LAST EDITED ON 12-01-15 AT 00:33 AM (EST)
>Michel, you are a master at
>the intro, and what it
>signifies and what is a
>positive vs a negative. I
>am in awe, and each
>week I can't wait to
>hear your take on it.
>Sometimes it's blatant enough for
>me to get, but sometimes
>not! Keep up that good
>Nice hearing about the application of
>Buddism into the story with
>rebirth. Yes, Kelley and Spencer
>have had their stellar moments,
>and I feel that Jeremy's
>is yet to come, but
>with his allies being targeted,
>it won't be long!
>Jeremy is a very interesting character
>regarding the editing. I think
>all of us look at
>him, and we see the
>way he is seriously playing
>this game, how focused he
>is, and see him as
>a threat, so we ask
>ourselves, why doesn't anyone else,
>besides Ciera, see it? Got
>to be his social game.
>He is the paternal one
>out there, in regard to
>the comic relief Grand-pa out
>there, Keith. It's easy to
>forget that the two are
>BOTH firefighters. In addition to
>Kimmi, they are the only
>parents out there, as well.
>Interesting what it is coming down
>to, you noted that the
>original tribes are evening out
>in numbers as well.
Well, last week I was so perplexed by Stephen's seeming turn of fortune and what it meant for the editing that I actually thought for a second he could be getting a winner's edit. The way it's shaking out now makes much more sense in terms of how the edits have gone in the longer term. I agree with you guys that Jeremy, Kelley and Spencer are the only ones with a shot at winning based on how the editing has presented them, although I'm pretty doubtful about Spencer as I'll get into below. You guys have picked apart the episode excellently as usual, so I'll just add some thoughts I have on the 'winner candidates', from both an editing and game standpoint.
1. Kelley - the case for/against (editing)
Kelley has the clearest winner's edit of anyone this season. It has been consistent, there has been 'doubt' that didn't have to be manufactured much, as she was often on the bottom and still isn't maybe on top yet in terms of alliances. She was on the bottom from the second vote and has been doing what she's needed to get by with the hand that she's been dealt, and has been doing it well. She's made one big move that has paid off in the most concise and dramatic way possible, overturning nine votes (I'm pretty sure no idol has ever nullified so many votes, right?), and the rest of the time she's been chipping away. Aside from her idol moments, she's been shown as shrewd, shoving Terry under the bus when she didn't need to (as he was going to leave before her) and jumping on the right moves. The only case against her in the editing would maybe be how much focus has been on finding the idols, which might suggest that that is the main focus of her story, not making it to the end (I and others here expressed doubt about her winning only after she played her idol so early). But the little clues (such as focusing on her when talking about there being half a month left) more than make up for that, plus her story being about the idol isn't so disconnected from winning now that she has a second one. She's getting a golden edit, and I would eat my hat if she didn't make it to the end at the very least.
In short, she checks the boxes of a winner's edit - her role in making moves has been highlighted, her perspective has been presented in a sympathetic light, there has been doubt cast on her at the same time.
2. Jeremy - the case for/against (editing)
Jeremy has almost the opposite approach to a winner's edit as Kelley's, but that's been due to his position. He's always been in a good position in the game, and never had to scramble for the numbers, yet has been shown as influential in building trust with his allies and making moves happen without painting himself as a target. He's been presented in a sympathetic light on a number of occasions, from an emotional perspective, and has been presented as a smart player, without his recent blunders being presented as dumb. Still, he said when the going got tough he wanted to have all the bullets, and this double ep he lost three, in Stephen, Spencer, and his first idol. He's got Kimmi and Tasha and another idol, but that's enough doubt to cast to either start closing his story or bottom out for a redemption arc. I guess you could ask if his barrel is half-empty or half-full! Remember that he also said he wanted all the shields he could have, and he still has Joe, another idol, and probably now Spencer, who has taken visible control and is a bigger immunity threat ostensibly than Jeremy. Spencer lost his trust in Jeremy but he targeted Stephen - does Jeremy now become someone to work with again, now that he has fewer bullets than Spencer does? Some doubt is finally being cast on his being able to win, but it's hard as someone who has followed editing for a long time to feel like his story is near over. I would be shocked if he went home next week, and the episode will be telling in terms of his endgame prospects - if he mistakenly spends his second idol without needing to, it could set up a 'he let it slip through his hands' story, or if he waits out a vote against, say, Joe, and then goes on a combo immunity run/well-placed idol play/social-gaming his way to the right side of the vote again, he can start a redemption arc. But as of now, his edit still looks like a strong possibility for a winning one. If Kelley is, say, Denise, Jeremy is Earl. Both strong winners, but built it in different ways.
