Is this the best premerge season we’ve seen so far? I’m tempted to say so.
I really love how this new twist has everyone (players and long time fans) rethinking the way the game is played, let’s hope it stays this way until the end, although the less pairs are left in the game, the more it will become “normal” again. But as long as we don’t have a pagonging at the merge (and we shouldn’t) I’ll be happy.
However, this new format also makes this season pretty difficult to analyse as there are so many unpredictable factors at play. Let’s see what we can make of this episode:
Now that Brad Culpepper is among the castaways at redemption island, there is much less drama in the arena, but I gotta admit it was fun seeing him competing against Candide and John. I don’t like Brad, but I like him. You know, he’s basically the kind of contestant you love to hate even though I don’t hate him.
Candice is gone. I won’t miss her. John is still so bland, I already don’t miss him… Oh wait, you mean, he’s still here?
Monica got the clue that she burned because Brad told her too. Honestly, while he made sense to burn the clue last week, I kinda disagree with the move this week. She should have kept it and share it with her whole tribe and they should all have tried to find the idol as a tribe to use it at the merge. I guess.
– Aras Baskauskas: Was it a good move for Aras to vote out Laura M. instead of Laura B.? Who knows? Hard to tell. On the one hand, Laura B is not a threat and can be kept for a little longer. But Laura M. wasn’t a threat just yet, and she rocks at puzzles. What Aras didn’t realize I guess is how much she trusted him. That shows how much she was on the outs in her tribe though, nobody really cared about her. And was it smart of Aras to make such a strong move so early? Not sure either. She really had no ally there after all. But wasn’t it painting a bigger target than he already has to take the lead for such a move?
Thinking about it, it was the right thing to do. Laura B. is not a threat and never will be (except as a vote against you) while Laura M. was a threat on many levels. She can do strategy, she’s good at challenges, she still has Ciera and the more we go into the game, the more people with a loved one are dangerous, and of course she could kick Brad off redemption island which will make Monica more loyal.
Of course he wins my don’t-let-that-fool award of the week.
– Gervase Peterson: Not much about him this week.
– Kat Edorsson: She spoke! I kinda forgot what she said though. Kat too is without an alliance but doesn’t know it (I guess she thinks that she’s with Monica and probably a couple more people). She shouldn’t last much longer, could be voted out even before Laura B. Although merge can’t be very far, if Hayden survives until then she can join his alliance, but it’s getting smaller.
– Laura Boneham: First I was glad we finally heard her speak, and quick after I wanted her to shut up. She’s really not that interesting after all. Also, I understand the need to scramble when you’re in her position, but trying to stir up shit the way she did was the wrong approach, especially because her attempt was so transparent, it could easily backfire. Scrambling by lying when you can’t lie (which she doesn’t seem to know how to) is the worst possible way of scrambling.
– Laura Morett sent to Redemption Island: It’s not a secret that I don’t like her, so I’m not gonna say that I’m sad that she’s gone. I just don’t care. At least she wasn’t too annoying this season. However, I shouldn’t talk about her in the past. She kicks ass at puzzles and redemption islands challenges are often puzzles. The merge could be sooner than we think, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is the one returning from redemption when it’s time to merge.
– Monica Culpepper: Very bad move from Monica this week as a continuation of last week. Everyone knows that she’s close to her husband and that he’s her primary ally, but it’s not really necessary to hammer the point again and again and to talk about hurt feelings to people that had their feelings hurt by your very husband (you know when he voted their nieces and girlfriend out). With this behavior, she assured herself the bottom spot of her alliance and if Brad survives longer at redemption, she could join him there soon.
– Tina Wesson: Not much about Tina this week, but just enough to show us that she’s still very aware of what’s going on, of how to read people and all that. And because she’s old school and older, she doesn’t even seem to have a target at all right now.
– Tyson Apostol: Not too much about Tyson this week, but the little we see of him and his confessionals show that Gervase and him are very very tight and really seem in control of their alliance and as such of the tribe. Let’s hope they keep their heads on their shoulders. This whole strategizing thing is very new to Gervase and every time Tyson was in control he messed up (got too confident in Tocantins and got blindsided and well… I don’t need to remind you what happened in Heroes Vs Villains).
– Caleb Bankston: He’s gotta be careful to not get too cocky. Sure he’s in power of his tribe now. Sure he seems to have gained two sure allies without having lost his two former allies, but all of that is very fragile and unstable. He’s super close to Ciera, but how close does Katie feel to him? Also, Hayden and Vytas are now quite shaken in their trust of Caleb, they could easily flip on him the way he flipped on Brad.
– Ciera Eastin: She got very lucky last week, she survived a vote where she was the sure boot and she won an alliance member, which technically puts her in the majority. However, I wonder how seeing her mom at redemption will affect her. Could go in many different ways.
– Hayden Moss: He kinda feels betrayed by Caleb and I understand why. Hayden is a bit isolated now in the tribe. Vytas is the only one he can fully trust and the prospects are not too good when merge comes as Kat is pretty alone on her side too. One thing that is good for him is actually the fact that Laura M. was voted out. Ciera and Caleb now only have each other too, and that’s an incentive to stay close to Hayden and later Kat as who knows what Katie and Vytas will do when merge comes?
– Katie Collins: She remains a big question mark. She’s tight with Ciera, but is she only tight with her because they had no other choice given the circumstances? Is she survives until the merge, she’ll obviously align with her mom (she could easily replace Monica in the alliance, although I suspect that Tina could be tempted to gun for one of the guys sooner than later). But even that we’re not too sure what will happen, among all the remaining pairs, Katie and Tina seem to be the two that are most likely to vote each other out if needed.
– Vytas Baskauskas: He’s laying low right now, and this is what he should do. The only thing that concerned me a bit was that scene when he talked with Caleb on the boat. I really felt that he was the only one talking and that Caleb was just pretending agreeing with him. Could just be edit though. A few weeks ago, I was not sure at all Vytas and Aras would necessarily pair up when merge comes, but now that Vytas’ position is very unsure and that Aras’s is also targeted (unbeknownst to him though) it seems obvious that they’re going to pair up… Which ironically paints a bigger target on their back than they already have.
Next week on Survivor:
So we do have a tribe’s swap. I didn’t expect one this season. I guess production was afraid that there is no loved ones left when merge comes. That will change a lot of things, screw some people over as usual, save a few, and make my predicting almost impossible (hence the lackluster of this week’s analysis).
Also, the merge is very near, episode 7, maybe 8…
We can assume that Aras is safe at the moment though. Edit has hinted a bit too heavily on the fact that he could be blindsided and the rivalry with his brother has been an interesting plot this season, so they will both survive long enough to play in the same tribe at least a little (and they also could end up at Redemption Island together)
Next person voted out:
Well, as there will be a tribe’s swap and I have no idea how it will happen (pairs vs loners? completely random? school yard pick?) I also have no idea of who’s going to be sent to Redemption Island.
Tyson and Gervase are looking good right now. Tina is not far behind. Vytas and Aras’s chances have because a bit weaker.
You want to read more about Survivor? You should read those fine people’s blogs:
- Super Jude’s blog. One of the best Survivor bloggers out there.
- Rob has a website, a podcast and an amazing know-it-alls analysis.
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times is a must read every week.
- Stephen Fishbach’s blog too (now with illustrations by Erik Reichenbach)
- Dalton Ross’s recap on EW is much much more than just a recap.
- Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred.
- more to come…