Survivor Winners at War: Why ____ was sent to Edge of Extinction 16th

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

In this week’s two-hour episode of Winners at War, two winners were sent to the Edge of Extinction. Read on for insight into the second vote of the night, and the 16th (and final) player sent to the Edge.

I am sad to report that, following the first Tribal Council of Survivor: Winners at War episode 13, we were left with a very predictable 16th Tribal Council at the final six (pre-Edge win-back challenge). We already discussed the first vote-out of the night here, and the second vote-out is a direct consequence of the first.

Michele and Jeremy desperately needed Nick’s support to survive the strong foursome of Tony, Sarah, Denise, and Ben. And, as it turns out, Nick desperately needed to side with Jeremy as well. While it may have been easy to follow the majority’s lead for an easy vote-out of one of his strongest competitors, it turns out Jeremy and Michele were his only viable options for making it to the finale.

At Survivor: Winners at War’s 16th Tribal Council, there is only one real possibility for how things will shake out. When Michele wins the Immunity Challenge at the exact moment she needs it most, Nick may as well sail off to the Edge before Tribal Council even begins. He and Michele have zero idols, advantages, tricks, or treats to pull out. He bought a disadvantage for another Immunity Challenge competitor only for it to result in him being targeted instead.

Which is a shame. In a season that Jeff Probst claims to be the show’s best ever, it’s unfortunate that the final moments of Winners at War are so predictable and calm. Where is the Hail Mary? Where is the Tribal Council whispering? (Editor’s note: Please, only when the situation calls for it) Where is the effort?

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As stated before, Michele and Nick have a seemingly impossible battle to fight in the second half of the episode. But was it disappointing that they didn’t try something besides selling Ben as a possible vote to Tony? I would say so. I mean, this is Survivor: Winners at War. Where. Is. The gameplay?

The episode tries to sell Denise as a possible alternative to a Nick vote-out. Right before Tribal Council, Sarah tells us that she and Tony are the swing votes. It will either be Denise, or Nick voted out next.

Anyone else shocked that Denise and Ben want to go to the end with Tony and Sarah instead of Michele and Nick? Perhaps the players left in the game see all their tribemates as threats at this point. That is the only rationale that would make sense, isn’t it?

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I mean, we love Michele and Nick, but their resumes don’t really shine a light on the erratic, flashy gameplay from Sarah and Tony (Tony, in particular). So why, oh why, would Ben and Denise not try to flip the script and vote one of the cops out before it’s too late?

The answer: Tony and Sarah have built stronger relationships with Ben and Denise than Nick has. It is much more difficult to view your competitors objectively when they have been your best friends throughout the game. Consider Sarah, for example, who has shown no interest in voting Tony out despite his impressive resume.

It is shocking from our perspective that anyone would want to take Tony to Final Tribal Council, but we must never discount how powerful relationships are in this wild, tropical game of social politics.

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“Nick, the tribe has spoken.”