In recent years the “Survivor” jury has been composed of anywhere from 8 to 10 ousted castaways, with “Survivor: Ghost Island” clocking in at a record 11 jury votes after a 5-5 tie required the third finalist, Laurel Johnson, to cast the deciding vote between eventual winner Wendell Holland and runner-up Domenick Abbate. That record is about to be shattered. If the rest of the current 38th season of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” plays out according to plan, with a Final 3 and no one else leaving the game, then a whopping 13 jury members will decide the winner.
This jury twist was revealed in last week’s seventh episode, when host Jeff Probst surprisingly invited the three inhabitants of Extinction Island — Reem Daly, Chris Underwood and Aubry Bracco — to tribal council. “What is happening?” asked a confused Kelley Wentworth as the three voted-out players calmly walked to their positions opposite the castaways. (We assume Keith Sowell and Wendy Diaz also would have become jury members had they not voluntarily left the game, which would have made for an epic 15-person jury.)
After Joe Anglim was tragically blindsided, this fan-favorite chose to take the boat to Extinction Island where he joined Reem, Chris and Aubry. Since all four are also jury members, this marks the first time in “Survivor” history that the jury has the opportunity of one day returning, which adds an entirely new wrinkle to the game. Now, not only do players have to worry about getting rid of people in such a way that they will ultimately still vote for them to win, but they also have to consider eliminating someone that could turn right back around and re-enter the competition.
Rick Devens became the first person to win the right to return to the game thanks to the Edge of Extinction wrinkle. “I’m back, baby!” Rick exclaimed after prevailing at the obstacle course challenge. “I can win these people over. I can win challenges. I’m a whole new man thanks to the Edge of Extinction.” Who will follow in Rick’s shoes by becoming the second castaway to return? We’ll find out in the coming weeks.
As of this writing Gold Derby readers predict that Victoria Baamonde, Lauren O’Connell and Eric Hafemann will be the Final 3 contestants of “Survivor” Season 38. If they’re right, that means the record-making 13-person jury will consist of Reem, Chris, Aubry, Joe, Kelley, Rick, David Wright, Julie Rosenberg, Gavin Whitson, Ron Clark, Julia Carter, Dan “Wardog” Dasilva and Aurora McCreary.
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