Another solid episode. This season is good.
I have one concern though, the format of this season makes us all (viewers and players alike) anticipate how will the game be affected by people playing in pairs when merge comes. Except that now I’m wondering whether there’ll be many if any pairs left when merge comes. We’ll see.
Brad Culpepper is gone, almost without a word (well, if you don’t mention his attempt at poetry when it was finally time to wave goodbye). I have to admit that I’ll miss him, he was an interesting dude to watch. However, I’m pretty sure we’ll see him again one of those days.
John Cody is still there, but really, who cares?
Laura Morett won the truel easily (although that puzzle wasn’t really a puzzle) and this close to the merge, she could be the one coming back into the game.
Ah, tribe resshufflings. I love them and hate them. Sure they make the game more interesting most of the times, but some people always see their game messed up by it. It almost happened with Vytas this time, although he saved himself majestically. However, we now have the chance to see at least one pair play together. It could be the only one.
– Kat Edorsson sent to redemption island: When we heard Kat speak last week I was worried about her. When we heard her speak several time this week, I knew that she was done. Overall, I find editing pretty good this season – probably because there aren’t any troll to hog all the screen time – but still, it always bothers me when some players clearly have no storyline and are mostly invisible until they are voted out. This is what happened to Laura M. last week, this is what happened to Kat this week. I mean, we all know that of all things Kat can be entertaining with the very stupid things that she says. Yet, we haven’t heard a single one this season, except when she arrived at redemption island and she was worried about her relationship with Hayden because honestly, who wants to date someone who didn’t make the merge?
However, she doesn’t leave the game empty handed as she’s this week’s recipient of the don’t-let-that-fool-you award for basically voting herself out. Sure, the way she did it was not as spectacular as many of her predecessors (the most spectacular won’t be named as he’s playing this season and he’s awesome), but voting Vytas out was the easiest and smartest thing to do and there was nothing that could go wrong had everyone stick to the plan. But Kat had to get paranoid and targeted Monica for no obvious good reason. That could have worked had Kat been a key member of her alliance, but she was totally unaware that she actually was at the bottom of the pecking order. Way to go! Also, to add insult to injury, if you’re going to lie, do it well and own it. Bad liars shouldn’t lie. It’s as simple as that. Also backpedaling once caught is basically digging your grave deeper. Kat did all of that.
– Katie Collins: She continues to be a non-factor in the game right now. As I just said, it annoys me a little when some players get little to no camera time. They don’t need to have a compelling story, just you know, screen time. The only screen time Katie seems to have had so far is some gross close ups of her toenails falling. Now she’s playing with her mom, it should have been discussed somehow, but it wasn’t. Worse, during the strategy talk after immunity challenge, she was the only one who wasn’t shown. Right now, she’s basically an extra vote for her mom and that’s all.
– Laura Boneham: She seems to keep on being unaware of her situation in the game. Her confessionals seem to indicate that she believes to be in an alliance, but is she? Really? I get the feeling that nobody really cares about her and now she’s kept around because she’s totally unthreatening and unaware. This actually could send her far into the game, as she’s pretty much the only goat right now. Thinkings about it, this is the reason this season is so good so far: no trolls and only one goat and we’ve seen much worse in terms of goats. Casting if you’re reading this, I hope you get the hints.
– Monica Culpepper: She’s been getting a very interesting edit, it almost could be a winner edit. In her first season she played “for” other people and she got badly backstabbed. This season, episode one, talking about Colton, she said that this time she was playing for herself. Colton turned out to be a non-factor, but Brad was the one who could drag her down, especially because despite her claims, she totally was playing for Brad, she even almost got into trouble for it. Now that Brad is gone, she really is on her own, and she’s taking things in her own hands, starting with having the first person who tries to target her voted out right off the bat. For that she’s sharing the don’t-let-that-fool-you award with her would be backstabber. Now the question is whether she’ll take matters into her own hands to the end?
– Tina Wesson: She plays exactly the same game that she played in Australia, she’s right in the middle, doesn’t make waves (or if she does, no one is aware she’s making them) and no one even thinks about targeting her. I don’t think that at this stage of the game, the challenge blunder was a valid reason to target her, but having basically two votes (hers and Katie’s) is more than a valid reason to vote either her or Katie out (Tina being the most dangerous, she should be targeted first). Didn’t happen. Worse, the only person who brought up that fact is Tina herself. She’s playing an excellent game right now.
