After a long hiatus, Survivor is back on. (Therefore, I warn you this is going to be a long post. Bear with me please.) I was about as excited as I can get after missing the show for entirely a month that it almost felt as good as waiting for a new season. But action’s just picking up.

Flashback: Sydney became the first casualty on my initial bets’ list. And I have two good explanations as to why I’m not feeling any remorse for her being voted off. With good looks like that, Jeff was indeed right in her assessment since she’s been unable to establish herself outside of the “blonde, hot girl” distinction. And even her flirtatious card was quite a flop.

First, she resigned herself to the “flirtatious” strategy way too hard. I mean, watching Sydney do it was fast becoming pathetic, the kind that made you cringe on your seat while watching her do it. After 18 seasons of Survivor, this is one of those strategies that wear down easily. And before she could even launch her strategy, it was already pummeling down to the ground. What with the group of people she got marooned with – I’m pretty sure either Joe or JT wouldn’t have traded the million dollars for Sydney. I bought her claim that the editing made it appear though as if flirting was her only strategy. I did. She fought hard to show that she was a competitor too. But only use flirting as one of your cards in the game, not the one thing that would save you. With Sydney, it was the latter. And second (which is worse), she wasn’t even attempting to do it subtly. See how Amber won in the All-Stars? She was flirting with Boston Rob but when it came game time, she was ahead of Boston Rob. If I were to use an analogy for that: make it your paddle, not a floating device. See my point?

On to the latest epi, there’s much to cover so I’m going to talk about the highlights here.

Bad: It’s a distress signal for Brendan. I cannot even muster watching Coach talk about being the dragon slayer and it makes me puke to think that he claims to be a man of integrity when he’s promised JT the exact same things he promised Brendan during their long 4-mile hike at the start of the game. It’s simply ridiculous to watch and made me even wonder what supernatural powers he possessed to have reached this stage of the game without being voted off. It’s simple how this turn-around came about – his insecurity for Brendan! Even Tyson, I’m kind of in a toss-up right now. Not sure about where I stand about liking him still now that he’s sided with Coach but I’m not too surprise. What I’m surprised about though is how they came about with the idea of Brendan being such a manipulative and untrustworthy individual. Is having the idol being manipulative? Come on, he hasn’t done a thing to reap such opinion about him. Isn’t their scheming just the very same thing they’re accusing Brendan of? And JT’s getting a free ride too just cause they need the numbers? My head’s spinning with all these scenarios but I would literally fall on my knees if I saw Brendan voted off before  Coach does. Just you wait.. Another unlikely prospect is Stephen’s tightness with JT. How ironic, huh? Now, he’s dragged along the plan to get rid of Brendan. I knew the 4-way Secret Alliance was too good to be true and with the way they’ve built it up on the show.

Brendan is nonchalant about the plans of blindsiding him.

Brendan is nonchalant about the plans of blindsiding him.

Good: Tyson won the Immunity Idol for nothing. Brendan indeed lives to fight another day and so is his hidden immunity idol. With three more days, I don’t believe Brendan is THAT insensitive to not see something brewing behind his back. Hopefully, he’d be able to win immunity this time to at least keep the hidden immunity safe for one more day until he’s ready to flush it out. Overall, this was not too good of an episode. The only bright side was that there was no tribal council. When I watched the reaction on Coach’s face when Jeff announced there was no tribal council that night, I think it was enough to redeem Brendan. Served him well!

In-between: This then makes the perfect segue for the other blindside in this game, Joe Dowdle’s case. Watching someone being airlifted off the show due to injury is NEVER good. In Joe’s case, his own injury blindsided him, snapping him out of the game without warning. And worse, it’s usually the

Coach looks on as his plans fall apart...for now.

Coach looks on as his plans fall apart...for now.

competitive ones that get themselves injured and taken out of the game. With Joe’s ouster, it takes away some competitive spirit of the game. Also, he’s not sealed any strategic allegiances so he might be pulled over to Brendan’s side and contend with Coach’s fivesome.

Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see the dragon slayer back in action next week and be slain himself.

*photos courtesy of