Survivor San Juan Del Sur

Good Play, Girls

In the recap, Jeff told us that everything was going right for Keith. He got a clue to an idol and, after protecting Val at Exile Island, he gained an ally in her husband, Jeremy…

(We heard Jeremy mention the brotherhood of firefighters)

… but the rest of his tribe was struggling. Jon lost their flint and Drew simply lost his energy.  At the last immunity challenge, they beat Coyopa again and finally John Rocker’s past caught up with him.

At Tribal Council, Coyopa continued to fall apart… (We heard Jaclyn’s comment about shifting alliance and the need for guys to grow balls) …The men’s alliance crumbled and John wasn’t the only one blindsided (Dale).

This is probably the weirdest recap in recent memory. It was as if last week’s scene at Exile Island never happened because we never saw Josh and Keith interacting. That means the hilarious scene cannot be as important as we thought, that it really only served for comic relief. Still, for some reason, we are told that things were going right for Keith.  Did he blow it now that he lost Jeremy’s trust?

The comment that Hunahpu is struggling really stood out because they really hadn’t been in any kind of difficulty up to now. Also, Coyopa continued to fall apart so we can assume that neither tribe will succeed, that our end players will come from remnants of both tribes. It was interesting to see that Jaclyn was the only one heard at Tribal Council when it came time to switch the game, to grow some balls.


Good Play, Girls


Coyopa – Night 8

Baylor was the one interviewed about the big move. She was ecstatic when she said: “Tonight, John got voted out! Yay! Kudos to the team.  He was the biggest, strongest guy on our tribe but I feel, more importantly, you have to have a positive team.  John’s attitude being removed will help us.  Unfortunately, that leaves Dale on the outs.”

The next days’ events will prove that she was right; the vote appeared to have helped the tribe. I noticed however how this scene completely ignored Josh and his role in the whole thing. It was the biggest move of the season up to now and he had made it happen, but it was “Kudos to the team”.  Going by the recap and then hearing Baylor’s confessional, it makes it seem as if only the two women benefited from it.  It’s as if Jaclyn got the men to break up their alliance and that Baylor’s idea of a positive team prevailed.  

Dale’s interview: “I probably got comfortable in our five-guy alliance and probably let the social game slide a little bit. I have to put more effort in trusting people because, as of right now, if we lose the next immunity, I’m toast. ”

Hunahpu – Day 9

The tribe was waking up and Natalie was tending fire when, like magic, the flint appeared at her feet.

Did anyone think it was planted there? We had seen the tribe looking all over the fire pit and raking the ground.  Did they really miss it or was it production’s idea to spice up the episode a bit?  However it happened, it did lead to a funny scene at the arena.

Drew had a confessional: “The other day, we lost our flint and we had to forfeit the fishing gear we’d won to get a new one. It really aggravated me because I’m a big fisherman and I definitely could provide for the tribe, but now, I am literally starving to death.”

He told the tribe that he would barter with Jeff.

It led to Kelley’s interview: “Drew is a lot of talk, let’s be honest. He says he can do all these amazing things then he sleeps for four hours but all we can hear from Drew is “Fishing gear, fishing gear; We should have gotten the fishing gear.”

Someone said the fishing gear was gone.

Soon, Drew would follow!  We will see evidence that Drew and Kelley couldn’t stand each other throughout the episode. Every time Drew said something, we would either hear Kelley commenting on it or we would see an expression that left little doubt about her thoughts.  The events would give Kelley a much better role than Drew but, now that he is gone, what role is left for our farmer’s daughter?  

Kelley was on our screens when we heard Drew say that he couldn’t survive on the same portions as a 100-pound girl. He added that a good leader would make decisions that others don’t want to do, in this case, barter with Jeff. The interview ended with Drew saying that, without him, these people would be nothing.

I guess we will have a chance to see how it turns out.

The Reward Challenge

Hunahpu saw that John had been voted out. Many were seen clapping. Jon even stood up. Julie told Jeff that she wasn’t surprised, that she knew that if he continued that way, she would have to be blind to it and be with her team.

Drew interrupted Jeff and showed him the brand new flint. Our host smiled at that and, while he teased him about making a new trade, it soon became apparent that all trades were final.

Kelley was the most vocal about Drew’s actions, saying that he was being dumb. She wanted no part of this negotiation.

