Piranha Report (Day 6)
Give Me Shelter

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?

This week we gain much further insight into the Jaburu tribe, as they face their first Tribal Council. Meanwhile the Tambaqui finally won a challenge, but new cracks emerged in a formally strong partnership.

Tambaqui

The men suffered yet another challenge loss in the blindfold contest for reward. However, they rallied for the win in the challenge that most mattered. They have worked very well together to build an excellent shelter, and their teamwork appears evident throughout their activities now that Ryan is gone.

So far, so good. But will their success, and completion of their basic survival tasks allow them to focus more time on the real game?

Leaders

Roger continues to exert control over the tribe, going so far as to call out rowing instructions during a fishing trip. We know that his act has already worn thin with Rob, but did he put himself in immediate danger due to his argument with Alex (witnessed by Daniel as well)? More likely that is classic Mark Burnett editing to keep us off balance, but Roger would be well advised to tone it down a bit.

Butch tried to coach his way through the blindfold challenge, but either through nerves, or just plain not knowing, he forgot names, and generally was responsible for the loss. Granted, the leader in that challenge game would be most at fault in a loss anyway, and it appears the tribe is not blaming Butch for it. If they decide to turn on an older tribe-mate, my money is on Roger going before Butch.

Dave continues to spread his influence. After the reward loss, it was Dave who refocused the tribe to get ready for immunity. He was right, the bait loss wasnít a big deal (and if they saw the condition of the ladies camp, they would know that for certain). Dave seems to be setting himself up as a middle man, and it is working.

Schemers

Rob is clearly scheming, and he is looking to target Roger. However, I just canít see him being able to carry out the strategy to the end. Too often he is sitting there with that maniacal smile on his face (such as during the Roger and Alex argument), and I believe that will catch up to him eventually.

I question Rob selecting Roger as his target in any case. It seems to me (again, given what we know from 150 minutes of action) that Roger, were he to get to a merge, wouldnít last very long based on his personality. Meanwhile, strong players like Dave, Alex, and Matthew are going to cruise along if Rob focuses on doing the dirty work. If I were scheming that early, I would target one of those three. More likely though, Iíd spend my time looking to build a coalition, not tear one down.

Playing the Field

Alex has gone along with the elder leaders at every turn, but he certainly let Roger know that he wasnít going to sit back and accept everything at face value. I canít see his strategy at this point, other that trying to be a productive tribe-mate. That should be good enough for a long ride.

Daniel didnít get a lot of screen time this week, and frankly, that is probably the best news Daniel fans could hope for. Most significantly there were no comments from his tribe-mates involving laziness or other such pariah behaviors. He saw the conflict between Alex and Roger. Danielís best move now is to continue to work hard, keep his head down, and hope for another immunity win. If it works out, his tribe may become preoccupied with other members, and forget about his unholy partnership with Ryan.

Under the Radar

Matthew is playing the ultimate stay under the radar game so far. In fact, I am not even sure he said more than two sentences in the last episode. If this is intentional, then it stands a good chance for working for Matthew. There are too many other leader conflicts pending in this group, and Matthew will be able to sit back and enjoy the cannibalism.

Jaburu

This team still needs a leader. However, unlike last week, we do begin to see the alliances forming. Going to tribal council has a way of forcing that.

Almost Leaders

Deena comes close to taking charge of the tribe, as she does do a good job of articulating their needs. However, her leadership style might be best described as passive-aggressive. She didnít appreciate Joannaís nighttime sermons, but after confronting her about it, immediately backed off. She didnít appreciate Christyís rant about lazy tribe members and lack of shelter building. She chose to not confront her about it, and instead, threw a bunch of palm fronds in her direction. Deena, this tribe needs you, step up!

Joanna definitely stepped up during the blindfold challenge, and is respected in the tribe for her athleticism and attitude. I believe that her tribe-mates respect her beliefs, but she may well have crossed the line when comparing the immunity idol with a religious symbol of the type referred too in the Ten Commandments.

Playing the FieldÖ or is that Playing in the Water?

Heidi was quiet this week, though she received her usual allotment of camera time. She continues to remain involved in all the chores of the tribe, and doesnít seem to have an enemy in sight. Heidi is on cruise control right now.

Shawna and Jenna were also window dressing during this episode. Undoubtedly the bikini triplets are saving their energy for the big bathing scene next week. Jenna seems to be the one of the pair who might eventually be in trouble.

Jenna hasnít shown an overly friendly attitude toward her tribe, and hasnít made an attempt at getting to know her all of her tribe-mates. Now, one wouldnít do this because they care about someone (are you taking notes on this Penny Ramsey?) but rather to understand their competition, and to ensure that they donít inadvertently end up on the wrong side of a voting bloc. Things look comfortable now, but a couple more losses by the ladies, and that work invested now in good relations will become invaluable.

Scheming-Yes-Woman

Jeanne is playing the game, but is in danger of bungling it. She set herself up as the liaison for Christy, and for good reason. There is no way Christy will vote against the person who keeps her in the loop. Further, she is dishing dirt on her tribe-mates. First to Christy, regarding Joannaís idol thoughts, which led to a big feud, then later, she pressed the issue of Janetís alleged granola scam. Most entertaining was her mimicking of Deena during the discussion of having one person assigned to the fire, one for water, and another for wood. Jeanne seems intent on ensuring there is conflict in the tribe.

On the Hot Seat

Christy made several mistakes this episode. She was right to focus on getting a shelter finally built, but to confront her tribe-mates in that manner, especially when it seemed that most of them had in fact been working that day, was a poor move. That decision was tame compared to the flame out at tribal council when she accused the tribe of intentionally freezing her out. She needs significant help now to stay in the game past the next tribal council.

I Guess That Didnít Work

Ah Janet, Iíll bet you were rethinking that whole application to come on the show about two hours into the game eh?

Janet was sick throughout the early days of the tribe, and really didnít appear to contribute much in the way of work. Most of her tribe felt she wanted to leave, and Granola-gate didnít help her case any further. We donít know if the granola was hers, but I doubt that it would have mattered in any case. This was a classic case of voting off the weak sick person.

The ladies will be getting down to business from here on out.

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