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Survivor 43 Discussion Thread

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm not sure how I feel about it being predictable either way.

It's a game and you need to know the rules to play it. Too much unpredictability and no one can really develop strategy, as it's all so random.

On the other hand, the predictability means we see the game play out the same way. There's no tribe swap so the strong players are kept around for strength as that's the clear strategy. We've had two winners who played low key games to start and then pounce at the end.

The most balanced approach might be to establish what twists and advantages are in the game, but switch it up in terms of when they occur. Find that balance of players knowing the rules but having to adapt at surprising times. Knowing there might be a split but not knowing when. Knowing knowledge is power and idol nullifies might be in play, but not always. Etc. etc.
I agree. It's nice to know what's in the game, but they can't come in at the same exact time or it gets stale. One of the biggest complaints about HHH was the sudden introduction of final four fire making. I think the season would have been perceived much differently if the players and fans had known about it ahead of time.

But when you know exactly what advantage is coming and when, it makes it too easy to plan for. I think one thing they need to bring back is the swaps. The three tribe, no swap format is already old. That's one thing that makes things exciting. I can recall several times when players were speculating about when a swap would happen, but nobody knew for sure.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This was another good episode. From Noelle's comeback, to Jesse's master planning. It was a solid episode.

Starting with the reward challenge... If Jeff loved Cirie's balance beam moment, I wonder what he thought of Noelle. This was not forced, but a real, genuine moment. Maybe the best reward challenge comeback ever.

Jesse had a great episode. If he ends up winning, I feel like this is the episode we'll look back at as the reason why. His kid's quote about brining home the money, baby. His checklist for a blindside that went off perfectly. It was almost a too-good-to-be-true episode.

Jesse has to be the clear favorite to win. He has two idols, with only three votes left before the fire making. He has a strong ally in Cody, and seemingly a relationship with everyone. However, he has a massive target now. He's lucky he has two idols. But getting through one vote will even be hard for him. If he can win one immunity challenge, it could be game over for everyone else. If he does win, this will be the first "obvious" winner in the new era... which is exactly why I'm skeptical that he's the winner. I think he may be the Ricard/Omar.

Next week will be very interesting. The final 7 is an odd-numbered vote, which typically are more exciting. No Do or Die to ruin it. I think we could see a showdown between Karla and Jesse, and we may see an idol be played. If I remember correctly, we haven't seen an idol played successfully in the new era.

The end game of this season has been/will be leaps and bounds better than the early game.

Here are my updated winner rankings. This time I'm ranking them within the tiers.

Tier 1: The Favorites to Win
1. Jesse - Clear favorite if he gets to the end.
2. Karla - Playing a subtle game, and has just as many, if not more, connections than Jesse to the players on the jury.

Tier 2: Winner Potential
3. Sami - Been playing aggressively, but also seen as a flip-flopper. Not the most polished.
4. Cody - Solid game, but seen as a #2 to Jesse.
5. Cassidy - Sizeable gap here between Cassidy and Cody. I could see Cassidy winning if she can get rid of Karla and Jesse. But it looks very unlikely.
6. Gabler - If he can make a couple moves down the stretch to oust Jesse and/or Karla, I could see him being similar to Maryanne... underestimated. But just like Maryanne, I feel like it's a long shot. But she showed long shots can happen.

Tier 3: Probably Not
7. Owen - He's had no agency in this game. Nothing has gone right for him. I don't see him having any pull going forward.
 
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Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Why does Jesse have two idols? I know he got Jeanine's but what was the other one? He's holding Cody's but it "isn't his"?

It's interesting that the question of "how is the show editing the eventual winner this time" is overshadowing evaluating the gameplay. At least it feels a bit that way to me.

Are we getting the yet another "big player almost makes it but goes home" edit for Jesse? Are we getting another "slow and steady until she strikes at the last minute" edit for Karla? Would they give us the same sort of outcome three seasons in a row? Granted, Karla has gotten a better edit than Erika did.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Why does Jesse have two idols? I know he got Jeanine's but what was the other one? He's holding Cody's but it "isn't his"?

It's interesting that the question of "how is the show editing the eventual winner this time" is overshadowing evaluating the gameplay. At least it feels a bit that way to me.

