Wednesday, April 6, 2011

GENIUS IS WHAT THAT WAS: On the one hand, Survivor-wise, yes.  On the other hand, no.

Here's the thing: by voting out potential ally Matt, Rob takes his advantage from what could have been 7-4 (by voting out Steve) to instead 6-5, and now any member of his tribe (including the always unstable Philip) can flip over to turn things 6-5 the other way. Yes, Rob has the HII (and no one else knows), but I thought one of the things we knew about this game (as far back as Outback and Jerri's ouster) was that you're better to knock off some opponents first and save the self-cannibalizing for when it's safer.

True, at 7-4 there's the very gambit Matt suggested -- vote with Rob once, then flip and blindside -- but I think that if I'm Rob I'd rather use this vote to test Matt's loyalty rather than assume it's not there. But what do I know -- he's the one who's been on the show thrice before. Fun season.


  1. Dan Suitor11:25 PM

    I think Rob simply wasn't willing to trust Matt over Phillip. For as weird as Special Agent White Shoes seems, he's been smart enough to stay visibly loyal to Rob, whereas Matt has no grasp of the strategic game. Matt's behavior was, in a way, more unbalanced than Phillip, as he wandered around trying to play both sides in the most hamfisted way possible.

    Maybe if he had a little more guile he wouldn't have laid out to Rob that he considered backstabbing him. Whatever the reason, I'm with Rob on this one: better the crazy guy who's pointed in the right direction than the more normal guy who's scattershot and untrustworthy.

  2. True though that may be, there was no need to execute that decision now as opposed to after taking out one or two more from Team No Longer Russell's.  

    If Rob were nervous about this week, he'd have played his Idol.

  3. J. Bowman10:25 AM

    If I'm Rob in that situation, I'm worried about two things:
    1) The flip-next-week gambit--Matt's a likeable guy, and he's already got one staunch ally. If he flips, he takes Andrea with him, and using the idol (if you see it coming) just evens up the alliances. If he gets anybody else to come with him, you're done.
    2) You have to assume Zapatera still has a HII. No matter who you target there, you run the risk of blowing your votes, all the more so if Matt has already flipped (and potentially communicated your intentions).

    Even if you don't like the process, though, the result favors the Omarosa tribe. They still have a 6-5 advantage, and Zapatera has burned their idol. On top of that, Mike knows that he didn't flip Matt, so even if Matt does come back from Redemption Island again, he's basically dead weight.

  4. Adam C.10:58 AM

    Yes, what J. Bo. said.  

    I didn't see what Rob was doing at first, but it became clear at TC -- eliminate the risk of a flip (and to carry this through, he must have gotten assurances from Andrea that she was sticking with Rob) from someone he wasn't sure he could trust -- and frankly had no reason to believe he could trust, given the circumstances.  Before TC, I mistakenly thought this plan would be leaving Rob's group without a numbers advantage, but I was forgetting that 12 instead of 11 players were heading into the vote.  

    Another benefit, from Rob's perspective:  you completely demoralize Matt, who just had the huge rush of getting back into the game, followed by the huge letdown of having the rug yanked from under him.  With the foot injury too, I'd be very surprised to see Matt hold it together through another tough duel.  So the timing's good, especially if (and this is still something of an unknown) they won't be assuring spots on the jury until they get down to 10 remaining contestants.  

    Now, even if a Zapatera member wins II next week, Rob's group can still pick off their first or second choice - unless another HII comes back into the game as well.  That's the one thing Rob has to be careful about, and I don't think he'll be able to hustle the more suspicious Zapatera group the way he's hustled his own crowd when it comes to HII clues and searches.

  5. bella wilfer1:45 PM

    Agree with everyone above.  Also, Rob's playing the long game.  If he goes up against Philip at the end, he wins.  If he goes up against Matt at the end, he loses.  Better to get rid of him now - even if he comes back, as J. Bowman said, he's alienated himself from both sides, and there's more chance he'll end up eventually losing a duel (due to exhaustion/injury/demoralization) soon and won't even make the jury.

    Rob's a freaking genius.  There are members of my pool (yes, I run a Survivor fantasy league, I am a huge nerd) who think it's annoying to see a guy back for the 4th time b/c "of course he's good" (i disagree - Amanda Kimmel has played 3 times and still doesn't get it) - but I just love watching him.  AND HE NAMED THE TRIBE AFTER AMBER'S STUFFED ANIMAL!  Best moment of the episode for me.

  6. J. Bowman3:37 PM

    I think this is where the Redemption Island twist comes into play--anyone you vote out now might come back, and if you're the head of the alliance that voted them out, they're coming back for you. Since we don't know how many duels will happen before the next return, any treachery in your own tribe could be fatal; one flipper plus a return turns a two-player advantage into a one-player deficit (and, again, Matt+Andrea is potentially a three-player swing if you haven't dealt with them). Basically, once Rob starts Pagonging, he can't stop, so taking care of dissent in the ranks now makes sense.