In this sequence, it was evident that the Hunahpu women, led by Kelley, thought the trade talks were ridiculous while most of the men, by actively participating in it (Reed asked Jeff for his return policy while Jon said that it felt like they were being taunted) looked dumb. There is a feel developing to this season that the men aren’t very bright, that the women are the smart ones.  Could it be setting up a female winner?

Jon decided to do the challenge, going up against Jaclyn.

While Jon had trouble early, Miss Michigan did well. (Dale said that Jon tosses like a girl). Jon soon recovered the lead but he had trouble with the last ball, so Jaclyn tied him at 4-4 for a while until, finally, Jon won the reward.

Before she left, the couple had a touching moment when Jon said she was tough enough to handle Exile Island.   With Drew volunteering, Jon had no problems making his decision.  He sent his “boyfriend” to accompany his girlfriend to Exile Island.  He explained that Drew could pull his weight “when he isn’t napping”.  To Jaclyn’s ear, Jon whispered that “(Drew) is a good guy.”

Alec’s interview was used to narrate the situation: “We are dying to win. I want to win so bad. We are desperate and, continuing to lose, we are on the ropes. Are we going to be able to pick ourselves up or are we going to be the worst tribe in Survivor history? Who knows?”

Alec’s role would suddenly increase in this episode. Before reading too much into it, I think it was just a way to connect the pair of Loved Ones, to remind the audience that Alec was Drew’s brother, that he would soon be the most shocked by the upcoming vote.  Next week will show if Alec’s turn in the spotlight was only to prepare us for his reaction at the arena or if it is the start of a new story arc.  While we were wrong to think there would be a confrontation between the brothers, we were right to think that Alec would outlast his “Drewchebag” of a brother.


When the tribe returned, we heard Jon and his tribe agreeing that Jaclyn was tough and that she would handle Exile Island.

It’s always good for a player’s future to hear people talking positively about them so I noted that people liked “Michigan” and saw her as a strong woman.

Jon gave an interview: “I have mixed emotions about how I feel sending Drew with Jaclyn on Exile Island. He is somebody that I do trust, but if Drew is anything like he is at camp, Jaclyn might be doing most of the firewood collecting, but I think she can handle it.”

The conversation soon turned to Rocker’s elimination, so the camera went to Julie. Asked how she felt, Julie said she was alright: “I want to move on and it lets me play the game.  I don’t have to worry about him.”

Julie in confessional: “Seeing my boyfriend John voted out was hurtful just to know that everybody was anti-John Rocker, the love of my life, but things like this happen all the time with John, where he is automatically judged from day 1 so I kind of prepared myself. To be without him right now is such a desperate feeling. All I can do is try my best and get myself back in the game.”

The vote would prove that she got herself back in the game, at least for now. While I maintain that she should have said something like this to her tribe BEFORE John was voted out, it was nice to hear her say that she knew it would happen and that she was playing for the team not him.

Exile Island – Day 9

The body wasn’t cold yet but vultures were already feasting when Drew and Jaclyn arrived at Exile Island. The editors weren’t making it hard to tell that the “Drewchebag” was going to be eliminated. It’s often the case when a “Dumb Player” gets voted out; the episode is set up so that the audience can enjoy the fall. 

Drew had an interview to say that Exile Island sucked.

When the two picked urns, we had our first sighting of a snake. There would be many more during the night.

Drew got the clue and read it to Jaclyn.

It looked a lot less detailed than the one that Josh and Keith received. The parchment had only two pictures.   What does it mean? Is there a new location for the idol? If so, does that mean there is a second idol at Hunahpu?

In addition to the clue, Drew was happy to be with Miss Michigan even if he wasn’t there to find a girlfriend, especially not with one of his buddy’s girl.

Jaclyn told us that Alec had informed her about Drew’s reputation with the ladies.

It was quite funny to hear Drew say that he hadn’t tried to work the ladies’ man angle too much considering it would be the ladies that would vote him out.

Drew told Jaclyn that Jon was afraid of being voted out by the women of Hunahpu.

Jaclyn gave an interview: “Alec told me that his brother is a ladies’ man. Ha! But I’m not worried about him. I’m just thinking about the game.  With Drew, I want to figure out what’s going on and collaborate.”

When she told him that she was afraid of what would happen if they lost again, Drew said he wouldn’t let them lose again, that he was going to throw the next game. He added: “There are snakes on our team that have to go.”

In confessional, Drew said that all the girls in his tribe looked untrustworthy. He added: “In the long run, they have no chance to compete against us.”

