Previously on Survivor, Zeke seemed to have the numbers, but Will wanted to flip, Adam played an idol for Hannah, and Zeke went home.
So this episode was broken into two quick parts, a bit of strategy, an immunity challenge, and a Tribal Council, then repeated. It certainly moved quickly, but it makes me wonder if this was really what the show wanted; maybe they anticipated someone leaving the show, like medically evacuated or quitting? Although I’m glad that didn’t happen, it does seem a tad fast.
But anyway, let’s think this over. Why did Will get voted out? Well, Will lost for a simple reason: He was playing too hard and flipped too easily. He painted himself as a question mark of loyalty and someone ready to play “big” moves, which is a risky person to keep around. I don’t think people thought of him as an endgame risk, but instead someone that would screw things up before then.
We saw the seeds early on, with Bret immediately frustrated at Will’s move. Then we saw hubris from Will, a guy talking about sitting pretty with “people who want my vote” and that he’s “calling the shots.” At least when Jay called the others fools, he had already won the immunity challenge and still had an idol, at that point anyway.
Now we had some uncertainty with Adam telling us he and Hannah were in power positions and Bret and Sunday were in weak positions. Was that hubris? It certainly seems it wasn’t. After a fun immunity challenge with some built in strategy choices, only winner Jay voted with Will against Dave.
We didn’t really see much of Dave himself making moves, but then again, if he knew Adam was targeting Will, why not just go along with it? Bret, Sunday, Will, and Jay had all mentioned Dave as threats, but the two Gen-X friends had focused first on Will and Jay. It was successfully teased enough that I wasn’t quite sure where Adam was going to go, but I suspected Will was leaving.
So moving on, why did Sunday lose? Because Hannah successfully argued about her danger as a goat. This is a newer sort of target, coming from the days of Philip and Boston Rob, a person brought to the end because you can easily win against them. But because of that, there’s also a risk they might help others vote you out.
Adam had a good point too, that Dave is a smart, strategic player, but he clearly was swayed. Adam played a good game this episode, connected strongly with Jay with their fascinating little hate/love thing and really bringing the guy around with his secret about his mother, which as far as we know, really only was disclosed to Jay.
Sunday also didn’t do anything to keep herself in the game, at least not that we saw. I’m sure she spoke to people and there’s evidence she and Jay were a little close. But her only moves to vote out people failed and her alliance was Bret and maybe Jay. She didn’t have a good place of safety, and her arguments that she was being underestimated are sort of the worst thing to say. Sunday seemed like a decent person, but she wasn’t a very good player.
I also really liked the second immunity challenge, with its built-in annoying delay, especially because it led to an impromptu trick where Adam helped Ken (who was nearer the end) to win over Jay. Hey, it’s a bit of a dick move, but the cleverness of Adam’s game with Jay is that he always acknowledges that Jay is a big threat.
Jay did play his idol, but really, I think most of us watching likely thought he ought to play it too. I can’t blame him for that. Right now going into the season finale, it’s a complicated game.
Ken is a decent player with some good moves but also some stupid ones, and he’s annoyed a few people. It’d be hard for him to win.
Hannah has played very hard, but I don’t think she can win next to Adam.
Bret has played hard too, but he’s never done that well because he’s been at the bottom of many votes. He has some good friends on the jury though, which does help.
Jay has some friends on the jury too, and he’s played a very strong, careful game. He’s got a real shot to win if he can make it to the end.
Adam hasn’t always played that well, but he’s improved over time, which is pretty good, and he hasn’t seemed to really make people that mad in the jury. But if he makes it to the end, can he stay likable?
Dave is in a similar situation, but his game has kind of been in an arc; at first he was a goat, then he was a phenom, and now he’s a target and threat. If he can make it to the end, maybe he’s got a shot to convince the jury he deserves to win.
I have my favorites here, but really, only Bret hasn’t played that well overall. It’s an endgame of people who have strategized together for a while, but you know that other than Ken, anyone could easily turn on anyone else. It’s exciting!
Next time, six are left and the game is up in the air, with only threats left in the game.
Survivor: Ponderosa 6 and 7
– Watch what happens when the latest cast-off from Survivor: Millennials Vs. Gen X heads to Ponderosa to join the rest of the jury and reflect on their experience.