Thursday, April 28, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 11 Power Rankings

(and extraneous thought)

It's been joked many times that Jeff Probst has a crush on Boston Rob, and will do a lot to help him out when he can. Tonight at tribal council though, he went into full on shill mode for his pal "Mariano".

Steve found a line that he really needed to take earlier when it came to Rob - his history. Steve pointed out the All-Stars incident, where Rob asked Lex to save Amber, only to then betray Lex at the first opportunity. Lex felt as though this was a personal attack on their friendship, and the two really haven't talked since. If Steve had been hammering this point earlier and to the right audience (Andrea definitely, and even, *gasp* Philip), he might have been able to turn the game. Instead Steve chose to belittle Philip and partiall bring us that horrendously uncomfortable Tribal Council from last episode.

Still, Steve had it in his head that the girls might still flip on Rob, and he brought up the All-Stars incident. This is when Jeff Probst sprung into action. He took the lead from Steve and went into spin control. When asking Andrea about Steve's point, he made sure to mention first that Rob hadn't betrayed Amber in All-Stars, and still hasn't to this date. He continually pointed out that Amber was not betrayed, while burying the lede that Lex was betrayed. It was a bit offputting to say the least.

One key thing about Jeff Probst as Survivor host is that he is supposed to be the viewer's representative on the show. When he narrates the action of a challenge, he is telling the viewers what is going on. When he asks questions at tribal council, he is supposed to be asking the questions that we would like to be answered in front of the other players. When he attempts to lead the players to his desired conclusions, he is betraying the trust of the viewer, and that harms the game and the show.

It's likely that Probst's actions had no impact on the voting. But it shouldn't have occurred in the first place. As viewers, we shouldn't be left wondering if the impartiality of the game has been compromised. And that is something that Jeff Probst is normally good at controlling.
And off to the power rankings:

I hope this is just a single elimination duel...

10. Steve (8)
9. Ralph (7)

The Pagong-ing of Zapatera is done, with Steve and Ralph headed to Redemption Island. Omatepe wouldn't have a problem with Steve returning, since he's been rather unsuccessful in challenges. Ralph though, would be problematic. He has shown a bit of an affinity to do well in challenges, even without winning. The last thing Omatepe needs is somebody to go on an immunity run.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

8. Matt (10)

Matt certainly seemed like he was ready to quit. And quite honestly, it would have been easy to quit at the shuffleboard challenge. Make a bad throw here, another one there, and you are soon out of the game. But something snapped into place during the competition, and Matt ended up surviving another duel. He is a huge threat if he gets back into the game. you can bet that Rob already has a plan in place for his eventual return.

Insert witty title here

7. Mike (9)

I wish I can say more about Mike; he's just as big of a threat as he was prior to being voted out; his only chance of winning is going on an immunity run. Sadly, this isn't going to happen. Just as importantly, I think his jury question is not going to be interesting in any way. Maybe there's another chance for you to get back on the show Mike; I thing you'll end up doing better.

Crazy unlike a Fox

6. Philip (6)

It's a close to safe bet that Philip is here until the very end. But I get the impression that as much as he claims to have a plan, he has no plan to get jury votes. If he realizes this, he is going after Boston Rob. If he doesn't then he's going to be baffled at why he received no votes.

Hush little baby
don't say a word

5. Andrea (4)

Rob and friends have lulled her into a sense of security, which seems to be her downfall. Well, that and apparently having some human emotions in the game of Survivor.

The sweetest two words in the English Language

4. Ashley (5)

The default bump. If she makes final four, she might sneak into the final three as a "the jury doesn't like her" selection.

I'm not Amber Rob, I swear

3. Natalie (3)

I still don't understand why Rob sees value in bringing Natalie to the final three. He's played the game with Amber, and knows that vote parking in protest against someone is a real possibility. My guess? Rob thinks that the 4-3 vote for Amber might be indicative of a trend, but he can get one extra person in this game to vote for him.

Frontrunners can be fun sometimes

2. Grant (2)
1. Rob (1)

This week was interesting because we got to see Rob's future planning vis a vis Grant's.

Rob's experience helps him in a lot of situations. Tonight was one such night. The tribe was given a mystery package, and Rob immediately goes into control mode. He doesn't know what's in it, but he assumes it's going to be something that will have an immediate impact that is meant to shake up the game. What does he do? Immediately start planning who to vote for after Ralph, their initial target. He does this just in case there's a second vote. As it turns out, Rob was right and yet his machinations really ended up meaning very little; the tribe was likely to vote for Steve without prompting. But that thought to make sure that Plan B was already decided is what puts Rob ahead of everybody else.

Grant was much different in his future planning. He started looking at a long term plan, knowing that soon Zapatera would be gone and Omatepe would have to start getting rid of one of their own. Grant, knowing that he might be a target for this, starts laying the ground work for Andrea to go two votes down the road. Thanks to Steve, Andrea was spared one more vote, but her time is coming. And Grant might have set himself up to be Rob's right hand man. That could be an impressive feat.

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