SurvivorSurvivor Cagayan

Power Players & Troubled Players of Survivor Cagayan

The Recap

"I don't trust anybody here." “I don’t trust anybody here.”[/caption]

Jeff said that this season has been anything but predictable.
On the Brawn tribe, Tony went from playing alone to building several different alliances…
(We saw him talking to Trish and Sarah)
… Even lying to a fellow cop to get his way.
(We heard Tony explaining that he was lying to get her on his side)

The Brain tribe was a disaster…
(Kass asking for the data that showed they were smart)

For the Beauty tribe, nothing could go wrong … But at the immunity challenge, everything changed.
For the first time, the Brain tribe didn’t lose … and the Beauty tribe lost their first immunity challenge.

Facing Tribal Council, Jeremiah was caught between two alliances: Alexis, Jefra and LJ and Brice and Morgan.
(Jeremiah shown saying only: “I’m stuck”)

At Tribal Council, he sided with the numbers … voting out Brice and leaving Morgan all alone at the bottom.

A plaintive note was heard when Jeff said that Morgan was all alone.


Hearing Jeff say that Jeremiah was caught between 2 alliances and then having Jeremiah say “I’m stuck” told us immediately that we had been wrong in hoping to see a smart player.  The choice of words is always capital in analyzing the recap and, while Jeff could have said that Jeremiah was weighing his options and we could have heard him repeating his “I want to take over the tribe” line, the editors instead chose to present him in a much more negative light.


On the other hand, we were right about LJ and the build-up that is terribly missing from his story. We weren’t even reminded of his great play to find the idol!

It seems the only important player on the Beauty tribe is Morgan and we were meant to feel for her being now that she is alone once more. We can say that she doesn’t have a winner’s story, but it seems certain that the hot girl with a grudge will have her revenge on the two men that hurt her.  Like Sugar in Gabon, she will probably decide who goes to the end, at least as far as her original tribe mates are concerned. Either LJ or Jeremiah will regret winding up on the same tribe as the “Hot Girl with a Grudge” after the swap.


For the others; the members of the Brains tribe were put down again while Tony was the player that mattered on Aparri.  This episode reduced the number of contenders greatly.

Functioning Without a Brain

Beauty – Night  9

We heard Alexis say that she was “emotionally paralyzed.”

Morgan had the first confessional: “Tribal did not go as planned. I’m pretty mad and frustrated. Jeremiah is just a little coward and he just chickened out. He came to us and then, all of a sudden, he jumped ship so there’s a huge possibility that I am the next to go. I guess I just got to save myself.”

She figured that the way to do so would be by throwing Jeremiah under the bus, asking him in front of everyone what changed his mind.
He could only say he had been with LJ, Alexis and Jefra first, that he had given them his word and that Brice was a huge threat because he was good socially which scared him.

Jeremiah in confessional: “Morgan confronted me in front of everybody. My heart sunk because she asked me what changed my mind right in front of everybody which is fine because, you know, it’s Survivor you know. It was a major decision for me tonight, it was a nerve wracking decision so we’ll see if I made a bonehead play or not.”

His bonehead play actually came next when he left Morgan in the shelter with the others. She promptly apologized for voting against Alexis and followed that with a lie, saying Jeremiah was on a witch hunt against LJ, that she stopped that idea because they needed LJ in the challenges.
LJ really reacted when he heard that Jeremiah was on a witch hunt, gunning for him.

Alexis had a confessional of her own: “I’m skeptical about what Morgan is putting out there, that Jeremiah was the one that planned to get me out, but the way she says it sounds a little bit realistic. So I got to keep my eyes open for him. Jeremiah, I don’t know, I think he put a big target on his back at this point.”

While it would have probably been more productive for Morgan to talk with Jeremiah, to see if they could still work together, the way her attack on the male model was presented showed her once more as a smart player, figuring a way out of a big jam. As for Jeremiah, his story died as quickly as it began. The dumb as rock coward will never take control of any tribe and he will most likely fall victim to Morgan’s revenge.

Brains – Day 9:

Survivor must have fired their Tree Mail “Powet”

While we would laugh at the dumb invitation

The messenger had enough imagination

To create a lot of confusion

About the upcoming competition.

