Monday, May 13, 2013

Survivor: Ranking the Seasons (updated May 2013)

Here are my rankings of Survivor Seasons.

I still have to rewatch a lot of these seasons, so there is a chance that these will change completely at some point. But for now, they are as they are.

(At the suggestion of a reader of a previous post, the format of this post is to put a non-spoiler summary at the beginning, with no details as to what happened in each season. Then I will have a detailed listing that will have spoilers in it.)

Ranking summary:

 1. Survivor: Borneo (Season 1)
 2. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (Season 20)
 3. Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (Season 16)
 4. Survivor: Caramoan (Season 26)
 5. Survivor: Pearl Islands (Season 7)
 6. Survivor: Samoa (Season 19)
 7. Survivor: Amazon (Season 6)
 8. Survivor: Phillipines (Season 25)
 9. Survivor: Palau (Season 10)
 10. Survivor: China (Season 15)
 11. Survivor: Australian Outback (Season 2)
 12. Survivor: Cook Islands (Season 13)
 13. Survivor: Tocantins (Season 18)
 14. Survivor: Africa (Season 3)
 15. Survivor: Redemption Island (Season 22)
 16. Survivor: One World (Season 24)
 17. Survivor: Panama (Season 12)
 18. Survivor: Fiji (Season 14)
 19. Survivor: Guatemala (Season 11)
 20. Survivor: Vanuatu (Season 9)
 21. Survivor: South Pacific (Season 23)
 22. Survivor: All-Stars (Season 8)
 23. Survivor: Marquesas (Season 4)
 24. Survivor: Gabon (Seaon 17)
 25. Survivor: Nicaragua (Season 21)
 26. Survivor: Thailand (Season 5)


1. Survivor: Borneo (Winner: Richard Hatch)
The original can never be duplicated.

2. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)
In this case, familiarity helps. Knowing each of the players going in and how they were likely to play set some expectations. The season lived up to it and more. The casting of players and characters was fantastic. The winner was a bit disappointing, but the lead to the final tribal was great.

3. Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (Winner: Parvati Shallow)
A lot of blind sides, the single stupidest move in Survivor history and some interesting characters introdued. Awesome season. Though I'm a bit frightened at the similiarities between this and the Ruins III.

4. Survivor: Caramoan (Winner: John Cochran)

The first half was about big characters doing whacky (and sometimes uncomfortable) stuff. It was fun in a train wreck sort of way. But once the merge hit, the blind sides came non-stop, we had a shocking tribal council with two idols in play which caused us to see the first ever scramble during tribal council, someone getting blindsided with an immunity idol in their pocket, one of the greatest speech ever getting voted out, a generally likeable cast from final 9 onward and yes, even a satisfying winner. Pretty well everything that you could want in a season, you got.

5. Survivor: Pearl Islands (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)
Rupert. Johnny Fairplay. The season that Survivor became fun to watch for reasons beyond the actual game.

6. Survivor: Samoa (Winner: Natalie White)
Putting aside the jury vote, this season was a win simply because of Russell. His play reinvigorated the show and the game.

7. Survivor: Amazon (Winner: Jenna Morasca)
The first season where alliances were fluid. The game was played in a much different manner than before, with votes moving continually.

Oh, and chocolate and peanut butter.

8. Survivor: Philippines (Winner: Denise Stapley)
This was probably ranked too high due to it being the most recent, and having some memorable moments. It did have a couple of epic tribal councils and the most inept tribe ever, and a complete flip of the game when that inept tribe ended up in the final four. Plus Penner's final jury questions/speech. Awesome.

9. Survivor: Palau (Winner: Tom Westman)
The first season where we saw a true dominant tribe. Then came Stephanie's survival for 2 weeks, then Tom's bold move to threaten to tie a vote to get people on side with him. Very underrated year.

10. Survivor: China (Winner: Todd Herzog)
It has James' stupid non-play of a hidden immunity idol, Todd wearing his bad deeds, and Amanda's first final tribal council failure. A pretty good year.

11. Survivor: Australian Outback (Winner: Tina Wesson)
The beginning of the Jeff Probst/Colby Donaldson bromance. Also the first ever major strategic blunder, though it was at least done out of some sense of loyalty. What ever happened to Elisabeth anyway?

12. Survivor: Cook Islands (Winner: Yul Kwon)
Two of the most likable players in Yul and Ozzie. It also had the funniest Survivor moment, when Sundra and Becky "battled" to build fire. Taking 90 minutes to do so. After being given matches 30 minutes in.

