Survivor Insights 126: One World – All By Himself (Episode 10)

THE GOOD: This episode was mainly about Troyzan vs. Kim. Troyzan got the brawn and the smarts of an “ideal” sole survivor. He could also plan a strategy and he’s undeniably competitive in challenges. Although everyone wanted to him out, he still won an Immunity Challenge when he needed the most. On the other hand, there’s Kim – who also got the intelligence of a “deserving” sole survivor. She’s also competitive in challenges. The only big advantage that Kim has and that Troyzan couldn’t have was the numbers. The original all-women alliance in Salani stayed loyal with Kim. The bond was unbreakable and from the very first episode, the execution of all their plans was faultless. Only one question is left in the open, for how long will it lasts?

The answers to that question might be provided in the next episode. For now, simply answer the poll.

WHO STANDS OUT?: It’s between Troyzan and Kim.  If Toyzan dominated the Immunity Challenge, Kim emerged as the biggest and the luckiest winner in Reward Auction Challenge. For only $280 of $500, Kim won the shower with shampoo, soap and toothbrush ($40), chocolate and peanut butter ($240) and a hand-full share of cake that Kat won.

THE UNLUCKIEST: It’s a given fact Leif is the ever-first midget to join a very competitive social game like SURVIVOR. Leif was immediately a stand-out the first few minutes the pilot was aired. However, on a strategic point-of-view, Leif played a passive game. There were a number of episodes that I quite forgot his presence. The way I see it, what’s lacking in Leif’s game was his tendency to quickly submit himself with what others were saying against him than be assertive with what he really thought and felt.

Before exiting the game however, Leif’s biggest moment was when he was competing against Chelsea in last week‘s immunity challenge. Chelsea only outsmarted him; that’s why she won. Should Leif didn’t give in to her negotiation, he could have won the challenge.

THE BAD: Leif was sacrificed. It was not neither a blindside nor an unexpected vote. For Leif, it was his bad night for the reason that things were not in his control. The all-women-alliance was only left with no choice but to let him or Tarzan go.

EPISODE RATING: 7 out of 10 stars!

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 125: Kim Rules One World!

Episode 8: Reasons why I dislike this episode (on a strategic point of view)

1) I could not understand why Kim needed to create a story to oust Michael (similar to what Sandra did to Coach in Heroes vs. Villains) when she could use him to blindside Troyzan and Jay. She could have reread the situation and could have realized that in any type of challenges, Troyzan and Jay were the bigger threats – not Michael.

2) Strategically, eliminating Michael simply means Kim did a mistake that she could regret later. It seemed she took the risks but it was still unclear if it’s still worth it or not.

3) Michael was a clear pick. He has no solid alliance with anyone. It means Kim’s alliance could either use him to their advantage or let him go. Not a lucky night for Michael, Kim’s alliance chose the latter for they chose to stick with Jay and Troyzan, or probably, just a guess – they thought Michael could put himself in a safer position should he stayed longer.

Episode Rating: 6 of 10 stars!

Episode 9: Reasons why this episode was a non-forgettable one

1) “I hate to be that person but I love money,” For the first time in nine episodes, I saw the strategic side of Chelsea. She was starting to go outside her comfort zone and be the next sole survivor. First, she made a smart negotiation with Leif only to win the Immunity Challenge. Second, she also voted against Troyzan sending a message that you’re now on your own.

What will she do next? Blindside one of her girls?

2) Alicia was playing smart too. The moment the two tribes were switched, I hated Alicia for completely submitting herself to Colton. She could do better than siding with someone only to save her skin. Luckily, for this episode, she was back on board. It looked like she’s playing the game the way I wanted her to play. If Alicia could not be competitive in challenges, she could still play mind games. I like what she told Chelsea, reminding her, “This is the part of the game where you need to take your heart out of the game and put your brain in the game. ( – Tom Santilli)”

With that said, Alicia did not only prepare herself for the “bloody” back-stabbing later on but she also changed the way Chelsea should approach the game.

3) Kim was nearly blindsided by Troyzan. The only reason why she survived the vote was her ability to remain calm even when things went shaky. Jay was also helpful of her survival. If not for Jay, Kim was already in Ponderosa and was the third jury member. But because of Jay’s wrong decision, Kim was still in control of her game and only received a vote against her.

Episode Rating: This episode showed how vulnerable Kim can be without her alliance. Even with a hidden immunity, her alliance was still the big reason why she was saved. The hidden immunity can be played once – it’s only an extra protection. With a solid alliance behind your back, anyone can cross bridges of demise. 10 of 10 stars!

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Novak Djokovic: Sweet Revenge in Miami

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray met in Sony Ericsson Open Finals in 2009. Due to extreme heat, no gas was left for Djokovic and he was easily upset in straight sets (2:6, 5-7). That time, Djokovic was still a vulnerable player. He’s losing matches when he had his chances.

Below are the video highlights of the match in HD.

Three years later, the most popular tennis star in Serbia and in United Kingdom have to clash again – same stadium, same round. Novak Djokovic is the World #1 and the defending champion while Andy Murray is World #4 and is under the watch of a former champion of eight grand slams, Ivan Lendl.

The Miami hardcourt is no longer a new playground for Andy Murray. Hardcourt is his favorite surface in which he can properly control his game in both wings. Murray is aggressive against Djokovic. However, the defending champion is totally a new person – a new player. He is fearless, invincible and more confident. He can also stay more patient in long rallies.

Defending a grand slam title for the first time in Melbourne, Djokovic easily thrashed Murray in the first set (6:1). There were longer hard-hitting rallies in the second set. Both players brought their A-game forward.  Djokovic brought the set to a tiebreak after holding serve at 5-6 down. At match point for the Serb, the World #4 sent his forehand long to hand Djokovic his 30th career title.

The 14-more-minutes highlights above summarizes how a sweet revenge should be done. Sweet revenge takes time. Sweet revenge involves the right strategies to win; and Novak Djokovic did the unthinkable. Three years ago, he was the center of garbage talks. People were labeling him “Quitter.”

Now, you’ll realize how three years can make a huge difference – Novak is not only the 2012 King of Hardcourt (20-2 before the clay season starts next week) but also the “undisputed leader of the ATP Pack (Peter Bodo).”

Photo and videos courtesy of: Novak Djokovic, Tennis Tube TV, Federer Kooora