Pirate Report (Day 15)
Jonnie Fairplay, Master of His Own Puppet
The Pirate Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the Drake and Morgan tribes during their stay in Panama. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling? This is not meant to be a recap though, and for that, you will want to read fluff’s outstanding recaps this season.
Well, even the blind squirrel finds a nut now and again, and we got lucky last week, correctly assuming that Michelle was on her way out. Granted, making that prediction was right up there with betting on the sun rising tomorrow, so I can’t take too much credit. The obvious next boot is Shawn, but not so fast there racing fans...
Andrew is right; the Drake’s confidence is shaken. You could tell by the way they wanted to convince Jeff that they have only lost one challenge, even though it is indeed three. There is a rift in the tribe, and the strong personalities within are soon going to break out. On the other hand, if they can hold it together for another challenge or two, they can cruise into the merge with a numerical advantage. Nothing else in the game matters from a tribe standpoint. Teamwork? Nope. Friends? Nope. Trust? Nope. Having more Drakes than Morgan’s at the merge? Priceless!
Momentum is a tricky thing though, and while up to last week, the Morgan’s had not even threatened in a reward challenge, the truth is that they had competed well in the immunity challenges, and I hate to find myself agreeing with Andrew, but it is true, a little taste of success might have been just what they needed to get their confidence back… well that and ensuring that Osten is not the designated swimmer in any future challenges. So the Drake tribe may well learn that getting back to their winning ways is not as easy as they expect.
Rupert was the key player this week for both tribes. First, he blended in with the Morgan’s and made the unique observation that their shelter was about to float away. Well, okay, so the Morgan’s knew that too, but apparently they felt they had more time to waste before doing something about it. Then he showed them how to use their spear, and even went fishing with Ryan. He didn’t talk out of school about the Drakes, and seemed to bond with everyone there. This could serve him well post merge. Upon return, the tribe welcomed him with open arms, and he competed well in the IC, but it was one where his skills obviously could not dominate.
Then he blew it.
Okay, maybe that is too harsh. Go ahead anyway and get your hate mail fired up, because the legion of Rupert fans are going to hate me for saying this, but at tribal council he took a major step back in my opinion.
When the tribe was getting grilled by Jeff (and honestly, that guy is by far the best host in reality TV) about tossing the previous immunity challenge, it was Rupert who couldn’t hold back any longer, and blurt out that he thought it was stupid that they threw the challenge, and that he was opposed to it. At that point Christa and Jon shot him looks. Now, those of us at home know that he was against throwing the challenge, and we also know, because he told us, that he was going to go along with it, despite his feelings. He did tell them that he needed to sit it out, because if he was in a competition, he was going to try to win, but he did not tell them not to do it either. So now, having someone who Christa and Jon both may have assumed was in on the plan, basically tattle to Dad on them, may comeback to haunt him. Or not. Perhaps I see too much into that, but to me it came across as pretty self-serving, and Rupert needs to understand that post merge, the entire game is different.
I really enjoy watching Rupert. He is perhaps the most entertaining Survivor of all time. However, I honestly think he has little chance to win. No one will take him to the finals against themselves, and his desire to show everyone how valuable he is will only work against him after the merge. He needs to stop trying to prove his worth to everyone. His worth is more than well known on both sides. It is like a flashing neon sign that says “boot me”.
What about Jon? I am still trying to figure out if he found the magic mushroom patch on the island, or is he actually crazy like a fox. Most of the time he acts like someone who failed an audition as Spicoli’s buddy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and then other times, he asks the best questions. He joked around, but immediately asked Rupert about how the Morgan’s probably tried to recruit him (a question Rupert parried quite well). He joked around, and then shrewdly planned a way to conceal Michelle’s food swallowing skills. He jokes around at tribal council, and gets nailed by Jeff for his poor play during the reward challenge, but immediately turns it around into a conversation about how the entire tribe threw a challenge.
Jon probably IS the nutcase he is showing himself to be on the program, but whatever he is, puppet master or wrestling orphan, he is safe. Yes, I know it hurts to read that, and many have assumed he is on his way out, because the tribe “must hate him”, but Jon so far has been more than safe, and he is far from any danger now. Who did Rupert hug and kiss on his return? Jon. There has to be more going on here than we see.
Christa is also safe, and she has watched her opposition crumble before her. She enjoys the advantages of being closely allied with the strongest group in the game, while not having to stick her neck out in advancement of that group. This only works to the merge, but if she can get to the merge, then Christa is not going to be considered to be a threat, and she can go quite a ways.
