Last night, the internet cried. Our lives have become pointless. Our beers have become stale. The fun has been sucked out of our lives by a big sponge.
Ok, I exaggerate just a little bit, but yeah, while I didn’t expect Malcolm to win this season, I am bummed that he was voted out so early. See, I have had one problem with Survivor in recent seasons (I mean, on top of the others problems I have like some poor casting and editing choices) is that I haven’t found any contestants to really root for since… I don’t know… Probably Stephen Fishbach in the Tocantins. That is Season 18, eight seasons ago. Sure there has been other contestants I liked since then, but no one I really rooted for until Malcolm. And let’s face it, Malcolm is the perfect Survivor contestant: he knows and loves the game, he really plays it and is not afraid to play it hard, he also has a great social game, and he doesn’t suck in challenges. I also heard that the ladies don’t mind to have him in front of their eyes. So yeah, it’s a bummer that he’s gone.
But let’s move on and analyze the game play of everyone this week which delivered a pretty solid episode, that’s three in a row. I’m impressed.
Enil Edam Tribe
– Andrea Boehlke: She’s playing hard. We can’t take that away from her. But I don’t know. Maybe it’s the editing, maybe it’s something else, she doesn’t convince me. Part of the problem is that indeed, she’s not playing as well as she thinks she does. Another one, is that the dynamics within the favorite alliance is still pretty blurry. Apart from the obvious (to us, but not everyone else apparently) duo of Cochran and Dawn, we’re not sure who thinks what about whom within the alliance. We don’t know who has side deals with whom. And as we saw last week, some people – Brenda – were ready to throw her under the bus, and I believe that she’s not the only one, as her pretty aggressive play may bother a few people in her alliance.
– Brenda Lowe: I was very worried about Brenda this week. We never saw so much of her all season long. She even had several confessionals. And seeing has she seemed to be having a tough time emotionally, I thought she was going to get voted out or worse, medi-vaced. But no, I guess the airtime vacuum left by Phillip’s eviction is good for her and Erik. Still, I was pretty sad and concerned to see her to vulnerable and unsure of herself in the auction. We’re miles away from the Brenda we knew in Nicaragua. And I think we may be onto something here. I think she’s simply not in the same mental state this season as she was back then. Hence, the very under-the-radar and quiet behavior, and consequently the lack of air time.
– Dawn Meehan: She seems to be doing better (for now), but not too much about her this week.
– Eddie Fox: Oh poor Eddie. Well, I don’t really feel bad for him, but he’s such a tool, it’s almost sad.
– Erik Reichenbach: After last week’s vote, we could assume that Erik had flipped to the Bros alliance. But no he didn’t, he just wanted to get rid of Phillip (and when you think about it, he’s also pretty much the one responsible for both idols being played). I understand Erik’s strategy in not having one. He doesn’t want to make any stupid move, and he basically wants to follow Fabio’s and Sandra’s steps. But he doesn’t have Sandra’s sass, and Fabio… Well… Fabio is some sort of perfect storm of the unlikely winner (the immunity run, the three finalists basically being all goats, the fact that Sash may or may not have been “eliminated” by production for his attempt to cheat and as such was not allowed to receive any vote in the final tribal council, etc). I don’t see how Erik can win, unless maybe against Sherri and Eddie, but to end up against them, he’ll have to make moves. He should have already started to make moves. However, I don’t blame him for not flipping this week. He really had a lot to lose and not really anything to win had he done it.
– John Cochran: Just write him the million dollar check already. Everybody loves him. Not a single time anyone in his own alliance has seemed to see him as a threat. On top of that he’s now even winning challenges (eat this Ozzy), and his edit really shapes him into this season’s hero. My only problem is that he and Malcolm, while never gunning openly at each other have done so for a while anyway. Super fans of the show are so rare these days, it makes me sad to see them not allied and trying to vote each other out, when nothing would have been to stop them had they got together. Oh well, I guess there is one good thing about Malcolm’s eviction, now I can fully root for Cochran for the remainder of the season, as he really is this season’s rising star. Hopefully, the next time they play together (they both have to be invited back for the next All-Stars season, right?) they’ll be in a tight alliance and both make it to the end.
– Malcolm Freberg voted out: Some people say that Malcolm is overrated. I really don’t think he is. Sure, he didn’t play a perfect game, but he played a pretty amazing game with the cards he was dealt. I’d say he has made one major mistake this season (an avoidable one I mean, confiding to Dawn thinking she was at the bottom of Stealth ‘R Us is really no luck), it was on day one, when Corinne and he decided to go with Phillip, Dawn, Andrea and Cochran instead of Erik, Brenda, Brandon and Francesca. On one side, you had four individuals, with no history with each other, and on the other side, there were two “couples” who knew each other very well and were tight since before the season started. That automatically put him to the bottom of Stealth ‘R Us and from then on, all he tried to do was to end up in a better position. And that could have worked if he had had better allies and not Corinne pretty much voting herself out when she doesn’t like Phillip’s plan while that plan ensures them to succeed their blindside, then you have Eddie who blabbers everything (or at least too much) to Andrea, and finally Reynold… who fails at every single thing he attempts in this game (except winning challenges, I’ll give him that). Now, it’s not like he had a choice, they were the only available allies out there.
And you can say all you want about him, he tried to take things into his own hands and to change the game instead of waiting to be pagonged. See you, Malcolm hopefully soon. This time, he’ll have had time to recover from his previous season, and he’ll kick some major ass.
– Reynold Toepfer: I have no reason to change my comment from last week: “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.” The weird/scary thing is that I’m starting to root for him.
– Sherri Biethman: Why didn’t Sherri flip? First because she hates Eddie and Reynold too much to even consider allying herself with them (and that Malcolm had no idea, although, Eddie and Reynold maybe should have told Malcolm about the details of their pre-reshuffle standing with her). The other reason, is that she’s actually pretty delusional, as she really believes she can take over the remaining members of Stealth ‘R Us, when she’s just tolerated at the moment because everyone else has bigger fish to fry. Now that the biggest fish had been fried, we’ll see how much importance people like Cochran or Andrea give her.
I guess it’s the end of the Bros and the remaining players are going to turn on each other.
Next person voted out:
Clearly Eddie or Reynold, or even Eddie and Reynold as apparently it’s a double boot episode (not sure if it’s two regular tribal councils and the days in between condensed into one episode because nothing very special happens – like we’ve seen before on Redemption Island – or if it’s a double tribal council with two back-to-back votes or something along those lines)
Winner prediction: Well, if it’s not Cochran, I don’t know who it can be.
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.
- Stephen Fishbach also has a column with People.com.
- Dalton Ross the best recapper out there (you may have noticed that I don’t care much for recaps – honestly I don’t see their point – but Dalton Ross’s are always hilarious and very insightful at the same time).
- 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…