Pirate Report (Day 19)
The Tribe Has Not Really Spoken At All
The Pirate Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the Drake and Morgan tribes during their stay in Panama. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling? This is not meant to be a recap though, and for that, you will want to read fluffís outstanding recaps this season.
The long rumored ďbig twistĒ has occurred, and it is indeed a large one. I personally think it is a horrible thing to do to the game, as it fundamentally changes the rules, and in fact rewards the worst players by letting those booted early comeback, but those better players booted later on will indeed go home. I usually like his twists, but this time I feel MB went way too far, and this type of heavy handedness can easily lead to a joke outcome. I am hopeful this will be the last time he completely ruins the game like this, as it was shaping up to be a very good season without this needless twist.
However, my views on the twist itself are not the point of the Pirate Report. Instead we need to figure out who can best adapt to this unique situation.
Rupert was almost psychic this week when he said that he could not count on the pending merge occurring. Now granted, he didnít want a merge to happen, and he got his wish, but he seemed to sense something different coming, and I think he will deal with the twist well. That said, he is digging his own grave in other aspects of the game.
Rupert is not happy. Yeah, I know, this isnít the first time that the emotional hulk of the show has been upset, but this week showed the weaknesses in Rupertís game. He returned from tribal council screaming at his tribe, demanding to know who voted for him when he knew darn well who it was. So the entire exercise was an attempt to intimidate and threaten Jon. I thought it was pathetic, but worse still, it was a terrible move in the game.
Rupert is the strongest player in the game, with one possible exception (who I will get to in a bit). He is clearly embraced by the Morganís as well as the Drakeís, and he is dominant in many, but not all, competitions. He very much asserts his authority over the tribe; his mannerisms indicate that to not obey Rupert is akin to high treason. All of that is good for him, as he is playing the game that best fits his personality, and as the old saying goes, he is walking the walk, and not just talking the talk.
However, where it goes bad is in the way in which he dealt with the attempted backstab and vote. If he was thinking with his head and not his heart, he would realize that he is indeed a target, and all of his constant harping about Drake loyalty is meaningless to people growing convinced that they will lose if they stay loyal to him. He should have found a way to keep that anger stored up, and used it to work with Jon, or discard him. Once again, remember that even Sandra agreed that Rupert does have too much power, and should be taken out before it is too late. She just wanted to wait until they were sure a merge was occurring. Threatening outbursts are not going to make him seem less target worthy.
Jon is in trouble, but he knows it. Early on, it seemed that Jon was playing a good game despite his annoying behavior. Now he is just annoying. In fact, it seems like he is picking a fight with someone every time we turn around. First Sandra, then Shawn. Fortunately for his dental work, he decided not to smart off to Rupert. Clearly Rupert, Sandra, and Christa have a close alliance, and Jon is the man out. His only option is to work with whomever the new person in the tribe is to try to break things up, or hope that Drake avoids council before a merge. The incoming outcast has immunity at the next TC, so Jon is still in trouble, and no other player in the game is in as much trouble as Jon.
Sandra and Christa cruise along in the big skirt of Rupert. They proved their loyalty to the big guy last week, and he works to their favor. As long as he is the Drake lightning rod, and they are in his good graces, they will be free to move forward in the game. One interesting thing this week from Christa. During the middle of the scenes where Rupert and Jon are yelling at each other, we see her quizzing Sandra about the plot against Rupert. She was asking Sandra why she (Christa) was not in on the conversation that led to Trishís plot. She felt out of the loop. It was subtle, but a very, very good question, and it indicates that Christa understands that she has to take care of herself in this game, no matter her loyalty to Rupert.
Overall, the Drakeís should be less affected by the twist than the Morganís. The alliance of three is strong, and they have an obvious boot choice in pocket for the next tribal council. The Morganís on the other hand have a problemÖ
Rupert didnít want a merge to occur, but I think many on Morgan could not wait for it. This twist has to be a major blow to them. Now they will have to find food, and quickly. That is not a small problem for this group.
Worse still, the departure of Osten now means that these folks have to get off the fence on their loyalties. It seems the Darrah and Ryano are pretty close. Very close in some cases. FoRT Survivor expert, and recapper extraordinaire, fluff, says that one consistent MB rule is that he will not show a winning alliance until the very latest possible time. I wonder if Darrah and Ryano are part of that equation?
Ryano might well be as strong in the game as Rupert. He competes well, has a better personality from a group standpoint, and isnít the out front leader in his tribe. If a merge occurred with staggered numbers, I suspect that Andrew would be the first target to be Pagonged simply because he is the obvious head of the Morgan tribe. Ryan is good at blending into the situation, and getting along well with those around him. All of those traits should keep the target off his back, and his underestimated physical strength could carry him on a run post merge.
Darrah is still Darrah, and that is about all I can say about her. She appears to have tied her fate to Ryan for the time being, and that is not a bad choice. I am probably not giving Darrah enough credit, as she has been good for her part in challenges, and she actually cracks me up with her comments sometimes. I think her nearly indecipherable speech may be masking the reality that she is quite intelligent. Or, perhaps my coffee had a little too much ďkickerĒ in it this cold morning.
That leaves Andrew and Tijuana, who did have majority control thanks to Tijuana merely needing to smile at Osten to get his compliance with any plan. These two seem to have been working together since the time of Lilís boot, but with Osten gone, and someone needing to go should this tribe go to council next, I feel the boot will come from either Andrew or Tijuana. Therefore the new addition to this tribe, and their view of the players in place is critical. The Morganís could fragment as each dual alliance attempts to make up with the outcast.
Speculation here is difficult. Obviously we didnít see any of their interaction together, so we have no idea who is in a position of strength in terms of the upcoming vote. Speaking of that vote, I wonder how that will work? Can they vote for themselves? It will be interesting.
I suspect that Burton may well get back into the game. He has Michelleís vote, he led the tribe in the immunity challenge, and he seems to have a high opportunity for extracting revenge. I believe that some of the Outcasts may vote for whomever they think is most likely to ruin the days of the existing tribe members.
For the second choice, I donít know, and donít see any indications in terms of what we were shown, but maybe I missed a hint or two. Lots of spoilers exist indicating who it might be, but I try not to read many spoilers, and secondly, more spoilers are wrong than are right. So if you want to join in the speculation, head on over to the FoRT message boards.
I Guess That Didnít Work
Osten just was not meant to be on Survivor. I think he was a fame seeker, and seriously underestimated the hardships the contestants endure. So his only mistake was signing up for the show in the first place. I blame the producers for selecting him to compete.
Shawn, your demise had been on the agenda for a while, and the endless scheming finally caught up to you. Now the big question remains. Should Shawn have gone, or should it have been Jon instead? Well, I actually think Shawn was the right boot. Both he and Jon had been scheming, and Shawn had jumped voting blocs every week, whereas Jon had been mostly loyal throughout the process. Most importantly though, I think Rupert wanted Shawn gone lest Burton be the guy returning. Yes, Shawn voted to boot Burton, but that was because Jon told him Burton was going to be gone during the walk to tribal council. I think Shawn could have explained that to Burton, who would need friends anyhow, and they could have joined forces again. Might not have mattered, as they still didnít have the votes, but it just seems easier if you are the majority to not have the problem to deal with in the first place.
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