Survivor: David vs. Goliath
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 28, 2018
Previously on Survivor, it sucked. We’re still grieving the loss of the Mayor of Slamtown, who was every bit as fun, kind, and entertaining as we had hoped he would be prior to the start of the season.
At this point, it does seem as though the tightest group is the Davids, even if they don’t quite have the numbers. The Goliaths have little schisms here and there, with Alec knowing that he has to break from them at some point soon, and Alison feeling much the same. And then there’s Angelica, the bottom person in the Goliath alliance, who would be well served to make a move since there’s little love remaining for her amongst her peers.
Back at camp, Davie is super excited that he just eliminated John, the Mayor of Slamtown. He even has the spoils of war – a professional wrestler’s jacket. It could only be better if it belonged to the Elite or maybe Marty Scurll. Davie will never make it to Wrestlemania, but he feels like he’s in the main event right now.
He also makes a comment to the group that by Survivor 37, everyone should appreciate their competitors’ gameplay without taking it personally. It’s rare to see a Survivor player own their move and be this transparent. The move could pay additional dividends, because he has largely claimed that move as his own.
Alison, Kara, and Alec sit together as they chat about what just went down. Both Alison and Alec are worried that they’ve stayed true to the Goliath alliance for too long, especially since both of them have made overtures about making “a big move.” Also, Alison worries that the Davids may have dug up a hidden advantage, which could totally flip the script.
They notice that Dan is off by himself, pouting. And it’s true. He is. He pouts that the vote went the wrong way and that he played his idol on the wrong person (that’s on you, buddy). He pouts that the other three are off in a group talking to each other and excluding him. And he pouts because he thought he had a showmance with Kara and it’s not going the way he expected. Dan feels like he made a sacrifice (his idol to Angelina) for nothing. We’re still not sure why he let her nag him into it. None of the other Goliaths would have cared if she’d been eliminated.
For Kara’s part, she figures it’s time to cut Dan loose. He’s a liability to her at this point. “In the normal world, this wouldn’t happen… But it has to be done. I have to separate myself from him if I’m gonna win this game.”
Probst is here. It’s time for a Reward Challenge, with teams chosen by random draw. They start with an obstacle area to get a bag of numbered tiles. The tiles combine for a combination that releases a key, and the key unlocks a snake puzzle. The prize for the winning team is a burger bar with beer and/or soft drinks. Since there are an uneven number of people, someone will be left out from the start. That someone is Carl.
One team has a clear physical advantage – Alec, Davie, Dan, Kara, and Mike. The other team is Gabby, Alison, Nick, Christian, and Angelica. Of note is that the combination portion of the race is the same for both teams. If one solves it and the other team sees it, they can get the answer. Thus, even though Mike solves it quickly, Christian is able to figure it out from their result.
The snake puzzle pits Alec and Kara versus Christian and Alison. Both pairs are communicating well. Still, that slight lead given them by Mike allows Team Orange to get the burgers for their team.
Gabby talks about how this is an opportunity to work with Alison. She manages not to cry during this brief confessional. Impressive!
That’s okay, though. Angelica takes up the slack. She cries over the fact that the burger bar includes veggie burgers, and she’s going to miss out.
Following up on her plan, Gabby talks with Alison about potential cracks in the Goliath alliance. She tells Alison that her big plan to write down Angelica’s name wouldn’t have been that big of a move. Honestly, Alison is a little too obsessed with the big move. The point is always just to make sure your name isn’t written down.
Over at the burger feast, Davie wanders off on his own, allowing Mike to tell his teammates that they should stay Goliath strong, with Christian being the vote. Kara, however, wants to eliminate Dan. In hopes of gaining the trust of Alec and Alison, she tells them that Dan has an Immunity Idol. Alec laughs at him in confessional. The number one rule is not to tell people you have an idol.
Thus, the three of them plot to eliminate Dan, but Alison worries that they could get blindsided if they split from the majority. Honestly, she’s overthinking this stuff.
