Wow, Lauren just completely blew it, when the game was clearly hers to win. It was dumb to crash up the alliance in general, considering they barely outnumbered the non-alliance members and even if there was always a chance of a shake up.
But, as a result, a season that has been pretty slow has evolved post-merge into one of the more competitive ones - it genuinely seems like every single player could win in a final 3, and I’m not sure that’s ever happened at this stage. There is usually some deadwood that is a clear candidate to get dragged to the end.
This season will primarily be remembered as the season where a lot of very mediocre players thought they were good strategic players - most of them vastly overrate their abilities and underestimate how lucky they’ve been to get this far, particularly Joe, Ben, Devon, Mike and Ashley. Lauren played a decent game and should have won but she never really seemed to think things through effectively. The only good thing is that because none of them are great, nobody has really dominated and the game has always remained potentially dynamic as a result.
Ryan and (especially) Chrissy are probably the most strategic players, but they are still light-weights compared to some of the great players in the recent past.
Overall though, I am happy that this crew has managed to get more interesting as the season has continued.