Here are the Jury Questions and the answers. Jury, you have until 9 p.m. Tuesday to submit a vote for the person you want to win. Feel free to write comments or not. Thanks.

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Gaspar: When you learned that previous votes no longer mattered at the last second, potentially saving you, what was your honest reaction?

I was pleased to see Matt bringing the game here even more in line with the original Survivor show, for one thing. The show hasn’t used previous votes as a tiebreaker in a long, long time, for good reason, and I like anything that makes our game closer to feeling like “real” Survivor. I’ve even come around on the utility of Diplochat for that reason, despite my early healthy skepticism.

Pie and I had worked out a couple ideas for a more aggressive approach to attempt to bait Humberto into voting for her, while I suggested to Humberto that a Pie vote was our best strategic plan. Once we knew a tie wouldn’t be immediately fatal, we went more conservative with our messages. I figured either way Humberto was still likely to be voting for me, so I was mostly just relieved and grateful that if I lost at four, it wouldn’t be solely because of a couple stray votes that had been tossed on me early after the merge.

Gaspar: Several “bad guy alliances” were pitched to you. Did you consider them at all, or was your plan set in stone?

I would start by noting I only know of one “bad guy alliance” that was proposed to me using those terms, that one being by Mathasaurus. There may well be others that those involved are considering under that umbrella, but they didn’t use that term at the time, so the proposal by Math is the one I will particularly address here.

I definitely considered Math’s proposal, as I considered all possible avenues that were brought to me after Synergy found itself on the short side of the numbers after the merge. My position in the game for those early to mid-stages after the merge was relatively weak enough that it would be foolish not to consider anything that might extend my stay and better my position in the game. The main problem with Math’s proposal was its lack of specificity; Math only described the “bad guy alliance” in terms that were extremely vague and ill-defined, leaving me guessing as to whom else this alliance would include or even how many people were involved. I have a significantly hard time accepting proposals whose terms are so vaguely presented, or even taking those proposals seriously. By way of illustration, I would compare this suggestion to the very earliest stage of the game, on the Loyal Subjects, when Thad the Bunter came to me and informed me he was putting together an alliance, but would not tell me any of the other people involved, other than it included some of the people involved in a big gang chat he had started, but not all of them. This scenario raised enough red flags for me that I focused my early energies towards neutralizing whatever power Thad had accrued, starting with successfully voting out his minion Peaches, followed by Thad himself.

In general, then, while I appreciate the desire for secrecy, it’s very difficult for me to accept joining groups without a better sense of what I’m getting myself into. To do so would be to give up an unacceptable amount of power and leverage. Plus, there is the greater chance that such a proposal isn’t even a real one at all, and is only meant to distract or divert my energy. So while I considered Math’s proposal, and certainly acted to Math like I was enthusiastic about being a part of it, its vagueness kept me from giving it much weight as a real possibility, and I instead continued to look for ways to build up my own connections to other players, working from the basis of the remaining Synergists I felt I could trust.

Gaspar: For that matter, how often did your plans change, period? What was the toughest moment for you, and how did you react in a way that brought you here?

The failure of Synergy to gain the advantage after the merge necessitated some pretty significant fluidity in my plans from that point. If we had gained the edge, I would’ve worked hard to keep Synergy together initially, and made sure my core alliance of Loyal Subjects (Mitch/Gloria) as well as my partnership with Pie found good positions to take advantage of how the post-merge game developed after a few Tool eliminations. Those were always just broad strokes of ideas, and of course, they had to be scrapped after we lost the numbers, Gloria left, and then Mitch went.

Mitch’s elimination was definitely my lowest moment of the game. Up to that point he was the player I trusted the most, and knowing he has a strategic mind and views the game like I do, his presence and partnership were huge losses for me. Plus, the numbers after his departure were still not favorable to a Tool split; at 6 Tools to 4 Synergists (or, as I really viewed it, 6 to 3 to Glitter), there wouldn’t be much incentive for any Tools to jump ship. And I was quite clearly seen as the single biggest threat remaining of the Synergists.

