Pirate Report (Day 18)
If You Are Going to Shoot at the King, Donít Miss!
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 fluffís outstanding recaps this season.
This week, the Drake tribe began to realize that Rupert is far better positioned for a run at the end of the game than any of themselves are. They remained confident that they could get back on the winning track though, and didnít seriously consider the possibility that they would be returning to tribal council in the near future. The fact that they did, meant that a lot of last minute thinking occurred in regards to the vote, and the tribe fell on their face.
As for predictions, well I thought that the true drama would happen if Morgan had to boot someone, as someoneís alliance was going to get broken up. Instead, with the Drakeís, I leaned toward Shawn, or as a long shot, Rupert. We did recommend that Trish bite her tongue, and stay under the radarÖ too bad she didnít read the report.
Now we are tied at 5 to 5. The momentum is most definitely in favor of the Morganís. Rupert was right to be sad at tribal council, as once again we see that throwing a challenge in Survivor most often leads to bad things happening. In this case, the Drakeís have been in disarray for the last few days, and I hate to say this, but the Morganís are working together better. I know, I know, that would seem like a sure sign of the pending apocalypse.
With everything evened up, the Drakes are not out of it at all, and they have a couple of the strongest individual players, but it just has to eat away at them to know they basically threw away their chance to waltz into the end game.
Predictions for this week are going to be difficult. It is traditionally the time for a merge or twist, and all the indicators are that we are looking at a twist, and perhaps one that has never been done in Survivor before. Obviously much of what will happen depends on what the specifics are, and where the game sits, after MB does his thing. So rather than predict much, letís look at where each individual stands going into the unknown.
Rupert. Should they have taken their chance to get him out? I think that had they not lost the last two immunities prior to this one, the answer would have been easier, and it would have been YES. Trish was right, Rupert does have way too much power, and he does have a good relationship with Morgan. Even Sandra agreed with the logic, she just questioned the timing, favoring a dump in the TC after this one.
Well, depending on the twist, their chance to dump him pre-merge is gone. Rupert should not make the mistake of getting emotional about this. If he is thinking about the game, he had to know that at some point his dominance would work against him. Jonnie Fairplay should be on the hot seat, but if Rupert comes back to camp as an a**hole, as the previews hint at, then he could refocus the tribe against him. Rupert, keep your head in the game! I know you are playing to win, as you showed by bringing the despised Shawn on board to your cause last week. That was an obvious move, but it was solid in that you pulled it off, despite your own feelings. You need to keep playing the thinking game, as the emotional game will leave you vulnerable.
What of Sandra? Well, she was once again mostly talk this week, but it is working for her. Plus, she made the biggest strategic decision of the game to date. She was there with Trish and Jon, the original three discussing Rupert. It was clear to Trish and Jon that she was in agreement with the plan. MB was nice enough to mute her voice, and instead adding music when she talked to them about being onboard, so we donít know if she qualified her support, or simply back stabbed both Trish and Jon. Either move worked for Sandra, who quickly told Christa, knowing full well what the consequences would be. As such, Sandra is safely established as an ally in Christa and Rupertís mind, but remember, she was not against the idea of booting Rupert. I could see her using that trust to then turn on him later. That, my friends, is setting yourself up to play well, especially since Jon is not the obvious next boot choice.
Speaking of the puppet master, Jon, you are screwed. Your facial expression at tribal council has to go down in Survivor lore as one of the classic oh-my-God-I-think-I-just-lost moments of all time. It seemed so easy. Trish has brought it up, so she was doing his dirty work for him. Trish and Sandra were onboard, and his ally Shawn owed him from early in the game, so there was no reason to let him in on the deal too soon. Oops. That was your mistake Jon, and donít fret, many Survivors have made this mistake. You assumed that someone was on your side, without verifying it. You assumed that you were the only one playing the game to that depth. You assumed that Rupert would not catch on to your plans. We all know what happens to folks who assume too muchÖ
Shawn. You are starting to remind me of Dr Will in Big Brother 2. Oh sure, you arenít nearly as entertaining, or as talented at game play, but you are another guy who just keeps cruising along, with people trusting you out of desperation, watching everyone else self-destruct around you. Shawn should have been booted a while ago, but the short term situation in the game has saved him a couple times now. He needs to just keep doing what he is doing. If he can get to the merge, he has a chance to go a ways. If he doesnít keep low, he will rise to the top of the target list faster than you can say Colby loves his mama.
