Sorry I haven’t updated the blog in awhile, I can’t believe it’s already mid April and there are no April posts yet, I am a major slacker. I have been watching Survivor the entire season, but just too busy to take notes and recap it, so I’ll do a few thoughts on the last few weeks.
It’s been a very interesting season, but not so much for the entertainment purposes. Frankly, that aspect has been super dull and predictable, mostly because of the amazing clamp Boston Rob has on his tribe. That’s the fascinating part because I’ve never seen one person have such control over so many other players for so long in this game. Most people think they can go in this game and dominate because they’ve watched it a few seasons (see: Ralph early on), but to watch someone like Rob who is on his 4th attempt actually go against a bunch of newbies is really interesting to watch, and it shows just how tough the game actually is.
Both he and Russell had major targets on their backs heading into the season, but not only has Rob somehow found a way to avoid that, but he used it to his advantage quickly gaining the respect and adoration by some in his tribe like Ashley and Natalie. He then used his Charisma to lure in just about everyone but Francesca and Kristina, both whom were promptly kicked out of the game. Honestly, that’s not the impressive part, that’s Survivor 101 in Rob’s guide to playing the game.
What I wasn’t expecting was his post-merge game play which has been phenomenal, and it will be a sad day when it comes back to bite him before he gets a chance to go to the final 3 (which I assume will happen because, well it still is Boston Rob). Let’s take a look at Rob’s post-merge game play:
- With numbers not in his favor, he somehow wins back the guy he booted from the game in a blind side move which had him fuming.
- He then turns his entire tribe against Matt – again – including Andrea who became snuggle buddies with Matt during the few days he was not on Redemption Island.
- This move shows his tribe he means business which they blindly follow and become even more loyal to him
- He is able to make sure nobody can be flipped by forcing everyone to use the ‘buddy system’, and even makes his tribe go hungry instead of accepting the olive branch Zapatera held out.
- Rob then takes a page out of the past few seasons and makes sure he is going to have a “Russell” with him in the final 3, keeping Phillip around who is hated by both tribes at this point.
- In addition to all that, he has stepped up his challenges and is winning that way too.
This week showed that no matter how annoying Phillip is getting to these players, they are still not even questioning him being in the game over Zapatera members. How long can Rob keep Phillip in the game before Ashley and Natalie end up drowning themselves in the ocean just to get away from him is going to be a big question in future episodes. However, as long as there are Zapatera members left, he still should be able to convince his alliance that keeping Phillip is somehow a good thing for everyone.
Seeing as there has been absolutely no surprises in the outcome of the game since Matt was booted in the first vote post-merge, the editors have had to really fill the time with arguments over rice & race wars, and other ridiculous things we probably wouldn’t see on other seasons. This is probably driving those editors absolutely crazing trying to put together an hour long show when nothing really happens from day to day except for people hiding shorts, or meditating on rocks with feathers in their heads. That is why these boring episodes have been really fascinating for me to watch, simply because rarely do things go exactly the way a player wants, and for so long.
The future is not all rosy for Boston Rob, however. He is in a fantastic position to win it all, but that is due to the trust and respect he has earned from his alliance so far in the game. Hypothetically if the plan continues, he’ll have at least one more tribal council in which the loser of Steve or Ralph in the immunity challenge will be heading home. After that, Rob’s chance for a million dollars will strongly be decided on how he handles the inevitable split up of the ‘final six’.
First, he has his hidden immunity necklace which nobody knows about, and should he play that one week, that will absolutely destroy the trust he earned from his alliance. He will likely be able to smooth things over with Natalie and Ashley because they have hearts in their eyes whenever he talks, but the other three probably won’t be as forgiving.
Secondly, it will then be time to walk on eggshells as “stealth-R-us’ will be forced to vote for each other. This will cause some major rifts in the tribe if not done properly, and it’s usually when the low man on the totem pole realizes there is nobody left to vote for, and starts scrambling to break things up. At least 50% of stealth-r-us will be sitting in the jury, and either they’ve just accepted defeat and are happy with the consolation cash prizes of finishing so late in the game, or they’re all going to realize it and things will hit the fan.
I’ve said it before and have been wrong so far, but this situation has the chance to get very interesting and make the rest of the season very entertaining to watch.
On a side note, I am really loving watching Zapatera still being picked off one by one. I hated how they threw the challenge to get Russell out, so it is very fun watching that come back to bite them in the end game.
How do you see the final few weeks going?