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Survivor 20, Episode 2 : It’s getting the best of me…

That’s it, Survivor 20 is almost in full throttle at episode 2, well at least on the Heroes side, the Villains side had almost no airtime so far except for Boston Rob. More on that in his paragraph.
In the previous post, I was wondering how long before people’s egos get in the way and make the team implode? Well, the answer is: in episode 2. And we all know that’s what is going to do or undo a team. It doesn’t matter how hard working they are, the atmosphere between the different contestants will be the key of their success. There are a few exceptions (remember Casaya from Survivor: Panama – Exile Island?) but I’m afraid this team won’t be. It’s going to be more like a train wreck. It’s actually very interesting to see how the teams were divided, sure it’s Heroes Vs Villains, but except for a few, it’s really Muscles Vs Brains. It’s so obvious around camp: Team Muscles is well organized, seem to have decent living situation, while Team Brains is too busy strategizing and all to have anybody work hard enough around camp. In challenges too, so far both have been half-physical, half-mental, and both times, Team Muscles took an early lead when it was about the physical aspect of the challenge, a lead that totally vanished and turned into a loss when thinking became part of the challenge.
Amanda Kimmel
Still not much of Amanda, I guess she’s trying to play an under-the-radar game, she knows she has a huge target on her back, and actually she was targeted already, although Stephenie rationale to vote her out was complete bullshit. Please, Stephenie, don’t come talking about voting out the weaker first and then vote against Amanda! Amanda is not only not the weaker, but she may even be the strongest woman in that team… Stronger than Stephenie, and that’s what she was afraid of. Stephenie is all excuses and that’s what really annoys me with her.
Apart from that, Amanda has her alliance and it seems to be a strong one, at least until the merge. Then, the big question that everyone is asking is: what Amanda and Parvati will do when the merge comes?
Candice Woodcock
I’m surprised that she didn’t stay with Colby that much, something may have happened that we didn’t see. That, or she realized Colby was not an interesting person at all. It’s pretty interesting to see that she’s aligning herself with Cirie, although it comes from Cirie looking for people she can rely on, not from an active gameplay from Candice’s part. At least, she doesn’t seem to get the boot anytime soon, as she’ll be a swing vote for the next couple of votes. After that, she’ll have to have people she really can rely on. Will she?
Cirie Fields
And some people still don’t consider Cirie as one of the best player to ever play this game. In just a few days she went from biggest threat to everyone, to… the position she’s the most comfortable with: swing vote! How does she do it? I’m still not sure. She surprises me over and over again, and that since her second episode ever. Just like that, she seems safe for a little while now. And that little while can last very long. But unfortunately I don’t think Cirie can win that game, because sooner or later people realize that it’s the final four and Cirie is still around and if she makes to the end, she’ll win no doubt, and then they get rid of her. And as she doesn’t win many immunities (did she ever win one?) she gets cut, right before then end. I’m afraid that this will happen again.
Colby Donaldson
Seriously, who cares about Colby nowadays? Sure 9 years ago he made an impression, but since better, stronger and even more good looking players have played the game. I see why he was cast, but today, he’s just an average not interesting player. And unsurprisingly, he aligned himself with the self-righteous alliance, which answers my question of last week: no he still hasn’t learned how to play that game, still thinking that being a goody goody and his muscles will be enough to win the game. No Colby, it’s not enough, never was, never will. Even the goody goody muscle men that won did some strategizing too.
James Clement
To the question: “Did James get smarter?” the answer is still up in the air (but leaning on the side of no). Yes he was right about Stephenie, she was the only yelling constantly during the challenge because she can’t take orders and she’s most likely the one that confused everyone and as such the reason why they lost the challenge. But there’s a way of voicing that assessment of the situation, and his way was definitely not the right way. Sure, it gave a good reason for almost everybody to get rid of Stephenie, but by his outburst he really divided the team. I think that him being so vindictive during tribal council was his way to make sure the spot stayed on Stephenie, but that really wasn’t a good way to do it. If he snaps again (and the preview for next week implies he will very soon), even his friends/allies will realize that they don’t really need him (as they’re not winning challenges and they have enough votes to control the game… well, as long as Cirie and Candice vote with them).
James “J.T.” Thomas, Jr
If there’s another player that’s underrated, it’s JT! Yes, I just called JT underrated! Why? Because he won his season not because he was nice, not because he was strong, but because his (genuine) niceness and strength hid his devious side perfectly. And he’s doing it all over again. He’s totally pulling the strings now in the Heroes tribe. Before the season started, a lot of people thought he was going to be on Tom, Colby, Stephenie side, after all, they have the same work ethic. Yes, but he knows how to play the game way better than them, and he knows he’ll need brains with him as well as scapegoats and targets, not more muscle. And brains and scapegoats he has plenty (especially scapegoats and targets).
But like many other people, the big question is: how will he survive the merge?
Rupert Boneham
Another hero that’s becoming too full of himself and really annoying. Rupert was so lovable during his first season, and he’s less and less has time goes and every time he makes a public appearance. Yes, Rupert, I’m sure you’re a good guy in the real world, and you’re doing great things with your organization. But in the game, his strategy is still poor and his ego has become too big, way too big. That’s annoying to watch, and that must be even more annoying to be near. So, he’ll be a tool in JT, Amanda and Cirie’s hands, until he’s not needed anymore. In the meantime, I’m sure he’ll be even more annoying and make a fool of himself too many times.
Stephenie LaGrossa (voted out)

