The Characters and Their Stories is a blog in which Michel Trudeau uses the edit to determine the themes of the season to try to find its long-term players. Each week, he will explores the overt signs as well as the more nuanced nods.
The Characters and Their Stories–Survivor 33: Episode 4
At the Millennial tribe, Zeke and Adam were betrayed after a blindside.
Zeke to Hannah: “I am upset right now.”
Adam solo: “Now I am going to have to play from the bottom.
At the Gen X tribe, David found an idol and thought he might need to use it but Jessica wanted to turn on the majority alliance.
Jessica: “Voting out Paul will be the best thing for our tribe.”
At Tribal Council, Sunday and Lucy went along with Jessica’s plan and voted out Paul, blindsiding Bret and Chris.
The first thing that stands out of this recap was Jessica’s mistaken assessment of Paul’s elimination. The chaos that we will soon witness wasn’t the best thing to happen for the Gen X tribe and we can all blame it on the way it was executed. For the Millennials, the difference in reaction between Zeke and Adam tells us a lot about their roles. By showing his emotional reaction, we can say that Zeke is no more than a character while Adam’s resolve makes him a real player.
Things that were omitted also have importance and most notably, we didn’t hear that Ken was the first to put the target on Paul because the recap focused only on two players.
The Agents of Chaos
Gen X Night 10
Jessica wanted to talk to Chris but he wanted to wait until the morning.
Didn’t we already see this scene?! And they say Gen X and Millennials are completely different!
Chris in interview: “When we got back from Tribal, I was quite frankly pissed off. That was a big blindside. I was just about to take the rice and throw it in the ocean and make it a tribe of one. That was what I was about to do.”
For his part, Bret did want to talk to Jessica and Sunday. They quietly told him that Paul was running the show. Seeing them talking, Chris said they should stop whispering and talk about it. Jessica then told them what Paul said about an all-boys alliance. Chris and Bret both said that Paul never promised them anything about that.
Jessica’s interview: “Tonight, there’s some very unhappy people, especially Bret and Chris. Whether or not they believe me, I really don’t know. I think right now there’s too much anger. I’m very nervous now. I’m hoping this wasn’t a bad idea.”
I’d say it was about as bad as an idea can be. This fall out and the rest of the episode certainly don’t make Jessica look like a smart player. It was already unwise to tell Chris and Bret that her motivation was to avoid an all-boys alliance because that implies she’s with the women. The fact that she still wanted to work with them instead of Ken, David, and Cece also showed the flaw in the way she executed her plan. To stay with Chris and Bret, she needed to talk to them before the vote. Looking back at the reaction we saw from the Millennials after their big blindside, we can say that Michelle was much less exposed by her move than Jessica.
Gen X Day 11
Sunday asked Lucy if they had made a mistake.
The crackling sound effect was the editors’ way of saying, yes, you most certainly did.
Lucy’s interview: “This morning, I felt bad because Bret and Chris felt betrayed. It’s almost like you feel you cheated on somebody and now the relationship has to mend itself. The guys are pissed off because they really trusted Jessica, and honestly, I don’t trust Jessica completely. She’s the first one that implanted in my head voting out Paul. There’s a reason why she’s implanting that in my head. It’s like she is trying to take control, and for me, I feel I need to do something about it.”
The colony of ants swarming over a dead insect told us that there would be “bloodshed” in this tribe tonight.
Talking to Bret and Chris, Lucy said one power hungry person was trying to take it away from another power hungry person and that Jessica was trying to take all the power.
We would soon see that the one really trying to take power was the “Tiger Mom”.
Bret’s interview: “Lucy comes up saying Jessica is pulling all the strings. Jess has a huge game going and I applaud her for that but you’ve now shown your “cahds”.”
Lucy told the two guys that Ken and Dave trusted her completely.
Now that is news to us because we’ve never seen the three talking.
Chris in interview: “Lucy feels like she has Dave and Ken in her pocket and would possibly make a move on Jess. I don’t like Jess; I can’t stand her so if I can help chop Jess that is what I am going to do now.”
To Bret, Chris said: “Next tribal, you got to zap her ass.” Bret agreed.
I think it is safe to say that Chris and Bret aren’t edited as winners. Chris is presented as someone who lacks diplomacy, someone who thought of sabotaging his tribe and just wants revenge while Bret is too insignificant.
Millennials Day 11
We saw three goats running around close to camp.
No, I am not talking about Hannah, Figgy, and Taylor but real goats.
