Here’s what I learned after my rewatch of last week’s episode. Jonathan got labeled as a “leader” by Drea after the Reward Challenge (Drea – “He did it for them … He like, literally led the whole thing.” I keep a stat on those publicly labeled a “leader” by other players or Probst during the game. 97 players have worn that label, and only 6 have gone on to win the game (Tom, Yul, J.T., Boston Rob, Mike, and Ben.). Most “leaders” end up finishing around 10th. By contrast, those who can influence tribe decisions without being labeled a “leader” by other players or Probst usually finish closer to 4th. I’ve got 38 such players, including 13 winners (people like Tina, Earl, Todd, Kim, Natalie A., Wendell and Tommy). So far this season, Romeo and Omar have come closest to filling this role. Also we’re wondering if Rocksroy’s vote for Tori was insurance against a Shot in the Dark, or if he was out of the loop.
I’m gonna take a moment to acknowledge something. We’re watching the best performance by a Survivor named Lindsay in 42 seasons. Here’s a brief history of other Lindsays (or Lindseys).
Lindsey Richter (Africa) finished 11th, missing the merge. She openly fought with older tribemates, intensified the divide by making friendship bracelets for the younger members, then left the game after losing a tiebreaker (she’d had previous votes cast against her). She made herself a target.
Lindsey Ogle (Cagayan) finished 13th, choosing to quit. Lindsey took a seat on Cliff Robinson’s coattails, comfy in the majority. She farted on Tony’s head (in a deleted scene), then was stunned when Cliff was blindsided. She got into a huge fight with Trish over the blindside, then quit when she couldn’t find new coattails to ride.
Lindsey Cascaddan (Worlds Apart) finished 15th after getting into several fights with Dan, Rodney and eventual winner Mike (“Did your God start this fire, Mike? God did not come down and do that work, the girls did!”) She only had one trusted partner — “Fan favorite” Sierra Dawn Thomas. After a split tie vote between Sierra and Lindsey, the more annoying Lindsey was unanimously booted.
Those 3 Lindseys bragged about how tough they were. So far, this season’s Lindsay has gotten along well with everyone, and hasn’t even been casually mentioned as a boot target. Sure, her social game is much better than the other Lindseys, but that’s not saying much since the other 3 were train wrecks. Maybe its simply because she spells her name with an “a” instead of an “e?” Either way, props to you Lindsay. It looks like you’ll be the first U.S. Survivor Lindsay to make the merge.
And away we go…
*10 seconds in, Romeo: “Tribal was a blindside for Rocksroy. We decided not to tell him.” That settles that.
*Rocksroy: “Obviously I’m not picking up on social cues.” That’s the understatement of the season.
*Tori’s having none of this “strong 4” crap. That’s why they should have kept Swati.
*Oh sure, as soon as I praise Lindsay’s game, we see her starting to get annoying. Thanks Survivor Gods.
*I’m having the same reaction Jonathan had to the non-stop talking, and I’m well-fed and have had a good night’s sleep. Moments like these are why I’d be horrible at Survivor.
*Maryanne: “This is MY workspace.” She reminded me of Shane from Panama — “This is MY thinking rock!” Both Maryanne and Jonathan are enhancing reasons for others to want them gone. They just might force people to take sides, and I think Maryanne will lose in part, because everyone knows about her weapons (another reason you DON’T tell anyone when you find an Idol or Advantage).
*Omar: “Maryanne has an Idol and an Extra vote.” Omar recognizes the danger, even though he thinks they need her loyalty. Even if Omar wants to use her weapons for the good of the tribe, Maryanne may have lost the ability to use them exclusively for herself.
*Hai: “Chanelle is harder to read than Daniel, and that’s scary.” This is why I said Hai is the smartest one on that tribe. Now I wonder if Chanelle can sniff it out, and outwit Hai.
*I love how Chanelle sits back and lets Hai bury Daniel for going fishing with a sore arm. Hai’s doing your work for you. Keep quiet girl!
*Daniel must not have watched Blood Vs Water. Tyson knew how to milk his injury. And he hurt his non-throwing shoulder. But Daniel is improving his chances of making my “Worst Players” list.
*Romeo is right. If Drea is willing to take him on an Idol hunt with her, it’s a sign of trust.
*Drea never gave a second thought to opening the Beware Advantage. I guess this puts Romeo in the same position Ricard was in last season.
*Drea’s gonna give her Extra Vote to Romeo, but of course Tori and Rocksroy already know she has it. They can strategize around it (and probably already are), even if they’re doing it separately.
