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Cydney Gillon (Brawn~Chanloh) - 15th eliminated (May 18) - 8th jury

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Cydney Gillon

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Name (Age): Cydney Gillon (23)

Tribe Designation: Brawn

Current Residence: Douglasville, Ga.

Occupation: Body Builder

Personal Claim to Fame: I am most proud of receiving my International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Pro card at the National Physique Committee Nationals in 2012. I was a junior at Penn at the time and I’d just turned 20. I had to train 3 times a day, not including track practice, in order to make my dream happen.

Inspiration in Life: My mother. She is the strongest woman I know and her loyalty is forever unwavering. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer twice, and even though she could barely walk from her chemo treatment, she still put me first and flew into support my bodybuilding show.

Hobbies: Sprinting, lifting/weight training and sleeping.

Pet Peeves: Obnoxious criers, bigots, overly weak people and basically anything related to closed-minded mentalities.

3 Words to Describe You: Opinionated, driven and disciplined.

If You Could Have 3 Things on the Island What Would They Be and Why? Branch chain amino acids/supplements- I need my vitamins so I hopefully won’t lose all my muscle; a picture of my family and friends for motivation; and tweezers because my eyebrows can get crazy.

SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Tony, because his loyalty to those who really mattered was unwavering. He played the game from the beginning to the end.

Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: My main reason for being on the show is winning the money to pay off medical school and college debt. I also want to be able to help my mother around the house so she doesn’t have to decide which bills need to be paid.

Why You Think You’ll “Survive� SURVIVOR: My sense of humor will be most useful. You can’t walk around looking like someone killed your dog all day. I think I will up the team morale. Beyond that, I think my athletic abilities can help win this competition.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: I believe that I have the tact and discipline to make it to the end. If I make it to the final 3, I’m confident I would get the needed votes because I will have created relationships and a story that my fellow tribe mates would want to vote for.

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Following Episode 1: Cydney lost one of her early allies in Darnell, but she gained favor with the rest of the tribe by voting with them in the tie-breaking vote. It appears she showed her worth as an approachable and reliable tribemate who is less likely to make waves, which should serve her well in subsequent votes.
 
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Following Episode 2: Cydney is in a decent position as she has not made any waves and has proven loyalty to the perceived power brokers in her tribe. She appears to be both mentally and physically stronger than most of the women still in the game, which will keep her value high.

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Following Episode 3: Cydney is solidly aligned with the men in her tribe and apparently resisted any temptation to sympathize with Alecia and side with her. At the same time, Cydney must realize that she cannot hitch her wagon to Jason and Scot for the long term, as Jason's volatility might be too much for other castaways to handle post-merge. Cydney's level-headedness will make her a valuable free agent for other castaways whenever there is a tribal realignment.

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Following Episode 4: Cydney's heat exhaustion was alarming to see, as she had appeared to be one of the more fit contestants able to endure the conditions. It was a clear sign that her and several others, even those who did not receive medical treatment, were not hydrating properly. She probably regrets not being more persuasive in getting her tribemates to eliminate Alecia instead of Darnell at the first tribal council, as Alecia's ineptitude and trouble-making attitude has led their tribe to be reduced to three. She appears to have a better temperament than Jason and Scot for working with the 10 remaining castaways in the other tribes, who seem to be good matches for working with one another to cut down the remaining Brawn tribe members following a reconfiguration into new tribes. Nonetheless, she has a steep uphill climb to reach the merge.
 
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Cydney Gillon (new Chan Loh, formerly in "Brawn")
Following Episode 5: Cydney and Jason are in the all-too-familiar "swing vote" position, as the former "Brains" tribe members want to trim the ranks of the former "Beauty" tribe members, and vice versa. Cydney is in an even better position, as she found a natural connection with Debbie and could be poised to make a long run with her, as they discussed. Landing on the physically stronger tribe helps too. ...How much did the reconfiguration hurt or help Cydney's chances (scale of 1 to 10, 1 hurt very much, 10 helped very much)? 9.

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Following Episode 6: Cydney did not have much face time this episode since her tribe secured immunity. She remains in a good position receiving protection and encouragement from both Jason and Debbie -- two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of approachability.

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Following Episode 7 (the merge): As usual, Cydney remained the quietest of the Brawn alliance, which sets up an interesting scenario foreshadowed in the promo for the next episode in which she and Jason have a conflict. One can only assume that she fears collateral damage from her association with two of the more unlikeable castaways remaining, and perhaps she is exploring alternate options for moving forward which deviate from Jason and Scot's. Like Michele, Cydney could be the first among the ten remaining contestants to vote against tribal lines.
 
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Following Episode 8: Big moves (i.e. blindsides) before the merge are often foolhardy. Such moves after the merge are to be commended. Cydney was the force behind the biggest move in the game so far, and she will face heightened scrutiny from it, even though Michele, Julia, and Tai also betrayed the proposed Brawn-Beauty alliance. Cydney can no longer fly under the radar, must withstand the scrutiny, and cannot get moody as she did with Nick in this episode.

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Cydney Gillon (Final Five after Day 32 Tribal Council)
Following Episode 12: Cydney's game play -- like Joe's -- seems to be rooted in only working with people she likes -- ironic since she and Joe clashed in this episode yet are each inevitably tied to Aubry. She will have difficulty making a persuasive argument in her favor, since the jury probably sees this. Any bold move for which she could take credit could be trumped by Aubry and even Michele. She was a somewhat hypocritical in criticizing Tai for allegedly being forceful in his desire to eliminate Michele, since she has been a forceful personality in not wanting to go with any plan that is not to her greatest benefit (a theme of this episode when considering Joe's commentary about Jason). She has proven to be a strong competitor in challenges, winning immunity in this episode after finishing close to first place in most other challenges. Still, it seems her only path to the title of Sole Survivor would be a final two pairing with Joe.

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Following Episode 13: Cydney is primarily responsible for the biggest blindside of the game -- voting out Nick, which is the biggest and perhaps only feather in her cap. While Aubry could take credit for that as much as Cydney, it was Cydney who had to make the bigger move by switching sides in order to execute that plan. (Michele also had to switch sides, but she was not as closely aligned with Nick as Cydney was with Scot and Jason.) It is unclear if this big move would earn her enough credit from the jury in a final two pairing with either Tai or Michele, since her outspoken attitude toward several of the jurors might have rubbed some of them the wrong way. She probably has a better chance versus Tai, but all of this depends upon how the last two jurors are eliminated. It will take quite the speech for her to win Scot, Jason, and Nick's votes.
 
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: While Cydney probably stood little chance of garnering a majority vote for Sole Survivor, her downfall was her failure to build a fire (foreshadowed by Michele's advice that she need not practice). As described under Aubry, hindsight suggests Cydney could have benefitted from attempting to sell Aubry and Michele on voting to eliminate Tai rather than accepting a chance of a deadlocked vote. Cydney may have considered at each of them on the jury and felt that Aubry would have supported her over Michele and Tai, while Tai probably would not have, so she needed to keep Tai in the game as a finalist. Cydney's heartfelt speech about playing the game to support her mother was moving, but it would have not been enough to sway the jury.

 

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