Author Topic: The Survivor Thread  (Read 70061 times)

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Offline YtseBitsySpider

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2011, 05:00:26 AM »
HO-LEE-SHIT!  That was one of the most EPIC Tribal Councils I have ever seen.  Fan-fucking-tastic.

I KNOW!

I laughed so much. Seriously, amazing. If he was really a secret agent he would know how to keep his big mouth shut  :lol

If that guy was EVER a secret agent.....whichever agency he belonged to is already plotting his grizzly demise when he returns. It's also a glaring indication of how bad american intel is. I don't say this to make fun of actual people in this condition but I really believe he's mentally challenged.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2011, 06:11:25 AM »
I'm not sure.  I get the feeling that when Francesca said Rob wasn't going home, all Phillip knew was what they'd told him:  vote Rob out.  Now unless they told him off camera that their plans had changed, he was still on the "vote Rob" plan.  Francesca says this and he's thinking "Wait a minute, they're trying to dick me over already?"  So my take is that if he thought he was being double crossed, he'd take both of them down with him.  That was a colossal towering inferno of fail of a Tribal Council.  I fucking love it.

Offline YtseBitsySpider

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2011, 06:41:40 AM »
I don't recal Fran saying anything about not voting Rob BEFORE he ratted them out about having the idol.

He just launched into it....."they have the idol....they have the idol".

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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2011, 06:46:44 AM »
No, she said about Rob staying and that's what started EVERYTHING - something along the lines of everybody thinking Rob would be going home, but that he wouldn't be.  Phillip noticed this and said "Wait one minute, I have an issue with this - the two of them told me to vote Rob out."  The two of them went on to deny they ever did such a thing (when they absolutely DID tell Phillip to vote Rob out), then he pulled out the "she has an idol" card.  Francesca screwed the pooch on that one and only has herself to blame for going home.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2011, 10:01:05 AM »
Kristina really failed on that first episode. I really thought she was going to be a great player having found an idol that quickly, but she was too aggressive too soon. She could still end up being a strong player, but she wanted to make a big move too soon.
Fransisqua ended up paying the price...
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2011, 10:07:34 AM »
I was positive Kristina was going home, having not played the idol.  Had she gone home, it would've been one of the all time dumbest moves ever. 

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2011, 10:17:59 PM »
I was positive Kristina was going home, having not played the idol.  Had she gone home, it would've been one of the all time dumbest moves ever. 

Her move was not overly dumb per say...
It was a huge waste, and a terrible usage of the idol to throw it away on getting one player out, when there are going to be so many more crucial moments down the line when the idol will be needed. Boston Rob had the right idea; if she plays it, she won't be sticking around much longer.
The dumb move was on Philip's part. I know he was trying to gather favour with Rob, and be a stand up guy. But, he is so easily going to be one of the next ones on the chopping block if Ometepe goes to more tribal councils.
Also, as much as Kristina and Franchiskwai shouldn't have trusted Philip, they did sort of need him to allow their plans to come into fruition. Even if the plan was pretty half-baked...
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Offline Global Laziness

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2011, 01:42:37 AM »
Anybody else notice during interviews when they show Phillip's job title they add a question mark to the end of it?

PHILLIP   -   Former Federal Agent?
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2011, 04:37:29 AM »
:lol I hadn't noticed that.  I'll have to look out for it.

Offline Space Invader

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2011, 07:53:58 AM »
I was positive Kristina was going home, having not played the idol.  Had she gone home, it would've been one of the all time dumbest moves ever. 

Her move was not overly dumb per say...
It was a huge waste, and a terrible usage of the idol to throw it away on getting one player out, when there are going to be so many more crucial moments down the line when the idol will be needed. Boston Rob had the right idea; if she plays it, she won't be sticking around much longer.
The dumb move was on Philip's part. I know he was trying to gather favour with Rob, and be a stand up guy. But, he is so easily going to be one of the next ones on the chopping block if Ometepe goes to more tribal councils.
Also, as much as Kristina and Franchiskwai shouldn't have trusted Philip, they did sort of need him to allow their plans to come into fruition. Even if the plan was pretty half-baked...

They didn't really have a plan at all. Unless the Rob group voted entirely for Kristina (which I don't think Rob would do seeing as he SAID "she has the idol"), then it would have been a complete waste. They didn't have numbers, they didn't have subtlety, and they didn't have solid trust and Franceskwa paid for it.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2011, 10:50:50 AM »
Anybody else notice during interviews when they show Phillip's job title they add a question mark to the end of it?

PHILLIP   -   Former Federal Agent?



