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Survivor: Cook Islands Mutiny Manifest (11/16) – Double Trouble

Welcome to the ninth issue of the Survivor Mutiny Manifest, where each week I will be breaking down tribe strategy, personal strategizing, who is wheeling, who is dealing, and of course who is reeling. As always, these are simply my opinions and my personal perception of the game based on everything that was shown to us in the previous episode. I don’t look for any spoilers other than Fluff’s weekly boot list that’s posted on Thursday’s right before the show airs. So if it isn’t on the show, I don’t want to know!

This week’s episode was all about domination. Yes, Aitu again dominated the challenges, and they continued to dominate Candice’s emotions by sending her to Exile Island yet again. If they are able to continue her stays in exile, they will break her. If the merge happens on the next episode and she somehow goes to exile again, I guarantee a huge emotional breakdown on the island. I must say I would really enjoy seeing that. Otherwise, Aitu’s domination continues to make the entire Raro tribe question themselves. How can Aitu keep dominating? How is it that they do so well in the challenges? The answers await!

Ozzy opened the show with what I think is the driving force behind not only himself, but his entire tribe at this point. They’re underdogs, and that is one of Ozzy’s favorite things to be. It gives him something to fight for…it gives them something to fight for. And fighting is exactly what they are doing…fighting hard. Aitu may be down 3 players, but at this point in the game, the four of them are tighter than just about any alliance I think I have ever seen in Survivor history. They are dominating challenges using not only their athleticism but also their brains, which was especially evident during this episode. Two challenges involved quick memorization, and from what I saw before each challenge, all of the members of Aitu memorized both the nautical flag letters and the Pacific island chain names. Seeing as I can hardly memorize my own social security number these days, I think this is quite a feat.

How about that Ozzy? He’s as dominant a player as anyone who has been in Survivor. Yes, I think he is comparable to Tom from two(?) seasons ago and Terry from last season. Ozzy simply lacks the age and experience of the latter two individuals. He must have felt like the king of the tribe when he carried the flag while being carried on a litter on the shoulders of the native islanders during their reward. I know I talk about Ozzy a lot, but I simply can’t not believe in the guy…and honestly, I don’t really like him! I’m certain that I will be proven totally wrong here, but I just think that Ozzy is in a great place in the game. His current alliance is solid. This team has rallied together, and they are not going to split up easily. Even Yul, who likely sees Ozzy as a the huge physical threat that he is, will think twice before voting Ozzy out when he can. Why do I think that? Because the jury is already starting to form! Yul would have to think twice before turning his back on a possible vote later in the game. At least Jonathan stabbed Ozzy and the rest in the back to their faces. Either way, I don’t think it’s going to happen, and the second the Aitu four are able to recognize an advantage in numbers, it’s over for Raro. Well, everyone except for Jonathan, in my opinion. Remember, he’s the bad guy, and I stand by my thought that people will keep him around for his possible value at the final tribal council.

After Ozzy, I think Yul is in the best position at Aitu. If the merge doesn’t happen until a few more people are sent home, Yul and Ozzy (and likely Aitu) will be in great shape to be in the final four…as long as they stick together! Yul has got to keep his alliances solid. Remember, he already has a solid alliance with Becky, and now that they have been betrayed by Jon and Candice, I think he has a very solid man bond with Ozzy. Together, they could go far. Yul needs to keep this in mind instead of seeing Ozzy as a threat in individual challenges (and vice versa). Their alliance gives me hope that, for once, we might get to see an alliance of athletic and strong competitors make it to the end.

As for the other members of Aitu, well, other than Yul, I have to say they are also-rans. Sundra, while definitely a big part of the team and the effort they put forth, is simply along for the ride and will be ditched as soon as she is no longer needed. Becky is in a unique position since Yul should technically be loyal to her above all others. But let’s be honest, Yul is out for himself, just like every other person to ever play Survivor. And if he can put her on the jury without totally alienating her, she’s a vote for him to win the money.

Where are the collective heads of Raro? I couldn’t tell you exactly, but to me it seems like they are all scattered all over the Cook Islands right now. The last person in any Raro alliance, Jonathan, is the only one working to keep the tribe strong by fishing and maintaining the fire by gathering wood. Nate is helping out a little by trying to be the camp motivator and performing well in challenges, but even his contribution is modest at best. I even think Jenny is contributing to an extent, even though she appears invisible to the viewing audience at home. Parvati shows up for the challenges, but otherwise is useless. Finally there is Candice, Adam, and Rebecca. Candice has been useless around camp and in the challenges, mostly because she has spent most of her time away from Raro at Exile Island. It’s really starting to mess with her, too. Not only is she having to be far away from her beloved Adam (yes, gag me now), but she is effectively out of the game. She can’t strategize, she can’t socialize, and mostly she just doesn’t eat well or stay strong when she is exiled. Adam thinks his good looks and athleticism are enough to carry him in this game, when in all honesty they will do him more harm than good. Jenny’s not the only person who notices Adam and Candice’s relationship and wants to break them up. Candice and Adam did do a good job during this episode to plant the seeds of Jenny’s danger to everyone post-merge. They somehow got the message around to Parvati, since she also voted for Jenny during Raro’s second torch snuffing (obviously, Jonathan wasn’t about to vote for himself). Parvati will wise up soon enough, though, when she realizes she is number 3 in that alliance. She’ll quickly join any other alliance in order to break these two up. Do I need to even mention Rebecca? She is no more than a bump on a log at Raro Beach in my eyes. She is playing the only card she has—the under the radar card—and it is simply not enough when your tribe isn’t winning challenges and is consistently going to Tribal Council. It’s no wonder her entire tribe has been trying to convince her to perform better…they need her to help stop Aitu’s onslaught. The fact is, this tribe is in trouble, especially if the merge doesn’t happen on the next episode. Ozzy said it best after Aitu’s reward…”Raro doesn’t know what’s coming.”

Well, That Didn’t Work, And Doubly So
Rebecca is the first latest victim of Aitu’s challenge domination, and it’s about time. She was useless. Since we hardly saw her around camp, I can’t really say whether or not she contributed there, but it was obvious she wasn’t contributing much in the challenges. Before this episode’s immunity challenge everyone agreed that Rebecca needed to be the main memorizer of the different island chain names, since she was just not helping them win challenges. Even though she didn’t really get a chance to prove her memorization skills, she still deserved to head to Loser Lodge.

There’s not much that can be said about Jenny’s ouster that hasn’t already been said. She is more a victim of bad luck sealed in a glass bottle than she is the victim of poor performance or bad strategizing. However, she should have gotten at least Parvati in her corner and pointed out that Adam and Candice are too cool for school right now, and that their alliance comes way before their allegiance to her. If she could have done that, at least she might have been able to get a tie out of the second vote, and perhaps pull some sort of coup d’etat to swing the vote her way.

Cookin’ in the Cook Islands: mrdobolina@fansofrealitytv.com