In her exist interviews she said that she left the game with class and integrity.

Sorry Stephenie, but you didn’t. At all… Targeting Amanda because she’s the weaker player. Big fat lie, and worse, it’s mostly a lie to yourself. As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, not only Amanda is the strongest woman in your tribe, but she’s also the strongest woman in the show, and definitely one of the strongest woman to ever play the game. And that you don’t like, because before Amanda, you were the one in that position, and you’re just one of those players whose ego got too big, and you can’t accept the truth: that you’re not the strongest anymore, that you’re not the most popular anymore and seriously, I’m sure there’s some truth in what James said about the fact that if you were so likable in Palau it was before of the “romantic/emo” editing you got, because you were the last one in your tribe. Truth is, that season you were a loser, and that you don’t like to be reminded either. All in all, it’s a good thing you were such a disappointment in Guatemala (not a disappointment in your performance of course, but a disappointment in your behavior), and now I’m sure that personality, the one we saw in Guatemala and in Samoa is the real one. Sad.
Tom Westman
Now, I remember why I didn’t like Tom in Palau. It was the self-righteousness, thinking he’s better than everyone, giving lessons in an almost bully way attitude. This is what happens when you think you’re perfect. You start thinking that everyone different from you is imperfect and must be taught a lesson. And that makes you a jerk. And seriously, the way you talked back to James was totally condescending, and worse… I wouldn’t say racist, but at least very patronizing and insulting the way you used “Y’all”.
I hope you go soon. I really do.
What a strange tribe. Nobody seems to care about having a decent camp. Well, they do care, but nobody seems to want to do something about it. Not exactly true, but I’m amazed by how they’re totally unable to build an ok shelter when they’re all have done this before. But then, when you look at who’s in the tribe, you understand that very few of them were responsible for building the shelter their first time around. And of course, the only hard worker being Rob, he exhausted himself and passed out, scaring everybody around him. From a show (I mean, editing and all) I’m wondering why they made such a big deal of his passing out. Contestants pass out all the time in this show, it’s never shown unless it’s serious and has game implications Why this one? I feel like Rob is really getting a treatment of favor from an editing perspective. The Villains tribe is full of strong personalities, so sure, we don’t see much of them because they’re winning challenges, so they get less air time, but seriously, more than 80% of what we saw in this tribe was about Rob one way or the other.
Benjamin “Coach” Wade
Talking about strong personalities, Coach’s seems to have completely vanished. Is it just the editing? Is it because he’s too smitten with Jerri and Rob (for different reasons…)? On the other hand, and in his favor, this season it seems that we get to see something we’ve never seen before, that is a genuine Coach, a little bit of the Benjamin that’s always hiding behind the clown that is Coach. But if I’m glad to see he can be a real person sometimes, I also have to admit, that this is Coach that we want to see on TV, you know, the one that’s telling us about that time when he was almost eaten by cannibals in the Amazon, and he escaped all by himself and all.
Courtney Yates
It’s also time to give more air time to Courtney, but I guess she’s not doing anything special right now, because she knows she’s an early target for the next vote. Yeah, strangely, while one can imagine the “big players” targeting each other very early, just like in the Heroes tribe, I’m afraid it’s going to be one of the lesser threats that’s gonna go first. I’m not sure why… And Courtney’s head could be on the chopping block, although it’d be a mistake.
I also like the “Cassandra editing” she’s getting. By that I mean, that twice now she’s made comments that happened later that episode (episode 1: “break her shoulder!” about Stephenie, episode 2: “I hope Boston Rob doesn’t drop dead in the next few days”).
Danielle DiLorenzo
So far Danielle is not doing anything special, and that’s her strength: not being memorable. It’s an annoyance for viewers, but it’s a huge advantage at tribal council. She seems to be doing a lot around camp, to be part of the group, and she even has this little thing with Russell that will help her (and hurt him?) on the long run.
Jerri Manthey
So where’s the bitchy bitch? The black widow? So far, she hasn’t really been an annoyance (not hungry enough yet?), she hasn’t made any unholy alliance. What’s going on? Is she too busy with her unholy romance with Coach that’s blooming?
Parvati Shallow
