Good versus evil. Strong versus weak. Cool kids versus nerds. Favorites versus underdogs.
However the two groups of “Survivor Gabon” cast members are defined, this season will end with an unlikely winner, as one of the evil, weak and/or underdog players will win $1 million Sunday night.
Those that have been voted out blame this season's multiple tribe shake-up twists, which split up a strong alliance and a strong tribe, Kota. Still, those who remain in the game — three members of the weaker Fang tribe and two of the weaker Kota members — used those twists to outmaneuver their opponents and take control.
Now, a teary actor masquerading as a pin-up model, a nerdy gamer, a physical trainer, a hairdresser and a high school physics teacher remain. All except Bob, the teacher, were originally on a tribe that lost challenge after challenge, and they took control, voting out a doctor, two lawyers, and others. Last night, they got rid of another one of their own, an Olympic gold medalist who performs poorly at challenges.
That happened after that powerful alliance of the apparently powerless fractured in recent weeks, and those ramifications will be felt as the final five turns on itself even more, which will undoubtedly happen.
Here's a look at who remains, and how likely it is they'll win the game when it concludes live Sunday.
SugarChance of winning: Strangely high for someone who's done so little.
Sugar has spent more time than anyone else at Exile, which became her own personal paradise, although she had guilt for being there. After finding the hidden immunity idol, she spent subsequent trips lounging in a hammock, swimming and sunbathing. She seems happy and carefree, and looks like she's enjoying herself, at least when she's not tearing up.
However, Sugar's strategic game hasn't been very strong. Most recently, she bailed on her alliance with Kenny and Crystal because they plotted against Matty, and that made her cry. Earlier, she voted out her strongest ally in the game, Ace, after believing Ken's lies, and yet continued to trust him when he approached her to vote out Charlie. Perhaps her most noteworthy strategic move was using Bob's fake immunity idol to blindside — but mostly humiliate — Randy, who she loathed.
Yet despite the fact that Corinne and other jury members may have loathed her, Sugar has persevered, and one-third of the game is to simply “outlast,” and we'll see Sunday if the jury values that more than “outwitting” or “outplaying.”
BobChances of winning: Extremely high, if he makes it to the final three, which he probably won't.
Bow-tied Buff-wearing Bob has outplayed the others on his tribe, at least when it comes to challenges, especially recently. He's won the last four individual challenges in a row — two immunity, two reward — and if he keeps winning, he'll just march right into the final three, as Jeff Probst suggested during Tribal Council. Not bad for the second-oldest cast member (he's 58).
Bob has also outcrafted, constructing two incredibly believable fake immunity idols, one of which he gave to Randy as part of Sugar's strategy, and one of which he used to try to save Corinne. Those plays and subsequent moves indicated that Bob has finally started playing the game hard. He's also essentially lied to Ken by promising to give up individual immunity if he won it (an opportunity Ken would have used to his advantage and voted Bob out), and challenged Sugar after she humiliated Randy at Tribal Council.
If someone else did those things, they would seem sketchy, but Bob is so well-respected and above-board that right now, it seems like he can do no wrong. That probably means he'll be voted out before the final three, unless he can keep his winning streak up.
Chances of winning: Lower than he thinks.
Professional video game champion Ken has played an interesting game, even if he hasn't exactly outwitted everyone else. While he has strategized and made some smart moves, his actions haven't quite matched his arrogance and cockiness about his game play. He continually declares himself to be a brilliant strategist, even when he's joining someone else's strategy or not doing something all that spectacular.
Still, he remains the biggest strategist in the game, but that's not saying much, since his strategy has consisted of lying to oust someone who irritated him (Charlie) and lying somewhat transparently about other people (Ace). His tribemates haven't been smart enough to stop trusting him even after learning he lied, though, so he marched on.
He can probably make the best case for strategizing his way to the end, but considering that he has no allies left in the tribe, and the jury consists of most of his targets, "Survivor" will probably be one game he doesn't win.
Chances of winning: Decreasing rapidly.
Physical trainer and surfer Matty isn't exactly weak, an underdog, or evil, but he's guilty by association of most of those, from his alliance to the time he spent on the original, constantly losing Fang tribe. Because of that, he never became a Marcus-like threat, at least until there were no more Marcuses left.
Matty seems like he should be a physical threat, and he generally is, he's just never been the target, at least until the last two Tribal Councils, because now, next to Bob, he's the person who can most likely win the remaining immunity challenges. That's why he was targeted by Bob, Corinne, and his former allies last week. Ken and Crystal went after him again this week, but he had both Sugar's real hidden immunity idol and only two votes anyway, so Matty lives on in the game.
However, he could join the jury before the final three unless he can win individual immunity, because he's now one of the biggest threats to win the whole thing.
Odds of winning: If her screen time is any indication, zero.
Susie hasn't been much of a presence on the show this season. Sometimes, she's just not around, even when she's not at Exile. It's like the mother and hairdresser is under Harry Potter's invisibility cloak and reading a book.
Besides winning the first individual immunity challenge following the actual tribe merge, Susie hasn't done much by way of game play, besides voting with the dominant alliance every single time she's been to Tribal Council. Like Bob, she's managed to stay relatively clear of the strategizing, though.
She'll probably continue to just hang around until the final three, and then the only question will be whether the jury reward her for that, or realize that she's done far less than Sugar?
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