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Survivor 41 Discussion Thread

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm not sure who I think will win. Normally it's easier to tell who the clear cut contenders are. I feel like they're doing a good job of showing the good and bad of all the players this season. If I had to pick one player at this point to win, my guess would be Deshawn. He seems like he's had the least amount of negatives compared to the other contenders. Right now I'd break it down like this:

Contenders
Deshawn
Shan
Xander
Evvie

Dark Horse/Outside Chance
Ricard
Danny

Pretty Unlikely
Liana

Not Going to Win
Heather
Erika
Naseer

My favorite remaining is Shan, but I don't think she's going to win. After that, I don't have a strong rooting interesting.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Tiffany had it right. A lot of people are playing a safe game and this could backfire once the large number of idols and yet to be revealed advantages come into play.

With the chaotic nature of this season, it's easy to see one person play an idol prompting others to do the same, and someone essentially gets idoled out.

The way modern Survivor ends, with fire making at the final four, it means there is a smaller window in which to make a move. With only ten players left, a six-person alliance could be unstoppable.

There was probably an opportunity to do something this week. Could Heather have teamed up with Evvie, Xander, and Tiffany sooner and done something? Maybe?

Jeff is often loose with the rules, but once the words "it is time to vote" are spoken, should that not be a hard and fast rule?
 
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egg

Well-Known Member
Shan is awful. In the game and on Twitter. She posted pictures of the four people in her all-black alliance with the caption “melanin on melanin on melanin on melanin,” but then criticized someone who posted facial expressions of four contestants who happen to be white. They were just picked because they were the four on the bottom… of course, because they’re not part of her alliance. What an idiot.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Shan is awful. In the game and on Twitter. She posted pictures of the four people in her all-black alliance with the caption “melanin on melanin on melanin on melanin,” but then criticized someone who posted facial expressions of four contestants who happen to be white. They were just picked because they were the four on the bottom… of course, because they’re not part of her alliance. What an idiot.
I looked on her Twitter, but couldn't find the second tweet you referenced. But I think it's great that Survivor is finally at a point where people of color don't have to feel on an island (no pun intended). As someone who is white, I can't put myself in their shoes. However, hearing stories from past players of color, particularly former black contestants, is really eye opening. They speak about things I never even thought about because it's not part of my everyday experience. I can't imagine how freeing it must feel to be Shan, Deshawn, Danny, or Liana. Survivor has always been about building relationships, and for so long people of color have been at a disadvantage without being around others who look like them or have similarly shared experiences around their races. It isn't a comfortable topic or conversation, but I think it's great that they are trying to even the playing field for everyone.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh, how I hope that type of ending is changed this season. Go back to the original format...
I agree. I hate the final four fire making. There's no entertainment in it. Let the social maneuvering return. I know this was at the final 3, but imagine if we had to make Tony watch fire rather than seeing him work Woo.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
I looked on her Twitter, but couldn't find the second tweet you referenced. But I think it's great that Survivor is finally at a point where people of color don't have to feel on an island (no pun intended). As someone who is white, I can't put myself in their shoes. However, hearing stories from past players of color, particularly former black contestants, is really eye opening. They speak about things I never even thought about because it's not part of my everyday experience. I can't imagine how freeing it must feel to be Shan, Deshawn, Danny, or Liana. Survivor has always been about building relationships, and for so long people of color have been at a disadvantage without being around others who look like them or have similarly shared experiences around their races. It isn't a comfortable topic or conversation, but I think it's great that they are trying to even the playing field for everyone.

She must have deleted it. It was a reply to this tweet:


Definitely came off as having a bit of a double standard.

The issue of race on Survivor this season is interesting. When they talked about people of colour needing to look out for, and support each other, in a world that often doesn't, I totally get that.

Is it understandable they want to help a person of colour win Survivor, given that the cast members and/or winners have been disproportionally white? Sure, I can appreciate that.

