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S41.E11: Do or Die

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At the halfway point: “They’re already going to Tribal? But there’s more than 30 minutes left! I guess something really interesting happens…. Oh.” No it’s just another Very Special Episode with Dramatic Emotional Music. Glad I DVRed this and can fast forward to when we get back to the actual game. The FF button got used a lot tonight with that tribal and Danny’s father stuff. I don’t care about their backstories!

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True. But the fact that some players of color or of age have done well in Survivor does not mean that racism/ageism isn't a factor in some boots, just as the fact that President Obama, Oprah and Denzel Washington have done well does not mean that racism/ageism isn't a factor in broader society. 

But this isn't broader society.

Edited by millennium
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10 minutes ago, millennium said:

But this isn't broader society.

Right. Things can cut both ways. Things can be more inclusive and accepting than in broader society, they can be even more narrow and prejudiced than in normal society, or any number of things could happen on any number of levels. Survivor is an artificial construct that is slanted both by the players and the producers in various ways, including where matters of race are concerned. 

Any sample size is going to potentially be very different from the whole. But it's a fair assumption that even with the massaging of the cast that is inherent to the show, there is going to be some degree of everyday people's experiences, sentiments, biases, etc. And there's going to be some degree of people themselves being fake (either because they are essentially required to in order to have the best chance of winning or because they are concerned about their televised image) or being forced into a narrative by TPTB. 

The reactions at Tribal to Danny, Deshawn and Liana's talking about being black had people all approving and being sensitive as their public positions. But I wouldn't be surprised if deep down some of the contestants were like, "This is some bullshit right here." or at a minimum, "We can't have these three black people get back to parity on the numbers." And there's little chance anyone who might have had those sentiments would publicly and explicitly air them on the show, and there's also little chance that even if they did that TPTB would actually air someone considering Liana and Deshawn's statements about Survivor and the black community racist or anything along those lines. 

 

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This episode turned me off with the all three black contestants and their preaching.  The game of Survivor was supposed to be about Outlast, Outwit and Outplay!  What happened to this once great game?  

My eyes were rolling so fast I had to hit the side of my head to make them stop!  Why couldn't they just make an alliance without saying it was because they're black?  Everyone with a pea size brain would've figured out what they were doing and that would've been fine. What happened to making an alliance because they trust that person regardless of race?  I want Ricard out but I was "happy happy joy joy" that Liana was voted out.  I initially wanted Danny to win early in the season, but have tuned him out because of this black alliance.

I'm hoping Danny or Deshawn are next.  It doesn't matter. Both gotta go!

Erica or Xander for the win.

Edited by rr2911
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1 hour ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

Right. Things can cut both ways. Things can be more inclusive and accepting than in broader society, they can be even more narrow and prejudiced than in normal society, or any number of things could happen on any number of levels. Survivor is an artificial construct that is slanted both by the players and the producers in various ways, including where matters of race are concerned.

Yes, so while we may speculate (with some confidence) about attitudes and biases at work in broader society (because there are numerous examples in everyday life from which to draw conclusions), all we can go by on Survivor is what we see.   Prior to this season, I can't recall a single instance in the show where it occurred to me that someone was voted out because they were Black, Asian, etc.   I have seen disgusting levels of gender bias on the show, some ageism too -- but not racism, overt, implied or otherwise, even in those seasons when the show has included players from parts of the country historically associated with racist attitudes.  

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I got excited when they focussed so much on Danny's Survivor Epiphany, complete with a photo album full of pictures - this season is so weird, never do any of this again, show - and thought he'd be the one voted out tonight. Then I got mildly hopeful it would be Deshawn. I've been off both of them since their frenzy to throw a challenge and get Erika out for having a few brain cells to rub together and a sense of the game. Then I got psychic! - just before the do or die 'challenge' I thought, I bet it's like a carnie sideshow trick with a ball under one of three cups... Three boxes! That little central box was really being pushed by Jeff... guess he was going for yet another Survivor First!

This season is like a bad dream.

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I was very moved by Liana's and DeShawn's comments at TC.  Then I began to wonder if it was all a manipulation to avoid being voted out.  I'd like to think everyone who spoke was being honest with their feelings.  I don't watch Big Brother so I have no idea what the cookout was about so for me it was enlightening to hear why the alliance of the Black players meant so much to them.  It even made me like Shan a little more.

The players keep mentioning how well liked Ricard is.  Obviously they are not seeing his scheming the way the at home audience is, so I'm kind of rooting for him.  Yay?  They also keep saying Erica is sneaky (which seems kind of racist too).  I don't know, she seems to be kind of floundering and falling up do to dumb luck rather than sneakiness.

Hated the Do or Die twist.  Random chance is contrary to the spirit of the game.  It was funny to see the players applauding and cheering when DeShawn chose the right box, forgetting the fact that one of them was about to be voted out.

8 hours ago, North of Eden said:

must be a good brunch over at Ponderosa.

They are having a ball at Ponderosa.  Those videos are more entertaining than the show.

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What would have happened if only one person opted to do the immunity challenge? Would that person just have automatically had to do the do or die? That’s some bull#%%. Enough with the stupid twists, Jeff!

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7 hours ago, Steph Sometimes said:

Does anyone else really hate when Jeff talks to the viewer before a challenge or tribal? Like he's so excited about what's going to come next, he just can't contain himself even though we're already watching? Shut up.

Absolutely I hate this. He has convinced himself that this is going to make us feel more included and more invested in the game, but all it does is remind me how out of touch Jeff is with what Survivor fans really want. We don’t want twists, we don’t want whispering and false drama. We want straight up good gameplay, with fates determined by strategy, not chance. And all the squeeing in the world will not distract us from seeing how you’re ruining our favorite game, Peachy.

6 hours ago, willco said:

Wow, I would have bet money that Deshawn was going just because it was so late when Jeff finally reveled his Do or Die punishment.I didn't think there was enough time left for a vote ! And then I was really, really, sure he was doomed because they gave him a 1 out of 3 chance to win ! Like others have said, that was a shitty thing to do to someone just because they were unlucky enough to go out 1st in a challenge. But the gods must have smiling on him because he not only picked right, but then survived the vote. So , for once, the ending wasn't obvious, to me anyway. 

Me too. I actually said out loud that he’s going, there’s not enough time for a challenge plus a vote. But I assumed there would be an actual puzzle or challenge he would have to solve, not just pick Door #1, 2 or 3. (At which point I was waiting for a Zonk prize in one of the boxes, like a bag of rocks.)

