Thursday, October 11, 2012

Survivor: Philippines Episode 4 Thoughts and Power Rankings

Something that it's time to start considering: Is Matsing the worst tribe ever? The competition is basically between them and Ulong from Palau.  Matsing have actually had two advantages on Ulong: Matsing hasn't had to face a dominant challenge duo like Ian and Tom, and Matsing hasn't actually had to win a competition, they just to not lose. And yet, Matsing still managed to finish last in each challenge so far. It was not the dominance of the other teams, but Matsing's own incompetence that has lead them here.  Worse yet is that it doesn't look as though Matsing will be disbanded soon. It will be a 6 on 6 on 2 battle. We might see our second ever tribe that is just absorbed into another tribe due to a lack of tribe members.

No Chance: Lisa, Jeff

It looks like the tide has turned on Jeff, and it happened right as he was making a big move. Jeff decided that maybe it would be a good idea to go to the end with Jonathan Penner, who has been known to alienate people in the past. Solid choice on his part. And bringing in Carter isn't a bad idea either; having an immunity threat on your side helps when you want to get somebody out. Unfortunately for Jeff, the girls saw the guys little pow-wow, and they are going to do what they can to stop this man alliance. And of course, Dawson knows that Jeff Kent is a famous baseball player. So when push comes to shove, I'm guessing that Dawson will use this to turn the advantage to the girl's favour.

Not Much of a Chance: Abi-Maria, RC, Katie

Another week, another Abi-Maria blow up. This time, Abi-Maria sees the immunity idol clue in RC's bag, and declares it to be another reason that RC can't be trusted. And again, Abi-Maria goes on to make a big scene of this discovery, and drives home that RC should be the next to go. It seems like this is going to go unpunished, but it could add up to a flipping of the narrative on Abi-Maria.

RC's problem is that she is a reasonable person, and assumed that she would be dealing with reasonable people, so she made an alliance with the first person who she talked to about an alliance. That's fine to assume in real life. However anybody who has watched a couple of seasons of Survivor knows that you can not assume that all of the people are actually reasonable. Making a bad alliance has been the downfall of many people; RC will just be the latest to fall prey to it.

The returning players: Penner, Skupin

Penner has made a remarkable comeback after sputtering in the early going. He now has an alliance with Jeff and Carter, and has the hidden immunity idol as back up in case something goes horribly awry. I doubt it is going to help him win the game, but it helps his position right now.

Okay Chance to Win: Dana, Artis, Carter, Malcolm, Denise

Just want to throw a shout out to Carter, who is actually playing the game now. He's made a solid alliance and has figured out that there is more than just winning tribal immunity to playing this game.

Malcolm and Denise get moved down here because, you know, they are certain to be outnumbered in any new tribe. And they might not even make it to a merge or anything.  One thing that I wanted to touch on is the notion that Malcolm and Denise are now outed as a pair. Look at the performance over the last two or three challenges and ask yourself who performed the worst from the blue tribe? The only objective answer is Russell. So it's not necessarily obvious to everybody else that Malcolm and Denise are a pair that has been established since day 1. It could be assumed that they just got rid of the biggest liability they had.

Good Chance to Win: Dawson

Downgraded because of this boy/girl split. Dawson might be able to come out okay, but it could hurt her in the long run by weakening her tribe and alliances. Since this season seems to be coming down to being Red vs. Yellow, having a bigger alliance is actually going to be more valuable in the short run.

The Favourite: Pete

Pete just might be the better version of Russell Hantz. This week he threw another bomb into the Abi-Maria/RC alliance by planting the immunity idol clue in RC's stuff. That was rather Russell-esque, as it kept the tribe somewhat destabilized. But it also furthered Pete's goal of getting RC out of the game while also strengthening his alliance with Abi-Maria. It's a somewhat brilliant strategy that could only go horribly awry if Abi-Maria goes off the rails.

Eliminated: Russell

Russell was a victim of his own beliefs, it would seem. Jeff Probst had him nailed when he said that Russell acted as though he was a superhero. Russell took that belief (or confidence, depending on how you want to frame it) and used it to become a leader that he was telling us that he didn't want to be. That in turn lead to him making two critical decisions which ended up leading to Matsing losing the first two immunity challenges. The superhero complex also lead Russell to try to come back in the third immunity challenge, even though he was not strong enough to climb a ladder. It's the sort of thing that I am sure helps Russell in his real life, but it will hurt him each and every time he plays Survivor.

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