Survivor: Game Changers

Episode 4 Edgic

Inside Survivor analyzes the edit of Survivor: Game Changers Episode 4.

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 and rating definitions read our Introduction to Edgic article.

You can read all our previous Edgic posts here.

Color KeyNewColours

We use a different color scheme than traditional Edgic. We wanted the bigger character ratings, the OTTs and CPs of the world, to stand out. So we made all of these colors bolder and brighter. Simultaneously we wanted the less important character ratings, particularly the UTRs, to blend into the background, as the characters do on the show. So we made these colors duller, more gray and brown. We also looked at the tonal dimensions — negative to positive — and wanted to make it visually consistent whether a character was portrayed positively or negatively. To that end, we reserved all variations of red and pink for the negative ratings, and all the positive ratings are variations on green.

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
Andrea2Andrea UTR2 INV UTRN2 UTR2
Aubry2Aubry UTR2 MOR2 UTR1 UTR2
Brad2Brad MOR2 UTR1 CPP4 CPP5
Cirie2Cirie CP4 CPM3 CP2 UTR2
Debbie2Debbie UTR2 CP3 MOR3 CP4
Hali2Hali UTR2 UTR2 CP3 CP4
Jeff2Jeff MOR3 MOR3 MOR3 MOR3
Michaela2Michaela CPN4 MOR3 UTR2 UTR1
Ozzy2Ozzy MOR3 UTR1 CP2 CPP3
Sandra2Sandra CP5 CPM5 OTTN4 CPN4
Sarah2Sarah MOR2 CP2 UTR1 INV
SierraSierra CP2 INV MOR2 MOR4
Troy2Troyzan UTR2 MOR2 CPP4 UTRN1
Zeke3Zeke MOR2 MOR2 UTR2 INV
Malcolm2Malcolm CP4 CP3 CPP4 CP4
Caleb2Caleb MOR3 CP4 MOR3
Tony2Tony OTTN5 CPN5
Ciera2Ciera CPN4

What Does This Episode Tell Us?

This episode was somewhat of an anomaly. With the two-tribe-one-vote twist, it meant that the tribal council took up a large chunk of the running time, which meant the rest of the episode was basically made up of challenges and some short camp scenes. It’s no surprise then that there were only 18 confessionals in total this week, with four players going without a single confessional.

A lot of characters were put on hold, especially on the Tavua tribe, while we focused on the two tribes going to tribal council. Overall, the edit is kind of in a stasis right now. Everybody’s narrative is following along the same path with very little variation from their previous content. I’m not sure what that says about this season. That it’s rather predictable game wise? Obviously, the Malcolm boot was a surprise but that was more at the hands of a production twist rather than the players. With everything so samey, all we can really look at is who is receiving consistent content and whether or not that makes them important to the season narrative.

The Recap

The recap reminded us that “a surprise shift shook up the game” before checking in with each tribe.

“On the Nuku tribe, JT was outnumbered.” Followed by a subtitled clip of JT saying, “I didn’t expect I’d be swapped out five to one.”

“At the Tavua tribe, Troyzan had no control.” Followed by a confessional from Troyzan (which I don’t believe was in the last episode) saying, “It’s Troyzan versus everyone.”

“At the Mana tribe, Brad held all the power.” Followed by a shot of him hurling a branch into a tree and then a confessional where he said, “It’s gonna come down to either Hali or Caleb.” Then the Jeff Probst voiceover said, “At tribal council, Brad rallied the tribe to vote out Caleb.”

We can see clearly that the focus on Nuku and Tavua are the two underdogs, JT and Troyzan, while Brad is presented as the power player in control on Mana.




Sarah went from a poor UTR1 rating last week to an INV in this episode. It’s not a great trajectory given that we haven’t had a confessional from her in back-to-back episodes post-swap. I said last time, “If she continues on this low UTR path in the next couple of episodes, then she’s probably not going to be an essential character driving the narrative.”

