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Aubry Bracco (Brains~Gondol) - FINAL 3 - 2nd place (Runner-Up)

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Aubry Bracco

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Name (Age): Aubry Bracco (29)

Tribe Designation: Brains

Current Residence: Cambridge, Mass.

Occupation: Social Media Marketer

Personal Claim to Fame: My name (it means "leader of the elves") and the way I pursued my education with my own style. I convinced my advisors at Brown University to let me write a children’s book about a manatee instead of a 50-page thesis and went on to graduate with honors.

Inspiration in Life: My grandmother, Madeline. She dealt with a crazy Brooklyn Italian family and was a hard worker. She was the first Woman of the Year at the New York Daily News and never let anything get her down (she once went back to work the day after a major car accident). She also had a wacky personality -- as kids she told us she didn’t eat chicken because “their legs were too close to their butts."

Hobbies: Crayon art, running, meeting locals in new places and astrology.

Pet Peeves: People who are not self-aware, don’t know how to listen actively or give fake compliments. Close second: scented things covering bad smells.

3 Words to Describe You: Beguiling, intuitive and relentless.

If You Could Have 3 Things on the Island What Would They Be and Why? 1. Crayons – (preferably a 64-pack with built-in sharpener) to hold an art therapy session to calm everyone down. Plus, they smell good. 2. Camera – to document the adventure. 3. Astrology books – I want to know who I’m dealing with and what motivates people.

SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Love child of Sophie and Cochran. Hair of Shambo.

Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: I love SURVIVOR. Since I was 15, I’ve watched. As complicated as the game is, there’s something so simple, authentic and raw. I have deep respect for the timelessness and evolution of the game.

Why You Think You’ll “Survive� SURVIVOR: I’m a hard worker who never gives up, and I’d entertain people by pulling a Greg Buis and being a weirdo. People would think I was doing this to be funny and pass time, but I’d actually be extracting key details. After living in Salem, MA during several Halloweens, I’ve learned to embrace my quirkiness and work with outlandish personalities.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: I’m an expert listener and a journalist at heart so I’m inherently observant and social. I look for the most genuine and self-aware person in the room so I can connect with them, and I'm on the prowl for the most fake person in the room so I know what I’m dealing with. I want to prove to myself that I have what it takes to manage personalities under pressure with $1,000,000 on the line.

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Following Episode 1: Aubry became the first case-study for the physical and emotional tolls the castaways will endure as a result of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and anxiety. While a part of a four-person alliance (with Peter, Neal, and Liz), she could make herself vulnerable if she has another breakdown. She redeemed herself nicely by retrieving all the oars in the Immunity Challenge. She has to be careful about conserving energy.
 
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Following Episode 2: Aubry struggled with the conditions during the first episode. She was not featured much in this one. She is well-insulated in her young person's alliance but probably is considered the weakest link within it and would receive votes if this tribe goes to Tribal Council.

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Following Episode 3: Aubry's status improved dramatically as a result of the tribal council vote. She was a target of some members of her tribe, but she properly aligned with what would turn out to be a majority against the arrogant pair of Liz and Peter. Aubry might continue to struggle with the elements of Cambodia, but did not allow any external factors to affect her emotional judgment and executed a bold plan to eliminate one and send a message to the other.

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Following Episode 4: While Aubry struggled with the elements earlier in the season, she now appears to be one of the more emotionally stable members of her tribe and the strategic link between the twosome of her and Neal and that of Debbie and Joe. All of them will hope that they can stay with at least one of the others in a newly reconfigured tribe, as they should work well with several members of the Beauty tribe and possibly Cydney from the Brawn tribe.
 
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Aubry Bracco (new Gondol, formerly in "Brains")
Following Episode 5: Aubry wound up on the favorable side of the numbers in her new tribe, yet she is estranged from two of her stronger allies in Neal and Debbie. Joe is also in that alliance, but the preview scenes for the upcoming episode clearly displayed Joe as a contentious person at camp who is already out of favor with Peter and might fall out of favor among Tai, Scot, and Julia. Aubry should strongly consider reaching out to them and setting up relationships that would serve her well following the merge. ...How much did the reconfiguration hurt or help Aubry's chances (scale of 1 to 10, 1 hurt very much, 10 helped very much)? 9.

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Following Episode 6: Aubry made one of the bigger moves of the season by voting to eliminate her original tribemate Peter, which at the time was a risk, considering that the original Brains of the new Gondol tribe (her and Joe) would be outnumbered by Julia, Tai, and Scot. She must have figured that this was her best chance to take out a competitor that would be gunning for her and her allies upon the merge, and it was worth the gamble against losing another immunity challenge. As the preview scenes indicated, the gamble appears to have paid off, as the merge will happen and (presumably) before any further elimination. So she removed a giant irritant in camp life and what would have been a giant wild card during individual competition. Aubry is a big winner this episode, although one wonders if Joe will continue to trust her based upon her late change of heart (reflected in her crossing out "Julia" on the parchment to write "Peter").

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Following Episode 7 (the merge): Aubry suffered a lot of damage in this episode. First she drew the ire from Scot for showing indecision at tribal council. Then she lost her biggest ally in Neal and did not secure his idol. In between those significant events, she watched her ally Debbie slash and burn any remaining trustworthiness with her aggressive courtship of Tai. Aubry knows she is an easy target and will have to do some major scrambling to create new alliances.
 
