Survivor Insights 120: One World – Young But Inexperienced (Episode 2)

THE GOOD: Using their strength and intelligence, Manono dominates back-to-back challenges. Their unbelievable speed to untie the knots in a big mess of ropes help them win the first-ever but Probst-less Reward Challenge since its last airing in Survivor Nicaragua. Before the challenge started, I thought females do excel more in games that require dexterity because “females are more manually dextrous so they are given all the fiddly jobs such as working in textile or sewing factories (123helpme.com).” However, one type of experiment is proved inconsistent with the other and as for the challenge I witnessed yesterday, the men could be easily in their best position to untie the ropes due to their bigger fingers. The thickness of the ropes were helpful too. It’s easier for the men to grab and pull it.

During the immunity challenge, it’s clear that the men got everything right than the females. Their strategy was not the best though. They heavily rely on being extra cautious while passing their tribemate on the beam. The women have the better and certainly the easiest strategy for the game. However, it was put into action when the time is running out. Things are just too late and they still lost.

THE BAD: What’s happening with Colton? This episode has showed us that he choose to alienate himself. There’s a bigger problem in the situation if he finds it hard to identify himself with his tribe just because he’s gay. It’s not his sexuality that creates the problem at all but it’s his inability to reach out to them. Strategically, Colton can be in a safer position when he’s with the men. There’s already a five-way alliance in Salani and it seems impossible for Colton to break the bond.

It’s a great decision for him to pick himself up and think strategy. He makes use of his hidden immunity idol to magnet others and create a circle of his own. I dislike his idea of planning to vote out Matt or Michael. Matt and Michael are one of my first-impression bets to stay longer. I could end up with no bets in the final three without them. Though, forget me about being bias, it’s still a smart move for Colton, Jonas, Leif and Troy to get rid of the threatening villain of the season.

It’s intriguing what will happen in Manono’s first Tribal Council. Will Tarzan be the swing vote? Which side will he choose?

WHO STANDS OUT?: I said it all in the first two paragraphs. The Manono tribe owns this episode. They are invincible in three challenges in a row. There’s only one thing to worry about. I’ve observed in the past seasons that the tribe who always wins in the first two or three challenges (Samburu in Season 3, Sook Jai in Season 5, Galu in Season 19, Zapatera in Season 22) will suffer a losing streak in the end. Will this be Manono’s fate too?

THE UNLUCKIEST: Salani was completely annihilated in this episode and Kat remains to be the unluckiest in the bunch. She maybe young and athletic yet just like what Nina said she did not control her nerves when it mattered the most. Kat was not performing at her best during the Immunity Challenge, making things even more complicated.

IMPORTANT REALIZATION: It’s not a big requirement to have the right amount of outdoor experiences when playing SURVIVOR. Not all sole survivors look athletic and fit, right?

EPISODE RATING: 8 of 10 stars! Nina deserves a chance to stay than Kat. Nina was clearly digging deeper before the voting whereas Kat was only saved by her alliance. She must be thankful that her alliance still choose to be loyal with the numbers over anything else.

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 119: One World, Two Tribes (Pilot Episode)

THE GOOD: Survivor is back, at last, and this time around with no redemption. Once you’re out, you’re done. End of story. The only trickiest thing here is creating alliances can be so complicated now that eighteen of them are living on the same beach. Yes – Alicia and Matt quickly made a little circle of their own. Alicia quickly sealed an agreement by words with Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea while Matt invited Michael, Jay and Bill on his side. These looked like a good group of four but will this bond lasts? The answer remains uncertain. It’s just three days in and the collision of personalities are still about to come. I expect more drama. I’m also preparing myself for more complicated series of events. The more complicated the events are (Remember what happened in Heroes vs. Villains? Every episode in this season was complicated), the better it gets.

THE BAD: Matt was immediately the target – I knew it. I was second guessing it after reading his CBS Profile but the inevitable happened. I’m getting use to it though. It’s a consistent pattern that each time I picked first-impression bets, one of the four won’t make the merge (Candace in Tocantins, Marisa in Samoa, Yve in Nicaragua, Mikayla in South Pacific). Will it happen this season again?

It’s uncertain if Matt’s alliance stays loyal to him given the fact that he’s physically fit, smart and obviously a big target in individual challenges. He’ll stay for now. His strength is surely needed in challenges however, if Matt continues to think he’s always in control and “condescending” as what the other tribe puts in, his alliance will most likely cut his throat.

WHO STANDS OUT?: This is a pilot episode in which most names are given a fair amount of airtime. The camera loves Alicia. The edit shows how fast and precise Chelsea is in catching two chickens. Matt airs out his feelings in confessionals. But the stand-out player of all is Colton. He’s clearly sitting in his luckiest position right now. Matt’s alliance wanted him to snoop while the Salani women were accepting him with open arms. Sabrina even gave the hidden idol to him. She instructed Colton to vote out the strongest member of his team once the right moment comes. As expected, Colton targeted Matt.

THE UNLUCKIEST: Accidents happen all the time. It’s inevitable. It’s beyond anyone’s control but I never thought this would be the cause of  Kourtney’s exit. In one of the shortest immunity challenges I’ve seen in history, Kourtney’s wrist was broken. The challenge was unexpectedly stopped, a medic was called and just like that, her x-ray results revealed she needed to leave the game for surgery.

EPISODE RATING: 8 of 10 stars. It was not the best pilot but a quite memorable one.

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 118: First Impression Bets in Survivor One World

THREE REASONS WHY TO LOVE SURVIVOR ONE WORLD

1) No returnees. At last, no one from the previous seasons are coming back. Those returning players only belong to All-Star season and the idea of having them back with new names makes the show so predictable – like what happened in season 22. It’s no longer a surprise to see Boston Rob won Survivor Redemption Island. I knew he would win, he deserved it, but it’s primarily because he was surrounded with people who couldn’t make better decisions for themselves.