The same thing holds true for Trish, though she broke away from her under the radar strategy and confronted Shawn this week about his vote for Burton, or more to the point, his immediate desire to trash his former alliance mate. I completely agree with Trish, as clearly Shawn was scrambling, and not doing a very good job of it. However, she would have done well to bite her tongue. Nothing to be gained in making an enemy of Shawn, no one trusts him anyway, and you never know what twists the game might take.
Sandra and Jon seem to have buried the hatchet, and she also benefits from being in the majority group. It was a little risky losing the immunity challenge, but not so bad as she was making it out to be. First of all, none of them wanted to be on the spot there, and secondly, it is not as if she didn’t try. It was a close “race”. I think Sandra is fine, but I still wonder if she is more talk than action.
Finally, we come to Shawn, who is on the hot seat this week. As we suspected last week, no one in the tribe trusts him, but again, if he makes it to the merge, he may not need to be trusted by the Drakes. In some ways, the Drakes will be hurt if they win immunity this week, as Shawn will likely look for friends in Morgan as soon as possible, and he knows all the inner workings of the tribe, something that a player like Andrew would latch on too. If Drake does lose IC again next week, it is obvious that Shawn is the easy target. He has a connection with Fairplay though, and he knows that Rupert is talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to challenge throwing and his trip to Morgan. Can he build on that? Likely not, but it is an opening at least, something Michelle didn’t even have.
The Morgan’s enjoy their success, but if you look at the two camps physically, it is night and day. As Rupert noted, they were down to only a day or so of food, and they needed him to show them how to fish. They are taking in fewer calories per day, less water, and getting fewer hours of sleep than the Drakes. However, at this point they only need to hold out a little longer. If they can pull off a win this week, then they head into the traditional merge timeframe at even strength, and that is something that seemed impossible only a few game days ago.
Andrew. We love to mock him, or at least I do, and it is clear his leadership skills are not what he thinks they are. However, he is a naturally smart player in the game. He asks questions, he gathers data, and he is always positive to those in the tribe, even when he is making preparations to boot them. When he went to Morgan for the looting, he let Rupert control the conversation. Yes, I know Rupert fans, you feel that Rupert manipulated the situation, but I think Andrew is not quite as easily swayed as some folks in Drake. Andrew came to get rice. He got rice. Meanwhile he and Rupert got more time together, and he left Rupert with the feeling that he had “won” the meeting. Yet, I am sure Andrew came along simply to get himself more time with the big guy, and make a good impression on the folks he thinks he will be working with in a few short days. I think he did, and beyond that, he prevented Ryano from doing the same thing…
Ryan made a good impression on Rupert, which is positive. He also seems to have settled back and avoided directly confronting Andrew about anything. He is in good position for the remainder of his Morgan days, and for the merge. I like the odds of him going far.
Osten, why are you still here? Sorry to be harsh, but come on. The waves are crashing through the house, and you complain about moving it. I think MB likes to use symbolism in the way he edits the show, and I suspect the little vote that was held in regards to the location of the new shelter was a telling one. Everyone in Morgan, except for Osten, quickly agreed on the location. Now Osten just needs to get to the merge and he could be fine for a while, but this week is risky for him, as he is now somewhat of an outsider in the tribe, and his consistent failures in challenges will begin to weigh against him. It is time for Osten to find his second wind… or his first wind for that matter.
Tijuana is now the invisible woman, and I am not sure if that is a good thing for her. If Drake loses this week, someone has to go, and it is between her and Darrah. Yes, Darrah, whom the tribe kept around in lieu of Lillian, because they felt she would be better in the challenges. Shockingly, it was the one thing that this tribe has chosen wisely on the entire time in Panama. We need subtitles to understand what she says, but she also is underestimated. I think she may surprise us.
Speaking of being surprised… or not…
I Guess That Didn’t Work
Michelle, as noted last week, the game rolled right over you, and it was only a matter of time before your torch was snuffed.
The forums at the FORT have some outstanding discussion on Survivor, and one of the discussions this week was Michelle’s attitude after being booted. In her Early Show appearance she came across as either jealous of Rupert, bitter about her boot, or cheerful and happy, depending on your own view. In contrast to Burton (who she obviously admires), she was not completely full of herself, so should she be “liked” better?
Some say yes, but I have a different view, and it was expressed better by the regular poster’s in the discussion thread. Give me someone like Burton any day who plays the game (poorly yes, but he did have a plan) and tries to win, over folks who go there just for the “experience”. Michelle stuck me more as an experience gainer, along the lines of Lillian, over a player there to win.
Michelle had little strategy, and closed herself off from Christa and Trish, even though she had many things in common with Trish. She didn’t strategize at all, and failed to execute on the tribes plan in the eating challenge. Now, the truth is, her fate was probably sealed by then, but any chance she had went out the window with that performance. Michelle was a deserving boot.
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