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'Survivor': Winning Analysis

During the last episode of "Survivor: All-Stars," the surprise tribe switch led to the departure of Jerri Manthey and left the new Chapera tribe with one less member going into Thursday's show.

Two former $1 million "Survivor" winners, Brian Heidik, from "Survivor: Thailand," and Vecepia Towery-Robinson, from "Survivor: Marquesas," visited The Early Show to analyze last week's moves and preview this week's potential happenings.

Brian boasted he was "checking out the local commentary by Heidik," as he pretended to read his article in the latest issue of The National Enquirer while on camera. Vecepia responded, "At least you're still working for them. I'm not." However, Vecepia does have a TV show in the Bay area offering "Survivor" commentaries every week.

So, what do they think of Jerri being kicked out of the show? Brian said her departure was somewhat surprising since she had a strong alliance with Lex.

He said, "I think Lex should have taken that a little bit more advantage of that, because they need to be together out there. You have to have these strong relationships. The fact that she did go was somewhat surprising, but time was coming for her. Time was coming."

Last week, the tribes got flipped around and Amber got separated from Rob. And to keep her in the game, Rob whispered in Lex's ear to "take care of my girl." Asked if they would have been able to take advantage of that information had they been in Lex's shoes, Vecepia said, "Absolutely.

"I'll tell you, Rob is pulling strings so well in this game. And they're not seeing it. The one thing that I hated about this is the fact that Lex allowed it to happen. Lex could be in total control right now. He could have easily have gotten rid of Amber and broken that alliance," she said.

Brian agreed. "Out there when someone says something like that to you, that means do the exact opposite," he explained. "I would have gotten rid of either Boston Rob or Amber right there on the spot. That would have been the perfect opportunity."

Though right now Boston Rob seems to be in the driver's seat, it doesn't mean he will win the money.

Vecepia pointed out, "He's got a good group of people around them, if he can keep them together. But I think Lex could pull at least two people from the new Chapera tribe over to him: Rupert and Tom, because Shii Ann has already talk with Rupert for a while. So I know he could be easily pulled over. And he's been with Tom before. They could easily break that up. If he had gotten rid of Amber, he wouldn't have that other person on that side."

Co-anchor Harry Smith commented that the game is like chess, and players cannot be thinking about the next move. They have to be thinking three, four, five moves down the line.

Brian added, "And even though you have lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of water, you still got to keep that clear head and remain in focus."

Well, perhaps not lack of food. "Every time you turn around they're getting more food," Vecepia noted. As for the challenges, she said so far it has gotten a little easier, but in tonight's episode she expects it to be difficult, having gone through it in Marquesas.

She said, "I bailed out of that at the beginning. Anything with diving and swimming, sister got to get out of that early."

Asked about their favorite players, Brian said, "I like Lex. I like what Alicia is doing. I like Amber. I hope Rupert does something. I hope he does something that's going to take him to the next level. So we'll see, knock on wood. His demeanor is a little bit low on energy right now. So I hope he does something to step it up a notch."

Vecepia said, "I'm liking Shii Ann. She's under the radar and they're not giving her the benefit of the doubt. She could squeak in there. And Boston Rob."

Thursday night, the nine remaining contestants are in for what's being called the game's toughest reward challenge ever.

Host Jeff Probst explained it as follows: "All nine of you will start out on float platform. On my go, all nine of you will dive down and retrieve one of seven pots. The two without a pot will be eliminated. We'll work our way from nine tribe members to seven, to five, until we are left with only three. We'll move to a final round. The three remaining tribe members must transport the heavily weighted crate from the ocean to the shore. The first person to cross the finish line with their crate wins the reward."

"Survivor: All-Stars" airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT, on CBS. The latest contestant sent packing will be a guest Friday morning on The Early Show.

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