There have been many great personalities on Survivor over 40 seasons. Greg Buis used a coconut phone in season 1. Shane Powers upgraded him to a Blackberry island in season 12. Wanda Shirk showed up with a song in his heart. Benjamin Wade had dragons to kill. And then you had Philip Sheppard and Debbie Wanner competing in the least credible CV category from a previous job. They were all super fun watching in their own strange and wacky ways.
There have also been a lot of incredible players during these 40 installments. And we see several of them this season. Kim Spradlin, Parvati Shallow, Rob Mariano (among others) seduced us all by their game in their winning (and sometimes losing) campaigns, and watching their skills and know-how is a delight.
But it is rare that a single person can reach the top of these two categories, being wildly fun as a high profile personality while possessing the cunning and cunning of a top game player. This is why what I wrote during Survivor: Cagayan is still true today. In fact, it may be more true than ever. And this truth is: Tony Vlachos is the most fun Survivor player of all time.
Find your feelings, Padawan. You know it’s true. And this week has provided all the necessary evidence. In just 43 minutes of footage, Tony found an idol of immunity after artfully dismissing another named player Scarface, wiped out while running through the jungle at top speed with his bag, got three different people of different alliances to give him fire tokens when he was struck with the advantage of extortion, won his second consecutive immunity challenge, completely overturned the vote by itself by separating people from different alliances to eliminate Sophie, and, in next week’s preview, we saw him hiding in the trees in a nest spy. Again, A NEST SPY !!!
You have players who don’t do half of that in one all season and Tony did it in three days. He’s a madman, a madman and, according to Kim, a “double psychotic agent”. He is also brilliant. And very entertaining. Because Tony embraces experience like no one else. Even if struck by the brutal Extortion (Dis) Advantage, Tony couldn’t help but smile and laugh: “Extortion is illegal in the United States,” he said. “I don’t know why it’s not illegal in Fiji! Can you see how much fun this guy is? How can you not love him? How can you not kiss her like Tony kisses every moment of her Survivor existence?
There are a lot of people to recruit for this season. There are people like Michele and Ben, who feel that they need to legitimize their previous victories, and this dynamism makes me want good things for them. There are players like Kim and Parvati, who were so dominant on previous visits that you want to see them cement their legacy. There is Ethan, whose potential victory after all he has endured in his life and done to help others would be the best wellness story in the history of reality TV. There is a reason to take root for everyone and a reason to feel positive about everyone’s victory. I honestly believe it.
That said, the insane certifiable Tony Vlachos – who has not yet received a single vote against him in 13 tribal councils !!! – winning season 40 against 19 previous champions would be the most spectacular finish imaginable. And I don’t want to sound like Spencer Bledsoe at a Survivor: Cagayan Tribal final, but the guy deserves it. The guy moved, found idols, and gained immunities. He makes people laugh at his antics. There is no one who votes against him. Quite simply: he opens a clinic … when he is probably at the same time belongs in a clinic. No one mixes nonsense and playfulness like Tony Vlachos. He is truly a gift, and as long as he remains in the tribe, he is the gift that continues to give.
Now, I don’t know how the alliance partners don’t want to kill him daily when he does things like flipping that last vote, but it’s their problem, not mine. I can just watch it. This is why I love him so much and I want Tony Vlachos to leave his family and come to marry me instead. Then I can visit him as a beloved when he returns for season 50 – Survivor: Champions vs. Challengers. He will hug me and spin me several times and say things that make no sense but only make me love him more. God bless this man.
Okay, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the week.
Start the fire
First, a very cool moment by the editors in terms of showing Jeremy at the camp alone by speaking of “like a flash in the night” just when his fire came to life. At the right time! I actually dug everything out on this night scene, including Jeremy (who had left Tribal early due to his Safety Without Power advantage) watching the tribe enter the camp, Tony giving Jeremy the grief to leave early even s ‘he was totally planning to reject it, and then Ben and Jeremy probably having the stupidest argument because’ they taste good / less filling ‘as they tried to convince themselves that the other was the biggest threat. Jeremy told us later that he loved Ben at the start of the game and now “every little thing bothers me”, which I’m sure is exactly what my wife thinks of me after a month of quarantine.