13. Survivor: Tocantins (Winner: J.T. Thomas)
The year of Coach! Also, a great blindside of Tyson and a domination of challenges by J.T.

14. Survivor: Africa (Winner: Ethan Zohn)

Oh Kelly. If only Brandon hadn't have gone into business for himself, we would have had the first momentum swing post-merge ever, and you might have stuck around longer. Also notable for Lex getting eliminated in the Fallen Comrades competition even though he answered a question correctly. That earned him (and Big Tom) 2nd place money.

15. Survivor: Redemption Island (Winner: Rob Mariano)
The Boston Rob show gets up her because of Boston Rob's hilarious confessionals, his running of the show from start to finish and Phillip's wackiness. In an unrelated note, if Rob didn't win I would have rated it lower.

16. Survivor: One World (Winner: Kim Spradlin )
The removal of Colton stopped us from seeing him get his comeuppance that we so richly needed. But at the same time, we had great characters in Tarzan and Kat, an amazing situation where a tribe won immunity then decided to give it away so that they could vote somebody out and possibly the greatest game ever played on Survivor by Kim. I think this could move up when given more time to reflect on it (and other seasons.)

17. Survivor: Panama (Winner: Aras Baskauskas)
The Terry year, where his loss of the final immunity challenge (under questionable means) ended up giving us Aras as a winner. Awesome for Terry's dominance, not so awesome for everything else.

18. Survivor: Fiji (Winner: Earl Cole)
Yau Man and Earl were the stars of the season. The have/have not twist and the inevitability of Earl winning once Dreamz refused to hand over immunity to Yau Man were the downfalls.

19. Survivor: Guatemala (Winner: Danni Boatwright)
Stephanie gets a second chance and turns into a mean person. Still an attractive person, but a mean person nonetheless. And then she loses to Danni.

20. Survivor: Vanuatu (Winner: Chris Daugherty)

Probably the most difficult to place. Chris's victory when outnumbered 5-1 and with not winning immunity was impressive, but the show was horrible before that.

21. Survivor: South Pacific (Winner: Sophie Clarke)
The editing ended up hurting this season, as they built it up to show why Coach lost, instead of why Sophie won. Maybe that happened because they had very little to use to show Sophie as a great player, but that's an even bigger damning of the season.

(Also, the first half of the year with Brandon acting very creepy towards Mikayla was uncomfortable at the best of times.)

22. Survivor: All-Stars (Winner: Amber Brkich)
It gave us Boston Rob and Amber as a power couple, but it also gave us the biggest farce of a final council before Samoa. And the overriding theme of the previous winners didn't deserve to stay around becaue they had already won was annoying and uncomfortable.

23. Survivor: Marquesas (Winner: Vecepia Towery)
This should rank higher. It gave us Boston Rob, whatshername being carried to the island like Cleopatra, and the first shakeup of the status quo. But it was the most frustrating final two ever, with both not really deserving of being there.

24. Survivor: Gabon (Winner: Bob Crowley)
You remember how great it was that Bob Crowley won, but when you think about it more, the season was pretty terrible. Bob Crowley was just a likable person, not a good player. When the most memorable things to have happened was an amusing fake hidden immunity idol and Bob making his buff into a bow tie, you know you have a terrible season.

25. Survivor: Nicaragua (Winner: Judson "Fabio" Birza)
It was a tedious season until Fabio went on his immunity streak. By breaking up the boot order, Fabio rode to victory, and gave us a likeable winner, which puts this ahead of...

26. Survivor: Thailand (Winner: Brian Heidik)
Easily the most unlikable cast in Survivor history. No tribal swap, no merge until the jury and we were left with waiting for the Pagong-ing to finish so Brian Heidik could win. Cool final challenge though.

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Survivor: Caramoan Finale Burning Questions and thoughts

A new format for the finale, as I steal from Bill Simmons and use his "Questions about" format for this finale!

Did Erik's removal really affect the game?

No. I actually had to wait to make sure that Cochran won before answering this, because if Dawn won I could see there being an argument that it did affect things (since she wouldn't have had to get her hands even more bloody.)

How often did you rewind your PVR to listen to Eddie's explanation as to why he wanted to win a million dollars?

