Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 5 Thoughts

The way to win Survivor is to "Outwit, outplay and outlast". But realistically, the path to winning Survivor is to make better decisions than your opponents. Zapatera have truly failed to keep this in mind, and it has cost them two tribe mates.

I've explained why it was a poor decision to throw a challenge and all those reason still hold. One other reason why it was a poor decision - Russell would have made sure that the tribe put their best team forward and either everybody agreed, or they knew that it was his decision.

Instead, Zapatera had Sarita choose Stephanie to be the caller/puzzle solver, thinking Stephanie would be a good puzzle solver, but more importantly, assertive enough to lead people through a maze blindfolded. David and Steve felt that David would be better at solving a puzzle, and the puzzle was the more important part of the caller's job. As it turns out, they were correct and Stephanie lost to Rob's l33t puzzle solving skillz. Once they regrouped, the core alliance started to blame each other for the loss, showing that they were starting to fracture (David really did not like being told that he wasn't good under pressure.)

At tribal council, the core alliance within the tribe made another error, voting out Krista instead of Stephanie. I still do not understand how this happened beyond Julie's explanation that she felt Stephanie could still be brought back into the Zapatera fold. Even that explanation seems lacking. When Russell was voted out, Stephanie waas the most vocal about how stupid it was to throw a challenge and to vote Russell out. Krista was more subdued in comparison; to me she seemed more likely to play ball if you reached out to her. (Which is yet another poor decision on Zapatera's part; choosing to leave Stephanie and Krista on the outside, when you could use them to blindside the others if you choose, is a bad idea when your tribe has been dominant and you face the possibility of having 2 wild cards who could end up flipping to the other side.)

These failed decisions, along with a few other personal failed decisions (Ralph revealing he has the hidden immunity idol; Sarita choosing to take responsibility for assigning roles in the challenge; David not stepping up to demand the ball; Julie not flipping from a situation when she was 6th in a 6 person alliance to a situation where she was 4th in a 4 person alliance) are leading Zapatera down a losing path, regardless of how many challenges they win. They can only hope that there is still a decision that will have them switch paths to win.
***
Just a few quick hits:
  • Jeff Probst said that this week's episode would have one of the best examples of “outwit” [Probst has] seen in quite a while. He had to be referring to Boston Rob outwitting Grant by switching immunity idol clues to the old, vague one. While a fun move, Probst oversold that way too much. The most amusing thing was watching Rob and Grant work overtime, getting paranoid that others might get an idea that something was up. Meanwhile, nobody else seemed to care (likely because they thought Rob was trying to work out his pooping issues from last week's episode.

  • Stephanie made a smart play this week in letting Omatepe know that she and Krista were willing to flip. Giving that sort of information to Boston Rob will only end up helping them in the long run; while Russell would have used that to have Stephanie and Krista voted out, Rob is more likely to welcome them for at least a few tribal councils. And most anything that get you further in the game is a good thing

  • The most interesting thing about this week's episode? How uncrazy Phillip came across. Instead, he came across as a well reasoned person who knew that he had to do something about Boston Rob before Phillip's were virtually nil. It was a startling change in his edit which is worth watching going forward.

***
Tomorrow, I'll reveal my first power rankings of the year!)

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