Survivor Insights 26: Liars Liars Liars

Whoa, he won an immunity necklace! He spoke like a philosopher. He even got the nerve to extract a quote from the Holy Bible. What’s he really up to? Coach The Dragon Slayer or Coach The Saint of the season? Wow, it’s surprising to see what was once a cockroach in past challenges is still alive and now, a big liar.

Not really a big surprise for a man like him. He behaved like a narcissist chauvinist from the start. When Brendan got blindsided, he once believed he’s in a total control of the game when in fact it’s Tyson. Really funny for Coach. His strategy to twist a number of events in front of Sierra, JT, Stephen, Taj and Erinn was too flat. What he’s thinking then? Did he forget that no one played a too righteous game in SURVIVOR?

Yes, a lie is a lie and no one really cares about Coach’s lie.

As for Sierra, I didn’t think it’s her time to go. I appreciated her efforts to fight for her dear life but the strategy was not really a full-force. She could have stayed longer when she secured a solid alliance with Erinn, JT, Stephen and Taj. (you can read her interview in RealityNewsOnline)

Her biggest downfall was her emotions. She couldn’t control it the way it supposed to be. Last week, she didn’t establish any connections and now, she’s too righteous just to prove her loyalty sided with former Jalapao members. There’s really nothing wrong with it, the blame of her boot can be partially blamed to JT and Stephen.

These two buddies were undeniably smart. Notice how they changed their decision? They should have gun for Debb but they down Sierra at the final minute without Taj on board. Because of this see-saw decision they did, I seem to notice they’re now on complete charge of the game.

Truth of the matter was: Stephen and JT were clearly successful together ousting three Timbira’s members in straight rows.

This week’s reward was superbly nice but the “consensus” challenge was not. This challenge exists in every season and the only purpose was to detect who’s safe and who’s on the least-love. It’s surprising Stephen didn’t get any whack and emerged as the winner.

Although Stephen, JT and Taj enjoyed their feast, I was a little worried with Erinn. Her weak return from Exile Island with Stephen offering her the red sweater then Erinn voting for him during the TC left me in odds. Last week, I was feeling confident of Erinn’s safety but now, the 60-40 percentage of stay was thinning, 51-49.

Survivor Insights 23: The Dragon Slayer of FORZA

The unexpected-in-some-cases-expected pulled out of Joe Dowdle from the game due to staph infection didn’t make a big impact on the game’s overall dynamics. The first reason was, he didn’t cemented any strategic decisions to stay in the game. It had been said he made some politic connections with Sydney and Spencer but nothing happened, the connection was loose. Second, if things gone the other way and he brought back in the game after the medical treatment, Joe could still have a hard time entering the circulation. He’s into the game but his level of competitiveness to be in the game was not widely recognized.

As the two tribes merged while listening to their left and right schemes, plots and talks, this episode was truly one of those nerve-cracking moments in SURVIVOR History. I didn’t know who exactly to believe and what to believe.

There’s Coach who I want to congratulate for coming up an awesome name for the merge tribe. FORZA sounded firm and tough. He said FORZA was a Portuguese term for “strength.” Yes, for once he was right and he seemed to believe he’s sitting in a brilliant position, miles better than the four-trans-alliance.

The truth is; Coach was just a victim. The leader of his pack was Tyson, nothing more. I don’t know how successful Tyson was in siding with Stephen and JT. You see, Stephen had also 60-40 solid connections with Taj, Sierra and Brendan, and now he’s with Tyson-Coach and Deborah. Confusing, really!

The disappointing part of this was why Stephen allowed Tyson’s gameplan to roll in his fingers when Stephen got a better call when he’s with his trans-alliance with JT as the backup (2 + 1 backup for Jalapao to 2 for Timbira compared to Tyson’s 3 Timbira to 2 Jalapao) . When Stephen sided with Tyson, his stay in the game could be in a mess. His chances of staying in the circulation went from 95% to 30%.

Stephen played the role of a “Thinker” this season. I salute the way he pushed his plans on board but in this episode, some of his emotions swallowed him. If he pulled the wrong fiber at any moment, all could possibly go wrong.

Winning the first individual immunity necklace made Tyson a powerful dark horse to bank on. I might not a big supporter of him and Coach together but heck, Tyson’s strategy can stir this season with a loud bang. Whether a depressing bang, a sweet bang, a devilish plan, you might hate him or not… that’s still Tyson.

Let’s watch his awesome display in hanging-pole immunity challenge as narrated by Joe.

