Edgic is a weekly feature analyzing each player’s edit, mapping characters to their story-arc. Note that our focus is not solely to determine the winner, as is typical of other Edgic sites. For more information on how Edgic works read our Introduction to Edgic article.
|Name||EP 1||EP 2||EP 3||EP 4||EP 5||EP 6||EP 7||EP 8||EP 9||EP 10||EP 11||EP 12||EP 13||EP 14|
What Does This Tell Us?
Even though we have assigned the players separate Edgic ratings for both episodes, Episode 10 and 11 were narratively interlinked, mainly due to the story of Stephen Fishbach and the battle between Jeremy and Spencer for control. The producers could have scheduled any two episodes together, but you have to believe they chose to air 10 and 11 back-to-back due to the narrative flow. For this week, rather than separate the categories by rating, we will go through one player at a time and discuss their edit and arc over both episodes. This should give us a clearer understanding of their narrative as we head towards the end of the season.
Ciera’s time in Cambodia can be described as “a game of two halves”. In the first half of the season she was quiet, under the radar, and playing safe in the background. Being on the winning tribe for all but one of her pre-merge episodes meant that she never had to scramble or fight for her life. As soon as she attended tribal council in Episode 6, she suddenly sprung into action and demonstrated that fearlessness she talked about in her opening confessional.
Perhaps Ciera was having interesting conversations and making great social bonds in the early game, but the edit did not care to show this. Ciera’s role is that of a hardcore gamer and until she can properly play the game the edit does not care. From Episode 6 onwards, when she was able to start playing, the edit was all over her. “Big Move Ciera” was very much her prescribed role throughout the merge.
“It’s the Ciera show. And every move that’s made is on her resume. All she did was throw out Stephen’s name yesterday and it was like, boom, done, like the Godfather; this one’s next.” – Tasha.
Ciera was given respect by the players and the edit. According to Stephen, she was “dangerous” and “terrifying” because she was “fixated on aggressive gameplay.” The Previously On… segment credited Ciera with “using voting blocs to stay alive”. Abi and Wentworth were described as “her people” as if Ciera was in charge. As far as opening confessionals are concerned, Ciera definitely accomplished her goal of playing without fear and having a game she can be proud of.
“I can’t believe it could be like this without a break,” Ciera said about the rain. But this also doubled for a meta comment about her own gameplay. Non-stop. The non-stop rain kept her from playing her non-stop game. This was the start of her downfall. At the reward challenge, her exit was foreshadowed when she started to long to see her family (positive tone) and says “Almost done, right?” There was still two weeks to go, but her game was almost done. She played so hard that it eventually made her too big of a threat.
Episode 10 – UTRP2 | Episode 11 – UTR1
Last week we talked about how Kimmi was simply a tool for Jeremy and Stephen and has been throughout her second chance. Episode 10 and 11 qualified that when Kimmi was the only person to vote with Jeremy and Stephen in both votes.
From very early on, the edit told us that Kimmi sees the game in a very straight-forward way. “Who is next?” Stephen asked. “One of the girls,” Kimmi replied. Kimmi only sees what is in front of her and not the bigger picture. Even Keith told her “If you can’t see that those three (Jeremy, Stephen, Tasha) are together then you’re blind.” It is why her edit is predominantly UTR because her strategy and approach to the game lacks complexity. In a season that is primarily focused on strategy rather than personality, this paints Kimmi as a rather insignificant character.
“My son was in the hospital for 49 days, and I sat there through that. That is a 1,000 times worse than this.” In Episode 10, Kimmi put the game in perspective when she talked about her son who has kidney disease (which gave her a positive tone). She endured that situation and therefore she can withstand the elements of Cambodia. Her game is just lasting. Not outwitting or outplaying. That has been her goal from the start – “I just want to get to the end”. “Just push through” as Jeremy said to her.
