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S36.E12: A Giant Game of Bumper Cars

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Plus Laurel can say she doesn't think she can beat them but she can't know it.  And she probably said a whole bunch of things that didn't make the edit, probably including that she thinks she can beat them both.  I believe they get all kinds of contradictory comments out of these people, so they can cherry pick the ones that suit their story.  

I wouldn't have thought Michele could win.  2016 world events taught me crazy shit happens.  I'm even a little surprised Ben won, because I didn't like him, and usually the edit has me pulling for the winner.  

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1 hour ago, green said:

Also she wouldn't be with BOTH Wendell and Dom.  Those two have said in confessionals they know they can't be with each other in the finals and the editing has already set up a Dom/Wendell throw down starting several episodes ago.

Once one leads the charge to take out the other -- probably Dom will make the first move since he said he knows how to use his "official" fake idol he found -- one of them will go home.

That was true up till last season.  The bizarre tie-break they introduced, at F4, means both Dom and Wendell could very well make F3.  That, after all, is how Ben got there last season. 

Even though I like Dom and Wendell, and would like to see them in F3 alongside Laurel, the fire-making challenge at the end is a joke.  It certainly would have changed lots of Survivor winners, for better and for worse, if the show had had it all along. 

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2 hours ago, green said:

Laurel could well be the winner.  She already has the David vs Goliath edit going on so I would not be surprised at all if she wins.  If not she has already assured herself of a call back on a future Survivor. 

I don't see that at all.  She is a very boring interview as well as a boring non-playing coattail rider.  What would they want her back for?  That's another thing about the always-play-to-win thing, it also makes it more likely that you'll come back for another try if you lose.  Production loves a big move, that's why Jeff is always trying to get people to believe you have to make them to win.

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1 hour ago, KimberStormer said:

I don't see that at all.  She is a very boring interview as well as a boring non-playing coattail rider.  What would they want her back for? 

Right! And her manner of speaking is not pleasing either imo. She really is just another Sierra. Although they did bring her back, so I guess maybe Laurel will get another chance.

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5 hours ago, KimberStormer said:

I don't see that at all.  She is a very boring interview as well as a boring non-playing coattail rider.  What would they want her back for?  That's another thing about the always-play-to-win thing, it also makes it more likely that you'll come back for another try if you lose.  Production loves a big move, that's why Jeff is always trying to get people to believe you have to make them to win.

I don't find her boring at all, love her confessionals and she is way better than the endless blonde 20-something look a-likes.  Also though casting never will allow many Afro-Americans on the show at once they will have at least one and she is far more memorable with her "David" edit than a lot of black women who seem to go out in the first 2 or 3 episodes of late.

And who says she doesn't make a big move?  I don't think she has been featured as much as she has this season without some kind of a payoff coming up.  And quite frankly throwing a money wrench into Kellyn's hopes and schemes two times running is good enough for me.

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1 hour ago, green said:

hopes and schemes

That is a great Survivor phrase...or one for competitive reality in general.  We gotta make that common parlance around here.

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It's interesting because I think that Laurel legit has a good argument as to why she should win. Unfortunately, I doubt it works. 

I think someone else said it better, her agreeing to boot Wendell last week would've been building up Kellyn's resume, not hers. She'd be where she is now, just in a worst position numbers wise.

 

Truthfully, I don't think Donathon gets enough flack for his complacency. Sure, he claims to have wanted to make a move but why couldn't he? I know he says he was hamstrung, but if he wanted to make a move bad enough, he easily could've forced a tie and tested Laurel's resolve.

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4 hours ago, Oscirus said:

Truthfully, I don't think Donathon gets enough flack for his complacency. Sure, he claims to have wanted to make a move but why couldn't he? I know he says he was hamstrung, but if he wanted to make a move bad enough, he easily could've forced a tie and tested Laurel's resolve.

Yea, they both suck lol. 

I do think Donathan would be playing differently though if his partner wasn't Laurel. He might not be playing better, but he'd probably be playing more aggressively.

About Laurel and her visibility, she actually hasn't had that many confessionals. Dom, Kellyn, Wendell, and Donathan have all had more than her. By a decent amount, too. And she only has 3 more confessionals than Angela has had. It's crazy because it feels like so much of the discussion here is about her when in another season someone with only 15 confessionals at this point probably wouldn't be as comment worthy.

