Survivor David vs. Goliath: Why did ____ finish in 3rd place?

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS Entertainment 2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS Entertainment 2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

No one divided more viewers of Survivor: David vs. Goliath than the second runner-up, but is there another reason why this 3rd place finisher came up short? 

If you were to label anyone from this top ten Survivor season as a goat to take to the end, it would be Angelina Keeley. Not because she wasn’t strategic or that she lacked the desire to win. Oddly enough, it’s because she played too hard. Out of all the “goats” to make it to the end, none of them made as many moves as Angelina did. So why did she get zero jury votes?

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Her manipulative attitude was exposed early

At the beginning of the season, Angelina appeared to be one of the most dangerous players in the game. When all of the Goliath members were dead set on writing down Natalie Cole’s name, Angelina saw Jeremy as a bigger threat than her. So Angelina spoke with all the Goliath members throughout the day and convinced every single person to change their vote to Jeremy! What a brilliant move, being able to manipulate everyone to vote your way.

The problem with that gameplay is if you push your opinion too far, it’s not going to stick. People don’t like being told what to do for every vote. That’s exactly what happened at the merge. While Angelina wanted Christian gone, the Goliaths wanted to vote out Elizabeth. Instead of going along with the Goliath’s plan, Angelina took matters into her own hands by telling Elizabeth that she was the target. That move totally blew up in her face as Elizabeth exposed her antics at Tribal Council.

From this point onwards, it was clear to the remaining castaways that Angelina was playing her own game. She basically had no other option than trying to stick with the Goliaths because it was hard for people to trust her after she revealed confidential information. Let’s not forget that she was also accused of playing for jury votes. This limited her ability to have any power going forward, making Angelina a perfect pawn to be brought to the end.

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Did Angelina get no votes because she’s a woman?

There was a comment that Jeff made at the reunion, suggesting that if a guy played the same game that Angelina did, they would be viewed differently. However, Angelina’s gender didn’t have anything to do with her loss, it was her attitude.

Throughout the history of Survivor, there’s been a common pattern: overconfidence kills. Even in the new era of Survivor where players respect good gameplay, selfish actions and remarks just rub people the wrong way (ex. Chris Noble from Ghost Island). We saw the results of that when Russell Hantz made it to the end twice and even when Culpepper reached Final Tribal in Game Changers.

In this season, you could just feel everyone roll their eyes when Angelina brought up the rice time after time after time. It culminated with Davie’s awesome statement at Final Tribal exposing Angelina’s “selfless act”.

The rice alone was enough to turn off the jury, but then you add in “jacketgate” plus her selfish fake idol plan and Angelina developed a reputation for playing an unnecessarily showy game. When we consider Angelina’s overall game, she deservedly received no jury votes. That being said, there’s no doubting that she was one of the most entertaining players this season.

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Although it didn’t work out for her, it was fun watching a castaway constantly going all out to get what she wanted! She wasn’t afraid to make big moves even if they backfired. Having that type of player is much more fun than a typical goat who lacks the drive to win.