I’m not a conspiracy-minded person, but I felt like the outcome was predetermined. Jeff did not open that first box without knowing what was inside. And I think Deshawn’s chosen box contained whatever the producers wanted it to. This is not the type of game show that is regulated for fairness. Manipulation is allowed, and I don’t trust them to just let the game play out. Not any more.

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10 hours ago, Steph Sometimes said:

Speaking of Heather, loved when she said that the only people she could possibly beat were on the jury. Cut to the jury looking thrilled with that answer. In case anyone wondered if Heather would get any votes if she made it to Final 3...

What a bonehead answer that was.  I get dragging her to the end because I can't imagine anyone sitting next to her at the finals and losing to her.

Other random thoughts:

If I was eyerolling at anything it was Evvie's exaggerated responses to everything.  We get it--it's a twist.  No need to get all bug-eyed and slack-jawed. 

Did what Danny/DeShawn/Liana said at tribal make it more obvious they need to be voted out simply because of gameplay?  I think so.  Personally, I think Danny would be the one I feared, as he's likely to get votes from the jury.

The do or die needs to die and never be used again.  Jeff was so proud of that "twist" and it was pathetic.

 

Edited by Cheyanne11
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I have to think that Shan's look of utter disbelief when they voted out Liana was pulled from another moment. I could certainly see her being disappointed, or even a bit confused as to why they didn't vote out Ricard, but she was making a full-on, mouth open, head shaking, hands outstretched gesture of "wtf". She had to know that it was very likely that a member of her "formerly running things" alliance would be targeted, and Danny and Deshawn weren't available options.

Her look and gesture was probably actually in reaction to the do or die twist, but the editors certainly couldn't show it there.

Edited by tracyscott76
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4 hours ago, millennium said:

Yes, so while we may speculate (with some confidence) about attitudes and biases at work in broader society (because there are numerous examples in everyday life from which to draw conclusions), all we can go by on Survivor is what we see.   Prior to this season, I can't recall a single instance in the show where it occurred to me that someone was voted out because they were Black, Asian, etc.   I have seen disgusting levels of gender bias on the show, some ageism too -- but not racism, overt, implied or otherwise, even in those seasons when the show has included players from parts of the country historically associated with racist attitudes.  

We can also make reasonable assumptions in addition to drawing conclusions based on what is shown, how broader society is, etc. and we can go from comments from Survivors about what their experiences were behind the scenes.

We know that Survivor shows a fraction of the footage that is recorded, edited in a way to make interesting viewing to as broad an audience as possible in the minds of TPTB.

We know that at least some past Survivor contestants have complained of being portrayed as a stereotype and of other Survivor contestants having used racial slurs. We know because it was explicitly shown a couple seasons ago that a number of the women who were competing said they were reluctant to speak up about "Feely Dan" because they were afraid that doing so would put a target on their back and wreck their chance of winning a million dollars. It seems reasonable to assume that for at least some Survivor contestants there are similar pressures along the lines of race.

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/01/885750685/do-right-by-us-black-survivor-alums-say-the-reality-was-harmful-stereotypes

When it comes to actual votes themselves, obviously no one is going to say "I voted this person out because they are black." And if someone did, it probably would not make it to air, just like someone using the n-word apparently did not.

But even though there was never a "let's stick together as Black people" speech (as far as we were shown, anyway) with Earl, Cassandra and Dreamz, I think it would be naive to think that race played no part of how that alliance came to be during that season, for instance. 

To return to this vote, there are lots of reasons to vote Liana. She's been shown at times to be unpleasant, to have stank face, to be rude to people, etc.. She's been gunning for Xander for a while, and so he obviously should want her out. She has been shown to be tight with Shan, who was just booted and the other Survivors would be reasonable to fear she might want some sort of revenge. She was part of a four person alliance, that is now a three person alliance, and both her other allies are safe. If she doesn't get booted, that would put that alliance in a relative position of power, and the majority shouldn't want that.

But at the same time, she has no Survivor resume. She's little to no threat in immunity challenges. She probably is no FTC threat either. Unless she were able to dramatically step up her game, who is going to vote to give her a million dollars  against an average three-person field? Probably not even her alliance-mates. The chance of the AAA alliance resuming after the betrayal of Shan was not great, since Liana would have been ready to vote Deshawn out. And meanwhile, there are two large threats in Xander and Ricard looming. It could be argued that getting rid of Liana is not optimal.

Was voting her off purely about sort of factors listed a couple paragraphs up? Could race have played a factor? Reasonable people will take a look at what was shown and could come to different conclusions. 

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10 hours ago, Tango64 said:

Where are they getting all these clothes? From one shot to the next they’re in different outfits that look fresh and clean. A pretty pink fleece jacket, a nice green sweater, a clean tan hoodie, all sorts of wardrobe changes.

They used to wear one ratty outfit the whole season. Now they must have racks of wardrobe just off camera  Pfffffft….

 

It’s so funny you mention this because last night I was thinking Liana was given some type of acne scrub.  Her face looked refreshed and glowing — the zits all gone.
 

Anyway, this season America got to see in real time all of the burdens and obstacles Black players are up against.  One of them being how difficult it is for us to work together  — especially among Black men and women.  That’s why DeShawn was so emotional because he knows he looks bad with Black viewers.   This is also why the BB alliance was so significant because it’s actually really hard to get six African Americans to work together in these types of games.  And the only reason why it worked was because the women were ultimately willing to be second tier to the men.

So combine that challenge with the added responsibility of representing the community correctly and the fact that you’re automatically a target among white players… and you’ll understand the frustrations of Black players.

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1 hour ago, 30 Helens said:

I’m not a conspiracy-minded person, but I felt like the outcome was predetermined. Jeff did not open that first box without knowing what was inside. And I think Deshawn’s chosen box contained whatever the producers wanted it to. This is not the type of game show that is regulated for fairness. Manipulation is allowed, and I don’t trust them to just let the game play out. Not any more.

No doubt that Jeff knew which symbols were in which boxes. The producers started the season off leaning hard on the Prisoner's dilemma, and now they decided to dive into the Monty Hall Problem. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

When given a choice among three options, and shown that one of the options that you didn't pick is undesirable and then given an option to switch, actual math says you should switch. This is counter-intuitive, because the average person thinks that the two unknowns have a 50-50 shot at being the preferred choice. But actually, the probability of one choice among three being correct is 33 percent, and two choices among three is 66 percent. The revealed "bad" choice and the unrevealed choice still collectively have a 66 percent chance of being the correct one. So Deshawn is fortunate that he stuck with his instincts and didn't make the higher-percentage play.

In any event, maybe I'm giving the show too much credit, but rigging that part of the game seems like a stretch to me. 

