Every week, our panel of Survivor analysts will gather to discuss the goings-on in Gabon. Who's dealing? Who's reeling? What does our panel think of these weighty questions? Read on to find out.
1. Was Matty smart to make an alliance with Ace given the composition of the rest of Fang? Should he keep his word after swearing on his girlfriend?
MsFroggy: Maybe and hell no. Making a sham alliance to stay safe can make some sense but as far as keeping his "word"... absolutely not. They're playing for a million bucks and nobody should be stupid enough to really mean swearing on a loved one against their self interest in the game.
Dagwood: Exactly. I hate to see people make stupid decisions because they gave their word. Especially when you give it to Ace. He'd sell you out for a banana. Matty was smart to make that alliance, though. Numbers are good to keep you in the game.
waywyrd: I think it was a smart move. I wouldn't be upset with him if he broke his solemn "word," however - I think all this swearing on your pinky/mom/grandma's poodle is just silly. It's a game. I wouldn't think less of Matty if he lied. Do what you gotta do to win, man.
canuckinchile: There was no reason for Matty to align with Ace. In fact he should have tried to engineer a move to get rid of Ace or Sugar, IMO. He could have swayed Kenny, Crystal and even Kelly. I am sick to death of the whole swearing on someone thing too. If I brought home a million dollars I am sure my spouse would find it in his heart to forgive me.
LG: That tribe is such a disaster, Matty’s only hope is to somehow make it to the merge and hope that a group over at Kota want to bring him over for numbers. He would be a complete fool if he doesn’t consider throwing Ace under the bus if it would further his game.
iguanachocolate: I just thought it was weird. Alliances like that are for people who are on the outs in their tribe, not for someone like Matty who really isn't in any danger at all, nor has he been given reasons to think he was. And why make an alliance with someone who should be an obvious target? And I agree, the whole swearing on your mom, girlfriend, goldfish is just stupid.
Mariner: I'm with everyone else that Matty shouldn't think twice about going back on his solemn vow on his girlfriend. Especially with Ace. I do think it was probably a smart move by Matty for the moment. He just needs to remember to rethink it every time he's potentially going to a tribal council.
2. Do you think Dan is aware his tribemates are upset with his consuming more than his share of the bounty at Kota?
MsFroggy: He seems to be a self-absorbed blockhead so I'm guessing not. He's ripe for taking out just like all the other lazy, greedy and completely oblivious people have been in previous seasons of Survivor.
Dagwood: I doubt it. If he did he would be doing something about it.
waywyrd: Nah. Dan strikes me as clueless. A clueless glutton. If he can't pick up on the not-so-subtle evil glances as he wolfs down more than his share of food, there's no helping him.
canuckinchile: Dan is a big time chatter and doesn't pay attention to the non verbal cues he is getting from his tribe mates. I think an anvil would have to hit him on the head for him to get a clue.
LG: It always surprises me when contestants seem to have never bothered to watch prior seasons of the show. The big eaters always need to justify their consumption with awesome challenge skills (pre-merge) or they are a huge target. And post-merge, who needs ya, you big pig.
iguanachocolate: He's just an oblivious pig living high on the hog.
Mariner: I agree with everyone else that he has no clue that his gluttony is getting on everyone else's last nerve. When he was suggesting they still make a meal on top of the reward challenge food, I was waiting for Randy to jump him and start strangling Dan.
3. How did this week’s reward challenge game of “catch the tail” compare with the similar challenge from several seasons ago where eventual winner firefighter Tom single-handedly carried his team’s weight?
MsFroggy: It had it's similarities but I was bored during this challenge. That whole snake thing just wasn't too exciting to watch.
Dagwood: It was pretty boring. I think the one Tom's season was much better because it came down to him and I loved Tom.
waywyrd: Tom's awesomeness will not be matched, especially by this season's goof troop.
canuckinchile: I barely remember that challenge but I sure remember Tom! He was an awesome competitor. Matty did his best but this wasn't even close. Fang is definitely suffering from the shortage of food.
LG: Tom was one of my favorite contestants ever and I was remembering his show of strength in the similar challenge from his season. These clowns can’t hold a candle to Tom.
iguanachocolate: Definitely no Tom on either team. I agree with LG, Fang is just hurting without food for energy.
