Survivor gets another shakeup as the game loses another great player.
by Jeremy Fogelman
This week on Survivor, we lost Omar and must ask: How? For a long time, he managed to stay in the shadows, manipulating people and keeping away from attention. Omar was able to get people like Mike to think their plans were all Mike’s ideas, but it all came apart starting last episode. When Omar was involved in Mike “lending” his idol, that was the seed of potential “maybe this guy is too good” but Mike was still not ready to turn on him.
But then Drea called out Omar’s move (in what was a shady and entertaining moment) so everyone knew the dude was super competent. Because of that, despite getting back his idol, Mike now realized he’d have to turn on Omar and tried to convince Maryanne of that, which she was resistant to -- at first. But everything changed again when Lindsay tells Mike about her idol, which he then proceeds to tell everyone but Omar about.
Suddenly Maryanne thinks she’s perceived as a “goat to be herded” and refuses to accept that -- it’s her time to make a big move. And her only real option is to turn against a big player, and at this point, that’s either Mike or Omar, both of whom have aligned with her in different circumstances. It’s funny that Lindsay revealing this idol (which she doesn’t even need to play) directly led to Omar getting voted out, because Omar didn’t directly do anything.
So Maryanne’s move becomes obvious -- it’s easier to get people to target Omar than Mike, who is so “keeping my word” that he’d probably be a bitter juror if he felt betrayed. The only trick then was to make sure Lindsay didn’t find out about this plan and to get Mike and Jonathan onboard with not voting out the easy choice in Romeo. We didn’t see this particular final choice, but that’s typical for Survivor to keep that suspense going.
Which means we say farewell to Omar, a great player who really lost due to the “I need to get out a better player” move by Maryanne, a classic move. So going into the finale, we have a really interesting final five contestants. Romeo has no chance to win, so he’d be the perfect goat to take to the end -- but will he get the easy vote out first or will he be carried to the end?
Jonathan is unlikely to win, because he’s annoyed people, and I can’t really think of a combination of two people he’d win against unless they really screwed things up at the last minute. Lindsay has a legitimate chance to win against Romeo and Jonathan for sure, and maybe even Maryanne -- she hasn’t played the most strategic game, but she’s certainly likable.
Maryanne hasn’t done much until recently, but now she has a real shot to convince people -- the only real “strategic” threat left is Mike, and although he could definitely win versus some of the players left, I’m not sure about all of them. So it’s a legitimate tossup -- and I think that means an interesting final five, even if it’s unlikely to be that complicated now that the most strategic players are gone.
It’s been an interesting season of Survivor so far, with a mostly great cast and mostly not-annoying twists (except for the 'Do or Die' and Hourglass ones). I can’t be entirely sure how I feel until I watch the finale, of course.
Next time on the Survivor finale, a battle royale, top five, fake idols, and fighting to the bitter end.
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