Brad shares the jurors’ thoughts from the finale of Survivor: Winners At War.
So there are literally hours of bonus content this week. So much that it seems a gargantuan task to try to write it all up. So we’re breaking it into chunks spread out over a few days. In addition, I’m going to hold back on doing full break downs for every clip, going into it with book club vibes instead. I’ll have some quick thoughts, but I’ll mostly pose questions that y’all can dissect in the comments.
This Week In The Jury Box
– Despite immediately following Natalie to the Edge of Extinction, Amber feels that being sent to the Edge at all is almost disqualifying. How do you read this dissonance?
– Amber compares Tony and Michele by saying that while both worked hard to reach the end, Tony was in absolute control while Michele had almost none. So she’s not calling Michele a goat, but she is not close to calling her the winner.
– Amber brings up a good point at the end that it is incredibly hard to compare winners because each one brings a different skillset and plays with different circumstances. It’s another reason that naming a GOAT of Survivor is almost impossible. It’s like asking to pick between Satchel Paige and Albert Pujols; they’re just two different types of players.
– Danni echoes a common sentiment about how important the role of a juror is, especially for this season in particular.
– Danni seemed to jump from the top rope with the slam on Michele, essentially saying “She’s a nice girl, but she’s no leader.”
– It took two days for Amber to get on the Tony bandwagon; it took Danni none. It’s a funny juxtaposition of Danni digging to find a compliment for Michele versus her simply gushing about Tony.
– Once I hear Danni say that she was choosing between voting for Tony or Natalie, I had to find the Dalton Ross interview to make sure I was quoting Michele correctly:
I knew that Adam, Nick, Wendell, and Danni were actually on the cusp of voting for me, and they voted for Tony. And I’ve talked to them about this post-game. They all, as soon as the votes were read, and they came to me and they told me that there was a situation that Natalie could have potentially won. So instead, they sided with Tony, just to make sure that the right person won the season.
– Don’t say Tony is playing a perfect game, Ethan! He could’ve had one if you voted for him to win!
– It is interesting to hear Ethan argue the “Survivor Purist” perspective in favor of voting for Tony, particularly because we know that he voted for Natalie.
– This will become very clear in a few clips, but it seems that a lot of these interviews were filmed at Final 4, before the fire-making challenge. Ethan hesitates for a split second when he says “Natalie versus … everyone else in the game.” Here, Boston Rob gets a faded cut between saying Tony and Michele’s names–could he have included Sarah in his list? Moreover, no one to this point has mentioned the fire-making challenge. I don’t know how much this changes what the jurors are saying, but I think it is a useful context in analyzing their responses.
– Rob also does not mention Natalie’s decision at the fire-making challenge as a part of his evaluation of her game; however, we know that this was the crucial element in Rob deciding who to vote for.
– Another moment (muh-ment) that doesn’t refute this timeline: Rob does not compare two players directly. Instead, he compares the path through the Edge against the path in the main game.
– Heh. It’s a doody.
– Parvati says that she adores Natalie, but Parvati also brings a good perspective on Natalie’s game overall. Other jurors have mentioned that it is a knock against Natalie to be voted out first. Parvati goes deeper by discussing how she was on a tribe with her and saw Natalie’s reckless game up close. It truly sounds like the jury of winners who endured the Edge approached their votes in the completely opposite way of the jury of Edge newbies.
– Parvati implies that Tony’s social game this season was better than hers overall. I mean!!!
– Another person who called Michele a follower. This one’s gotta sting, huh.
– Of all the clips so far, Yul talks the most about how voting for a winner here is about more than choosing a winner for this season. There is significance in this vote that transcends an individual season due to the nature of what S40 represents. Even though they all suffered on the Edge together, it sounds that many jurors are considering time spent on the Edge as a demerit on their rubrics.
– Yul gives away a bit of the game here when he essentially says that the jury is looking for a reason to vote for Tony. He needs to still say the right things to confirm that the jurors already think, but as long as he doesn’t stick his foot in his mouth, Tony has it in the bag.
– No one else used this word, but Yul straight-up called Michele a goat.
