Survivor: Winners At War

Episode 10 – The Edit Bay

What is the edit telling us after episode 10?

Photo: CBS

Hello all, welcome to the Edit Bay, a swanky island resort located just south of the Edge of Extinction. As you may know, I’ve decided not to write Edgic this season due to a mix of fatigue and not having the time or desire to do a deep dive edit analysis on a season with the EOE in play. However, because readers have been asking for some form of edit-based content, I’ve decided to create the Edit Bay as a happy compromise. I won’t be assigning ratings or breaking down every character, instead, I will offer some “hot takes,” if you will, on the narrative arcs and top winner contenders.

THE STORIES

“MAIN HEADLINES”

FAMILY MATTERS — The dominant story of the most recent episode was, of course, the family visit, which practically took up half the run-time. It was the biggest family visit of all time, with multiple loved ones appearing in Fiji, both in the game and on the Edge of Extinction.

The importance of family and playing for loved ones has been threaded through the season, particularly in Tyson’s storyline, and that makes sense given this was the final destination. Tyson even said that his main motivation for coming back was to get his family out to the island. He achieved that goal, which meant his story was tied up, and therefore his elimination here felt appropriate. It was similar to Joe Anglim’s story arc in Second Chance.

It’s difficult to look too much into the family visit edit-wise as pretty much everyone receives emotional content, to varying degrees. But it’s worth noting a couple of things. Ben, Sarah, and Tyson were the three to receive confessionals back at camp about their loved ones. I believe there was even a shot of Ben and Sarah’s kids playing together, which could suggest a closeness. Over on the Edge, Amber and Parvati got a lot of focus, and there was a possible foreshadowing moment of Natalie asking her baby niece to “give her good vibes for her last challenge.”

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TONY ON PROBATION — The “lions vs. hyenas” story took a backseat in the latest episode, but Tony still had a significant role. His first-ever Immunity Challenge win tied into his “probation” storyline that dominated the early pre-merge. “I won a game of patience,” Tony laughed after his win. Being patient and not reverting to old Tony ways has been a recurring part of his narrative. He even admits in confessional that “slow and steady” isn’t what he’s made of. “I’m usually made of fast and sloppy.”

This almost felt like a conclusion to the “probation” storyline, with the Immunity win acting as a sort of validation that Tony succeeded in playing it patiently. Now, the question is whether he returns to more high-tempo gameplay, and if so, whether that will be his undoing or his making.

JEREMY ON THE OUTS — There was a lot of talk of Jeremy being on the outs and “friendless” in the past episode. He didn’t feel like his voice was being heard, especially in his conversation with Tony. And he was brought into Kim’s alliance because of his outsider status. However, he then abandoned that alliance at Tribal Council by using his Safety Without Power advantage. So Jeremy being friendless could be a running arc. 

“SIDE STORIES”

KIM MAKES A MOVE — Much like Jeremy, Kim felt like she was on the outs last week, and she made it clear that she was willing to go to the Edge making a move. She backed up her words with her idol play on Denise at Tribal Council, even if it didn’t pay off. It will be interesting to see if Kim continues this gutsy play in the coming episodes.

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FIRE TOKENS REPRESENT YOUR LIFE — There wasn’t much time for Fire Token chat in the last episode, but we did see Tony earn himself two tokens for winning Immunity.

THE CONNECTIONS

“ALLIANCES”

Again, the edit is hyping up the chaotic, fluid nature of the game, meaning that alliances are being underedited. This only got worse in the latest episode with so much air-time spent on the family visit. 

COPS R US — The alliance between Sarah and Tony has had the most consistent focus across the season. In the past two episodes, though, there has been some tension in this pairing. While they are clearly aligned, the edit is playing up their disagreements.

In the previous episode, Tony questioned Sarah’s move to give her reward to Nick, explaining to her why he thought he was a mistake. The edit backed up Tony’s summation of the situation. This episode, Sarah and Tony disagreed over the target. Sarah pushed for Kim, while Tony said he’d prefer Tyson. In confessional, Sarah said that “talking to Tony is like talking to a rock,” and that if they didn’t get on the same page, “this is going to end badly.”