I love it.  :lol

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2011, 02:02:28 PM »
The thing is, Philip reminds me so much of Coach, in the way that he is so delusional and says the most outrageous things.
What I think is that the editors actually did not believe that Philip was a formal federal agent. I think they thought he was so delusional that they refused to give him the credit of the career he may or may not have.
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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2011, 04:23:09 AM »
Ho boy.  I watched the first episode and so many fun things happened.

I've never seen Rob and Russell at work, but I'm officially amazed.*  Russell is a machine built to manipulate people, and Rob put together his cult almost instantly.  I don't see how either of these guys is going away before the merge.

Here's the most interesting question after the first episode - How good a player is Kristina?

We know she's got some mojo.  Boston Rob said good Survivor players take initiative and she obviously does that.  He wants her out because he perceives her as a danger, and she has the charisma and smarts to organize around her.  But her ability to manage people isn't so clear.  I'm not sure whether to rate her overall performance a B plus or a C minus.

I don't know why she would assume the immunity idol was in the box at the beginning.  Aren't they usually better hidden? She ended up finding nothing and was labeled a threat by Rob.  She didn't seem primarily interested in making a smart play so much as feeling like she did.

After the challenge, she knew she was in a bad position.  How well did she plan for Tribal Council?  This is enormously complicated.

The way she got Francesca on board was great.  I thought Kristina was opening up too much, but Francesca ended up being someone with a degree of competence and legitimate loyalty.  Good move.

Kristina also needed Phillip.  Now look, I don't want to just rip this guy, because I keep hearing that he takes medication in his normal life.  If that's the case he's not really making decisions for himself.

But... I mean... Wow.  He's easily the most awkward person I've ever seen on TV.  And not even in a way where you feel bad for him or just figure it's the way he is.  He forces himself onto people conversationally in a way that's clearly a product of him trying to be in control of others because he doesn't think much of them.

Everything about Kristina's plan and its execution had to be based around managing the consequences of Phillip's actions.  Perhaps inevitably, she didn't handle him perfectly.

She correctly understood two things about Phillip - he's super insecure and super talkative.  She decided to placate his insecurities by showing him the immunity idol, figuring the risk of him talking was worth it.

What she didn't understand or simply missed was Phillip's defining trait:  He doesn't understand the subtext of any interaction he's involved in.  This lack of understanding created flaws in every aspect of her decision making.

Kristina showing him the immunity idol was a highly subtextual gesture.  She greatly exposed herself because she wanted his trust in exchange for her own.  There was no reason to expect he had the mental capacity to understand any of what she was conveying.  As evidence, I submit what happened at tribal council.  But we're not there yet.

Also, Phillip doesn't really know how to play the game by selectively telling the truth, so he just blabs random things that other people say.  If Phillip tells Rob about Kristina's plan, it's potentially sunk.  The potential losses incurred by him running his mouth are too great to take on the risk.

Really, Kristina showing Phillip the idol was a huge mistake and she should have known it.

Also, she didn't account for what would happen if Rob figured out her plan.  While it's not fair to say "Kristina should have known Rob would easily assume her tactics and completely counter them," she should have at least tried to think another step ahead.  She was assuming the risk of Phillip telling Rob her plan, which makes it especially bad she wouldn't anticipate his response.  In fairness, the show's only 44 minutes and the process of thinking this through might have been cut out.

Also, why did Kristina want Rob out so badly?  Maybe it's because I'm watching the show from an outside point of view, but it's obvious he's not going anywhere for a while.  He's too powerful and well liked.  Going for him galvanized his whole group against her.

Let's say Rob just decides to not worry about Kristina and votes out Francesca to weaken the opposing alliance.  Kristina's not in a good position then.

Or, what if everyone voted how they planned to before tribal council.  Rob has 3 votes.  Kristina has 3 votes.  Francesca has 3 votes.  Based on the rules of the game, Andrea, Matt, Grant, Phillip, and Ashley would vote again.  Obviously either Kristina or Francesca goes.

If Phillip tells Rob they are thinking of voting for him, it doesn't change much for Rob.

Instead, Kirstina should have gone after one of Rob's crew.  If, say, one other person besides her, Francesca, and Phillip vote for Natalie, then Rob is one person down.  Does that sound unreasonable?  If Phillip blabbed that to Rob's alliance, that would be potentially disruptive.

It seems to me like Kristina was too focused on Rob and missed the broader picture.

The tribal council was dramatic but not as interesting.  Phillip did something no one could have possibly expected and blew the whole thing up.  Rob's attempt to get the immunity idol was a stroke of genius because it made Kristina look bitchy and unreasonable.

I'm not sure Kristina should have revealed she had the idol.  When Rob said she didn't defend herself, doing that helped his case a lot.  Lying about Natalie was perfect.  I'm not quite sure why she voted for Phillip.  Maybe she figured her fate was completely out of her hands.  Maybe she didn't want to vote against Francesca, which is a potential disadvantage (either because she's a bad liar, or she's not willing to lie).  

