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Adorable Critter Survivor

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In Adorable Critter Survivor, a group of inscrutable aliens invaded Earth and picked up 21 of the cutest animals to compete to see which is really the cutest on the planet. This Large Social Game took place between May 13, 2022 and June 20, 2022. It was moderated by zoraster and PrivateI. Klick (Dolphin) defeated Cephrir (Fennec Fox) and Ethel (Ermine) in a 5-3-0 vote.

This anonymous 21 player Survivor game had a Standard classification. The game took place on a Proboards forum (zoraster.freeforums.net) and was spectated primarily on a dedicated Discord server.

Some information about twists and game events were revealed prior to Signups, including the following:

  • The game used roughly half “regular” challenges and half determined via a “Cuteness Raffle.”
  • Players could spend Cute Points for tribal and individual immunity, as well as to earn certain advantages such as idols.
  • There was an optional pre-game challenge called the “Know Your Rules” challenge. The winner of that challenge would play as the Human Child character, spending the first part of the game sequestered but able to message any player in the game, and then joining the losing tribe with individual immunity for the first tribal council.
  • All PM conversations had to include ProductionBot, giving spectators greater insight into the "behind the scenes" portions of the game.

Players

Player Original Tribe Swap Tribe Merged Tribe Finish
Gecko
Grody
Animal Pen 1st Voted Out
21st Place
Lemur
ChannelDelibird
Aviary 2nd Voted Out
20th Place
Human Child
Mist7676
Human
Child
Animal Pen 3rd Voted Out
19th Place
Quokka
emrysmoonchild
Animal Pen Paddock 4th
17th Place
Giant Panda
Gypyx
Aviary Terrarium 4th Voted Out
17th Place
Rabbit
MeanTUREEN
Aviary Terrarium 5th Voted Out
16th Place
Ferret
Pine
Aviary Paddock 6th
14th Place
Elephant Shrew
Iprobablysuck
Animal Pen Terrarium 6th Voted Out
14th Place
Harp Seal
TheBreeze
Aviary Paddock 7th Voted Out
12th Place
Sugar Glider
SalTheBard
Aviary Aquarium 7th Voted Out
12th Place
Capybara
DuckContracts
Animal Pen Paddock Petting Zoo 11th Place
1st Juror
Whet Owl
mallowgeno
Aviary Aquarium Petting Zoo 10th Place
2nd Juror
Meerkat
DuckContracts
Aviary Paddock Petting Zoo 9th Place
3rd Juror
Pika
Skelda
Animal Pen Terrarium Petting Zoo 8th Place
4th Juror
Slow Loris
Khall76
Animal Pen Terrarium Petting Zoo 7th Place
5th Juror
Red Panda
Thestatusquo
Animal Pen Aquarium Petting Zoo 6th Place
6th Juror
Jerboa
ambic
Aviary Aquarium Petting Zoo 5th Place
7th Juror
Sand Cat
Paddock
Animal Pen Paddock Petting Zoo 4th Place
8th Juror
Ermine
Ethel
Animal Pen Aquarium Petting Zoo Runner-up
3rd place
Fennec Fox
Cephrir
Animal Pen Aquarium Petting Zoo Runner-up
2nd place
Dolphin
Klick
Aviary Terrarium Petting Zoo Sole Survivor
1st place

Voting History

]

Synopsis

Radical honesty

Animal Pen

The shipwrecked Human Child player's take on the Animal Pen Tribe is that they were the quieter tribe. And despite being the losing tribe, Aviary still seemed to outpace them on socializing at times during the TC. The top of the social pecking order early on appears to be Pika, Sand Cat, and Fennec Fox, all of whom seem to have good budding relationships with one another and overall seem well-liked by tribemates.

Red Panda and Elephant Shrew are other active socializers that are not quite as popular. While some critters express wariness that Red Panda might not like them, Red Panda comes across as an earnest newer player, which seems to earn the Panda some wiggle room to learn the ropes. Quokka and Slow Loris seem to make a fine initial impression, with Quokka seeming to be somewhat more popular, but with Slow Loris also coming across as an endearing newbie to some. Ermine is another understated presence, but seems to have earned some respect for effort put into the challenge.

This leaves Capybara and Gecko at the bottom. Gecko is particularly inactive at first due to their work schedule. Capybara, while more present, just doesn't make a good first impression on their tribemates.

Gecko is pretty quickly agreed upon as the easy vote after the challenge result. Red Panda is paranoid that it's all too unanimous, but tries to keep his cool. Human Child is eager to go with the flow and try to earn her tribe's trust. She's quiet due to anxiety, but after admitting to some tribemates that this is cramping her style, starts to ease into better conversation. Whether this will be enough to save her when she's not immune remains to be seen. Gecko floats Ermine and Slow Loris as possibilities, and tribemates seem more OK with Slow Loris as the fake vote.

Slow Loris is extremely afk until about two hours before TC ends due to a root canal. Due to Gecko showing up and being somewhat likeable, there's some vague interest in switching things up, but ultimately no one seems motivated enough to create that momentum. Pika specifically wanted a Capybara vote due to being offered a group alliance with Gecko, but felt she lacked time to push for it.

Upon arrival, Loris hears from Elephant Shrew that the vote is pretty locked on Gecko and that Gecko wanted to vote out Loris. Loris decides to approach Gecko with this info, including naming Elephant Shrew as the source. Gecko asks about Loris's comment in the group chat he made with Elephant Shrew, Red Panda and Pika. Red Panda and Pika feign that Slow Loris is trying to cause chaos. They both claim the vote's still on Slow Loris, but they're clearly not thrilled about Slow Loris's behavior. The vote still ends up unanimous for Gecko, with Gecko voting for Slow Loris.

  • Sitting pretty: Sand Cat, Pika, Fennec Fox
  • In the hot seat: Slow Loris, Human Child, Capybara
Aviary

The Aviary tribe is a mix of the social and less than social. There are three names that have come out as being the most social. Sugar Glider, Jerboa & Panda have come up the most in other players confessionals. Ferret and Seal are also in, though they aren't as favorable to everyone. Panda is seen as the "smartest" and Sugar Glider as "the most social". Maybe the most interesting animals thus far are rabbit and meerkat, who are getting in with the right people but aren't really being talked about or are in anyone's radar despite having good confessionals. Rabbit isn't liked by Jerboa, however it is doubtful Jerboa does anything about that anytime soon.

 Ferret is a hit or miss, maybe the animal to most embody the "roleplay" role of playing an investigative journalist which has some in love with them, and others not so much, definitely the most polarizing one of the bunch.

After a big win by this tribe, the unfortunate news came that Klipspringer (who was doing well) has removed themselves from the game and has been replaced by Dolphin. Initial discussion seemed to indicate that Lemur and Owl were the most in danger for a lack of activity. Panda was an MVP in the challenge, but is getting "smart" label thrown on as a result. Seal seems to be itching to destroy everyone and is very active in their confessional.



Per Sugar Glider, there are at least two groups that have formed, Sugar Glider/Ferret/Jerboa & Sugar Glider/Meerkat/Seal/Panda

  • MVPs of the round: Sugar Glider, Jerboa & Giant Panda, although all three have been noted as smart and social, so this probably won't last.

Forgone conclusion

Animal Pen

After a very uneasy first tribal where Gecko was unceremoniously booted from Animal Pen, the rest of the tribe seemed to come together in the challenge and pulled enough of an average to stay immune.

Notable events that happened during this cycle, Loris found an idol after being in the hot seat during the first round, Red Panda formed an alliance with Ermine, Pika and Shrew, and three of the tribe members didn't post a confessional at all. Fennec has one of the most moment to moment confessionals I've seen in awhile and with the differing opinions in each post I feel like I'm getting whiplash. Capybara had a pragmatic approach to the last vote and has otherwise not been very active. According to Pika, she's aware Sand Cat and Fennec have a bond and is trying to figure out how to come between them.

