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Survivor 21, Episode 8: Company Will Be Arriving Soon

Ok, I’m back at commenting Survivor.
So, the merge happened earlier this season. I think this is a good thing, as it’s stupid to have people in the jury that didn’t get to play with everybody. On the other hand, I suspect that the merge happened earlier in order to save Marty, because let’s admit it, having Marty voted out early would have suck for the show, the rest of the season would have been less interesting. Oh well.
  • Alina Wilson voted out: I’m almost sad to see Alina go. Mostly because each episode she seemed to be wearing less and less clothes. What has she done to alienate pretty much everybody? Being on the wrong alliance early in the game can’t explain everything; something significant about her must have been left out in the editing room. But the fact that she became Naonka’s accomplice made her unredeemable to the eyes of too many people. Yes it was stupid not to rat out Naonka right away, but I understand why Alina didn’t do it, at that moment, she thought that only Naonka was on her side. Naonka really played her. I was almost shocked that nobody seemed to really blame her for stealing the food while they didn’t give Alina a second chance. That alone made me want to side with Alina.
  • Ben “Benry” Henry: I used to like Benry, but I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that I learned that he was one of the guys that were manipulating girls to get naked on Girls Gone Wild, maybe it’s something else, but I think more and more of him as a douche-bag. The more I see him, the more he reminded me of all of those frat boys back in the days that don’t respect women and not much other men either. His comment when voting Alina out seems to prove me right. Now, for the purpose of the game, he’s playing a smart one. He too, was on the wrong alliance in the beginning of the game, but everyone seems to have forgotten about it. He’s been cruising through the votes ever since, not being even remotely a target once. That being said, he doesn’t really seem to have an alliance either. So far, he always manages to be on the right side of the voting, but he’d better not win too much individual immunity because he won’t have anybody to back him up when the wind will blow on the other direction.
  • Brenda Lowe: Is she running the show right now? It’s very tempting to say yes. Of course, she’s doing it with Sash and he almost seems to be more of a ringleader than her, but actually that’s the thing, she could use that against him later. In any case, she’s a very smart player, one of the best in a while, she definitely deserves a spot on the next All-Stars edition. Despite all of this, she seems to be missing something to be a real Survivor powerhouse. What? I don’t know. Some aggressiveness, leadership, something. Remember how Naonka found the idol. Brenda basically told her where it was and then she let Naonka get it. Remember how Sash got his idol? Brenda gave him the idea to ask it from Marty, instead of doing it herself. I feel like she doesn’t want to be to prominent in calling the shots in fear that it backfires. Except that it could backfire too and worse, she could get backstabbed by Sash, or if she makes it to the finals, she could appear as a follower (while she never was) and some people may not respect that and give the million to somebody else. In other terms, she still needs to make that killer move that will put her to the level of the greatest players of the game.
  • Chase Rice: He seems like a genuine nice guy, and talking about killer instinct, here is somebody else that doesn’t seem to have any. He’s still in the game because he has the numbers on his side, but as soon as people don’t need him anymore, he’ll be history. What could play in his favor is that Jane might need him to the end if she wants to get there.
  • Dan Lembo: It’s quite impressive that Dan is still in the game. Apparently, it’s because of one reason and one reason only: he’s fun to be around. He must really have a great personality and be very very fun, because man, he’s so useless in any other aspect of the game, which paradoxically will help him get far now that the merge has happened. Can he go to the end? Yes he can, he’s somebody you want to have next to you in the finale, I suspect he’d get any vote.
  • Holly Hoffman: She’s really turned around since her breakdown early in the game. She’s now playing a great social game, becoming the youngsters’ mommy. Despite of that, she doesn’t seem to have any real strategy and she will count on her allies to carry her as far as possible, except that sooner or later they won’t need her.
  • Jane Bright: How can you not love Jane? She’s sweet, she’s fun, she’s hard working. Still, Marty is totally right about her, she’s playing that game perfectly so far, and if she makes it to the end, she’ll win it all. Marty’s problem? He’s been playing too hard since the beginning and people like Jane better than him, so they’ll be more willing to listen to her over him.
  • Jud “Fabio” Birza: Believe it or not, Fabio could make it far. He’s physically strong and nobody sees him as a threat. And the only person that seems to dislike him is Naonka, whose days in the game are numbered. Also, I don’t think he’s as half-dumb as he seems he is. Sure he’s not super bright, but he’s bright enough to realize that the way he behaves erases any target he could potentially have. Now, to have any chance to win he’ll need more than that, and I don’t think he has what it needs.
  • “Purple” Kelly Shinn: She spoke once or twice, right? I’ve never seen a more invisible character in Survivor history, even Brett (Brett? Brad?I even forgot his name) in Samoa had more screen time.
  • NaOnka Mixon: Is she crazy? Very possibly. But more than that, Jeff Probst seems to have the answer in his latest blog: she has the maturity of a seven years old. I have so much more to say about her, but I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say next week.
  • Marty Piombo: He really understands the game, I give him credit for that. He knows how to survive and deflect a few bullets, the fact that he survived the past few votes and the way he did it proves that. But Marty thinks he’s much better than he really is. Now he’s playing a great game because he knows his head is on the chopping block (and once again kudos to him to survive those votes), but as soon as he gets in a more comfortable position he’ll get too cocky and get blindsided. In the event he makes it to the end, I’m not even sure he’d win. I’m sure he sees himself on the level of Richard Hatch and Brian Heidik (and yes, his playing style resembles theirs a lot), but Hatch and even Heidik had some charisma that allowed them to get those final votes and I’m not sure Marty has it. To his credit, Hatch and Heidik, despite being great players, played at a time when most players didn’t understand the game, I don’t think they’d win if they were playing now.
  • Matthew “Sash” Lenahan: He is a shadier player than I’d ever suspect in the beginning, and if him and Brenda stay strong they could make it to the end. But you see, this is the problem with those kinds of players, sooner or later they’ll mistrust their allies (remember Sash’s Freudian slip last week?) and they’ll turn on each other. I see that coming between Sash and Brenda. The one that remains victorious has a good chance to win the game.
Next Week: It seems that Naonka will finally get what she deverses, but really I don’t know. Marty could have his hour coming too.
Prediction for the Winner: Jane, Sash or Brenda.

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