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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 survivor.com

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I think Coach is used to being a leader, but I think that it is a role that Brendan does better.” – Erinn Lobdell, in reference to Benjamin “Coach” Wade

The third episode for CBS’ exciting new season of Survivor Tocantins was living up to the hype that host Jeff Probst single-handedly started (thank goodness!). At least, we, Survivor fans, have more to be excited about, especially after CBS has confirmed that two more Survivor seasons will be on the way, thus you can expect to watch Season 20 (how is that possible?), if you’re such a fan. Not complaining though. Anyways, off to my episode analysis…

Brendan finding the hidden immunity idol at the treemail.

Brendan finding the hidden immunity idol at the treemail.

Good: The highlight of the episode for me has got to be Brendan finding the hidden immunity idol. At least now with his tribe all shaken up after losing three challenges (and two people) in a row, plus Erinn and Coach’s unending word war between talks of trust and leadership, he knows that he’s in safe hands in this game, provided that he’s smart enough in flushing out the idol. Knowing Brendan, I can be confident of that. Another bright side to this episode is Taj and Brendan’s plan (while on exile) to form a ‘secret alliance’. It would be interesting to have two players from opposing tribes to plot this out together and have something to look forward to come merge time. I mean, members of the opposing tribe might enter the merge thinking it is going to be one tribe versus the other in a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario. But this ‘secret alliance’ formation is going to deliver ‘the biggest upset in Survivor history‘, as Taj would put it. Strategy is definitely shaping up real fast.

Bad: Coach. During Jeff’s pre-show assessment of Coach, he pointed out how he’s never seen any previous castaway so full of himself, except of course Richard Hatch, as Ben Wade (or Coach) is. Truth is, I have no problem with Ben being in-love with himself. I just wish he has the actions to back it up. But so far, he’s been all talk and no action. And his performance hasn’t been as impressive as his resume appears, so far. I am glad that Erinn is stepping up to him and trying to put him in his place. Erinn’s reference to Coach being the leader of the Timbira tribe probably took a huge hit on Coach’s ego that prompted Jeff to respond. Funny, funny, funny!

Jalapao tribe working together in building the staircase for the Immunity Challenge.

Jalapao tribe working together in building the staircase for the Immunity Challenge.

In-Between: Timbira was initially my favorite tribe, thanks to Brendan and Tyson. However, Jalapao’s recent success in the game is quite impressive. They are the ones showing more unity and strategy in the challenges. JT and Joe are leading them during these physical challenges while the rest are hanging in there. And I do believe there’s more upfront game involved in Jalapao, while the Timbira camp is filled with so much drama and animosity. This should set the stage for an exciting episode this week as we see the continuation of the battle between, no not Timbira and Jalapao, but Erinn and Coach.  😀

Survivor: Tocantins. That will be the new name for the 18th and most recent installment of the hit reality TV series by CBS.

If you’ve been following this blog, then you’re probably aware that this isn’t my first post on the show. In fact, I have dedicated numerous posts in the past detailing the events on the show. As opposed to the past few months, it looks like SurvivorFever.net has got a more thorough and specific list of information on tribe names and castaways. The red buff tribe is called Timbira, and the purple tribe is Jalapao.

There is an interesting mix of personalities, although mostly fall under typical categories. With the new season set to premiere on the 12th of February, this would be the perfect time to assess early favorites and glean over their individual strategies going into the game. While these strategies is bound to change once they finally get the game started, it should provide as an opportunity to see what these castaways have got to offer. I’ve included some interesting ones here.

Of course, Survivor always has this guy who claims to have the outdoor skills and survival expertise. However, none of them really do manage to last. But James Thomas hopes it would be a different tale for him, as he claims that “deer, turkey, wild hog, coyote-everything you’re allowed to hunt in Alabama I’ve hunted…I’m a country boy.” Let’s see how it fairs with his tribemates.

Then there’s those cunning young ones who think they’re too smart for the game. Take a college sophomore like Spencer Duhm (yes, that’s his family name, no puns intended) whose strategy is “you have to assume they’re going to screw you before you screw them over.

