There are scant things on Survivor that are riskier than playing an aggressive game. The quickest way to get a target on your back is to make it obvious you’ll stop at nothing to win. Yet since Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers has begun no one has been playing a more aggressively obvious game than Joe. Joe has believed himself to be the smartest and strongest player in the game but as of the most recent tribe swap, Joe’s house of cards might’ve started crumbling down.
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The recent tribe swap did allow Joe to have his biggest Survivor victory yet. During a Tribal Council that could’ve taken him or his closest ally, Joe was able to stick strong and use his Idol to save his life in the game. Yet that win for Joe seems only temporary. Joe didn’t have much going for him in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers but he did have a hidden immunity idol. Now Joe’s greatest tool has been taken from him.
Joe is stuck on a tribe that seems like it would be a dead heat but his ally doesn’t fully trust him. Desi wanted Joe to use the Idol on her to prove his trust and loyalty. Joe didn’t use the Idol for Desi and even though that worked in their “favor” — Alan was voted out — it should prove to Desi that Joe really only cares about himself.
Joe is not a good Survivor player. He’s aggressive, more than a little bit mean and doesn’t know how to work with people without some level of threat and intimidation. Even when celebrating his victory at Tribal, he did so in a condescending way to Desi. Desi is working with Joe but not out of loyalty. It’s desperation and there’s very little to keep Desi aligned with Joe.
Joe might not be the worst player in Survivor season 35. That seems like a title that belongs to sweet, innocent Cole, who can’t keep his mouth shut or his greatest ally happy. Yet Joe is coming in a pretty close second. Joe’s days seem numbered and it would be shocking if his tribe loses again, if Desi doesn’t flip on him, instead of forcing a tie that goes to rocks.
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It doesn’t look good for Joe but there are still ways he can get out of his predicament. For starters, his new tribe needs to start winning. How this could possibly happen with the foursome so clearly divided is a mystery, but the chance is there. Alan leaving might be hurting his allies’ numbers, but he was never any great shakes at competitions. Alan was always a bit of mess and an independent hothead. Joe, for all his many other faults, can work on a team during a challenge. After all, there’s a reason that the Healers were undefeated.
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A merge is surely imminent as well on season 35. When there are just three tribes, the first tribe swap predates a merge only by two or three episodes. If Joe can keep from heading to Tribal Council until the three tribes become one he might have a shot, especially if other Healers stick around. Joe might not be the most trustworthy member of the Healers but he was one of them. Alan was right as he left, the numbers the Healers had is a huge advantage in the game.
Joe is in a precarious position, but Survivor players have done more with much less in the game. Joe is essentially playing a nearly identical game to Tony from Survivor: Cagayan. (The two even look similar.) There were many times where Tony seemed down and out in the game but he somehow willed his way back into a power position and won the whole season. The benefit of being an aggressive player like Tony or Joe is your back is always up against the wall anyway. You’re used to playing from “behind.” Joe winning Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers sounds awful, as he is incredibly obnoxious, but there is some possibility there.
What do you think of Joe’s chances? Will Desi turn on him? Should Desi turn on him? Do you think Joe can recover or is he going to burn out very quickly? What would you like to see happen with Joe? Who do you think is the worst player this season?
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Survivor Facebook page.
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