Survivor Winners at War: Why ____ was sent to Edge of Extinction fifth

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Winners at War changed gears this week, and we saw another fan-favorite player pack his bags for Edge of Extinction. What went wrong for the winner voted out this episode?

Survivor found ways to be unpredictable this week. An Immunity Challenge that should have been in the bag for Dakal went to Sele instead, and the duo responsible for the loss came out of Tribal Council safe and sound. With this in mind, you could say the vote-off was pretty unpredictable. It’s a bit audacious for a tribe to willingly eliminate one of its main providers instead of one of its poorest puzzle-solvers, after all.

However, this episode’s vote wasn’t a shocker in the way last weeks’ was. Tyson may have been a valuable fisherman for his tribemates, but he was set up as a vote-out option as soon as Dakal returned to camp, and the episode’s narrative became, “The tribe will make a choice to help eliminate Tyson or keep him around a while longer and vote out Nick instead.”

Speaking of Nick, he finally got some Winners at War screentime in this episode. Yul admits to Tyson that Nick would be a good vote-out because he consumes without providing for the tribe. At Tribal Council, Nick admits to feeling responsible for Dakal’s loss this episode and has a comical moment regarding his lifelong crush on Parvati. For a moment, it seemed the edit tried to give Nick some noteworthy scenes to send him off as a worthy participant in the show.

But in hindsight, Tyson’s aggressive gameplay may have been too alarming for there to be any other option for Dakal. It’s hard to criticize him for this. From what we have seen, a four-person alliance consisting of Yul, Sophie, Nick, and Wendell has been pretty solid in Dakal. With nine winners remaining on this tribe, the alliance would only need one more vote to direct Tribal Council. So, anyone outside of that alliance should be trying to make its presence known.

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Tyson sniffed this alliance out without even knowing it. “It’s eerily calm,” he says in the episode. “If I sit back and think about the tribe, the biggest threats are going after each other.” Meanwhile, he concludes that Yul, Wendell, Nick, and Sophie kind of blend into the background (he could barely even remember Sophie’s name). He doesn’t realize that those four have formed an alliance, but he is perceptive enough to see exactly how they are playing the game.

But Tyson had trouble getting the tribe to see this. When he tells Sandra his concerns about the four under-the-radar players and calls for action in getting them out, Sandra is skeptical. “It’s shady, and it’s a lie,” she says in a confessional. “Tyson, you better hope we win this challenge because you’re in deep doo-doo.”

Unfortunately for Tyson, his other four tribemates felt him too dangerous to be kept around. His relationships with players on Sele further elevated his threat level, and Wendell claims that “Tyson is the biggest threat on this beach because he is well connected.” Wendell is also heard calling Tyson a “dead man walking,” with no chance of surviving this Tribal Council. Again, we have in-plain-sight foreshadowing here, which is made possible by the unpredictability of the show from one episode to the next.

The edit further foreshadows Tyson’s demise when he’s asked about star-struck feelings at Tribal Council. It can work against you to make others feel star-struck, he says, because there is some pride in voting out a Survivor legend. Moments later, he is voted out nearly unanimously (with Nick voting for Kim just in case Tyson played an idol). He gifts his fire token to Nick, who idolizes him.

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Tyson, the tribe has spoken.”