Polynesian Pete Report - Episode Five
The deck is shuffled, but the cards are all the same
The Polynesian Pete Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the tribes. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?
Week five brought the much anticipated tribal shuffle. I am not sure that we will see an actual shuffle in terms of strategy though, unless MB pulls off something unexpected (such as delaying the mergeÖ which would really surprise the strategists on each side). It appears that the women, besides Julie, remain united in their plan to stay together, even when split. I suspect that the guys would feel the same way. Therefore, the tribe mix served to pretty much sound the death knell for four players (Julie, Twila, Bubba, and Rory) who all ended up on the short end of Scoutís stick.
The worst part about that, at least in my view, is that by mixing tribes in a way that allows for a gender to have a majority, and a big majority at that, then the Pagongíing will likely continue, making this a bit disappointing to me.
The selection process itself was quite interesting. I speculated that the elders would end up being team captains, but certainly not in the way that it played out. I liked the method of surprising the teams, having some confusion, but letting them pick. I also think both teams were wise in their choices.
As for the picks themselves, Scout handled it well in that she split Eliza and Julie, and ensured she would have support either way. However, I wonder about two things. First, did she have any inkling of how she made Sargeís choice so easy? Leaving Chad and Chris on one team, along with John, only ensured that Sarge would take that team. Granted, she also set herself up with a majority including her key alliance-mates (minus Twila, whom I had speculated she would dump anyway sometime soon), so I donít fault her move at all. It is dangerous though, as the new Lopevi tribe should dominate any physical challenges that come before the merge, though we donít know how many of those there will be. Secondly, I wonder if she guessed that the odd lady out would have a choice. She made the teams so lopsided that either she figured out most of the game and did it on purpose, or she was focused completely on self-preservation at the expense of the overall team. It could be that the women had little clue on the inner workings of the men, but taking Rory was just icing on the cake for Sarge.
All in all, the mix played out extremely well for the power players in the game, those being Scout, Lea, and Chris. Therefore, despite new tribes, I donít see the general course of the game to date changing much at all.
The pecking order at Lopevi remains the same. Sarge is in charge openly, and Chris is the man behind the scene ensuring that his leader stays on track.
Good news for Julie and John. First, it seems that Julie is going to try to use that sex appeal she had probably thought she would be using all along. The previews show her nude sunbathing, or at least I hope it is not Chris or Twila. It will probably be good enough to get her booted after Twila, but I am not sure it helps her last longer than any of the men in this tribe. Given the skill of this team, they may only have a few boots going into the merge and she might make it. Besides, she has no real loyalty to the women, who would have booted her or Eliza next. She may want to consider selling out all of the info on the ladies in hopes of joining a new post merge alliance.
John is valuable to the tribe again, and now he has two more targets ahead of him. I am not saying it will happen, but it would not surprise me if John went far. He has been on the edge all game, but so far others have been higher on the pecking order. He is the kind of guy who could make it to the final six, and then go on an immunity run.
Chad is so far under the radar now he can almost see Leann. The one thing that could have changed that was the trouble he started with Bubba over the sleeping arrangements. He lucks out though when Bubba is moved to Yasur, and then gets himself booted. More on that later.
Twila may feel more comfortable with this group, but I hope she understands she is in competition with Julie to avoid getting her torch snuffed at the next tribal council. She may want to try and make peace with Julie, and if the two ladies can figure out that John was not one of the cool kids prior to the merge, the three of them could make things extremely interesting in this tribe. I just donít see that coming together though, and I suspect Twilaís days are numbered.
Scoutís survival to the merge, and then likely deep into the game, is now secure thanks to her picks. She has solid support in Ami, Leann, and Lisa, plus Eliza will stay in line while Rory is still around. You have to tip your hat to her, as she must be a pretty cool person for all these folks to overlook her complete lack of contributions around camp. Proves once again that Survivor is not about survival, even if you are hungry. It is always about people, and your perceived standing in the group.
Ami is starting to walk a bit of a fine line though. I can understand her extreme loyalty to her alliance, but not being willing to teach your new tribe mates the skills the ladies learned is a bit silly to me. It stands the risk of angering your own alliance, as well as putting the men on guard, and for what gain? As Lisa pointed out (and it does pain me to agree with Lisa) the guys were going to see it anyhow. Why not show them?
Lisa and Leann are like regular guest stars on Law and Order. You see them in multiple shows, usually with a few lines each (maybe one line for Leann) but they are not the stars, and they know their place. They will do what Scout tells them to do. That is likely good enough to make the merge.
Eliza is already stirring the pot. She had the courage/stupidity to make a backhanded run at splitting the Scout alliance by suggesting that a guy should not be sent home. The editing implied that she would have recommended Ami instead, but I suspect it was just that, editing. If she really wanted to do that, she may have been smart to at least approach Bubba and Rory about working together. Now it is too late. She needs to find a way to survive to the merge and then team up with the rivals to Scoutís alliance.
Rory is next to go, unless this team wins through to the merge. Those are pretty slim odds for Rory. He seems to recognize that in the previews, and decides to pout about it (though I canít argue with his logic).
I Guess That Didnít Work
Travis signed his own death warrant when he tried to check strategy with Chris at the immunity challenge. That was a classic blunder.
Now, likely he had a 50/50 shot at going anyhow if Yasur lost, but this action just sealed his fate, and ruined what had been to that point, a decent run in the game. A worthy boot.
Julie goes toplessÖ no word yet if peanut butter and chocolate are involved. Stay tuned for details.
Your comments are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org