The conclusion of last week’s episode is going to be tough to beat. After the last tribal council, the results read that everyone except Aurora voted together, but clearly, alliance lines aren’t drawn that unambiguously. For starters, I think Julie and Ron are a pair, while Lauren, Wardog and Wentworth are a tight trio. Devens and David look to be back working together. And as David said in the sneak preview, they wasted their idol last week, but at least that complication in their alliance is out of the way.
The Next Time On trailer devoted a sequence to a new alliance of six, comprising of the Lesu 3 (Wardog, Wentworth, Lauren), Julie, Ron, and Gavin, with a confessional by Wentworth immediately preceding, saying “the six is staying strong, so it’s like which one do you take out now”. With this first introduction to the six, the glaring question for me here is whether Gavin is working with Victoria – they’ve been aligned with each other since the pre-merge through their time on post-swap Manu, and also with Julia when they blindsided Eric two episodes ago. I hope we’ll get to see more of how their relationship has developed since Victoria seems to be left out of this new six-person alliance.
Moving on, we also see Devens pitching to Victoria by the rocks, “if we can come together we run the game,” followed by Victoria confessing that “it is a plan that could work.” In the next scene, we see David telling Devens and Julie, “I think we go for Wardog,” which leads me to believe that this plan includes Devens, David, Victoria, Gavin, Julie, and Ron voting as a bloc. With six out of ten, they’ll have a majority to determine the vote. Without any advantages on their side, I feel like it is only with a firmed majority that Victoria will be confident in the proposed plan.
On a side note, I find it interesting that after a temporary truce last tribal, Lesu looks divided again. I believe this vote will come down to the Kama members choosing which Lesu half they will side, as the five of them don’t have the numbers to guarantee someone from Lesu goes home without risking rocks.
However, all this strategising and guesswork might be premature. From the episode description, we know that there will be “two tribal councils in one hour,” and I feel like Victoria’s “oh my god” at the challenge may be a reaction to that twist. Perhaps, whatever plans abovementioned were made prior to Jeff’s announcement at the challenge. The players would thus have to adapt with the little time they have between then and tribal council.
My first guess would be a split tribal council of five players each, which happened in Ghost Island when there were ten players left as well. In that case, I feel like we’ll see some idols being played. With nowhere to hide in a tribal of five players, I think Wentworth and David would be likely targets as returnees. Wentworth would play her idol to keep herself safe.
The episode description also tells of “a surprise advantage,” which is likely to be the idol nullifier which made its debut last season. We see Aubry and Chris searching for something on the Edge of Extinction, so I think they’ll get to allocate the advantage to someone in the main game, as with Devens giving Aubry the extra vote before the merge.
To sum up, from what we know from the trailer, we hear Wardog as the expected target of the alliance led by David. I think Aurora is in danger as an easy vote because she’s not really firmly aligned with anyone in the game. Returnees will be targeted if it’s a five-person tribal; I predict Wentworth will play her idol, and I don’t think it’ll get nullified. Overall, I think Aurora and Julie will be voted out to Extinction.