“Live Tribal Councils” have become a staple of Survivor within the last few years. Normally, players would decide who they would be voting out long before they meet Jeff Probst at Tribal Council. But in the rare instances where a strategy needs to shift, players now get more proactive with changing things up on the fly. Sometimes things are simple between alliance members, but in the case of Survivor: Edge of Extinction … things got messy. In fact, “Y’all Making Me Crazy” had the most chaotic Tribal Council in Survivor history!
As I discussed in last week’s review, the trouble can be traced back to the terrible blindside of Eric by Victoria, Gavin, Aurora, and Julia. Their bad karma and sloppy gameplay came back to haunt them due to their overconfidence rubbing everyone the wrong way. While not informing their alliance members of the blindside hurt their social games, this alone didn’t put the final nail in the coffin. Their lack of damage control was what did them in.
None of the four Kama members spent enough time reassuring Ron or Julie about their position in the alliance. Both felt blindsided and confused, but they tried to make it work because of having no other options. Suffice it to say, they were frustrated, particularly Julie since she felt the most blindsided and scared. Gavin, Victoria, Aurora, and Julia should’ve spent extra time rebuilding the strained relationships and squashing any fears. If they had only connected with Julie on a personal level, Rick wouldn’t have been able to light the spark of her switching sides.
Even the outcome of the immunity challenge didn’t greatly impact the proceedings of what was to come. Gavin winning helped to protect him from the chaos of Kama being targeted. He might’ve been voted out since he was one of the powerful threats from the four, so he got a major lucky break. I liked the return of the protractor balance immunity challenge. This challenge required the castaways to keep a precise balance of a ball while standing awkwardly on a tiny beam. This game was fun when it premiered on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X and it’s still fun now.
The real meat of “Y’all Making Me Crazy” came from the Tribal Council portion, which was thankfully a longer segment. Rick deserves a huge positive mark on his Survivor resume. Instead of allowing Julia to dismiss his gameplay or him refusing to detract from the conversation, he jumpstarted the move that changed everything. And, to add a splash of salt to this petty tea, the move eliminated Julia too. Rick did the math and found a way that would provide safety to everyone who felt on the outs. Plus, the move would give the outsiders back the power. He took the opportunity and made a miracle happen; that’s a game changer right there.
Also, do you think “pilot” and “passenger” will become a mainstay in the Survivor lexicon? Or, will it be only for Survivor: Edge of Extinction? The players kept using it in their discussions with Jeff Probst, as well as their campaigning to each other if they planned to follow votes. The words could find a way to return again in the future, but this could fall in the realm of “trust clusters.” The players here drove the narrative – it won’t go on without them.
Julie’s performance during the Tribal Council hurt her more than it helped her. You have to keep a cool head in the game and even when you’re frustrated and scared, your appearance needs to be one of having control. To the eyes of the jury, her fellow players, and the viewers, Julie looked frantic and highly emotional. She lashed out at her Kama alliance, she cried from the stress, and she made big dramatic moves to emphasize the effect. Julie became an unpredictable and volatile player. She’ll need to build a great resume if she wants any chance of winning Survivor because her trust and respect from her fellow players have taken a hit.
Kelley and David’s friendship is the alliance that could win from a “slow and steady race” angle. Whenever you think they want to work together, both find an opportunity to get the other out instead. At this Tribal Council, David thought Kelley was leaving and Kelley thought that David was leaving. When they met in the middle and revealed their true intentions, that moment fostered a new bridge between them. Based on the edit, Kelley looked to be the true target, but they both made the right choice to work together, and for David to use his hidden immunity idol. They prevented a blindside from occurring and they gained the power back to their side.
Beyond her moves in getting out Joe and Eric, Julia’s elimination stemmed from her actions at Tribal Council. From her brash retorts to Rick, to her comebacks against Wardog, she fueled her enemies’ motivation to turn the tide. Julia could’ve been sitting pretty a few more rounds before she had to campaign hard for safety. Instead, she came across as the leader of the Kama core four in her whispering to Aurora and she incited a ripple effect that completely changed the balance of power. She made an atomic bomb-level bad move.
“Y’all Making Me Crazy” is a must-watch for Survivor fans. The episode not only combined the after-effects of the players’ moves made before it, but it featured a Tribal Council that will go down in infamy. Live Tribal Councils will never compare to the messiness of this one. For any future Survivor players doing research, this is one that will be essential viewing.