Oh the blindside. Everyone loves a good blindside! Well, except for the one being blindsided. Sometimes it is the player who is blindsided by their elimination and other times the editors completely misguide us and it is the audience who is left blindsided over the elimination. In human nature we have a need to be right. As humans watching Survivor, we always try to make predictions about which contestant is going home each episode, and when it is someone we never expected, it usually leaves us absolutely floored. These are my nominations for Best Survivor Blindside of 2016!
Craig l’Anson (Australian Survivor Season 3, Episode 12)
Phoebe Timmins was the star of Australian Survivor Season 3 and there was no greater moment in the show’s twenty-six episode run than her shocking elimination of Craig L’anson in episode 12. As we knew that Phoebe had a hidden immunity idol and was the most strategically sound player on the season, it wasn’t the audience that was blindsided that night. Instead it was every single player on Vavua beach who were blindsided by Phoebe’s move (apart from the fake reaction of Kristie Bennett who knew of the plan). At the beginning of the swap, Craig found a clue to the hidden immunity idol. But no matter how hard he tried, he just could not find it. One of the key reasons why was that a day after Phoebe saved herself with one idol in Rohan’s elimination, she immedaitely went looking for another one and succeeded in stealing it away from Craig. But the night of Phoebe’s impending elimination, the rest of the tribe (apart from Kristie) had no idea that Phoebe had an idol and so trying to be the good guy, Connor let Phoebe know that she was about to be sent home, prompting Phoebe to know that it was exactly the right time to use her weapon to her advantage. When the votes came in, Phoebe played the idol to save herself again, devastating the Vavau tribe. As the rest of his tribe shared looks of disbelief all Craig could do was smile.
Nick Maiorano (Kaoh Rong Episode 8)
This was the move that changed everything in Survivor Kaoh Rong. After the merge, Nick Maiorano was sitting pretty on top of the majority alliance with Brawn bullies Kyle Jason and Scott Poland. And with Michele, Julia and Tai all seemingly in his back pocket, everything seemed to be going Nick’s way. But the Beauty tribe member got way too comfortable with his position in the game and when Cydney Gillon realized that Nick had replaced her in the Brawn alliance, she decided to flip and make plans to vote him out instead. On top of that Nick didn’t really have any of the three mentioned above anywhere near as tightly connected to him as he had thought as Michele and Julia, realizing Nick’s bond with the two other boys was absolutely unbreakble, they voted with the girls and took him out, drastically changing the power dynamics of the island and the course of the season.
Michaela Bradshaw (Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 7)
Bret LaBelle looked all set to go home in Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X’s seventh episode of the season. He and Sunday had found themselves at the bottom of Ika Bula when they swapped with a numbers disadvantage against the four Millennials and so when the tribe finally lost the challenge, Bret was looking ready to go home. That was until Jay and Will started to feel uncomfortable wtih Michaela’s dominant role in the alliance and methodical ways of thinking about the game. Jay quickly made a plan to take out Michaela instead and in never-before-seen footage, he let Bret and Sunday know of the plan too. Because this conversation was never shown on the screen, it made for an even more shocking elimination from a viewer perspective. But the best part of all about Michaela’s elimination from the game was her reaction, which you have to see below. The moment her name came up a third time, she screamed “Whaaaaaaaat?”, turned around at Jay, gave Will a brief glance and then turned her attention back over towards Jay, asking “Did you do that?”. What happens next you have to see for yourself below to fully get the true image of what happened. Words cannot describe how amazing this blinside was and Michaela’s elimination from the game was the best reaction ever and will forever make this moment remembered as one of the best blindsides of all time.
Mari Takahashi (Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 2)
As discussed in length on The Mastermind Award Nominees 2016: Best Reality TV Episode, Mari’s elimination from the game in episode 2 of Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X was one of the biggest audience blindsides in the history of the show. Mari went from having the clearest Winner’s Edit in episode 1 to being shockingly sent home in episode 2, leaving fans around the globe absolutely floored with her elimination. Mari led the way in the first episode of the season as she combined with Adam, Michaela, Will, Hannah and Zeke to form a majority alliance of the so called “misfits” to combat Taylor and Figgy’s island romance and the newly-formed alliance of the so called “Pretty People” – Jay, Michelle, Taylor and Figgy. But after Jay and Michele rallied the troops to save Figgy and take out Mari instead, the professional video gamer was shockingly sent home in an elimination that nobody saw coming.
Scott Pollard (Kaoh Rong Episode 9)
Okay so this one takes quite a bit of discussion to fully understand. Survivor Kaoh Rong had something called “The Super Idol”. “The Super Idol” meant that if two contestants combined their idols together it would become one “super idol” and they could play it after the votes had been read as opposed to before the time when they would normally only be allowed to do it, before the votes were read. Since Jason and Tai were in possession of both idols in the game, the two of them and Scott, despite being on the outside looking in after Nick’s blindside still held a lot of power. With the possession of what could become the super idol, if any one of their names came up, they could play the super idol be safe for the night and take out a big target from the other side instead. Only problem was, unbeknowest to Scot and Jason, Aubry was working her magic on Tai behind their backs and swaying him to come over to her side. Tai, feeling a great amount of trust in Aubry went back to his two friends and told Jason and Scot that Aubry might be willing to work with them. But instead of having his voice heard, Scot immediately said “Hey you know who we should vote out next, Aubry”. This led Tai to flip over to Aubry’s side. But Jason and Scot were still completely unaware that Tai had any feelings of ill-will towards them and so when Scott’s name came up for the vote, he was confident that Tai would give him his hidden immunity idol and that they could play it to form a super idol and send Aubry home instead. But after a long pause, Tai shook his head no and Scott was sent home in shocking fashion. Watch the amazing scene below!
So How Do I Vote?! Voting is now open here -> VOTE: The Mastermind Awards 2016. Enjoy! And if you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out The Mastermind Award Nominees 2016 Page for all the details on who and what is up for every single award. Have fun! 🙂