Finally, Christa. You remain loyal to Rupert, and are obviously a fan of tie dye and skirts. I admire the loyalty, but remember, at some point you must turn on him if you want to win. Yes, MUST. Make sure you recognize that time.
Nine game days ago this just didnít seem possible. Suddenly the tribes are even again, and momentum favors the Morganís.
I am still in shock really, but I do give them credit, because letís face it, they are playing with 4.5 tribe members, as Osten has yet to do much of anything in a challenge. I thought there was some back luck early, and that fate worked against Osten. Besides, competing against Rupert one on one has to be difficult to say the least. But, he caved in yet again (and perhaps this is editing) just after Rupert gave him the look. Osten is afraid of nearly all the flora and fauna in Panama, and he probably regrets selling his clothes every night, though he deserves some credit for doing it to help the tribe. Osten, why did you sign up for this show?
Ostenís problem is that his value to the tribe is clearly demonstrated to be zero, and perhaps less than that. Now that Andrew out performed everyone in the immunity challenge, has Tijuana as an ally, and Darrah has actually played well while being supported by Ryano, this tribeís weakest member is Osten. We said last week he needed to find his second wind, well that is doubly true now, for the little man behind the big curtain is clearly exposed. On the good side for him, the twist likely can only help him, as it canít get much worse on the path he is on.
Andrew. I tip my hat to you. That immunity challenge performance was impressive, especially considering that you are older than Rupert. I am guessing that you found extra strength and motivation thanks to Jon telling you all that Drake threw the checkerboard challenge. That was stupid Jon. STUPID. Credit to Andrew though, he might not be the best leader, but he is a damn good Survivor player, holding his thoughts in check, and acting gracious with Jon, even as he made a complete ass of himself. Hopefully Andrew has finally lost the illusion that Osten is critical to the tribe.
Ryan is still sitting good. The immunity challenge was another nice subtle MB measure of the game so far. The Drakeís knew to go after Osten. They thought they could get Andrew second. They made little effort to take down Ryan. I wonder if that is because they respect him, thanks to Rupert perhaps saying good things about him, or if they donít view him as a threat. Either result works great for Ryan, who just needs to keep rolling along.
Tijuana and Darrah are in good position. They both contribute to the success of the tribe, while others fail spectacularly. It is hard to tell where they stand in terms of whom they would vote for next. Tijuana has been closest to Andrew, and has drug her puppy Osten along for the ride. Ryan has been protecting Darrah (according to Lil) since early in the game, yet lately Darrah has been standing on her own, so no protection necessary. It will be interesting to see how the Morgan politics play out once they return to council.
I Guess That Didnít Work
I wonder what it felt like to be Trish at that tribal council. You expect to see a close vote between Shawn and Rupert, and based on the grinning maniac Jon sitting next to you, your confidence must be high. Yet Jeff reads the first name, and it is you.
Iíll bet you knew you had lost right then and there. No need to read the rest of the votes.
Trish did play two games. Early on, she remained well under the radar, and rode the Drake success wave to safety. Yet, when things started to unravel, she got vocal with Shawn (who was more than happy to vote against her). As I said last week, calling out Shawn like that could only work against her, and who knew how true that would be.
Now, once again, everything she said about Rupert is true, but this was a matter of being out played. I think a contributor was that Trish just didnít have the credibility to make that kind of move, at that point in the game. Sandra could have led the effort. Jon might have pulled it off. But Trish was the under the radar lady who now wanted to take down the strongest player in the game. If Sandra had not turned on her, then it would not have surprised me if Jon had. She just didnít have the street credí to pull off such a coup.
If you are going to shoot at the King, donít miss. You missed Trish, and while you paid the ultimate price for it, I liked the way you tried to play the game.
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