I don’t know about you, but I am impressed by this season. And while I bash editing from time to time, I was also impressed by it. While this week’s vote made sense on every possible way, I find this week’s tribal more intense and more stressful than last week’s. Kudos where kudos are due.
Laura Morett won again, of course she did, and I have the feeling that she’s going to pull an Ozzy and return to the game for the second time. Meanwhile, Tina Wesson eliminated her own daughter Katie Collins. And while it was obvious that Tina wanted it more than Katie (and that Katie was probably one of the very few players this season who wasn’t exactly there to try to win but for the “experience”) it was still pretty emotional, even more so when this is broadcast just a few days after the tragedy that hit them both.
– Ciera Eastin: Well, we were warned two weeks ago, gloves have come off. I was almost shocked that Ciera really did go all out trying to convince Monica that our Coconut Bandits (the term has gone out of fashion too soon, I’m trying to bring it back) were talking trash about her behind her back. While she hasn’t always made the best moves and a bunch of mistakes, Ciera really has won my respect as a player, not even being afraid to go the Villain side of things (is she preparing her spot for Heroes Vs Villains 2, first voting her mom out, now lying her heart out trying to destroy an alliance? In any case, her spot as a future returning is pretty much reserved). However, all of those moves are undermined by the fact that they end up being pretty useless in the end. Now what is her end game exactly? Making it to the end I guess. If she does it, she still can win, seeing how she has so many jury votes in the bag. Also, there is the Laura factor. If she returns – as I believe she will – what will happen? At this point, it also could be in Laura’s best interest to vote Ciera out… Mmmm… Can’t wait to see.
– Gervase Peterson: I wonder why everyone sees Tyson as being the game master this season, when Gervase seems to be as much involved in everything that does down. I guess Tyson takes a more proactive approach when dealing with the other contestants. That could help Gervase in the end (JT and Stephen style, everyone could be so pissed at Tyson that Gervase benefits from it) or hurt his chances (being perceived as a coattail rider). I’m afraid it’ll be the latter for some reason.
– Hayden Moss sent to redemption island: For the past few weeks he really showed he could play the game, play it well, and as ferociously as an All-Star. Seriously, his attempts last week and this week, are on par of some of the best moves we’ve seen in seasons like Heroes Vs Villains or Micronesia. However, as they all failed, his legacy won’t be much. I guess his biggest mistake was to wait too long to make those moves, he should have taken the game into his own hands earlier, maybe at Laura’s vote (not vote against her, but recruit her to overtake the game).
– Monica Culpepper: I wonder what was going through Monica’s head this whole time at Tribal Council. Did she believe Ciera’s words or not? On the one hand, one may think that she didn’t. As Gervase said, those revelations came with a suspicious timing. On the other hand, even if Tyson never talked trash about Monica to Ciera, Monica must have sensed at that moment that she has indeed been annoying Tyson. But in any case, it’s irrelevant, and Monica did the right thing for herself. She reinstated that she’s playing for herself this season (something she already said early this season) and that’s what she did by not flipping. That non-move was the best move for her. First, there’s always the stigma attached with flipping (you’re a traitor and all that). Monica wants to play an honest and heroic game, and that is her sales pitch if she makes it to the end. An approach that would be worthless if she betrayed her (almost) day one alliance a few days before the end. Also, flipping would help Hayden and Ciera but not herself, for the reasons previously mentioned as well as she has zero chance to win against Hayden and Ciera, the jury would send their votes to them, not to her. On the other hand, seeing how Tyson and Gervase are being attacked more and more, they could appear as goats to her. So, by this non-move, Monica has straightened her position in the game and almost secured her spot in the final three (well, there’s the redemption island factor that could change things), and she wins this week’s don’t-let-that-fool-you award.
– Tyson Apostol: Strangely, not too much about Tyson this week. He’s staying the course, as he should be. I’m really surprised that he revealed to Monica that he had the idol, although I can understand why he did that (ironically, not to have to talk trash about her, she was that annoying with over-strategizing). I’m still surprised by one thing though, the fact that he hasn’t won any immunity challenge. Is it because, he is indeed diminished by his shoulder injury earlier in the season, or has he not won on purpose a few of them, not to paint an even bigger target? We’ll see how he does for the last two ones.
Next week on Survivor:
Well, not next week but this Sunday..
As usual, the preview of the season finale doesn’t really show anything.
We’re left to evaluate the chances that everyone has to win.
According to edit, Tyson is in the leading position, but Ciera is now not too far behind, and Monica still has a small chance.
According to the stories that they can sell to the jury (many times it has been hinted that it will matter during final tribal council, especially with Ciera).
So let’s start with her:
– Ciera has indeed a big story on so many levels. She started as an obvious early boot and she managed to survive week after week until she took matters into her own hands by voting her mom out, then betraying her alliance, then winning that immunity idol when she needed it the most. Add to that the fact that most of the jury seems to be rooting for her now, she could be our winner. However, I don’t see her win for some reason. She has become a too big threat, and she’ll have to win two more individual immunities, and I don’t think she can.
– Gervase lacks a story and that is his main issue (and the reason why not many people give him credit for the things both Tyson and he did). Sure he has one, coming back from season one, to a game that has completely changed, and he managed to change with it. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough.
– Monica doesn’t have much of a story either beyond the fact that she stayed loyal and she won a bunch of immunities.
– Tyson is in the driver’s seat, and seeing how so many people in the jury were serious players and competitors, they have to respect his game. He also has a compelling story; after Tocantins and Heroes Vs Villains where he self-destructed twice, he managed to stay the course this time, he never messed up and played a near perfect game. Add to that Rachel’s early eviction as his main motivator (an important factor in a season filled with family induced emotion), his early injury as one more obstacle to overcome and we have a great winner.
Of course, let’s not forget the people at redemption island, while Tina and Hayden have some chances to win if they make it to the end (I doubt that Laura has any), I don’t see any strong enough story for them, so I’ll discard them (and that’s also why I believe Laura is the one returning again).
In any case, see you on Monday for the finale’s analysis (although, as usual for a finale there isn’t much to analyze). Well, I’ll write at least a few words about it (may not be on Monday though, I may be a bit busy, we’ll see)
You want to read more about Survivor? You should read those fine people’s blogs:
- Super Jude’s blog. One of the best Survivor bloggers out there.
- Rob has a website, a podcast and an amazing know-it-alls analysis.
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times is a must read every week.
- Stephen Fishbach’s blog too (now with illustrations by Erik Reichenbach)
- Dalton Ross’s recap on EW is much much more than just a recap.
- Andy Dehnart’s Reality Blurred.
- more to come… or not…