Kimmi is still not playing, and with a total of six UTR edits and two INV edits, she is unlikely ever to start playing. Everything is straightforward to her. She doesn’t know what’s going on – as evidenced by her confusion and surprise at the Episode 11 tribal council.
Episode 10 – MOR3 | Episode 11 – UTR1
Keith continues to provide humor for both the audience and his fellow players. This hasn’t been a season with a lot of laughter or light-heartedness; it has been drama, tears, and strategy, strategy, strategy. However, when we do get a moment of laughter it is almost always courtesy of Keith.
In Episode 10, Keith stole Joe’s shirt and talked about killing the golden boy, which garnered laughs from his tribe-mates. In Episode 11, he called out Stephen for milking his foot injury – “You was running like a deer out there” – which again, got audible laughs from the tribe. There is all this talk about how everybody loves Joe, but really, the person everyone loves is Keith. After all, despite both Keith and Joe choosing to play in the immunity challenge, it was only Joe that got backlash from his tribe.
But like Kimmi, Keith is very much on the outside of the game. He received an MOR edit in Episode 10 because of his challenge focus and presenting himself as a competitor that can handle the elements for a million dollars. But once that challenge focus was gone, Keith was right back to being UTR in Episode 11. He does not call the shots – he follows orders. And this week it was Spencer and Wentworth giving him the orders.
Episode 10 – UTR1 | Episode 11 – OTTN4
Abi-Maria continued into Episode 10 exactly where she left off in Episode 9. Mocking and poking fun at those around her. Cutting people down when they are at their lowest has become her trademark. “Poopy pants” she called Stephen, over and over again, when he was suffering from stomach issues. She also negatively mimicked Joe at the immunity challenge after he picked the black rock. This has been Abi’s role since the merge; the evil clown that poops on people’s parties. But the crazy Brazilian dragon has always been lurking beneath.
“Ohh lightning. See I told you; first it was thunder then there comes lightning.” This line was shown and subtitled to make sure we didn’t miss it. This is a false statement: light travels faster than sound, so lightning comes first, then thunder. The edit is telling us that Abi always thinks she’s right and then misreads what’s right in front of her to validate her own crazy thoughts.
In fact, the crazy, paranoid Abi has probably been there every single day of Survivor: Cambodia but the editors chose to hide that side of her at the merge because it was irrelevant to the strategy and main arcs of the season. But they always had it in their back pocket when they needed to ramp up the drama and tension of a vote.
In Episode 11, Abi returned to her pre-merge OTTN rating and provided much-needed confusion and paranoia heading into tribal council. We saw Abi in three separate one-on-one conversations, with Stephen, with Spencer, and with Wentworth, and in each one, she was in full Gomes mode. She was described as “freaking out”, “insane”, “on the warpath”, and “the most unreliable person in the game”. She was right back in Episode 1/Episode 5 mode.
Once again, despite her craziness, she survived, and Stephen went home instead. Stephen’s biggest mistake? In Episode 10 he spoke about how he couldn’t work with Ciera but how he could see himself being able to work with Wentworth “…and even Abi.” Abi is cancer to an alliance remember? That was Stephen’s death knell. You don’t “work” with Abi; you baby her and tell her what she wants to hear.
“Abi’s not missed. She’s just slow,” Probst said at the Episode 11 reward challenge. A line that sums up Abi perfectly. In the game she hasn’t missed (for the most part); she has voted correctly at tribal council more times than anyone else. But she is slow getting there… she is reactive rather than proactive.
Episode 10 – MOR3 | Episode 11 – MOR2
“You get one opportunity to leave me out of the loop.” This line, which came from Tasha at the start of Episode 10, was a death knell for her game and her edit. Tasha has officially crowned herself miss “out of the loop”. After returning from the Episode 9 tribal council, she admitted “I voted Ciera” – which was the wrong vote. And there is further evidence of her being out of the loop.
