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 Sugar make a smart move or a dumb move in deciding to vote with Kenny and Crystal to oust Ace? And, what convinced her do it? Kenny's talk with her or Ace asking for the hidden immunity idol?
Dagwood: I think she did. She went from the top of an alliance to the bottom. It was probably a combination of both that caused it. Kenny planted a seed and Ace unknowingly watered it.
waywyrd: I think Ace lost Sugar's trust when he started all the shared immunity idol nonsense. Sugar's the one who found it, but he seemed to think it was community property because they were allied. She was already headed that way, and Kenny's talk pushed her over the edge. Was it a good thing for her to do? I'm not sure. Crystal is the last person I'd want to ally with, though.
iguanachocolate: I think it was a smart move for her. Ace was out for Ace and Ace only. She knew he was a snake and it was really only a matter of time until her bit her. Instead of going from an alliance of basically 2, because Matty was so wanting her gone, she's gained the trust of two others. It could only help her.
LG: I agree with Dagwood that Kenny planted the seed of doubt, and Ace’s move for the idol sealed the deal. I don’t think it was a bad move for her, because Ace had already advocated for her while on the other tribe. If they were both together at the merge, splitting them up with have been a high priority. Now she’s a non-threatening floater who could go a long way undetected.
MsFroggy: I'm going to have to agree with Dagwood as well and say that it was a combination of Kenny's appeal and Ace asking for the idol. She bought herself some time by voting out Ace and perhaps lessening the target on her back, but not much.
canuckinchile: I think it was a reasonably smart move. All the idol talk and Ace hanging around with Matty so much were sure signals that something was amiss. I think she will have to come up with the idol fairly soon or she'll be gone.
Mariner: I agree with everyone else that it was a combination of Kenny's talk and Ace asking for the idol that caused Sugar to flip. I'm not sure either one of those things alone would have made her vote out Ace. I think it may turn out to be a smart move on Sugar's part for the reason LG. stated. Before, splitting up Ace and Sugar would have been a huge priority for a merged tribe. Now, I'm sure Sugar will get votes to flush out the idol but after that she'll slip to the back of targets.
2. Last season, we saw an ugly side of Natalie emerge near the end. On this week's episode, Corrine started to show some signs of being not so nice herself. In the end, who do you think will be remembered as being more evil, Natalie or Corrine?
Dagwood: At this point I can't see anyone topping Natalie on the evil scale. Right now Corinne hasn't done anything quite that ruthless. I guess we will have to give it time to see if she gets worse.
waywyrd: I don't know, Natalie was pretty damn ruthless. The glee in her eyes as she described flossing her teeth with jugular veins was way too real. Corrine seemed a little contrived with her "I want to stab her in the face" comment, but I'll give her time. She may be just warming her inner bitch up.
iguanachocolate: Corrine said at the beginning she was ready to be the bad guy if it got her to the end and I've been waiting for it to appear. But, unlike Natalie, her ruthlessness seems linked to emotions rather than gameplay. Though, I really think we lost a lot of show in editing this episode.
LG: Natalie seemed to really enjoy her evil thoughts, whereas Corrine seems more out of control with anger. Based on that, Corrine seems more likely to snap and deliver some good drama.
MsFroggy: Natalie was just slimy. Corrine seems to be erratic and lacking in self-control. Perhaps she'll fly off the handle and get evicted in a big way soon. I sure won't miss her much.
canuckinchile: I think Natalie was more controlled but we haven't seen much of Corrine yet. I'm hoping for an entertaining blow up
Mariner: To a certain extent, I think Natalie was acting. I think this last episode we started to see the true Corrine emerge. I won't be surprised if she emerges as the biggest backstabbing, self-entitled bitch in Survivor history.
3. Will there be a true merge next week or will it be a Thailand style merge where both tribes live together but continue to compete as tribes for at least one more episode?
Dagwood:I would love to see a Thailand style "merge". I loved it when the cast thought they were merged and Jeff popped off with the "I didn't say there was a merge". I love a good blindside, even if it is by the game and not the tribe.
waywyrd: I hope for a true merge, only because I don't want Matty to get sent home if the tribes still compete against each other. You know Fang will lose, and Matty's outnumbered.
iguanachocolate: I vote for a true merge. This one sided thing is getting pathetic.
LG: I loved Thailand’s fake merge. That whole season seems entirely forgotten, maybe because Brian never returned to do All-Stars, but that was a great move. I would think that contestants who watched prior seasons who be on the look-out for a fake merge, but who knows how much knowledge of the show this group has.
MsFroggy: I wish they'd stop with the creative non-merges which just foster paranoia over gameplay. I'm hoping for a true merge as well.
canuckinchile: I hope it is a true merge. Fang is so useless that we need to go to individual immunity/rewards because the "suspense" is definitely not killing us.
Mariner: I think there is going to be a twist on the traditional merge. I'm not sure if it will be a Thailand style twist but I'm looking forward to seeing what it is.
