Pirate Report (Day 9)
Morgan Teamwork, Bigfoot, and Other Myths
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.
Another week, another sweep of the challenges by Drake. This is starting to get just a tad bit predictable, and while you have to think that dumb luck will intervene at some point, the situation for Morgan is so dire that there is no guarantee that even the fickle hand of fate is powerful enough to overcome their position. Is there hope? Certainly. However, that hope is based on a continuing rift in the Drake tribe growing into a major issue, or any number of the rumored twists in the game this season. There is no guarantee of that happening this week, and the Morgan’s could fall further behind.
The Drakes roll merrily along, winning together, while six out of eight enjoy the ride. I congratulate them on their success, and it is clear that they have some outstanding Survivor competitors on their team. However, just between us, do we really think they would have won all of these challenges against a tribe that wasn’t self destructing in nearly every challenge?
Call me stubborn, but I think this extended delayed trip to tribal council might be bad news for this tribe. Think about it, at a minimum they will be together 12 days before they go to council. Granted, not going to tribal council is the single best way to ensure you don’t go home, but the boots do serve one good purpose, that is the opportunity to eliminate a problem or weak member in the tribe, before they can cause further discontent.
The Drakes might be getting so flush with confidence from their victories that they think they have the luxury of throwing a challenge. This has been done previously in Survivor, and I recommend against it. Maybe there is karma, or perhaps it is just the act of opening those wounds in a losing environment, but choosing that path is not good. Conversely, it is Morgan’s best hope.
So who would they boot, IF they threw a challenge?
The consensus is that Jon is a goner. He seems to turn himself into the village idiot whenever he drinks, and he has a now firmly established conflict with Sandra, who has no trouble responding. Clearly he is the front runner to go, and my contemplating to the contrary does not change that… but… is this what Burnett wants us to think? Or are there other possibilities?
Sandra. She is a very strong player, with only one weakness so far… she can be annoying as hell. Obviously Jon must have committed some unspeakable act of evil to her in the past, for he cannot even open his mouth without Sandra jumping all over him. A simple question about who should sit out a swimming challenge turns into a personal affront, and a shouting match. Sandra likely wants him gone. Be careful though Sandra, leading the charge to throw a challenge without being absolutely sure that your tribe will go along with it, can quickly turn you into the target instead. Ask Nicole just how quickly the winds of voting can shift against the schemer.
Rupert. Still my favorite survivor of all time, and a remarkable asset for this tribe, but we would be blind not to notice that he has expressed disagreement in confessionals with many aspects of what the tribe is doing. Like Sandra, Rupert has gone a little too far in confronting his fellow tribe mates. Rupert has the advantage though of being irreplaceable in tribe from a challenge standpoint. This guy is an unstoppable competitor.
However, the beauty of the Survivor game is that it begins as a test of teamwork, and tribe building, only to reach the point where you turn on each other after the merge. The more successful you are in the teamwork phase, the more difficult it is when you must shift gears.
The best players lay the groundwork now for an alliance after the merge. To win this game, you must outwit and outplay, unless of course you are willing to get naked for peanut butter (yes, I used that line last week, but I am still bitter), but in general, you need to be building alliances now. I don’t see Rupert doing that. I suspect it will be his downfall later, but that later is probably after the merge.
Let’s face it though, Jon is likely the boot. He is not essential to this tribe, nor does he have the history of contribution that Sandra has. His only hope is to see the developing alliance within his own tribe, and try to join it. Who is that alliance?
Shawn, Burton, and Michelle. It still seems apparent that these three are working together. They spend time together, they share coconut milk together, and they get along. We shall have to see if they vote together, but I would assume that they will. They need one other person to have a strong voting bloc in the alliance, and that person might well be…
Christa. She gets along well with Michelle, and I continue to be impressed with the way she plays the game. I am surprised. She handled the pillage trip to Morgan quite well, quickly recognizing that she ought not to spill any information to Andrew. She was also nice, cheerful, and polite while she was there. I think she made a far better impression than Sandra, and that could payoff post merge.
So if Jon can make inroads with those four, he is completely safe, no matter what Sandra might like to see happen. I doubt that is how it turns out, but I would not be shocked if it did.