– Vytas Baskauskas: Oh Vytas, you smoothtalker. He really dodged a bullet here, and he dodged it beautifully. He keeps on getting a strong edit (the strongest among the newbies by far). He should go far, but I doubt he goes to the end for some reason. Great performance at tribal council. Even though the votes were most likely decided before tribal even started, Vytas made a great job at making sure that Kat digs her own grave deeper and deeper and he did it with charm and eloquence. However, he seems pretty powerless now, yet his edit almost implies he’s still in control. I guess he’s that good with the ladies despite his claims.
Wow, it looks like a big powerful tribe on paper, and so far it has delivered, but it will be a way less united tribe than the new Galang. It could be inconsequential if they keep on winning though.
– Aras Baskauskas: If Aras didn’t want to appear as the ringleader of Laura M’s eviction last week, then he failed miserably. Now the target on his back is bigger than ever. The only thing that could make it smaller right now would be Vytas being voted out, and it’s not happening. With that being said, his upcoming (?) downfall is being built up quite a lot right now, maybe a little too much. Another predictability in the editing is that when someone’s ouster is made very obvious, it’s usually not happening. However, that building up could be part of a larger narrative, especially Tyson and Gervase taking full control of the game, becoming kings by killing the king. That or Aras will manage to save himself and get rid of them as well as every other thread until the end. Not sure which one it’s going to be.
– Caleb Bankston: Not really anything about Caleb right now. He seems safe for a little while. He’s still with Ciera and I believe that Hayden would be targeted before him.
– Ciera Eastin: Please Ciera, not the whole “I could sense it, blablabla” that’s so lame. What was funny was when she almost asked her mother if she’d fine not switching seats with Ciera. Honestly Ciera do you think you have a better chance than your mother in redemption island?
– Gervase Peterson: He’s staying a bit in Tyson’s shadow right now, at least in terms of edit, but he had a very interesting quote about how during the first season he was just a pawn, and that’s not happening this time. Will the pawn turn into a king (yes, I know, pawns usually turn into queens, bear with me). And yes, it seems that Gervase is actually way smarter and savvy than everyone gave him credit for. Who’s suspecting he’s being strategic right now? Not many people I suppose. How about the whole swimming thing. In a secret scene (and on twitter) he claims that his terrible outing during the first immunity challenge was all strategy to appear completely unthreatening. And I believe him and it succeeded perfectly.
– Hayden Moss: He was kinda hilarious (unwillingly hilarious) when he was bitching about having new people in his tribe, and in the meantime spilling all their secrets to them. I understand that it’s all normal behavior that you have new people among you, you want to inform them about what’s going in here… I mean in real life… In Survivor, it’s the stupidest thing to do… Huge newbie mistake Hayden. Once again, I don’t really know anything about him, and apparently he’s a big deal in the Big Brother world, but in Survivor, he has failed to impress me or even interest me so far, he’s just like any other newbie, actually Vytas or even Caleb are way more impressive right now.
– Tyson Apostol: Is it just me or is Tyson getting the strongest edit? He hasn’t had a stronger episode since the merge episode in the Tocantins if I remember correctly, and while he’s still portrayed as the funny lovable and awesome mischievous trickster that he is (although nowadays “coconut bandit” seems to be the term of choice), he’s also portrayed as having a very strong strategy, which never was the case on his previous seasons (I mean, he had strategies, but they never were underlined much). That being said his insistence in taking out Aras reminds me on his attack on Brendan in the Tocantins. He did it too early, revealed himself as a threat (on top of being an individual immunity threat) and got himself blindsided the very next episode. Maybe this season is going to work out differently, after all Tyson is keeping on getting a bunch of “winner quotes” since the day Rachel was eliminated, and the Coconut Bandit becoming King is a very compelling story.
Next week on Survivor:
Will Tyson dethrone King Aras? Will Vytas and Katie hook up? We’ll see.
Next person voted out:
If Galang goes to tribal, it could finally be Laura B.’s time, although Vytas is not really safe.
If Tadhana goes, everything is telling us that Aras goes home, which means he won’t. Who then? Hayden?
Tyson and Gervase are sitting on top, followed by Tina, Vytas and Monica.
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…