Welcome to Give Me Five! Each week, Brent Sullivan will look at the top five impactful moments from the latest episode that could influence the rest of the season.
This week is always a little different. Like in past seasons, I am going to go back and pick out five big moments that I got correct from this season plus one bonus one that I completely missed the mark on:
1. Episode 1 – Rick Devens
“I had to save the new twist for last, so when I was trying to decide what to make for my last choice, my mind kept going to Rick. It’s not that he did anything mind-blowingly amazing or anything super villainous, but he seems to be a really big presence around camp. Both verbally and physically. He is very much like a class-clown by trying to make people laugh and seems to be in on every strategic conversation. Even during his pre-season stuff, he came off as a larger-than-life character. He is no doubt very comfortable in front of the camera since he does that for a living. I also personally thought that he was fun to watch. So, my thoughts are that he is either an early boot and he is getting his screen time in now or we are getting setup for a long run for him. I can’t decide which one is more likely at this point. He is currently in the majority, but we all know how fast that can change.”
Well, this ended up being a pretty big deal, especially after he won his way back from the Edge of Extinction. After the merge, Rick was one of the biggest characters/threats of the season, and as soon as all of the returning players were gone, he grew to be enemy number one (those were his words). Even down to the last episode, he was the easy favorite to win if he made it to the end, which is why Chris gave up his immunity necklace to make fire against him. Easy to say that this was a very Devens heavy season!
2. Episode 2 – The David and Rick alliance
“I may have been slightly wrong about the David and Wardog alliance last week, however, here is a new one. It seems that both David and Rick hit it off with a new partnership. They both see the game in the same way, and David appears to trust Rick. It’s still a little early to predict if this can go far into the game, but they have been together for the first six days and are on the same page on game decisions. Not much left to say here except let’s see how long this can last?”
The answer is that it can apparently last a while. Other than just that one vote, the duo of David & Devens worked together pretty much the entire time that they were on the island. Devens even played his idol for David at that crazy tribal council where Julia went home. I thought that the pair were fun to watch play and strategize together, let’s hope they have a relationship that lasts outside of the game!
3. Episode 4 – Extinction Island update
“This episode Chris showed up on Extinction Island and was met with an icy reception. Even Keith seemed annoyed with his presence there. Reem and Keith are sort of a team at this point, so this was the first time this season that we got to see people on opposite sides of a vote interact post-vote-off. At first, it was a little rough for Chris who was rightfully upset about getting blindsided and then had to hear it from the other two how they didn’t feel a bit sorry for him. But, it amazed me how he decided to catch fish and feed them anyway in hopes that it would pay off for him in the end and possibly help his chances of getting back into the real game. I know that we only see a tiny fraction of what goes on on Extinction, but everyone seemed to be getting along by the end of the episode. So, that brings up the question, how will they treat Rick? Rick and Chris voted together for the first two tribal councils, but then Rick had his hand in getting Chris voted off. I am curious to see how things progress here as the castaways start to pile up. At this point, there are just as many people here as there is on Lesu!”
I absolutely had to pick this one. We got to see Chris have his post-vote-out moment where he was upset about failing to achieve his “perfect game” as well as receiving backlash from Reem and Keith who he had voted out. Chris also got some real good character moments by deciding to fish and cook for everyone even though he didn’t know what to expect going forward. He clearly garnered enough goodwill from everyone on the Edge of Extinction to vote him as the winner of the season.
4. Episode 10 – Devens all alone
“Now that David’s gone, Devens knows he is all alone. Even though he voted with Ron, Wardog and Victoria at the last vote, he and David were clearly on the outs, and Devens doesn’t seem to be in any solid alliance. Also, everyone knows he has a friend on the jury, with David even sending him an advantage that led to his immunity win. I think Devens is a huge target and would have a fantastic shot at winning if he is sitting in the final three. The other players have been jumping around between alliances/groups/clusters, but everyone landing on Devens seems like a no-brainer at this point.”
This is pretty much the way it panned out for the rest of the season. Devens was mostly all alone for every vote. He had to save himself by winning immunity challenges or by finding hidden idols. There were only a few occasions where someone remotely flirted with the idea of working with him. Even his buddy Chris had to cut him at the end by beating him in the fire-making challenge. He knew that he was too big of a threat to be sitting in the final three.
5. Episode 13 – Final Extinction update
“This week, the group got to read letters that they wrote for themselves before the game. Sort of a weird gift to give them at this point, but some of them seemed moved by themselves from one month in the past. The big thing that I want to point out here is who we got to see reading their letters out loud. Eric, Julia, Joe, Chris, Aubry, David, and Reem all got more screen time with their letters than anyone else. It makes me wonder if it is one of them that wins the challenge next week and gets to come back into the game. Both Reem and Chris have been out there for awhile and have both been shown quite a bit during their time on the Edge. Someone like David was very prominent before he got voted out, but pretty quiet since then. Then on the far end of the spectrum, you have Wardog and Ron. Not only did they not read their letter aloud, but they also didn’t get a spot-on Extinction Island the episode after their vote out. I could be reading too much into the edit, but there has to be a reason why we were only shown these people.”
I was really curious about why those specific people got chosen to be shown reading their letters aloud. The fact that both Reem and Chris had been out there so long, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but looking back at it, I don’t see them not showing the person who ended up coming back. Also, as a side note, Chris did have a pretty unique place to sit and read his letter.
Now for the one that I believe that I missed the mark on the most. This one is from the Give Me Five from episode 8:
“A swing vote with an extra vote. Now, back to the extra vote that Aubry found. She decided to give it to Aurora which could be very interesting moving forward. Aurora knows that she was left out of the last vote and her ally went home… I mean onto Extinction! If she is still on the bottom moving forward, then this extra vote could do a lot of damage. Especially since there is an odd number of people left, that could lead to a major flip! Aurora appears to be actively working with the original Kama… at least she was until this vote, but she still voted with some of them. So, moving forward, I am not sure which way she will lean, but she has at least one tool in her bag now. Let’s see how she handles it.”
This never really made an impact at all. In fact, Aurora only played it because it was her last chance and then she gave it to Gavin to play for some reason. At one point, she gave it to Ron as a trust tactic, but I don’t think that did much either. In the end, it sort of fizzled out and was pretty much a wasted extra vote.
There you go! Another season of Survivor has come and gone. Congrats to Chris on surviving the Edge of Extinction, winning his way back and then playing his perfect game to win it all. Once again, it has been an absolute pleasure to watch and write about this show that I love so much. I want to thank everyone who spent the time to read, comment, or just click and open on my articles this season. I do this not only for myself but for everyone who loves reading countless hours of material about Survivor.