Previously on Survivor, Zeke revolted against Andrea, who fought back, Debbie took an opportunity to strike at Ozzie, Sarah was in the middle, and Ozzie was voted out.
It’s interesting to see that sometimes you can easily see why people lose, and other times it’s a series of factors. Sometimes it’s because you’re a huge threat (Sandra), other times just a challenge threat (Ozzie), sometimes it’s your own fault (JT), sometimes it’s other people’s stupid mistakes (Malcolm). But Debbie?
Why did Debbie lose? Well, because she was overly confident and careless about spreading lies. Nothing wrong with sharing some “approximate truth” in this game, like we saw from Cirie or even Zeke. Cirie maintained plausible deniability and played Sarah smoothly, while Zeke couldn’t manage to avoid coming off as shady despite rational explanations.
But Debbie lied about Sarah to Aubry, which is a good idea if you didn’t think she could easily check on it. Aubry isn’t super paranoid like Russell Hantz, so when she heard Debbie throw Sarah under the bus, it made her an easy target for Aubry, who never really liked playing with her, even back on their season.
Debbie was attempting to play a big game with big moves, but that’s always tricky. Sierra and Brad were keeping it steady, with Sierra doing two things. First, something good: planting a reasonable seed in Sarah’s head about final three. Second, something bad: bragging about being in control. But it’s enough that her game play is a bit of a mystery. Is it overall good or bad? The show is playing games with us.
Same with Brad, who performed well at challenges, gave cogent rationalizations about his strategy, but wasn’t careful enough about keeping Sarah happy. Otherwise, the Brad / Sierra-led alliance still is strong, but who can say how things will change in the coming weeks?
Sarah was playing a decent game, and despite bragging about not screwing up and her also wanting those big moves, the fact she noticed and grabbed the Secret Advantage note is a major plus in her favor.
The first challenge had an emotional component, where we saw Cirie, never a challenge beast, struggle but ultimately manage to complete her swimming run. It was emotional, and resonant. Maybe not “top ever moments,” but it was nice to see. I don’t see how Cirie can honestly make it to the end though.
Zeke is still playing hard, perhaps too hard. But I’m glad to see at least he seemed to reconcile with Andrea. Overall, I wasn’t displeased to see Debbie go, who I had gotten sick of watching. She was worse than Abi-Maria, because her mania had become tiresome. I’m looking forward to seeing a game with rational players.
Oh, and I guess Troy is still playing too, but he’s nearly invisible, except for winning immunity.
Next time, the tide has turned, but the line is washed away. And perhaps more clichés.