Hey, it’s Cho! It was only just a few months ago that I was analyzing the list of contestants and taking guesses on what to expect this season. There’s no way that I would have been able to predict the things that have happened and who ended up in the finals! It’s hard to believe that this is my last Survivor Recap for SURVIVOR Edge of Extinction, but I’m excited to unpack what is sure to be a dramatic finale! We are introduced by Jeff Probst who says this is their 19th year of the game. He’s wearing a really hip looking outfit with some gray color blocking. He’s so handsome. Who’s his doctor?! Everyone in the live audience looks amazing. He points out how Wendy & Keith are the only quitters this season.
The Edge of Extinction Challenge
The first big hurdle we have is figuring out who returns. Unlike before when we were wondering what would happen with the twist, it feels burdensome at this point. The challenge looks intense. My favorite Aurora McCreary is in the lead, and I’m screaming! Lauren McConnell is loudly cheering for everyone?! Is this jury management? Chris is wearing the wrong bottoms for this challenge if you know what I mean. Aurora only needs one more ball, but heartthrob Joe and Chris both tie it up. And in a huge upset, Chris Underwood ends up winning!
The Tears Begin To Flow
The rest of the Edge of Extinction is literally in tears. Reem Daly reminds us how miserable she was the first night she got there, but that she appreciated the chance to prove something to herself. She breaks down, and I’m totally not crying. Joe Anglim says he’s playing for the kids watching Survivor at home and feels like he’s taught them well. David says he saw emptiness on the edge, but that he’s been able to appreciate what he has at home. Julia Carter says how happy she is now, because she was able to overcome the grief she had from losing her father to heart disease.
We get more insight from a few of the other jury members. Eric Hafemann feels like he had to talk himself out of quitting every single day, and he’s happy he taught his kids not to quit. Aubry is upset about losing, and seeing the gold so close. She tells us that Survivor is about how you respond to loss. Kelley Wentworth admits to being a game bot, but she’s thankful for the experience she had. This is the largest jury ever I think?
Chris Looks For New & Old Allies
Everyone congratulates Chris Underwood on being back in the game. He pitches to the others about how much information he has to share with the others from the jury. Chris pretends like he’s easy-going and doesn’t care about his placement now that he’s jumped up into the finale. He plays it off like he’s fine losing, but Victoria Baamonde is not buying that for a second. She sees him as a huge threat, because she doesn’t know him whatsoever.
Rick Devens is the same person who betrayed Chris, but they seem to make up and vow to go to the end. Honestly, don’t they have the best chance against each other since they’ve already been voted out? Chris goes to Lauren McConnell relay her Wentworth’s message: “you have to play your idol correctly either for yourself or someone else to have a chance at earning the jury’s respect in the end.” Lauren is wary of Chris, but contemplates how to ensure that she is Chris’ best option.
Julie Stuns Devens
Not only are they playing for immunity, but steak as well. Chris Underwood is surprisingly in dead last. Lauren and Victoria cheer on Julie Rosenberg for leading in the challenge, and in typical shit-stirring manner, Devens says “they weren’t cheering for you when they were going to split the vote between you before.” Can’t say I blame him when everyone is squarely against him. Julie wins immunity!
She asks Chris to join her in the reward, and also chooses Lauren. Rick is upset that Julie hasn’t chosen him despite him going to bat for her. He claims that both Julie and Lauren have had the most rewards. Lauren rolls her eyes so hard that I think they’re going to fall out. He’s also upset that Chris helped Julie in the challenge. Seems like he’s found a new ally!
Chris The Information Broker
Julie’s strategy behind picking Chris for the reward was to ensure that Rick Devens is taken out next. They all try to guess whether Rick’s idol is real or not and decided that a backup plan needs to be made for their safety. Chris let’s them know that both Rick & Victoria are the biggest jury threats. Wow! This is so interesting hearing someone who have had interactions with the jury spill all the tea. We’ve never seen anything like this in Survivor history! It truly makes Chris’ position in the game highly volatile for the remaining players. He’s going to make or break another person’s game mark my words!
Lauren McConnell says that if it’s true what Chris says about Victoria being a jury threat, then she’s okay with her leaving as a backup. Back at camp, Victoria Baamonde is stewing over the fact that Julie chose Chris to feed steak. She tries to convince Gavin Whitson that letting a new alliance of Julie/Lauren/Chris take control of the game is not smart at this point, which is why they need to take Chris out NOW! They rope Rick Devens into their conversation and ask him to help blindside Chris.
A Revolving Door For Chris?
Rick doesn’t want to blindside Chris yet again, but is prepared to do such if he isn’t convinced to trust him. Chris reassures Rick Devens that he has forgiven him for their falling out, because they made amends on the Edge of Extinction. He then promises his loyalty to Rick and reveals that he received another split idol. He gives half to Rick Devens which in Rick’s mind guarantees that he needs him tonight.
