I always have mixed feelings about a tribal shuffle on Survivor. On the one hand, it messes up the alliances and relationships that have been built over two weeks, and I can hate that. On the other hand, it messes up the alliances and relationships that have been built over two weeks an I can love that. If an alliance is strong, they can stick together and meet back up at the merge – but they need luck to do it.
The Fans definitely suffered with this tribal shakeup. We ended up with two tribes of seven, each with four Favorites and three Fans – so it could be very easy for the Favorites to pick off the Fans if they can keep it together.
Even before the tribes were shuffled, Phillip was itching to get Corinne out – and they ended up on the same tribe again, so the tensions between them will keep escalating.
The shuffle came in place of a Reward Challenge, and when the tribes assembled I was still surprised by how positively the Fans were viewing Brandon’s exit. They were obviously desperate for a win, but they seemed totally oblivious to how pathetic that win was. They won by default, at the expense of a mentally unstable player in a sad situation. That’s nothing to be doing cartwheels over.
The new tribes are very interesting. Take a look:
Orange: Sherri, Eddie, Reynold, Malcolm, Andrea, Erik and Brenda.
This is very interesting. Eddie and Reynold were lucky to stay together, and Sherri was unfortunately separated from her alliance. It was easy to see why they turned on one another so quickly, being in the minority on that tribe. I think this was good for Erik and Brenda, who were on the outside of the Favorites’ main alliance and are now more important – at least until the merge. It will be interesting to see if Malcolm stays true to the Fans, or if he bails for a bromance with Eddie and Reynold.
Purple: Phillip, Corrine, Dawn, Cochran, Matt, Mike and Julia.
Dawn and Cochran were very lucky to stick together, because I definitely see them as a ”
power couple” in this game (Cochran’s words). Corrine made out better here than Phillip, I think, because he is separated from his pal Andrea and I think Dawn and Cochran will be more likely to work with Corinne than Phillip.
These tribal shuffles are random, which is good for a strategic shakeup but can also be bad. The orange tribe ended up with what I’d consider a pretty major strength advantage. All their players are assets. The weakest one is probably Sherri, and that’s saying something. On the purple tribe, the strongest player was probably Corinne or Matt, and they just don’t compare to the likes of Malcolm and Reynold.
*Each tribe got a new bag of rice, which answered the question of “What were they going to do about Brandon dumping out all the food?”
Confessions and Competition
As soon as the orange tribe (they’ll merge soon, I’m not learning names) hit the beach, Sherri and the bros were throwing one another under the bus. Eddie and Reynold went to Malcolm and Erik to say that Sherri had been in an alliance with everyone but them, and that they’d vote her out in an instant. Sherri poured out details to Andrea and Brenda (things sometimes predictably fall along gender lines), telling them that Reynold had played one Immunity Idol and had been looking for a second.
Meanwhile, on the purple tribe, Phillip tried to feel out Julia as a potential alliance-mate even though the Favorites were in the majority and didn’t need her – and naturally, that drove Corinne crazy.
The Immunity Challenge was a very physical one, so I knew immediately that the orange tribe would win. Two at a time, team members had to roll giant crates over a line. When they had all the crates back, they had to move them around to form a puzzle. With a major strength advantage, it was no surprise that the orange team creamed the purple team.
Phillip made a concession speech when the tribe returned from their Immunity Challenge loss, because that’s the kind of thing Phillip does. Corrine pretty much hit the nail on the head when she described living with Phillip as being as annoying as sitting next to a “crying baby on a plane, and the baby has diarrhea.” I don’t think Phillip is unstable or dangerous like Brandon was, but damn, is he annoying.
Even though Phillip and Corrine hate each other, they both knew better than to give up a numbers advantage. Julia, Matt or Mike had to go.
Julia is the weakest, and Corrine found her incredibly boring. But Cochran aptly pointed out that Matt and Mike were BFFs, and that kind of “power couple” can be dangerous in the game. It could be wise to break them up sooner rather later.
In the end, it came down to nerves about the Hidden Immunity Idol rather than likability. The Favorites were pretty sure Matt didn’t have it, so they all voted for him. Matt and Mike voted for Julia, and Julia voted for Dawn. It was harsh, but very smart Survivor play. Voting for Matt, knowing that he and Mike were likely turning on Julia, meant that even if Matt did have an Idol it would be Julia going home and not a Favorite.
This wasn’t the most surprising episode, but I think the shuffling of tribes will bring some excitement – is Malcolm going to do something stupid?