The series of moves I made in reaction, however, probably were the biggest pieces that propelled me to this spot at the end. I knew I had to secure immunity in the next challenge, since if we got to 9 with 6 Tools left, there’d be much greater chances for the Tools to break apart, and I had to be there to take advantage of it. So I made a deal with Humberto to share our sides’ moves in the House of Cards challenge. I had dealt with Humberto much earlier in the Pogs game, and although I strained that relationship with our failed vote after the merge, either my attempts to reassure him afterward, or his own opportunism taking advantage of what I offered, facilitated our working together on that challenge.

Originally I had intended to help Pie get immunity as well, but at one point she happened to draw the one card that Humberto hadn’t gotten back to tell me about yet, so her stack dropped. We figured it was alright in that she was probably more safe than I was even if not immune, and this way it wouldn’t seem like I was actually sharing what Humberto told me with anyone else. Through corroboration with Cutty’s info passed to Pie, we tracked the cards well enough to make sure I won that immunity.

With immunity, the second stage involved not just surviving, but directing that elimination in a way that would best set up a Tool breakup the next time around, as well as keep my best allies in the game. That meant Glitter was the best player to take out, as I completely doubted his loyalty at that point. In fact, I had the sense that he was a piece Math intended to take much farther in the game as part of his own plans. Math, on the other hand, badly wanted Gidget out, argued that Gidget had a secret Tool partner, and insisted that partnership be broken up. Through Math’s suggestions as well as the frequency of their chats, I figured Gidget’s supposed partner was Jesus. I then went to Norway, having already worked to feed some suspicion between him and Math, and suggested that Jesus probably didn’t want Gidget to go next, but if we took out Glitter instead, it would serve to undermine Math’s plans.

Suffice it to say, that plan worked, Glitter went, I kept both the Synergists who I thought were most loyal to me, and the Math/Norway split was cemented. Causing that break set me up well for the majority of the rest of the game. There were other plans that changed (the Jesus vote was a last-minute switch; I’ll address the context of that in the next question) and things I didn’t intend to happen in the places they happened (both the Norway and Gidget eliminations) but the basic arc of the game after that – taking out Math and Norway in some order, then primarily Emile – followed according to my broad design.

Gaspar: What alliances or individuals worried you most? How did you relate to them?

Each stage of the game had individuals or groups that concerned me and my ability to keep advancing. As mentioned, in the first team stage my biggest concern was Thad and whatever group he was attempting to put together. I played almost entirely straight in opposition to him since I felt the group I had joined up with prior to his presenting as a threat (Mitch, Mitosis, Norway) had the power to counteract him without as much subterfuge.

In the Synergy stage, my biggest concern was keeping the ex-Loyal Subjects balanced with the ex-Renegades in case any of those groups looked to join back together after a merge. That was the main reason I attempted to organize HBOD’s ouster when he saved himself with his idol. However, I worked hard subsequently to downplay my involvement after that move failed, and smooth over my relations with HBOD and his ally Gidget. I can’t say for sure if that worked, but I know I at least had a strong relationship with Gidget throughout her time after HBOD left after the merge.

It would probably be too reductive to say my biggest alliance concern after the merge was “the Tools”, but they did a really great job collectively for the first few stages of hiding their connections and their power structure among themselves. I did quickly become aware, however, of Math’s dominance within that group, and so after the first merge vote I worked to present myself to him as a potential asset to his game.

Knowing fairly soon after that we knew who each other were, I knew Math desired as much information and control of the game as possible, so I tried to give him as much as I could think of while keeping a few key things hidden. I particularly focused on information that I came upon regarding other Tools’ views or actions, in order to attempt to grow the distrust and distance between Math and those Tools. At the same time, I tried to figure out ways to undermine Math’s power base to weaken his overall position. This is one of the reasons I focused on eliminating Dave early; having heard Dave was a follower of Math, and figuring Humberto could be more of an asset to me later on, I switched to voting Dave out. Even if Dave’s relationship to Math was oversold, I had no relationship with him at all so he wasn’t going to be useful to me going forward.