Are we getting the yet another "big player almost makes it but goes home" edit for Jesse? Are we getting another "slow and steady until she strikes at the last minute" edit for Karla? Would they give us the same sort of outcome three seasons in a row? Granted, Karla has gotten a better edit than Erika did.
Technically it's Jesse's idol because Cody gave it to him. Cody has no power to use it. Now, if Cody asks for it back, Jesse almost has to give it back if he wants to get jury votes. But also... how has Cody not asked for it back yet? Especially with James gone.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This was another really good episode. The end game of this season is shaping up to be fantastic, after one of the more boring pre-merges we've had in quite a while. Honestly maybe one of the worst pre-merges since Caramoan. But I'm glad it's better now.

The advantage hunt was fun. Zach Wurtenberger and Chrissy were speculating on Twitter that they couldn't find it because the camera person was standing in front of it, blocking it. Chrissy added that by day 20 they don't look at the cameras anymore. However, many people also said, if you're looking for an advantage... LOOK AT WHERE THE CAMERAS ARE POINTING! If you're out of frame, or they aren't close up, you aren't going to find it. They need that shot. But it was still funny watching them all walk right past it, even if the advantage probably didn't make a difference.

I love that they brought back this challenge. It's a classic, even though it's only been run four times before. The last time they ran it was in Caramoan when Brenda won. That was my first Survivor season, so I think it helps solidify it as a top notch challenge for me. I don't think I liked how they gave two people immunity. Ultimately it added to the excitement of the vote, but as a Survivor purist, I thought they should have ridden it out. I love challenges that last hours upon hours. That's what happens when you have a 26 day season. You can't afford to have a challenge go long because you'll throw off the whole production cycle. Dalton Ross was speculating that they added this rule after Christian went on for hours in his immunity win and pushed the entire production cycle back a full day because of it.

I think Jesse is one of the most subtly cutthroat players we've even had on Survivor, and I love it. He is willing to cut anyone and put blood on anyone's hands. But he's so subtle and nobody points at him. He almost reminds me of Kim. He has great connections to everyone. He is seemingly calling all the shots, but nobody is looking at him. He doesn't quite have the charm, but I mean... who's more charming that Kim? Parvati is the only one I can think of that is on her same level.

As it stands now, Jesse could keep Cody's idol and get himself to final four fire making. I still don't know why Cody hasn't asked for it back. Maybe it comes to a head soon, but for some reason I feel like it's not going to happen.

Karla is safe at one of the next two votes. I think she could play it at 6, since I think her name will come up along with Cassidy. I can see it being Karla vs Cassidy next.

I tried playing the rest of the season out in my head, but it's so hard with immunities and fire making. I think Jesse will make it to fire. I think there's a potential for Karla to be the "fallen angel" at the final 5. But I also think there's a potential for Karla to continue the underdog edit and win fire. Regardless, here are my updated winner rankings:

Tier 1: The Favorites to Win
1. Jesse - Duh?
2. Karla - Duh #2?

Tier 2: Winner Potential
3. Cassidy - Cassidy could get credit for taking Karla out. She could get to the end without Jesse if he loses fire. She would have a big move and be up against a combination of players who don't have a big move to their names.
4. Gabler - He's has more agency in this game than initially realized.

Tier 3: Probably Not
5. Cody - It's starting to be harder for me to see him win. He has been in lockstep with Jesse, but everything is being seen through Jesse's eyes. Cody didn't get his way this week. I could see him as the decoy winner and second place finish.
6. Owen - He's had no agency in the game. Could certainly see him as an uneventful boot, or a fire loser, or a zero vote finalist. But a winner is hard to see.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
It's weird that they don't have a tie breaker for the challenge ready, especially when we're down to 7. Why not just have them go under water and the last person up wins? It would take all of 2 minutes. It couldn't be more unsafe than the challenge as is, could it?

I was hoping they moved the final 5 advantage forward to this episode, because that one is overpowered. It would have fit well here to leave the end game as pure as is possible in a modern season of Survivor.

Jeff pre-emptively doing the high tide low tide analogy before we get another comparison to something like heart surgery that no one understands is low key hilarious.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It's weird that they don't have a tie breaker for the challenge ready, especially when we're down to 7. Why not just have them go under water and the last person up wins? It would take all of 2 minutes. It couldn't be more unsafe than the challenge as is, could it?

