It’s fair to say that since Australian Survivor ended I unfortunately have been somewhat lax in my duties in uploading a post every episode. Though the purpose of this analysis has always been to have me think more about the strategy of every player and improve my overall game awareness, I understand that there are people of you out there that look forward to reading what I have to say. So I apologise that I did not post analysis of episode 8 (you can check out episode 7 here), for what it’s worth I got halfway through writing it, but soon the episode 9 was upon so it was abandoned. Again this has happened this week so I didn’t quite get to everything that I had hoped, but there’re still enough thoughts here it is worth me posting.
Wow, what a tight spot Adam was in tonight. Having to defend himself against a full frontal attack from Jaylor. Let’s be honest though, Adam really put himself in this spot. We’ve already talked to how Adam is tying himself in knots trying to put himself in alliances with multiple people, and to do it so obviously. The shade thrown Adam’s way in tribal council somehow wasn’t enough to swing the vote however, sending Taylor packing.
Sneaky Taylor Surfer Guy
Where did Taylor go so so wrong? Let me count the ways. Firstly, we need to talk about his secret stash. The hiding/stealing food move is always a controversial move. I really don’t know where I stand on it. My thinking is that if you can 100% get away with it then I’m all for it. I’ve heard plenty of people say that it is unsportspersonlike and about as close to cheating as we ever see anyone get. Though it may be unsportspersonlike, I’m a big believer that anything goes in Survivor. There are no rules, just like there is no perfect way to play. However, I’ve never been in that position where I’m absolutely starving, but I imagine that if I was, and I found out that somebody had a secret stash of stolen food, I’d be more than pissed at them, and I could understand why people would be pissed off enough to vote that behaviour out! So it was a very risky move for Taylor, and he didn’t seem to do anything much to reduce the risk he would be caught. He was loud as hell when he broke into the food basket that night (they’re made of glass you idiot). Much like Jess, I do believe that when he finally told the rest of the tribe that he had done it he was expecting to be absolved of wrongdoing by virtue of his confession. I really feel like the guy doesn’t understand ‘consequences’. Now I’m not suggesting as Jeff may have been that his being voted out was a consequence of this stealing and hiding food. But this feeling I have that he doesn’t understand consequences is also evident in the way he handled the revealing of his relationship with Figgy. He basically ‘so what’ed the thought that it could be harmful to his/their game.
His play to move attention off himself and on to Adam at tribal council was a last ditch attempt to stay in the game. And I agree, at that point, you’ve got nothing to lose, go for it. But why didn’t he do this sooner? Clearly this made things difficult for Adam has he had to explain himself to his tribe-mates and out himself that he had dealings and a relationship with Taylor. Had he done this sooner, the resentment that it seems is now directed to Adam post Taylor boot would more than likely have been there pre Taylor boot. Then some alternative conversations could have started happening. It’s almost as though he had to have Jay encourage him to do something with the info. This makes me think that Taylor really didn’t have any agency at all in the game. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall seeing Taylor ever make a proactive move, or even a decision, the whole time he was on island. As a result of his inaction, he’s gone, and left a big mess for Adam and Jay to clean up.
The Opposite of Building a Resume
Adam might be adding things to his resume, but I’m not sure they’re the things the jury is going to want to hear. I don’t know how he is going to get out of this mess. I can’t see how anybody is going to be able to trust him at all. Last episode they were already worried that he was playing too hard, watching him run back and forth between conversations. Now they know that not only were those conversations evidence that maybe he was trying to get something else going but that he was also hiding an advantage from them. At this stage it seems Adam has no strong bond with anybody. Even Zeke is distancing himself from Adam (more on that later). He will probably never get Will on his side after gunning for him last episode, Jay is pissed off at Adam because Jay feels Adam was a jerk to him about being on ‘the bottom’. Speaking of this, I’ve heard a lot of people defend Adam’s behaviour in this conversation, saying that he didn’t really act like a jerk and that Jay overreacted. The fact that we of course see an edited version of this conversation notwithstanding, what he said doesn’t really matter. If it’s perceived by Jay to be judgemental or arrogant or condescending, then that’s not Jay’s problem, that’s Adam’s problem. I thought it was good of him to catch up with Jay to try and keep some relationship there, but if you can see Jay is not happy with what you’re saying, then you have to change tact, or not enter into the conversation at all. In this respect Jay is arguably playing a better social game than Adam. I really liked the way Jay approached Hannah and sat down with her, showed her that he respected her move and casually mentioned how he would be down with her in the future if she would just let him know what she’s thinking. Now that may not actually work, Hannah may still not trust Jay, but it certainly didn’t make their relationship worse.
