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Survivor Edge of Extinction


Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers and More

Hey look: it’s Fiji again.

Survivor as a show might not be on the edge of extinction, as long as the ratings are good, but eighteen castaways are.

I mean, they aren’t going to DIE or anything. It’s just the title of a television show.

I know what you’re thinking: Bracket Yard, we just got through one season that ended in December. How can there be another one so soon? For the answer, if you want one, I would pass along Jeff Probst’s contact information but he’s asked me not to give it out anymore.

Needless to say, if you are a fan of the show, just sit back and enjoy it.

We will follow this from the first tribal council until the finale and track your favorite, and most reviled, survivors. This season launches on February 20, 2019.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Previously

We most recently tracked Survivor (37): David vs. Goliath, won by Kentucky Nick Wilson. A high bar was set for Edge of Extinction.

Fun fact: this season started shooting a few weeks after the last one, and in the same place (just like the five before it).

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Season Progress

Click to enlarge — updated following the May 15, 2019 season finale

Survivor Edge of Extinction Season - season over

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — Chris Wins

Chris Underwood is the winner of Survivor: Edge of Extinction. Wait, what?

Rick Devens played the best game. Him being voted out and coming back would have added some illegitimacy to his win (which he did not), but it was also because he got voted out that he started playing hard, fast, and loose. Devens’ good weeks were very good and his bad weeks were very bad. They still telegraphed for weeks that he was a massive favorite to win the season. He survived the final two votes thanks to more idols and more immunities, and Victoria and Lauren, respectively, did not.

It would have taken him losing in a fire-making challenge to get rid of him. That’s what happened after Chris:

  • Won the final immunity.
  • Coached Gavin and Julie on making fire.
  • Realized neither was up to the task.
  • Handed his immunity necklace to Julie and put himself in the fire-making challenge.
  • Beat Devens.

What Chris did in the final four required massive brass testicles in between his legs. I still think the fire-making challenge sucks, as I’m sure Chrissy and Devon do, but that was a power move. Consider that he did it for two reasons: (1) he was the most skilled at being able to defeat Devens, knowing nobody would beat him, and (2) he needed to do something to pad his resume. Prior to this, the two biggest moves he made were winning a battle-back (on his second try) and tackling Keith for an advantage.

That one move won him the game. Gavin arguably had the best final tribal council while Julie lagged behind the two men in terms of making a convincing case. The jury seemed predisposed to want to support “one of their own” so to speak, but if there was a criticism of Gavin, it’s that he did not do much in terms of big moves. Yes, he got no votes against, and yes, he was on the right side of almost every vote. What did he orchestrate, however? What Chris did with the fire-making was a bigger move than anything either Gavin or Julie did. Toss in convincing Lauren to play her idol on him and that’s how you ball out in the final week of the game.

Now, should a guy who only played the game for about two weeks in camp and the rest of the time on Bitter Betty Island have won? According to the rules, yes. However, you want to talk about “adding illegitimacy to a win?” Based on who else was there and what he had to do to get there, Chris deserved his victory. It will, nevertheless, be a controversial win.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 14th Boot: Aurora

We are a week away from the finale. Rick Devens is going to win Survivor: Edge of Extinction if he sits there in the final tribal council. Not only does he appear to have clear support on the jury, even if just from the fact that he came from the island like they do, but the remaining players damn near made his jury case for him at tribal council. Devens is the center of attention, Devens is playing a great game, Devens is working hard, Devens is winning challenges. Why don’t you just sign the check over to him right now while you’re at it?

Now that we have dealt some reality, since he is in fact the center of attention, let’s break down Rick Devens. Last week, we said he’s a player we aren’t sure if we like or dislike, and that remains the case. Do not mistake that, however, for a lack of strong feelings about him.

Devens Pro

  • He is having a great time playing the game. Nobody else seems to be having fun.
  • As he points out frequently, he is in fact working harder than everyone else.
  • He learned from his time on Bitter Betty Island and despite some bad weeks, it made him a better player.
  • Again, he is going to win if he sits in front of the jury.

Devens Con

  • He is very impressed with himself, and his having fun can (easily) be mistaken for being a pompous ass. Too many shades of Ben.
  • Quoting Tony Kornheiser Show soundbites (“La Cheeserie!”) says a lot about his tastes.
  • Did we mention how impressed with himself he is?
  • There will be people out there, if Devens wins, who will be miffed that someone who got voted out came back and won.
  • For a possible winner, he’s had some bad weeks in the game, including his vote-out but also some very questionable strategic plays early in the merge.