Red Panda does not like Quokka who cannot stand Capybara. Shrew feels wary of Ermine. Ermine doesn't like Loris. Pika's read of the tribe right now is far and by far the best and given the lack of new groups forming and Pika being at the center of the action with seemingly no one going against or hating Pika, it seems like it's going to be pretty easy to see who gets MVP...

Last but not least, Loris seems to be making a social comeback since her bad first round and apparently is lying to Red Panda or feels like she is. We shall see if this keeps up.

MVP: Pika and it's not even close for 2nd. Red Panda's doing okay, Shrew's doing okay, and Fennec clearly isn't in anyone's bad graces.

Aviary

While the Aviary Tribe was planning how to approach the Cuteness Raffle challenge, Jerboa publicly states that he doesn't think Lemur will show up in order to bet anything, and asks for opinions on how to plan around this. Some animals take this to mean that Jerboa thinks they may as well throw to save their points and get rid of the inactive Lemur.

Based on how Aviary raffled compared to Animal Pen, Animal Pen had an 80% chance of winning: Panda, Rabbit, Meerkat, Sugar Glider spent 3 cuteness points, while everyone else saved their points. Jerboa was also seen searching for the idol. Some players are put off by Jerboa's bluntness and confidence, but particularly Giant Panda, who starts floating the possibility of trying to boot Jerboa this round before he can actually nab the idol.

Harp Seal says he might be on board for a bigger move, but only if Lemur logs back in (spoiler: Lemur never does.) Word gets back to Jerboa about Giant Panda's plotting. Seal's confessional response is pretty classic villain: he's ready for the possibility of war and doesn't think Panda has the numbers, but thinks Panda's right to doubt his intentions. Sugar Glider's not necessarily thrilled about having to pick sides between two allies, but sees the budding Parent Alliance (Ferret, Dolphin, Sugar Glider) as gaining more power in the tribe as a result of this.

Dolphin seems to be integrating fairly well and displays good reads on tribal social dynamics in confessional. Meerkat confesses to seeing Aviary's biggest long-term threats as Dolphin, Ferret, and Giant Panda. It's a little unclear where Whet Owl and Rabbit stand with their tribemates. Rabbit is seen as inactive but somewhat endearing, and Whet Owl gains some positive SPV from tribemates referring to them as seeming honest.

Even Lemur votes for Lemur due to not logging in, except for Whet Owl. They voted for Dolphin "Just in case something weird happens" pretty early on in the tribal discussion phase.

  • Most at War: Jerboa & Giant Panda
  • Most Improved: Dolphin
  • Most Positive SPV: Harp Seal

8 gazillion alliances

Animal Pen

The Animal Pen tribe loses the seesaw challenge and has to get to work determining their weakest link. Some players are also speculating about when the swap will be. Red Panda and Elephant Shrew specifically discuss that they expect remaining Animal Pen players to be able to work together well on future tribes. The biggest changes from TC1 are that Human Child no longer has immunity and that Slow Loris has improved her social standing a lot.

Pika talks about how Pika's trying not to be overly connected, but is enjoying the budding connection with Loris and appreciates the idol info. Red Panda floats Quokka as an option a bit, but Capybara and Human Child remain the most unpopular.

Capybara gets more strategically active this episode, forming Fennec/Ermine and Pika/Shrew group alliances within 10 minutes of each other. This gets leaked quickly, of course, but Fennec and Pika almost seem to find it more amusing than worrying.

Quokka is clearly in favor of keeping the Human, while Ermine is clearly in favor of keeping Capy. Players like Red Panda and Sand Cat seem to find Human Child more threatening and absent. Quokka tries to push to keep HC and discuss numbers willing to keep Capy; some tribemates seem confused or suspicious of this given they've mostly heard people wanting to vote for HC. Human Child ends up being voted out 7-3, with Elephant Shrew swapping his vote to Capy as a "safety net."

  • Most in "roughly 8 gazillion alliances" according to Fennec: Pika, Elephant Shrew
  • Most improved: Slow Loris
  • Most bold: Quokka, Capybara

Aviary

Though Aviary didn't go to tribal because of a great win that didn't mean that drama didn't happen nonetheless.

The aftermath of the Lemur vote has left the other members of the tribe in a bit of chaos. The stray Dolphin vote has the whole tribe talking and it's a very thin layer of ice they are all walking on. Least of all Jerboa and Giant Panda who outwardly dislike each other and it gets around. Had Aviary gone to tribal, this would have likely been the center of drama.

Dolphin now has a couple of rounds under their belt, and the connection they have made with Harp Seal is undeniable. Both of them are very high on each other and with Harp Seal also getting Whet Owl, Meerkat, and Rabbit on board, it would have been likely that harp seal would have called the shots this round. Harp and Sugar are both the main characters this round and it's debatable on who has more influence at this point though I'd argue Harp Seal is the more favored person.

Rabbit once again has a stellar round of being on no one's lips, yet having influence in the group. Harp, Owl and Meerkat all seem to really want to work with them. Jerboa on the other hand has REALLY tanked his game because people want him gone and would have likely gotten their way, and it wasn't like he did much after OPENLY calling the shots prior.

Owl and Ferret were probably the least interesting characters this round. Ferret hardly gave any content, despite actually being revered nicely by Dolphin after a bad first impression, while Owl at one point stated "Well apparently I've done enough to keep myself into an alliance..." which...does not feel like the words of someone who is actively in power.

Giant Panda is also someone who is going to need a good swap not to be a target, luckily Harp Seal likely would have protected him, but because of telling people what he was really thinking his name got out there and would have been a target. Luckily, he avoided tribal this round!

  • MVPs this round: Harp Seal gets the trophy for really being in the know and making strides to upset the power structure, Rabbit gets my kudos for being in power and doing well in the challenge, yet somehow avoiding the spotlight again, and finally I think Dolphin has done a good job with the limited time they had to make bonds.

Main characters get their head chopped off (Swap)

Paddock

Coming into Paddock, both Capybara and Quokka trust Sand Cat the most. In confessional, she's colder, weighing the strategic merits of losing either. Both Sand Cat and Quokka are open with their new tribemates about Capy having received votes last tribal for inactivity and imply not being close with him.

Former Aviary is more unified and have a group chat, though Meerkat and Ferret are closer with Seal than each other. Meerkat and Harp Seal are excited to hear the signs of dissension in former Animal Pen, but seem to especially like the prospect of getting Capy to flip. Meerkat is in the driver's seat on this manuever. On the other hand, Ferret bonds easily with Sand Cat and is interested in working closely with her and Harp Seal. They form a pirate group chat.

Paddock get last place in the challenge. Capy spent lots of cute points on a secret idol search and finds it! Quokka and Sand Cat are both comfortable with Meerkat or Capy as votes. Ferret sees Capy as the best compromise for everyone. Meerkat continues to try to get Capy on board for a Quokka vote. Harp Seal confesses his game plan is to end on voting Quokka, but tells Ferret he agrees a Capy vote is good.

Sand Cat admits to Quokka that she's disappointed that they haven't gotten more confirmation that Harp and Ferret are willing to vote Meerkat next TC. Capy feels like Meerkat may be conspiring to turn Animal Pen against each other, and has trouble believing it would really be smart for Sand Cat and Quokka to go against him. As such, he prefers a Meerkat boot, but will vote for Quokka to save himself. Capy trusts Seal more than he trusts Meerkat, and identifies Ferret as a swing vote.

