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. Did Ace set Paloma up by nominating her to be the second Kota member to be on the pole during the Reward Challenge?
Dagwood: I think so. They didn't like each other at all and both thought one of them had to go. Ace's plan worked.
canuckinchile: Definitely, and I can't believe the rest of the tribe fell for it. In fact, when they were shown discussing it afterwards I think they are beginning to figure Ace out.
MsFroggy: It was kind of obvious. He wanted to remove somebody who was a threat to him and his sweet Sugar. But like canuckinchile said, I think the others may be on to him now.
LG: Definitely, and Ace may have been a little too transparent about it. Ace announced prior to even arriving at a challenge that they should bag it and save all of their “best” resources for the immunity challenge. Then he “involunteers” Paloma for a role she is totally not suited for, and tosses her under the bus when she fails. Paloma wasn’t long for this game anyway, but she may have ended up exposing Ace’s killer instinct which may lead to his ouster.
Mariner: I agree with everyone else that Ace did set her up and that he was a bit too transparent in doing so. It drew the wrong kind of attention to him and may vault him ahead of Kelly and Sugar as a target of the onion alliance.
iguanachocolate: Yes, I think he did - or at least took advantage of the general feeling around camp about her. He actually didn't really need to do anything as she was pretty much next in the pecking order. All he did was to draw attention to himself and put a big whomping target on his and Sugar's backs.
burntbrat: I'm not sure that Ace set her up to get her voted out immediately, but I certainly think he was manipulating the tribe. He wanted to lose that reward challenge and I'm really not sure why. I don't understand his game play at all.
2. Will not conserving their rice come back to bite Fang?
Dagwood: Yes, it will. They are stupid for not conserving. Just because they can catch fish now doesn't mean they always will be able to catch them.
canuckinchile: Usually when the editors include moments like that it is almost always foreshadowing. Three meals a day? That's nuts in the beginning before you get the lay of the land and figure out where the food is going to come from.
MsFroggy: It's never smart to squander any resources on Survivor. This is not Hilton Wilderness Africa and the fact that they gobbled up so much rice already shows that they have no clue how to stay afloat in this game.
LG: In the second season of Survivor in the Outback they nearly ran out of food and were actually given extra supplies from the producers (which Tina then had to dive into a flooded stream to save). Food is important, but I don’t know that they are going to let their contestants starve. However, being wasteful of food is an easy way to get your tribe sending you packing, GC.
Mariner: My jaw dropped when GC explained that they threw half a batch of rice out early on. Say WHAT? Were they all too full to eat it? I'm waiting for the hungry, whiny Fang footage to follow.
iguanachocolate: Definitely, as everyone else says, it always does. There is no way that Fang can win enough luxury challenges to be able to live off of that bounty, so the rice needs to be rationed. And if they did run out of food and the producers decided to help them it comes at a cost - at least it did in the OutBack - didn't they have to make a choice between the food and something else?
LG: You're right Iguanachocolate, in the Outback it was Colby who had to give up his luxury item: the huge flag of Texas that they were using as part of their shelter in order to get the rice they needed to not starve. Fang may need to give something up if they run out of food in a dangerous way prior to the merge.
burntbrat: I blame GC. He's an arrogant, immature turd. The fight about the rice with Randy was head-shakingly stupid. He's not going to suffer because someone in the beginning threw out a bunch of rice? That makes perfect sense! I hope the producers make it much more painful for this tribe when (not if) they run out of food.
3. Were you surprised that Fang sent Crystal out twice in a row during the Reward Challenge and will her performance help her?
Dagwood: I was, but I can see why they did. She was a tough competitor in that challenge. I just hope they don't realized that she is strong and boot her out. I can see this tribe getting rid of the strong players first.
canuckinchile: I wasn't that surprised. Gillian mentioned in an interview that she knew Crystal was an Olympic runner and I'm sure she told some others. They know she is strong and will use her to their advantage until later in the game.
MsFroggy: Who else were they going to send? She is their strongest member and almost single-handedly dragged Ace across that finish line. I expect they'll be relying on her more and more in tough challenges.
LG: Honestly after failing to get herself up the hill in the first immunity challenge, Crystal needed to redeem herself as a physical threat to cement her position in an otherwise weak tribe. Just based on her size and muscle mass, she likely needs a full portion of food just to keep going each day, and it’s hard to justify that consumption if she’s not helping the team win challenges. Crystal rocked it.
Mariner: You could have knocked me over with a feather. After her crappy performance in the race up the hill, I didn't expect her to turn into such a force, but I agree with LG. She rocked that challenge. I hope they have some more physical challenges so we can see what else she can do.
iguanachocolate: I really wasn't - she was right there with everyone on that big ball challenge and it is not hard to miss her size out there. I doubt her run up the hill even crossed the others mind the first time and the second time it just made sense since she had killed in the first round.
burntbrat: I'm a big fan of Crystal and I'm glad that she's showing her stuff. Honestly, who else were they going to send out? GC again? Please. He gives up on every single challenge, it seems. I wish he'd just Osten himself already.
4. Will Sugar use the hidden immunity idol to her advantage or will she literally leave it in the bag?
Dagwood: I would like to think she would use it to her advantage, she seems pretty smart, but telling Ace about it made me wonder.
canuckinchile: They are making it seem like Sugar will be easily manipulated. Hopefully, the others will make her more thoughtful of her approach (or else they'll just kick her off ) or she'll wake up. It's not looking good at the moment.
MsFroggy: Despite the fact that she managed to find the thing, she doesn't strike me as a terribly smart or together person. She already blabbed about it to Ace and might even give the idol to him if he asks nicely enough.
