It will come down to this – assuming we have a merge next week. Tandang holds a 7-4 advantage (without Dana’s removal – this would be a Merge at 12, not 11). Kalabaw’s only chance to avoid a Pagonging would be to flip votes. And interestingly enough, that is possible because Tandang has seemingly failed to do some basic pre-merge tribe building. The power core needs to keep the bottom dwellers feeling safe, this way they think they are going far in the game. This will allow them to pick off the other side before cutting away your own dead weight. By alienating members early on, you increase the chances that they will bolt the first chance they get. Remind Galu about this rule after they treated Shambo badly and she became a Russell spy. Remind Savaii of this after bullying Cochran around.
Kalabaw needs to figure out that RC and Skupin are unloved and being treated as outcasts. To flip them means a 6-5 advantage. Penner and Kent need to privately promise them the Final Four, while simultaneously use Denise to promise Malcolm Final Four. The only other chance they have is to use Penner’s idol and have them successfully bluff Tandang into voting for Penner. The vote could presumably bounce back on PBP taking him out. With a couple of days and a 6-4 advatage, they could work harder on Malcolm, RC and Skupin to come over.
It may be a stretch – but down 7-4, it is the only chance they have.
Tribal Council came down to Katie and Penner. Kent began to entertain the option supported by Carter and Katie to blindside Penner. Not a bad theory, but they cannot assume a merge – Penner’s been good in challenges, Katie has not been. It was a rather easy decision. I will admit that Survivor editors did fool me this time – I thought all of the attention paid to blindsides, and Penner’s confidence at Tribal Council were building up to a blindside. I was glad to be wrong.
I still think the PBP/Artis/Abinormal/Blair alliance is doomed to failure. It just doesn’t appear to be very tight knit, and is populated with a couple of wild cards. At least I hope so, because that would be a rather unpleasant end of the season – and leave me rooting for Blair Warner to win a million bucks.
Treemail Top 10
• PBP – “Skupin is the most useless returning Survivor player ever.” I guess he didn’t watch Fairplay in Fans vs. Favorites, or Russell Hantz in Redemption Island, or Russell Swan in front of his face.
• However, Skupin. Why is it that every season you’re on has some sort of food shortage? Granted, the starvation in Australia happened after he departed, but still. Maybe he has a similar Denise-style jinx attached to him. Although, at least he’s making it past Episode 6 this time.
• Loved the sideways glare RC shot at Artis when he was bitching on the sidelines during the Great Rice Treaty negotiations.
• I get now why Carter doesn’t speak much. First of all, there isn’t enough time to show him get a thought out. Second, he says this during the reward, “This makes me want to go home now,” and later on, “I don’t know if my body can last the game.” What? Come on. Stop giving them reasons to vote your ass out. But this one is ever better…
• …when he and Kent were debating turning on Penner, Jonathan came over to join them. Carter turned to him and said, “Penner, what do you want to do (with the vote)…Katie or Penner?” WHA!!! Kent’s face was awesome – something like, I can’t believe I have to deal with this guy on my side. Penner didn’t react – either he thought nothing of it, or he instantly got his guard up. Either way, you don’t want this guy Carter dealing with your secrets.
• Conspiracy theorist in me is wondering if the home letters were planted in the challenge after the deal was agreed to in order to make it more balanced. Or, Kalabaw got very lucky.
• Petulant PBP – “Here’s the rice you wanted to forfeit for.” – Shut up, PBP. You agreed to the deal, moron.
• Skupin on Artis – “He’s like a little teenage girl,” meaning he talks behind your back and not to your face. Well, that is sort of the plan on Survivor, isn’t it? I do like RC’s name for Abinormal – the Brazilian Bomb. Although that sounds more like a wrestler or a cocktail to me.
• Another cocktail would also be Kent’s “Penner Punch,” even if it sounds more like a brew concocted at a fraternity party.
• Tribal Council showed me that Penner and Kent are playing on a different level than the people around them. They both really get this game – more impressive for Kent as a first-timer. Penner’s thinly-veiled threat that he could bounce a vote back at them with his idol was smart. His admission that a vote out to him would be good strategy, but not one he would like. Kent gets the game premise as one that “sucks” as you have to turn on people you rely upon and befriend. That’s also what makes the game great.
Votes- Katie 4 (Penner, Kent, Denise, Carter), Penner 1 (Katie)
Next week – There is some scrambling going on, as what appears to be a merge gets going.