By the way, that last idol he found, it was sitting in a big hole in a tree branch in what looked like an open space. Don’t try to hide it any better, guys.

Meanwhile, we need to talk about Devens using that idol as a pre-vote prop. He got everyone else to switch to Aurora just by pulling it out, and now they know he has it for next time. They better hope he can’t make fire.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 13th Boot: Ron

BREAKING NEWS: Devens finds an idol. More on this and Dr. Steve’s five-day forecast at 11.

BREAKING-ER NEWS: No cutaways to Bitter Betty Island today. Must have been boring over there, and/or Mayor Reem wasn’t feral enough to catch the collective eye of the producers, except at the very end when Reem had, er, nice things to say about Ron.

BREAKING-EST NEWS: Devens plays an expired advantage, and then plays his in-force idol, resulting in Ron, he who saddled him with the expired advantage, going home. And believe you me, Devens enjoyed every second of it.

Famous last words: “I’m running this game.” Ron to his husband shortly before his boot.

Cold-blooded: Ron takes Gavin and his newlywed wife on the reward, and then Gavin votes against him — twice. He even disguised his handwriting for the second vote. Tennesseean, or Machiavellian? At least Gavin didn’t use Aurora’s second vote against her.

Still can’t figure out if I like Rick Devens or not. There are times he’s a pompous ass like Ben a few years ago and others like at tribal council where he comes out looking like a hero for pulling the idol after Ron and Julie thought they screwed him rotten. He’s had some very bad weeks and some very good ones, but it’s certain that he’s the top target. He has to keep winning challenges and finding idols to save his fanny; he’s done otherwise.

Gavin, Victoria, and Lauren made the bigger move getting rid of Ron. Was he “running the game,” maybe not, but he had staying power, and was a bigger threat than Aurora.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 12th Boot: Wardog

Somehow, Rick Devens went from an afterthought and a loose cannon to “athletic” and “the biggest threat to win this game.” It just works out that way for some people on Survivor. He continued his renaissance by winning reward AND individual immunity, just when it looked like he was the consensus pick to go.

Now for the Wardog. Never more will we hear the sweet sounds of him referring to himself in the third person, at least not after Mayor Reem gets in the last word. Tennessee Gavin followed in the footsteps of Kentucky Nick by setting a big move into motion, but let’s not give him all the credit, as others, like Julie, wanted to make this move as well. Once Devens won immunity, it was a no-brainer. The editors tried to convince us that there was a chance Aurora was leaving, but none of you bought it and neither did we.

The only two votes for Aurora: Wardog and Rick. Only Rick remains from that club, and the target is on him. He’s going to have to win again to save his ass next week, or is he really the scrappy threatening player people say he is?

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 10th and 11th Boots: David and Kelley

The last two wily veterans went out thanks to the Wardog. Is nobody going to latch onto the fact that he is calling every shot? If Wardog makes it to the finale, he is going to win Survivor.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the fact that Wentworth went home (to Bitter Betty Island) with an idol. For all our talk about her seeming to have great instincts for the game, she did not see the storm clouds coming. David absolutely would have played an idol in his vote-out if he had one; Kelley apparently did not even know she was in trouble.

The episode lacked for excitement, but let’s be fair: some big moves were made. One person has been involved in orchestrating most of them, and it’s usually those people making moves and not getting pinned for them that win. Last year, Nick was not in the middle of everything, but had a hand in enough of the big stuff. He could then also back it up with challenge wins at the end. Wardog, based on his throwing motion, does not look like he’s going to win challenges any time soon, but his strategic game, even with being completely unpredictable, has been stellar.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 9th Boot: Julia

Let’s dispense with the fluff and get to tribal, which was almost half the episode. Why show all the back-and-forth in camp when tribal itself had plenty of it?

Tribal council was absolute chaos: the Jeff question-and-answer session devolved into breakout groups. In the midst of these shapeshifting caucuses, Julie lost it, Julia lost it, Aurora was left out, Kelley spilled to David, and that’s just part of it. All because Rick Devens set off the discussion about Lesu.

