Arts & Culture

'Survivor' scheme blindsides player into exile

Denise Stapley of Marion discusses with Kim Spradlin who will be their next target to vote off their Fiji island on Wedn
Denise Stapley of Marion discusses with Kim Spradlin who will be their next target to vote off their Fiji island on Wednesday’s 11th episode of “Survivor: Winners at War,” dubbed “This is Extortion.” (CBS Entertainment)
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Sarah Lacina of Cedar Rapids staged a little fashion show, while Denise Stapley of Marion helped stage a little coup meant to take down Jeremy Collins. But it was Sophie Clarke who got blindsided and sent off the island during “Survivor: Winners at War.”

The stakes are ramping up as the contestants inch closer to the $2 million showdown on Season 40 of the CBS-TV battle of strategy, strength and stamina, playing out in Fiji’s Mamanuca islands.

Wednesday’s Episode 11, dubbed “This is Extortion,” took a dramatic turn when Natalie Anderson, previously banished to the Edge of Extinction, set an Extortion Advantage to Tony Vlachos, essentially blackmailing him for six fire tokens — which act as currency in the game.

If he didn’t pay up, he would face a double whammy of not being able to compete in the Immunity Challenge to save himself from being voted off the island at Tribal Council, and he would not be able to cast a vote in that round.

He was able to talk his inner circle out of enough tokens to pay — and he won a grueling 32-minute balancing act that assured him of staying in the competition another day.

Meanwhile, as a plan was hatching around factions in camp to vote off Clarke, Lacina noted that while each player has his or her own approach to the game, it was time to do some resume-building “flashy moves” needed to outplay everyone else and win the game. When host Jeff Probst asked her what the mood was like leading up to the Tribal Council, she described it as “mass psychological warfare,” and that everyone was “smart enough to catch on” to the ploys, so it was time to “change up” their tactics.

“When you pull off a blindside, you have a sense of pride,” she said. And when you’re wondering if you’re the best, “That move says, ‘I’m the best.’”

“I did not see that coming,” Clarke said as she dejectedly walked away toward exile.

The scheming continues at 7 p.m. next Wednesday on CBS-TV and CBS All Access.

Comments: (319) 368-8508; diana.nollen@thegazette.com

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