She had even less content than she did last week. Aside from a couple of brief challenge moments, which I don’t count unless it’s heavily focused on, Sarah was invisible. The defense for Sarah is that her tribe didn’t go to tribal council and the dynamics on Tavua seem pretty obvious – “Troyzan versus everyone.” But even so, it would be nice to hear at least a short confessional from Sarah just to know where her head is at. Right now, the edit is telling us Sarah isn’t important.

Again, the saving grace for Sarah is her strong premiere. If she didn’t have that, then she’d be completely drawing dead. The fact she got solid confessionals in both the first and second episode cannot be ignored. There must be a reason for that beyond simply reintroducing her as a character – they could have done that in one episode, no need to be in both. Sarah is hanging onto her premiere edit by a thread right now, but if we don’t get some substantial content from her next week, then I think we can write her off as a character this season.


Zeke was kept in a narrational role last week, but in this episode he got nothing. It’s not a death knell because he has been relatively present in the previous episodes, and as with Sarah, his tribe didn’t attend tribal council or shake up their dynamics in any way.

There’s just not a great deal to work with for Zeke’s edit at the minute. It’s difficult to say where it’s going. In the premiere, he talked about wanting to “lather in the blood of [his] enemies” which suggests he’ll become more cutthroat at some point but we haven’t had much sign of that since. If I had to make an educated guess based on what we’ve seen so far, I’d say that Zeke is a character that will be used when necessary to the plot of a given episode but not someone who will be leading the entire narrative of the season.

Under The Radar


Michaela is another edit that I can’t quite wrap my head around. She seemed to have a clear story arc set up in the premiere relating to her inability to hide her expressions and keep her mouth shut. That story, and her overall input, seems to have subdued these past two episodes. Although we did still get a couple of shots of her frustrated looks after losing the challenge, and especially her reaction to the twist this episode.

This was her first episode this season without a confessional. She was also barely present in the two Nuku camp scenes. We didn’t hear her thoughts on who to target going into the crazy tribal council. The only reason she scraped her UTR1 rating was due to a couple of lines at tribal council. One where she told Hali she was on the outside of the Mana tribe. Then when she said, “You just have people who have personal relationships who need to realize that they’re playing with a team right now.” Which seemed to be directed at JT crossing over enemy lines – further highlighted when exiting tribal as she whispered to Jeff Varner “I think JT screwed us.” It suggests that Michaela will not be trusting JT anytime soon.

Her other line was a subtitled whisper to Sandra during the vote when she said, “I wonder why [Hali] didn’t just tell us who has the idol.” But I think the focus here was more on Sandra’s confidence that nobody had the idol rather than Michaela. Her story is quiet right now, but her high visibility premiere should mean she still has a role to play this season.


Andrea still hasn’t climbed above UTR yet this season which is rather alarming. Yes, she hasn’t attended a tribal council yet, but neither have Cirie, Ozzy, Sarah, and Zeke and all of them have had more significant content overall. After four episodes, the edit seems to be saying that Andrea will be a character on the periphery, but not a key mover and shaker.

The good thing here is that her content was more positive leaning than it was the last episode. She was the “hero” that won the challenge for Tavua and sort of predicted the win earlier in the episode when she said Ozzy’s stingray catch would give them more confidence to do well in the next challenge. Although her one confessional was primarily about Ozzy which doesn’t speak well for Andrea’s personal narrative. 


Aubry’s edit was kind of similar to Andrea’s – on the periphery but not a key player. She had one relatively minor confessional and then some short lines at camp and at tribal. More present than her fellow tribemate Michaela but not by much.

In her one confessional she said, “This twist is so dangerous to everyone because any fracture in any relationship is a reason to send somebody home tonight. This Tribal is going to be insane.” It was a “hype” confessional to set up the upcoming tribal council craziness. The first part of the confessional was also… incorrect? The tribal didn’t really come down to fractures in relationships; it was basically a stand-off between the two tribes. 

