Millennials vs Gen X

The Characters and Their Stories–Survivor 33: Episode 3

The Characters and Their Stories is a blog in which we use the edit to determine the themes of the season and try to find its long-term players. Each week, we will explore the overt signs as well as the more nuanced nods.

The Characters and Their Stories–Survivor 33: Episode 3

Previously on Survivor

At the Gen X tribe, Paul was in charge of an alliance of 6 but the elements brought him down.

At the Millennial tribe, Zeke, Adam, Hannah and Mari wanted to dismantle the power couple but Michelle had plans of her own.

We first see Michelle talking to Jay about targeting Mari and then we hear her confessional: “I might have to pull strings at Tribal Council to make sure I have the numbers.”

At Tribal Council, Michelle convinced Hannah and the majority of the tribe to vote out Mari leaving Zeke and Adam on the outside.

While the preview gave Michelle the full credit for the season’s first big move, the following episode wouldn’t feature her, focusing more on the players that find themselves on the bottom of each tribe’s totem pole.  Their struggles are structuring the story but will they become our long term players?  It’s doubtful that they will make it all unscathed to the end.

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 Sitting on Dumbass Island

Millennials Night 7

Adam and Zeke expressed their surprise to the tribe about the vote. They took their hats off to Taylor and Figgy.

Figgy answered: “No hats off to us.”

Figgy’s interview: “Zeke and Adam were like: “Taylor and Figgy;,well done. I commend you.”   And like it’s not just us, buddy.  There were seven votes.  Adam and Zeke are at the bottom at this rate if we go back to Tribal.  People that write down Figgy’s name go home.”

The cymbal crash underlined that threat as if it was fatality.  We will have to see what happens to those who write Figgy’s name.  Will they be going home systematically one after the other?  The audience has certainly connected more positively with Adam and Zeke than with Figgy and Taylor so this could become tragedy.  Already we have seen that Mari’s flaw was trusting Hannah too much so will Adam and Zeke also fail when tested?

Hannah wanted to explain her vote to Zeke and Adam but they didn’t want to listen.  She started by saying: “I’m going to try to be an adult about it and not play the victim.”  Zeke wanted to wait until the next day to talk but Hannah wouldn’t give up.  She explained that Michelle told her at Tribal Council that they had the numbers so she didn’t see the point of voting with the minority.   Zeke didn’t see the point of talking about it so Hannah talked about it.  Hannah didn’t want to be seen as an awful person but Zeke simply wanted some space.  Hannah said it was going to be 6 to 4 anyway but Adam interrupted by saying that Zeke wanted some space.  Hannah told them that she was only told at Tribal Council but Zeke wanted to talk later about it.  He was upset with her and he just wanted to breathe a little.  Hannah then said (the funniest line of the evening): “Before you breathe, meditate on this.”  Adam and Zeke pleaded with her once more to wait until later so Hannah said that the votes would still have gone against them.  Hannah finally got up but still had to say something about not being a bad person.

The music was composed of tense strings which only added to the hilarity of the scene.  We had two interviews inserted during that scene just to underline how long it took Hannah to understand. It made Hannah sound a bit like one of those trolls on the internet!  For someone who wanted to be an adult about the events, she certainly acted like a child.  Despite all this, I have a feeling that most viewers still love Hannah and her endearing naïveté.   She acted like the little kid who doesn’t understand why the adults want to be left alone.

Hannah’s interview (Her interviewer has more power than Zeke and Adam because he managed to keep her waiting until the next day!):  “Even walking into Tribal, I thought Figgy was going home and then Michelle said: “Trust me, we have the numbers” and suddenly I couldn’t think of anything else.  I did what I felt was best for my game and I had to and it sucked.”

Zeke’s confessional: “So you know how you’re totally in control of the game and you’re totally excited to go to Tribal Council and then, oh wait… you get totally blindsided!  That’s what happened in Tribal Council tonight.”