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They did eventually get on the same page as Tony pushed for Jeremy’s elimination, explaining to Sarah that Jeremy was coming after her (which we saw to be true). Again, this ties back to Tony saying he would look out for Sarah this season. And even after Jeremy used his advantage, the cop duo remained on the same page at Tribal, taking out Tyson.

I’m not sure whether these humorous bickering sessions are setting it up for the Cops R Us to eventually break apart. Or if it’s just to add some tension to the dynamic, especially if both go deep into the game or even potentially to the Final Tribal Council.

SARAH & SOPHIE — They were highlighted as a dangerous pair by Jeremy, and we saw a scene of them together discussing how to use Sarah’s Vote Steal advantage. We haven’t heard them talk about each other much in confessional, but there has been an attempt at least to associate them as a pair.

TENUOUS RELATIONSHIPS

DENISE, JEREMY, KIM & MICHELE — The alliance figurations that came together in this episode were very strange. There was very little explanation of why certain people were working together. Suddenly, the “big threats” alliance had disappeared, as had partnerships like Michele & Nick.

This foursome (plus Tyson) was named as one group, but I doubt it’s lasting as a serious force. Firstly, because Jeremy bailed on the group at Tribal. And secondly, Michele didn’t even vote with them, though we only know that because of the vote reveal footage on YouTube.

BEN, NICK, SARAH, SOPHIE, TONY — The opposition group was also lacking in detail. We know that Sarah & Tony are together, and, to a lesser degree, we know about Sarah & Sophie’s relationship. Ben is somewhat linked to Sarah and Sophie, and it was even mentioned in passing that Ben & Sarah are close.

Nick’s part in this group made very little sense, and he didn’t get a chance in the episode to explain his position or why he’d abandoned Michele. Again, I doubt this grouping will be a long-term thing.

THE CONTENDERS

The below list is just the edits that currently stand out. It doesn’t mean that all those not mentioned are out of contention. 

TONY

Pros:

  • Strong premiere edit.
  • Strong merge episode edit.
  • He has two clear story arcs, both the “lions vs. hyenas” one and the “Tony on probation” narrative of playing down his threat level and lowering the guards of his opponents. 
  • His “probation” storyline took focus again in this episode after he won an Immunity Challenge involving patience.
  • A clear alliance with Sarah, which has remained a significant focus across the season. 
  • The edit backed up his point about Sarah making herself a target due to her giving up the reward to Nick, and he got his way in the latest episode with the targets.
  • We always hear from him and his perspective on his own game and the wider dynamics. A lot of the story is told through his eyes.
  • He has mostly been presented as a likable presence around camp, even when he’s acting like a mad man. Several players have talked about how much they like Tony (Sarah, Yul, Jeremy, and Kim). In the latest episode, we saw multiple players smiling and congratulating him for his challenge win.
  • The “lowering guards sucker punch” confessional from the opening moments of the premiere was referenced again post-merge, when Sarah said, “In past seasons, you’d see the punch coming, this season, people are gonna get sniped,” as the camera panned to a smiling Tony. 
  • He was proven right in the merge episode about Denise making herself a target with her flashy move against Sandra.
  • He was shown not to be underestimating his competitors, referring to them as “good players” but just “low profile.”
  • His reasonings about the big targets being in trouble were always validated in the edit. 
  • He started on the complex tribe. 

Cons:

  • Both Jeremy and Sarah said that Tony doesn’t listen in the latest episode.
  • The bickering between the Cops R Us could suggest them breaking apart in the future.
  • There was no talk of the big threats alliance or “lions vs. hyenas” storyline this week, despite Tony voting out a big threat in Tyson.
  • He has fallen back into old Tony habits on a couple of occasions, which has made other players wary of him.
  • The lion vs. hyena story could be set up for him being devoured by the hyenas at some point, even if he’s the last lion standing.
  • The focus on Tony’s likability could be setting him up as a social threat this time around.
  • The talk of a “sucker punch” could be ironic foreshadowing, and perhaps it is Tony who is the victim of a sucker punch blindside. 

