Pirate Report (Day 3)
Pillage and Plunder
The Pirate Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the Drake and Morgan tribes during their stay in Panama. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?
This is not meant to be a recap though, and for that you will want to read fluff’s outstanding recaps this season.
The first episode is always difficult to gage in terms of future performance. Especially this one, where much time was spent on the new, and very entertaining, beginning to the game. In fact, normally the only thing you can be sure of in the premier show is that whoever gets a lot of confessional camera time in that episode is certain to get the boot.
The Drakes got off to a very powerful start. They were more organized than the Morgans in the shopping spree, and they worked together more effectively. They narrowly won the immunity challenge, and in general, their camp is in better shape.
So all is well, and they will cruise to an easy victory over the hapless Morgans correct?
This will sound a bit exaggerated, but I think this tribe is one IC loss away from a major fracture. They have a leadership vacuum and strong personalities, always a dangerous combination. So far, as Trish said, they are naturally working together. I think that is luck. As soon as they lose something, the power blocs will begin to clash.
On the one side, you have Shawn and Burton, who fancy themselves as leaders. They were full of ideas for shelter building, and tried to grab the role as food providers with the fishing equipment. Further, they controlled the money in the shopping trip, deciding how much to keep in reserve, etc… but they were quickly overshadowed by…
Sandra, who was a one woman power shopping dynamo, almost single handedly setting up Drake as a heavy favorite due to her shrewd bartering skills. Sure, she spoke the language, which always helps, but her personality and, dare I say it, leadership, were the key here. I cannot see her backing off as the game goes on in favor of Shawn and Burton.
Rupert is a man to himself, and is quickly becoming the most entertaining Survivor of all time. He was masterful in the village, and his pirate plundering speech is going down in Survivor lore. He trumped Shawn and Burton’s attempt to be the food providers by fishing far more successfully. He did all of that consciously, and knowing that his plan was to be that “caretaker”. The obvious fear with Rupert is that he lose patience with people in the tribe, and this early in the game, people are usually voted out due to personality conflicts or food cheating (perceived). He needs to bite his tongue for the next few weeks.
Michelle and Christa form the eye candy group here, and they tried to stay under the radar for the most part. Christa made a very strong play when she sacrificed her dress for others to have clothes. I think little things like that make a big early impression. It certainly did on Michelle.
Speaking of under the radar. Trish narrowly avoiding being sold into lesbian slavery back in the village, and she took most of the rest of the show off. That is usually a good sign for a long stay in the show (the little camera time, not the almost being sold into lesbian slavery part).
Jon is my man on the hot seat in this tribe. He made a complete fool of himself getting drunk on the first night, and is generally annoying to most folks in Drake. Further, he is closer to Shawn and Burton, and I could see Sandra looking to force him out the first time this tribe gets their torches.
The Morgan tribe is fractured. They turned to Andrew in desperation for someone, anyone, to take charge. Much like Deena last season, he waited to be invited into the role, which is a wise move. However, the tribe needs to see some success, and soon, or there may be a coup.
When Morgan hit the beach to go shopping, they took off into five different directions. Further, I am not sure they noticed that their shoes were taken when they left their loot unguarded in front of Rupert the Pirate. It looks like they changed into their game shoes first at least. Then, they didn’t notice that their water location was clearly marked on their map, and didn’t even go to find their water until Day 2. That is dangerous. Not dangerous in game strategy, but dangerous in real life. I am shocked that people going into this game still don’t have the basics of survival memorized.
Who should have known better, and did? Well Lillian. However, she decided to “take off her hat” let others be in charge, even when they were not attending to basics. Now it is hard to fault Lil, as the Survivor handbook for those over 45 says to lie low, and try to make many friends early, because obviously you are target number one. In this tribe Lil is going to be a target no matter what, she could have scored points by taking the lead in the water situation. I think it was a mistake to back off, and she will pay for it soon. Further, her closest ally in the group is Ryan S., and he is high up on the target list for those stronger members of the tribe. Ryan S. was called out publicly by Andrew at TC. There is still time for Ryan S. and Lil to save themselves, but they need to not stay under the radar, and instead, stir things up amongst the more vocal members in the tribe, getting them turned against each other.
Osten is another alpha male in this group, and he will go along with Andrew’s leadership as long as it fits his game plan. I want two things from Osten. First, try to build an alliance, and finding reasons to run around naked in front of Tijuana is not doing that. Secondly, find some clothes that cover your ass. Please. In fact, make that a priority.
Tijuana is a very strong personality, and she dealt with the challenge presented to her by Nicole quite effectively and quickly. She may be able to build on that and form a majority alliance in this group. She defeated a strong opponent, but now would be a good time to fade to the background, and not cause any more trouble. I am not sure Tijuana’s personality allows for that mode of game play though.
Ryan O. and Darrah are under the radar in this group. Ryan O. got camera time this week though, not a good sign. Darrah was a ghost. A very good sign, with one caveat. She was closest to Nicole in the early days, and she needs to ensure she was not seen as part of Nicole’s plot to boot Tijuana.
I Guess That Didn’t Work
Nicole, we hardly knew ye. Well, we know you have good taste in evening wear.
All you had to do was to sit back and let the leaders in the tribe launch either Ryan or Lil. Instead you brought yourself to the fore front by going after a strong player early, and then you sealed your fate with your comments at tribal council. Given the lost in the immunity challenge, I think the group still might have decided to boot Ryan, but you ensured they wanted you gone.
Frankly, Nicole did herself in, from a position of being in no danger at all. An impressive display of lousy game play.
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