Need a sugar rush before you hit this analysis? Read the previous episodes analysis here!
Fasten your seatbelts. Tonight is a bumpy ride and you don’t want to be thrown from the vehicle. With all the talk this episode about who you might want to go to the end with, I thought it was about time we examined the potential Jury votes.
Below I have laid out the order of preference in which each member of the Jury will vote to win (for example, if Peter and Jerkicho were the final two. Jarrad would vote for Peter, however if Locky and Peter were final two, Jarrad would vote for Locky):
Jarrad: Ziggy, Locky, Peter, Tara, Jerkicho, Michelle
Anneliese: Ziggy, Locky, Peter, Michelle, Jerkicho, Tara
Henry: Locky, Ziggy, Jerkicho, Michelle, Peter, Tara
Tessa: Ziggy, Locky, Peter, Jerkicho, Michelle, Tara
Sarah: Jerkicho, Ziggy, Tara, Michelle, Peter, Locky
Luke: Jerkicho, Locky, Ziggy, Michelle, Peter, Tara
Jerkicho: Locky, Ziggy, Michelle, Peter, Tara
Locky: Ziggy, Jerkicho, Tara, Peter, Michelle
Michelle: Jerkicho, Locky, Peter, Ziggy, Tara
Peter: Ziggy, Jerkicho, Locky, Michelle, Tara
Tara: Ziggy, Peter, Michelle, Jerkicho, Locky
Ziggy: Locky, Jerkicho, Peter, Michelle, Tara
I have to say I don’t feel particularly confident with these rankings. I have no idea how well Peter and Jerkicho will argue their game in the final tribal, and there’s some people who I am uncertain about when it comes to how they will vote on the Jury (eg Jarrad and Ziggy). Let me know what you would change in the comments.
Based on these numbers, Tara can’t win. Michelle can only beat Tara. Peter can only beat Tara and Michelle. Jerkicho and Locky will beat each of these three, but will draw against each other (I don’t know what happens in a tie vote when it’s a final two, can anyone fill me in?). If Ziggy makes it to final two she will win.
The above might help guide us as we break down tonight’s episode.
A Big Annoying Thing
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about what Tara did or didn’t do tonight (I don’t think I’ve ever cringed as much watching reality television as I did tonight, but I’ve never watched The Bachelor/ette) as she’s the only person that based on the above cannot win this game. I was surprised that she told Ziggy about moving against Locky. At first I put it down to her not having any idea about how to play this game. It turned out that Ziggy seemed to be receptive to the idea (‘seemed to be’, damn she’s hard to read) so the egg was on my face. My thinking was that once she had Luke and Jerkicho she only needed one other, and Peter or Michelle seemed to be more likely to follow that plan. Again, based on the above, IF there is a remote shot T-Bone could win, it could only be against Peter or Michelle, so it would make sense to bring one of those two guys in rather than the one other person who is ostensibly in an alliance with the person you are trying to remove. Whatever, I said I don’t want to talk too much T-Bone and I don’t. So I best just leave it there other than to briefly discuss her moral dilemma. I’m glad she took the lollies (of course she would), I would have done the same at this point in the game, though I did wonder if lollybreath would be hard to mask out there. Initially I couldn’t understand why she chose Ziggy to share with. Upon further consideration I understand why you might want to give sugar to the one person who has a shot at beating your target in an immunity challenge. I doubt that is what T-Bone was thinking though.
Michelle ‘n’ Man
Was taking out Luke the best move for Michelle and Peter tonight? It seemed that Michelle was just happy to go with the numbers, looking to Peter thoughout tribal for ani indication on which way he’d vote. My heart says no, I would have personally preferred to see Ziggy go over Luke. But my head says, I don’t know. I’m torn between taking the opportunity to remove an immunity threat (take out Ziggy), and, taking the opportunity to split up Jerkicho and Luke (such a strong pair are only going to become more powerful as the numbers dwindle). At this stage I’m leaning toward breaking up Luke and Jerkicho. In a game of ‘buddies’, if you can keep a strong two person alliance and break down other two-person alliances, you’re doing well. Disabling the Luke and Jerkicho alliance arguably puts Peter and Michelle in the strongest position in the game, numbers-wise. They will be of use when Locky and Ziggy go at each other next episode (admittedly a weak assumption, and given their history I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to work together, I would still say unlikely though), so they should get through at least one more tribal. That puts them in the final five, they get one person with them and they’re in the final four. That’s a 50/50 shot of making the finale. I hope for their sake they can appreciate the power that they have at the moment, and wield it effectively.