If the do-or-die test involved actual skill, I wouldn't mind seeing it return. Like for instance, the first two out have to compete to make fire. But random chance elements should be minimized.

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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10 hours ago, 30 Helens said:

I’m wondering if I missed something, because… Danny spent his entire life, including most of his adult life, being angry at his father for dying in a car accident? I understand being angry at fate, or the other driver, or being angry at his father if he had died of a drug overdose or something else within his control, but a car accident?? That is not only sad, it seems unfair to his father, and I don’t get it.

Maybe his dad was drunk driving? Although, you'd think he'd have mentioned that. I actually fast forwarded through that segment so I guess I shouldn't really comment on it lol.

2 hours ago, Seelouis said:

What would have happened if only one person opted to do the immunity challenge? Would that person just have automatically had to do the do or die? That’s some bull#%%. Enough with the stupid twists, Jeff!

This. I feel like they don't think these things through enough. I mean, sure, there was a really low chance something like this would happen but it was possible.

This episode made me feel like they're trying to tell me Xander is some big player who has been making moves when I don't think that has been shown to be actually true at all so I'm guessing he's going to win. Which, meh. I hate his face (tm Liana). His comment about the discussion at TC was pretty good though, I'll give him that.

I don't really care about the Do or Die twist. I mean, if they keep it and it fucks over someone I like I'll be annoyed, but like whatever lol.

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Yessss, evil witch #2 is gone! Liana may have redeemed herself slightly for some with her rather moving speech at TC, but it was too little too late. Doesn't excuse being an asshole to people. (ie to Xander "I hate his face" 24/7)

It bothers me when people discuss POC but don't bring up the other POC in the game who aren't necessarily black -- Erika, Ricard, Naseer, etc. I believe the full term is BIPOC for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour.

Too many shots of Shan looking pouty in TC. Give it up, Editors, your princess got voted out as she deserved. Please don't give her extra screentime.

Also I wasn't sure where to put this, but one of my favourite video games is a trilogy that explores various thought experiments including the Prisoner's Dilemma, the multiverse theory (the hourglass twist--in another universe, the other team won), and the Monty Hall Problem. Seeing them ALL pop up in this season makes me if that's just a coincidence...

Edited by Valerie
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9 hours ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

I didn't so much mind the diversity diversion but IMO it went on way too long. It's Survivor, not American studies or whatever. 

I didn't mind it at all, and found it interesting and moving. What did make me extremely uncomfortable was the way Naseer and Erika were utterly ignored in the conversation. The Black players talked, the white players responded, but Erika and Naseer weren't referred to or asked anything, even though they've certainly experienced plenty of prejudice in their lives. 

Maybe they didn't mind, but it REALLY bothered me. I wish there had been at least a nod to the similarity of their experience. (It reminded me of Derex (Asian) and Alyssa (Latina) on BB, getting voted out by the Cookout. They were good sports about it, but I felt bad.)

ETA I just saw that eskimo made a similar point earlier. 

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Just posted: Primetimer's Joe Reid recaps this week's episode:

Quote

After DeShawn selected his box, Probst opened one of the unselected boxes to reveal a skull, which would mean elimination. Suddenly DeShawn's game of chance became a classic Monty Hall Problem (subtitled Xander: "It's a Monty Hall Problem"). As explained here, the Monty Hall Problem, inspired by Let's Make a Deal, is a statistics brain teaser that presents pretty much the exact scenario DeShawn faced: three blind choices, only one of which is good, followed by the host then revealing one of the wrong answers and giving the selector one last chance to either change his selection or stick with it. The math says that you should always opt to swap for the other box. It's a probability thing: when you have 3 options, you have a 66% chance of picking wrong, so sight unseen, you should assume you've picked one of the two wrong boxes. Thus, when the host reveals the other wrong box, the probability is now 66% in your favor that the remaining box is the good one. It's a good thing DeShawn apparently doesn't watch explainer videos. 

More here:
https://www.primetimer.com/features/for-its-latest-twist-survivor-became-lets-make-a-deal
 

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36 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:
10 hours ago, 30 Helens said:

I’m wondering if I missed something, because… Danny spent his entire life, including most of his adult life, being angry at his father for dying in a car accident? I understand being angry at fate, or the other driver, or being angry at his father if he had died of a drug overdose or something else within his control, but a car accident?? That is not only sad, it seems unfair to his father, and I don’t get it.

Maybe his dad was drunk driving? Although, you'd think he'd have mentioned that. I actually fast forwarded through that segment so I guess I shouldn't really comment on it lol.

Danny admitted that it wasn't fair to be angry at his dad; he literally said he was mad at his dad for something that wasn't his fault, so I highly doubt drunk driving had anything to do with it. The way people react to tragedy and deal with grief often isn't logical, and this happened when Danny was about 8.

I'm glad Danny had time to come to terms with it, but I kind of wish he hadn't tied it in to his time on Survivor. Jeff will just try to take credit for it.

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Xander is so not seen as a threat in this game. People are almost ignoring him. When was the last time people mentioned needing to vote him out because of the idol? It is like he has become an after thought. Danny talked to Xander about voting out Ricard. Xander wisely saw that Ricard is a threat but that he was not going to be in a good place voting with Liana, Danny, and DeShawn. But Xander is driving nothing. Even Xander saw that Erika was the one who might change her vote and cause the plan to fail. 

It is crazy to me that someone with an idol and an advantage is essentially a non-entity but that is what I am seeing from Xander. The scene in the shelter where Xander is all happy and excited was humorous to Heather, Ricard, and Erika. I suspect part of their reaction was that somehow Xander thought that he played a larger role in this then he actually did.

Tribal was interesting. I thought that it was a good conversation and I think that it makes sense when you remember the context of this exact season. There was COVID and then the various issue surrounding racial justice in the US. Between the isolation of COVID and the heightened awareness of issues of social justice, the conversations, the alliance attempt between the AA in the tribe, and the angst at its failure makes 100% sense. I fear that it is not going to hold up in future years because there is no context to their conversations. There is no direct mention of George Floyd or Briana Taylor or COVID.

While I don't watch Survivor for these types of conversations, I appreciate that it is being discussed and putting forward very loudly the cultural and personal impact that these issues have had. I think Xander's response was pretty much spot on and was the cherry on the sunday. All of this has been happening for years and has been behind the scenes for years but it is new to many people who are not AA.

And then Liana was voted out because the choice for Ricard, Xander, Erika, and Heather is that they would be the fourth person in the other alliance and that is not why they are out playing Survivor. The new four gives Ricard and Xander some room to move and a path to the final game that allying with Liana, Danny, and DeShawn.

It was an interesting night.

