Survivor: Why Tina Is Gone

President Obama's special envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, answers a reporter's questions during a press briefing after returning from North Korea at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 10, 2009.
AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
Analysis of "Survivor:All Stars" Episode 1 by columnist Greg Feltes of CBS station WBBM in Chicago.

Wow. I would like to credit "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett for another five-star relaunch. But I can't.

All the credit belongs to these 18 fame-hungry reality television legends who, God bless them, are already letting their paranoia and greed destroy them after three scant days.

Burnett and Jeff Probst indicated in several pre-show interviews that they were worried the castaways were too media savvy and too friendly with each other for the show to have dramatic impact. Well, I hope they didn't lose a wink of sleep because the players are doing all their work for them.

I am a big believer in the theory that every premiere sets a theme for the season and is an indicator of what is to come. If that is true for "Survivor: All-Stars," Jenna M., Ethan and Richard better start packing their bags because this isn't a level playing field.

Why Tina is gone:

  • She was a former winner. As I've said before, there is no chance of a sole "Survivor" repeating the victory. Everybody resents them and wants revenge. It is also easier to justify voting someone off if they already have money. Jenna Lewis really drove home this point several times during the first episode and even told Ethan straight up. You could see the desperation and anger in her face during tribal council.
  • She is old and hurts the team in physical challenges. Her tribe mates might have been willing to overlook her winner status for a while, if she had been able to make fire or contribute at immunity challenges, but that was not the case. It also is still true that no one over 40 has won a "Survivor" yet and that's not going to change with all these young bodies walking around. This is why she went before Ethan did.
  • She allowed Jenna and Jerri to approach Rupert first. It was painfully obvious that Tina and Ethan were targets, yet they waited until Jenna and Jerri approached Rupert before making their move. It is doubtful, but maybe if they had gotten to Rupert first, they might have gained his allegiance. At that point in the game, everyone is still feeling people out and deciding who to trust. Rupert was looking for someone to reach out to him and was susceptible to a sales pitch based on his honor and his desire to win for his family. That pitch came too late to do Tina any good.

    Tribe Analysis:

    Saboga: When you only have six members, losing even one is a significant setback. They did the right thing by voting out Tina, who was obviously their weakest link, but they can't afford to have to make that decision again next episode. The factions here are pretty well defined. Jenna and Jerri have quickly bonded and appear to be tight knit. Rupert and Rudy represent a lot of physical strength and are as equally committed. If you look at it that way, Ethan is in a lot of trouble. Yet, next week's preview makes it seem that Rudy becomes a physical liability. If that is the case, Ethan needs to seize upon the opportunity and convince the others that they need his physical strength, especially if they are going down to four. Still, previews are notoriously deceiving.

    Mogo Mogo: Note to Kathy: In the future, please look behind you when you are plotting and scheming. It's just good policy. If they had lost this week, Richard Hatch would almost definitely be gone. The immunity idol bought him some more time to implement his bizarre strategy of keeping people on edge and withholding fire. His goal should be to make Jenna M. the first target and then try and survive until a merge where he can hopefully find more allies. Right now, it appears that girls might be forming an alliance, but a little Colby charm could fix that. A past winner has to be the first to go from this group, but I don't see the "Survivor" gods letting Hatch go without a fight.

    Chapera: You can't say that about Chapera because they don't have any past winners, which brings a completely different dynamic to their tribe. They might be the strongest in the game because they are the youngest and have the most to prove. I predicted Amber to win before all this started, and I see no reason to change that prognostication after seeing the first episode. Amber picked a good alliance mate in Rob M. who isn't as smart as he thinks he is and is already charmed by her beauty. I am sure Rob C. would follow her anywhere as well and Tom is just a big old teddy bear. Alicia has already shown her temper, but I see Sue's age and attitude leading to her early dismissal.

    Prediction for Next Week:

    If Saboga loses, Ethan or Rudy will be shown the door. When Mogo loses its mojo, I see Jenna M. getting booted. Susan Hawke is a good bet to go if Chapera doesn't win the next immunity.


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    By GREG FELTES