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. Is there any way that Kenny (or Matty) could have taken the hidden immunity idol clue without everyone knowing and having the chance to find the idol? What was the producer’s point in giving the hint and additional idol in that way?
Dagwood: I don't think so. The way it was poking out, someone would have noticed if either had tried to grab it.
LG: I think it was set up doomed to not be used, but instead to cause drama. I'm guessing they were a little disappointed that no-one made a real try for it, only to be wrestled to the ground by the others. This was not as much fun as the clue hidden under the sumo wrestler on Big Brother.
Lucy: I don't think anyone could have gotten it without anyone knowing. I think the producers just hoped someone would make a desperate grab for it and put a target on their own backs, as an additional little shakeup.
waywyrd: Someone would have had to be pretty slick to take that clue without drawing attention to themselves. Alas, none of these people are that smooth. I think it was placed to bring drama. But if I were there, I'd sure be combing the beach for that bottle when nobody was around.
Mariner: I agree that there was almost no way for anyone to get the clue without being noticed and then secure the idol. I was surprised they didn't all agree to draw straws or numbers or something to see who would get the idol.
2. Do you think any of the Survivors suspect that it was a fake merge? Why wouldn’t they think something was up when there was a “mystery box” sitting on their feast table?
Dagwood: Because they are dumb. I think they were all to hungry to even wonder about a fake merge.
LG: They must not have been big fans of the Thailand season, as the "fake merge" has been on my mind ever since. Those who don't remember the past are destined to repeat it, Marcus.
Lucy: I didn't expect a fake merge, so I guess I can't call them too stupid for not spotting it either. I thought the mystery box would have new buffs, maybe a map or some more rice or something.
waywyrd: These people wouldn't suspect that it was going to rain if there were black clouds overhead, so, no...I doubt they had a clue. They probably thought there was more food in there. Randy seemed to be the only one who knew something was up with the box.
Mariner: I think they all wanted it to be a merge so other than Randy they refused to see the "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!" aspect of the box.
3. It seems like Sugar changes her mind every time someone new talks to her. Who will she be believing next week?
Dagwood: Who knows, but hopefully she sticks with Matty, Kenny and Crystal. That is probably her only chance to stick around.
LG: I think Sugar is so suggestable that if Jeff tells her something in tribal council, that might determine her vote. Hopefully she'll stay with Fang (Kenny, Crystal, and hopefully Matty is smart enough to go that way too) as they are all doomed if they don't stay together at least through the merge.
Lucy: She IS gullible. I'd guess she'll latch onto Matty now as her protector, since he told her Ace wasn't gunning for her. Unless Randy decides to toy with her mind. Her whole strategy seemed to hinge on Ace's coattails and I don't think she has any strategy beyond finding someone to take care of her.
waywyrd: Since she wrongly got rid of her boytoy Ace, I'd guess she'll latch onto the next alpha male in the group - Matty. And I love that idea about Randy messing with her mind, Lucy. That would be some good tv.
Mariner: I'll admit to having a soft spot for Sugar. I'm hoping she'll start to trust her own instincts soon. Of course, I'll probably be proven wrong and she'll think an elephant is telling her the only person she can trust is Susie.
4. Will Matty survive in the game long enough to get out of Fang?
Dagwood: As long as they merge next episode or Fang wins. Otherwise, I think he is toast.
LG: Hopefully, as he deserves a least a couple days at a tribe with some food.
Lucy: I don't know, he seems on the outs with both factions of his current tribe.
waywyrd: I doubt it. With Ace out and the tribes switched up, nobody has Matty's back. Unless someone else screws up royally and pisses the tribe off, he's gone.
Mariner: For some reason, I think the answer is yes. I have the feeling he may go on an Ozzy style immunity run.
5. Did Susie make a good move in swinging over with Kenny and Crystal to vote out Marcus?
Dagwood: Yes. She was low man on her team, switching might help her stay longer. If it doesn't, at least she tried and didn't just sit and do nothing. Plus, I think she finally realized that telling Corrine that she was considering voting against her was a dumb move.
