Monday, April 30, 2012

Survivor: One World, Ep. 11 - Mission: Impossible?

Some neuroscientists have begun to postulate that people don't use reason when making a decision.  Instead, they use reason & logic after the fact to justify a decision that has already been made. I don't know how true this is, but you saw hints of this phenomenon from Kat.
Kat was hurt that Kim didn't take her on the reward.  Kat wants to hurt Kim in return.  She faces two immediate logical obstacles in justifying/rationalizing her anger:
1.  Chelsea might have been more deserving to go on the reward than Kat was.
2.  Most of the tribe didn't go on the reward.  Kat wasn't singled out.  Sabrina is a core alliance member, and she didn't get picked either.
Kat used sophistry to dismiss point 1 ("we're all hungry").  Kim didn't say Kat wasn't hungry, she said Chelsea had eaten less than Kat.  Kat is willfully ignoring that there might be a distinction between Chelsea and herself and creating a false equivalency.  Yes, they are both hungry, but that's not the issue - the issue is who is more deserving to go based on past rewards.
As for point 2, Kat can't openly complain too much about being denied a reward that was also denied others.  This is where her wheels really started turning -  I'm not really upset about the reward ... I don't want to be seen as a weak player...  I didn't come out here to be a follower.... A move against Kim would show I'm a bold player ...
Kat wants to hurt Kim.  It's all because of her petty anger and jealousy of being denied the reward.  She can't say it.  She can't even think it.  So, she's rationalizing another reason why she might vote against Kim - and Troy is giving her all the justifications she needs to do so. Kim has to get rid of Kat next - Kat is too dangerous in her state.
The reason this is dangerous for all the girls, not just Kim, is that Troy now thinks Kat is his project.  If Kat moves against Kim and is successful - Troy will think it was his doing.  If Kat makes the finals - Troy will DEFINITELY vote for Kat (after all, in Troy's mind, she'll be there because she listened to Troy's wisdom).  This argument might also gain traction with the rest of the men on the jury (i.e., Kim was the mastermind who took the men out, but Kat saw the light and took out Kim - let's vote for Kat). 

So, the rest of the girls have to take both Kim and Kat out before the final three - either one is shaping up to be the favorite to win a jury vote.  However, people are really running out of time to make a move against Kim seeing as she still has the idol.
Other thoughts:
- That reward challenge is the ultimate pickle.  They've run it at least 10 times, and I think it's usually not worth winning.  So, why did Kim win it and then complain about it for the rest of the day?  Has she ever watched the show?  Does she know you are allowed to throw a challenge if you want?
-  Christina was voted least deserving to be there when Tarzan is still around?!?!?!  OUCH!!!!
-  Sabrina was voted as doing the least around camp?  I didn't see that one coming.
-  Troy said the pig was 170 lbs. and they never were going to catch it.  He was wrong on both counts.  The swine was half that weight and Michael Skupin killed a pig of similar size on Survivor: Australia.  Troy made the comment that the girls were crazy to think we could catch it AFTER Troy had made a considerable effort, and failed to do so.  How convenient for Troy to fail at a task, and then declare it impossible.  The impossible mission for Troy was saving himself after he lost immunity.  Catching a pig has been done:

P.S. Yes, that is Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View showing off her abs in the clip.

