On this week’s episode the Matsing tribe was split apart, Malcolm joining Tandang and Denise joining Kalabaw. Kalabaw lost two consecutive challenges, voting out Dawson and losing Dana to sickness (quitness).
The End of Matsing
To start the episode, we see Malcolm and Denise frantically searching for the idol, knowing that this is the best way to gain leverage going forward in the game. Good on their part recognizing that this is something that they need; a less intuitive player might have ignored this completely. And good job Denise in predicting exactly what would happen, it shows that basic Survivor knowledge can be helpful.
Malcolm did great in making sure as soon as the idea of where the idol could be popped into his head, that he was the one who found it and not Denise, sure it helps both of them to an extent, but it really helps Malcolm.
Kalabaw really got screwed this week in not being able to pick up Malcolm. Denise is probably one of the best female competitors out there, but now Tandang’s best 3 competitors are close to being better than any of Kalabaw’s. Not to mention that they have RC who is probably the best female athlete out there. Kalabaw’s gonna have it tough the next few weeks.
Losing Dana this week not only was crushing to Kalabaw, but it hurt the episode overall. It sucked because seeing people quit/evacuated is very anti-climactic; there is none of that tribal council drama and it threw off the numbers!
With Denise joining Kalabaw, it would have made the girls have 4 and the men have 3. Denise may have been tempted to join with the women, then the men may have had to try to persuade Denise over with the idol or actually play the idol causing all sorts of drama.
Instead we got the Katie vs. Dawson edit, with Denise being invited to join the men. It didn’t really matter who went because they were both about equal in tribe status.
Dawson’s Terrible, but Fun Gameplay
According to post game interviews, Dawson had apparently told Jeff Kent that she knew who he was and then continued to tease him about it. In this case, it was a huge move by Jeff to pull off a blindside without getting found out. He deserves a lot of credit here.
Dawson on the other hand really blew it. While teasing Jeff about it was one of the funniest moments of the year, is there any better reason for him to get rid of you than this? Especially in a more secretive way… You’ve got to gain leverage on him slowly by going to Katie or Penner or Denise and trying to throw him under the bus. Terrible move Dawson (though she was really funny and I wish we could see more of that).
Pete’s Terrible and Not Fun Gameplay
Over at Tandang, Pete was busy making terrible moves as Malcolm’s attention was being fought over. Pete approached Malcolm and not only laid out the entire tribe’s dynamics, offered a spot in his alliance, but told him that he and Abi-Maria had the idol! Like Malcolm said, “knowledge is power” in Survivor and now Pete has nothing left to offer. Malcolm on the other hand just took it all in and can use that at any point he likes.
Pete’s goal at this point should be getting rid of Malcolm. Malcolm is a more likable version of him!!! A young, smart, good looking guy who has way more charisma and charm than you do. Keeping Malcolm around is exponentially dangerous each and every time Malcolm survives another vote! Plus, Malcolm has friends on the other tribe!
Even if you decide you want to keep Malcolm, your first move should be to try to buddy up with him, then invite him into an alliance. Make sure you are hanging out with him more than RC and Skupin are. When it comes time to go to an actual vote and you are still concerned about what Malcolm will do, then show him the idol. By doing this all so early Malcolm knows everything and is the most powerful person in the game!
Thoughts on all the Rest
RC really needs to pick herself up. It’s so disappointing to see herself giving up without even having been to 1 tribal council!
Skupin has gotten a lot less airtime lately, it makes me really nervous as to how far he will go.
Could Penner and Jeff really pull this off? They are looking really solid. I don’t think it will happen, especially now that they are down in the numbers, but they are looking strong.
I hope that Malcolm and Denise both make the merge and join back together and then flip back and forth until the finals. If that were to happen, that would make this season a top 10 of all time.
When Will they Merge?
Speaking of the merge, could it happen next week? It seems way too early, but 5 of the last 6 seasons merged at 12 people. The only one that didn’t was Heroes vs. Villains which began the jury at 12 but didn’t merge until 10. That’s probably what will happen here. Crazy to think that the jury could be starting next episode. But hey, maybe they’ll do a final 2 this season! (Here’s hoping…)
Supposedly something crazy and unprecedented is supposed to happen next week. It looks like it is at a challenge. I really have no idea what it is.
Next week I think Katie is in big trouble if Kalabaw loses and I think Tandang will all come down to Malcolm’s choice, which I really don’t know where he will go. I want him to join a Skupin, RC, and Lisa alliance, but I don’t know how plausible that is.
Who Can Still Win This?
As far as who will win, I’ve brought it down to 7 people who I think can win based on editing and place in the game. From least to greatest here they are:
7. RC-I think she’s still got a shot, but it’s going down.
6. Skupin-Not lookin’ good.
5. Jeff Kent-He’s looking good, but being down in the numbers hurts.
4. Lisa-I like her more every week. She’s right in the middle of a divided tribe. Once the merge hits she will last because she’s not a physical threat. If she doesn’t break down again, she’s got it. I don’t know if she has to make a big move if she actually is capable of that.
3. Penner-He’s got an idol, he knows the game, he’s at the head of his tribe.
2. Denise-She’s got a lot of options and won’t be obvious to get rid of. The thing that scares me is if the merge is at 10 and Kalabaw loses 2 in a row.
1. Malcolm-He’s got the power, he’s got an idol, he’s got numbers all over the place, he’s charismatic. He’s hard to put number 1, because he seems like someone who is an obvious threat, but I can’t discount him now!
(Pete and Abi-Maria could do well, but I just don’t think they can win. Carter, Katie, and Artis haven’t been shown enough for me to consider them winners).
Player of the week: Malcolm.
We got what we wanted this week, but because Dana left the game, it was a kind of boring episode. I think the same will happen if Kalabaw loses again. If Tandang loses though, watch out, here come the fireworks!!!