Welcome to the weekly Survivor: Winners at War breakdown and award ceremony, our third of the year. With one return from Edge, a merge and an elimination weeks in the making, 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: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m fully team Sophie at this point. Her winner’s edit continued. She completely sniffed out the “Big threat” alliance, swapped the vote to Wendell and did it all subtly enough to only have her name thrown out by the guy who got voted out. Even with all she did tonight, the teaser set up that out of her main alliance, it’s Sarah who’s going to be in danger. Sophie’s played a spectacular season, and she gets the biggest hardware tonight. Honorable mention goes to Adam, who continues to weasel his way out of elimination.
Pant: We rarely talk about the challenges in these breakdowns, but today I’m going to give my MVP award to Denise. If she did not win that immunity challenge, she would have definitely been eliminated because of the threat she now poses. She saved herself and now lives to see another week. Not only that, she dominated the challenge and her victory was a blowout that can be compared to Super Bowl XLVIII. I think if they didn’t offer two immunities, she would have still won the challenge in a blowout. Additionally, by being down with voting Adam, she proved that all alliances can be changed as we head further in the season, making herself more valuable in tribal council. She didn’t have to pull off the move of the century this time to earn my MVP vote.
Least Valuable Player: Given to the player who receives significant screen time and performs the worst
Reims: I try and avoid going with who got voted out, so, unfortunately, my streak of Wendell comes to a close with his elimination. So I say the man who wanted to be his second in command, Jeremy. His whole plan this episode didn’t make sense to me. It seems like he wanted to vote out Nick because he was Wendell’s “number 1”, even though Jeremy basically forced Wendell into saying that. To make matters worse, when Wendell was brought up as an option, he did the opposite of Denise and showed his hand, making it clear he and Wendell were close. To top it off, it didn’t even matter in the end, as Wendell is gone and Jeremy doesn’t even have either of Wendell’s two tokens to show for it. Honorable mention to Ben (again), who for some reason considers himself a big threat (Who told him that? Why does he think that?) and is setting himself up to get completely screwed over whenever Tyson decides to be done with him.
Pant: This is my favorite day so far to give out my least valuable player award. I predicted that Wendell would be eliminated in the last article and I was completely right. The villain of the season so far did not initially seem like he was going to leave, as it appeared that Nick or Adam would be going home. However, it did not stop him from somehow putting his hat into the ring and getting himself eliminated. Wendell was played like a fiddle by Sophie tonight. He was so confident he wasn’t going home that I actually liked Adam for a minute during his tribal council confessional where he delivered one of the lines of the year. I love saying this: Wendell was the least valuable player this week.
Most Improved: Given to the player who boosted their stock most from last episode
Reims: Tyson gets it for me, not only because he came back from Edge, but also for what he accomplished after. He killed the challenge, and one would assume that making it back would make him the biggest threat. That’s not even taking into account the fact that it’s Tyson, a legend of the game who is a huge threat regardless. Somehow, though, drew no heat onto himself and managed to set himself up in a solid alliance that features a bigger threat (Tony) and somebody he can use (Ben).
Pant: For me, my most improved played right now is Tony. I can’t believe that no one has cast a vote against Tony so far this season, especially in the threats vs. non-threats world we’re currently living in. He is a wild card and probably should not be where he is right now. At this moment, I don’t see him being eliminated this week and feel like he’s in a good place heading into next week. A round of applause for Tony, who is trying to keep the old school legacy going.
Current Godfather: Given to the player who is pulling the most strings and in the best position to succeed
Reims: As I said last week, this is Sophie’s award to lose, week after week. If you had a chart of playing well strategically and subtly, she’d be at the top right. In a season of all winners, with many more marquee names, it’s been Sophie consistently on the right side of votes and alliances. Sarah is a huge ally to have, she’s well-liked around camps, great at puzzles and, on top of all that, has an idol.
Pant: For me, it’s the girl alliance between Sophie and Sarah, but I’m gonna go with Sarah here. I think at this point the alliance is not proving to be interdependent and voting Sarah, who is viewed as Sophie’s right-hand woman, would not make any difference in checking Sophie’s power. Sarah is the voice who knows what exactly Sophie wants, making her the most valuable weapon in the game. I know her edit did not look good in the preview, but I think that is smoke and mirrors. Sarah is the godfather, for now.
Out next week: Given to the player we think will be eliminated next week
Reims: This one is always a crapshoot because based on the teaser, my vote goes Nick, based on this episode it’s Jeremy and based on the season as a whole it’s Denise, who scared everybody with her war stories. If the rest of the tribe figures out Jeremy’s position, I see him going. Nick wouldn’t surprise me based on the strength of Sarah/Sophie and what we saw in the teaser, but he’s so good socially he could get out of it. Taking it all, I’m going to pick a completely different name from those and say Tony. Sophie sniffed out the big threat alliance, so it makes sense that’s who she’d go for.
Pant: They may be setting up a Nick or Sarah elimination in the promos, but I know that is usually a mirage for the actual elimination. This means that someone who we don’t expect will probably be gone and for me, that person will be Jeremy. He failed at trying to obtain the godfather role and is now at Sophie’s will. I feel like the shielding method won’t work in this competitive environment and think he will make a bad mistake next episode. If not Jeremy, I don’t see Denise winning the next challenge, so she could be the next person eliminated.
Stay tuned next week, when the tenth person is voted off the island!