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Survivor – Mutiny

November 10th, 2006

If you haven’t been watching Survivor, you missed probably one of the most serious shake-up of the normal strategy of the show.  If you have been watching Survivor, I think you’d agree that this year has had some of the most interesting twists and turns in many a year.  Spoilers and strategery below the fold.
Setting it up, the tribes are split 6-6, the original equal mix of ethnicities have been changed, the two surviving dominant races are the Asians and Caucasians both with a strength of four each, the Blacks have 3 and Ozzie is the single remaining Hispanic.  Ozzie is the biggest player as far as challenges go, is like a fish in the water, good stamina as a runner, and a good thinker to. Going into tonight, Aitu had what appeared to be the strongest alliance, and last week they got rid of the flaky Jessica/Flica that had trouble with the whole strategery thing.

So it looked like going into tonight with a 6-6 split a merge would be imminent.  Usually they tribes merge and after the merge there is one more person voted off and then the remaining 11 become the 9 person jury and the final two.  So the thoughts of all the players were merge soon, and then get rid of one more person that isn’t on the jury.

The pre-challenge videos showed that Aitu had a weak underbelly.  Candace, who beside Jonathan, Yul and Adumb has spent the most time on Exile Island (didn’t she also admit that the idol must be gone) is yearning to get back with Adumb and Pavarti, who were part of the first Caucasian tribe.  Then in a private conversation with Jonathan (aka Alan Alda) they play up their strategy going into a merge.  (Moments before in TV land, Jonathan just gave a pep-talk to the whole tribe telling them they were in a great position, and to stay focused, and they’d be able to pick off the Raro tribe after a merge.) Jonathan tells Candace that their best play is to regoup with Adumb and Pavarti, and recreate the orginal Caucasian tribe.  He. said. Caucasian.  *dumbfounded*  Jonathan had been an original member of the Aitu alliance with Yul and Becky.  Of late he’d been under some contreversy of over thinking, and over-planning, but this is just a wacky idea, a shaky alliance of 4, versus a strong alliance of 6, there really isn’t a choice.  Lack of food must be shrinking Jon’s noggin.
First reward challenge, bring in both tribes, Aitu without Jessica.  Waiting for the merge announcement and a bit of the merge paaarty.  Probst shocks all the players with the latest ‘shocking move’.  He gives both tribes ten seconds to ‘mutiny’ and join the other tribe.  Okay, count me as shocked.  No time to consider the ramifications and the players just stand there numbly.  Then with 5 seconds left, Candace jumps off the Aitu map, stunning her tribe, then seconds later, just under the wire in probably the MOST dunderheaded move since Terry refused to save anyone with the immunity idol last year, Jonathan follows Candace in mutiny.

Aside:  I gotta wonder if Probst has a choice in how he runs the game.  Offer then something, then if no one bites, take it to merge, and continue playing as normal.  There are so many different way to play the game, and so many ways to manipulate the players, to make choices, and bad choices by giving them an opportunity to apparently strengthen their position, only to allow the players to ulitmately sabotage their position.  Really if no one had taken the mutiny, the game could have been *yawn* into a merge, most likely, and they’d have played the normal individual reward challenge.

Now the tribe balance of power is drastically changed.  What was a 6-6 even strength is now an 8-4 Raro advantage.  Aitu is left blinking, ummmm dude, where did my tribe go?  Biggest betrayal had to be felt by Yul, who was as tight with Jonathan as anything.  Biggest dummy was Jonathan, but we’ll get into that a bit later.

Challenge, roll two members of your tribe in a barrel, through an obstacle course, and whoever wins gets rewards.  Grueling race for the people in the barrel, I hope Candace pukes.  Aitu after getting the shock of losing two members to mutiny, wins reward and sends that jezebel Candace off to exile.  Jonathan give his eyeroll, heavy sigh look.

Raro is feeling cocky now.  They have two sacrificial lambs to increase their survival chances.  They actually would probably have accepted Candace, since she was tight with Adam and Pavarti, but Jonathan they loathe.  Jonathan starts to realize how big of a hole he is in, and just keeps digging, chatting away like Jessica and Cao-Boi.  He’s got to have an inner-voice saying, DUDE YOU JUST DID WHA.. SHUT UP… STOP… REWIND…

Eventually he is able to heed his inner-voice and make the best choice he can at this point.  The Ozzie strategy of work hard and provide for your overlords in their sugar mines.  Only he doesn’t do it with nearly the panache of Ozzie and looks more the fool.  He has a side conversation with Adam to let him know that, ‘yo bro are we tight, you me, pavarti and candace are going final four’.