However, in the context of this show, this game, none of those players have encountered overt racism that we know of. Are we going to have future seasons where people are more likely to vote based on race because if they don't, they think they could be on the wrong side of the numbers? I can't say I like the idea.

Survivor has always been a social experiment. The way race is playing out this season is understandable but also gives me a bit of a negative vibe. As a viewer I want to see a scenario where race doesn't matter, but that's not always reality.

I also don't know what it's like for some of the players. As a white person, seeing white people targeted, and feeling uncomfortable as a result raises an important thought. Is this how people of colour often feel all of the time?

It's complicated and interesting, and that's one of the reasons Survivor keeps us coming back. It's always different.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
I agree. I hate the final four fire making. There's no entertainment in it. Let the social maneuvering return. I know this was at the final 3, but imagine if we had to make Tony watch fire rather than seeing him work Woo.

It was pretty much a consensus, for those who watched Australia and South Africa just prior to this season starting, is that the dynamics and voting that takes place in a traditional final four is extremely interesting.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
She must have deleted it. It was a reply to this tweet:


Definitely came off as having a bit of a double standard.

The issue of race on Survivor this season is interesting. When they talked about people of colour needing to look out for, and support each other, in a world that often doesn't, I totally get that.

Is it understandable they want to help a person of colour win Survivor, given that the cast members and/or winners have been disproportionally white? Sure, I can appreciate that.

However, in the context of this show, this game, none of those players have encountered overt racism that we know of. Are we going to have future seasons where people are more likely to vote based on race because if they don't, they think they could be on the wrong side of the numbers? I can't say I like the idea.

Survivor has always been a social experiment. The way race is playing out this season is understandable but also gives me a bit of a negative vibe. As a viewer I want to see a scenario where race doesn't matter, but that's not always reality.

I also don't know what it's like for some of the players. As a white person, seeing white people targeted, and feeling uncomfortable as a result raises an important thought. Is this how people of colour often feel all of the time?

It's complicated and interesting, and that's one of the reasons Survivor keeps us coming back. It's always different.
I don't necessarily view it as people aligning because they are the same race, as much as them aligning because they have shared experiences. We have countless examples of white alliances, but they are just simply alliances. They didn't align because they are white, but because they have shared experiences and have something to bond about. Think religion, regions, etc. There's no denying Danny, DeShawn, Liana, and Shan have shared experiences they can bond over. And it's noteworthy, because there have never really been opportunities for black people to align in this way. So there's a sense of pride there that never exists for white people because they've always had that ability. I don't think an intentional strategy to "vote out the white people", as much as it is about relationships and bonding.

Now I will say, there could be a sense that they want a black winner because we've had a total of 4 black winners compared to 30 white winners. But to me that shows more of a flaw in casting over the first 40 seasons than a flaw in how this cast is playing. Because of the lack of diversity, they feel the need to represent themselves. I'm not sure if represent is the word I'm looking for there, but I can't think of how else to explain it.

And going back through Survivor history, in Survivor Fiji, there was a black alliance. I don't think a black alliance this season will affect how the game in future seasons. Similar to how the women's alliance in Micronesia did not mean the women always vote off the men. I think it's very specific to the group of individuals and the circumstances they face in the season.
 

egg

Well-Known Member
I looked on her Twitter, but couldn't find the second tweet you referenced. But I think it's great that Survivor is finally at a point where people of color don't have to feel on an island (no pun intended). As someone who is white, I can't put myself in their shoes. However, hearing stories from past players of color, particularly former black contestants, is really eye opening. They speak about things I never even thought about because it's not part of my everyday experience. I can't imagine how freeing it must feel to be Shan, Deshawn, Danny, or Liana. Survivor has always been about building relationships, and for so long people of color have been at a disadvantage without being around others who look like them or have similarly shared experiences around their races. It isn't a comfortable topic or conversation, but I think it's great that they are trying to even the playing field for everyone.
I agree with all of that, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s being hypocritical and embarrassing on Twitter.