Mariner: If I remember correctly, in Tom's season, they had to wade through water as well as carry the weight. I wish they'd have added something like water this time. I thought the challenge was a bit too plain. Oh, and add me as another Tom fan.
4. Was it a better move to ditch all of the slower and weaker players early to try to win quickly, or to keep contestants in as long as possible and wait for the other team to get exhausted?
MsFroggy: Are there any strong players on Fang? A better strategy for them would have been to just stick it out with everyone carrying an equal share and speed it up.
Dagwood: There are physically strong members on Fang, but they definitely have their share of mentally weak members. They should have all stayed in as long as possible. I think they deserved to lose that one.
waywyrd: I don't know, they did seem to speed up a bit when the wusses started dropping out. When it got down to Ace and Matty, though, it was just too much for their hungry, challenge-losing little selves.
canuckinchile: If you have some really slow members you have to ditch them, but overall there's a bit of a critical mass. I think once you get below four members you're hooped.
LG: I agree, that if one of two are holding your team back, they should go. But to leave 200 pounds on two guys, that is not a formula for success, Fang. D’oh.
iguanachocolate: Fang had to win it quickly or not at all, so ditching slow the people should have happened a lot sooner if they were going to have a prayer of winning.
Mariner: I think the best strategy is for everyone to hang in as long as they aren't dragging the other members down and only drop out when they really struggle. To me, this was another example of Fang showing their incapability of working together. Matty barked to Kelly to get out and then when Crystal dropped out, he and Ace couldn't carry 200 pounds on their own.
5. Whose crying was more pathetic: Crystal’s after the challenge or Sugar’s on Exile Island?
MsFroggy: That's a tough one. They were both pathetic but I think I'm giving the edge to Sugar on this one. I'd cry too if I were over 10 years old and seen on TV week after week wearing curly pigtails.
Dagwood: I'm going with Sugar as well. To me, Crystal's was more understandable. Frustration will do it every time. Sugar just bugged me.
waywyrd: Actually I could understand why they both cried - but I'll say Sugar was slightly more pathetic. The fruit probably reminded her of Ace's bald head.
canuckinchile: Crystal's were tears of frustration more than anything but Sugar crying over the fruit was silly. Since apparently she cries all the time everyone is probably used to it. Crystal's grumpy personality just makes her ripe for criticism.
LG: It doesn’t sound like Crystal has told her tribesmates that she’s an Olympic gold medal winning athlete. Anyone who has been that successful in sports would likely be very competitive and take losing very hard. Unlike someone like me, for instance, who pretty much expects to lose all athletic challenges, so there is no disappointment. Now reality tv trivia contests – I’d better win or there is trouble. Sugar is clearly one big ball of emotions as last week she was giddy to get her “alone time, with food and a hammock” at Exile and this week she’s crying. Silly goat.
iguanachocolate: Crystal's tear were clearly out of frustration while Sugar is just a huge bag of emotions. I don't think either of them were weaker than the other - in fact, I disagree with Kelly's assertion that tears make you weak.
Mariner: I'm going with Sugar too. She shouldn't be crying crocodile tears over her tribe having to starve while she's hanging in the Sugar Shack. She needs to take advantage of Kota's ongoing joke in sending her to Exile over and over and rest and spend the time thinking through her ongoing strategy.
6. Which contestant is acting like a bigger jerk: Randy for taunting Fang with the reward food and telling Ace to freeze, or Ace and his “it’s there, then it’s gone” Madonna-esque fake British accent?
MsFroggy: Ace, hands down. Randy is not nice but he is doing a good job of psyching out the competition; his tactics certainly worked on both Ace and Crystal. Ace is just pathetic.
Dagwood: I will go with Ace, too. He was a big part of the reason they lost. Granted, it was poor loserish of Randy to taunt, but he did make me laugh doing so.
waywyrd: Oy. I would have said Randy for his taunting, but Ace's stupid "I can do it by myself!" bologna wins him the asshat of the week award. I hate to say it, but you're starting to lose me, Ace.
canuckinchile: Randy is doing himself no favours by taunting the other future jury members, although I find it good TV as well. He needs to stifle himself sometimes. I don't care much about Ace's accent but his performance in the flagpole immunity challenge was idiotic. Why does everyone listen to him and why weren't they trying to put the middle pieces together themselves? Geesh, they need to get some backbone.