The other major concern that presented himself was Norway. It took me a lot longer to realize who Norway was, and so a lot of my early post-merge interaction with him took an entirely incorrect approach. I attempted to call back to our Loyal Subjects group and particularly what I thought was a strong partnership within that group, without yet realizing that Norway is the kind of player who doesn’t often place much weight on past alliances like those. Once I realized who he was, I switched my approach to take a much blunter, logical, and mutual-interest oriented tack. I also highlighted as much as possible the potential for conflict between Norway and Math (to both of them) in order to ideally bring that conflict about sooner.

Norway was also one of the main reasons Pie and I chose to switch to voting out Jesus. Although we originally intended to vote Math out there, since Jesus came to us late and wanted to switch to Cutty in fear of Math playing his idol, we considered the potential benefits to us of having Cutty around down the road against our concern that Jesus might really be close to Gidget and therefore an eventual threat. Again, whether the Jesus/Gidget concern was overblown or not, I knew Norway wanted Jesus around, and therefore taking Jesus out at that spot would leave Norway much more isolated. I think organizing the consecutive Glitter/Jesus eliminations were crucial to setting up the Math vs. Norway vote the next round, which allowed me to clear the game of both Norway himself and Math’s last idol, and set up my position much stronger for the endgame.

Gaspar: We’ve learned that a lot of people believed themselves to be in the final two with you. How many of the others did you actually consider, and how difficult was it to walk to the tightrope when there were so many?

I’ll address some of the jurors individually with respect to how I perceived my agreements and relationships with them, starting with the three jurors I had formal final two deals with:

Emile: I made a final 2 deal with him during the Poker Hands challenge. However, I had reason to believe he was the second vote for me during Math’s subsequent elimination, and so I considered my deal with him broken.

Humberto: I made my final 2 deal with him official after Gidget was eliminated. Similarly, though, I considered that deal broken when he voted for me at the final four.

Gidget: I certainly broke my deal with Gidget before she did. Since Cutty and Emile/Humberto were set on voting her out, I didn’t have the numbers to keep her in the game. Pie and I decided it was better for us to go along with Cutty’s wishes there to keep him on our side against Emile/Humberto rather than make a futile gesture of not voting for Gidget.

There were other jurors who, while I don’t think I ever made a formal finals deal with them, I definitely said things along the lines of “going to the end together” (besides Mitch, who I had no hand in eliminating):

Glitter: I thought Glitter and I had a good individual partnership during the Synergy stage of the game. Again, though, I had good reason to believe he voted for me when Gloria left, and so I lost my trust in that partnership.

Math: A big part of my attempting to build trust with Math was emphasizing a desire to go far in the game together with him; I did this on multiple occasions. However, while I felt like I gave him a lot of information about other players, his vagueness about our alliance and the lack of information I received back from him made me question how likely he was to really want to play the game with me, so I didn’t consider him a true ally.

Norway: As mentioned, my relationship with Norway went back to the very beginning of the game. After we got back together at the merge, I did have some hope of reforming a group with both him and Mitch. While Norway never betrayed me directly, his joining the first attempt to vote out Mitch solidified in my mind the lack of long-term viability of our partnership. Having said that, I didn’t mean for him to go in the particular spot he did; since he’d have had to go soon after that, though, and since Math’s idol was neutralized, it was an acceptable outcome.