After the immunity challenge in Episode 10, Tasha told Spencer “Ciera is the biggest threat right now” and called Ciera “the Godfather” because she called the Stephen shot and “boom, done” it was Stephen. But the viewer knows this is wrong because 1) We can see in the game and the edit that Jeremy is the biggest threat right now with his two idols AND with Stephen beholden to him – meaning he also controls the advantage 2) She’s wrong that Ciera called the Stephen shot. Spencer did (he was the first to bring up Stephen’s name at the reward). 3) Jeremy is the Godfather. He’s the one who called the shot with this vote and used his idol to make it happen.
She voted for Stephen in Episode 10, and he was saved with Jeremy’s idol, once again Tasha was on the outside of the vote. In Episode 11, Tasha was swayed back over by Jeremy and Stephen and voted with them, but Stephen went home, and she was out of the loop again.
Tasha’s storyline has turned into – she’s lost all handle on the game, and it is reinforced time and again that she’s not going to get it back. She has turned into another Kimmi and Keith. She is being dragged one way or another by Spencer and Jeremy, the power players of these episodes (game).
Episode 10 – UTR2 | Episode 11 – CP5
Kelley Wentworth had her first UTR rating of the season in Episode 10. Had this been a stand-alone episode, then that might have been cause for concern. However, because this week was a double episode, and the second one saw her with a strong CP5 rating, it doesn’t have too much of an effect on her overall edit.
If anything the UTR rating in Episode 10 was a benefit to her overall arc. It was an episode in which her closest ally, Ciera, was eliminated; so disconnecting Wentworth from the events of the episode protected her – much like how Jeremy’s edit was much quieter in Episode 11 when his closest ally Stephen was voted out. Her being under the radar saved her, as Ciera was seen as the biggest threat and leader of that alliance. Once Ciera was gone, Wentworth stepped back out of the shadows.
She helped control the vote along with Spencer in Episode 11. After being described as part of Ciera’s numbers in Episode 10, the following episode re-established Wentworth as a power player. She stated “I have five people,” when talking about her numbers. Her role was that of the stabilizer – she controlled the misfits and the crazies of the alliance. We saw her talking separately to Keith, Joe, and Abi and making sure they stuck to the plan. She was not only part of the majority alliance, but she found her second idol of the season.
Speaking of the idol, you can tell a lot about Wentworth’s edit if you compare her second idol find to Jeremy’s second idol find from last week. When Wentworth found her idol clue it was presented as luck; she even said so herself – “How lucky am I?”. When Jeremy found his clue, it was presented as hard work and perseverance. When Wentworth was trying to retrieve the idol it had a comical tone (trying to get rid of Abi-Maria) and a sense of tension (would she get the idol before her tribe-mates returned to camp?). When Jeremy retrieved his idol, it had a heroic tone (soaring music) and a personal touch (he talked about his wife Val and what his win would mean for his family).
What does this say? Well, if you are looking solely at winner edits then it is getting harder and harder to fit Wentworth into that bracket. If you look at the previous top winner contenders of the season – Jeremy and Spencer (and even Tasha pre-merge) – they have all had tone to their edit, and tone that has been mostly positive. Wentworth hasn’t had tone at all throughout the season – in fact, out of the 13 people that made the merge, only her and Keith haven’t had tone at some point during the season.
The edit has not explored her personal feelings or personal relationships – her confessionals and her conversations with fellow tribe-mates are always game related. To sell a winner, the show usually likes to give them a personal connection to the audience. Even game-focused winners in the past, like Kim Spradlin, had tone to their edits at some point. However, there is a precedent, Sophie Clarke, winner of Survivor: South Pacific, didn’t receive tone until Episode 11 of her season and her edit is very similar to Wentworth’s.