Of course, Hannah’s interview also had to go on:  “Hopefully something can happen with Zeke and I.  Hopefully I can repair enough to the point where we can work together.  Maybe even Adam and Zeke can make a move using me.  I want them to use me.  Use me!  I don’t like everyone in this damn majority alliance.”

Hannah, turning against both sides is the perfect recipe for everyone to hate you!  Jonathan Penner tried it once and look what that got him.  Well, it did get him a return invitation but I meant it killed any chances he had in that first season.   It must be noted that Hannah didn’t mention any connection or loyalty to Michelle for making that move, only that she forced her hand. 

Zeke told Adam that they had to be chill but he was glad that they were sitting next to each other because it made it easy to see who the other fool was.  Adam agreed, saying he was sitting right next to Zeke on Dumbass Island.

Adam’s interview: “It’s been my dream since I was 9 years old to play this game and have this experience.  I did not expect my first Tribal Council to be my first blindside.  Now, I’m going to have to play from the bottom and it’s going to take a lot of work to get back into a position of power but I wouldn’t count me out.  I think I can get back up to the top again.”

The scene ended with the sound of a tribal chant while Adam was looking out to the horizon; an image of hope.  Adam is embarking on a story reminiscent of Spencer’s in Cagayan but he has the advantage of being on a tribe that is winning immunity challenges.  Of the two guys sitting on Dumbass Island, Adam had the interview that held more promise for the future but Zeke has received more character development in the first three episodes so they could both go a long way in this story.   

As mentioned above it was odd that Michelle wasn’t given an interview or a role in this first segment after her big move at Tribal Council.  It could be the storyteller’s way of showing that despite standing out at the previous council she has the ability to hide back under cover.  She was the mastermind behind that big blindside but the onus still fell on Figgy, Taylor, and Hannah.  

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Gen X Day 8

Jessica, Sunday, Bret and Paul were enjoying a beautiful morning even if Paul reminded them that a red sky in the morning was a sailor’s warning.

Interestingly, Paul is a sailor living in the Florida Keys so this warning was a hint, an instant spoiler if you will, about the outcome of the episode.

Cece was talking to David, saying she thought things would be alright; she prayed for things to be alright so she was confident they would.

Indeed, Cece’s prayers would soon be answered. 

David’s interview: “On my tribe right now, I have a pretty good handle on what is going on and it’s definitely me, Ken and Cece on the bottom, without question.  But I found an idol already.  That was on my Survivor bucket list so there is hope for me.  I am a Gen Xer and I don’t think you should ever give up.”

Chopping a coconut, Paul said he felt as if he was back from the dead.  He went fishing which he figured would be as easy as it is back home in the Florida Keys.  He thought he’d show them that he was really good.  Bret was dreaming of eating something like a tuna or a shahk.

The stumble Paul took coming out of the surf told us that he was far from being as good as he claimed.

Ken’s interview:  “Paul comes back and says there is a school of yellow-tail but he can’t get him, they’re too fast.  I look at these people and it’s like do you not see that time and time again, he says something and he doesn’t follow through?  Who do you want leading you into battle?  People talk about, you know, Cece; she’s on the outs.  David is terrified about everything physical but what about Paul?  What is he currently offering the tribe?  He’s not providing food; he’s not providing shelter and I’m baffled that I’m on the bottom.”

If Adam and Zeke aren’t alone on Dumbass Island:  I’m baffled by the decision of Takali’s alliance of six of not including Ken in their group.  It would have been so easy to simply include him in their huddles and, like Chris would say, it was much too early to consider an exact order for everyone if you work hard at keeping everyone happy.   

On a side note, I chuckled when Ken said that David was terrified of everything because, right then, we saw a bug fly near him, scaring him.    What a dumbass!  (I wonder how many readers will be offended this time!)

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Millennials Day 8

We saw Adam walking out of camp and going right by a clam that had painting on its side.  Instead of an idol, Adam came back with tree mail.

The message told them about a summit that was also a recon mission.