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3 hours ago, Seelouis said:

What would have happened if only one person opted to do the immunity challenge? Would that person just have automatically had to do the do or die? That’s some bull#%%. Enough with the stupid twists, Jeff!

Maybe the producers would have scrapped it all together?  Just play the challenge as any other?  Contestants arise and rebel against dumb twists!

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9 hours ago, eskimo said:

I'm curious if the diversity talk changed Erica's vote.  If I'd have been her and initially been on board with ousting Ricard, that whole conversation would have told me that Danny, DeShawn,  and Liana were a super tight three and there was no way in hell I was wiggling into that.  They may have talked their way out of final 3.  

 

This has been my MAIN problem with Survivor in the last few years.   Jeff Probst has inserted himself way too much into the game.  His talks with the contestants at Tribal Council are so invasive that they practically telegraph what the players are doing.  I liked it better in the early days when Jeff asked about how things were going around camp.  Now the discussions are all about analyzing game play while the game is happening.  It's like you can figure out exactly who is betraying whom just by listening to the tone of his questions.  He brings things up that the players may not have even thought of before Tribal Council.  I also think his incessant commentary during the challenges messes with the players concentration.  That's another part of the show which I think Jeff needs to take a step back.

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1 hour ago, plotpointer said:

So combine that challenge with the added responsibility of representing the community correctly and the fact that you’re automatically a target among white players… and you’ll understand the frustrations of Black players.

These are burdens people put on themselves that I don't think anyone should have to shoulder.  No wonder Deshawn was reduced to tears.  He's just a nice young man trying to play a game. No one has the right to ask him to represent an entire race at the same time he's trying to win two million dollars. 

I also don't agree that it's a fact that white people are going to automatically target black players either.  Both Xander and Ricard immediately chose a black person to partner with.

 

 

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13 hours ago, eskimo said:

I'd also like to mention that it seems as if they don't think they are representing their culture properly if they don't play together and I think that is completely wrong.   If they click then great, play together.   But if they don't,  you can still represent your culture by just being who you are.  But don't say one thing when it sounds good, then do another (in terms of racial issues, not the game itself)

I think they thought that the best way to show the diversity of Black culture is to make sure they were all still there to show that diversity.    

I thought it interesting that Deshawn started off talking about not wanting to be seen as an angry black man.    Which is definitely a common stereotype .   Their goal is to represent the culture by not being being seen as common stereotypes seen on this show,  angry black man/woman, untrustworthy, not fitting in with the rest of the "group", physically strong, but poor strategic players, bad swimmers (was pleasantly surprised this didn't come up this season lol...).    

11 hours ago, MrsR said:

Earl, Cassandra and Dreamz would like to have a word with the cast of this season.

And if I'm remembering correctly, they had similar conversation about representing culture during their season.     

 

6 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

Yes, there are important things to discuss, but this show isn't the way to do so-IMO.  There are so many venues and means to having serious discussions and receive information.  I just want to watch Survivor.  I want to watch alliances form, contestants struggle with shelter building and getting food, I want someone to root for and a villain to root against, I want to be in disbelief with the idiocy of some of the contestants, and I want a good blindside (especially if the evictee is arrogant).  BUT, I don't want to feel like Jeff and the producers are lecturing me and I don't want to "relive" real events through tribal council.  I understand that others are appreciative of these discussions, but this is just my opinion about a show that I really, really used to love.  I also don't want an elimination of a player I like due to a "Let's Make a Deal" set-up.

There are many  who aren't going to access those other venues and means.   Kind of like how some parents sneak veggies in their kids mac and cheese.  They use something the kid likes to make sure they also get something they need.   Meanwhile the mac and cheese is still delicious.   

This show often brings in real life issues and personal issues into the show.  Think of times when contestants talk about being picked on in regular life (because they were nerdy or different) but they went on Survivor and realized they were strong etc.   The show often is about self discovery.   

Edited by After7Only
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That might have been the least game-related content of any Survivor episode ever. I didn't really mind, and I really liked the discussion at TC, but the whole episode felt like a bit of a letdown after all the crazy maneuvering and strategizing of last week.

In general, I feel that since twists have always been part of the game, there's no such thing as an unfair twist, but the Monty Hall problem comes damned close. It's not so much that someone can go out without a vote, since that can happen with rock draws as well, but at least there, you have the option of flipping your vote and not having to go to rocks. In this specific instance though, it was really Deshawn's only chance. If he hadn't played in the IC, he would have been voted out. If he played and didn't win, he would have been voted out. Getting a second shot at immunity and then actually getting it by random chance was really the only way he could be saved. So it worked out for him, but I'm still not crazy about the twist.

3 hours ago, Seelouis said:

What would have happened if only one person opted to do the immunity challenge? Would that person just have automatically had to do the do or die? That’s some bull#%%. Enough with the stupid twists, Jeff!

In that case, I think that one person would automatically win immunity and no one would have to do the Do or Die, which is why although I like this suggestion:

12 hours ago, cherrypj said:

If everyone opts out of the Do or Die stupid twist, that’ll be the end of it. Can’t wait for the players to wise up, and break it, like they did the Auction. 

I can't see it ever happening. If players knew it might come up at a challenge and decided beforehand that they'd all opt out, at least one person would think they could nab immunity by being the only one not to opt out.

14 minutes ago, tracyscott76 said:

Danny admitted that it wasn't fair to be angry at his dad; he literally said he was mad at his dad for something that wasn't his fault, so I highly doubt drunk driving had anything to do with it. The way people react to tragedy and deal with grief often isn't logical, and this happened when Danny was about 8.

He also said that he had to deal with the guilt he felt for being mad. A lot of adults go through the same process, even knowing it's illogical, so it seems like an understandable reaction for an eight-year-old who doesn't understand all the circumstances, but just knows that dad has left him.

13 minutes ago, plotpointer said:

Jeff Probst has inserted himself way too much into the game.  His talks with the contestants at Tribal Council are so invasive that they practically telegraph what the players are doing.

He's always done that though. Back in season one, he flat-out asked Sue Hawk if there was an alliance voting out all the Pagong members. That's how we found out Sue has no poker-face at all. She started looking around in a panic and finally said, ".... no-o-o?" then later laughed at herself about how badly she'd covered.

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37 minutes ago, Haleth said:

Maybe the producers would have scrapped it all together?  Just play the challenge as any other?  Contestants arise and rebel against dumb twists!

Seems like if there were only one person willing to compete for immunity, that person would automatically get immunity and not have to worry about the Do or Die. But it seems like a scenario that's unlikely to come up. It seems unlikely that with a group of 5+ Survivors, there would ever be fewer than two people who would feel like that they should compete, either to get immunity because they feel vulnerable or to immunity-block someone else.