(See, it’s easy to be bad!) 


The message gave Tasha the opportunity to be the coach again but this time the scene ended with J’Tia missing the stick that was at her feet.

J’Tia had a confessional which was pretty ironic considering how the episode turned out for her: “… We are trying to build on our winning streak (First time that ONE non-loss is called a winning streak!) We are trying to show that we are actually a tribe that can play the game.”

"... We are trying to build on our winning streak"

“… We are trying to build on our winning streak”

The Challenge:

Alexis, Cliff and Coach Tasha were the callers.
Some interesting comments from Jeff:
– Great team work from the Beauty tribe
– Brain just made a costly mistake
– Tony waving his arms wildly

Beauty finished first while J’Tia’s panicked at the end, opening the door for the Brawn team’s “huge come from behind win”.

We had an interesting scene construction though: Spencer was shown throwing his buff to the ground in frustration followed immediately by Jeff saying: “You never give up in this game.”
Considering Spencer looked like he’d be toast as soon as Luzon lost immunity, it seems that the scene was presented to show what will happen at the end of the season. If Spencer turns out to be the Sole Survivor, Jeff could once again say he “You never give up in this game” and show a clip from this episode as a prime example. When Spencer said: “We expected to win”, we were reminded of his confidence during the pre-season interviews and Jeff could also use that during the reunion to show just how bleak his future looked at this point.

With that said, we must admit that the outcome of this challenge was another swing and miss for my predictions! It was our impressions last week that Luzon had found harmony, but that didn’t last.  J’Tia’s panic while blindfolded reminded me of Amber in that memorable Outback challenge where she stood inches from the picnic table but was unable to put the basket on it, letting Kucha win the reward.


Beauty – Day 9

I don’t think any of them are biology majors!

LJ had a confessional: “The reward challenge; that was a fun one. It picked up the group a little bit. It brought us back to the fact that we are out here to win, we are out here to compete and we can win.”


Despite the lack of compliments from Jeff during the challenges and in the recaps, we have to admit that LJ is getting some positive confessionals. No one got hit “in that spot” more often that LJ yet he found a way to call that challenge funI’m not sure what it means for his future but he looks like a good guy.

Jeremiah opened up the bag of chicken feed in front of everyone and wound up with the idol clue in his hand so he read it to everyone.

(Food for thought: As the note mentioned, it was easier to find the idol “when the tide is right”.  Since production had total control over the time Morgan hit the beach, I wonder if they dropped her off when the tide was right or not.  It would tell us if they wanted her to find it right away or not.)

LJ‘s confessional continued: “Jeremiah reached into the bag and found a clue to the idol. Unfortunately, everyone was standing there and the clue was so precise; thank God! I have it because it would have been found today, it would have been a group idol and it would have been a huge problem.”

That’s when Alexis started looking forward for some bird porn, hoping to see the rooster getting it on!
Alexis (solo): “There’s been some talk about how this egg-chicken process works, but I just think everyone is just pretending to know and they don’t know.”


When she asked if the chicken were asexual, a chicken was heard as if it was actually answering her with a “Baaawk?”

 (For those that don’t have Chicken-English translators, that meant: “Whaaat? How dumb can you be?”)

LJ shared a laugh with the audience: “Nobody knows how a chicken is born. I don’t understand. I can’t even believe that some of this stuff comes out of people’s mouths. We have the stereotypical beauty tribe and it so unfortunate.(Alexis in close-up) We all know the egg came first because dinosaurs had eggs and they were before the chickens.”

We see that what the girls lack in Biology, LJ lacks in philosophy.

Country boy Jeremiah grabbed a chicken, apologizing to it adding that it was going to be tasty.

Jeremiah in confessional: “It’s going to be tough but, after Tribal Council, I have to use my Southern charm and get a little bit on their good side, you know. I’m trying to do as much as I can.”

The cracking sound told us he had killed that chicken. Seeing that the head had come off, Alexis had the quote of the evening: “So chickens don’t need a brain to function?”

I don’t know about chickens my dear but I think that was the editor telling you that you don’t seem to need a brain to function.

