If you’re struggling to understand Plan B, perhaps reading the previous analysis will help you decide what’s best for you.
I’m going to do my very best here to understand why T-Bone took the turn that she did tonight, and really try to ignore my Olympic feelings. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s no secret that I don’t like Jerkicho’s or T-Bone’s games at all, and that I find their characters repellent. Based on what we see on-screen I suspect that if I were playing with them they would really rub me the wrong way. That being said, they made it into the game, I didn’t. I’ve always said this analysis is about the game and not about the show, so it’s only fair of me that I do my best to thoroughly and genuinely analyse their game tonight, and not their person. Let’s start with Jerkicho.
Jericho Spoke in Class Today
I don’t think anyone can begrudge the effort and tenacity shown by Jerkicho tonight. On tonight’s performance alone, it would be a challenge to argue that he’s not most deserving of the three remaining. Good on him for realising that it was his name that was likely to be written down the most (and bad on Peter, but more on that later). Once he suspected that he was on the chopping block he needed to do something. And something he most certainly did do. All he needed was to have one person not vote for him and he knew that one person wasn’t going to be Peter. I could critique his choice to approach Michelle first. I would have thought that T_bone would be the easiest to sway, not only because of who she is but also due to their relationship as the Asaga four. I guess when your back is against the wall you take the first chance you can get. Ideally, when you’re in Jericho’s position, you’d want to have Tara vote Michelle and Michelle vote Tara, and then you could choose who you want voted out. Taken Peter would vote Jerkicho, then Jerkicho would send home whoever he would like in a 2-1-1 split. That’s the ideal situation if you’re Jerkicho. Obviously, Michelle was too touchy to be influenced that way. I’ll have to rewatch but I did not get the feeling on the first watch that there was any hint of bullying or threat in Jerkicho’s approach to Michelle. Regardless, Michelle took it that way, and in fact that was all that J needed. He was able to leverage her instability and give T-Bone another option.
Beyond the above, his performance at tribal was spot on. Again, if this is the potentially the last chance you’re going to get to address the jury, then take it for all it’s worth. He played up his against the wall, underdog status at this tribal. And the jury seemed impressed. I don’t recall there being anything in his speech though that was aimed at convincing T-Bone to vote with him. Again, hopefully a rewatch can clarify this. So why then did T-Bone vote the way she did?
Some people just want to watch the world burn, and some people just want to watch the fire challenge burn. T-Bone is both of those people. In a game where she hasn’t really made any positive gutsy moves, at least she now has one thing that she can point to in her resume (should she be required to provide it). Unfortunately for her, this very move actually strengthens Jerkicho’s resume (should he get there). So if her thinking was that by backing Jerkicho she’s more likely to get to the end, then, it has actually made her more likely to lose against him (in my opinion). If I was sitting there in that particular tribal council listening to Jerkicho tell the tribe, J-LaP and the jury what he was telling them, and perhaps more importantly, how well he was telling them, I would be thinking, “I don’t want to go up against this guy in the finale”. If she had this level of awareness she would understand that there is no way that she would beat Jerkicho in a final two. While I agree that her best bet at making it to final two would be to do what she did, and oust Michelle (not that she did it, Jerkicho did, but she gave him the ability to), unfortunately for her, this move makes it less likely for her to win. So ultimately, I have to say that this is a bad move. I won’t make argument again as to the merits, or otherwise, of the ‘to be the best, beat the best’ argument. I’ve done that plenty in these analyses. Really her only chance to win now, is to win immunity and bring Peter to the end. Then she better hope she can make like Donald Trump, and have the best words the jury’s heard her utter thus far (worked for Kristie) and hope that Peter can’t articulate an argument as to why he should win.
Awfully Civilised Scrambling
Well done Peter on a much needed immunity win. Not so well done on how he played Jerkicho tonight. His conversation with Jerkicho was a) not at all believable in his body language, and b) not at all believable in the content. Jerkicho was right to think that it all seemed too easy. Starting the conversation with, “I think it should be Tara” was never going to be believable in my opinion. As I’ve said so many times this season, and the previous, if you want to gain someone’s trust, don’t tell them what to do, ask their opinion. It seems that maybe Peter had his first taste of power. And with this sweet elixir coursing through his system, he perhaps forgot that these conversations still required nuance, savvy, and shrewdness. On top of that, well did he even know that there was unrest among the remaining three? If he didn’t, why the hell not? If he did, what did he do to stabilise the situation? In fact both he and Michelle need to be called out about their lack of gusto in at tribal council.
‘Don’t let Jerkicho tell you what to do, Jerkicho is not best for your game’
In the face of Jerkicho’s impassioned and articulate argument, they needed to do more to argue their case, and argue it directly. It should have been clear to Peter by now that that Jerkicho knew the votes were headed his way. At this point there is no need to dance around and play games. Both Peter and Michelle needed to stand up and say they are voting Jerkicho, and they are voting Jerkicho because he’s the strongest, and if he goes to the end he will win. It is time to get him out now. Of course, T-Bone being T-Bone there’s every possibility that this could backfire, and she could be the one saying that she’s being bullied into voting a particular way. So if one were to do so, one would have to be careful. Perhaps Michelle’s line to the rest of her tribe mates encouraging them to play their own game was overly cautious. That line might have worked if the ‘get rid of the biggest threat to YOUR end-game’ argument had already been framed. The other option for the two of them, particularly Michelle was to push the bully point harder. Knowing just how much T-Bone hates being told what to do, Michelle could have made it clear to T-Bone that nobody should be bullied, and that Jerkicho’s performance at tribal and pre-tribal was bullying. That may have made it a little harder for T-Bone to vote the way she did. And if it didn’t work, it was at least worth a shot. Perhaps this was what Michelle was alluding to in her ‘play your own game, vote your own way’ line. Unfortunately it was too subtle for Tara to understand that the subtext was (or should have been), ‘Don’t let Jerkicho tell you what to do, Jerkicho is not best for your game’.
I acknowledge that it’s easy for me to sit here in the rocking chair and with the gift of hindsight wax academic about what they should have done. I know it is much, much more difficult in the heat of the moment to frame your argument perfectly, and to effectively counter the arguments of your opponents. Hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to put my money where my mouth is.
Before I go I’ll quickly mention the family visit. While it had me crying as it usually does, the fact that it wasn’t tied to any sort of challenge completely devalued it for me. Is this another Survivor first? Let me know what you think in the comments. Until the finale, I’ve got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
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