Coming alive and dying at the merge is an edgic staple, and as we look at the Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 7 edgic, we see who rose and fell.
The Survivor: Edge of Extinction edgic is officially a mess. With so much time spent on players who will likely not win their way back into the game and so many advantages and idols present, we barely have enough time to get a good read on the top players. Even those I thought were clear runaways got nothing in Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 7, and the remaining candidates don’t skate away cleanly.
It was not a typical Survivor merge; not by a longshot. We spent ~13:35 out of 43-plus minutes of the episode dedicated to finding out which of the Extinction players would enter back in the game, as well as get the tearful (fake) goodbyes from the remainders. We focused heavily on five out of 18 players in camp life, and none of them were David Wright. We even fit in more chicken hunting!
Let’s take a look at our Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 7 chart before discussing the few people left in the game who still have a shot at winning:
Winning contenders left
Victoria Baamonde (CP3): Though she had a much more subdued merge episode, she still has the best edit overall of any of the Kama players, and she and Julie are still pushing to get a consensus within the Kama Six. The fact that it’s Ron who’s sticking his neck out to push for getting out Joe is good for Victoria and Julie, as she’s shielded from the edit (and the jury) for getting him out.
Julie Rosenberg (CPP5): The reason I had Julie hovering in my winner contenders bank was for tonight’s episode. A huge merge where she was the most dominant force is exactly what she needs to push her edit to become one of the best this season. She received a lot of unnecessary personal content, talking about making her family proud with her immunity win.
Anytime a player already has a huge involvement in an episode, and they get heaps of extra content such as strategy talk is a huge leg up, especially for a woman who never went to Tribal Council. She ultimately didn’t get the vote she wanted, but it came in opposition to someone who’s overtly calling the shots. Julie’s target is small, yet we see her hard work paying off.
Rick Devens (CPP5): We’ve never seen a player win their way back into the game and go on to win their season, and Rick’s role in the merge was to earn his safety after being targeted again by his own alliance. He also had potential winner quotes such as talking about how easy the rest of the game could be compared to the Edge of Extinction, and was the second-most visible player at the merge after a continued reminder of his play on the island.
Lauren O’Connell (UTR2): I almost want to throw her out of the winner contenders block due to how poor her merge episode went. She was the lesser of the two sources of “evil” for trying to send Devens back to the Edge of Extinction immediately, and we could have seen her hidden in the edit from the fallout. Unfortunately, we got so little of her insight in a crucial merge episode that it will take a miracle to propel her winner’s edit over others.
Fringe players thanks to the merge edit
Ron Clark (CP4): A sudden boost of visibility at the merge and calling his shot in getting out Joe? Ron’s certainly one of the few names still in the running, but he’s now accomplished his character’s “story” that he’s had since the beginning; get out Joe. Considering he was begging for Joe to give him answers on what to do, he might not be fit for the leadership role the Kama Six needs.
Eric Hafemann (UTR2): Though he did offer insight on the Kelley vs. Joe voting decision and we were reminded he’s close with Gavin and Victoria, Eric was the most tertiary character of all the core Kama players. His Survivor game at the merge did not need to be under the radar, and his once hopeful underdog edit has vanished. He’s likely out if he’s not calling the shots next episode.
Aubry Bracco (MORP2): If there’s an early favorite for the next (final?) Survivor: Edge of Extinction returnee, it would have to be Aubry. She was the narrator of the bunch, noting that she knows what she needs to do as the rest of her Extinction tribe crumbles. She’s already outlasted Keith and Wendy; she knows what lies ahead and how to face it.
Kelley Wentworth (CPN5): Only two players received a negative tone at the merge; Joe, the voted-out player, and Kelley. Two separate people called her plan to send Devens right back to the Edge of Extinction “evil,” and one of them was out loud at Tribal Council. Much like Angelina (although much more subtly), Kelley’s spot in the game is as an underdog, but not one respected as well as she thinks.
Of course, there’s more overall respect in this game for Kelley than last season for Angelina, but it’s in the same vein; she doesn’t read the room right.
Potentially eliminated players thanks to the merge edit
Wardog (UTR1): After weeks of “running” the Lesu group, Wardog was nowhere to be seen and heard at camp other than chasing chickens. It’s clear that Kelley and Lauren are running things for the Leu minority, and Wardog doesn’t seem to have an in with anybody at the merge.
David Wright (UTR2): Without Devens’ half idol necessitating showing him talking to David Wright, the two-time player would be a ghost at the merge. The fact that he could only provide the most necessary content and didn’t even offer a whisper of poetic prose at the merge Tribal Council is both a bummer as a fan of him and as someone who would have liked to see him win Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
Joe Anglim (MORN3): When you get zero confessionals at the merge in which you’re eliminated and you have the worst second-person negative comments from a player responsible for your elimination, the hero edit being built up is thrown out the door. It looked and sounded like Joe would rather hang out on the Edge of Extinction and win a few challenges in a row than play Survivor.
Chris Underwood (UTRP2): Each of the five non-returnees who visited the Edge of Extinction at the merge got some low-visibility positivity, but Chris needed something more. He needed to remind us that he’s here to fight and beat the rest, yet Aubry was the player who got the kind of editing Chris needed. Even if Chris re-enters the game, his edit doesn’t scream heroic underdog winner.
Already eliminated players before the merge
Aurora McCreary (UTR1): Even though she offered a line or two of input, Aurora remains one of the least visible players in Survivor edgic history. Peaking at UTR2 at the merge and being UTR1 for six-straight hours of television is downright impressive. She has to be medically evacuated or outright quits the game, no?
Gavin Whitson (MOR2): Though he, too, had a strategic confessional at the merge, he was there to reiterate the options already presented and didn’t offer too much input of his own. Ever since telling us he’s a superfan, we haven’t seen why that is in the edit.
Julia Carter (UTR2): Three straight hours of Survivor: Edge of Extinction has brought three confessionals from Julia; this time setting the stage for the merge and introducing the Kama numbers advantage. Basic stuff after being ethered for episodes at a time.
Reem Daly (UTRP2): Dude, bro, she’s going to make the most bitter juror we’ve ever seen. That’s pretty much her storyline’s peak potential to explain an unfortunate end to the season, I have to imagine.
Keith Sowell / Wendy Diaz (UTRP2): I can understand Keith coming to grips with his losing game, even minutes after saying he wouldn’t quit. However, Wendy had one sleep on the Edge of Extinction and raised the sails immediately. Though the two have their reasons for quitting the game (a more justifiable quit with a positive tone), they were never winning anyways.