Not using the immunity idle was super ballsy but probably the right move.  Phillip wasn't on her side anymore.  Kristina correctly guessed that they wouldn't try to vote her out and Francesca was the next most likely target, which also weakens her alliance.  The heat is on her and there's a very good chance she won't survive the next tribal council without it.  She took a short term risk for long term gain, the heart of good strategy.

Overall, I give Kristina a B minus.  Some legitimately inspired moves.  Within her own decision making framework her moves were valid.  But still some very dumb mistakes and short-sighted outlook.  Shakily above average.  For the next episode, she needs to be less aggressive.  She's seen as a threat, but that's an intellectual and easily forgotten idea.  I've seen no evidence she's truly disliked, so she's capable of rebuilding her image.  Also, if she's patient Rob's alliance will splinter, and she wants to be in position to take advantage of that.

But really, everything I've posted in this thread is somewhat BS because Phillip is so unpredictable.  All we know is that he likes Rob.  Beyond that, anything can happen at any time for any reason no matter what the players try to plan.  He's like a Poker player who bets wildly for no reason and then bets the smallest amount possible with a great hand.  You don't know what will happen next so you only play your very best cards against him and hope you can hold out until he looses all his chips.  Unlike Russell's tribe, which seems more open about its strategery and competitiveness, Ometepe is probably going to be relatively quiet because all the players with even a modicum of intelligence won't want to say the next thing that's turned into an issue by Phillip (notice how we haven't seen Rob talk to him since the beginning).

Thus concludes yet another tldr post by me.

*I actually did see Rob in the first All-Stars season, but I don't remember it so it doesn't count.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 04:40:03 AM by ReaPsTA »
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Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2011, 10:24:48 AM »
So Reap, as one of the most well-versed DTFers on the topic of Survivor, I will address the questions and points you had.

Kristina was looking in the box for a clue to the idol, not the idol itself. Yes, the idols are usually quite well hidden, but the clues are usually sitting under something (like a tarp from a reward challenge).
I think Fran was on board from the beginning. Fran was actually the smarter player of the two. She was actually trying to convince Kristina to not focus on getting Rob out first. From what I understand, they actually were going to vote out Natalie that night, and Philip must have still thought they were on the Boston Rob plan.
Ben "Coach" Wade from Survivor Tocantins and Heroes v. Villains is still probably a more awkward player than Phillip.

Here's what I think happened:
Kristina did need Phillip. But, I don't think it was her fault that she couldn't forsee Phillip's big mouth becomes that big of a detriment. Sometimes you have to ally with crazy people (see: Shane and Courtney in Survivor Panama), but it's hard to judge how crazy someone will get, and I imagine Kristina thought Phillip was going to tone it down for tribal council. Most players do (unless they are named NaOnka...) Honestly, it was the first tribal council and, while it was entertaining, it also basically destroyed Fran, Kristina, and Phillip's games. They should've played it cool.

The option I thought Kristina should've taken was to actually be sociable. She made the huge mistake of looking for the idol, when she should've been forming alliances.
More than anything else, the rule of thumb in Survivor is to have the numbers on your side. Only a handful of people have won Survivor and been in the minority alliance from the beginning.

We won't be seeing Fran get back in the game. I can't see her fighting for very long at Redemption Island. Her game is pretty much up. As big of a threat as Kristina is, I think Phillip is more unstable and is in a worse spot. He can't keep a secret, he openly betrayed his own alliance, and those peach briefs are not helping his game. Even thought he wants to be on Rob's side, it's in Rob's best interest to get rid of Phillip, considering the amount of damage he is capable of doing. Kristina and Phillip need some immunity wins. Fortunately for them, they are on a team with Boston Rob, who is up there with Ozzy Lusth and Tom Westman for challenge dominance. If they can get some wins and let some time pass for the tribe dynamics to shift, they could make it through to the merge.


Also, question for you Reap: What seasons of Survivor have you seen?
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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2011, 02:38:02 PM »
Kristina was looking in the box for a clue to the idol, not the idol itself.

Ah.

Quote
I think Fran was on board from the beginning. Fran was actually the smarter player of the two. She was actually trying to convince Kristina to not focus on getting Rob out first. From what I understand, they actually were going to vote out Natalie that night, and Philip must have still thought they were on the Boston Rob plan.

She knew not to go after Rob, but she didn't have much overall hustle.  I can't really say she's a smarter player than Kristina.  I also don't know when or if they changed plans.

Quote
Ben "Coach" Wade from Survivor Tocantins and Heroes v. Villains is still probably a more awkward player than Phillip.

