Chrissy: At first, she told us that she was banking on Ben not finding an idol.
In the reward challenge, Chrissy teamed up with Devon and she managed the race well enough that she was first to finish. From what we heard, Chrissy was the one that convinced Devon to pick Ryan for the reward, a decision that really frazzled Ashley.
During the reward, Chrissy made a Final Three agreement with Devon and Ryan. Chrissy saw the immediate benefit of taking Devon to the Final Three: It would break up his alliance with Ashley. Ashley had been calling Chrissy out in front of the tribe so Chrissy was gunning for Ashley. Ben wasn’t attached to anyone so Chrissy was thinking of going after Ashley even before voting Ben out.
The Immunity Challenge was another shining moment for Chrissy; she finished the race in second place, getting up the stairs right behind Ben. While it took her some time figuring it out, Chrissy was no match for the others on the puzzle.
Seizing Ashley’s plan to split the votes between Ben and Mike, Chrissy talked to Ryan, Mike and Devon about voting Ashley first because Ben wasn’t going to win the next two challenges and they’d flush his idol, if he had one.
While she couldn’t have predicted Ben’s theatrics during TC, her plan to go after Ashley served her well as she got everyone to vote for her nemesis. In doing so, she probably ripped Ashley’s vote away from Devon.
From what we’ve seen, Chrissy has been the best strategist this season, possibly the best since Kim in One World. Yes, she made a big mistake by being complacent after the merger but she quickly recovered and since the counter alliance was based on deceit, she beat it by using loyalty; the strongest weapon against it. She stayed loyal to Ryan, she extended loyalty to Mike and she gained Devon’s trust because of that loyalty. It was probably her loyalty that saved her from Ben’s vote when he was the lone arbiter.
Being such a huge jury threat, Chrissy might have to win a challenge to get to the Final 3 but she has been surprising even in the physical part of a few challenges so it isn’t impossible. It would also look good on her résumé. She might not be a lock to get the majority of votes but she should do well against the jury. During last season’s reunion, Jeff, out of the blue, explained how a FTC tie would be resolved so I’ve been expecting a tie this season. If Chrissy, Devon and Ryan do make it to the Final Three, it could all come down to Ryan’s vote during the live reunion! I think he’d vote for his island mom.
Devon: In talking about Ben’s move, he called it the work of the “Survivor Devil”. All his plans had been turned upside down but he vowed to win the next immunity challenge to vote out Ben. He did beat Ben in the reward challenge. He was delighted when Chrissy brought up the idea of going to the Final Three with him. He thought it was his best shot to go to the Final three and win it all.
Devon wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going after Ashley before Ben because he really liked her (and it will certainly cost him her vote in the end!) but when it came to it, Devon went along with Chrissy’s plan and voted against his best ally.
Devon proved that he was a smarter player than first impressions led many to believe but the shifts in this game have really been too complicated for him to follow. Still, I believe Devon would be a very tough opponent in the Final Three. He made enough moves to garnish a résumé and his social game has been excellent. If he is in the Finale with Chrissy and Ryan, it will probably come down to one vote.
Ben: This episode was all about Ben being the number one target and his search for the idol that would save him. In honor of our Marine, we heard military music accompanied by the sounds of canons firing as the tribe returned to camp. That really underlined his great play with the idol. Led by Devon and Chrissy the tribe quickly agreed Ben should be next. He realized he had a long road ahead.
The next day, the sun wasn’t up yet when we tagged along Ben’s first search of the idol. After losing the reward, Ben tried to use Ashley and Mike’s anger to turn them against the other three but he didn’t make any real progress. Ben went on a second search for the idol.
After losing the immunity challenge, Ben went right back to looking for the idol. Finally putting his hand on it enabled Ben to deploy his histrionics at Tribal Council.
I would like to know what got Ben to vote against Ashley in the end. We didn’t see Ben participating in any of the whispering that went on after he played his idol and he looked determined to vote against Mike but in the end, he rallied to vote out the only person that was ready to listen to him. He’ll certainly need to win the last two challenges to make it to the end but his problem is that he has never done well in challenges. The consensus of players there is that he’d easily win the jury vote so I have to place him here but I have my doubts. His behavior over the last few days has been so confrontational that I believe he wouldn’t get enough votes. More likely, he will be sitting on the jury, acting as bitter as jurors always are.
Mike: He was stunned that, as the swing vote, Chrissy didn’t pick him for the reward. Mike came to the conclusion that Devon had taken his spot next to Chrissy and Ryan. All that did was get Ben to call Mike a reputation a cry-baby. It was funny to hear Mike say that he searched everywhere for the idol when we were about to see that it was right under their shelter. Mike was certain Ben couldn’t find it either.
When Chrissy brought up the idea of eliminating Ashley before Ben, Mike said he needed Ben out of the game because of his ferocity.
While Mike would have a great underdog story to sell the jury, I don’t think he’d convinced enough of them. Even Joe couldn’t quite understand where Mike was going when they were supposed to be on the same page so how would any juror buy his pitch? Still, he wasn’t part of Chrissy’s Final Three so he’ll have a tough time making it to the end.
Ryan: Once again, he was a disaster during the reward challenge, constantly slowing his team. Ryan loved the idea of going to the Final Three with Chrissy and Devon because, despite the differences he had with Devon, he still felt closest to him and Chrissy.
This season’s nerd had a nice run as narrator but his game play didn’t follow, especially after the merger. In fact, it started fizzling out right after the swap when he found a spot under Chrissy’s wing. He should have an easy time making it to the Final Three but I have a hard time finding any votes for him on that jury.