So far so good. Two very good episodes in a row, we haven’t had that in a long time. The two returning players don’t hog too much of camera time and Phillip is not here to take the rest of the air time. Actually most of the cast is pretty interesting to have me interested in this season whatever happens. Good. (although I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I’m knocking on wood, last season first two episodes were good too, they were the only ones)
As usual, the tribe that wins immunity gets less air time, so not much about them and not a lot of strategizing this week except for a few tidbits that will be developed in the contestant paragraphs.
– Dawn Meehan: Did we even see her this week? Not sure. She seems to have recovered from her breakdown (as it was excepted) but she’s still at the bottom on the tribe’s pecking order.
– Elyse Umemoto: Not much about her either, she seems to be well under the radar, acting as the funny & pretty girl who makes no waves, however she will have to stop soon with this “calling her ancestors” joke before it gets old or before she gets called a female Phillip (did I just mention it a second time in just a few lines? Go away Phillip’s spirit, this is not your season, you have nothing to do here unless you want to tell me what you foresaw for this season). Back to Elyse, right now, she is safe, being part of the “Cool Kids Alliance” however, she’s most likely number five in this five people alliance. I hope she’s aware of that and that she’ll do something about it if needed.
– Jim Rice: We’re getting into something interesting with Jim. He thinks he’s in control of Savaii, he thinks he came up with the idea of forming the “cool kids alliance.” The question is how much is he aware of the fact that he is in a unstable position (safe for the moment,; but he could become unsafe really quickly). I think he’s aware enough. I even think that if he realizes that he’s in trouble he could scramble enough to turn the table. He just needs to be very careful not becoming too self confident.
– John Cochran: He escaped the heat last week (although it’s debatable that he really was in danger of anything), I think he’s safe for now, Dawn and Mark should be voted out before him. For the rest, it’s still a mystery what he will do. I’d be tempted to say that he’s a premerge boot, but the way Probst always talks about him makes me think he’s going to be here for a while, and it’s true that if he survives until the merge, he could make it far.
– Keith Tollefson: Still not much about him. He seems tight with Whitney, he seems tight with Ozzy, he’s forming an alliance with them (and Jim and Elyse). I guess that’s all I have to say about him this week (which is nothing interesting if you’ve seen the episode, and if you haven’t, why exactly are you reading this now?) I’m more and more the impression that he’s taking the Grant route, i.e. the sidekick (Ozzy’s? Whitney’s? Jim’s?) who thinks he’s in the core of the dominant alliance and who’s going to get voted out as soon as he’s not needed anymore.
– Mark “Papa Bear” Caruso: Did we see him at all? I don’t think so. And I’m pretty much sure he’s next to go at Savaii anyway.
– Ozzy Lusth: Is he in charge or is he not? Last week it seemed that he was more on the outs than he hoped. This week he seems to be at the center of what looks like the dominant alliance in his tribe, although I still think that he’s not that safe and if things start to go south in the tribe, the chopping block may not be that far. However, he’s found an idol, but we know his record with using idols when needed, don’t we? Seriously, I don’t know if it’s me or what, but the way he was edited in his interview after finding the idol seemed like foreshadowing of another blindside for Ozzy, idol in pocket included. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking from my part.
On a side note: Dear production,
I understand that you want idols to be found, if they’re not, what’s the point? I get that. But could they actually be hard to find, just for once? Putting a rock in front of an idol, in a tree two meters above ground doesn’t constitute hiding at all. Actually it reminds me of my little cousin whom I watched playing hide and seek once. He had the greatest idea in the world – or so he thought – to grab a foam mattress, to lift it against a wall and hide behind it. I mean, nobody on earth was able to see him behind the mattress. Perfect hiding spot, right? Well, yes, if you don’t think it’s odd to have a mattress standing like that against the wall in the middle of the room. Did you guys hire my little cousin to hide idols?
– Whitney Duncan: So apparently, we have three returning players this season, not two. Natalie White is here too, saying nothing, doing nothing except looking pretty and behind in the safest position of all at the moment. OK, I have nothing against Whitney, she really seems like a sweet girl, but please Gods of Survivor don’t let her go to the end, unless she starts playing the game, that would be painful to watch… again… (yes the other Natalie, I’m thinking of you too here)
Finally something to chew on at Upolu from a strategic point of view, and so far I like what I’m seeing. I really hope they make several trips to tribal council. Not that I want to see them lose a lot, but I feel like each one of them will be as great as this one was.
– Albert Destrade : I had a bad feeling about Albert in my preview. Well, scratch that. Not only he is a challenge monster (he was just taking a nap during that last one), but he seems indeed to be a smart man. He is in a very safe position in the tribe and I don’t see how he doesn’t make the merge. We could think he’d have a big target on his back at that moment. Well, maybe if Upolu is in the minority, if not, he could be very tight with a few people (Sophie and Rick, probably Coach too) and he seems to have the smarts and the social game to be final four.
