Don’t let this analysis creep up on you like Jackie on Moana. Get up to date with the previous episode’s analysis here.
A tidy little episode here. I feel like not only are we starting to get to know our Survivors, but also that the Champions are starting to play the game (with the exception of Mat. What was with his vote against Shane?). Speaking of the feels, I must admit I shed a little tear at seeing Damien go. He seemed like a great guy, both in and out of the game, though I understand why he left. Not a lot to go through tonight but let’s break it down, so let’s make like Heath at the waterhole with an idol clue in it and get our fist into it.
Is that a bottle in your pocket…?
I’m happy to see another idol thrown in to the mix here. I feel for Heath though that he was caught with the bottle in his pocket. There’s a lesson in that for all of us. In my view this was the start of a comedy of errors. Robbie takes the opportunity to quiz Heath, but does so in front of other people. Robbie, Robbie, Robbie. here was an opportunity for you to have some information that nobody else has and you broadcast it? This doesn’t seem wise to me. At least he called it out in from of (what we believe is) his alliance. Worse than this sin however was Heath’s response. “Yeah, its um, up in, um, you know, the bush”. He’s now either going to have to admit that he lied about the clue or… well I don’t know how he can get his way out of this. Whatever he does from here I can’t see a way to get out of this without coming off sketchy. If any of you have any ideas about how he can salvage some credibility here I’d love to see your comments below, ’cause I’m stumped. In any case I can’t wait to see how this ends.
That the thought he might throw the challenge crossed his mind was cool. You may have read in the past my opinion on throwing challenges. I’m not against it entirely, and the chance to get an immunity idol is a pretty good reason to do it. With still eleven in the tribe I feel like it’s easier to get away with throwing it without it looking obvious, and there’s still a good chance that, in this case Heath, is in a safe enough position to make it through tribal council (though maybe less so since his sketchy behaviour. In a sense, Heath is lucky that Contenders won immunity. Had they lost, the pressure would have really been on him and the rest of Manpower Australia to find that idol. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to do so, and then Manpower Australia would likely assume that he actually had the idol and was hiding it from them, putting his head on the chippendale block (hmmm, now I’m wondering if Chippendales is a better nickname than Manpower Australia for the bro-lliance. Register your vote in the comments). Of course Heath would likely have an idol to save himself with, but the damage would have been done and the writing would be on the wall. Perhaps he rethought throwing the challenge once his clue had been revealed to Robbie and Benji.
Doesn’t look like Moana’s mind went to throwing the challenge, but at least she had the presence of mind to keep it to herself (for now). I do get the impression that she either already knows the game well, or at least is starting to get an understanding of the mechanics of the game, regardless of her assertion that she wants to play this game openly and honestly.
Well, Jackie obviously didn’t read my blog last week because she disregarded all of the advice I had for her. Instead of apologising for her aggressive gameplay, she doubled down, and tried to manipulate her way out of a vote against her. WE don’t know for sure if Jackie was the one who brought up Damien’s name to Monika or the other way around when they were lying on the beach, the audio did not match the movement of their mouths and it looked like I was watching a poorly dubbed kung fu film. Regardless, it definitely seemed like Jackie was the one canvassing the tribe trying to get support for Damien to be removed.
Although I don’t have an opinion one way or the other regarding what was the best option for the tribe between Jackie and Damien, I don’t quite understand her reasoning behind targeting Damien specifically. And to be honest, I do feel like Damien has been very hard done by here. If Jackie’s (and the rest of the tribe’s) motivation is as most of the say it is and to vote out a weak link, surely Shane is the more sensible option. Based on the experience thus far you’d have to conclude that Shane does much worse in
challenges than Damien does. I remember thinking that even during the swimming challenge her diving did not seem amazing (happy to be corrected on that if my memory does not reflect reality. She was terrible at soccer (by the way Channel Ten, seriously? A soccer challenge? Usually your challenge design is top shelf but that is fugging weak). Damien on the other hand was a beast in that first challenge, and did much better than Shane at soccer. Admittedly he has sat out of at least one challenge, but all I kept hearing tonight was his tribe mates say “what if he can’t?”, and “what if he fails”. Well so far he hasn’t. So far he’s performed much better than Shane in every challenge he’s been involved in. That his tribe was more concerned about Damien’s perceived weakness, than Shane’s evident weakness, This was really disappointing to me. But here we are.
As I mentioned earlier, I really don’t see any strategic advantage for keeping Jackie over Damien or vice versa. At this stage of the game, I feel like there’s plenty of time to get them both out, it didn’t really matter which went first. But now the tribe is left with the Jackie problem.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Jackie?
It should be clear to the rest of the tribe now that Jackie is conniving and manipulative and will do whatever it takes to get herself further in the game. I don’t feel as though at this point any of the people who voted with Jackie voted with Jackie because they are aligned with Jackie. They did it because they thought Damien was a liability. So I don’t feel as though this is going to split the tribe. The only people that didn’t vote for Damien were Damien himself, Steve (no surprise there), and Mat (who clearly has no idea). So the heat is really going to be on Jackie now. Is it too late for her to do the mea culpa as I suggested last week? I believe it is. Last tribal she had the opportunity to a) admit that she had erred in playing the game so hard, and b) blame her behaviour on the chaos Russell caused. Having not taken the opportunity then, and continuing her behaviour since, she has cemented herself as the conniving manipulative player I assume she doesn’t want to present herself as. I feel as though it is going to be almost impossible now to to fade back in to the shadows and play the low key game that fits this stage of the competition. I believe she is now in a position where she has to play hard. She may sneak through another tribal if it becomes apparent that Shane is the real liability in the tribe. But I suspect that Shane is not much more of a liability that Jackie is when it comes to challenges. Her challenge performance has not been much better than Shane’s. So what can she do? She needs to form a bond with someone sooner rather than later. We have seen her getting close to Monika a few times, but Jackie needs more than just one person on her side and I don’t feel like Monika has links to anyone else to round out that alliance. Is Sam a possibility? Mat? I just don’t see a way out of this for her. She’s either going to have to furtively create some chaos at camp, or hope that chaos happens around her.
Dancing with Russell’s Ghost.
I feel like we’re two tribals in with the Champions (I still can’t get over the fact that these tribes don’t have traditional tribe names, When US does similar themes they still have tribe names) and have no idea yet what the dynamics are. Moana and Sharn seem tight. And though Commando Steve voted by himself tonight, I don’t feel he is on the outs at all, he just couldn’t break the Commando code and vote for Damien. Sam seems the most sensible person on the tribe but we don’t whether he has any alliance or relationship to work with at all. If Champions lose the next immunity challenge there’s going to be a whole heap of scrambling happening, and I suspect that Moana is going to start to get cocky and draw attention to herself. I hope for her sake it doesn’t come to that. Whatever the case I look forward to seeing shit go down at camp Champion. Until tomorrow I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
(Most memes created by Russell Feathers, most everything else and all Survivor gifs Channel Ten)
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