We heard Will’s confessional, part of which had been used in the promo (that promo told us that the high school student would indeed be one of the ambassadors): “Adam comes back to camp with tree mail and he has this bag of rocks and whichever four pick an orange rock will leave camp and go intermingle with the other tribe.  I think a lot of people don’t want to go but me being a superfan; I want to be a part of this twist.  Why not work with people from the other side if they are going to help you advance in this game?”

Some players didn’t want to go because, often, these summits are sources of suspicion especially when the outsiders participate.  No one in Gen X considered that David and Cece would lay the groundwork for betraying their present allies.   

Will, Jay, Taylor and Figgy had the orange rocks.  Zeke was happy that he was the biggest boy left in camp.

Taylor’s interview: “It’s like just glorious of who got to go. Ha! Ha! Ha!  It’s me, it’s Fig, it’s Will and it’s Jay:  The top people in my alliance!  Thank you.”

Taylor naming Will as one of his top allies tells me that the teenager had been part of this alliance all along.  Where we had been shown a dumb alliance of 4 on a tribe of ten, it had always included at least 5 out of ten.

When the boat came to pick up the foursome we heard a woman, most likely Michelle, yelling advice: “Open ears, closed mouths!”

Jay’s interview:  “I’m fully excited honestly to go on this journey and get to feel out the Gen X generation of we work hard and we do things the right way and I want to see: Ok, what is the right way?  I really hope that Figgy and Tails don’t start making out because then we’re going to look like a bunch of idiots and then they are really going to have this idea that Millennials don’t know what we’re doing because we’re letting a power couple stay in the game.”

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Just how far will they let this power couple go?  The editors have included so many remarks about the dangers of having a couple in the game that the odds of seeing them make it to the end are increasing.  The game is so young that it’s still a long shot but it would pay you much less if you’d place your bet today than if you had wagered before episode 2.

It was only when the two boats met halfway to the other beach that the Gen X ambassadors were revealed.  We had Chris, Paul, Cece, and David.

Chris gave us an interview: “On the boat, the word summit kept popping up in my head and for me that is a meeting of like when different countries come and they have a G8 summit.  From the Gen X was Paul, Dave, Cece and myself.  I’m really excited to do this.  This is the first time that the Gen X and the Millennials are going to mix together and, for my game, making some connections to them is a good thing.  An old attorney once said to me:  “You have to look at the opposition with clear eyes and a cold heart and that’s how I’m trying to view this game so my strategy is to keep my mouth shut and just get information.”

Chris acted like an attorney with his team of assistants but the situation was very different:  Not every member of his tribe shared his agenda.  The real opposition weren’t the ones he thought so even with clear eyes he didn’t see what developed.

David’s interview: “I’m a Survivor super fan and being the one selected to go to a summit like this was just fantastic.  So far, I’m achieving all of my Survivor dreams.”

After breaking bread, David asked who was voted out and if they knew it was coming.  Will told them it was Mari and they said she didn’t know.

Chris asked if there were any boyfriends-girlfriends on their tribe.  Everyone, including Figgy, said no.

Paul said he was a lead singer in a rock band.

Paul told us in interview that the Millennials liked him because he’s older and they hadn’t talked to their parents in a while.

Paul then said David was one of the most incredible guys he ever met, that he was honest but was afraid of everything and that maybe they could hear him screaming from their camp.

David’s interview:  “Paul wants an audience.  He’s in a rock and roll band and he gets on stage and he doesn’t ask the audience what they think; he tells them what he thinks.  That is not a guy I would ever imagine myself aligning with.  Those are the guys who annoy me.  Right now, I’m at the bottom with Cece and Ken so I need to find a way to make new friends among the Millennial tribe because when there is a swap or a merge, I’m going to need their help to get rid of Paul.”

Taylor and Figgy were the ones on screen when David mentioned needing new friends.

Figgy asked about Ken-doll.  David and Cece said he was the opposite of what they thought; he was a very humble man.