I was hoping they moved the final 5 advantage forward to this episode, because that one is overpowered. It would have fit well here to leave the end game as pure as is possible in a modern season of Survivor.

Jeff pre-emptively doing the high tide low tide analogy before we get another comparison to something like heart surgery that no one understands is low key hilarious.
First, the analogies have become a running joke amongst the Survivor community. On RHAP they often throw out a random word and try to make it an analogy. Last know on the Know It Alls, Rob made analogies comparing Survivor to the Queen of England and Twinkies.

Second, I felt like they should have had a tie breaker. Two immunities at this point is game changing, and almost feels like production interference. Make them not hold their nose. Make them hold on with just one hand. Something.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That was one of the best moves in Survivor history. This season may have been a slow burn, but it's fully engulfed in flames now. WOW.

I tweeted after Cassidy won immunity that maybe Cody would be getting the votes, ask for his idol, and Jesse would pull a Tai and not do it. I wasn't too far off, but what Jesse pulled was even more amazing. Not only does he blindside Cody, but he gets rid of Karla's idol, too.
I think this was the absolute right move for Jesse, for several reasons. First, let's say he keeps Cody and votes out Karla. Then Cody gets credit for the plan, and Jesse takes a back seat. Second, Jesse just put one of the biggest moves ever on his resume. Third, Jesse has an idol nobody knows about at the final five. He might as well lose immunity on purpose, draw all the votes, then negate them with Jeanine's surprise idol to get Karla out. That would be the two biggest moves of the season. He would absolutely be sent to fire if he doesn't win the final immunity challenge, but that's a risk you have to take.

I don't really have too much else to say about this episode, because obviously the main story was all about the strategy and that move. But the challenges were fun. The classic "roll someone in a ball then solve a blindfolded maze" challenge returns. However, anytime that's on you have to think about Russell Swan. I also enjoyed the immunity challenge. I'm glad they've mixed up the skill sets for the challenges. They aren't all endurance. They aren't all physical strength. They're balanced.

Here is my prediction for the finale. Note that this can easily change depending on immunity. However, I'm just going to take immunity out of it and pretend there isn't any.

Final 5: Jesse negates 4 votes with his idol. Karla goes home with Jesse's one vote.

Final 4: Gabler makes fire against Jesse, because people think he's the best chance to take out Jesse. Jesse wins, Gabler goes home.

Final 3: Jesse wins unanimously.

I would be very disappointed if Jesse didn't win at this point. I like all of the players left, but they all have been bamboozled by Jesse. And at this point, there's no real way to make a move against him unless they beat him in fire.

I also have to add, I loved the revealed of the vote between Jesse and Cody. Cody with the "Really, bro?" Looking like he's furious. But then Jesse stands up for a hug, Cody pauses for a second, then embraces him like they're still best friends. I love that Cody respects game. It's fun when there's bad blood, but I'd rather the correct person win at the end.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Jesse literally decimated Vesi.

He got Justine voted out.
He voted out his island mom, Nneka.
He voted out his island wife, Dwight.
He voted out Noelle, who trusted him.
He votes out his #1 ally, Cody.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
Jesse literally decimated Vesi.

He got Justine voted out.
He voted out his island mom, Nneka.
He voted out his island wife, Dwight.
He voted out Noelle, who trusted him.
He votes out his #1 ally, Cody.
All the while, he rose to the top. And he has his own idol, so the worst case scenario is losing the fire making challenge in the final 4. That may be the only way he can be stopped. He has his resume and has already explained to the audience his gameplay and is good at doing it. He also has social connections and a great story in real life. He'd be a great story winner for sure.

If he loses fire making, I'd place money on either Owen or Cassidy as winners.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Jesse is now the biggest threat but cannot be straight voted out. He's the favorite which brings up the age old question, is Survivor so intent on giving us a satisfying winner that they make it too difficult to eliminate big threats at the end?

The odds are still high that one of Karla or Jesse sit at the end and wins.

