First off, it goes without saying that everyone in "Survivor" nation sends their condolences to Jenna Morasca and her family. That is, everyone with the possible exception of Alicia. ("Excuse me Jenna, can you lay on the ground so I can literally kick you when you are down.")
I thought the situation was really handled well by the other 14 survivors. They all seemingly turned off their game faces and turned on the water works. It was nice to see that Mogo Mogo was supportive, despite the fact that it was a real big blow to their team and morale. Those concerns were secondary in a situation like this.
- Jenna should never have been allowed to come. I am not aware of the various inconstancies of the "Survivor" vetting process, but I am almost certain they do psychological workups on contestants before they start the game. Jenna's obviously had to have shown something, or the producers at the very least had to be aware of Jenna's concerns about her mother. Jenna was obviously an important "get" for the producers because of her popularity, looks and former winner status. Maybe in the search for these qualities, they overlooked the obvious pain Jenna would be in if she returned to the game. It also was unfair to Mogo Mogo who was rolling and now appears one loss away from disaster. Maybe it's time for "Survivor" to consider a system where an alternate can be used in situations like these.
- Hey, let's give them even more supplies! All executive producer Mark Burnett could talk about before the season began was how he was going to test these people's mettle by only giving them one machete. In the span of three episodes, he has given them flint, tools, booze, tarps and apparently rice. I understand there is little entertainment value in watching sober, dehydrated players slowly withering away, but couldn't he have waited until these people proved that they could survive without aid.
- The return of subjective challenges. It had appeared that these thankfully had been phased out of the game after they didn't appear in "Survivor: Pearl Islands." I don't think it's fair to allow one person to determine the course of the game. I mean was there that big of a difference between what Mogo Mogo and Chapera had? How did he pick one of them over the other? Mr. Burnett, please, do not bring back the S.O.S. challenge.
Saboga: It's been a rough transition for Survivor's golden boy, Rupert. Last season, he had lived in a family environment for the entire game up until his surprise dismissal. Now, everyone is hyper-competitive and not as forgiving of Rupert's quirkier qualities. He might have also have begun believing in his own hype after Burnett's generous editing last season. His once stable alliance was taken away from him and now he is left with three young people who don't seem to like him all that much. Hopefully, Rupert can find a way to survive to the next merge and seek out greener pastures.
So much for Jerri's plan to play nice this season. She just voted out a 75-year-old Navy Seals veteran and now is frequently yelling at the most popular player in the history of game. These tactics might help her get to a merge, but this behavior will not lead to a victory. She needs to tone it down and mend some fences quickly.
In my preseason predictions, I thought Jenna L could do quite well because she's young, under the radar and not a dominant personality or a former winner. So far, everything is going as planned. She has really learned from her mistakes in season one and I do not see her going anytime soon. Plus, she's the most inoffensive player on her tribe and thus her tribe's alliance will coalesce around her.
For the first time, Ethan is feeling what it is like to be on the outside of an alliance, looking in. In Africa, he was always in a comfortable position and could win an immunity challenge if he had to. Here, he has to last 18 more days until he can try and take over the game by winning immunities. It's a difficult position, trying to fly under the radar while being a former winner.
They still haven't won an immunity challenge and it's statistically improbable that they will lose three in a row. Plus, their four remaining players are all in great shape and it's not four on six in challenges. I have to believe they will finish in the top two during the next immunity challenge. If not, it will be either Rupert or Ethan getting the boot.
Mogo Mogo: Richard:can't possibly win, but how I love to see him try. I jokingly suggested last week that, "a shark will be bitten by Richard" without believing for a second that it could actually happen. His one hope is to play the provider role and make a move with the others against Colby in the hopes of surviving until the merge. Then his despised status could become an asset for someone who is considering who they will bring into the final two. If Ethan is serious about winning, he should find a way to include Richard in whatever alliance he can make, as a winner will only win against another winner. Shii-Ann seems to admire him, but Lex hates him.