About a thousand times. I mean, read this:
"if I do win the million dollars, I want to open like a, like a, dog shelter kennel playpen area, like attached to a bar. Like those are my two favorite things - I like dogs and I like bars. So if I can open like a bar and you can bring your dog there, that'd be unbelievable."

And then read it again:
"if I do win the million dollars, I want to open like a, like a, dog shelter kennel playpen area, like attached to a bar. Like those are my two favorite things - I like dogs and I like bars. So if I can open like a bar and you can bring your dog there, that'd be unbelievable."

One more time:
"if I do win the million dollars, I want to open like a, like a, dog shelter kennel playpen area, like attached to a bar. Like those are my two favorite things - I like dogs and I like bars. So if I can open like a bar and you can bring your dog there, that'd be unbelievable."

And that isn't even the most Eddie-est thing that Eddie ever said! How can somebody who jumped in when Erik went down and acted like a seasoned EMT then come along and say something like that?
In all seriousness, the editors did mess up on that though. You can tell that the first part of that lead-in (about wanting to convince Cochran to take him instead of Dawn to the final three) wasn't said at the same time as Eddie's desire to create a bar with a dog playpen attached.

(Oh, and don't think I'm not looking into a bar with a dog playpen idea.)

Did Cochran get an unfair advantage in the final immunity?

I have to say no. Just going by results, he had more time to figure it out, but hadn't even begun to until everybody else was working on theirs. So let's consider the more abstract question:

Should there be advantages in final immunity challenges?

I'm opposed to specific advantages in immunity challenges. That is completely unfair for such an important event. Let's set aside that it didn't work for Malcolm, and didn't seem to have a huge benefit for Cochran. Just having that advantage is a bit unfair in the first place.

I'm not opposed to the advantage that Terri from Cook Islands had going into the final challenge - it was abstract enough that it wouldn't have a direct impact on the final challenge, but I could understand where it would help. That might be the better answer.

Did you have a problem with Eddie and Erik's questions to Sherri?

Not that much. I get that the sources of the question were kinda ironic (to put it mildly). But at the same time, the jury either had no clue as to what Sherri did or knew what she did and was biased against it because it hurt their game. At the very least somebody had to ask it to give Sherri a chance to make her argument.

Does Sherri understand what was happening at Final Tribal?

Now, yes. But when it was happening? Not a chance. I don't know if she was destroyed by the jury before Erik's vote, or if she really didn't want to deal with the perception that she was a floater, but she shut down anything that Erik might have said which might have helped her. And to do it to Erik? That was terrible.

Honestly, I think she overestimated her game play, and underestimated how much the jury did not respect her game play. Her story was basically "I lead an alliance which got me to the merge, and then got in with the favourites." The problem (which I don't think that she grasped) was that her arguments were easily countered by the jury. She lead an alliance on a tribe that was dominated by the favourites, and then she joined with the favourites and seemingly did nothing to contribute to that alliance. She didn't seem to grasp that this was the perception that she had to get over. Her opening statement was a bit tone deaf, thinking that her revelation that she's a successful business woman will have an impact on the jury is so out of touch with what they were looking for.

Does Eddie understand that he would have been in the same position as Sherri at Final Tribal?

No, because he probably assumed the Amigos would just bro-up and vote for him, Michael would vote for him because they were on the same tribe for a while and kinda aligned at one point, Andrea would vote for him because he's awesome and that Corrine would vote for him because, well, isn't Eddie dreamy?

The reality is that Reynold probably would have voted for him, but the others? Not a chance in hell. I would have laughed a lot when it happened, BTW. Especially if Reynold voted for Cochran as well. Heck, I wish it would have happened. But this is the guy that there was a Dawn/Erik/Sherri final 5, and thought that voting for the person who wasn't voted out every time post merge except once was a sign that he wasn't strategic enough (which betrays the lack of understanding he has for the game.)

Is this the biggest collection of challenge threats ever?
That was an interesting point that Cochran brought up during the final tribal council, and initially I dismissed it as some smoke blowing by Cochran. But the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with Cochran. I mean you'd have to look at All-Stars and Heroes vs. villains as the most likely to have those challenge threats, but they tended to get voted out pre-merge in those seasons. So in this case I'm willing to agree if we look at it post-merge.

Did Dawn's not removing her teeth cost her the game?

Ooops. I wrote this before Dawn removed her teeth. Quick change to:

Did Dawn's delay in removing her teeth cost her the game?

