As the long, dreary, "epic" demise of original Malolo continues to redefine Malolo lows, Survivor tried to shake things up with a completely random swap, but it ended up creating three tribes where the Malolos were outnumbered, instead of only one. Not only that, but it kicked the feet out from under James, who had cleverly engineered a play to guarantee safety for himself and his three ex-Malolo allies after the last swap, only to be placed now in an unwinnable situation. James was personally responsible for the only original Naviti thus far leaving the game. His reward? Swapped and gone.
Sometimes there's nothing an outnumbered player can do. James found that out this week. He did everything right, seemingly. He played the social game as well as he could: after (tangentially) saving Angela from being blindsided by her original Naviti tribemates, he tried to build on that bond moving forward. But alas, Angela felt more comfortable going back to the family that had previously "slit [her] throat" than in sticking with her new friends. And that was that. Maybe it was more complicated, maybe she and Desiree and Kellyn were better connected than they appeared, maybe she and James didn't really have as close a friendship as James thought. Either way, Angela chose to go back to the people for whom she had previously been willing to draw rocks... and whose infighting had resulted in her receiving three votes.
This is the basic Survivor game, the one that provides the backbone for all the idol- and advantage-based shenanigans. Sometimes, players have to convince people to switch their loyalty toward people acting in their best interest, and away, perhaps, from people acting against that interest. The problem is, sometimes heart trumps head, or gut, or whatever, and the person being swayed doesn't see it the same way. Sometimes loyalty casts a shadow of distrust over logic. Sometimes it works, as when the Rotu core four's power structure was toppled in Marquesas. Sometimes it doesn't, as in Redemption Island, or South Pacific, or One World. And, apparently, Ghost Island.
Short of inventing a time machine to go back and convincing Probst et al. to put him on Naviti originally, there's very little James could really have done to be seen by Angela as more of a "family" member than Kellyn. Fate is kind of a bastard.
Washing away the purple edit in a shower of tears
In this episode, Ghost Island failed to draw a buff at the swap, and was sent away to, well... Ghost Island, for the remainder of the episode. Which, obviously, raised an edit-related dilemma: if someone had been hoping to seize some camera time with a touching, heartfelt Ghost Island confessional, what on earth were they supposed to do now? This week, apparently, the contestants were forced to wash away the stains of purple editing with in-camp tears.
Witness poor Chelsea, ignored for the first three episodes, and now stuck on a tribe with scenery-chewing Domenick, master complaint maker Bradley, and fan favorite Donathan? Not to mention now literally wearing a purple buff again? No wonder she started crying. Good move by the similarly under-edited Libby: sweeping in to give Chelsea a hug at least got her on-screen for a split second. If only she'd teared up, maybe she could have talked, too. Oh well, better luck next week!
But Chelsea wasn't the only one. Over on Malolo, both Angela and Desiree faced the same problem, having to share their beach and screentime with central character Kellyn, and the two remants of outnumbered, doomed Malolo. Both shed tears, both received confessionals. Success!
So for all you naysayers complaining about the crying content ratio this season, keep in mind that if tears weren't a Hantz-like magnet for Survivor camera operators and editors alike, you might otherwise never have met a good chunk of this cast.
The Noble one stands tall... for now
This week, we learned that not only is Chris a model/ pitcher/ freestyle rapper, but he's also played some beach volleyball. Is there anything he can't do? Apart from attend Tribal Council, that is. And with his new tribe of fellow giants, signs look pretty good that he won't have to any time soon.
You see, Chris now has 17 days of Survivor under his belt, without ever once stepping foot in Tribal Council. This puts him in some rare company: The entire original Tandang tribe in Philippines first attended Tribal on Day 19, as did Joe Anglim and Keith Nale in Cambodia. Nick and Michele in Kaoh Rong didn't get there until Day 22. If Chris can avoid Tribal again next episode (most likely the last before the merge), he'll be at 19 or 20 days without visiting Probst's office. Add two or three more days after the merge... and Chris could be up to 22 or 23 days played, Tribal-free.
