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Survivor Fodder

Survivor: Week 12 -- The People's Post

Alright kids, here's the deal-- Witz-- er, I am between apartments for a few weeks and living off the land much like the Survivors, only, you know...the land looks a lot like my friends' apartment and cupboards. Anyway, I plan on posting this weekend, but this is a great opportunity for The People's Post.

I know that I have at least a few readers out there, all of whom have picked up on the things I've missed or gotten wrong in the last 11 weeks. This week, post your reviews and theories in the comments section and let me know what happened. Then, I will watch the show when I return to having TV, the internet, and time, and will probably remark on how awful Stacy is, how Yau-Man is my last hope, and how Dreamz continues to break my heart (aka Boulevard of Broken Dreamz).

Thank you for your understanding and patience, all-time great Survivor fans/readers; I will return in full glory (read: nude) next week!

Until Sunday, Keep Your Fire Burnin' (and give me a hand on mine),

Posted by jon on May 4, 2007 7:01 PM
Permalink |

All from Memory:

The theme: Alex is desparate this week. The whole show is basically Alex trying to drive a wedge in somewhere. It's not a bad strategy, actually. Thre as six in the coalaition to Alex's one. So find three that you can convince that they are on the outside and due to be eliminated in final six through four, get them to combine with you and try to flip them, guaranteeing you (and they) can go as far as the final four. So Earl and Yau-Man appear to be inseparable - then try to find thrr of the remaining four you can work on. And Boo appears to be working with them and not likely to flip.

So stick to the other three. And Alex does seem to be making some headway with Stacy, Dreamz, and Cassandra. He works on their natural paranoia about Yau-Man's possession of the immunity idol. They seem to be agreeing with Alex a lot. Could this be curtains for Yau-Man?

In the reward challenge, the task is: Your hands are tied behind you, and there are four big hunks of cooked pork hanging in front of you. The three who can bite off the most meat in five minutes and deposit it on their plate win reward, and a helicopter and raft trip down a Fijian river in the wilderness with picnic lunch in the end. Oh, and the top one gets to send someone to exile island and a 'big assist' in the upcoming immunity challenge.

It quickly becomes apparent that it's difficult to get a tooth-hold on a big hunk of meat hanging on a string unless someone gets on the opposite side and pushes to oppose your push. Thus you can get the most meat by working in pairs. And very few are willing to pair up with Alex. Is this genuine hostility or just unwillingness to appear helpful to Alex in front of the others? The challenge is messy, and survivors who drop humks of meat on the way to their plates are reduced to kneeling with their face in the dirt to pick up a dirty piece of meat. When the dust clears, the winners are Boo, Dreamz, and Yau-man, in that order.

Boo sends Earl to Exile Island. "I know you'll understand, man" he says and you know what - I think he will. No sense sending a rival to a place where he might learn the location of the HII. These guys, like many others haven't, seem to undersatnd that exile is a plus.

As Exile island, Earl gets a clue that says the idol is in a tree that's 'separate' somehow. He seems to think that ought to be enough to find it and we'll see, but not this week. The boat dumps Earl directly from exile to the challenge, so there's no chance to look for it before.

Back to the rafters. They get an exciting helicopter ride, and then a pleasant raft ride and a big spread for lunch. Dreams makes a sandwich that seems to violate my brother Charles's dictum "Never eat anything bigger than your head." The only fly in the ontment is Dreamz's apparent opinion that Boo spoils the sightseeing by talking too much.

Having returned to camp. There's some more of this 'Boo talks too much' discussion in a group with Alex, Dreamz, Cassandra and Sandra, and Alex does all he can to create a split. Could it be Boo and not Yau-Man Alex can talk the group into targeting?

We go to the Immunity challenge, and Earl rejoins the tribe. The challenge is in two parts. Each survivor is given a lane of sand about twenty feet long by four wide, and told that somewhere butied in it are three 'climbing boards' which look like ping-pong paddles with an attachment point on the end of the handle. The first two to find all three of their boards will join Boo (who get his automatically via his reward challenge win) in a pole climbing playoff.

"Go". and the survivors dig in, Several strategies are apparent. Most start digging at the near end and move on if they don't find it. But nobody's sure until the first one's found just how deep they are hidden. Stacy and Cassandra are digging fairly shallowly, Dreams is going deep. Alex, looking desparately for an advantage, tries going ten feet down his lane to start digging. Yau-Man is trying a sifting strategy, plunging his arms in and raking without actually digging any sand out. Alex, playng a little dirty pool, throws his discarded sand into Yau-man's lane.

Finally Dreams brings up a board and everybody gets a look at how deep the boards are buried, and it's pretty deep. Alex redoubles his efforts digging desparately - the man on the bubble. Cassandra has about given up and is saving her strength. Yau-Man finds a board. Dreams gets a second. Alex gets a board. Dreamz gets a third and is though to the final. Alex finds a second, and I think Yau-man finds a second. I'm not sure where Earl was in all this. Alex finds a third board and the final is set. It's apparent that the advantage to Boo is more that just automatic advancement - he's also not exhausted from all that diggging.

For the final, there's three 12-foot poles about the diameter of telephone poles, but made of something more slippery and without splinters. The poles are out in about five feet of water. They have numerous attach points where the climbing boards can be inserted. Then you can stand on that one to insert another higher up. But somewhere along he line you'll have to pull out a lower one to insert it higher up. On the top of this pole there's another, smaller pole acting like a flag-staff, and into the top of this pole a short flag is attached in a holder. First one to lift off his flag wins immunity. It's apparent you'll hsve to stand on the top of the big pole to reach the flag at the top of the smaller one.

There's several different strategies you can employ in climbing these poles. How close together do you put your climbing boards? Using every point it will be relatively easy to climb the pole, but can you gain an advantage by skipping some and taking "bigger steps"? If Yau-Man had made the final, I wonder what ingenious strategy he'd have thought up?

Boo and Dreams both try to skip some steps but still build their way to the top, Alex, desparately looking for an edge discards his climbing boards entirely and shinies up the pole, using the very narrow attach points as toe holds. Alex gets his hand on the top of the big pole first, but it becomes apaprent that it will be difficult to gain a standing position atop the pole without at least one step to stand on - the small pole does not give enough purchase to pull yourself up. Boo and Dreams gain with their slower, steadier strategy, and.... Boo wins the pennant, Boo wins the pennant, Boo wins the pennant!.

Back in camp, Alex tries to push his Divide and Conquer strategy, and it seems make some headway, although Dreamz tells Earl they're just 'shining him on'. But with the erratic Dreamz it's hard to tell.

At tribal council the coalition all tell Alex they feel safe, and the camera focuses a lot on Yau-Man, which makes me nervous.

The votes are cast, and, at the invitation, no one plays the immunity idol.

The voes are counted and it's 6-1 against Alex. Whew, the alliance held. Next week the back-stabbinbg can begin.

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at May 5, 2007 11:27 PM

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