Survivor Insights 110: South Pacific – Biggest Move or Biggest Mistake? (Episode 7)

1) Ozzy, RU Kidding Me? – With an assumption that there will be a merge the next day, Ozzy did one of the biggest and boldest moves in SURVIVOR History. Unfortunately it was one of the most stupid strategies in history. The strategy to vote himself out and give himself 50-50 chance to return on the game is even more horrible than what JT did in Heroes vs Villains.

Back in HvH, JT decided to hand out his hidden idol to someone who he thought was a friend but ended up digging his own grave. In this season, Ozzy volunteered to eliminate himself even when his tribe needs him the most. He’s more concerned about Christine than focus on what can happen with his tribe should they compete in a challenge without him.

2) If Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it – He’s trying to fix something unbroken is what Ozzy’s biggest mistake. You see, he played this game three times. He played the most powerful game in Cook Island but got screwed in his return in Fans vs. Favorites. In his third, it only appears Ozzy played his worst season.

Watching his scene with Cochran made me laugh. I can’t figure out why he’s so paranoid about Christine when he’s 100% safe with his tribe. If he thinks he could end Christine’s streak, that’s good for him, but if this “assumed” merge will not happen as what he predicted, that’s very bad for him as well as for his tribe.

Not only that, he also gave his hidden idol to Cochran of everyone else in his tribe. With this move, Ozzy made Cochran the most powerful player whether a merge will happen or not. With the idol inside his pocket, it’s now possible for Cochran, Jim and Dawn to vote-off or blindside Ozzy should he return.

Cochran is one of my personal bets and I can see him playing a “dirtier” game. Inside this nerd kid is The Brain that can create a masterful plan you or I must not have seen yet.

3) Bye Mikayla, The Streaking Christine! – It’s hurting to see Mikayla go. She was even crying as she tossed her buff in the fire. This cry is not a sign of weakness at all. It’s rather an indication of really wanting it. Mikayla is one of the most competitive and fittest women I have seen on the show and it’s kinda clear she’s willing to play this game again if given a second chance. In fact, there’s only one flaw in her game: not having the right numbers on her side. She was with Albert and Sophie but being in a tight three alliance is useless if she failed to secure Rick.

Mikayla is out of the picture for good, that’s life, and I can’t do anything but give my kudos to a well-deserved win for Christine. Their duel was the most toughest duel yet. It does not only involve the ability to focus and solve a puzzle but it also involves running. Mikayla was not easy to be up against too. Mikayla is young, does not give up and she could have win this duel if only she got her puzzle right the first try.

It’s Christine vs. Ozzy next week. I want Christine to win, who’s yours?

4) Immunity/Reward Challenge – It seems Upolu tribe is still going strong without Mikayla. The challenge was again so close and it’s down to the blindfolded pairs (Ozzy & Whitney vs. Albert & Sophie). Anything could have happened at this moment considering the pairs must only rely on their sense of touch to solve the puzzle. Upolu won and enjoyed the Adam Sandler’s upcoming film Jack & Jill.

Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars; This episode taught me to not assume so much. If you’ll make assumptions, make sure it’s right and reasonable.

Photos courtesy of: CBS, Gordon Holmes Blog

Survivor Insights 109: South Pacific – Black, White or Gray (Episode 6)

1) Strength vs Loyalty -There are times strength is not enough to survive SURVIVOR. You also need to be loyal. Without loyalty, your strength and your efforts in challenges will be useless and without knowing it, your head is on the chopping board.

This was what happened with Mikayla. She was a victim. It was not her time to go, she’s still needed, but for the reason four of her tribemates (Coach, Brandon, Edna and Rick) only saw her as strength, they let her go. Edna, who regularly sat out in challenges, was only saved because Coach thought she would stick to the Core 6 no matter what.

Why it has to be this way?

Are they sure about it?

Here’s my take on this: By voting out Mikayla – Edna, Rick and Brandon officially become puppets. They are giving Coach the power to stay longer, to control how they think and feel and most of all, to win the million dollars.

It’s also tough to be Rick. It’s not easy to be a swing vote and weigh between strength and loyalty. I was convinced he would vote against Edna when Albert approached him. Albert knew Rick has the power to change the situation but as the editing goes, things swayed differently at the last minute. Of all the sharp arguments made during Tribal Council, Rick might have changed his mind the moment Coach started to discuss about honesty, loyalty and integrity.

