Survivor: Cook Islands Mutiny Manifest (11/30) – The Rat Takes The Cheese
Welcome to another edition of the Survivor Mutiny Manifest, where each week I will be breaking down the strategy angle of everyone’s favorite social game show! First of all, thanks to Brandy for covering my shift last week over Thanksgiving. She did a wonderful job while I was out of the country celebrating turkey day while sitting on a beach. If you missed her article, you can read it here. Now, let’s get on with who is wheeling, who is dealing, and as always, who is reeling.
So, after watching 2 episodes in a row, all I can say is WOW!!! There has been a hell of a lot going on these past two episodes, most of it centering on Yul and Jonathan. Jonathan is an obvious troublemaker, so it would seem intuitive that there is animosity and turmoil swirling about him. But Yul? Yul is more of the quiet thinker type of player…someone who is under the radar/behind the scenes making moves that most people don’t have a clue about. But after last week’s revealing of the (formerly hidden) immunity idol to almost everyone in the tribe, Yul has outed himself as the puppet master that he is. This was an interesting episode, so without further ado…Ok, maybe a little more ado. Since we have passed the point of tribe merger, I am going to change up my format a little. From now on I am going to discuss each remaining castaway in the order I believe they will finish based on the past episode’s events, and then talk about what went wrong for the survivor that had their torch snuffed. So, no more ado…strategy talk ON!
Yul is sitting pretty right now. Much like Terry last year, Yul has momentum because of his possession of the immunity idol. Unlike Terry (or perhaps like Terry, since everyone seemed to know he had the idol yet he never had to worry about using it), Yul chose to publicly reveal his cards early in the game. First he revealed it to his Aitu brethren, then he revealed it to Jonathan in a beautifully played strategic move to convince him to vote with him or risk going home, and finally this week he revealed his treasure to all of the remaining castaways. Personally, I was unsure of Yul’s decision since he started to show his hand. Last week it could have really bitten him in the butt, since Jonathan could have easily voted for Yul forcing him to use the idol to send Nate home, thus killing his advantage with only 8 people left. I think the only thing that convinced Jonathan to vote for Nate was Yul and Jon’s conversation where Yul: 1. heard Jonathan say he would need to be allied with the person who holds the idol to go further in the game, and 2. told Jonathan that he wanted to take him to the finals because no one likes him. Those two things are all that Jonathan needed to hear, and he was in Yul’s back pocket. The only problem I foresee for Yul now is that everyone knows he’s pulling the strings, and they might not want to be his marionettes anymore. They could feasibly band up against him, vote against him to force him into the vulnerability of no longer having the idol, and then hope he doesn’t win anymore immunities so they can finally vote him off. The problem with that scenario is that no one wants to be the one to receive the snuff bounce off of Yul using the idol. Like I said, Yul is sitting pretty.
While I still think Jonathan is going to go to the final 2 on the merit of his villain status alone, I’m beginning to question if the cockiness displayed in this past episode won’t topple him before he gets too much further. Even Yul, who told Jonathan outright that he would like to sit next to him in the final 2 because Jon has betrayed so many people already, is questioning whether or not to cut his losses and send Jonathan to Loser Lodge. Quite frankly, Jonathan acted like an asshat at the Survivor Auction. Sure, part of the blame lies with the others for not outbidding him for the items he won, and some of the blame should go to the rules of the game which didn’t allow for any sharing of items, but to say out loud that he doesn’t have to share while he’s chowing on pepperoni pizza, and then to belch loudly and blow pepperoni burps into the faces of the other castaways falls squarely on his shoulders. Plus, I don’t think anyone liked hearing his rundown of the whole auction and how much stuff he bought back at camp. The fact remains that Jonathan is on tenuous ground if he believes he can just sit back and be carried to the final 2. He needs to continue to provide, to work around camp, and to ensure his alliance that he is working for them and not against them. His role is that of the villain, the person that everyone can dislike. But he still needs to walk the fine line between “bad guy that people want to take to the finals” and “guy that nobody likes so let’s get rid of him.”
