Swoosh! Survivor viewers are dribbling drool as one of the game’s biggest bullies bit the dust in an amazing blindside. Scot Pollard, a former NBA player, was sent to the sidelines to join the jury in one of the best strategic slam dunks we’ve seen all season.
Here’s how the complicated scenario played out. Jason won Immunity, so he was automatically safe. Having found a hidden Idol, he gave it up to Scot, so he, too, had a safety net. Tai, their third ally, also had possession of his own hidden Idol. They really felt invincible, especially since the two Idol halves could be combined to create the so-called super Idol, which allows the eliminated castaway to save themselves after the votes are revealed.
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When the majority of ballots piled up against Scot, he turned to Tai with a pleading stare for the other half of the super Idol that would have spared his torch from being snuffed. After a few nail-biting seconds, Tai shook his head in apologetic refusal, which sent Twitter into a frantic frenzy as Scot was sent packing with an Idol in his pocket.
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— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) April 21, 2016
— Deniz Anderson (@DuanCulo) April 21, 2016
— Abe 🏈🍉 (@AbeTheRiderFan) April 21, 2016
— ✨Lil Y✨ (@yxntzxn) April 21, 2016
— Tammy (@taraebk) April 21, 2016
— Drew (@legendarydrew) April 21, 2016
— Rob (@RobGivenchy) April 21, 2016
— Brenden Snow (@Bsnow97) April 21, 2016
Not to brag, but I predicted this turn of events on Twitter about 15 minutes before Tribal Council even began. Tai’s struggles were such a strong focus of the episode, and Scot’s perceived security was at an all-time high that it seemed obvious something big was going to happen.
I hope Scot gets voted out, and Tai refuses to give up his Idol to save him. That would make this not-so-exciting episode amazing!
— Ryan Haidet (@RyanSurvivor) April 21, 2016
This was exactly the move Tai needed to make. He was clearly at the bottom of the bad-boy trio. Anything he suggested seemed to fall on deaf ears as Scot and Jason would steamroll his strategies and concoct their own plans. Sure, Tai would easily beat both of them at the final Tribal Council, so it would be smart to keep them around, but they were planning to take him out before ever reaching that point. Tai also redeemed himself as viewers had previously expressed deep disappointment that he was working alongside such despicable personalities who gleefully sabotaged their own camp.
It’s the perfect story arc for Tai, who has been one of the most compelling castaways Survivor has introduced in years. He would be an obvious choice for a season of returning contestants, based on his popularity alone.