A Straight Up Rascal
We are now staring down the barrel of a potential Jerkicho win. That’s how terrible this season has become. If you had told me at episode 9 or 10 (when did AK go?), that this would be our top 6, I would not have believed you. Well here we are, and I am not happy. I’ve always said that one of the things I love about Survivor is that there is no right or wrong way to play (despite my regular advice to the contrary), that the results justify the means, if you happen to win (Survivor is one of the few games where a player who comes second did not necessarily play a better game than the person who came third, or tenth). A winner has outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted everyone else, it doesn’t matter how they get there, they deserve to win. That’s the beauty of the Jury system. Having said all that, I am extremely disappointed in this top 6. Last season we lost our most deserving player at the time in Brooke, episode 21 as well. At least then we still had Flick for a couple of episodes. It has me questioning whether there is something about the Australian format that has us come to this situation, an underwhelming top 6. Let me know if you have any thoughts about flaws in the current format in the comments.
Back to the gameplay. Obviously without Luke, Jerkicho is vulnerable. I do see him as an immunity threat, I wonder if his opponents do too. For him now it’s important that he get rid of Ziggy and Locky ASAP, so he can win immunities into the final two. I would argue that for him to do that he needs to lose the next immunity, then side with the winner (assuming it is Locky or Ziggy) to vote against the loser. Let them do all the work, creating a bigger target for their back next tribal should they lose immunity. Unfortunately he really is a solid shot to win this game, if he can provide a solid argument at the final tribal. I’d love to talk at length here about Jerkicho’s use of metaphor at tribal. Not just in terms of entertainment, but from a strategic point of view, but it’s a longer discussion I’ll leave for another time.
Thinking it Through Logilocky
With Ziggy at most likely to win if she makes it to final two, it goes without saying that it behooves Locky to remove Ziggy ASAP. So should he have gone for Ziggy tonight instead of Luke? I don’t think so. By targeting Luke he damages Jerkicho’s power (the only other person who could possibly beat him) and can now use Jerkicho to help him remove Ziggy. Luke was also more likely than Ziggy to persuade Michelle to work their way. He still has a huge target on his back, and we know he’s not so well liked by T-Bone. I don’t know what his path to the final two looks like. I suspect that the first immunity he loses, he’s going home. If you see another way for him, lay it out for me below.
Zig in a Poke
Unbeatable in the final two, Ziggy will have her work cut out for her to get there. I’m going to suggest a perhaps risky play for her, and that is to convince Locky or Jerkicho to take her to the end. While the above numbers suggest that she can beat these two, they are the riskiest opponents to go against. However, as arrogant as they are, they are also the people most likely to believe that they can beat her. I can’t see Michelle or Peter thinking they can beat her, and T-Bone has only just figured out what a goat is. Of course her best bet is to continue winning immunity, failing that, the above suggestion is as good as any. She should at least feel out whether it is feasible. If it’s clear that it’s not, move on to aligning with the other three to buy her a little time and hope that she at least wins immunities where it counts. Before I get off Zig I must mention how much I liked the way she framed to T-Bone what they should do once Locky won immunity. By framing the play by saying they need to keep around people who could beat Locky in immunity challenges, she leveraged T-Bone’s distaste for Locky while simultaneously protecting herself. It was sweeter than a jar of party mix.
I know I maligned his strategy last episode, to use a friend’s line, it was ‘short-sighted and simplistic’, but it got him to the point where he was the most deserving player left in the game, which is probably why he went. Was there much he could do to save himself? I’m sure many will argue that leaving Michelle out of the loop is what saw him go home tonight. I would disagree. I think that he just didn’t work her hard enough after doing so. And I did love the way he and Jerkicho made T-Bone feel like it was her big move to take out Locky. I’m sad to see him go. He was damn entertaining. Because of him I’ll never be able to ask people how to spell their names at tribal council (that was a joke I was saving for if I ever played), the bastard.
Remember that US Survivor starts Thursday. Online on 9Now from 3pm, or watch on free to air television at 7:30. I’m looking forward to a fun season. Until next week, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)
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Tara’s getting better at impressions, this is her ‘drunk football playing moth’