Survivor season 35: Devon Pinto’s jury video talks Ben’s idols

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The most peculiar FTC vote from Survivor season 35 came from Devon Pinto, who talks through his voting rights process in a “Jury Speaks” video.

Outside of the undeniably controversial moment coming out of the Survivor season 35 finale, what threw me most for a loop was Devon’s vote for Ryan. Sure, he had the tightest bond of anyone in the Final Tribal Council with him, but considering everyone else voted for Ben or Chrissy, it seemed odd that he valued Ryan’s game over two very strong players.

As such, in my search for reasons why this came to be, I stumbled across a clip of Devon Pinto’s “Jury Speaks” segment shared on YouTube. Devon sees himself as the soothsayer of the jury in his 8th and final seat on the docket, as he believes he gave the rest of the jury enough information about each player’s games as a resource of knowledge.

It’s clear that Devon had doubts about each of the Survivor season 35 Final Tribal Council members heading into the vote, noting their strengths and weakness. While Chrissy tied the female record for Immunity Challenge wins, he’s not sure if she made all the moves or got carried to the end. While Devon respects Ryan the most out of the Final 3, he wasn’t sure about how much of his post-merge game could be chalked up to Chrissy.

What flummoxed me was what Devon had to say about Ben. First off, he heaped tons of praise for Ben as a player, noting how willing he was to make moves and get himself into a position to win instead of getting dragged. However, he does note that he doesn’t know how much Ben’s three idol plays shape down to luck, offering some interesting revelations.

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“One of his idols he found because he woke up in the morning and he went to go lay on the raft and think about his wife, and he happened to stumble on an idol within five minutes. He wasn’t even looking! While Doc and Ryan and myself, we spent hours searching for an idol together, in a team, and we couldn’t find an idol.”

The idol Devon mentioned is the third and final idol Ben needed at the Final 5, securing his safety after two straight Tribal Councils where he was the number one target. It seems like production placed an idol with the most straight-forward suggestion of “dig” and an arrow pointing into the ground where Ben most often hangs out when getting personal alone time.

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Considering that Ben also found his first idol walking back from reading the letter from his wife after the Lauren Rimmer Award lunch, that marks two idols Ben found while hanging out in areas that production knew he would be. While a player still needs to actually put effort into searching for them and not giving up, I think it’s fair to suggest, based on what we’ve seen, that the fairness of their placement is up to interpretation.