Piranha Report (Day 3)
Slackers Never Win

The Piranha Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the Jaburu and Tambaqui tribes during their stay in the Amazon. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?

The first episode is always difficult to gage in terms of future performance. In fact, normally the only thing you can be sure of is that whoever gets a lot of confessional camera time in that episode is certain to get the boot.

Tambaqui

This team has multiple alpha males already battling for prominence, but using far different strategies. With the unexpected, (by the tribeís members at least) trip to tribal council, it is easy to see the early battle lines formingÖ

Rogerís real life experience as a corporate Vice President is already getting in the way. He is actively building coalitions and taking a vocal leadership role in jobs such as building the shelter. While he did win the battle against Ryan, it is certainly an open question at this point as to if he really controls a voting bloc.

Meanwhile, Butch is the kindly old coach, rallying the troops with his Ďbelieveí sign and being a caretaker through his warnings about the dangers of the machetes. He joked about the guy who takes charge early being first to go, and seemed to come across as a leader, but not an overbearing one. More like a respected elder.

Dave the rocket scientist has already called two team meetings, and in one, he took the tribe to task for their lack of honesty while responding to Jeffís questions at the immunity challenge. He seems to be setting himself up as the high integrity guy you can trust in the tribe. Even Rob feels that is the case.

However, donít be so sure that Dave is not playing the game already. He allowed Roger to think that he was onboard with the Ryan vote, but didnít exactly say he would vote for him. When Roger approached him and said that he wanted Ryan to go first, Dave said that it was fine by him; however he didnít say that he would vote for that outcome. Roger failed to keep the conversation alive to nail him down on that either. Itís a dangerous game, as arguing about semantics isnít going to save him if he is caught, especially after his integrity speech, but he is definitely playing the game.

Rob is already confessing to carrying out the Brian Strategy, even though he didnít know about that approach as this version was shot during the time that Survivor: Thailand was being shown. Nevertheless, I am wondering if is cold blooded enough to pull it off, and it is far more likely that someone like Heidi would control his vote if he makes it to the merge.

Alex and Matthew didnít get too much screen time, and that probably bodes well for their futures. Alex seemed to agree with Daveís preaching on honesty, and he voted with the Roger bloc to boot Ryan, so he is safely in the majority. Matthew aligned himself with the Ryan and Daniel, but I donít doubt that he sees the writing on the wall, and I look for him to abandon Daniel as soon as possible.

Daniel is a sitting duck. He made the mistake of being a co-slacker alongside Ryan. Further he was a key player in the demise of the team during the immunity challenge. It is a very lonely place that he now resides in, as he probably has little chance to redeem himself, and will likely last only until the next tribal council.

After Daniel though, things will get interesting.

Jaburu

This team needs a leader. Further, it is difficult to see any early alliances forming.

The closest thing to that leadership we saw, was Deena trying to build a consensus that would prioritize shelter building. At first, some tribe members resisted her efforts, but after a night of spooning with tarantulas, Deenaís point seemed to be made.

Whereas Deena was a vocal leader, Heidi was shrewdly spending time with most all tribe members, and participating in multiple activities from fishing to shelter building. During the immunity challenge, she took the key from Joanna and raced to victory on her own. She clearly isnít more than a leader by example yet, but she is probably the safest tribe member among the women.

Since the majority of this episode focused on the guysí overconfidence, we didnít see too much of some of the women, and certainly not enough to form opinions as to where their allegiances lie. For example, Jeanne seems to have some leadership qualities in her, as shown in confessionals, but they havenít been displayed yet in front of the tribe.

Shawna is athletic and contributes to the chores, but was otherwise relatively quiet, while Joanna does the same, all the while keeping what is described as a pleasant spirit about her. She was anything but quiet.

This isnít to say all is well in Jaburu. These ladies seem to be in the danger zone:

Janet spent much the first few days sick, and the ladies victory at the immunity challenge probably saved her from eviction. She is well liked though, and if she can regain her strength, she may get off the bubble.

Christy went through a very rough first night. He disability left her confused and out of the loop on multiple occasions. However, she appeared to brighten up as the days went by and her tribemates began to accommodate her needs. The immunity challenge win was a good thing for her as well, and now she needs to start contributing to the tribe in order to stay in the game.

Jenna is in definite trouble. She confessed that her entire strategy went out the window once the men versus the women tribal breakdown occurred. She seemed to feel that a new successful strategy would involve opening up her own laundry service in the tribe. That didnít go over well, and neither has her lack of contribution. Coincidently, Ryan had the same comments regarding his strategy being ruined by the tribal split, and we know what happened to him.

I Guess That Didnít Work

Finally we come to the recently departed Ryan.

I do give him credit for correctly realizing that he was the clear target to get his ticket punched for a nice long stay at loser lodge. He tried to build a voting bloc to go after Roger instead, and again, that too was the correct target.

We never really learn why Ryan was the target when Daniel was just as deserving of the boot, perhaps even more so given his struggle with the balance beam. Ryan was far more vocal though, and that combination, along with a bad case of slackeritis sealed his fate.

In the end, he didnít have the credibility with his tribemates to earn their votes. All he had to do was take a few less breaks in the first few days, and he still would be around.

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