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A merge is on the horizon, and Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach are back to break down where we’re headed next week on Survivor Know It Alls!
Laura Boneham Voted Out
Once again, Stephen commends Survivor for making him wonder who will be going home right up to the last minute. He says he knew it made sense to get rid of Laura B., but had a hard time believing Vytas would stay given how smug he seemed in the second half of the episode. Rob is usually the one to get fooled, but this time he had no doubt that Laura B. would have her torch snuffed. He felt a little uneasy about Jeff Probst seemingly directing the conversation towards getting rid of Laura B., but he acknowledges that we only see a fraction of what actually happens at Tribal Council. Stephen asks if Rupert would have done better if he hadn’t switched with her. Rob thinks it would have been tough for him to do worse, given Galang never went to Tribal Council before the tribe switch. He doesn’t think he would have done all that well, but probably no worse than Laura B. Stephen says there are reasons to keep both Vytas and Laura B., and the Galang tribe probably wanted to keep both for different reasons. But while Laura B. is a passive floater, that type of player can also start to screw up your strategy, and at that point it can become necessary to get rid of them. Stephen notes that the loved ones are definitely being affected by how the returning players played in their seasons.
Rob brings up the way the show portrayed Laura B. as a loose cannon, making the impulsive decision to tell Vytas that he would be voted out, and he asks Stephen if that had anything to do with her going home. Stephen is surprised to hear he thinks it might not have and cedes the floor to Rob to explain. Rob doesn’t buy that Vytas was ever going home until that point, as he still feels Tina is setting up a double date alliance between Tina/Aras and Katie/Vytas once the two tribes merge, and he doesn’t think getting voted out for a comment like that is how Survivor works. Some Know It Alls commenters think this alliance is just fan fiction that Rob has been writing in his head, and Stephen still isn’t totally sold on it either because there hasn’t been a lot of overwhelming evidence on the show to support the idea (outside of Tina’s protection of Aras and Vytas’ protection of Katie). He mentions that Tina has discussed voting Aras out in confessionals, but says producers always ask players to weigh their options using that phrasing. Rob also mentions that Monica got the short straw in her five-person alliance with Tina/Katie and Aras/Vytas – Stephen asks if voting out Laura was a good move for Galang as a whole, and Rob believes it was for everyone except Monica, the fifth wheel.
What Happens After The Merge?
The preview for next week’s episode revealed that the tribes will merge, so Rob and Stephen discuss where we’re headed, particularly with Tyson rallying the Tadhana tribe against Aras while he was out meditating. Stephen calls it amateur hour for Aras to leave the entire rest of the tribe alone like that. Rob plays Devil’s Advocate by asking if there are benefits to the meditation, but Stephen thinks Rob is doing backflips to defend his friend – Aras certainly didn’t need to spend enough time away to climb up a mountain for a helicopter shot, and believes there should be a 5-minute maximum for a player to leave the entire rest of their tribe. Rob compares the way Tyson laid all his cards on the table to talking to all his New-Jaburu tribemates about getting rid of Roger right before the merge in Survivor Amazon. The difference, Rob notes, is that Roger was on the other tribe and there was no way for anyone to get that information to him. So what’s to stop new players from taking Tyson’s plan to Aras? Stephen thinks trying to defect from the Tyson plan probably risks more trouble than just reluctantly going with that plan. He says that Tyson is paranoid about becoming a threat, but it’s smart not to try and vote Aras out yet and rather just try to focus everyone else’s attention on him. Rob disagrees somewhat, thinking it’s too ambitious a move at this point. He feels it’s probably a better plan for around the final 7 or 8. Stephen does agree this would be a better time to try to get rid of him, because their solid group is seemingly unstoppable for the time being. Rob and Stephen also agree that whoever comes back from Redemption Island will be going to the Tyson side: Laura B and M are both pissed at House Wesson-Baskauskas, and John Cody doesn’t know any of the returning players.
Who Is Coming Back In To The Game?
Next week’s preview also revealed that a player will finally return from Red-I to join the merged tribe. Rob wonders if two people are being eliminated next week, with one still remaining at Red-I, and Stephen thinks it could go either way. They both think the endurance challenge next week is built for Laura M., and she will likely be returning. Rob, still looking for confirmation that the move by Aras and co. to get rid of her was “too cute,” asks if this will this help illuminate the decision. Stephen says it would definitely make the decision to get rid of her a bad call on Aras’ part.
Rob points out that Kat got more airtime on Red-I than in the game, especially segments of her life on the island (which even Candice didn’t get in her many days there). Stephen was very impressed by Hayden’s Jedi mind tricks to get Kat to not want to switch with him, believing it definitely would have been a bad move strategically for them as a couple for Hayden to take her spot. Rob mentions he will try to employ this strategy the next time Nicole asks him to do anything. He thinks Hayden makes a good point to ask, “who has the better shot to win the game?” and wonders if this has been the question all the previous players asked themselves when confronted with a switch. Stephen says common sense would dictate that the person voted out was not in a stable alliance and thus doesn’t have a good shot to win. Neither Rob nor Stephen think it’s likely there will be any more switches this season.
Answering Your Questions
Are Tina and Katie on anyone’s radar right now? Is it just a coincidence that the only players with a partner left are the two former winners? What constitutes cheating in a Survivor challenge? Did Kat end up hurting Hayden’s game? What is the editing telling us about Tyson’s plan to oust Aras? And which of the loved ones this season are most likely to become returning players themselves? These answers and more on Survivor Know It Alls!
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