She must have deleted it. It was a reply to this tweet:

She didn’t delete it, unfortunately she doubled down on it. Here’s a screenshot I just took:

12D048C7-9EC4-45CB-A4AF-13E2709592FE.png


Also I’d say alliances should be built on the relationships people build in the game, not the color of someone’s skin. Rarely a good idea to fight fire with fire. But at the very least, if you make a black alliance, you can’t be mad at a white alliance (which it inevitably must create), much less a tweet that just has pictures of four of them lol.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The small groups really makes things interesting. It's caused a lack of tight alliances.

I am not sure why Ricard and Shan voted out Naseer. I think Shan had it right. He's an unwavering number for them. When it gets down to it, he's going to vote with them over Danny and Deshawn. So if it gets down to a final six of Shan, Ricard, Naseer, Danny, Deshawn, and Liana... Shan, Ricard, Liana and Naseer will take out Danny or Deshawn. I just don't get how it makes more sense than keeping Heather, who at this point will go wherever she can to be safe. She has no alliance or relationships.

With the second vote, I was a little surprised it was Evvie. I didn't think Xander would play his idol, but I thought Deshawn had enough. My assumption is Danny talked him out of it, and he wanted to stay with Danny.

I think Deshawn's stock dropped a little tonight. I'm not sure what it is. I think it's the social gameplay. As much as he can't stand how Shan is trying to control things, he's doing the same thing. And actually, overall, the social gameplay seems to be lacking from everyone who is left. Everyone seems to be making big social mistakes, except for maybe Xander. And that, pooled with the egos that are boiling in the majority, actually have shifted my thinking to maybe Xander is going to win the season. Along with the idol he still has. He's the biggest challenge threat out there, too. The question is, can he hold on long enough? He has the underdog story going for him.

Here are my updated winner rankings. I split them by group, but also ranked them based on the chance I think they have to win at this point in the season.

Contenders
1. Xander
While I think Xander has the biggest target on his back, nobody seems to be wanting to go for him with his idol. He's also the most likely to win immunity to get him one or two spots further along. And there seems to be a potential door open for him with Deshawn if they want to flip against Shan, Ricard, and Liana. But I also think he would work with them, too. He seems to be a good swing vote for when the power 5 alliance eventually crumbles... if it does.​
2. Deshawn
The difference between Deshawn and Shan right now is razor thin for me. I put Deshawn here because I think the Naseer vote took away an option for Shan to get to the end.​
3. Shan
I feel like Shan has just one main path to the end, and that's by sticking with Ricard. I think she could possibly get Heather and Erika to work with her after she worked with Ricard to save them. But that's a big question mark, still.​
4. Ricard
Ricard's stock rose tonight since the Naseer vote was pretty much his doing. I do wonder if he would get credit in the end, though, since it was Shan's advantage. But while he took out Naseer, I do think it closed a door for him and added a bigger obstacle to get to the end.​

Pretty Unlikely
5. Danny
Danny hasn't shown enough to win. He's too conservative in his gameplay. Very old-school. He seems likable enough to win, which is why he's not in the bottom category.​

Not Going to Win
6. Liana
Liana has been sloppy. She has potential, but I don't think she has the life experience to play this game at a high level at this point. She's only 20, and she doesn't know how to read people.​
7. Erika
She's above Heather because she seems to have some strategic ability, but does anybody really think Erika is winning?​
8. Heather
While I did think tonight was Heather's swan song, I don't think the extra life will spark her in any way. She doesn't seem like she knows how to play the game. She doesn't seem to have much respect in the game.​
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Also, Shan is getting a lot of heat for only doing what she wants. But the past two weeks she's done what her alliance wants. She's voted Tiffany and Ricard despite not wanting to do it.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
The split tribal is another twist that's hard to swallow. It goes against the core gameplay of Survivor. It's also been noted that seeing Naseer could have influenced how Deshawn voted. Should he have watched from a secluded spot so as not to be a factor?