Nate almost insultingly laughs at poor Jonathan and Candace with the gleeful smile seen by many a people that thought they had the game in the bag, only to be sitting freshly washed in the jury a few episodes later.  Right, Jonny? Terry? Rupert? Ami?  But anyhoo, Nate rubs his hands with evil glee as he considers the new lambs that came to his clutches.

In the immunity challenge, Candace comes back from Exile Island, and Aitu grits their teeth, she has certainly given her ex-tribe incentive to play hard.  The challenge is an interesting one, line up a target on the bottom of the ocean through a duplicate target on a glass bottom boat, when aligned, dropping a cannon ball through a hole in the bow of the boat will hit a basket and release bouys that are parts of a word puzzle.  The alignment has to be precise, and Raro jumps out to an early lead, exercising patience.  Just a word, this is HARD to keep a boat in the winds and currents aligned with an underwater target.  The show doesn’t give it as much justice, but you can understand how hard it is, when both teams miss quite a bit.  Aitu has super Yul, however, that realizes that he can line up the basket by looking through the hole the cannon-ball falls through, then quickly dropping in a cannon ball and releasing the bouys.  Once he makes that determination, Aitu quickly catches up with Raro who is having a hard time on the last target, and Jonathan’s frustration with Jeff’s commentary gets the laugh line of the night.

Probst:  Jonathan’s getting frustrated with Me!  (in his singsong play-by-play voice)

Aitu with the new shoot from the bow strategy ends up winning going away, and the big blue Raro tribe is heading to tribal.  Jonathan smartly does nothing but go back to work, if he’d opened his mouth to start strategizing, he’d have been gone.  Nick goes to talk to Adam about voting off Jonathan, and in another shocking moment, something genuinely smart passes through Adam’s brain, and even more shocking, comes out his mouth.  Why get rid of Jonathan, he’s got no where to go, he can’t go back, not after ditching them, Adam would rather ditch Brad who’s loyalty is questioned, and then pick off Jonathan after that, they’d still have the numbers.  Genius, and a good play, because Brad could have been absorbed by Aitu, easily.

Candace is used to mucking up the game, and totally sabotages Jonathan for the second time in one show, by telling Adam that Jonathan was the one to suggest that Adam go to Exile last week when Adam just about got washed into the open seas.  Adam gets pissed and really wants to pummel Jonathan after that move.  Nate talks him off the cliff, and they head to tribal.  In the normal editing move, we don’t now if the vote shifted.  We’ll we didn’t until Brad pulls the secondest dumbest move of the night, and says, At. Tribal. “I don’t trust my tribe.”   DUDE, gone, see ya.  And it proves true.  Which brings us to the last shocker.  Brad becomes the first member of the jury. And all the survivor freaks, start counting on their fingers and realize that HEY.. That gives a 10 member jury.  And Jeff winks and says this game is always surprising.  Zing… See ya next week.

At this point, strategy is a wait and see thing.  Aitu really has a stronger bind than they did before, it just becomes a ‘when will we merge thing’.  Numbers wise, Jonathan can play a spoiler to the Raro assumed alliance hegemony.  Yul and Becky might also pull in Jenny who might realize she isn’t going far unless things change.  But that card can’t be played until merge time, and if the tribes stay separate through one more immunity, then Aitu might be able to shake things up by winning and forcing Raro to send one more person packing.

Yul also holds the immunity idol, which can play a part of the game.  He’s been able to keep it in his pocket, and I think only Becky knows that he’s got it.  Jonathan and Candace might know also, which makes an interesting game play later on down the road.  Questions I have at this point:  How long will Jeff stave off the merge?  Will they have a 10 person jury, or with the mutiny will there be some other way to kick off a potentail jury member based on a challenge?  Will they change the final three into the final jury selection, and make for a really strange final tribal council?  Was Jonathan’s move crazy like a fox?  Can Jonathan reconcile with the tribe he’s shunned.  Tune in next week, for Survivor.

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  1. November 10th, 2006 at 15:34 | #1

    LOL…I have no idea who any of those people are. 😉

  2. November 10th, 2006 at 16:50 | #2

    LOL… I hope you didn’t read the whole thing then.. Gawd, I have blogarheea.

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