LG: Maybe she’ll surprise us, but I’m expecting Sugar to join James and Erik in the “how to be an idiot with the hidden immunity idol Survivor hall of fame.”
Mariner: My wild, without any evidence to back it up, guess is that she'll give it to Ace next time Kota goes to Tribal and whichever poor soul Sugar and Ace target will go home because of the idol.
iguanachocolate: I can't see Sugar using it to thwart anything. She may claim she is smart, and she may well be, but I don't think from what little I have seen that she is playing smart in this game. The game needs a whole different kind of smart...
burntbrat: I agree with Mariner that she'll give it to Ace when they sense that he's in trouble. I think she's a sweet girl but I don't think she's got the mindset for Survivor. She's way too trusting and doesn't understand how sneaky and underhanded people will get in this game.
5. Should Sugar have told Ace about finding the hidden immunity idol?
Dagwood: I don't know. He is her main alliance, but I think she should have held it closer until she was sure she could trust him. He seems to have decided that it is his as well, which might make him even more cocky if that's possible.
canuckinchile: No. It's too soon. She needed to think about what would be the best play with the idol and watch the tribal dynamics more. In this game, trust no one. Ace may drag her to the end, but you can bet he's already writing his "why I'm the best" speech.
MsFroggy: Definitely not. When two people know about it, it's no longer a secret and she needs all the leverage she can get. Her leverage is lost as Ace now looks at the idol as community property. That's not good news for Sugar.
LG: Ace is a major mover and shaker, and if he were on the block he’d definitely sell out Sugar and her secret immunity idol to save himself for one more week.
Mariner: Heck no. Sugar is clearly not a player.
iguanachocolate: I agree withthe others, bad move to tell Ace about the idol.
burntbrat: Yep, I'm agreeing too. It wasn't a smart move. She mentioned in one of the interviews while she was on exile island that she was just learning this game. Obviously, honey.
6. Did Corinne make a mistake in revealing the entire "onion alliance" to Bob in trying to get him to join them?
Dagwood: Probably. It seems like she is trying to be in power too soon. Then again, her telling Bob "the way it is" rubbed me the wrong way. I can't stand demanding people. I think she is going to bring lots of sparks to this season.
canuckinchile: It's hard to say. Bob will realize that being last in an alliance doesn't put him in a very good position. She is going to be annoying.
MsFroggy: I think it was a mistake. She told him he's fifth. This is a smart guy and if he stops to think he'll realize that being fifth is like being the third wheel; sooner or later he won't be needed.
LG: Alliance? What alliance? The smart move this early in the game is to deny you’re even in an alliance because you don’t know what twists may split up your alliance onto two teams. Then people who know about your alliance will take out your alliance-mates in both tribes because they know about your plans. Dumb move. Bob would be wise to go after them the first chance he gets, but he may take out Ace first just so he doesn’t have to listen to him.
Mariner: Yes. That was an extremely stupid thing to do. She might as well have said, "We'd like to use you until we don't need you. And, if you wonder what alliance to worry about, let me spell it out for you."
iguanachocolate: For the purposes of getting Bob into the alliance, it was a good move. For the purposes of not making Bob aware that he is the fifth wheel in the alliace it was a bad move.
burntbrat: I would love to believe it was a bad move because that speech Corinne gave to Bob was just over-the-top. She didn't even try to hide that he was the fifth and the last and that their alliance had all the power. Unfortunately, I don't think Bob is going to capitalize on Corinne's foolishness. Bob didn't seem to question her at all.
7. Who is the most vulnerable on Fang and Kota next episode?
Dagwood: Fang I would say GC. His mouth is running a little too much and that gets annoying. Kota I'm really not sure, I just hope it isn't Bob. He is my favorite so far. Although, I do wish he would wear a shirt.
canuckinchile: Definitely GC on Fang. The edit he is getting shows him being belligerent and on top of that he quits in the middle of challenges! Jeff has called him on it almost every time. On Kota, I think the tribe is worried about the Ace/Sugar alliance and I can see one of them getting booted to prevent a Rob/Amber situation.
MsFroggy: On Fang, I'd say GC. He seems to be generally useless and annoying. I wouldn't mind it if they booted him. On Kota, Ace could be in for a rude awakening. They'll either target him or his sole alliance, Sugar.
LG: I agree with the panel – GC from Fang or Sugar or Ace from Kota.
Mariner: I'm going to agree with everyone else about GC being the most vulnerable on Fang. I'll take a different tack on Kota. Because of Sugar having the hidden immunity idol, I think Kelly is in big trouble.
iguanachocolate: Yupper, definitely GC on Fang. On Kota, I think Ace and Sugar are vulnerable, but I agree with Mariner that Kelly may be the one to go. Just the looks she got at Tribal Council when she 'dared' to speak. It was funny, but it told some tales about their pecking order.
burntbrat: I'm with Mariner and iguana. GC on Fang and Kelly on Kota. If I was a betting woman, I'd put money on it.
8. Who do you see as your final three at this point?
Dagwood:Sugar, Marcus and Ace.
canuckinchile: That's a toughie. I'm sticking with Marcus, and maybe he'll bring Charlie. I still think Ken could be a fly under the radar wild card. I'm kicking Ace off my original list because I think his game play is too obvious and his tribe is catching on.
MsFroggy: Marcus still leads the pack, but I'm no longer sure about Ace. I still maintain a woman will be in there somewhere, but it will be somebody who hasn't emerged yet. That tall blonde chick might be it.
LG: Marcus, Dan, and Bob.
Mariner: Marcus, Crystal, and Charlie.
iguanachocolate: Marcus, Charlie, and a female of some sort.
burntbrat: I'm just going to put my favorites because I really have no intelligent answer yet Crystal, Ken and Marcus.