Wouldn't know.

Quote
Here's what I think happened:
Kristina did need Phillip. But, I don't think it was her fault that she couldn't forsee Phillip's big mouth becomes that big of a detriment. Sometimes you have to ally with crazy people (see: Shane and Courtney in Survivor Panama), but it's hard to judge how crazy someone will get, and I imagine Kristina thought Phillip was going to tone it down for tribal council. Most players do (unless they are named NaOnka...) Honestly, it was the first tribal council and, while it was entertaining, it also basically destroyed Fran, Kristina, and Phillip's games. They should've played it cool.

One thing I said in the big post but didn't really emphasize - No one could have predicted what Phillip did at tribal council.  I'm saying he would have done something crazy anyway, but that defied all expectations.  Fran and Kristina played it cool until he did that, and from there I don't know what they were supposed to do.

Part of me wonders if Probst did any provoking that was edited out.  What the people do on Survivor generally maches up with what I see, meaning I feel like what I'm seeing is truthful.  But I'm always a bit suspicious of reality TV.

Quote
The option I thought Kristina should've taken was to actually be sociable. She made the huge mistake of looking for the idol, when she should've been forming alliances.
More than anything else, the rule of thumb in Survivor is to have the numbers on your side. Only a handful of people have won Survivor and been in the minority alliance from the beginning.

Historically, this is a good point.  On the other hand, being sociable kinda goes against who she is, so I dunno what to say there.  Overall though I do agree.  She played too narrowly.

Quote
We won't be seeing Fran get back in the game. I can't see her fighting for very long at Redemption Island. Her game is pretty much up. As big of a threat as Kristina is, I think Phillip is more unstable and is in a worse spot. He can't keep a secret, he openly betrayed his own alliance, and those peach briefs are not helping his game. Even thought he wants to be on Rob's side, it's in Rob's best interest to get rid of Phillip, considering the amount of damage he is capable of doing. Kristina and Phillip need some immunity wins. Fortunately for them, they are on a team with Boston Rob, who is up there with Ozzy Lusth and Tom Westman for challenge dominance. If they can get some wins and let some time pass for the tribe dynamics to shift, they could make it through to the merge.

Agreed on Fran.

I dunno if Rob wants to get rid of Phillip or not.  He's a great source of intel.  But he's also such a destablizing factor, which is bad if you're in the lead.  Phillip will still be gone at some point.  He'll make too many people dislike him.  But I wonder if it will be in 1,2, or 3 episodes.

I agree about Kristina and shifting dynamics.  She just needs some things to break her way and the winds will potentially shift more in her favor.

Quote
Also, question for you Reap: What seasons of Survivor have you seen?

I watched it when I was younger but don't really remember it.  So the game's still kinda ingrained in my mind and feels really familiar, but I haven't picked up on the specifics again.  And I don't know the history that well.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2011, 03:55:16 PM »
That was the craziest tribal council I've ever seen.

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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2011, 02:49:20 PM »
Kristina is a horrible player.  She wanted Boston Rob out, for the ego of it, as she wanted the glory of being the one who engineered his early ouster, but getting rid of one of the strongest people in your tribe when it is still tribe vs. tribe, as opposed to individual challenges post-merge, is just stupid.  Amazing she didn't get that.  And that is not even taking Redemption Island into account, which made it even dumber, as a strong player like Rob could easily get himself back in the game.  Do people really not watch this show before participating in it?

And Phillip is quite literally an insane person.  His continued butchering of Francesca's name, and her constant corrections, almost had me on the floor laughing.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2011, 03:35:26 PM »
Judging from Ep. 1 and what was shown to us of Ep. 2, it looks like the challenges are back to being actually good this season.
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Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2011, 07:30:19 PM »
Good episode.
The old-school Boston Rob is coming back. The one who wouldn't let others get too powerful. Of course this could prove costly, if he lets Kristina and Phillip get a pissed-off Andrea on their side.
I'm curious about Zapatera's blindside next week. Also, Ralph had better do something smart with that idol.
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Offline YtseBitsySpider

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2011, 05:41:33 AM »
My opinion about special agent "deMaxwell Smart" hasn't changed.
What an idiot.

Russell got busted...I dunno how he's gonna get himself out of this one.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2011, 06:25:29 AM »
He's Russell.  He'll find a way, I think.  Though the hairy behemoth farm boy guy is slightly on my nerves with his over confidence, it's a smart move to find the idol then tell everybody Russell stole the clue and is looking for it himself.

