Survivor finally has an explosive shock this season

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Previously on Survivor, Sunday and Bret were outnumbered, Zeke and the Gen-X folk grew closer, Adam was the swing vote and ended up with the Gen-X two to vote out Figgy.

Of course Probst calls her “Taylor’s girlfriend” which is pretty condescending and sort of sexist. The tribes had a mix of exposure and interesting behavior, although the true fun was after the final challenge.

On Takali, I enjoyed Taylor’s crazy eyes laughter of “I will destroy you,” and it showed him a bit more effectively as a player. Still, Jessica was very insulting in her confessionals, calling him a classic millennial who was honest but not that bright. Easier to manipulate, unlike Adam, although since they didn’t lose, it’s problematic because Adam may have other allies after the merge.

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Ken had nothing strategic this week, but he a great showing at the challenges, and the truth is, since the drama wasn’t at Takali, he didn’t have much need for it. Adam had a very interesting conversation with Taylor after the fact, being very honest that he screwed over Taylor. Too honest, perhaps? I think his best move would’ve been to just give Taylor space or like and say he was tricked.

Admitting fault to Taylor means the uncomplicated bro isn’t going to forgive Adam at all.

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At Vanua, we had nothing from Chris, and only a bit from the others. Zeke and David bonded, and David revealed his idol (which he’s done before for Ken with his last one). Those two seem to think alike, but Zeke, unlike Dave, admitted easily to us that he was willing to take out David when needed. But David hasn’t picked up on that, which is good on Zeke.

Michelle really just had the “wow, these guys are kinda gross” comedy moment, which was funny enough, but seemed mainly to give her a bit of character. I can’t be unhappy about that.

Both challenges were classic and fun, with enough close calls to keep things tense and interesting. Nothing too memorable or unique, but they worked fine. The real fun was with Ikabula.

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First the delightful thirty minutes of silence, as told by Sunday with a confessional for the first time. That was a red flag, but not the first one. Earlier one, Michaela admitted to us that she was worried about being a threat, and that was before her team lost immunity. That was a big red flag. And of course, the fact that Jay said that Bret needed to go meant he almost certainly wasn’t.

But since Jay had the idol, it didn’t seem likely he’d be blindsided.

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Interestingly, two differently perceived strategic moves are performed. Hannah goes fairly subtle, trying to make Bret look dangerous by saying he’s probably a cop. It seems to work well, and nobody focuses on Hannah. But then Michaela explains the long game with shells and rocks, which makes her seem too intelligent. There’s smart and then there’s uncarefully smart.

It’s sort of like the difference between someone who’s a great doctor and someone who is a great actor. Both have skills and weaknesses the other doesn’t. But Survivor is a complicated game, and that balance of showing intelligence is one of the hardest things about it. Kim Spradlin is the best there ever was at playing the smart game, but there are other ways to win.

Michaela relied heavily on her connection to the Millennials, yet she also was quick to reveal her lies about Figgy in front of everyone. She also did well in the challenges, yet also was short-tempered when she was doing badly. Michaela was playing a razor thin game and it took only one thing to screw her over: Jay.

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And at tribal, everyone acted like nothing was wrong. When Michaela realized she was being blindsided, she immediately identified Jay as the culprit. Correctly. And boy, did I love Jay’s stone cold stare back and “Yes, I did it.” Michaela isn’t on the jury, and everyone in the game (other than Hannah) should be happy about it.

Speaking of which, I think Jay may be in trouble, because he lost Figgy as part of his core alliance. But he has the idol, which is a positive. Adam is in flux, and David is who knows what. The merge is gonna be nuts.

Next time, the merge has arrived, and Gen-X is outnumbered, but Hannah wants “payback.”

Survivor: The Day After

– Michaela reflects on her time in the game after she exits SURVIVOR: MILLENNIALS VS GEN-X

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