Survivor: David vs. Goliath finale preview: Goliath’s route to the end

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Before the Survivor: David vs. Goliath finale airs, let’s take a look back at how the Goliath tribe formed their identity and kept firing on all cylinders.

The Goliath tribe was always pinned as the favorites. Whether people came from wealthy backgrounds, worked their magic through connections or had natural charm, you could tell this group had a natural advantage as a team from the start. Survivor: David vs. Goliath backed itself on its biblical story, meaning that even though they had the advantages, they seemed destined to fall.

Now that we arrive at the finale let’s take a look back at the Goliath tribe’s story.

Early paranoia and selfishness

Though it was clear that the Goliaths would dominate the challenges, it was because they were harnessing the power of 10 egos. The opening episode showed us how much the Davids came together as a team of misfits fighting through similar struggles, while the Goliaths were strong, self-interested individuals clumped together as a team.

You saw it in the way that everyone painted Mike White as a target for searching for the Hidden Immunity Idol early on Day 1 when, in fact, everyone abandoned their tribal duties in building a shelter to search for an idol on Day 2. You saw one-sided showmances develop, such as Dan and Kara, showing one person’s need for acceptance and another person’s need for a meat shield in the game.

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This culminated in the first two Goliath boots, with Jeremy demanding nobody strategize and talk amongst themselves ahead of a swap and Natalia losing her mind about Kara and Alec betraying her. Both players exacerbated the “problem” and undid their own games by feeding into the paranoia

Finally, the third and final Goliath member, taken out before the merge, was part of a selfish ploy. Angelina voted for Lyrsa knowing the majority would vote out Natalie, allowing her to beg and plead for Natalie’s jacket as she walked out of the game. Goliath was the picture of self-interest and greed.

Dynamic gameplay while Goliath strong

It was a miracle that the Goliaths were able to maintain a numbers advantage heading into the Survivor: David vs. Goliath merge, and what was left of their seven-person group felt compelled to stick together (at first) in order to steamroll the Goliaths under the banner of “Goliath strong.” Clearly, the forward-thinking plan was to take the first few episodes of Naviti’s plan (the only episodes available to these players) and roll with it.

Secretly, however, Mike White and Alison Raybould had other plans in mind. Working alongside Christian, Gabby, Alec and Nick, the six created a “Strike Force” alliance that would fail to launch before the plan to create a dynamic Final Six would ever come together. The plan was to vote out Elizabeth and another David before taking out the four remaining not involved.

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However, Gabby’s theatrics at the merge tribal set Mike off, which started to begin the true “Goliath strong” plan. That saw the Davids getting into a protectionist mode, bonding together over obtained advantages to start an anti-Goliath train, taking out the Goliath brochachos in John, Dan and Alec one after another after another.

Shadows of the Goliath Empire

Sticking original tribe strong might be best for the games of the individuals, but David could not let sleeping dogs lie. Christian and Gabby came over to the Goliaths (primarily Mike, Kara and Alison) as a means of taking out Carl, the Godfather, and Goliaths were more than happy for the Davids to willingly give up the majority.

The willingness of Goliaths to take out larger threats by letting others do it for them was a pivotal part of their late-game strategy, as Gabby’s Brutus-like move to take out Christian was one appreciated by all. However, wary of an idol, Mike and Angelina threw their backup votes away from Alison and towards Gabby, ensuring that the 4-4 split would end up taking out a member of the Davids.

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Heading into tonight’s finale, the Goliaths have come full circle. The dominance of the 4-2 numbers advantage cannot be overstated. Mike, Kara, Alison and Angelina will want to do whatever it takes to ensure there’s no “underdog” David sitting with them at the end. Each of them has their own goals and Final Tribal Council, but no matter what, it is in their best strategy to sit with one another at the end.