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Where Ethan Went Wrong

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

Good riddance.

"Jerri doesn't DESERVE to be in the game?"

I don't know what game Ethan Zohn, who said that, has been watching for seven seasons, but it has obviously not been the same one I have watched and loved.

Did I miss Gretchen winning Season One? Or Colby winning Season Two? Or Lex winning Season Three…

Some observations:

  • It drives me nuts when someone takes another person aside to tell them that they are voting them off. It's just asking for a surprise double cross. Do you tell an employee on Monday that you will be firing them on Friday?
  • I am starting to think that Rupert just might be a one seed this time around. And Billy Packer should lay off of Amber.

Why Ethan Zohn is gone:

  1. He is a former winner. As the last sole survivor, it was only a matter of time before his torch was snuffed out.
  2. People knew he didn't need the money. The same thing befell Colby last week. There are two types of people in this game: those who are in it for the adventure and those who are in it for the money. Ethan was in the first group, while nearly everyone else was in the second.
  3. He was seen as a physical threat. It is completely unjustified, but some of his tribe mates were acting as if Ethan could win nine challenges in a row.
  4. He let Colby be arrogant and doom both of them. If Colby hadn't been booted, Ethan would still be in this game. He should have not been blindsided, because it was obvious that Colby's behavior was creating dissension in the ranks. That could easily have been prevented by Ethan taking Colby aside and hammering that point home to him. Instead, he let it fester and made it much easier for the girls to justify their votes.
  5. Soccer stinks. It just does.

Tribe Analysis

Mogo Mogo:

  • Lex. Lex's "business" decision was a poor one. Mogo Mogo is in a position to be wiped out if there is a conventional merge in the next two episodes and Lex will likely be the first of his tribe voted out under the new arrangement. In past Survivor incarnations, the immediate post-merge bootee is usually the minority tribe's strongest remaining member, which in this case is Lex. If he had kept Ethan around, he would at the very least have bought himself three more days. Ethan would have been a bigger target due to his former –winner status, perceived immunity prowess and Boston Rob's jealousy. As it stands now, Lex's only hope is to string together some immunity wins and survive until Chapera starts to crumble.
  • Kathy. Perhaps there is a time and a place in this game for loyalty, but it is not now. She might have difficulty backstabbing her friend Lex, but staying loyal to Mogo Mogo would be a stupid, futile gesture. If she flips now, Kathy can become the honorary seventh member of Chapera and keep her head off the chopping block for 12 days, which might be enough time to form a new alliance to carry her to the final four. Otherwise, she will get exiled like the rest of her friends.
  • Shii Ann. Will she finally survive a merge? Probably. Wouldn't it be hilarious if she didn't because of some twist? Definitely. Anyway, with physical threat Lex and annoying Jerri still around, she probably has at least six days to make something happen. However, it will be very difficult for her. She has never played with any of the people on the other tribe before and her reputation prior to this game has been one of disloyalty, so alliance making will not be the easiest thing in the world. Her best bet is to talk with disaffected Chapera members because some of them really resent Romber.
  • Jerri. She beat Colby and is about to make the merge, so anything else for her is gravy and there ain't no gravy left at this table. Lex will probably go first, but Jerri will soon follow because she can't keep her mouth shut and doesn't do her fair share of the work. If she can change her behavior (doubtful) and cling to Kathy, Jerri might survive longer than she should, but won't make the final four under any circumstances.
    Tribe Analysis


    • Rob M. His overconfidence is growing increasingly obnoxious and could come back to bite him. If you watch Survivor Insider, you get the definite sense that Tom, Rupert and Alicia resent the hell out of Rob and that he is unlikely to realize this until it is too late. Bottom line, he should not have shown up Rupert and he should keep his mouth shut regarding Alicia until the other tribe has been dispensed with. It looks as if he is separated from his girl next week, which could be a preview of things to come down the road. For now, Rob's post-merge strategy appears to be and should be to target Lex and manipulate Kathy. This will serve him well, but he needs to check his hubris at the door or Rupert/Jenna/Alicia/Tom could take him out.
    • Amber. It looks as if the tribes are jumbled next week and that Amber is not happy about it at all. I wonder at the severity of the consequences because it is highly unlikely that she gets placed on a team that has more Mogo Mogo members than Chapera members. Still, it is a good bet that she gets torn away from Rob, which she should view as an opportunity to make new friends and not be so intertwined with one person. She won't, but it would be the smart thing to do.
    • Tom. Tom seems closer to Rob than Rupert does, which is a good thing for now because it gives him options. Other than that, not much was revealed the last episode. Luckily, Survivor Insider had a few interesting tidbits. Tom has apparently bonded with Rupert over their mutual hatred of the constant plotting back at camp. He also really, really, really, really, really hates Alicia. Really. Tom can take it easy for the next 12 days as Chapera will likely eliminate Mogo Mogo systematically, but then he is going to have to choose is alliance - : Jenna/Rupert or Rob/Amber. Either way, he looks bound for the final four yet again.
    • Alicia. I guess there is a lot of footage on the cutting room floor of Alicia kicking adorable puppies and spitting on babies because I haven't seen anything to indicate why she elicited such a strong reaction in the Survivor Insider clips. She goes from my sleeper pick to my goat because if she had just played nicely with others, she could have gone further. As it stands now, she looks to be the first Chapera on the chopping block after Mogo Mogo is gone.
    • Rupert. It is obvious to me and it should be obvious to him that Rob has grown tired of Rupert and would not hesitate to take him out. Hopefully, Rupert's instincts will kick in and not fail him as they did the last time. He needs to pull Tom into an alliance and use his oafish charms to get Jenna to come along as well.
    • Jenna L. Is she still on this show? Jenna received little screen time this week, so it's hard to judge her situation. Whatever the circumstances, she needs to be aggressively opportunistic and look for the deal that puts her in the final three. Passivity failed her in Season One, and I doubt she will make the same mistake twice.

    Predictions for next week: Tina, Rudy, Jenna, Rob, Richard, Susan, Colby and Ethan will leave the island within the course of an hour.

    Predictions for the week after that: The teams will be redistributed randomly with Amber and Rob being separated. If Rob senses Amber is in danger, he could throw an immunity challenge to save her, but I don't think it will come to that. Lex will be gone if his team fails to win immunity, with Jerri and Shii Ann being plausible alternative targets if his team does win.

    Comments? Questions? Snide remarks? Send them to

    Written By GREG FELTES

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