First, Jims, I want to thank you for bringing up the possibility of production manipulation. I'm usually the one doing it and I get brushed off as if I was screaming wolf too often!
Certainly, production could have fixed it so Sabrina found the idol, maybe hid it directly in her path because they knew Colton would inherit it. I'd go even further and suggest that the Salani idol hasn't been found because the producers don't know yet who should have it. The 5 young women are safe and so is Monica so why waste it on Nina or Christina? Keep it buried! I'm only (half*) kidding.
(*Does anyone think it was a coincidence that Ozzy and Coach wound up with the idols last season? Or, funnier still, that it was because of their experience?)
But guess what? If production did help, that means Colton could be even smarter than we think because he understood how Reality TV works: Make yourself out to be a character and get a free pass!
OK, kidding aside. Did you see Nina, Christina or even Monica look for the Salani idol or ask the men to help them? Some of you consider them smart but they weren't as smart as him. in this department. People think Russell was super smart to find an idol without a clue or get an idol from JT. Well, like Russell, Colton got someone to give him an idol. I'm not saying he is a genius, far from it, but he has played better than most of this season's DAWS. He got what he wanted, what he needed.
As for the twist killing his chances, I meant the gender divide. Again, I am not the one saying it. He did in his 1st confessional after the news: “I was absolutely horrified…Are you freaking serious?"
For good measure, Matt also said it: "The minute I saw Colton, I knew Colton was gay...I also knew that he was going to have problems identifying with the guys in camp; there’s a lot of manly men around here."
Colton's first comments in the game before the twist was announced told everyone he was gay but I am not going to say that it was dumb to express himself. He had every right to do it and not be considered dumb, or booted (persecuted?), because of it. But his game plan needed some of the women to vote with him. Tribes often vote along gender lines at first so he could have been the deciding vote, swinging over to the women.