Phillip is crazy.  I was actually hoping he'd pull out a win at the last second and redeem himself.  He's entertaining as hell.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2011, 06:32:56 PM »
Phillip is becoming more like Coach every time I see him. I hope he lasts long enough in this game to become a more well-known player. If Phillip gets invited back for an All-Stars game, I would be thrilled.
Also, Phillip needs his own TV show. It'd be like Chuck, except Special Agent Phillip Shepard or something.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2011, 07:41:01 PM »
If you're at all interested, there's a website I frequent, www.realityblurred.com.  The guy basically recaps lots of reality shows and offers his own personal commentary.  He always has some humorous commentary.

I see the Phillip-Coach connection, except that Coach was WAY more subtle and self-delusional, IMO.  While Phillip believes his own hype, he doesn't believe it NEAR as much as Coach did.  Coach was a legend and one of my favorite players.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2011, 09:03:10 PM »
Yeah, Coach was great.
Give it time, though. I feel like Phillip Shepard could really create a legacy if he stays around long enough.
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Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2011, 04:47:58 AM »
HOOOLLLEEEEE CRAP

I'm watching the Survivor secret scenes and Ashley (one of Rob's girls) was talking about Matt and Andrea.  Apparently they were seen talking to Kristina about strategy and the like.  Most of these interviews aren't too surprising, because you can pick up on the underlying dynamics if you pay attention, but this is huge.  Because think about it.

The biggest criticism of voting off Matt is that Rob's weakening his own alliance.  But really add up the numbers.  If Andrea allies with Kristina Rob still have a 5-2 advantage.  If Rob voted of Phillip Kristina might have been able to work a 3-4 alliance.  Still not in her favor, but the numbers are now a bigger problem for Rob.  So what if Andrea's angry now?  No one in Rob's team wanted Matt, so they'll be willing to ignore seeing Rob get vicious.

Also, everyone in Rob's tribe thinks it was their decision to vote off Matt, not Rob being devious.

Maybe they should have voted Andrea off instead of Matt, but I'm really convinced Rob made the right call here.  Every downside seems to have no basis in fact.

EDIT:  Another reason Rob was right.  If they vote out Phillip, they don't have any enemies left except Kristina.  Then what do they do?  With nothing to unite against the alliance is significantly weakened.  This way, his group has something to stay together against again, thus providing more motivation to be loyal to each other.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 04:04:43 PM by ReaPsTA »
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Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2011, 11:41:00 AM »
Yeah, that last point is right on. Timing is huge in Survivor. However, with Redemption Island sending someone back into the game, that could totally fuck up someone's game, if they have a 1-person advantage.
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Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2011, 04:23:34 PM »
Other thing I don't understand - Why does Russell have a poor social game?  He has the only real alliance in his tribe and flustered his only real opponent.  Getting Ralph to blow up at him was awesome, and his girls obviously thought Ralph was a psycho.  Is he in great position?  No, because everyone hates him.  But is everyone else on the tribe really going to band together and vote Russell of when he can easily create a scapegoat?  Come on.
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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2011, 05:57:38 PM »
Because Russell is a bull in a China shop.  He truly believes that (despite it causing him to lose twice already) that he plays the greatest game ever and that nothing he does or has done needs to be changed to possibly allow him to get further.  He is under the delusion that if he keeps playing the way he plays, that eventually it will work out.  It never ever will.  As long as he continues to be a boor like he always has been, he will turn everybody off and will never understand why he's still not winning.  It's kinda like politicians who, if they tell a certain lie often enough, believe that it will eventually be truth, just from having said it enough.

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2011, 06:16:21 PM »
ReaPsTA's TLDR Survivor Sum Up: Episode 2


“These ain't all-stars I'm dealing with.  It's pitiful.” ~ Russell

I don't know if Russell's alliance is an effective strategy, but at least it's a sexy one.  I mean good lord in heaven, did you see that shot of Stephanie bathing?  Wow!  The show's editors are going to win an Emmy, right?  Right?

What I didn't like though was how Ralph got the idol.  I hate to ask, but the producers aren't cheating for him are they?  In the confessional segments he had this “I can't believe this is really happening to me!” face on him.  Such a bummer to watch.

But at least it's drama.  Nothing else is happening in Zapatera.  Think about it; Julie, Sarita, and David haven't even had scenes yet.  The combination of Mike* and Steve forms a fun name for a duo, but I doubt they're players who will make alliances and compete with Russell.  They seem too wrapped up in complaining.

Which is why, frankly, I hope Russell works Zapatera over. He's the only reason they aren't completely boring.


"I don't know if he's delusional...  I think he's a good hearted guy.  I do.  Just might not all be there.  Let it be a lesson to you.  Government jobs... stressful!" ~ Boston Rob on Phillip

As I watched the episode, I really wondered:  Does Phillip actually care about winning?  Does he even think about it?  I turned it over and over in my head until I finally realized why his decisions are so terrible.

