Welcome to another edition of the Survivor Mayan Meanderings report, where we can discuss who’s playing who, who’s playing with who, and whether or not Horton truly heard a who. As always, these are merely my opinions on the strategy and goings on around camp, and possibly completely wrong. Just so you know I know that!
Safety In Numbers
There is one huge asset that Nakum had coming into the merge, and that is Stephenie. Having played the game of Survivor before, she knows what it takes to go far…numbers. Sure, in the end it comes down to making tight alliances with 1, maybe 2 other people, but for now, it’s all about voting with the largest block of people. And having a natural 6 person alliance when there are only 10 players left is the best place to be. I have to assume that she has been preaching to the choir since the time her team started winning immunities. They have a strong voting block, and there are several ways this team can split up after only 6 remain. And, barring an immunity run by either Gary, Danni, or Bobby Jon, we all know that is how this game is going to go down. Sooner or later, Yaxha will cease to be.
Hasn’t Anyone Tuned The Radar Yet?
If there is one thing I despise, it is under the radar players on Survivor. Yeah, I know it’s a winning strategy, but I just can’t stand it when people play the “I’m weak and will be easily beaten in challenges” card, or simply hide from the spotlight like Cindy and Lydia do. Hasn’t anyone figured out that there are puzzle challenges that these people always easily win right when you were planning to vote them off? Anyway, Lydia continued to play the weak card this week, not coming in last at the reward challenge simply because Jamie chose to take last place and bump everyone else up a notch. Cindy, while she is starting to show physical prowess in the challenges, simply refuses to show any gameplay. I am sure she is doing something, but nothing big enough to garner any attention from anyone. Her game seems to be dishing dirt on other players to the viewers at home. She is merely waiting until she becomes the swing vote by default…and that day will probably(hopefully) see her ouster.
Rafe is a UTR player that I actually can respect. He is involved in the group’s decisions and he really seems to have a grasp on the “outwit” aspect of the game. Plus, he does well in the challenges. It won’t be too long before Rafe wins immunity outright. I believe that Rafe is the only player remaining that has started to formulate his end game, and he will be around in the final 3. His threat to change up the game if Jamie didn’t start behaving is a solid one, but only if he does it soon.
Strong Personalities, Unstable Alliances
Jamie, Judd, and Steph all think that they are the ones running their alliance. Jamie believed he was so high up in his alliance that he could bait and mock his opponents while he dined in front of them. It cost him some points, and even his chivalrous self remanding to last place at the reward challenge couldn’t get them back. I imagine most everyone saw through that as if it were Saran Wrap. He was playing the game and trying to get back in everyone’s good graces. (Speaking of the reward challenge, am I the only one that was upset this wasn’t more of a “show everyone the true pecking order around here” challenge? This challenge didn’t show the social pecking order, it more or less revealed the physical pecking order.) Jamie and Judd are both trying to prove themselves as the person you want sitting next to you in the F2. Jamie is simply an ass that will backstab anyone to get himself further, and Judd is just an ass. Barfing in the shelter after getting drunk and enjoying a huge dinner with dessert in front of the others does not get you in good with the people who will be on the jury. Last but not least, Steph must be really proud of her game play this time around. She is high up in the current power alliance, she has Lydia in her back pocket, and a strategic relationship with Rafe. If they get rid of Danni next, they could even secretly bring Gary into their original Yaxha alliance, and not do too much damage to their jury image by ousting Jamie, Judd, and Cindy in that order.
Worship of False Idols
Danni is in a bind. She is really a tribemember without a camp. Unless she wins immunity for the next few weeks, she’s jury bound. She has even blown her trump card of knowledge of Gary’s true identity. If she uses it now to save herself, she’ll only be safe for one week.
Gary, on the other hand, is either getting played by Jamie, or needs to speak a lot more clearly. I am not sure which it is. Gary approached Jamie to tell him that he was going to vote with him and his alliance, because he really had no other choice. Jamie told his alliance that Gary was planning to vote for him, and that they should get rid of Gary right then and there. Since he didn’t win immunity, Gary was the next to go. Or is he? Gary noticed Judd looking in the trees for the hidden immunity idol after Judd had “shared” a little bit of the clue he won with reward. Yeah, Judd told everyone that the idol was definitely on the ground, he could give up that much. But when Gary saw Judd looking in the trees, he put 2 and 2 together, and came up with the coveted immunity idol just in time to save his neck. Look for a couple of things from Gary in the upcoming episodes…a talk with Stephenie with whom he had a great relationship with early in the game; some revealing of Judd and his lying, which he has said repeatedly he hasn’t done in the game; and some really good efforts at the immunity challenges.
Finally, there’s Bobby Jon. He suffered the most from Gary’s finding of the hidden immunity idol. He had actually somewhat worked himself into the stronger alliance by just being friendly and not constantly working an angle. If Gary hadn’t found the idol and used it, Bobby Jon would still be in camp. I really think that BJ should have approached Stephenie immediately after the merge and tried to work a 1 on 1 alliance with her. I am quite surprised that neither of them ever saw the other as a natural alliance if they both made it to the merge. Bobby Jon did fulfill his lifelong dream, however, by making it to the jury. You go, Bobby Jon!
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