No, but it probably did cost her a vote. It was great that she was willing to remove her teeth to prove that she wasn't going to leave the game, but at the same time it came across as though Brenda had bullied her into doing it instead of Dawn owning it and doing it on her own volition. Malcolm's whole point in the beginning was that Dawn needed to own everything and stand up to the jury. If she had just done it immediately, she might have gotten Malcolm's vote. Between that and a bit too much deferral to the Cochran/Dawn team probably cost her votes.

Instead, she was whitewashed, and unfairly to an extent; this was more of a Stephen Fishbach shutout than a Dreamz/Cassandra shutout. Dawn played a good game; she made bonds, got information and then used that information to further her game instead of letting somebody else further their game. But in the end she faced off against somebody who played her game, but did so without the same sort of impact on personal relationships in part because Dawn made those relationships for Cochran.

Is there a Godfather analogy to be made for the Dawn/Cochran relationship?
No, unless you want to consider Dawn to be the "Don", and Cochran to be the consigliere.

(Actually, that might not be bad. And it has that homophone effect as well. Let's try to run with it.)

The biggest weakness to this comparison is that Dawn wasn't the leader of much of anything. But if you look at is as Dawn being the "face" of the group, and Cochran as the person behnd the scenes making the things happen, it does kinda fit if you squint. Cochran ran the show, in a sense at the direction of Dawn (or at least the information that Dawn gave him.)

Hmmm...maybe that's not the best idea. Maybe the better analogy would be Cochran as Don and Dawn as one of his Lieutenants, who is there to help run the show on the ground but at the same time is there to take the blows for the Don. Ultimately that's what happened.

What was the underrated event that caused Cochran to win the game?

When Malcolm made the Three Amigos immune and caused Phillip to get voted out. The biggest hurdle that Cochran had was to somehow vote Phillip while keeping him from getting bitter about Cochran's betrayal. Malcolm made it easy by having the two idols, and Erik pushed it over the top by bringing up that Malcolm didn't necessarily have to play both idols. The best path for the favourites at that point was to continue with their voting plan, and for the Three Amigos the best plan to play the idols. Which meant that Cochran had his problem solved: Phillip got voted out and Cochran had absolutely no blood on his hand for it.

Will Cochran's win stop Jeff Probst's mocking?

Yes, because now Probst can use him as part of his inspirational speaking style. (Of course, continually bringing up Cochran's nerdiness is a bit of mocking, but small steps.)
(Oh, and Stephen Fishbach, look out! Cochran wants to be a writer. Wouldn't People want a former winner as their Survivor blogger?)

Can Phillip play the game ever again now that he's inducted impartial Jeff Probst into Stealth R Us?

Of course. In final tribal we saw that Stealth R Us membership is revocable. So Phillip would just revoke it in the interest of fairness (like all good members of Stealth R Us.)

How many people tweeted the twist for next season before the tease was shown?

Probably a million billion.

How awkward was that little girl interview?

More awkward than having the non-jury cast members sitting in the crowd and not on stage.

Did you like the new format of the finale?

Yup. Honestly, there wasn't anything that I really wanted to hear from the pre-jury members, save maybe the odd insult from Corrine. It sucks for them and a bit unfair to them, but at the same time what where they going to add?

Would they have had that format if Phillip didn't make the jury?

Had the person who suggested that they were finally going to bring a third tribe to the beach ever watch a season of Survivor before this one?


Is Survivor: Blood vs. Water a tortured way to get a cool name for the Family twist?


So, where does Cochran rank in the pantheon of winners?

You'll have to wait until later in the week to find that out.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan Episode 13 Thoughts

I think that Cochran has played a great game this year, as you can tell by how I have ranked him in my power rankings. But tonight, he made a mistake that might end up hurting him.

Let's begin with what wasn't a mistake. The concept of targetting Brenda was smart of Cochran, regardless of how aware Cochran is of Dawn being close to Brenda. She was a threat to win the game, and just as importantly Brenda was a threat to win immunity and mess up Cochran's preferred final three of himself, Dawn and Sherri. It also wipes out the last strategic threat in the game, who could mess up his plans in many ways.