Edited by peachmangosteen
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16 hours ago, KimberStormer said:

I don't see that at all.  She is a very boring interview as well as a boring non-playing coattail rider.  What would they want her back for?  That's another thing about the always-play-to-win thing, it also makes it more likely that you'll come back for another try if you lose.  Production loves a big move, that's why Jeff is always trying to get people to believe you have to make them to win.

Just because people don't like that she is working with two people who have found idols and who appear to be running the game, does not make someone a coat tail rider. Laurel was at the bottom of the minority tribe. She knew that and created an alliance with Wendell. This lead to a four person alliance with Wendell, Dom, and Donathon. Laurel has actively sought to keep that alliance intact because it is her best chance to get to the finals.

She has specifically chosen to not align with individuals who have clearly demonstrated that they do not want to being anyone from Malolo to the finals. She has no good reason to work with Sea Bass, Kellyn, Chelsea, or Angela. She had no good reason to work with the Malolo who seemed to be more willing to vote out one of their own then to vote out a Naviti except when Dom wanted to vote out Des. Jenna should have voted with Donathon but voted for Donathon instead.

I think it is easy to say that it is worth taking the risk to make a big move and vote out Wendell or Dom and accept the possibility of being voted out 6th instead of making the finals when you are watching the show at home. I think it is far harder to rationalize that type of a move when you are out there playing. Yes, it is boring watching Wendell and Dom do their thing but they used the Naviti Strong mantra to protect themselves and are now able to use it to cut those Naviti adherents.

But Wendell and Dom could not do their thing with out Laurel and Donathon. And I don't think it is a hard case to make that Laurel earns her way to the finals by honoring her agreement to the Mixed Alliance. I think she can argue that the Naviti Strong mantra protected Wendell and Dom as much as Laurel and Donathon did. The Naviti who have been voted out are only annoyed because Laurel did not cooperate when they decided that Naviti Strong no longer held. They had their chances to vote out Dom and Wendell and they didn't take it.

This season has been more about the people who could not find a way to work together then it has been the alliances. The Naviti Strong adherents dies on their won sword. They did not allow for the possibility of other options and so when the time came for them to decide to take out another Naviti, they found that the Malolo folks simply didn't believe them. This is what happened to Des. After spouting Naviti Strong at how many tribals, she expected the Maloloto believe that she was willing to flip on Naviti and that she wasn't just using the Malolo. Chelsea and Kellyn had the same problem.

I think Laurel is playing a smart game. I think that the new tribal format gives her a chance to win this thing. She will have a chance to explain her decisions and point to how she ended up at the finals and why the offers from others were not deemed to be credible.

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Can we just cut to the chase and get to the Finale? LOL!! I just want to know who's in the Final 4 and then 3. I'm kinda over the season as a whole and with the debacle of a theme. I've always said that even a bad season is good but this time I'm just a little worn out. It had so much promise but Ghost Island (the island itself) died and early death and never recovered. While I think Dom and Wendell deservce to be in the finals and I suspect they will it's kind of boring, too. Maybe, someone will shake it up on Wednesday but I doubt it. Why start now? LOL!!!

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On 5/11/2018 at 6:13 PM, ByaNose said:

Yeah, she out right says it. She would lose going with Dom/Wendell and might win going with the other side Kellyn et all but doesn’t trust “them” to take her to the end. Then you throw in the fire making challenge. I have no idea what anyone is thinking for their Final 4. I’m not even sure what Dom/Wendell are thinking about that. Everyone assumes one of them is winning due to the major edit but even that’s not being aired. I’m sure it’s been talked about but the editors have left that out. Last season, it was new to the players. This season it wasn’t but any known discussions haven’t made the edit.

The fire making challenge at final 4? I thought these players didn't know about it either.

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8 minutes ago, greyflannel said:

The fire making challenge at final 4? I thought these players didn't know about it either.

No. They were told this season. It just wasn't aired. It may even been told in pre game at Ponderosa.

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8 minutes ago, ByaNose said:

No. They were told this season. It just wasn't aired. It may even been told in pre game at Ponderosa.

Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks! 

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7 hours ago, ProfCrash said:

But Wendell and Dom could not do their thing with out Laurel and Donathon. And I don't think it is a hard case to make that Laurel earns her way to the finals by honoring her agreement to the Mixed Alliance. I think she can argue that the Naviti Strong mantra protected Wendell and Dom as much as Laurel and Donathon did. The Naviti who have been voted out are only annoyed because Laurel did not cooperate when they decided that Naviti Strong no longer held. They had their chances to vote out Dom and Wendell and they didn't take it.