When he told the tribe about how he voted off Francesca because she questioned his honesty, I believed him.  He thinks he's playing the part of an honest person, and thus lashes out when someone questions his performance.

Relative to that, winning doesn't matter to him.  He hasn't done anything remotely strategic because it would break character.

But he also needs his existence externally validated.  And for reasons I can't understand he decided Rob was the person he could open his heart to.  Telling Rob “You own my vote” is pretty much the most submissive thing he could do.  Phillip doesn't understand that controlling your own destiny is key to winning the game.

But Rob does, and that's why we got to watch my new favorite Survivor player teach a master class on manipulation.  Sorry Rupert.

A question to the audience:  The moment you saw Andrea and Matt flirting, who honestly didn't think Rob would take notice?  He knows from personal experience that loyalty drives the alliances.  If two people “like” each other, they're going to stay strong together and form a reliable two person voting bloc.

Of course Rob can't have that, so he decided he wanted Andrea out.  She's a little less emotionally stable and the alpha of her relationship with Matt. It's a solid choice.

Another question:  What kind of professional dancer is Natalie?  Ballet?  Backup dancer?  Stage performer?  Don't worry, I'm not at all trying to imply she might be a stripper because of the ambiguous job title.  Really!


"You just done that to me?  To Russell Hantz?  And you know how to play this game?" ~ Russell

Ralph of all people is really the one who saw Russell steal the clue?  Maybe Ralph's more observant than we think, but excuse me for being unconvinced.

A lot of people say Russell has a bad social game, but that notion confuses me.  Every time I've seen him interact with someone, he made them do exactly what he wanted.

When Mike walked up to the well, Russell told the girls “this game's gonna be very interesting” to jostle them out of the serious strategic conversation, and then asked Mike how badly Sarita did in the challenge.  This caught him off guard and implied they had just been talking about her.  I thought you could only pretend you were having a different conversation in movies!

Then Ralph showed up.  Russell denied having the clue, but really made no attempt sell the lie and openly taunted Ralph for questioning it.  Because Ralph couldn't process the dissonance between Russell's words and actions, he flipped out.  And then, as he was walking away, he stopped and turned back to remind Russell he knew how to play the game.

A word to the wise.  Whenever you want the last word out of frustration, it's almost always because of insecurity.  And when you're playing Survivor, the last thing you want to do is reveal your insecurities.  Even better for Russell, the girls were obviously freaked out by the rant.  In one scene he managed to weaken and mentally disrupt his only real threat.  Nice work.

All that said, Russell is in a smidgen of trouble.  He holds the only meaningful alliance, but no one else likes him.  Unless he can create another target (which I think he was trying to do with Sarita), the other players might group together and mutiny.

Hopefully Zapatera goes to Tribal Council next episode.  I want to see these guys make decisions under real pressure.


"It is unbelievable how well he can just talk to people and play this game, and see what they need to fulfill that need." ~ Matt on Rob

And now, ladies and gentlemen:  The Boston Rob Show!

He came back from the challenge with two overarching objectives:  Voting Matt off without jeopardizing his core alliance and handling Phillip.

If Rob presented the idea of voting off Matt as a strategic blindside, his alliance would remember that and see him as a threat.

So when he went to Natalie, Ashley, and Grant to discuss the vote, he didn't bring up the idea as a foregone conclusion.  By letting everyone else collectively decide to vote off Matt, they felt justified in their decision and didn't see the move as a betrayal engineered by Rob.

In the meeting with everyone, he sold the cover story as if nothing had changed, which duped Andrea and Matt.  So far so good.

But Phillip had to be handled.

Rob can't just ignore him.  When Phillip feels betrayed he goes crazy and reveals things you don't want revealed.  Plus, if Rob can get him in line he'll be strategically useful.  Never deny yourself opportunities.  Since he's invested his sense of self into Rob, there's an emotion available to manipulate.

Let's break down what happened on Rob's walk with Phillip:

Rob  "So, the wheels are in motion for everything to happen, and everything's gonna happen the way it should happen.  I just don't know who it's gonna be yet.  I feel like we haven't decided.  But no matter who it is I'm tellin' ya, you're gonna be fine."
Phillip  “I'll take you on your word man.”
Rob  "Okay, here's the thing.  You have to... Like, first of all, don't go off on a tirade at tribal like you did last time. You know?
Phillip  "Yeah."
Rob  "I'm not trying to pull one over on you.  I have no reason to."

Rob didn't make Kristina's biggest mistake. He made sure everything he wanted Phillip to consciously think was explicitly stated.  He also understood why Phillip went off at Tribal Council and assured him he wouldn't be betrayed over and over.

