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. What are your thoughts on the mid-episode, between two challenges merge? Was it more of a surprise, or a disappointment?
canuckinchile: I was happy to see a merge but I wasn't that surprised. Hopefully it will shake things up
iguanachocolate: For me the merge was expected as soon as I realized Marcus would be on the jury. If they were kept as two tribes, then any other potential jury members would have been deprived of information if their tribe did not go to jury.
Dagwood: No surprise here. I think I would only be surprised if they decided to never merge.
MsFroggy: Not much of a shock since they were down to the right number already.
waywyrd: Not surprised at all. And the only disappointment I felt is over the new tribal name: Nobag. Come on, guys. Really? Nobag?!
Mariner: I was just glad the merge happened. It was time for it all to be about individual immunity.
2. Whose expression did you love more when the tribes met for the reward challenge and Fang realized that Marcus was gone – Corinne and Charlie’s looks of horror or Matty’s huge grin?
canuckinchile: Corinne's look of horror was the best. In fact, I was kind of waiting to see her face most of all. She comes across as so smug in her confessionals that I knew she would have a great reaction.
iguanachocolate: I agree with Canuck - definitely Corinne's face. Her face followed up with her whining - priceless.
Dagwood: Same here - Corinne's face. Anything to toss up her game is good for me.
MsFroggy: Corrine takes the cake. Her main alliance partner just got axed and she just realized she was not going to be at the top of the food chain anymore. Priceless!
waywyrd: I thought Corrine was going to blow an artery right there. Priceless. And I like Matty, but sometimes the boy acts like he's been eating the funny mushrooms off the elephant dung.
Mariner: I'm with everyone else. I thought Corrine's expression was one of the best moments so far this season. She looked like someone had stolen her candy.
3. Is there any way that Fang could have missed that final slingshot golf shot, and who was crazier during that, Randy or Matty?
canuckinchile: There is no possible way they could have missed that shot unless they aimed at the sky or something. I think Randy was crazier as he just couldn't let it go, and had an overwhelming need to prove his point. In Survivor you have to learn to curb that tendency and save it for confessional. Actually, they should have just whipped them out and measured them right then and there. There was way too much testosterone going on.
iguanachocolate: Canuck. I don't think I can't add anything to that answer...
Dagwood: Canuck has it right.
MsFroggy: We'll just let Canuck answer this one.
waywyrd: I'm laughing too hard at canuck's answer to come up with my own!
Mariner: Yup. Canuck nailed this one.
4. Why isn’t fire-starting something that every contestant can do in their sleep prior to going on the show? Do you think this challenge favored Susie?
canuckinchile: I have no idea why every contestant can't start a fire before going on the show. It's kind of like going on The Amazing Race and not being able to drive a stick shift. Maybe their material was wet, the flint was no good, etc., but you'd think they would practice more. No challenge favours Susie Although, the fact that it was a non-physical challenge gave her a better chance.
iguanachocolate: Every year I yell at the players who can't start fires. With so many unknowns in the game, you'd think people vying for a million bucks would give themselves the best chance by leaning the basics. Come on, people, don't go on Survivor with out leaning how to start a dang fire with something other than a match and don't go on The Amazing Race without leaning how to drive a dang stick shift! I don't think it was meant to favor Susie, but it did.
Dagwood: No doubt. While there is a lot you can't prepare for, you can always learn how to build a fire. Duh, people, time to catch on.
MsFroggy: As soon as I saw that challenge I knew they wanted Susie to win it. I hate Survivor when they so blatantly push a win for a weak, useless player whom nobody likes. Ughh.
waywyrd: It just proves how dumb some people are. If there's one thing you have to learn how to do on this show, it's start a freaking fire. It's not like this is the first season, here, Survivor wannabes. Pay attention. And to those who let Susie beat them in this challenge? Hang your head in shame.
Mariner: I really don't think this challenge favored Susie. I'm still in shock that she was the one who won. If you get picked for the show, you need to devote some time every day to learning how to start a fire. Period.
5. How did this fire challenge compare to Richard Hatch’s goofy dance on the beach and the tie-breaker fire challenge in Cook Islands where Becky and Sundra couldn’t start a fire with flint and a knife and had to be given matches?
canuckinchile: This was a pretty humdrum challenge but at least no one had to be given matches. That was truly pathetic. I barely remember Hatch's goofy dance (I hope he had clothes on) but he was kind of an evil genius. A tax avoiding evil genius but entertaining during his season.
iguanachocolate: No comparison. Richard Hatch was the ultimate player and his dance should go down in Survivor history. I'm not a big fan of criminals, but I think that lack of morals made him a unique player. He's oft imitated, but no one has succeeded like he did.