Jeremiah‘s confessional continued: “I hope I earned some major points. I may have been raised in the country but I don’t know anything about chickens. I’m a model, you know.”

Morgan also had a confessional: “Jeremiah killed the chicken and that’s cool. I get to eat now. I will appreciate it, I will say thanks but, at the end of the day, I still don’t like Jeremiah at all. He’s dumb as rocks and he’s a big fat liar. I don’t know why he’s on this tribe. I don’t think he’s beautiful and we are supposed to be the beautiful tribe.”

Morgan looked a lot less beautiful saying that but it’s hard to argue against her assessment of Jeremiah since that is what we’ve been shown.  The editors have invested a lot in her story, trying to make us feel bad for her in the tough position she has been since the opening twist but her pettiness (remember she dismissed LJ with the “he’s old” remark to Brice) combined with both LJ’s and Jeremiah’s good natured edits makes it difficult to say for certain that she will get her revenge.  We can’t forget the first episode’s title though and that should come into play at some point. 


Brawn – Day 9

Cliff and Lindsey were teasing each other and talking about blindsides.

Sarah in confessional: “Cliff and Lindsey are so tight; they want to get rid of me. Tony overheard them and told me so you mess with me, I’ll mess with you way worse. I want to get Cliff out.”

So that’s a third strike against our views from last week.  After Jeremiah and Luzon letting us down, now we see that Sarah didn’t uncover Tony’s lies and that she was indeed targeting Cliff all along when the previews showed her talking about throwing a challenge.  On the other hand, we were quite prepared to see her falling completely for Tony’s lies. It’s such a bad sign for Sarah, especially considering she talked about her interrogation skills and her abilities to get to the truth, that we let our hopes interfere with the simplest explanation: She thought Cliff wanted her out so she was going after him. This turn of events is a great sign for Tony though and he was never even part of the whole thrown challenge discussion.

Sarah approached Woo, telling him that Cliff didn’t need the money as much as them so that they should get him out. Woo was receptive to the idea. He told her it was their time to shine.

Sarah’s confessional continued: “Woo surprised me, but he would flip on Cliff. He just has this lackadaisical demeanor about him, but Woo wants to win bad enough. It’s just a feeling, just a vibe, but I think we are solid.”

Woo had his first confessional where we heard his thoughts on the game: “I look up to Cliff in a big way. He’s a basketball superstar that I have been idolizing for a long time, but it would be nice for one of us to achieve that million dollars success other than Cliff. I’m just trying to affiliate myself with the majority and when the opportunity is presented to me, I got to take it.”

That’s not exactly a winner’s quote for Woo! His own words tell us that he would be happy if Sarah or even anyone else on the tribe would win as long as it’s not the guy with the fat bankroll.

Tony walked up to the two. They told him they were good but Tony had a confessional to express his anxiety: “I saw Woo and Sarah whispering something and I told myself: I’m gonna go see what’s going on. So I go up to them and they go like … a deer in the headlights. So, I pulled Sarah to the side to ask her what’s going on.”  Sarah told him that Woo was with them. Tony wasn’t sure but his confessional continued: “A few days ago, I went to Sarah and fed her some kind of lie, telling her that I heard Cliff and Lindsey talking about her and, from that moment on, I think I changed the game by having her on my side. So, I believe now that she is part of my alliance. As far as Sarah’s concerned, Woo is on her side which means he’s also on my side. So, I believe we are in an alliance of four right now against Cliff and Lindsey. She had me swear on my badge which doesn’t mean anything to me swearing on my badge because I am here to lie, cheat and steal. I am here to drive people’s dreams through the mud so that I can fulfill mine. That’s what I’m here for. Whatever I have to do, I will do, it’s as simple as that.”

We heard Sarah saying that it would be great to have two cops at the end.  Tony simply replied with a “Cops-R-Us”.

It seems that Tony will drive Sarah’s dreams through the mud because she has fallen for his lies. Does that make him a winner though?  Wouldn’t the editors have cut the part about swearing on his badge if he was going to win? It seems that was left in because Tony won’t get his own dream fulfilled, that something will happen to make him regret being so flippant with his honor.  It’s usually something that the jury holds against a finalist.  Of course, now we are suggesting that Tony makes the Final Three but what about Sarah? I think she will be there at the end but he will crush her dreams just before the finale.