Cops ‘R’ Us
The alliance of Tony and Sarah in their two seasons has been fascinating. They lined up at the start Cagayan, he lied to her about being a cop, eventually became clear, but still did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it. Sarah used some of the lessons Tony taught her to play Game changers and had a dominant result as a result. They returned here as clear allies, although they provided a contrasting study in terms of style.
While Tony built Spy Shacks and Bunkers and Nests and builds on chaos as his ally, Sarah relied on social relationships – forming close ties with people like Ben and Sophie, ties that could help her if she was going to the jury vote. . And you saw Sarah’s social game in full effect when she turned into Betsey Johnson before our eyes with hers Survivor fashion show. Sarah, Kim and Michele were all on the track while Sophie told the action.
The juxtaposition has never been clearer because we then heard Tony say “I want to hurt, man. I want to play the game “as he embarked on a campaign to entice Jeremy, Kim and Michele. Sarah and Tony are smart players who seem to be playing the game very differently this season. And Tony’s willingness to risk building bridges with Sarah again after having blinded her with Sophie’s vote makes their dynamic more fascinating to look forward to.
Before I take advantage of the latest Edge of Extinction benefit, I’d like to pause for the cause to acknowledge a quote from Tyson who started this week’s segment in Edge: It can ruin people’s lives and lose the game. There are many people who go home and struggle with them for years. “
It’s so true. Sometimes we see the hidden cost of the game in exit interviews and salty reunion shows. Other times, we don’t, even when the trauma of not only failing, but failing on national television in front of millions of people, is deep. Tyson is right that there are players who never get over it completely. Having your dreams shattered is no fun, even if you picked up a few Instagram followers along the way.
Tyson also noted that Adam was going to have a hard time losing. I don’t know if he is right or not about this, but that raises an interesting question: are the previous winners better equipped to handle the loss because they are at least as comfortable as having already climbed the mountain , or are they so used to success in the game that it is even more shaking when things don’t line up? Sophie’s confusion about where to go and what to say after being elected speaks volumes. Failure is an unknown feeling for many of these winners, and for people who have only played once and won, it will be interesting to see how they handle defeat.
Okay, jeez, sorry to have all the introspectives and marauders out there. Back to the bells and whistles! Yay! Benefits! Fun! And we all know that the benefits are there to be on the edge. After Natalie found a clue in a bottle, she realized she had to crawl under the shelter to find a special surprise. And that surprise was an advantage, which could actually be used by someone on the Edge rather than by someone from the tribe – the Extortion Advantage. Basically, Natalie could prevent a player from participating in the next immunity challenge and to vote at the next Tribal unless they meet the payment requirements.
And Natalie and Parvati’s demands were exorbitant – six fire tokens. SIX! That’s a lot of damn tokens. But I would give all the fire chips in the world so that I could watch the next sequence over and over for the rest of my life. Because not only did Tony completely fade out of excitement after finding a scroll in his bag, but the change in tone and expression on Tony’s face to think he was being given an advantage to extort someone else (“It’s great!”) When it was realized, he was the one who was extorted (“It’s illegal, man!”) was priceless. It was like watching the exact moment when poor Ralph Wiggum’s heart broke in two during the Krusty the Clown’s special anniversary.
But Tony being Tony, he was still able to smile and make jokes about it. And Tony being Tony, he also managed to convince three other people (Jeremy, Nick and Ben) to give him chips so that he could still participate and vote. What is particularly amazing is that he received a token from people on completely different alliances because everyone was sure he was with them. This is the kind of thing that could burn him later, but for now? Gold.
Although I am a fan of the Fire Token concept, I am not a big fan of players who have been eliminated to be able to completely screw someone still in the game if they wish, because they found a bottle with a note inside. What if Natalie had set the price of the extortion at 200 fire tokens? It just gives too much power to the people of Edge. Natalie and Parvati have never played a single day with Tony. Why should they be able to completely cancel his game when they had no interaction with him? I don’t know if philosophically I can go there. I’m not necessarily against the concept of extortion, and we know I’m cool with Fire Tokens. I just don’t like the transaction and the massive decision-making power coming from the Edge.
