Rob Cesternino competed on Survivor: The Amazon and Survivor: All Stars. Follow him on Twitter @robcesternino.
I would say that the one who needed the advantage won it, but they all need the advantage. —Rupert Boneham
As my brolliance partner, Stephen Fishbach, continues to enjoy his sabbatical in India, I’m pulling another blog out of the proverbial buried mason jar. My apologies in advance if all this fruit has made the Fishy awards soggy.
After the excitement of last week’s merge and the creation of the nine-person alliance that voted out Michelle, most Survivor fans had a good feeling that Taylor was the likeliest player to be voted out this round. While Taylor’s antics were enough to keep that huge alliance together for another vote, there are a number of cracks emerging that should create a wild finish to this Survivor season.
First off, the outing of Adam’s advantage at tribal council was mesmerizing to watch. Even Jeff Probst himself sat silently for a full 1 minute and 52 seconds without saying a word. I’m issuing a challenge of my own to the readers of this blog to find a pre-day 39 tribal council where Jeff is speechless for that long. Kudos to the Survivor host for knowing when to just sit back and let these contestants have an organically dramatic moment.
The problems for Adam can all be tied back to last week when he made a play to win Taylor’s trust back by confiding in him. Instead of an ally, he ended up being thrown under the bus with an even more damaged reputation by Taylor and Jay. Once Adam suspected that Taylor could have blown up his spot, he needed to start revealing his advantage to his allies before Taylor could.
As for Jay, things looked rather bleak for Jay coming into this week but now there’s some reason for optimism. While seen as Taylor’s closest ally, Jay has made some moves that potentially could shift the target at the next tribal council. He certainly helped his case by badgering Adam on the tribal council witness stand but he also nurtured some bonds with players who might save his hide.
It got lost in the Gen X-ers getting back together last week but there is a bond between Sunday and Jay dating back to the Ikabula tribe. Sunday is pushing hard for the original Gen X tribe to vote Jessica out next and she needs numbers to pull it off. While the plan didn’t come together for this week, this is exactly the kind of turn that the game needs to take for Jay to make a run.
Jay also made some progress with a pair of the Millennials that voted out Michelle last week as he reconnected with Hannah and Zeke. This actually came after Jay had a misunderstanding with Adam. Adam attempted to smooth things over with Jay and ended up upsetting him (Adam isn’t having a lot of luck with conflict resolution). Jay confided to Will but also with Adam and Hannah who became even more frustrated with Adam for upsetting Jay.
It was only a week ago that I counted Jay out of the game, but now I’m seeing some daylight pour in through the cracks of this nine-person alliance. For all his hustling this week, I am awarding Jay this week’s Fishy award.
As we approach a double episode of Survivor on Thanksgiving week, Jay is going to have to keep working on selling Sunday and his fellow Millennials that now is the time to strike against Jessica. Armed with a hidden immunity idol and perhaps the rest of Taylor’s snack stash, Jay may be able to pull off another big move. Jay said that he’s not just a dumb surfer, and I’m looking forward to watching him prove it.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.