Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Survivor: One World Episode 2 Thoughts

One of the many questions that gets asked during the game of Survivor is "When is it safe to take out one of your own alliance members for the greater good?" After the merge, it's normally "When we can safely lose a member of our voting alliance and still have the numbers edge." But in the early game, it's not so clear.

The women alliance faced this very decision this episode. They had a clear target to be voted out going into the immunity challenge - Nina. She had a nasty fall in the first immunity challenge, and she is the oldest of her tribe remaining. It would be pretty easy to get rid of her next, if only to try to win a challenge. But as the challenge unfolded, the women were undone in part by Kat's inability to listen to Jeff Probst and the instructions.

This left the women alliance with a choice - keep Nina, who might have been the oldest, but was at least competent, or keep Kat, who was more youthful and was a part of their alliance, but seems to get confused rather easily and is probably more of a liability in a challenge situation. It truly is a tough call, as there are many factors in play.

If they voted Kat out, their alliance still had a majority within the tribe, so that wasn't a fear. But there's no guarantee that the majority will remain; there is a chance that there is a merge or some other situation that splits them. Having 5 strong in that case is better than having 4. As well, voting Kat out opens up the possibility of their alliance splintering, with one or two picking up the remaining players and then voting out a player they perceive to be a liability (such as Alicia, who's mouth can cause problems.) Of course, if they keep Kat, the point might be moot, as they could continue to lose immunity and be forced to keep voting their own out.

It's certainly a conundrum wrapped in an enigma, and there is no good answer. The key for the women's alliance is to follow through now that they've decided to keep Kat. Barring extreme incompetence, they need to keep their alliance strong. We'll see if they follow through.
***
Colton had one heck of an episode. He managed to go from being alienated from the men's tribe, to being alienated from both tribes, to starting a new alliance of the outcasts from the men's tribe.

It was interesting to watch because he is obviously smart enough to come up with the plan he did to get the outcasts behind him. But he isn't socially adept enough to work much of anything else. Take what happened with the women. He was over there so much, the women created a meeting just to be rid of him. This is the sort of thing that he brings with him, and is what will end up being his downfall.

The alliance he created was one of convenience. Those in it (presuming it exists; we actually only have Jonas giving Colton credit for being smart to assume that this has caused an alliance) were brough together by Colton's idol, and a common desire to not have the frat boy alliance run roughshod over everybody else. It's an alliance that is begging to be broken up at some point, likely when Colton burns one bridge too many, and it will likely fall with Colton being the one blindsided. But until he is blindsided, it will be entertaining to watch.

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