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An Offer He Couldn't Refuse

This analysis of "Survivor:All Stars" Episode Ten is by columnist Greg Feltes of CBS station WBBM in Chicago, who offers weekly commentary on the popular reality TV show.

Rob Mariano is taking his "Godfather" obsession to a new level, but will he pull a Fredo and break Lex's heart?

Some observations:

Was anyone else creeped out when Lex lit up at the very mention of Darrah?

Is Lex going to try and copyright "You're Fired?" He is using it just as much as some other reality television star. I swear this will be the death of him. (Sadly, my attempts to copyright the words "the," "is" and "and" have proven less fruitful.)

I guarantee the deposed Rob Cesternino was sitting at home weeping like a little girl (or Jenna Lewis) as he watched the others take the trivia test that he was destined to take.

Why Jerri Manthey is gone:

  1. She was a dominant personality. As I wrote in my season preview:

    "Looking at the past six winners (throw out Richard because no one had seen the game before) only Brian could claim to have been his season's defining presence. Tina, Ethan, Vecepia, Jenna and Sandra were all overshadowed by other castaways and flew under the radar to a certain extent. This trend diminishes the chances of Jerri, Rob M, Rupert, Colby and Lex because all either placed well, seriously offended someone, led their tribe at some point or posed for Playboy."

  2. She was in a non-win situation. I would compare it to what happened to Al Gore in the 2000 presidential debates. His first performance was too arrogant and dismissive. His second was unassertive and down beat. His third was just right. Unfortunately, Jerri isn't likely to get a third go around. Jerri obviously couldn't play the b**** role that served her pretty well the first time. She had to tone it down, which doesn't work to her strengths. Old Jerri would never have gotten outmaneuvered by Amber. She wouldn't have stood for it. New Jerri never seemed comfortable in her own skin and there is enough going on in the game without having to worry about your mental state.
  3. She didn't contribute anything. If she were a hard worker or a calming influence, it would have been much harder to justify voting her out.
Tribe Analysis: Mogo Mo…um…Chapera:
    Lex: Lex owned this episode from beginning to end. He didn't create or deserve this situation that developed in this episode, but he sure took advantage of it. It appeared at the onset of the episode that Mogo Mogo was doomed to be systemically eliminated one by one. That still might be the case (they remain down 5-4 and a Rob promise means nothing,) but at least they have a fighting chance. They owe that chance to Lex.

    He ignored the temptation to speak with Tom and took a meeting with the Robfather. Lex knew that Rob was the source of Chapera's power and it was this meeting that lead to Rob pulling Lex aside to ask him to save Amber. Although it meant hurting the newly reformed Jerri's feeling, it was the right call. Voting off Amber would have only served to completely unite Chapera against them and make it impossible to convert any of them to their side. Now, Lex has the chance to see if his Rob deal actually happens or if he can reunite with Tom (and by extension, Rupert.)

    It also bears noting that Kathy and Shii Ann were prepared to follow his lead whatever he decided. He is obviously trusted and respected and that is gold…if he can get numbers.

  • Kathy: There was little movement on the Kathy front this week. This episode only reinforced what we know of her game play: she is attached to Lex at the hip and willing to work with the opposite tribe to increase her chances. These are good qualities to have, but like Lex, her chances are tied to their deal with Rob, which isn't worth the paper it wasn't printed on.
  • Shii Ann: Lex/Kathy gladly accepted a proposed alliance with Tom/Rob/Amber, which means they are all too comfortable throwing her under the bus to advance further. If Lex can turn on Jerri, he can easily do the same to Shii Ann. The real problem for Shii Ann is she doesn't know anyone else in the game because she has never been on a different tribe and hailed from one of worst seasons in Survivor history. One doesn't normally associate Shii Ann with resourcefulness, but that is exactly what she has to find in great qualities to survive. She needs to win immunity, if only to buy herself time and leverage.
  • Amber: I still think people are underestimating my pick to win. Amber has Rob in her pocket to the point where he was willing to throw a challenge, which would have left him at risk. Plus, she was also able to sell a shaky alliance with little more than a smile. With the tribes merging, her biggest challenge is deciding which promises to keep and which to break. The key for her is to make Rob look like the bad guy when it comes to ending alliances, which shouldn't be hard given his mouth.
Tribe Analysis: Mogo Mogo:
  • Rob M: This is the most pivotal moment of the season for Rob. During the course of the game, he has pitched alliances composed of Rob/Amber/Tom/Alicia, Rob/Amber/Rupert/Jenna and Rob/Amber/Tom/Lex/Kathy. He needs to choose one without alerting the others to his double-dealing ways because there will be no hiding once the final nine are living together. It is also disconcerting to see how Amber is becoming more important than the game to him. Others will no doubt see that and take advantage.
  • Tom: Tom is an attractive position. He has a very strong alliance with Rupert, who is loyal to a fault. Then he has Amber taking him into the final five. Plus, Lex would love to re-team with him. The best part is that no one can understand him, so shooting his mouth off isn't a concern. All he needs to do is sit back, watch and choose the best opportunity from the three he will likely have.
  • Alicia: She is making a mistake if she aligns with Rob next week. It should be obvious to her that she is merely a stopgap measure if Amber doesn't come back. I question her perceptiveness if she doesn't see how much Rob/Rupert/Tom dislike her complaining and attitude. If she can get another tribe mate to do it with her, she should jump ship and align with the other team because there is no scenario where she wins by maintaining the status quo.
  • Rupert: The news that there will be two immunity necklaces given out after every challenge benefits Rupert greatly. With Colby and Ethan gone, there is no reason Rupert can't finish in the top two in every single physical competition. Strategically, he should cling to Tom and never let go.
  • Jenna L: I must ask once again: Is she still on this show? Her lack of screen time is either a curse of death or kiss of life (like it was for Darrah last season.) It's likely the former, although her inoffensiveness will keep her around for the time being.
Predictions for next week: Chaos will reign when the tribes merge. Rob will come under fire for everyone because of his promising of everything to everyone, but manage to quell it by firming up his support from the four others he chooses to align with. His original target will be Lex, but the tattooed one will survive after winning immunity with one other person. Alicia or Shii Ann will pay the price.
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