Hannah-ing with the Cool Kids
I really liked Hannah’s play this episode. Whilst she didn’t make any huge moves or big decisions, she did keep herself in a good spot with Jay, and she asked Adam pointedly how Jay and Tailor knew of his advantage. Plus she still voted with the majority, keeping her options open in this game. I guess we don’t know if there are any Gen-x’ers she is actually close to. Though she was in Ikabula with Bret and Sunday, she didn’t vote with them in the one tribal council they attended, so I get the feeling her connection to the majority is through Adam and Zeke. Given we haven’t seen her have any connection with Gen-x’ers, her path to the end is likely going to need to be alongside millennials, and her connections to both The Nerds and The Jocks will make this easier for her. With this in mind the best thing that could happen for her game now is for the Gen-x’ers to start turning on one another. Is there a way that she can encourage or influence this? I’m not sure about that. I feel as though now we have had the millennials turn on one another, the time is right for Gen-x to begin implosion. It happens often enough that when we see one group have safety in numbers, then they feel ok to be able to blindside a member of their own ‘alliance’ when that member still believes that the group are Pagonging the opposition. Now we as an audience know that Sunday still harbours some resentment toward Jess, why, I’m not too sure. I guess she still feels that Jess is cunning and not to be trusted given what happened to Paul back in episode 3 (?). Personally I feel that is a little hypocritical of Sunday, especially given we haven’t seen any other gameplay from Jess in that vein. Hannah of course doesn’t know this, but it’s safe to assume that there is no reason that anybody might be looking to take her out. My advice then for her would be to lay low, continue to foster the relationships she has with both The Nerds and The Jocks, and wait and see where the Gen-x’ers heads are at. If the Gen-x’ers are still hunting millennials and not ready to turn on their own yet, they will eventually, so still she hang back and let them come to her when they’re ready to turn on their own. It is of course possible that Adam is rather high on the shit list at the moment. If that’s the case, I would still recommend that Hannah just roll with it. Either way`, I think it’s very unlikely that if Hannah is the number one millennial on the gen-x hit list. Jay on the other hand…
Jay is another one who for me had an interesting game tonight. There was some good gameplay, and some that left me scratching my head. As mentioned above, I respected his work in following up with Hannah, keeping that door ajar. We know that he had a conversation with Adam, though we may not know who initiated it, and though we know that it ended with him thinking Adam is a jerk, it’s possible that if Adam can’t use Jay, Jay can still use Adam. He’s still down enough with Zeke that Zeke is willing to tell him that he’s not all that down with Adam. Not only that, he has Sunday coming to him with the possibility that he could form some voting block to help her in the pursuit to rid the island of Jess. What I don’t understand, and I think I’d need to watch it again to see just what Sunday has on offer, is why Jay didn’t follow this up. He keeps saying he’s on the bottom, if Sunday is offering him even the flimsiest of lifelines, I don’t understand why he wouldn’t grab hold, follow that string and see where it takes him. Maybe he did and we just didn’t see it. He also showed that he had some awareness of what was going on around him to suspect that the vote was going to be split, and to then throw his vote at Taylor, keeping the immunity for himself. So where to for him now, now that he has completely lost his tri-force? Well similarly to Hannah, Jay’s best bet is to lay low. He knows that Sunday is unhappy and has her own agenda. He also knows that Adam is probably on the outs and doesn’t have any real allies of his own. If he can hang low he can keep that idol a little longer making it even more powerful. Unfortunately we’ve seen from the preview for next week that Will let’s slip that Jay has the idol. And just what was with Will voting for Jay tonight?
Willem the Foe?
I’m more than a little intrigued at Will’s decision to cast his vote Jay’s way tonight. I for sure thought that he would be on team Jay more-so than team Taylor. Perhaps he was thinking about taking the hidden immunity idol out of play. Perhaps he sees Jay as a threat. Perhaps given Jay’s We hadn’t really seen him talking strategy with anyone other than Michelle and Jay. If this was a move to take out Jay then colour me impressed. This was the perfect time to take an opportunity without consequences if you fail. Hopefully Jay won’t discover that Will voted for him. The argument against this move of course would be does Will need Jay for his game? I’m not sure that he does. I feel like Jay’s unpredictability and willingness to turn on anyone to get further is more of a liability than keeping him around as an ‘uneasy ally’ is worth. If I were in Will’s spot I think I would feel safer with Jay gone than with him there. That’s as long as Will has someone else to turn to of course. If Jay had gone home, then Will may have had Taylor to work with among others. We don’t really see Will having particularly strong bonds with anyone, but we also don’t see that anyone is after Will (other than Adam). So will does need to start strengthening some relationships if he’s to go deep, there’s only so long you can fly under the radar. Perhaps this is why he starts telling others of Jay’s idol. And of course it makes sense that Zeke is the man he would give that info to.
Freaks and Zekes
This was where I was to have looked at where Zeke could go to from here. However, I waited too long and, having now seen the next double episode, unfortunately there is no way I can objectively think about Zeke’s future game. Dammit, sorry. What it does mean though, is that I can now start thinking and writing about episode 10 (or is it technically named 10 and 11?) because there is lot’s to talk and think about. So until then, I’ve got nothing else for you, head back to camp.