In general, I’d consider any deal that I thought would be truly beneficial to me and my long-term goals in the game. Most of the deals I made with these players were intended to increase my options at each stage of the game. I should note, though, that when players I have a deal with attempt to vote me out, I don’t think they should be particularly surprised when I don’t keep a final 2 deal with them. One of my basic Survivor philosophies is, if you demonstrate you’re not with me, unless I think it’s going to be of really great benefit to attempt to get you with me, I’m probably going to work to get you out. If, for instance, Emile or Humberto hadn’t tried to eliminate me, and I ended up in position to consider choosing them to go to the final 2, I definitely would’ve considered them. Having said that, I figured if I made it to the end I’d have a pretty strong argument to win the game against almost anyone, and so I held to my deal with Pie since I trusted her throughout the merge after Mitch left more than anyone.

As far as walking the tightrope goes, I think that went better in some instances than others. For instance, between Math and Norway, I only really stepped up my attempts to play them off each other when I sensed that a wedge was already growing between them. I didn’t want to start too early since that could backfire and reform them against me. I think the way that played out showed I timed my efforts there well. Later on, I wasn’t particularly worried about having deals with both Emile and Humberto and with Gidget and Pie out there at once, since I trusted Pie so much (and I trusted that Pie trusted me more than anyone) and since I knew Gidget and Emile/Humberto had a fair amount of mutual enmity between them. Between Emile and Humberto, I imagine a lot of what I said to each of them got back to the other. The period after I knew Emile voted for me contained a lot of saying the same things to each other about the other; they were all the truth when I said them to Humberto, and all lies when I said them to Emile. Even if they were sharing my conversations between them, however, in the game I was positioned well enough (having Cutty as a safety valve) to be able to avoid any serious damage.

Final Plea:
I’ve only addressed it tangentially thus far, but one thing I do want to emphasize now is how important having Pie throughout the merge was to executing my plans successfully. From collaborating on challenge strategy, to being able to count on not only her vote, but her understanding my reasonings behind the votes I wanted to make, and her own contributions to our collective strategy, she was as good a teammate and partner as I could ever hope to have in Survivor, and with the way this game played out I don’t think either one of us would’ve made it this far without the other one.

Having said that, I think I have the strongest case to be named the Sole Survivor. Throughout the team stages of the game, I was a leading contributor to my teams’ strategies both in challenges and during the eliminations. I then came into the merge and almost immediately found myself identified as one of the biggest Synergy threats. As I’ve outlined, I utilized individual relationships with people on both sides to find ways to not only keep myself safe, but reshape the game in a way that gave me a stronger position and weakened, and eventually eliminated, the strongest players on the Tools. I was the primary driving force in shaping the game strategy that Pie and I implemented. Also, for what it’s worth, I won five individual immunity challenges. In strategic Spookymilk Survivor, particularly, that’s probably not a huge personal accomplishment since so many challenges are geared towards collective or competitive strategizing, but at least two of them (All in the Timing and the final challenge) I won entirely on my own knowledge and skill, which I think is as strong an accomplishment as anyone in this game can claim.

There are a lot of great players on the jury, and to overcome them and the long odds against me after the merge, I had to play a pretty ruthless game. I have a lot of respect for all of you on the jury, and I hope you see how I elevated my own game to be able to compete and eventually get myself to the end. Thank you guys so much (as well as thank you to our esteemed moderator, Mr. Novak) for making this such a great game to play.

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Pie: Gaspar was the greatest threat to your victory, and arguably the only threat. Why didn’t you get rid of him at four?

In a game of Gods and Mortals, you don’t vote out your God.
I started this game having never played a strategy game, never watched the TV show, and having observed only Survivor XIII. In other words, I had a lot to learn. Gaspar approached me about working together and in doing so became my mentor (though I didn’t reveal to him until much later that I’d never played before). I was willing to work hard on the challenges and tried my best to be a good teammate on Synergy, but once the merge happened I had no idea what I was doing. Gaspar talked strategy with me at length and in essence taught me how to play this game. If he manipulated me in any way, it was only by being so incredibly kind as a partner that he earned my total devotion.