If they both go out Gabler has a shot, if he can sell his "hiding in plain sight" story. There could be a reason it has gotten air time.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Jesse is now the biggest threat but cannot be straight voted out. He's the favorite which brings up the age old question, is Survivor so intent on giving us a satisfying winner that they make it too difficult to eliminate big threats at the end?

The odds are still high that one of Karla or Jesse sit at the end and wins.

If they both go out Gabler has a shot, if he can sell his "hiding in plain sight" story. There could be a reason it has gotten air time.
The final 3 was invented because the biggest threats were voted out at 3. The fire-making was invented because the biggest threats were now going out at 4. The past couple seasons the biggest threats have been going out at 5 or 6. Season 41 was Ricard at 5. Season 42 was Omar at 6, then Lindsay at 5. The end game changes are definitely because production wants the best players in the finals. However, players have adapted. Jesse has just played so well and has been able to overcome that. He's the best player of the new era for sure, and probably the best new player since Tony in Cagayan. If he can pull it off, he's at Kim level when it comes to his win.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
According to Cody in his exit interview with Rob, Jesse never asked for the idol back. Jesse told Cody that he wondered if Karla was asking to see the idol because she has a Knowledge is Power advantage. Cody said that, and the fact that Jesse never asked for it back, caused him to give the idol back. He trusted Jesse more than Karla.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
According to Cody in his exit interview with Rob, Jesse never asked for the idol back. Jesse told Cody that he wondered if Karla was asking to see the idol because she has a Knowledge is Power advantage. Cody said that, and the fact that Jesse never asked for it back, caused him to give the idol back. He trusted Jesse more than Karla.
Wow! That's another smooth move on Jesse's part!

Btw, does anyone left know that Jesse still has another idol? Has he kept it a secret? I don't remember.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wow! That's another smooth move on Jesse's part!

Btw, does anyone left know that Jesse still has another idol? Has he kept it a secret? I don't remember.
Nobody knows. Everyone thought it went out with Dwight, so it will be a massive shock to the rest of the players and the jury.

I've speculated that he will try to draw the votes on him, then use his one vote to take out whoever he wants. I said last night I thought it'd be Karla, but now I'm thinking it's more likely Owen, Cassidy, or Gabler. Owen and Cassidy because he might be more of an immunity threat, and Gabler because he may be able to beat Jesse at fire.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
Jesse seems to be taking in the whole game and all aspects of it when making moves. Like I said, only fire will/should prevent him from winning.
 

PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If he wins, you'd think he'll be put right up there with Kim, Rob, and Tony for the most dominating single-season performances. And he played with the more talented cast than Kim or Rob.

I did compare Jesse to Kim a week ago, saying he's controlled everything that happens in the season, but nobody is targeting him. Kim has the edge on the social game and charisma, but Jesse has the edge on strategy.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
If he wins, you'd think he'll be put right up there with Kim, Rob, and Tony for the most dominating single-season performances. And he played with the more talented cast than Kim or Rob.

I did compare Jesse to Kim a week ago, saying he's controlled everything that happens in the season, but nobody is targeting him. Kim has the edge on the social game and charisma, but Jesse has the edge on strategy.
Maybe with a move or two, but I am not sure how dominating he was the entire season. You can also look at Maryanne's final 6 move last season as being legendary. This reminds me a lot of Ricard voting out Shan, Maryanne voting out Omer, but with more complexity. It also had a flair of Natalie voting out Baylor.
 
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PUSH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Maybe with a move or two, but I am not sure how dominating he was the entire season. You can also look at Maryanne's final 6 move last season as being legendary. This reminds me a lot of Ricard voting out Shan, Maryanne voting out Omer, but with more complexity. It also had a flair of Natalie voting out Baylor.
I think Jesse has been calling the shots all season. He wanted Justine out, she went. He decided on Nneka, she went. He wanted Dwight out, he went. He wanted Noelle gone, she went. He decided for Ryan to go home over Cassidy. He wanted Cody gone, he went. He wanted to get Cody's idol back and to flush Karla's, that happened. All while nobody has realized how much power he's held. Not to mention that he got two different people to give him their idols. One that nobody knows about because he voted out Dwight.

If that's not dominating all season, I'm not sure what is. He's not very loud, but he's been controlling the game whenever he's wanted to.
 

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