At the start of the “new era” of “Survivor” that began with the reality TV show’s 41st season, Jeff Probst introduced a twist known as the Shot in the Dark. This die gives a player a one-in-six chance of receiving safety at tribal council, in exchange for them not voting. A handful of contestants tried their luck at pulling the “SAFE” scrolls during “Survivor 41,” “Survivor 42” and “Survivor 43,” but all of them ended up with “NOT SAFE” scrolls instead. Well, that all changed during the season premiere of “Survivor 44.”
After the Ratu tribe lost the first immunity challenge of the season, Jaime Lynn Ruiz felt nervous back at camp. Even though she and the other two girls, Maddy Pomilla and Lauren Harpe, were planning an epic blindside of NFL player Brandon Cottom in order to flush his not-so-hidden immunity idol, Jaime still felt the need to play her Shot in the Dark.
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“I want to be honest and let everybody know, because it might change the game, that I’m playing my Shot in the Dark,” the 35-year old consultant and yogi from Arizona openly stated at tribal council. Jaime continued, “This is a numbers game and I’m trusting everyone that told me what they were gonna do, so withholding my vote does not make a difference at all.”
When Jeff asked Brandon what it meant to him for Jaime to publicly announce her decision, he replied, “If she’s saying that her vote wouldn’t even matter, I’m curious what was said to her.”
The six Ratu tribe members then approached the voting lectern one by one, but only three of them ended up voting. Both Jaime and Matthew Grinstead-Mayle played their Shot in the Dark dice (so they couldn’t vote), while Lauren utilized her brand new Bank a Vote advantage (which allows her to not vote this time, but to vote twice next time).
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Jeff then opened up the two scrolls: Matthew’s read “NOT SAFE” and Jaime’s read “SAFE.” “First time in ‘Survivor’ history that a player is safe as a result of using Shot in the Dark,” Jeff announced. “Any votes cast against you will not count.”
All of the drama prompted Brandon to stand up and play his idol, which meant any votes cast against him also wouldn’t count. Jeff read the three votes: Brandon (does not count), Brandon (does not count), and Maddy. Thus, Maddy was eliminated from the game with only a single vote. Ouch!
To date, the Shot in the Dark has now been used by the following eight contestants: Sydney Segal in Season 41, Zach Wurtenberger, Marya Sherron, Swati Goel and Tori Meehan in Season 42, Sami Layadi in Season 43, and Jaime Lynn Ruiz and Matthew Grinstead-Mayle in Season 44. All were “NOT SAFE” except for Jaime.
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