Polynesian Pete Report - Episode Two
Good bye Dolly!
Week two is in the books, and we are back to talk Survivor politics. The Polynesian Pete Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the tribes. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?
This week we were treated to an open classroom on how to ensure you get booted. Dolly went from being exceptionally safe, too gone in a very short afternoon, and it proves yet again that if you target someone, you have to remember that the target will fire back, especially if you tell everyone what you intend to do. We will get into that below, so let’s get down to business.
I have always held the belief that you can learn a lot about early tribe dynamics by watching who works with whom on the mundane daily tasks. I think it is during those times, such as gathering wood, or getting water, that people get past the communication barriers that stand between them and the final four. Now the guys just don’t seem to be splitting off from each other that much (other than Rory), but at the same time, the only teamwork they have shown is in trying to get the fire started. In many ways they needed the silly rock on stick exercise just to get some focus back.
There were a few notable exceptions to that though, as John P. took time to corner Travis on the trail and ask him the what should have been obvious question regarding his own status on the voting bloc. Now, I give JP credit for knowing he was down 5-3 at this stage, and maybe he figured that Travis was the easiest mark to try to gain leverage with. I wonder why he thought that, if he did. Must have been the Bob Barker t-shirt. Nothing says “talk to me”, or more accurately “please help me”, like a Bob Barker t-shirt.
In any case, JP took a rather intimidating path with his questions, and I fear that may work against him sooner rather than later. Travis tried to give a reason along the lines of “I am playing for my kids”, but I am not sure what that has to do with anything. Bubba had to think fast though and that was the best he could come up with.
Did you notice how closely JP looked like Matt from Survivor: Amazon in that scene? Not the nice Matt either, no it was psycho Matt sharpening the machete. We will have to keep an eye on him in that regard. He is in no position to try to dominate or intimidate his tribe mates.
We also saw the usual MB misdirection that is his hallmark. Previews coming into the week implied that Lea and Rory were going to have a big blow up. It really wasn’t an argument between them though, and instead was an angry Rory venting over the ladies over celebrating, and even I felt that way, their victory in reward.
Rory is in trouble. Perhaps not right away, but soon. He is a loner, and rightly or wrongly he has rubbed too many people in the majority alliance the wrong way. Further, Lea became incredibly annoyed with him in the immunity challenge. Now I think Sarge is smart enough to know he shouldn’t boot Rory yet. No, next on the agenda is someone outside the alliance, but Rory will likely be gone as soon as the other guys feel safe in doing so, or if he makes a move to join JP’s group.
So who is in trouble? I think it is either JP, for the reasons noted above, or even more likely Brady, who did nothing this week to try to either join the majority, or make amends with the JP group who he effectively backstabbed. That makes him an untrustworthy outsider to both sides of the battle, and all too easy of a boot. I am expecting Brady to suffer the same fate, for similar reasons, that Dolly did. It is just too early to try to be a swing player.
Otherwise the guys have been so increasingly focused on pure survival that there is not a lot going on. Now that they have fire, I expect things to heat up in Lopevi… no pun intended.
The ladies benefited from yet another balance beam based contest in the reward challenge, but the reward was pretty lame. Just blankets? Not blankets and fishing gear or something like that? The complete absence of reference to fish, or future fishing, makes me wonder if that is a food option in this Survivor. I am wondering at this point just how many more balance beam based challenges MB can fit in. Maybe combine the gross food eating with a balance beam?
In any case, the most striking thing this week was the commingling of the two camps, young and old, in terms for getting food and working together. I think their early victories helped encourage some of that, but there is more going on than meets the eye.
First, I speculated last week that the older crowd was making a mistake by distancing themselves from the younger women, and on top of that, carrying quite a chip on their collective shoulders toward the “sorority girls”. A couple of things changed that. First, it seems that Dolly began making friends with everyone, and secondly, it is becoming clear that despite her ineptitude at challenges, Scout is held in very high regard. I just watched the Survivor Live interview with Dolly on CBS.com and she emphasized how well everyone liked Scout, and that she was seen as the smart mother to all of them (and if I could digress a bit, Dolly while obviously an attractive woman, has a lot in common with Colleen from Survivor 1 in that she looked even better on the show).
