Don’t let your cat get eaten by a mouse. If you wanna be on the ball your best bet is to have read the previous episode’s analysis.
There was not chance we were going to top last night’s episode in terms of stuff to talk about. But there’s enough gristle here to get our teeth into. Let’s start with how a ‘miracle’ saved Tessa.
Kiss Goodbye Kate
The departure of Adam last night meant the disintegration of the alliance he was in. We’re of course talking about Tessa, Kate, Tara, and Ziggy. Though we don’t know just how tight and aligned they were, with last night’s vote seemingly making contestants make the decision between voting Adam off or keeping him around, a split in perceived allegiances was inevitable. Tara and Ziggy made the decision to side against Adam and if you read last night’s analysis you know that this was the right move. More on this later. Where it’s left Tessa and Kate though is out in no man’s land.
Sadly, they didn’t do much to help their situation. Instead of trying to integrate themselves back with the rest of the tribe, they just hung out together and talked to Markzan. This is much like what Sue and JL did in their final days last season. Their back was against the wall, and all they seemed to do was complain to each other about it.
Kate at least came up with a plan to convince AK (Male Rebel Wilson for those playing along) to swing their way. The problem was, her pitch was extremely transparent and aggressive. She hadn’t built the relationship with MRW enough for him to seriously consider it. And to be honest, I can’t imagine he would have ever considered it having narrowly escaped death the previous round. The last thing he wants to do is rock the boat, regardless of any idol clues that may be hiding within.
So Tessa and Kate try and throw some shade at Tara. The fact that thus far neither one of them tried to reintegrate with their tribemates (if we’re to believe the editing), the next best thing for each of them is to vote against the other. Especially when they’ve got Markzan as a number. If I were either of them I’d be going to Markzan and trying to gain his vote against the other. Perhaps that’s exactly what Tessa did. It seems that Markzan did actually have the deciding vote, with the other eight players voting a 4-4 straight split. Wonder why they did that.
What was it that ultimately sent Kate home over Tessa? I suspect it simply came down to their social game and likeablility. As above, Kate was ultra aggressive in her confrontation with AK, especially when you compare it to the way Tessa did it, and the way she chatted with Jarrad. So where to for Tessa from here?
Paging Dr. Miracle
Normally in this situation I’d say it’s time to lay low, be friendly, and hope that the tribe doesn’t lose the next challenge. But given all the shade she’s thrown at Tara, and the way that has rattled Tara, I actually feel like it’s worthwhile testing the tribe to see just how much, if any, of that mud stuck (I know I’m mixing metaphors, mud can be shady!). She seems to have some relationship with AK and Jarrad. It’s worthwhile nurturing that. I can’t see her getting back in the good books with Ziggy, Anneliese, or Tara. Locky leads by agreeing to do what Ziggy and Anneliese want. And Aimee does whatever Locky says. That leaves Tarzan, who at this stage looks like he doesn’t give a shit (I wouldn’t be surprised if he quit in the next few episodes), and Peter. Peter did make a comment about Tessa’s hypocrisy at tribal but I don’t know for sure that he’s off Tessa completely. I’d love to hear more from Peter.
By this stage last season I was in a position where I was able to run down each individual player in a tribe and make suggestions on what they’re next move should be. I can’t quite do that this season. This is the drawback of starting with two twelve person tribes. There’s still so many people we don’t know anything about, we don’t know where everybody’s stands in their alliance and Peter’s a good example of this. I have no idea where he stands, what his aims are, and who he’s close to. When we started with tribes of eight, the tribal lines seemed clearer sooner. Not that I’m complaining. I really like that we’ve got two tribes. I hope they don’t change this anytime soon. When they’re down to 19 players is when I suspect they’ll move to three tribes. As I mentioned above though, we can talk Tara (AKA T-Bone).
Above I stated that for T-Bone to jump off the Adam boat was the right move. The bigger question is though, did T-Bone do it the right way? Certainly she could have done it better. The first thing she needed to do when they got back to camp was to go and have a chat with Tessa and Kate and explain to them why she voted against Adam and to reassure them that they can still work together. Instead, she was standoffish and only deflected pointed questions rather than confronting them. Unfortunately she’s not a good liar. You may be saying that she’s still there so no big loss. I disagree. So much mud was thrown her way at the tribal that people can’t help but see her as dirty. Even at tribal she could have just owned the move. She could have agreed that she had flipped and justified why she did it. I don’t think she did a particularly good job of that. So where to for her now? I did get the feeling that with all that heat that came her way at tribal, she’s going to have to get do something to turn the heat down or she’s soon going to be cooked. Ziggy and Locky seem to be the people you need to get on side, so she needs to do what she can to sure them up and let them know that she is definitely with them. In doing so, she also needs to throw heat back at the barefoot conTessa.
She’ll have to tread carefully to do so, she doesn’t want to come off like the crazy person that she is being painted. But shots are fired and she needs to fire back otherwise I suspect Tessa does have the ability to actually swing the tribe away from T-Bone and towards herself. That’s my take anyway, I suspect that there’s many of you out there that think the opposite. Give me your opinion in the comments.
Knifing the Spooners
Oh Zenry, what the hell were you thinking this episode? To me this was a masterclass in what not to do. Firstly, I’m glad that his alliance with Jacqui is strong. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I really like them as a power couple as they remind me a little of Malcolm and Denise. They’re cute. And I like the fact that they’ve kind of got their own thing going. Unfortunately, while this may have been something of a secret to the rest of the tribe in the past, they’ve since been spending too much time together and it’s become obvious to the rest of the tribe that they’re in cahoots. Both he and Jacqui were pissed off that Samantha had sent The Marksman (not sure if that works yet), but as far as I’m concerned that’s on them. They’ve been acting too sketchy, that’s why Sam was on to them. That’s what not to do number one.
The second, I can’t believe we’re talking about this again; THROWING A CHALLENGE?!?!?! Are you kidding me? There is zero reason to do this. What damage is she doing other than being annoyingly paranoid and acting threateningly? There’s plenty of time to let her dig her own grave. I get that eventually you want to break the power that is in her relationship/alliance with Mark (can we call them SaMarktha? Smark?), but we haven’t even had a first merge/tribe shake up. That might happen naturally in reshuffle. Alternatively, knowing that Smark are onto you and Jacqui as a couple maybe the better move is to join forces and become a tight foursome before the reshuffle. Four votes is huge when you’ve got eleven people left in a tribe. Here’s a real marriage of convenience you can take advantage of, until there’s about to be a reshuffle (I can’t imagine they’re not all speculating about when that will happen), then it’s time to make that move.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of Asaga because I’d love to know what the moving pieces are over there, and just why it is that Zenry is sticking his neck out now. It will also be interesting to know just what Kent’s up to with his tipping off Jacqui and Zenry that Sam sent Mark on the reconnaissance mission. I anticipate juiciness ahead.
One week, three episodes down. I’m pleasantly surprised that we’ve had three eliminations, I thought for sure tonight would fire a blank. Until next week, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers