Episode 25 – ‘T Intersection’ OR ‘Pitt, Stop’

If you’re struggling to understand Plan B, perhaps reading the previous analysis will help you decide what’s best for you.

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For perhaps the first time ever, I agree with T-Bone

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

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Jerkicho starts wrapping T-Bone around his little finger

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?

Shit Stirrer

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T-Bone attempts a Shaggy style ‘it wasn’t me’ before realising that that couldn’t possibly hold up 

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

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That you might end up in an awkward conversation should be the least of your worries at this point in the game…

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.

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“Hey Mick, want to stick your fingers in my lolly jar?”

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

(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)

Russell Feathers needs your help, especially if you’re an aspie. Do you have a knack for finding typos, spelling, or other grammatical errors? Do you love pointing them out? If you’re one of these hotshit people and have found anything above, please let me know here! (Neurotypicals not excluded)

Episode 8 – ‘Stray Kat Strut’ OR ‘Sitting Duck Flap’

If you’re yet to read the analysis of the previous episode, then much like Nick said to JL, “maybe you should look it up” here.

An episode without a tribal council would usually mean little to talk about, in this case it actually means we could potentially talk all night. Unfortunately I try to have some sort of life outside of Survivor (otherwise I’d find myself divorced, again), so rather than run through what this shake up means for each of our top eighteen players, I’ll just focus on a few of the major players.

Merge & Purge

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I am very disappointed they didn’t let the tribes come up with their own new names…what the shit?!
So it came as no surprise that the big twist that was coming tonight was the merge from three tribes to two. Once J-LaP announced that the tribes weren’t playing for immunity it was pretty clear that the advantage was the ability to choose your tribe. I don’t want to analyse The Pu’s choices too much as my gut feeling is that no matter how you use that advantage there will be pros and cons. Especially when you are put on the spot, you’re never going to be able to compare and contrast every possible tribe permutation. I guess it seemed smart enough for The Pu to go with a mix of ex-Pu, strength for challenges and someone who would be easy to shaft.

Nick’s shit list

Nick really is feeling bitter about the way he was booted from Vavau. While I’m a big believer in doing whatever you can to get rid of the people that want you gone, I do also believe that if you let your emotions blinker your vision in the game, you can be more easily blindsided. I’m not sure exactly what he was trying to do by pulling JL aside for a chat, but with Nick being Nick, it was never going to end happily. Did make for some fun television though. So what does Nick need to do from here to extend his life in the tribe? Well, as long as he sticks with the pre-merge Pu he should be safe for at least one tribal, if they choose to get rid of JL. I don’t see him having much life past that though. The way things are I suspect that move would see him on the bottom of the remaining eight. If he is to stick around any longer than this he needs to start looking for cracks in the original Pu. Though JL could be a number that he could use to help him switch up the numbers in Pu, I think it is just too dangerous to keep her around, she hates him too much. Given that (we know) Brick doesn’t want Matt long term, and Matt has already shown that he is wary of Flick (though it seems currently that he believes is comfortable with his Angels, more on that later) perhaps he can wriggle into that crack. Regardless which road he takes I am interested to see just what he is going to do to stick around. He will need to shake things up at some stage, and being Nick, I’m sure he will.

Jennah-Louise

Where to for JL though? Wow, I don’t know. Unfortunately she has already burned the Nick bridge. While we don’t know much about their dynamic when they where in Vavau together, I think JL actually had an opportunity here to buddy up to Nick, shift the blame for the Nick vote onto one of the other Vavauans. Of course emotions and pride got in the way of smart play and it didn’t pan out that way. Now she’s between a rock and Rohan’s abs. Maybe she could hook up with Brick? Brooke sounds a little hurt that Matt got his way and they kept Nick instead of Teags, so maybe if JL went to Brick they might let JL take the place that Teags was to have. Though we know that that particular place was only ever going to be temporary, I guess it’s a start for her. I just can’t see what JL’s move is. Have you any ideas?