Harp Seal is spooked by Capy's distrust of Meerkat, and discusses in the Aviary group as well with Meerkat individually how to fix this. He worries that AP is closer than they seemed and speculates that the safest play may be to put all the Aviary votes on Capy. "How do you save someone who doesn't think they need saving?" Muses Meerkat.

Quokka is unhappy to hear that Meerkat is pushing Quokka as a vote, and expresses openness to switching to Meerkat. Ferret, however, prefers to do this "later," not now.

With less than 30 minutes remaining, Seal approaches Capy with a pitch. He says voting Meerkat is just a decoy plan. If Capy is unwilling to vote Quokka, Seal says Capy will be voted out 5-1 because Quokka and Sand Cat are against Capy. Seal also asks Ferret last minute to trust him and switch to Quokka. Capy plays his idol; an initial mod error makes this appear to save him. However, Quokka is eliminated 4-2, with Sand Cat and Quokka being the Capy voters.

  • Most large and in charge: Harp Seal
  • Most blindsided: Sand Cat
Terrarium

Pika and Shrew from Animal Pen are happy to have swapped together with Lorry, being pretty good allies previously. Lorry feels great about Pika but is a little more suspicious of Shrew. Dolphin, Giant Panda, and Rabbit have much looser relationships; Rabbit claims to feel very good about Dolphin, Dolphin isn't sure why. Giant Panda comes in thinking that Dolphin is in a rough spot and kinda willing to let him go and sees this as an opportunity to bond with Rabbit.

Pika does a good job building relationships with all the former Aviary folks, particularly with Rabbit, to the point that Rabbit probably overestimates how close they've gotten and underestimates how close Pika's other relationships are. Giant Panda thinks if they go to TC, the vote will be Dolphin vs Lorry, and Rabbit thinks she can flip Pika on Lorry. Ultimately Dolphin appears to have the best read on the AP folks, realizing that Pika definitely will not cut Lorry and that there's a decent chance that the vote turns GP's way.

Pika initially is less high on GP than Rabbit/Dolphin but eventually lands in a spot where she really doesn't feel great about losing anyone and laments not being in a spot with someone she'd actively like to get rid of. Lorry tells Shrew about her idol, saying that she really trusts Shrew and implying Shrew is the only one she told. Shrew suspects (correctly) Lorry already went through this same spiel with Pika.

Post-challenge, GP and Rabbit initially want Loris out, GP isn't so sure they can do it and thinks they should prepare to turn on Dolphin if they can't get Shrew and/or Pika to vote out Loris. Rabbit is pretty set on Loris. Meanwhile, Loris tells GP that the people she's least close to on the tribe are Rabbit, Dolphin, and Pika, and expresses the idea that it's inevitable that someone from AP gets voted out. While Loris is still loyal to the former AP, Loris's erratic behavior has dampened Pika's feelings for her. While Pika likes Lorry personally, she's wary of an ally who needs so much protection while acting so irrationally.

Dolphin tells Rabbit that he knows GP threw his name out this round and that he's tempted to vote GP for that. Rabbit doesn't seem to pay much attention, assuming that Dolphin would primarily prefer that a former AP member go home first. Dolphin tells all of the former AP folks that he's in on voting out GP, and continues to relay the Aviary plans to them. Rabbit doesn't realize just how reluctant Shrew and Pika are to vote Loris out, and thinks they're on board with booting Loris based on her challenge performance. Loris tells Rabbit and GP that she's be willing to sacrifice Pika or Shrew, leading Rabbit to try to put the vote on Shrew. GP creates a group chat of the former Aviary + Loris.

Rabbit doesn't tell Pika she is pushing to get Shrew out, which Pika knows from both Loris and GP, leading Pika to strongly consider making Rabbit the vote closer to the deadline. Despite a strong social connection with Pika at the beginning of the swap, Rabbit's relationship with Pika has really deteriorated over this TC. Ultimately the vote remains on Giant Panda with Dolphin siding with the former Animal Pen in voting him out 4-2, with Giant Panda and Rabbit voting Shrew.

  • MVPs: Pika is really in the best position here, with good relationships with everyone without appearing too out in front. Dolphin deserves an honorable mention for sussing out the tribe dynamics really quickly and realizing what he needed to do to stick around.
Aquarium

Sugar Glider used the swap advantage to stay with Whet Owl, thinking that since Whet Owl was in almost all of his alliances, they could form a strong three with whoever the third person from Aviary is. That turns out to be Jerboa, and Sugar Glider, Owl and Jerboa are all happy to be swapped together. Sugar Glider lies to Jerboa and Owl, telling them that he used the advantage to swap with Jerboa.

Ermine, Fennec and Red Panda are also happy to be swapped together from Animal Pen. However, that means that no one is willing to flip and it's looking like it'll be a 3-3 vote whenever they go to Tribal Council.

Sugar Glider bonds with Red Panda over their shared love for Magic the Gathering. Sugar Glider tells Red Panda some information about the Aviary dynamics, which Red Panda relays to the Animal Pens. The main pairs on the tribe are Sugar Glider and Jerboa and Fennec Fox and Ermine. The Fennec/Ermine pair is called Hot & Cold and they are very cute.

Jerboa gives a pitch to Fennec about them being swing votes on this tribe. Fennec isn't impressed and finds him erratic but feels forced to work with him because they're the only Aviary willing to open up to them. Fennec expresses distrust towards Sugar Glider because he told them and Red Panda different stories, and they know that they're his least favorite Animal Pen.

Jerboa works hard on the maze and expresses frustration that the Animal Pens aren't pulling their weight in the challenge. Jerboa's maze, which forces the other tribes to visit every single square instead of solving an actual maze, is very easy but it's also very annoying. Aquarium wins immunity and buys themselves some time to figure out a way around the 3-3 split they find themselves in.

During the challenge, the former Aviaries searched openly while the former Animal Pens searched secretly. Seeing that the Aviaries all searched openly sketches the Animal Pens out. Jerboa finds the idol and doesn't tell anyone. Amusingly, because of Jerboa always searching openly for the idol and his general personality, the Animal Pens think it's unlikely that he has it.

After the challenge, everybody seems to realize that they could be the ones going home, so they all try to compromise with the other side. Sugar Glider tells Ermine all of the alliances he was in on Aviary and then pitches forming a four player group with them, Jerboa, and Red Panda to vote out either Fennec or Whet Owl by RNG (not sure what he means by that). That group was proposed partially because Sugar Glider and Red Panda have their Magic the Gathering connection and partially because Ermine told Glider she was working with Red Panda in order to hide her pair with Fennec. She tells Fennec anyway and Fennec is annoyed and considers going to rocks.

The group also seems unlikely to work because it includes both Ermine and Jerboa. Jerboa has a grudge against Ermine from the very first challenge, where Ermine made a comment about Animal Pen having a 52% chance to win. Ermine finds Jerboa annoying to talk to. The one player absent in all of this is Whet Owl, who will probably be in trouble if Aquarium loses.

  • MVP: Jerboa. He finds an idol and nobody suspects that he has it. Even if he didn't have an idol, I'd say he's the least likely to leave at a TC because he has a good relationship with everyone on the tribe except for Ermine

Girl bye

Terrarium Pika, Shrew, and Loris are very pleased with last TC's result.

Prior to the TC result, Dolphin proposed a duo with Loris, which Loris accepted and named the Stealthy Rats. Loris is still alluding to being open to voting out Shrew or Pika in the future but Dolphin is privately skeptical that she means it given that this is the same thing she said to Giant Panda and Rabbit last round. Either way, Dolphin is happy to have an alliance.

Rabbit tells Loris and Pika that she wanted Giant Panda out from the start but that she hoped to make it 2 Animal Pen and 2 Aviary at the next swap. Dolphin reaches out to Rabbit to give his perspective on the previous round but Rabbit says Dolphin turned and now there's nothing stopping AP from picking them off.