It happens every season: someone talks their way from apparently safe to out of the game in the span of a tribal council. Tonight, it was Julia. Way to have a complete meltdown. Sure, it’s not just because she snapped at a few people (“Shut up, Wardog”). Julia and Aurora both had loose lips about their plans and suspicions were aroused immediately. Remember, it’s Survivor, a game in which paranoia is embraced like a member of the family. There is always the possibility that the editors omitted any instance of Julia’s name coming up at camp. This still does not make her performance any better. If you come at The Wardog, you best not miss, because The Wardog spares nobody. Then The Wardog refers to himself as The Wardog some more.

Poor Julia went down in flames with one of the worst tribals we’ve seen by a player in some time, and now Aurora is out on an island, both literally and figuratively. It’s a good thing Kama (Joe, if we’re being honest) was so good at challenges early in the season because Survivor masterminds they ain’t, save for a small handful.

Somehow, Devens went from the bottom of a fragile minority to…somewhat okay? Maybe better than somewhat okay?

Wily old veterans David and Kelley still ride, and Wentworth still has her idol. I’m not saying that their prior Survivor experience alone is why they’re still here, but it’s one of the reasons they have each persevered. David is an unassuming guy but a force in the game, not that we need to hear about his bowel movements. The frenemy relationship between the two of them is gold, Jerry, gold.

We did not hear much from Bitter Betty Island this week except for scantily-clad eye candy Chris spearing a stingray.

Stray closing thought: Did they ever catch the chickens and eat them, perhaps with a nice beurre blanc?

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 8th Boot: Eric

Eric wasn’t Kama-Strong enough. By a vote of 8-2-2 (Kelley and Lauren being the other vote-getters), he was sent to Bitter Betty Island where he was warmly greeted by Mayor Reem. For all that talk about the family visit, now he instead gets to spend time with the miserable, feral, moping evictees.

Lauren getting voted out after passing out/practically dying during the immunity challenge would have been cruel. Maybe not sending Rick back to Edge of Extinction cruel, Julie, but cruel. Both Lauren AND Kelley sat on their idols as well. That’s guts right there.

Aurora and Victoria totally ignoring the medical response situation going on beneath them was a real skill of concentration. Trying to cut immunity deals at the same time is how the game is played, kids.

What is Ron the puppetmaster of, exactly? If someone figures it out, please let me know. The Kama strong thing is already old like the Goliath strong and the Naviti strong were. I have no idea what Ron has actually done so far but hey, good for you, sir. Nice job watching your “Kama Strong” buddy get voted out tonight. Imagine that: a “puppetmaster” on the wrong side of an 8-2-2 vote. Gavin, Victoria, Aurora, and Julia went against the family and pulled off a big move with some help. Wardog has at times looked like he was going to flame out in spectacular fashion, but for a change, he was on the right side tonight and deserves credit as well for orchestrating.

It must be a good feeling for Aurora to win immunity and get a second vote (and also to get some camera time for once). She felt unsafe, which must be common in a game where a healthy amount of paranoia is normal, but was she actually a target? Doubt it. If anything, the Kama Strong epicenter of Ron and Eric were dopes to be overconfident and take people like her for granted. Did we not just see this last year? Dan was the Goliath up there saying how the remnants of the other tribe didn’t matter and then came the blindside and eventually, several got picked off in a row.

Rick, playing with nothing to lose at this stage, told Wardog and the tribal council what he thinks of his old tribe. Not only that, but that he wants in with the Kama Strong schtick. You could just be an independent, Mr. News Anchor. Even getting into the Kama circle, what’s left of it, you’re still on the bottom. He’s not the best strategic mind out there, let’s say that.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 7th Boot: Joe

Drop your buffs: the tribes are merged into the Vata tribe.

Survivor went straight into the Bitter Betty Island Buyback Challenge. Expected winner Chris did not, in fact, win. In a mild surprise, Rick Devens won the competition. Wendy almost did, which would have been a serious surprise, but maybe not as much of one as Keith or Reem. Seriously, though: give Wendy credit. We have been (very) hard on her non-existent gameplay but she was having Tourette’s episodes during the challenge and came within inches of winning it. That is determination.

Chris, Reem, and Aubry stayed on Bitter Betty Island and may yet return to the game again. Let’s give this a reality check, however: is anyone still in exile going to win Survivor? Who is going to vote for someone who was playing a separate game of Survivor half the season? This is a hypothetical at this point but it would be a unique challenge.