Figgy’s interview:  “The boys went in the water and Taylor and I talked to Cece and David.  We are trying to learn if they are on the outs, if there are any divisions in their tribe.”

Cece and David said they had a couple of bosses and agreed that Paul was one of them.

Cece’s interview: “Me and David, we let Taylor and Figgy know that Paul is the head person in charge; he’s the alpha male. He’s the one running things in camp so leaving us alone was the stupidest decision they could have did and it may cost them a million dollars.”

We saw Cece and Figgy walking together on the beach so that Left David alone with Taylor.

David told Taylor that he would want to work with him after a swap or the merge.  Taylor agreed and when he said he was solid with his group, David added that he would vote against his tribe if Taylor asked.

David’s interview: “I got to have a very important 30-second conversation with Taylor and I mean it:  Come a swap, if it’s 3 Millennials and 2 Gen X, I’m getting rid of that other Gen X.”

Just how important was that conversation? It could actually be the most important one to date.  But in David’s imaginary scenario, I’d consider that if I got rid of that other Gen X, I’d be the next to go.

It was extremely interesting to see the contrast between the presentations of the two tribes.  The Millennials were clearly the tribe of interest when it came to show us interviews leading to the summit.  It’s also very important to note that the Millennials gave only minimal information.  Jay’s interview warned us that Figgy and Taylor could blow it for them but they were on their best behavior and they were the ones who received a lot of information, especially from David.  This couple lives on their own Dumbass Island at times but when it comes time to play, they’ve done well. They aren’t the perfect pair like Rob and Amber but, after three episodes, they’ve been much more developed than other couples we’ve seen in the past who made it far without winning like Palau’s Gregg and Jenn, Cook Islands’ Adam and Candice or China’s Jaime and Erik for example.

I’m also curious to see how the Millennials will react when they see that Paul was voted out.  Will David and Cece lose all credibility in their eyes?  How will the Millennials react when they see that the leader was voted out?  Myself, I would think that David and Cece lied to me, that they were the ones on top. 

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Gen X Day 8

The Ambassadors were back home.

David’s interview: “Paul, Chris, Cece and myself we came back from the summit and everybody wanted to know how it was, what happened.  The thing about talking to Taylor is that I felt like I had a ray of hope that, other than finding that idol, has really been missing this entire game.”

When he heard that all the girls wanted to know about Ken-doll, Ken said he didn’t like the nickname:  “When you’re a boy the last thing you want to be referred to is a plastic Barbie with no penis.”

Ken’s interview: “So the Millennials know me as Ken-doll.  They think of me as the pretty boy and all the things that come along with that but I have the body strength and mind to make it far in this game.  The Gen X tribe would be hurting if they got rid of me as far as the challenges go and my work ethic.”  Proving his point, we saw Ken going fishing and he didn’t come back empty-handed.  His confessional continued: “We need food, we need fish and what I say I do. I wind up doing 90 percent of the time.  When I say I’ll do something, I know how to do something, I do it and it works.  Paul is the greatest fisherman yet he comes back empty-handed.  I would never go into battle with a leader who was incompetent or incapable.  You pick the person who follows through; you pick the person who does what they say they are going to do. ”

Ken’s catch was impressive: there were 6 fish cooking over the fire.  In comparison, we saw Paul taking a nap in the shelter.  Walking through the jungle, Ken seized the occasion and talked to Jessica about her leader, saying he hadn’t brought anything to the tribe.  Ken added that he thought she and Sunday were two of the most humble people in camp compared to the rock star who was out for himself.

Jessica’s interview: “Ken feels like he’s on the outs and I totally understand why he feels that way because he’s not part of the six.  Ken wants to vote out Paul but I’ve committed myself to Chris and Paul and Bret and Sunday and Lucy who are my best bet moving forward to day 36 and then day 36 I will get to read the legacy advantage that I found and then utilize that to my advantage.”

Now that we know Jessica won’t be able to count on her six to make it to day 36 it seems very unlikely she’ll make it herself.  Who will inherit the advantage?  Right now, she’d give it to Sunday but what if Sunday leaves in turn?  It could ultimately wind up in David’s hands!