Brawn – Day 11

We were back in Aparri to read another straight forward message from Tree mail. The part about “sink the shot” told them the challenge was going to be some sort of Basketball game that would be made for Cliff.

(How many in the audience said “Sure, as soon as production heard they wanted to get rid of Cliff they put in a challenge he couldn’t lose“)

In confessional, Cliff said: “We have an immunity challenge today and it might be Basketball so I’m sure everyone will be expecting me to be able to make the basket because I did play Basketball. 18 years in the NBA, I was in the top ten of any player that ever played in the NBA in games played. I played more games than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird so hopefully, it’s a walk in the park.”

Phillip once compared himself to Jordan and Magic Johnson. We laughed at him but who knew we’d actually get a Survivor that could say this in complete honesty?  I must say, Cliff is a much better casting decision than Kent but we were expecting that just by their respective reputation. Cliff was always a team player while Kent was never a good team mate. The good team player works best on this show mainly because it leaves room for the other people in the tribe. It doesn’t make Cliff a better player though.

Despite hearing they were going to be playing Basketball, Sarah went on with her plan to target Cliff, now adding that she wanted to throw the challenge.  Hearing the plan, Trish hesitated but finally came on board.

Sarah in confessional: “I always said that I would never throw a challenge because it doesn’t work out. However, we cannot risk merging into two tribes and having Cliff still here. I know it sounds stupid. Why get rid of numbers? But he’s not our number. That’s why. It’s him and Lindsey. I heard Cliff wants me out so I’m screwed if Cliff is still here.”

"He's not a number."

“He’s not a number.”

This segment had to be put on the air to make us think Aparri could lose but it really made Sarah look bad. She couldn’t even fail at failing! Note that Tony not only sat in this challenge but he wasn’t even part of the discussion about throwing it. Sarah did his dirty work not only to get Trish and Woo on board but also with the audience. She got the blame from all those who think throwing a challenge is ridiculous.   In a tribe of 6 where you barely outnumber the others, we have to agree that this wasn’t the most brilliant idea we’ve ever heard. Can Sarah ever be redeemed?

Woo had his own confessional: “Throwing a challenge is not smart. Some of these guys might want to but Cliff and I, we’ve been extremely close and I can just picture it now: Shooting baskets. Look at this jump shot. This is just undeniable alongside with my buddy Cliff but this is not how the majority of my core alliance feels so what do I do? Man.”

The promos had made us think that Woo was on board with throwing the challenge, that was even the main reason why we thought Tony had to be the target, but Woo was never actually in agreement. That’s why it’s always best not to look too closely at the promos, that it<s always better to wait and see how the events actually play out.


The Challenge

While Trish and Sarah used delaying tactics, it was clear that Woo gave it his best shot:
–  Woo got the first buoy without delay.
–  Sarah missed on the 2nd, one that Jefra easily managed.  She got it on her second try.
– Trish struggled with the 3rd Buoy, having to come back empty handed. Morgan had quickly retrieved that 3rd buoy for Solana.
– Woo got the 4th and 5th buoy quickly. Sarah didn’t look happy when the last buoy surfaced.

For Luzers, Spencer had to retrieve 4 buoys, Tasha only managing the easiest one.

Jeremiah, shooting for the Beauty tribe, was having fun, Jeff saying he was at a carnival game. He sank his five shots before anyone else had gotten to the free throw line.
Spencer made two shots before Cliff found his range. Cliff realized he needed to make an adjustment because of the height of the basket so he got down on one knee and swish! It didn’t take him long to show he wasn’t throwing bricks like Shaquille O’Neil! Spencer had done his best but J’Tia and Kass simply couldn’t feed him the ball.

Appropriately, Alexis threw the idol over to Jeremiah while Jeff passed it to Cliff.

Sarah in confessional: “We tried so hard to blow that challenge. Seriously. Green tribe: I tried to help you out, but that team sucks. They deserve to lose after that. That’s all I can say.”

