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What If...?: Alternate Universe Survivor

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Recent discussion in the Media thread reminded me of this line of thought.

As fans of the show and the game of Survivor, there's always that question of "What if?"  What if certain events played out a different way?  Things that did happen didn't?  Or things that didn't happen did?  Multiversal theory says there are alternate universes out there where those are the reality, and that what we saw play out is the "what if".

So, let's speculate and discuss how we think these AU Survivor seasons went down.   But first, some basic rules.

  1. Every initial change has to start from a real event or possibility as presented in the show.  The thread like this back on TWoP said: no creating random new events to change things, like Fairplay getting chomped on by a shark and medevaced, or creating a brilliant strategy for the cute but less-than-strategic player you may be crushing on.  But random events that did happen (ex: Jeff in Palau tripping on the coconut) can be undone, and failed coups/bootings can succeed instead.
  2. Unless the event is specifically changing the winner of a single challenge, the original winning tribe/team/individual still does so.  How they do so may change, and any other results, like additional placement and take-alongs on rewards, may also change.   However, if the winner of a challenge was voted out before that challenge in this AU, then the 2nd place (or later, depending) should probably be the winner, unless someone else now in play makes even more sense as the winner.
  3. After the change, play out the chain of events as far as you can, and show your reasoning.
  4. Since all possibilities can be real (per the multiverse), anyone can construct another timeline based on the same initial change, but it can go in a different direction.  And all are valid.  (IOW: Disagree politely, but no one is ever "wrong".)

 

 

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The scenarios that brought this up to my mind are from Borneo:

12 hours ago, LadyChatts said:

IIRC, Greg was actually the target at the merge, but won immunity, so the target shifted to Gretchen.  Assuming Greg was voted out first at the merge, and Gretchen made the jury, does Kelly win?  Because Gretchen wasn't crazy about Hatch's pompous attitude from the beginning, and after Sue's speech, I can't see her voting against Kelly for that reason.  And yeah, if Joel had made it to the merge, he probably would have been pushing hard to get Pagong in an alliance.

Let's start with the latter scenario first: Joel makes the merge. 

First off, to have that happen, Gervase is the most likely to have been voted out instead (the actual source of the women and cow comparison that got Joel booted). So that's the actual change here.  Gervase booted instead of Joel.

That makes the merge the Tagi 4 (Hatch, Sue, Rudy, Kelly) + Sean versus Colleen, Greg, Gretchen, Jenna, and Joel.  Joel would indeed push for a Pagong alliance, but the others would still not heed the warning...yet.  I think the Tagi target would have been Joel instead of Greg, and with Greg winning immunity, Joel gets the boot.  It plays out a little different though: 5 for Joel (Tagi 4 + Jenna (who voted Gervase with a "moo" in our reality) - 2 Rich (Colleen and likely Joel) - 1 Rudy (Gretchen)-1 Colleen (Sean (alphabet) -1 Jenna (Greg).

With this proof of an alliance, the 4 Pagongs would realize Joel was right.  But they'd still believe in the meritocracy, so they'd rally around Gretchen.  They'd all agree that her winning would be a "cleaner" victory than the alternatives.

At this point, the RCs don't really matter for the sake of the timeline.  We'll focus on the ICs.

  • F9IC: The "attached to a rope" obstacle course.  Without Gervase competing, Jenna wins this one.  Greg goes here, since he was supposed to go over Gretchen, so he draws 5 votes (Tagi 4 + alphabet).  However, the Pagong 4 unify against Hatch, the leader of the "evil alliance", instead of sniping at each other.
  • F8IC: Rudy wins the tile-flipping game.  And here's where things get a little hard to read.  Because this is the point where Kelly starts hanging out with Colleen and Jenna, despite Sue keeps dragging her back to the Tagi alliance.  But in this scenario, Gretchen is also in play.  Does her added maturity and survival skill result in all 5 women coming together instead?  Let's say it does, and Hatch is now the first victim of a Survivor Women's alliance, instead of the first winner.  (Jenna draws 2 votes (Hatch and Rudy), and Gretchen 1 (alpha-Sean)).
  • F7IC is fire-making.  Hatch won this one in our reality, but I don't remember who was next closest.  My gut says Rudy.  But with Gretchen in play, she could have won.  In either case, Sean goes here, voted out by practically everyone.
  • F6IC is the start of Kelly's immunity run.  Here's where Rudy goes, leaving the 5 women as the F5.
  • F5IC is won by Kelly again.  And I think Sue gets voted out here, getting at least the votes from the Pagong 3.  But the other two votes count more at FTC.
  • F4IC is also won by Kelly.  Jenna volunteers to take the bullet here, allowing Colleen (who almost beat Kelly in an IC) and Gretchen (the one they want to win) to survive.
  • FIC: Hands on a Hard Idol.  Kelly wins again.  But this time facing harder competition from Gretchen, and without someone stepping out.  (Colleen would only have stepped down if Kelly lost first.)  Kelly takes Gretchen out here, spoiling the Pagong plan of revenge.

That leaves Kelly and Colleen facing the jury of Greg, Hatch, Sean, Rudy, Sue, Jenna, and Gretchen.

The votes now split along old tribal lines; the 3 Pagongs for Colleen, and the Tagi men for Kelly.  Which leaves Sue in the middle.   And that's why the F5TC where Sue was voted out is important.  If Kelly voted with Sue and the vote was 3-2, Sue votes for Kelly and she wins.  However, if Kelly voted with the Pagong 3 for Sue in a 4-1, or voted for a different person than Sue for a 3-1-1 split, Sue would see that as a betrayal and give a speech akin to, but not exactly like the Snakes and Rats, and vote for Colleen instead.