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Millennials Day 10

Once again, we skipped an entire day.

Instead of showing three full scenes to set up Paul’s blindside we could have seen more of the camp life featuring some funny moments that happened during their down time.  With only one challenge to show, the opportunity was there but it all went to waste because they weren’t talking about strategy of immediate importance.   

We saw the kids acting like kids, just hanging out by the beach.

Figgy was inviting Taylor, Michelle, and Will to visit her in Nashville and they would have the time of their lives.

A million dollar would certainly help!  I’d imagine that Figgy would throw quite the party!

Taylor’s interview: “Strategically, the Millennial tribe is moving forward and it’s really great for me. Ha! Ha!  Me and Figs are pretty good at the moment.  My girl’s here, she’s happy and this couldn’t be a better position to be in, really.”

All four felt that it was nice to sit by the ocean and not worry about what was happening back there.  They had already gotten rid of one and they could get rid of the other two. Michelle said that Zeke had to be the first to go because he would kick their ass in the end if they took him.  Figgy agreed that it had to be Zeke and that there was nothing to it.

Maybe they should have been worrying.  In fact, a rule of Survivor is that you always have to worry.  And Zeke wasn’t the one that was stirring the pot.

Adam’s interview:  “The status quo of the tribe is not a good position for me.  I’m still flabbergasted by that vote because Figgy sucks at Survivor.  You can’t make an obvious pair that is strong, good looking, talented in the challenges and not be a threat in this game.  So if Figgy goes home there would be a shift and that’s what I need to happen in order to have some semblance of power here.”

After surviving the first vote, having more than just her partner to count on and being talented in the challenges then we can’t say Figgy really sucks at Survivor.  We also have to consider that Michelle and Jay are just as strong, just as good looking and also very talented in the challenges but they aren’t as obvious.  

Adam decided to use the time to talk to Michaela and Hannah.  He told them that Figgy and Taylor have to give credit to Michelle for saving them.  He added: “If you’re Michelle and Jay and you know Figgy and Taylor credit you for their lives, you know those two are never going to vote you out.  That tells me those four are as tight as can be.”  He concluded that they had to vote out either Figgy or Taylor.

Michaela’s interview: “Adam gives me different things to think about even though I am in the majority.  I still don’t like Figgy; she’s sneaky and I do not trust her but I’m not making any decisions right now, I’m just watching and thinking and my gut will tell me something when the time comes.”

While she is much less flashy than the other players, Michaela continues to have a very consistent portrayal.  She is more or less in the same position as Lucy but her portrayal is much richer.  She is certainly someone to keep in mind.

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The Immunity Challenge

Probst delivered the news to the Gen X tribe that Mari had been voted out.

Our host is really on auto-pilot and unable to change his formula.  Did he forget about the Summit?!

When the challenge started, Taylor, Chris, Bret and Figgy all easily crossed the balance beam.  Will had to ask Taylor to come pick up his bag while Cece went slowly across the balance beam.

Jeff’s comment:  “Cece taking a long time on that beam when she could simply let another tribe member take the bag which is what the Millennials are doing…  The Millennials with a big lead right now thanks to a great strategy…Taylor has become a workhorse with the 5th and final bag.”

Lucy also cost her tribe a lot of time by falling off and then taking a lot of time to cross even without a bag.

I noted that, just like Cece, three Millennials had time to cross the beam while Lucy was on it.  It was funny to hear Lucy ordering people to stay quiet because it seems someone has been ordering Lucy herself to stay quiet!

Paul also fell while carrying a bag forcing Chris to carry the last two bags.

Then it came time to break down the puzzle by throwing sandbags.  Jay had a big head start on Ken and he kept most of that lead for Michelle and Zeke, the puzzle solvers for the Millennials.   They were up against David and Sunday.

Even if Jeff credited the Millennials’ bench for helping the puzzle makers, the sound editors let us hear Michelle giving directions to Zeke.