There’s hundreds of questions in our minds and most of us can’t wait to see whose side wins next episode, is it Brendan’s trans-alliance? Or the Coach-Tyson Dragon Slayer’s Gameplan? Whatever plan reigns, where’s Erinn to all these plans? She’s moving forward in the game without a clear-cut alliance.

Take a look at the picture below. Erinn used her “devilish grin” as what Coach called it and surely, this smile left you in fence.

Erinn and Brendan again :)
Erinn and Brendan again 🙂

I’m now looking forward to watching the next episode and before I forget, it was confirmed in Joe’s RNO interview he was not part of the jury. This might mean, seven of them will make the jury and looks like, a Final-Two-Showdown rocks the boat once again.


where are they going?
where are they going?

Survivor Insights 22: Timbira Eating Charcoal

Perhaps, the one little thing I didn’t like in this latest episode of SURVIVOR TOCANTINS was when Sydney Wheeler was voted off. After two weeks of not watching a fresh episode, I miss the people in Tocantins especially my early-pick favorites and that includes Sydney.

While reading her exit interview in RNO, this Survivor Babe revealed she felt suck when everyone tagged her as “the flirt.” Hey Syd, it’s okay to be a flirt. The flirting strategy adds more color to this season and I’m sure Sydney will be unforgettable of what she did.

The level of Sydney’s paranoia was high upon arriving from Tribal Council. If only she did use the paranoia to her great advantage, she could extend her stay. How about combining paranoia + flirt? Parvati Shallow did it nicely in Micronesia and Amber Brkich mastered it in All-Stars, why not Sydney?

Another strategy that could save her was Joe’s supposed to be four-way-alliance with JT and Stephen. Yet, all things came to an end. Sydney didn’t roll the best strategy in her fingers and allowed Taj, Stephen and JT to devour her.

Oh yeah, have I said that the most stand-out event in this episode was the back-to-back win of Timbira? At last, the rhythm and momentum was back at their side. The “throwing-ceramic-over-an-impenetrable-barricade” reward challenge was difficult in some ways.

Timbira’s triumph should be awarded to Brendan, Tyson and of course, the Coach himself. Yes, for the first time, Coach leveled up his game. Catching the ceramic with a large barricade in front of you was something worth a merit.

Did the charcoal-like beans help him get to vibes he needs during the challenge? LOL

Sad for Erinn though and she didn’t participate in the Waterfalls-Feast. When Joe picked her, Joe was clearly using his charms to move ahead in the game. just use it wisely, Joe! The flirting going on while their stay at Exile might not be enough for Erinn to be on Joe’s side.

The immunity challenge was also a blast. The level of excitement was not like the net-catching challenge when JT loss his teeth but the hard-pumping drives were still present in this challenge. Tyson put his tribe on board by blasting all three tiles before JT did.

Brendan and Erinn were again awesome in solving the puzzle. What with these two and they get more better when they were together in challenges? Just noticing Brendan and Erinn were regularly and tightly embracing each other after winning challenges. Lucky Brendan! That’s all I have to say.

I see nothing wrong if these two end up in a romantic relationship after this season.  He’s single and rich. She’s young and charismatic. Wow!

Perhaps, Brendan did the slightest mistake of choosing Sierra as his ally. The reason behind: He probably knew he can’t win with Erinn. Erinn was a power player than Sierra. Sierra was fairly more like of a competitive and social player while Erinn was like the introvert and conniving strategist.

At Jalapao, Taj made a more brilliant plan of pulling JT on her trans-alliance with Timbira. This secret back-up plan might work but it’s still early to tell, it seems that JT was immediately on a chopping board once there’s a merge.

Or the days were up for Joe in the coming weeks. If only he sided with Sydney, JT and Stephen with a secret bond with Erinn on the other side, this plan can be safer by a mile than playing the fake immunity idol.

Survivor Insights 20: S For Sydney

Belonging to Jalapao since the premiere, Sydney Wheeler was like under- the-radar and attractive blond who couldn’t be in the center stage. This week was entirely different for I saw her vulnerable side and what’s probably the nicest thing in her strategy was using her charms to survive the cut.

This sex-appeal game was already an old testament in SURVIVOR. Good for Sydney and it still works by flirting with the boys and geez, by even wearing the boxers of JT.

This is the reason why I picked Sydney as one of my earlier favorites. Just by reading her profile in CBS, I smell something so sweet in her and wow, it’s true, she successfully rolled her cards on board just like what Parvati Shallow, Jenna Morasca, Heidi Strobel and Amber Brkich did in previous seasons.