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I am curious if there was a reward challenge that got edited out so Jeffy could have his Very Special Tribal Council.

Some are saying that Xander does nothing but I thought it was clear he was in the drivers seat last night.  And I thought he made the right move.  He knows that the black alliance (which Liana actually referred to as such in tribal, I think it was the first time any of them were so open with the others about the fact that there was in fact a black alliance) is tight.  He has Heather and Erika.  And then there's Ricard.  Danny wanted Ricard out, but then it would be 3 vs. 3.  Ricard went running to Xander after voting out his #1 ally, and Xander was wise to take him in.

What I don't understand is why Erika was potentially vacillating.  Erika should recognise that her best bet was to stick with Xander and Heather.  Use Ricard to get out one of Danny, Deshawn and Liana.  Then get rid of Ricard next time.  I guess she was so uncertain to the point where Xander didn't trust her so he used his extra vote.  If I were Xander I would have discussed with Erika that the best course was to vote out Liana and they could deal with Ricard next vote.  That way he could have saved his extra vote for next time when it seems like Ricard could run to Danny and Deshawn and urge them to help him take out Xander.

I didn't mind the "Do or Die" and I guess I don't view it as completely unfair as others do.  By playing for immunity, all of the players knew there was a chance they could risk getting booted out.  Jeff told them in advance they would have to play a game.  If anyone felt like there was a chance they could be first out of the immunity challenge, they had the option to sit out.  Liana and Heather thought they would have zero chance to win and didn't want to risk being first out, so they sat.

In fact, I think Liana may have made a poor choice.  She knew that she was at risk.  I think the one thing she couldn't have anticipated was that she was going to be the likely boot since Danny won immunity and Deshawn was safe from the DoD.  But... she knew that she and Xander were at odds, and that some might have wanted her out.  She even talked about possibly using her Shot in the Dark.

What she could have done was to lose the immunity challenge immediately and take her chances with the DoD.  She would have a 1 in 3 chance of being safe, as opposed to the Shot, which is 1 in 6.  Granted, she wouldn't have known all of this in advance, so I can understand why she chose to sit out.

I think in the future, unless Jeffy changes the DoD game or odds, it seems to me that someone who knows they are on the wrong side of the numbers and who knows that they won't win immunity might be better off losing immunity immediately to get the better chances with the DoD than the chances with the Shot in the Dark.

At tribal, I don't understand why Liana did NOT play her Shot.  Especially after going on and on about the black alliance and what it means to be black.  I do think she solidified Erika's vote for her with that speech.  Erika is smart, and I'm sure she figured out that if Ricard went and Liana stayed, then it would be 3 vs. 3 for next time.  Liana was the only available choice to further eliminate the players in the black alliance.  She should have taken her shot.  Who cares if she lost her vote, it wouldn't matter who would have gone home if she had a successful shot, and then the teams are 3 vs. 3 for next week.  Better than just accepting fate and hoping someone on the other side flips.

 

14 hours ago, princelina said:

If 4 people form an alliance, and then the group of previous underdogs manage to flip some of them and end up voting the rest of the alliance out, is it racist?  That's the risk they took forming an alliance based on their skin color.  It's not racist for their opposition to want to vote them out.

I thought Lianna was a much more gracious loser than her BFF, who sat there on the jury with the sulkiest look ever for the entire time!  I'm off to watch her ponderosa video and see how she acted when she got voted off.  Maybe it's just resting bitch face 😄

 

13 hours ago, susannot said:

Agree with all but....the 4 black players of the Alliance voted out in a row...Just does not look good.

I don't agree that if the 4 black players go out in a row means that it's a bad look for the other contestants and the show.  The 4 players made it very clear that they were an alliance, to the exclusion of other minority players like Erika, Naseer and Ricard.  They made their bed, they lost, and if the consequences are that they all get voted out, then oh well.

I liked Liana in the very first episode but that was it.  This episode, I found her much more likeable and gracious.  I liked how she said that she really enjoyed playing with everyone, and I liked how she said "thank you" to Jeffy when he snuffed her torch.  Her final words were very gracious as well.

Unlike Shan, who sat on the jury and made faces of anguish and pain the entire time.  Shan looked like someone had stabbed her in the heart when the vote was announced.  Why?  The alternative would have been her supposed BFF Ricard, who she said she was going to vote for to win.

Also, shut up Evvie!  I think when Liana said something, we had a shot of Evvie chuckling and shaking her head in disagreement.

12 hours ago, Tango64 said:

Where are they getting all these clothes? From one shot to the next they’re in different outfits that look fresh and clean. A pretty pink fleece jacket, a nice green sweater, a clean tan hoodie, all sorts of wardrobe changes.

They used to wear one ratty outfit the whole season. Now they must have racks of wardrobe just off camera  Pfffffft….

 

 

12 hours ago, Tango64 said:

Alright, guess I misremembered. But I don’t recall them sporting fleece jackets that looked like they just came off the rack at Land’s End. Just more softening of the “surviving” aspect of Survivor. 

There's always complaints when seasons end up becoming "underwear seasons", and yeah, they get their one outfit chosen by production and they have to wear it all season.  Was Pearl Islands one of these underwear seasons?  On Pearl Islands, the elastic in Osten's underwear broke and he said he couldn't keep his underwear up (not sure why he just wouldn't wear pants), so all the guys except for Skinny Ryan dropped their shorts and competed naked in solidarity.  And I remember Ryan O somehow sewing up his own underwear which was ripping.

When was the last season when the contestants actually got swimsuits at some point?

I will have to look out for these fleece jackets but it could just be that it was part of someone's designated outfit.  It's not unheard of for them to get jackets but I would hope that everyone then gets some piece of outer clothing and not just a few.  Angelina Keeley's plea of "Can I have your jacket" after voting someone out is a classic, to the point where it was used as one of the rebus puzzle solutions.

 

10 hours ago, millennium said:

I'm so over Jeff's incessant babbling: before challenges, during challenges, after challenges, and especially during Tribal where he keeps at them and at them until he finally gets someone to say whatever thing he believes will create buzz on social media, and only then will he proceed to the vote.   I have often wondered whether Survivors are contractually obligated to answer his questions at Tribal, because if not, just once, I would love for someone to shrug and say, "I got nothing, Jeff."   Tonight, when he was trying to convince the world that Survivor is a microcosm of modern society, I was wishing someone would say, "Hey Jeff, who writes this shit?"