The Millennials won immunity, so like we heard Jay saying, no one from that tribe was going home that night.

When Jeff told the Millennials to collect their reward, Jay asked if they could trade it for fishing gear.

It seems that the chickens aren’t laying enough eggs after all!  Looking a bit at the implications of the request, I’d say that it isn’t a good idea to show your weakness to the other side.  Should Gen X have agreed to the request?  Saying no looked like a short-term decision.  Yes, it’s better to keep your opponents weak but good will could have gone a long way.  Another thing to consider is that Ken may wind up on the Vanua beach after a swap so why not have fishing gear there already? 

As soon as Jeff said Gen X had to agree to it, we saw Ken turning to his tribe and shaking his head no.  Then, he didn’t just say no, he rubbed it in by saying he was catching all kind of seafood so they could keep their comfort items.

I wonder if this will come back to hurt Ken later on.  Why not simply say no?  The social game is always on but Ken preferred to look like the bad guy.

Leaving the challenge arena, Michaela gave us an interview: “The Gen X, they said no.  If they were our parents they would have said yes but we’re already beating them so they don’t want to make us any stronger and that makes sense.”

Chris then gave the interview for the losing tribe: “Cece, she wanted that personal victory of inching her way across the balance beam.  Three and a half Millennials crossed in that amount of time and it was the difference maker.  At Tribal Council, it’s on and I’m not sure how Cece does not go home tonight.”

Cece certainly had her problems but watching closely, it certainly looked like Lucy and Paul were just as bad on that beam.

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Gen X – Decision Time

As he told us in confessional, Paul was certain that Cece was going home.

Sunday’s interview: “I went to the well with Chris and Bret and we basically talked about sticking to our alliance of six.  So what we have on the docket for tonight is to vote out Cece.  Voting Cece out to keep the tribe strong is a good thing to do.  She has not done well in challenges and I can’t argue it at all.”

Cece asked Jessica and Sunday about the plan but all Jessica would say is that the boys were working on the details.

Cece’s interview: “I am worried about tonight because I had three votes the last time and no one ever comes to me and says let’s do this.  Paul never comes to me.  Chris, Bret, Sunday, Jessica, and Lucy, they never come to me so I worry about that.”

David asked Ken if they should put a target on Paul.  Ken said they had to do it.

David’s interview: “We have to get rid of Paul.  As soon as Paul goes away then some other connections and bonds can happen.  There’s Cece, myself and Ken on the bottom.  I have already retrieved my idol from its hiding spot but other people could absolutely take control of the game right now if they wanted to and vote off Paul.  That’s all we need and I wish they can see that there is no point in keeping Paul on their side.”

Paul then talked to Jessica and Sunday saying they were staying on course.  Jessica only wanted some reassurance that they weren’t doing an all-boys thing.  Paul said they weren’t and he gave them his word that if an all-boys thing came up he would come to them and say: “Ladies, you’re on your own.”

What?  How nice to have a quote that can be used to pinpoint the root cause of an elimination.  It might not have been the only factor because a hundred other little details may have influenced this vote but the editors jumped on Paul’s words to say:  “See, he had to go after this.”  What it does is take all the credit for Paul’s elimination away from David and Ken.   

Naturally, Paul’s words got an immediate reaction from Jessica and Sunday.  Jessica realized they were all three on the bottom of the six.

The women jumped to a conclusion based only on a hypothetic situation!  While Chris and Bret do look like they are close, they’ve never made it seem like they had Paul as their third.  It’s never bad to turn on someone who isn’t trustworthy but doing it without consulting Chris and Bret opens the door for those two to join Ken, David, and Cece against the three women.  After all, the women are the ones that appear untrustworthy now.

Jessica had the final interview of the evening: “I’m sure Cece, Ken, and David would vote off Paul so tonight, we have a very big decision to make.  If we determine that voting out Paul will be the best thing for our tribe, I am going to be hurting two individuals that I’ve worked with, Bret and Chris.  I’m fearful of what will happen if we don’t vote off Paul but I’m fearful of what will happen if we do vote off Paul.”