The tribe wanted to hunt for pig since they saw some tracks on the beach. Machete in hand, Figgy was ready to go hunt for pig.
Skupin must have been happy to see that.
Jay’s confessional: “The definition of a Millennial would be a young person with a lot of dreams ready to go out and conquer the world and I appreciate that because I’m a dreamer. Gen X is like high school, college, nine-to-five; get a life. I don’t want that.”
This is quite a strange place for this interview. It would have fit in episode one but why play it now unless it serves to tell us that it will hard for Jay to find a way to fit in with the Gen X players.
Most of tribe went on a hunt for goats.
Meanwhile, Adam stayed on the beach and looked for the idol.
Adam’s interview: “Immunity idol searching has really died down at this camp but I have a feeling that it might still be out there. I do feel that I need to rededicate myself to that search because after Mari was voted out my head is definitely on the chopping block. If I could somehow get my hands on an idol, I could save myself.” What he found was a clue hidden in a tree. It had a map of the search area, a hint that it was inside a shell that had the tribe’s color painted on it. (Actually more than a hint because it was spelled “shell tered” with a space between syllables. Why not hand it to him, really?) His confessional continued: “This is incredible. For a super duper Survivor fan like me, this is what dreams are made of. I found a clue; now I just have to figure this thing out. I don’t know how much time I can spare looking for it so I’ve got to go back to camp and look another time.”
The Reward Challenge
When the Millennials saw that Paul had been voted out, we heard two ambassadors, Jay and Figgy, say that they didn’t see that coming.
I was expecting more, maybe even a cut to an interview about what they had been told during the summit. They must have thought David lied to them about being on the bottom.
The challenge would have been much fairer if there had been one round with one man and one woman for each tribe because it was evident that a 3 out of 5 contest where the men went three times would be an advantage for the hulking Gen X tribe. I must say, though, that I’m happy the underwear portion of the season is over and that everyone got their bathing suits. Why not give them from the start? And if they are concerned about them getting dirty too soon, why not give them a pair of bathing suits?
Michelle sat out for the Millennials.
The first round featured Chris and Dave against Jay and Adam.
Jay tried to tie up Chris letting Adam go for the ring which led to Jeff saying: “Very good strategy by the Millennials” but then when Chris caught up to Adam: “Adam easily gives up the ring without a fight.”
Like he did in the very first challenge of the season, Chris grabbed the two guys and tossed the ring forward where David could take it and simply walk over to his post.
The second round had Figgy and Michaela facing off against Sunday and Cece.
Working together the younger women prevailed.
Next, we had Bret and Ken battling Taylor and Will. Taylor tried the same trick that Chris had used but Ken easily escaped and then stripped Will of the ring. Taylor struggled to get away from Bret and then tried to stop Ken but the two bigger guys prevailed.
Jessica and Lucy went at it against Michaela and Hannah. Jessica was left alone to grab the ring while the other three women battled it out. Feeling restricted (!) Michaela took off her bikini top and swam freely towards Jessica. Probst made note of it while Figgy applauded it. Still the Gen X women were much closer to their post but then Michaela showed her determination
Jeff’s comment: “Michaela pulling them back now. Michaela is pulling them further away from the flag. Michaela has some momentum now. Michaela is digging, digging. That is effort! Michaela does it…Huge effort from Michaela, lost her top in the process, did not care. That is what it takes to win on Survivor.”
Did Jeff just tell us who was going to win this season? He may just have done so.
The final showdown had David and Chris versus Jay and Zeke. Very sportsman like, Jay gave a fist bump to Chris while saying: “Come on, Hulk.”
Michelle was seen praying for the huge upset.
Zeke went straight for Chris, trying to bother him enough to open the door for Jay. It worked for a little while but Chris eventually caught up to Jay. Probst noted how Zeke was making it tough but the group of four was slowly moving away from the Millennials flag to the Gen X one. Gen X soon had their third point.
Right when the challenge ended, a huge wave hit Probst.
Unfortunately, the previews had spoiled our fun because we knew he wouldn’t drown…
It must be noted that even if Gen X won the reward, we went to the Millennials camp first. The tribe of interest is often treated this way.
Zeke’s interview: “The reward challenge was a nightmare from the beginning. Their guys are huge. I mean, Chris is like the size of three of me. We just got demolished. Michaela on the other hand is like an Amazon woman.”
Both Hannah and Figgy called Michaela their MVP.
Michaela’s Interview: “I’m one of those people I just like to win and when things happen like my whole bathing suit getting ripped off it’s like you can either lose or let your bathing get ripped off and win. So I was like: They are about to see some tatas today.”
