Survivor Roundtable, Week 8: And... We're Back!
Every week, our panel of elite Survivor analysts will gather to discuss the goings-on in Micronesia. Who's dealing? Who's reeling? What does our panel think of these weighty questions? Read on to find out.
1. Was Erik responsible for saving himself by telling Amanda, Cirie and Ozzy about Ami's plotting with the Fans or did he just luck out that the three of them became paranoid about Ami?
Mariner: Erik was in a desperate situation and did the only thing he could to save himself. I think that his play wouldn't have worked if Ozzy wasn't so paranoid. I truly believed that Amanda and Cirie would have voted out Erik if Ozzy hadn't insisted they take out Ami.
waywyrd: It was a good move on his part to out Ami. He knew he was tops on the boot list, but played on their paranoia to get the target off his back. Ami walking up on him as he was trash talking was just perfect!
AJane: I don't think it was luck, but I also don't think that he had to campaign quite so hard with Ozzy. Ozzy's already disposed to like Erik, and is obviously getting a buzz by having his own little protege.
Yardgnome: I think he planted the seed. It was a smart move on his part and basically is what kept him around another week.
MsFroggy: It's a little bit of both, I believe. Ozzy did not like hearing that he was so directly targeted and Cirie may not have wanted to take further risks with Ami's treachery. In any case, he got lucky and they got rid of Ami before she could make the jury.
burntbrat: It wasn't luck at all. If he had let things be he probably would've been voted out. I don't think he had to try very hard, like AJane said, but I'm glad he made it work. I didn't like the new, weepy Ami.
Leo: I wouldn't go as far as saying Erik was responsible. Ozzy, Amanda, and Cirie were already thinking in that direction. All Erik did was give them a final nudge.
2. James and Parvati affirmed that Airai's island is majorly inferior to Malakal's island. Do you feel like the producers set things up to the Favorites' advantage at the beginning?
Mariner: Hell yeah. I'm a bit disappointed in TPTB. I really wish they had given the Fans a decent beach. On the other hand, it didn't exactly hurt the current Airai tribe given that they have won four immunity challenges in a row.
waywyrd: Very much so! They were too obvious about who they favored by giving Airai some low-rent, barely useable beach while the favorites were plopped in a veritable paradise. So not fair. Perhaps Kathy might not have cracked if the living conditions weren't so awful?
AJane: It's kind of suspicious. Did they have to bribe the Favorites to come back by promising them some special accommodations, I wonder?
Yardgnome: For sure they did. They made the favorites feel like they were doing awesome and wanted them to win to keep them around. They are the draw to the show.
MsFroggy: It was quite obvious to me that they received the better slice of the island. Too bad that the show played favorites with the favorites.
burntbrat: I really didn't notice until this episode. I'm sure the producers just wanted to make sure that the Favorites stuck around awhile or looked better at the survival game than they are. I'm secretly hoping that when they merge the merged tribe has to live on Airai island.
Leo: I think they did. To be honest, I've never liked these kinds of unnecessary manipulation on any reality show.
3. Will Parvati's alliance with Alexis and Natalie hold and will she be able to convince Amanda to join with them following next week's merge?
Mariner: I'm guessing that the alliance will hold and that Amanda will join them. I wouldn't have said that but the fact that the preview for next week makes it seem that Amanda is so jealous of Alexis and wants her gone looks like classic misdirection to me.
waywyrd: I agree with Mariner. Alexis and Natalie would do well to latch onto Parvati, who isn't quite as ditzy as I believed her to be. Amanda has shown interest before in a girl's alliance, so it could happen.
AJane: Hope so, but I don't see why Parvati is so gung-ho to dump her alliance with Ozzy & James (assuming she does get Amanda to join with her, Alexis and Natalie). It seems to me they're still her best bet to get to the final 4.
Yardgnome: I don't see why the alliance wouldn't hold. They would be smart to keep it together.
MsFroggy: I am confused by this alliance. Parvati would be better served with James and Ozzy on her side for a bit longer. It's too early to jump ship.
burntbrat: I think Amanda will say she is with the girls' alliance, but she really won't be. She's in love with Ozzy and won't betray him.
Leo: It's a slightly... strange grouping. There's too much alliance-of-convenience stuff working here; I don't see it holding very long. Amanda might vote their way, but actually join with them? Nope, not so long as Ozzy is in the mix.
4. Who is more vulnerable immediately following the merge -- Jason, Erik or Eliza?
Mariner: I'd say Jason Unless Eliza manages to talk herself into trouble that is.
waywyrd: I'll say Jason too. Erik has a friend in Ozzy and Eliza has done a good job of not standing out too much lately.