It appears that either Sarah didn’t notice how Woo did his best or that the editors cut out some of his failed attempts to get the buoys.  I wonder how Sarah and Woo will get along now that their first mission failed.  For Woo, there was absolutely no reason to cut Cliff so this worked out well for him. For Sarah, this outcome was actually better than going to TC, if and only if Cliff didn’t notice she was trying to blow the challenge.

Brains – Day 11

A disappointed Spencer had the first confessional: “I do feel a bit gypped that I have to go to Tribal Council when I am doing very well in the challenges and it’s really my team that’s doing poorly in the challenges. The worst thing about being in this tribe is that the girls have succeeded in putting themselves in a power position. The problem is, by doing that, they’ve run the tribe into the ground. J’Tia keeps messing up in challenges. It’s beyond frustrating. History is definitely not in my favor.”

At this point, Spencer had hit rock bottom. Knowing that he will survive the upcoming TC and be delievered from this terrible tribe, then his story fits in perfectly with Jeff’s comment that you should never give up in this game.

While J’Tia was taking a walk alone in the jungle, Spencer made his case to Tasha and Kass.

(Since it’s unlikely that J’Tia went off right then to do chores, we can say that the producers were helping Spencer, whisking his rival away when the tribe hadn’t had time to cool down from the loss.)

Spencer‘s confessional continued: “I don’t know if they are just patting my back on the way out the door or if they are actually trying to bring me back into the fold.”

Kass and Tasha couldn’t see any reasons to keep J’Tia.


A swap had to be considered, didn’t it?

Kass in confessional: “I’m happy with our decision: Get rid of J’Tia. It makes sense. If we have another challenge, we have a strong guy with us as opposed to someone we know has the propensity for failure.”

 "I'm happy with our decision..."

“I’m happy with our decision…

Kass and Tasha agreed that they shouldn’t tell Spencer that he was safe.

That has to be considered a stupid decision.  As soon as they decided to keep him, they should have made a good effort to show they wanted him.  Their performance at Tribal Council would be even worse as far as trying to bring him back into the fold.  

According to plan, Kass and Tasha told J’Tia that Spencer was going. Without J’Tia having to say anything, both Kass and Tasha made the case for why they couldn’t keep Spencer since he would immediately flip to the men.

It’s strange that this realization didn’t change their plans.

J’Tia had an enlightened confessional where she said she’d be loyal but that throwing rice in the fire wasn’t going to be forgotten.

Tasha‘s confessional showed that she was having second thoughts (and 3rd and 4th!): “Initially, my thoughts were to vote J’Tia out but I believe J’Tia is a loyal person and you never know:  Jeff could throw a curveball in this game where you need a loyal person. That is something to consider.”

An interviewer could have simply asked: “But what happens if there isn’t a swap before the merge and what if that merge doesn’t come until Final 12 or even 10?”  Are the players the only ones manipulating each other?

Kass listened to Tasha’s opinion about loyalty and gave us a confessional: “The interesting thing about Tasha is that she is like a pendulum. It’s going to be over here one minute then over here the next. It might change again before Tribal five times. Tasha can’t stop thinking about it. To me, just make a decision and live with it. That’s my life: I have to make decisions for people and live with them all the time. So, am I the hatchet man for J’Tia or Spencer? I can live with either decision. Either one is the same gamble to me because I cannot predict what is going to happen tomorrow.”

The first rule of Survivor, one that Hatch understood even before landing on the beach: Surround yourself with people that would never vote you out. For Tasha, and even for Kass, that would have been J’Tia, not Spencer.  Of course for those like us who always liked Spencer’s chances for being a long term player, we are happy that they made this mistake.

