Survivor Insights 106: South Pacific – Loose Cannon (Episode 3)

1) The First Duel – Cristine won the first duel in Redemption Island and will face Papa Bear in the next. Is this unexpected? No. Did I predict this? Yes. Cristine can still win against Papa Bear. Look back at what she did against Semhar and you can say that at 39,  she still got the drive. She appeared confident and she’s ready to compete to win every duel – as long as she’s not against Ozzy.

2) Breakable Bond – I either want it or dislike it when SURVIVOR proves me wrong and seeing Keith broke his brotherly bond with Ozzy was a want. Sharing with Whitney that Ozzy was in possession of a hidden idol was a step closer to blindsiding a veteran before a merge. You see, Keith did the right thing for snaking out from Ozzy’s shadow. This was his only way of making a name of his own and not just be remembered as Ozzy’s sidekick.

Sidekicks are forgettable. They can go farther like Natalie of the previous season and can “luckily” win the title like Natalie of Samoa but come on, there’s nothing too special in them. As I see it, Natalie did not win because of her own game. She won because of Erik’s powerful speech to convince the jury that she deserved the title than Mick and Russel. Yes, this was disappointing. I got disappointed too. Russel should have won that season no matter how hateful he was. You’re immediately thinking of him when you’re thinking of Survivor Samoa, right?

Going back to Keith – if this man is ready to take chances and stick with the new & right people like Cochran, Whitney and Jim, a blindside is 90% possible. If he changes his mind and just let Ozzy rule Savii, he’s helping  Ozzy to get to the finale.

3) Loose Cannon in Lil’ Hantz – They are 100% related but there’s one big difference: Russel and Brandon Hantz are completely playing a different game. Russel is annoying because of his ego to be always in control even when he’s not. As for Brandon, he’s getting annoying because he couldn’t have the balls to say the right words. Brandon wasted his chance to tell Mikayla the truth. What’s so difficult in saying “I dislike you Mikayla because you’re making me horny and I’m married?”

That’s the honesty he’s looking for and Mikayla can understand it. She will not take advantage. She appears to be the type of woman who will flirt to win this game but she knows where to draw the line. If I’m correct with my observation, Mikayla flirts with Albert. Does Brandon realized that? I’m sue he has but the editing showed me the different side. I saw the Brandon who acted like a small kid who cried because he has no money to buy a candy.

Look closer at this situation and you’ll realize Mikayla did nothing wrong. It’s not Mikayla’s fault if Brandon gets horny each time he looks at her. Brandon is nineteen-year-old, a teenager, and it’s not a big sin to have these sexual urges for a girl as hot as Mikayla. Having these sexual urges are totally different from giving in to these urges. If you’re psychologically weak to channel these urges into something new and positive then that’s the time you’re committing a sin.

What Brandon was doing was he’s just fighting these urges too much. He kept thinking about being unfaithful but the truth is- he’s just blaming Mikayla for everything and not evaluating himself the right way. Blaming someone won’t do any good and believe it or not, only losers do the blaming. In this type of situation, will is stronger than fear and Brandon lets his fear took over him. If Brandon continues to get scared, his issues with Mikayla won’t get solved. We’ll probably see a lot of  Mikayla vs. Brandon drama until we get to the merge.

Episode Rating: 9 of 10 stars! – Lots of interesting drama in camp and the combined immunity/reward challenge did wow me again (The Albert vs Ozzy “floating board part” was the coolest) but voting out Papa Bear was kinda predictable.

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 105: South Pacific – Mr. Honesty (Episode 2)

1) Mr. Honesty – Why everyone is loyal to Coach? Coach made an alliance of five during the pilot, Brandon told him he’s the nephew of Russel Hantz (who voted Coach out in Heroes vs Villains), Edna closed a deal with him and Mikayla voted the same way as Coach, Albert and Brandon.

Geezy, Coach is in the most powerful position that even Brandon who had an immature argument to oust Mikayla followed his orders. Though, I do not know who exactly told Mikayla to vote against Cristine. The original plan was just to split the vote and once a re-vote is needed, the core six will vote off the one who does not have the hidden idol.

This is like Ometepe all over again. Coach is playing like Boston Rob. His strategic game is a lot better than what he did in Tocantins and HvH combined. Coach might not be the most all-round player who can dominate challenges. Ozzy is better at that department especially when it comes to individual challenges but here’s one thing I’m sure of – if Coach continues to play this way, his winning chances is high.

