This season is very interesting. I was extremely disappointed in the first All-Stars season (but Micronesia was one of the best), so far this season delivers. That was another great episode, I really hope that it’s going to be like this all season long (although I’m afraid that mid-season, around merge time, may be a little predictable… or not, we’ll see…) It’s very interesting to see how different both tribes are, and how the Villains are behaving more and more “nicely” whereas the Heroes are being more and more scheming and “villainous”. But to be fair, this is mostly because the Heroes have been to Tribal Council three times already, the Villains only one. Had it been the Villains, it would have quickly become cutthroat island.
Very very strange dynamics in this tribe. I guess it comes from three factors. Some are playing the game, some are also playing the game, except that they still think Survivor is about challenges and only challenges) and some are worried about their public image and that’s pretty much it.
I’m starting to wonder about Amanda. Yes, she’s the contestant that lasted the longer of all of the Survivor contestants, but she seems to be aligned with somebody that help her decide things or worse make decisions for her (Todd in China, Parvati in Micronesia). Who does she have this season? She had JT, but now that he flipped, she only has James and Rupert. In other terms, she’d better start taking charge of her “destiny” or at least her game, because if she just hopes to fly by until the merge and then joins Parvati she may have a bad surprise.
She’s in a very difficult situation, as she’s obviously the next person out in this tribe, but if Amanda, Rupert and James get really mad at JT and want to vote him out (which I seriously doubt) she also could be a swing vote. The preview for next week says that she’s making a bold move and indeed she has to make one if she wants to stay a few more days in the game.
Cirie Fields (voted out)
OK, I was totally wrong last week. Cirie was not in the “Micronesia alliance” and she definitely more on the outs than I previously suspected. Does it make sense to vote her out now? I’m not sure. I know that there’s this sort of consensus that one should keep the strongest members to avoid going to tribal, but except for the reward challenge, the Heroes lost on the puzzle part of the challenges every time they lost, so their problem is not a question of weakness, at least not physical weakness. That being said, and even if I’m sad to see Cirie go, JT was right to vote her out before the merge, because this is when Cirie becomes dangerous, in the individual game, not the team one.
Do I have anything to say about Colby? No. Yes, he’s finally starting to play strategically, but only because Tom tells him what to do. Colby, grow a brain please.
What will James do now? Well, still follow Amanda, but what’s gonna happen if Amanda is unable to call the shots? I don’t think he’s in danger of being voted out yet (unless he grants us of another outburst like two weeks ago), but I’m pretty sure that he’ll be kicked out just before the merge.
James “J.T.” Thomas, Jr
JT made an extremely bold move here. He was in control of his alliance and of the tribe, and he jeopardized all of that to oust Cirie. In other circumstances I would have called that a stupid move, but not this time. Sure, it could come back to bite him, but this is also these kinds of move that assert your position in the game and help you go far, very far. JT proves again that he’s one of the best player that played that game, and yeah, at this point I’m definitely rooting for him on the Heroes side. The question is: what’s gonna happen next week? Will Amanda, James and Rupert be mad at hime for turning on them?
Not much of Rupert this week, except at tribal where he proved again how stupid he can be sometimes. What happened seems clear to me. Yes, it thought it was stupid to vote against Tom or Colby, but he was in an alliance, and he doesn’t want to go against them, not because he thinks that’s wrong, but because he doesn’t want to appear like a traitor on national TV. OK, he won’t appear as a traitor, he’ll appear as a bonehead and somebody that gets booted out very soon instead.
OK, Tom was more likable this week, and he played exactly the way he should have played. Of course finding the hidden immunity idol greatly helped, but working JT the way he did was very very well played. I have more esteem for him now (until he has this “holier than you” attitude again).
The different teams and alliances:
-Amanda, James, Rupert.
-Tom, Colby, JT.
The villains should stop winning that much, that means less air time and that’s sad.
Now with all of those tools, they should be able to have a decent shelter. Actually I’m not sure I like those types to reward, they seem a bit too much: knives, hammers, nails, you name it. It almost feels like Survivor Fiji again.
Benjamin “Coach” Wade
Wow, I think we saw Coach’s real face last night. I’ve kept wondering what was Coach real story, and I think I got it in this episode. Coach must have been the “ugly duckling” in his childhood with no self-confidence, and over the years he built that Coach character to hide his insecurities. Except that the character spun out of control, and because of lack of perspective or something he doesn’t realize how much of a joke he has become, he doesn’t realize that what he thinks is cool or impressive makes him the laughing stock of everybody else. Yes, I kinda feel bad for the guy. But the character is still hilarious and priceless. In terms of the game he’s more isolated than ever though. Randy’s gone, Jerri is distancing herself from him (which can mean she knows he’s next to go and she doesn’t want to be next after him), Tyson is kinda his friend, but definitely not his ally. And as he doesn’t have the strategic and social skills to find new allies quickly (Russell, Danielle, Parvati), that means only one thing: Coach’s days are numbered in Samoa.
