Survivor Edge of Extinction: Three takeaways from episode 9

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

For the first time since the start of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, the original Manu tribe has the same amount of players remaining as Kama.

Warning: This article containers spoilers for episode 9 of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.

For the second time this season, we were treated with a live Tribal Council, but this one went far beyond anything we have seen before. Due to Aurora and Julia’s comments, the game flipped on their heads, resulting in nine players casting a vote for Julia. The fluidity of Survivor: Edge of Extinction continues as each episode brings a new group of people together to vote someone out. Here are three key takeaways after Wednesday’s chaotic episode.

1) Kama has officially imploded

One aspect from Edge of Extinction that echos last season is the tribe dynamics. Just as the Goliaths had the numbers until a few episodes into the merge, the Kama tribe took control of this game. However, they both found a way to implode and ruin their majority.

Although they entered the merge eight players to Manu’s five, the core Kama crew sought out to blindside the threats from within. It’s now been three consecutive Tribal Councils where a former Kama member has been sent to the Edge of Extinction. Now old Manu/Lesu is equal to Kama in terms of numbers. This presents a huge opportunity for players like Wentworth and David who have worked from the bottom this entire game.

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2)  The Lesu 3 are tight

Wardog made it clear on Twitter that for the eighth time in a row, the Lesu 3 have voted together, which is an astounding feat! While Lauren and Wentworth have been boldly keeping their idols holstered, Wardog has been guns blazing with strategic gameplay.

It was Wardog’s wise plan for Julia to blindside Eric that kept the Lesu 3 intact after last week’s episode. This week Wardog went full circle by successfully convincing the majority to throw votes on Julia.

That said, just because they’re the closest trio in the game, doesn’t mean that they are an impregnable alliance. The remaining castaways are well aware of the Lesu 3, as Lauren and Wentworth have 18 votes cast against them this season! With Wardog’s bold strategic mindset gaining notice, he could be the next target as well.

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3) Voting blocs continue to form instead of majority alliances

Although the voting blocs phenomenon has frequented more often since Second Chance made it popular, this season has to be one of the most unlikely incidences. Usually, we attribute voting blocs to that fact that tribe swaps switch up the team dynamics and result in conflicting relationships come merge time.

Edge of Extinction doesn’t fall into that category because the one tribe swap that occurred only affected one person. Wendy was the only one to experience pre-merge time in the game without her original tribe, but she’s eliminated now. Despite the limited contact these two tribes had with each other pre-merge, the Kama members always seem to be searching for ways to vote out someone other than the easy vote.

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Whether if they were good moves or not, the merge has brought three different voting blocs, and it looks like this trend might continue as no majority alliance has formed so far, which means more entertaining Tribal Councils to come!