Tonight, we found out there is someone on the show this season named Julie. Nice to meet you for the first time. Have you been on camera before? Wait, what was your name again?

The island folk could not decide if they wanted to bag Rick (again), Joe, or Kelley. They settled on Joe in a widely-split vote. In their mind, it was the right time to get rid of him: the merge took place, the challenge beast lost, and he had no idol. You might not get another good chance to do it. It’s a safe bet, however, that nobody on Bitter Betty Island was happy Joe, said challenge beast, is there. Good luck beating him. To be fair, Joe did not do much of anything to protect himself, like, say, campaigning.

Ron started to show a little bit of arrogance tonight about his position when he is not the one calling the shots. The edit is setting him up for a fall.

Wentworth had an alright time in that she wasn’t the main target, but a bad week in that she’s probably the next target. Gotta live week to week in Survivor, but she’s made it difficult for herself. Why anyone would think Rick should be the target is beyond me. He’s not the biggest threat, but she wanted “easy.”

Nevertheless, it could be worse, folks. Imagine you are Wendy watching tonight’s episode and learning that the islanders went to hunt down your liberated chickens. She knows as much as you do that they ended up on a rotisserie. I hope she and Keith enjoyed their double-bacon chicken sandwiches at Ponderosa.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 5th & 6th Boots: Aubry and Wendy

Two bagged for the price of one, and two tribal councils coming together. It was the merge before the merge, which is happening next time.

First, the Aubry blindside. Maybe she’s lost her touch or just does not know how to deal with prosperity. Whatever the case, she went home to Bitter Betty Island with advantages in her pocket. She, a returning player, allowed herself to get faked out by people she thought she “trusted.” Do you credit the others for lulling her into a false sense of security, or fault Aubry for not being a little more paranoid? Maybe both.

Now, the swan song for Big Wendy. Up until the end of the second hour, Wendy made it clear in not so many words that she did not care about winning; she’s satisfied with being on the show. What was surprising is that she went to Bitter Betty Island instead of Ponderosa. Considering that her gameplay was not that of someone attempting to win, it was quite the point of intrigue. She may yet remain to entertain Survivor fans who are gobsmacked by her, and either love or hate that they are gobsmacked by her.

Two tribes lost the second immunity challenge (not Kama, who do not lose anything), and they had a joint tribal council. The first vote split, but then, after a great deal of Wardog caucusing, Wendy was the settled-upon target. Good luck winning a challenge to get back in the game, if it comes to that.

Now, back to the other island. Reem and Keith – the whining, the pettiness, the bitterness. I can’t even with either one of them, and before you say that the Edge of Extinction is driving them nuts, I wasn’t a fan before getting booted, either. Now, they’re all coming back for revenge.

Can I thumb my nose at Keith for running off and looking for the clue when the rest of the group vowed to search together? Yes and no. No, because he has to do what he has to do in the game, and he’s trying. Yes, because he did it in broad daylight and very obviously.

On a final note, some of the Lesu folk may want to try throwing around the ol’ baseball or football back at home. There was some terrible form on those challenge throws, like an octogenarian throwing the first pitch at a Double-A game.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 4th Boot: Rick

Buffs were dropped, and so was Rick. The TV anchor signed off for the last time after the vote.

Let’s begin, however, with the real topic of conversation: Wendy. I’d rather eat Wendy’s than play Survivor with them. Unless, you know, she has a problem with people eating Wendy’s.

In fact, Wendy is playing Survivor like how George Costanza lived his life for a day doing everything the opposite of his instincts. Now, that got him a job as the Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the Yankees. It only hasn’t gotten Wendy sent home yet because her tribe won. Will anyone on her tribe trust her? Can she talk her way in with them? Guess they’re going to have to lose first to find out, except it may not happen before the merge. Chances are she will be around longer than we think, but for her to win while playing such a reckless and cavalier game would be a sight.

How pathetic it was that Wendy went to such lengths to hide her poultry jailbreak, but the rest of the tribe figured out almost immediately that she did it. Swing and a miss.

I will take this opportunity also to call out smart Survivor play after such rank idiocy last week. Ron gave Joe the vote of confidence, the hugs, the bro-love, whatever you want to call it, all while he had someone search Joe’s bag for an idol. His profession of support was a setup, a setup I tell ya. Ron is sly and I like it.

Lesu, aptly named, is a tribe of less-u than stellar athletes. They were not that far behind in the challenge, but they still took the big L.

