Welcome to the weekly Survivor: Winners at War breakdown and award ceremony, our fifth of the year. With the loved ones visit and a hectic tribal council, we have a lot to talk about. Let’s get right into it.
Most Valuable Player: Given to the player who contributed the most to this episode
Reims: Part of the two most dominant alliances this season, Sarah wins this episode for me. She stood her ground against Tony valiantly, which is always tough to do. Then, she perfectly used the vote steal at tribal, stealing Denise’s vote so Kim believed Denise was the target. When all was said and done, Kim’s idol was flushed, Tyson was out, and Sarah had set herself up in a great, albeit visibly threatening, position.
Pant: After seeing Jeremy greet his family full of Patriots jerseys, he has officially become my favorite player left in the game. Not only does he have great taste in sports franchises, but his gameplay this week was high-level. By playing his “safety without power” advantage, Jeremy survived when he seemed like the sure target. In a game where surviving to the next tribal council is the most important thing, Jeremy guaranteed that, making him my most valuable player of the week. Honorable mention to Fiji Airways, who were responsible for the loved ones visit. (Thank you Fiji Airways – Sophie – Reims)
Least Valuable Player: Given to the player who receives significant screen time and performs the worst
Reims: In an episode designed mostly to make you feel good, there really wasn’t that much to get for this award. Among the options, I’d have to say Kim, who got her idol flushed and her ally (with whom she had just cemented a final three deal) voted off. She’ll be in a tougher position next week than we’ve ever seen her, but I’m excited to see how she’ll manage.
Pant: Honestly, I would say there is no least valuable player, but I’ll give the award to Tyson. He was at a disadvantage coming back from Edge of Extinction and was always going to be considered an easy vote because of his gameplay and the lack of alliances he had. With this said, I believe Tyson has a serious shot at redemption and could find his way back onto the island.
Most Improved: Given to the player who boosted their stock most from last episode
Reims: Nick was on the bottom last week, in very clear danger of getting voted out, but Adam kept him around for another week. Now, here he is, on the right side of the vote in a majority alliance, without his name thrown out once. That just shows one thing I like about the more recent seasons; a vote one week is not necessarily indicative of who’s on the bottom next week. In past seasons (and this still does happen, just less), alliances would be picked off, one by one. Now, even if your best friend got voted out last time, a new tribal brings a whole new set of circumstances.
Pant: This time around, I’m going to give my most improved award to an action: whispering. For once, the players seemed to have the ability to whisper without the audience knowing, providing a more tense tribal council in my opinion because I had no idea who was going home. Additionally, I personally love these live tribals where the decision is still up in the air. Honorable mention to Sarah, who seems to be the only person on the island who sees Kim as a threat that needs to be eliminated.
Current Godfather: Given to the player who is pulling the most strings and in the best position to succeed
Reims: Queen stays queen, and with Sandra out, Sophie reigns supreme. While it is concerning that she was the one who drew those battle lines at tribal, I feel like that was something that was insignificant during the game but the editors wanted to point out. She is in what might be the most dominant alliance in the game, and Sarah is clearly more visible than she is. Sophie still has her idol and the social skills to potentially sway others when, most likely inevitably, Cops-R-Us (Tony and Sarah) comes for her.
Pant: For the second week in a row, Tony is my godfather on the island. He has played a great game so far and, somehow, does not have a single vote against him. Not only that, Tony won his first immunity challenge ever, proving that this great player is only evolving as we head toward the final tribal council. He should have been eliminated weeks ago, and instead finds himself at the top aligned with Sarah, one of the most powerful people in the game. Tony is in a great position heading into next week, but that could mean his elimination is soon. Honorable mention to Sophie, who openly took her alliance into a corner in order to decide on one vote. You called it Kyle.
Out next week: Given to the player we think will be eliminated next week
Reims: Jeremy barely managed to evade the vote this week, and with one of his core allies going home, he is in an even worse position. Additionally, Jeremy may have alienated himself from his alliance by abandoning the numbers, though I think that’s unlikely. Still, I think he’s too dangerous to keep around and doesn’t have enough friends to save him.
Pant: With the previews teasing a crazy Tony, that may seem like the safest option in terms of a pick to go home. However, I think the tides will turn this week and Sarah will go home. At this point, Sophie’s alliance has a solid 4-5 people consistently, while the rest are a team of 4. I think that this week crazy Tony manages to pull someone, perhaps a Nick and/or Michelle, to his side in order to take out Sarah, who might do something that will anger Tony. I think Sophie is too powerful with her idol right now, making me think that Sarah will leave the island.
Top 5 Favorite Moments: Self-explanatory
- The Edge of Extinction players all hugging Jeff after tribal council had ended. It was a great and emotional and showed the power of survivor. They were so grateful to have the ability to see their loved ones and you could feel the love they had for Jeff, despite Wendell giving him a nuggie at the end. -Pant
- Seeing the Edge castaways react to their families. Obviously it was adorable to see all of the families on the island interact, but something about the surprise when they were all expecting the worst was so nice. -Reims
- All of the interactions with the children. Tysons amazing interactions with his daughter (sand soup!), Jeremy’s family with the jerseys, Sarah saying her kid was socializing with the enemy, Jeff’s fake out that the kids would compete. All amazing, and a nice bit of levity we need right now. – Reims
- Sophie stone-cold during tribal, first when drawing the alliance lines, and second when deciding not to play her idol. Absolutely cold blooded. -Reims
- Tyson flipping off the fire token chest, especially following Adam’s “Screw you guys” as he left the same spot last week. This late in the game, it seems that the players feel very betrayed, or(for some) are just not used to losing in Survivor. My goal is that one of the players just chucks the chest into the woods and flips the table. One can dream. -Pant
Two Tony quotes. First, his description of himself as “fast and sloppy”. Then, after talking at length during tribal about how his necklace was a “bulletproof vest”, Jeremy pulls out an advantage, to which Tony quietly asks “That’s not a necklace nullifier, is it?”. Protect Tony at all costs. -Reims
Join us next week as we inch closer and closer to the finale!