Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific - Episode Five: Playing It Smart or Playing It Safe?

We've got a cute mirroring effect happening here... 
Sorry folks, this one took me a while to get to... I guess I was just putting off having to run that disgusting pig gnawing challenge through my head again. I knew that was going to be the grossest thing ever - and it was.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'd made a few predictions for this episode that all turned out to be spot on. Unfortunately, I didn't take enough risks in my Survivor Fantasy selections, so my score still sucks (won't even dare to disclose it here - too embarrassed...). But I do take pride in being accurate anyway, even if it saddens me that this means Ozzy is now on the hot seat. [From the preview: A free agent, Ozzy?!? What game do you think you're playing?!]

1. Am I rooting for Christine on Redemption Island? Could I be...?

I didn't think that would be the case, especially given how vehemently I disliked her in the first couple of episodes, but as it turns out, I've caught myself siding with her in the duels. Now that Elyse is there though, I'm in a bind. I want Elyse to stay, if only for Ozzy's sake, as I think I'd love to see Ozzy have a great comeback - more so than just coasting through the game in fact. But the willpower and mental strength I see in Christine is subtle and seductive. In tomorrow's episode, I will most likely secretly root for Elyse while believing more in Christine.

PS. That Redemption Island challenge is one of my faves! I think it first appeared in Tocantins, in the final three Immunity Challenge. I've been wanting to try it ever since!

2. Information is key. But is it as deadly as Coach and Albert fear? 

Sure, Stacey's outbreak on Redemption Island was an immature - yet very entertaining - manifestation of rage and resentment, and of course it was meant to sabotage her previous Upolu tribe mates. But will it have as dire an impact as Coach and Albert keep whining about? I'm not sure. The merge is still far in the game and everyone knows a lot can change until then. I actually think the fact that Albert came back to Upolu and so clearly voiced his concern about the revelation of his alliance with Coach and Sophie is what may undermine my favorite trio - but in their own tribe, before the merge. They're the ones who have most to fear, not Savaii just yet.

3. Jim is smart; but is his poker mind making him paranoid? 

It looks to me like Jim is seeing things that just might not be there. I like his thinking, and mostly, I like that he IS thinking (as opposed to almost everyone on Boston Rob's tribe last season - Andrea being the only exception). But I wonder (in a very Carrie Bradshaw-like way), is he creating scenarios that are too far-fetched? His conclusions from Ozzy's comment that Coach should take out Albert are a clear case of "thinking a few steps ahead," which is of course always a good thing. That said, Ozzy really didn't seem to be thinking along those lines so unless Jim's intuition and flair sniffed something out before Ozzy even realized his own strategy, Jim's sharp mind is soon going to start playing tricks on him. However, if he is right, and he very well could be, Ozzy should take a step back and seriously reevaluate his position. Actually, Ozzy should be doing that anyway.

4. I never thought I would say this, but COACH IS SO CUTE WHEN HE GETS EXCITED!! 

Man, I am totally in love with this Coach/Albert/Sophie trio. I hope they make it far. I love that Albert found the Immunity Idol clue, and though I think he could have tried harder to find it himself, I love that he shared it with his close allies. I was impressed at Coach's nimbleness when searching for Idol, and even more impressed (and surprised!) that he elected to share his discovery with Albert and Sophie.

I just finished watching Survivor Panama: Exile Island (in my goal to catch up on all the best previous seasons) and seeing how stingy Terry was with his Immunity Idol not only rubbed me the wrong way, but was extremely poor strategy in terms of social game. The Idol is so much more than a protective object, it's power in its purest form in the game of Survivor, and if used wisely (for instance Yul's strategy in Cook Islands), can help totally change the course of the game. So I have high hopes for Coach this season, and they keep getting higher.

5. I am not even going to discuss [disgust?] that Immunity Challenge.

6. Cochran's herpes talk was an I-D-I-O-T-I-C move. 

First of all, when you're on Survivor sharing coconuts, eating utensils, water, sweat, tears and everything in between, you better be prepared for the fact that you're going to be sharing germs too. A pig 'feasting' (ha!) challenge is not going to make a bit of difference with that. So why on Earth did Cochran think it would be a good idea to mention herpes and communicable diseases to everyone and totally freak them out? For a smart and witty Harvard grad, I'm disappointed. That's not just socially awkward, it's dumb.

7. Did Whitney and Keith make the right move - or the cowardly one? 

Seeing the scrambling going on at camp was a joy! I do enjoy a good Survivor move in the making. However, I'm dubious as to whether or not Keith and Whitney played it safe or smart. Clearly, they have the potential to be in control of the tribe. Their decision is what eliminated Elyse. However, their intention, as I understand it, was to not cross anybody. But we all know what happens to contestants that play both sides and get caught... I'll reserve judgment until I see how they attempt to pick up the pieces with Ozzy and Jim respectively.

An exciting episode, no doubt. What really transpired for me was how much I enjoyed watching these folks, and how reluctant I was to see anyone leave. At this point, aside from Rick (is that his name?) and Brandon (dammit! I was trying to avoid giving him the light of day in this post...), I'm excited to see all these contestants develop and make their moves!

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