Aubry had a couple of nice metaphors at tribal about carrier pigeons and wrong weddings, which shows she still has that narrational flair, but her edit is much more subdued this time around. I would say her chances of winning at this point are near impossible from an editorial standpoint and her being an important season-long character is looking equally unlikely.


This episode was Cirie‘s first non-CP rating of the season. But her drop to UTR here is fine. She is one of the few players that has received a confessional in every episode so far, and she even got one here when her tribe didn’t attend tribal council. It tells us that Cirie has an important role to play.

But what was her confessional about? Up until now, the majority of Cirie’s content has related to Ozzy. I said last week that she needed to start some side stories to become a proper winner contender. Well, she got a side story here. “We thought we had it, but then Troyzan dropped the ball. He was terrible…  (chuckles). He already was the odd man out, and now Troyzan’s life is hanging on, like, by a string.” Her confessional was about Troyzan, and it was very negative towards him. But is this a good thing when we know Troy has an idol? It positions Cirie as a cocky player who is underestimating Troy (who had a very positive edit last week). It could just be to continue the “Troyzan versus Everyone” story, or it could be setting Cirie up as the idol victim.

But the positive here is that Cirie continues to receive content. It keeps the audience aware of her without completely shoving her down our throats. That speaks well for her longevity.


Troyzan went from a great CPP4 rating last week to an UTRN1 this episode. That surely can’t be a great sign? Apart from a brief scene complimenting Ozzy’s fishing skills, the only time we saw Troy this episode was when he blew the lead for Tavua at the reward challenge (which Cirie mocked him for) and when he was later sat out of the immunity challenge.

The glaring problem for Troyzan, more so than the challenge blunder and negative SPV (second person visibility) from Cirie, is that we never saw him reveal the idol. Remember when Kelley Wentworth snatched the idol at the challenge during the Cambodia premiere? Well, in the very next episode we had a scene with Kelley unveiling the idol and talking about her game. I fully expected that for Troy in this episode but we never got it. It makes his idol find seem less important than it looked last week.

In Troyzan’s defense, the majority of this episode’s focus was on the other two tribes and the tribal twist. It would have been good for his edit to have an idol scene but maybe there simply wasn’t enough time. I said last week that this episode should be a good indicator of just how big a role Troy will have in this season’s narrative. But given how much of an anomaly this episode was I don’t want to judge too soon. The “Troyzan versus Everyone” story was still present, which DOES give him a part to play. But the UTR premiere combined with this UTRN makes me believe he won’t be massively significant to the full season. Although I’m holding out to see what the next episode brings for Troyzan before fully committing.

Middle of the Road


Jeff continues to have the most consistent edit of the season. Like Cirie, he’s had a confessional in every episode so far. And while not the most in depth, he always gives us his thoughts on what is happening in the game at that moment. He’s probably the most solid narrator of the season.

His one confessional told us what was going on before tribal council. “We’re not on the same page. Everybody is on their own page,” which proved to be accurate with JT’s actions later when he tried to push for Sandra at tribal council. “This is Survivor, and everybody plays as part of a tribe, but it’s an individual game from the beginning, regardless of what anybody says.” This was an interesting line. It could be read as merely foreshadowing how JT looked out for his individual game later in the episode. But it could also be interpreted as a sign that Jeff will later ditch his tribe or allies to benefit his individual game.

Jeff also had some focus at the challenge when he was put in the “hero or goat” position as Probst called it (continuing this season’s references to goats). Jeff lost the challenge, and we saw him hugging Aubry and crying afterward. Does that make Jeff a goat now? It’s hard to say off that one clip. What does seem clear is that Jeff will be around a while. He’s already surpassed the number of days he lasted in Cambodia, and the consistency of his MOR edit suggests he is an important voice in the story.


Sierra had a great episode. She was shown to be perceptive and have an accurate read on the game. She also called the shot in regards to the vote. Her strategy talk wasn’t quite sophisticated enough to scrape a CP rating, but she had strong MOR content.

