A blindside on Survivor is, in my humble opinion, an art form. Contestants have to delicately manage mobilizing support for someone’s removal, while simultaneously not letting them get wise that it’s happening. Survivor 41, for all its new twists, is no different in that regard. But nevertheless, the season’s latest blindsided contestant has a bone to pick with his early exit.
In the season’s latest episode, a lot of moving pieces were happening in the lead up to Yase’s tribal council. Xander Hastings didn’t have a vote, Evvie Jagoda was busy spilling secrets at the summit, and Tiffany Seely was seriously panicking for no good reason. The target was supposed to be Hastings, but the vote changed last minute – and David Voce was blindsided. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Voce shared some very blunt thoughts as to why he considers it a terrible move, saying:
Complete and utter blindside, and complete and utter does not make sense, no strategy. What are you doing? What is wrong with you? Get your heads in the game! And at the end of the day, everyone can vote emotionally. They don’t have to vote logically, but you still vote according to what is best for your alliance. I didn’t know the all-women’s alliance was so strong, but for the all-women’s alliance, you get Xander because he’s the one that’s loaded with all these advantages and he can’t do anything!
Survivor 41’s David Voce makes some good points. Leaving a contestant like Xander Hastings in the game – who has both an extra vote and a potential super idol in the works that everyone is aware of – isn’t the typical move. But in this new era of Survivor, perhaps there are some benefits to Voce’s exit that he isn’t seeing quite yet. Technically with all his powers, Hastings is a bigger target ripe for the picking in the event of an unexpected swap or merge. Also, Tiffany Seely was right. For all the girls alliance knew, Hastings had an actual immunity idol, not a theoretical one, or maybe both. Therefore, targeting him could have easily backfired.
Amidst all the chaos, the Survivor 41 contestants also had to contend with the game’s new twists, which include playing for an extra vote at the summit and then the Shot in the Dark gamble for safety at tribal. According to David Voce, though, his blindside was all but guaranteed because the players were confused by all the rules of the new twists. He said:
The frustrating thing is, is that it got so confusing because Xander had the extra vote, but you can’t use the extra vote if you don’t have a primary vote. And then you have the Shot in the Dark, which many people were so confused by you can’t use a Shot in the Dark if you don’t have your primary vote. So everyone’s heads were spinning and it became a game of Russian roulette.
It seems a game of Russian roulette is on the horizon for the show. Much like in the recent season of Big Brother (whose winner was frank that they would never play on CBS’ survival of the fittest sister show), Survivor contestants are being pushed to take bigger risks. All while being significantly strapped for time.
When it comes to who exactly is being blindsided in these early Survivor 41 tribal councils, my spidey senses tingling in regard to a new game strategy taking over. I won’t be able to say for certain until more is revealed, but check back here after next Wednesday’s Survivor episode on October 6 for my predictions.