However it was a mistake to actually vote out Brenda at this vote. The one rule that I continually hammer home that you need to follow in Survivor is "Keep It Simple, Stupid" or the KISS Principle. In this case, the KISS solution to who to vote out would be Eddie. He's on the outside of the core alliance of 5 and voting him out doesn't affect your final three alliance of Dawn and Sherri. It also won't cause harsh feelings with somebody on the jury - Brenda getting voted out in final 5 would be understood, and not a problem for Cochran at all. But Brenda getting blindsided in the final 6? That's damage for Cochran, getting rid of Brenda right after she gifted him with a family visit and BBQ. It was unnecessary, and it seemed like Cochran did it mostly because it was a big play. If you feel as though you are in charge of the game (which Cochran apparently does), you don't need to have make a big move. Just stay the course and all will be fine.

There is also the risk that Eddie will go on an immunity run, and will carry that and a bitter jury to a win. That's less likely but still not something that I want to risk.

And with that said, if Cochran made a mistake, Dawn made an absolutely colossal blunder. Take all of the reasons why it was a mistake for Cochran to vote out Brenda, amplify them by a million billion times, and throw in a dash of "keeping Brenda makes you the swing vote in the final 5 and almost assuredly allows you to pick who you will go with to final tribal. It makes absolutely no sense for Dawn to drop the hammer on Brenda, and I feel like Dawn didn't put very much effort into keeping Brenda around. While this might have been a mistake for Cochran which might affect him in final tribal, this was 100% a mistake for Dawn that will 100% affect her in final tribal. She can not get Brenda's vote now, and she's probably going to get an epic speech delivered towards her at final tribal by Brenda. Dawn's best case scenario is that Brenda's speech does not impact the other jurors' votes. The worse case? It leads to Dawn getting shut out in final voting.

Reward Challenges - Are they worth it?

This week's challenge was the beloved Family challenge where the winner ends up having to choose other Survivors to get family visits as well, or have to give up their own visit to let everybody else get a visit. This time there was an added twist - there were second family members to visit for a barbecue. The other catch? Brenda, the winner of the challenge had already selected Dawn to have a visit from her loved one. So Brenda wasn't just having to choose to give up her visit, but also to give up Dawn's visit as well. Automatically this is a no win situation for Brenda. No matter what choice she makes, she is going to have people angry with her, and she's obviously besties with Dawn. If she chooses to keep the family visit for her and Dawn, she's a selfish person. If she chooses to give away the family visit, she's pandering for jury votes and pisses off Dawn. So what's she to do?

I have no good answer to this. It's a choice that I don't know that I could make if it was presented to me. I think that I would make the same decision as Brenda, but it would absolutely destroy me to hurt Dawn in that way. I would only hope that Dawn would eventually understand. And I'll be honest, there would be a lot of swearing at Jeff Probst and probably a tearful breakdown. But at the same time I think I would have another solution all together: just not win.

If you look at most individual rewards, you end up having to choose people to share it with you. Those choices only lead to creating strain on other relationships with people who feel that you should bring them to the reward. So why not just punt the decision and let somebody else get the angry attacks, especially if that meant that you could still reap the rewards? It just doesn't make any sense.

I appreciate the producers actually making the decision hard for people to make, but they might have swung the pendulum too far the other way. Next season will be interesting to see if there is a switch in strategy.

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan Episode 12 Power Rankings

6. Sherri

Sherri has the same problem as Eddie - her chances of winning are basically reliant on the jury being bitter. Thus far, it doesn't look like we are headed to a bitter jury so Sherri's chances to win are even worse than Eddie. At least Eddie can claim to be a part of a group that tried to flip the game; Sherri really doesn't have that.

Preferred Final Tribal: A final 2 with Eddie

5. Eddie

I've already predicted that Eddie is going to make final tribal. I just don't see how he can win.

Preferred Final Tribal: A final 3 with Cochran and Dawn. The theory here is that if Dawn and Cochran make final tribal, they are going to have to wear the elimination of everybody and they are both going to try to make the argument that they were teh main reason for making final tribal. Eddie could somehow split this and just say he did nothing bad and if the jury is angry enough, they will vote for Eddie. This wouldn't work for a final 3 with, say, Brenda and Erik, but a definite pair who crushed their alliance and their opposition? That might work.

4. Brenda

Andrea was right when she was making the plea to get rid of Brenda. Brenda hasn't angered anybody, and has been a pretty good challenge competitor. She can easily win if she makes the final tribal. That's why I think the odds are that she won't make it unless she goes on an immunity run.

Preferred Final Tribal: (From here on out, just assume Eddie and Sherri unless I specify otherwise).

