Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific Episode 10 Thoughts

I don't have too much to say abou this episode. Standard Pagonging continued, and now things get interesting. In theory, Cochran should be next to go, but this is probably the best opportunity to switch up the game.

What we are likely going to see is a game of chicken between Albert and Coach, with both daring the other to make the first move against the other. Albert is in a worse position since he can't directly strike against Coach, but needs to convince Coach that Coach the actual target to get the hidden immunity idol played.

With that said, there is also the chance that the six stay together and then split at five, setting up a final three alliance. Or the bottom two team up with the returning Redemption Island and force another rock situation and possibly somebody to flip to stay alive. No matter what ends up happening though, this is where Survivor nerds start to get excited.

(BTW, kudos to the producers for summarizing the Pagonging into two episodes. I realize that wasn't the intent with this episode; they were hoping that the last Savaii member would win immunity and force Upolu to scramble and show cracks in their alliance. But this is a satisfactory secondary result.)

* * *

What intrigued me most about this episode was Ozzy's statement that he was in the best position possible for him. And you know what? He's right.

The one thing about Redemption Island is that it is a boon for a strong challenge competitor. If you get sent there, you will be facing a narrower field with the competition getting progressively easier as you go along. When you get back into the game, you only have to win 3 immunity challenges in a row (or find out where everybody else stands and arrange some sort of flip.) And if you make it to final immunity, you have an easy story to sell a jury - that you outlasted and outplayed everybody in challenges. Combine that with a jury that has probably been screwed by the other people at final tribal, and you have an easy march to victory.

There's another reason why this helps Ozzy, though it's one that he will never admit to. By being at Redemption Island, it prevents Ozzy from trying to play a strategic game.

The only thing that Ozzy has gotten right in this game is that Cochran needed to be voted out. Beyond that, Ozzy was wrong to trust Cochran, wrong to trust Keith, wrong to have himself voted out and just wrong about most everything. Keeping him from playing the strategic game means that he can't make any more poor decisions; he can just concentrate on what he does well. Specifically, he can concentrate on feeding himself, and winning competitions. And who knows? Maybe Ozzy can pull a Fabio and win his way to a Survivor victory.

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