2) The 3 + 2 Alliance in Savii – It’s disappointing to see Jim is jumping into assumptions without considering what could be the bigger picture of the situation. He’s creating an alliance with Keith and Ozzy without knowing Keith and Ozzy were already solid with each other. When Jim started talking with Keith, I’m wondering how Ozzy and Keith will interpret his strategic game. Will the two men view Jim as a threat? Or are they going to see him as a valuable member in their small alliance? Who knows? These two will probably get rid of Jim before Cochran.

3) Ozzy Finds Hidden Idol – This is expected. I also predicted it. Ozzy is a great competitor and for the record, he’s a former finalist of this game the first time he played it. No one could eliminate him because Ozzy always wore the immunity necklace. Playing on a third time, Ozzy just made an alliance with Keith. This alliance looks solid, not sure how long. If these two men remains loyal with each other before the merge, both of them can have the entire tribe in their hands.

The big question is: Will Ozzy use the hidden idol to his advantage? How? Or will it remain an ego booster routine as he’s the first person of the season to find an idol without any clue?

4) A Big Comeback – This is the type of challenge in which you realize it’s not how you start a game that matters most, it’s how you finish it. Upolu’s consistency was on, winning the first part of the challenge immediately and just an inch closer to another victory. Then the moment of hesitation and their ability to complete a moving puzzle devoured them. That’s why; Savii scrambles to win and they finish the challenge the moment Upolu figured out what’s wrong with their puzzle. BIG COMEBACK WIN FOR SAVII!

5) Savii vs Uplou – This is the first duel since the Redemption Island that each member of same sex but not on the same tribe will fight for their lives. Will it be Semhar or Cristine?

My pick: Christine

Episode Rating: 9 of 10 stars – Dear CBS, Why not make SURVIVOR an hour-and-thirty-minute-long per episode?

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Novak Djokovic: Down and In Serious Pain

Geez. Will the streak end here? Novak’s back is badly injured during a Davis Cup – semifinal rubber against Argentina’s offensive baseliner Juan Martin Del Potro. It’s really good to play for your country but there are still other excellent Serbian players other than Novak Djokovic. There’s Janko and there’s Viktor. Novak is a true fighter, he’s the most consistent player to date and letting him playagainst a remarkable aggressive baseliner after winning his first US Open trophy is a big mistake, especially if the World Tour Finals is waiting in two months.

Photo courtesy of: Novak Djokovic

Survivor Insights 104: South Pacific – Who Are Your First Impression Favorites?

1) The Return of Coach & Ozzy – It looks like this season can still be a complete season without these two. When Boston Rob won the first season in which Redemption Island was introduced, I kinda want to watch a season without returning players but there’s still Redemption Island. You see, it’s quite bias to have those returning players. Of course, they got the upperhand. They have the experience, they played this game more than once and they might or might not help improve the TV ratings.

The only biggest problem here is, this season has diverse new personalities to get to know with. Just by watching the hour and thirty-minute long pilot, five or six new names stood out even without listening to Coach’s lengthy, verbose, deeply insightful confessionals and seeing how physically competitive Ozzy is. I sensed a quite different Coach after losing the first reward challenge and be betrayed by his group. He regrouped well and came back strong. As for Ozzy, he’s still the same apart from his “Bob Marley” hair which I got no idea why he did it. He wanted to vote out Cochran than Semhar and still voted against Semhar. This confuses me!

Just imagine if those minutes of editing stolen by these two were given to other castaways, this episode would have been better. I’m not saying the pilot was bad, it was a blast even, one of the best pilots in twenty-three seasons but it could have given more airtime to those who stayed below the radar.

2) Albert & Mikayla – These are the two new names that stood the most while I read their CBS bios. The way they described themselves and gave their reasons why they should be the sole survivor are what I want to read. When asked “Why you think you will be the sole SURVIVOR” Albert responded: “I know that I possess a unique combination of attributes that would make me a favorite in this game. I’m athletic and very socially adept. I’m calculated and self-aware…” Take a closer look in his answers and the most important keywords are Unique Combination of Attributes (could be interpreted as being dynamic), Calculated (has the ability to take risks without digging his grave) and Socially-Adept (if he’s good at socializing then that means he’s well-aware what’s happening around him). In Probst’s assessment, Albert is his dark horse. It will be just difficult to say how strategically consistent he is when he’s starting to get so hungry and everyone views him as the silent threat.