Should the tribes not have been split up immediately? Would it have been more interesting or fair for them to have a discussion?

The game breaking twist did give us some interesting groups, so I guess it was effective from a TV standpoint.

Did Jeff actually ask how they knew about the advantages? I mean, really...

Still no idol plays. The show was all but setting them up to play them. It's the equivalent of a final five. A 25% chance of going home. If there was ever a time to play one, this is it.

Xander was probably correct not to play his on Evvie. Even saving her he wouldn't have a majority. I can't blame him for keeping himself safe for one more round. Having said that, a 4-4 split going into next episode might have been smarter and given him a chance to do something. A 5-3 disadvantage would seem to indicate his road to the end is all but evaporated.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Deshawn missed the best opportunity thus far to make a big move. To me this shows he does not have what it takes to be the winner.

Xander is a top contender, but that also makes him a target for any strong alliance. If the Black alliance + Ricard (aka Power 5) remains intact, they will take him out as soon as he no longer has immunity.

And, as long as the Power 5 remain intact, there are not enough other players to break them up. Someone outside that alliance will need to figure out how to break them up. But, that is such a huge risk. Whoever pulls that off jumps to the top of the list as potential winner. I think Xander is the most likely player to lead the effort to break up the Power 5 But, if Erika initiates the move... that would be huge for her resume. Now, if Ricard wakes up and realizes that the Black alliance is using him until the other threats (Xander) are gone, Ricard might be able to make the big move to break up the Black alliance and really shake things up.

Naseer deserved to be voted out. He relied too much on being safe as a pawn, not recognizing he was being used. He will be super dangerous in the jury to anyone not in the Power 5, still thinking he was part of the power group.

Heather has no chance of winning, but for some reason the rest of the players seem to think they need to vote her out instead of gunning for real threats. In past seasons the tribe would have already been recognizing she was no threat and would be thinking more strategically on who to vote out. Last night's vote should not have even been close... Naseer was a good choice to blind side before he could play his advantages.

Shan misplayed/wasted her extra vote. Shan is losing it. She is losing control of the alliance, losing respect of others, and not making smart moves. Shan could be a target for voting off next, as a move to break up the Power 5.

Danny... he's riding the coat tails.
Erika... lucky to have immunity. She has more potential than Danny to step up and make an impact in the game. But, will she? But, with no real friends/alliance, she is an easy target.
Liana... not sure how to read her. She seems to be mad/upset, with no focus on a real strategy - voting on emotions. She relies too much on her bond with Shan.

All of this is based on what we have been shown. However, I think there is a lot more going on and the producers are hiding key discussions through the edits. Multiple tribal votes have gone in a direction other than what we have been shown. I think the Power 5 alliance may be stronger than what we have been led to believe through the edits. Perhaps it is so strong that they will achieve their goal of an all-black final four.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Shan misplayed/wasted her extra vote. Shan is losing it. She is losing control of the alliance, losing respect of others, and not making smart moves. Shan could be a target for voting off next, as a move to break up the Power 5.

A lot us were scratching our heads at the extra vote. It was actually a good move once it's explained.

Shan & Ricard did not trust Erika and Heather completely, plus Naseer had an idol. They were blocking the following scenario:

Shan & Ricard vote for Naseer.
Erica and Heather lied and vote for Shan or Ricard.
Naseer votes for Heather and plays his idol.
Shan or Ricard go home on a 2-1 vote.

It was also pointed out that Xander could have used his extra vote to force a tie, which would have forced Deshawn and Danny to turn on Liana on a revote as not doing so would send those two to rocks. That would have been a smart move that still allowed him to save his idol. The extra vote is historically not impactful so that would have been good timing.
 

egg

Well-Known Member
My main argument against the idea that using their extra vote was good is the fact that they ultimately didn’t need to use it. They over-judged Erica, Heather, and Naseer, and acted based on paranoia that those three would make a smart move. Shan wanted to get rid of Heather and views Erica as some really savvy player… which is odd. Additionally, using an idol or advantage makes it more likely that another one will get put into the game, which could fall into someone else’s hands. But ultimately, Ricard actually benefits from this if/when he plans to flip against Shan. So if that was part of his line of thinking, kudos to him.