Later that evening, Davie and the other Davids (Ha HA! Davie and the Davids!) wake up early in the morning to search the camp area for an idol. This is further proof of the tight alliance between this group. After some unsuccessful searching, they go back for breakfast. Christian employs robotics technics to section out the camp area to eliminate regions as potential idol locations. It works. He finds it. He will tell the Davids about the idol at some point, but for now he’s employing the No Tell strategy.
It’s already time for Probst again. They have to balance a ball on a disc while they navigate some obstacles. They have to do this three times. Once they’ve completed that part of the challenge, they have to get all three balls through a snake maze. Apparently we’ve got a snake theme going tonight. Alec jumps out to a dominant early lead.
As the race proceeds, it’s coming down to Alec and Dan, meaning that we’re probably looking at a Goliath winner here. Eventually, Alec emerges as the best player in this particular game, and wins it in dominant fashion.
After the challenge, Dan comments that Christian is the obvious choice for elimination. Good luck with that.
Actually, there’s not an obvious elimination here. Dan has an Immunity Idol, so if he plays it, he should be safe. This assumes Carl doesn’t correctly play his Idol Nullifier, of course. Christian also has an idol. So it’s hard to say what happens here.
Kara, though, is still talking about separating herself from Dan. She talks with the Davids about voting him out, but splitting the votes between him and Angelina. Alison thinks they jump on board too easily, and that her BIG MOVE should be to go with the flow and stick with the Goliaths. She’s killing us.
They go to Kara and tell her that the big move is Christian. Her mind is spinning. Nick and Christian notice that they’re all split apart from them, and they’re wary of joining any new alliance with the Goliaths for this reason. SO…
Nick and Christian go hang with the Davids, where Nick and Carl reveal that they have a vote steal advantage. Christian tells them he has an Idol. The trifecta is complete when Carl informs the group that he has the nullifier. They all strategize about how best to use these different advantages.
“What do we play and when? And how many for this vote?” Christian asks. It’s a delicate balance.
Night 25 and it’s Tribal Council time. (Only 14 days left!) When John walks in, he flashes the BIGGEST smile. Even though he’s disappointed about the elimination, he clearly has gotten a kick out of how it happens.
Probst starts the conversation by talking about the difference in numbers between the Goliaths and the Davids, but also the sweet, sweet revenge that the Davids got in the previous Tribal Council. Gabby gloats a little bit, and Christian preaches caution about that kind of talk. She also notes that someone is on the bottom of the Goliaths, so they need to make a swap at some point or they finish in sixth.
Dan argues with them, but Davie points out that the game is fluid. Sometimes, you’re at the bottom. At the next Tribal, things could change completely.
Annoyingly, Probst keeps steering the conversation back to Goliath versus David. Sigh. Yes, they still have alliances that point that way, but we’re certainly seeing overtures from the Goliaths to the Davids.
When Probst says that it’s time to vote, Nick pulls out his Secret Advantage – the Vote Stealer. He takes Alison’s. Alec gulps. Alison feels frustrated, because she wants to PLAY THIS GAME! She whispers to Alec and Kara – whatever they had planned, I think it changes here.
Dan asks Kara if he should play his idol for Alison, but we’re not privy to her response. Probst asks if anyone wants to play the idol, and Dan does in fact raise his hand, playing it for himself. “If they’re trying to play a fast one, I want to make sure it ain’t me going home,” he says.
Probst confirms that the idol is genuine, and then he also confirms that the Idol Nullifier was played as well. And in fact, Carl has chosen to play it AGAINST Dan. SOOOOOO… any votes for Dan still count.
The first three votes are for Christian, then two for Angelina. All of the remainder votes are for Dan (six, including Nick’s double vote). That means two Goliaths voted for Angelica – Alec and Kara. So, what the Davids did was eliminate a strong Elimination Challenge competitor while also exposing the crack in the Goliath alliance. They might have overplayed their hand, but the move has served its purpose. The two alliances are tied, and only one of them is real.