John’s blindside on this week’s episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath might have earned a spot in the top 10 best Tribal Council blindsides ever. His elimination completely came from left-field and nothing warned us of his target status. While we focused on the moving target between Christian and Angelina, the reality of John’s ouster bided its time before striking. Bravo to the edit this week!
Arguably, John was one of the front-runners to win Survivor: David vs. Goliath. Everyone on his tribe seemed to like him, he was a physical threat, and he had the personality to win people over in the final jury vote. If he had made it to the finals, John probably could’ve walked away with the title (and he would’ve deserved the win too). So, that reasoning might be why the former Davids turned to him as one of their split targets. If a miracle had happened, they would get out as the Goliaths’ best competitor.
Beyond simply getting out a powerful player, we need to applaud the Davids on their strategic prowess. We didn’t get the scene of Davie telling his alliance about his hidden immunity idol, but the beauty of this move was well worth the omission. (Obviously, I’m assuming he had to have told Nick and Carl for this to work.) Strategically splitting the votes allowed the Davids to effectively knock out one of the Goliaths, regardless of if the majority alliance had used an idol of their own. This move was a game of numbers and playing the odds. A lot of pieces had to work for the blindside to occur, like Dan only using one idol and Davie picking the right person. Luckily, their risk paid off.
John’s ouster could also be traced to the domino effect caused by Mike and Alec. If Mike had not turned the tables on Christian (and which gave Alec the move to warn Nick), John would still be there. Firstly, Alec shouldn’t have told Nick his suspicions of the Christian vote BEFORE Tribal Council. Anything that happens before Tribal Council gives the enemy time to plan and come up with a solution. The best move would be to repair the relationship after Tribal Council and explain his position, but the damage would be done. He played jury management too soon and it backfired on him.
In Mike’s case, he can’t be faulted for wanting to make a big move to get out a huge threat. Even Jeff Probst couldn’t deny Christian’s likability and his growing position on Survivor (which, by the way, should be a no-no for Jeff in tampering with the game). However, he made that move too soon. If he went after Carl or Davie first before turning to Christian, the Strike Force alliance most likely would’ve stayed in line. Then, Mike could’ve knocked Christian out with the majority.
What surprised me about Mike’s plan was how quick the Goliaths agreed with him to get out Christian, especially after the round before when they rejected that idea. Angelina did have a point about the inequality and sexism toward the female players in the game. She pitched the exact same idea but was only met with hostility. Some of it stemmed from the fact her fellow tribemates didn’t like or respect her as a player, but we shouldn’t deny the blatant double-standard that just occurred.
Both of the challenges this week–the team bean bag endurance for reward and the balancing ball immunity challenge–were both so fun and entertaining. Dan needs to check his ego before it gets him kicked out of Survivor. I loved the irony of him boasting about lifting three bags and then losing the reward for his tribe. Karma enjoys dishing out the payback. In the case of immunity, that type of challenge can knock out a wave of people in seconds. Both games should make a return for the future.
Now that Nick has the steal a vote twist, he should save that power for a rainy day. Having an extra vote at Tribal Council could change anything and that vote could save him. Carl and Davie don’t seem like they’ll tell the others about it, so he should be fine for the time being. However, he’ll need to make sure to use it at the right opportunity.
“You Get What You Give” was a thrilling round of Survivor: David vs. Goliath that kept us on our toes. The castaways came to play this round in the hopes of making a big strategic move, and the Tribal Council delivered one of the best blindsides we’ve seen in a while. This is the art of Survivor at its finest.