But what if—and we're saying this out of an abundance of caution, not out of any wish to have the flame-throwing, rhyme-flowing MC disappear from our screens just yet—what if Chris gets voted out at his first Tribal? Presumably after the merge at 13, when Domenick plays his Legacy Advantage? Chris has a chance to unseat the great Nick Maiorano for the coveted title of most days played before being voted out at the player's first Tribal Council attended. Here's the leaderboard for that stat. Will Chris join this list? Or can he escape that first vote, and cruise to some other fate? We shall see.
|Rank||Contestant||Season||Day||Post- swap?||Post- merge?|
|1||Nick Maiorano||Kaoh Rong||22||Yes||Yes|
|2-t||Jessica Johnston||Heroes v Healers v Hustlers||19||Yes||Yes|
|6-t||Anna Khait||Kaoh Rong||14||Yes||No|
|6-t||Roark Luskin||Heroes v Healers v Hustlers||14||Yes||No|
Notes: *Hatch and Dawson were each voted out in (initially) three-tribe seasons after one of the tribes had been dissolved, which is sort of like a swap.
This is short this week, because he flurry of Survivor NZ: Thailand news was too distracting and time-consuming. But at least there's a vidcap gallery to moderately amuse you.
Jeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, you can do so on twitter: @truedorktimes
Thanks for leaving us hanging here, editors. Do we have to research this ourselves?
New tribe: The Talls! (h/t: Redmond)
The Smalls (except Bradley and Domenick)
The sort-of in-betweens
Wait, Sebastian has a shell, while Jenna was talking about breaking out of hers? This can't end well.
Yes, lets! That's way less problematic than this shell issue.
So we're almost halfway through this episode... let's hear more about the Legend of Sebastian... Chris? Laurel?
I can get legendary too! WTF?!
Oh look! Kellyn's back in Camp Squalor
*Groan* Delete your account.
I'm back at Malolo, too!
Not for long, James. Not for long.
And Bradley's back in prime form. Phew!
Libby, sensing a close-up, dives into the frame
Right? Excuse me, those were *my* tears, and thus my close-up
Come on Chelsea, you *just* complained about Libby getting in your shots. Let Domenick have his 10 minutes of the episode, please.
Wait, are we getting back to the Legend of Sebastian? Because Belle and Sebastian is a thing.
Okay, Bradley. The Legend of Sebastian is... something I will tell you about next episode, as long as we're not fighting.
Oh, come on!
Hey guys, this old, crappy idol no longer works
Here's a brand-new one. Taste the difference!
I am not tasting it
Okay, hurry up and crash into stuff guys
I would prefer you didn't
David! Your right!
Oh look, crawling! Now there's the chance of skulls getting cracked!
Pretty sure that's Michael's bag the rope is yanking on (ouch!)
The Legend of Sebastian... that time he stood near a raised planter?
Come on guys, the earlier we start, the more time we have to blow this
Okay, I'm not good at puzzles, so use your hands to figure it out, or something
The Legend of Sebastian... doing a puzzle blindfolded? That seems pretty big, actually.
Uh, Kellyn? You're supposed to be doing the *puzzle*.
Oh well, too late
Those three old ladies want to vote out the other buff guy. Sounds good to me!
Chelsea got screen time by crying you say? But throwing that challenge was my best move yet, and now you want me to pretend to be sad about it?!
Oooooohhhhhh, my edit!
Wait, maybe I should go remind Angela that I sort of saved her a week or so ago
Hey, we sort of talked about splitting the vote between Dom and Wendell once, right?
Some guy who isn't Chris says we were on Naviti together. Small world, huh?
I'm glad we hashed that out. Phew!
So... let's talk about the body parts you're going to use to vote out James
Probst: Okay, head, head, heart... zzz... why did I ask this?
James, obviously you'll be using your spine
I'll be using my heart, which 100% belongs to Kellyn
Tough break, James. Maybe we shouldn't have put you on the Best Tribe Ever on Day 1. Oh well.
Other Ghost Island Episode 6 recaps and analysis
Exit interviews - James Lim