Survivor race war: mutinous, obnoxious white actor stays, gay Asian guy goes, jury starts early

Survivor Cook Islands has its first jury member, as Jeff Probst announced after snuffing Brad’s torch that he just became the first member of the jury, the earliest the jury has ever been seated.

Including Brad, 12 people were left in the game this week, which would suggest there will be a 10-person jury and the possibility of a tie vote. However, CBS previously announced that the finale will begin with five, not the usual four, cast members remaining. Thus, and this is purely speculation, there could be a final three with a jury of nine. Or maybe producers are counting jury members in a different way.

Meanwhile, Brad was eliminated after a series of dramatic, racially tinged events. At the immunity challenge, the two tribes were given the chance to mutiny and join the other tribe. Two people took the offer: Candice and Jonathan, the only two white people on Raro, leaving just four people on Aitu: Becky, Ozzy, Sundra, and Yul.

The new non-white Aitu quickly got revenge, winning the reward challenge and, later, the immunity challenge. Ozzy told his former tribe members, “Mutineers are the first people to die.” But on the other tribe, Jenny pointed out at Tribal Council that the four Aitu members are ultimately doomed: “if we merge, we’re just gonna pick them off like zits,” she said.

Earlier, before he mutinied, Jonathan told Candice, “Maybe it’ll be us four Caucasians in the final four: me, you, Adam, Pavarti.” Jonathan’s hopes for an all-white final four explain why he jumped to the other tribe with Candice, but once there, he began to be his normal self and piss everyone off. “Do you really think that we all have your back after we all just saw you sell out your other tribe,” Nate told us of Jonathan. “Are you dumb?”

But they did have his back, and instead of dumping the obnoxious white guy, Raro decided to vote out Brad, the gay Asian guy, who Nate derogatorily referred to as a “nancy boy” last week. Their reasoning: Brad didn’t trust them, which he stupidly admitted to at Tribal Council, and was a threat or something.

Once again, we have a number of events that, viewed in a vacuum as a regular season of Survivor, are not that surprising. But because this season began with tribes separated by race, that hangs over every decision. Did Jonathan want an all-white final four because those were the first people he got to know, or because he’s a racist?

Anyway, here’s where we stand in the race war. After week eight, the following are the number of people voted off by original tribe membership:

  • Aitu (Latino): 4
  • Hiki (black): 2
  • Puka (Asian): 2
  • Raro (white): 1

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.