Survivor Winners at War: Sophie Clarke is episode 10’s MVP

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

Once again, Sophie has showcased her ability to control the flow of the game, proving that she definitely deserved to be a part of Survivor: Winners at War.

The post-merge game in Survivor: Winners at War has picked up the pace! Names are being thrown out left, right and center, advantages are being played and tribals are going live. It can be hard to play a consistent game in these conditions, but one castaway who has been doing that is Sophie Clarke.

Coming into last week’s episode, Sophie was building a track record for making subtle but bold moves that allowed her to gain a measure of control this season. That set the stage for the action in episode 10, where she used the social relationships she built to align herself with a strong alliance/voting bloc. The bonds she built with Kim on Dakal and with Sarah on the expansion tribe turned out to be very useful in this episode.

Sophie has been clear in wanting to prevent the big threats from banding together. The best way to stop that from happening is by splitting them up. Sarah and Sophie were able to keep Tony loyal to them, which moved Tony to vote against the big threats like Tyson and Kim. This relationship has been huge for Sophie’s game, as it accomplishes her goal without being overly pushy to vote out the big targets.

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Beyond using her alliance to get Tyson out, Sophie’s tight bond with Sarah allowed her to influence her decision about the Vote Steal. Sarah felt comfortable with sharing that secret with her, and Sophie wasn’t afraid to casually exploit that. Even before Tribal Council, we saw her convincing Sarah to use it. Why was this such a good move on Sophie’s part?

First of all, it nearly guaranteed that their plan would work. Even with Jeremy taking off, there was still the risk of Sophie going home if Kim played her idol correctly. The Vote Steal acted as a two-vote swing, allowing them to split the votes in case of the idol. Due to Michele’s rogue vote, even if Kim did correctly save Tyson, it would have been a tie between Denise and Sophie. Since Sophie’s alliance had the majority, the revote would have sent Denise home.

On top of the Vote Steal acting as a protective shield for Sophie, it also took a powerful weapon away from Sarah. We’ve seen how she has used this effective tool before, and even how she is not afraid to take out a friend. Sophie’s efforts in convincing Sarah to play it balances the playing field and prevents Sarah from taking control over the game.

In South Pacific, Sophie’s bold comments nearly got her into serious trouble. In Winners at War, she is using that personality trait in a more positive way by ensuring the vote will go her way. This Tribal Council was another example of Sophie taking decisive action to confirm her plans. Understanding that her alliance had the numbers once Jeremy left, Sophie didn’t want to take any risks.

Knowing that Kim had an idol, Sophie got her alliance into a huddle to decide how they should play it. With her own life on the line, she wasn’t about to let fate take its course, so she took action to come up with a plan that would fool Kim. It ended up working perfectly, as Kim played the idol incorrectly and Tyson went back to the Edge of Extinction.

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There is some concern that Sophie’s savvy gameplay has become more evident to the rest of the cast now, painting a bigger target on her back. However, for this Tribal Council, she used her social relationships masterfully to ensure Tyson went home and not her. Sophie still has an idol in her pocket, close allies, and a few big threats in front of her that could help her to get deeper into this crazy season.