Adam’s confessional: “I wish I could have performed better but that was never going to be my challenge. I’m not super comfortable with totally physical competitions. I just feel like I need to find this idol more than ever but I don’t have a whole lot of time left because I need to make sure I find it before we either go back to Tribal Council or we swap… The clue says you have to look for the tribe motif somewhere in this designated area and look for a shell. If you break open the shell, you will find the immunity idol…I’m looking everywhere and I just don’t see it. It’s not there so I just walk along the beach and I hope something hits me and that I find something.” Finally, he found the shell and after many attempts, he finally ripped it open and took out the idol.
Just when he tossed the shell away we heard Hannah yelling: “Hey Adam, how’s your idol search going?” He answered that he was working on it. She said: “Good luck, buddy!”
Adam’s interview resumed: “I hope Hannah didn’t bust me. Did she see me with this? I just found a hidden immunity idol. This is like beyond my wildest dream. I finally went for it today and I got it! Mom, this is for you, I love you so much. It was really tough to make the decision to come out here. My mom was diagnosed about seven months ago with stage four lung cancer. It’s such a devastating disease; it’s been such a nightmare. It’s the worst thing you can possibly imagine. So to have my biggest dreams coming through at the same time that my worst nightmare is happening it’s not… it doesn’t feel real. My mom is a huge super fan; she is the ultimate reason for being here. I want to give my mom something to look forward to. Being able to watch me find this, that’s what I came out here to do, is bring some joy back to my family.”
I had tears in my eyes when I first watched this and then again when I transcribed it. I don’t know if it was accurate, but I read that Adam’s mom died before the season started so it’s even more stirring. If the Millennials are the tribe of interest this segment tells us that Michaela and Adam are the clear stand outs, the ones to follow. The conversation they had last week may lead to some sort of alliance between the two that could get them to the end.
Gen X Day 12
The tribe was enjoying sausage for breakfast. Lucy and Dave went out to get some water and Ken joined them.
David’s interview: “I went for a walk with Lucy today just trying to get a sense of what’s going on in her head because even though I survived the last Tribal Council, I’m worried that Ken and I are still on the bottom. So I think the smartest thing for me right now is to go along wherever the majority is leaning.”
We will soon see that David won’t follow his own advice.
Lucy told David and Ken that they had nothing to worry about and, after first telling David that she didn’t want to give out a name so early, she said that they were going to get Jessica out. She added: “I don’t want to see you guys talking to anybody else. If I do, I’m going to get upset.”
The familiar whiplash sound effect underlined Lucy’s mistake.
Ken’s interview: “Lucy approached me and Dave and said we are going to vote out Jess. What really got to me is that Lucy basically had a list of rules and regulations of what we were and weren’t allowed to do. Do not talk to this person. Do not sneak off here. Don’t go off by yourself. I’m thinking we went from one dictator to another and it doesn’t fly with me.”
The Immunity Challenge
With the Gen X conflict so well set up there was little doubt that they were going to lose this challenge. This season the episodes have all been edited in preparation of the vote and we had seen nothing suggesting how the Millennials would vote so they had to win.
When I saw Gen X putting Chris and Ken in their chair, leaving only Bret, Lucy, Sunday and Jessica to pull it up, I thought the Millennials would run away with this because they had all their guys doing the pulling. However, Gen X won the race to get the letters mostly because of the obstacle course. Pulling the chair wasn’t really a factor but then we got to the puzzle which had 30 letters in 6 words of 8, 5, 5, 5 and 7 letters each:
“Somebody loses their flame tonight.”
Adam sat out for the Millennials who always rely on Michelle and Figgy for their puzzles.
Even if Gen X was still in the lead after Michelle’s relay, we heard Jeff say that the Millennials were back in it.
One of Jeff’s comments made me laugh: “David working his way through the high step just like high school football!”
As if David ever played football in his life.
David was left in charge of the puzzle for Gen X while Ken was reduced to being a human shield, using his body and his shirt to block the Millennials’ view of their words. The Millennials were all trying to figure out the words before assembling them
Will Ken be a shield throughout the game?
After 20 minutes, the Millennials had “Their Flame” in the right spot and were putting “Tonight” in place while Gen-X had… “Befoe”?!
Maybe Ken should have been looking over instead of shielding but Michaela was now serving as the Millennials’ shield!
