Tony is on a roll on Survivor: Winners at War. As surprising as it may be, the Survivor: Cagayan winner has been getting one lucky break after another. “This is Extortion” is the type of round that could end a player’s Survivor chances because the extortion twist, the flipped votes, and coming back from a shocking Tribal Council are all pieces that pose a huge challenge. Tony’s potential to win Survivor: Winners at War shot straight to the top and he’s currently frontrunner after this week.
Firstly, why was he the only one to think about searching for a hidden immunity idol after Tribal Council? Kim had just misplayed an idol, so that meant an idol would be planted back in the forest. Survivor: Winners at War is the 40th season and the players should know better than to not search right after. Tony slipped in, found the idol, and no one is the wiser. Nick might have some inkling, but the trade-off of building some type of partnership with Tony might work out better in his favor.
After Parvati and Natalie found the extortion twist on Edge on Extinction (through a great partnership play!), their extortion cost of six fire tokens was a tough fee. Did they set their own limit or was that the max they could go? Tony being able to get Nick, Jeremy, and Ben to loan him a fire token each was a masterful move that showed his strong social game. All three of them trusted him and handed over a token with the faith that they’ll be protected. Part of this is due to the fear of losing Tony’s vote at Tribal Council, but his supposed “tough curse” got solved pretty easily. Sarah might be wrong about Tony – his social game might be just as strong (or stronger) than hers.
Michele played her lie perfectly. She made the right move by stating the tokens went to a twist for Edge of Extinction. If Tony thought she spent it for power in the current game, he would try to flush it out and get her eliminated. The lie felt believable and her advice to help proved valuable as the people did hand over their tokens. Tony and Michele’s partnership might be a strong one we need to keep our eyes on.
And let’s not forget this is the second week in a row that Tony won individual immunity! He didn’t even need the win since he’s so well-insulated in his tribe, but the win has guaranteed him another positive on his Survivor resume. Tony’s list is increasing by the week and by the time anyone gets a chance to eliminate him, it might be too late.
The decision to target Sophie was a sad move on Tony’s part. Sophie is in a tight partnership with Sarah (who is also Tony’s closest ally) and she’s playing a strong behind-the-scenes game that’s working out for her. With exception to the blatant move at the last Tribal Council, her moves have been more strategic and social. Tony’s decision to make a last-minute play eliminated a dangerous threat that could’ve easily won at the final Tribal Council. Sophie may have thought she was a low-tier winner, but her strategy and social game is a guaranteed formula for success. She’s a great Survivor player.
That last-minute move led to a very quiet Tribal Council. No whispering, no spontaneous fights, and no pleas for safety. Everything was quiet and pretty much set in stone. That type of environment is the making of a great blindside. Except for the people in the know (and some editing teasing for the viewers), no one in the game expected Sophie to get the boot. The editing of the player was great as it gave the potential of either Jeremy, Ben or Sophie getting the boot.
Though, I do want to caution one thing about Tony’s move: it only worked because Jeremy was working with Tony and knew he was one of the next targets. If this were any other season and someone came to a player a short time before Tribal Council to switch the votes, the move most likely wouldn’t have happened. This play asks the weaker player to take a chance on this miraculously move to save them after hearing they’ll be blindsided and the next target. What’s not to say Tony was the one lying in this situation? Jeremy switched because he trusted Tony, was working with him, and knew he would’ve been the one voted out had he not used his previous power.
“This is Extortion” was a quiet week on Survivor, but it was a great round for Tony. He emerged as a strong frontrunner for winning the game by eliminating one of his biggest targets in a shocking blindside. Will things descend into chaos? Was this a bad move for him? Or, will this be his ticket for success? When the players go after each other, that’s when the gloves come. The final weeks might be shaping up for a heated conflict.