Survivor Guatemala

I’m enjoying this season again. Gary Hogeboom (ex-NFL QB, but he’s pretending to be just a landscaper) has pulled off two stunning weeks in a row. Last week, he was absolutely going to be voted out, but pulled out the surprise ‘special immunity’ thingie at the last minute. This week, he was also due to be voted out, until the dominant alliance turned on one of their own at the last minute in a big surprise (and probably a strategic blunder, too).

I still don’t think Gary will win - my betting is on one of the ‘stealth women’ - not stephanie or the short one who’s name I forget, but the other two who are flying well under the radar. Or maybe Raife. Sometimes it pays off to be forgettable on this show.

I think Stephanie’s comeuppance will be soon. She’s controlling things too much, tends to be overbearing and I can see a coup coming. Not to mention how tough she’ll be to beat at the end.

Troy

The Jamie guy was easily a top five Survivor weirdo. Whe he turned around after extinguishing his torch I thought he was going to jump somebody.

I think Steph’s done a pretty good job of controlling the game without making it the appearance that being so.

I should mention that I was surprised that Raif brought up the idea of booting Jamie. He might have more control than he thinks.

I’m still expecting some fun from him at the jury meeting. And the usual “they edited me to look like a lunatic” disclaimers.

Maybe. Like you, I think that Raife may have more power than he thinks, but Judd or Gary have a chance now to kick Steph out. Judd will feel betrayed by the Jamie switch, Gary knows he can’t count on her, and Lydia may feel resentful, too.

Troy

Yeah, it should be interesting to see who takes the blame for leaving Judd out, which is I’m sure a mistake that will bite someone, possibly Judd himself.

The flip side is that Gary, Steph, and perhaps Raife seem to be the most strategic players left. Maybe those three will band together, bring in Lydia or Danny, and ride to the final 4.

Interestingly, Gary didn’t SEEM to have any overt involvement in the coup (other than perhaps plating the seed in Steph’s mind). So Gary may still be on the outside looking in.

But whenever an alliance breaks up like this one did, everything is up for grabs - and people who had previously been outsiders suddenly become strong commodities - their votes are up for grabs in forming a new majority alliance, so that may bode well for Gary and/or Danny.

Gary is horrible. Last week was particularly hilarious as Gary, after foolishly slitting his own throat by turning on Amy, engages in one of the most pitiful acts of appeasement by begging for his life and offering to vote with the people who are getting ready to execute him next. It wasn’t strtegic, it was pathetic. Strategic would have been trying to undermine the alliance and shift the balance of power. Were it not for his finding the immunity idle, he’d’ve been gone.

In fact, the hilarious misunderstanding between Gary and crazy Jamie actually hastened his planned excecution as they moved him up in the order ahead of Bobby John. Again, only the immunity idol saved him.

I think Raife may have made an error in judgement this week in advocating voting out Jamie. Steph, Judd, Gary and Danni spent this incredible night together and Steph and Danni come back all buddy buddy. Judd seems friendly towards Gary. I would want to bust that foursome up immediately before they have a chance to get any closer. If they do decide to shift alliances next week Raife, Lydia and Cindy will be out numbered.

I actually think Steph has a good shot at it. Remember how dominant Tom’s personality was last season? That didn’t hurt him in the end. A particularly revealing moment this week was when Raife and Lydia were discussing the possibility of voting Jamie out and Lydia said, “What does Steph think?” And Raife replied, “I don’t know – I haven’t asked her yet.” She’s become their defsacto leader and I think they all individually want to ride her strength to the final four.

I was suprised that they didn’t tell Judd about the (foolish) vote change but I suspect it was because he was close to Jamie and they didn’t want to tip their hand. He and Steph seem pretty close.

Women out number the men right now. If Cindy were smart she might try suggesting a female alliance. I like Cindy more and more as things progress but, unless things shift, I don’t think she’s positioned well to last much longer. Danni’s friendship with Steph may lead to a shake up though. I thought I was going to hate Danni at the start of the season but I have to say that I like her a lot.

With the exception of Gary, I like everyone who’s left at this point, all for different reasons. Once he’s gone I can relax knowing it won’t go to someone I can’t stand.

My wife noticed this friendship as well. She said that once two women bond like the two of them did, they won’t slit each other’s throat. Danni suddenly became a player.

I think Gary’s huge mistake was not talking to the original members. Lydia, Rafe, Jamie and Stephanie – and persuading them to going back to that alliance. A common bond of final 5 is better than a final 6.

I don’t think he will win and I don’t think Stephanie can win. Too many people hold anomysity that she is getting a second chance.

Well, the core alliance did not fracture, but appears stronger than ever, minus one member, Lydia, who foolishly jumped ship from a group of 4 to a group of 2. Her emotions vis-a-vis Steph overwhelmed her common sense.

It seems very likely that Lydia will go next week, unless Judd flips out and upsets things in some way (unlikely, especially now that Gary isn’t there to goad him). If the alliance viewed Danni as an immunity threat, she could be in danger, but she’s done poorly on those, so it’s not a problem. Her best strategic play would actually be to blow the reward challenge badly (“see, I’m not a threat…”), and while she should certainly try for immunity, if she’s not in good position to win by the halfway mark, she should sandbag that too.

Once Lyida is out, it becomes interesting. because then Danni becomes the potential tie-breaker for the last 4. If the last 4 just dump one member (most likely Judd), then Judd and Danni can’t do anything together (and I haven’t seen much to indicate that they’d be on the ball enough to make a good strategy together). But if the alliance splits 2-2 (Raife and Steph together?), then they could pull in Danni.

Raife: Athletic without being bulky and smart without needing to dispense unasked for wisdom. The perfect storm at immunity challenges.

I wonder when the tribe will start to identify him as a threat?

Also, who wouldn’t want to take Stephanie to the final two? Isn’t the fact that she got two chances to play going to hurt her in the final voting?

Unless they say “She’s the ultimate Survivor - she made it all the way through two of these to finally get to the end.”

Well in reality she just got fucked last time. I felt pretty bad for her too because she tried damn hard. I am glad to see she is doing so well this time and I do hope she wins.

Do or do not. There is no try. Lots of Survivors try hard and fail.

I can’t there being too much resentment for her having been there before. If there were, she wouldn’t have made it this far - nor would have Bobby Jon. I doubt she’ll make it to the final two though. She’s looking more tired with every competition and I think that she’ll fail soon.

I think the smart play might be to go up against Lydia in the final two. She’s coasting on other people’s talent and skills, hasn’t really stepped up as a player and is no one’s idea of a “Survivor Champion”. As nice as she is, can you see any of those macho guys voting for her because she’s a good person?

Troy

It seems that it’s at least as important to avoid being someone people vote against as to be someone people vote for. I think staying low on the radar screen is a pretty good strategy.

There are two types of low on the radar, though. I think Raife is playing it so well that I’m not sure he’s playing it all. He got Jamie off the island with a simple question, has done well in the challenges but doesn’t try to control the game with his victories.

Lydia on the other hand is a lump that people only see when it’s time to line up the votes.

Troy

Lydia’s almost certainly gone this week, so she’s moot for the final two.

Steph and Raife seem like the strongest players and best positioned for the final two, but I suspect one will backstab the other at some point (not sure which, though).

Do or do not. There is no try. Lots of Survivors try hard and fail.

I dunno dude she pretty much was fucked from the start. As soon as she got to the next camp she knew she was done for. I really think it was a no win situation.

Scumbags!