Not all challenges can be won. Sometimes, a tribe loses in a complete and utter horrific loss. That was the case for the Jabeni tribe during episode seven of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. Everything kept getting worse and worse for them during the immunity challenge. The loss wasn’t even a neck-and-neck battle since they couldn’t even make it past the first stage. Bad luck hurt them hard in one of the worst losses in Survivor history.
There were a few reasons to explain their loss. First, Jabeni had poor communication when moving the disk around the obstacle course. Lyrsa, Angelina, Nick, and Mike weren’t communicating enough in the beginning to avoid the barriers. They kept hitting them and dropping water. If they spoke up more, their moves could’ve avoided some of the early fuss.
Secondly, they held the disk too low. Granted, the water platform was heavy and they had to balance it. However, the low position caused it to hit barriers and spill water whenever they moved. If they had held it higher they could’ve balanced it more evenly and avoided big spills. Finally, Mike and Angelina kept holding the disk at weird angles–Mike did this more so than anyone. He couldn’t keep the platform balanced long enough for the water not to shift around. Unless the other tribes had the same issue, Jabeni would have never caught up.
We can look to Jabeni’s loss as a story continuation to Natalie’s vote off from the previous episode. All the plot pieces lined up perfectly to capture the arc of how the tribe would’ve played after voting out their former Goliath team member. When they returned from Tribal Council, the new narrative became how Angelina viewed the value of a jacket as more important than working with Lyrsa. Angelina tried to laugh it off, but Lyrsa felt the sting from that treatment. Plus, Nick and Mike had their eyes opened to how strategically ruthless Angelina could be in the game of Survivor.
I said it once and I still stand by this: Angelina made a TERRIBLE move voting to keep Natalie. She ruined her social capital for the chance at getting a jacket and it nearly got her voted out this time. She’s lucky Nick joined their side because she made a reckless move. However, I fully expect this action to come back to haunt her again during the individual rounds. People are now wise to her cunning nature.
Lyrsa was completely responsible for her elimination. The Jabeni tribe had a two vs. two split between the former Goliaths and Davids so the decision would have been someone switching sides or a rock drawn after a tie. Mike and Angelina went to Lyrsa first with an offer about working together, but she flat out turned them down. That one conversation showed them that she was unwilling to work together. Lyrsa should’ve humored them with the possibility of turning against Nick and discussing how they could help each other. In the game of Survivor, you should never say no to offers–you should consider your options instead.
Nick’s odds, on the other hand, didn’t fare any better after betraying Lyrsa. He will need to do a lot of damage control once the players come together during the merge. The Davids are now at a minority vote and they know that he’s willing to cut an alliance member in favor of keeping himself around. While I don’t think he made a terrible move, I do think this will pose a bit of a challenge during the next few rounds.
Over at the Tiva tribe, Gabby made the smart move to bond with Alison. Both of them were on the outside of their tribe since the men bonded closely. This new alliance will come in handy as the players bicker during the early merge votes and neither will want to turn on each other unless they have to. Plus, Gabby has a handy secret weapon–her tears and emotional pleas are winning people over. She might have a good shot at the prize.
In the case of the Vuku camp, Elizabeth created a few enemies that could ruin her chances of survival. The argument over the bamboo sticks shouldn’t have escalated to that big of a disagreement. It’s a small issue in the grand scheme of things. However, the tension could’ve led to Elizabeth’s vote off had their tribe lost the immunity challenge. She needs to lay low the next few rounds and focus on rebuilding her relationships.
“Aren’t Brochachos Just Adorable?” slowly inched its way to a mildly entertaining Tribal Council. Episode seven, unfortunately, felt mostly like a filler episode that we needed to have before the game shifted at the merge. Moves and arguments were made that will no doubt come into play later on. However, this round was like a conclusion to a two-part arc that could’ve been paired together with the previous week instead of a stand-alone hour.