Plus, the second comment he ever made to me in our one-on-one chatting included this: “What do you think about you and me teaming up to get to the end together? If we can survive the next vote or two and get to the merge, we could surprise some people if we keep things tight.” How cool is it that he could say that the first week of December and we could make it a reality three and a half years months later?!

Pie: Your alliance with Cutty seemed like a very clear path for you to get to the finals. Did you ever consider pairing with him at the end, or was it always Gaspar?

I very seriously considered sticking with Cutty. For most of the game he was a good ally, though he was never a mentor in the way Gaspar was. But as we got down to the final four players, Gaspar and I were continuing to build on what was already a very strong relationship while Cutty was becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable.

I had some doubts about Cutty right after the merge when he sent a message to me that I believe was intended for Mathasaurus! In that message, he quoted something I’d told him regarding strategy in the Mexican Standoff challenge (he’d asked me how he could stay safe and I responded, never expecting he’d pass my response on to others, though in retrospect this assumption was naive). Even so, Cutty seemed to be a helpful ally in deflecting Tools attention away from me, and I appreciated that greatly. I repaid the favor in Elimination 22 (link: https://spookymilk.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/spookymilk-survivor-xiv-elimination-22/), which I’ll explain more in my answer to a later question, and perhaps also in Elimination 23 (link: https://spookymilk.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/spookymilk-survivor-xiv-elimination-23/) when Norway was concerned about Math having an idol and suggested a voting scenario in which we split our votes to ensure Cutty rather than Norway would be eliminated in that situation. I didn’t express much enthusiasm for that plan and, as Norway himself admitted, it was a complicated plan that relied on everyone being truthful about who they were actually voting for.

Cutty kept saying he was going to flip on the Tools and join Synergy, but as the game went on, it didn’t happen. For a while, he wanted to go to the final three with me and Math. However, Math had said almost nothing to me the entire game and I wasn’t going to put any trust in a player who for reasons I still don’t understand chose not to communicate with me.

Things started to change between us after Gidget was eliminated. I wanted Cutty to give me more info about what was going on with Emile and Humberto and he started telling me things that just didn’t seem to add up (such as Gidget having voted Gaspar in the vote when Math was eliminated). He was claiming the Tools were still cohesive, when I knew for a fact that Emile and Humberto had been on different sides of the Math elimination. The paranoid part of me suspected that Cutty was working with Humberto and was just keeping me around until he no longer had any use for me. Evidence of this seemed to be how they had interacted in challenges. In Gold Rush, Cutty lost his shot at immunity because of Humberto’s trap. Then there was Cutty’s inexplicable move in Chess Blockers. Either Humberto and Cutty were not coordinating whatsoever, or they were working to disguise their alliance.

In Elimination 26 (link: https://spookymilk.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/spookymilk-survivor-xiv-elmination/), I was sure either Humberto or Cutty voted for me. (I assumed Emile was the Gaspar vote since he’d voted for Gaspar previously and he was definitely upset with Gaspar’s move in Bullseye.) Humberto gave me a somewhat dubious explanation for his vote, while Cutty didn’t say anything, though he’d earlier indicated he wanted Emile gone and knew I was voting Emile. Cutty was also making other statements that seemed obviously false, based on other information I had. (One example: He said Humberto was desperate and rambling after Emile’s elimination.) Every time I challenged Cutty on what he told me not making sense, he would completely ignore my comment.

I still tried to be helpful—in the Zookeeper challenge I made my move to monopolize animals at a moment when I could hurt Humberto the most and not harm Cutty at all. (I also hurt Gaspar, but he knew what I was going to do and agreed to it.) I gave Cutty one last chance to explain his vote at Elimination 26 after Zookeeper was done, and once again he gave me no answer. I just didn’t feel the partnership had enough to it at that point to be worth betraying Gaspar, even if it meant I would have less of a chance to win.

Pie: How did you use identity – that of yours or others – for you?