Since Drew would be wrong about so many things in this episode, can we say that this remark aired to give us a hint that the women will not only compete against them but come out on top?

The scene ended with a helicopter shot of Drew standing on the big rock in the ocean, saying he wanted to start whittling down the numbers on his tribe to win the million dollars. This shot, often reserved for winners, can also quite amusingly, show us “The Fool on the Hill.”

Hunahpu – Day 9

It is important to note that we still haven’t been in Coyopa since the almost obligatory “Black and White Survivor” scene at the start of the episode.

The first image we had was of Jon “getting used” to resting in the hammock. Keith used the time to go look for the idol.  Looking at his position with respect to the well, we could tell right away that he wasn’t going to find it there.

Keith (solo): “The other day on Exile Island, I got a clue that there was an idol over here by the well. So, I came here, kicked around, dug around to see, but I couldn’t find it.” (More snakes were shown). “I dug around the sand for about 30 minutes and I thought that I was wasting my time.  Unfortunately, it looks like I’m a day late and a dollar short.  It looks like somebody’s already been through there. I think I might got beat to the punch.”

He told Missy, Reed and Natalie that he had a clue to the idol but that it wasn’t there so that Jeremy had to have the idol. “Jeremy’s got an idol,” he said.

There are Snakes in Hunahpu There are Snakes in Hunahpu[/caption]


While the snake who had been observing Keith slithered away, Reed went directly to Jeremy to give him the scoop on Keith: “Keith just told the tribe that you have an idol.”

Jeremy couldn’t believe it, but Reed told him that it was true.

Wasn’t it odd that it was Reed who told Jeremy? Why not Missy or Natalie, the ones who are aligned with the firefighter? With the snake shown moving from one scene to the next, the whole thing made Reed look like a snitch.  The worst is that the revelation didn’t help him in the least to get into “Jeremy’s” alliance.

Jeremy in confessional: “Here I am thinking that I have Keith with me, but now I find out that he is telling everybody that I have the idol. I’m pissed. I mean, we are both firefighters. I told you I had your back. If you think I have an idol, why didn’t you just come to me?  Don’t you think that we are on the same page? We could have used it together.  Keith was chilling; he wasn’t on anyone’s radar, but now, I want him gone because Keith: you are a rat.”

In the middle of this confessional, we heard Jeremy telling Jon and Reed that Keith had been searching all around and was baffled that he was putting it on him.

By sundown, we saw Keith returning to the well while we heard him say in confessional: “I got to thinking that idols are important to this game and they are a good thing to have around.  So I said, well, I’ll go back. Maybe I wasn’t due North or 7 steps. I prodded around a little more” (I smiled when the idol practically jumped out at him!) “I thought it had already done been found but obviously not. As a matter of fact, it almost jumped out at me, kinda scared me.  I’m probably not going to tell anybody that I have the idol because the last thing I need is a target on my back.  I’m not a brain surgeon, but if everybody thinks Jeremy has it, that could be good for me.”

Isn’t this a wonderful way to show that Keith really needs to take his time to figure things out? It’s not only his words now that tell us he will figure it out in a few days: We actually saw him figure out that he was wrong and he was able to correct himself.  His bumbling, fumbling ways may yet be good for him just like having people think Jeremy has the idol could work out nicely.

Coyopa – Day 10

We could almost say finally but it was rather an inconsequential scene, at least for the tribe as a whole.

Baylor and Alec went to get tree mail. Alec told Baylor not to snatch it from him. They argued a bit like brother and sister with Baylor saying: “You are being a woman right now.”

Baylor on confessional: “Alec feels like a little brother sometimes to me even if he is two years older. He likes to boss me around a little bit, so I’ve had to bite my tongue a bunch.”

Alec read the note but he was so hesitant that the group didn’t understand what he said. Josh asked him to read it one more time so that he could get it.  Baylor snatched the note from Alec and read it. Alec looked quite upset.

Baylor Stole my Toy

Baylor Stole my Toy


Alec in confessional: “Baylor does things here and there that kind of get on my nerves and I’m not going to let her get away with it. She makes it seem like, in her life, everything is given to her just like it was for Drew but she isn’t my brother so I’m going to call her on every single thing she does.  As a kid, my dad didn’t go wake Drew up to wash cars because he knew Drew wouldn’t be worth a damn. He came to wake me up.  I had to work hard for everything I’ve gotten and I think that, in the end, it made me a stronger person.  I think sharing that knowledge with others might be what we need to do. Get everybody on the same page and just believe that we can beat the other tribe.  David can beat Goliath.”


