Archive for the ‘Survivor’ Category

Survivor: Nicaragua – 21.03: Glitter In Their Eyes

October 1, 2010

“It’s not little league where every kid gets to play X amount of innings.” – Tyrone

Alright, it’s episode 3, and we’re now starting to figure out who some of the more obnoxious players are this time around.  First and foremost is Naonka, who spent most of her time last week expressing her distaste for “Fabio” and in general just being unpleasant to some people without having really been given a good reason to.  In general, I like to avoid being openly rude to people unless they’ve personally wronged me, but apparently having dumb hair is enough to send Naonka off on a tirade.  This week, on top on continuing her interviews in which she spews venom for the people she doesn’t like on her tribe, she takes it one step further by getting in a small physical altercation.  Specifically, pretty much wrestling someone to the ground over fishing out a note to the hidden immunity idol hidden in a fruit basket that was won during the challenge.  Oh yeah, and the person she wrestled only has one leg.

There’s a lot of different ways to think about this.  The fact of the matter is that Kelly B (the owner of only one leg) is in fact a pretty stellar athlete and is probably somewhat capable of handling herself when someone is wrestling her to the ground.  It is also a fact that this is a game for a million dollars, and you need to do pretty much anything you can to give yourself an advantage in the game, or at the very least deny your opponents any advantage they can find, even if they only have one leg.  I’m sure I would normally find the incident relatively meaningless if it was anyone else who had wrestled Kelly to the ground.  In this case, however, since it’s the most obnoxious and hateful of the contestants that got involved, it’s really easy to say “wow, that Naonka sure is a bitch.”  Which she totally is.  Honestly, I can understand when you’re spending so much time with a small group of people how one might be inclined to just not like certain people, but as far as we’ve been shown, Naonka has no good reason for having such hatred for these people, and yet spends so much of her confessional time disparaging them.  Sadly, because she’s currently in the majority alliance on her tribe, she’ll be around for a bit longer.  Hopefully her poor attitude will start to spill out on to people in her alliance, causing the tribe to vote her off (of course, the younger tribe will have to lose a challenge for that to happen, which might not happen for a while).

Meanwhile, the older tribe begins to have issues with some obnoxious people of their own.  Thankfully, no one is nearly as bad as Naonka on the older tribe.  Still, Jimmy T is definitely starting to grate with his insistence on being seen as an authority figure.  That dude is seriously rocking some superiority complex, first complaining that no one is listening to his great ideas around camp, and then whining that he’s being wasted during the challenges by not being allowed a chance to perform a task.  I’m sure the guy is a good leader and athlete, but dude needs to dial it down a notch.  On the other hand, though I started out liking him, Marty’s ego is starting to get the better of him.  He hasn’t gone into full-on douche mode quite yet, but I can see it slowly emerging.  His motivation for wanting to vote out the current de facto leader of the tribe, Jimmy Johnson, was to both take out a viable threat and to install himself as the leader of the tribe.  Sure enough, he got his way and Jimmy Johnson was voted out of the game.  Next week, there’s almost certainly going to be a showdown of egos as Jimmy T and Marty attempt to assert themselves as the leader of the tribe.  That won’t go well.

Who I’m rooting for: I still like Brenda, and I’m going to add Kelly B, if for no other reason that I want to see that bitch Naonka go down.

Who will win: Tough call, as the people who are thinking strategically about the game are also putting giant targets on their back.  At this point, since I think Marty is going to be voted off somewhere down the line due to emerging as too strong of a leader, I’m going to go back to my original quasi-random guess of Yve. She seems to be liked by a lot of people on her tribe, which could go a long way during the later stages of the game.

Survivor: Nicaragua – 21.02: Fatigue Makes Cowards Of Us All

September 23, 2010

“Can we vote?” – Fabio

Well, that certainly was a lot of crazy we were just exposed to.  Holly on the Espada tribe gets worked up over some overheard comments and decides to essentially ruin an expensive pair of shoes by filling them with sand and throwing them in the ocean.  Then, feeling the stinging pains of guilt, she decides to call a tribe meeting to confess her crimes and manages to come off looking like a complete lunatic.  Yikes.  Meanwhile, the La Flor tribe get beaten at the immunity challenge and are sent to tribal council, where Shannon proceed to completely go off to everyone about everything, calling Chase unloyal, Brenda untrustworthy, and for some reason, Sash gay.  At the same time, Naonka spends the entire episode being self-centered and judgmental after thinking someone stole her socks and decides for some reason that she just doesn’t like Fabio (Jud…ugh, I hate that they officially made his name Fabio) and takes that attitude all the way to tribal, mouthing off the entire time.  Jesus.  Usually it takes a few weeks to get to this point of openly yelling at each other during tribal council, or even outside of tribal council for that matter.  The first few episodes are supposed to be just about getting rid of the weak tribemates who can’t contribute to challenges well enough.  And yet, here we are on episode 2 and we’ve already got people running their mouths off at tribal council.  Shannon especially dug himself into an even deeper hole with his ranting and raving about loyalty and trustworthiness and basically taking an accusatory stance the entire time.  It’s not quite clear what the voting spread was to be going into tribal council, but I would not be surprised if some people changed their minds right then and there about who they were going to vote off.  Looks like there’s going to be quite a bit of drama on La Flor in the upcoming weeks.