Caroline Eastwood, meanwhile is just plain strange. When asked what preparation she did for the show, she nonchalantly replied: “I got lasered from head to toe…Because I’m ethnic in the hairiest sense of the word. And I did not want to scare people with my overgrown armpits.

To cap off this list, there are also some players who came into this game only for one thing – the million dollars. And Tyson Apostol from Utah isn’t losing focus of that. “$1 million in two months isn’t a bad paycheck.

Admittedly, Survivor: Gabon was a tough act to follow. Survivor: Tocantins better live up to the challenge! 😀

*note: post was created via WordPress’ Quickpress tool.

Gabon - Earth's Last EdenMatty lives to see another day!

Just when I thought the game was becoming quite cruel, it’s gotten more ugly by the day – in a strategic kind of way. Charlie’s ouster was a surprise, especially for Charlie himself. In an interview following his being voted off, he exclaims not realizing the personal vendetta that Ken had against him, which proves just how much manipulative power Ken had in him. Well, it was for the advantage of my favored remaining castaways, especially Matty. Charlie was too cunning and with him gone, it has basically cut off another limb to the Marcus-Charlie-Corinne alliance, leaving only Corinne to fend for herself. (grinning)

I wasn’t entirely against that threesome alliance, but it makes for an entertaining view! It is so dramatic how the game has witnessed a complete 180-degree turn with power players now scrambling to stay in the game. Thanks to most of Ken’s efforts, both him and Matty now has a fighting chance – to be exact, a 1 of 8 shot for the million dollars.

This was an epic episode, to say the least. Here are the top highlights for the episode:

1. Can there be any player in Survivor history more arrogant than Randy is? I mean, Richard Hatch was. And yet he had the first ever Survivor title under his belt. As for Randy, his future in this game looks bleak (thanks to his over-the-top sarcasm) despite self-proclaiming himself to be the new King of Gabon. Oh, bless your soul!

2. Bob’s fake idol maneuver. This one was a good move fueled by desperation, kudos to Ozzy. After all, we’ve seen Jason from Micronesia (yes, a real student of the game) fall into the bait. Now I’m anxious to see who’d be the next dummy to find and play it. (rubs chin)

3. Matty and Ken switching to the power side. Ken is certainly the puppet master and it is incredible how he has formulated moves that enables him to take out anyone he deems is a threat to his position in the game. So, buh-bye Charlie for screwing him on the individual immunity clue from last episode!

The long wait is over!

Survivor Gabon premiered a couple of days ago and with back-to-back premiere episodes, it was only fitting that I blog about it here. I’ve read the cast bio’s and had a clear idea of what to expect…or so I thought! Initial favorites were (from Kota) Kelly, Ace, and Marcus, and (from Fang) Matty and Dan!

This was quite a huge premiere for this new season, considering Jeff Probst’ recent win in the Emmy’s and the fact that Survivor is the first reality series filmed outdoors through HD. I totally love it when Jeff surprises the castaways with a challenge right off the bat! It showcases each castaway’s ability to work together under pressure, despite lack of familiarity among tribe members. And physical challenges is one of the reasons why I love this show. (grinning)

And with back-to-back episodes, also came back-to-back-to-back losses for the Fang tribe (insert sigh). I actually, found myself rooting for the underdogs, which the Fang tribe is at this point in the game. And while I undeniably liked Marcus (did I hear Charlie second me?), I think he’s safe enough in his tribe even if they did lose because of the newly formed alliance – the earliest alliance formation I’ve seen in Survivor in a while. I hope that Fang is able to get over the hurdle of uhm, lack of team unity, and start winning!

For the premiere episode, people always ask the phenomenal question: who gets the distinction of being the first boot? In this case, it was Michelle’s negativity that caused her to get booted. I can trace that on two things: (1) she didn’t like the bunch of people she was marooned with – to the point of calling them ‘dorks’ – and (2) she disliked the idea of these ‘dorks’ picking her last.

As for Gillian, everyone saw it coming (probably even Gillian herself!). But the fact that this woman auditioned 15 times in the past, that says a lot about her character and persistence! She got lucky one too many times and only a win for her tribe would have saved her a** in the game.

Can’t wait for next episode! Go Fang!