It seemed that Baylor hadn’t cleaned the pot properly, so Alec got her to go back to wash it again. “Don’t half-ass it. If you didn’t half-ass it, you wouldn’t have to do it twice” he told her. When he explained that he was being tough on her because that’s how he was taught, Baylor simply answered: “Thanks, bro.”

It’s very good for Alec to come out of his brother’s shadow this way, to be disassociated from the episode’s dumb player. Before Drew left, we finally got to know Alec a little and he explained the main difference between the two was that he always woke up to do the job while we saw that his brother’s worst trait was to sleep instead of working. After this confessional, we have to keep an eye on Alec and see where his story will lead him. Can this David beat Goliath? Maybe but Goliath didn’t throw the fight.  As for Baylor, it has to worry her fans a bit that we heard she is a lot like Drew, used to getting everything handed to her.  Now, her story can only lead her to victory if we clearly see that she doesn’t half-ass it.  Maybe she will have her “bro” Alec to thank in the end.

The Immunity Challenge

We had a confessional from Drew in which he wondered if he would throw the challenge.  He knew people would hate him for it but he felt it had to be done.

Kelley sat out because she preferred doing puzzles. Jeremy and Jon joined her on the bench.

During the swim, Jeff was most vocal about Alec who was “making up a lot of time. That is how you do it.”

Alec’s role is still growing.

After the 4 swimmers retrieved the rings, it was mainly up to Dale and Josh for Coyopa to toss them on the post while Drew insisted on throwing them for Hunahpu. It was evident that he was throwing it because the rings were flying all over the place. Jeff even said that Drew was single-handedly losing it for his tribe.   Dale made the final throw and Coyopa won their first immunity challenge.

After apologizing to the tribe, Drew said in confessional that he had thrown it to get rid of the snakes. He added his own, warped, version of leadership: “If I don’t want to win, we are not going to win and that is what makes me the kingpin of our tribe.”

Hunahpu – Day 10

Once more, we heard Drew apologizing to his tribe before telling us that he had been looking for an opportunity to throw the challenge.  He added: “Basically, I’m a badass and a manipulator of this game.”

In case we hadn’t gotten the message yet, the editors threw in another scene of vultures eating rotting flesh. The Drewchebag was toast.

Before Drew explained his plan, we heard Jon talking to Missy, Reed and Keith: “Here’s my idea: I fear that, going into the merge, the individuals are going to outnumber the couples (we see Julie and Natalie as examples of individuals to target), so we need to take out people that don’t have a loved one right now.” With them agreeing, Jon added: “That’s why I think Julie is an easy vote and she hurts our team.”

Reed concurred: “And she was kind of worthless at the challenge today.”

Well, maybe not as worthless as Drew!

Jon in an interview: “My argument today was that Julie should be the one to go. She hasn’t really been helping in challenges, and she doesn’t help around camp; it would be an easy one to agree on, but most importantly, she doesn’t have a Loved One.”

The image of Julie sun tanning on the beach was the one the editors used while Jon was saying she wasn’t working. Given that picture, it’s hard to argue against the former football player.

That’s when Drew walked in on the conversation, cutting it short by saying: “There is no good reason to vote Julie right now. Listen to me: Who is the most dangerous person in this tribe right now? Who is it? Who is going to manipulate this game and throw the stronger guys out?” No one had an answer, so Drew answered his own questions: “It’s Kelley.  She is the best player here.”


Most of the audience must have said “What?” when Drew named her as the most dangerous player in the tribe. It’s another good sign for Kelley but it would have been nice for us to hear her thoughts on strategy, to see her as a manipulator.

Keith agreed in part: “She knows the game, but I don’t know about the player.”

In confessional, Drew explained his reasons: “Kelley…she is very low-key but, at the same time, she is very observant…she has not missed one episode of Survivor.  Kelley is a threat, and it is my mission to get people to vote for her tonight.”

Before Drew could explain his “mission” to Jeremy, the firefighter told him that he didn’t trust Keith. He added: “We need to have each other’s back. If someone is after you, I got your back; I’m going to go after that person.  If someone is after me, I expect the same thing.”