Survivor: One World, Ep. 10: Pyrrhic Victory

Chelsea told Troy to 'take it like a man the way Jonas did.'  Here's my question for Chesea - which doesn't belong and why?
A.  Jonas
B.  Troy
C.  Jay
Answer:  A - because, unlike the other two, Jonas never had an alliance with Chelsea.  
Later, Chelsea accused Troy of putting the cross-hairs on his own back.  I think Chelsea is trying to rationalize her guilt.
When voting for Leif - she accused him of being wishy-washy.  I'm no fan of Leif, but is Chelsea the best person to be making this accusation?
Finally, she said of Christina's decision to bail on the bidding for the immunity clue: "When she backed out, I think everyone was like - how can you do that?"  Do you guys follow that?  It's OK for Chelsea to spend her money on ice coffee and donuts, but Christina's money is to be used to block Troy. 
Chelsea said a lot of questionable things, but she wasn't alone.  Kat had the nerve to tell Christina to bid her whole $500.  I have to deal with this issue in my fantasy baseball auction all the time.  It amazes me when someone spends their money and then tells me what I should be doing with mine.  In the Survivor auction, all four members of the main alliance (Kat, Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina) had each gotten a luxury item for themselves.  But, Chrisitna was supposed to take one for the team?  Nonsense. 
Speaking of Kat, every week she seems to be learning something new.  First, she found out what an appendicitis is, and now she knows there is bacon in a BLT.  They grow up so fast!
I found the following exchange between Kim and Chelsea interesting:
Kim: "Thoughts, Kimosabe?"
Chelsea: "Huh?"
Kim:  "Thoughts?"
Should I be surprised that (a) Chelsea didn't know what Kimosabe means?; or, (b) that Kim did know what it means?  I'm leaning towards b.
Not too long ago, Alicia (as Colton's sidekick) was mocking & humiliating Christina.  Now, she's defending her.  Times change.
Stage 2 of the immunity challenge involved mostly upper body strength.  That is why the only two men over five feet tall advanced to round three - where Troy then defeated the 62-year-old, Tarzan.  Yet, Troy acted like he had defeated Boston Rob and Ozzy.  Tone it down, dude.  I know you went to the "this is who I am" defense.  But, I've always seen that as an excuse for bad behavior.  Show some class.  Even Tarzan thought you went to far, and he knows nothing about etiquette.
Showboating aside, congrats to Troy on shutting Sabrina up at tribal council ('you're Mrs. Truth - did you lie to Jay').  All she could say after that was 'stop yelling' (a sign she didn't have a better comeback).  I think Troy should be focusing more on the fact that they broke the alliance and less on the fact that they are all targeting him.  It's a better argument when he gets into these tiffs.
However, when it's all said and done, Troy's immunity win was a pyrrhic victory.  There are too many immunities left, and he can't win every one.  He needs people to flip, and no one is going to align with Troy when he's winning immunities and acting like an ass.  Alicia and Christina might eventually betray Kim, but they're not going to do it with Troy.  Even if Troy wins the next two immunities and the girls have to start cannibalizing themselves - there's a chance they might vote with Troy once, but as soon as he loses immunity, he's gone.  In some ways Troy brought this on himself by targeting Matt and Mike prematurely.  If you eliminate the physical players early, don't be surpeised if you seem like a threat in the middle rounds.  
Can Troy win another FIVE immunites in a row and get to the finals?  I'd say the odds are 50-1.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Survivor: One World, Ep. 9: Belshazzar Redux

Why couldn't Jay see the writing on the wall, when Troy could?  Why did Jay tell Kim of Troy's plan to play the idol - becoming an instrument in his own demise?  More puzzingly, why did he make these errors when he had been so suspicious of the women in the previous episode, an episode where a member of his own alliance got picked off (Mike)?
I think the answer is mental fatigue.
Jay has been on defense for most of the game.  His ally (Matt) was the first to go in his tribe.  Next went Bill - at an improbable tribal council Jay felt pressured to attend.  He had good reasons to be suspicious of the girls in the post-merge tribe.  But, last week, he won immunity, and he finally had a chance to relax.  And, I get the feeling, he didn't want to go back to the pre-immunity chaos and paranoia.  He made a decision, for his own internal well-being, to believe the girls.  I can undertand it.  But, in some ways, he sort of gave up.
The second factor in Jay's demise was his fear of Troy.  There was something surreal about watching Jay worry about going against Troy in the final tribal while his alliance was conspiring against him.  You get the feeling that Jay is wired to see only men as threats.  You get the feeling he really never was with Troy.
That might not be all Jay's fault, because it appears Troy has no allies.  He'll fight like a tiger to stay alive, but if Troy couldn't pick up votes when he had the immunity idol, who is he going to convince without it?  Troy can't afford to lose another immunity challenge.  Tom (in Palau) and Terry (in Panama) went on massive immunity runs, but they still lost once in a while.  So, I don't see how Troy can do it.  Regardless, I'm happy he played the idol.  I would have hated to see him go home with it still in his pocket - and, Jay really did deserve to go before him.
Leif has nothing going on.  He voted with Jay, who was in the process of driving himself off a cliff.  Leif thought it looked fun, and decided to ride shotgun.  Furthermore, Leif stepped down from the immunity challenge because Chelsea said it would make him look better (Leif: "Is that true?").  Leif - Chelsea is in the dominant alliance, why isn't she stepping down?  Why isn't she worried about looking strong?  Even Tarzan is making better decisions than Leif.
I don't begrudge Chelsea for waffling on the issue of voting out Jay.  It's one thing to vote someone out, it's another to lie to a loyal ally's face.  I'd have a hard time doing it.  It's good to see someone out there has a conscience.  However, she should have kept her misgivings quiet and sorted it out privately.  I think she hurt herself with the others.  They might see her as trying to kiss-up to the jury.  She can truthfully tell Jay at the final tribal that she spoke up for him.  Which means - it's now harder for Chelsea to make the final tribal.  [Of course, the jury doesn't always buy this line of argument].
Christina is a phoenix.  That appendicitis couldn't have come at a better time.  What a turnaround!  She's alive and well (and not on any radars).
It took some guts for Kim not to play her idol.  If only a couple of people switched their votes, she would have been in big trouble.  She must have a real feel for what's going on.
I know Probst deserves a day off once in awhile but Survivor only films 78 days a year.  Does Jeff really have to miss a reward challenge?  That challenge was (a) terrible, and (b) worse without Probst there.  I'd rather watch my neighbors pitch horseshoes.  Frankly, the first half of the episode was terrible.  All the action was in the second half.
At the beginning of the episode Troy said he'll play the idol if he sees something fishy from Kim and Chelsea.  How about when they voted off Mike - is that fishy enough for you?  I'm glad you caught on by the end.
The big question right now is whether Kim is so clearly in control that the other women turn against her.  Unless they haven't shown it, only one of them knows she has the idol (Chelsea), so a move against Kim could backfire.
I am so sick of listening to Tarzan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Survivor: One World, Ep. 8