Mikayla considers herself the independent woman when asked “Why you think you’ll survive SURVIVOR.” At twenty-two, she loves sports, she’s a competitor at heart, she reminds me of Stephenie LaGrossa and she’s the hottest woman of the season. It’s awesome the editing loves her too (I saw a hardworking Mikayla at the camp and a feisty Mikayla during the Immunity Challenge = What can you ask for???). It’s just absolutely funny how Lil’ Hantz’s nephew got scared of her. Brandon is still a teenager and I understand what he’s going through. (Just don’t vote her out Brandon – like what your uncle did to Marissa in Samoa). Probst called her the female version of Boston Rob who’s not afraid to flirt but you know what, it’s still hard to deny it. I’m not too confident if Mikayla could still hide her outspoken personality when it’s needed to. If she dislikes liars and dishonest person while playing this game, this can put her in a real danger.

Even when they are not in an alliance yet, Albert and Mikayla own this Immunity Challenge and they received the right amount of editing they deserved to have. Upolu won this challenge because of these two (Brandon as well).  Their unparalleled desire to compete and win was absolutely incredible.

3) Cochran & Jim – Cochran is labelled as the season’s nerd. Anyone out there who considers themselves nerd but did brilliantly in school can absolutely relate to Cochran’s insecurities during the pilot episode. He’s a Harvard law student in real life, very smart, but it does not mean he’s also too confident to show off what he got. Cochran is the type of person who spends a lot of his time reading books and surfing the Internet inside the library and not certainly the beach guy who carry the heaviest dumbbells inside the gym just to get chiseled chest and six pack abs. Cochran is the fan of the show and he’s after of the knowledge he will learn.

Why you think you will be the sole SURVIVOR: He answered: “Sure, I’m bright and have an extensive knowledge of Survivor, but none of that does any good unless you’re able to figure out the reasons why other people do the things they do.” Should Cochran used what he has learned from watching the show for twenty-two seasons, I’m sure he’ll have the swag to equal the intelligence of Ron Cesternino (Amazon) or Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins).

Jim Rice, is he related to Nicaragua’s Chase Rice?

If he is or not and even he’s Ozzy’s tribemate – to be honest, he’s more interesting than Ozzy and Chase. Next to Cochran, Jim stood out from the rest of Savii. He lies when he needed to, he got a strategic game going on, he earned five MBA’s in real life, he’s excellent in playing poker and he admired Ethan (Survivor Africa Winner) as the SURVIVOR Contestant He Most Like. Jim might be the most complete player but the unluckiest one should he not win.

4) Semhar’s Exit – Semhar was exhausted. This was her reason why she lost the Immunity Challenge not for herself but for her tribe as well. As I see it, her biggest mistake was the part in which she volunteered to “shoot the coconut” during the Immunity Challenge but having inconsistency to finish strong when her tribe was almost winning.

Pilot Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 103: South Pacific – Probst’s Cast Assessment

I am not sure if it’s due to economic crisis or low ratings but for some unknown reasons I might not be aware of, no local or cable channels here in the Philippines will show SURVIVOR South Pacific.  This sucks, yes, a real suck especially if the show has been a part of your system for years!

I saw Jeff’s Assessment on YouTube and it confuses why Coach and Ozzy are invited to come back when this new season filled with diverse castaways can still on their own. It’s inevitable there are some personalities who might not stand out (even when they make the jury) but you know what, after watching the assessment – I realized this season won’t longer need returning players.

This is already a complete season with or without the “Redemption Island.” The idea of having returning players just because it’s a season of “Redemption” might only destroy the quality of the show. The first few episodes of the previous season started so strong. A lot of names started to surface and my personal bets get the “editing” they deserve. Still, the show kinda ended weak (merge) when the remaining castaways did not play a strategic game and were overpowered by Boston Rob.

TO ALL FANS OUT THERE: I’m looking for a free streaming virus-free site (I can’t watch the video in CBS, it’s block!) If possible, an entire episode will be uploaded in one video. If not, it’s still fine. Please help me out.