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Jessica "Figgy"
Justin "Jay"

Survivor: The Winds of Change
Strategic and Tactical Analysis by Dr. EJ
November 25, 2016

You must be patient.
As I alluded to last week, things change rapidly on Survivor. Jay, Adam, Will – all supposed to be on the bottom, survived without playing a hidden immunity idol last night. Meanwhile, two Gen Xers, at times they were seemingly safe – one with the direct power and information to stay safe – are no longer in the game. Let’s go in order:

Chris: – You had the tools to remain safe, but you got impatient, along with your ally Sunday. You had rebuilt the relationship with Dave, but forgot to nurture that relationship, along with possible relationships with Jessica and Ken. It was too early to turn on your own, when it was the bond between you that got you as far as it did. Plus, who knows how the bond between Gen Xers might have broken to your advantage later? A total breakdown in strategy has you in Ponderosa right now.

Jessica: You did it to yourself. You knew you didn’t want to go home by drawing a rock, so why not avoid that? The focus had turned from you to others, and there was no reason to think you couldn’t have navigated the loss of an ally, and I don’t think you would have been hated for doing so. There would have been time to fix any damage you did if you had survived the rock pull. Now there is plenty of time to think about this on the jury.

Nine remain in a game filled with flux:

Jay: You got quite the reprieve last night. You read the situation right that you were not threatened in the first tribal council, and then you won immunity, but no matter – the target had already shifted. You voted with the majority last night, but you can also be a swing vote. With the idol in your pocket, and your ability to read the situation as you did last night, the best strategy would seem to be staying the course. See if you can flush Adam’s idol, so there are none out there except yours. Any target will do for elimination.

Will: You played hard last night, but did you play well? The previews show you considering jumping ship, to a tribe of strong players. I think that is a mistake. Like Jay, whom you sold out last night, you are best served eliminating the threats while sticking with the tribe you are on. I think Ken would be the most likely target, as it seems he is the least strong in terms of gameplay, and perhaps the strongest of the minority, physically.

Hannah: – You burned the Zeke bridge last night. It was a gamble, you lost, and you are lucky to have survived. You really need to cover your tracks better – you don’t seem to like to lie, but that is what the game requires. To cover your tracks now, you may have to paint Zeke as the target, or turn on Dave. As opposed to Will and Jay, you can be flexible in your target. There are lots of big dangers out there – unfortunately, you are seen as one. Try to change that perception by shifting it onto a bigger threat.

Zeke: You got through the tribal council yesterday, but you are now painted as a clear threat. Make sure you cement the bonds that got you through the vote last night. Will and Jay were helpful numbers, and you should acknowledge that. It might also pay to be flexible with Hannah, because her vote could come in handy to vote out one of the other three – Adam, Dave, and Ken – who have an idol and can make a split vote difficult if you don’t flip Hannah. Alternatively, you have to flip Ken, which leaves three clear players on the other side.

Adam: Your flipping could work for you for a while. You aren’t considered the greatest threat – Dave has usurped that title. Even though you were not faithful to Zeke, you could provide him a useful number to help ensure they can vote off Dave or Hannah. Otherwise, you’ll have to convince his new alliance mates that he, Zeke, or someone else, is the big threat who needs to go. But you haven’t showed allegiance to anyone, and now is not the time to start doing so.

Dave: You don’t have numbers and you are considered a big threat – not a good combination. You are seen in the previews with an opportunity to flip Will – good. You might also flip Jay against Will, pointing out how you know about Jay’s immunity idol, with the information coming from Zeke, who could also be the target. Or Jay himself could be the target with the idol. Divide and conquer the majority.

Ken: What you have going for you right now is that you are probably the least threatening member of your alliance. Plus, you have the legacy advantage. It can be used as leverage to keep you around while the others in your alliance are targeted, and even past the time they are eliminated. Strength in weakness is your strategy, so align with anyone who gets you an extra day – whatever specifics it may entail.

Bret and Sunday: You both showed good flexibility after Chris was voted off, taking it in stride to lose an ally, and even thanking those who caused the loss. That flexibility could come in handy now – the numbers and the desperation are there to eliminate whomever you want. It may require temporarily bringing someone over from the minority alliance to ensure a split vote works. Or it may involve turning on a current ally. Remember – Zeke used you to advance his game after he voted off your ally. You can use such tactics against him to eliminate him, a very threatening player.

Survive and advance. Don’t worry how. Jay did it this week, and went from a pretty sure vote-out to not even being a target. What seems definite this week can be laughable next week. How will it play out? Tune in on Wednesday to find out, then check back here later for updated strategic and tactical considerations.

Doctor EJ is a licensed clinical psychologist by trade, but his passions include the great game of Survivor, and its social machinations. He is also passionate about travel, and claims to fame include visiting all 50 US States, and losing 145 pounds, both of which are discussed at his blog, The Better Half's Travels at He can be reached at

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