The episode opened with Sierra comforting Tai and telling him she understands how hard it was for him to vote out Caleb. They hugged, and she said “now it’s known” in regards to how they can trust Tai. Not only did this highlight Sierra’s social game but it was proved right that she could trust Tai when he later used his idol on her. The next time we heard from Sierra was before the tribal council when she was the one person to say, “I wish we were going Malcolm” when everyone else was pushing for Sandra. “It’s so stupid for the long-run not to get Malcolm out,” Sierra said. Obviously, with the vote ending up being Malcolm, this makes Sierra look fantastic. She was also shown to shut down Debbie so that Tai could talk and reveal his idol. She then gave Tai a kiss for his efforts (she’d later give Malcolm the kiss of death before he left). All of this made Sierra look in control without being too overt like Brad’s edit.

She also had the last confessional before the tribal council. She talked about being “terrified” because they didn’t know who to play the idol on. She also said she was “praying” that they could make it happen because it would be a “huge move.” I’ve mentioned before that it looks bad when people are relying on prayer and luck but given the rest of Sierra’s content this episode, I don’t think this one line hurts her. “This is going to be crazy because it can be anybody tonight,” she said to close us out. That proved to be true. Tribal was indeed crazy. And someone went who the audience didn’t expect to go – Malcolm. 

As for the tribal itself, Sierra was correct again. She was the first to say “I think it’s me,” (subtitled) in regards to who the Nuku tribe were voting. Brad whispered to her “No, it’s not,” (subtitled) which was wrong. Brad later changed his mind and directed Tai to play his idol for Sierra, but in the sequence of events, Sierra was the first person shown to realize the vote was landing on her. “If we’re playing this game the way we started, we need to continue with that,” she said, which if we’re to read her thoughts as accurate, could suggest a season that continues down tribal lines. Everything here looked perfect for Sierra. The edit told us she was perceptive and in control without shoving it in our faces. Sierra should be around a long while and is a strong winner contender.

Complex Personalities


Oh, Malcolm. He had such a good edit. He was pretty much the Jeff Varner of Game Changers (which is a weird thing to say seeing as Jeff is on this season). But what I mean is, much like Jeff in Cambodia, Malcolm had four episodes of strong CP ratings and high visibility and now is gone just like that. He was set up to be the shocking boot in the never-before-seen twist.

He remained CP in this episode. We saw him discussing strategy with JT early in the episode when they considered blindsiding Sandra at the next vote. He was then an active part of the discussion at camp before the crazy tribal council, offering his thoughts on who they should vote and who the Mana tribe will target. In confessional he told us, “Me and J.T. wanted to get rid of Sandra, but we do have a numbers advantage. We’re up 6-5 on Mana,” which was true. But then also showed concern, “If we stay together, it’s very simple on paper, but on paper is the only place it’s simple.” He recognized the potential for something to go terribly wrong – and it did. We should have seen it coming when the edit left in Malcolm’s tumble in the challenge, followed by Probst’s “Malcolm with a big fall.” His game was about to come crashing down.

While the edit certainly wanted Malcolm’s early exit to come as a surprise, there were subtle signs within his edit that could have tipped us off. I talked last week about Malcolm’s prediction for doom if they got rid of Tony back in Episode 2. He thought that himself and Caleb would become targets should Tony leave. As soon as Tony left, with Malcolm voting against him with no explanation or follow-up, it was the first warning that things wouldn’t turn out well for Malcolm. The looming presence of doom was increased when Caleb went last week, making Malcolm’s premonition come true. The fact Malcolm went home after Caleb should have been inevitable, but the edit did well to disguise it with well-rounded CP content.

His overall season rating is quite clearly CP. Malcolm almost always got to share his thoughts on the dynamics and strategy in an intelligent way and showed us the various sides of his personality (like in the goat debate last week). He’ll be remembered this season as a player with all the potential in the world that fell victim to a cruel twist and JT’s stupidity.


