This week’s Survivor was a series of miscalculated moves.
It was quite ironic that the Gen X tribe looked very calculated at the highly exhausting reward challenge and won yet they were a mess at calculating the right moves to benefit their individual games. By the way, Michaela is a beast. Doing a Sugar on the challenge. That’s dedication.
Last week, we got a little preview of tiger mom Lucy during the challenge when she sssh-ed her tribe mates as she was trying to cross the balance beam. Having minimal air time in the past episodes, this was something Lucy fans would enjoy. But as soon as that happened, we kinda knew that her days on the island is about to end.
At the start of this week’s episode, we saw her trying to throw Jessica under the bus. It was actually good strategy. She managed to re-establish the trust with allies Chris and Brett while ensuring Jessica doesn’t take control of their alliance. She has David, too.
That makes her potentially the biggest threat in her tribe and if she does it right, she could sail through to the merge, in a power position.
But there’s one problem.
It’s too early to make that move.
Plus, she was too straightforward, almost too bossy, when she pitched her plan to Ken. She didn’t take the time to establish some rapport especially since they were on opposing sides initially. She just threw it out there. What’s worse is she was barking orders, telling him how to act.
That didn’t sit well with Ken Doll.
So he did what most sane Survivors do to climb out of the bottom: snitch to the majority alliance.
But there’s a problem.
Jessica didn’t believe him.
Blinded by her loyalty to the original alliance, Jessica confronts Lucy. In most situations, people like Lucy would be scrambling to save face because no one likes a traitor in any alliance. Jessica, potentially, has the power to change the game yet again by aligning herself with the minority. With David, Ken, and Cece, she now has enough people to force a tie and take out Lucy. Or they can use David’s idol to nullify the opposing alliance’s votes and take control.
It would be a great use for David’s idol. It’d be a move that can amp up his resume.
At the same time, Jessica would have a guaranteed shot to make it at least until the merge (granted that there’s no swap, which is unlikely, and she doesn’t end up in a losing tribe) and a step closer to that Legacy Advantage.
Jessica has everything she needed to solidify her game without looking like a traitor. It is Survivor self-defense. All she has to do is act a little betrayed and probably sway Sunday over her side. But she was too loyal. And that’s the problem with loyalty in this game.
She had a one-sided strategy, which is very Gen X, and didn’t even consider other possibilities.
David ended up using his idol for Jessica at tribal, nullifying all votes against her. But there’s a huge problem. It was a miscalculated move.
I guess this is a result of the stigma that people need to make big moves to win Survivor.
It would’ve been a big move had he taken the time to strategize. But he didn’t. He went to tribal unsure of what to do. He hasn’t even discussed the vote well with his ally Ken, who ended up voting for Jessica.
It might have saved Jessica but the idol play was a wasted opportunity to improve his position in the game. Sure it got Jessica’s trust but he sort of alienated Ken and just gave the rest a reason to not trust him.