SOPHIE

Pros:

  • Strong premiere edit. 
  • Strong merge episode edit.
  • She is often shown to be aware of the dynamics and in control. For example, in this episode, she suggested Sarah to play the Vote Steal, and took charge at Tribal Council is coordinating her alliance.
  • In the previous episodes, she’s correctly called out the “big threats” alliance and that Jeremy & Wendell were tight. 
  • She was given credit for Wendell’s boot.
  • She’s had a fair amount of content across the season, whether narration or strategy and is rarely undermined.
  • She has various connections and relationships with the likes of Ben, Sarah, and Nick, even if they aren’t all particularly well-defined.
  • She was shown to have empathy for those living on the Edge, which shows her in a positive light.
  • Ben spoke highly of her in a previous episode, referring to her as a “good person.”
  • She started on the complex tribe.

Cons:

  • She has been called out as a dangerous player, and her assertiveness at Tribal could paint her as a target.
  • While she’s had a fair amount of content across the season, there have been episodes where she disappears completely.
  • She has relationships with the likes of Ben and Sarah, but they aren’t particularly well-defined as alliances.
  • Her main alliance focus and strategy (“nerd-shield”) was built around Yul, and he is now on the Edge.
  • She was shown cold, shivering, and crying at the merge episode Immunity Challenge—winners are rarely shown struggling with the elements. 
  • She bonded with Sarah on Yara, but we never heard from Sarah on her thoughts on a potential long-term alliance with Sophie. 

SARAH

Pros:

  • A clear alliance with Tony, which has received significant focus across the season, including the most recent episode.
  • She has a secondary alliance with Ben and Sophie, and while not as prominent as Cops R Us, the latest episode did put some more focus on those pairs.
  • She previously referred to everyone at the merge as “lion,” showing that she is not underestimating her opponents.
  • She correctly called that Adam would be eliminated after she found out he threw her name out. 
  • Ben spoke highly of her in a previous episode.
  • She has received some emotional and personal content across the season (the hug with Yul being non-family-visit stand-out).
  • She’s had a decent amount of strategic content throughout the season so far, including in the most recent episode.
  • She’s had a flashback to her previous season.
  • She has received some personal content about her job as a police officer.
  • She started on the complex tribe.

Cons:

  • An underwhelming premiere edit.
  • An average merge episode edit.
  • Tony is presented as the more important member of Cops R Us.
  • The bickering between her and Tony could suggest a break up of the partnership.
  • Her decision to give up her reward to Nick as presented as a mistake.
  • She wanted Kim out in the most recent episode but didn’t get her way. 
  • She hasn’t spoken directly about her alliance with Ben or Sophie in confessional.

After several weeks of keeping Michele in the top four contenders, I’ve finally made the decision to remove her. Her edit has been lackluster post-merge, but particularly in the latest episode. She was positioned into a new alliance with no explanation, even though she didn’t end up voting with that alliance. She actually voted correctly. I just think if Michele was the winner, the edit would have explained her position here.


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.


8 responses to “Episode 10 – The Edit Bay”

  1. I might as well be wrong here but do you think that the strategy talk at camp was largely circumstantial due to Jeremy, Sarah and Kim using their advantages (with Jeremy likely saving himself from elimination) and Tyson being the boot? I think this was a bad episode as the family visit not only took a huge chunk of time but it also didn’t really feel like it was hinting at anything and was nothing more than casual-TV-viewer-pleasure, seeing all these contestants and popular players with their families.

