Thoughts On Episode 8:
- I’m finally starting to see the trend of this season, and on one hand it’s really quite simple and rational and on another it’s a bit different or the game. Every time somebody gets too cocky, they get figured out and they quickly get worked on from behind the scenes by whoever first notices it. This is the exact way that Liz, Anna, and Peter went down, all of whom being players I loved watching, and we started to see the arc of the next victim; Nick. I figured that the game would break down simply from here; the Brawn and Beauty would eliminate Brains, then the Beauty would eliminate Brawn, because that’s where the numbers were going. That’s bad on me honestly, I should know better than to think this game could work so simply, but for once I thought the game would unravel rationally. But, just as it happened with others before, Nick got caught trying to be the boss, and found himself on the bad side of Cydney. She, for no real good reason mind you, took exception to a conversation he had with Julia where he was checking in on whether or not there were side alliances being discussed. Cyd flipped out, and went after her own ally Jason, decrying him for his suspiciousness and explaining her lack of trust for Nick over the whole situation. The game was going to work out very simply, but Cydney’s paranoia threw the biggest curveball into the game yet. It only takes one person to completely blow up the game, and this season it is Cydney. But, it all goes back to the omerta of the contestants, every season has its own code and flow, and this season you had to play a humble game or else you would be target number one. Nick’s failure to adapt to the social nuances painted a target on his back that was going to be very difficult to erase.
- We got to see another really fantastic immunity challenge this week. All of the contestants had to stand in an arched pose on a small platform and basically just outlast everyone else. There were so many different little things transpiring at this challenge that really helped to set up not only the rest of the episode but potential story arcs to follow. Jeff came in tempting them off their posts with a onetime food offer, which was accepted by Jason, Scot, Michele, and Joe stepped down, giving up immunity for food. The situation allowed Probst to dig in with some questions like he usually does, asking them if their decision came down to them feeling safe in the game. The exchanges lead to Tai revealing the strategy out loud that Beauty and Brawn were effectively merged and gunning to get the Brains out. It really looked like this was the kind of slip that makes people start to question their alliances, and after Nick backed up Tai, Nick ended up stepping down from the challenge, once the Brains were all down. He made a famous last words kind of quote by saying he hopes his first tribal won’t be bittersweet. This was the point where I could pretty much read the writing on the wall, and it was cemented seconds later when Scot told Nick that it wouldn’t be bittersweet. It’s like these guys were giving the producers a blindside edit on purpose, I almost wonder if the whole thing wasn’t a big inside joke! Tai ended up outlasting the much stronger Cydney, shocking the cast, crew, and entire viewing audience. It was great to see Tai pull off another improbable win, he’s really been such a strong personality to root for on this show. He may not always say the right thing, but man does Tai have a big heart! And sometimes On Survivor, having a little more heart can be enough to win it all.
- The lead-up to Tribal and the voting process were very weird. Everyone was positive about what was going down, but there were a lot of people who inevitably were on very different pages with each other. Scot, Jason, and Nick genuinely thought that they were all splitting the votes, 4 on Debbie and 3 on Aubry, but other people had different ideas. Cydney was fixated on eliminating Nick (something I hope she pays for in time, as a Nick fan) and pitched it to all the women. The Brains women were all on board, even though Aubry was somewhat interested in working with Nick. The same could be said about Michele, who was closely aligned with Nick, but knew she might have to eventual turn on him to boost her own chances in the game. And while all of this was happening, Joe was locked on to the Nick vote without asking much else, and the Beauty girls were trying to switch the vote to Jason last minute, leaving Tai to believe that the votes were going to go on Jason. So, once the voting started at tribal Council, there were a lot of people going in different directions. Votes were cast for Debbie, Jason, and Aubry, but 6 votes were plenty enough to vote Nick out, making his first tribal council truly bittersweet, just as Scot promised it wouldn’t be. This was a game changer, because it really should’ve been handled with patience, but instead the women got it in their head that sticking together might just be the best method going forward. For some of them, it may truly be, but for others there may have been better ways to go forward than to shake up the status quo. I can’t honestly say I have any clue what’s going to go down from here on out. This season is about as wide open as any has been at this juncture of the game, and that’s making for a hell of a good season. This is truly anyone’s game, and I can’t wait to see who’s gonna take it all the way to Day 39!
Final Thoughts After the Episode:
- My player of the week honors go to Aubry. She’s playing this game really well considering she’s had her back against the ropes since before the merge. She may not have come up with the plan to get rid of Nick, but she’s making the most of her opportunities by being sociable and able to work with most of the players in the game. While the rest of them infight, she’s going to be squeaking through with a bunch of other players who probably won’t have the same kind of savvy as she does. Aubry is set up great for a long run…My favorite scene of the episode is the point where Nick steps down from the challenge. It started this wonderful arc of how the cocky payers get their comeuppance in time. As a Nick fan, it made me cringe at first, but I can clearly see the beauty of setting up a downfall over the span of an episode. This show was edited marvelously…Mark my words, Cydney will NOT win season 32 of Survivor, and it really comes down to this move. She showed her hand way early, made her allies angry by backstabbing them for no good reason, and showed everyone she will seek control of the game if given the chance. I thought she could fly under the radar, but now she’s exposed, and it’s all because she didn’t wait it out long enough. I’m confident that she can’t win now, this is a game for an under the radar player, and she just moved too soon.