Coach got it right. Being loyal is important and it’s his right to choose loyalty over strength. However, I expected Coach to know better than this loyalty crap. He would have thought of the group challenges ahead and it will cost them a lot should they lose.

Perhaps, Coach was “passively” convincing Rick to vote against Mikayla. He did not care what Albert has to say. He just wanted to Rick as one of his puppets. Then, Rick took the bait and that’s big relief for Coach.

You see, if only Rick voted against Edna, there’s an immediate shift of power from Coach & co. to him, Albert, Mikayla and Sophie.

2) All-or-Nothing for AlbertAlbert messed up the moment he shared with Coach about the exact location of the hidden immunity and just to redeem himself, saving Mikayla was his best but riskiest way out given she’s not a part of the Core 6. He could have played safe but he still chose to dig deeper just to save the hottest survivor of the season (This is what I can call the “real loyalty,” not just for strategy).

As the editing goes, his “loyalty can be faked” argument during Tribal Council is not too powerful enough to convince Rick, Coach or Brandon. He could have added Mikayla is the strength and she can also be loyal as Edna does.

However, there’s no turning back for him. He stood by his word and sat beside Mikayla. Unluckily, his plans did only work against him and all his efforts went south.

With Mikayla’s out of the loop and can be eliminated for good should she lose a duel against Christine, Albert’s chances to stay longer was slim. Can he still survive given the fact Coach clearly disliked what he has done? If yes, how? If no, then what will happen happens.

3) Free Agent – Ozzy was not learning how to play this game after being in two seasons he’s in. He’s surviving the hunger, the sweat and the boredom but he’s not playing a strategic game at all.

Big Mistake #1: He got very emotional after Elyse got eliminated.

Big Mistake #2: Just revealed to his tribe, not only with Keith, that he found the hidden idol.

Geez, it looks like the sole reason why Ozzy can last longer is because of Jim, Cochran and Dawn. His tribe needs his strength and loyalty especially when it’s The Merge. It’s also true he can win as many individual immunity challenges as he can but the moment his group no longer needs him, I’ll be not surprised if he got blindsided.

During the Immunity Challenge, Ozzy was not the reason why they won. It’s Jim’s perfect control to hit those targets.

4) Too Close – It was a close duel between Christine and Elyse. Elyse could have won if only she’s the first on board. Luck is luck and it still sided with Christine, who finished the game when it matters the most. This was a superb win for her and will be facing Mikayla next. I’m sure you know who my bet is!

Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars – It pains me to see Mikayla go but everything about this episode is memorable!

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 108: South Pacific – Making Rooms to Play (Episode 5)

1) Blindside Elyse – This was the first blindside of the season, a big applause for Jim! Elyse was shocked, Ozzy was shocked too and both of them haven’t seen it coming. Keith and Whitney chose to vote against Dawn but their votes were not that important though. All it takes was for Jim, Cochran and Dawn to stick each other and to be on the driver seat. Even when Keith and Whitney are not one of them, it’s possible and there’s still a way to blindside Ozzy, the provider.

2) Christine vs. Stacey – Christine won a duel for the third time in a row. She’s still confident and not a sign of being weary, by staying in Redemption Island alone, was visible. I am sure she must be proud of herself while watching this episode at home. Christine along with Stacey also got the balls by not hesitating to thrash talk Coach in front of Albert & Mikayla. You see, after all those Benjamin or Coach talks, Christine’s confidence should have been declined even a bit while playing the duel. I did not see a nerve though. She still aced a duel which was the final immunity challenge in Survivor Tocantins. The type of challenge in which it requires dexterity and concentration.

3) The “Disgusting” Immunity Challenge – The goal was to grab a chunk of meat using only the mouth, run towards their basket, spit the chunk inside it and race back for more. It sounds like a simple challenge but when you get to watch it on TV, you’ll instantly realize this was the most disgusting immunity challenge in twenty-three seasons. The editing made it grosser too making you sick when you’re eating a ham sandwich.

It’s nice to see Upolu won the challenge by two ounces but come on, it’s still nasty to think they are eating the meat after not brushing their teeth for several days. If any of them is not infected with STD before the show started then the inevitable will not happen. I’m not also in the position to question the show. The staffs will not put their survivors’ health at risk anyway and I’m sure of that.