With Ermine winning the cute raffle, Terrarium is going to Tribal Council once again, with the stated reasoning that terraria are smaller than paddocks, but in confessional explains that it's because she (correctly) perceives former Animal Pen members as being in power there.

Rabbit sends the same message to all three former Animal Pen members, saying she's voting for Dolphin and arguing that she has better connections with former Aviary, which she will use to help them in the future.

Shrew gives the heads up to Pika, Lorry, and Dolphin that he's going to play along with Rabbit in hopes of finding out if she has an idol (and privately says this is so she doesn't target him if she does). Rabbit admits to Shrew that she was in a five-person alliance on Aviary and a three person sub-alliance. Shrew asks for more details but Rabbit says she'll only give details after Tribal Council.

Meanwhile Loris is telling Rabbit she wants to vote out Shrew. Rabbit is suspicious that Lorry isn't being genuine here given how last round played out, and tells Shrew. Lorry claims in confessional to have been serious about wanting Shrew out and is annoyed with Rabbit at having told Shrew.

Late in the round, Rabbit sends a group message to the three former AP members with a last plea for them to move forward with her and vote out Dolphin. Loris at this point is no longer pretending to be with Rabbit and responds with "Girl bye", which Pika is none too fond of privately. Ultimately Rabbit is voted out; in confessional Pika expresses sadness that she had to vote Rabbit out because she liked her.

Aquarium In the challenge, Aquarium desperately bankrupted themselves of cute points and thus had a 50% chance of earning the immunity through the raffle. If they didn't win, they were highly likely to be sent to tribal. As mentioned, Ermine luckily won for Aquarium.

This group retains temporary safety, but may be in a stalemate of "watery hell," as Fennec puts it. Jerboa and Whet Owl would've sent Paddock to TC in a similar vein, but Sugar Glider tried to curry favor with Red Panda by selecting Terrarium. There's still talk on both sides about willingness to go to rocks. Jerboa confesses that his main goal is to not have to play the idol and to keep it on the down low until merge.

Sugar Glider feels guilty about possibly not working with Owl, but seems to really be putting in work for the alliance of 4 that leaves Fennec/Owl on the outs. He shares the same info about his former alliances on Aviary with Red Panda that he previously shared with Ermine. Red Panda is upfront with Sugar Glider that he feels like Sugar Glider was previously dishonest about his time at Aviary. Red Panda and Fennec discuss that it could be actively harmful long-term to allow Sugar to survive this tribe. Jerboa, likewise, expresses concerns about SG's social connections long-term.

The other biggest social development seems to be that Fennec and Red Panda are connecting more strategically and are keen to work together long-term. At a future TC, they may be willing to let Jerboa pick their target and hope he'll truly flip on the revote. Some tribemates wish Whet Owl and Ermine were more active, but Whet Owl thinks those folks should take a break!

  • Cutest Couple: Undeniably Ermine & Fennec Fox
  • Most Negative SPV: Sugar Glider


Paddock

Sand Cat does a good job doing damage control. She bonds with Ferret over being left out of the loop, tells Capybara that she's sorry and tells Meerkat and Seal that she likes them and wants to keep working with them. Capy doesn't trust Sand Cat but is open to working with her in the merge.

Ferret tries to do damage control for Seal, telling Sand Cat that Seal is just paranoid and that Seal won't align with Meerkat and Capy against them. Meanwhile, Seal, Meerkat and Capy make a group chat. The three of them all express that they feel comfortable and wouldn't mind staying on this tribe for a while.

Seal and Meerkat tell Sand Cat that they didn't know about Capy's idol and Capy says that he didn't tell anyone. Sand Cat doesn't believe any of them, but they're actually all telling the truth. Seal tries to get the alliance of him, Sand Cat and Ferret to watch Puss n Boots together. So far, nothing has happened.

A fun game of telephone happens. Ferret tells Sand Cat that he wasn't told about the idol but he wouldn't be surprised if Capy unintentionally told Meerkat and Seal. Sand Cat then tells Capy that Ferret told her that Meerkat and Seal did know about the idol. Capy appears to misread the message and interprets it as Ferret saying that he knew about the idol too. I'm not sure if Sand Cat misread Ferret's message or was trying to throw him under the bus, but it's made Capy and Meerkat distrust Ferret.

Capy tells Meerkat that he's on good terms with Pika and Elephant Shrew. This backfires and makes Meerkat see Shrew as a threat. But since Shrew was the third vote on Capy, it may have actually worked out for him.

I'd also like to highlight how good the Quokka vote was for Meerkat. Ferret confessionalized that he would want Meerkat out next after Capy, and I think Sand Cat and Quokka would have been happy to go along with that. So Meerkat went from the next boot on Paddock to being on top of the tribe with Seal.

If Paddock went to Tribal Council, it looks like the vote will be between Sand Cat and Ferret, with Ferret slightly more likely to be the vote.

  • Biggest villain: Harp Seal
  • Most rootable: Sand Cat
  • Biggest underdog: Capybara

TWO SECONDS

Aquarium Aquarium didn't go to tribal. But several members feel like maybe they should have.

After the lie that Sugar Glider was caught in from Aviary tribe in the last round, Red Panda is ITCHING to pull the trigger and oust him. In addition, Fennec is not on the Sugar Glider train and would have joined in a vote to oust Sugar. However, the one hitch in the plan is that at least Red Panda seemed to be banking on Jerboa joining them in the vote. Towards the end of the round, although they were safe, Red Panda seems to doubt Jerboa would have been willing to pull the trigger on Sugar Glider.

Sugar Glider apparently has been trying to take steps to get back in the good graces of Red Panda, as he expects Red Panda and Ermine to join him and Jerboa in a vote to oust Fennec, a plan that...I'm not really sure why he thinks would work? Sugar Glider tends to do a lot of talking but doesn't really seem to be reading the tribe well. Red Panda and Fennec both seem to see through some of the statements including things said that Sugar shouldn't know, and Sugar claiming to try hard to save someone who apparently he didn't really try to do anything for at all.

Meanwhile, Ermine is somewhere in the middle. Both Red Panda and Fennec need him, and Sugar seems to be feeling great about Ermine. Luckily for Fennec and Panda, Ermine seems to trust them both a lot, because without Ermine they would likely be screwed if they went to tribal. Ermine doesn't really trust "hyperactive people" such as Jerboa and probably will be wary of them. I can't really say they are doing anything wrong or right, however the idea that multiple people from both sides want to rely on them at least shows some social prowess in terms of value. Only time will tell if they understand what to do with this.

And then there's Whet Owl...who only posted a couple times to complain about his active tribe (???) and mourn Rabbit's loss.

MVPs-Red Panda ultimately I think had the right idea of who to go for even though I think it would have blown up in their face with Jerboa's idol, but it's hard to argue when they had the right idea. Ermine is in the best position, but I'm not convinced they know how to handle being in the best position. Jerboa barely makes this list for doing the sane thing and not mentioning the idol to anyone, which could turn out to be the best decision anyone has made on this tribe in a time where no one even needed to be active at all...however his allies are not doing him any favors and he's walking a tight rope atm.

Notable quotes:

  • "The plan as drawn by stockphotos." ~Jerboa describing a plan I do not understand but it made me laugh.
  • "Continues to fester." ~Red Panda talking about wishing they'd gone to TC to oust Sugar Glider.
  • "Yeah okay big effort there bud" ~Fennec about a really hilarious read of something Sugar Glider said that was obviously silly to say.
  • "I don't think I could ever really get to trust them" ~Ermine about the 4 person alliance that is just...a bad idea waiting to explode the moment they lose.