This season has been more about the people who could not find a way to work together then it has been the alliances. The Naviti Strong adherents dies on their won sword. They did not allow for the possibility of other options and so when the time came for them to decide to take out another Naviti, they found that the Malolo folks simply didn't believe them. This is what happened to Des. After spouting Naviti Strong at how many tribals, she expected the Maloloto believe that she was willing to flip on Naviti and that she wasn't just using the Malolo. Chelsea and Kellyn had the same problem.

I think Laurel is playing a smart game. I think that the new tribal format gives her a chance to win this thing. She will have a chance to explain her decisions and point to how she ended up at the finals and why the offers from others were not deemed to be credible.

I can't see Laurel being able to make that argument in about an hour's time during FTC. Perception is reality in Survivor. If you're perceived as the stronger player in an alliance, than you're the stronger player in the alliance. If you're viewed as the weaker player in an alliance during FTC... well, then you're SOL. Most of the jury is going to have their minds made up by the time and I don't see Laurel being able to make the case that she was an equal contributor in the four-way alliance, especially since so much of the game ran through Naviti players. 

Not to mention, trying to convince jurors to vote for you by making the argument that they played the wrong way? Not going to work. 

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But she is not argusing that she is the weaker member of the alliance. She would be arguing that she was the silent partner that made their more obvious game play possible. It is of course possible that thisis not Laurel’s game plan but it makes sense. 

I think that Wendell or Dom win if they make it to the end but I can see how Laurel could win.

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Ask Becky from Cook Islands how well the 'silent partner' argument works.

As @loki567 said, perception is reality in this game/the jury has already decided who to vote for before FTC anyway and I just think the jury likely sees Laurel as a Dom/Wendell lackey and I don't think she'll be able to convince them otherwise. I don't think many could convince the jury to see them as some big player when there isn't much tangible evidence of it, but in particular I don't think Laurel can. I don't see her being able to lay it out in any convincing way tbh.

But if you wanna see someone do this, watch season 3 of Australian Survivor. One of the best (and most hilarious) FTCs ever.

Edited by peachmangosteen
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I wonder how often the jury sees things the way we do at home.  We hear frequently in exit interviews that what we saw and we assumed wasn't really what they were thinking or why/how things went down.  But I guess with FTC the editors kind of have to present some semblance of a story for why the winner wins.  But all the 'Dom and Wendell are running the show with Lauren coattail riding' stuff now could be misdirection, who knows.  We've seen them dismantle a character and a story on a dime.  Audiences are fickle and forgetful.  Dom was seen as a buffoon the first few eps, now he's mostly seen as a likable mastermind (with exceptions).  A few good scenes could put him right back in the dunce hat and Laurel on the pedestal.  Not that I think that's their plan necessarily, just that it's very possible, to me.  

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I think if Laurel suddenly becomes a different type of player and she orchestrates the boot of Dom or Wendell, or probably ideally both, then she could definitely win. But based on the edit and just the facts we have, I really don't see that happening.

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If Laurel wasn't facing off against someone with Wendell's social game, she might've stood a chance. As it is between Wendell's social, and Dom's strategy, she has a steep hill to climb. That being said, she could try to ride the Malolo pride train, that's at least 3 votes there.

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1 hour ago, Oscirus said:

That being said, she could try to ride the Malolo pride train, that's at least 3 votes there.

I don't feel like Laurel was ever close to any of the Malolos though. And if she ever was I figure they're probably pissed at her for dumping them for Dom/Wendell.

The only way Laurel wins is if neither Dom nor Wendell is in the finals with her and I think there's virtually no chance of that happening. 

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I was thinking Laurel's only chance against Dom and Wendell in a F3 where they split the votes and Laurel picks up all the Malolos' votes (including Donathan). But people voting along tribal lines is rare and usually a case of people saying fuck you to Russell. I don't see that same backlash happening against Dom or Wendell. And I think either Dom or Wendell makes a move on the other before F4. 

Edited by loki567
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Maybe the reason we're seeing so much 'Naviti strong' stuff from Kellyn is because she spearheads an anti-Dom/Wendell campaign in the jury because they jumped ship on Naviti.

