Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 10 & 11 Recap, Edgic and Analysis

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Wow. This is why I love Survivor. In this amazing two-part episode two massive blindsides occurred and for just the third time in the history of the show, a rock draw decided someone’s fate in the game. Making tonight the night to have the two hour episode was a smart decision by the producers as it only made the series of events all the more epic.  Let’s get right into the discussion about this fantastic two hour episode of Survivor, titled “Million Dollar Gamble”.

“Million Dollar Gamble” started out with Adam apologizing for his role in the Taylor debacle. Then in confessional, he suddenly turned into Count Dracula talking about how he wanted the taste of Jay’s blood in his mouth. Following this, the scene cut to Jay with some more amazing gameplay, picking up exactly where he left off last episode and letting everyone know where the food that Taylor had hid was, giving it back to everyone in an attempt to regain their trust as if he had ever even lost it. How no one is talking about Jay at this moment in time is beyond me. He is clearly one of the biggest threats if not the biggest threat in the game and he has done wonders to keep himself out of danger for so long. But Jay’s work was made a little easier for him by Gen X’s struggle to keep their tribe together. This is where all the brilliance of the next two hours began.

The Collapse Of The Gen X Tribe 

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The Gen X alliance is no longer united as one and is officially dead after Chris and Jessica’s successive eliminations this episode. But how on earth did we get here? It all started last week when Sunday made a comment about voting out Jessica. Chris, whether he was aware of this plan before the Taylor vote or not, was clearly on board to get Jessica out as well as the moment they all got back to camp, the 38-year old was already raring to go, ready to make the next big move against his former ally. Chris was still clearly holding a grudge against Jessica for blindsiding Paul and was still seeking his revenge. The man from Oklahoma even said in confessional “If it’s the last thing I’ll do, I will vote her out”. And that was the last we ever saw of Chris. Well it wasn’t that simplistic and Chris’ demise didn’t necessarily come from his decision to target Gen X Jessica, but his failure to keep a rap on his ally Zeke may have resulted in him getting kicked off the island instead.

After Chris’ initial confessional about voting Jessica Lewis off of the island and a commercial break, the scene opened back up with Hannah and Ken bonding on the beach and talking about the sunset. Hannah then disclosed to the cameras that she had a crush on Ken and by the way I think that this plays a role in her decision to flip to David’s side in Jessica’s elimination from the game. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Following that the scene cut to Will making an attempt to gain some trust with Zeke again. The 18-year old decided to disclose to Zeke that Jay had the idol. This wasn’t necessarily Will’s secret to share and he was made to look very foolish when Zeke immediately, yet still subtedly went around the camp telling everyone that Jay had the idol. Besides the fact that Jay had the idol, a very clear pattern was elucidated in this segment and that was the fact that everyone trusts Zeke with their life in the game. Zeke is an amazing social player and inadvertently has caused the demise of the Gen X tribe. When Zeke told Chris of Jay’s idol, Chris responded by telling the mustached male of his new plan to take out Jessica, which Zeke immediately agreed to, later in confessional discussing about how it’s time for people to start to turn on each other. What Zeke has done so well in this instance is kept all of the pressure off of himself and his loyal allies at this time which were the Millennials, while also keeping all of his friends on the Gen X tribe happy at the exact same time. This was just another example of brilliant social play from Zeke and resulted in him being in the perfect position to make the decision on who would go home. But Zeke wasn’t the only character to really emerge this episode, this week a whole new man made headlines and waves in the game and that was police officer Mr. Bret LaBelle.

Bret’s Emergence As A Character & David’s Journey 

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At the reward challenge, with an uneven number, one contestant had to sit out and David feeling imcompetent with his abilities in the water volunteered. But the former Family Guy writer was immediately shut down by his fellow competitors and when Jeff asked him of how it made him feel, he immediately started to cry and talk about how far he had come as a character. Boo. Who really wants to see this? Who wants to see the blatant Winner’s Edit of David talking about his journey and how far he has come? I sure don’t. However, I also hated when he was mocked later on for crying by two of the contestants that I am rooting for the most, Bret and Zeke.

Regardless, it was Adam, Hannah, Zeke, Bret and Sunday who won reward, a pizzeria party on a boat near the camp where everyone who lost could see how much fun they were having. Bret’s drinking at rewards was set in motion last episode but took off to new heights again this episode and allowed for some fantastic scenes, making the police officer really begin to emerge as a character on the show. While Bret was talking about how much he trusted Zeke and wanted to work with him in the game, David was talking about how much he trusted Ken and wanted to work with him in the game, already setting up what was to come in the second half of the two-hour spectacle. In the second half of this amazing emergence of Bret as a character on the show, he disclosed to his new drinking buddy Zeke that he was gay. The two of them then shared a very special conversation about how it wasn’t as easy to come out as being gay back in Bret’s time and how it was easy for him to keep it a secret on the island because he’d been used to keeping it a secret for the most part his whole life.