After 45 minutes, Zeke called the girls over. Figgy said it was “something” loses their flame tonight”. Zeke knew that the first word was “Somebody”. Figgy and Michelle quickly put it together and won immunity.
Jeff handed the immunity idol to Michelle.
At least that was some acknowledgment for her travail. No one gave us a confessional after the loss; the fun would be all in camp.
Gen X – Decision Time
Chris’ interview: “Losing immunity today was a tough loss because tonight at Tribal, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I mean, Bret and I just got blindsided two nights ago so I don’t feel comfortable at all but we have a plan to blindside Jess and I’m counting on Lucy to make that happen.”
Taking a walk in the woods, Lucy reassured Chris that she had Ken and David on board and they would do Jessica.
Lucy’s interview: “I’m like a Tiger Mom because the scenario that I love is just me being in control. I mean, my husband and kids dislike me a lot of times because I’m making all the decisions but somebody has to do it so if it’s successful at home, it should be successful here.”
Lucy should know that success at home doesn’t always transpose to this game. The biggest difference being that divorcing her is much more expensive than voting her out! I have the sneaking suspicion that this episode was a bit of a guilty pleasure for Lucy’s husband!
Ken told David that he was done with following orders and that if Lucy, Chris, Bret and Sunday wound up together, they were back to the bottom. His plan was to get Cece and Jess to vote with them against Lucy. David pointed out they only had 4 but Ken said Jess could pull in Sunday.
David’s interview: “In real life, I think Lucy is used to calling the shots but out here, you have to be careful not to say the wrong thing or rub people the wrong way because you can really piss some people off. That’s exactly what happened because now Ken wants to vote her out, and to be honest, it sounds like a very great idea.”
David told Cece that they were voting against Lucy.
Saving Jessica and voting out Lucy would have been a good idea if Jessica had been on board!
Ken went to Jessica and said: “Sweetie, Lucy wants you out.”
Jessica’s interview: “I’m stunned. Ken is telling me that I’m now the one people are gunning for because I was the mastermind behind the Paul thing which surprises me greatly because I felt like we all came up with it together so it seems a little suspicious.”
In this game you always have to be suspicious but Jessica went about it completely wrong, ignoring the possibility that Ken could be saying the truth. What she should have done was go to everyone individually and simply ask them how they were voting. Someone may not have been able to lie convincingly. If that exercise hadn’t rid Jessica of her suspicions about Ken then she should have gone to Sunday first and ask if her name was being thrown around. There was no need to go directly to Lucy and simply blurt out what Ken had said. Ken is lucky that Jessica’s stupidity didn’t cost him the game.
Lucy told Jessica that they were voting Cece. Jessica agreed but she revealed Ken’s plan.
Observing the scene, David gave us an interview: “Right now, things are blowing up in a big way.”
Lucy told everyone that Ken made the stupidest move in the world. Chris agreed.
David warned Ken that Jessica had exposed his plan.
Ken’s interview: “I’m shocked. I felt that the connection I had with Jess was genuine and I just found out that she totally betrayed me, taking everything I said and delivering it to Lucy on a silver platter.”
Lucy confronted Ken and he told her he didn’t like her rules.
Lucy’s reaction: “Ken is the biggest snake. He’s pissed off because of the way I came at him. Looking back, I guess I could have been nicer but Ken is so emotional like a girl. I was come on, get serious, we are only voting out Jessica. Why have emotions about voting people out now? The whole thing is you are in the game still, right?”
David’s interview: “At this point, things are so messed up. I think the safest thing might just be to simply write down Jessica’s name but if I do that I just end up back in the bottom. Another option I have is I could play my immunity idol for Jessica and save her but I lied to Lucy straight to her face and I think she knows it. I’m sure she knows it. I just want to have the idol for safety and security. I don’t plan on playing it but ah! I have a lot to think about.”
David told Jeff that their last Tribal Council didn’t bring them together.
Chris explained that Bret and he were very upset after the last vote and that the tribe was in chaos.
Jessica said that she hoped the five had come back together.
Lucy agreed that they were in chaos because everyone’s name was being thrown around. She added that she felt unsafe because she didn’t know if Ken had raised numbers against her.
Ken said he didn’t like the way Lucy gave him orders.
Lucy said it was simply the way she expresses herself and that she thought men could handle bluntness.
Ken said he wavered all day because he had been loyal to someone who hadn’t been loyal in return.
Jessica asked if she was supposed to believe everything he told her 100%?
Ken, looking right at her, simply said yeah.
David said it was a live tribal.