You could say that tone isn’t as important to Wentworth’s edit because her opening goal was all about doing away with emotional ties (her dad) and focusing on having a better game. That is definitely an argument to be made, and one that we have made over the weeks here on Inside Survivor. But it seems more likely that “having a better game”, which she most definitely has, was the overall goal of her edit. It will be interesting however to see if her edit changes at the loved ones reward in the next episode – especially if her dad Dale is her loved one. A late surge in tone could change everything.
Episode 10 – OTTN3 | Episode 11 – MOR3
Joe has simply become “the challenge guy”. His challenge dominance is the only time when the edit takes him seriously. When it comes to his social and strategic game, the edit undercuts him. His Episode 10 edit was full of negative tone. He started very much like how Andrew Savage started Episode 7, cursing in his confessional because he was blindsided at the previous vote: “I’m pretty (expletive) pissed right now. And I’m trying to keep it together and not lose my (expletive).”
Last week, Joe was described by Stephen as arrogant, and that sentiment continued in Episode 10 when Wentworth said, “He’s also playing every person. But in a really arrogant way.” In the reward challenge, there was a focus on Joe throwing the girls around in a rather rough manner, which the edit made sure we noticed by including this comment from Jeremy: “Poor Keith was fighting two people at once, and Joe is just pushing girls down.” At the rock draw, he was eye-rolled and mimicked by Abi, Ciera, and Wentworth. Then at tribal council, Tasha described the rock choice as showing whether or not a person was “selfish” or “unselfish” – the camera panned to Joe on “selfish”. This negative tone primarily speaks to Joe’s social game.
As for his strategic game, compare the way that the players speak about Ciera to the way they speak about Joe. Ciera is “the Godfather” spoken of with true reverence and fear as the one who makes moves and executes people. On the flip side, when it comes to Joe, Keith said “It wouldn’t bother me a bit if Joe goes. He’s good at challenges. He’s winning everything out here.” That isn’t really as urgent or threatening as “he is the Godfather that is running the game.”
Even Wentworth spoke about Joe in a similar tone, “Let’s just get Joe out of here. This is great because… I’ve just felt, like, on the bottom, but I feel like these voting blocs definitely opened up a lot of doors for Ciera, Abi, and myself.” It is nothing more than an “as long as it ain’t me” move.
Joe is a player whose fate is decided for him by others — outside of the protection of immunity, he has no control over it himself. The phrase “Joe’s a threat” has become a smokescreen for taking out bigger threats, like an unknown advantage in the game and a tight bond. Far from being a threat, winning challenges simply make Joe, as Tasha put it, “a wrinkle.” The most telling thing of all that you don’t even need to read the edit to decipher is that Joe survived despite not having immunity. Joe has talked for weeks about how, as soon as he doesn’t have immunity, he will be voted out. But he didn’t have immunity, and he survived.
We talked last time about how the person who sees Joe as the biggest threat is Joe himself. That continued in Episodes 10 and 11: “People are coming for me,” “I can’t bank on them, especially when I know they want me out of this game.” But the edit never really shows anyone actively coming after Joe other than Stephen. And this brings us to the Joe/Abi similarities.
Joe has to be convinced that he is not the target and to stick to the plan. “Please tell me it’s not me tonight?” he begged Spencer and Wentworth, and they told him, over and over, that it wasn’t him and that they had a plan. But he talked over them, “The thing is, if I go home tonight, I can live with it.” Wentworth had to cut him off and tell him “Get out of that mentality!” And what mentality is that? It’s the Abi-Maria mentality, where you think everyone is after you. Abi has an almost identical conversation with Spencer later in the episode. “I’m ready to go home if I have to,” she continued to insist in spite of Spencer’s (honest) protestations that she wasn’t going. “Stick to the plan” kept being said, but not to Keith who was also in this “voting bloc”, but to Joe and Abi.
Joe and Abi didn’t go home because they aren’t perceived as the game’s biggest threats. The biggest threats are the social players that could win a majority jury vote. The only reason Abi is a threat is because of her unpredictability. The only reason Joe is a threat is because of his challenge ability.