This information changes things quite bit on two levels. First, it is clear the young women are not yet a firm voting bloc, and further, they are a bit disorganized in terms of strategy… any strategy. Secondly, if Scout is untouchable, then we are faced with a multitude of new combinations that can emerge here, and folks like Twila, while still in danger, have a chance to build on Scout’s inroads to the entire tribe.
It makes me wonder if Scout is already playing the game hard. She acts like a mother to the younger women, yet is still willing to snipe at them when Twila is around, which is what Twila wants to hear. She may be doing all of this intentionally. If so, then well done, she is playing a good game, and could go far. If she gets caught though, then her exit may be sooner rather than later. She appears pretty savvy though, so I have to admit my first impression may have sold her short.
I leave it to fluff to describe the all too funny and disgusting chicken hunt involving the ladies, though I do have to say that Dolly’s idea to throw rocks at it was entertaining. It kind of makes you wonder how early man survived before pointy tools were developed. Now that she is gone, I don’t get to use the nickname I had for her, that being Dead-eye Dolly.
I was impressed and surprised by Julie this episode. First, she showed excellent understanding that this is indeed a game, and not a statement about someone outside of the game, when she complimented Dolly on looking out for the group’s welfare, but noted that Dolly was not looking out for herself.
Julie was right and she seems to have her head in the game. It makes me wonder though why she is not making inroads with Scout, or organizing the younger women into a strong voting bloc. Maybe she is, and we have not yet seen it.
I Guess That Didn’t Work
We jump a little early to this topic this week, but it is necessary, for the demise of Dolly involves the dynamics of the entire tribe, and it is educational on how NOT to play the game of Survivor.
First, Dolly seemed to have no comprehension of the idea that she too is a valid person to vote out. It seems her mind was not on the game at all, and instead was on making friends. Despite that, she still could have been safe, but she went further, and not only broadcast her own indecision about her vote, but also told nearly everyone who one possible target was, and that being Eliza. All of this going on had to be like a gift from heaven (as opposed to calling their eggs a blessing just in time to see them fall into the fire) to Twila and Scout.
The beginning of Dolly’s downfall comes when she talks to Julie about her reluctance to vote with the group against the older women, and raises her concerns about Eliza. Julie, thinking pretty quickly, tries to find a compromise target, perhaps Twila? Dolly is opposed to that, but decides Leann would do.
Dolly then talks to Ami about her concerns, and that maybe they should go for Leann. Nevertheless, Ami is now aware that Dolly is a loose cannon.
Dolly next goes to Scout, completing the process of ensuring the entire camp knows that she is out for Leann or possibly Eliza. Further, Dolly pretty much outlines the working relationships and plans of the young women, such as they are. Scout has all the data she needs to work with, and quickly helps Dolly back to the conclusion that Eliza is a good pick.
Naturally Eliza hears about this from probably many sources, and coincidently she is on the beach with Ami and the other potential target, Leann. It only takes a prompt from Eliza to point out the obvious: Maybe they all should just vote for Dolly?
Further, Eliza then goes to Dolly to get her promise that she will not vote for Eliza. I noticed that Eliza made no such promise to Dolly. That should have been a hint.
This is where it goes bad for Dolly. Dolly kept her word, but it sealed her fate.
If you think about it, she is the perfect target now. It is clear her vote cannot be counted on, and can be manipulated. Further, she is far too open about her thoughts and plans. How could you trust her to be in your own alliance?
I noticed at the end of tribal council that Mia and Eliza were both looking at each other confused. They thought they had the votes for Leann to go home. It will not take them long to figure out that Eliza changed sides. Hopefully they will consider that Eliza did what she had to do, and rightly so. They can still find some common ground to work together, but alienating Eliza now will only serve to hasten their own departures.
I thought Eliza did what she had to do to keep playing. She took herself off the hot seat, and got the trigger pulled on her enemy (game-wise) instead. Further, the second target remained in danger while voting for the person Eliza wanted gone. It was pretty masterful really when you step back and look at the accomplisments.
As for Dolly’s departure. I had high hopes for her in the game, and she appears to be a genuine person. Alas, she played very poorly during one seemingly innocent afternoon, and she was gone that quick because of it. Ironically, in the end she voted for the target her young women’s group picked, so the entire exercise of thinking out loud to the camp only served to bring the cross-hairs on to herself. A deserving boot if there ever was one.
It looks like there are two boots next week, and the timing of the twist is pretty good. Neither tribe is all that stable, so anything possible. See you then!
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