Chris is in the most dangerous spot this tribal council. Lauren is still planning to vote off Rick, and Chris understands that the only way he is guaranteed safety is if Lauren gives him her idol. THIS is why he told Lauren that earlier comment about Lauren needing to successfully play her idol. Lauren tells him that Rick’s idol is fake but that she’ll play it on him if Rick plays his. This tribal council is going to be juicy!
At Tribal Council, Chris Underwood tells Jeff he’s having to relearn how to play the game. Lauren calls him out on using the information broker strategy. Lauren says that that Chris being the messenger should be taken with a grain of salt, because he’s not going to be 100% forthcoming unless it benefits his game.
Julie Rosenberg lies and says she picked Chris, because he hasn’t been eating. Rick Devens calls her out for not picking him, and for the first time, kind of breaks down in front of the others. He’s been public enemy #1 for so long, and it’s finally getting to him.It’s time to vote. Rick plays his immunity idol. We get dramatic shots of several survivors, before Lauren plays her idol onto Chris Underwood! Jeff reads: Devens, Devens, Devens, Chris, Victoria, and Victoria is voted out 2-0. Lauren didn’t even need to play it! She’s pissed!
Hidden Idols, Immunity Idols & Fake Idols
Just like clockwork, Rick is up in the middle of the night to conveniently find a new hidden immunity idol. I’m exhausted of the narrative. This time, everyone is looking. I guess no one is being lazy this time. Rick finds the idol right in front of the others, and he can’t be happier. Rick Devens gives Chris Underwood the other half of the idol, which guarantees that both they’re both in the final 4! They definitely need each other. I’m not looking forward to the stupid fire making challenge at the Final 4.
Lauren McConnell is upset that she wasted her idol on Chris in the previous tribal council, because it puts her at risk at the next tribal council. Julie Rosenberg tells her that since she played her idol, there must be another out there to be found. She ends up jumping for joy as she finds Rick Deven’s FAKE IDOL! She’s screaming so loud that Rick hears. Rick who tells Chris that they found his fake idol. Lauren then finds the clue to Rick Deven’s OTHER fake idol. He watches on as Lauren finds the idol. Okay, this is absolutely fucking hilarious watching Rick be unable to contain his laughter as he watches Lauren and Julie gloat.
The immunity challenge looks amazing! It’s an elaborate 6 road obstacle course over the ocean. I love the final 5 immunity challenges, because they typically are very impressive and huge. Okay, Chris is wearing my FAVORITE undies. Gavin has been smiling the entire time during this challenge as he is the first to get back to the puzzle. It’s pretty close as everyone gets to the puzzle. Rick Devens wins the individual immunity, which gives him a lot of power to use his idol however he sees fit now!
A Promise Is Made
Rick is gloating over the fact that they’ve all tried so hard to get rid of him, but he’s not going anywhere. He plans on using his idol to secure his place in the final 3 by approaching Gavin Whitson. He says he would be indebted to Rick forever if he helped him out. So, he offers him a deal. if he gives Gavin the idol tonight, he has to promise to take him to the end if he wins the next challenge. Gavin says he fully plans on going back on his word if he thinks he can’t beat Rick. I wouldn’t blame him one bit. Don’t be stupid, Gavin. Please.
Lauren McConnell starts to catch on that it’s possible that there are fake idols, because she just can’t believe there were 3 idols hidden. She decides that she’s in a desperate mood and wants to approach Chris with the idea to actually vote out Julie. Chris realizes that this is probably a smokescreen and that he’s the real target, but listens to the logic that Julie is actually a threat to him due to her track record at winning immunities. Rick Devens thinks Lauren has been the most strategic threat out of the other 3. He says Lauren has been on the right side of most votes in the game while others have been on the wrong side making her resume the strongest. On the other hand, they are still afraid of Julie Rosenberg winning all of the Kama jurors.
The Final 5 Tribal Council
Going into tribal council, literally all 5 Survivors think they’re safe, but really only two are with a possible third depending on if Rick gives Gavin his idol. Victoria Baamonde comes in from the jury and looks HOT!! In fact, now that the Edge of Extinction twist is over, everyone is allowed to clean up. Chris Underwood uses Lauren playing her idol on him against her by accusing her of pandering to the jury. Wow, Chris is dirty for this when you really think about it, because he was the one who convinced her she needed to do it for the jury. Lauren says she thought there was trust between them, but she doesn’t think Chris is trusting of her now. Probably because he knows you’re voting against him, homegirl.
Gavin makes the case that he should be kept because he has a chance to beat Rick in the challenge. I don’t think he should be saying that if he wants Rick Devens to give him the idol! It’s time to vote and reveal all of these fake idols. Julie players her fake idol. Everyone laughs. Lauren then plays her fake idol. The jury cackles. Rick plays his REAL idol for Gavin, then Chris plays HIS real idol for himself. The girls are shook. Jeff reads the votes: Chris, Chris, Chris, Lauren and Lauren is booted 2-0!