At this point, we cut to Rob's confessional where he noted he can't tell Phillip who to vote for until the last second because he might blab.

Rob  "The plan is bigger than just tonight."  [Obvious cut to another point in the conversation.]  "So here's the deal.  When the time comes to vote, I'm gonna take my right hand and put it on the shoulder of the person I want you to vote for.  Got that?"
Phillip  "Okay."
Rob  "You need to feel like you're goin' home.  Obviously the way things are going, you know, in order for everything to work out.  You're a smart guy, you can figure out where we're going' with all this.  So kinda like --”
Phillip  “Act the part"
Rob  "You're an actor bro.  I know it may be me tonight, and if it is then I need you."

After this, Phillip made a meek attempt at asking Rob for the answer, but instantly relented when Rob reiterated he wasn't sure.  And then Phillip gave him a hug.

How did Rob manage to get to that point?

He realized Phillip's need to play a part, so he gave Phillip a part to play.  Sounds simple in theory, but it's easier for us as audience members to deduce Phillip's narcissism.  It's another thing to see it when you're interacting with him in real time and then come up with a practical means of exploiting it.

How well Phillip acts doesn't matter.  As long as he's doing something at Tribal Council other than mulling over whether or not Rob will betray him.

Also, Rob said he might be the person voted out.  This makes Phillip feel like Rob's in trouble, provoking his sense of attachment.  It's also completely false.  No one thinks this will happen.  So if Rob hears rumors he might be voted out, he knows exactly where they came from and knows Phillip is unmanageable.  He's covered every angle.

So what I want to know is how Rob hasn't talked his way into being ruler of the world yet.


I lost.  I need to suffer the consequences of that loss. ~ Phillip

Phillip played his part at Tribal Council surprisingly perfectly.  Rob's responses were the right mix of soothing Phillip's feelings but not changing the tone of the conversation from being about his failures.  I also like how he rubbed Kristina's shoulders in a super suspicious way.  It gets Kristina to believe she's still a target.

For what it's worth, since I wrote about her last time, let's talk about her again.  Here's what I said after the last episode:

“...She needs to be less aggressive. She's seen as a threat, but that's an intellectual and easily forgotten idea.  I've seen no evidence she's truly disliked, so she's capable of rebuilding her image.  Also, if she's patient Rob's alliance will splinter, and she wants to be in position to take advantage of that.”

Other than being less aggressive, she didn't help herself at all.

Just like I said, she wasn't seen as a threat anymore and Rob's alliance splintered.  The opportunity was there for her to talk to people.  Cultivate future alliances.  Listen to people and feel out what's happening.  And the only person we saw her talking to was Phillip!?

She was absolutely convinced she'd be voted out even though it wasn't going to happen.  If she just looked around she could have seen she wasn't on the chopping block.  Matt's body and eye language clearly gave away that he felt uncomfortable.  Something was up.

Kristina could have saved the idol and guaranteed at least another six days on the island.  Instead she used it because of self-centered thinking and screwed herself.  Terrible performance.

So the votes came in and and Matt was out.  Andrea looked like she wanted to cry, which frankly validated Rob's decision.

This does of course create a problem, Andrea will be motivated to take Rob down.  An alliance with Kristina is almost guaranteed.  

If Rob's smart, he'll make sure his foursome is locked in until the merge, make Andrea look unreasonable, and bounce her at the next tribal council.  It's actually almost a good thing if they lose the challenge next week.  If the Andrea issue has six days to fester, it has the potential to create more and more turmoil.

What comes up must come down.  Rob's performance this episode was masterful, but will he be able to handle the aftermath?

--------

*The idea of saying anything negative about Mike makes me personally uncomfortable.  His claim to fame on the Survivor site is that all the Marines in his unit survived their deployment in Iraq.  Winning on Survivor is cool, but doesn't quite compare.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:06:31 PM by ReaPsTA »
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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2011, 06:35:46 PM »
Because Russell is a bull in a China shop.  He truly believes that (despite it causing him to lose twice already) that he plays the greatest game ever and that nothing he does or has done needs to be changed to possibly allow him to get further.  He is under the delusion that if he keeps playing the way he plays, that eventually it will work out.  It never ever will.  As long as he continues to be a boor like he always has been, he will turn everybody off and will never understand why he's still not winning.  It's kinda like politicians who, if they tell a certain lie often enough, believe that it will eventually be truth, just from having said it enough.

All these things are true.  But within the limits of what he does, he's amazingly effective.  He's maybe not as good a player so far as Rob (actually, there's no way he is), but I don't think you can call what he does bad.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2011, 07:37:21 PM »
No you can't, and that's the odd thing.  He sees to be amazingly able to pull off whatever scheme he comes up with, despite the fact that people knew he was shifty.  Throughout the game, his gameplay seems to somehow get him by, but it will ALWAYS make him lose the game, because because he's borderline bullying to people and by the time he gets to the end, every person on the jury is so pissed at him for being a snake, that they'll never vote for him.

