Survivor One World Episode 11

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.

Survivor: One World Ep. 10

This week on Survivor was an interesting one, as we saw little of the actual bootee and instead had all the focus on one person taking on the rest of the entire tribe. It was Troyzan vs. everyone this week from start to finish. Troyzan definitely played up the victim’s role and complained the entire episode about being on the outside. Eventually, thanks to an advantage in the challenge, he went on to win an immunity, forcing the girls to vote out Leif, despite Troyzan’s effort to gather those at the bottom to against Kim.

Did Troyzan shoot himself in the foot?

Strategically there were many flaws and missed opportunities this week. The first being the aforementioned self-victimizing that Troyzan did the whole episode. Troyzan definitely did not benefit himself in any way by whining and subsequently gloating when he won the challenge. Doing this he definitely, as Survivor blogger Superjude stated in his blog, made himself a replica of Terry from Survivor: Panama. Like Troyzan, Terry was the final member of his alliance left to fight for immunity each week. Terry did end up winning every immunity except for that fateful last one, making him finish in 3rd place. Also like Troyzan, Terry carried this attitude with him the entire time so that when the other alliance (Bruce, Aras, Cirie, Shane, Courtney, Danielle) had to eat itself, they simply ignored him and worked around his plans.

Troyzan was right in his attempt to get the bottom 4 to flip. Most times in Survivor, being the one to flip is not the best move to make. Case in point, John Cochran from last season or the fact that the nobody who has ever won has ever really flipped against their alliance (think about it, it’s true). Where Troyzan went wrong is forgetting that Survivor is grounded in personal relationships, not merely chess pieces to move across a board. So when you act cocky and shove it in everyone’s face that you will win immunity every single time, you are not doing anything to gain anyone’s favor.

I think that if I was Tarzan or Christina or Alicia I would have tried to bond together, because it probably would have been a good move. But you can’t forget that those 3 have probably all been guaranteed a spot in the final 3 and have been guaranteed that spot for a long time (like Alicia who in staying with the girl’s alliance is sticking with a group she has been with since day 1!). It is not that crazy to think that Kim or Sabrina will want to take at least 1 of those 3 to the finals with them, so this new alliance really seems more like a shot in the dark for them, that mad scrambling angry Troyzan is doing to save himself more than them. This is why it is so important in Survivor to maintain relationships with people that are not in your alliance at the chance that you need to work some magic and get other people to work with you. All this being said, they still should have flipped (it would have been like Marquesas repeat).

Making everyone feel so confident in their group is one of the reasons why Kim is playing such a great game (something I will attribute to Kim, since Chelsea doesn’t really seem smart enough to pull this off). If she wins this season, she may have played the best winning season by a female ever. I mean, who is better than her? I could see arguments for Parvati, Sophie, or Tina, but every other female winner played under the radar. Sandra is definitely in everyone’s top 5, but that is more for overall accomplishments than individual season prowess. Kim is nailing it this season and I love watching her. While Chelsea and Sabrina argue and yell, Kim sits their with her mouth silent, before making a well thought out statement that keeps everyone under control. It reminds me of Yul playing the diplomat in Cook Islands or Brian just sitting back having everyone bring information to him to listen to.

Can Kim actually pull it off?

While her gameplay continues to improve, I see her shot of winning going down and down. One reason for this is her edit seems to be a little too perfect. She is all strategy all the time, something that is very similar to what we saw in Sash in Nicaragua who was then blanked in the final tribal vote. Is Kat going to be the Fabio winner, defeating Kim (Sash) and Chelsea (Chase)?

Another reason I am worried about her winning, is I am not convinced everyone knows that she is pulling all the strings. I have listened to and read several interviews of all the jury boots and none seemed to acknowledge that they knew she was the glue that kept everyone together. Not Jonas, Michael, Jay, or Leif. They all seemed somewhat hesitant when talking about it and reluctant to admit that she was doing it. I also remember a shot of Kim saying that she thought the jury would recognize that she was the one who played better, but maybe this was foreshadowing what would end up making her lose. I don’t know what to make of all of this, but it should be interesting to see whether things happen straight forward or they try to shake things up.

The Survivor auction returns

The auction was back this week for the first time since Tocantins (I think?). Troyzan partially played the auction brilliantly and partially idiotic. It is great to see someone thinking strategically during a part of the game that isn’t as obviously strategic. Knowing that he was at the bottom and that usually they offer some sort of advantage in the challenge, he was wise to save his money to buy that advantage. It really was a great play on his part, especially since so many people take their mind off of the game during parts like that. But his starting bid was only $300?! If Christina had any idea what she doing he would have totally screwed himself over by bidding $200 less than the maximum. Did he think that nobody else would want an advantage? So Troy, I give you credit, but also not.

How will the remaining players do?

Christina is destined to be the first woman out, there is really no doubt in my mind anymore. Alicia is an interesting one, because I really do think she has a mind for strategy , so she could go at any time. I think Kat is top 5 for sure, probably even top 4. Sabrina will get anywhere from 7th to 1st depending on how soon and if they make a move to get her out. Chelsea is also interesting, because she butts head with a lot of different people, but we have seen so much of her and she really does seem likeable. It is hard to get a read on what everyone thinks (Leif in a post-boot interview said he didn’t like her). Tarzan really could go at anytime as well. I think Troyzan’s time is limited. He has to win or he’s done and there is no way he will win every immunity and there is also no way he will convince anyone to join him.

I am really enjoying this season. There are some solid people playing the game and although it seems as if it is going to be predictable (the order being Troyzan, Christina, Alicia, Tarzan, Sabrina, Kat, Chelsea, Kim) it leaves a seed just big enough in your mind to make you wonder and that makes it a good season.