Ah! Finally a good episode this season! Merge episodes always tend to deliver, but very often afterwards they’re followed by boring pagongings. However, despite my rant about this season last week, we could have a very interesting second half. Let’s hope it happens.
Enil Edam Tribe
– Andrea Boehlke: She’s in for a big surprise sooner or later. At this point in the game, I’m pretty sure that she’s convinced to be more or less in control of the game with Phillip. The wake up call may be harsh.
– Brenda Lowe: Come on producers and editors! What the fuck is going on with Brenda. It’s been how many episodes without a single confessional from her? What is going on? She is obviously playing the game, she has a position somewhere in the alliance. The only glimpses we get are through other people’s conversations, like for example the fact that Corinne or Malcolm didn’t mention her or didn’t try to get her vote indicates that she’s now tight with the favorites alliance (with whom exactly? Andrea?) while we thought she was on the outs. In any case, that’s not enough and that’s really annoying.
– Corinne Kaplan voted out: Oh Corinne. I can’t say that I started to like you, but at least I started to tolerate you, and I was definitely rooting for your plan to work this week. But no, you had to run your big mouth. Why tell Dawn you were planning to vote Phillip our next? That was an incredibly stupid thing to say, while the plan to vote Sherri out was actually very good. Also, once Phillip wanted to split the votes, why antagonize him once again? This was the perfect opportunity to blindside him, your six was enough for this, even just five votes were enough, if you were not too sure about Erik. But no, you couldn’t think about it. After such a stupid move, you deserved to have it backfire on you. I even guess she realized it as her final words were not incendiary at all. Now, I hope it won’t hurt Malcolm too much as he’s the other favorite who betrayed the alliance.
– Dawn Meehan: Way to go Dawn. You said that you didn’t take enough action in South Pacific and this is what cost you the game; but this time you’re going your way through by ratting out other people. First Francesca, then Julia last week, finally Corinne this week. Actually, I want to say well-played. I guess that Dawn being this season’s “mom,” other players tend to trust her easily and she always uses the information she gathers to her advantage. Actually, this is smart game play.
– Eddie Fox: You have every chance to be on the chopping block next tribal if you don’t win immunity and all you think about is your public image if you eat gross stuff. Really? Tool!
– Erik Reichenbach: We saw a little bit of Erik this week. Yeah! So is he as clueless as he seems? Or is it his strategy (the Fabio strategy)? On the one hand, maybe he doesn’t want to talk strategy, maybe his strategy really is some sort of mix between Fabio’s and Ozzy’s (in his first season): just win as many immunity as possible and don’t make enemies. Or maybe he has some sort of strategy, as sticking with the Favorite alliance is better for him really. Sure he may appear in the bottom, but with such a group that’ll be ready to eat each other sooner or later, he could be the swing vote more than once, whereas had he stuck with the “brolliance”, his only chance to go far would be winning a lot of immunities except that the competition for them would be harder against people like Reynold and Malcolm.
– John Cochran: Cochran was hilarious in the food challenge. And kuddos to him for winning it. On a side note, I always found Americans to be pussies as far as food is concerned, and they sometimes call gross things that are not. However, while I’d love to eat pig brain (as a kid, lamb brain was something I ate quite regularly until the mad cow disease in the 90’s pretty much killed brain consumption in Europe), the ship-worms is just seafood and the larvae don’t really move me either way, balut is one of the few things on earth I don’t think I can eat. So more power to him. Apart from that even more power to him for being such in control of the game (as well as the editing, he knows how to deliver soundbites that make him camera friendly – and are pretty much landing him a third invitation to play the game in the next All-Stars). I may have said it before, but the Cochran we’re seeing this season is the Cochran every true Survivor fan hoped to see back in South Pacific, and it’s pretty much impossible not to root for him this season. My only issue with Cochran right now is that he clearly wants to take Phillip to the end, and just because of that, I kinda hope his plan fails somehow.
– Malcolm Freberg: Malcolm could be in trouble now. He had a very good plan, his only flaw was having Corinne and her big mouth (and small brain?) as a main partner. I guess the other flaw was that Erik was not really on board. I also wonder why he didn’t try to bring Brenda into the fold. Or maybe he tried and that’s one of the many things we didn’t see. Now, he’ll have to navigate smoothly. The other favorites know he was with Corinne as they didn’t tell him about voting her out. He still can save himself (selling Corinne as the ringleader, etc) but he has an uphill battle now. However, he also has two secret weapons: the two hidden immunity idols, his and Reynold’s. They may come in handy in the next few tribal councils.
Oh and I almost forgot: kuddos for trolling your tribe with the new tribe name. 🙂
– Michael Snow: Not much about Michael. Aligning himself with Corinne (well, I’m not sure if “aligning” is the proper term here, as she decided unilaterally that he’d be with her, and I guess he followed along because that was beneficial for him) saved him for the past two votes, but now he’s pretty much alone. Sure he has Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie, but he’s not exactly tight with them, as he was against the two idiots before the tribal swap and he doesn’t know Malcolm. Yet, he’s savvy enough to make new friends, and maybe Sherri won’t hold it against him that he voted for her, but now his chances of going to the end are slim to none.
– Phillip Sheppard: Seriously, I’m more than tired of seeing him and I’m even more tired of talking about him.
– Reynold Toepfer: Not much about him this week, except he’s continuing his losing streak in a quite fashion. He got blindsided every single tribal council he was involved in. I think that’s pretty funny.
– Sherri Biethman: Not much about Sherri this week. That’s actually the only flaw of this episode (along with Brenda’s forced silence). While I was not completely sure whether Corinne was going to go home or not as tribal approached, it seemed obvious Sherri was not as she was not portrayed as the boot of the week (little screen time, no confessional, etc). Also, it’s interesting to see that she voted against Corinne, which means that while she’s no exactly part of the favorite alliance (despite what Phillip said to her) she’s not out of the loop either. It also shows that she was not that tight with Michael as they obviously didn’t talk together about voting (or if they did, they lied to each other).
The “bros” are in trouble. Idols may get played. Malcolm may or may not manage to fall back into the graces of his former alliance. Andrea may or may not fall for Eddie’s flirting…
On a side note, it’s interesting to note that Corinne didn’t make the jury. What does this mean? Final two??? Wait, last season, the jury was only 8 people too…
Next person voted out:
No idea either. It could finally be Phillip if Malcolm or Reynold plays an idol successfully against him, or it can be almost anyone else (Malcolm, Reynold, Eddie, Michael being on top of the list)
Winner prediction: Cochran is getting the winner edit right now. Dawn is getting some of it too. Malcolm is getting more screen time with a strategic player edit not too different from last season, but just like last season, I feel that he’s going to fall short.
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’s blog, always interesting, even when he’s grumpy.
- Stephen Fishbach also has a column with People.com.
- 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.
- Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred always has a great blog and is even unhappier than me with this season.
- more to come…