Survivor Insights 124: One World – Tikiano

Episode 6:

Colton was forced to leave the camp due to appendicitis. He needed surgery so was Alicia. Alicia needed to restitch her game board to save herself. With Jonas as the new ring leader in the camp, he targeted Alicia. Alicia, apart from being obnoxious, needed to be ousted to cripple the five-women-alliance that was created in Day 1.

Luckily, Alicia was saved by an unexpected announcement during the Tribal Council. The New Manono and New Salani were merged. All twelve of them were going to live in one beach.

Episode 7:

WHO STANDS OUT: This was the episode for Troyzan! First, he was the reason why his group won the pizza reward. The puzzle portion was the most important and certainly the most challenging part of the challenge. Even if he’s against with the two smartest members of the other group (Tarzan and Jonas), Troyzan handled the pressure to his advantage and finished the puzzle before the other two would.

Troyzan woke up early the next day and by staying patient, he found the hidden idol in a large hole of a tree. It was awesome, right? If Kim was the most powerful woman in camp, Troyzan was her King. He could now protect himself when he needed to.

Though Troyzan was up for more.

He was  not done yet. He remained fearless but needed to work harder to win the First Individual Immunity Challenge.

Clearly, Troyzan was serious in playing the game. There’s too much hunger in him. He could certainly be the sole survivor should his alliance don’t recognize how powerful his game was.

THE UNLUCKIEST: Being “likeable” was always a threat. This was the reason why the tribe has to let Jonas go. He was not as physically competitive as Troyzan and not as threatening as Matt but should he stayed for more days, he could easily convince others to trust him without them knowing it.

THE GOOD: Alicia was in a good position now that Jonas was gone. Also, it looked like she was back in her alliance of five with Kim, Chelsea, Kat and Sabrina. If she’s the most unlikeable member of Tikiano, it does only mean she’s one of the most ideal persons to keep until the final three. Another good moment of this episode was, of course, the opening intro. Survivor Fans All Over The World, myself included, yearned for it and it’s really great to have it back!

THE BAD: I could not read Michael. He was competitive in challenges but at camp, it looked like he was playing both sides. It’s clear he was not part of Kim’s inner alliance with Jay and Troyzan. Truth was – Michael was not part of any alliance. Competing in challenges was the only part of the game he’s excelling at and how many Immunity Challenges he needed to win to save himself?

Episode Rating: This “merged episode” was filled with drama which I’ve never expected. Troyzan became the King, Tarzan got a hard time adjusting with his tribemates and Chelsea got irritated for the first time. 8 of 10 stars!

Photos and video courtesy of: CBS, Survivor Earth

Survivor Insights 123: One World – Greek Gods vs. Peasants (Episode 5)

WHO STANDS OUT?: Kim instantly became the most powerful player in the game for having the hidden immunity idol inside her pocket. She only shared the information with Chelsea, who she considered her best friend in the game. These women talked about strategy and it looked like they agreed on a good plan.

Making sure she’s with the numbers, Kim also protected herself by having a secret alliance with Jay and Troyzan. How strong was this alliance? If it’s a strong alliance, does this mean Kat and Alicia are no longer part of the Salani 5? Or, is this the moment that Kim turned herself into a queen who needs to be dethroned?

The queen in a chess game, no matter  how many squares she could cover, could still lost her power once she’s cornered by other pieces. Even pawns, who are the least powerful pieces in the game, could still capture the queen.

THE GOOD: Colton labeled the New Salani Tribe as the Greek Gods who could be invincible in all departments of the game. Colton was right! The New Salani – which consisted of Kim, Chelsea, Sabrina, Kat, Michael, Jay and Troyzan – easily crushed the New Manono Tribe in two challenges in a row. Their combined strengths to work together while plugging the holes of a large bucket made them win the Reward Challenge.

Michael, who didn’t belong in any alliance, showed a level of excellence as he scored three points to win the first tribal immunity as a new tribe.

THE BAD: The New Manono – which consisted of Colton, Tarzan, Leif, Jonas, Alicia, Christina and Monica – was clearly the “inferior” tribe. Their efforts were not enough although they did put their best foot forward against the Greek Gods. The only member of the tribe who was playing hard was Colton. An obnoxious villain responsible for Matt and Bill’s ouster,  Colton immediately pulled Alicia on his side as he saw his empire was collapsing.  He successfully convinced her to vote one of the women out.

This was the reason why I was disappointed with Alicia. She completely submitted herself to Colton. She acted like she has no choice but to become one of his puppets along with Leif, Tarzan and Jonas. Alicia, which appeared that she’s no longer part of Salani 5, could have done better than just siding with him. It’s her biggest mistake to never realized she was taken advantage of.

THE UNLUCKIEST: The weakest part of Monica’s game was trusting people. She immediately trusted Colton the moment they arrived at their new camp without looking deep inside Colton’s mask. It made me think why she did not even make a plan that could work on her benefit. Her goal was simply to act like a mom to six children than playing a social strategic game. Considering that there were only three of them left from original Salani against four from Manono, it’s expected one of the four men would not vote one of them out.

EPISODE RATING: It’s an entertaining episode from start to end. The two tribes were switched unfairly but they gotta survive it. The episode was 8 of 10 stars!