Colby's game plan, or lack thereof, is what I don't understand. He hasn't been proactive in alliance building and acted misogynistic during the reward challenge. Plus, he doesn't seem to have the spark he once had and, as he pointed out, Richard has become the stud of his tribe.
Lex is in a really good position because of the alliance he has formed with Shii Ann and Kathy (as per Jenna on the The Early Show.) He also earned a lot of points and respect for being the voice of reason once they hit the island. Now, it's just a matter of remaining mentally stable and checking the paranoia for the course of the game and he could go far.
Kathy got really lucky when it comes to tribal placement. It is well known that Kathy and Lex are friends and even considered starting their own business before the game began. Now, she has someone she can really trust and help her build alliances, which wasn't her strongest suit last time.
Shii Ann, the survivor formerly known as the "Shii Devil," has become a lot more tolerable now that she has dropped the trouble-making act in favor of a more mature approach. Her alliance has the numbers, which guarantees her the chance to finally make an actual merge. She has to be careful with her admiration of Richard though because if she lets him hang around, he will betray her without a single thought.
I have gone on record as saying I don't think Richard is the first to go of this group. I just don't see the "Survivor" gods letting that happen. Colby is just as vulnerable and not providing nearly as much. However, it won't matter as tribes usually pull together in immunity challenges after a tragedy and Chapera is due for a loss.
Chapera:: For now, you really have to treat Rob M. and Amber as one because it appears they are pursuing a romantic relationship as well as a strategic one. Boston Rob is now the unquestioned (yeah, right!) leader of the tribe and Amber is, well, hot. That's a dangerous duo. They have to be careful to not isolate themselves too much or make it seem like their bond is too strong. If they avoid that pitfall, they will go far. They control two votes and apparently have Tom on their side, too.
I still don't understand what Tom is saying 90 percent of the time, but what I am hearing from the other 10 percent sounds really good. He is a really funny guy which disarms most people and is greatly underestimated because, well, he is a dumb hick. His physical strength has apparently not diminished as Rudy's did. It appears that he has decided to join with Rob M. and Amber.
If I am right about Chapera losing the immunity challenge, it will become D-Day for Rob C. Will he and can he become the fourth wheel of Boston Rob's alliance? Or will he try and take Alicia and Susan and force a showdown. It's a very tough call, but I think not making a move now is accepting defeat later down the road. You could tell that he is getting on some people's nerves with some of his comments and laziness, so acting now might be in his best interest. However, if he is identified as the leader of any rebellion, Boston Rob will cut off his head (figuratively, not literally….I think.)
Alicia might have made a fatal mistake with her comments about Jenna M. Her own tribe didn't seem to matter, but Mogo Mogo likely took note of them, which could become a problem post-merge. For now, there hasn't been much talk of her annoying Rob M. since the first episode. If she can keep her mouth closed, she won't go next. The question is, who does she side with? Alicia strikes me as the type to take the safer route and that might lead to Amazon Rob's or Susan's demise.
Is Susan still on this show? The editors haven't given her much screen time, which leads me to believe they are not all that concerned with her because she doesn't go far. We know that she has been getting on Tom's nerves and that she hasn't really developed any type of bond with anyone. Constantly calling your tribe stupid probably isn't the best strategy ever. Again, it will come down to who Boston Rob wants gone first and that might just be Susan.
Tom/Boston Rob/Amber are very stable and will likely cull one from the Alicia/Amazon Rob/Susan group and start voting out the other two. And with the way they have been editing the show, I believe that Amazon Rob or Susan is next to go.
Predictions for Next Episode: Jerri will cry and Rupert will feel guilty. The immunity challenge will actually be fun for once and Chapera will lose. I am tempted to say Amazon Rob will go, but I haven't seen anything at all from Susan. I predict she goes after a coup d' etat against Boston Rob/Amber fails. Oh, and Richard will continue to rule the earth.
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By GREG FELTES