The Golden Ticket - Ben Martell's recaps

Threatening women


Hi all


Sorry for the relative brevity this week – I blame man flu (I’m not sure if such a phrase actually exists in USA, but it’s a real ailment, I swear!)  My thoughts are less well organised, but here they are!


Is Chrissy threatened by other women?

Definitely not – but also yes, kinda.


For those who don’t know, there’s been a bit of controversy around (it seems, fueled primarily by the recent people voted out in their exit interviews) that Chrissy is threatened by strong young women and is therefore voting out all the women.


It’s a massive generalisation to take a pattern of behaviour from inside Survivor and extrapolate a person’s real life persona from it.  The idea that Chrissy has some hatred of strong women is daft – my experience of people like Chrissy who have been so successful in their careers at such a young age is that they are incredibly supportive of strong young women and I’d be surprised if Chrissy is any different.


Inside the game though?  I’m sure Chrissy was threatened by these four strong women.  And for good reason.


When I was trying to figure out my winner pick for this season, I had seven people in the frame.  Six were women.  Four of those are the last four that Chrissy helped vote out.  The only man on my shortlist was Ben.  This is a season where the female cast felt way stronger than the male cast, way more threatening.  Chrissy has helped take out four consecutive women who were genuine threats to win the game.  That’s not hatred – that’s good strategy.


Besides that, Chrissy’s choices were clearly her best move in all cases except arguably one – that one being Desi, where you could (and I will) make the argument that Joe should have gone.  If you try to claim that Chrissy’s votes were only because she is threatened, that ignores the reality of what her best move in the game is.  Ben and Ryan are also big game threats, but Chrissy’s connection to them within the game was a day one connection.  Perhaps she would have stuck with some of those girls if she had a day one connection with them?  We can’t be sure.  What we can be sure of is that given she didn’t have those connections, those girls were both threats and unnecessary for Chrissy’s game plan.


There’s little doubt in my mind that if Ali, Roark, Jessica and Desi had made the merge together they could have dominated the rest of the game.  That Chrissy got them before that happened leaves her in a great position.  Threatened?  Maybe – but for all the right reasons.  Let’s not use that as a basis for real life judgement.


Besides, at this point I’m still all in on Chrissy as the winner, and if that pans out then the result ought to justify the means.  Many people read far more into exit interviews than I do – but for those who do, I think it’s notable that when Desi was asked by Mike Bloom who she would have wanted to sit with at the end, she didn’t mention Chrissy.  Instead, she mentioned Devon – who as Jeff Pitman has pointed out, the Edgic community now seems to be backing.  Interesting stuff.


Lauren’s advantage

Lauren, advantaged


My first thought when Lauren got this advantage is that it would play out just like Fishbach’s second vote in Cambodia.  I assumed that everyone would know what had happened and that she would be outed.


In the circumstances of every vote being read, this should have happened.  The majority alliance should have believed Desi’s votes outnumbered Joe’s by one, they should have been able to count to 11, they should have narrowed down the suspects substantially and been able to put the pressure on to find out what had happened.  But instead, Lauren played the advantage perfectly, no-one noticed anything out of the ordinary, and they missed the fact the votes were one short.  It leaves her in a decent position.


In the end, though, that it played out well for Lauren is merely good TV.  It’s still an advantage that no-one has ever used to change the outcome of the vote.  I hope that Lauren is the first to do so just because that would be fun.  But I expect that this is the best we will get out of this advantage for the season.  I hope I’m wrong.


Oh, and if I’m wrong about Chrissy winning, I’m beginning to get an under the radar Lauren as winner vibe – and if that happens, it would also be a great end to the season.  Lauren has completely proved by preseason predictions wrong.  She’s a great character on the season and I hope she’s around for a while yet.


On Joe



They should have voted out Joe.


In one sense, the decision to vote out Desi proves that this group of players has had the wake up call that Survivor casts should have had seasons ago – the threat to go on an immunity run is the person who looks a lot like Desi.  So it actually was smart play to get rid of Desi to some extent.


But Joe is a true agent of chaos, and that is something you should always seek to remove when you get a clear shot.  I thought the group would be smart enough to do it and predicted it last week.  And now that they haven’t, I think there’s a good chance that Joe could wreck a couple of games before he goes.


We heard Joe this week say they were playing with the devil.  He might have meant Ben in the moment, but it came across as if he was referring to himself.  We also saw Ben say ‘an individual can mess this whole thing up’ while Joe was showed on the screen, just after Ben had talked about getting his seven to final seven.  I can’t help but get the sense this is foreshadowing, and that Joe is going to be around at final seven – and perhaps he’ll take down Ben to get there.


This and that

This and that


  • Jeff already broke down how good that reward was – really well played.  I noticed that Devon carefully ate about a sixth of the pasta from the left and then JP just messed it up all over the place.  If only he’d have followed Devon’s lead and eaten his fair share from the left, he would have seen the clue.  Or would he have?  It’s hard to know where JP's brain is at.


  • When talking about finding the idol after the reward, Ryan said “My heart’s beating out of my chest,” foreshadowing that moment in the immunity challenge where it looks like you can see his heart beating.  Chances that he actually gave that confessional after the immunity challenge?


  • There’s been an awful lot of death talk this season on Survivor, but none more than from Devon, who has talked about his own death or being a zombie at least three times in the last two episodes.  I dunno if that means anything, but it hasn’t escaped my attention.


  • Ryan won’t go home this week, but the long term impact of Devon and Ben comparing notes on him looks to be the beginning of the end for his game.  It always seemed inevitable that Ryan is playing the kind of game that will catch up with him, so I can’t wait to see how that plays out.




Alright, that does it for this week.  As always, please tweet at me and comment.  I’ll see you next week!




Ben Martell - The Golden TicketBy day, Ben Martell is a public commercial lawyer from New Zealand.

By night, he moonlights as a self-described Survivor 'expert'.

By day or night, find him on twitter at: @golden8284