Last week I worried about her position in the game, actually I don’t worry as much, as she’s in an alliance with Tyson, Boston Rob and Sandra apparently (not shown on TV, but Randy alluded to it several times in his exit interviews). Also, Courtney has to start competing in challenges! Does she realize she’s depriving us of great television moments but not taking part in challenges? Thank God, she took part in one this week, and see how great she was. That fight against the hanging string, it could have been the best fight of the week on TV if not for Lost! We need to see more of Courtney in challenges!
Did we see Danielle at all this week? That annoys me for several reasons. First her presence means that another great character didn’t get to be on the show because she took her spot. Second, with all of those strong personalities she could go very far in the game, just because everybody forgot she was even there (kinda like she did in her season), and that pisses me off. That’s another reason why Villains need to lose more challenges, so that they realize that Danielle is there and that they think that maybe she doesn’t have to be there.
Not much of Jerri either this week. The only important thing is a deleted scene (that one can see on cbs.com) that I already mentioned, where she decides to distance herself from Coach. The only thing I’m not too sure about is whether she does that because she doesn’t feel comfortable to be so close to him in terms of personal relationship or in terms of the game? If it’s in terms of the game, I understand she doesn’t want to be seen as Coach’s ally if he’s next on the list (which he most likely is) but she also needs to realize that one of her only chances to survive longer is actually to try to strengthen that alliance, although I’m not too sure how she can at this point.
Not much of Parvati this week, I guess she decided to be more under the radar this week, and I guess the editors decided the same thing.
Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano
I’m kinda getting annoyed by the fact that the producers seem to be in love with him. Sure he’s a very interesting character, sure the Villains won almost all of their challenges thanks to him, but in a tribe with so many interesting characters I with to see more of the others too, and if he’s really pulling the strings of what’s going on in the tribe this time too (which is most likely according to Randy) we should see more of that, and less of Rob talking about life at camp or whatever.
He needs to start realizing that he doesn’t play against Ashley and Mick anymore. Yes he has this huge advantage that the other ones don’t know him, but this advantage is fading more and more as his game is more and more transparent to them. He’s too much on autopilot, thinking the same moves will bring to the same place (expect that he wrongly thinks that this place is “winner”), but they won’t if he doesn’t realize that his tribemate know how to play the game this time and they start to be able to read him more and more clearly. If he keeps on looking for the idol, he’d better find it and use it at the next tribal, because his name may be the one that comes out the most at the next tribal council.
Not much of her either this time, except that she seems to be ready to vote Russell out and as Rob feels the same more and more too, it may just happen.
We saw a new face of Tyson this week. The nice and caring Tyson. I guess he’s really like that in real life when needed (and why he’s well-liked by other contestants). It was an almost touching moment when he reassured Coach, and “coached” him in how to not be the constant target of people’s mockery. I must say I was surprised to see such a candid behavior from Tyson. I guess he has a genuine sympathy for Coach (I suspect Tyson to be another former ugly duckling, but he took a much different and more awesome path to change the perception people have of him). And yes, I need to use “awesome” at least once every week in Tyson’s paragraph. But soon after being Coach’s coach, he went back into game mode right away, telling everybody about Coach’s breakdown and the fact that he’s thinking about quitting, which is another way of saying “let’s vote against him next”. This is why All-Star seasons can be “bloody” sometimes when friendship go against strategy (remember Lex and Boston Rob in All-Stars). I’m not sure about Coach’s reaction if he gets voted out more or less because of Tyson.
-Coach, Jerri ?
-Rob, Courtney, Tyson, Sandra
So Candice will make a bold move. I see an alliance with Tom, Colby and JT and they’ll vote out James or Rupert (which means another Heroes loss)?
Some gets hurt and it really looks like it’s Tyson! Gosh, I hope it’s a minor thing and that he’s not out of the game…
Next person voted out:
If the Heroes go, Candice will most likely be the swing vote and JT (doubtful) or Rupert (more likely) will be gone.
If the Villains go, Coach or Russell will be voted out.
After Cirie’s eviction, I see a very different merge: JT, Tom, Colby, Candice, James for the Heroes, and Rob, Courtney, Tyson, Sandra, Jerri, Danielle, Parvati for the Villains.