Hali had an interesting edit this episode. She received CP content again. She got to explain her moves and what she was hoping to achieve. But what stands out here is that the other people in the game don’t seem to respect Hali. It kind of puts her in the role of underdog.

She started the episode by approaching Debbie and trying to work her way into the alliance ahead of Tai. “I know that Debbie and Tai do have a complicated relationship, so I’m trying to show Debbie that I am your asset going forward, and Tai is a liability.” Good CP content. But not only was this immediately undermined by Debbie – “I tell Hali just what I think she wants to hear” – but it was also wrong. Tai wasn’t a liability to the alliance, in fact, if it wasn’t for him finding and revealing the idol, the alliance would have lost a member. This undermining of Hali continued throughout the episode; Brad referred to her as “blue eyes” twice, he told her she’d be “public enemy number one” if she didn’t stick with them, and her old allies on Nuku pretty much turned down her offer for info. The edit is showing us that Hali is scrappy (the way she acted at tribal) but not respected in the game.

Where does Hali’s story go from here? Hali’s had enough content so far to suggest that she will be around a while. Her edit is kind of similar to Troyzan’s (although far more visible due to Mana going to tribal) in that she is the underdog with everyone against her. It seems like that could be her story throughout the season for however long she lasts.


Debbie continues to have an active presence in her tribe’s strategy. She isn’t presented as a leader, but we always get to hear where her head is at. She’s had a confessional in every episode so far, including an intro confessional, which tells us she is an essential character.

She started the episode talking to Hali, agreeing with her that Tai would be the next target. Then we heard a confessional where she admitted to just stringing Hali along. “I tell Hali just what I think she wants to hear, but the philosophy for this Mana tribe is to keep old Nuku tribe.” This confessional coupled with the Hali scenes, and then the following scene with the old Nukus, solidified her CP-lite rating. While this is good strategic content, the edit did go out of its way to make Debbie look wrong by showing her say, “It’s too soon to make Tai a target, so Hali, you have no options. You have none.” Hali did indeed have options due to the twist that came later.

Debbie was then a part of the Mana tribe discussions before tribal. She said, “I think we need to convince them to take out Sandra.” But in the end, the tribe went with Sierra’s suggestion of Malcolm. This makes Debbie look more like a soldier following orders than a chief calling the shots. She was also shown talking over Tai when he was trying to tell them about the idol. However, we did hear Debbie say (subtitled), “It’s gonna come down to JT,” and ultimately it was JT and his whispering that helped to swing tribal in Mana’s favor. Debbie was also an active part of the huddle discussions at tribal.

Everything so far suggests that Debbie is an important character this season. She is involved in the strategy; we get to hear her thoughts, she is a mixture of both right and wrong. Expect Debbie to be around a while.


Ozzy got one of the longest confessionals in this episode and was the primary focus of the underedited Tavua tribe. It was classic Ozzy. He’s also started to develop a story outside of his relationship with Cirie, concerning his survival skills and providing for the tribe.

The one and only scene at the Tavua camp was based around Ozzy fishing and catching a stingray. The whole scene was framed as Ozzy wanting to show his worth to the tribe to keep him safe in the game. “Losing the Reward Challenge was great for me because without rewards they need me to survive in this game.” The way Ozzy talked about this in the context of the game accounted for his CP rating. “I feel really confident. I’ve been doing an awesome job being the rock of this tribe. If I didn’t bring food in, my name would come up a lot more than it does.” He described himself as the “rock of the tribe, ” and he backed up his claims by catching the stingray. Then he further expanded on what fishing means to him personally, “But more than that, it’s almost like a meditation. Fishing gives me a chance to think about the game and come back a little more grounded.” All of this was very CP and looked good for Ozzy.

