
Then, along came Chris Underwood. Emerging from the Edge scrap heap, Chris, the third boot of the season, won the second re-entry challenge and found himself back in the game. Reigniting their relationship from the original Manu tribe, Chris and Rick worked together to get to the final four, where Chris won the final Immunity challenge and was faced with a dilemma. How to dispatch of Rick Devens, the surefire winner in any final three scenario?
In a stroke of ingenuity, Chris put himself into the fire-making challenge, calling his shot to take out the biggest threat, and he succeeded, sending Rick out of the game. For a while, Rick seemed like he would one of the unlikeliest winners in Survivor history. Then an even unlikelier winner came along to snatch the win away from him, making the leading story of his Survivor journey a trip to the Day 38 Club instead of the winner’s circle.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entries here.