Exactly, I am so tired of Jeffy and his nonstop talking.  I hate almost every single one of his catchphrases.  I hate how he says "you gotta concentrate, you gotta dig deep" like on this immunity challenge, when his talking is one of the things interrupting that concentration.  And this year, new to Survivor, I hate how he talks to the camera like he is an insider sharing secrets with us the viewers.  SHUT UP JEFFY.  I wish the contestants would tell him to shut up.

1 hour ago, Melina22 said:

I didn't mind it at all, and found it interesting and moving. What did make me extremely uncomfortable was the way Naseer and Erika were utterly ignored in the conversation. The Black players talked, the white players responded, but Erika and Naseer weren't referred to or asked anything, even though they've certainly experienced plenty of prejudice in their lives. 

Yep, and I fault Jeffy.  I'm sure Jeffy was creaming his pants when Deshawn cried about voting out his sister and Liana talked about what it was like to be a black woman.  Jeffy thinks Survivor is an example of society, and he views himself as a messiah who is leading the entire world on the path to enlightenment ("come on in guys!").  So I am sure he loved all the discussion.  But I thought it was particularly poor how we hear from two black players and then he immediately jumps to the only white guy and the only white woman sitting on the stools.  What about Erika?  What about Ricard?  It's not just about black and white.  I am sure that Erika as an Asian woman and Ricard as a gay Hispanic man have certainly faced their share of discrimination.

I would have loved for Jeffy to have asked Deshawn and Liana why they didn't include Abraham or JD in their culture, or why if they felt so discriminated against by society as a whole, why wouldn't they have been more inclusive and open to working with others who have likely also faced discrimination.

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The other thing I hated about the twist was Jeff making it seem like those who sat out did so because they felt safe and didn’t need immunity. In reality, the two who sat out recognized they were the most likely to be first out based on previous performance and since they probably didn’t have a good chance of winning immunity, why risk being subject to some stupid twist?

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5 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I liked Liana in the very first episode but that was it.  This episode, I found her much more likeable and gracious.  I liked how she said that she really enjoyed playing with everyone, and I liked how she said "thank you" to Jeffy when he snuffed her torch.  Her final words were very gracious as well.

That's how it went with me too. I've been cracking on her for being dumb, but listening to her talk last night, she's clearly a smart person -- she's just really really Not Good at Survivor. However, I'm surprised that she counted herself out at the IC. As I recall, she was a huge physical asset in challenges for the Yellow tribe. She's really athletic, but maybe it's just endurance where she's not so great. I haven't been paying attention to how she's done in the individual challenges.

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I thought the choice to vote Liana out was an easy one.  She is part of a tight alliance and the other two members have immunity.   It was her by default.   If they didn’t vote her out, then it would be 3-3 next week, and who knows how that would play up.  

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11 minutes ago, blackwing said:

What I don't understand is why Erika was potentially vacillating.  Erika should recognise that her best bet was to stick with Xander and Heather.  Use Ricard to get out one of Danny, Deshawn and Liana.  Then get rid of Ricard next time.  I guess she was so uncertain to the point where Xander didn't trust her so he used his extra vote.  If I were Xander I would have discussed with Erika that the best course was to vote out Liana and they could deal with Ricard next vote.  That way he could have saved his extra vote for next time when it seems like Ricard could run to Danny and Deshawn and urge them to help him take out Xander.

I didn't mind the "Do or Die" and I guess I don't view it as completely unfair as others do.  By playing for immunity, all of the players knew there was a chance they could risk getting booted out.  Jeff told them in advance they would have to play a game.  If anyone felt like there was a chance they could be first out of the immunity challenge, they had the option to sit out.  Liana and Heather thought they would have zero chance to win and didn't want to risk being first out, so they sat.

In fact, I think Liana may have made a poor choice.  She knew that she was at risk.  I think the one thing she couldn't have anticipated was that she was going to be the likely boot since Danny won immunity and Deshawn was safe from the DoD.  But... she knew that she and Xander were at odds, and that some might have wanted her out.  She even talked about possibly using her Shot in the Dark.

What she could have done was to lose the immunity challenge immediately and take her chances with the DoD.  She would have a 1 in 3 chance of being safe, as opposed to the Shot, which is 1 in 6.  Granted, she wouldn't have known all of this in advance, so I can understand why she chose to sit out.

I think in the future, unless Jeffy changes the DoD game or odds, it seems to me that someone who knows they are on the wrong side of the numbers and who knows that they won't win immunity might be better off losing immunity immediately to get the better chances with the DoD than the chances with the Shot in the Dark.

At tribal, I don't understand why Liana did NOT play her Shot.  Especially after going on and on about the black alliance and what it means to be black.  I do think she solidified Erika's vote for her with that speech.  Erika is smart, and I'm sure she figured out that if Ricard went and Liana stayed, then it would be 3 vs. 3 for next time.  Liana was the only available choice to further eliminate the players in the black alliance.  She should have taken her shot.  Who cares if she lost her vote, it wouldn't matter who would have gone home if she had a successful shot, and then the teams are 3 vs. 3 for next week.  Better than just accepting fate and hoping someone on the other side flips.

Erika's main hope for a FTC win IMO would be something like her, Heather and Liana. As things stand, winning will be difficult for her if any combination of Xander, Ricard, Deshawn or Danny are sitting next to her, and she is likely to be shut out. So I could see it being a true dilemma for her voting out one of the few people she could beat and leaving in someone who is a huge threat.  Ricard has won two individual immunities and a reward challenge. He came darn close to winning this week as well. So you can't count on him being vulnerable in future weeks. Especially with the emphasis on twisty-twisty-twists this season.

Even if Liana knew the odds on DoD, I think she would have still been better served in hoping that enough people would rally to want Ricard out than taking a 66 percent chance of getting booted. I don't know the odds on flipping any one of Xander, Heather or Erika to get rid of Ricard. I do wish that TPTB showed more of whatever efforts were made on those fronts.

Similarly, taking the SITD gives a 17 percent chance of safety. Are the odds of flipping any one of Xander, Heather or Erika better than 17 percent? I would guess so, or at least, would not fault someone who thought so. 

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8 minutes ago, DEL901 said:

I thought the choice to vote Liana out was an easy one.  She is part of a tight alliance and the other two members have immunity.   It was her by default.   If they didn’t vote her out, then it would be 3-3 next week, and who knows how that would play up.  

a. There's a question of how tight the AAA alliance would be after Shan got voted out, and after Deshawn/Danny effectively allowed the others to put Liana at risk the previous TC. It might have been possible (or at least, HEX might have thought it was possible) to pry Liana away from Deshawn/Danny and for Liana to want revenge against them. Indeed, it may have been all that talk about the culture that made Liana more of a goner by making it seem more likely that the AAA three would have considered bygones to be bygones.

b. Liana is an easy any-time vote. She's not particularly an immunity idol risk, she has no advantages and she and her former allies are on the outs. It might have seemed better to get rid of either of the actual threats than someone who was largely ineffectual as a player.

c. No one knows how things will end up with it being 4-2 either. Danny/Deshawn might be able to flip someone to try to get rid of Ricard if he's vulnerable. Since Xander can only play his idol at 5 or 6, I believe, probably he plays it next week. 

