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.
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Under the Radar
I don’t want to expend much more energy talking about Dan (or this season in general, to be honest), so this is going to be short and to the point. The UTRN rating is relatively obvious. Dan was barely in the episode, other than one brief confessional, and then was removed from the game off-screen for “another incident,” as the title card described it.
As for his overall season rating, it can only really be OTTN. Dan will forever be remembered for his inappropriate touching and being the first player ever to be ejected from the game. Since the very first episode, when Kellee told Dan how uncomfortable his touching made her, this has been a recurring event, one which was handled terribly by the Survivor production team.
Middle of the Road
Janet had two big, positive scenes in this episode. The first was the confessional following her idol find, in which she shed a tear and talked about how winning might actually be a possibility. The second was the pep talk/advice she gave Elaine at Tribal Council. Both of these contributed to Janet’s likable, positive character edit. I almost considered OTTP, but I did think there was some decent game talk in her idol scene and pre-Tribal camp scenes for a MORP to make more sense.
In an ideal world, Janet’s talk of winning in her first confessional would be a winner quote. But, sadly, I just don’t think Janet’s overall edit supports a victory—not with four UTR ratings and two INVs. There have been too many times where Janet dropped out of the strategy and action, where if she was the winner, I’d have expected her to feature. Her story is about breaking stereotypes, proving herself, and overcoming the odds—I don’t think it’s about winning.
Plus, all the talk of her being similar to Elaine and the next big target was ominous. Not to mention how Dean caught her finding the idol, and then Dean himself gaining a Nullifier with the intent to potentially block Janet’s idol play. It all just seems like terrible foreshadowing.
Over The Top
Noura was still OTT this week, I mean, when you start an episode by hiding a fellow player’s shoes, what do you expect? But I thought her tone was mixed. Yes, everyone was still calling her crazy, and she received negative SPV (second-person visibility) from the likes of Dean and Tommy, but she also received kind words for Elaine. Even though Elaine called Noura crazy too, she said she loved her for that.
I’m still not sure where Noura’s story will eventually end. She hasn’t really had a proper relationship-based story since Jason left and is instead just the “crazy goat” that people keep worrying will be dragged to the Final Tribal Council. I suppose the beef with Dean is the closest to a relationship-based storyline. The two have kind of being interlinked ever since Noura tried to bring Dean into an alliance post-swap, and he immediately ratted her out. Then there was the kerfuffle at last week’s Tribal and now all this shoe-hiding business.
So perhaps the Dean versus Noura feud will continue throughout the finale. Maybe one will take out the other in a battle of the goats. Although, it would also be funny if they both made it to the FTC and tried to argue why the other is a goat. Either way, people keep talking about how Noura should be taken out because otherwise, she’ll be dragged to the end as an ideal goat… but she continues to stick around.
It was a toss-up between OTTP and CPP this week for Elaine. Her exit at Tribal Council was overly positive and highly emotional. There were definitely elements of OTT there. But I think the things she discussed about her life and her worldview was complex in nature, and when combined with her game-talk earlier in the episode, where she explained why she was targeting Noura, was enough for the CP.
Since the season premiere, Elaine has been called out as a threat, a very likable person who would be difficult to beat at the FTC. “You can’t let her get to the end,” was a common refrain. And so, she always seemed destined to be cut late into the game, and the episode before the finale makes a lot of sense. But Elaine was never a top winner contender Edgic-wise anyway, especially after her visit to the Island of the Idols, where she mentioned the adventure is more important than the million. She brought that up again at this week’s Tribal, closing the curtain on her journey.
Overall, I’ve rated Elaine CPP for the season. Even though I think it was a bad look how she defended Dan in the merge episode, she was mostly kept out of that situation. And everything else about her edit has been highly positive. As I said, since the first episode, she’s been labeled a threat due to how likable she is—and even Probst said it himself this episode. Her strategy talk hasn’t been the most complex, and she’s had a fair share of UTR and MORS across the season, but we learned a lot about Elaine’s life and who she is as a person. Therefore, CPP it is.
I think if anyone ever has the desire to watch this season back, they’ll see that this was the episode where Lauren lost the game. It was like she was aware of what needed to be done, but didn’t follow through with it.
I’m referring to Elaine giving her a heads up that the boys don’t want to take her to the end and will probably make her play fire at the Final 4. Lauren took this on board, thought it over, realized Elaine was probably right, and then approached Tommy about it. She voiced her concerns, but Tommy was able to talk her down. The kicker here was in Tommy’s confessional, where he confirmed that he didn’t want to sit next to Lauren at the end because she would win. This was followed up by Tommy, Dean, and Dan, promising to go to the Final 3 together.