– Heh. A serious doody.
– Oh boy, Wendell’s out here talking about minimized threat levels.
– When Wendell says “If Natalie’s sitting next to Tony at the end,” the word “if” is doing a lot of heavy-lifting there.
– Wendell says that he would be happy to see either Tony or Michele win, but he’s leaning Tony heading into the vote.
– Sorry, I almost fell asleep listening to Adam. I think he’s voting for the purity of the game?
– Holy shit, he talked for seven minutes?
– Did I miss something about Adam’s confessional? Let me know below.
– This was the interview I alluded to above. Tyson speaks through a lot of scenarios as hypotheticals, indicating that the Final 3 had not been set yet.
– Tyson’s vote for Natalie is clearly out of loyalty, and you have to respect that as a criterion.
– Sophie praises Tony for his ability to “never stop moving” and to take people out without creating bad blood.
– Sophie also starts her analysis of Michele sounding like the first juror to give Michele credit for constantly maneuvering; she quickly pivots to explaining why she cannot vote for her.
– I think Sophie has a good point at the end when she says “I don’t want to sit at Final Tribal and end up judging the twist. I want to take the twist for what it is and judge the way that people dealt with it.” I feel like this reflects what I have been thinking about quarantine and my views on remote learning as an educator: some things are outside of our control, so let’s stop talking about what could have been or what would have been and just focus on what we can do with the situation at hand.
– Listening to Kim talk about Tony, I wonder how much of his apparent social game was built off of his reputation. No one left the game with hard feelings towards Tony. But was this due to the bonds he built at camp? Or could it be that everyone expected a certain version of Tony, so once he fulfilled their expectations by voting them out, it did not feel like an intensely personal betrayal? Maybe two things can be true.
– Count Kim as another juror who is trying not to dismiss time spent on the Edge out of hand. I think many jurors are trying to take a balanced approach with the thought of “The Edge was a part of the rules, like it or not.” But knowing the end result of the vote, I wonder if they still discounted the Edge experience regardless, perhaps out of what they predicted the fans would want to see.
– It’s interesting to get Jeremy’s perspective as the person who was probably the closest with all three finalists combined.
– Even so, it seems pretty clear that his vote for Natalie was set.
– Nick spends the first half of his confessional praising Tony and says that Tony is likely already in the discussion for Top 3 players of all time. If that doesn’t sound like a cemented vote, I don’t know what does.
– At first I thought Nick said Michele was “little.” Then I realized he was calling her “loyal.”
– Nick says that he would have raised the sail if he was voted out first. Discuss.
– Nick touches on Ben’s boot twice and gives credit to Natalie and Michele for it. It makes me wonder if Sarah flipping to vote out Ben resulted in an effect opposite to her intent.
– Denise gives away the game completely and says that this is being filmed on Day 38–i.e. before the fire-making challenge.
– Denise can see both Michele and Tony as a viable winner, but she does not feel as strongly about Natalie having never stepped foot on the Edge.
– I feel like Yul at the Ponderosa feast. I am so stuffed on content, and I should be forcing myself to finish this in one sitting. But here I am! Forcing myself to finish it!
– Ben has been the most straightforward in saying that Natalie being on the Edge is entirely disqualifying.
– We knew this before, but Sarah is 100% in the bag for Tony, and she plans to openly whip votes for her ride-or-die.
– I did enjoy Sarah spending basically her entire interview hyping up her partner. Like, literally no thought was given to Natalie or Michele’s cases.
Seriously though, I am gorged on content. I need to go take a nap. We’ve got one more post going up tomorrow morning with some clips you’re expecting and one thing that I think most of you are not. Stay tuned as our Winners At War coverage winds down.
Brad (formerly known as Taako from Teevhii) has watched every season live but was too young to remember the first ten seasons (and is only saying that to make you all feel bad). He treats Wednesday nights like a religious observance and wonders if he can finagle that into a tax benefit.
Favorite Seasons: Winners At War, Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Cambodia, Micronesia
Favorite Players: Kelley Wentworth, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Kim Spradlin, Denise Stapley, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, Yul Kwon, Charlie Herschel