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Remaining two teams battle it out in week 4 of Survivor-Bloomsburg

Who has the strength to take home the trophy?
The new Kinzua tribe on Survivor-Bloomsburg after the tribe merge in Week 4 of the competition. Photo by George Kinzel.
The new Shenango tribe on Survivor-Bloomsburg after the tribe merge in Week 4 of the competition. Photo by George Kinzel.

Week 4 of Survivor Bloomsburg brought with it a tribe consolidation, something nobody was expecting after last week’s tribe switch. This week, the castaways competed in mainly physical challenges as the competition was held in the student rec center. Two more castaways were voted out, leaving 16 players still competing as we move into week 5 of the competition.

Lakota and Octoraro: a thing of the past

In this fourth week of the competition, the castaways were informed that they would be merging tribes, so each castaway would be on either Shenango or Kinzua; the Lakota and Octoraro tribes would no longer exist. As with the tribe switch last week, each castaway randomly picked a burlap sack that contained a headband indicating what tribe they would be on going forward. This tribe merge allowed some castaways to be reunited with members of their original tribe from the beginning of the show, while other castaways were split up from their previous tribemates.

This also brought another wrench to the game; after each challenge, the losing tribe would have to go to Tribal Council and eliminate one member of their team. This is different from how the game was run in the past few weeks, as in the past, Tribal Council wasn’t until the end of the night, meaning tribes had three different opportunities to do well before they had to go to Tribal Council. Now, there are two challenges per night and, therefore, two different opportunities for tribes to be sent to Tribal Council.

Challenges of the night 

As explained before, this week only contained two challenges for the castaways to participate in. The first challenge of the night was called “Aim, Ball, Drag, and Recall,” and this challenge was dominated by the Kinzua tribe. Because Kinzua won this challenge, Shenango was sent to Tribal Council, where they eliminated Jolie Oakman. The next, and final, challenge of the night was entitled “Zodiac Tire Yoga Quarterback Relay.” This challenge was also won by Kinzua, so, unfortunately, Shenango was forced to eliminate another player. In the end, they decided to vote off Kaden Harris in Tribal Council.

The next challenge will be held in the ballroom of the Kehr Student Union building on February 27th at 7 p.m. Make sure to stop by and watch the action unfold!

An interview with a castaway

Anthony Witczak, a junior Digital Forensics and Cyber Security major, is a current castaway on the Kinzua tribe. He was originally placed on the Octoraro tribe, where he bonded with his tribemates and formed strong relationships with them. Last week, week 3, he switched to the Shenango tribe, and then this week the tribe merger brought him onto the Kinzua tribe.

Anthony Witczak, a member of the current Kinzua tribe on Survivor-Bloomsburg. Photo by Maddie Bolger

Witczak expresses that his favorite part of the Survivor game is meeting new people and making more friends on campus. He states, “I definitely love my tribemates; they are all like really cool; we all bond.” He thinks it is really cool that he and his tribemates all know each other so well that they can easily delegate and decide who does what task in a challenge based on what each person’s strengths and weaknesses are.

“I am meeting people; it is a lot of fun doing it.”

Witczak is a commuter, so he wasn’t super involved on campus before joining Survivor-Bloomsburg. However, he states, “Now I am up here, I am exploring campus looking for idols, trying to find immunity idols and all, so I am more engaged, I am meeting people, it is a lot of fun doing it.”

Witczak has two favorite challenges so far in the game. The first is one that occurred last Tuesday, entitled “Zodiac Tire Yoga Quarterback Relay,” where castaways had to roll tires of varying weights. Witczak also enjoyed the marble challenge from Week 2, in which castaways had to transport marbles from one side of the room to another using only halfpipes, stating it was “really fun doing that and just cooperating to keep moving down the line for the marble.”

But Survivor-Bloomsburg hasn’t been all fun and games for Witczak. In the interview, he expressed that the most stressful part of his time in the competition so far was the first night, when he had to navigate a maze of tables while blindfolded. He said he knew his tribe was taking longer on the beginning part of the relay, despite being blindfolded, so he was panicking while waiting for his part of the challenge. He goes on to say, “My tribe was able to get it done and then I was able to do my part and we were able to speed run through and beat the other tribe to get out of Tribal Council.” Even though his tribe was able to get second place in this challenge and therefore avoid Tribal Council, Witczak states, “It definitely stressed me out a lot but we got there in the end.”

“There are some people that I already know aren’t trustworthy.”

Witczak believes one of his strengths in this game is physical strength, which was shown in the most recent challenges, where he had to carry heavy sandbags and roll weighted tires across the gym. Another strength he brings to his team is being charismatic. He stated, “I like talking with people, so going around and just like telling jokes, I was telling some pretty good jokes.”

Everyone has weaknesses, though, and Witczak feels that his main weakness in this competition is his inability to trust others. He states, “There are some people that I already know aren’t trustworthy. We have had a bit of a scuffle…they voted for somebody even though they agreed to vote for somebody else.” He believes it is so hard and scary to trust people in this competition because “you have to know who you are actually playing against to do it. My weakness is not being able to tell if they are genuine or not.”

One thing this castaway doesn’t love about this competition is that the castaways aren’t really on a private island, completely cut off from the real world. Witczak wishes there was a way the castaways could be cut off from the outside world between challenges. While he likes being able to share the videos with friends and family at home, who can’t make it to the show, he states, “As a contestant, you shouldn’t be able to see the videos; that way, you don’t know advantages that you wouldn’t actually know on the actual Survivor.” He continues by saying that he realizes that is not a realistic possibility in this setting.

Other than that, however, Witczak really enjoys the game and how it is run. He expresses his appreciation for George “GK” Kinzel, stating, “He is an excellent, excellent person to be running it and all, he does really well with the challenges, I love the way he runs it…GK is definitely a great host.”

“When I am with my original tribe, we can slowly take the people we don’t like off.”

Along with utilizing his physical strength and charisma to stay in the competition, Witczak revealed that he is trying to stick with his original tribe as much as possible. He believes if they all stick together and watch out for each other, they can make it to the final 6. He pointed out that his first tribe (the original Octoraro tribe) is the only tribe where none of the members have been voted out yet. He believes that all of them sticking together allows each of the 6 to know that they have people they can trust and who will watch out for them. He specifically states that his current strategy is “staying close with my original tribe and trying to slowly pick off other people that weren’t with us originally. I know some people don’t like certain tribe members, so when I am with my original tribe, we can slowly take the people we don’t like off.”

If Witczak wins the Survivor-Bloomsburg competition, he stated that he wants to have a parade down Main Street to celebrate his victory. He also wants to look into coming back in the future and passing the torch down to the next Survivor winner, as they do at the Olympics. He also wants to thank his old teammates since they helped him get so far in the game, and they ultimately voted at the end for him to win.

“Take the leap and do it.”

When asked what advice he would give to future students considering participating in Survivor-Bloomsburg, he stated, “Do it. I think my advice is take the leap and do it because, like I said, I have made a lot of friends I didn’t think I would talk to. It definitely got me more engaged on campus…I am exploring campus looking for idols, trying to find immunity idols and all, so I am more engaged, I am meeting people; it is a lot of fun doing it.”

Witczak ended the interview by stating, “If you are a fellow survivor, and you are reading this article, just know, that I am coming. I am going to win this.”

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Maddie Bolger, Multimedia Journalist

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