Welcome to Give Me Five! Each week, Brent Sullivan will look at the top five moments from the latest episode that could influence the rest of the season.
1. Andrea and Zeke confront each other. Right after the most recent vote-off, we get a conversation between Zeke and Andrea. It is actually a little more than a conversation, but not quite an argument. There is some back and forth, with mostly Andrea doing the talking, but the thing I thought was amazing here is that they hashed it out right in front of everyone else. I am sure for Andrea, it was more of a strategic move by letting everyone know how shady Zeke is, but I thought that Zeke handled it well and it didn’t really seem to affect him in any negative way. The other part about this is that they ended up having to work together by the end of the episode since they are both on the bottom of the numbers. It obviously went their way this time, but how long will they be able to vote together? There are still a lot of people left in this game for them to stay aligned too far past this week.
2. Cirie’s balance beam battle. This was a little odd, at least to me. I may be missing a bigger picture that the edit is trying to show, but there has been a lot of people on this show who have struggled with certain parts of a challenge. This is the first time that such a production was made over a castaway not performing well. Is it because it was a reward and not immunity, so the other tribe mates didn’t care about losing as much? Was it the fact that this is an all returnee season, so Probst had a little bit more leeway towards the players? Maybe it just comes down to it being Cirie, who is a four-time player that is sitting in that iconic role as a beloved, multi-returnee. No matter which one it is, a lot of time and attention was brought to it for some reason. It may be setting her up for something big or a big fall.
3. Sarah finds an advantage. I was super impressed here, and I bet that production was also super happy that Sarah found the advantage. It was sitting there right under Michaela during the whole challenge, but Sarah spots it from far away. She somehow even gets over there, unties it and gets on the boat without being seen. All very good moves. Then we find out later that her advantage is a vote steal. Now, we’ve seen this in the game before, and so far, it hasn’t turned out well for anyone who has used it. After she opens it up and reads it, we get the scene where she says that she will be the first person ever to play it correctly. Is this trying to trick us and she’ll fail or are they foreshadowing a bit here? I have a feeling that she actually will play it correctly, just not sure when.
4. Reward challenge talk. The reward challenge was a schoolyard pick’em. Brad and Sierra ended up on one side, and Troyzan and Sarah ended up on the other side. I didn’t think anything about it until Brad mentions that they planned it that way so that no matter who lost, there would always be someone back at camp to keep their ears to the ground. That is a great move, and it makes perfect sense if that is exactly what they had planned. It could be one of those things where after they split up to go to the reward, you just say “Yeah, that was planned the whole time,” to make it sound good. For this purpose though, I think that he was telling the truth which means they are really doing some hardcore gameplay and thinking way ahead. With Debbie gone now though, will Brad, Sierra, Troyzan, and Tai be able to stay a strong group of four and pull in someone else?
5. Sarah flips… again. This was a very Sarah-heavy episode. We get a lot of her talking to Zeke, Cirie, Sierra, and Andrea. We get all of the reward challenge stuff, and big surprise she is the swing vote going into tribal. Now the “strong six” didn’t think of her as a swing vote, but a swing vote she was nonetheless. This is basically two flips for Sarah now already. Can she keep this sort of game up or will she eventually pick a side and settle down for a few votes? She has been pretty successful at playing both sides so far, but if she is not careful, she may throw herself out into the firing line.
There you go. What moments from this week do you think made an impact?