Consensus is never the real fact, and Survivor ain’t Survivor unless you’re up to date with Drop Your Buffs! Check out last night’s analysis here.
As a blogger I hate it when Survivor goes to three nights a week. Damn Channel Ten, give a man a chance to sleep. And there was so much going on tonight that I’m sure this will be a long one. But these last two episodes have made it worth it. Two very, very entertaining episodes. Not only were they choc full of meaty strategy, they were full of laugh out loud moments. Particularly when Jerkicho is involved. It’s true, I love to hate him. It will be sad to see him go. Though I expect not as sad as seeing Zenry go tonight.
Behind Blue Eyes
All good things come to an end. Certainly our mate has made some genius moves, but has also made some questionable ones. What did Zenry do wrong tonight? Well I would argue that he did nothing wrong this episode. Tonight he was just outplayed, by a tribe working in unison to deceive and not tip their hand. However the roots of this downfall arguably lay in his telling Anneliese he had an idol way back when he moved to Samatau. At the time I thought this was not smart. That it was a late night moment of weakness. I’ve always said that it can be wise to share an idol with someone if you want to solidify a bond. But telling Anneliese this, seemingly in an attempt just to get anyone and everyone on his side, I thought was risky. And then moving against her after having given her this information was not wise. If you’re going to share that information with someone to form a bond, then keep your bond. Only do it if it’s someone that you want to play with long-term, and I don’t think that he had that in mind when he told Anneliese.
I was shocked to hear that Michelle knew of his idol and wondered if I’d missed something. Then when it was revealed that Anneliese had told Sarah, the penny dropped. When did that happen? Were we the audience aware of this already? Please fill me in below if that’s the case. It also means that Sarah told Michelle. When did THAT happen?!?! Have there been conversations that I have totally missed?!?! Or is Channel Ten just keeping some important conversations from us to make the game more surprising for viewers, and commentators like me, later? If that’s the case, I’m not sure I like it. Survivor has never kept from us who had the idols and who knew (other than episode 2 this season, where it was kind of the point of the episode, and an anti-climax). Regardless, that Sarah knew and told Michelle reveals so much. At merge we did not know the old Asaga dynamic at all, and as the Two previous episodes have focused on Samatau and the big players, I wasn’t sure where Luke, Jerkicho, Michelle, and Sarah stood and what their game plan was (or is it just that I’m obtuse?). We now know that they are working together, for the moment. And that the Cookie Alliance was not a voting block, or at least not with Zenry. Clearly Sarah, Luke, and Jerkicho are strong right now. And Sarah had a killer night tonight.
Who Are You?
That Sarah could trick Zenry into thinking that she was pissed about losing reward (her line “an act to create visible distance between Tess and myself” is pure Survivor poetry), and then play it so cool at tribal, reinforcing to Zenry that she will vote the easy option… Masterclass! If modeling falls through for Sarah, she should give acting a shot. Her manipulation of Jerkicho was delicious. Sweeter than jam on a cookie, chased with champagne.
Incidentally I did really love the imagery of seeing Zenry stoke the fire while he was trying to inflame Sarah’s bitterness of being left out of the Champagne reward.
I hate to say this because it looks like I’m just floating from favourite to favourite here, and while we haven’t seen her be quite this tactical and manipulative before, I think we always suspected she had it in her, and is now in a great position. Especially as it doesn’t at all look like this was her move. To others it looks like this move was orchestrated by Luke, Tess, and Michelle. If she makes it to final tribal it would behoove her to convince the jury that she was behind the move to get Zenry out. But for now she can let everyone think that it was the others. Stay under the radar, and let the threats take the heat. If she really has Michelle in her pocket she needs to keep her there, because Luke and Jerkicho aren’t going to stick with Sarah once their backs are against the wall. If she can also cultivate a relationship with T-Bone, I think she will come in useful for Sarah in the future. I have been high on Sarah here, but I need to give Tess some credit too.
Great job winning immunity Tessa. I’m not even going to make a ball joke. Great job with your pick for reward companion. You said it yourself, Michelle is an emotional voter. If you didn’t know that before the previous episode, I’m glad that you’ve learnt that now. More on the auction later, I will quickly say now how hard it is under pressure to pick a reward companion. She couldn’t have chosen much better tonight. I wonder if that was her plan once the auction started. Where to for Tess now? Great question. In some ways I think she was lucky tonight that the old Asaga alliance had the same target she did. I don’t think she’ll be so lucky in future. What to do though with this knowledge that old Asaga want the big players out? Two options; continue to work with old Asaga to take them out of the game buying you at least two tribals, or work with Ziggy and Locky to keep them around as a shield. Which of these is better for Tess long term? At the moment my head is saying Ziggy needs to go sooner rather than later. With an immunity idol under her belt (is Locky the only other one that knows this?), and being stronger and more likeable than Locky, she is a way bigger threat. I would be doing whatever I could to get her out of the game as soon as possible. For Tessa she needs to find a way to do it that doesn’t perpetuate the idea in Locky that Tessa is gunning for them. I suggest use Michelle again. Michelle already mentioned during champagne alliance night that Locky was second on her list. Just nudge her a little, and stay out of the firing line. If she gets the chance to do so surreptitiously she should try and convince Locky that she is with him. Vote with him two or three tribals from now to remove Sarah or Luke, then flip back to work with Jerkicho and Michelle to get through to the end. Though I can’t see either Jerkicho or Michelle winning this game, I do wonder what they should be doing to get as far as they can.