Episode 10 – OTTM4 | Episode 11 – OTTM5
“For the first time in Survivor history.” That was Stephen’s catchphrase this season. He said it twice in Episode 11 when talking about his vote-stealer advantage, once at the reward and again at tribal council. How many times has he said this in previous episodes? Stephen’s downfall, and overall edit is tangled up in this phrase like a fish in a net.
Stephen was so caught up in being a self-proclaimed “Know It All”, as if he had a reputation to uphold, that he appeared to be overly concerned with leaving a mark on the game – making Survivor history. He set his sights on voting out Joe as his big move and became obsessed with it just as Ahab became obsessed with the white whale in Moby Dick (this comparison is a self-fulfilling prophecy by Stephen from a few episodes back.) He never caught on that the white whale wasn’t a threat, that nobody else sees taking out Joe as a big move.
Blinded by his obsession to leave a mark on this game, he abandoned all of his traits that made him a good player the first time around:
(1) He made himself appear more threatening than he actually is. Stephen’s strengths are hidden, which is inherently a strength, as opposed to someone like Joe whose strengths are in plain sight. He publicly made his advantage out to be a bigger threat than it actually was (e.g., “giant unknown that can upend everything,” and selling it as “a 3 vote swing” when it was really just 2)
(2) “I think of myself as having good reads on people.” He lost his read of people. He couldn’t identify that Spencer, his ally for many votes, had now flipped on him. He couldn’t read the room that he had been too obvious about who his closest allies were, e.g., by picking Jeremy and Tasha for the reward. Everyone – including Keith, the person with his head least in the game! (“You’d have to be blind not to see it.”) – Named his foursome with Jeremy, Tasha, and Kimmi. And correctly so, as Jeremy and Tasha are the only ones whom Stephen voluntarily told what his advantage was.
(3) “I think of myself as knowing the game really well.” He created an unnecessary vote split that neutered his advantage and cost his side the numbers. Stephen’s story arc was that of the Know It All who set his goals so high, sky high, staring into the bright sun, that he lost sight of the game. The editors would like you to take a second and <inhale> “marinate in it.”
Episode 10 – CP4 | Episode 11 – CP4
After having a couple of quieter episodes, Spencer was back to his comfortable CP rating in both Episodes 10 and 11. Spencer had such a strong pre-merge edit that the quieter episodes he has had post-merge hadn’t effected him too much, especially when he finally ended this set of episodes in the power position for the first time.
Throughout Episode 10, Spencer wanted Stephen gone. He was shown as the confidant to Jeremy, Joe, Tasha and the trio of Abi, Ciera, and Wentworth. Spencer’s game has been about forming bonds and connections and this episode really highlighted the success of that strategy and how he is able to work with multiple people. “Now it’s about convincing enough people to make the right move…” this was Spencer’s motive for these episodes, getting people to make the right move for him.
For the first time, we saw someone properly standing up to Jeremy and disagreeing with his plans. The quote that summed up the episode perfectly came from Spencer at the end of Episode 10: “When we are both 100% convinced the other is wrong… Something has to give. Something has to break.” It set up a battle between Jeremy and Spencer. The two people controlling the game. Jeremy won the first battle when he used his idol to save Stephen, but the edit left Spencer off the hook slightly by showing that he had the foresight that things might not go to plan, “I hope Stephen is going home, but I have no idea what is going to happen at tribal council.”
In Episode 11, the battle continued. “Jeremy pulled a fast one.” Spencer believed he was being lied to and wanted to jump ship to start something new. Almost as if Jeremy’s idol play on Stephen confirmed all his previous suspicions. Probst – “Did you have it right?” Spencer – “Yeah, I did.” Yes, indeed. Spencer was right that Jeremy and Stephen, and by proxy Tasha and Kimmi, had become a tight unit – “…they’ve become tighter with each other than I will be with them. And I need to do something about it.”