Sad to see Evvie and Naseer go. I’m really hoping Xander or Ricard wins. Shan and Liana have had a couple too many major blunders. Heather, Erica, Danny, or Deshawn would need to prove themselves a lot in the coming weeks, because none of them have really made a move yet.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
My main argument against the idea that using their extra vote was good is the fact that they ultimately didn’t need to use it. They over-judged Erica, Heather, and Naseer, and acted based on paranoia that those three would make a smart move. Shan wanted to get rid of Heather and views Erica as some really savvy player… which is odd. Additionally, using an idol or advantage makes it more likely that another one will get put into the game, which could fall into someone else’s hands. But ultimately, Ricard actually benefits from this if/when he plans to flip against Shan. So if that was part of his line of thinking, kudos to him.

Sad to see Evvie and Naseer go. I’m really hoping Xander or Ricard wins. Shan and Liana have had a couple too many major blunders. Heather, Erica, Danny, or Deshawn would need to prove themselves a lot in the coming weeks, because none of them have really made a move yet.

It was a guaranteed outcome versus an outcome with risk.

It's the kind of decision that makes Survivor interesting. Use an advantage now to guarantee a result, or have faith in what is being said and save the advantage for when it's do or die.

I lean towards using the extra vote in this case because a 5-person vote leaves no room for error if someone flips. If Naseer played his idol that's a 1 in 3 chance of going home. That's as good a time to play an advantage as any.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think out of anyone, the hunger is getting to Shan the most. She's one of the few who has had no real food at all. However, while looking closer at it I'm not sure she's had as bad of a post-merge as many people are saying. She knows a concern is that people view her as being "bossy". And the past couple votes, she's left her allies decide where the votes go. That's part of being a good alliance member. At some points you have to stop pushing and just go with what others say. I think the edit is what is doing her the biggest disservice, but it'd be interesting to see if everyone views her as too overbearing, or if that's just what's being shown.

I do think the 5 are a stronger alliance than we're led to believe. It's very plausible that we are being shown these arguments so we don't get bored with another pagonging. I imagine every alliance has fights, but we are usually not shown. That may not be the case, but I get the sense that there's a stronger bond than we are led to believe, and that maybe the difference between Heather and Naseer isn't as big as it seems.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I figured this was coming at some point, but tonight's episode hurt. I loved Shan, and I hope she comes back to play again. This season's narrative has really been about Shan and her story. She had some flaws, but overall was a really good player. I do go back to last week's decision to vote out Naseer. If they voted out Heather, I don't think Shan goes home tonight. She cut off an option for her, and Ricard winning immunity gave him the confidence to go after Shan. I don't think he would do that if he hadn't won. It's not safe enough.

With that being said, this really was the best shot Ricard was going to get. The question is, is his stock rising too quickly? He went from the perfect behind-the-scene position to the front runner. I know you have to do it at some point, but it really does become luck in some ways from here on out. It reminds me a little of Tony from last season. The big move pays off if you can get to the end. The hard part is he has to make it to the end.

I think Erika's stock is rising, too. I made a comparison between her and Dean from IoI. They were considered goats for most the season, but then start to come out of the woodwork to make some moves in the end game. Erika's had two good episodes in a row. But I feel like we haven't gotten enough of her to be a true winner candidate, which is why I compare her to Dean. Could she be the person we are led to believe has a shot at the end?

