Dumbest Episode of the Season
This season has had a number of strategic errors made by various players. At the top of the list would be the men giving up an immunity in order to go to Tribal Council. Despite the impossibly ridiculous lack of common sense it took to make that move, I think that this week’s episode had the most strategic errors of the entire season.
The episode started off with Kim vowing to get rid of Troyzan no matter what it took, something that made me nervous from a editing perspective, especially with all the previews I had been seeing all week. Usually when someone states that their goal for that episode is to do …. it means that goal will probably get screwed around with and they will have to figure out something else to do. For Kim it did not work out this way, but good job by the editors to put this doubt in my mind (and really all season has been unpredictable despite the guys getting Pagonged).
The reward challenge this week was one that they have nearly every season in which players answer a series of questions, with each question that they get correct they can attempt to eliminate another player from the challenge. It takes 3 hits to eliminate someone from a challenge. This is one of the great Survivor challenges, because it often reveals the pecking order of those in the majority. Most notably in Survivor: Marquesas this challenge completely flipped the game as the bottom 5 realized that they were at the bottom and decided to work against those at the top.
It was obvious that the production team wanted to give Troyzan every opportunity to stay in this game by throwing out this challenge (one that I feel is usually played with 9 or 7 people left and not 8). They didn’t make it an immunity challenge either, likely because there is no way Troyzan would have won it.
Troyzan was the first one out, but the girls did a good job of mixing things up and didn’t show their hand hardly at all during the challenge. When Kim won she got to pick 2 people to come with her on the reward. She chooses Alicia and Chelsea leaving a heartbroken Kat behind (can she get a more Fabio-esque edit?) with a majority 4 others (production really wanted Troyzan around).
This is where Troyzan really picked up on his strategy this week. Although it was his boot episode he really played it nicely and better than anyone else did this week (which is refreshing when the season has been so dominated by Kim). He starts pecking away at Kat telling her that she is just a follower and that Kim doesn’t want her in the finals and this pecking really does seem to work. Sabrina tries to calm her, but Kat is really upset over what happened. Sabrina also uses this time to see who is with them and who is willing to work against them by asking Troyzan what his plan was. Christina takes the bait and says she likes the plan. This really was a good move on Sabrina’s part, probably the best we’ve seen her make all season. I was impressed with it.
Can Anyone Figure Out these Reward Challenges?
Why is it so hard to pick the right people on reward challenges? Yes I get that it would be hard to decide who to pick only portions of your alliance, but don’t promise people things that you don’t follow through on! If I was out there, I would almost choose to throw any reward challenge in hopes that I wouldn’t have to pick. Either that, or I would just make a point to take whoever got 2nd just to play the “fair” card. Seriously, Ian screwed it up in Palau and it basically cost him the game, Chase screwed it up in Nicaragua and it partially cost him the game, and now Kim makes a move off of emotions rather than strategy.
By Kim deciding she wants to take her friend she left an angry alliance member with the bottom 3 on the totem pole, with only Sabrina to try to keep things from going wild. She played things okay by coming back, but really it was a pig showing up at their camp that ended up helping her maintain control of her alliance. Survivor really is a lot of luck, because if that pig didn’t show up and take everyone’s mind off of the game, then anything could have happened (though I doubt it).
The immunity challenge was one of the ones where they oil themselves up and slide down it in order to throw rings around a baseboard. This was probably the most boring version of this challenge I’ve ever seen. It was elimination based and there was almost nothing to look at visually. Troyzan got eliminated in the first round by Tarzan, something that had almost no build up to it at all, a strange anti-climactic turn for something I assumed would seal Troyzan’s fate. Kim won her first immunity, showing that she really is a triple threat in this game (social, strategy, physical).
The threat of a hidden immunity idol has nearly become the most powerful tool in the entire game. Anyone who is ever close to the bottom and being voted out should always pretend like they have an idol. Doing this brought Troyzan 1 vote from saving himself, which is just unbelievable.
The girls are freaked out at the prospect of this idol and decide to split the votes, a risky but almost necessary move. They decide to let Christina receive the votes and Sabrina decides to join the dumb-strategy club by telling her that she is the one who will get the split vote. Normally this would be a HUGE mistake to make, but Christina seems pretty okay with it and even tells Troyzan that they are splitting the votes with her!!!! At the beginning of this season I almost picked this girl to be the winner, instead she joins the ranks of the worst players of all time. Not only does she do this, but she also decides to flip her vote to Chelsea (to try and work with Troyzan I guess) leaving Troyzan to find one more person to vote for Christina and save himself.
When it comes down to it, he cannot get Kat to flip and he gets voted out 4-3-1 something that was a lot closer than it ever should have been and leaving Tarzan as the last man standing.
The Rise of Kat
We got a strange edit for Kat this week that ended with Troyzan coming up to her after being voted out and telling her “DO IT”. Is this the rise of Kat? I have always thought that she was in a good spot alliance-wise and her desire to not be a follower certainly puts her ahead of past players like Natalie Tenerelli or Cowboy Rick. Is this what will empower her to make a big move? Will she make it to the end and get the sympathetic male vote? Next week’s preview seems to show Kat gaining even more momentum.
Kim made her first mistake of the game, but it was ultimately something that did not seem to cost her too much. It will be very interesting to see how the women go after each other and just how ugly it will get.
If I was Tarzan I would throw myself out there for anyone who wanted to use me, playing up the fact that I am not a threat in any aspect of the game whatsoever. The girls should not take him to the end though, for fear of the men wanting another man to win.
It was a really good episode and continues a really good season. Each remaining player has their own arc and that makes it really fun to follow, as well as unpredictable.