OK. First off – that was one hell of a dramatic Tribal Council. After over 400 of them it is amazing that they can have something happen so unexpected. And yet, there we were. So major props for the plot to throw a major curveball into this game.
However, I don’t like rewarding bad behavior. First thing I don’t want rewarded – Eddie has not played a good game so far, and so that gift he was given was totally undeserved. I mean, what has Eddie done this season? Link up with hot babes because they were hot babes. Fail to count to six properly. Not do well in most challenges. Reveal everything to Andrea by accident last week. I mean, it’s a crime that he is still lingering. But he survived.
Meanwhile, Malcolm has really added to his legend, hasn’t he? It is a testament to his likability that he has essentially linked up this season with the lunkhead, the smarmiest man, and the bitchiest woman in the history of Survivor (factoring in Gabon, of course), and he is STILL beloved. I mean, I am rooting to see the other two thirds of AMC get booted as soon as possible, but I will be sad to see Malcolm go. And go he will, unless he continues to do Hantzian things with idols.
Malcolm’s moves leave him with a three-man alliance, but still down 6-3 in numbers. He has to figure out a way to flip two votes to their side. Let me ask a serious question – why would anyone flip over to be in the minority side of a five-person alliance against the three young, fit guys? There is absolutely nothing in it for them. Malcolm has to be able to sell to the two turncoats a Final Three alliance, and if they swallow it, they’re crazy.
For the six remaining Stealths, the logical move is to keep targeting the ones without immunity and whittle that group down. If they play their cards right and there is but one remaining, they can make a big move with that one vote at the F7. They must also focus completely on finding the re-hidden idol(s) before the boys get them. That should be Stealth Operation Numero Uno.
I think Malcolm needed to sacrifice Eddie last night. If he did, he would have still had a secret idol in his pocket. If he failed to win immunity next week, he could play it and survive another week. The problem is that I don’t think it likely that he can turn anyone, so down 6-3, or 7-2 in bodies makes no difference. The idol in the pocket is what matters. What would have been even cooler would have been if Malcolm rolled the dice even more and pocketed his idol. Again. He would have not gone home and held an idol.
But, by putting an idol in the hands of Eddie and putting the Stealths in a position where they have to eat one of their own or gamble, he made the episode epic. This was not an ambush like Russell pulled in the infamous Tyson self-vote-out. He handed the idol over during the council discussion. So the nine sat there with the three minority castaways wearing idols. As Erik pointed out rather astutely (I know!), just because they were wearing the idols didn’t mean they would play them. That led to some weird moments.
The Stealths had to whisper among themselves to suggest votes. Would it be Dawn? Would it be Andrea? The seating arrangement may have saved Andrea as Phillip’s suggestion to turn on his RI partner could not be properly relayed to the other side of the room. Finally, the Three Amigos (ugh, I can’t. I loved that horrible movie. I’m sticking with AMC) announced that they are voting for Phillip. The fun sponge. That must make him SpongeBob’s archenemy. Phillip took it in as much stride as Phillip can and said to the team, let’s stick with our plan. The plan was four votes for Eddie, three for Malcolm. He was calling their idol bluff. Perhaps it was this announcement that pushed Malcolm to play the idol, who knows. But Phillip was basically daring the boys to vote for him and to burn two idols to get him out.
And they did. The Stealths stayed true to form and had the four ladies vote for Eddie. So much for that Andrea/Eddie romance. Phillip and Cochran voted for Malcolm as planned, but Erik voted for some guy named Fillup. Please say that was a weird inside joke and not how he thinks you spell that name. Erik may have been spooked by the AMC decree that Phil was their vote, or maybe Erik’s weak allegiances are shifting again. Who knows. But that made it a 4-4-2 vote and Phillip was voted out for the first time ever. If Malcolm pocketed his idol, Phillip still would have gone home.
Phillip had the chance to become the fourth player (that I can think of) to have played Survivor more than once and never get voted out. The other three? Sandra, Skupin and Jenna Morasca.
We will see if it was all worth Phillip’s scalp on his belt for Malcolm’s two-idol play. I still anticipate that all the boys did was take out the guy who annoyed them. The real brains of the operation are still in there – Cochran, Andrea and Dawn. Who knew this season may turn on the quiet ones – Brenda, Sherri and Erik!