I’m going to repeat what everyone has said: “what an amazing episode! this is why 13 years later, I’m still not missing one episode of that show, even if it has early seasons that suck as bad as this one”
This was indeed one of the best tribal council ever. Now let’s try to see everyone’s game play at this point.
Enil Edam Tribe
– Andrea Boehlke: What’s interesting about Andrea this week is that she was almost voted out by Stealth ‘R Us as they were scrambling during tribal council. Who would have thought she was at the bottom of the alliance? I guess it comes from several factors. According to a few exit interviews, she was playing very hard out there and in a not so subtle way at times. Also, she was becoming buddies with the Bros, while Phillip was trying to install some sort of buddy system or whatever as Malcolm mentioned that Stealth ‘R Us was almost not talking to the three amigos anymore. Now the question is “did Andrea heard her name being thrown around at Tribal? If yes, how will she react?”
– Brenda Lowe: She got a confessional! Yes, she got a confessional! Sure it was a couple of seconds long, but she got a confessional. While I still don’t understand how is it possible that editing gives her that treatment, I’m starting to understand her game play. As the season started, two things were noticeable for her. The first comment the Fans made as she came out of the helicopter “she’s dangerous” and right after, she ended in a very bad position as she was aligned with Francesca and Brandon basically. So I assume that from that point (Francesca being voted out) she decided to keep an as low profile as possible. And we can say it is working for her as she’s now part of the favorites alliance when she was first on the outs, and she even seemed pretty close to Phillip during this episode, although it has yet to be proven that Phillip was the glue holding the alliance.
Now let’s mention her confessional once more. Or rather its content. So after recovering Dawn’s fake teeth, she said something along the lines of now that it has brought them closer, she doesn’t see her screwing over Dawn. As the whole lost fake teeth incident was inconsequential, it could have simply been edited out. Yet, it was kept in, and not in a boring episode but in an episode that was so full of scrambling and strategy that this time could have used differently on screen. So it can mean only one thing: this will have an impact on the game; Brenda finally will have a storyline. Which one will it be though? Will she screw over Dawn and be responsible for her downfall or the opposite? With Dawn’s current track record, I’d be tempted to say that Brenda will be voted out because of Dawn and because she doesn’t want to betray her. And Dawn could pay the price by losing the game by losing Brenda’s vote in the final tribal? We’ll see…
– Dawn Meehan: I’m kinda worried about her right now. Sure her game play is pretty amazing but it’s taking its toll on her. If she keeps on being an emotional mess like this, she could soon be voted out. Even Cochran is considering it while I thought he was her number one ally (but is he really?)
– Eddie Fox: Did he even understand what happened at tribal? Not too sure. And now I’m finding myself sort of rooting for him because of this whole thing.
– Erik Reichenbach: I wish we heard more of Erik. Last week there was a secret scene on CBS’s website where he explained his strategy quite well (yes, he has a strategy). First he explained that this whole 7-8 person alliance was foolishness as it was meant to crumble sooner or later. Then, he explained that his strategy is not that different from Sandra’s “anyone but me” strategy. It could work, although the major difference between him and Sandra is that Sandra also had a pretty strong social game (or at least a pretty strong personality) to defend herself and attract those jury vote at the final tribal. I’m not sure Erik has that.
What about his decision to vote out Phillip? Well, we know that he has disliked Phillip since day one or so. Also it fits his strategy. With the mess that this tribal council was, his best bet (as votes could have been going his way) was to vote against the one he knew was getting votes anyway. Pretty smart from him if you’re asking me. Now will he join the Bros? Mmmm… Nothing is less sure.
– John Cochran: I love how Cochran is getting more and more cocky (but in a funny way, not an obnoxious one). I had noticed this on Twitter in recent months (since his return from the Philippines? maybe) Not much about him this week. As previously mentioned, interesting to see that he’s ready to get rid of Dawn if necessary. I guess he’s starting to understand that despite the fact that she has betrayed many people, it may not be the best idea to be seated next to her during the final tribal council. I loved the situation he was in during tribal council. The fan in him was so thrilled to be part of this amazing Survivor moment, but the player was really confused at to what to do next. Now, the question is what will his strategy be now that his number goat has been voted out. Will he stick to his alliance or look for other goats? Who? Sherri? Eddie?
– Malcolm Freberg: What can I say? I love Malcolm. I did so since last season, and I really believe he has become my new favorite player. Sure his move could have been better, maybe he could have avoided to play the idols by luring people from Stealth ‘R Us into voting for Phillip before tribal using the idol(s) as leverage, but seeing how it worked the previous time (you know when he first though he had Dawn and Sherri), it’s understandable that he didn’t go that route. What about a great blindside, Parvati style, by giving out idols after the vote? Well, Parvati did it before, and I think Malcolm’s goal to reveal the idols was to completely confuse Stealth ‘R Us and make them turn on each other. Maybe he could have done it better by not revealing the Bros were voting for Phillip. But that’s the thing, not revealing that they were voting for Phillip was forcing them to play the idols as many votes could have been cast for many people. I think his idea was to keep the idols, and only because Eddie got scared and played the idol, he had to play his too to be safe. And indeed, had they kept their idols, there would have been a revote between Phillip and Eddie and who knows what would have happen? And in any case, he would have been safe with his idol around his neck.
Actually, that’s a rule of Survivor I ignore. Can you play your idol for a revote? Does anybody know?
Some people say that this move was mostly for shows and that it won’t help him win. I beg to disagree. I mean, yes, the move was for shows, but not only to impress us viewers, but also to impress the other players. And while this move doesn’t help him going to the end, it does indeed help him win if he makes it to the end. I think Malcolm’s problem on the island – and possibly the reason he flipped so easily – was that the other favorites didn’t seem to really consider him as part of them. Maybe they just saw him as some sort of glorified fan, maybe they were scared of him because they never saw him play? Who knows? But whatever the reason he was indeed at the bottom of Stealth ‘R Us, now he has earned respect from the other Favorites (after all, among all of the returning players this season, he’s the one who played the best his first time around).
And right now, I really do think that his chances of winning are non-negligible. Editing plays a big part here. Malcolm’s move was not flawless by any means. Yet, it was edited as this amazing move, one of the best ever. Sure, part of the thing is that Probst loves Bros, possibly even more so than trolls in pink underwear. But part of it was also possibly some “winner edit.”
What’s next for Malcolm? Well, now he’s condemned to stick with Reynold and Eddie. They are his two goats. But to go further in the game, he also needs more votes. In the preview Sherri seems to be one of them. Erik could be one too, although he’s not a reliable one. What about Andrea? Without Phillip, she could be tempted to join them too.
– Phillip Sheppard‘s voted out: Finally!!!!!
– Reynold Toepfer: Funny, how I start to find him somewhat endearing in a sense. He’s still a douche though. And he still can’t play the game either.
– Sherri Biethman: What’s next for Sherri? She pretty much has nowhere to go. Phillip was the only reason she was part of Stealth ‘R Us and in a sense he was really the glue holding it together. If Sherri stays with the favorite, she’s clearly at the bottom and has no chance to go up. So, she kinda has to go with the Bros, even if she really dislikes two of them. So she’ll need to flip with someone else. Who?
Will the bros manage to recruit enough people to gain a majority?
Next person voted out:
Mmmm…. Very hard to tell. The bros are not safe by any means, but more big moves could happen sooner than we think.
Winner prediction: Cochran still has my vote, but Malcolm is now in second position (I’m not saying that he’ll be runner-up, I’m saying that he’s second in my list of possible winners)
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 on vacation this week.
- 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.
- more to come…