We’re down to seven left in the game this week! I thought it was rather clear through the last episode that only Devens and Wardog were on the same page, with Ron, Julie and Lauren sitting somewhat in the middle but leaning away from them. As a result, I didn’t think the blindside last week was a very unexpected one for the audience, and Wardog was sent to the Edge of Extinction by six votes – Gavin, Aurora, Victoria, Julie, Lauren and Ron.
If all existing alliances remain the same, they point at Devens being on the bottom, as the only one left who voted differently. I do think he’d be the primary target by the majority this week, seeing how he was described as a dangerous threat by Lauren in the previous episode. Moreover, he has won two individual immunities so far, which also makes him one of the challenge threats left in the game.
With the preview of the family visit, this week’s trailers don’t offer us as much about the game dynamics. The focus is definitely on Ron’s advantage menu which he found during the marooning back during the season premiere. To give a brief recap, the secret advantage was valid up till only the third tribal council and offered a choice between three options – an extra vote, a reward steal, and individual immunity. As Ron tricks Devens by giving him the advantage menu in the episode this week, we can assume he removed the expiration description at the bottom of the paper. Whether or not Devens sees through Ron’s trick would be determined by how well Ron masks the tear in the paper.
As I’m trying to understand the reasons why Ron chose to give Devens to expired advantage, I decided it was first to regain Devens’ trust after blindsiding the supposed “power trio” last tribal. I feel like a large part of Ron’s game is to position himself with many different alliances, giving him multiple roads forward to the end. Another layer of reasoning would be to make Devens feel safe with the advantage so that Ron and the rest of the tribe can vote him out easily. In any case, by virtue of this sneaky move, I don’t think Ron plans on working with Devens in this episode’s tribal.
The next part of the trailer, as well as the episode description, centres around Victoria, Aurora, and Lauren looking into Devens’ bag. This already reveals an underlining assumption that these three will be working together, targeting Devens. The scene we see here is likely them checking if Devens has found a hidden immunity idol, seeing that no traditional idols have been played so far this season, and also perhaps to check if Devens had received any additional advantages from his buddy David on Extinction.
As they are caught red-handed, I think it’s probable to believe that Devens would make a case to get one of them out. I think he’ll appeal to Ron, Julie and Gavin that Aurora, Lauren and Victoria can’t be trusted because of this. Four out of the seven remaining players would give him the majority to control the vote. If this is the case, I’m sure we’ll see Ron and Julie deciding which side to take again, and hopefully, we’ll see more of Gavin’s decision as well.
On the other hand, we have Victoria, Aurora and Lauren. With Aurora’s extra vote that she received from Aubry on Extinction, the three would also have four votes amongst themselves. On top of this, I think they’ll appeal to at least Gavin to vote Devens out. As the final seven would be the last time to use the extra vote, I think it’s certain that Aurora would use it plainly during the vote, and also as a way to leverage an alliance with other players.
Essentially, I predict the tribe will target Devens at this vote. I also think that their plans will be foiled by Devens winning immunity again. With the amount of screen time he’s getting, I can’t help but think he’s making it to the finale episode, especially over sparsely visible players like Gavin, Aurora, and perhaps Victoria of late. As such, assuming Devens wins immunity, I’m predicting Aurora as the vote for not being solidly part of any close alliance, and again, because of the content we’ve been getting of Julie insisting on getting her out. (Though I must add that Aurora has somehow narrowly(?) avoided many eliminations already).
All in all, I think it’ll be a pretty advantage-centric episode, whether or not any advantages get played at tribal council.
Leave your predictions in the comments below!