Dagwood: Definitely no comparison. Hatch is an evil freak, but he is definitely one of a kind.
MsFroggy: This one was easier I think. Hatch was a unique character, unmatched in flamboyance. By comparison this challenge was quite business-like and even wimpy. Susie is a boring, less clever, watered down version Sandra Diaz, whom I couldn't stand. Susie's win was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
waywyrd: Considering that (from what I've read) the whole Sugar's-about-to-catch-up thing was totally manufactured by the editors? No comparison. So, yeah, Hatch wins hands down. This was a snoozefest.
Mariner: Honestly, this was one of the more boring individual immunity challenges ever. Richard's dance wins hands down. As for the matches? If they hadn't given them to Beck and Sundra, I fear we'd still be waiting for someone to win that challenge.
6. Why didn’t anyone from old Kota try to talk to Susie to win her vote? Was that a mistake on their parts?
canuckinchile: I think old Kota has given up on Susie and that is always a mistake since every vote can be important. They are already counting her out of the game which is a mistake. The person with immunity can always be a key vote.
iguanachocolate: I think they felt that the fact she voted out Marcus they had already lost her vote completely. Between Corinne and Randy, there was no way they would even consider Susie as a potential vote.
Dagwood: I think they don't think highly of her and probably don't trust her to vote their way anyway. Not a good idea to write off a tribe member at this point.
MsFroggy: I don't think they trust her or respect her in any way. Perhaps it was a mistake but I doubt she was going to vote with them anyway and they probably knew that.
waywyrd: I think they've just written Susie off. Or the dumbness from old Fang was still lingering in the air and old Kota breathed some in.
Mariner: The only explanation I can come up with is lack of time. Otherwise, there is absolutely no excuse for putting all your eggs in Sugar's basket.
7. Was Charlie more sad to leave the game or happy to be exiled alone with Marcus?
canuckinchile: It didn't appear that Charlie was too upset, but who knows? At least he didn't kick up his heels as he left the game on his way to visit Marcus. Charlie has a pretty good attitude about most things so I think he just took it in stride.
iguanachocolate: I think Charlie has a solid head on his shoulders and realized it was a game. I don't think he was too upset about leaving when he knew he was going to Ponderosa with his man candy crush.
Dagwood: I think his excitement of speding alone time with Marcus helped with the disappointment of being blindsided. He does have a good head on his shoulders regarding the game. I wish more of them did.
MsFroggy: Any pain Charlie may have felt when he was voted out, was more than balanced out by his abject happiness at being close to Marcus once again. What's a million bucks when you can gaze adoringly at the object of your affection in total solitude for at least 3 more days?
waywyrd: Charlie seems like a smart, sensible guy and wasn't about to pout his way off to Ponderosa. Especially when cutie Marcus was waiting there for him. He knew it was just a game and he seemed to be happy to have gotten as far as he did.
Mariner: After the initial shock of getting the boot, I think Charlie was definitely more happy about getting Marcus all to himself for a few days. Well, that and getting to take a shower.
8. Who are your final three picks this week, and who is the likely next to go?
canuckinchile: I'm picking Kenny, Sugar and Matty for the final three and I think that Randy may be the next to go if he doesn't win immunity.
iguanachocolate: At this point, I'd like Sugar to take it all. It's not that I think she is the best player, but she is the one player that the others have universally put down, referred to as stupid and have generally undervalued And not to be a copycat, but I would like to see Matty and Kenny in the final three as well. And I hope to pieces that it is Randy gone next. Man, he grates on me.
Dagwood: Bob, Sugar and Matty. I am sticking with Bob, I want him in the final three. I would love to see Corinne go this week.
MsFroggy: Considering that all my initial F3 picks are now gone, I really shouldn't be making any more predictions. I'm just going to go with the three I could most stomach: Bob, Matty and perhaps even annoying Kenny, with Bob winning it all.
waywyrd: Well it looks like all I have to do is pick someone for final three and they get booted off. So I'll pick three I want gone: Crystal, Kenny, and Susie. There ya go. And I'll say Sugar goes this week, just because.
Mariner: I am going to go with Dagwood's picks although I'm much more confident about Matty and Sugar than I am about Bob. I'm going to guess Corinne says bye bye this week.