*No sooner do I preach the virtues of keeping your Advantages a secret, Mike tells Hai and Lydia about his Idol (heavy sigh).
*Mike figures if he tells everyone on his tribe about his Idol, it will help him keep his Idol a secret from the other tribes? I’m guessing his secret will be out before the end of the merge feast. Whoever feels the most vulnerable on Vati (Daniel?) will spill the beans. Wait, who am I kidding? Mike’s gonna say his phrase as soon as he hears the other two phrases. Then everybody in the game will know he’s got an Idol.
*Mike utters the phrase that pays. Thanks for making me feel smart, Mike (but that was an easy call).
*Mike says the phrase THREE times. Talk about overkill. I wonder if he said it five times, but it was edited out for time?
*Hai knows Mike just made a big mistake
*We’ve seen this challenge before, and in a recent season. But I went out earlier tonight, and I’m watching this late. I don’t want to look it up in my notes. I think the prizes were the same too. Was this from last season? I think so.
*Wait, did Probst just praise Drea’s performance in a challenge?
*Now he’s praising Tori? Is he feeling alright?
*I wonder if Omar is throwing this challenge? This looks VERY suspicious to me. He’s looking a lot like David in Redemption Island when they threw a challenge to vote out Russell.
*Ok, Tribal Council should be very interesting now. I think its Daniel vs Chanelle, but Lydia being gone is a nice little twist of the knife here, depending on how much time Hai gets to talk to her after she returns.
*If they’re smart, they’ll boot Daniel. He’s got “flip” written all over his not-so-hurt shoulder. Even Dan Foley can see it.
*Lydia should learn from Chanelle’s mistake, and protect her vote no matter what.
*They could have cut straight to the shipwheel choice. This is a strange moment for Lydia’s “personal” segment. It makes me suspect she’s gonna talk her way out of the game.
*Ok, I didn’t need that extreme close-up of the hair on Rocksroy’s nose
*Chanelle pounces on Lydia as soon as she returns. Smart move. Chanelle knows how little time she had to talk before they yanked her away to film a confessional.
*I don’t think Lydia’s buying what Daniel is selling
*I think booting Daniel is the obvious move here, but I’m intrigued to know the strategy if its Chanelle. Booting her probably costs Hai and Lydia some trust from Mike.
*Daniel: “I don’t think you can win Survivor playing an individual game.” Is he serious with that line? Does he think Mike is buying it? Every word Daniel says gets him closer to my “Worst Player’s list. It doesn’t even matter if he stays at this vote, that was just dumb. Survivor is an individual game from start to finish. You should be figuring out which individuals will help you get the million.
*Probst: “Daniel, tell me why lying is fun.” If Daniel falls into that trap, he’s sealed his spot on my list.
*Chanelle calls him out. Daniel: “I didn’t mean any game strategy by saying that.” Daniel loves digging that hole.
*I didn’t understand his Muhammad Ali analogy. Am I alone on this one?
*Mike got a vote??? Who screwed this one up? Whoever it was has probably lost Mike for the rest of the game. Using Mike as insurance against the Shot in the Dark makes no sense here at all.
*”Not exactly a merge” next week???? Dammit! That ridiculous “Turn Back Time” twist is back. I hate ending an episode being pissed off.
*Wait, Chanelle voted for Mike? I thought it was Lydia. What the hell was Chanelle thinking? Does she think she can pull off this lie and fool Mike into believing Hai or Lydia sold him out? Hmm … I have to think this one through.
*(10 minutes later) Ok, this is an intriguing move. It’s a little like the movie “Jackie Brown.” If Jackie handles the cops right, she’ll end up with freedom, and a ton of money, even though she could have had guaranteed freedom and no money if she’d played it safe. If Chanelle handles it right, she could emerge with 100% trust from Mike, and a nice wedge between Lydia and Hai, who both think the other voted for Mike. Yeah, its an intriguing move, even though I don’t think it was the smartest move.
Recap: Daniel talked himself out of the game at his last Tribal Council. He was just too quick to sell out his allies. Nobody wants that element around at the merge. I believe if Ika had gone to Tribal, Tori would be gone for the same reason. Chanelle REALLY intrigues me, and I’m glad we get to see how she handles the merge. I’m not as pissed off anymore. Please let me know what you think in the comments.
Oh wait, I just realized the “Turn Back Time” twist could rob me of seeing Chanelle’s plan play out. Now I’m pissed off again. Dammit!
Oh well, at least next week we get two hours.
Damnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.