Gimme Shelter (I know, it’s not The Who, but it’s close, and fits our episode)
I mentioned above that Michelle will likely be influenced by Tessa and gun for Locky now. Is that the right move for her though? If Locky were smart he’d do the same as Tess and try and take her under his wing. She’s already shown him that she will follow him (the Anneliese vote) if she feels lost. So if we suppose that Locky and Tess are her two options, which way is best for her? I feel like this requires more thinking than I have in me tonight. Especially if we throw Sarah into the mix. My first instinct is that both Sarah and Tess will see her value as a goat and are more likely to use her to get to the end and potentially take her with them. Locky on the other hand is too tight with Ziggy, and much more likely to throw Michelle under the balls when it suits him, preferring to take T-Bone to the end. So Michelle should go with both Tess and Sarah until they target one another, and reassess then.
The Kid’s All Right (well, not really but I’m running out of The Who songs here)
I’ve said in previous posts that Jerkicho won’t win. I stand by that. There’s still value in considering his options though. Sticking with Luke seems a no-brainer, I see no reason at this stage to suggest turning on that alliance. If I know Jerkicho (and I don’t) I think he’ll actually do just that pretty soon. I do suggest doing it before the end as he’ll never beat him at final tribal. Jerkicho’s only bet to win is to go against Tara or Michelle (or maybe even Peter) at final tribal. His only way to get there is to stay strong with Luke. Take out Ziggy ASAP. Then work towards getting Tess or Pete out, then move against Sarah before she tries to split you and Luke up. From there you need to get the lay of the land with where Locky is and where Tess or Pete is, and move whichever way is going to get yourself and Luke closer to a final four with Tara and Michelle. This is the plan for Luke too, however Luke isn’t quite as limited as to who he can beat in a final two and therefore doesn’t have quite as narrow a path to the end.
This game seems to be changing so much from episode to episode. Last episode it looked that Locky and Ziggy were in a powerful position. At that point we didn’t know that old Asaga were so tight. We know better now and, it’s clear that Locky and Ziggy are now in a sticky situation. I suggest they have two options from here; attempt to align with Pete and Tess (and T-Bone) giving them the numbers to take out old Asaga, or try and convince old Asaga that Tess is a bigger threat than they are. Both of these options will only get them so far and the reality is that the rest of the tribe will want to split the two of them up. I think they should stick together if they continue to win immunity, after that the best bet is for each of them to try and remove the other the first chance they get. Neither will take the other to the final two, and either of them is a shot to win the final immunity challenge, so it’s too risky to take the other even to the final three.
Sub-sti-tute! My Cash For Food
I love Auction and this is one of the most fun, and most perplexing, I’ve witnessed. Firstly, the twist. Great! Provided a lot of fun watching Luke take all that food, and other advantage. Also has the effect of motivating future players to bid early rather than hold on to their cash waiting for idols/advantages/home and family contact. Speaking of home contact, I was surprised that we had this so soon after letters from home, but I wasn’t complaining. It had me bawling as usual. I watched the episode twice and was sobbing both times. I suspect that if I ever get to play the game, as much as I think I’d want to stay strong and hold out bidding until an advantage or idol clue or something comes up (depending on how comfortable I feel), I just know that the second a phone call is mentioned I couldn’t help myself. I would be all in. All chips on the table. What I do wonder is which is the better advantage; the challenge advantage, or the reward meal/night with guests? Both options have pros and cons. I really am bum-puzzled about which is the more beneficial. What would you pick and why? Let me know in the comments. I was surprised no one seemed to be looking for idols or clues on their night away. I thought for sure there’d be at least a clue there after two were played the night before. This time last year in the same reward there was no idol or clue so that seems to be a pattern for us here in Australia.
What Zenry did was part of the game. What Jerkicho did here was just spiteful and malicious.
I was perplexed by those who players who didn’t bid on food. I expected they were therefore waiting for advantage or home/family contact. Why did they not bid as high as they could out of the gate when those things came up? Maybe they were not that familiar with how the auction worked. I’m not sure how I feel about the drawing rocks solution to multiple max bids. Usually it’s first in with a max bid gets the spoils. That one person could lose all their money and not get anything, even when they knew what they were bidding on, seems unfair on the face of it. I’ll let my thinking on this gestate for a little before I make up my mind though. What are your thoughts? I can’t finish this post and this section on the auction without taking the opportunity to once again underline an instance of Jerkicho being a jerk. Making Tess work for her reward when he could never outbid her. We know who the real ‘Mothertrucker is tonight’. What Zenry did was playing the game. What Jerkicho did here was just spiteful and malicious. Just a jerk, jerk move. It made me feel better when he made like George W. Bush and stuffed up the ‘fool me once…’ adage…
And now, I can finally get some sleep. Three nights a week is a killer. Four next week if Aus Survivor is three nights again and you count US Survivor. As much as I’d love to there’s no way I can post about US Survivor as well as Australian. That would almost be a full-time job! And I’m afraid I’m not in a position where burley men in baseball caps give me envelopes of money with which to buy food. I have to actually work for my money.
One thing I will take time to write about though, hopefully before the end of the season, is an entire post on Henry’s game. I’d really love to take the time to break down all of the moves he made and see where the value is and what to avoid. Even though he didn’t get to the end, I’m not convinced that his flip to Samatau was a bad move. He threw so much at the game there’s a lot to chew on and I think it will be an interesting exercise. Tell me what you think and stay tuned. Until next week, I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
*You may or may not have noticed that this post is full of links to songs by The Who (and one by The Rolling Stones). Did you find them all?! Unfortunately I couldn’t add links to the references in the title so here they are: ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again‘, ‘Bubbly O’Riley‘.
(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all gifs Channel Ten)
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