Piranha Report (Day 36)
The Demise of the Mastermind

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

This week we whittled the tribe down to the final four, and raised the collective intelligence of the group all at the same time. Matthew and Rob are clearly in control of the game at this point, but there are only two of them. Can Jenna and Butch find a way wrest control? Will Rob stab Matt? Will Matt stab Rob? Will Butch continue to contribute to greenhouse gasses on a global scale through this own personal deforestation plan?

Yup, a lot of questions left to answer. Make sure you check out fluff’s recap for details on the show. For now, lets look at the final maneuvering.

The Final Four, Random What Now Speculation

Heidi’s departure brings us to a final four of Matthew, Rob, Butch, and Jenna. I think this will play out as outlined below.

Yes, Butch is still here. No, I don’t know why, as he hasn’t played the game, contended in a challenge, or served a useful purpose most of the month he has been in the Amazon. I take that back, burning up Jenna’s precious heirlooms might well earn him points with the jury.

Matt and Rob will turn on each other in the final three, and that is a good strategy for both of them. The question has to be; who is that third person? It seems to me that if you are Rob, you can’t have Butch in the final three, let alone the final two. He is a wild card. He doesn’t deserve to win, but if he is sitting in the finals, he looks pretty good from a voting perspective compared to Rob. Matt’s best move is also to get rid of Butch now, as he can win a vote against either Jenna or Rob. This should spell doom for Butch, as it will be easy enough for Rob to tell Jenna she can get to the final two with him as discussed as long as she votes for Butch.

Now, in the final three, it gets a little more interesting. Rob fully intends to take Jenna to the finals with him, but to ensure that outcome, he needs to win immunity. That could be unlikely. Rob probably feels pretty safe though. He thinks that Matt will probably take him to the finals, and further, Jenna might as well. It appears that Rob getting Jenna to blow up at him last week was possibly a very shrewd move (had he intended it). Jenna thinks that Rob is hated now, and exposed in front of many votes, therefore were she to somehow win immunity, I think she would chose Rob to go with her to the jury

Rob just wants to get in front of the jury. I am guessing he will be prepared for the tough questions he will get, and he probably plans to tell them the same things he has said in confessionals throughout the show. Pointing out that he has played the game better than anyone, and he deserves the money. I think he has in fact done so.

So let’s write the check to Rob now, and save us all time right?

Wrong. I don’t think Rob will even get there.

Not withstanding the spoilers on this topic, it seems likely that Matthew will win the final immunity challenge which is probably some kind of endurance test. Jenna will whine and quit, while Rob will pull a Rich Hatch, and trust his buddy to keep his word. Well too bad Rob, as that will turn out to be your million dollar mistake.

If Matt wins immunity, I predict he will take Jenna with him, and win the million dollars. Taking Rob is too dangerous, as he could fall back on the “played the game better defense” and Matt isn’t going to take chances. Meanwhile, he should win a vote against Jenna, who will have nothing to hold against Matt, and really shouldn’t be in the game at this point. This paring could end up being the most boring jury vote tribal council yet.

I am stepping pretty far out on a limb for such talk, but I think that is how it plays out.

Okay, Fine, Mr. Helper, But Can Anything Different Happen?

Sure, other things can happen.

Butch needs to break free of the chain, and figure out that his usefulness to the chain is at an end. He is lucky to still be here, but he is here. I personally would hope that he would approach Jenna with the idea of targeting Matt or Rob. Probably Rob. I don’t expect Rob or Matt to bite on that. So, his best case outcome is to force a tie in tribal council and hope for some kind of tiebreaker that involves everyone.

All of that highlights the reality that Butch needs an incredible amount of luck to win at this point. It could happen, after all, Vecepia won.

Jenna might just fall into the final two without trying very hard. That would pretty much fit her entire existence on the Amazon. If I were her, I would be working on answers for questions at tribal council. She is going to need to be charming, witty, and persuasive to carry the vote. In other words, she has to be everything other than herself. On the bright side, I expect her to walk home with $100,000 and numerous adult magazine offers.

Rob has to win immunity. If he gets over confident in Matthew, he will pay for it. Not surprisingly, overconfidence has been the downfall of many of the recent voting victims. Rob has played a brilliant game to date, but I fear he may not see the urgency of winning that immunity. If Rob does win it, I like his odds of winning the game, assuming he takes Jenna with him.

Matthew. If you look back on this season, it seems clear that Matthew would be in the final two all along. Thanks to MB editing, in nearly every episode he has been rumored to be on the block. He was also shown to be “creepy” (and I can still visualize Christy saying that). He seemed clueless about the game and saving himself until Rob came along, talking to him like a child. Yet here he is, and he has definitely shown signs in the last few shows that he knows what he has to do to win.

Matt should be safe in the next vote, and for the final three he needs to win immunity. However, if he does, then I hope he will make the smart play, and dump Rob. See Paulie’s PreCap for a much better way of saying this, but basically Rob himself has made it too easy for the backstab, and doing it right in front of the jury will be well received, in my opinion.

As long as Matt or Rob win, I am fine with the outcome. I think this has been the best Survivor in quite a while.

I Guess That Didn’t Work

Heidi’s performance on the show is pretty disappointing on many levels. She started out looking quite savvy in the game itself, and worked to form an alliance early. She was smart to bring in Deena at just the right time. In my opinion, her decision to rat out Jeanne to the guys back in the tribe switch turns out to be a non-issue overall, so it was smart at the time. She was young, athletic, and was trying to play the game.

Sadly, Heidi was also delusional. Delusional about her “beauty” and delusional about being the mastermind of game play. The truth is, about halfway though their time in the Amazon, Heidi completely lost track of everything going on game play-wise around her. In the end, she and Jenna were not even looking at the multiple options they had as a voting bloc. So instead, they slept, and that was your ballgame.

Your comments are welcome. Email bill@fansofrealitytv.com