Welcome to another Power Trip, our weekly chance to play armchair quarterback and analyze the Survivorsí game play for this past episode. This article is designed to applaud that which they did right, mock what they did wrong and second guess the WTF moments. If you are looking for a recap of this weekís show, I encourage you to check out Lucyís always entertaining rundown.
Outlast. The Password is: Outlast
Most Survivor fans probably think they could do very well on this show and Iím no exception. After 14 seasons, we can all spot the stupid mistakes and vow that weíd do things differently. Donít be bossy too early. Donít do anything weird, (although it didnít hurt Jan and her baby bird cemetery in Thailand). But most importantly, donít let a couple like Rob and Amber run the show when youíre a bunch of freaking All Stars.
Iíve always thought that the most difficult part of Survivor is the first few boots:
You havenít gotten a chance to really bond with anyone.
Youíre adjusting to the elements.
Youíre suffering from a lack of food, water and sleep.
The tribes are usually evenly stacked, so itís a crap shoot as to which tribe will win or lose.
You canít easily spot the early alliances and you sure as hell canít trust those that you think might be aligned with you.
People will vote out anyone for any reason, so long as it gives them a chance to stay an extra 3 days.
The beginning to this season is especially heinous. A luxury camp for one tribe and the roughest conditions this side of Survivor: Australia for the other. Iíve given this twist a chance for two episodes and I hate it. Hate. Not only is it unfair, itís incredibly boring to watch. Without Booís Anatomy, there would have been no footage over at Moto at all. They had an extra hundred advantages going into the immunity challenge, so itís not that big of a shock that they won. We have seen absolute zero strategy over at Moto and so far, it seems like Boo, the walking wounded, and Lisi, with her shrill off key singing are battling it out for the first boot. If they ever reach a tribal council, that is.
The Witch Is Back
Ravu is going through hell right now. No water, no fire, no food beyond coconuts and pineapple, a losing streak and Sylvia. Sylvia obviously didnít take her alone time on Exile Island to think about how she can blend in with her tribe. Sylvia even pointed out in her confessional that she had an uphill battle and she still managed to further alienate her tribe by continuing to provide her oh-so-helpful direction and pointing out what they were doing wrong on what appeared to be a continuous loop. At least she dropped that sing-song voice.
I have to give Ravu some credit here; they have nothing and they know that the other tribe is enjoying the camp that THEY helped build. Talk about your mind games. Before Sylvia came back, they were working hard to start fire, find food and make the best of it. There seemed to be little conflict within the tribe and I donít know how they did it. If I were on Ravu, I would have launched into a full fledged breakdown, complete with crying, screaming and delusional mutterings to myself in some secluded corner. So much for my belief that Iíd rock this game, eh? Sylvia seemed like the obvious choice for the next boot because she simply didnít add much to the tribe beyond her architectural knowledge which, letís face it, isnít going to help win too many challenges. She was a sitting duck.
Are You Screaming at Me?
After finding the pineapple, Erica was everyoneís hero. She worked her butt off, seemed to have reasonable strength in order to make a notable contribution in challenges and wasnít Sylvia. She didnít appear to be in any danger. Then came the immunity challenge, where Erica yelled when people didnít listen to her. When they finally did, her suggestion was wrong. I canít blame her for yelling. Like I said, I would have had a tough time out there. They had a bit of a lead and were starting to lose some ground. She thought she was right and no one was listening to her. She lost it and screamed at them, or more accurately, squealed. Her unexpected outburst was indirectly responsible for her boot.
Sylvia or Erica?
Sylviaís expendable. Itís her greatest and probably only, asset to the tribe. You can vote someone else off that is perceived as a threat, or a wild card, and still have the sitting duck in your back pocket so you can buy time to work on creating and strengthening alliances. Itís a great strategy in keeping yourself alive.
You know what else is a great strategy to keep yourself alive? Winning challenges so you donít go to Tribal Council. Voting off stronger people usually means youíre creating a disadvantage for yourself in upcoming challenges. Although, people thought Jessica was weaker than Rita and keeping Rita around didnít seem to help them too much this week, did it?