He also received positive tone. The fishing scene wasn’t OTT positive, but it definitely had a triumph-bent to it. It was then cemented by Troyzan complimenting Ozzy on his catch and further hammered home by Andrea’s confessional. “Ozzy’s played four times. He’s no joke. As a fan of the show, just seeing him in action is amazing.” All of this accounts for his CPP rating. But where does it leave him in the story? Because this is the same old Ozzy edit we’re used to seeing, it makes me think we’re going to get the same old Ozzy narrative. Too focused on the survival aspect of Survivor at the expense of relationships, which is okay for now, but will ultimately cost him. 


Sandra is still receiving the most obvious villain edit. While she didn’t get any outright negative SPV, the edit hammered home how cocky she was which was definitely framed within a negative context. But this episode she got to explain her thinking and lay out the strategy heading into tribal council which accounted for her CP rating.

The edit showed Sandra to be wrong a lot this episode. It started with her first confessional after the reward win. “I pretty much got everything in line. All my relationships with everyone are perfect. I’m the queen here; I know that much. I know I’m running the show, and nobody really knows it.” While Sandra has been in control, she is wrong that the others don’t know about it. We immediately heard from JT who said, “You can tell by the attitude, the sass in Sandra’s voice, she knows she’s in charge.” JT and Malcolm then plotted to take Sandra down while she sat in the hammock unaware. That cockiness from Sandra continued at tribal council when she said, “I know I’m not going home tonight, how about that?” (which was correct) And told Michaela, “None of them have the idol, girl, please,” (which was incorrect). The edit is setting up Sandra as the Queen who must be toppled. 

She did get to talk strategy, though. She led the discussion at the Nuku camp and put forward the reasons why they should target Sierra. She was also shown directing the conversation at tribal council. She also told us, “If someone messes this up, they’re getting their ass beaten when they come back to this camp.” Which is potential foreshadowing for JT in the upcoming episode. But Sandra didn’t get her way at this tribal council, just like she didn’t get her way in the goat debate last week. It suggests that eventually Sandra will be dethroned. Whatever her fate or however long she lasts, the edit is getting its money’s worth out of Sandra, and she will continue to get ample screen time as long as she is in the game.


JT was a huge part of this episode. We got to hear all his thoughts regarding his strategy and plans. We learned about his relationships in the game (that he’s close to Brad and Malcolm). And he was shown to be willing to make a game-changing move, although, that might not be a great thing going forward, as people who stand out this season get cut.

We first heard from JT plotting to take down Sandra. He told us, “The longer Sandra’s in this game, the more trouble we’re gonna have getting rid of her.” That has proved true so far, including this tribal council when JT actively tried to get rid of her. He talked about his bond with Malcolm. “I don’t plan on losing, but if we lose an Immunity Challenge, bing bang boom, I can go ahead and make my move like I need to do here and get rid of Sandra.” They did lose and JT did go ahead with trying to get rid of Sandra (by whispering to Brad) but it did not work out for him. Instead, he lost his closest ally on Nuku, Malcolm. That’s not a great look for JT.


He was a part of the discussion before and during tribal council regarding the vote. He originally pushed for Tai, saying, “I don’t think he’s got an idol. I don’t think nobody’s got an idol.” Which, of course, was wrong. He also said about Tai, “He’s sneaky as hell.” But JT was the one shown to be sneaky in this episode by whispering to the other tribe. In confessional, JT said, “If I was a betting man, Brad is over there now saying, “All our votes are going to Sandra”,” which was half-correct, that was Brad’s original plan until Sierra changed it to Malcolm. He closed by saying, “If I wanted to, I could definitely change… change the course of this game big time,” which he definitely did, just not in the way he intended. 

All of the strategy talk we heard from JT accounted for his CP rating. His content was a mixture of right and wrong. That was a common theme throughout the episode – people being both correct and incorrect. With Sandra promising an ass-beating to whoever screwed things up and Michaela recognizing that JT screwed them, I’d say he looks to be in for some hurting this coming episode. I said last week that we seem to be set up for another champion vs. champion showdown, and based on everything we saw in this episode, that still seems on the cards. I’d be shocked if JT and Sandra both made it to the merge, this game is only big enough for one of them.