Matt

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There’s reason we barely saw Charlie in Charlie’s Angels, he was a douche…
Matt, Matt, Matt… We had such high hopes for you. I’m hoping you can still turn it around but every episode it seems you just show us less and less.

“Roll up, roll up and watch the strategy disappear right before your very eyes!”

Dude, please get back with Sammy, actually work him properly rather than just buddy him. Get Lee and Maybe El on your side and break up Brick. For someone who makes a living with misdirection, it seems that you’re not realising that you yourself are being misdirected, by bosom. My Dad used to say “if you’re going to go out you might as well go out smiling” (that’s a lie, my Dad never actually said that, mostly he just said “give that Survivor shit a rest and get into a real sport, like drinking”). That was a cheap shot, both at my Dad and at Matt. We don’t even know, or care, if Matt is a fan of the bosom. What we do know is that it looks like he thinks he has his shit on lock with those women and if that IS what he is thinking, not only is he mistaken, but he doesn’t deserve the title of Survivor. Brick has already fought against him and he knows it, he just seems to have a short memory.

El to the Lee

Of all of the players in The New Pu I would argue that Lee and El are in the best position. All they need to do is sit back and let people come to them and assess what their best move is from there. I hope for their sake that they realise this. If you think I’m wrong about this, please let me know what I’m not seeing in the comments.

Have a Break, have a KateKat.

Kat got game bitches! Finally she has an opportunity to get her claws out and start playing this game. And don’t she just look like the Kat that got the cream? I would argue that Kate is in a very similar situation to Kat, kind of on the outside of the core alliance, with little she could do in her old tribe. Merge holds a lot of potential for KateKat, as long as they can identify those in the new Vavau who also need some direction, they can scoop them up and get some numbers. It would only take for KateKat to scoop Conner, Roh, and maybe Andrew and the game would really be shaken up. Phoebe’s and Craig’s pre-merge position of power would be made more impotent than a quadriplegic eunuch. I think Kat has it in her to do this, I’m less convinced that Kate does though. Kat would need to take the lead in that duo, which looks like it is the case from what we’ve seen so far. Whatever the case, Vavau is primed for a big shake-up.

Craig

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Much like vegetable crudités, this scene was delicious.
Without JL, Craig has a lot of work to do to secure his life in the tribe. I suspect what he’ll try and do is boost his alliance of three (He, Andy and Sue) to one of five by drawing in perhaps Conner and Kate. We know however that that is not going to work as Andy is gunning for him. Does he suspect that? I don’t know. I get the feeling that Andy has done a pretty good job of maintaining Craig’s sense of security. For some reason in my mind’s eye I see him teaming up with Phoebs, they just seem like a good couplet. For now I might just stop speculating on Craig’s move as a lot could depend on what he does with that idol clue. I would suggest that he find that idol ASAP without letting anyone know about the clue, then he can start plotting what will work for him. Like I said, interesting times ahead at Vavau. I need to point out here how happy I was to see a clue in that buffet. As I said in the previous post, that has been sorely lacking in Survivor up until now, and though we didn’t see any players proactively looking for a clue in the banquet (I’m looking at you Andy!), it was still good to see that promise of the Vavau idol reappear in a classic Survivor way.

RohBe

This switch-up is something of a stitch-up for Phoebs. Having lost her core alliance in El, I’m not quite sure what she is left with. At least she knows that Roh has the idol and she can use this information as leverage in a few ways. Firstly, she could bury the hatchet with Roh and she can use the idol vicariously through him to keep herself safe. I’m not sure that Roh is going to go for that, but at the moment it doesn’t seem like he has much else. Or she can try and form an alliance outside of Aganoa, bringing Kristie with her, and throw some shade at Roh from that side, convincing them that they need to flush his idol. There’s a lot of options here for her. None of them seem particularly strong to me. If ever there was a time to work your magic Phoebe and start bringing the social game that we suspect you have in line with your strategic game, and weasel yourself into something with old Vavau now is the time.

