With six hard-playing castaways left, the stage is set for Wednesday’s two-hour Season 33 finale of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” to be both exciting and surprising. Before you update your predictions for how the final six places will shake out, consider the following narratives as the four things most likely to influence how the season will end.
Taking out the big threats — One of the things we will remember most about the style of play this season is the ruthless elimination of major threats. Mari Takahashi, Paul Wachter, Jessica Figueroa, Michaela Bradshaw, and Zeke Smith were all taken out because of their high threat level to other players. Heading into the finale, both David Wright and Jay Starrett should be careful about the targets on their backs — David is not only a cunning strategist, but he also has close relationships with two other players still in the game and has an endearing story of personal growth to tell the jury; Jay has proven to be a challenge beast and could easily go on an immunity challenge streak to reach the final three. The other four would be smart to follow in the trend of the season and take both of them out at the next two tribal councils.
The legacy advantage — Early in the season Jessica Lewis found the “legacy advantage” which gives a still unspecified advantage to the person in possession of it on day 36. When Jessica was eliminated she willed it to her closest ally, Ken McNickle. Since the last episode ended on day 35, we’re likely to see how Ken benefits from the advantage at the start of the finale. Because the advantage is under a previously unused name, I think we can rule out any advantage we’ve seen recently — it probably won’t be cancelling out a jury vote (“Survivor: Kaoh Rong”), a vote steal (“Survivor: Cambodia”) or an extra vote (“Survivor: Worlds Apart”), for example. Regardless of what the advantage is, in a season defined by mutual respect for playing hard I think the real story will be how the jury responds to Ken being given the advantage rather than having earned it for himself.
Adam and Jay’s friendship — There is always a considerable amount of alliance-hopping in “Survivor,” but this season feels unique in that the castaways are holding far less grudges about it than we usually see. One of the most unique relationships between opposing players has been that of Adam Klein and Jay. At the merge the two became clearly defined enemies, but in the last couple weeks a bond has been formed that may have brought them toward a union that could help get them both to the finals. Adam forced Jay’s hand last week and flushed out his idol which leaves Jay vulnerable, but as big of a threat as he is Adam may need Jay if he’s going to wrestle power away from the stronger bond between Ken and David.
Last goat standing — There’s been a lot of talk this season about “goats” — this cast’s phrase of choice for the player that rides on the coattails of a stronger player in order to get to the finale. Last week we saw Hannah Shapiro lead the charge in sending one of the season’s biggest goats, Sunday Burquest, to the jury. With Sunday gone, that leaves her ally Bret LaBelle and Hannah as the most goat-ish players left. Neither player has really pushed themselves into the spotlight as a challenge asset or a master strategist so the story they tell their potential jury about why they deserve to win will be key to their success.
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