The reward winners also got to enjoy letters from home which brought Adam to tears for the second time in the game, talking about his mom with cancer. What this scene reminded me was that after two really rocky episodes, no one is talking about him in the game again and he has seemingly managed to come out the whole Taylor debacle relatively unscaved. Although the way he made Zeke lose trust in him did have an impact on Zeke’s decision to try and take David and Hannah out of the game it had no effect on the Chris elimination whatsover. Instead, David Wright had the biggest impact on Chris’ ultiamte elimination from the game.

David’s Big & Bold Gameplay

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David is playing this game hard. Right from the onset he just couldn’t keep his emotions intact and although he’s done well to remain under the radar in recent weeks, a whole new beast was unleashed inside of him again tonight. I have to wonder if David feels as though he has to play this big and bold game in order to get jury votes at the end like Stephen Fishbach disclosed to the audience in Survivor Cambodia. In Survivor Cambodia, Stephen made big moves just for the sake of making big moves and building up his resume so that he could have a shot at beating somone like a Jeremy in the end and I feel as though David feels the same way. I also feel as though David’s tunnell vision is resulting in him only seeing the game from a perspective of the present and not the future. The comedian is far too concerned about voting out the big roadblocks in the way of his game right now without taking into consideration how this might only make him a bigger target in the future if he succeeds in taking them out. Right now, David should just chill out and work on rebuilding his relationships but you just know that there’s no way he’s going to do that.

Nervous about the threesome of Chris, Bret and Sunday, David started to make plans to take Chris out this episode and with a few simple words, managed to convince his allies that it is the best move for them as well. Trusting Zeke to the maximum in the game, he decided to approach the mustached male about taking out Chris, sort of forgetting how close Zeke really was to his old Vanua tribe member and handing Zeke all the power in the game. This gave the New Yorker exactly what he wanted in the game: options. He could either go with Chris and take out Jessica or go with David and take out Chris. In the end, the man in the middle decided to bring Will and Hannah along board with him as he voted Chris out of the game. Initally I thought that this was a bad move because I thought it would lose Bret’s trust in the game for good and that he would now forever feel betrayed. However, the exact opposite rang true as the next episode of the night began.

Zeke’s Amazing Socialability and David’s Near Destruction Of His Own Game

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As the next episode of the night began, Zeke immediately apolgoized to Bret for taking Chris out and Bret with amazing composure responded by saying that it had to be done at some point and that he hoped that they can still work together. After voting out Bret’s most loyal ally in the game, it somehow only brought Bret closer to Zeke rather than further away which I found to be absolutely amazing.

So when David told Bret about his concerns with Zeke, the police officer immediately ran back to Zeke to relay the information to him. The newly formed dynamic duo then came to the conclusion that David had to be the next to go which set up this amazing David vs. Zeke battle for the remainder of the episode. As the show returned from commerical, both men were shown talking about how the other one was the biggest threat to them in the game and how they hoped that other people saw the other one that way as well. With David and Zeke now battling against each other, Hannah found herself caught in the middle and so when Hannah wouldn’t look Zeke in the eye and wouldn’t keep her head straight when he was asking her questions, Zeke immediately knew that something was up.

Realizing that Zeke had a countless number of relationships and I think, because of her crush on Ken, the decision to go with David was made a lot easier. But unfortunately for her, Hannah did a terrible job at lying to her old ally about it. Zeke could clearly tell that she was no longer with him as she stared up into space and so he immediately changed his mind and decided to take out Hannah instead. In what was the most amazing demonstration of Zeke’s incredible social game, he went up to each of his allies individually said “Okay we’re voting Hannah out now” and without even really giving an explanation as to why, they all went along with it.

Now Hannah, is starting to sense that she may be in trouble and asks David to give her his idol. It also becomes clear in this time that Adam Klein will be voting with David and Hannah and that rocks might get drawn. “OH MY GOD! CAN ROCKS PLEASE GET DRAWN!” I write in my notes as I just can’t wait for the vote to begin. I was just so excited for this vote and as much as I was cheering for Zeke for his amazing gameplay, I would have even been satisfied with the end result of this episode if even he had gone home!

