You can never underestimate the power of underdog alliances on Survivor. They have a way of banding together and delivering a powerful blow against the main threats. That’s exactly what happened during the latest episode of Survivor: Winners at War. The supposed underdogs of Dakal fostered their alliance and secured the votes needed to deliver another blow against the Old School titans. With four Old School veterans being eliminated during the last four Tribal Councils, this might be a big sign of the events to come.
Yul, Sophie, Nick, and Wendell might be the powerful alliance that we need to keep our eyes on. All four played more subtle and social-heavy games during their original seasons; while they did win challenges, their social prowess and strategy took them the farthest. That’s the type of understated gameplay that slides its way through the season and develops the connections needed to win. The same thing happened in this case as Tyson’s alliance didn’t recognize the quartet as a serious threat until their tribe came down the vote. He even realized that something amiss was happening, but he didn’t take any stock in it. You must always look around and see who is hanging with whom to determine potential alliances being formed.
Tyson was someone I expected to go far, but he’s not someone I thought could win this season. During his fourth time (Survivor: Blood vs. Water), he jointly led his alliance and had a view over everything – this is not the case this time around. Tyson came in with a huge target and a lot of chatter about being in a strong pre-season alliance; it nearly got him voted out second. With that target on his back and the uncertainty about his connection to Jeremy/Kim/Boston Rob, he was too dangerous to keep around. Plus, he went out of his way to try to vote out someone he had a longstanding connection with (Sandra). If he had just worked with Sandra, he would have had her vote. The others were smart to get him out.
Speaking of Sandra, her strategy is working like fire. She’s going back to the same gameplay that won her the title on Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains: the anyone be me strategy and staying out of the way. She has sat out every challenge to the point that the bench will be honorarily named after her, which is fine because she’s the queen! Sandra has focused her attention on herself and she’s redirecting any conversation away from her toward someone else. Hopefully, luck will be on her side and she’ll get to the end again. Just imagine Sandra winning three times!
Over at Sele, Adam did the right thing by starting his apology tour. He was at the bottom his tribe and if he had not done something to turn the tables, he would’ve found himself voted out next. The problem, however, is that his reputation is still so bad that anyone could tell a lie and the rest of the tribe would believe it regardless. Boston Rob and Parvati didn’t even need to talk to Adam if they plotted to ruin his character further and lie about his scheming. He’s lucky that the tribe won the immunity challenge; Boston Rob and Parvati would’ve fostered the seeds of doubt until Adam got eliminated.
Adam’s best bet for this hurdle was to stay away from Boston Rob and Parvati at all costs. He always had the sting of the bad reputation against him; the last thing he needed was to be seen and associated with them. While it’s important that you never close the opportunity to make an alliance, this deal would only hurt him in the long-run. Adam should’ve stayed in the campsite or around another person at all times to make sure the others knew that he was being honest to them.
For the events at Edge of Extinction, that fire token challenge looked tough! Having to walk up and down hills to get the fire logs would’ve tired anyone out, especially with lack of food and sleep. Natalie is a superstar for winning another challenge; she is proving time and time again that she is a superstar playing. All of the players fought their hardest, especially Ethan. Poor guy! He’s been through so much that this was another taxing moment that pushed his health to the limit. Ethan should take some rest for the time being and not exert himself until he’s back to full strength.
“I Like Revenge” brought Tyson and Sandra’s story full-circle. What started as a campaign to potentially get Sandra out morphed into a karmic elimination a few rounds later. This type of progression that I like about Survivor: you never know if one instance – one conversation – will come back to haunt you. Adam faced it and Tyson faced it in different ways. But who will be next?