Two Survivor queens met their end in a shocking back-to-back Tribal Council on Survivor: Winners at War. With a season full of big threats and iconic winners, losing any of the players is a sad development, but to lose two legendary forces that shaped the game, this round is a huge hit to the momentum. Both Parvati and Sandra are strategic juggernauts, villainous masterminds, and confessional queens who fill each segment with plenty of personality and wit. Strategically, voting them out is a good move in the long-term game, but as a viewer, it’s a huge loss.
At the Sele tribe, Parvati had the biggest hurdle to overcome if she was going to have any shot to stay. Without finding a hidden immunity idol or getting one of the boys to switch sides, her chances of sticking around were slim. The best course of action was working on the weakest link to vote along with her and Michele. Parvati was smart to go after Nick – he had already shown to have a connection with her, so it would’ve been easy to manipulate. And, since Wendell was making shady moves, she had the ammunition to place doubts in Nick’s mind. The problem, of course, was that she couldn’t break up the strong trinity of Wendell, Yul, and Nick. Those boys were locked together pre-swap.
Flipping the vote on Michele wouldn’t have worked either since Michele is the weaker target compared to Parvati. The reputation Parvati amassed these years worked against her since everyone knew how cutthroat and manipulative she played; Michele’s threat status paled in comparison. Plus, Wendell already had a connection with Michele, so even though it was fractured, keeping some type of history around is a more advantageous move than keeping a bigger threat. Parvati just couldn’t compete. Her only other option would’ve been to hone in her history with Yul since they did play together on Survivor: Cook Islands. However, they lost touch with each other, so that relationship amounted to nothing.
Wendell is playing a shady game that could hurt him in the end. The edit has shifted against him, so there’s a good chance that he’s being propped up as the villain who will get blindsided. Case in point: his communication toward Michele was sloppy and terrible! Why would you throw away any chance to foster a strong connection? He’s forgetting that Michele’s vote will be important toward voting for a winner in the game; if he pushes her away, she could campaign against him on the jury.
The same can be said about his fire token deal with Parvati. If Parvati had accepted that deal and she handed over the coins, there was no way that Wendell would honor the deal. If he had betrayed her, he would’ve lost any chance to win – that’s the type of shady move that would cost the game and lose honor with the jury. Wendell needs to get his priorities in check if he wants to win.
Over at Dakal, all of the problems could’ve been avoided had Sandra not given her hidden immunity idol to Denise. All she had to do was use the idol on herself to guarantee a spot in the merged tribe; Denise & Jeremy wouldn’t have had the opportunity to betray her. Unfortunately, Sandra made the same mistake that happened on Survivor: Game Changers: she played too hard to try to control the vote. Sandra’s gameplay works best when she does the “anyone but me” strategy; she has to sit back, shift the votes, and make strong connections/subtle moves that amount to greater success. Sandra tried to control tribe dynamics and make a shady move on Tony without any blood on her hands, but it only blew up in her face instead.
Had Sandra used the idol on herself, three things would’ve happened: (1) Denise used her secret idol on herself, but the other votes went on Jeremy to vote him out, (2) both Denise and Sandra used their idols correctly which forces the others to revote, or (3) Denise is successful with her idol play, but Denise and Jeremy voted out Kim or Tony instead to get them out. Ultimately, Denise’s cunning move worked well in her favor since both she and Jeremy survived. Plus, it added a strong and flashy strategic move to her Survivor resume that will help her toward making a case in the finals.
Though from a future voting standpoint, I do want to caution that getting out Sandra might’ve been the bad choice between Kim, Sandra, and Tony. Kim was in the middle and she started to foster a relationship with Denise, so she obviously couldn’t go. But why keep Tony around when you don’t have any kind of relationship with him? Tony would easily switch back to his former tribe to vote out Denise and Jeremy. With Sandra, she would’ve worked with Denise in future votes since she would now know that Denise had her back. Plus, Sandra is no threat during immunity challenges. Don’t get me wrong, Sandra is completely untrustworthy and you don’t know where she would vote, but the odds are better keeping her around.
At the Edge of Extinction island, Tyson using his only fire token to buy peanut butter is such a Tyson move. He’s banking on the fact that his secretive sly move will pay dividends in the end when it counts. The problem, however, is that all the calories and nutrients he’s built up from eating the peanut butter will be gone by the time the group competes during the first Edge of Extinction challenge. We’ll have to see if his lofty decision works out in the end, but I’m not as confident.
“Quick on the Draw” set the stage for big moves to compete in the future. Two of the biggest villainous and strategic threats have been voted off, so now the players left can’t hide behind those targets. All of their past moves, gameplay, and relationships will bubble to the surface as we get closer to the tribe merge. Potential winners are emerging in the group while others are digging themselves deep holes they can’t escape. Future players should be thankful for the lessons learned from the moves made during Survivor: Winners at War – it’s eye-opening, to say the least.