I’ll let you in on a little secret, Survivors. Thanksgiving is one of my two favorite holidays. And here’s a little something for y’all to be thankful for: 2 idols that had previously been found have become “un-found”! They will be placed again sometime in the future. The relevant people know about it, and have been asked not to discuss it, so… just mind your own business. And find those idols! When they get placed. They’re not placed yet, so don’t break your back starting today.

This year, I also had the opportunity to be thankful for coming up with a new challenge! It was an idea I was toying with for a while, but something clicked this weekend. I might as well be honest up front, and point out that it’s pretty much the big brother of Red Rover. Hope you enjoy it even more than you did that one!

There are three distinct “phases” to this challenge: set up, match-up selection, and match-up rounds. Ultimately, whichever team wins 6 match-ups first is safe, and the other team will be sending someone home. Since we’re playing up to 6, we will play as-many-as 11 match-ups. Here’s how it works:

Set Up:
Your team has 45 points that can be assigned to players. This will be their strength. Each player must be given a strength of at least 1, and no higher than 9. You also cannot assign a strength of 5 to any player. Have someone from your team send me the assignments by Monday at 11 p.m., so that I can have everything ready to go Tuesday morning. Whoever e-mails me will be the only person who can change it, but you can change assignments up until the deadline.

Match-Up Selection:
Each match-up will feature 3 players from your team. How those players are selected varies. We’ll play up to 11 matches (you need to win 6). No players can go in 2 consecutive match-ups. Here’s how the players for each match-up are to be decided:

Round 1: Random assignment.
Round 2: Each team picks their own (excluding previous 3 players, obviously).
Round 3: Remaining players.
Round 4: Random.
Round 5: Tools picks both sides.
Round 6: Synergy picks both sides.
Round 7: Random.
Round 8: Synergy picks both sides.
Round 9: Tools picks both sides.
Round 10: Each team picks their own.
Round 11: Each team picks their own.

Match-Up Rounds
The match-ups will consist of 3 rounds: Starting Pull, Second Pull, and Final Pull. Once the trios for a match-up are set, I will post the Starting Pull, which will reveal which team is stronger (adding together the strength of the 3 players selected). If teams total the exact same, then I will reveal the match is even. I will not reveal how much stronger one team is than the other.

After I reveal the starting position, each team is then given a chance to add points to their side. Your team has 30 bonus points that they can use whenever they want. In order to use the bonus points you e-mail me how many you want to apply. The points aren’t added to any particular player, they’re just added to your side for the length of the match-up. After the match-up ends, those points go away. So if you add 4 bonus points to your first match-up, when the second match-up starts, you’ll only have 26 available.

When teams have added their bonus points (or elected not to), we move to the Second Pull, and I will again reveal which team is stronger. Again, I will not reveal how much stronger. I also will not reveal whether a team added bonus points (you may be able to figure it out, if the stronger team shifts, obviously). At this point, teams are then given a second chance to add bonus points to their side. When that’s done, I will reveal the Final Pull – that is, the team that is stronger at the end of the match-up. Whoever is strongest at the end, wins that match-up, and a point for their team.

Does this all make sense? Any questions? Let me know.