Survivor Insights 25: Sierra’s Outburst

This episode was an emotional rollercoaster for Sierra. Always Sierra, the crying Sierra, the brokenhearted Sierra, the Sierra talking to having-the-tendency to be narcissist Coach and the surprised Sierra at the Tribal Council.

Such a nice thing Sierra was not voted out. Even he’s chauvinist, I liked the way Tyson played the game. His devilish plan was all in order last week but things happened unexpectedly, he needed to go and simply be in the jury’s seat during the finale in May 🙂 🙂 🙂

Various reviews said Tyson’s boot was the biggest blindside in SURVIVOR HISTORY. I agree. Tyson was a no joke competitor. He won two consecutive immunities in a row. He nearly won this week’s IC but the last fiber of luck didn’t side with him. Sierra knocked him off.

So close call for Sierra! Watching Debbie zoomed the board reminded me of Ana Ivanovic’s first-set match against Vera Zvonareva in 2009 Indian Wells Finale. Too near and almost there!

Talking about the IC, it was a repeat, right? Did Jenna Morasca win same challenge in Amazon? Or is it in other seasons? Looks like I’m having amnesia now. hehehe….

The Immunity Challenge was clearly not only to Tyson’s favor. If Tyson aced it again and he along with the warrior alliance voted Sierra out, it was again one of those predictable phases in SURVIVOR, just like in Season 5. Thank God— there’s still Erinn, Stephen & Taj and they decided to turn the table upside-down!

With them planning to oust Tyson, it looked like Stephen become a power player now. He’s apparently not a real physical threat like Brendan, Tyson and JT but wow, he was completely playing a superb social game. I might be biased with Timbira– but for now, it would be so nice to have Stephen and JT on the finals.

Before I forgot, the reward challenge was truly awesome! The Red Team (Erinn, Debb, Tyson & JT) worked hand-in-hand on their way to victory. Quite sad for Erinn for puking while on the feast but it’s okay, Erinn was still HOT.

Erinn became HOTTER when she sided with Taj and Stephen. This strategy was two thumbs up. She also got plenty of airtime this week, NICE!!!

Still sexy while puking
Still sexy while puking

***** ***** *****

Back with Tyson now. I read his interview in Reality News Online and it was pretty funny. I agree with David Bloomberg, chat interview’s not enough to grab Tyson in the eye. The man is mysterious and no matter how you perceived him, Tyson is still a BIG NAME in SURVIVOR.

Anoop Who?

The Anoop Dogg bid goodbye last night and it’s quite odd to believe he was a big wild card before and now, no one voted for him to stay longer in the competition. As you can see, I am addicted to R&B and ideally, there’s no perfect final-three than Annop Desai, Kris Allen and Matt Giraud.

Yet, it was Anoop who got the first boot in my frontrunner list. Until now, I don’t understand why Anoop step in the competition as the “GIANT THREAT” but as the final twelve showdown rolled on, Anoop’s star-quality was diminishing.

Remember his version of ANGEL OF MINE? The moment he sang it in the centerstage, I was all the way rooting for him. Thank God, Anoop sang Bobby Brown’s Classic “MY PREROGATIVE” and Simon Cowell reserved a spot for him in the Top 13.

I’m aware he’s not the most impressive singer in the competition. In fact, Matt Giraud is a better R&B dude than him. Kris Allen picks the better song than him. The best thing about Anoop is his voice with a slice of a sweet soul. During their country theme, I was in fence with Kris Allen’s To Make You Feel MyLove & Anoop’s Always on My Mind.

Both performances were remarkably impressive. Kris and Anoop bombed down me with their classic interpretation of the song but there’s an other side of me that couldn’t stop comparing Anoop’s performance to Fantasia Barrino’s version. And yeah, if I was in the position to rank the two performances, Kris Allen got the top spot, Anoop’s only at number two.