It was like Lauren had seen the writing on the wall, but couldn’t pull the trigger. She even whispered to Janet at Tribal about Elaine being right and how she and Janet could be the next targets in line. And yet, she still voted out Elaine. Now, the saving grace could be Dan getting removed because game-wise, it opens up the possibility of Lauren/Janet/Noura making a move against Dean and Tommy. But I’m not sure if the edit supports that narrative.
Lauren’s had some solid content, especially post-merge, but overall, her edit is still really lacking. We’re going into the finale, and we still don’t really know anything about Lauren as a person, about her life outside of Survivor (the loved one’s visit stuff doesn’t count). How is that possible? The other four have all received personal content. We know Tommy is a teacher and wants to propose to his girlfriend. We know Janet is a mother/grandmother and a lifeguard (one of the first women in that role in Florida). We know that Dean is in sales and had an ex-girlfriend that knew Kellee. And, of course, Noura has talked about her life and relationships a bunch.
It’s because of that lack of personal content why I’ve never been able to see Lauren as a winner contender. She is smart and strategic, yes, but that makes her more of an obstacle to overcome. And so, I don’t see some big turnaround in the finale, and if Elaine’s premonition was correct, then Lauren could very well be fighting for her life in fire.
Dean had a weird edit this week. He was CP in that he explained all of his moves and the thought process behind them. But there were still some goofy OTT elements, like when he was describing his plan with the fake Legacy advantage, which was intercut with shots of Rob and Sandra laughing. And it must be said, Dan being removed really saved Dean from potential embarrassment, as it means he can’t go through his with the plan to get everyone to vote for him at the Final 6.
But it also felt like the edit was giving Dean a lot of credit. His decision to flip the coin at the IOI was presented as a big risk. And the scene back at camp, where he told his made-up story and then revealed his Nullifier to Tommy and co, was held up as a cunning move. Tommy even shared in confessional that Dean was smarter than he thought. Tommy said that he’d considered Dean a goat (confirming our read from a couple of weeks back), but was now seeing him as a potential threat (this also accounted for P-tone—the NSPV from Noura at the start of the episode accounted for the N-tone, hence Mixed overall).
However, all of this felt very jarring to me. It was almost too forced. Dean has been presented as a goof for the majority of the game. His introduction to the season (which wasn’t until the third episode), was him tripping over on the beach and then accidentally blurting out a split-vote plan in front of the entire tribe. Now, in the 11th hour, we’re suddenly supposed to see Dean as a major threat to win? It almost feels like the editors have realized they haven’t created enough contenders this season and have tried to cobble something together on short notice.
I can see this going one of two ways. Either Dean stepping up his threat level will be a reason that Tommy sides with Noura and takes him out. Or, Dean makes it to Final Tribal Council with Tommy, and even though we all know Tommy is the most likely winner, the producers needed to make it seem more up in the air than it actually is for suspense. Unless there is a random third option, and Dean is going to Fabio this thing at the end.
I’ve said it for the past few weeks, but again, I’d be shocked if Tommy didn’t win this season. And this week’s edit was just added to that confidence. Tommy had confessionals all over this episode, in each one, explaining where his head was at, what moves need to be made, and the potential consequences of those moves. It was straight up, solid CP.
What makes it even clearer is that Tommy practically has relationships with all the remaining players. His partnership with Lauren has been a significant focus since the penultimate pre-merge episode, and this episode added some tension to that partnership, with Tommy telling us he needs to take Lauren out before the FTC. He’s been closely linked with Janet from the start (“Tommy and his mommy”), and they had the idol finding scene together this week—and again, Tommy told us how he needs Janet out before the end.
Then there’s Dean and Noura. The Dean relationship is newer but has moved into focus these past couple of weeks. Dean went out of his way to protect Tommy at last week’s Tribal, and Tommy talked of how much he owed Dean this week. Also, if you think back, Dean & Tommy were loosely connected pre-merge, when Dean mentioned how he was annoyed the “goofy-looking redhead” beat him at a challenge. Tommy’s relationship with Noura is the least-defined; she’s only really connected to him via Vokai allegiances. But he has mentioned her as an ideal goat on more than occasion.
All of this is to say that Tommy’s edit is carefully constructed. It’s not particularly exciting, but it has all the working parts. He has both personal and strategic relationships. He has strategic confessionals where he talks through his moves. And he’s shared a lot of personal info about his life outside of Survivor. If there is any downside, it’s that he’s often looked to be playing second fiddle to Lauren. But I think the fact he realized that Lauren is a threat to his own game was exactly what he needed this episode. This is Tommy’s game to lose.