– Ben “Coach” Wade : Ok, a few lines earlier I was joking that there were three returning players this season, but actually not. There are just two: Ozzy and Natalie White. The man with long hair and tattoos we have more or less leading Upolu is a new man. Could we be discovering Ben Wade for the first time? All the antics and stupid stories seem to really have been left back at home, and I’m surprised to see him really be a leader, having people who want to be in an alliance with him and even acting out his plan at tribal council (splitting the vote and all). Do I even see a little bit of manipulation with Edna? Not everything is perfect yet, he’s still putting trust in the wrong people and he has a lot to learn in terms of strategy, but as he is with other newbies in that field, his chances really look good. How could he be voted out before the merge? Not only I don’t see that happening, but he really could be in a rock solid position when it comes: solid with his alliance and not targeted by Savaii until it’s too late. Could he win? Wow, I’m surprising myself saying this, but for the first time in three seasons, it doesn’t seem impossible (that would still piss me off though, returning players in a non-All-Stars season shouldn’t win, period). However, before all of that, he has one situation to deal with and that situation is our next contestant:
– Brandon Hantz : aka Creepy Mc Creepy. Right now, I’m almost worried for Mikayla, he could try to stick a stake through her heart at night or burn her as a witch or something. Thankfully she’s a strong woman and I’m sure she can defend herself against him. But what is wrong with that guy? Sure he has demons, that title is correct… Demons or mental issues. In any case, people, if you thought that this kind of man didn’t exist anymore, there you have one (and there are plenty out there, not just that many on TV). What kind of man? The kind who blames women for their own inability to keep their penis in check. The same kind who will say that a woman who got raped asked for it, the same kind who will say that beating up your wife is a normal thing when she deserves it. The list goes on. Last week, I gave Brandon the benefit of the doubt, I thought he was just a horny kid who got married too early because he got a woman pregnant because he’s never heard of birth control and this is the way they do where he’s from: you don’t marry the one you love, you marry the one you get pregnant. Now I seriously think he’s that kind of man. Was this his plan all along to redeem the Hantz name? So be so creepy and disgusting that he makes Russell look good in comparison?
Gosh, I’m so disgusted by him that I don’t even know what to say concerning him except that I hope he gets voted out next.
– Christine Shields Markoski sent to Redemption Island: I like her. I like her personality. I like the fact that she is smart and can read people’s bullshit (and I love the faces that she makes when she does so). Yet, she made three huge Survivor 101 mistakes: Not keeping her mouth shut when it needs to be, not socializing enough with her tribe, go on a frantic and obvious idol hunt when you’re already on the chopping block, it just makes the target on your back larger and finding the idol is useless at that point, if it saves you once, it won’t save you twice. At least she’ll have some luck at Redemption Island.
– Edna Ma: I almost feel bad for Edna. She seems like such a sweet girl, and she’s way to out of her element there. The woman can’t lie, she said it in her interview and she showed it with Christine. Right now, the extent of her strategy is to be friends with Coach and she’s in the spot of the disposable “ally”. In other words, I don’t see what good can happen to her. Oh and what’s up with the visor? I thought it was an old Japanese woman thing, not a young Chinese-American one.
– Mikayla Wingle: Poor Mikayla too. What did she do to end up in the insane situation that she is now. Also, I really don’t understand how she’s on the outs with her tribe, because even if she was not going to get voted out this time, she’s definitely and clearly on the outs (Coach, that was mean, the way you blew her off during your “alliance meeting”). Maybe she’s too much of a loner? I don’t know, but I think her tribe could be nicer to her if they don’t vote her out (or even if they vote her out, she’s a strong contender to return from Redemption Island when merge comes), or she could easily go with Savaii when the time comes. On a side note, it seems that she barely defended herself when she was targeted at tribal council, it doesn’t look good for her future when she’ll actually be in danger.
– Rick Nelson: Still not much from him, but he’s in a great position. In a solid spot, just under the radar enough, and I assume overall hardworking and nice. He’s not going anywhere soon.
– Sophie Clarke: I like what I see. Even John so far fails to deliver as the nerdy kid that could become a Survivor mastermind, I think Sophie is ready to take that spot. She’s also in a very good position, and so far she’s perfect at analyzing what’s going on in her tribe. I also believe that she will make the right big moves at the right times. She’s on my radar as a potential winner right now.
– Stacey Powell: Is she playing the game? Or is she camping out there until she gets voted out which could be soon? I mean, I don’t really have anything bad to say about her, but I don’t have anything good either. She’s just there, doing nothing strategical nor social. Well, she’s the obvious next boot unless Brandon creeps out too many people.
– Semhar Tadesse: Why are people so mean that they voted her out and sent her to Redemption Island all alone? Seriously, did she ever watch the show before? (I assume we all know the answer) And by the way Semhar, I have a scoop for you, while it’s obvious you went on Survivor because you were hoping to become a famous poet or something, nobody hasn’t become famous coming out of Survivor in about 10 years (I mean famous for the general public, not for Survivor geeks like me) and as a former Literature major, I have even more painful news: your poetry suck, it’s full of clichés and sounds like it was written by a 13 years old.
A final note to say I found the last image of this episode (Christine trying to wake her up) very amusing as some sort of cliffhanger: “Oh my god, maybe Semhar didn’t survive three days alone out there!?”
Next time on Survivor:
-People seem to realize that Brandon is totally messed up and they may not want to keep a psycho sleeping right next to them at night.
-Has Ozzy lost his challenge superpowers? Will Whitney out him as having the idol?
-Will Semhar pretend to fight for her life at the duel against Christine or won’t she even bother and just quit?
-Who will join Christine at Redemption Island?
If Savaii loses, Mark is out unless everybody turns on Ozzy for some reason (however, the preview looks like misdirections to me).
If Upolu loses again, Stacey’d better hope that Brandon creeps out everybody or she’ll join her friend Christine camping at Redemption.
What about you? Do you agree with my analysis?