Parvati hasn’t done anything yet… That we think! This is Parvati game, first she’s just fun and good looks, this way she looks nonthreatening, and people will want to keep her around. But don’t be fooled by that, she’s spinning her web, and people will fall in it soon. There’s this alliance with Russell, if she makes it to the merge, it’s more than obvious that she has an alliance with some or all of the other former contestants from Micronesia.
People would be stupid to keep her around until the merge, very stupid. If one person can win Survivor twice, it’s her (and maybe JT).
Randy Bailey
Not much of Randy and his cranky statements except the one about Courtney, actually she is a person he could consider aligning himself with (and maybe they’re closer than it looks, as their hugging after the win at the challenge can imply), the two of them could play the role of swing votes if other big players start gunning at each other. Apart from her, he doesn’t seem very close to anybody, but then again, Randy is never close to anybody.
Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano
Ok, so what’s the deal with Boston Rob and his passing out? Why make such a big deal out of it and use so much air time for that type of incident that usually ends up on the editing room floor?
Was it just to create a “story” from “Boston Rob seems to have become nicer in episode 1” to his “Stop being the good guy, and be what everyone expects me to do: be the villain!” line? All of that for just this? Or was life at villain campt that boring that almost all of the air time devoted to it was devoted to that? I just don’t get it.
Apart from that, it’s true though that Rob seems to be the only one that’s being physically strong on Team Villains, and I’m not sure what the implications of that will be. Because even if I think the “right” way to play this game is the strategic one (if that show was just about who wins the challenges I would have stopped watching it years ago, and that wouldn’t even cross my mind to blog about it) you need to have physical competitors on the team for your team to survive.
Russell Hantz
One scene really surprised me with Russell, the one where he’s almost humble and he implies that he feels threatened by Boston Rob. Wow. I didn’t expect that from him. I guess Russell is a little bit starstruck by Boston Rob, he’s excited to play with him, but he’s also starting to see how he can get the best of him. While Rob is intrigued by Russell, is wondering why he made such a strong impression on his season (from what he got from Probst comments) and he’s trying to figure him out to use him or play him. I can’t wait to see the two of them trying to vote each other out, because I’m pretty much sure that will happen, and it will be one of the high points of the season.
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Have you seen the shoes she was wearing at some point? What went through her mind to wear those shoes in the jungle? Really??? And that’s kinda all I have to say about Sandra this week. That and the fact that if she thinks she’s allied with Boston Rob, she’s in it for a big surprise.
Tyson Apostol
Two episodes in a row were we barely see Tyson! What’s happening? Is he actually playing under the radar? I’m starting to think he does. Based on his performance in the challenge (he knew that challenge, he should have been a leader, not a follower in it, and he didn’t seem to put much energy at all to push those cubes), either he’s not mentally into the game this time (I can’t believe it), or he’s not feeling well physically (I doubt it too), or he has just toned down his behavior both physically (he’s saving himself for individual challenges) and mentally, which is not a bad idea with all of those big personalities around him. I assume he’s trying to appear to his fellow contestants as the happy funny guy he appeared to others in Tocantins, and not the most awesome trash talker of the history of confessionals that everyone now knows he is too. Yes, but we want more of Tyson awesomeness!!!
Next Week:
Apparently, Heroes lose another challenge (reward challenge this time I assume, they wouldn’t imply an immunity challenge loss in the preview, would they?) and James loses it again… Not good, for the heroes moral, not good.
Next person voted out:
If the Heroes go again, it doesn’t look good for Tom, unless everybody gets pissed at James.
If the Villains go, Parvati or Randy are on the chopping block I assume.

Merge prediction:
I see a merge with 12 people, to keep the suspense of a final 2 or a final 3, and is there’s no big twist (I’m pretty much sure that tribes will be reshuffled before the merge, I’d like a “challenge” where everyone votes whether that contestant is a Hero and Villain, remember Courtney’s “Cassandra edit”, in the preview for episode 3, she tells James “you should have been on the Villains tribe)).
So, let’s say: Amanda, JT, Cirie, Rupert, Candice for the Heroes, and Coach, Courtney, Danielle, Randy, Boston Rob, Russell, Tyson for the Villains.

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