I like Deshawn, but he is the type of player who can dish it out, but then once another player tries to do the same thing to him, he get offended and can't take it. It happened when Shan tried to tell him what to do. He couldn't take it... yet he does it to others. Tonight he told the Ricard plan to Liana and tried to keep it a secret from Shan. But then when Shan gets hold of the information and tries to turn it back on him, she becomes the snake. Dude... she was with you until you tried to take out her ally. You were the snake in the scenario. You literally came up with the plan that caused her to turn on you. Those types of players frustrate me. Own it for the camera. I get that you don't want to be candid with the other players, but be honest with the viewers.

I will also say that this episode was fantastic. We got so many really deep and interesting conversations between the players. It was all about relationships and trying to figure out what the criteria is to vote someone out. And we got to see a lot of how the personal bonds and connections make it difficult to maneuver in such a strategic and cutthroat game. It brought a lot of the old school social dynamics back, but put it in a modern format. I think it was the best episode of the season. The premerge was a lot about twists and advantages. That was sometimes fun, but the post merge has been a lot about relationships and social dynamics. That's what makes Survivor the best game on the planet, and that's what I come to watch. So even though tonight's episode hurts, I absolutely loved it. It felt like Survivor.

Here are my potential winner rankings at this point...

Contenders
1. Ricard
I've been high on Ricard, but I've been hesitant to consider him a strong contender because we haven't seen all that much of him in comparison to others. I guess that's a flaw in me following the edgic. In modern Survivor, we usually don't see a clear domination of screen time anymore. But Ricard has had two really good episodes. He made sure to take credit for the Naseer move tonight. And he will get the credit for taking out Shan, and I think that move would earn him the majority of jury votes. This season has been about who can take out Shan. Similar to EoE and who could take out Rick Devens. My biggest question is can Ricard get to the end with this big target? I hope he can. He's my favorite of the ones remaining, and he was my preseason winner pick.​
2. Deshawn
Deshawn will get the second most credit for the Shan move. If he can get Ricard out, he will earn most of those jury votes at the end. He's led a strong alliance throughout the season, but does he really have one big splash move to his name yet? I'm not sure. But you don't always need that. Look at Tommy in season 39. He controlled an alliance, but didn't have any big moves, yet still won. I think Deshawn could be similar, but it would be hard to beat someone who does have that move should he sit next to someone like that at the end.​

Dark Horses
3. Xander
I think Xander has the tools to make it to the end, and nobody seems to really be paying attention to him. But I'm not sure if he has the respect of the other players. I don't know how many relationships he has, especially after listening to exit interviews. The players he spent the most time with don't seem to care for him (Tiffany, Liana, and somewhat Evvie).​
4. Erika
I do think Erika has put some things on her resume the past couple weeks that she could potentially build on. I don't think she's done enough at this point, but there's been potential there all season long. She's always been the "easy vote", but has managed to avoid getting voted out all season long.​

Pretty Unlikely
5. Danny
Pretty similar thoughts to last week. He seems likable enough to win, but has he really done anything? And will he get credit for any moves he's a part of?​

Not Going to Win
6. Liana
Liana is young and needs more life experience. I think there's a lot of potential there. But she plays with her heart too much. She comes up with decent enough strategy, but she doesn't realize that the other players aren't game pieces that you get to move. They have their own plans that won't always align with yours. I think even if she makes some moves over the last few episodes, the perception will be that she isn't a savvy enough player.​
7. Heather
Heather has broken through as a fun character. I enjoy watching her brief moments on our screens, but she has no shot at winning.​
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Great episode, probably ranks as a classic episode of Survivor based on immediate impressions.

Interesting relationships. Intriguing story. Players realizing they have to make a move sooner rather than later.

Shan had what many thought was a winner's edit, but was actually just an edit based on her interesting arc and importance to the show up to this point. That's how it should be. If someone has a different trajectory, i.e. flying under the radar only to emerge as a contender at the end, the edit can reflect that too.

Shan rubbed some viewers the wrong way at times but I think she comes out as a fan favorite here. She left gracefully. She also deserved to go due to breaking people's trust.
 

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