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Buh-Bye To The FBI Guy

This analysis of "Survivor: Vanuatu"'s latest episode is by columnist Greg Feltes of CBS station WBBM in Chicago, who offers weekly commentary on the popular reality TV show.

Why Brady Finta is gone:

He was born 33 years ago. The alliance of elders simply refuses to budge one bit, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Brady simply picked the wrong horse to bet on from day one, and it finally caught up with him.

He refused to adapt or alter his strategy. After two failed attempts, it should have been obvious that Rory wasn't going anywhere. Instead of focusing on outlasting John K., Brady tried yet again to convince Sarge that Rory had to go. If a strategy isn't working, you have to discard it as soon as possible.

John K. clearly outplayed him. It was painfully obvious that Brady was a much more productive worker than John K, but that meant nothing because of his stubbornness and loyalty to a non-existent alliance. John K. saw an opportunity to ensure himself another couple of days and he took it, even though he had to throw Brady under the bus. It's surprising that an FBI agent got beat by a mechanical bull operator, but, then again, this is "Survivor" we are talking about.

Lopevi Tribe Analysis

  • John K., age 22:
Even if he is booted next week, John K.can take some pride in the fact that he was the last remaining member of his slaughtered alliance.

Unlike many past failed alliance victims, John K. was willing to throw a vote his friend's way in order to make himself look docile and willing to go along with the plan. In the short term, it bought him more time to make it to a merge or tribal mix-up.

Lopevi made a mistake in keeping him around. His looks, charm and familiarity with the women give him an advantage, should there be a merge/mix-up next week.

  • Chad, age 35: Chad was non-existent this week. He continues to be a quiet and productive member of a strong alliance. His prosthesis has yet to become an issue, which is obviously a good thing.
  • Chris, age 33: Chris was also non-existent this week. "Survivor" devotes screen time only really to those in peril or those who will soon become imperiled. Fortunately for him, Chris appears to be neither.

    Chris did make a really asinine comment to Jeff about how the men didn't know how the women would approach the merge if they have numbers, which is just beyond stupid. They need to win the next challenge desperately or Chris will find out how wrong he was.

  • Lea, age 40: Travis revealed this week that it is Lea who is calling the shots at Lopevi. However, I am not sure this was a genuine admission. Chris and Travis himself appear to be much more in command. It could be that they are setting Lea up for a fall when the flab five are left to fight among themselves.

    If Lea is calling the shots, he might be dooming his tribe to a pagoning after the merge. After two "mental" challenges, it is very likely that the next immunity challenge will be a physical one. Brady would be a much bigger asset than Rory in such a competition.

  • Rory, age 35: Rory must have pictures of Lea in a dress or Travis with a goat because he continues to survive despite an attitude problem and an immunity challenge loss that can be traced directly back to him.

    There is a concept in "Survivor" lore that many people are unfamiliar with. It is called "a winner's edit." The idea is that the producers of the show want viewers to emotionally invest themselves in certain players, so they can feel gratified when they ultimately succeed or go far into the game. At the very least, they want viewers to believe that the winner deserved his or her crown. Rory is clearly not getting such an edit, which means he is doomed at some point.

    To his credit, Rory doesn't seem to take any move against him personally and he has remained loyal to his tribe despite his insecurity. Those are two good characteristics to have in this game.

  • Travis, age 33: Travis' most notable move in this episode was his encouragement of John K. to try and become part of his alliance. This is either very shrewd or very stupid.

    No one really has any idea of the breakdown of who supports whom within the flab five, so it is entirely possible that Travis feels John K. would be a better ally than Rory, once they have to go at each other.

    However, it is very possible that Chad and Chris will catch wind of this maneuvering and call him out on it. Chad and Chris seem dead set on keeping the five together at all costs, while Travis' actions seem to be more concerned with his own individual fate at this point.

    There was also possible foreshadowing that Travis is too focused on his family and that he is letting the focus get to him.
    Yasur Tribe Analysis

    • Eliza, age 21:
    Eliza is aggressively attacking Lisa for doing the same thing she did. Well, she needs to shut her yasur - I mean yapper - immediately. Eliza needs to learn from her mistakes and pursue a strategy similar to John's. At this point, the best thing she could do is outlast Julie and hope for some type of switch. The only way to accomplish that is to stop being annoying, play nice and be productive. I'm not sure she is capable of any of those things.

  • Ami, age 31: Her "nice grapefruits line" brought a smile to my face, but she had a relatively quiet week.
  • Julie, age 23: Though she should be in trouble, there hasn't really been a hint of that in any episode thus far. She too needs to play like John K. and try outmaneuvering Eliza to be the sixth member of the alliance. She should have an easier time because she appears to be getting along with everyone.
  • Leann, age 35: Leann wasn't much of a presence in the actual episode, but she had an interesting segment in this week's "Survivor Insider," which everyone should be checking out because of its cost (it's free) and additional insights into the game. Anyway, Leann did a very good job of calming down Twila and softening the blows of the previous tribal council. Keeping the tribe mentally strong played an important role in both of their challenge victories.
  • Lisa, age 44: Lisa really bet on the wrong horse when she sided with girls who were considerably younger than she, which was a losing proposition to begin with. Even if Delta Delta Yasur controlled the game, its oldest member would likely be the first to go when it got down to the final five. She needs to throw the younger people under the bus as soon as they get back to camp or she will join them in being picked off.
  • Scout, age 59: Scout is another player who had a quiet week, which is usually a good thing. She seems to be way above the fray.
  • Twila, age 41: Her harshness seemed to have been subdued by the events of the last tribal council. It obviously hurt her a lot, but it should lead to a slight altering of behavior that will make her likable and thus likely to go farther into the game.

    Predictions for next week: If the women lose, I again have to believe that Eliza is gone. However, I believe they will win the next immunity challenge because of the physicality and stamina apparently required by what the official Web site hypes as the deepest underwater challenge in "Survivor" history.

    My current ultimate Survivor pick: Scout. I think the women are in a position to dominate the game for the time being. Of the women, Scout seems to be the safest and most likeable. I respect the game Chris is playing, but his tribe is really poorly constructed.


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