LG: Ace deserved to go after commandeering the flagpole assembly and losing the immunity challenge that they could have won. The fact that they didn’t even consider voting him off shows how desperate Fang is for some physical strength, no matter how annoying the source. Randy’s being a grade school jerk with his taunting and games, and Ace is a high school jerk with his mind games and ego. I’m waiting for someone to start calling people names.
iguanachocolate: They're both jerks. Ace is probably a bit higher on the jerk-o-meter simply because he is so dang condescending as well. And don;t get me started on his accent of stupidity.
Mariner: Randy has apparently forgotten that the tribes will merge at some point and that to stay in the game and win the $1 million he needs votes. I'm going to say Ace only because I'm starting to think he needs a fake mustache to twirl during his confessionals.
7. Will Sugar’s indiscretions regarding the hidden immunity idol lead to her ouster first, or Ace’s?
MsFroggy: She deserves to go first. That kind of stupidity should not carry her even as far as the merge. Ace can go after her.
Dagwood: I think Sugar. Ace will get the idol away, making her think he is in danger then probably orchestrate her ouster.
waywyrd: Sugar needs to go just for being so damn stupid. I know some people think she's really doing all this on purpose and has a plan (leaving her bag out, telling everyone but the elephants that she has the idol), but I think she's dumber than a bag of hammers.
canuckinchile: Sugar will go first and cry on her way out.
LG: I think Fang would be smart to take Ace out first, as how else would Sugar know how to think. Ideally they could flush out the HII and boot Ace by letting them think the target is Sugar, she uses the idol, but the votes are for Ace. Sugar can’t think her way out of a paper bag, but Ace thinks he knows a lot more than he really does. It could go either way.
iguanachocolate: Oy, I agree it is a toss up. I think Kenny may have gotten through a bit to Sugar, so maybe the edge goes to her.
Mariner: I think it's going to cost Ace because people will be afraid to vote for Sugar until she's played the idol and I'll be shocked if she gives it to Ace to hold for safekeeping again or to play.
8. Based on the editing so far, who do you think will be in the final three?
MsFroggy: I'm kicking Ace out of the F3 club and going with Marcus, Charlie and maybe Bob.
Dagwood: I think Bob, Marcus and Charlie as well.
waywyrd: Ace would be great to take to finals, they all hate him. So I'll say Ace, Marcus, and Corrine.
canuckinchile: Charlie, Marcus and a girl. I would love to see Bob there, but I think he'll go soon after the merge.
LG: Just to be contrary, I’ll say Matty, Randy and Kenny. Three guys whose names end with a “y” is a little weird, and I think that group who be interesting.
iguanachocolate: I'm still sticking with Marcus and Charlie and am going to add Randy. He's just obnoxious enough and not too threatening to make people think they can win against him in the end.
Mariner: Matty, Marcus, and Corrine.
9. Who is most vulnerable next week at Kota and at Fang?
MsFroggy: On Fang, I still say Sugar and on Kota, I'd say Susie the non-entity.
Dagwood: Dan has moved to the top at Kota and Crystal just may be at Fang. She was part of a fight and that may target her.
waywyrd: I think Sugar and Susie have the next rooms waiting for them at Loser's Lodge.
canuckinchile: Dan is annoying and eating too much of the food. I think if Kota ever goes to tribal he'll be at the top of the hit list. I've given up on Fang trying to flush the idol. I think Crystal is next because she is annoying everyone.
LG: One of these weeks, Fang will realize that they’re not going to win challenges regardless of whether they keep Ace, and then they’ll go after him. On Kota, Dan had better hope that Suzie or someone drops the ball or suddenly becomes more annoying than he is - which is possible but unlikely.
iguanachocolate: Dan on Kota and Ace on Fang.
Mariner: Definitely Dan on Kota unless he wins some sort of immunity and Ace on Fang.