Tarzan might have actually done something clever in the last episode. The island's resident MD and great observer of the human condition, Tarzan, noticed Chelsea's utter loathing of him.  And, Tarzan asked Chelsea whether she had a bias against plastic surgeons because she wasn't satisfied with the work she had done [in other words: Chelsea, if you were satisfied, maybe you shouldn't be? (BURN!!!)].

Intentional or not, I think this had a disconcerting effect on Chelsea.  Much of psychology is bull, but it ain't all bull.  No one likes to hear a criticism of their appearance. But, one thing that's been demonstrated time and again is that very attractive women, who are used to hearing compliments, are unusually affected by a putdown. Sure enough, later in the episode, Chelsea made the first real blunder of the game - discussing strategy with Jay in front of Christina and Alicia.

Did Tarzan's needle cause Cheslea's blunder? Did Tarzan get in her head?  Or, am I grasping at straws by suggesting there's a connection?

It seems like the blunder set off things that were not shown.  For example, Alicia and Christina voted for Tarzan.  It's as if Chelsea and Kim are telling Troy and Jay: don't worry - look! - they are voting on their own, we don't have an all-girls alliance!

While speaking in front of the wrong people was a blunder, I think the decision to target Mike at this stage is a serious strategic error.  There is a core of four women (Chelsea, Kim, Sabrina and Kat), who can go one of two ways: (a) stick with all-girls (Alicia and Christina) or (b) stick with the new Salani (Mike, Jay and Troy).  Why make a decision on that now?  Why not just vote out Tarzan and Leif, and then make the decision.

Here's the problem for the four girls.  They just raised some major red flags.  Troy and Jay voted with them, but they were already VERY uneasy about the alliance.  There are still 10 people left - so, there are enough bodies to make a move against the core four!!!!  So, why raise the flags now?  If you voted out Leif and Tarzan and did a blindside at eight, when the seven staggered back to camp after tribal council, there simply would not be enough people left to move against the four.  As is, there are two decent opportunities to unite against the four (at ten and nine).  So, I think targeting Mike now could be a major mistake.

P.S.  No one has done more to give plastic surgeons a bad name than Tarzan.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Survivor: One World, Ep. 7

Tarzan had a rough episode, but in his defense, he was right -- boiling water does kill all the microbes in fecal matter.  However, I find it almost impossible to believe that Tarzan could not understand why Chelsea still didn't want to soak her clothes in his crap - even if it was bacteria-free.  
Tarzan was also right when he told Jeff he got a few pieces during the reward challenge.  The problem was it was a 30-piece puzzle, and a few wasn't enough.  So, why was Tarzan defending himself to Jeff while the challenge was still going on and Jonas was still working on it?
Jonas' apology to Tarzan "brought [him] to mild tears." I get the feeling Tarzan has never apologized for anything in his life. 
The cast has been on the island for three weeks, and Troy is still acting like he's a kid on his first day in the Magic Kingdom.  I understand he's excited about finding the idol and winning immunity, but to blurt out "I can't believe Jeff Probst is touching me" was weird.
There was not much else to the episode.  I'd be surpised if Tarzan and Leif don't go next.  Then, the girls (Kim & Chelsea) will have to decide if they are willing to cannibalize their own (Christina & Alicia), or are they going to turn on the guys in their supposed alliance (Mike, Troy & Jaybird).  As Kim said, they have options.  But, it has to be handled delicately. If I'm one of the girls, I'd be leaning towards having an all female final three, because there's a good chance any women on the jury might feel betrayed if a guy makes the finals (and vote for him).  That means, the longer the guys hang around, the greater the chance one of them goes on an immunity run and sneaks in at the end (that's how Fabio won).

Survivor: One World, Ep. 6

It's never fun to watch someone forced to leave the game due to illness or injury, especially a dynamic player like Colton.  I was very eager to see whether Colton's wild ride would end in triumph or a train wreck.  Alas, we won't get the chance to find out.  I admit, I'm disappointed. 

There are two ways to view Colton's decision to keep the immunity idol as a souvenir:

A.  Given the pain he was in and the disappointment he must have felt on having to leave, it's understandable that he would want to keep a token from the experience.

B.  Colton is a selfish, self-centered brat incapable of forming a real bond with another human being, thus, he couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to help another player.

I'm leaning toward B.

So, Kat doesn't know what appedicitis is.  Every time she opens her mouth, the Florida school system takes a beating.

Tarzan, the Medicine Man was making house calls last week.  He doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does he?  The expression, "get a second opinion" was invented for that quack.

I'm glad they merged.  We will see how it plays out.