Paddock

Paddock loses the puzzle challenge. Capy took more than 3 minutes longer to do the same puzzles as Dolphin from Terrarium, and Sand Cat is the slowest solo Jigsaw-puzzler. However, the discussion of who to vote isn't based on challenge ability; it's based on long-term plans. Ferret's speculation from Episode 5 about Capybara's idol possibly not having been a secret has seemingly been misconstrued by everyone, and it's a talking point of why he may not be trustworthy. The other obvious target is Sand Cat, who was blindsided last tribal.

The majority alliance is Harp Seal, Meerkat, and Capybara. As well as having strategic 1-1 conversations, they discuss their options in their group chat and exchange info. Capy is wary of Sand Cat due to her voting him before, but he's also open to voting Ferret. Meerkat and Ferret are wary that the other might be floating them for a vote.

Ferret is a lot more strategically open with Harp Seal than anyone else and talks through who would be best to keep. He expresses concern that Meer and Capy are easy votes and may be "reluctant and ambitious" "frenemies." Ferret seems to come around to Harp Seal's perspective that Sand Cat is a more viable boot for ensuring Aviary numbers for merge, but Ferret's clearly depressed about losing a strong social connection.

Sand Cat's approach is all about emphasizing that she sees herself working with these tribemates in the future (though she confesses she hasn't decided if this is at all true.) She tells the majority alliance she's on board for voting out Ferret. To Meerkat, she's framing this as seeing a 3 of {Meerkat, Capy, her.} To Harp Seal, she's more willing to talk in strategic depth. Both discuss why they see Ferret as a long-term threat who could flip on them.

Harp Seal and Meerkat are strategizing for the merge, including how to deal with Aquarium and the loss of Rabbit. They're worried that Ferret may target them more aggressively later and put them more toward the bottom of the Aviary pecking order. The info they get from Capy and Sand Cat makes them discuss targeting Red Panda at merge. Harp talks about Jerboa and Dolphin as being potentially key players for them going forward. Meer seems skeptical about Dolphin's willingness to work with the "nontraditional" group of Paddock.

The pirate alliance of Ferret, Harp Seal, and Sand Cat is in shambles. They agree to watch The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure movie together, but two of them get busy; Harp Seal watches it alone and cackles about how one of the other two is "walking the plank" despite trying so hard to be his suiters. He also confesses that what he'd have needed from Ferret as an ally was more open willingness to make moves, not just to look for easy compromises. Ferret is voted out 4-1.

  • Paddock's Main Character: Harp Seal
  • Paddock's Comedy King: "Meer meer on the wall, who at tribal tonight is going to fall?" -Capybara

Terrarium

On her way out, Rabbit had told everyone that she was in a five player alliance on Aviary but didn't say who was in it. The remaining Terrarium members all speculate on who was involved. The consensus seems to be Sugar Glider, Jerboa, Meerkat and Ferret, which is pretty close.

Terrarium came very close to avoiding tribal council for the first time all game. But thanks to Slow Loris's 4:15 time on the jigsaw and several of their players clicking the wrong link at the start of the challenge, they lost by only two seconds.

At first, it looks like Dolphin will be in trouble as the last Aviary on the tribe. Elephant Shrew considers flipping to save Dolphin but decides that he doesn't want to risk rocks. Dolphin thinks that the vote will be Lorry because of the way she treated Rabbit and because of concerns about her trustworthiness. Pika says that she would vote out Lorry off if she didn't have the idol.

At Tribal Council, Lorry and Pika realize at the same time that they want to vote out Shrew. They pull Dolphin in and blindside him 3-1, with Shrew thinking that it'll be a straightforward vote on Dolphin.

Dolphin comes up with the idea of telling the other tribes that the votes were all on him but he idoled out Elephant Shrew. I'm not sure how good of an idea that is, but it'll be fun.

Declaration of war

Cuteness Raffle

This round revealed a twist: every player would be attending tribal council this round, and all survivors would attend merge. The winners of the Cuteness Raffle would determine which two tribes would attend a joint council, and which tribe would be attending just one TC. The most statistically likely outcome was a joint tribal council of Terrarium and Paddock. Slow Loris of Terrarium was the "first winner," and bid for joint tribal and won a cuteness detector advantage. Sand Cat of Paddock wins the second bid and opts for the joint council. This left Aquarium going on their own.

Aquarium Aquarium finally went to tribal! And it was anything but boring.

What initially seemed like a 3-3 division along tribal lines quickly broke down when Jerboa informed others he planned to join them in voting out Sugar Glider. Early on Red Panda didn't trust this given Jerboa outed he had an idol, but with some encouragement from Fennec fox, the plan was in motion. Ermine spent a chunk of the round doubting Red Panda, but eventually decided to trust and instead throw a vote Whet Owl's way.

Meanwhile Whet Owl learned from Jerboa that Sugar had been playing with "loose lips" and spent a short portion of the round debating sharing this with Sugar or not.

Although Red Panda lead the charge against Sugar with others in tow, they spent a chunk of the round doubting things would happen the way they saw it and not inspiring confidence in allies.

Once Sugar learned that he was leaving, the round seemed to be straightforward, however a 3-2-1 vote was anything but that. Sadly, it was the end of one of the more social players in the game. RIP Sugar 😦

  • MVP: Fennec by far and it's not close. Jerboa outing his idol and flipping on allies, Ermine doubting Red Panda and throwing a vote to Owl (which could have been bad), Whet Owl kind of thinking it was them and then not doing anything when they learned it wasnt, and Red Panda being freaked out and not inspiring confidence in allies basically means the only person to stick to the plan and keep people from going off the deep end was Fennec. Well played Mr. Fox.

Joint Tribal: Terrarium/Paddock

Being thrown immediately into a 24 hour tribal council with some players you've never met before during an American holiday weekend was an unusual dynamic for our critters. Harp Seal and Dolphin both had primed their allies that they hope to work together long-term. When the joint tribal starts, Terrarium all stick to their lie about Dolphin's idol play to minimize their apparent closeness; however, this gives Harp Seal and Meerkat the off-putting impression that the Terrarium APers are pagongers. As such, they're hoping to pull in Dolphin to vote out Pika or Loris.

Capy's upfront that he trusts Harp Seal and Meerkat most for saving him, and that it's more complicated with Sand Cat. However, he confesses that he knows her better and thus has more basis to work with her than other former AP players. Sand Cat is upfront that she feels like she's on the bottom of Paddock and eagerly reconnects with the Terrarium AP folks.

The most visible factions of the joint TC emerge as Pika/Loris and Seal/Meer/Capy. Sand Cat and Dolphin, who have the potential to either be swing votes or the easiest compromises, bond easily over being the odd one out on their swap tribes. They agree to work together to find an agreeable boot option.

Dolphin floats Capy as his initial preferred vote to the rest of the tribe. Seal is very against this and emphasizes that Seal's alliance is super eager to work with Dolphin at merge. Seal clocks that Terrarium may be closer than they let on, and confesses he isn't sure if Dolphin's idol play really happened.

Pika and Meer get off to a bit of a bad start. Capy is unhappy to hear that Pika apparently thought of him as an easy vote option despite their CRRAP alliance, and Seal knows Pika's a social threat; this all seems to lead to Pika being in contention as a vote option. Pika has a slight preference for Meer going home, but is fine to defer to Dolphin.

Sand Cat and Dolphin initially were wanting to vote between Capy or Meer based on their better social connections with Harp Seal. However, after talking through it, they get the sense that it's Harp Seal's way or the highway. They're not sure how to work with him going forward if they don't give him his way, and decide they actually probably need to blindside him to avoid a "declaration of war". Pika and Loris agree that this plan makes sense and plan to vote Harp Seal. They both do try to initiate game talk with the Paddock majority alliance. This is probably most successful between Meer and Pika.