Now take into consideration, the first two times he was on (when they actually filmed) nobody had seen him on the TV yet.  By the time the current group got to filming, THEY had seen him on TV and knew what to expect, so he could be in trouble much earlier on this go around, because people know his MO.

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2011, 08:04:33 PM »
No you can't, and that's the odd thing.  He sees to be amazingly able to pull off whatever scheme he comes up with, despite the fact that people knew he was shifty.  Throughout the game, his gameplay seems to somehow get him by, but it will ALWAYS make him lose the game, because because he's borderline bullying to people and by the time he gets to the end, every person on the jury is so pissed at him for being a snake, that they'll never vote for him.

Now take into consideration, the first two times he was on (when they actually filmed) nobody had seen him on the TV yet.  By the time the current group got to filming, THEY had seen him on TV and knew what to expect, so he could be in trouble much earlier on this go around, because people know his MO.

I agree.  It's why his liability is the fact he hasn't really changed his game.  Everyone in Ometepe knows Rob is dangerous, but he's been able to convince people that staying allied with him is better for their long term health.  In fairness to Russell, Stephanie and Krista is an alliance that will not break.  In that case not changing his game gives them a sense of stability.  But he's done nothing to give everyone else there a reason to like him and believe he shouldn't be voted out.
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Offline setrataeso

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2011, 11:53:02 AM »
Just an observation about the editing:
They are setting the first few episodes up as the downfall of Russell. All these shots of Ralph being likeable, being in the dominant alliance, and pulling the wool over Russell's eyes are exactly the kind of editing they strive for when they find a character they like (Big Tom, Rupert, etc). Because Russell keeps saying how weak his tribe is and how dumb Ralph is, I can only imagine they are setting up some sort of "Ralph beats Russell" sort of thing.
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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2011, 09:23:24 PM »
Just an observation about the editing:
They are setting the first few episodes up as the downfall of Russell. All these shots of Ralph being likeable, being in the dominant alliance, and pulling the wool over Russell's eyes are exactly the kind of editing they strive for when they find a character they like (Big Tom, Rupert, etc). Because Russell keeps saying how weak his tribe is and how dumb Ralph is, I can only imagine they are setting up some sort of "Ralph beats Russell" sort of thing.

I agree with all of your post, but:

Editors also like to create a narrative that works in contrast to what's happening.  I'm watching the All-star season right now, and every tribal council vote has been a bit too surprising because the editors lead you to believe something that's the opposite of what happens.

It's a common film technique too.  When you want to surprise the audience, set up their expectations for the exact opposite.  Since Reality TV is an effort to craft narrative out of real situations, I'm not at all surprised that the editors would do this.

The preview for the next episode said, roughly, 'Zapatera finds out what happens when they cross Russell.'  It's fully possible that he does some crazy thing that damages the tribe but still ultimately gets voted out.  Yeah.  But I can't imagine them so obviously building the expectation of Russel being voted out and then delivering on it.  It's bad filmmaking.

All of this is why I really want to see Zapatera go to tribal council.  In every earlier season I've seen (including All-stars which I'm watching now), they've shown some of the tribe's negotiations before tribal council but mostly made it suspsenseful for the audience so they're surprised by the vote.

I HATE this.  The result is interesting, but only because of what goes into it.  You could complain that tribal council on Redemption Island this week was boring because we more-or-less knew what would happen.  But I thought it was awesome because we got to see Rob working his gamesmanship on the tribe.  The result of the game is a function of how the tribe members played it, and the people playing the game is what I find really intersting.

Woah.  But of a tangent there, sorry.  Re: Your post.  I have no idea really what Russell's fate is next episode.  Either they win the challenge or Russell finds a way to stay alive.  He has the only real alliance and is clearly the best player there, at least on a tactical level.  People say he has a bad social game, but that's only because they don't like him.  When the time comes to go to Tribal Council, he'll find a way to make someone else seem less worthy of having around.  Guaranteed.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Survivor Thread
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2011, 09:35:31 PM »
But to some degree, he DOES have a questionable social game.  He's kinda bullied people around and flaunted himself in their faces going on about how awesome he is (in the previous two seasons, the all star season, especially).  It rubs people entirely the wrong way, because he's so obstinate and bull-headed.  That's why they don't like him and therefore refuse to vote for him.  At Tribal Council, he CAN find a way of making someone else look less worthy of staying, but he'll never be able to do that at the final tribal council.  He'll always lose.