The worst performance of Anoop was “Caught Up.” Hey, I was a huge supporter of Usher since high school, got all his albums in my CD rack and I say, Anoop’s “Caught Up” live performance was like a lost in translation. Though the studio version sounded a little nicer 🙂

Of all Usher’s songs, I didn’t get why Anoop decided to pick “Caught Up.” Usher got various gigantic singles. He aced every commercial single that peak the Chart. But it’s a different story for “Caught Up,” the single was perceived to be one of the weakest single in Confession and it didn’t reach the peak of US R&B Billboard Chart. If only Anoop sang Usher’s “Burn,” “Nice & Slow,” or “Superstar,” I was immediately in Internet Superhighway, downloading the song in iTunes.

Truth is; the quality of Anoop’s voice is more of a soul than hiphop. Kara DioGuardi gets it right when she thought Anoop was in his “place” when he spins a pop song with his soulful vibes.

That’s right! There were times Anoop got flat when he’s trying to knock a hiphop song. Perhaps, Anoop’s style at the moment is more like of Ne-yo than Usher. So sad I will not see him again to perform “So Sick.”

His last performance “Dim All the Lights” was OK. Perhaps, if he sprinkled it with Matt Giraud R&B feel and Kris Allen’s Soul, the song can be livelier and unforgettable.

I don’t know what future holds for Anoop Dogg but I still hope for the best for him!

Perhaps, he needs some vocal coach to  jazz up his talent. He can sing well and he has the R&B charm. What Anoop needs is FULL FORCE. Anoop needs to rock the boat like a roaring lion. If he gets this style, no doubt– I will see him reaching the peak of US Billboard Chart just like Usher, Ne-yo, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson.

Survivor Insights 24: Wild Cards

“You rarely meet somebody who likes to talk about himself with such utterly long sentences with big words that are not factual.” -Brendan Synnott, RNO interview

Truly, this episode was not about the dragon and the dragon slayer as what Coach really wanted to believe. The fight was between The Entrepreneur VS The Professional Cyclist and it’s only in a roll of dice that Tyson stood as the better player.

The better player devoured the great strategist
The better player devoured the great strategist

Brendan was a great strategist. He’s also one the biggest threats in the game and he knew it. The main problem was he hadn’t maneuvered his strategies to the right direction. First, he hadn’t played his hidden immunity necklace when he already feel he’s in the chopping board during the merge. Yet, if Brendan played the idol, Sierra took the cut and I was not sure if it’s a good call or not.

Being too trusting- this was the second clear-cut mistake of Brendan. What the world thought of a powerful trans-alliance went from supremacy to futility. The change of heart to eliminate Coach instead of JT was a great call but putting his trust on JT after the reward challenge was in question. This strategy was like committing unforced errors in a tennis match.

Third mistake, Brendan’s persuasion skill was pretty flat. I knew he’s a successful entrepreneur in real life but it’s still a wonder why he didn’t immediately reconnect with Taj and Stephen the first minute they merge (????)

Perhaps, Brendan failed to remember the old but great strategy in SURVIVOR as what Richard Hatch did in Season 1 and Marcus Lehman in Gabon: Never wait, cement a solid-alliance ASAP!

But it can’t be denied that it’s entirely a different feeling when you’re out there. With the great hunger and the much paranoia you feel, you simply can’t pull the correct strategy to play. Brendan made it in the jury but still disappointing, the delusional dragon slayer was still there… lol

The Wild & The Cards

This episode was clearly one of the bests in history, 5 stars out of five. There were nice and sparkling moments in every scene. Plots & Schemes were still everywhere. JT made a courageous move in allying with Erinn.

The immunity challenge was undoubtedly a tight race. I saw this challenge before but I couldn’t clearly remember what season it was. If you remembered it, kindly write it in the comment area.

Tyson did it again, edging out Brendan and JT in a “twirling untie-the-knot challenge.”