In terms of my Eats A Lot of Pie persona, I found talking about pie gave me an easy way to strike up new conversations. I am actually female, but when a few Synergists started referring to me as male, I saw no reason to correct them because it helped me to not stand out. I tried to act as though I knew what I was doing while on the Monster Truckers and Synergy so that people wouldn’t think I was new. At the same time, I didn’t want to be so bossy or be such a leader that I’d be a target later on.

Because I’d never played Survivor before, I didn’t think it was likely that people would be able to guess my actual identity. I figured even if someone was able to guess it correctly, they’d still have no sense of how I’d approach the game and would probably assume I wasn’t a threat.

After the merge, it took me a bit to get my feet under me, but I generally tried to build relationships by staying very positive and encouraging. I acted more clueless than I actually was in conversations with players I didn’t trust much. When acting as an ally to Tools who seemed to leaders (Norway, Humberto), I consciously chose a deferent role at tried to let them feel that they were calling the shots so that they wouldn’t perceive me as a threat or figure out how closely I was working with Gaspar.

I knew very few player’s actual identities, though other players told me who Math and Norway were. This was good in a way because I didn’t worry about what anyone had done in previous games. I could only evaluate players based on what they were actually saying to me in this game.

Pie: When did you take the reins? What were your major moves that Gaspar wasn’t in on?

My style of play was extremely collaborative, so there was very little I did that Gaspar wasn’t in on. I will say, though, that Gaspar was equally collaborative. I wasn’t someone he kept around simply to do his bidding. We discussed strategy at length and shared info about what we were hearing from other players. I knew at least in broad terms what he was doing all along—from cultivating Humberto as an ally to pitting Math and Norway against each other.

That being said, I think two moments where I made decisive moves that affected the outcome of the game were in the Snakes on a Plane challenge and in the Jesus elimination.

In Snakes on a Plane, Synergy was down to Gidget, Gaspar, and me. Even without discussing it explicitly, I think we all knew that I was going to be the one to come up with a plan for our team’s placements. I roughed out an idea and then heard from Humberto about where he was placing his snakes. Humberto’s info gave me insight into how other Tools might approach the challenge, and I had a sudden moment of inspiration about how to position all 6 Synergy snakes to maximize our chances at immunity. After a few little tweaks from Gidget and Gaspar, we were set. I couldn’t come up with a way to get all 3 pairs snakes to have exactly 50 points, so I decided I’d be the one to have the lower scoring snakes. I needed to keep Gaspar immune at that point and Gidget was more of a target than me, plus I needed to make sure Gidget didn’t suspect just how closely Gaspar and I were working together. I made this decision without telling anyone the reasons for me having lower-scoring snakes. (Gidget had suggested a slightly different placement that would have given me more than 50 points, but that wouldn’t have actually accomplished my goals since only two players were supposed to earn immunity.)

In the Elimination 22, the plan had been to vote Math. But Jesus got worried about Math having an idol and Jesus/Norway/Gidget decided to vote Cutty. Gaspar was planning to vote for Cutty and indicated I should as well. I hadn’t been around earlier in the evening, but with just minutes to spare before the vote I told Gaspar I didn’t like that plan and that Emile had brought up a Jesus vote to me. Humberto also mentioned a Jesus vote to Gaspar, so Gaspar said he’d be willing to switch to Jesus if I wanted him to. And I very much did, partly to save Cutty and partly because Gaspar and I had been concerned about how much Gidget seemed to be communicating with Jesus. (This elimination worked even more in our favor than we realized it would, because it also caused Norway to have to scramble for a new alliance, paving the way for his elimination. Even though I voted Math in Elimination 23, had Math not played an idol, the plan was to target Norway next since Gidget and I were only pretending to go along with him.)

Pie: What significant alliances did you make throughout the game? What made them work/not work and how did you use those alliances to your advantage?

Gaspar without question was my most important alliance, which I think I’ve already explained pretty well. One additional thing worth mentioning is that we turned out to have very compatible ways of communicating and of thinking about the game, which allowed us to build up a great deal of trust and really make the partnership work.