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At a loss for words, and allies.
Rohan, you’re in even more dire straits, though at least you have an idol. My thinking is that the best thing for you to do is start looking for where the cracks are in old Vavau and choosing someone to align with, and showing them your idol to solidify trust. Can’t wait to see how this shakes down. Having two hidden immunity idols in one tribe is going to be epic!

Andy

Keep on rocking brother, you’re in a good spot at the moment. Pick your alliance wisely and you’ll take down Craig. Just don’t tip your hand man, or he’ll whip out his idol. Best thing you can do now is show Craig you’re still strong with him so that he’ll either warn you about his idol, or he’ll never see you coming. Like when JL is “wearing it”, sharkskin looks good on you.

Yep, that was a long one. After that, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

– Russell Feathers

Check out Episode 9 discussion here!

 

Episode 6 – ‘Exposing Cracks & Licking Rope’ OR ‘Pack Your Ba(g)z’

If you want to catch up on my analysis of last week’s episodes, you can do so here.

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The only non-white colour disappears from Craig’s “eclectic box of crayons”

After the twists and turns of the last three episodes, it was a welcome relief to have an episode free of surprises and audience blindsides. Not only did it make things easier for my fragile, sleep deprived sensitivities, but it also meant that we finally got to see some gameplay in the Vavau tribe, which has been sorely lacking in the series up until this episode.

Conner & Sam

With Conner and Sam deported to Vavau, I thought we’d see some more of the Conner hustle. Him understanding that he is on the wrong side of the numbers, trying desperately to shake things up to keep himself alive in the game. Whether by design or by default, we didn’t see that from him, and that really worked in his favour. As I was watching things play out on camp, and with it initially looking like Conner was going to go, I started thinking whether Conner had made the right move in bringing Sam over. sam-conner.gifI think I understand why he did it, because at the point that he had to make that decision Sam was arguably his closest ally in the game. It just made me think that it may have been prudent to bring over someone that was going to be less of an asset to Vavau than Sam is. Regardless of whether or not it was his best move, I can’t really judge his decision harshly. He was forced to make a snap decision without any forewarning, you’d have to go with your gut in that situation. As I was saying though, I thought it was smart of him not to try and hustle as I suspect that would surely have led to him being voted out tonight. Vavau just got rid of a big strategic player in Nick, they don’t want to replace him with another one in Conner. Had they seen any hint of this in Conner, there’s no doubt he would have been given the boot. Instead, Conner played the ‘please keep me around, I will be an asset and be in your debt’ card. A move which in the past I would have thought had no hope of having any influence whatsoever, but here seems to have actually kept him in the game. It certainly seemed like before he made this speech he would be going home tonight. He sincerely worked those naive little puppy dog eyes and it paid big dividends, with the tribe ultimately sending Baz packing. But was this a good move for the tribe? More on that below. Sam, does nothing, and that works out just fine for him. I’m disappointed in Sam. All we saw was him try and find out what was going on through Kate, arguably the least ‘in the know’ member of old Vavau. Sam, it’s about time we actually started seeing some gameplay from you…

The Great White Shark

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As we’ve suspected all along, Andrew got game! Firstly, we see him casually talking with every member of his tribe today. It’s pretty clear to astute observers looking at these relationships that his social game is strong, something that I was worried about as we haven’t really seen evidence of this before. But we also get some meaningful face time, where we learn that he is a shark and Craig is his prey. While I’m watching this I’m thinking ‘YES!’ we are finally seeing the emergence of his strategy, but at the same time I’m yelling at the screen “NOT YET ANDREW!!!”. There was no way that a move against Craig was going to work this early. Especially when everybody is already feeling conflicted about Barry vs Conner. I think I can see what he was thinking, that there’s some new blood and some new numbers here, maybe he can use those to his advantage. Smartly, he assesses where this move would sit with his current alliance before talking to Conner and Sam. Double smartly and doubly smart, when Sue warns him against voting off Craig, he drops it.

