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Survivor Fodder

Survivor China: Week 8 -- Cut From the Team

When it comes to Survivor, you're either part of the group making decisions, or you're part of the rest, struggling to survive or attempting to skate by unnoticed. Even when the decision makers can get blindsided, they are active and know what's going on most of the time. They are the varsity squad. So- is it better to be on Varsity or Jr. Varsity, sitting by, perhaps even thinking you have power, when you just plain don't? This week we get a pretty good idea what the answer is.

So who's on Varsity? This week's show starts out with James hassling Jean-Robert about his sleeping habits and his space in the bed. "We need to keep his dumb ass in line," he says about Jean-Robert. James is on Varsity. He's smart and strong and clearly knows what's up. He has TWO immunity idols and is in the Todd/Amanda circle. That's a good place to be, because Todd and Amanda are also Varsity. Todd has been pretty much calling the shots for the last bunch of weeks, and Amanda is right by his side discussing options, and realizing that James IS stacked at this point. This could lead to disputes in the inner circle.

Reward Challenge:

The group splits into two teams of 4. The challenge is to have a best two of three competition, where each team has one member sit in a boat, and the other members try to use buckets to sink the opponent's boat with water. Peih-Gee and Jean-Robert are captains. The red team ends up being Peih-Gee, Frosti, Erik, and Courtney. The yellow team is Jean-Robert, James, Todd, and Amanda. Interesting. Denise is left out and cannot participate nor acquire the reward. She's definitely Junior Varsity-- allegedly in the loop, but not confided in as often, and certainly not sought after for ideas. The reward this week is a trip to an ancient village, where they will receive a Chinese meal.

In the best of three format, Courtney and Todd start out in the boats. Both teams go to work, but while Courtney is light, James, Jean-Robert, and Amanda have more strength, and handily sink red's boat. 1-0. In the next round, Amanda and Frosti get in the boats. They start and it's obvious that while Courtney was selected because she's lighter than Denise, she also lacks upper body strength. She tires from the bucket lifting, and yellow takes home another round and the victory. At the reward, Jean-Robert reads the immunity idol scrolls and gets excited. Amanda, Todd, and James act like they know nothing about it. Jean-Robert is happy and drunk and refers to it as the "American Immunity Idol." CBS probably fined him for that.

Back at camp, Peih-Gee works to get James or Jean-Robert voted out. Peih-Gee's definitely Varsity, although, not always as obviously. She worked out the throwing the challenge thing with Jaime, and is constantly shifting and searching for an angle. She's a good player, and really should be voted out before she gets a following and numbers. She works Denise who says that she'd be willing to vote Jean-Robert if it makes the most sense to her. She's the flip vote. Jean-Robert stays up all night when he gets back to search for the idol and stores away some other plaques that aren't worth anything. He doesn't know if they are or aren't idols. In the morning, Todd acts a little wildly because he's had it with James and Jean-Robert. He says to Amanda that they should vote out James, but she isn't so sure. James is an obvious threat, but could be easily blindsided if he's told he has nothing to worry about. The biggest problem with having two immunity idols is that you probably don't want to use them until you absolutely have to. It's not a bad problem to have, but I can see it coming back to bite James on the ass.

Immunity Challenge:

Everyone must balance themselves on a barrel. The barrel is filled with water and slowly loses water. The bucket can rotate, so it's all about balance. The last one on the barrel wins immunity. After ten minutes everyone is still on the bucket, but before long, Jean-Robert falls out, followed quickly by Denise. James works hard and shows his strength and muscle control, but he falls off next. Erik, Peih-Gee, and Amanda fall off, leaving Todd, Courtney, and Frosti. Frosti starts goofing around and singing, trying to distract the others or make them laugh, but Todd falls off all by himself. After a few more minutes (up to 32 now), Frosti slowly tilts and is done for. Courtney wins IMMUNITY, without ever having flinched on the barrel. I don't think anyone saw that coming, but this week it shouldn't matter. Courtney is very much Junior Varsity, and I'm always surprised she's still around. She's useless at challenges and contributes nothing around camp. I guess she's an easy out later on, and probably won't be handed 1 million if it comes down to it. I also am beginning to think there's way more to Courtney than they let us see. She seems to have a dry sarcastic personality, and apparently has some one liners. She seems to so completely disregard her other competitors that it doesn't seem serious, even though I'm sure it is. At tribal when asked if she wants to give away the idol she says, "No. Screw you guys," in a way that's half joking, but also very dead serious. She has so little charm that it's almost charming. Weird. I still want her gone.

Before the tribal council, Erik tells Jean-Robert about James' idols and spoils his hopes that he had one. Jean-Robert tests James and asks him, then TELLS HIM that he has the idols, but James doesn't break. Jean-Robert says he's either with him or against him, and James asides to us that, "Aligning with Jean-Robert would be the worst move in Survivor history." This is the problem-- he knows that Jean-Robert is JV and he has faith that his position will win in the end. This could be smart or it could be the end of James. Jean-Robert tries to get Todd to vote for James. Todd finds this interesting as it's already an idea he's had, but ultimately tells James about the backstab and gets them to vote for Jean-Robert. Allegedly. They go to tribal council.

At tribal, it's clear that Peih-Gee, Jean-Robert, and James are potential vote getters. And the votes come out. One for Peih-Gee, three for James who looks completely shocked, and three for Jean-Robert. There are two votes left. One goes to Jean-Robert. The other-- goes to Jean-Robert. Jean-Robert is voted off, and the second member of the jury. It's important to note that he spoke with Todd about voting for James, and that he has previously stated that if he got voted out, he would hold Todd personally responsible. He vowed that Todd would NEVER be allowed to win that million. Also, Peih-Gee's one vote came from Denise, who was not told about the plan to vote for Jean-Robert. She was loyal. James was voted by Erik, Peih-Gee, and Jean-Robert, so not really much shock there, but he won't be happy about it. In the end, Jean-Robert finally got what he had coming for a while. He tried to make the team and play with the big players, but he was never quite in their league. J.R. was JR Varsity, and was just cut from the team.

Until Next Week, Keep Your Fire Burnin,
Witz


Posted by jon on November 9, 2007 7:10 PM
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How dumb is Pee Gee, part 1.

o Selecting Courtney instead of Denise. (OK, I know it was technically Erik rather that Courtney that picked her but PeeGee should have been leading and coaching the choices. So make this partly dunb-Erik as well.

Surely anyone could see that those stick-figure arms, which couldn't even hold up a sword, much less cut anything with it weeks ago, could never hold up to throwing buckets of water 15 feet or so.

o How dumb is PeeGee part two: Not picking a former Fei Long member.

She should have picked a former Fei-long, and so should her sucessor - thus assuring that at least one fromer Zhan Tu could have gone on the other team, so as to (if the other side won - or actually either way) have someone in the 'enemy camp' to provide intelligence on what was said when the two groups seperated - the opportunity to 'be alone' with perhaps vulnerable to switching members of the other tribe is more valuable than the reward.

Denise was a great erson to have alone, and as PeeGee (points to her) said "Hey, we've got five (a majority) here". Unfortunately the other one (Courtney) with them was probably not amenable to switching, given her hatered of J-R. PeeGee, Erik, and Frosti (assuming he could have been jarred loose with some rational discussion) might have been able to flip Jean Robert and the newly alienated Denise to form a new majority to go against the in-group.

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at November 13, 2007 11:01 AM

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