The other problem with keeping Sylvia over Erica is tribal harmony. I realize that that no one on Fiji is familiar with Aitu on Cook Islands, but a huge reason why Aitu was so successful was because they got along and worked together as a team. Ravu doesnít like Sylvia and Sylviaís inane comment at Tribal Council about designating a leader in the morning isnít helping her cause. I see some major dysfunction in their future that I donít think would have been there had Erica stayed.
That doesnít mean they made the wrong decision, though.
Will You Be Providing Individual Analysis Today?
Yes, yes I will.
This week, Rocky engineered Ericaís boot. His reasoning? She canít be trusted. Last week, they were aligned. This week, he wants her gone. Iíll agree that she canít be trusted. Like I said last time, Erica was overplaying her hand by trying to form alliances before the group was even split into tribes. As far as a tantrum goes, hers rates a solid three on my scale. There must be some behind the scenes reasons why Rocky was so quick to sacrifice her, because he was really gunning for her. When Anthony expressed objection, Rocky insisted. The others seemed to fall in line.
Anthony had good reasons to keep Erica. She was easier to get along with, she contributed to the tribe and was a stronger player than Sylvia, who he wanted to see gone. Clearly, I donít blame him. Michelle also wanted to keep Erica over Sylvia and the two even discussed forcing a tie, which never happened. Anthony still voted for Sylvia, although he was the only one besides Erica. He knew it was a lost cause, but couldnít bring himself to write Ericaís name down. That could alienate him from the rest of his tribe.
Rita, Mookie, Yau-Man and ultimately Michelle kept the peace and voted along with Rocky. I donít read spoilers, so Iím not privy to who is aligned and who is not and the lack of airtime could be masking more strategy on their part. Still, voting with the majority and keeping the tribe cohesive is strategy. Voting as a block usually prevents the tribe from breaking off into separate factions. Yau-Man gets extra points in his not so subtle reconnaissance when searching Sylvia for the Immunity Idol when she returned from Exile Island.
Danger Will Robinson!
Obviously Sylvia is going to go along with any suggestion that keeps her around an extra three days. Sheís socially inept, but sheís not stupid. However, for someone that is hanging in by the skin of her teeth, and has acknowledged sheís in danger; her actions are a little reckless for my taste. Minutes before Erica is blindsided at Tribal Council, Sylvia rambles about her plan to select a leader in the morning and argues with anyone that thinks sheís abrasive. Pretty overconfident for someone that came mighty close to taking the walk of shame. If she keeps it up, three more days is all sheís going to get. The only thing that is going to save her at this point is a strong case of laryngitis and maybe building all a four star hotel out of twigs and leaves. Sylviaís a determined one, and Iím betting her ability to annoy transcends silence.
What Erica Did Wrong
Losing it during the challenge gave them an excuse to boot her. In the end, thatís what matters, regardless if whether you stumbled upon pineapples or not. She made herself a target and bought the rest of them more time. For someone that was so concerned with alliances, she didnít do a good job in earning much loyalty beyond Anthony. From where I stand, thatís it. Erica seemed to be the strongest of the women on Ravu and this alone should have kept her safe. It wasnít.
Player of the Week Ė Rocky
I canít figure out of Rocky is an idiot or if heís brilliant. Rocky went against the plan to vote off Sylvia and convinced the majority to vote with him. Itís a tough sell, but he did it. I personally think that itís too early to vote off threats, especially when they can help strengthen your tribe, but Rocky has some valid reasons to spare Sylvia. His only real misstep was allowing things to get a bit heated with Anthony, but he remained relatively rational and brought up some good points. Even so, Anthony seemed more frustrated than angry. Rocky seems to believe that getting rid of Erica helps him in the long run and keeping Sylvia around helps him in the short term. Most good players realize you need to focus on both aspects of the game. Rockyís also in a good position right now because he was able to persuade people to see things his way without being too pushy about it. As well, Ravu needs strength and if they havenít discovered that this week, they will should they continue to return to Tribal Council. If he can avoid making any more enemies, heís got a good chance at going a long way.
Next week: The Feel Good Show rolls on with more pain and suffering!
This article is designed to provide an in-depth analysis of the show based solely on my own observations and opinions. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessary reflect those of Fansofrealitytv.com. I also reserve to change my opinion at will and without reason if I should see fit.
And no, I really donít like Sylvia.