3. Spencer - the case for/against (editing)
I've long felt that Spencer is getting a very similar edit to his first season - we are sympathetic to him, he's coming off as a gamer who is cerebral and competitive in challenges... but there's no long-term foreshadowing, no million-dollar quote, nothing beyond 'Spencer was on the bottom and has played well to maneuver himself this far'. This could change. At the end of this latest episode, he was shown as the architect of Stephen's demise, the biggest strategic (read: non-idol) move of the season so far. Just before the vote he said 'for things to line up the way I want them to...' or something to that effect, and now they're lined up the way he wants them to be. He's finally run at that football and kicked it straight through the uprights. The question now is, is that the end of his story for the season, or does he get the ball again and score a touchdown? Again, the next episode will be telling in how they set up both Jeremy and Spencer's reactions to this move. I'm of the feeling that overcoming that Charlie Brown futility was Spencer's function, and he will go out before FTC. But he could be getting a slow-boil late-game surge in his already hot edit.
Summary: Kelley has had a consistent 'possible winner' edit. Jeremy's edit has been 'looks like a winner on paper but is too-good-to-be-true' edit until this week, which could lead to a continued decline or a bounceback to win. Spencer has gotten a strong 'making moves as a likable character' edit but his story hasn't reeked of endgame, and this has to change next episode for him to have a chance.
Gameplay summary (in light of the edit)
If there's a final 3, and I'm playing, I want to figure out a way to take Abi and Kimmi (or, failing one of those, Tasha). Keith would be beatable on this season of strategists too. The only way I could see Kelley and Jeremy (and/or Spencer) facing off against each other is if a) it's a final 2 and b) they are the final 3. Any other choice (other than, say, voting out Joe at final 4) doesn't make sense. So the boring play is to see Joe, Spencer and Jeremy go out next (the edit will not allow Kelley to go out and I refuse to consider it as an option). I hope that doesn't happen.
I'm convinced from the edit that Joe goes soon, as we know the family visit is next and that was flagged as his exit date from the moment it was highlighted in an early show. With the vidcaps suggesting Joe is (maybe literally) knocked out of the IC, I expect him to go this week. Sure, you could play the 'now is the best time to blindside Jeremy' card, but a) they just did that with Stephen and would be dumb to do that twice in a row, and b) Jeremy spent his idol, so they shouldn't think he has another. I'm mostly convinced Joe goes next.
With 7 left, Spencer and Jeremy become the biggest immunity threats, and the biggest targets. There's enough of a bond between Jeremy/Tasha/Kimmi that the other 4 should target one of them, as Abi/Kelley/Spencer/Keith is a pretty fluid alliance comparatively. So the question then becomes, who wins immunity and how are the idols used? But that's too far in the future to break down. The best guesses I can make are:
Kelley: makes it to the final and wins: 50%
makes it to the final and doesn't win: 45%
Jeremy: becomes exposed as an untrustworthy threat and has it slip through his fingers: 60%
makes finals (most likely wins): 40%
Spencer: becomes exposed as the biggest threat remaining and gets voted out: 75%
makes finals (50-50 win chance): 25%