3. Dawn

Dawn is third because I think that she's going to be the one that everybody is concerned about in the final four. They could see her as a threat to win. And even if she doesn't get eliminated, her telling on multiple people and their plans could come back to haunt her.

2. Cochran

Cochran is riding a great run, having eliminated his biggest rival in Andrea and looking like he's in the driver's seat. With that said, not having the cover of Andrea means that Cochran has put a bigger target on his back, especially with 2 immunity challenge wins under his belt. It might end up coming down to himself and Dawn as the final 2 options for the final torch snuffing.

1. Erik
Before I get to Erik's future chances, let me defend Erik for a minute. Yes, him giving the idol to Andrea was questionable in a vacuum. He could have easily just kept it for himself and it would have been legit under the rules. But consider it from his point of view. If he keeps the idol for himself, which he was only searching for because Andrea shared the info and his entire alliance was searching for it, he could come across as greedy and scheming. Given the tone of the tribe was to look for a big move, that could have easily been a blindside of him. Also, if he made final tribal at the expense of Andrea and the others thanks in part to the idol, that pains him in a negative light as well. When you consider that his strategy has been to have no strategy, this would go counter to the image he wanted to portray.

As for his chances of winning, Erik has two challenges to winning. First, he needs to make final tribal, and that might mean putting together a run of immunity victories. It's certianly a possibility that I wouldn't be surprised by if it happened.

The second challenge is that Erik needs to communicate his story clearly at final tribal. He needs to finesse it, saying that he wasn't the mastermind behind the plans to put the jury on the jury, but he was the one who made the decision tribal after tribal as to who was going home. He needs to emphasize that he was integral to the results, but not the planning. That he had decisions to make but not plans to be designed. If he does that, he stands a great chance of winning.

Preferred final 3: Dawn and Cochran. Erik can be carried by them strategically, but he can dominate them during the game to make the point that he is more than just a guy who came up with a plan. As well, he can contrast himself with Cochran and Dawn's actions and look good.

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Survivor: Caramoan Episode 12 Thoughts

As I was finished watching this episode a thought crossed my mind that sent shivers down my spine. It is so unthinkable that I tried everything that I could to get it out of my mind. But no matter how much I tried, it lingered, like the stench of death.

Eddie is going to the final tribal council.

What frightens me about it isn't so much that he's going to be there, but that he stands a chance of winning if the jury gets bitter.

I realize this is far away thinking, but it is obvious now that the Favorites are thinking ahead to final tribal and who they want to face, or more specifically, who they do not want to face. This was prompted by Andrea's big play thinking, which she had been able to harness only when she needed to (specifically when the Three Amigos were looking flip the split vote on to her.) Obviously she felt that now was a good time to make her move and put herself into what she felt woudl be a better position for final tribal. That triggered the rest of the favorites' strategy and survival skills and caused the nuclear strike we ended up seeing.

Now that the favorites have been woken up to the fact that they are going to have to get rid of other people who seem like they could win, which basically encompasses the rest of the favorites. So they're going to go after each other, while Eddie and Sherri squeak on through. Eventually, they are just going to reach a point that where the favorites have taken each other out and one or two of them are left with Eddie and Sherri. And ultimately, would you rather go against Eddie or another favorite?

As for Eddie's chances to win, they are long. But they do exist.

I know that I've ranted about how Sandra did not deserve to win Heroes vs. Villains, in part because her argument was that the strategy and plays that she attempted to make failed. However, that's going to be a better argument than what Eddie can present to the jury. Eddie's argument for the jury is basically "Hey, I didn't do anything to you guys." That would be infinitely more frustrating because there isn't even an appeal to the jury to say "Hey I was smarter than you" like Sandra's pitch implicitly said. Eddie's pitch would be a pure "You hate those guys, right? So vote for me to stick it to them." And if he won, that would be the worst.

An Ode to Reynold

I might be the only person watching Survivor who actually liked Reynold. He had a little bit of douchiness, but nowhere near as much as Eddie. And his plans never seemed to work out. But he was a hard worker, a good challenge competitor and he was never willing to give up. He also had a positive attitude that I doubt I could have if every single plan I made ended up failing miserably in the end. And his faith in others was something to behold; even Erik wasn't that trusting.

Was he a great player? No. But he wasn't a bad player either. I'd actually be interested to see him play again and how he might change his play the second time around. At a minimum, he will be good for great plans that fail in predictable ways.

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