Ron Clark talks to Joe Anglin during the seventh episode of 'Survivor.'

Ron Clark helps take down a major target on ‘Survivor’ episode 7

Originally posted Wednesday, March 27, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta educator Ron Clark, in the teaser for next week for “Survivor,” actually utters the words, “I am the puppet master.” 

What are the CBS producers trying to say by airing this? When contestants have said such things in the past, they are usually about to face a major comeuppance. Overconfidence can kill a person’s game on this show quickly.

But for episode seven tonight, at least, Ron was indeed in the driver’s seat. 

And with 12 left, it’s merge time! In a twist, the Edge of Extinction folks returned and Macon broadcaster Rick Devens won the challenge to get back in the game. So it was 13. 

Although Ron was the first one out on the balancing act immunity challenge, he noted that he had a solid Kama Six alliance with Julia Carter, Eric Hafemann, Victoria Baamonde, Gavin Whitson and Julie Rosenberg. They could control the game, he felt. 

While part of the Kama group (Julie and Victoria) was targeting Kelley Wentworth, they ultimately decided to stick with Ron’s plan and go after Joe Anglim. Why? He is a challenge demon and three-time returnee and taking him out now eliminates a serious threat. Joe - despite knowing he was at the bottom of the barrel within his own tribe - was blindsided.

Why? There were other supposed targets, too, including returnee Rick, Kelley and Rick’s bud David Wright.

So former Lesu members David and Rick thought it would be Kelley and voted for her. Joe, along with Aurora McCreary were under the impression it would be Rick. And the trio of ladies Wardog, Kelley and Lauren O’Connell opted for their own former tribemate David. 

In Ron’s first tribal council, he gave the impression it was Kama Strong and snowed Joe completely. He also made lots of very animated facial expressions that the producers loved to show. 

Now there are 12 people left. If Kama Six can stick together and eliminate one of the other six next Tribal Council, Ron will be good shape for awhile. But you have to wonder even within the Kama Six, where does Ron stand? It is way too early to tell since we have not spent much time with them to date to read the dynamics.

EW’s “Survivor” expert Dalton Ross notes that Ron won this particular battle by targeting a particular person but pushing too hard to be the leader in this situation means he may lose the war because he may end up with too much blood on his hands. We’ll see. 

If anything, Ron has been an entertaining and strategic addition to the show. For anyone who knows him, this should not be a surprise. 

Earlier, the six Edge of Extinction returnees had to win a challenge to get back in the game and it was super exciting as two contestants almost got a ball to drop in a hole on a vertical puzzle but Rick pulled it out in the end. 

All five who lost chose to return to Edge of Extinction for another shot to return later in the game but oddly, two decided to leave only once they got to the island again: Wendy Diaz and Keith Sowell. Wendy’s game play was odd to say the least and her decision to leave isn’t that shocking. Keith, at age 19, didn’t seem ready for this and the fact he stuck it out as long as he did on that island was a feat in and of itself. 

The other three - Aubry Bracco, Reem Daly and Chris Underwood - now make up the jury as long as they stay on the Edge of Extinction island.

Read EW scribe Dalton’s extensive recap here because if you’re a “Survivor” super fan, it’s worth the price of admission. 

And here’s a bonus interview from Ron about the post-merge feast. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.