In Timbira, Tyson got in touch with his nudity madness once again, wearing only a loincloth with a buff in the private area. Was this his strategy to make his tribe laugh at him and let them forget the conniving side of Tyson? If this is one of his strategies, it looks like he’s in a good or bad shape leading to complete frustration or potentially have the numbers on his side when twist occurs.

I wonder what happen to Erinn. She was in no energy to socialize with the group as Tyson did his nude comedy. Is she feeling bad? Or was she just uncomfortable? Nevermind. Erinn was still a stand-out to me even she’s not with people. There was even a scene that she looks like Parvati!

During the reward challenge which requires stamina to lift weights and conquering mental soreness, I expected Coach might volunteered to stand on the box and carry the load as he’s more in great mass than Tyson is. Yet, what was new with Coach… the skinny Tyson did his part and even without proper amount of food for days, he did awesome carrying 140 pounds in his back before giving out. That’s not it, this challenge was for another great record, two woman were in showdown. Taj in Jalapao and Debb in Timbira.

Standing on that box with 100 pounds, Taj was like Serena Williams. She’s already too exhausted but still giving a solid stand to win the game.

Rolling to immunity challenge, it was a rewind of season’s twelve: Panama Exile Island. Again, Jalapao and Timbira were neck-in-neck, squeezing their brains to solve the mystery message in rolling blocks.

Jalapao couldn’t outplay Timbira this time and decided to send their tribe’s mother, SandyBurgin, home. Watch this never before seen video as how Sandy acted like a mom to injured Spencer.

Survivor Insights 18: 3-2 Win for Jalapao

The editing was getting better each week and this week’s episode started with some castaways knock themselves on the chopping board.

First on the list is Candace Smith. She’s competitive in challenges, she’s a talker and she’s charismatic but why she was not fighting to avoid elimination? She and Erinn were talking about ousting Coach but why she didn’t make it happen? If only Candace used her persuasion expertise and get along with Tyson, Jerry, Erinn and Sierra, she would have probably sent Coach home. But even Erinn voted against her during the Tribal Council- an indication Candace’s strategy was a no show.

I read Candace’s interview in RNO and this was she said why she not voted against Coach.

“Because I thought people on my tribe were so brainwashed by him. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I was like, “Is he really having this effect on you?” I was the only one being protected by the evil rays. I could take him down with one arm. It was like a cult, like the whole “I’m your coach” thing – it worked with everybody! But with some people, it was horrifying.”

Another mark of disappointment was Coach. Coach was trying to portray the “Mr. Invincible” in pilot episode but it turned out he’s behaving like a cockcroach during the immunity/reward challenge. Candace, Brendan, Tyson and even Sierra were pulling their legs to attain victory but where was Coach? Perhaps, it’s his strategy not to be in the front seat during challenges or was he a no-good coach at all?

Debbie Beebe, the school principal, was all in praise for Coach and as expected, Coach liked it. They created alliance and during the Tribal Council, Debbi sounded like she wanted to get rid of Erinn. Geez, hoping Jerri, Tyson and Brendan won’t buy in this agreement. Timbira was stronger in challenges with Erinn on board than Debbi.

Talking a lot is a crime in SURVIVOR. I knew Taj was hesitant when she told her tribemates about her married to an ex-NFL pro and this can spell d-a-n-g-e-r on her feet. But Taj was a former member of SWV (the RnB group behind the hit single “Weak”) and she may still have lots of magic COOL tricks going inside her mind and hopes it works on her and not against her.

In Timbira, Sierra and Brendan joined forces in searching for hidden immunity necklace but like Sandy, they came out empty-handed and revealing to their tribemates that they were digging for a bonfire sounded like a messy non-impressive joke. What were they thinking? Also, it might not a good idea for Sierra asking Brendan for help. Brendan was an entrepreneur and he could tell lies as easy as eating peanut. What he did after his return from Exile Island, that’s how Candace should have played the game. Survivor is a mind game and one should know how to use your skills to your BIG advantage.

The water-basketball immunity/reward challenge was again like a grand slam finale between Nadal and Federer. Timbira was in an impressive lead 2-0 but Jalapao went ahead to equal the scoreboard, 2-2. Sierra continued to display a no-joke competitiveness but came short when Stephen armed her down and shoot the ball for Jalapao’s victory 3-2.

Just hoping that after this Jalapao’s victory, Stephen and JT cemented friendship blooms forward and help them get into the jury. Seeing best friends win this game will be nice, eh?