4) Coach & his Hidden Immunity Idol – It’s frustrating to see Albert failed to have the hidden idol when he clearly knew where it’s hidden. He almost has it and it could have been his biggest moment. Then all things went south. I did not know what he’s exactly thinking when he shared the clue with Sophie and Coach. It’s understandable if he completely trusted these two because of the core alliance going on but the act of sharing an information that must have been confidential, that’s another story. Look what happened. Coach owns it instead and there’s no way Albert finds a way out.

Patience is a virtue and he just committed his biggest error by not having the little patience when he needed it the most. Albert is 100% aware how this game is played and he knows his days are numbered should he make the merge. He’s not only a physical threat but a real treat to win the title as well. No one will care even he’s trustworthy or not.

Episode Rating: 9 of 10 stars

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Javier is The Voice

The world of R&B is vast and there’s no doubt, Javier is a great addition in the field after winning The Voice, the new reality singing competition created by Mark Burnett (executive producer of hit reality shows SURVIVOR, The Apprentice).

Javier Colon started his run by performing his own acoustic version of Time After Time during the blind audition. The four coaches (Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera) were 100% impressed with Javier’s performance and turned their seats around to see him.

Javier chose Adam to be his personal mentor and they both underwent numerous trainings. After the American fans chose Javier as the first semifinalist in Team Adam, he easily captured the hearts of everyone after singing Cold Play’s Fix You and advanced in the finale. The final four contenders battled it out as they debut their original songs .

Javier’s debut single was entitled Stitch by Stitch and was produced by Rodney Jerkins. Jerkins is an acclaimed producer who have worked with numerous popular artists such as Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and the late Michael Jackson. The song is full of soul, hypnotizing you with the lyrics and there’s no one in the world who can perform this song as better than Javier Colon!

Photo courtesy of: Twitter

Survivor Insights 107: South Pacific – This is Gonna Be My Game! (Episode 4)

1) Coach coaches – It’s the first time I saw Coach who 100% owns this game without considering himself as the dragon slayer or the warrior with pride or honor. This season, he goes straight to the point. “This is Gonna Be My Game” – This is a powerful statement, hands down, and it means two things: First, he just to want to impress himself. Even when Coach appears to love himself too much and annoys his tribe, it’s hard to deny he’s the type of competitor who could go far effortlessly. He’s a jury member for two seasons he’s in (in Tocantins and in HvH).

Second, he truly meant it as “I am playing my own, deal with it.” It’s clear Coach was taking this third chance into new heights. He’s the ring leader and he’s keeping his alliance steady. It’s surely a strategy to vote out Stacey when they might still need her strength in the upcoming challenges. This should have been a hard decision but Coach did not hesitate even a bit.

It’s just so funny to see all of them stood and offered Stacey a hug. Don’t they realize this was an insult? I agree with what Stacey said. It looked fake. I’m also worried because if either Stacey or Christine returns when merge comes, it might hurt them.

2) “I’m Sorry” – Brandon asked forgiveness to everyone and it sounds sincere. Mikayla, Christine and Edna accepted it but they interpreted it in many ways. It appears Brandon was throwing his personal issues with Mikayla out the window, hangs on there for a while and will just follow what Coach instructed him to do. Truth is; there’s nothing wrong with how religious he is or how a no-strategy player he is. Brandon must stay and his alliance needs him for long-term security.

3) Jim detours – Change is the only permanent thing in this world and this is exactly what’s happening with the alliances in Savii. Keith is with Whitney, Elyse flirts with Ozzy and there’s Jim, who began to proofread his master plan with a little help from Cochran & Dawn. Jim was cleaning his mess he did in Episode 2 and I am looking forward how his new alliance prosper when it needed to.

Counting one by one and there you go – there are only six of them left at the camp and this only means things can go anywhere, right? Which alliance you think will win? Can the two couples stay loyal with each other or they will decide to merge? Will one couple alienate themselves? Will Jim send Elyse to Redemption Island should they lose in next episode’s Immunity Challenge? Can Dawn come up with a plan to blindside Ozzy?

4) Christine vs. Stacey – This is the second win in a row for Christine and her duel against Papa Bear was kinda tight when I expected it to be a landslide win for her. Stacey will be a tough challenge for Christine, especially if the next duel requires stamina and mental power.

Episode Rating: 8 of 10 stars

Photo courtesy of: CBS