AJane: No argument here. Parvati's already expressed dislike of Jason and really, the guy is just not that bright. Does he really need Eliza to tell him that it's just a stick?
Yardgnome: I agree with everyone on Jason. He's not as well liked and doesn't seem to have an in with any group.
MsFroggy: I'm going to follow suit and say that Jason could be in danger but I'm not ruling Eliza out either. Too many people wanted to get rid of her for too long for her to be safe.
burntbrat: Jason, definitely.
Leo: Probably Jason. Wouldn't rule out Eliza, though.
5. Was Malakal smart to send Alexis to Exile Island instead of their original choice of James?
Mariner: Honestly, I don't think it mattered who they sent. James didn't do anything to help his tribe win but they did anyway.
waywyrd: I didn't really understand their reasoning for choosing Alexis over James, but it didn't seem to make a difference.
AJane: The only reason I can guess at is that they decided that they didn't want James & Ozzy conniving together during their time together on the island.
Yardgnome: I think they tried to figure out the challenge and send the person who would benefit the other team the most. It was a tough call but it ended up being ok.
MsFroggy: As it turned out, it didn't make much of a difference but to tell the truth I didn't quite understand what they were aiming for there.
burntbrat: No, it was a stupid move. Why send away Alexis who has been so ineffective rather than a proven challenge-monster? At first I thought the Favorites were throwing the challenge so they could vote off another Fan but that didn't happen, so... They were just stupid.
Leo: I really didn't understand the reasoning behind it. It was strange, to be honest.
6. Now that the merge is coming next episode just how big is the target on Ozzy's back?
Mariner: Ginormous. Having the hidden immunity idol should guarantee he makes it at least another week but the second he loses an individual immunity challenge after playing it Ozzy will be gone.
waywyrd: Huge, and he knows it. He was downplaying his "tribe leader" role to his fellow tribemates, but it's his reputation as a challenge beast that has the target planted on his back.
AJane: My first instinct is to agree, but then again, Ozzy hasn't done squat to help his tribe win challenges, and he still manages to inspire loyalty (Erik, probably James, and unless she defects, Amanda). He's got a week for sure because of the immunity idol, and that will buy him time to solidify his alliances.
Yardgnome: The target is always on his back. The idol should help keep him around a bit and I really don't want to see him go.
MsFroggy: Poor Ozzy. He'll never get a break. Even with him on it, his tribe lost four challenges in a row, but that won't matter to anybody. The others will still be gunning for Ozzy.
burntbrat: Huge. Nobody will want him around to dominate challenges. They'll get him out the first chance they get.
Leo: He's a threat, yes, but that's a long-term problem for him. There's no one left who has the kind of guts or numbers needed to go for him right after post-merge. He'll be safe at least 2-3 TCs, but beyond that I agree he will be in serious trouble. I just can't see any get-Ozzy plot succeeding right now.
7. Who will benefit the most from the merge?
Mariner: Erik. Right now he's the only fan on a tribe that can't win. Without a merge, he would be the next out.
waywyrd: Definitely Erik. He wormed his way out of getting booted this time, but he was next in line. Merge time will bring new targets.
AJane: The whole Malakal tribe, at this point. They can't buy a challenge at this point, so they might as well fight for the prizes as individuals.
Yardgnome: Erik. He would be a goner if his tribe lost again.
MsFroggy: Erik won the lottery. For now. There are going to be bigger fish to fry after the merge and he may slip through the cracks for a time.
burntbrat: I agree with AJane that the whole Malakal tribe will benefit the most.
Leo: I'll dissent and say Parvati. Erik's a logical boot after the merge, and I don't see him getting new allies on Malakal. Parvati, though, can at least have a go at trying to rebuild the all-girl alliance with Amanda and Cirie. If it works, it would be huge.
8. Who is in your final three now?
Mariner: I hate to say this but I'll go with Parvati, Cirie, and either Alexis or Natalie. I'd love for Ozzy to be there but I just can't see him lasting that long.
waywyrd: I'm still hoping for Ozzy and Alexis, but I'll drop James in favor of Cirie. Keeping my fingers crossed that the Oz man keeps kicking ass in the challenges...
AJane: Ozzy, Cirie, Alexis.
Yardgnome: I'm holding hope for Ozzy. The other two, I don't really know. Maybe Erik and Cirie?
MsFroggy: Who did I pick at the beginning of the season? It doesn't matter. I'm hoping for Ozzy, and I think Cirie and Alexis might make it. I guess I agree with AJane.
burntbrat: Ozzy, James and Erik.
Leo: *whistles* Chances are I've put a curse on them just for saying this, but... Parvati, Alexis, and Natalie.
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