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“You wanna start some shit boy? Didn’t think so…”

I am interested about Sue knowing that he was going to talk Craig, makes me think there have been some conversations there that we’ve not been privy to. There’s obviously a lot more going on in this four than we’ve been led to believe. Perhaps there was more discussion leading up to the Nick vote than we were shown. I guess when you haven’t gone to tribal for two weeks, you can’t help but start running multiple scenarios in your head and this may be evidence that Andrew has started to form an alliance within that core alliance of four. Clearly much smarter than Matt’s effort last week, who showed us he had not even thought of a plan B. Damn I hope Vavau go to tribal tomorrow night so that I can see more of this. I should point out though that I don’t really see why Andrew thinks Craig is a threat. I can see why Nick was, Craig not so much. I guess it will become apparent once we see some more of Craig in action.

The Baz Boot

I intimated above that I wasn’t convinced that getting rid of Barry was right for Vavau. Though I think it was right for Andrew’s purposes, as he now has the option of using the old Pu’s as his new crew for the Craig coup (and my son says I can’t rap, h’yeah right), I really don’t see the reason that you would get rid of Baz, unless you felt that his vote randomiser was trained on you. Even if it is, unless he has people with him, which he doesn’t, then, much like a weasel with a rolly-ball, there is no power behind his chaos. Much better to keep him around until merge, where his vote is actually useful as you know he won’t vote a Vavau. Give me your thoughts below?

What Would Sue Do?

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A more colourful Vavau?

Now that we know that Andrew is starting to position himself to get rid of what he sees as a threat, I do wonder what the rest of the Vavau four is thinking? I come to the conclusion that we haven’t seen enough of them to know. They seem tight enough, and there’s enough of them that they could comfortably make it through to first merge without any of them going home, provided that if they do go to tribal they just boot Conner or Sam. As they are this tight, I suspect that may actually be the best move. Stick with the four until merge. As much as I’d love to see Andrew overthrow Craig, I’m just not sure where it would put him, and Sue if she chooses to go along with it. It makes them much weaker going into the merge. We also know that Sue is seen by Nick, and maybe Tegan, as not trustworthy given what has happened to them, if she meets up with them again and Craig is no longer around, she will be seen as a threat. Maybe that is what Andrew is counting on, that it will look like Sue is masterminding this. As far as Jennah Louise goes, I have no idea where in the four she stands, closer to Craig, or closer to Sue/Andrew. Again, I’m hanging out to see more of Vavau in the episodes to come. That’s enough Vavau for now, how about a quick discussion on the little we saw of Saanapu and Aganoa.

Nick is a Playa!

It was bloody delicious when we saw Tegan talking with Brooke about how Nick had chatted up the two of them (if you missed this tasty morsel, or want to savour it agin, do so here). I said it last post and I’m even more confident now, Nick will not win this game. Great pick up from Tegan to see that Brooke didn’t trust Nick, and she started making moves to distance herself from him. Though I don’t think she could crack the Brick (see previous post), she could certainly be the wasp nest sticking to it while the season is right.

Pulling Weeds and Planting Seeds

 

I’ll finish off with a quick acknowledgement of Kristie tonight. Kristie tonight reminded me very much of Aubry from the most recent season of the US version of Survivor. Started as a neurotic, paranoid and anxious ball of cry, and is now starting to show us that she has had some strategic thoughts. I get it. I think I would be the same in some ways. It could take me a while to get my bearings and get comfortable in a new environment with new people too. I’m so glad that she is still here. The way we saw her subtly start building the relationship with Phoebe was very encouraging. To me she came across as very human and genuine in her conversation with Phoebe, yet she knew that Phoebe was not to be trusted. While I don’t necessarily think that Kristie has moved into a threesome with Phoebe and her El-iance, she certainly showed that she has what it takes to form a strategic pairing with someone, she just needs to find fertile soil in which to plant that seed. I really hope that we see Kristie blossom into something Aubry-esque this season, that would be magnificent.

Until next episode, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.

Episode 7 Analysis Here!