Drew wouldn’t have it: “He’s only 1 vote, so who is he going to get? You are overlooking the mastermind here and it’s Kelley.”

Could it be that the one they are overlooking is Keith?! Now that would be funny if the one that only had 1 vote and couldn’t get anyone winds up getting them all!

Jeremy gave us an interview: “This is the thing: I want Keith gone. Keith is trying to go after me, so now I don’t trust him at all, but Drew? He wants to get rid of Kelley now because he thinks Kelley runs the girls, which is ridiculous. She’s not doing anything.”

One has to wonder if Jeremy isn’t as blind as Drew because Keith isn’t doing anything that matters either. Is Jeremy overlooking the girl power that is forming around him?

When Drew explained the pecking order as he perceived it, Natalie objected: “There is less girls anyway.”

Jeremy’s interview continued: “With Drew, there is no back and forth. He’s just like: “Kelley is going home and that’s it. It pisses me off.”

After talking to Missy, who acted surprised to hear what Drew had said (She was with Drew when he first talked about Kelley), Natalie had a confessional: “Drew, he’s scared that the girls are going to vote out guys which is stupid.  We don’t even have the numbers to do that, but he is convinced of this girl-girl alliance.  The guys are kind of like a mess; they are not on the same page which is good.  (The confessional continued after the scene transcribed below). Getting rid of Drew, it would be so sweet if we can pull this off.  He is so annoying. We have to do it now that the guys are all over the place.”

Wondering who between Drew and Jon would be long term threats to win individual immunity challenges, Natalie said it would probably be Drew. That got Missy to say: “Maybe we should get rid of Drew first.”

Is that a hint that Jon will go on an immunity run? Looking on past challenge results and the information they have on the two, Jon looks like a much more formidable opponent.  I noticed also that Jeremy was shown on camera when Natalie said the guys were all over the place, an indication that he may not be so different after all.  Jeremy was the 5th vote they needed to secure since they didn’t know just how messed up the guys’ votes would be but it makes me wonder if this is really Jeremy’s alliance.  In this episode, it looked a lot like Jeremy was the alliance’s tool rather than its leader. 

With Kelley standing just a few feet behind him, Drew told Reed and Jon that voting Kelley would be the power move. He added: “Let’s kick Kelley out tonight and then all these bitches won’t know what to do other than come to us…Trust me. Count on it.”

I thought we were back in Cook Islands, listening to “King” JP talking to Nate, Adam and Brad but Drew was even more cocky, using such a vulgar term as bitches and talking out loud near everyone. There are some things you should never do on Survivor.

Kelley gave us an interview: “I was standing by the shelter and I heard Drew leading this charge to get me out. I was like: “What the hell!” I don’t know what it is. Maybe he’s just threatened by me as a strong female.  Drew has this vision in his head and he is like the king of it and he has to be the one that gives the final decision, and I think that people are getting over that really quickly.”

Natalie talked to Jeremy, telling him that Missy was down with getting rid of Drew. She added that they could get Jon, tell him that Drew is leading him the wrong path.

Just before they left for the Council, we heard Drew telling Missy that they were voting out Kelley whether she was on board with it or not. Jeremy pointed out that Kelley was sitting right there, but Drew said he didn’t care.  When Drew told Missy that he didn’t need to have her vote, Jon interrupted him, saying he was a jackass.

This was spliced in the middle of the interview that Jeremy was giving on the way to Tribal Council.

Jeremy’s interview: “This is how it’s going right now: The girls want to get rid of Drew.  Yes, he is a moron, but that’s a big move and it makes me nervous.  The problem is that the guys are all over the place.  Drew is saying that Kelley is a player. Jon is saying that we are going after Julie and I want to get rid of Keith.  It’s just crazy.  Maybe we should get rid of Drew.  He is digging his own grave but I’m not sure if it’s the right time.”

The images of fast moving clouds followed by a skull that preceded them to Tribal Council were an indication that this vote may not turn out to be the best decision for Jeremy.

Tribal Council

Asked who gets along, Julie pointed immediately to Jon and Drew. “They run around like they are five-year olds.  It’s cute.”

Asked who didn’t get along, Missy said that there were many chiefs and not enough Indians. She said probably half the tribe was selfish.

As if he knew, Jeff went to Drew when he wanted to talk about the fact that they had been winning and hadn’t voted anyone out.

Drew said everyone was playing nice until the loss where they realized they had to play this game.

