Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Thrilling Merge Brings Strategy, Drama & Questionable Rapping

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Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and a member of the jury on Survivor Cambodia: Second Probability. He has been running a blog about Survivor technique for PEOPLE since 2009. Comply with him on Twitter @stephenfishbach.

Erik Reichenbach is a former two time Survivor Fan/Favourite and Comedian E-book Artist. Comply with him on Twitter: @ErikReichenb4ch.

“It truly is a chilly warfare with missiles pointed. We’re prepared to start out firing away. And it’s gonna get loopy.” — Vince Sly, Survivor: Worlds Aside

For the previous seven weeks, Survivor has been constructing the Dom vs. Chris showdown. A stray comment on day one, when Dom mentioned that Chris made a mistake within the opening problem, blossomed right into a livid rivalry.

“I can not start to inform you how a lot adrenaline I had pumping by my veins in these opening moments of the sport,” Dom lately advised Dalton Ross. “I wanted to take part in one thing or I used to be going to blow up.”

Dom tried repeatedly to fix fences with Chris, however the pair was merely oil and water, and a collection of missed communications, backstabs, faux idols pretending to be actual, and actual idols pretending to be faux exacerbated the battle. Tonight, each Dom and Chris tried to take out the opposite in an exciting episode of Survivor crammed with technique, drama, dangerous rapping, and hilarious confessionals.

Dom gained the warfare, and Chris Noble grew to become the primary boot of the merge.

The Fishy Award

Wendell and Domenick win the Fishy Award for masterminding Chris’s ouster. However that they had a variety of assist – from Chris himself.

On the merge, the Naviti alliance acknowledges that they’d all be higher served to only choose off the remaining Malolos. However the Dom vs. Chris feud is so all-consuming that it eclipses every other technique.

“These two guys can blow up the world if they need,” Wendell says.

Wendell sits the 2 rivals down and tries to fix the breach. Dom performs the second completely. He doesn’t act as if every part is hunky dory between the 2. As an alternative, he sincerely brings up the roots of the battle and suggests they work collectively, only for some time.

“I’ll quickly work collectively, and we will kill one another later,” Dom says. You couldn’t ask for a extra honest supply of a situational alliance.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Chris says. He can’t even take a look at Dom. “I haven’t made up my thoughts.”

Chris could also be too suavé (suavay?) for Dom and Wendell, however everyone is aware of the primary rule of Survivor is “conform to every part.” By not even pretending to play alongside, Chris forces Dom to focus on him. There’s nothing fairly so clarifying on Survivor as figuring out anyone is actively attempting to vote you out.

“He’s nonetheless after me,” Dom notes. “That’s all I would like to listen to.”

After the immunity problem, Chris pulls your complete tribe – minus Dom and Wendell – over to the water properly and tries to place his plan into motion.

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“I’ve a query. What’s everyone considering?” he asks. He doesn’t even pause to provide them an opportunity to answer earlier than he instantly tells them what to suppose. He lays out his plan to separate votes for Domenick and Wendell after which says, “I simply need everyone to be on that web page. I imply, how do you guys really feel?” It’s like he is aware of he’s alleged to ask different folks for his or her views, however doesn’t truly care about their views.

Chris is incapable of mendacity. He’s cocky and he’s bossy. In a manner he’s like Coach – the proper man to have round on Survivor. “I don’t really feel like [Chris] goes to lie,” Libby says. “No matter he tells you, he’s in all probability going to do it.” So the massive query is, why on earth would the opposite contestants select to vote him off, as an alternative of Dom and Wendell – who everyone agrees are extra strategic and extra threatening?

The 13-Individual Merge

I feel a part of Chris’s downside is the 13-person merge. With all of the scrambling throughout so many individuals, it may be extraordinarily troublesome to gauge who is actually doing what. On this episode alone, we noticed Dom’s plot to eradicate Chris; Chris’ plan to separate votes on Dom and Wendell; Kellyn and Desiree’s plan to take out Libby; and Libby and Jenna’s plan to sit down again and snipe at their enemies. I can assure that’s only a fraction of the completely different schemes that emerged and have been discarded through the post-feast insanity.

With even simply 4 plots, it’s onerous to guess how the votes will shake out. If these three are voting a method, and we 4 vote one other manner, and people different 4 are going a 3rd manner … what occurs then? Whenever you’re on Survivor, and your mind is malfunctioning from malnutrition, and also you don’t have something to jot down on, it may be difficult to even keep in mind who’s voting the place.

As Domenick complains, “I simply don’t know who to [expletive] belief out right here.”

That’s why at a 13-person merge, it’s usually a simple consensus goal who will get eradicated. As consumer FFGCCRJ lately wrote on Reddit, “merging at 13 forces folks to play it secure, model collectively, and simply goal both an outsider (Hali, Michelle) or an apparent large goal (Kass).” You save your refined strategic maneuver for when you may truly depend all of the gamers in your fingers.

There is also – particularly on new participant season – a component of desirous to vote out the one that’s making camp life a ache. You’re all on this loopy journey, and the merge feast creates a sense of fellowship. Despite the fact that we’re all rivals – we’re all a part of one thing particular collectively.

Then there’s that one man who simply gained’t cease rapping.

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Chris is also the sufferer of each good luck and dangerous luck along with his immunity idol. It’s improbable luck that Chris bought the key idol clue wrapped in his new buff. Nevertheless it’s horrible luck that he managed to increase its period for a day. If the idol had expired this tribal council, Chris would have been compelled to play it – saving himself regardless of himself.

WATCH: Jeff Probst On ‘Survivor’ Spin-Offs & Why He’ll By no means Compete: ‘My Mouth Would Get Me Voted Out’

Conserving Every Different Sane

Domenick and Wendell could also be one in every of my favourite Survivor duos ever. Like the very best pairs, they discuss technique collectively – after which go off individually to implement it. On the one hand you might have Domenick scheming with Donathan and Laurel. On the opposite, you might have Wendell making an impassioned plea to Sebastien, Jenna, and Libby – “I don’t suppose this ought to be a dictatorship. This ought to be a democracy.”

Maybe most significantly of all, Dom and Wendell can hold one another sane. It’s simple to get paranoid on Survivor – and that’s very true when the whole tribe goes off with out you. However you may inform from the way in which that Wendell reassures Dom that they’re serving to one another mentally, in addition to strategically.

At Tribal Council, Wendell offers one of many nice burn confessionals of all time. It’s slightly mean-spirited, nevertheless it’s additionally hilarious, within the vein of Courtney Yates mocking Coach’s hair feathers, Abi-Maria calling Joe Anglim a moldy clown, and Rob Cesternino’s notorious Casey Kasem dedication.

Right here it’s, transcribed in its entirety for posterity.

“We gained quite a bit collectively. Respect for that. However socially you don’t know what you’re doing. I hope you cease saying ‘I’ a lot. I hope you begin listening to folks. Oh yeah, and eventually, anyone needed to say it. I’ll say it. Cease rapping. You’re trash at rapping. You’re rubbish at rapping. You possibly can’t rap. You don’t have any bars. Put the mic down, bro. Put the pen down, bro. Use an eraser.”

Dom performs his legacy benefit, which is unquestionably the proper transfer right here, given how situational the benefit is and the truth that he is aware of he’s a doable goal (although he doesn’t truly get a single vote). It’s considerably loopy that Chris doesn’t play his idol. He can hear Dom within the voting confessional, shouting out his title. Because of this, Chris is voted out, virtually unanimously.

He began on the backside. Now he’s there.

Survivor airs Wednesdays (eight p.m. ET) on CBS.

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