So it still comes down to a 4-3 decision, but with one different name in the mix, and two possible outcomes.

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So I have another 'what if' Survivor scenario, although this one isn't as cut and dry as the ones proposed from Borneo.  Since Survivor Samoa is one of my re-watches right now, the big story in the first episode was Russell and his dumb girl alliance.  I had questioned whether Russell would have had as easy of a time on Galu with Yasmin, Laura, Monica, Shambo, and a blonde girl named Kelly that I forgot was on this season.  Laura/Monica/Kelly would probably have been Russell's dumb girl alliance targets, and then you had the men of Russell S/Brett/Dave/John/Erik (obviously if Russell H. wound up on Galu, one of those men would replace him on Foa Foa).  So the question is, would Russell have succeeded in getting as much trust on Galu as he did Foa Foa?  The two who didn't have faith in him (Betsy and Marisa) were booted first and second, and while Russell wanted to keep Ben, he changed his vote when he realized he was over ruled by his tribe.  But even with his girls, he still had trust with the guys, too.   

 

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If you swap Russell Hantz with one of the men on Galu, I wonder if Foa Foa loses quite so much. It's not that I think Russell was a liability in challenges necessarily, but I think that swap is probably a net gain for Foa Foa, which means that the tribes enter the merge on more even footing, and there are more opportunities for Russell to go pre-merge. However, if we assume that it doesn't change challenge outcomes, then I think Russell still struggles. Part of Galu's problem that season was that they went to Tribal Council only once before the merge. The alliances on that tribe were mostly untested, whereas the four Foa Foas knew they could trust each other and all understood that sticking together was the best path to winning for each of them. It's hard to know what would have happened to Foa Foa's pre-merge idol—who would have found it, and would it have been necessary to burn it before the merge?

But then again, you also have to account for the fact that Russell would (probably) have found Galu's idol. So the question becomes, does he have to burn it pre-merge at the one Tribal Council Galu goes to? Or does it become a battle of dueling idols post-merge? One thing going against Russell is that he could never keep his idol secret for very long. I think Natalie would have done just as good a job of ingratiating herself with the Galus as she did in the actual season, and probably would have found out about Russell's idol. So she and the other three Foa Foas would have needed to get Russell to waste it, then watch him to make sure that he didn't find it again, then vote him out.

Anyway, I think Russell probably makes it to the merge, but not to the end.

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One thing I've wondered for these more recent seasons - if there was no final 4 fire-making challenge would the outcome be different? I'm pretty sure Ben would have been voted out in Heroes Hustlers Heroes, but I can't remember the other seasons enough. This past season, I'm not sure who would have been kept as most people had blinders up when it came to Tony. Michelle would still have gone to final 3 as she had immunity.

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3 hours ago, Lamb18 said:

One thing I've wondered for these more recent seasons - if there was no final 4 fire-making challenge would the outcome be different? I'm pretty sure Ben would have been voted out in Heroes Hustlers Heroes, but I can't remember the other seasons enough. This past season, I'm not sure who would have been kept as most people had blinders up when it came to Tony. Michelle would still have gone to final 3 as she had immunity.

My guesses are

HHH: Chrissy has immunity. Chrissy, Ryan, Devon vote off Ben. But contrary to the "Chrissy was robbed" narrative that seems to have taken hold, I think Devon would have won. Not sure what the vote breakdown would have been, but Chrissy didn't have a good social game and seemed pretty disliked.

Ghost Island: Dom has immunity. Two possibilities: Either Dom, Laurel, Angela vote out Wendell and Dom wins. Or Dom and Angela vote against Wendell, Wendell and Laurel vote against Angela, Wendell and Angela make fire, Wendell wins the fire challenge, Wendell wins Sole Survivor. I think the first possibility is slightly more likely, but Laurel might have agreed to force a tie as long as she wasn't in danger.

DvG: Nick wins immunity. Nick, Angelina, Kara vote out Mike. Nick wins.

EoE: Chris wins immunity. Chris and ... the other two vote out Rick Devins. Chris wins.

IoI: Noura wins immunity. Noura, Lauren, Tommy vote off Dean. Tommy wins? Maybe Lauren wins, as everyone said she was well-liked by the jury, though I think we just heard them say it after-the-fact and it wasn't really shown.

WaW: Natalie wins immunity. Natalie and Michele vote against Tony. Tony and Sarah vote against Michele. Tony and Michele make fire. If Tony wins the fire challenge, he wins the game. If Michele wins the fire challenge, Sarah wins the game.

Edited by fishcakes
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Agree with your post @fishcakes.  To comment further on one of your points:

Quote

IoI: Noura wins immunity. Noura, Lauren, Tommy vote off Dean. Tommy wins? Maybe Lauren wins, as everyone said she was well-liked by the jury, though I think we just heard them say it after-the-fact and it wasn't really shown.

This one I'm iffy on.  IIRC, Tommy was concerned that the moves he made would be seen as just Lauren's moves, or moves that weren't his own.  I feel like he got called out at the FTC about that.  I think it would be close, maybe even a tie vote again? 

 

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5 hours ago, fishcakes said:

Ghost Island: Dom has immunity. Two possibilities: Either Dom, Laurel, Angela vote out Wendell and Dom wins. Or Dom and Angela vote against Wendell, Wendell and Laurel vote against Angela, Wendell and Angela make fire, Wendell wins the fire challenge, Wendell wins Sole Survivor. I think the first possibility is slightly more likely, but Laurel might have agreed to force a tie as long as she wasn't in danger.

I can't see Laurel voting out Wendell at all. She'd have forced the tie. 

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