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Survivor 41's Evvie Jagoda Just Made An Unprecedented Move, But Was It A Good One?

evvie jagoda survivor 41
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers forthcoming for the Sept. 29 episode of Survivor 41!

In Survivor 41’s premiere last week, fans and contestants were introduced to some twisty new advantages. There is the tribal council gamble for safety, called the Shot in the Dark. There is also the prisoner’s dilemma, where members of opposing tribes meet at a summit and later decide if they're willing to risk their vote on what they think the other person will do. The latter twist, essentially a game of chicken, prompted an unprecedented move by contestant Evvie Jagoda in the latest episode. But whether or not it was a good strategic move remains to be seen.

Essentially, Evvie Jagoda was chosen by the winning tribe at the immunity challenge to go with one of their own, Deshawn Radden, to the prisoner dilemma’s summit. Throwing enemy tribemates together in various scenarios isn't unheard of in the history of Survivor, but how Jagoda decided to take advantage of the situation here in Survivor 41 is. Where fans would normally see players keep most of their cards close to their chest – while perhaps simultaneously making some vague alliance – Jagoda threw all her eggs into the proverbial basket at a very early juncture in the game. She spilled all the beans. She told Radden who on her tribe was in trouble, about her teammate’s secret extra vote, and how the even newer immunity idol twist works.

Survivor 41’s Evvie Jagoda also quickly forfeited even considering trying for the advantage at the summit. She basically told Deshawn Radden that she was giving him the freebie to win the extra vote for his own. Jagoda rationalized the risky maneuver, saying,

I want DeShawn to know I'm someone he can work with and I want to give him something to prove it. But I don't want to give away anything that matters too much to me... I’ll reveal some things but mostly other people’s secrets... so I think it's probably okay to reveal some of Xander’s secrets because it probably won't even matter tomorrow.

Now obviously, there are some strategic benefits to Evvie Jagoda sharing all and giving all away on Day 5 of Survivor 41. As she said, it sets her up for a stronger position in the event of a swap or a merge. She earned trust with Deshawn Radden the tried and true way: I give some, you give some. The move shows just how far ahead Jagoda is really looking in comparison of the other contestants.

But the move is also making a lot of assumptions. Evvie Jagoda is banking on 1) that Deshawn Radden isn't a Russell Hantz-type player who doesn't care about trust, 2) that revealing the crucial information won't come back to bite her, and 3) that there is even going to be a swap or merge in this supposed “new era” of Survivor. Radden could theoretically see through Jagoda’s strategy and enlist others to likewise perceive her as a threat, presuming they even end up on the same tribe down the line.

Contestant Xander Hastings made an interesting point that there very well could be no merge in Survivor 41 and that they could live and die by the tribe they’re on. Judging by the other new twist (a three-part immunity idol, which hinges on three individuals from three separate tribes having to unite it while separated), it’s highly possible that the tribes could be set as they are until they've dissolved. In which case, Evvie Jagoda lost a chance at winning an extra vote on a hope and a prayer.

The recently eliminated contestant on Evvie Jagoda’s tribe tonight, David Voce, is yet another indication that she might have royally messed up by giving away trade secrets. She told Deshawn Radden a lot about Xander Hastings’ game because she was under the impression that he was going home that night. But her all-girls alliance, at the behest of a panicked Tiffany Seely, switched up the vote last minute. With Hastings still going in the game, with multiple future powers, it leaves the door open for repercussions to befall Jagoda.

Nevertheless, I'm actually really rooting for Evvie Jagoda’s all-girls alliance to eventually one day run this game. But she can only achieve that if promising the sun, the moon, and the stars to an unknown variable pans out in her favor. Catch new episodes of Survivor on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Lauren Vanderveen

I am a vegan feminist. I'm fascinated by all things space/stars. I love film history, reality television, and my cat Bubbe.