Tribal Council

For a full 10 seconds, Jeff just sat there, speechless. Finally, he went straight for the jugular, asking J’Tia for her role in the losses.
She said she did the best she could in the water, that it was strange for her not to rise to the top under stressful situations.
Jeff asked Tasha if J’Tia had only been weak once.
Her friend had to admit that J’Tia had been weak in most of the challenges. She added: “When we go into challenges, we have to find a role for her.”
(Her role shouldn’t have been to place the flag on the sling or to retrieve the balls in the water. J’Tia could have just stood on that platform like Tasha wound up doing)
Jeff asked J’Tia how she felt knowing that Tasha was looking for the opportunity to get rid of the weak link.
(That sounded a lot like Jeff putting words in Tasha’s mouth.)
J’Tia corrected Jeff, saying that Tasha only meant she was weak in challenges, that there are other aspects of the game like outwit.
Jeff pointed out that J’Tia had left out Outlast, saying that you have to stay in the game in order to outwit.
(Jeff really doesn’t like being contradicted)
Tasha explained their dilemma, having to choose between a strong player and someone that was loyal.
Jeff asked Kass about the rice incident.
Kass said that was an emotional response, not a sign of disloyalty, that J’Tia simply made a bad decision.
Jeff pushed further, saying that a bad decision could cost you a million dollars.
Spencer said that unpredictability is just as dangerous as disloyalty. He pledged that he wouldn’t make a dumb mistake and that he would be with this group in the future.
When J’Tia said he had told them that once before we saw Tasha turn to Kass, whispering “What do you want to do?”
Jeff asked J’Tia and Spencer if they realized that Kass and Tasha were talking to each other.
Spencer said it was crazy, that he would love it as a viewer but, sitting there, it was “pretty scary”.
Enjoying this, Kass said that, as a viewer, she’d be yelling: “Don’t do something stupid” but what is stupid?
Jeff turned to Spencer, asking him as a super fan of the show, how it felt not to have had a chance to play.
Spencer said it was devastating and he wanted to avoid that.
Kass and Tasha exchanged nods.
Jeff told Spencer that Tasha was not even listening to him. He went on: “She is looking at Kass and wondering what is the decision. It’s happening right now”.
That gave Spencer a chance to say that he was loyal to them.

Jeff said it was time to vote.
(After all, he had done all he could to help Spencer.)

J’Tia had an honorable exit, wishing them luck.
Spencer turned to Tasha, saying: “I’m gonna show you you made the right decision. I’m with you 100%.”
Tasha said she knew.

Jeff left them saying they were unpredictable. He hoped this new tribal configuration would bring them some stability because they needed it.


 The Story


An interesting aspect of the story is that each tribe has one leading man, a leading woman and an important supporting actor.  The stars are Tony and Sarah for Brawn, Tasha and Spencer for Brains and Morgan and LJ for the Beauty tribe while Woo, Kass and Alexis have been more than simple extras.  What is even more interesting is that each tribe had one star on the bottom and one in a position of power.  Tony was all alone before turning the game around when he got Sarah, the tribe’s leader, on board.  For Spencer, we heard him say that he was at the bottom yet he managed to convince Tasha to keep him this round. It hasn’t yet worked for Morgan but with the swap upcoming, the “hot girl with a grudge” could find herself in a great position to get her revenge.


We don’t know how the swap will work but the odds are that each tribe will have three former Aparris while Solana will be split 3/2 and Luzon will see a 2/1 division. If it does work out like this and not a totally random distribution, then the Aparris won’t have the majority on either tribe. They could see the two other groups side against them. However, if they spot the outsiders (Morgan and Spencer) they could take over. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if Tony, Morgan and Spencer wind up together or if Tony and Sarah are split.  That could actually give her new life.


The Characters


The Extras:

I don’t see any of these players with a chance to win the game


Lindsey: She doesn’t matter anymore, her role reduced to being Cliff’s fan. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that she gets separated from the NBA player and has nothing left to offer. Her elimination seems like a formality, an easy decision for everyone so maybe that is why we don’t get more from her..


Relegated to the background


Trish:  She’s been relegated to the background of the story. We heard that she doesn’t like throwing challenges but she was willing to do it. It was troubling for her personal story that we never heard how she felt about the decision and what she hoped to gain.  From our perspective, she gained Sarah’s trust but we never heard anyone say it so it probably won’t count in the end.


Cliff: I wonder if he ever found out before the episode aired that they were trying to throw that challenge.  If he sensed something was wrong, he could turn quickly against Sarah or Trish. Woo could very well tell him about the plan, especially if the swap puts these two together again.


 Jefra:  Now that things were going well for Solana, Jefra faded away from our screens.  It’s evident that she will be shown only when her tribe heads for Tribal Council especially if she finds herself in the cross-hairs. 