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Barely paid any attention to the tribal council. 

 

That said, I agree that the "Do or Die" punishment should be skill based, not "random" (I'm not unconvinced that they all showed "fire" and Jeff could open the box in a special way to make it "Skull").

 

One of the main themes of the show from the beginning is "Fire is life". So the Do or Die challenge should have been a fire making challenge. "Your fire has gone out. Make a fire with these supplies within X minutes to reignite your fire and stay in the game. If you can't, you're out." Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone assumed it would be a fire making challenge and voted accordingly. 

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10 minutes ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

Erika's main hope for a FTC win IMO would be something like her, Heather and Liana. As things stand, winning will be difficult for her if any combination of Xander, Ricard, Deshawn or Danny are sitting next to her, and she is likely to be shut out. So I could see it being a true dilemma for her voting out one of the few people she could beat and leaving in someone who is a huge threat.  Ricard has won two individual immunities and a reward challenge. He came darn close to winning this week as well. So you can't count on him being vulnerable in future weeks. Especially with the emphasis on twisty-twisty-twists this season.

I think Liana's "we are four black people and we are strong and solid" speech pretty much indicated that if any of the black alliance end up in the final tribal, they are going to automatically get the votes of the other three.  So taking out Liana was the first step in breaking up that strong alliance.   Erika would have had no chance against Liana in the finals.  Liana would have cried about hardship and what it's like being her.  She would get the votes of Shan, Danny, and Deshawn automatically.  Ricard would vote for her because he knows discrimination.  Evvie would vote for her because she is all about social justice.  Naseer, Tiffany and Xander could possibly vote for Erika but it's not enough 

Erika stands a good chance of winning if she is up against Xander and Heather.  She needs to ride with these two to the end.  Evvie is a bitter bitter person who hates Xander for not playing the idol for her, and she wants a woman to win.  Evvie will rally people against Xander.  Liana would likely rally the black alliance and Ricard against Xander.  Naseer would likely vote for Erika.  Heather should get zero votes.  Tiffany may vote for Xander.  I see Erika winning 7-1-0 if she is up against Xander and Heather.

5 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Yeah, this. I have mixed feelings about the Very Special Tribal Council. On the one hand what they were saying felt mostly heartfelt and genuine. On the other hand, the last person on earth to moderate this kind of discussion is Jeff Fucking Probst. I see red whenever he or anyone else tries to sell a reality show as "a social experiment." The Stanford Prison Experiment was a social experiment. Survivor is a dressed-up gameshow. Aside from the fact that it takes place on an island instead of in a studio, that's really what it boils down to. Especially now, more than ever. And when Probst tries to wax philosophic about "this is why people watch Survivor" it's so far off the mark it makes me cringe. Because they have just about eliminated the real reason people watch this show with all these stupid twists and gimmicks. The "Do or Die" twist is, by far, the worst yet. 

It's really rich that we have Jeffy who is a late middle-aged white man, on the cusp of being considered elderly, and he thinks that he is an expert on society and feelings and discrimination.  I agree with you that he has absolutely no qualifications to moderate this kind of discussion.  He is a privileged rich white male, and he needs to stop acting like he's "just like everyone else".  If the show is going to continue to insist that it is leading the way to social change, then the show needs a new host.  After 41 seasons, I'd say it's about time.  I think someone like Cirie or Sandra Diaz-Twine would be a welcome change.  Even though I am not a big fan of Sandra (I still don't understand why she insisted that "Queen stays Queen" even as she was getting her torch snuffed), I am so beyond tired of Jeffy that I think anyone would be a welcome change.

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15 hours ago, princelina said:

If 4 people form an alliance, and then the group of previous underdogs manage to flip some of them and end up voting the rest of the alliance out, is it racist?  That's the risk they took forming an alliance based on their skin color.  It's not racist for their opposition to want to vote them out.

I thought Lianna was a much more gracious loser than her BFF, who sat there on the jury with the sulkiest look ever for the entire time!  I'm off to watch her ponderosa video and see how she acted when she got voted off.  Maybe it's just resting bitch face 😄

Because it cannot be said enough, thank God SHAN was voted out.  What a miserable pastor, oops, I mean person.  I was ready to give up on Survivor if she had won. 

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What a disaster.   As someone pointed out above, there is no surviving on this show any longer.  The fresh clothes and overall lack of any wear and tear on their standard costumes and bodies   give the clear impression that this group has been coddled throughout the season.  When you add the fact that we rarely see any wide shots of the camp (note how the entire show is in close-ups and tight shots), there's something shady about this season.

That box choice also seemed shady.  It appeared obvious Jeff was signaling which box to select.  And the intense look he had when offering a chance to switch seemed more of the same. 

It seemed that DeShawn's soliloquy was intended to manipulate shan (her exit really got to him).  I fast forwarded the rest because I don't take social discourse from the likes of Probst and CBS.  

Personally, i find the notion that voting out the former dominant alliance may be racist by the mere fact its members are black to be very     problematic.   It is not only commonplace when there is a tight alliance, but also the smart move for the former minority.  This is akin to arguing that math or standard english is racist.  

  

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12 hours ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

I didn't so much mind the diversity diversion but IMO it went on way too long. It's Survivor, not American studies or whatever. But it fits in with Jeff's sudden need to be extra chatty this season and to apparently expound on the new Survivor religion he seems to be promoting. I think he takes himself and this show way too seriously. It's a TV game. Get over yourself.

Having the Do or Die be a simple game of chance with a two to one chance of losing was awful. I thought they'd have to do something real like make fire or do a puzzle or something. But no, just pick a box, any box. It was like some carnival game of chance. I am so glad DeShawn didn't lose such a stupid way to go out.

Loved Shan tonight. She looked like she smelled something gross all TC. She apparently doesn't lose gracefully. I do so want to see what she did when she went to Ponderosa. 

She didn't play gracefully either.  So glad when she got booted.

