My problem with Survivor in recent seasons has really been editing. It’s becoming more and more obvious, with irrelevant people being more or less invisible, with misdirections being so obvious that they become directions and such. Case in point this episode, before the challenge, the fact that we saw the Fans not being able to decide who should do what meant only one thing: they’d lose. Also, some people are already quite invisible on both tribes, which clearly means they’re out soon or they’ll get the Brett/Cowboy Rick treatment all season long (Brenda for the first kind, Julia for the second?) However, the episode remained interesting as we saw that the Fans will show some game indeed (and some stupid things too)
Gota Tribe – the Fans
One of the things I like in the Fans Vs Favorites format is that the Fans feel that they have to play hard from the get go (they do), but they’re still beginners at the game so they make interesting moves. It was the case again today.
– Allie Pohevitz voted out: I almost felt bad for her as she didn’t see anything coming. On the other hand, no. I disliked this “cool kids” alliance from the very beginning and I’m glad they won’t be running the show. I don’t really have anything else to say about her.
– Eddie Fox: We haven’t seen much of him today. As mentioned in the intro, I think he’ll become quickly invisible (and out soon?)
– Hope Driskill: See above.
– Julia Landauer: I’m more concerned about Julia being pretty much invisible for two episodes. She’s now clearly in the majority alliance, yet we don’t see her. I had high hopes for her, instead she may just become the new Brett. (if you’re asking who is Brett, I’m going to answer “exactly”)
– Laura Alexander: Once again, sorry Laura for having thought you were like Allie. Actually Laura is quickly becoming my favorite Fan. She’ll be underestimated by everyone else I believe, but she just could be the smartest of her tribe. And she’s already calling the shots in a sense (she suggested voting Allie). Did she make a good move calling out Reynold having an hidden immunity idol at tribal? No. That was a beginner’s mistake. One of this “I need to play hard quick because the other tribe is made of returning players” thing. The cool kids alliance didn’t feel threatened. They thought Shamar would be out with nine votes or so. So Laura didn’t have to say anything just yet. It would have been better to just say nothing and tell her alliance about Reynold after tribal (and possibly blindside him next). However, while it was a beginner’s mistake, it’s not one that’s going to hurt her in anyway.
– Matt Bischoff: I like the guy. He seems to have some strategy in him. However, the fact that he’s now in the same alliance as Shamar could spell trouble for its unity soon.
– Michael Snow: Not much Mike this week, but the fact that he went against the cool kids shows he’s a good guy. Was it the right move? Not sure. Maybe the cool kids would have been easier to manipulate. But as a viewer, I think him for that, the “uncool kids” are much more interesting people.
– Reynold Toepfer: OK, so he’s going to be a character apparently. He’s making mistakes and good moves, and at least he’s trying to play the game. While Eddie (and Hope and Allie?) motivation for this alliance was “we’re all beautiful people let’s bond together” I think there was at least some strategy to Reynold with that. Props to him for finding the idol too, although apparently these days they’re very easy to find. Calling out Shamar after the challenge was a huge mistake though. He kinda put the target on himself by doing that. He handled the idol-gate pretty well though. I don’t think anyone will resent him for keeping it a secret, and not playing it was the best move (well, the best move was to play it for Allie, but he didn’t know she was targeted). What’s next for him? Hard to tell cause now, he’s down 3 to 6 in terms of votes, and he has an idol. His best move now is to hope that Shamar becomes too abrasive and that it creates cracks in the alliance of six, cracks he could try to use at his advantage. Can he pull that out? Not sure.
– Shamar Thomas: I don’t understand what he’s trying to attain with that behavior. He clearly does all of that on purpose, but I don’t see any other result than really annoying his tribesmate until they vote him out, even his alliance.
– Sherri Biethman: OK, Sherri has some game in her. She made all the right moves this episode. I especially like her comment at tribal “I’m still going to vote according to plan” very simple and basic, but pretty much the best way to make sure the alliance doesn’t panic and starts throwing away votes without revealing anything to the people that are being blindsided). Also, I find it pretty interesting that she has this alliance with Shamar. Pretty unexpected, i.e. nobody will suspect it. That being said, I’m not sure if it’s the right move seeing the destructive force that Shamar can potentially be. She may have to cut him sooner than later if she doesn’t want to get into trouble because of him.
