Well, this has to go down as the most anti-climatic "Survivor" episode of all time. Could the ending have been more abrupt or unsatisfying?
I guess that's what happens when the show becomes so unpredictable that not even the producers know what to expect and how to handle it.
You could tell from the mortified look on Jeff Probst's face that he had no idea this was coming and you have to wonder what the driver of that boat, the SS Loser, was thinking . (What? Bring the boat around again? You are kidding me. Aren't these the All-Stars?)
Well, these are the all-stars, and they need to start acting like it, which means:
- No more threatening to quit.
- No more Jenna Lewis playing as if this were a love-in and not an actual game.
- No more worrying about people's "feelings."
Hopefully, with the absence of the polarizing Richard Hatch and Susan Hawk, players can focus on the game itself and start playing for keeps. Until then, we will continue to see the same old dance. (Literally, thanks to camera whore Big Tom.)
Well, at least this episode was saved by the one confrontation that has been seven seasons in the making: Colby vs. Shii Ann. Captivating stuff, indeed.
Why Susan Hawk is gone:
- She quit. Ask a stupid question…
- All right, I will try some substantive analysis. Amber was right. (Man, that was a weird thing to type.) In this game, everything gets magnified tenfold when you have no food, bad weather and you are away from your family. All of these factors tend to make people go crazy after even the smallest, most insignificant, event. And this wasn't exactly a little dustup. Justified or not, Sue felt violated and it would have been emotionally dangerous for her to keep playing.
- Kathy. I almost died of laughter when Shii Ann suggested that Kathy is now Mogo Mogo's power player. The truth is, she doomed herself to fourth place if the Colby/Lex/Ethan alliance holds. If she had teamed with Hatch, she would have been in a position to take him to a final two and obviously defeat him. At a minimum, such an alliance could move her up at least one spot to a final-three berth. It was also laughable that her reason for voting out Hatch was that she was worried about offending Lex. This game is not about friendship. Neleh was her friend in season four, but screwed her out of the final two. A similar scenario could occur here.
- Lex. Ah, he's Mogo Mogo's true power player. He has the whole male chauvinistic alliance going with Ethan (a loyal friend) and Colby (who has no other options.) He also has a docile female companion in Kathy, so he will lead the team into the merge. The only thing that could get him into trouble is his rapidly growing self-righteous streak, which could lead him to make reactionary decisions that aren't in his best interests.
- Ethan. Frankly, he has no chance at winning this game, but someone might get wise to that fact and drag him into the final two for a guaranteed victory. He is also a physical threat who could put together a string of individual immunity wins if he makes the merge, which looks like a good bet at this point.
- Colby. Survivor's former golden boy is making all the wrong moves. His cockiness in dealing with Shii Ann is just one example of his arrogance leading him down the wrong path. I also don't think he realizes that many people already view him as the real winner of Season Two, which puts a target on his back. Someone like Rob, who is frequently jealous and a true alpha male, will be looking for him after the merge.
- Shii Ann. Her fly-under-the-radar strategy wasn't much of a secret, but she should stick to it and let Jerri take the heat for the time being. She needs to get out of this post-Richard funk and not concentrate on avenging him. I can't believe I am typing this, but maybe she should consider betraying her tribe mates if they go into the merge equally. Hopefully, such an attempt would be more successful than her season five debacle.
- Jerri. She is clearly the odd woman out if Mogo Mogo doesn't win the next two challenges before the merge. Lex says he trusts her, but her Season Two image continues to resonate and I can see Colby pushing for her dismissal. Her best hope would be to rally the two other girls and move against Colby. Otherwise, she is toast.
- Rob M. He continues to play a smart game and he is thinking correctly for the time being. Whether it is sincere or not, his attempt to form an alliance with Rupert and Jenna was a stroke of genius. They appeared to be taken in and are therefore less likely to attempt a revolt with Tom and Alicia. Now, Rob finds himself in an ideal situation where he can really choose his alliance and control his fate.
- Amber. She seems to be regressing into Season Two Amber, but people forget that she made it all the way to day 33 with that style. Her best bet is to cling to Rob as long as possible and hope his abrasive nature makes him the target when a confrontation comes.
- Tom. I continue to wonder whether the act-like-a-dumb-hick strategy will work this time. Frequently, he appears to be loutish and insensitive and that could make him a target if an all-female alliance were ever to form. He also needs to stay on Rob's good side or Rupert could slide into his slot.
- Alicia. Alicia wasn't all that prevalent in this episode and that is a good thing because it means she is keeping her cool and staying under the radar. Her physical strength makes her a bigger asset to the tribe than Jenna.
- Rupert. I hope we aren't witnessing a rerun of last season where our loveable teddy bear trusted the wrong person and got sent home surprisingly. His instincts need to kick in or he could get eliminated, just as Rob C. did. His likeability is a weakness and being a provider can only get you so far. If he can become cutthroat, he might have a chance.
- Jenna L. This was not a good episode for Jenna. It looks as if she is being lied to by Boston Rob and is the outsider of the tribe. This perception likely only grew when she was the only one who wanted to split the reward and not compete, which was against her tribe's nature. She followed that up by costing them the challenge.
Predictions for Next Week: Barring an unforeseen twist, one of the remaining Saboga ladies (Jenna or Jerri) will see her torch extinguished.
My current ultimate Survivor pick: It's getting harder to stick with Amber because of her inactivity, but she is not a former winner or a dominant personality, which are the two qualities that lead to a target on your back. My sleeper pick is Alicia.
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Written By GREG FELTES