At tribal council, the line in the sand was clearly drawn as not only did David call out Zeke and Zeke call out David, Bret, Hannah anda Adam also got in on the act too and in a moment he’s probably not terribly proud of now Zeke mocked David’s crying from earlier. It was very evident at this tribal council that there was a clear divide between the massive group of ten and that no one was budging an inch. But David still had a hidden immunity idol to play and play it he did, incorrectly playing it for Ken under the advice of Adam who thought he had heard Bret and Will whispering about taking Ken out. Then the votes started to come in and it was 5 for Hannah, 5 for Zeke forcing a tie and a re-vote.

As the contestants walked up one by one to revote, everyone was vying for Jessica’s attention as she was clearly nervous about drawing a rock and being sent home. But Gen X Jessica stuck to her word and voted for Zeke again, causing a 4-4 tie. And after the ten contestants couldn’t come close to a unanimous decision on who to send home, they suddenly went to a rock draw for just the third time in Survivor history. The rock draw is one of the most entertaining pieces of Survivor history and to have it done on this season at such a crucial stage in the season was absolutely amazing. “Whichever side comes out of this rock draw on top, David or Zeke will win this game” – Page 2 of my notes for this episode. That’s how important this rock draw was. This would decide the fate of the rest of the season and that is no overstatement at all. Will, Bret, Sunday, Jessica and David all had to draw rocks, making this the largest rock draw in the history of the show and in fabulous fashion, Jessica was sent home, taking it far harder than those that came before her in rock draw eliminations, Katie Collins and Paschal English as she and Adam were reduced to tears. Going home by the luck of a rock draw is one of the worst ways to go out of the game. It is certainly worse then getting idoled out and possibly even worse then getting medically evacuated. The only thing that would be a worse way of going home in my mind would be dieing. It’s that bad and it is really unfortunate that Jessica ended up being the victim of David and Hannah’s poor gameplay.

Other Things To Note 

Before we get into a larger discussion about the edit, edgic and the ramifications of this episode on the next, here are a few other things worth noting about this special two hour episode of Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X.

  • At the first tribal council of the evening, Hannah tried to cement her place in the Survivor history books by inventing her own phrase. As if voting blocks wasn’t already bad enough, Hannah created the term “trust cluster” to describe only she knows what and was immediately shut down the next episode in fantastic fashion by Bret. Thank you Bret. We really appreciate it.
  • In what was basically a blind maze, Jay finished the task first, was given a massive had start on the slide puzzle and won immunity before anyone else could even finish the maze. The best part of all is that he had been doing so well socially that he didn’t even need immunity to stay alive.
  • As Jessica was eliminated in the game before day 36 arrived, she had to will her Legacy Advantage away to another contestant and she of course chose Ken.
  • In hindsight, voting out Chris might not have been the smartest thing for Zeke to do in the first episode of the night as a loyal number on his side would have definitely come in handy this time around when David was trying desperately to get him out.

Confessional Count – Episode 10 & 11

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Over the course of these two episodes, Zeke had more confessionals than any other player has had in back-to-back episodes this season. Meanwhile for the first hour of the night, Ken was confessional-less again! From the Michelle vote all the way to Chris’, Ken voted the correct way every single time but still did not receive a minute of air time all three episodes! Bret meanwhile has seen a recent spike in visibility as of late while David, Jay and Hannah have continued their consistent runs as confessional powerhouses. Here is where we stand after ten episodes in the confessional department.

CASTAWAY

CONFESSIONALS TONE RUNNING TOTAL
Zeke Smith 10 Positive

32

David Wright

5 Mixed 39
Bret LaBelle 4

13

Adam Klein

3 28
Jay Starett 3 Positive

27

Chris Hammons

3 20

Hannah Shapiro

3 13
Jessica Lewis 3

13

Sunday Burquest 2

10

Will Wahl 2

9

Ken McNickle 1

13

David continues his streak at the top of the charts despite Zeke having double the amount of confessionals as the writer this episode while Will Wahl continues to sit on the bottom of the running total despite Ken’s 4 episode confession-less streak. Bret’s 4 confessionals this week also weren’t enough to take him into the top-half of the running total table.

Edgic 

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What is edgic? Click here -> Millennials vs. Gen X Premiere Recap

Well as expected there is plenty to go over from an edgic standpoint after this crazy 2 hour episode so let’s get right into the very uncolourful chart.