4. What was Dan's fatal mistake in the game?
Dagwood: I think it was the eating so much and being oblivious to the fact that the others were not to happy with it.
waywyrd: Not knowing when to shut his yap, whether it was stuffing it full of undeserved food or constantly flapping his gums about his insecurities.
iguanachocolate: No social game, meaning no awareness of what is going on around him in terms of the perceptions of his tribemates. Even in his interview, he really doesn't understand that eating more of your share is not a good thing - at least attempt to ask tribemates or really think how it looks from another perspective. His whole talk at the end of the pier with Corrine and Marcus, it just seemed like he was whining that nobody liked him instead of trying to understand why. Whaaa, I'm needy, like me.
LG: Roman mythology tells of Narcissus, who died of thirst after falling in love with his own reflection in the drinking pond, as he didn’t want to disturb his reflection long enough to take a drink. Dan drowned in the drinking pond (or rice pot) after disturbing everyone with his whining and gluttony. I think he was pushed, not that I blame him. Self-centered moron.
MsFroggy: His insecurities, his whiny attitude and his gluttony all contributed to his downfall. It didn't help that he sabotaged himself at the last minute by having that woe-is-me talk with Marcus and Corrine.
canuckinchile: I think taking more of his share of the food did him in. Sitting at home watching from our living rooms, I think it is hard to understand how hungry they all must be. Someone taking more than their fair share That would really be grating. There are lots of annoying personalities and strategy-wise they are sometimes the wisest ones to keep around. He was annoying but the food thing sealed his fate.
Mariner: I think Dan's achilles' heel was not knowing when to shut up and fade into the background. If he hadn't confronted Marcus, Corrine, and Charlie about feeling excluded, I'm pretty sure Susie would have gotten the boot after her verbal diarrhea moment with Corrine.
5. Is Matty in trouble now that Ace is gone and Sugar sided with Kenny and Crystal at the last tribal council?
Dagwood: I don't think so, I think Sugar still has a target. She is seen as a threat because of the idol. I can see it being a vote where she doesn't think she needs to use the idol and goes bye bye.
waywyrd: If the alliance with Kenny and Crystal holds for Sugar, I think poor Matty is sort of left out in the cold. If Fang loses again (this is pretty much a given), he's in trouble. A true merge would help him.
iguanachocolate: Not if there is a true merge, he'll be fine. If there is not a true merge, he could be in trouble - but Sugar still has the idol which makes her a threat.
LG: A merge would help Matty greatly, as he is a valuable floater. However if Kenny and Crystal are choosing whether to keep Matty or Sugar, I think Matty may be a goner as Matty hasn’t done anything for them and Sugar recently allied with them.
MsFroggy: Yes, I think Matty is trouble. A real merge might save him but at the same time he might also be targeted again just for being relatively strong.
canuckinchile:Broken record here but unless there is a merge I'd say that yes he may be targeted. You can never count out the fickle Sugar though and she may shift loyalties. A merge would help him if he runs up a string of wins.
Mariner: Yes, I think he is in big trouble. He's going to have to scramble to stay in this for more than another week or two.
6. Did Marcus vote for Susie at tribal council in case Dan had the hidden immunity idol? Or for some other reason?
Dagwood: Probably just in case Dan had the idol.
waywyrd: I think so too. It was a backup plan in case Dan actually had the idol (as if!).
iguanachocolate: Definitely a back up plan. No way King Marcus would have been out of the loop in tribe politics.
LG: My thought was that it could have been a warning message to Susie. One vote for Susie would have tied with one vote for someone else (if Dan hadn’t voted for Susie), and would think they would have tried to avoid a tie if it was strategic planning in case Dan had the idol – unless they were sure Dan was voting for Susie, in which case Marcus’ vote for her was unnecessary overkill.
MsFroggy: I think I agree with LG here. It seemed to me that despite the talk they had about whether Dan had the idol, Marcus seemed to think he didn't so perhaps his vote was a message to Susie.
canuckinchile: I immediately thought it was a back up plan in case Dan had the idol.
Mariner: I agree with canuck. I think it was a "just in case" vote.
7. Merger or not, who is the most vulnerable next episode on the existing Kota and Fang tribes?
Dagwood: Kota: Susie, Fang: Sugar
waywyrd: Susie for Kota, Matty for Fang.
iguanachocolate: Susie for Kota and Sugar for Fang.
LG: Kota: Susie, and Matty on Fang (unless someone else on Kota annoys Corrine more, in which case, watch out for a face stabbing blindside vote).
MsFroggy: Matty at Kota and Susie on Fang.
canuckinchile: Susie and Matty.
Mariner: Susie and Matty.
8. Who is in your final three now?
Dagwood: Bob, Marcus and Charlie.
waywyrd: I totally blew it with Ace, so I'll give Charlie his spot. Marcus, Charlie, and Corrine.
iguanachocolate: Marcus, Charlie, Matty
LG: Matty, Randy and Kenny, sticking with the guys with “y” names. Yeah, the odds of two surviving from Fang seems remote, but maybe all of the Kota “power-players” will take each other out and we’ll be left with outsiders.
MsFroggy: What did I say last week? I'll have to downgrade Bob for now. Marcus, Charlie and maybe Matty if he can make it past the merge.
canuckinchile: Marcus, Charlie and Kenny ( I picked him at first. He disappointed me. But now he actually seems to have some game play). We'll see!
Mariner: Marcus, Randy, and Kenny.