I hope everyone had a great weekend! My mind has constantly been on the merge since the last episode ended, so I thought to give you all a special post outlining my thoughts on each Survivor remaining and their merits going into the merge. This post is intended to be more of a discussion. I REALLY want to know all of your thoughts as we enter into the most pivotal part of the game, so be sure to leave comments down below. If you missed any of the last several episodes, be sure to check out all of my recaps here. With one day left to go until the biggest episode of the season, let’s get right into it. Note: players are in no particular order.
Sebastian: Oh my lovely Sea Bass with the six-pack. So far, we’ve seen him play the classic strategy of being useful through providing for the tribe. He’s strong in challenges and has been able to provide plenty of fish and lobster. We know that he is tightly aligned with Chris, but he’s also been connected to Wendell recently. In the battle of Chris vs Dom, I see him siding with the wrong team, and as Nene famously said to Sheree, “you playin with the wrong team!” Side note, Nene was right, because Sheree was just fired from RHOA… again. Back on topic, Sebastian’s lack of strategic prowess, being an obvious physical threat and his blind loyalty to Chris could lead to an early exit post-merge, but here’s hoping we get several more episodes of him swimming in those cute trunks!
Jenna: At this point, I don’t have much of an impression of Jenna. She has survived through the picking off of Mololo due solely because she’s not a threat and not seen as someone that can maneuver socially. She admits her lack of being able to cozy up to others due to her bitch face. I’m sure a lot of us can relate to this. Hopefully, she has worked on fixing that face! Hopefully she can turn her showmance with Sea Bass into something that’s actually beneficial to her game. If anything, she can potentially be dragged through this next portion of the game as a vote, but I don’t see people being able to respect her game at the end.
Michael: He is this season’s hero, and I adore him! He puts 18-year old Cho to shame. Were you this hot, intelligent and athletic at 18? I surely was not! In terms of his actual game, I think he’s done a fantastic job building relationships across the aisle. He is well respected from all sides of the game. However, this is a double-edged sword, because people may view him as a threat. How he maneuvers the Chris versus Dom battle will be key to him setting up an alliance to take him a few rounds further, and I have the confidence that he will choose wisely.
Angela: I don’t think she has it all together up there if you know what I mean. She tends to have blind loyalty to all the wrong people. She should have jumped ship to the Mololos a long time ago, but I don’t think she has the emotional capacity to succeed in this game. Based on interviews and confessionals, no one really respects her either. She’s a prime goat at this point, and will be dragged by whoever has the ability to use her vote at the time. For now, it’ll probably be Chris.
Kellyn: She is in an extremely interesting position. How she reacts to Dom and Chelsea booting her #1 ally Bradley will be key. She was originally aligned with Domenick, so she should be able to fall back in line with the Naviti strong no problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think Kellyn has done a good job at making non-Naviti allies. If shit hits the fan within Naviti, which it is bound to do, I think Kellyn ends up on the wrong side of the blow up. Hopefully, she is able to use that advantage from Ghost Island in a handy way once it does.
Desiree: She has played a quiet boring game. Her screeching during the challenges is all I can really think of when she comes to mind. I see her following Kellyn’s every footstep which makes her a coattail rider. While her position is similar to Kellyn’s, there are some significant differences: she’s less likable, she’s less strong in challenges and she doesn’t have a double vote advantage. Again, her lack of desire to even entertain aligning with the Mololos will surely come back to haunt her in the post-merge game where having flexibility in choice of allies is everything.
Laurel: You may not have noticed her, but if you are a super fan like me, you know she’s a strong player. Not only is she obviously one of the strongest competitors, but she’s a great social player. She is aligned with the majority of Mololos left but also has inroads with Domenick. She knows exactly how and when to feed a person’s ego and how to be a good listener. I mean, her telling Chris that he could TOTALLY be a motivational speaker deserves an oscar in and of itself! She is someone you all should keep an eye on, because she’s a smart cookie!
