We’re close to two days removed now from the latest episode of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X,” and what that means is effectively rather simple: We’re starting to get a fuller picture of what really happened across some of the camps. There’s only so much that can be shown with 42-43 minutes of a show sans commercials, and given especially this season with a bunch of young players, situations and alliances can be fairly fluid.
As we did last week, the purpose of this article is simple: Point out the people on the rise, and the people (to quote a famous sportscaster) going the wrong way as we start to near the first major twist of the game.
Winner (Millennial Tribe) – Michelle Schubert. While we’ll give Jay a little bit of an honorable mention here for picking up plans and being a good second-in-command, Michelle did some pretty masterful stuff in this episode. Once she got wind that Figgy was meant to be the target, she went individually to several different people and made a case to each one of them. She convinced Michaela, who wasn’t getting along with Figgy, to keep her around since she could be the next target. Meanwhile, she managed to convince Will that Mari was a threat, even though we’ve since learned from our exit interview with Mari that Will was actually a fan of hers through Smosh Games. Then, she covered herself further by convincing Hannah at Tribal council to flip. You can argue that she was a little aggressive at Tribal, but we didn’t sense any animosity coming her way for now. Given that she has Taylor and Figgy ahead of her as targets, she may be commanding the entire Triforce despite being the fourth person in it — which doesn’t even make sense from a math point of view.
Winner (Gen X Tribe) – David Wright. Technically, David’s still not in a great place, given that he’s on the outside of the dominant alliance. Yet, he’s in an infinitely better spot that he was after a terrible premiere. He found the hidden immunity idol, and he used that to leverage a better relationship with Ken, a guy who could be his longtime ally in this game. They may look like opposites on the surface, but they have more in common than you’d think. Ken’s someone who could be influential thanks to his survival skills, and alter in the game he could be a perfect meat-shield to hide behind since on paper he’s a competition threat.
For David, he may be in a better position than anyone moving into a tribe swap of sorts (if that’s what happens next week) just because he’s got a fallback he can rely on in that idol.
Loser (Millennial Tribe) – Zeke Smith. He was blindsided by the Mari vote, and while our exit interview makes it clearer that he’s not completely at fault for telling Jay that the target was Figgy (Figgy had brought up targeting Jay previously), it still seemed on paper to create a domino effect. The good thing for Zeke is that we think he’s a smart and capable enough player to recover from this, and we do think that the likes of Taylor and Figgy could be in trouble if a tribe swap messes up the pecking order.
Loser (Gen X Tribe) – Paul Wachter. We’re not dogging on him for having a health problem out there — his bigger issue seems to be that he’s a little overbearing as a leader and feels like he could be strategically inflexible. He’s got his group, and it’s seemingly clear to the outsiders that they are not a part of this. He’s put himself in a bad position so that in the event there’s a swap, he’s going to be the name that comes up if a David or a Ken realizes that they have the numbers to get rid of him. This could be seen as a situation where an alliance could crumble if you can get rid of the leader — there’s no guarantee of that working, but it’s worth watching out for.
We’ll be back next week with more winners / losers, but for now head over here to check out all of the rest of our “Survivor” coverage! Also, sign up over here to score some other TV news on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)