This week’s episode of Survivor fell a bit on the predictable side and wasn’t as interesting as the past two, leaving us with a little less to discuss this week. But I still have a really good feeling about the season overall, how the personality dynamics are shaping up, and how alliances are being formed. Click through for the recap of the third episode:
We didn’t see very much from the Favorites tribe this week, so I’ll start with them. An interesting alliance of six has formed, and is already showing cracks. Within the core six, there are three pairs – two based on having played together before, showing just how important those relationships can be. I’m not surprised to see Dawn and Cochran playing together again, even though Cochran sort of screwed over Dawn last time. I am surprised to see Andrea and Phillip work together, considering what a disaster Phillip was previously. The final pair-up in that alliance of six is Corrinne and Malcolm, who have bonded being the odd ones out. Corrinne isn’t playing with anyone else from Gabon, she played quite a while ago compared to the rest of her tribe, and she hasn’t really been a part of the Survivor alumni social scene. (The ones who go to all kinds of charity events.) It makes total sense that she and Malcolm, who knows no one, would team up. This week, Malcolm and Corrinne found the Hidden Immunity Idol together. Sharing that knowledge will only bring them closer, and Malcolm is once again in a pretty good position going into the merge.
But within this six, there’s already suspicion and doubt. Andrea doesn’t trust Corrinne. She doesn’t like the “intense, one-on-one conversations” she sees Corrinne having with others, and she doesn’t like how close Corrinne and Malcolm are. I think it’s very astute of Andrea to pick up on this, but I think she was too aggressive in getting Cochran to approach Brandon about joining the alliance. They didn’t even know when they’d be going to Tribal Council, and that kid is a loose cannon. I would have held off a little, speaking only to a few trusted alliance-mates about my concern. You can lay the groundwork to replace someone without having to involve a lunatic. Corrinne is smart, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this backfired on Andrea.
Indeed, the Favorites won the Immunity Challenge this week and didn’t have to go to Tribal Council. It was a pretty epic challenge of many steps, requiring strength and teamwork. It was neck and neck, but in the end the Favorites won not only Immunity, but a reward of tarp, pillows and chairs.
I used that subtitle last week, but it was even more fitting this week. Most of this episode focused on the Fans tribe, and specifically Shamar’s troubled relationships with everyone – including Sherri. This tribe is a mess right now.
The episode opened with Shamar screaming like a madman at the rest of his tribe, even though he’d been saved from elimination only moments before. It was angry, incoherent and bizarre.
The next day, Shamar started saying that he wasn’t happy and wanted to quit. It was hard to tell how serious he was – in fact, his behavior is so strange that I wonder how much psychological screening Shamar had to go through before appearing on Survivor. Shamar eventually agreed to stay on, purely out of loyalty to Sherri and Laura. Not because he’s a big fan of the show or anything. I find Shamar and Sherri’s relationship extremely strange. She talks about him like he’s a child – literally, like a snotty teen employee from one of her fast food restaurants. (I hope she gets handed a lot of two weeks notice letters tomorrow.) Sherri is condescending and controlling, yet she’s the only person Shamar seems to like.What’s his deal?
At the challenge, Laura showed her weakness in the challenge when she wasn’t able to swim nearly as well as everyone else. I appreciated that she knew she blew it and feared for her place in the game – it shows that Laura is self-aware and always thinking strategically. These are not things one would say of Shamar, who immediately placed the heat back on himself by blowing up at Reynold when they returned to camp. Apparently he’d asked for goggles during the challenge, but Reynold took them. He was so mad, he was going to take his ball and go home!
The vote started out simple, but complicated as Tribal Council neared. Thanks to – who else? – Shamar. At first, it was easy – the vote would be split between Eddie and Hope in case Reynold gave away his Immunity Idol. Then, in the re-vote, Hope would be eliminated. But Shamar wanted Eddie to go instead of Hope, so he told her to vote Eddie if she wanted to stay in the game. Well, he was more convoluted and vague than that, but Hope got the point. It was a stupid move based on emotion and not strategy – the tribe needs Eddie to win challenges. The more the tribe loses, the more likely it becomes that a polarizing person like Shamar would be voted out. But he lacks the self-awareness to understand that.
What I don’t understand is why Hope would then tell the other girls on the tribe that Shamar had clued her into the plan. Was it because she hoped they’d then turn on Shamar and vote him out instead? If so, it was a risky move that seemed unlikely to pay off. Keeping Shamar around kept the alliance stronger, and that’s what matters. He can be voted off next time.
Laura did tell Reynold that she and Julia would vote for Shamar, but it’s hard to know if she actually was considering that plan or if she only told Reynold that so he’d hang on to his Immunity Idol. When everyone got to Tribal Council, the vote went as originally planned. Shamar, Hope and Eddie all received three votes and after the re-vote Hope was eliminated. Shamar was combative, defensive and aggressive at Tribal Council, but it doesn’t matter because he’s a vote. It’s too bad that Hope was eliminated without getting much of a chance to play, but the “cool kids” made their bed and now they’re laying in it. They alienated themselves from the group and didn’t bother to recruit a majority alliance. It was truly moronic, and they deserve this end result. The rest of the tribe would be smart to keep Eddie and Reynold on for now because they can win challenges, but voting out Hope was the right move here.
What do you guys think?