LG: It was her only move to stay on a couple more episodes. If she has any inkling how much Corrine despises her, she'll realize it and stay loyal to Crystal and Kenny.
Lucy: Probably. After all, she could see there was no way the Marcus group was going to keep her to her precious final three. But there's no guarantee Crystal and Kenny will either. I don't see her lasting long past a merge either way.
waywyrd: I don't know. She wasn't high up on the list with Marcus, but Crystal is fiercely loyal to Kenny and I don't see Susie getting in on that. She's just a vote for whatever group she's clinging to. When they no longer need her, she's out of there. She'll never get to final three.
Mariner: Honestly, I don't think it mattered either way. I can't see her lasting more than a few weeks. Corinne wants to execute her and I don't think there is anyway to escape Corinne's wrath.
6. Will the onion alliance still stay together without their leader, Marcus, or will they implode?
Dagwood: Implode. I think Charlie will be gunning for whoever voted off his boyfriend.
LG: They might hang together a couple weeks post-merge to try to avenge their lost leader, but without Marcus there isn't anyone to control Corrine's impulse to go after whomever she wants to stab in the face first, which may divide the group.
Lucy: Oh, I think they'll hang together. What else are they going to do? I could see Randy or Charlie taking over being the heavy in that group. But I agree with LG that controlling Corrine's murderous impulses may be a problem. She's going to be a demanding one.
waywyrd: The only other one I see with the ability to lead the group would be Randy, and I don't think he wants to lead. I'd say this onion is cooked.
Mariner: I'm going to agree with Lucy. I think that Charlie, Corinne, and Randy will stick together. The ulimate success of the remaining onion alliance may rest on whether Bob makes it to the merge.
7. Are Crystal and Kenny actually the shrewdest alliance in this game now that they’ve masterminded consecutive blindsides of Ace and Marcus?
Dagwood: If they aren't, they are pretty close to it. Although, with this bunch that is not saying much.
LG: I love their recent power plays. They're really surviving despite losing so many challenges and extreme lack of food on their old Fang. I hope they're able to have a run for a while.
Lucy: They just seemed so aimless for so long, it's hard for me to give them credit for actually being shrewd now, rather than lucky. But it certainly required more work for them to oust Ace and Marcus than it did for the Kota 6 to get rid of Dan, so yeah, I guess they're the shrewdest. At the moment.
waywyrd: Sad to say, but yes. I haven't been impressed by anyone's gameplay this season, honestly.
Mariner: I agree that right now they are the shrewdest but they don't have much competition. I think the survival instincts of the people who were on the Kota tribe that won seven straight challenges have been dulled.
8. Will Marcus be a complete Bitter Betty on the jury, now that he has the longest period of time to come up with a “snake and rat” speech, or will he gain some perspective in Ponderosa?
Dagwood: I hope so. I love a good "snake and rat" speech at final TC.
LG: Usually it is the later members of the jury who feel that they "deserve" to be in the finals moreso than the earlier boots. However, he may be just arrogant enough to think he was better than everyone else there and the only one who deserved to win. Reminded me of Hunter's farewell "you idiots" speech from many seasons ago.
Lucy: I wish, but I doubt it. He didn't strike me as someone who was particularly conniving in the game -- he got his alliance and then tried to play as straight as he could. So I think he'll probably be a boring "congratulations to you all for making it this far" speech at the final TC.
waywyrd: I don't think he will, either. He may come across as a bit arrogant, but he's not stupid. He'll have enough time to sit around and realize that he blew it. I hope. I don't expect any flaming speeches from him at the finale.
Mariner: I don't think he'll be bitter at all. He really seems to have not minded getting voted out in the end and to be looking forward to making a difference in the game as part of the jury.
9. Who is in your final three now?
Dagwood: Kenny, Crystal and Matty
LG: Kenny, Matty and Randy - I'm sticking with my "y" guys for what, 4 weeks now, and it's looking a lot more likely now.
Lucy: Kenny, Charlie and Randy.
waywyrd: Randy, Charlie, and Corrine.
Mariner: I'm going to go with LG's three "y" strategy. Kenny, Matty, and Randy.