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53 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I think Liana's "we are four black people and we are strong and solid" speech pretty much indicated that if any of the black alliance end up in the final tribal, they are going to automatically get the votes of the other three.  So taking out Liana was the first step in breaking up that strong alliance.   Erika would have had no chance against Liana in the finals.  Liana would have cried about hardship and what it's like being her.  She would get the votes of Shan, Danny, and Deshawn automatically.  Ricard would vote for her because he knows discrimination.  Evvie would vote for her because she is all about social justice.  Naseer, Tiffany and Xander could possibly vote for Erika but it's not enough

Your post raises the question, how do we identify what is or isn't gameplay?  Having a sad story and pulling on heartstrings is straight out of the Survivor playbook.   How are we supposed to know when tears are real and when they are being used strategically?   When DeShawn had his breakdown last night over voting out Shan, I was thinking, he didn't seem too broken up last episode when he was doing it.  I also wondered, is this an attempt at CYA, not just in the game, but maybe he's considering the backlash he'll get back home and on his social media for breaking up the culture alliance.  When Liana teared up, I thought that she might be trying to sway votes away from herself.    Only Danny's reaction seemed devoid of motive to me. 

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2 hours ago, After7Only said:

There are many where who aren't going to access those other venues and means.   Kind of like how some parents sneak veggies in their kids mac and cheese.  They use something the kid likes to make sure they also get something they need.   Meanwhile the mac and cheese is still delicious. 

This is a great analogy, and in the past I think the show has done a service in this regard (all the way back to Rudy and Richard's friendship in Season 1). Unfortunately, it seems that in recent years the show has been getting sloppy about hiding the veggies, and it's having the opposite effect. Instead of people seeing and hearing things that would be good to see and hear, they get fed up with the show's often ham-handed approach (mostly, but not exclusively, on Jeff's part) and tune out as soon as an uncomfortable topic comes up. I was guilty of that at times this season, and it's a shame because the things that were said by Liana, Deshawn and Danny this episode were well worth hearing. For whatever reason I forced myself to listen this time and I don't regret it in the slightest. The fact that I had to force myself to listen, to me, means that it was needed.

 

Just now, millennium said:

Your post raises the question, how do we identify what is or isn't gameplay?  Having a sad story and pulling on heartstrings is straight out of the Survivor playbook.   How are we supposed to know when tears are real and when they are being used strategically?   When DeShawn had his breakdown last night over voting out Shan, I was thinking, he didn't seem too broken up last episode when he was doing it.  I also wondered, is this an attempt at CYA, not just in the game, but maybe he's considering the backlash he'll get back home and on his social media for breaking up the culture alliance.  When Liana teared up, I thought that she might be trying to sway votes away from herself.    Only Danny's reaction seemed truly genuine to me.

Deshawn and Liana also teared up about it in confessionals (Deshawn last episode, I believe, so I'd say he was plenty broken up about it) so it wasn't just for show at TC. And didn't Deshawn come right out and say in this episode that he was considering the backlash he'd get outside the game, which was part of why he was trying to explain his perspective? I don't think there was any hidden agenda on either his or Liana's part.

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Just now, tracyscott76 said:

 And didn't Deshawn come right out and say in this episode that he was considering the backlash he'd get outside the game, which was part of why he was trying to explain his perspective?

If he did, I must have missed it.

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1 hour ago, blackwing said:

I think Liana's "we are four black people and we are strong and solid" speech pretty much indicated that if any of the black alliance end up in the final tribal, they are going to automatically get the votes of the other three.  So taking out Liana was the first step in breaking up that strong alliance.   Erika would have had no chance against Liana in the finals.  Liana would have cried about hardship and what it's like being her.  She would get the votes of Shan, Danny, and Deshawn automatically.  Ricard would vote for her because he knows discrimination.  Evvie would vote for her because she is all about social justice.  Naseer, Tiffany and Xander could possibly vote for Erika but it's not enough 

Erika stands a good chance of winning if she is up against Xander and Heather.  She needs to ride with these two to the end.  Evvie is a bitter bitter person who hates Xander for not playing the idol for her, and she wants a woman to win.  Evvie will rally people against Xander.  Liana would likely rally the black alliance and Ricard against Xander.  Naseer would likely vote for Erika.  Heather should get zero votes.  Tiffany may vote for Xander.  I see Erika winning 7-1-0 if she is up against Xander and Heather.

What Liana says is no guarantee of how Shan, Deshawn or Danny might vote. It's a fair assumption that all three of the AAA would vote for a AAA member if possible, but it's not necessarily a valid one. It was just as fair an assumption that the four AAA members would stick together and run the game (or attempt to) until it was just the four of them and we now know that was an invalid assumption.

We've already had Shan declare that she was voting for Ricard against the field. Do we take her at her word? Maybe, maybe not. From Shan's statement about Deshawn being a snake, perhaps she would not in fact vote for him if he's in the FTC. We will only know if he gets there. 

If Liana's pitch is really just "it's been a hard year for black folks, and I'm black and voting me will perk up the black community" I don't think that is a winning strategy. Let's say for discussion sake she is the only black FTC candidate, and it's a three-person FTC. To win requires 5 votes. What other votes does "do it for the black community" get her, generally speaking? 

In the hypothetical three of Erika/Xander/Heather, how does Xander not win? Liana probably would vote against Xander because she has demonstrated a visceral dislike for him and because he posterized her with the Knowledge Is Power thing. But she has not been shown to have much sway over the other AAA members (and let's not forget how much Deshawn hates being told what to do).

There is no world in which Erika wins 7-1 where both Danny and Deshawn are both on the jury. Danny and Deshawn would pretty much never vote for Erika unless their only other options were a moldy piece of papaya and a fake idol, and probably not even then. They were literally trying to throw challenges to get rid of her back when they were Blue tribe. They also seem to be focused on gameplay and Xander (assuming he gets to the end and no amazing turnaround from Erika or Heather) has shown the best among those three by leaps. Similarly, Ricard would almost certainly go with Xander over Heather based on gameplay. Shan doesn't particularly seem to like Erika either, but I could at least see her voting Erika. I think you are also overstating both Evvie's motivation to rally people against Xander and her ability to do so. Evvie doesn't strike me as a particularly bitter person and is a pretty good student of the game. I think she will accept the obvious explanation: while he enjoyed working with Evvie, he wasn't about to give up an advantage to save her. I see a vote with Erika/Xander/Heather going something like 6-2 or 5-3 in favor of Xander,

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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Just now, millennium said:
Just now, tracyscott76 said:

 And didn't Deshawn come right out and say in this episode that he was considering the backlash he'd get outside the game, which was part of why he was trying to explain his perspective?

If he did, I must have missed it.

Pretty sure it was during tribal council. Admittedly, he might not have used the exact term backlash, but I think the general sense was the same. I'd have to rewatch to see exactly what he said, but...I'm kinda at work right now 🤦‍♂️

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