Counterpoint: Why the Frat Pack is on the Right Track

This blog is a counterpoint written by Matthew Bok in response to the first entry from our new Survivor: One World Blogger, Richie Glanzer

I’m looking at this as a kind of counter point to Richie’s take on Episode I (which was not in 3-D and there wasn’t a Jar-Jar to be seen) so let me introduce myself, my name Humpty, pronounced with an Umpty (hell if Rob can get all punerific, why can’t I). My name is Matthew Bok and I have watched 26 (yes 26!) seasons of Survivor including two Australian, and one craptacular UK version. I think Russell got screwed and Boston Rob is over-rated. Outside of All-Star seasons I think that returning players are bad and give an unfair advantage (not to mention a disproportionate amount of airtime) to the retreads. I do watch previews so I can guess a few things that weren’t obvious in the first episode.

Why the Frat Pack alliance on Survivor could be in trouble

Click the picture to read Richie Glanzer's Blog: How the Frat Pack is Setting Survivor Back to the Stone Age

Survivor has evolved much over the last 23 seasons. Some of those evolutions were good (hidden immunity idols), some were not so good (Redemption Island), and some flat out sucked (The Medallion of Power™). The beauty of the show is that as the show evolves what is needed to play the game also evolves. This was obvious in Heroes vs. Villains as many returning players were playing season 10 Survivor in season 20 (Rob, Colby, etc.) The addition of the “one world” concept seems so obvious now and I think it will change the overall arc of at least this season.

Richie nailed it when he stated that Survivor is an individual game from day one. Through you are playing as part of a team if you aren’t looking down the road when it becomes an individual game you’ve already lost. The other thing that can kick you in the butt is not knowing your Survivor history. Every time there has been a tribe split at the beginning that was anything other than random (men/women, old/young, race, etc.) there has been a pre-merge swap. The intriguing aspect of the swap is not when/if, but how. Will this be random, or will it be a school yard pick? I could see it either way, but I would wager it will be the pick option, because it shows where people stand in the game and with whom (especially if the pick is done in a public forum).

The frat-boy alliance is indeed not the majority that they think they are, but they are also not the minority that Richie points to. Why? The way I see it there are the four that are together, the four that aren’t, and then Colton. Colton committed the one unforgiveable curse in Survivor, Adava Kadavara. Of course I actually mean that he isolated himself from his tribe. He not only isolated himself from the tribe, but he also associated with the other tribe almost exclusively. This puts him one foot out the door already, but…

He has an immunity idol. He does, but as Richie pointed out, Colton wants to be like Cochran. He wants to make an impact. He wants to be remembered. All of this will be his downfall. Between his desire to be front and center and his needing to make an impact there is no way that Colton’s immunity idol stays hidden for long. Either Colton will confide in someone from the men’s tribe that he has the idol (this will happen) or Sabrina tells someone on her tribe that tells someone on the men’s tribe (this also will happen) the Frat Boys alliance will know about it. They will split seven votes (four to Colton, three to the person that falls to the “next to go status”) and the idol will get flushed the first time the guys go to tribal council.

Colton basically gave up on day one, found some light at the end of the tunnel, but I believe the damage was already done. I’d be shocked if he made the merge, and he has zero chance of winning unless it is a female dominated jury. His game was over the second he sat on the log to sulk rather than help his tribe.

Living together as one is the new twist and one neither side has figured out. There were two instances where this was obvious. 1. The chickens. You can’t say you’ll work together to get the chickens and go back on it a minute later. Even the dumbbells that can’t figure out that four is not a majority of nine know that. 2. The fire. I think the men did the right thing by not just giving fire to the women, but the way they approached it was stupid. As entertaining as a stripper pole on day one might have been, ask any girl on the pole, they don’t care much for the guys handing out dollars (or fire) and a grudge will be held. Any requests for breasts will be remembered on day 39.

As of day three the people who are probably playing the best are the ones that have gotten the littlest airtime. The one world bombshell scattered quite a bit of dust and the wiser people are the ones that are waiting for it to settle rather than fanning the flames. After one episode I don’t think it’s really possible to give many props for a job well done on the women’s tribe, but if I had to it would go to Kim. She is on the right side of the numbers for her tribe, and she has stayed out of the fray. On the guys side it’s really hard to pick a pony until the whole Colton thing plays out.

On the other hand it’s very easy to say who did not do so well in the first episode. Chelsea didn’t win any fans on the guys’ side with the chickens, and the fireworks between Christina and Alicia don’t bode well for either of them. They’ve all dug themselves huge holes, with Christina probably in the worst spot due to her lack of numbers. For the guys Colton is done, it’s just a matter of when.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned in the other summary was the immunity challenge. In my mind the guys did the right thing, no question. If you have a sure victory there is no reason to give it up. In the real world you can afford to be chivalrous. On Survivor, throwing your jacket over the puddle in the road might cost you a million bucks. If the roles were reversed I don’t think there is any chance in hell that the girls would have given up immunity and I wouldn’t have blamed them for taking that stance either.

Let’s Talk Previews:

Colton does something that riles Sabrina, the women are “falling apart” per Probst, and the men have a hidden immunity idol at the fire. The question is which idol is it? I’m guessing that it is not Colton’s and therefore they have to give it to a woman. Since the tribes are located together I’m guessing (if the men collectively can put together enough brain-power) they will give it to the person they think is most likely to get voted off in order to get her to pick off one of the people in the power alliance. My guess is it either goes to Nina or Christina as the odd person out, with Christina actually getting it. She will use it to dump Alicia out of the game in the second bootee slot.

I predict it will be a swap in episode five. At that point the men will have an 8 – 6 advantage, with Courtney, Alicia, Greg, and Christina gone. This gives Colton a shot, but a slim one. Based on the previews he will have enemies on both tribes before any swap. These are just guesses and I have not read any spoilers for the season.

Pick for a winner as of one episode: Bill. I think he’s getting the Tina edit so far.

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