Survivor: Edge of Extinction’s two-hour episode delivered two powerful blindsides to end the pre-merge phase. Whenever a double hour comes this early, it’s usually to speed up the game and remove some of the middle-of-the-road players. Though, when we’re truly lucky, there is a Tribal Council (or both!) which features a shocking moment that will leave our jaws on the floor. We ended up with the latter here – and wow, did it ever deliver!
The first shocking moment of the night came with Lesu actually winning a challenge. And better yet, it was tribe immunity! Their outcome looked bleak since they were so far behind and took their sweet time diving deep into the water. However, their win showed that if you keep persevering, there’s always a chance to come from behind and snatch the win. Lesu didn’t quit and they caught up with the puzzle to avoid voting someone out.
Still, one of Lesu’s big mistakes was not learning from their consistent errors in challenges. Now that the players are heading into the merge, this tidbit is a moot point, but they kept putting themselves at a detriment for no reason. For example, Kelley and David kept doing the puzzles even though their tribe kept losing – both at Manu and Lesu. Why didn’t they have Lauren, Wardog or someone else take on the task? Clearly, Kelley and David were weak in puzzles. In addition to that, Wardog has a bad throwing arm. Why did they let him go back in to throw the sandbags at the reward challenge? They should’ve re-evaluated their skills before each challenge.
Over at the losing Manu tribe, Eric, Gavin, and Victoria’s plan to deceive Aubry was a masterful move. This tactic will go down as one of the Top 25 strategic moves in Survivor history. Think about it: they convinced her of their trust and her comfort to the point of her not even seeing a betrayal coming. She had an extra vote AND a hidden immunity idol to save herself, a bevy of powers that would’ve helped her in the individual phase of the game. While people have been blindsided like this before, what made this move extra special was the role Victoria played. She made Aubry believe that she had an ally ready to work with her; she preyed on Aubry’s deepest hopes. Victoria is turning out to be an amazing deceptive player.
On the other hand, Victoria and Wendy should’ve considered voting out Eric or Gavin. The boys have a deep alliance together and that type of partnership will be hard to break up later in the season. If they had separated them, the girls’ odds of surviving the next Tribal Council (had it not been the double tribe) would’ve been much better.
Aubry lost Survivor: Edge of Extinction due to the newbie errors she made as a veteran. This is the third time that she played Survivor, she should’ve known by now how to avoid the hurdles. Her copy-and-paste social strategy rubbed her fellow players the wrong way and she didn’t make any genuine connections until the last possible minute. Plus, she got too comfortable in her veteran status to notice the strategic moves happening around her. Aubry got blindsided in the worst way (the best for us viewers). And if she does come back into Survivor, she has to play hard and take no prisoners.
During the second half of the episode, Survivor teased the growing resentment towards Joe. Even though they tried to make him a sympathetic character, the pieces had already been formed of the castaways acknowledging his power and wanting him gone. Joe is a good Survivor player. He is born to play this game based on how easy it all is to him. However, naturally good players don’t always equate to winners. Unless he makes deep connections and wins every immunity challenge, he’ll no doubt get voted out soon. He’s too dangerous to keep around and everyone sees it.
Congrats to Kelley for finding a hidden immunity idol. She needed to find the idol since her name had been brought up multiple times in the past. It’s a great feat that all of the hidden immunity idols found so far this season have been found by women. The records keep on breaking on Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
Wardog dug himself deeper and deeper into the hole. His Alpha Dog attitude served him no justice and his pushing nearly got him voted out. Based on the dissolution of his friendship with Kelley and Lauren, Wardog’s chances of winning went to zero. If his own tribemates can’t stand to be around him, his personality won’t mesh well with the others. There is no way he is winning Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
I loved the return of the Tribal Council with two tribes together. Whenever two groups must vote out one person, the situation falls into chaos because no one wants to get the boot. We saw here that Manu and Lesu even made backdoor deals right then and there to avoid going to rocks. Kudos to everyone that got up and start strategizing before the vote! That kind of determination and action changes the game. If you’re not talking, then someone is definitely talking about you.
Big Wendy’s reason for elimination varied from her sporadic personality to her game-destroying decisions to her unpredictability. I said before that she had no chance to win Survivor and I still stand behind it, regardless of if she comes back from Edge of Extinction or not. What I found baffling was that she and the Lesu tribe didn’t vote together to pick off any of the original Kama tribe. What are they doing?!
The castaways kept saying it was 4 vs. 4 but the numbers at the vote were 5 vs. 3. No one had to go to rocks; the original Manu had the votes to detract from Kama if they worked together. Was it Wendy not agreeing to vote with Lesu? Was it Wardog sticking to Wendy? This entire situation didn’t sit well from a strategic standpoint.
Over at the Edge of Extinction Island, Reem had no one to blame but herself. She knew that Keith was untrustworthy and a survivalist who would do anything to help himself. So, pointing out the advantage in the ocean with him present was her own fault. Yelling at Chris might’ve been her letting out her frustrations, but she needed to reflect and acknowledge the errors in her gameplay.