Survivor Edge of Extinction: Why did Wendy free the chickens?

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

We take a look at why Wendy released the chickens and more importantly, if this decision betters or worsens her position in Survivor: Edge of Extinction.

Every so often, there’s always that one castaway that opposes the idea of killing a chicken. Kimmi Kappenberg and Tai Trang are two that immediately come to mind, and oddly enough, they’ve both been getting involved with the chicken saga from this season of Survivor.

However, it’s hard to compete with the great lengths that Wendy has gone to in this past episode. Not only did she delay the chicken dinner by hiding the flint, but she actually released the chickens in the middle of the night! Was this an act of pure villainy, or is Wendy just too attached to the birds?

We have to take into consideration that Wendy did offer her new tribe an alternative with the fishing gear. In fact, Eric was already able to catch some fish and Wendy did eat that meal, although it wasn’t a ton of food. So we know that she didn’t come into the game as a vegetarian, and as much as she cares about the lives of animals, she was alright with eating fish. So what’s up with Wendy?

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The fact is: it’s hard to kill a chicken, especially when no one on the tribe has experienced it. Just watching it happen on Survivor is enough to make many viewers including myself cringe. Pair that with Wendy’s willingness to go against the grain and you have a recipe for a chicken jailbreak.

Will Wendy’s actions impact her game going forward? In most Survivor seasons, a decision like this one would spell an immediate boot. However, Wendy’s genuine personality makes her gameplay transparent. She didn’t release the chickens because she hates her tribe or wants revenge, she just didn’t want to see them die.

Although her crazy plan still makes her vulnerable at Tribal Council, it also screams that she can be used as a number. David saw this on old Manu, and was almost able to blindside Wentworth with Wendy’s help.

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It looks like Aubry feels the same way. She even had a confessional explaining how she loves Wendy’s personality and will want to work with her. Wendy is a perfect person to have in an alliance. She will vote with you while painting a target on her own back instead of yours.

In old school Survivor, Wendy would already be out of the game at this point, however, strategy has evolved. Smart players like David and Aubry realize this fact and rather keep Wendy on their side, in order to vote out a bigger strategic threat instead.

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Anything can happen, but Wendy has actually put herself in a position to make it deep into this season. Her actions are definitely hurting herself from a chance at winning this game, but she’s become the type of player that you want on your side, and that you even want to take to the end.