With this win, Tyson emerged as the powerful threat now. I couldn’t clearly read what inside his mind but his blindside strategies + letting Coach think he was in control of the game were working. What I only didn’t like with Tyson was when he intentionally belittle Sierra 😦 That really sucks to hear…

Until now, I couldn’t still tell which side Erinn belongs. She was the only person in the wilds who survived without a clear-cut alliance. Geez, this was truly impressive but I felt scared for her. There’s nothing wrong with her under-the-radar social game. Danni Boatwright did it successfully in Season 11: Survivor Guatemala but for Erinn, she might need to sprinkle her game with some numbers on her side, probably with Sierra or Taj. Perhaps, all might be good for Erinn if she also sided with JT and Stephen.

Without only few fibers of doubt, JT and Stephen were in solid positions when they’re together. Two heads are better than one, right? They could now side with anyone just to stay in the game. Siding with Tyson and Coach could spell disaster to them and honestly, I prefer if they stick with Taj, Sierra or Erinn.

With all the editing going on, Taj could also in an awesome position. With Brendan out in the circulation, her social game

was jazzing up to its fullest. I am looking forward what she can do to change the course of the game in the next episodes. She clearly has the power to save Sierra from Tyson’s cockiness.

And I nearly forget, here’s a link to Brendan’s interview in Reality News Online.

Survivor Insights 23: The Dragon Slayer of FORZA

The unexpected-in-some-cases-expected pulled out of Joe Dowdle from the game due to staph infection didn’t make a big impact on the game’s overall dynamics. The first reason was, he didn’t cemented any strategic decisions to stay in the game. It had been said he made some politic connections with Sydney and Spencer but nothing happened, the connection was loose. Second, if things gone the other way and he brought back in the game after the medical treatment, Joe could still have a hard time entering the circulation. He’s into the game but his level of competitiveness to be in the game was not widely recognized.

As the two tribes merged while listening to their left and right schemes, plots and talks, this episode was truly one of those nerve-cracking moments in SURVIVOR History. I didn’t know who exactly to believe and what to believe.

There’s Coach who I want to congratulate for coming up an awesome name for the merge tribe. FORZA sounded firm and tough. He said FORZA was a Portuguese term for “strength.” Yes, for once he was right and he seemed to believe he’s sitting in a brilliant position, miles better than the four-trans-alliance.

The truth is; Coach was just a victim. The leader of his pack was Tyson, nothing more. I don’t know how successful Tyson was in siding with Stephen and JT. You see, Stephen had also 60-40 solid connections with Taj, Sierra and Brendan, and now he’s with Tyson-Coach and Deborah. Confusing, really!

The disappointing part of this was why Stephen allowed Tyson’s gameplan to roll in his fingers when Stephen got a better call when he’s with his trans-alliance with JT as the backup (2 + 1 backup for Jalapao to 2 for Timbira compared to Tyson’s 3 Timbira to 2 Jalapao) . When Stephen sided with Tyson, his stay in the game could be in a mess. His chances of staying in the circulation went from 95% to 30%.

Stephen played the role of a “Thinker” this season. I salute the way he pushed his plans on board but in this episode, some of his emotions swallowed him. If he pulled the wrong fiber at any moment, all could possibly go wrong.

Winning the first individual immunity necklace made Tyson a powerful dark horse to bank on. I might not a big supporter of him and Coach together but heck, Tyson’s strategy can stir this season with a loud bang. Whether a depressing bang, a sweet bang, a devilish plan, you might hate him or not… that’s still Tyson.

Let’s watch his awesome display in hanging-pole immunity challenge as narrated by Joe.

There’s hundreds of questions in our minds and most of us can’t wait to see whose side wins next episode, is it Brendan’s trans-alliance? Or the Coach-Tyson Dragon Slayer’s Gameplan? Whatever plan reigns, where’s Erinn to all these plans? She’s moving forward in the game without a clear-cut alliance.

Take a look at the picture below. Erinn used her “devilish grin” as what Coach called it and surely, this smile left you in fence.

Erinn and Brendan again :)
Erinn and Brendan again 🙂

I’m now looking forward to watching the next episode and before I forget, it was confirmed in Joe’s RNO interview he was not part of the jury. This might mean, seven of them will make the jury and looks like, a Final-Two-Showdown rocks the boat once again.


where are they going?
where are they going?