The Piranha Report: Day 33
If You Want To Feel Safe, Invest in Treasury Bills; Don’t Go On Survivor
First, a note to our regular readers, Bill_in_PDX was unable to write the report this week due to a family emergency. We are not trying to usurp his throne as the King of Piranhas, but merely hold down the FORT until he is able to return. Our thoughts are with you, buddy. The report is shorter this week, but we welcome everyone’s insights in the political climate in the Amazon.
The Piranha Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring inside the Jacare tribe during their stay in the Amazon. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?
When we last left our merry band of Survivors, Heidi and Jenna were shocked that someone in the alliance of the Beautiful People Plus Rob (BPPR) had turned against them and voted Alex out. Who could it possibly have been? After intense evaluation, Heidi and Jenna assured themselves that they had not inadvertently voted off Alex themselves, and called Rob on the carpet in front of the tribe about his devious ways. They then turned to their only remaining original tribemate Christy to try to even up the sides before the next tribal council.
I Have the Power
These famous last words were echoed by Christy after Jenna and Heidi approached her to join them in voting out one of the guys, heck, any guy, just not them. Christy thought that she had the support of her Breakfast Club alliance-mates Butch and Matthew for sure, and Rob out of necessity (because Jenna and Heidi hated his guts for voting out oh so cute Alex), so she rejected the overtures and felt pretty confident that one of the ugly step-sisters would be taking the walk of shame this week.
Christy had overlooked, however, the importance of committing to at least one side when two warring factions approach you. If neither side feels that you are with them, then you are de facto against both and an immediate compromise target for two warring factions. The warring factions were Heidi and Jenna on one side and Rob on the other. Both approached Christy for support and she committed to neither, and as such set herself up as a threat to both factions. Christy tried to play the game without having to "play the game" by which I mean making tough choices and committing herself to positions, whether or not she intended to follow through with such commitments. As Bill would say: "I guess that didn't work." Rob is a shrewd enough player to recognize Christy’s misstep and target her for elimination.
Rob Continues His Shock and Awe Campaign
Not prone to getting any booty, Rob continues to surprise the bootee with his Tribal Council votes. Rob has now misled 4 of the last 5 booted Survivors into thinking that he was with them going into Tribal Council, resulting in a shock for the departing Survivor. Every booted Survivor since the merge except Dave has felt confident going into tribal council and made cocky remarks in their final episode. This overabundance of confidence was displayed first by Roger, who thought all of the men were with him, followed by Deena, who had a Final 2 pact with Rob. Last week Alex, who for some incomprehensible reason thought that Rob would be happy finishing 4th with the BPPR alliance, was surprised by Rob’s duplicitous nature, and now Christy. This has led to one of the most exciting seasons of Survivor ever, so thanks Rob for being the sneaky little reptile player that you are.
Rob has had a heck of a run, being the pivotal vote week after week and switching sides at will to send unsuspecting targets packing. How long will it be until the target rests on Rob? I predict that one of two scenarios will result in Rob’s ouster from the tribe. With 5 Survivors remaining, there are still enough possible scenarios for Rob to work his voodoo that he do so well and assure that someone else will be leaving. However, once we’re down to the final 4, even the thumbless Survivors (damn those pesky piranhas) will be able to count on one hand how many people are for and against everyone else still in the game. Someone will be able to figure out that Rob is too crafty to keep around. This will either happen as a “mass of humanity” in which everyone is concerned that he or she is Rob’s next target and they band together for self-preservation, or it will be the mastermind of one person. Who could that one person be? My guess is Matthew.
Matthew Makes His Move
This week Matthew waged his campaign for the hearts and minds of his remaining competitors by selflessly volunteering to forgo a hard won visit with his Mom in order to allow the rest to visit with their family members. Matt was eventually rewarded for his sacrifice with his own family visit, but it’s hard to see how that good deed could go unnoticed even to entirely self-centered fellow Survivors Jenna and Heidi. While Rob is playing for the Final 2, shifting and swerving like an eel, Matt is already playing to the jury, courting votes for a million dollars.
It remains to be seen whether Matthew has what it takes to outwit Rob and to bring home the million dollars like so many fish on his line. However, he is making dramatic strides over the last couple of weeks from being a clueless outsider who was in constant jeopardy of leaving (and would several weeks ago if Deena had choked down that nasty creepy-crawly thing for Immunity), to being in a power position with strong Immunity Challenge potential which could propel him into the Final 2. If Matt is a shrewd player, he knows that only Butch has offended less people than he has of the remaining contestants and will make sure that he isn’t facing The Principled Principal in the finale. I suspect that Matt does see Butch as a threat in the Final Tribal Council and take as evidence Matt’s vote with Rob to send Christy packing (which was apparently made without telling Butch, Matt’s former adjoining link in “the Chain”).
Butch’s Chain Unraveled
Speaking of “the Chain”, Butch feels as alone as Jeanne did after JoAnna was taken out oh so many weeks ago by the first incarnation of BPPR which was then BPPD (Beautiful People Plus Deena). Too late in the game for any type of tribal swap, Butch doesn’t have to be a mathematician, let alone a rocket scientist, to see that he was the only one not voting for Christy last week. How could this be, as members of “the Chain” are supposed to be aware of “the Chain’s” voting strategy, right? This is only true if there actually is a Chain. Butch is up a creek without anyone he can trust, which is really where all Survivors are all the time. Just ask Christy, or Alex, or Deena, or Roger. . . . Like I said, T-bills and municipal bonds have security. Alliances and "friendships" on Survivor do not. Watch out for the piranhas.
So there you have it: Matt is wheeling, Rob is dealing, Butch is reeling, and Christy is signing off. Please join us for next week’s Piranha Report when we critique the odds of the final four heading into the finale. Until then, keep reaching for the skies, but keep your toes out of the water.