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Tribal Council

Turning to David, Probst asked who went to the summit for their tribe.

Probst wants us to think he didn’t know but he certainly did ask one of the four ambassadors, didn’t he?!

David said he felt mutual respect from the Millennials and that it transformed him.  He added that this experience was helping him cope with his anxieties.

Cece said she didn’t feel safe either because no one gives her a straight answer.

Asked about keeping the alliance of six together, Chris said it was much too early to think about being at the bottom of the alliance.

Talking about the challenge, Jeff said the Millennials were cooperating while this tribe acted like individuals.

Bret fumbled but kind of agreed with Jeff.

Sunday said they were thinking in terms of the right way and the wrong way while the Millennials will give anything a try.

Jeff tested their texting habits, making them admit that they don’t use shortcuts with spelling while the Millennials are changing the words to make it more efficient.

Ken said there was something about efficiency but that there was something poetic about the language itself.

It’s off-topic but I completely agree with Ken.  Language is even more than poetry because our words define our ideas.

For some reason, that made Bret and Paul laugh.

Paul then told Jeff that the level of paranoia among the six was low while it was high for the other three but the six made the moves needed to feel safe.

Ken said he was relying on his work ethic to be an asset but that could make him an idiot.

Cece gave herself only 10% chances of staying.

Jessica said she was hoping the vote would make the tribe stronger because winning the next challenge would take more than just six players.

It was time to vote.

When Jeff read the 4th vote against Paul we saw David react as if he was surprised.

We never saw if any of the three women talked to the outsiders to let them know what was going to happen or if they simply relied on them voting against Paul.

Paul was voted out six to three.

Bret was shocked. Chris was already scowling.

Jeff sent them home by saying: “Whether you’re a Millennial or a Gen Xer, a blindside is a blindside.”

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The Story

This season, many players have taken turns on Dumbass Island.  After Pearl Island, Exile Island, Redemption Island, how fun would it be to have Survivor: Dumbass Island?!  The story is focusing on the players that are on the bottom so we can expect that some episodes will feel like tragedies where a likable “hero” is eliminated.   With big surprises in the last two Tribal Councils, though, we could see one or more of those cellar dwellers emerge on top.  We could also see a power player so adept at pulling the strings from behind the scene that it takes her to the end.

Our story focuses a lot on the different pairings so this season could very well mark the return of the “Dynamic Duo”.  From Rich and Rudy, Tina and Colby, Tom and Ian, Earl and Yau Man, the series has shown us a variety of duos that worked well together.   We have four players who aren’t solidly connected to anyone in particular while all the others have a close partner.  Some have even been connected to more than one.

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The Characters

Lucy:  She was a number in the alliance of six but it has been blown apart.  Her story will most likely pick up only in her final episode.

Will:  While it hadn’t been spelled out before the tribe went to their first council, we know that Will was in an alliance with Taylor, Figgy, Jay and Michelle but he isn’t connected to one of them in particular.  Up to now, he has mostly acted as a narrator so we don’t know much about his game, his plans.  He will likely go as far as his alliance needs him and he’ll show that a teenager can play this game but his turn will come.

Hannah:  I am happy that we saw Hannah’s scene with Zeke and Adam because it was the most amusing portion of the episode.  Hannah is poorly equipped for this game but that makes her charm.  I wonder how the second encounter between Hannah and the two guys went.  We saw Hannah sitting next to Michaela when Adam talked about the bond between the two couples so she must have said something but we didn’t have the privilege to hear her comments.  No one sees her as a player but no one is targeting her so she should last for some time.  Maybe she goes hunting for clams and finds an idol instead.

Michaela:  Of all the loners, Michaela is the one that holds the most promise.  While she isn’t flamboyant and doesn’t say much, we are still following her thoughts very consistently.  There has to be something special about her story for the editors to maintain our connection to her.  Will she make a move that eclipses all the others?  Will she simply be the one that stays safe to the end?  At least we know that she still doesn’t like Figgy so their conflict should be entertaining.

