Ciera Eastin is a great “Survivor” player — her problem is that everyone knows she is a great “Survivor” player. She’s sneaky, she’s persuasive, and she’s not afraid to mix things up if suits her game in order to do so. She had a really great shot of winning the very first time that she played, whereas in the second she fell a little short and was too outside of the numbers too early.
How can she adapt to change things up, and to (hopefully) define herself beyond Jeff Probst bellowing SHE VOTED OUT HER MOM at every moment? That’s something we’re going to try and pinpoint in today’s edition of our contestant spotlight series.
Past performance – 5th place (“Survivor: Blood vs. Water”), 10th place (“Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance”).
Historical perspective – She’s best-known for that infamous quote referenced earlier, and it’s an interesting dichotomy with Ciera because of it. This move, plus her going to rocks, are the big reasons why she’s held in such a high regard, but we would still argue that she didn’t need to vote out Laura and it only made her look all the more dangerous. (The going to rocks, however, was gutsy and awesome and one of the reasons why she could have won had Tyson drawn the rock to go home.) She’s known for not just taking big risks, but for encouraging people to play the game hard and be willing to shake things up. She’s like the campaign manager if aggressive gameplay was running for office — maybe that doesn’t make any sense, but it did in our mind at one point.
Strengths – She’s incredibly strategic. She’s up there with Aubry, Tony, and Cirie as one of the best strategists playing on this season. She can get herself out of almost any difficult situation, and knows when to hide out and not make herself into a threat. Even on “Cambodia,” she was effectively voted out because of an immunity idol — she probably wouldn’t have made it to the end anyway given the numbers, but she would’ve made it further. She’s like Sandra in that she’s one of those people who you can forget about a few days into the game, and then they go off and build relationships and all of a sudden they’re not in a spot where you can get rid of them altogether easily.
One thing we LOVE from her entering the season is hearing her talk in the video below about wanting to take on a different game this time, one where she plays the middle longer and makes relationships with everyone as opposed to just a few people.
Weaknesses – She’s not going to win three or four immunity challenges, and unless you find the right spot for her, she could struggle in the team ones. She’s also someone really entering this season with the reputation as a “gamer,” and when the show filmed, it’d been less than a year since “Cambodia” first aired. She will be on the minds of SO many people out there — but at least she’s not going to be starting on the same tribe as Brad Culpepper, right? Couldn’t see that going well.
Prediction – Ciera’s in danger in the early going of the game, just because she’s not good in challenges and it’s well-known already that she’s a dangerous player. The good news is that she’s can be a great ally (she was in Cambodia); the bad news is that she can be so great an ally that it isolates her from the other group. The best thing that she could do in this game is to be open to different relationships, but also get the closest to the biggest threats. Work with a Tony, a Malcolm, a Sandra, and an Aubry in the early going. Allow yourself to get to the merge with them, and then watch them cannibalize each other or go after the other tribe. She could find herself in a non-threatening position again and sneak / backstab her way to the end.
Ciera can easily win this game if the makes it far enough, and she’s capable of it. It’s just too hard to predict her in this spot when so many people are attuned to how good she is and she played so recently that nobody’s forgetting about it.
How are you feeling about Ciera entering this season of “Survivor”? Share in the comments, and head over here to get some further news when it comes to the show, including further spotlights! (Photo: CBS.)