“When you hit the merge, the game changes,” warns our senior editor Matt Noble in our “Survivor: Cagayan” chat on the eve of the April 3 telecast.
Now the contestants employ new strategies as they abandon tribal loyalties in favor of brazen selfish tactics that may help them to be the last survivor standing.
Currently, Spencer Bledsoe has the best odds (21/10) to win the game, followed by Yung “Woo” Hwang (27 to 10), according to predictions by Gold Derby users. Most likely to get the boot: Jeremiah Wood (19/10), followed by the scheming Tony Vlachos (2/1). See more predictions here. Make your predictions — click here and win prizes that include $100 Amazon Gift Certificate plus your personal chat via webcam with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst.
It’s no coincidence that the brawniest guys are most likely to get the heave-ho. “We’re going to see a shift where a lot of those stronger guys get targeted,” Matt says. “Jeremiah, L.J. or Tony are most vulnerable.”
That’s because Matt believes contestants think this way: “You want to take out the people who will be challenge threats. They’re no longer the people on your team: ‘Oh, we want to keep that person because they’re strong and they’re going to help us in the challenges.’ Oh, no, ‘That person is going to beat me at the individual challenges. I need to take him out.'”
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to this “Survivor” trend: “This is where your Morgans and your Trish’s – people who probably can’t win the game – can get dragged quite a long way,” Matt adds.
Up until recently, I was placing my Gold Derby bets on Yung “Woo” Hwang emerging as the ultimate champ, but I’ve switched to Spencer Bledsoe because of the meager screen time Woo’s had on the season so far. Remember, this TV show is taped, edited and packaged after the fact. If he’s the big winner, wouldn’t producers have given him more prominence early early on?
“Reading into the edit can be a good way to see what story the producers and editors are telling,” Matt says. “Because at the end of the day, Survivor is a story. I wouldn’t say that the person who gets the most screen time usually wins. Usually, they just focus on the most compelling character. I agree — I think Woo is in trouble. I haven’t seen him do much strategy. He’s not making the moves we need to see him stay in the game. Spencer’s looking a lot better for that win.”