CASTAWAY

VISIBILITY TONE EDGIC

Zeke Smith

5 Positive CP

David Wright

5 Mixed CP / OTT
Bret LaBelle 5

MOR / CP

Adam Klein

3 CP
Jay Starett 3 Positive

CP

Chris Hammons 4

MOR

Hannah Shapiro 5

CP

Jessica Lewis

4 CP

Sunday Burquest

3 UTR
Will Wahl 3

UTR

Ken McNickle 2

UTR

  • Nobody was really coming across particularly negatively this week with everyone other than Zeke and Jay either being very mixed or toneless in their confessionals.
  • With two very different episodes taking place, edgic scores were very hard to designate this week. So for two players I decided to give two designations to as they clearly had a shift in their edit worth noting between the two halves. David was a complex player for the first half of the 2 hours and then went over the top in the second, while Bret was a Middle of the Road narrator in the first half and changed to a complex player in the second half instead.
  • In the epic David vs. Zeke battle, there was clearly one man who was made to look more awesome than the other. Zeke was shown in a positive light throughout, even when he was clearly in the wrong at tribal council, while David was shown to be a bit neurotic, over-the-top and rash with his decision making.

The Winner’s Edit – Episode 11 

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I honestly have no idea who is going to win this season and I am really glad that after Michele’s predictable win of last season that the editors are doing such a magnificent job to throw us in for a ruse this time around. However, I will say from an edit and a Jeff Probst “This season is amazing!” perspective, it definitely will be a male. It will be one of David, Adam, Jay or Zeke but I can’t call which one. I said Ken for seven episodes, then I switched to David for two and now I’m thinking maybe Zeke? But is his incredible gameplay really going to last from now until the end of the season? Surely someone will get him voted out of the island. Surely he can’t win his way to the end! I think Zeke has to be eliminated from this game sometime soon but from an edit standpoint he may have what it takes to make it all the way to the end. I would love to see him try and think he would be an amazing winner should he make it there. The reason why Zeke probably has the best winner’s edit at this time is that everything in these two episodes came out of his lens. He was the main decision maker in both Chris’ elimination and Jessica’s unfortunate elimination and he was the one being talked about by nearly everyone in a very positive light.

But the case can also still be made for David who of course had that cringeworthy series of quotes about his “journey”, highlighting the producer’s clear favouritsm towards him as you don’t hear Jay talking about his journey or Sunday or Bret talking about their journies. But David is now in a really bad spot after he loses his idol and close ally Jessica and for him to make it to the end now would be a massive feat.

And then there’s Jay and Adam who are side contenders to win but this was the biggest episode of all that was really setup I think to be the defining series of moments in who is going to ultimately win this game. So the fact that neither of these two men had a big role to play in either episode doesn’t boast well in their favour. Both Jay and Adam have done well to remain under the radar after what one could argue were major hiccups in the game but they both find themselves in very weak positions and will struggle to make it all the way to the end with still nine people left in the game.

Overall at this stage in the game Zeke has the clearest path to the end and the greatest winner’s story, but I still feel as though David might have a stronger Winner’s Edit and am going to stick with him for at least one more episode.

Next Time On Survivor 

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“Next time on Survivor David gets a glimour of hope and the loved one’s visit changes the game” Uh oh it appears that Adam is ready to use his advantage. Will use it for good or will he use it for evil? Only time will tell. To be honest, I don’t care about Adam’s advantage, or rather what is actually a disadvantage to him at this point, what I care about is this fantastic David vs. Zeke battle. If David’s side comes out on top of that rock draw, the ramifications of where we go from here look very different and Zeke would have been in massive trouble, especially if that person had been Bret. Now that Zeke has all the numbers again and David is now idol-less it is the writer who is going to be the next target in the next episode with absolute certainty. How he’ll manage to escape it I have no idea but I can’t see him being the next to go. Will was also shown in the preview making a potential move on trying to work with David so maybe that is how the 42-year old will survive. Who will go home next? I have no idea and the best I can do since I promised to make a prediction every week is to say with little certainty that Will ends up going home for betraying his alliance. Who do you think will be sent home next time? Comment below to share your thoughts.

Conclusion 

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This two-hour episode of Survivor may have been the best since the Heroes vs. Villains Premiere. It was that good. This was an amazing episode of Survivor and history was made again with our third ever rock draw and two massive characters being sent home in the process. What an amazing two hours it was and for me this will forever be remembered as the day Zeke changed the game. But where will Zeke go from here? Will he be able to keep up his momentum and go on and win? Or will he crack under the pressure and go out too soon? Be back next week to be one step closer to finding out. We’ll see you then 🙂

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