Jeff wouldn’t let it go and asked how it felt to have been demolished in the challenge by someone who could be his granddad.

Kelley and Jeremy were amused by that, but Drew simply said he did the best he could.

Jon told Jeff about the scrambling that took place when they returned to camp. He added: “Emotions got high. It was confusing.”

Jeremy explained: “Keith comes back from Exile and tells everybody that I have an idol, so I say, Keith, why don’t you come to me? We’re aligned!”

Keith said he was looking for the idol and couldn’t find it. “I assumed,” he said “I might have been wrong, that Jeremy had beaten me to the punch.”  Keith added that he didn’t go to Jeremy because the firefighter could have gone to someone else.

Jeremy was adamant: “We could have kept it between me and you.”

Keith flatly said: “It doesn’t happen like that in this game. If I go to him and say Jeremy, I have an idol, the first thing in his head is let’s put his name down.”

Jeff was amused but Jeremy explained that he wouldn’t have said that because they were in an alliance. “That’s what an alliance is, Keith” he exclaimed. “We could have two people aligned and a suballiance with everybody else.  We could have done it.”

Keith mocked him: “A suballiance… OK! That’s a new one.”

Jeremy answered: “It’s not a new one in Survivor.

Everyone laughed at that.

Despite what Jeff said, Keith said it wasn’t a betrayal.

Missy countered that he was trying to pit people against Jeremy. Keith tried to explain that it wasn’t what he meant to do, but Natalie told everyone what he said, making it plain that Keith was targeting Jeremy.

As if everyone ganging up on him wasn’t enough, Keith also had to worry about a crawling insect on his shoulder. His surprised reaction made everyone laugh.

Drew said he wanted to get the bad energy out and roll forward.

Kelley agreed but wondered: “Who is the bad seed in this bunch? Maybe we don’t all agree on that.”

Natalie said it would be a crucial vote, that Drew thought the girls wanted to get the guys out.

Innocently, Jeff asked: “How would the girls take out the guys? There’s only 4.”

The women all jumped in, saying: “That’s what we said.”

Drew said that no one had approached him, but Kelley countered that he freaked out as soon as he got back to camp. She said: “Obviously, you have something against me.”

Natalie said: “I thought we were all on one page, but everybody seems to be all scatter-brain and it’s really scary because a few stray votes can change everything.”

Jon told Jeff that he never got a full grasp of any of the strategies going around.

Jeff pointed out that it couldn’t be comforting.

Jon said he didn’t know what name to put down.

Natalie concluded by saying: “We’re a hot mess.”

It was about to get messier because Jeff sent them to vote.

When Jeff asked if anyone wanted to play the idol, Keith looked nervous but he stayed put.

The vote was all over the place:

  • Keith and Reed voted against Julie
  • Jon voted against Keith
  • Drew voted against Kelley
  • The 4 women and Jeremy voted against Drew.

During the reading of the votes, we saw Natalie’s puzzlement when she saw that both Kelley and Julie received votes, underlining the stupidity of the men’s votes. The amusement was general when another stray vote was put on Keith.  When the deciding vote was shown, the main reaction came from Jon who said: “Good play, girls.”

Jeff left them with a question: “Was it a brilliant Tribal or absolute chaos?”

The Story

There is a developing “Girl Power” story that we saw permeating this episode. First, the strong women of Coyopa had just gotten rid of Rocker, and then we heard that Jaclyn was strong enough to endure Exile Island.  In Hunahpu, even if they didn’t have the numbers, the women managed to pull off a big blindside.  The way Tribal Council was presented showed that the women were much more aware of the game being played than the guys. They mostly sat back and listened, letting most of the guys make fool of themselves.  Since we heard that there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians, the stage is set for a follower to take the spoils from the battle between leaders.  Who will it be?

A note in passing: Isn’t it strange that we heard so many guys being compared to girls? Nadiya said that Josh was one of the girls in episode 1.  Dale said that Jon threw like a girl and Baylor said Alec was acting like a girl when they went to get tree mail.

The Characters

The Dumb Guys:

Dale:  He may have been the challenge MVP, but since it was all about Drew throwing the challenge, it didn’t really enhance his standing with the audience. His only intervention was to tell us that he had gotten comfortable in his alliance, neglecting the social game. In Survivor, that is enough to categorize him as one of the “Dumb Guys” especially since that alliance was with John “Off-his-Rocker”.

