If forced to choose the MVP of "Survivor: Second Chance" so far, Jeff Varner is the likeliest of answers if only because he's had the biggest impact on the game. Instrumental in all three eliminations, Jeff's aggressive yet volatile strategy has made major waves in the game and this week he even crossed tribal lines in order to survive. Heading into Episode 3, our contest players had Jeff's odds to win at 12/1, but he now has lowly 40/1 odds to win. Let's evaluate his good and bad moves so far in the game, and be sure to make your "Survivor" predictions for your chance to win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
Jeff’s GOOD Moves:
Pitting "old school" against "new school"
Jeff very keenly divided the tribe into two factions right out of the gate, safely placing himself in the middle of them. This allowed Jeff to put targets elsewhere and make sure that he decided which faction would take control of the Ta Keo tribe. It also showed a larger awareness of how the tribe was behaving.
Using Abi-Maria as a shield
While she may seem like the worst choice of a "number two," Jeff knows that as long as Abi-Maria Gomes is still on his tribe, there will always be someone more unpredictable than him to pin a target on. He also knows she's unlikely to get enough jury votes to be declared the winner over him.
Jeff’s BAD Moves:
Not sticking with one alliance
In the first episode, Jeff chose "new school" over "old school," joining Shirin Oskooi and Spencer Bledsoe in voting out Vytas Baskauskas. At the very beginning of the second episode, Jeff was already positioning himself to vote out either Shirin or Spencer, realigning himself with the "old school" crew. And in the third episode, he abandoned original tribal lines and voted out another previous alliance member, Peih-Gee Law. This type of short-term alliance-making can't possibly sustain itself long enough to take him to the finals.
Playing too hard, too fast
Perhaps the most brazen and reckless thing I've seen a player do in MANY seasons is Jeff attempting to communicate with another tribe immediately after a challenge loss. Not only did this self-prescribed "emotional meltdown" further show him to lack a clear sense of loyalty, but it also provided underdogs Tasha Fox and Andrew Savage the much-needed crack to avoid their otherwise clear-cut elimination.
Check out the overall Season 31 leaderboard to the right. Currently our #1 "Survivor" predictor is Sunhound with overall 93% accuracy and 71,927 points, but there are still many weeks left to play in our contest and be eligible to win our weekly and overall season prizes. See our contest rules here and don't forget to update YOUR predictions here.
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Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS