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Welcome to another week of the Survivor Mutiny Manifest, where each week we will look at the strategies amongst the tribes, alliances, and individual strategies. We’ll try to figure out what’s working for some, what’s working against others, who is wheeling, who is dealing, and of course, who is reeling.

This week was sort of a snorer in terms of strategic thinking and happenings. Yes, there were some major plays, but they were, in my opinion, pretty obvious in coming. The game is still early, and most everyone is trying to not stand out as a leader or a strong competitor. Either way, we all know that once there is a single tribe, the weak will start to pick off the stronger guys as soon as possible. This week we saw a preview of things to come.

Exile Island
Is the Exile Island factor just not that interesting? Or is it because Yul has already found the idol? I seem to recall that last season, even after Terry had found the idol, we at least got some footage of each exile’s stay on the island. This season we haven’t seen any footage. Not that this really has anything to do with strategy, but I find it interesting that the idea behind Exile Island was to isolate certain players and have them be unable to form alliances and have their teammates talk behind their backs. So far, none of this has happened. Adam went to Exile Island this week, and as far as I could tell, he might as well have been at production headquarters. It’s just not that important to the game, in my opinion.


Aitu
The day after Tribal Council, Candice returned to Aitu beach from Exile Island. Right away, Flica started questioning Candice as to why she thinks Raro would have sent her to exile over anyone else. Did Candice and Flica not bond at all when they were on a tribe together? Shouldn’t Flica be alright with someone that she already has a relationship—and a possible alliance—with being exempt from possible torch snuffing? No…instead Flica starts to grill Candice, thinking that it might have been Adam and Parvati, who have some sort of secret alliance going with Candice, that sent their buddy to exile in hopes of keeping her safe. Yes, Flica…your former tribe is doing good things by keeping all of your former (Raro) tribe members safe. You see, if you all make the single tribe merger together, you all have a great chance of making the final five. Candice wisely deflected Flica’s questioning by playing stupid and denying any understanding of why she was chosen.

The real story of the week for Aitu was Ozzy. This guy performed on both challenges this week and he provided his team with much valued sustenance in the way of fish. But he didn’t set out to be such an asset to his tribe. Instead, after he felt stabbed in the back and vulnerable, he vowed to not help his tribe in anyway, since he figured he would be the next to go home. What changed his mind? Honestly, I really couldn’t tell. All of a sudden, Ozzy was catching fish and saying how happy he was to catch fish for his tribe and prove to everyone that they need him. Perhaps he just realized that the others would be less likely to get rid of him if he was a valuable asset in both challenges and food gathering. Or perhaps he just felt like keeping busy. Either way, Ozzy made a name for himself in Aitu by being a strong swimmer and single handedly winning both challenges for his tribe, and providing them with comfort and warmth in the form of blankets and pillows. And then he fed them dinner. I think all of the ladies might have been expecting a good night kiss, too, but he just didn’t go that far.

Someone who isn’t doing much for his reputation on Aitu beach is Cao Boi. He’s like a little kid, this guy. Hey, he said so himself…it was the little kid in him that wanted to impress his tribemates, and the little kid in him that got his climbing legs out. Easily egged on by the other members of his tribe, Cao Boi climbed a tree in search of eggs from a local booby’s nest. Not only were there no eggs, there was a newborn baby booby that fell from the nest when Cao Boi dislodged it from the tree. Luckily for Cao Boi’s karma, he was able to get the nest and the baby back on the perch, and Mama Booby resumed her matronly duties. Also good for Cao Boi was his fire making ability at the immunity challenge. At first even his tribemates were watching his weird “fire dance” with a skeptical smile on their faces, but his waving around of the ember nest really got the flames going quickly, and helped seal the win for his team.

Raro
Raro really showed itself to be a tribe divided this week. There was a clear boys vs. girls thing going on there, and the guys were really stupid to sit around and believe that none of them would never go home while there were still 2 tribes in existence. The problem with their belief that at least Nate and likely Adam had Parvati in their back pockets was that J.P. was quickly alienating all of the girls with his macho boss act. Also, who is ever really safe in this day and age of Survivor? No one…especially perceived alpha males. While the boys hung out together and bonded over their mutual maleness, the girls also bonded over the humor of watching the macho boys. They also bonded over the fact that they all seemed to be J.P.’s servants.

Did anyone do anything right at Raro during these three days? Well, Nate made a pact with Parvati, so at least he tried to get some of the girls on his side. He let her know that he has her back, and he wouldn’t let her be blindsided. To him, Parvati is his ace in the hole. They even talked about the fact that J.P. thinks he is the king of the beach right now, and that he thinks both Parvati and Nate are on his side. Which makes me wonder why, when Parvati knew the girls were planning to vote out J.P., someone told Adam, but not Nate. Nate was the only other person in the tribe that voted with J.P. Are we going to hear the classic “It was better for you not to know” line next week? I’m not so sure, but either way, Nate must now really feel like an outsider within his tribe.

The other thing that I saw as a good play on Raro this week was the girl alliance. Even though Stephannie offered herself as the sacrificial lamb, the girls realized they had a natural winning alliance with their 5 versus the men’s 4. No one wants to give up a natural advantage, and the girls worked quickly to convince everybody that was necessary to oust J.P. that he was the right one to vote out. Parvati was the only female hesitant to vote J.P. out, and when the other four ladies realized she might not flip, they went to Brad with their plan. Was it Brad that told Adam how to vote? Or Parvati? We may never know, but when the votes were revealed during J.P.’s closing remarks, everyone except Nate voted for J.P.

Well, That Didn’t Work
What can you say about J.P.? Not much. Nobody likes a lazy boss, especially the celebrity wanna be type personalities that are typically recruited for Survivor. Mostly J.P. didn’t see what was right in front of him the entire time he was a part of the new Raro tribe…an easily seen majority of women. Hey, we can all count, and what I saw right away was 4 men, and 5 women on Raro. While Stephannie did volunteer to take the fall for her tribe, I challenge you to find 5 women with an advantage over 4 guys who would be willing to sacrifice one of their own that easily—especially when one of the guys has been ordering the ladies around for 6 days straight. That was J.P.’s other downfall. He was a bossy sonofabitch who lazed around in the Survivor equivalent of an easy chair (a log in the sand) and had people bring things to him. What?!? Geez, didn’t he recently throw a challenge so he could get rid of a lazy Billy? Yeah, I thought so. He sure didn’t learn his lesson there. Speaking of challenges, J.P. really lost the immunity challenge for his tribe by slowly trudging most of the distance to the mast where Parvati was shackled. Ozzy made up all of the time that Aitu was behind by running out toward the mast until it was too deep and then diving full sprint and instantly gaining a lead over J.P. All in all, even though J.P. is a strong, athletic guy, his tribe really had no other choice than to send him to loser lodge. Hopefully good team work will overcome the loss of J.P.’s athleticism in the future.

He said “Booby” mrdobolina@fansofrealitytv.com