Bikal Tribe – the Favorites
OK, it’s been debated everywhere as this tribe is a pretty strange mix. It’s clear that production wanted characters more than players. Associate this with the editing previously mentioned and you end up with episodes like today where players are almost invisible and characters use all the camera time. Sure, they didn’t have to be too strategic this week, but still.
– Andrea Boehlke: She was pretty much invisible.
– Brandon Hantz: I’m going to say something I pretty much said all South Pacific long, but it’s not fun to watch him. It’s painful. The kid is clearly bipolar or something similar (definitely not sane) and he shouldn’t be on the island, and I don’t like that the producers had him back. He’s clearly unstable. Cochran compared him to a murderer, but honestly, I’d worry for my safety if I was in the same tribe as him. He will be destructive and potentially self-destructive. And no, sorry, but he’s not channeling Russell. He still has no strategy, and while it can be debated whether Russell’s “destructiveness” at camp helped him or hurt him, at least nobody knew that was him who was burning socks and whatnot. This won’t end well.
– Brenda Lowe: I’m sad we’re not seeing Brenda more. We all know what that means: she’s out soon.
– Corinne Kaplan: It’s more surprising that we don’t see more of Corinne. I don’t think she’s going anywhere yet. Maybe she’s trying to be as low key and friendly as possible because of her reputation?
– Dawn Meehan: Interesting to see how she’s the only player (as opposed to character) that is being featured this week in the Favorites tribe (OK, one could argue that Cochran is both a character and a player). I really think that she is the player to watch this season.
– Erik Reichenbach: Same as Brenda unfortunately.
– John Cochran: Cochran is back in his narrator post (and he’s good at it). He’s back at really sucking at anything physical (good they won the challenge, no finger was pointed at him about how useless he was). He’s also in a much better position now than he ever was in South Pacific. He will go far.
– Malcolm Freberg: I don’t like how Malcolm is somewhat portrayed as Phillip’s sidekick right now. Of course, he follows him only because that’s convenient. But I hope he socializes as much as possible with the other players (I believe he does though)
– Phillip Sheppard: I’m still not sure whether he’s crazy, but what I’m sure about is that he is a troll. He does and says crazy things to get more camera time and editors fall for the scheme and give it to him. Result we waste some precious minutes on stupid things like an entire scene devoted to giving nicknames for his spy organization. I hope he’s out soon, although he may not for a while.
Are Brandon and Shamar in a contest to alienate the most people possible in their tribe or what. I’m sort of getting worried about how confrontational they’re becoming. This won’t end well. I’m almost afraid some physical fights may ensue – which means some people being kicked out of the game by production. Remember that if I’m correct there are three ways to leave the game: being voted out, medical evacuation, but also physically assaulting another player (remember how Jonny Fairplay tried to make Rupert hit him in order of have him ejected from the game). Thank god it has never happened, but with people like Shamar and Brandon, I’m afraid it we could see that happening this season.
Next person voted out:
Brandon is in trouble.
Shamar could be in trouble if he’s too abrasive too. The alliance of six doesn’t need him anymore (except for his strength in challenges). Still, I believe that Hope is in more trouble.
Winner prediction: Cochran, Dawn and Michael are still looking good, but Sherri has just joined them as a potential winner.
And now, the usual links to the other analysts I really like (sorry for not posting them last week).
- Rob has a website and a podcast and bloggers and a great “know-it-alls” show with Stephen Fishbach. Rob Cesternino was “the smartest player to never win the game” (with Fishbach in my opinion), he now has the best website about Survivor.
- Superjude is finally blogging again.
- Stephen Fishbach also has a column with People Magazine too.
- Dalton Ross is always great and hilarious at EW.com
- Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times is also one of the most hilarious (and smart) Survivor blogger out there.
- more to come…