Donathan: Our sweet, sweet Donathan! I’ve met people on the site here as well in real life that think he’s a fraud and inauthentic. I’m not exactly sure where I stand on those allegations, but I’m using my suspension of disbelief and just going with his given storyline! I love when they have to use subtitles for his thick accent. Unlike Bradley’s dbag assertion that Donathan is only there for a beach vacation, I think he has some game. He has endeared himself not only to most of America, but also the original Mololos and power players like Chris. His tight alliance with Laurel, whom is close with Domenick, will allow him to really maneuver the post-merge game from all angles. The test will be how he handles being in powerful swing vote positions. Will he crumble under the pressure? We will find out soon enough.
Domenick: I’m sure you’ve been waiting for me to get to him haven’t you?! All things considered, I think he is one of the best positioned players in the game to take control at the merge. Chris has had a raging hard-on for Domenick since literally 3 minutes into the start of Episode 1. While this is 100% Dom’s fault, I can’t help but feel sorry for him, because Chris continues to relentlessly gun for him. Don’t worry though; Dom has a bullet proof jacket! Not only does he have the Legacy Advantage, but also a Hidden Immunity Idol. He carries with him a litany of allies picked up over the course of the game, including but not limited to Kellyn, Laurel, Libby, Chelsea, Wendell, Donathan, and Desiree. If things go awry, I think Domenick has the ability to use one of the aforementioned to get out of a sticky situation. My only concern for him is his knack for over playing. If he lets his social game do most of the work, this game should be smooth sailing.
Chelsea: It was only a few episodes ago that we even noticed she was playing. While her edit has been pretty garbage, I can tell you that she is definitely playing the game. If you look at the episodes that she’s gone to tribal council, she has been HEAVILY involved in deliberations on who should leave and why. So we know she is playing the game. We just don’t have confirmed introspection on why she has chosen the way she has. Her booting Bradley was a surprise to me, and I’m still not sure if it helped her game long term. She will only be respected if she decides to make her own path instead of following in the footsteps of everyone else.
Libby: Her problem will be how she is perceived in the game. She is still getting heat for Morgan’s boot even though it was really James who masterminded that blindside. She doesn’t deserve the threat status that she’s been given. That being said, if she can overcome that perception and make it deep into the game, she shouldn’t have any problems asking for votes. The problem is that Libby really hasn’t done much on paper and doesn’t appear to be assertive enough. I think she’s really smart, but she’s going to have to make some good moves if she wants to be in a position to not get blindsided by those who are threatened by her.
Chris: Dom’s arch nemesis the model extraordinaire and arrogant buffoon, Chris! Wait, maybe I shouldn’t call him a buffoon, because he is quite hot to look at, and you all seem to agree! OK, back on topic, going up against Dom is not what he wants, because I think he is bound to lose this lopsided match up. Surprisingly, I think his horrible social game has gotten people to want to use him as a shield. I could see him gaining allies like Donathan, Laurel, Sebastian, Angela and others solely because they think they can easily dispatch of him later. However, like Bradley, when you are super annoying, sometimes people can’t stand to keep you in the game any longer even when it’s good for their game. Combine this with his super physical threat status, and I just don’t see Chris lasting that far into the merge unless he goes on an immunity streak.
Wendell: This man is a deity! I think he is perfectly set up to do well in the post-merge portion of the game. He’s very strong and smart in challenges yet isn’t seen as the biggest threat in any of those areas. He’s friends with literally everyone. I even want to be his friend! He also has an immunity idol that we can’t figure out where he’s hiding! This merge will decide a lot of things, but the most important thing for him will be where he stands in Chris vs Dom. He’s either going to mend the gap between them temporarily or he’s going to choose the winning side. I can’t wait to find out!
Well that’s it for my lengthy run down of the remaining players in the game!! What are your thoughts? Who stands out as being in the best position? The worst? And is the Chris versus Domenick battle really as lopsided as I think? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to tune in to my twitter Wednesday as I live-tweet the merge episode!
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