Survivor: Edge of Extinction broke a big record that plagued past seasons before. This is the first season where all of the returning players got voted out before reaching the finale. Sure, the season’s twist could bring someone back into the game, but regardless of the outcome, all four returning players officially got the boot during a Tribal Council. In the 12 Survivor seasons that brought back previous players, Survivor: Edge of Extinction proved that veteran players aren’t guaranteed a spot at the end. And if neither Joe, Aubry, Kelley or David win the chance to return, this will be the first season to guarantee no veterans in the finale.
The downfall of the remaining returnees stemmed from their inability to work together. Kelley and David were always ready to turn on each other; the only times they ever worked together came during when they needed each other’s votes. The targets on their backs were HUGE, so it’s strange that they never thought of trusting one another. Aubry and Joe had the right idea on Kama, but once they were separated during the tribe swap, they couldn’t do anything to protect the other. Kelley and David had plenty of opportunities to bury the hatchet. Due to their urgency to avoid the ax, however, they allowed the newbies to gain the upper hand.
Kelley and David didn’t even start the round on bad ground. The original Manu had worked together with Ron and Julie to blindside the Kama core and eliminate Julia. Based on the numbers, it became a 5 vs. 5 game between the original tribes. And since Julie and Ron felt on the outs, they were ready to work with the Manu/Lesu group. Why didn’t they all keep their voting bloc together to eliminate the others? Kelley, Lauren, and Wardog made a savvy move in creating a tight alliance with Gavin, Julie, and Ron since they needed the votes. But, the castaways had another route they could’ve taken.
Aurora being blamed for the chaos at the previous Tribal Council seemed favorable toward the editors. In actuality, Aurora played her part in sowing the seeds, but Julia deserved all the credit for tearing down that power structure. She let loose on Rick and pushed him to create a tidal wave of bad karma. Still, Aurora got the bad reputation and destroyed her game because of it. Her odds of winning Survivor: Edge of Extinction is slim. If she wants any chance at making it to the finals, she’ll need to keep winning challenges and join up with voting blocs. She doesn’t have the cache anymore to be a “pilot” this season.
David’s elimination had been a long time coming. He hid in the background for many weeks now trying to be the good guy, but his fellow castaways spotted the strategic threat that stealthily emerged. He had all the potential to make it to the finals; maybe even winning the game. If Aurora had not won the immunity challenge, the outcome would’ve been different. However, that’s how the game is played. His best chance to survive was to win over the Lesu trio and get in their good favor; without them, he had no chance.
The two immunity challenges during “Blood of a Blindside” were your typical Survivor games: 1.) balancing a bar while crouching, and 2.) maneuvering balls into tiny little holes. Each game has appeared in previous seasons before, so if you’re a Survivor superfan, the memories would bring back a lot of nostalgia. The challenges were fun and equally frustrating. The look easy enough at first, but they were probably more difficult to play while on Survivor. I would be happy to see them again in the future since they’re simple yet tough.
Also, Rick’s advantage during the second immunity challenge helped him greatly! He needed to buy David some dinner or a gift because he gave him a huge advantage. No one was going to catch up with him after he got the first few balls in the hole. The Edge of Extinction powers are proving to be seriously helpful and needed.
Wardog’s decision to turn against Kelley will be a lofty mistake. Did he learn nothing from when the Kama tribe turned against Joe or Eric? He had the majority alliance! Why would he give up that to blindside a loyal member for his game? Wardog brought the newbies to the forefront, but he allowed the Kama castaways to gain the majority. I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned on him next.
Survivor: Edge of Extinction has suffered under the weight of the players’ sloppy gameplay. They’re making such bad moves that it’s hard to map out who will make it to the end. It’s a miracle if any of them don’t do something that will completely and utterly implode their chances. Unfortunately, many of them have already made this mistake. Edge of Extinction Island is filling up with these players by the day.
Kelley’s journey to a victory was always going to be an uphill battle. She’s Kelley-Freaking-Wentworth, the Queen of the Underdogs, finder of hidden immunity idols, and ruler of the minority alliance. Her reputation caused her to enter Survivor: Edge of Extinction with a huge target on her back that she would never be able to shake. Great for her that she was able to make it this far. It’s a huge accomplishment to go against the odds. But with her own alliance member turning against her hours before, she couldn’t have avoided this vote.
“Blood of a Blindside” captured two big blindsides that made Survivor: Edge of Extinction a record-breaking season. The newbies are on the upswing, but with all the sloppy gameplay going on, it’s hard to pick out a true standout. But with the clear targets eliminated, it’s anyone’s game now.