Cutty was key in a few ways. I had thought we had bad luck in being on the Monster Truckers, but because there were so few Truckers left at the merge, it actually made Cutty an easy and obvious ally. He was very helpful in keeping me safe for the first few eliminations after the merge. The single most useful piece of info he provided was a listing of the Tools with notes on what their strengths/weaknesses were and what their role was on the team, which I promptly shared with Gaspar. Second most useful was probably the info about what the Tools knew during House of Cards. The form in which Cutty provided the info wouldn’t have done me much good on its own, but I cross-checked it against the info Humberto gave Gaspar to confirm that Humberto wasn’t lying, thus ensuring Gaspar could pull off that immunity.

What ultimately made the alliance not work for me was that he just wasn’t communicating enough as the game went on. While he was talking about going to the final two with me, his actions didn’t seem to be supporting that statement.

Mitch had excellent instincts about the game and I really enjoyed talking strategy with him, though we didn’t have an alliance other than as fellow Synergists. Apart from Gaspar, he’s the person who taught me the most about strategy.

Gidget was key as a loyal Synergist after Glitter voted Gaspar in Elimination 18. She and I were the two Synergists who consistently voted for who we said we would after the merge. That meant a lot when some of the votes got crazy.

The hardest thing about being allied with Gidget is that her communication style made her alliances very obvious to others. In addition, during the Chess Blockers challenge, Humberto and Emile were both upset with her not taking me out when she had the chance, and Cutty was already completely anti-Gidget. So it became clear Gaspar and I were going to have to join them to vote her out.

Jesus was incredibly fun to talk to, which I think is what got our alliance off the ground. We had a mutual non-aggression agreement during Quiz No-Nos that lead to his (her?) eventual immunity in that challenge. We swapped info during House of Cards as well, which helped me avoid being targeted in the subsequent elimination. When I voted Jesus, it wasn’t so much that I wanted Jesus gone but rather that it seemed to be the best vote to further my ultimate goal of getting to the final two.

Emile was always a bit of an enigma. I never found out why, but for a while after the merge he provided me with accurate info about whether my name was coming up in Tools vote discussions. Yet he was wary of exchanging any info about actual challenges. I tried to have a pretty good relationship with him while not revealing too much. When he voted Gaspar in Elimination 24, I continued to act like I trusted him and was out to get Humberto even as coordinated with Humberto and intentionally didn’t chase after Humberto as soon as I could have in Chess Blockers.

Humberto and I had a running joke about how well sandwiches and pie go well together, and we were able to gradually build a pretty good relationship while keeping the conversation pretty light. As the game went on, it become obvious to me that he was very skilled at challenges and that if he was going to be getting a lot of immunities (and I wasn’t because I was more focused on Gaspar’s immunity than my own), it was definitely advantageous to have Humberto on my side. I swapped info with him in House of Cards not because I actually needed it, but because it allowed me to continue building a relationship with him while not letting on how much Gaspar and I were working together.

Humberto suggested a final three alliance to me (well, actually he told me Gaspar had talked to him about them going to the final three with me, though Gaspar hadn’t actually done so—at least not explicitly), and while I didn’t agree to it outright I gave the impression I thought it was a good idea. Although I would have eliminated him after Bullseye or Zookeeper had he not been immune, I genuinely enjoyed playing with him.

Final plea:
As a first-time Survivor player, I couldn’t be more pleased with how things turned out. I was able to play a game in which I was constantly working to make it to the final two while appearing innocuous enough and having strong enough alliances so as to pick up only one vote against me after the merge, despite having immunity only once (in Gold Rush). In terms of the actual challenges, I think I was certainly an equal partner with Gaspar and of the two of us I daresay I make prettier spreadsheets.

Ultimately, though, I think Gaspar played a riskier game and was a stronger strategist, so in my opinion he deserves to win.

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