Loris ends up emerging as the true counter option for a few reasons. One is that it's Sand Cat's expressed preference. It's also due to a bit of emerging drama; Meer had floated Sand's name to Pika and Loris rather than dance around giving any names, and Loris's response was twisted against her. However, the most amusing reason is that Harp Seal clocked Loris's lie about being twitter friends with Maryanne from U.S. Survivor S42.

Dolphin's relatively absent from the end of the TC due to illness, and so both sides of the vote are unconfident about where Dolphin stands. Slow Loris ends up playing the idol for herself to ensure her safety. However, this wasn't needed. Loris, Dolphin, Pika and Sand Cat vote out Harp Seal, and the other 3 are minority voters against Slow Loris.

  • Most Unscathed: Pika

Trying not to step on Legos (Merge)

After Harp Seal was voted out, Meerkat sent Lorry a PM talking about Big Brother and a little about the TC, but didn't mention why he voted for her. This didn't please Lorry, and she let him know.

The tribes merged. Despite all the talk of ganging up on Aquarium, the groups that were in the majority at the two Tribal Councils (Jerboa/RP/Fennec/Ermine on Aquarium and Pika/Lorry/Dolphin/Sand Cat at the joint TC) very quickly came together, leaving Capy, Meerkat and Whet Owl on the outs.

Initially, the target was placed on Meerkat because of his argument with Lorry and because he accidentally admitted to Jerboa that he signed up as a villain and Jerboa ran with it. Most of the people in the game didn't know or connect with Meerkat, so they were happy to go along with that vote.

However, Fennec Fox was enjoying their conversation with Meerkat and tried to steer the vote towards Capybara. Pika was worried that there were too many "inactive" players (who she identified as Capybara, Whet Owl, Dolphin and Ermine) and wanted to keep Meerkat around because she was worried about being one of the few threats left in the game.

Meanwhile, Meerkat said in his confessional that his strategy was to make people think that he had the idol, and he did a really good job of that. Jerboa and Red Panda both said that Meerkat was acting too calm and wanted to move the vote to Capybara. With Fennec and Pika both on board, the target switched pretty easily. The players in the majority continued to act like the votes were on Meerkat though, hoping that he'd waste an idol if he had one.

Red Panda and Sand Cat reunited. They were close on Animal Pen and they're very close now, with 34 pages of PMs between them. They're probably the strongest pair in the game.

Dolphin had been sick all weekend and had barely sent any PMs. Realizing correctly that he had lost his spot in the majority group, he decided that the bottom feeders needed to team up, and he told Whet Owl about his plan. Whet Owl didn't trust Red Panda and Jerboa after they left him out of the Sugar vote but he told them what Dolphin was doing for reasons that I'm still unsure of. This information quickly made its way around the game, and Dolphin found himself in hot water. He was able to play it off well though, acting like he just suggested working together with Owl and that it was all a big misunderstanding.

Meerkat and Capy targeted Slow Loris because they thought that they had Whet Owl, Sand Cat, Red Panda and Jerboa with them. The latter three were only trying to keep them comfortable and avoid being the target of an idol though. Capy went along with this plan reluctantly because he had an alliance with Lorry but he thought that Meerkat was the target and wanted to save him.

With the deadline quickly approaching, Pika let Dolphin know that the votes were really on Capy. When Meerkat bluffed to Dolphin that he had an idol, Dolphin told them that the votes were on Capy and advised idoling out a bigger player than Lorry. They quickly came to the conclusion that it would be Fennec Fox.

Dolphin told Pika that Meerkat said to vote for Fennec, making Pika vote for Meerkat in case Capy played an idol. Dolphin then seemed to realize this and voted for Fennec to beat a split vote.

But in the end, neither Meerkat or Capybara had an idol, Meerkat didn't change his vote off of Lorry, Capy never even heard that the votes were on him and voted Lorry and Whet Owl never changed the Meerkat vote he placed when the Tribal Council started. Everybody else voted for Capybara, and he was eliminated in a 6-2-2-1 vote.

Power Rankings

1. Sand Cat. She's very well connected and her time on the bottom of Paddock has helped her not seem like much of a threat. Dolphin wanted to include her in his big move, not realizing how good of a spot she's in 2. Fennec Fox. They're playing a strong game, and there are a lot of critters (Ermine, Red Panda, Pika) who want to take them far 3. Slow Loris: This may seem high for her, but she's a strategic player who people underestimate. I think she has a good chance at making the end of this game, and I can see her getting votes if she gets there. 4. Pika: She's a very strong player and she has a lot of influence, but I feel like people see that. She's also putting too much trust in Dolphin, Lorry and possibly Fennec. 5. Red Panda: He's very active and his pair with Sand Cat is a very good thing for his game. However, he's way too paranoid and he's not very tactful. For example, Red Panda asked Jerboa why he heard he was voting Lorry, Jerboa said he wasn't voting Lorry and Red Panda said "I really hope not" 6. Jerboa: He has an idol, but there's a lot of critters who don't trust him and not a lot of critters who do. I don't think he makes the best decisions either. He should have kept Sugar in and he was going to vote for Meerkat because of a pretty meaningless question on the application when Meerkat trusted him. 7. Meerkat: This is probably too high for someone who's so on the bottom, but he's smart and he's active. If he survives the next few votes, he could slip through the cracks. 8. Ermine: She's part of the majority but she's seen as inactive and the only critter who cares about her is Fennec. 9. Dolphin: Being sick at the merge has really hurt his game and he's got a lot of work to do if he wants to pull off a flip. He's a very good player and he may be able to do it if he has the time, but I don't think he has the time. 10. Whet Owl: He's probably the least active critter left and he's been left out of two votes in a row.

Everyone who isn't unhinged is inactive (Final 10)

In the aftermath of an exciting vote, critters (especially Red Panda, Jerboa and Sand Cat) are trying to figure out who cast which votes. Fennec isn't overly bothered by receiving a stray vote, but is disappointed Meer seems to have lied. Fennec also wins the merge idol. It's good until the Final 5!

Dolphin seems to do some fairly successful damage control with several tribemates (including Fennec, Red Panda, Sand Cat and Owl) by claiming to have been a Capy voter and blaming Jerboa or Meerkat for the Fennec vote. While RP specifically is less convinced on where Dolphin voted, the two start to bond socially. Dolphin tries to better understand and dispel the rumors spread about him and blames a combination of Owl and Jerboa.

Realizing they probably need it, Meerkat bids a lot for immunity in the Cuteness Raffle and wins. Ermine has taken offense to Meerkat's complaint about her vagueness at last TC, and has stopped messaging them completely.

Pika's still pushing an agenda against the quieter players. Fennec is on the same page. Whet Owl's the easiest sell to vote out because he's the least present. Pika helps get Jerboa on board, and he starts floating it to most of the tribe. Some critters find this contradictory and suspicious because Jerboa had seemed close with Whet Owl coming into merge. Whet Owl says he wants to vote Pika, Jerboa, RP, or Fennec, but is extremely quiet due to frustration about having been blindsided again. This makes it more difficult to get momentum to save him.

Meer and Lorry patch things up. Those two and Dolphin discuss making a move to change the merge's social dynamics. It's less clear from confessionals how invested Lorry really is in this, though. Regardless, these three discuss that Jerboa might be the most viable alternative vote to push. Loris tells Dolphin she's willing to voting against Pika soon due to concerns that Loris would be targeted to weaken Pika.

Dolphin floats voting Jerboa as a vote option to several tribe members. Meer and Loris float it to Pika specifically, but it fizzles when she's not interested. After confronting Jerboa about the aforementioned rumors and not getting traction to vote him out, Dolphin ends up proposing a truce. Jerboa says it's more possible they can work together at 7 or 9. Dolphin hopes Jerboa might be able to pull in Ermine for this, but he doesn't really give assurance of this. For the current vote, Jerboa and Ermine both seem interested in a split vote between Owl and Dolphin. Sand Cat wanted the vote between Owl and Jerboa, but later in TC seems most content with an Owl vote.