The Stupid Final 4 Twist & One Historic Move
I still think this twist is the most rigged thing ever (Remember Ben?) and doesn’t make any sense when you think about what the Final 4 has historically been like in Survivor past. These stacking challenges are NOT good for those with anxiety at home. Chris Underwood has been slow & methodical for a very long time. Chris just has to get back without dropping his blocks, and I am internally screaming. Julie has caught up to Chris!! She drops at the last second before Chris steps into the final 3 with the win. Jeff Probst says who thought this would ever happen? Well, Jeff, the producers. You guys set up the twist so that they could enter at the F6 and potentially have immunity at F5.
The final 4 challenge is supposed to allow the winner to choose who he brings, but this isn’t how modern Survivor plays anymore so maybe I should stop bitching. Chris is blunt with Rick that he needs to practice fire. Chris Underwood helps both Julie and Gavin with building a fire. Everyone’s practicing. Gavin says he wants to be the person to take Rick Devens out. Chris says he’s thought about it and doesn’t want to have any regrets which is why he’s GIVING IMMUNITY TO JULIE and battling Rick in fire-making himself. UMMM?! Either Chris just won the game or Rick Devens just won.
From a storytelling perspective, this season is a wrap. Perfect ending for the producers to have someone from the Edge of Extinction win, eh? Ok the fire making challenge starts now with Jeff narrating loudly. It’s really close, but Chris wins. Rick Devens looks so defeated. The jury cries seeing him leave and claps on his way out. He’ll be back on a future season
THE FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL
This final 3 is so random. I would have never ever guessed such a thing. Because of how unpredictable this is, I’m actually looking forward to seeing the jury eviscerate them. All 3 of them get really sappy confessionals about how much they’ve learned. Chris Underwood says that his game has been better since coming back from the Edge of Extinction in just a few days than Julie & Gavin who spent 38 days playing. Now that’s a read, honey! And I can’t really argue with him too much. The game has just kind of happened to them.
Aubry asks Chris about his social game while on the Edge of Extinction. This is why we needed more insight on that aspect of the game. Chris accuses Gavin Whitson of being a goat, but the jury chastises Chris for being so aggressive! Julie says she couldn’t hide her emotion, so she claims that she used it for a strategy. The jury rolls their eyes so hard, and Julia Carter attacks her. Julie Rosenberg tries to take credit for her boot, but Wardog & Rick tell her they were the reason Julia was booted.
Chris is on fire with the reads tonight by saying that Julie didn’t go to tribal council, so they are on even playing field in terms of “actual time playing Survivor”. Chris is praised for his big move of getting Lauren McConnell to play her idol on him. The jury is super impressed with that move as they should be.
Chris argues against the assertion that it was unfair for him to get back into the game with so little game left. He says on the contrary that he played hard ball every day he was there by winning immunity, playing a hidden immunity and giving up immunity to beat the biggest competitor in a fire making challenge. Chris Underwood is killing the competition in his speech, but not before Gavin says it’s unfair that he got voted out Day 8 and is back on Day 30. Arguing happens on “classic survivor” vs “modern survivor” determining who wins. Wardog squashes the outbursts by saying the Edge of Extinction twist isn’t on trial but the games of the final 3 are. Rick Devens reminds everyone that the ONLY person to never have their name written down this season was Gavin. Everyone nods, and so do I.
Gavin gives a sappy speech about life outside the game. Chris reaffirms the many accomplishments he made in his short time after coming back in the game. Julie cries as she says that she came out to prove to be someone that she realized she already is! It was a touching end to their speeches.
The Final Vote
I must say that I’m not even sure who I want to win nor have I have come to a conclusion on who should win. It really depends on your outlook on the game. Should voted out players be eligible to win at the end? If so, Chris’ resume is actually better looking on paper than both Gavin and Julie’s. Aren’t they just playing the game based on the rule book given to them during their season? What about Gavin Whitson? He didn’t play aggressively, but his social game ensured that people wanted to always keep him around. He never had to depend on immunities or idols. Pure social gameplay. My heart is with Chris Underwood, but my traditional Survivor brain is with Gavin.
Jeff reads the votes: Gavin, Chris, Gavin, Chris, Gavin, Chris, 3 votes each, Gavin, Chris, Chris, Chris, and Chris is our winner of Survivor Edge of Extinction! Wentworth, Lauren, Rick & Aurora voted Gavin while the others voted Chris. I already know there’s going to be huge debates online about Chris winning. What do you think about the finale? Give me your thoughts in the comment section below! Last note as I brace myself for Tamara’s wrath for this recap being so fucking long: the reunion was ACTUALLY really good compared to most recent ones. Everyone got some screen time which almost never happens!
Thanks for a great season everyone! I hope you have enjoyed my Survior Recap. As always, don’t forget to follow me on my social media platforms to stay in touch with me: Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Twitch! ALSO MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: remember that time I posted about a podcast that was under construction? Well I am so happy to let everyone know that my latest project is LIVE! We currently have 6 or so episodes recorded and just debuted the first episode this past week. Check out our instagram page for more information or simply jump right in here to listen on iTunes! I hope to do more Home Reno Blogs during the off season, so stay tuned!