However, I want to give Michele accessories for having proposed a fairly sweet lie on the spot. When she was stuck by Tony about giving him one of her fire tokens, she explained that she had used them all to buy an advantage that, if she was eliminated from the game, she could use the Edge challenge to return. it didn’t raise any alarms, and although I hate the benefits of challenges, I like deception. More please.
The immunity challenge this week had players standing on a narrow beam while balancing a statue at the end of a long pole. Its good. We have seen variations on this several times before. The reason I don’t like it is that I prefer challenges where it’s a little easier to track progress. With the one from a few weeks ago when everyone had to hang on to the post as long as possible, you could see who was sliding and who looked stable. In last week’s wobbly table block construction, you could follow who was in the lead and how it changed with the fall of the blocks of people. This one, you’re just a little bit inside until you get out. I don’t hate it. It’s just not one of my favorites. Either way, it was up to Tony and Jeremy, Tony winning his second consecutive immunity.
Last minute strike
The scene seemed ready for an eviction from Jeremy. And then Tony hit. By telling us “I have been patient long enough”, Tony decided it was time to remove Sophie because she was too close to his ally Cops ‘R’ Us Sarah. But he didn’t want to give anyone too much time to counter the move, so he waited just before Tribal before hitting Nick and then Jeremy with his new plan. Nick was there (although I’m not sure why), but it was Jeremy who needed to be convinced. It’s like the time I tried to convince Jeremy that I would beat him in fantasy football. He didn’t believe me either … until he lost me in the Rotten Coconutz fantasy football championship. (My sources tell me that he tried to use a sorry sob for the referees about his wife’s pregnancy with another child at home in the hope that it might give him some calls, but that didn’t did not work because they are not a Survivor jury.)
As we headed to Tribal Council, we weren’t sure if Tony had managed to flip the script. All that we made know that Sophie Clarke has VERY strong feelings when it comes to filling out college applications. “No one wants a resume that is super, super long but has no quality. You don’t want to be like that boring school girl who is in scouts and debates and mathletes and, like, after school volunteers. It is very obvious that you fill in your CV for no reason. Dude, if all of the health care consultant’s game is not working out for Sophie, it’s clear that she can land a ruthless ax carrier job in any admissions department. Or, alternatively, as a newly installed CEO of IHateGirlScouts.org.
Sophie was clearly the star of the Tribal Council, and not just because she despises mathletes, was voted and boasted on national television of having an idol in her crotch. It was downright adorable watching her walk completely wrong after being eliminated, then almost lighting his hair on fire while putting his torch to be suffocated. “I have never been blind before, and it is a traumatic experience,” she shared with us, and watching her be so taken aback by her side was endearing for a woman who often appears very confident. she.
In truth, Sophie has her own doubt, like all of us. This is what led her to admit that she entered the season thinking she was a refreshingly honest lower level winner. And that’s what led her to add that she gained confidence by playing against the best of the best, so encouraging. I’ve always considered Sofierce to be a very underrated player, and I think she did pretty well on her return, especially with her puzzle solving skills.
And I hope I’ve done enough for this week’s recap. I’m not going to lie: it’s not my best. I know it. It may be self-isolation. Maybe it’s just a week off for me. Or maybe it’s hard to focus on something else, because 98% of my day is now trying to open delivery windows for online grocery orders, so I don’t die picking up Eggo waffles in my local Acme. WHO MUST SAY! But even if my effort was only C + quality this week, I will try to catch up with you in the form of an exclusive suppressed scene in which Ben talks about the difference between a reality show war and a real one, you know, war. These are good things and you should check them out.
You should also check out my weekly questions and answers with host Jeff Jeffst in which he responds to what would have happened last week if Sarah had stolen Jeremy’s vote, then Jeremy used his Safety Without Power advantage, which means he had no vote. I also talked to Probst in another article about their plans for the remote meeting and you can see what he had to say about it. And for more Survivor scoop, you can always follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss and Instagram @thedaltonross. Come on over and say hello!
But now it’s your tower. Agree or disagree with my assessment that Tony is the best mix of great personality and great player the game has ever seen? Do you like or hate the advantage of extortion? And does Nick look like a vampire? Hit the bulletin boards and I’ll be back next week with another ball of crisp!
Summaries of episodes
Jeff Probst leads adventures in the ultimate (and original) reality series.