 Jeremiah: As quickly as he was given a role in the story, it was taken away.  Jeremiah really has nothing besides his charm to get him further in the game and it’s getting close to the time when the charming players get voted out for those that make easier opponents during the final vote.



The Supporting Actors:

Only one of them has an outside chance of winning


Kass: I found it strange to hear Kass describe Tasha as a pendulum when Kass herself has swung from one leader to the next, going from David to Garrett to Tasha.  Vecepia won by switching from one power player to the next with great skill but for Kass it seems more like luck.  J’Tia called her a good luck charm and we see that it continues to favor her.  We have to consider that she said she could be making a dumb decision and from a game perspective it certainly looked like J’Tia would have been more loyal now that we know Jeff is throwing them a curve ball.


Alexis: The stereotypical cute but dumb girl isn’t the Blonde of the tribe. The chicken scene served as character assassination and it would be impossible for the viewers to look at Alexis as a worthy winner after that.  Still, by having LJ’s ear and having 3 allies that count for as many shields, Alexis will outlast many other players, continuing to narrate the story, making us laugh at her along the way.  


Woo: He had absolutely nothing to gain by voting Cliff out. Sarah should have known that she hadn’t given him a good reason to act this early.  Woo did the right thing by going for the buoys, giving the basketball player a chance to prove his worth.  His edit has been slowly evolving so we can’t rule him out as a possible winner especially with his moment to shine quote but he still seems more like a simple team player, saying that it would be nice if one of them won.  It seems that Woo doesn’t have the instinct of a killer but many have won this game with very little blood on their hands.    



The Stars that were in Power:

They have lost a lot of ground to the front runners.


Tasha:  Sarah’s confessional told us that the Green tribe was pathetic and, as their leader, Tasha’s star has faded.  Being called a pendulum isn’t very positive. Now that she will need a loyal soldier by her side she may very well regret J’Tia’s departure, especially considering she would have been a good shield.  It will be fun to see whether Spencer honors his words about being loyal to her if those two wind up on the same tribe.


 LJ:  He is getting the good guy edit but very little support from the editors who don’t remind us of his exploits.  That usually means that they won’t amount to anything in the long run.  Everyone knows that he is good in challenges so he could be the target on his new tribe.


Sarah: Not only is she doing Tony’s dirty work, she is taking the blame for a move that couldn’t have been popular to the viewers even if Cliff had said he saw her as a threat. Failing at throwing the challenge was actually a good thing for her game and the swap could give her a new story line if she can get away from Tony.  That possibility keeps her in contention despite everything else. In fact, I’d place her as the 3rd favorite to win it all because there is still a lot to appreciate in her story.


The Stars that were in Trouble

Their skills and the swap have given them new life. 


Morgan: I place her here even if I don’t consider her as a contender simply because she’s been the outsider from the very start. We can’t forget the fact that the editors have invested us in her story, at times playing music to make us react in her favor.  We’ve had examples of her pettiness though so her story could end at any time.  Maybe she will only get part of her revenge, finding a way to eliminate one of Jeremiah or LJ but not the other.


Tony:  He didn’t need the swap to turn the game around, finding a way into the main alliance with some well chosen words and some big lies.  Contrary to Hantz, he hasn’t ruffled any feathers yet because, unlike Foa Foa, Aparri hasn’t gone to Tribal Council yet.  Despite his lies, he is being much more diplomatic than the tankerer ever was or even could be.  Tony could very well win since he does have some great winning quotes but he still seems like someone that would get roasted by the jury.  It will be hard for him to hide his desire to drag people’s dreams through the mud because, at some point, he will have to get his hands dirty if only to satisfy his ego.


Spencer: Now that Spencer has been given a chance to play, we are expecting him to show us an awesome game.  The kid that was relegated to the bottom by his tribe mates has found a way out and he never gave up.  His story fits well with the themes we have seen this season especially if it is about a man overcoming his position as the biggest underdog in Cagayan.  We have been keeping our eyes on him ever since he had those confessionals in the opening segment of the premiere and now that we heard Jeff say that the key is to never give up, we are probably looking at the next Sole Survivor.  We have to put him as our top contender right now but we will need to see how his story is handled during the swap. 

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