Trish continues to slide under the radar. We see no evidence of her doing anything to bring attention to herself, and unlike Lil on the Morgan side, this is a very good strategy for Trish because of that ongoing open conflict between Sandra and Jon. That issue will get resolved one way or the other after the first visit to TC. Trish needs to ensure she is on the majority side of that vote, as whichever group loses the vote will be the natural next targets.
I think they ought to go ahead and rename Loser Lodge now to Morgan Tribe Headquarters. Everything this tribe touches turns to… er… something not gold. The winner of the game could still come out of this tribe, but it is unlikely that they can recover in time to have any kind of equal numbers heading into the merge.
Andrew. The appointed leader of this group continues to make speeches, and attempt to motivate people, but it seems obvious that no one really listens to him anyway. He is truly a leader in name only at this point. He has played well, in terms of the Survivor game itself, and as FORT Admin John pointed out in the discussion threads this week, Andrew has set himself up as the go-between for many members of the tribe. Further, he was wise to try to gather information from Christa during her visit, even though it didn’t work.
So keep talking Andrew, while you think back through all the Anthony Robbins seminars you have attended to try to find the power within this tribe, there are a few folks working against you…
Ryan O. He was quite vocal this week, making several good observations, including the fact that this tribe does not work together at all. However, did he say anything to Andrew? Probably not. In fact, during Lil’s post eviction chat, she indicated that it was Ryan O. who forced Andrew into voting to keep Darrah over her. That would explain Andrew’s strange comment that he was voting in the tribal council as part of strategy, and he hoped it worked. How could Ryan force that unless he had the votes? Is the real alliance in this tribe Osten, Tijuana, Ryano, and Darrah?
Osten continues to enjoy a perceived level of value to this tribe far higher than he deserves based on what is shown up to now. He seems to be over his bout of the “I quits”, and I do give him credit for doing his best in the last immunity challenge. I am not sure anyone in either tribe was going to beat Rupert that day. However, it is time for Osten to start playing the game.
Tijuana. She was instrumental in keeping Osten around, and I continue to think she did so because she knows she has his vote in her hip pocket. This week her assigned task was to talk with Darrah about potential elimination. Darrah seemed calm, quiet, and mostly unconcerned with it. That surprised Tijuana. Based on Lil’s chat comment though, perhaps Darrah already knew she was safe? I bring this up in the Tijuana section because it makes me wonder just where she stands in the tribe. Is she loyal to Ryan or Andrew? Or going her own way with Osten in tow? It will be interesting to watch her this week, in this light, to try to decipher the situation.
Finally we come to Darrah. Once again, common consensus is that she will be the next boot of this tribe. Now I am not so sure. The only thing I am sure of is that I am not looking forward to the possibility of a post merge alliance between Darrah and Christa. We might need sub-titles just to understand what they are saying to each other. We have not seen it, but clearly Darrah has been playing the game if she has Ryan running interference for her. That, and lack of camera time bode well for her future. For now, Darrah is the next logical boot, but I think it might actually be Andrew instead.
I Guess That Didn’t Work
Lil was booted this week, and the tribe was united in their voting to see her go. Lil is quite popular on the message boards, so in her short time on the show she made quite an impression. I am sure she is a great person and I admire her work as a Scout leader.
She was also a very poor Survivor player. She isolated herself, and lost the tribe’s last fishing hook after admitting that she did not know how to fish. She made little attempt build coalitions, and those she did make were with an outsider. She spent a lot of time complaining to the camera about how disorganized the tribe was, yet she didn’t do anything about it. She admitted that she was unwilling to scheme or play the game, which makes me wonder why she would come on the show, with no intent of trying to win the game itself. She was a very logical and most deserving boot.
Please don’t write to me trying to say that someone “honorable” can win. First, in this game, you cannot play that way, as the whole intent of the game is to build alliances to carry you to the end, and then to ensure you are the last one standing in your alliance. That means at some point, every winner had to deceive someone. Secondly, even the uber-popular Rupert has already shown a willingness to steal to get ahead. Those contestants in the future who think we should all hold hands and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony should probably throw away their Survivor applications, as it has been shown over and over again that it just does not work on this show. I hear there are openings on Family Feud though…
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