Survivor: Winners at War’s double elimination episode saw two legends voted out to Edge of Extinction. Here, we discuss the first vote-out of the night.
In the first few episodes of Survivor: Winners at War, the most solid alliance in the game appeared to be Nick, Wendell, Yul, and Sophie (all on the Dakal tribe). So when three of these four drew the blue buff during the last episode’s swap and landed on the new five-person Sele tribe, they had the power. Nick went as far as saying he “won the lottery” with this new tribe assignment. Indeed, control of the tribe was theirs to lose.
This dominant position would define the outcome of this week’s episode, which put up a strong alternative outcome for consideration. For a minute, it really looks as though Wendell might be voted out instead of Parvati. “We have to find a fracture,” Michele says of the tight three-man alliance, and it appears that the women are successful in this.
Parvati lays out their best option: “Yul’s not gonna budge,” she says, noting that his body language is closed-off to her. And, since Wendell is the women’s target, he would obviously not be open to hearing them out. “I think our only option is Nick,” Parvati tells Michele.
“I’m pretty bummed,” Nick shares in a confessional. “I was hoping to play Survivor with Parvati. She was always one of my favorites.” However, he admits that if his allies Yul and Wendell are set on voting for her, then “I guess that’s what I have to do.”
Then, Wendell messes up. Parvati asks him if he wants “to shake things up,” and he says he’s open to it. “Would you barter fire tokens for something?” Wendell asks. “Like, you tell me anybody to vote for, and you give me two fire tokens.” Because Wendell requests the tokens before Tribal Council, Parvati declines. However, she gains ammunition from this encounter that (seemingly) almost cost Wendell his game. “He just made a move that was really dumb,” she says.
Parvati relays this encounter to Nick, who then says in a confessional that Wendell “talks the talk, but I’m not really sure he walks the walk.” To Michele, Nick shares that “It actually might be pretty good for our game to vote out Wendell.” At this point, the outcome of Sele’s impending Tribal Council feels truly up in the air.
Parvati has a hook to pull one of the men to her side; the question is if the men’s alliance is strong enough to resist this separation. “Whatever I do tonight is gonna have huge consequences,” Nick says in the last confessional before Tribal Council. “I just hope I don’t regret it.”
At Tribal Council, Wendell’s grave appears to deepen further. Before any mention of his offer to Parvati, he appears shifty in saying that “I’ll stab everyone in the back. I’ll stab ‘em in the front.” In response, Nick says that style may not win Winners at War “if we’re playing with people that don’t value that philosophy.” Not a great look for someone supposedly in a tight alliance.
It gets worse. Parvati announces that “Wendell told me he would give me a vote for a couple of tokens.” Wendell tries to downplay this by reminding everyone that nobody even knows why the fire tokens are significant in the game. However, when asked by Jeff if this offer is still live, Wendell confirms, “It’s a current invitation.” It doesn’t get much shiftier than this, folks. In plain view of his closest allies, Wendell does not deny that he would vote one of them out for a couple of tokens (which, just a moment before, he reminds them they have no apparent value yet in the game).
Yul (until now absent in the Wendell discussion), says “This just got interesting,” a phrase that would probably make me quiver if he were my ally who just discovered my shady behavior. In the final moments before the vote, Nick says, “Somebody’s gonna get backstabbed and screwed over.”
Alas, for all this drama and possibility, the votes are read, and Parvati is sent home on a 3-2 vote, exactly as one would expect at the beginning of this episode.
While Wendell was painted as the most untrustworthy player on Sele, it appears his allies were more interested in maintaining their numbers than taking a blindside swing that they would have to explain to Sophie in the upcoming merge. Perhaps Nick and Yul kept Wendell because he appeared so untrustworthy, and they could exploit that at a later time.
Whatever their reasons were, Parvati remained a huge threat and demonstrated as much this episode, when she nearly lived another day in Survivor despite a fate that appeared to be sealed. She is perhaps the greatest strategist in the show’s history, and everybody here knows that. For Parvati, Winners at War was always going to be an uphill battle. It was a pleasure watching her get this far, and we have more to see as she joins our Edge of Extinction troupe next episode.