Reed: His best point was that he offered nothing that could have been mocked at Tribal Council. His worst point was that he offered nothing at Tribal Council. His first intervention in the episode was to ask Jeff about his return policy, so the joke was on him just as much as it was for Drew.  Then, he was shown as a snitch, telling Jeremy what Keith had just said.  Finally, when he told Jon that Julie had done nothing in challenges, the audience could well have thought: “And what have you done, whoever you are?”  While clearly one of the followers, there isn’t enough substance to Reed’s story to see a winner’s arc.

Wes: Since Wes didn’t have a single thing to say in the episode, we are still seeing him as the young guy that is as mentally strong as a rock.

Alec:  Even if Alec was still clinging to Rocker, wondering if it had been a good idea to vote him out, it has to be noted that Drew’s brother had a good episode. His best point was that he disassociated himself from his older brother.  He told us that he had to work hard all his life mostly because his brother was so lazy.  In order for his story is to continue to grow, he will have to convince the members of Hunahpu that he isn’t like his brother which is an interesting turn of events.  His worst point in this episode came when Baylor said that he likes to boss her around and we know there are already too many chiefs.  It sounds like the younger brother won’t fall much farther from the tree than his brother.

Jon:  We’ve had indications that Jon isn’t the smartest guy around in previous episodes but, in this one, his comment at Tribal Council showed that he is in over his head.  As Jeff pointed out, it can’t be a good thing to enter Tribal Council without knowing who the target is.  He was lucky that he wasn’t voted out because that is often the case with the clueless.  Now, Jon will have to disassociate himself from his former ally. That will be hard considering that Julie said they were like 2 five-year olds, running around together.  If that wasn’t enough then we have to keep in mind that they were as subtle about their alliance as Africa’s “Mallrats”.

As Tribephyl, posting on RTVW noted, there was an evident “bromance” between Drew and Jon because they were both wearing a blue feather as jewelry, something only Drew previously had. Drew’s blue feather can be seen on Jon’s wrist in the last picture.   Despite that, we’ve already had hints that Jon could go on an immunity stretch after the merge, so we can’t eliminate him.

Josh:  This episode completely ignored the star of the first three episodes.  Some will say that it served to “cool off” his story, but I don’t agree.  This should have been his moment of glory, the episode where he finally took firm control of the alliance but the credit for booting the tribe’s “Villain” went entirely to Jaclyn and Baylor.  I know he didn’t do anything stupid in this episode so many will argue about his inclusion with the “Dumb Guys” but the alternative is to put him with the girls and we know he doesn’t like that at all!!  I will defend his inclusion in the dumb guys because he said that his tactics were madness.  He argued there was method to that madness, but it made him look like a sketchy player and it was much too early to reveal that trait.

Jeremy: Now, I expect that few will agree with me that Jeremy may have been the second biggest fool in this episode.  First, we have to wonder if he is too emotional for this game.  Most of his story was about his wife and that led to an emotional outburst that cost him a possible alliance down the road. Drew said that he was too emotional and we saw Jeremy storming off when he realized that the bartender didn’t have his back.  After saying that, Jeremy sided with the girls who didn’t have his back either since they weren’t targeting Keith.  Like I wrote above, we may still think of it as Jeremy’s alliance but it didn’t work that way this week. The girls used his vote for their own benefit. They had no way of going after the guys UNLESS one of the guys flipped. That vote made Jeremy quite nervous and, if we believe the symbolism of fast moving clouds, one that he could soon regret.

There are other reasons to believe that, despite his stellar edit, Jeremy is in for a fall.   First, we heard that there are already tactics in place to get the pairs together.  If that happens then Jeremy has to be considered the number one threat among the singletons.  Even Missy was in on the discussion that was lead by Jon and we know that Missy will opt to go with her daughter if she can.

The other examples of Jeremy’s lack of game intelligence were not necessarily underlined by the editors but they were clearly implied: Since he had the same clue as Rocker, why didn’t Jeremy find the idol?  It practically jumped out at Keith so it wasn’t hard to find at all but Jeremy apparently didn’t even bother to look for something that is so important in this game.  Next, his argument with Keith certainly didn’t make it look like he didn’t have the idol.  There has to be a few members of Hunahpu who think he does have it.  Finally, his mention of an alliance with Keith, adding that they could have had suballiances with everybody else should have alerted his allies as much as Rocker’s revelation at the Challenge Arena. Despite all the hints that were thrown in early on, I am going to say that Jeremy won’t win this season.