Red Panda is paranoid the entire round. First, he admits to Pika he got paranoid about her switching her vote back to Meer last round; they talk through it. Then, he's very suspicious of Jerboa trying to aim votes onto Whet Owl because Jerboa had told RP at the last Aquarium TC that Jerboa has an idol. RP spills this info to Pika and wonders if Jerboa is the better vote, but she tries to reassure him that Jerboa would only play it to save himself. RP is also worried that critters stopped messaging him.

Another thing RP does is inquire with allies about what F5 they'd like to pursue. He mostly hears back combinations of Pika, Sand Cat, Fennec, Loris and Ermine; he responds most positively about the first 3 names. Fennec, who's also wary of Jerboa, takes inspiration from this to ask Jerboa about his long-term plans. This adds to Jerboa's paranoia.

Toward the end of the TC, Jerboa's warned by Loris and Pika that he may be receiving a few votes but should be fine. He starts losing his cool. He suggests to Meer to push for votes on Ermine instead of him. He also tries to reassure the other critters why he's turned on Owl by giving backstory from Aquarium. In the end, Jerboa plays his idol, canceling no votes against him. Meer voted for Ermine, and Whet Owl for Pika; everyone else voted for Whet Owl.

  • Team Mom: Pika, for putting in the most work reassuring the most paranoid players
  • Ragtag Misfits: Meerkat and Dolphin aren't giving up on strategizing their way out of it, but are very aware they're underdogs

Become the dirty pagonger (Final 9)

Many critters are baffled by the idol play that canceled no votes. Reflecting on it, Jerboa's sad, but gets back to his usual chaotic plotting soon enough.

Early in the round, Fennec speculates about what their friend and rival Pika might need to position herself better relative to Fennec for final 7. Fennec sees Sand Cat as someone who may be vulnerable soon due to her apparent "anyone but me" strategy. As it turns out, Pika's initial game plan is to take Sand Cat to F3 and boot Meer then Ermine.

Dolphin is putting out feelers with Pika, Loris, Jerboa, Meerkat and Ermine to try to go for a social threat this round, using slightly different approaches with each of them. Jerboa thinks Dolphin is mostly implying that Jerboa can't beat half the remaining players, and it makes him want to work with Dolphin even less. Dolphin's pitches get leaked to the Aquarium group, who are increasingly wary of Dolphin.

Jerboa wins the immunity challenge. He would definitely have been in hot water otherwise.

Slow Loris has interest in getting {Meer, Sand Cat, Dolphin, Pika} to vote Red Panda. Sand Cat was considering this per her confessional, but thinks it's too soon. Loris ends up very unhappy that it seems like Pika's chosen him over her. Loris's backup plan is Ermine because she's wary of Aquarium. By the end of the round, she confesses she feels upset and no longer feels in control of the game.

Red Panda was trying to distance himself from appearing too close to Ermine and Aquarium by saying he'd be open to voting her, but his bluff is called when she becomes a serious voting option. RP at first seemed to want to pocket Dolphin and go for Meer, but is put off by Dolphin pushing Ermine. This interaction puts Dolphin further in Aquarium's crosshairs.

ennec confesses that they're stonewalling Meer to avoid giving Meer ammo and that Meer's their preferred boot. However, Meer puts some more work into that connection by suggesting that Meer's a number for Fennec to take out Pika and RP. It is pretty effective, and Fennec pushes hard for Dolphin to go. Fennec first finds out it's shaping up to be Dolphin vs. Ermine from RP. In confessional, Fennec expresses willingness to save her with an idol if needed, while simultaneously thinking it'd be an awful play. On the other hand, Meer's hopeful that the round stays focused on Ermine vs. Dolphin, and hopes that Ermine's booted and it helps him connect more with Jerboa.

Jerboa's verdict on the Ermine vote is: "Smart play, bad timing." It's too soon for him to betray Aquarium. Meanwhile, Aquarium is still trying to pull in Pika or Sand Cat for the fifth vote on Dolphin; while Loris claims she's willing to vote Dolphin, they don't trust it.

Pika herself ends up chickening out on the Ermine boot due to worrying it ups her threat level too much and that it drives the rest of Aquarium closer together. It also helps that Ermine talks about wanting to take her favorite social connections (including Pika) as far as possible. After this, Sand Cat proposes a Meerkat vote as a compromise boot to save Dolphin.

Fennec's really upset with Pika for not being willing to vote Dolphin. Fennec already feels like they were compromising to an extent by going for Dolphin as opposed to Sand Cat or Loris They now feel like they have very limited influence with Pika and definitely can't take them to the end anymore. Last minute, Fennec asks RP if they could get away with just voting Dolphin out after getting Sand and Pika to flip their votes to Meer. They decide against it.

Jerboa has floated the option of voting Pika after the Ermine vote momentum dies down. Per Red Panda, Jerboa doesn't have even close to 5 real votes. Meer approaches Sand begging her to vote Ermine on the off chance the numbers are really there.

Ermine was expecting 6-3 against Meerkat, but Meerkat was ultimately voted out with 5 votes from: Red Panda, Jerboa, Pika, Ermine, and Fennec. Meerkat, Dolphin and Sand Cat voted for Ermine. Slow Loris voted for Pika. Pika confesses she regrets not blindsiding Ermine.

  • Most likely to be accused of issuing threats: Red Panda
  • Critters are most disappointed by: Pika

Sand Cat is ready to cut a bitch (Final 8)

In, quite possibly, the biggest play and powershift in the game so far, a group of underdogs came together to take out arguably the biggest threat in the game. How did it happen?

When the round started out, tensions between Red Panda and Jerboa that had been brewing for the past couple rounds appeared to be coming to a head. Pika had been trying to stave off their mutual animosity but at this point they were both actively targeting each other this round.

Once Tribal Council started, Pika, Red Panda, and Ermine all seemed determined to remove Jerboa, and believed that his erratic behavior and general perception as sketchy would make it easy to get others on board. Fennec preferred targeting Dolphin, as he had been doing so for a while and failing to get traction, but was on board when he found out Jerboa was trying to flip on them.

However, what Pika didn't realize is that her resistance last round to voting Red Panda had made her allies in the Girl Gang, Lorry and Sand Cat, feel uneasy about whether her true allegiance lay with them. Lorry created a group PM called Underdogs with Sand Cat, Jerboa and Dolphin with the express intent of taking out either Red Panda or Pika.

Early discussion in the Underdogs seemed to be on Red Panda but Jerboa suggested that because Pika thought votes were going to Red Panda, they should vote Pika to thwart a potential idol play.

While it looked for a while like it might turn out to be a 4-4 vote, Red Panda and Pika were exploring the possibility of splitting the vote to guard against an idol, thinking they still had Sand Cat and Lorry on board. I

In Red Panda and Pika's plan, Sand Cat and Lorry would vote Dolphin along with Pika to create a 3-3-2 vote against Jerboa, Dolphin, and whoever those two voted for. Unfortunately for them, this created the exact scenario to allow the Underdogs to vote out Pika without even a tie forcing a revote.

Ultimately, the Underdogs all voted Pika; Red Panda, Fennec, and Ermine voted Jerboa; and Pika voted Dolphin, causing a 4-3-1 vote, sending Pika home.