Why do I see Ozzy getting to the final 3? Because he is going to start winning more and more immunities…especially after Adam, Parvati, and Candice are gone. Ozzy has actually gone under the radar at this point. He is wisely staying out of the bickering and backstabbing that has been running rampant around Aitutonga beach, other than to be upset by Adam, Candice, and Parvati’s lack of work ethic while still expecting to be fed. But the second Candice called everyone on the secret meal, Ozzy kept his mouth shut and let her and Jonathan have it out. To me, Ozzy has been one of the most interesting players. He knows when he has to step it up, and he knows when to tone it down. When it’s on the line, he will be sure to step it up athletically and get that immunity necklace around his neck.
Is Becky along for the ride with her long time ally Yul? Or is she starting to think for herself? At first, during the auction, it seemed like she was simply Yul’s pawn. But at one point during the episode, when Yul and Becky were discussing whether or not they should keep Jonathan around, she looked at Yul with a look that made me think she has finally realized Yul is ultimately out to win the $1 million for himself, their alliance be damned. Yul spoke to her in terms of how keeping Jonathan benefits him, not them, and how he needs to not alienate the jury so he gets votes at the final TC. She looked at him and I knew she had figured out that he would ditch her before the final 2, probably so she would be a vote for him in those finals. Now, will she use her belief to threaten Yul with an anti vote? Or will she be satisfied with however far she makes it in the game? Becky could be the person that shakes things up around Aitutonga camp…and soon.
I haven’t got much to say about Sundra. She is playing under the radar and is only still around because she is considered weak and not likely to win challenges. She’ll make it only to the final 5 because I think Ozzy will win immunity that week, Yul can’t vote out his long time ally Becky, and he will convince Becky that Jonathan is the one either of them want to bring to the final 2. Bada bing, bada boom, Sundra is voted out after the final 5.
At this point, Adam needs to continue to win immunities to stay in the game. Not only is he a physical threat, but he is a mental threat as well. This episode he proved that he has superior recall during the immunity challenge, plus he is causing rifts by calling Yul, Jonathan, and that entire alliance out on their strategy. Still, I don’t believe Adam is anything more than a nuisance right now, a bump in the road that Yul needs to slow down his game for. The big mistake Adam, Parvati, and Candice made was not believing that Yul could have the idol. That, their lack of work around camp, and his open romance with Candice made him and his alliance a threat to everyone else, which is why his time is limited. The ironic thing is that Adam owes Jonathan for still being in the game. If Jonathan hadn’t felt some loyalty to Adam, he would have gone home last week in Nate’s place. Because of their unwillingness to play the game’s social aspects, they’ll all be hating Jonathan from Loser Lodge soon.
Parvati could stick around longer than 3 days, only if she or someone besides Adam wins immunity at the next challenge. Or, of course, if there is some twist that saves her. Otherwise, it seems like Jonathan really has it in for her. He drove the price of her bath up at the Survivor Auction just to spite her, took offense at her inability to even try to learn how to provide around camp by gutting fish for 28 days, and finally decided to exclude her and her alliance from dinner since they contribute so little. To me it seems like she is a princess who is simply along for the ride. Soon enough, her one ability—the ability to schmooze men and use her sexuality to her advantage—will be gone, because neither Ozzy, Yul, or Jonathan want anything to do with her, and Adam will be at Loser Lodge. Parvati could make an immunity run, but it just doesn’t seem like she has it in her. Her power will lie in her jury vote.
Well, That Didn’t Work
Candice probably had it as hard as anyone in the Cook Islands. Having been sent to Exile Island 4 times, her spirit was crushed by not being able to spend time with her beloved Adam (whose immunity challenge win this week probably sent his puppy love home). Plus her decision to mutiny really put her in a bad light with the Aitu four. It is my opinion that they believe that it was her mutiny that caused Jonathan to also switch tribes, so they held it more against Candice than against Jonathan. Also, everyone had to be thinking they needed to break up the very close alliance/bond between Candice and Adam. If Adam hadn’t won immunity this week, he would have gone in Candice’s place, but since she was weary from her 4 times at Exile Island, she just couldn’t perform. At least she was able to get a lot of things for the others to think about out in the open. She told Jonathan how Yul really feels about him, and called Jonathan out on his rat qualities, planting seeds in the minds of the other castaways in their alliance. She’ll be a hard jury member to sway in the end.
These opinions are for entertainment only. As always, NO WAGERING! firstname.lastname@example.org