Survivor shakes up the obvious vote when paranoia rears its head.
by Jeremy Fogelman
As we shake our heads and wonder at what might have been, we ask the question: Why did Chanelle lose and get voted out? Poor Chanelle was already in a poor position, being someone we saw last week get awkwardly avoided by multiple people. She was already in a bad position and had made a few mistakes, but she didn’t really manage to improve her situation this week at all.
The real danger to Chanelle was the silent (except to us) fury of the scorned Mike, who had gotten a vote from her when she said otherwise -- it’s absurdly personal of him, especially considering he voted for her in that same tribal council! But outside of Chanelle, whose social game isn’t great, Mike has a really good social game.
We see early on Mike mentioning that he’s found the role of the wise older friend who is also more than willing to learn from the youngsters -- after a nice little scene where Omar teaches him about Islam, Mike tells us that “we all ain’t that different” which is certainly true, but amusingly put.
So Chanelle was already considered the least trustworthy and thus the target, but then Romeo almost ruined his own game with his paranoia -- some panic was warranted as he was the next target, but he really did make it too obvious about his politicking. Thus it seemed that Romeo was next, and Chanelle was maybe playing it correctly by doing nothing, until Mike heard the plan -- he was so hellbent on voting out his former ally that he utilized his social game to switch the targets back. And thus we’ve lost another female contestant.
Otherwise we get interesting play and chat from various people -- Omar continues to be the dude in the shadows, which puts him in a very powerful position if he can stay that way. Maryanne got emotional a lot, both to us about feeling not worth the same, but also cleverly, manipulating Omar into stepping out of the immunity challenge to get more rice for the tribe. She also made Jeff laugh by screaming loudly as she dove into the water.
Drea is also playing a low key, impressive game, managing to gather four advantages of various sorts -- the “red handed” literal paint twist was great, leading to Tori actually realizing that Drea was up to something. It’s a new twist that actually works, even if the Knowledge is Power advantage is still way too powerful.
And of course, Jonathan continues to dominate at challenges, even if he lost to Tori who is apparently the new immunity challenge beast? A pretty good episode for Tori after a much worse start to the season for her. We also see steady, considered play from Hai, and not much from Rocks or Lindsay -- although there were bits at least of each one.
At this point we do have a decent number of interesting players and pretty good ones too, with an episode that I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to go -- it’s usually a good sign about the editing and pace of the episode. It’s been a pretty good season so far, even if in a lot of ways it does feel really similar to season 41 -- hopefully things really get nuts in the episodes ahead.
Next time on Survivor, more dudes than women, two people will win immunity and two people will go home.
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