The edit gives credit to both Spencer and Wentworth for persevering with the plan, but Spencer is given the credit for formulating it. Keith asked “So what’s the plan?” and it was Spencer that answered and dictated the move. Spencer formulated it, and Wentworth kept the pieces together.
The question now becomes what does this big move mean for Spencer going forward? “Our plan we hammered out is to go after Stephen. If I go that route, I run a big risk, and it scares me to death.” While this fear was specifically about the possibility of advantages and idols and Abi being Abi, it also spoke to a bigger picture. It can be tied back to his quote last week about whether he can take control of the game “without destroying my own game”. Spencer has made his big move now, but what will the fallout be?
Episode 10 – CP4 | Episode 11 – MOR2
Jeremy is the other side of the battle. He describes his game as “cleaning up” in Episode 10. “Every vote is like a new game. If I can’t clean up then, I know they’re going to come after me next.” He knows that he isn’t on the chopping block just yet, and he has stayed off by playing tribal to tribal and cleaning up, whatever we want to interpret that as. But whatever it means, it has been working and has allowed him to dominate the vote.
He uses terms like “power group” and told Tasha “You’re still in the power.” Jeremy sees himself as the power, and he decides who is and isn’t in the power group. That is the major theme of these two episodes, who has the power and who is controlling the game. Jeremy is shown as a strong leader. He is never shown struggling with the elements. “It sucks, but we gotta push through.” He is the soothing voice during the storms. Stephen even validates Jeremy’s meat-shield strategy when he says “You’d be winning all these rewards if Joe weren’t here” – it shows that Jeremy’s strategy has been working.
But for how strong and in control he has been, towards the end of Episode 10, he begins to lose some of that power. He is shown to be out of the loop, “Oh, we’re doing Stephen now?” Jeremy thought it was a “bad move” but unlike last time Stephen’s name came up, he couldn’t shut it down quite so easily. Spencer and Jeremy went head to head.
Ultimately, Spencer took the numbers, so Jeremy needed to “clean up” in a different way, with his idol. At tribal council, Jeremy talked about seeing people walk off in different directions, “Wait a second, what’s going on here?” A further example that Jeremy had lost control of the game and needed to get it back. Jeremy played the idol, regained control, and announced his game strategy and who he was willing to play with and stay true to: “Who can I trust more going forward.”
In Episode 11 the battle continued. Stephen said he “owed” Jeremy after having the idol played on him. “I think Stephen wants to take me all the way to the end, and I like that. I need that.” This established that Jeremy and Stephen were super-duper tight. But Jeremy, like Spencer at the end of Episode 11, showed wariness about his bold move. “There’s going to be a huge target on me now after doing it. But this game is so crazy; I feel like everyone is still in it. So I have wiggle room.” It continued the theme of making big moves and how they are great for your resume but could ruin your game.
“Spence you’re fine. I don’t want you to be paranoid… I’d do the same thing for you.” Jeremy again dictated who was in “the power group.” This was Jeremy saying he’s the one in control. Again, there was a struggle over who was really controlling the game. Jeremy insisted to Stephen that Joe had the idol. Either Jeremy believed that and was therefore shown looking wrong (which hurts his winner chances), or he was using it to hide the fact that he has the idol himself. Either way, it caused their alliance to split the votes which led to Stephen going home and Spencer winning round two of the battle.
What is interesting to note is Jeremy’s lower visibility and quieter edit in Episode 11. Much like how Wentworth went UTR in the episode where her closest ally Ciera was eliminated, the edit does the same with Jeremy here, when his closest ally Stephen is eliminated. The last time Jeremy had an MOR2 rating was in Episode 7 – the episode where another one of his closest allies, Savage, went home. This is definitely intentional and a sign that the edit is protecting the strongest winner contenders.
That is it for Week 10 of Survivor Second Chance Edgic. Please let us know in the comments how you would have rated each castaway based on Episode 10 and 11.