I guess more stuff happened in the episode.  Some scattered thoughts:

-I was appreciative that Naonka at least admitted that she was dead wrong about Kelly B and her prosthetic leg.
-Pretty surprised that Brenda was identified as a threat this early on and was on the chopping block.  I’m glad that it shows the youngun’s are thinking long and hard about the game, but I hope she sticks around for at least a little longer.  She’s entertaining and good eye candy.
-Nice job finding the immunity idol, Marty, but dammit Jill, don’t just give someone else the answer to the clue and then walk away expecting them to find it and share it with you.  You want to be in control of the thing, not leave it up to someone else!

Who I’m rooting for: I still like Marty.  He’s got that car salesman look in his eyes, but he seems pretty intelligent.  I’m also going to add Brenda to my rooting list, for reasons listed above.

Who will win: Brenda’s already been identified as a thread, so I doubt she’ll make it all the way to the end.  At this point, I’m going to say Marty. He’s shown himself to have some smarts, identifying the wisdom of letting Jimmy Johnson take the leadership role and not being seen as a target.  Plus, he has the idol.  I still get good vibes from Yve, but until she says more, I’m going to have to hold off on predicting her as the winner.

Survivor: Nicaragua – 21.01: “Young At Heart”

September 16, 2010

“I’m kinda used to having guys do what I say.” – Brenda

Today’s discussion on Survivor comes courtesy of my roommate, who watched the first few minutes of the premiere episode with me.  Having won the “Medallion of Power” (what an awful, cheesy name) by finding it in the wild, the younger tribe, La Flor, was given the opportunity to choose to keep the medallion, or turn it over to the older tribe, Espada, in exchange for a package contaning a fire-making kit and fishing gear.  They were forced to make this decision without knowing what the medallion could later be used for.  My roommate, being an avid poker player and seeing most of the world in terms of expected value/outcome, laughed and stated that everyone basically just wasted their time searching for the medallion.  Without knowing the full extent to which the medallion would provide an advantage, he claimed that the decision (sure thing now or unknown thing in the future) basically amounted to a coin flip, and that it didn’t matter who made the decision or even what the decision was, as there was no way of knowing at the time what would be the better choice.

While my roommate has a point, I’m not entirely convinced that the situation is that simple.  Survivor is a game of many variables and ever-changing rules, but the almost-always constant has been that the first few days always suck, due to a lack of fire.  No fire means no warmth at night and no safe drinking water (typically, the fresh water provided for the contestants needs to be boiled before it can be drank).  While the fishing gear is a nice extra, fire is an absolute necessity and the tribe that obtains it sooner can enjoy a more comfortable and healthier environment for longer, giving an advantage in the first few challenges.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’m advocating automatically taking the fire kit, but it does mean that you have a little bit of information to base your decision on.  If someone on your tribe is confident in their ability to make fire without any help, the value of the package diminishes somewhat, perhaps to the point of being able to justify not taking it in favor of keeping the medallion.  It’s true that ultimately, there is no way to know what the “right” decision to make is until the value of both options are known (the true power of the medallion was revealed at the first challenge: it can be exchanged for an advantage in the challenge, but it would then be given to the other tribe to be used at a future challenge), but in this case, you at least have some amount of knowledge to base your decision on.  If you decide a fire building kit isn’t that necessary to your tribe, play the odds and hope that the advantage the medallion will grant your tribe is a good one.  If you decide you really need help starting a fire, go for it, because ultimately, having fire early on will also give your tribe a huge advantage, both in morale and in general well-being.

In the end, La Flor went with the fire-building kit (and fishing gear), and I think it was the right decision.  Interestingly enough, Espada has almost no trouble getting a fire going themselves, as someone on their tribe actually had the forethought to learn how to consistently build a fire using a pair of glasses before going on the show.

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to say about the first episode of this new season of Survivor.  Most of the time is spent with the bigger characters, and sometimes we don’t even get to meet everyone.  We have our first bona-fide celebrity contestant in Jimmy Johnson, and he was certainly full of vigor and spunk and managed to fit in pretty well with his tribe.  We’re already filling in some Survivor archetypes (the flirt, the dumb guy, the annoying older lady, the slightly misogynistic jerk, the guy who takes things way too seriously, the out-to-prove-something person, etc.), but we won’t really get to know these people until a few episodes in.  It seems like an interesting cast and there’s certainly potential for a lot of fun.

Oh yeah, and La Flor?  That opening war-chant or whatever was some weak-ass shit.  It’s very telling that not everyone on the tribe was doing it.

Who I’m rooting for: Like I said, it’s hard to say this early on who I’m rooting for because not everyone has made much of an impression at all, but in watching some of the pre-show videos and interviews, I’m somewhat fond of Alina on La Flor (even though she said next to nothing this episode), and I kinda enjoyed the fast and reasoned talking-style of Marty on Espada.  Of course, now I’m sure Marty will turn out to be kind of a douche and Alina will be voted out way early.

Who will win: Again, way way too early to tell, but my initial gut reaction tells me that we’ll see good things from Yve. She didn’t have a lot to say this episode, but when she did, it seemed calm and collected, and that could go a long way in terms of formulating strategy.  If she can survive the first few rounds, she might make it pretty far.