There are a lot of things that go wrong when you’re playing a game like Survivor.
Your allies can betray you and you can end up getting blindsided in the tribal vote. Or your allies can stay loyal but the original target can play an immunity idol and you can end up getting voted out with only two votes cast against you. You can get some homesick or so frustrated with the game that you end up voluntarily taking yourself out of the game. (And Jeff Probst will never let you live that down.) Or you can end up getting sick or injuring yourself and be forcibly removed from the game by the medical team.
That said, the biggest threat in Survivor is paranoia. So many good players have fallen apart as a result of allowing their paranoia to get the better of them. They start out in a strong position but then they notice that they’ve been left out of a conversation or that they weren’t given a say in how the vote was going to go and, as a result, they decide that their allies are turning on them. This often leads to the paranoid player trying to stab their alliance in the back and, more often than not, it totally backfires.
That’s what happened to Danni last night. Danni started the episode out in a great position but, after Sele lost the immunity challenge, she became paranoid that her alliance — the Old School alliance led by Rob, Parvatti, and Ethan — was plotting against her. Even worse, she let Ethan know that she was feeling paranoid and she also let him know while Ben — who didn’t even know an alliance existed — was standing right there. So now, Ben knows all about the alliances and Rob and Parvatii know that they can’t trust Danni.
Danni made thing worse by trying to convince everyone to vote out Parvati. Ben, Adam, Jeremy, and Michele considered voting for Parvati but, at tribal, everyone ended up voting for Danni. (Except, of course, for Danni who voted for Parvati.) I was a little surprised that the so-called new school players didn’t give a little bit more thought to taking this opportunity to take out a strong player like Parvati. Danni obviously proved herself to be an unreliable ally so I can understand not wanting to go to the merge with her but, at the same time, Parvati is a much bigger threat. Maybe they didn’t want to risk the wrath of Rob.
The tribal council itself was kind of fun, largely because Ben doesn’t know when to shut up. He spent so much time talking about paranoia that it briefly looked like Rob might spontaneously change the vote to get rid of him. (Rob has said that he considers Ben to be a big threat.) At one point, everyone emptied their bags to reveal that none of them had an immunity idol. Of course, Denise and Adam have two halves an immunity idol but they managed to hide them right before letting everyone see into their bags.
On the Dakal Tribe, Kim also found a two-part immunity idol and a note telling her that she had to give the second half to another member of the tribe. For some reason, she gave it to Sophie who immediately started gloating about what a huge mistake Kim was making in trusting her. I don’t really care much for Sophie. She wasn’t a particularly impressive winner during her first season of Survivor and, this season, she’s going a bit overboard trying to present herself as being some sort of master manipulator, as opposed to just someone who won because the jury was ticked off at the other two players in the final three.
Meanwhile, at the Edge of Extinction, Amber is stuck with Natalie. Natalie found an advantage, which she sent to Jeremy. The advantage allows Jeremy to leave tribal council right before the votes are cast. As a result, he can’t vote but he also can’t be voted out. Jeremy had to give up his fire token to get the advantage. Apparently, and I missed his last week, that fire token goes to Natalie so Natalie now has two fire tokens.
And that’s it for now! My vacation starts this weekend so Erin will be covering for the show for the next two weeks and then I’ll be back with you on March 11th!