Chris said he was second guessing his vote but he was wondering who the sucker at the table was. He added: “Everybody can be all in but who is the chump playing that shouldn’t have been playing?”
Jeff figured it was a good time to find out.
When Jeff asked if anyone wanted to play an idol, David stood up, walked over and asked to say a few words. He turned to the tribe and said that he loved meeting them and enjoyed their company but he knew he was going to upset some people by playing his idol for Jessica.
Lucy’s eyes were like daggers while Jessica could hardly believe it and neither could Ken.
Jeff turned 5 parchments with Jessica’s name on them. None of them counted.
We then saw that Jessica had voted for Cece while David and Cece voted for Lucy.
Jeff said: “Well, you talk about live Tribals; it doesn’t get more live than this.”
Going for her torch, Jessica thanked David who silently nodded.
More than ever before, the episodes are limited in scope to the outcome of the vote. Production has been lucky to have three surprise eliminations but the lack of long-term stories comes from the sterility of this season’s theme. While speaking from Probst’s pulpit, David said that he was enjoying everyone’s company, he was demonstrating that sterility: The main conflicts only arise when they need to make a vote. There are no real interpersonal conflicts because there aren’t enough irritation factors among these players. You could say it was the same thing in Brains versus Brawn versus Beauty but there at least we had the Beauty and the Brawn who wanted to prove they had brains while the brain wanted to show they could match up physically with the other tribes and outsmart their own.
Of course, the smart way to play the tribal phase of the game is to keep harmony, build your inner core but make everyone feel part of the “team”. Still, constantly sharing the same restricted living quarters and having limited supplies in harsh conditions is usually enough to create sparks when there are social and cultural differences among the members of a tribe. Here we’ve had a tribe of “California Dreaming” Kids versus one made up of “Small Town” adults so all we’ve seen are little bouts of jealousy and misunderstandings but not enough to drive a story. The good nature observed at the summit and even during challenges (Jay’s “Come on, Hulk” for example) proves that these tribes don’t hate each other. They probably know that they will mix soon, so while they would like to be up in numbers, they know that the important phase of the game will be coming up next.
So, considering that the long-term story arcs are probably not set yet, how can we look at these characters? After seeing the first four chapters of this story, I think it’s becoming clear that we have some who don’t stand a chance, some who could take over when the game really starts, and others who are already making their marks.
The Goats: These players have practically no shot at winning the game
Cece: How will she react now that David forced her to save someone who wanted her out since day 1? Like the rest of Cece’s story, we probably won’t even hear her point of view.
Sunday: Can we get to next week already? I mean, I don’t like Mondays but this Sunday is insipid. The target was squarely placed on her closest ally and she was simply going along. She has totally relinquished her free will to the tribe’s interest. She should have warned Jessica about Lucy’s plan. The tribe wouldn’t be in as much chaos if she had. Unfortunately, I don’t think next week will be her turn yet. As a goat, she is becoming very valuable. We’d need a week with 4 Wednesdays for her turn to come sooner.
Bret: For the last 15 seasons or so, Survivor editing, much like those paintings for kids, is being done by numbers. They hear the name Kelly or Bret and they immediately forget to show that person. (Kelly Wentworth was only featured once she simply became “Wentworth”) It could be that Bret is only temporarily kept out of the spotlight so that he can be disassociated from his dumber allies later on but right now he appears to be just as dumb as them.
Hannah: She gave us another funny moment when she caught Adam looking for his idol. Wouldn’t it be fun if we were to learn that she did see the idol after all? However, Survivor editing is so formulaic that we know she didn’t see it. If she had, they would have shown her interview telling us about it before the next commercial break.
(As an aside, I wish that once they wouldn’t tell us that a person found an idol. Imagine our shock if we didn’t know David even had that idol).
Jessica: This whole episode was about the chaos that Jessica’s knee-jerk reaction created and how she was totally unaware of her allies’ true feelings. In our list of characters that makes her a “Dumb Player” and a “Dumb Player” has never won Survivor. Yes, Fabio was a very dumb kid but the edit went out of its way to show him as “someone who wasn’t as dumb as the others thought” when he was probably even dumber than they imagined! Trust and information are the most important commodities in this game so when information comes to you from someone you don’t really trust (and you should trust no one) then you must treat it as if it were a diamond. You don’t believe its authenticity immediately but you don’t throw it away either. You keep it hidden, run your due diligence and then see how you can use it.
