Don’t let there be any big surprises at this tribal (ffs how many times did J-LaP ask about that tonight?), check the previous episode’s analysis here!
I don’t understand what these people on Asaga are doing. Am I obtuse? Do I not understand this game at all? Perhaps there was a lot here that we didn’t see or was edited out. I’m not saying I disagree with the choice to take out Odette, I just don’t understand people’s justifications. Particularly with T-Bone still in the mix(ed grill).
Anyway let’s make like Luke in the jungle and search for some meaning in all of this.
Before I get into individual gameplay I have to say how shocked I was at the amount of strategy disclosed during tribal tonight. Everybody sitting on the log tonight seemed more than happy to tell J-LaP, and thus the rest of the tribe, what their game plan was going forward. Not even in a fake-out way to trick Odette. I guess that tells us that this group of people are pretty much exhausted and done working with one another, or completely comfortable with one another (which I really can’t believe). I can’t see any other justification short of sheer stupidity, or at the very least, poor cognizance that this disclosure could actually work against them. It’s not very often that I make solid predictions, but contrary to Odette’s opinion I have to believe that none of these people can win this game.
There’s not much to say about Odette that I haven’t said before. Floating can only work for so long. I know there’s people out there that thought that this floating, much like Kristie’s last season, could take her all the way. The difference between Odette and Kristie is that Kristie actually did make strategic decisions about where she would float to. Odette’s strategy on the other hand seemed to be to just vote with the majority every time. And given she didn’t know what the majority was, that it seemed to come down to her, she couldn’t make an actual decision. She even went as far as saying that she would toss a coin, and I don’t think she was just saying that. I get the impression that if there was a coin on island she would have done that. And when she told camp (I’m not sure who was there exactly, if you know leave a comment below) that she would do that I was shocked. That sort of behaviour has never worked in Survivor. It didn’t work for Sean back in the very first season of US Survivor almost twenty years ago, just like it didn’t work for Barry last year. We suspected all along that Odette really didn’t understand this game, last episode she showed that she had no idea what the phrase ‘swing vote’ really meant, that you have the power to swing the vote your way. Again she had that power tonight and completely squandered it. Anybody who knows anything about how to play this game would take the opportunity to analyse what they can do with that power, not just for tonight’s vote but for their future game, and maneuver accordingly. You know what, y’all know this stuff, I’m not going to go on talking about what she did wrong. It’s all very obvious to even the johnniest of come-latelies. She seems like a really lovely person who I’d love to get to know, but Survivor is not her bag, at least not this season. I’d love to see her come back and play again having (hopefully) learned more about how to play this great game. T-Bone on the other hand…
I should preface this next section by acknowledging the possibility that my personal preference or otherwise toward Tara as a person could cloud my strategic view. I suspect that were I on island with Tara, she and I would not get along. I find her irksome and I cringe whenever I see her onscreen. So it’s possible that the following is more a reflection of my distaste for her than my disrespect of her game and where she stands in the game dynamic.
Why was T-Bone not the easy vote tonight? I would argue that she’s a greater threat than Odette post merge. She is just as unpredictable as Odette if not more-so. And she has ties to Samatau. Could they be looking at her as a goat? She is a very risky goat. Likely to flip (and flop) at a moment’s notice. Why her name did not come up tonight (or at least we didn’t see it) has me completely bum-puzzled. Having said that, she now is in a good position to get as far as her personality and gameplay allow her. Which way should she be going post-merge? Well she has to assess her options. We don’t know exactly what her old Samatau friends; Locky, Anneliese, and even Pirate Petey think about working with her. One would assume Locky would take whatever alliance is going at the moment. She needs to suss this out and let the big, noise-making players take the heat while she finds her path.
Model Prisoner in the Five-Senses Realm
I mentioned in my last analysis, and previously in the series, that Sarah needs a wingman, and that wingman should be Odette. While I do feel that riding this trio train (plus the T-Bone caboose) into merge station is safer than shuffling in as part of an Asaga divided, I stand by the decision that she needs a wingman. Perhaps she sees Pirate Petey as that wingman. Good luck if that’s the case. The foursome she is riding in with will only stay together for so long, and I’ve no doubt she knows that. Having Odette loyally by her side (if of course Odette could have ever been convinced to be loyal and join a strong twosome) would have helped her ride the storm once Jerkicho and Luke inevitably decided to sever ties. I do agree with her however that tonight was not the night to try and lose Luke. So notwithstanding that I think it was better to get rid of T-Bone than Odette, if she had tried to lose Luke, then the risk was too strong that this could backfire and put her back in the immediate firing line. Much better that she let him go to merge as her shield, as he now looks to Samatau that he was running the show in Asaga. She can keep that shield for as long as works for her while she finds another path to the end with the other players. I shouldn’t dismiss the strategic possibility of actually really joining Luke and Jerkicho as a solid threesome to the end. While I’d like to think that this option should remain open for strategic reasons, the reality is that there is too much animosity between them for that to occur.
Firstly, what is it with Jerkicho and his war metaphors? Fuggin christianity… Anyway, I do have to give credit to Jerkicho for a few things today. His performance in the challenge was nothing short of powerful. Well done. Also well done for the way he made Odette feel comfortable about the impending vote. For a while there, I wasn’t sure what he was doing, I thought he was putting a target on his own back by so openly strategising with Odette directly after his alliance had all seemingly agreed Odette was the target. I suspect there was a conversation there amongst the foursome that we did not see. That it was agreed that Jerkicho should go and talk to O to make her feel comfortable. Other than that I don’t think I saw anything from Jerkicho that interested me.
Same goes for Luke. Again, I agree that it was time to set enmity aside and take out Odette as an easy vote, rather than raise Sarah’s hackles and consequently raise the risk that he could go tonight, and hope they’ll merge shortly. I’m unsure whether it is better for him to keep T-Bone over Odette. Is it possible that he still thinks that he can sway Tara? I can see that he would be arrogant enough to think so. For him I suspect it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. He’s not interested in either long term. From here though, with a merge on the horizon, it might be time to turn on the charm offensive and try his luck as a number with either of he Samatau alliances. Either way it will be interesting to see just what happens for him during the merge, particularly what happens between he and Zenry, given Zenry is in a weak position within his Samatau homies.
That will do for tonight. Overall this was a somewhat boring episode, but when it comes to ‘reality tv’ they can’t all be staggeringly stupendous. Until merge Sunday, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
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