  • MVP: Slow Loris for getting the ball rolling on the Underdog alliance by being very open

Notable Quotes:

  • "I don't know if I'm psychic, but I could be" ~Loris talking about some conversation with Pika
  • "I'll vote you all out, I don't care." ~Loris
  • "Pika honestly messed up so bad" ~Fennec about how Pika was handling some part of the round which sort of turned into what actually happened.
Notable Art

Pika-Boo.jpg

The fastest way to die is to be caught in the past (Final 7)

After last round's big blindside, the minority voters are wanting to know if they're about to be picked off 1 by 1. The answer seems to be mostly no. However, there's definitely hesitance about keeping all 3 of the AP!Aquarium group around for final 6. Red Panda's a target due to being considered a social threat. Ermine's also a target due to some critters wanting to free up more options for their endgame. Fennec, on the other hand, is someone several critters seem to be cozying up to as a viable option to go to the end with.

Red Panda is surprised by the perception that he and Pika were something of an in-game power couple. He speculates that she may have overstated their closeness to use him as a shield. Regardless, he recognizes he underestimated Loris and Dolphin. He concludes all he can do is lean on his social game and hope to survive.

The most dramatic post-blindside conversation is between Sand Cat and Red Panda. Sand Cat's struggling with internal conflict regarding him. She thinks it could be her "million dollar mistake" to keep him, but doesn't have the heart to vote him out. Sand Cat even gives him her blessing to vote her out if he can get the numbers for it. However, she does decide that she wants to work toward an endgame with him, and thinks the best way to do that is alongside Fennec Fox.

Red Panda and Sand Cat discuss the optimal final 5 for them. They actually come to the conclusion that keeping the APquariums together is probably the safest option. Rather than string Lorry along and risk facing her wrath, Sand Cat would rather get that vote over with. Red Panda believes Sand Cat is telling the truth and that they can get at least 4 votes for Loris. To help convince Ermine and Fennec of this, he outs their strong social connection.

Fennec notes this as RP basically admitting Sand was his #1. In confessional, Fennec says their ideal long-term plan is to save Ermine at 5 when the idol's going to be expiring, rather than trying to play bad odds by using it this round. Under the circumstances, Fennec feels pretty forced into trusting Sand Cat and voting her way for now. Fennec does seems less gung ho about sentimentally going to the end with Red Panda, but is being mindful of the timing on a move against him.

Ermine is talking to lot of critters about how she's not really sure what case she'd make at the end and isn't too fussed about whether she wins. Fennec reveals having the idol only to Ermine. Ermine seems excited by this, and emphasizes that Fennec has her utmost loyalty.

Dolphin is very in favor of reducing the APquarium numbers first and keeping the numbers of those he just voted with. In addition, he's also trying to work on some social connections and planning for endgame. Dolphin's currently angling to go to the end with at least one of Fennec and Jerboa; his preferred boot is Ermine. Lorry spends some time pushing for an Ermine and then Jerboa plan, but sees merit in vote RP. Dolphin ends up leaking Sand Cat and Loris's potential plan to go for Jerboa at 6 back to him.

Jerboa ends up trying to angle for a 3 Red Panda, 3 Slow Loris, 1 Ermine vote. He tries to buy Loris's vote for Red Panda with promises of an ice cream drawing. He seems to see Red Panda being the one booted from this, and then wants to go to rocks for the remaining Aquarium folks. That, or pull off another vote split to get Dolphin out.

The votes are in: 5-1-1. Dolphin, who won immunity, self-voted, and it technically does not count. Loris voted for Red Panda. Everyone else voted for Slow Loris.

Rrky drunk (Final 6)

With last round's Lorry vote, Sand Cat is resolute that she is sticking to Red Panda and trying to make it to the end with him regardless of whether that's bad for her game.

Red Panda finds it amusing that Jerboa "accidentally" voted in the majority the previous round; it does seem like Jerboa was expecting a split vote, but he genuinely wanted Lorry out so it's not clear how much that matters that he was out of the loop a bit.

Jerboa creates a group chat called Petting Zoom with Sand Cat and Dolphin, saying he discussed it with both of them prior and they agreed to it. Dolphin in confessional says he did not agree. This goes nowhere but it's pretty funny that Jerboa created this chat to discuss persuading Fox to vote Red Panda when Sand Cat is the person most opposed to voting out Panda by far.

Ermine wins immunity with an impressive time just under 13 minutes, far ahead any of her competitors.

Dolphin's self-vote last round and lack of challenge submission this round has genuinely affected how he's seen in the game, particularly with Ermine, who now seems solidly preferring a F3 of her, Fox, and Dolphin.

Jerboa is excited to vote Red Panda out this round and muses that Fennec Fox has a weighty decision for his own game, and that if he doesn't vote out RP, he'll ultimately lose.

Following the challenge, Ermine and Fox debate between voting Sand Cat and Red Panda. They do discuss the possibility of Red Panda voting with them on Sand Cat but are skeptical that he would hold true to that. Ultimately, they decide on voting Red Panda in part because he's perceived as the biggest jury threat.

Meanwhile, Ermine and Fox maintain to Red Panda and Sand Cat that they're voting Dolphin, though Fox expresses some angst at betraying Red Panda and lying to him.

Interestingly, despite Ermine and Fox being very close for the whole game, the closeness of their relationship seems to have gone under the radar compared to more apparent duos.

With Ermine, Fox, Dolphin, and Jerboa all firm in their votes on Red Panda, he is voted out 4-2. Red Panda goes to the jury thinking initially that Sand Cat was involved in his vote when she was the only one to stay true to him.

All I ever wanted was chaos (Final 5)

When it was revealed that Red Panda was voted out, Jerboa was pumped up that the plan worked while Sand Cat was feeling down about losing her friend.

With Red Panda out, Sand Cat was the next obvious target but Jerboa was thinking about taking her and Dolphin to the final 3, since he felt like they deserved it more than Fox and Ermine. Dolphin wasn't interested in that, however, and planned to side with Fox and Ermine and vote out Sand Cat.

Sand Cat won the raffle, saving herself from almost certain elimination. With Sand Cat immune and Fox, Ermine and Dolphin looking to take each other to the final 3, the target turned to Jerboa.

Jerboa tried valiantly to save himself, going to Fox and Ermine to try to get them to vote for Dolphin, and going to Dolphin to try to get her to vote for Ermine. He even claimed to have another idol.

With Jerboa realizing that he was going to get voted out, he gave Sand Cat all of the notes he had made for the final quiz. Sand Cat was very touched by this gesture and went to write a goodbye to Jerboa in her confessional, butt accidentally sent it to him instead.

Jerboa's pitches didn't work. Fox was worried that Jerboa would get credit for convincing them to keep him. Jerboa made a joke about hoping Dolphin forgot to vote, which Dolphin got offended by. And Ermine lied to Jerboa that she was keeping him just so she didn't have to hear his pitch.

In the end, Jerboa was voted out 3-2, with him and Sand Cat voting for Dolphin. Fennec Fox finally played their idol, but nobody had voted for them.

Trolled some spectators (Final 4)

With final immunity at stake, the remaining animals studied hard for their final exam. "I suppose I had better give it my all," confesses a resigned Fennec. They later resolve to think more positively about their chances to win over the jury.

Dolphin unnerves the aliens by waiting until the last hour to start the quiz, with a third inactivity strike at risk. Despite Jerboa's tutoring, Sand Cat places fourth. Fennec and Dolphin tie for most correct answers, but it's Fennec who earns immunity from the time tiebreaker.

Last episode, Ermine, Dolphin and Fennec had established that they want to sit next to each other at FTC. Sand Cat, who seems to be very respected by the most recently voted out critters, is devastated that she may fall just short of the finals. Sand Cat asks Ermine and Fennec to consider a Dolphin vote. Ermine places a vote for Dolphin. The cunning critter later confesses this was only to troll the spectators, and then places her vote for Sand Cat. The choice was simple, and the round was rather peaceful. Sand Cat was voted out 3-1.