Chris: Cast in a role that is a combination of the “Bully” and the “Dumb Player” our other attorney doesn’t stand a chance either. He’s done well in challenges so that should put a big target on his even bigger back.
The Goat Hunters: One of them could win if they catch the right goat but the goat could be them!
Taylor, Figgy, Will, Jay, and Zeke: Our five hunters have all received a good amount of attention from the editors. Nothing spectacular but their screen presence is very consistent.
Zeke still has those fun interviews but the contrast between his presentation and Adam’s during the recap tells us he isn’t really a player.
Jay will be fun to watch after the swap because he was an ambassador: He was surprised by the Gen X vote, he doesn’t want to be like a typical Gen X, but he still seems to like Chris. His confessional was so oddly placed that I think Jay’s actions will be decisive after the swap.
Figgy and Taylor were featured as lovers who could be dramatically split by the random shuffle. It’s rare that a swap preview focuses on two individuals so it will be interesting to see how they are portrayed after the split. Will their game pick up or will they become dispirited after their separation? We have to consider that all the talk of Figgy becoming more and more dangerous could be foreshadowing.
The Shooting Star
Michelle: Her meteoric rise in the first two episodes didn’t lead to any consistency. The good thing is that she is the only player to take control and not get voted out for it. I always thought that the best player in Survivor: Worlds Apart was Kelly Remington, but like many of her namesakes, we didn’t see enough of her. Following Kelly’s path, Michelle could be a good player that simply runs into some terrible luck. At least Michelle had presence once more in the tribe’s challenge win and we’ve had a glimpse of her strategic capabilities so she could become relevant again after the swap when the game really heats up. With the numbers the way they are, the Millennials will have to stick together if they want to keep their advantage and they should be able to do so because their fractures are insignificant compared to those facing the Gen X players. Being a unifier, Michelle should be able to maneuver her way with these numbers.
Ken: For someone who doesn’t like an authority figure, he certainly acted with authority himself when he decreed that Lucy had to go. He was lucky that Jessica’s stupidity didn’t cost him the game because once the alliance saw him as a snitch, the target should have turned on him. His challenge prowess saved him but the tribe should have realized that a swap was looming as it always does, so why keep the snake? Then he made it clear at Tribal Council that he didn’t like Jessica so I wonder what went through his mind when he saw the person he thought was his closest ally playing “their” idol to save HER? Despite a very good edit, it is starting to show that Ken is asocial, that he spent four years off the grid on his own in a jungle. Now he will have to deal with kids so I don’t think his disposition will improve.
David: While his move was great for TV, we can certainly say that it wasn’t a good move for David himself because it leaves too many questions unanswered: Did it really matter to David whether Lucy or Jessica left? Did it matter enough to lose his idol? I know David said that voting out Jessica would leave him, Cece, and Ken on the bottom, but so what? Cece was always going before him and they would have had at least three days to turn Chris, Bret and Sunday against Lucy just like they turned on Jessica. Even if they wouldn’t have turned on Lucy then that would have been the time to use his idol either on himself or on a true ally. What happens now if Chris or Bret gets the next idol? Did David put the target directly on himself? Also, did David gain Jessica’s trust only to lose Ken’s? And what about Cece whom he forced to save someone who wrote her name down? How will Cece and Ken work with Jessica who is someone they simply can’t trust? Once more, this leads me to think that David is there to pander to the cameras, not to play the game and I really dislike those players. At least now we know where the legacy envelope will go…
Michaela: Like Jeff said, Michaela’s effort was what it takes to win this game. Her MVP performance in that challenge combined with Jeff’s acknowledgement and her consistent role in the story make her a front runner for the title of Sole Survivor. She had the only semblance of a conflict in the Millennials tribe so I expect there will be a showdown between Michaela and Figgy late in the game. Those two worked very well together in their reward challenge leg and again in the immunity challenge so I don’t think their confrontation will be personal but that they will reach a point where only one can move forward. The one that does win that confrontation could very well wind up facing the jury.
Adam: The other front runner has to be Adam. The recap admirably portrayed the difference between a player and a character. Adam was already thinking of the next move while Zeke could only complain. Then morning came and, with it, the time to make that move, so Adam went to work. Of course, I dislike the way production simply gives idols away these days but Adam’s find led to a very poignant scene. The introduction of his mother’s illness was done in the most powerful way possible and it solidly connected Adam to the audience. The audience fell in love with Jeremy’s desire to play for his wife and his unborn child but having a loved one facing such a mortal illness should carry even more weight. Can Adam bring back some joy to his family? Right now, I think he can.
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