Monday, October 01, 2012

Survivor: Philippines Episode 2 Power Rankings

Not much of a change this week...

No Chance: Lisa, Jeff

No change from last week in this group.

Lisa continued to be alienated from the rest of her tribe, and somehow managed to make her situation worse this week.

It's personal confession time: like Lisa, I am an introvert. I like and value my alone time, and to be honest, kinda need it. However, I think I grasp something that she doesn't - if you take that time to yourself while everybody else is spending time together, you are basically giving them an excuse to talk about how untrustworthy you are and how you need to be voted out. Lisa needs a big rally just to stay in the game, let alone win it. We've seen it happen a few times in recent seasons (Holly from Nicaragua and Dawn from South Pacific spring to mind immediately,) but until we see some sort of fight being shown by Lisa, she is as good as gone.

Jeff has a different issue - his knee is horrendously hurt, but he has to keep up all appearances that he isn't as hurt as he seems.  They have given him a brace, which has to help, but at the same time just brings continual attention to his injury.  If the Red tribe is smarter than the Heroes from Heroes vs. Villains, Jeff has a lot of trouble ahead of him. With Penner finding a hidden immunity idol, Jeff might have a bigger hurdle ahead of him.

Not Much of a Chance: Aba-Maria, Angie

No change from last week in this group as well. But both were significant players in this week's stories.

Angie factored into this week's boot, by being the other possible person to be voted out, and by creating some sort of romance/alliance/snuggle grouping with Malcolm.  I get why she would want to do it; heck I would consider doing it if I was as cold as she claimed. But everything else was a just a demonstration of how young and lacking of Survivor awareness Angie is. She did not seem to understand why people would view her benign snuggling with Malcolm as anything bad. She was honest about not being able to do the sled portion of the immunity challenge, but even that did not seem to be something that she saw as that big of a deal. And her performance in that Tribal Council...just wow. I wouldn't have blamed Denise and Russell if they decided to change their votes right then and there. I mean, there are many answers that you could give to the question of "What one thing would help the most right now?" And in all honesty, cookies isn't the worst answer in the world. I'm sure that cookies would help boost morale in the short term. But that isn't the answer that Probst is looking for, and is likely to piss off the rest of your tribemates. In general, when Jeff Probst is speechless after your answer, and then starts to berate you at Tribal Council, you know you have messed up.

All of this just points to how she is playing the game. She makes decisions based on the best outcomes in the short term, with no real consideration on how it would affect her long term plans, goals and consequences. While Sandra Diaz-Twine ran that strategy twice and won two seasons of Survivor, Sandra was also smart enough to know when she might need to make a move to help herself in the medium and long terms. I'm not sure that Angie has the same sort of smartness; instead I think her game play just comes from her youth. She's 20 after all. Most significant decisions that she will have faced will have very little long term consequences for her, so it's not something that would naturally be a part of her decision making process.

This is certainly something that others could exploit to their advantage in an alliance. And it is something that could carry Angie far into the game (maybe even to final tribal). But it is not a winning strategy.

Aba-Maria is also playing a losing game, but for a much different reason. Abi-Maria is incredibly unstable, and is already looking for reasons to betray people. She is the Alicia (One World) of this season - looking to pick fights with people, and has an incredible temper that makes her unpredictable. If she doesn't get voted out shortly, she is going to leave a wake of destoyed alliances behind her and make herself an ideal person to take to the final three if only to lose.

The returning players: Russell, Penner

It was interesting to see how both handled being the target of everybody.  Penner went for the easy way out; he searched for the hidden immunity idol, even at the risk of alienating his own tribe. Russell was much more conciliatory, choosing not to look for the idol but instead trying to re-build the relationships that he destroyed. And yet both are in the same position - on the outside of their tribe, and still at risk of getting voted out.

At least Penner has the idol.

Okay Chance to Win: Skupin, Dana, RC, Katie, Artis, Carter

Carter gets moved to this group because he literally hasn't had any sort of lines or camera time beyond the immunity challenges. It's going to be tough to be considered a winner when the producers haven't even set you up with any sort of face time.

RC has started to reap the rewards of playing the game too quickly. She immediately grabbed Abi-Maria and created an alliance, but as we've seen, that probably wasn't the best of ideas. Now it's not that bad for her; the first vote is probably going to be Lisa, which will save RC. But RC is going to have to seriously consider getting rid of Aba-Maria before Aba-Maria gets rid of RC. In doing that, RC could get herself labelled as untrustworthy.  Plus, if word gets back to Aba-Maria, she will reign her wrath down on RC.

(Please let this happen.)

Good Chance to Win: Pete, Denise

Denise gets moved up because of her alliance with Malcolm, along with her decision this week to vote out Roxanne.

Realistically, Denise's move isn't a giant one. She had to choose between two players who weren't that strong in challenges. But the real choice Denise made was to help solidfy her alliance with Malcolm by essentially backing him up over Russell/Roxanne, and put Russell into a corner as the next person to go. If she went the other way, she would be #3 in a 3 person alliance, and will have betrayed the first person she aligned with.  Why mess with a good thing?

Very Good Chance to Win: Dawson

We didn't see too much of Dawson this week, but we did see her come back in time to catch Penner searching for the hidden immunity idol. If I had to guess, I would say that she will be the one to notice the symbol thingy off of the rice container and figure out that Penner has the idol.

The Favourite: Malcolm

Malcolm found himself in another awkward situation, and handled it to the best of his ability. I think it was folly to cuddle with Angie and not try to distance himself from her otherwise. But with that said, he handled the rest of the situation rather well. He saw that others were together and talking, and recognized that they could be plotting to get rid of Angie. He made his move and pushed to get rid of the ringleader of that plan, and was successful. His biggest problem now? Being in the small tribe, he risks getting absorbed into another tribe and just getting Pagong-ed. He has to hope that he does as well (if not better) than Jenna Lewis and Rupert from All-Stars.

Eliminated: Roxanne

Roxanne was right to identify the Angie/Malcolm grouping as a problem. And she was right to target Angie for getting the boot; Angie isn't exactly a benefit on challenges, so it is easy to lose her.  But Roxanne's downfall was that she herself was also expendable. If Roxanne showed anything in the challenges, she could have saved herself. But instead she was just as unhelpful as Angie, and Roxanne managed to alienate herself from the rest of the tribe, where Russell only wanted her around to feed him information while the rest wanted her gone. maybe if Roxanne had helped around camp, things would have been different; Malcolm might have been willing to dump the liability that is Angie, or Denise might have been willing to send Angie away and deal with the fall out with Malcolm.  The lesson here is if you are going to make a move to get rid of another player, make sure that there is no chance you can get outflanked by your target.

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