Adam and Zeke:  The two guys that were blindsided by the tribe have been important characters up to now so they should both find a way to stay in the game.  The switch should happen soon enough and they both have temperaments that match well with the older players.  Those two could have profited from the summit but they will have to work from scratch.  In particular, I liked the end of the night scene when we saw Adam looking out at the horizon while we heard his words of hope.

Chris and Bret:  It’s their turn to visit Dumbass Island but their opposition is even less unified than the one facing Adam and Zeke.  In fact, we never saw Jessica, Sunday and Lucy talking to Ken, David and Cece about voting against Paul after the immunity challenge.  It’s possible that Chris and Bret could be the ones to get in an alliance with the former outsiders and get their revenge on the women who betrayed them.  This pair, however, has one member that has been very quiet up to now so I still don’t think they will make it very far in the game.  They probably get one or two women out but then a switch will occur and they could be easy targets.

Jessica and Sunday:  Once Paul said he wouldn’t be on their side if Chris and Bret wanted to do an all-boys thing, the two women should have talked to those two guys.  They could even have gotten the guys to agree to have Ken replace Paul in their group of six.  Acting on impulse, they simply threw away their alliance and now they may struggle to stay in the game. Even if many viewers like this pair, neither has a big role so they wouldn’t be terribly missed.  In fact, the legacy advantage would be a more appealing twist if we had to follow the envelope from one hand to the other.

Cece and David:  This pair only serves David’s underdog story.  We are told that they are both hurting the tribe in challenges but they have been spared twice already.  It’s evident that Cece would be going first in an episode where the viewers will fear it could be David’s turn.

David and Ken:  This pairing offers David a much better role.  However, it’s easy to see that, of the two, Ken is the real survivor while David is simply fulfilling his Survivor dreams.  David is on a journey and we are told that he won’t give up but, in the end, his journey will probably help Ken’s game.  The last two episodes have been great for Ken but I wonder why the scrambling scene was edited the way it was.  Instead of showing Ken’s talk with Jessica in the first portion of the episode, his role in turning the tables on Paul would have been much better served if they had kept it for the last segment.  Also, showing Ken saying that he didn’t appreciate the way the Millennials perceived him and then denying their request could be a hint that he won’t connect with them when the time comes.  Ken has a very interesting story, but I have some reservations about him.

Jay and Taylor:  This pair serves to show Taylor’s immaturity.  Of the two, it’s evident that Jay has a better understanding of the game.  Taylor is simply too goofy to win this game.

Figgy and Taylor:   As improbable as it seems I cannot say with certainty that our “power couple” won’t be the new Rob and Amber.  For every negative comment we’ve heard about them, there was a positive one to counterbalance.  Figgy’s threat that anyone writing her name will be sent home sounded a lot like a prophecy.  We also saw how smartly the two acted during the summit.  Those two have spent more time than anyone else on Dumbass Island yet they are still going strong. We are seeing that they are talented in challenges and they have the numbers.  Many things could go wrong but it would be funny to see them making it to the end proving everyone wrong!

Michelle and Jay:  In this pair, it’s evident that Michelle is the strategist and even Adam recognized it when he talked to Michaela.  It’s certainly troubling that Michelle didn’t give us an interview during the episode’s opening segment but was there anything to add after Jeff’s recap?  I would also have liked to see Michelle talking to Hannah because of the promise made during the previous Tribal Council to explain the vote against Mari.  Instead, Michelle was practically invisible during the episode.  Even her work on the puzzle wasn’t praised by our host.   It is possible that a choice was made to illustrate her ability to stay away from trouble by keeping her out of the spotlight. Even when Adam talked about her influence, he still mentioned that Figgy and Taylor were the ones that had to go, not Michelle.  That kind of stealth can be very rewarding especially when it’s used to make some daring moves.


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