South Pacific is three times better than Redemption Island. Although Ozzy and Coach were in the final four against Albert and Sophie, the season never ended in a downward slope. All credit to Sophie. If not for her, the jury would have given the title to either Ozzy or Coach. Sophie clearly outplayed Ozzy in that final immunity challenge and she was also successful for using Coach as a tool to win the title.

2) It’s back to men vs. women. This concept started to put into play in season six (Amazon), in February 2003. At first, I thought this idea would be a total mess but I realized, it came out just fine. It’s a better twist than young vs. old in season 21 in which only young castaways made the final three (Chase, Sash and Fabio).

After scanning all the photos in CBS.com, anyone can say that four of the nine Salani women look tougher and sharper than what is expected in them. They appear to be confident and they know who they are up against.

3) Two tribes are living on the same beach. It’s the twenty-fourth season and Survivor never gets tired of surprising me. I must admit I dislike the following twists in the past seasons (returning players, redemption island and medallion of power), though the producers and staff of the show were trying too hard to add some drama and make it more special.

I hate how “Redemption Island” is used in the game. This idea, as I see it, only gives the losers (players who have been voted out twice or thrice) the chance to win the competition even if they are undeserving. Thank God and season 23 was not as worse as season 22. The quality of some new players in South Pacific showed me a different story and honestly, they saved this season from going downhill. South Pacific was not the best season and it was neither very bad nor very predictable too.

It’s not a new idea that two tribes will live on the same camp. This idea was already used in fifth, tenth and fourteenth season.  It’s the first time for this season that this it’s used at the start of the game. Will this change the course of the game? How can these new castaways make use of this twist to their advantage? How many cross alliances will we see?

My Early Personal Bets

Manono

Matthew Quinlan (pictured above), a 33-year-old lawyer from San Francisco, couldn’t compare himself with past survivors. He wants to be unique and he is going to play his own game no matter what it takes. It’s clear to him other castaways might feel threaten with his athleticism, smarts and charisma, though – Matt still considers these traits as his asset. If he figures out how to use these assets in a non-aggressive way, he thinks becoming the next sole survivor is not impossible. When asked to describe himself, he said he’s ambitious, dependable, optimistic. Ambitious is a powerful adjective. It can either make or break him while playing the game. However, things could go well for Matt once he decides to use his ambitions to step further and by having the right people on his side.

Michael Jefferson, a 30-year-old banker from Seattle, describes himself as a driven person who has the ability to get what he wants. To do that, he needs to be closer with his enemies. Survivor, as he implied it, is a social game in which he needs to be a leader who mastered the art of listening, talking and zipping his mouth. Of all the past survivors, Michael chooses Ethan and Rupert as his personal favorites. To him, Ethan played a clean game while Rupert is the type of player who chooses to speak from his heart. Which direction will Michael go? Will he be a hero or a villain?

Salani

Kimberly Spradlin (pictured on the left), a 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, appears to be the most independent and likable woman in her tribe. Likes to play sports and socialize with people, she can relate herself with Stephanie from season ten, Elisabeth from season two and Amanda from season fifteen. She thinks that even Survivor is a cut-throat game, she can still win this competition (like what Steph and Elisabeth did in their seasons) by treating all people with respect and honor. Reality is, this type of gameplay can work for her only if she knows when to sneak around (like what Amanda did).

Alicia Rosa, a 25-year-old teacher from Illinois, considers herself as ambitious, funny and confident. She thinks she’ll also make Good TV by not hesitating to show the ‘real’ her. By being smart and at the same time, by letting others underestimate her looks, it’s an opportunity for her to fearlessly manipulate someone to her benefit until she reaches the peak of the game.

Emmy-award winning host, Jeff Probst, also shared what he thinks of each castaway.

Photos courtesy of: TV.com

Novak Djokovic – The 2012 Australian Open Champion

“I was trying to find every possible help and energy that I can.  It paid off, I guess.”

Novak Djokovic

I was at my happiest when he won Wimbledon but I never realized that watching your idol defends a slam title for the first time was entirely a different feeling. Words are not enough to describe the moment – it’s beyond special, and even beyond extraordinary especially that it’s an epic battle filled with contested rallies. For this – I just give you these eight fantastic facts you must know.

Fact #1: It’s the first and the longest final of Novak and Rafa in Australian Open, which lasted for five hours and 53 minutes at 1: 10 AM (Australian time).

Source: smh.com.au

Fact #2: It’s the first of the three slam final matches that Novak won but dropped the first set (5-7). Just the first set and it already lasted for one hour and 20 minutes.

Fact #3: Novak only had two double faults to Rafa’s four during the entire match. Novak was also two points close to beating Rafa in terms of firing the fastest serve speed – Rafa was on 204 KMH.

Source: AustralianOpen.com

Fact #4: Novak could have served and won the match in four when he’s up with three break points at 4 – 3 lead. Rafa, even the surface is not favorable to his game, handled the pressure so well and managed to win five consecutive points.

Fact #5: Novak was 30 – 40 down while serving at 6 – 5. The timing of a strong serve came at the right moment for him to level it at deuce. While holding a match point at A – 40, Novak came near the net to fire a forehand winner.

Fact #6: The Australian Open website claims that Novak won “more than 48% of 3 to 8 shot rallies.”

Source: AustralianOpen.com

Fact #7: This is Novak’s fifth grand slam win since turning pro on 2003, his fourth while using HEAD racket and his third Norman Brookes’ trophy. This was also his seventh consecutive win against Rafa since 2011 BNP Paribas Open Finals in Indian Wells.

Fact #8: This is the third slam final that I saw Novak’s girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, in his box.