The tribe, sent to see Jeff, waxed on about how much they love each other. Then they split their vote, but just enough voted Rick off to Bitter Betty Island. The mayor of this island is obviously Reem, who cannot hide her enmity for at least two of the people there, in addition to her enmity towards the island itself, anyone, and anything.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 3rd Boot: Chris

Tonight’s episode was a master class on how to be exceedingly stupid at Survivor, at least by a few different players.

Wendy got injured in the reward challenge, which her tribe finally won, and then pulled out the Lisa Simpson moral outrage card. She hatched a plan to bust the reward chickens out of the slammer, one of course she could not herself execute. Not only did she not want to eat them, but she didn’t want anyone else to eat them, either. Target, meet back.

Then, select members of the esteemed Manu tribe flailed trying to put together a puzzle, blowing a lead in the immunity challenge. Kama figured it out just fine, but “puzzles are hard.”

Finally, in a stroke of hubristic incompetence, Chris gets himself voted out, 5-2, when he was not initially a target. David TOLD you not to tell Wardog about the blindside because it was going to blow up the plan. So, what does Chris go on and do? Tell Wardog about the blindside. David may not look like a threat on the outside, but his Survivor instincts are on point.

Chris took the heat for a blindside plan that wasn’t even his idea, and suddenly, his tribe wants him gone. Not the returnee who knows what the hell she is doing, and not the wounded animal justice crusader who wanted to free the tribe’s source of food to score karma points with the universe. The strongest player on the tribe when you can barely compete in challenges as it is. Well done.

Meanwhile, Bitter Betty Island population is now three. It’s not like none of them earned their way there, but here we are.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 2nd Boot: Keith

The two tribes competed, Manu lost the immunity challenge again, Keith can’t swim, yada yada yada he gets sent home.

Is anyone else a little bored with this season so far? Yes, it’s only two episodes in, but the excitement has been limited.

They tried to make a suspenseful moment out of Keith muttering, yammering, and/or hand-wringing over whether or not to go to Extinction Island. In fact, he is probably still there. I’m not sure why I don’t care but here we are. Poor Reem, but at least if you’re going to get stranded somewhere, it’s a beautiful beach in Fiji.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Spoilers — 1st Boot: Reem

We mentioned this already, but Edge of Extinction has big shoes to fill, both in terms of the cast and how the season is edited. David vs. Goliath reset the bar for recent seasons. One episode into the season, as with any new beginning of a television show, it is hard to know how you feel about most of the characters. It may be a number of episodes before the dominant figures of Edge of Extinction emerge.

What we do know is that Reem, the “motherly figure” was first to get sent out on a split vote. She did not take it well, a mood not earlier helped by Wardog pointing out that he would not be able to deal with her personality for 39 days.

Then, the twist of the season: Reem is presented with the opportunity to go to Ponderosa and get her daily continental breakfast or head for the great unknown and a chance to re-enter the game. She grabs a torch, gets on a boat, and is sent to a deserted island, in the rain, in the middle of the night, with nothing but her animosity towards the Manu tribe. This twist could work, which also assumes that the future inhabitants will all become Bitter Betties. It doesn’t seem quite so silly at this point but it depends how they feature it, and when the buy-back comes into play.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction Castaways

Aubry Bracco 32 Los Angeles, CA
Aurora McCreary 32 Orlando, FL
Chris Underwood 25 Greenville, SC
Dan “Wardog” DaSilva 38 Los Angeles, CA
David Wright 44 Sherman Oaks, CA
Eric Hafemann 34 Livermore, CA
Gavin Whitson 23 Erwin, TN
Joe Anglim 29 Ogden, UT
Julia Carter 24 Bethesda, MD
Julie Rosenberg 46 New York, NY
Keith Sowell 19 Durham, NC
Kelley Wentworth 31 Seattle, WA
Lauren O’Connell 21 Waco, TX
Reem Daly 46 Ashburn, VA
Rick Devens 33 Macon, GA
Ron Clark 46 Atlanta, GA
Victoria Baamonde 23 Bronx, NY
Wendy Diaz 25 Bell, CA

Edge of Extinction Returnees

• Aubry Bracco (Kaôh Rōng-32 and Game Changers-34)
• David Wright (Millennials vs. Gen X-33)
• Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart-30 and Cambodia-31)
• Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur-29 and Cambodia-31)

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