    Anyhow my unpopular winner-contender list is:
    1) Tony (duh)
    2) Michele (Ik you will disagree COMPLETELY with this but this last episode was the only red flag for Michele but then again it was only partial as this episode didn’t help ANY contestant – even Tony took a hit and I am not sure what we are supposed to make of this episode. As for her merge episode, for me it was pretty clear that she was shielded as she was blindsided by the vote and she got to explain that in the next episode. She will need to do the same in the coming episode to cover for this little hit here but I like her edit more than Sophie’s as at least she fits with some of the season’s stories – lions vs. hyenas, fire tokens, But still behind Tony.)
    3) Sophie (Uhhh… initially she was my number 1 but now she feels like a gamebot, only talking strategy. Now she is a complex strategist but to me she feels like Victoria from S38 – albeit Sophie’s edit is better but it is in the same vein, no personal info, just game talk…)
    I don’t think Sarah is winning and no one else still in the game tbh unless they Chris-Underwood the winner here too.

  2. I might as well be wrong here but do you think that the strategy talk
    at camp was largely circumstantial due to Jeremy, Sarah and Kim using
    their advantages (with Jeremy likely saving himself from elimination)
    and Tyson being the boot? I think this was a bad episode as the family
    visit not only took a huge chunk of time but it also didn’t really feel
    like it was hinting at anything and was nothing more than
    casual-TV-viewer-pleasure, seeing all these contestants and popular
    players with their families.

    Anyhow my unpopular winner-contender list is:

    1) Tony (duh)

    2)
    Michele (Ik you will disagree COMPLETELY with this but this last
    episode was the only red flag for Michele but then again it was only
    partial as this episode didn’t help ANY contestant – even Tony took a
    hit and I am not sure what we are supposed to make of this episode. As
    for her merge episode, for me it was pretty clear that she was shielded
    as she was blindsided by the vote and she got to explain that in the
    next episode. She will need to do the same in the coming episode to
    cover for this little hit here but I like her edit more than Sophie’s as
    at least she fits with some of the season’s stories – lions vs. hyenas,
    fire tokens, But still behind Tony.)

    3) Sophie (Uhhh… when the season started
    she was my number 1 but now she feels like a gamebot, only talking
    strategy. Now she is a complex strategist but to me she feels like
    Victoria from S38 – albeit Sophie’s edit is better but it is in the same
    vein, no personal info, just game talk…)I don’t think Sarah is winning and no one else still in the game tbh unless they Chris-Underwood the winner here too.

  3. Oooo, Michele has been dropped. Honestly, I reckon this is leading up to a Tony win, Sophie as the big threat to be taken out, and Sarah as making it far, final 3/4, with Tony.

  4. Tony is winning this. Sophie’s got a shot still, but that UTR1 last week doesn’t work for me, and this week felt like she HAD to be credited. I still get no sense of where she truly is in the game, but then again this is par for the course given her SoPa edit.

    Sarah… I just don’t see it. The entire second act of the episode was told from Tony’s perspective – and in my mind, that makes me pretty dang sure he’s getting the winner’s edit, if only also due to the process of elimination. Sophie could still take it though.

    All I gotta say is: Holy crap. Going into the season, Tony was someone I’d written off completely, because of who he is. And yet… he’s blown my expectations away.

  5. Whose edit would you think Michele’s is shaping up to look like? My first thought was maybe a Ken McNickle or Sherri Biethman; both contestants who had strong pre-merge edits, but all but disappeared post-merge and ended up as losing finalists. Michele does stand out from them because it feels like when she does get content, it’s extremely CP and in-depth in ways that neither or those two got, but when she disappears it’s much more noticeable as well.

    • I feel like Michele got CP content mostly when she was associated with Wendell, and the content was actually not in keeping with what was actually going on, i.e. she was working *with* Wendell, not against him. Once Wendell was gone, Michele disappeared. Plus, the things she was saying about Wendell weren’t a great look for a winner.

  6. Due to the time spent on edge of extortion every week, I don’t have any way to realistically evaluate anything regarding alliances.

    The edit for this season will go down as among the worst ever, I predict. Having all winners will save us, because we don’t necessarily need to learn about who they are. For the viewer to be down to final 9 and have no idea about alliances is unforgivable.

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