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On 5/10/2018 at 9:24 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Oh my goddddd I just watched the beginning of the episode.  My PVR didn't capture it, so when I started the episode, the family visits were just ending.

Donathan totally broke my heart!  Donathan and his Aunt Patty!  OH mannnnnnnnnn.  Now I have to love him forever. 

(Quoting myself because I'm rewatching the episode now.)

The way that Donathan kept cradling his head in Aunt Patty's neck the way a little boy does to his mother was so, so, so sweet.

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On 5/11/2018 at 3:02 PM, 30 Helens said:

Players do receive more money the longer they stay in the game.  It’s been a long time since I read about the prize amounts, but IIRC the difference between 1st/2nd runner-up and jury member is significant.  That said, I agree that playing to win should be the primary strategy.

The difference between the runner up money (like $100,000) and all the other money IS significant.  It's huge.  And there's a lot of us who don't come from wealth.  So, some people may not like it, but playing for 2, 3, 4 is not that bad of a strategy when you would like some money.  Even unintentionally so (I feel like almost EVERYONE thinks they're the deserving winner.  I bet it's extremely rare that someone is sitting on that show like "I KNOW I won't win and I don't deserve to.  Time to pack things up and go home!")   

It is also ironic to me that so many people hate Russell and think that Natalie White is the most deserving winner ever and yet in the same breath can say that people a silent partner or "not an asshole" or coattail rider or whatever is a terrible way to play.  🤔  I mean isn't Laurel a kind of Natalie White that is just aligned with nicer people?  Aligning with a "badly viewed person" sometimes works (Natalie) and sometimes doesn't (Parvati).  

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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3 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

It is also ironic to me that so many people hate Russell and think that Natalie White is the most deserving winner ever and yet in the same breath can say that people a silent partner or "not an asshole" or coattail rider or whatever is a terrible way to play.  🤔  I mean isn't Laurel a kind of Natalie White that is just aligned with nicer people?  Aligning with a "badly viewed person" sometimes works (Natalie) and sometimes doesn't (Parvati). 

Are there really "so many" people who say both? I haven't seen that particular argument, but I tend to zone out when it comes to hardcore game-play talk.

I think, if anything, the main difference between the two situations has less to do with Natalie and Laurel, and more to do with Russell and Wendell/Dom. A big argument against Russell isn't just that he wasn't nice, but that he was also a terrible player who didn't understand or acknowledge the basic concept of the endgame, whereas Wendell and Dom were generally seen as good players (Dom just perhaps got a little too "dom"inating, har har, at the end). Both Russell and Wendell/Dom ate the edits of their seasons, but perhaps people feel that was more justified in the latter case and are therefore less compelled to defend Laurel, whereas they feel that Natalie's game was shafted, edit-wise.

Despite my use of "whereas" and "therefore", I am not a lawyer. Just pretentious, apparently.

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I've always felt that dismissing Natalie White as a coattail rider was unfair, though I wouldn't necessary call her "the most deserving winner ever". I'm firmly in the camp that says whoever wins the season deserved to win, so talking about who was or wasn't deserving of their win doesn't make much sense.

Even if we grant that Natalie rode coattails to the end, I don't think that's an illegitimate strategy. As I've said before, for every Natalie White who gets rewarded, there are ten Natalie Tenerellis, who don't. A coattail-rider may get to the end, but the trade-off is that they're usually there as a goat who cannot make a case for why the jury should reward them.

I think Laurel is an interesting case of coattail rider. A lot of people ride coattails because they don't get any better offers in terms of people they can work with and who could get them to the end. They also tend to have less visible edits. None of this applies to Laurel post-merge: we were shown that she had options—she was just too passive and personally loyal to Domenick and Wendell to flip on them (and Donathan was too loyal to her to force the issue), even though she really should have the second she realized how much power they had in the game. I'd love to see her play again just to see if and how she tries to correct her gameplay—or if she pulls a Stephen Fishbach and overcorrects.

Speaking of alums from this season, I'd like to see Michael Yerger come back as well. He managed to put up a respectable showing despite catching some really tough breaks and playing from the bottom pretty much the whole game. And even though it didn't work, I appreciated his willingness to use his idol to try to save his alliance instead of keeping it to ensure his individual safety later on. I have a lot of time for players who try to make stuff happen, even if it doesn't pan out.

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