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Following Episode 8: Aubry entered this episode as one of the most vulnerable castaways and left it with tremendous power. While she had drawn the ire of Scot following the last vote, which occurred six days earlier, she now comes across as the castaway who is the least offensive to the remaining jurors/potential jurors. She might eventually have to betray some of the women with whom she aligned in this vote, yet her personality might be persuasive enough to win votes from a jury made up of people who voted primarily out of desire to remove less likeable people.

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Aubry Bracco (Final Five after Day 32 Tribal Council)
Following Episode 12: At this point, Aubry is a considerable favorite for the title of Sole Survivor. A lot depends upon how she executes the remaining two (or three) eliminations and if she can avoid being one of them. Yet that seems unlikely, as she has built and fostered relationships better than any of the remaining castaways and to the point where contestants who should be plotting against her are still interested in strategizing with her. Of the jurors and remaining contestants, only Scot and Jason have written her name on parchment or have discussed eliminating her, and they have each publically recognized her strong game play, which suggests that she might receive their votes at the final tribal council. She was instrumental in forming the women's alliance that ousted Nick and yet avoids his scorn since Cydney and Michele's votes against him were considered greater betrayals. She was the catalyst for building consensus in targeting Debbie and eventually Julia for elimination. In Episode 9, when she first identified Julia as a threat, she lost a reward challenge with Cydney and Michele (and Debbie). At the time, this allowed them to cement their plans to work together (contrary to Debbie’s plans). In Episode 10, her talk with Tai gave him the courage to turn against Scot. In Episode 11, she shared a reward with Cydney and Michele, which further strengthened their relationship, to the point where, in this episode, Cydney and Michele never remotely considered voting to eliminate Aubry or her closest ally Joe, even though it had been pointed out by Jason, Tai and even Jeff Probst that they were at the bottom of their alliance. If Aubry reaches the final tribal council, she is likely to receive a majority vote, with only Debbie a certainty not to vote for her.

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Following Episode 13: Aubry wins a vote for Sole Survivor in a final two pairing against any of her three opponents. She certainly has Joe and Neal's vote. She does not have Debbie's. By way of her competitiveness at challenges and her overall gameplay, she has earned the respect of Jason, Scot, and Nick. And, unlike the other three castaways, she was always pitted against them (based upon the Brawn and Beauty's original plan to take out the Brains before Neal's evacuation), so they do not view her votes to eliminate them as much of a betrayal as Cydney, Michele, and Tai's. Julia's vote for or against Aubry is hard to predict, as would the votes of whichever two of the final four are added to the jury. However, it seems like a lock that Aubry would earn at least five votes, which is a majority. She also can make a solid case that she overcame great obstacles in losing her closest allies in Neal and Joe and still persevering in the game by sustaining good relationships with Cydney, Michelle, and Tai, which was exemplified in this episode by how she repaired her relationship with Tai to the point where he would have sided with her at the next vote, if it had been held, even though he would have been better served to eliminate her. Aubry is the Sole Survivor if she can survive the next two tribal councils, but she probably needs to win at least one immunity challenge along the way, which might be a tough task when considering Cydney and Michele's recent performances in challenges. If there is a tie involving her at the final four that cannot be settled, which is quite possible considering her and Tai vs. Cydney and Michelle, the rock draw would immunize the two who received votes, making the one without the immunity necklace who did not receive votes vulnerable, and that person probably would change his or her vote to Aubry rather than accept an automatic elimination. So Aubry must further solidify an alliance with either Cydney or Michele in case she does not win immunity. She seems capable of doing it.
 
Likelihood of a final two vs. a final three: With Joe removed from the competition on Day 34 and four castaways entering the season finale episode, it is a near certainty that there will be a final two instead of a final three, since a final three would mean only one tribal council for elimination before the final tribal council to vote for the Sole Survivor, which would be a deviation from the traditional format of the season finale episode. Also, there would be a six-day lapse between the previous tribal council (Day 32, Jason's elimination) and the final tribal council for elimination (Day 38), which seems incongruous and unfair to the jurors who would have only attended six tribal councils leading up to the final tribal council to vote for the Sole Survivor.

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Following Finale: Aubry did everything she could possibly do to win the jury's vote other than win more challenges, which the jury apparently valued more than her constantly fighting from a disadvantaged position (underdog Brains tribe at merge, losing allies Neal and Joe to medical evacuation) and continuing to build consensus toward the winning vote every step of the way -- her most compelling argument against Tai but useless against Michele. Certainly she regrets not going along with Tai's plan to eliminate Michele at the vote which instead eliminated Jason. In the final four, Aubry's fatal mistake was failing to target and eliminate Tai -- a plan she could have easily sold to Cydney and Michele -- because Tai's jury vote certainly would have gone to her over Michele and Cydney. As things turned out, she would have only needed to persuade one other juror to see the merit in her gameplay instead of the two that she wound up needing. (Maybe Tai could have advocated for her; if Cydney had competed in and won the final reward challenge, it is possible that she would have removed Joe, leaving Neal to advocate for Aubry; or she would have removed Nick, one of her greatest detractors, giving Aubry the three Brains and Tai's votes.) Aubry's journey from start to finish was more impressive than Michele's -- and certainly involved overcoming more obstacles -- but in the end, the numbers did not favor her.

 

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