Brad also played a big part in this episode, and we got to hear his strategy and thoughts regarding the monumental vote. He also had a significant focus at the reward challenge when he pulled off the comeback victory. On paper, all is looking good for Mr. Culpepper.

First of all, the recap presented Brad as the man in charge of the Mana tribe. Then at the reward challenge, his come from behind victory was framed in a positive light. He told Tai, “Take your time. I can catch them up,” and he did. We also heard JT say, “Damn, Culpepper’s smoking them, son.” All of this accounted for his positive tone. He was then an active part of the pre-tribal discussion at Mana camp, talking about why he thought they should target Sandra because he believed JT would vote that way. In confessional, he recognized that Hali was a problem, “I know that four of us are all gonna vote one way. We have one wild card, Hali, who used to be on death row.” All of this, plus his talk at tribal council, counted toward his CP rating.

Much like JT, Debbie, and Sandra, Brad had a mixture of right and wrong throughout this episode. He was wrong when he told Sierra it wasn’t her, but then later pointed to Sierra when Tai asked who wanted the idol. But he did say the Nuku were sticking to their original plan, which seemed to be right. Overall, Brad still looked very good this episode, and it cemented him as an important character this season. I was a little concerned with the “blue eyes” talk, though. It reminded me of Kyle Jason referring to Alecia as “blondie” in Kaoh Rong. It’s these little moments that pop up in Brad’s edit (like the snoring in the premiere) that subtly undermine his otherwise strong content and could be the signs that he ultimately will not be successful.


Along with Brad and JT, Tai was the other major factor this episode. His idol find saved his alliance, and he received all the positivity that comes with that. He also got to explain his thoughts going into the vote.

He started the episode saying that he voted out Caleb because he wanted “to earn trust from the rest of [his] tribe.” We saw scenes of Sierra hugging him and his tribe thanking him for voting with them. Sierra told him his loyalty was “now known” and Brad said “actions speak louder than words,” a statement that would become even truer when Tai played his idol for the alliance later. He told us in confessional that he’s playing with his head not his heart this time. The perception of Tai leaving Kaoh Rong was a person who was untrustworthy, but the edit here, which is backed up by both his words and actions, is showing Tai as a loyal, trustworthy player.

The opening scene of positivity from the Mana tribe toward Tai is repeated later after he finds the idol. Sierra gave him a kiss. Debbie said, “Good for you, Tai. That’s freaking awesome.” Brad called it “a huge game-changer move.” And everyone was all hugs and smiles. Tai was also shown as one of the calmer players at tribal council telling everyone to “stick to the plan.” All of this adds to Tai’s positive tone for the episode. As for his CP, his idol confessional just scraped it. He showed awareness of the other tribe and what they were likely thinking – “We still don’t know whether J.T. is with us or with them. If they got the number, why wouldn’t they stick together?” – which also explained why he needed the idol. “This idol gonna equal out the two tribe power. They have the number; we have the idol.” The idol was indeed the great equalizer.

Things are looking good overall for Tai. Yes, his idol play at tribal was portrayed as if Brad was directing it, which is a slight knock against him. But Tai is one of the few players to receive a confessional in every episode so far. That suggests he is important to the narrative of the season. His relationship with Brad and Sierra and even Debbie looks to be a key part of the story. I guess the question for Tai’s edit is, will it continue down this path of loyalty and trust? Will he remain part of Brad’s story or can he break away? But Tai is set up to play a prominent role as we also saw him interacting with Ozzy, JT, and Cirie back on old Nuku. The edit has created plenty of paths for Tai editorially speaking.

Main Stories In Play

-Stasis – people’s stories aren’t progressing. We seem to be seeing the same things week to week regarding the same people. It seems like we are waiting for a huge shift in the dynamics.
-Sandra’s Empire – can Sandra keep her empire intact looks to be an ongoing story.

That’s it for this week’s Edgic. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

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