Keith: No one will argue against the inclusion of Keith in the “Dumb Guys” group but, for him, it could be a good thing.  Like Jeremy said, he wasn’t on anyone’s radar and, while his latest gaffe momentarily caused him to ping on the firefighter’s screen, this follower could go a long way.  He simply needs time to figure it out.  Sometimes a gaffe can turn into an advantage as we saw when he got people thinking that Jeremy had an idol.  Is Keith shown only as comic relief or will he continue to fumble his way forward?  I still consider Keith as a valid contender for the victory.  Now that would be funny!

The Strong Women

Jaclyn:  Michigan is well-liked and she was the one that, apparently, got the guys to grow balls and get rid of their figurehead leader.  We have to keep in mind that the first thing we heard about Jaclyn was that Miss Michigan was a “Survivor lady” and the rare occasions in which she has been featured have backed up that statement.  The rarity of those occasions make it unlikely that Jaclyn will be our winner but there is a story arc that is growing and Jon’s mention of pairs having to stick together gives us a good indication that these two will get to play together.

Natalie: While she had some dumb moments, namely her arguments with John, Natalie was the one portrayed as leading the women’s alliance and knowing how to use the scatter-brains guys.  Her intervention at Tribal Council showed that she knows how to play this game, but we specifically heard her say that Drew was a bigger challenge threat than Jon.  With Drew being so clearly set up as the guy that needed to be voted out, did we need to hear that he was also a challenge threat down the road?  It made me think that Natalie will regret forgetting about Jon and the threats he poses, not only as an athlete but as someone who is gunning for singletons like Natalie.  I could see a late challenge where the women are competing against Jon who wins immunity, forcing the women to vote against Natalie.

Julie:  She was strong enough and smart enough to take John’s elimination in stride, saying that she will work for the team, but we still heard that she was useless in challenges and in camp. More than that, the editors gave us visual proof that she prefers to work on her tan on the beach than in camp.  Julie could very well be a long-term player even if she is without a Loved One but that will happen only if someone is able to carry her to the end.

Kelley:  The strong woman that intimidated Drew could very well be considered as a top contender.  We heard that she is a huge fan, one that hasn’t missed an episode, we know that she is good in challenges and that puzzles are her specialty, and she could be included in Jon’s Loved One alliance. However, there is a lack of substance to Kelley’s story, most of it revolving around her conflict with Drew.  With him gone, could she soon follow?  Players could come to the same conclusion as Drew: Her knowledge of this game makes her difficult to trust.  Besides that, we heard Drew say that she was leading the ladies’ alliance and there are already too many chiefs

Baylor: With Alec, Baylor seemed to be the only important player in Coyopa.  She had a great episode, one that underlined her role in getting rid of Rocker and she told us that the positive energy can work in her favor.  A “Blood” alliance would certainly create a lot of positive energy and Baylor could go a long way inside the merge’s main alliance considering how well she navigated when she was on the lower echelons of her first one.  However, after hearing that Alec say she was a lot like Drew, used to getting everything she wants, we will have to continue seeing Baylor having to work hard to get ahead.  If we see her coasting then we will know she won’t win.

Missy: Looking closely at this episode, I was amazed by the role played by Missy.  Unlike Reed, she kept Keith’s information to herself, probably realizing that information is more useful kept than shared.  Being aligned with both Keith and Jeremy, it would have given Missy a lot of power down the road to break up the brotherhood but now that information is useless.  Still she was with the group when Jon and Drew first put the target on Julie and then Kelley, but she acted all surprised when Natalie informed her of the situation. She then led Natalie to decide that Drew was the biggest threat, saying that Drew was more dangerous in challenges.  Was it because she preferred Jon’s idea of working in pairs?  She’d certainly want to keep Natalie in the dark about that strategy.

What I liked most about Missy was that she was presented as the one that knew the most but let the others slowly come to the same realization. She is one of the few Indians, certainly not a chief, but she looked like the Indian-in-waiting, the one that will let the chiefs kill each other. Right now, Missy holds all the cards because she is trusted by everyone. Even Drew told her about his idea to eliminate Kelley.  Granted, he didn’t think her vote would matter but he didn’t want to keep her out of the loop which means something in this game.  I’ll want to see how the swap turns out but, right now, I have to think that Missy could be our Sole Survivor.


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