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insight 122: One World – The Dumbest Move (Episode 4)

THE BAD: Another SURVIVOR First and it’s not a good one at all. To vote someone out after dominating an Immunity Challenge was clearly the dumbest strategy any tribe can do while playing the game. This decision was a lot dumber than losing a challenge on purpose, like Zapatera did in Redemption Island, just to oust the biggest villain of the game (Russel Hantz).

Those seven Manono men were acting impulsively and they were all Colton’s puppets. Colton’s aggressive emotions were all over place.  His strategic mind was gone and failed to remind himself  that it’s not a need to be a fan of the show to know it’s not the right call to vote someone out just because he’s seen to be a traitor (referring to Leif) or he’s perceived to be obnoxious (referring to Bill).

Let’s say Leif betrayed his alliance by “accidentally” telling Bill that he was nearly eliminated the night Matt went home – what’s so wrong about it? The Misfit Alliance got the numbers and Bill could not do anything to break it. Perhaps, two or three of Manono men have forgotten that once you’re playing Survivor, expect that someone will manipulate and betray you.

THE GOOD: The Salani women won the Reward Challenge but they performed at their worst in Immunity Challenge. Chelsea and Alicia were struggling to solve the easiest puzzle of the course. The Manono men were almost done with the challenge before they even solved it. Unpredictable things happened. Luck sided with the women though. Manono’s decision to hand them the idol to vote out Bill was the dumbest decision the Salani women can take advantage of.

THE UNLUCKIEST: Let’s say the two tribes are switched in the next episode, it’s easier to find a crack in Manono’s alliance now that both tribes are equal in numbers. With what he did and with the tribe agreeing with his plan, Colton is helping a Salani woman win this game.

WHO STANDS OUT?: Tarzan – for getting tired of all the talks about “race.” He was not afraid to say what’s on his mind as to why the discussion should stop. There’s a realization to what Tarzan shared in Tribal Council. It’s not the nicest group of words to hear but it’s the truest one.

The realization is – Survivor is a game for all races as long as you’re an American Citizen. If you’re joining and you don’t feel secure about your race, this game is not for you!

EPISODE RATING: 8 of 10 stars!

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 121: One World – The Biggest Threat (Episode 3)

THE UNLUCKIEST: Personally, it was not surprising that Matt went home.

Survivor is a game of numbers. That’s the first rule. You can’t change it. Even if you’re playing under-the-radar, when you got the right numbers on your side, you’ll still get far. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Matthew Quinlan. He’s struggling with numbers from the beginning. He tried every possible angle to dig deep but all his efforts went south. Seven members of his tribe felt he’s the biggest threat in all departments (in terms of strength, intelligence, charisma). Even his alliance of four was not as strong as we’ve seen on TV. Bill voted against him and Jay chose to be with the “misfits” (Colton, Troyzan, Tarzan, Leif and Jonas). Only Mike stayed loyal with him but surprisingly, their votes were not on the same page. Matt voted against Colton while Mike, who probably thought Colton would play his idol, voted against Bill.

Since Survivor decided to end its season with the three remaining castaways in season thirteen, only two men as threatening as Matt (Yul in Cook Islands, Boston Rob in Redemption Island) made it to the Final 3. Yul was definitely the likeable castaway in his season but he was not seen as a biggest threat. Boston Rob was playing an excellent social game in season twenty-two but all his tribemates were soft. Boston Rob was not blindsided or whatsoever. Parvati was only the female survivor who was perceived as the biggest threat in Day 1 of Heroes vs Villains but successfully escaped the vote until she reached Day 39. Parvati, who was also not with the numbers, was an inch closer to a second title only if Sandra was not sitting beside her. Matt could have had Parvati’s fate and made it to the Final 3 should he remain lucky.

THE GOOD: This episode is mainly about the renaissance of Salani tribe. They were feeling wet and cold but it didn’t stop them from performing at their best during the challenges. It remains a mystery why the men were fools during the Reward Challenge. It was a memory game and it only requires them to recall the correct sequence of the items. I expected Matt or Jay to score a point but nothing happened. Manono was thrashed 0-5. In the Immunity Challenge, it’s a well-deserve win for Salani. When it came down to puzzles, the communication line among the women was more open and “in control” than the men.

WHO STANDS OUT?: Kim was a real stand-out during the Immunity Challenge. She’s clearly one of the reasons why Salani won. I never saw this hunger inside her in the previous episodes. Kim was in command and in total control all at the same time without “being obnoxious.” She was only instructing Sabrina what to do next yet, it completely looked like she was playing. It’s a wonder how Kim managed to picture the puzzle in her mind without the pieces in her hands.

THE BAD: Jay, according to Probst’s assessment, could be the season’s dark horse. Either it’s true or not, his decision to side with the misfits could put him in a bad position. Considering the five were tightly solid and they decided to bring him to the merge, he’ll still be a threat and like Matt, he might remain powerless and could be easily voted out.

EPISODE RATING: 7 of 10 stars! Now that Matt was out of the game for good, the pattern is getting predictable should the men lose next week’s Immunity Challenge.

Photo courtesy of:  CBS