Friday, May 05, 2006

When Captain America won?

Terry is going to win "Survivor: Exile Island." Absolutely. Positively. Maybe.

The man is so arrogant that, even though he can back up everything he says, you still kind of want to punch him in the mouth. (Though, of course, he'd no doubt snap your arm in two if you tried.) His people skills suck, his strategic skills may be even worse. And he's going to win. I think.

After wowing me with her strategery last week, I think Cirie made one move too many. Her paranoia about not being able to beat Danielle in the final two ensured that the only person Cirie herself can beat in a jury vote is maybe Aras, and she's now set things up so that it'll be almost impossible for the two of them to get there.

Ya need four votes to win. Right now, the five people on the jury consist of two people from Terry's original tribe (one of whom hero-worshipped the guy); Bruce, who has said in interviews after the game that he and Terry had a secret alliance that would have become overt if the numbers had ever made sense; and Courtney and Shane, both of whom had an agreement to go to the final two with Terry at the moment they got voted out. That's five votes right there, and as Jeff said, we don't need to count any more.

Now, you can never exactly predict how jurors will vote after they've had a few days away from the game -- Christy freaking voted for Jenna, for God's sake -- but with five people who'd be leaning in Terry's direction, whoever's sitting next to him may need to give the greatest jury speech of all time just to lose in a 3-4 vote.

And Terry is going to be in front of the jury. Of that I have no doubt. He has the Idol, so he's a lock for the final three. If he wins the next Immunity Challenge -- and at this point, how can he not? -- he can hand the Idol to Danielle and spell Aras' doom. And ain't no way Cirie is beating either Terry or Danielle in the final challenge; whether it's endurance, balance or both, it's not going to play to her strengths. (Unless Burnett and Tom Shelly are feeling wacky and decide to save the Know Your Tribemates trivia quiz for the final challenge the way they did in Australia.)

If Cirie hadn't been so afraid of Danielle -- and, frankly, I think she overestimated Danielle's appeal to the jury (especially to Courtney) -- they could have sent Danielle home, no harm, no foul, and there'd be at least one more jury vote up for grabs. She and Aras would still face the problem of the hidden Idol (which is everybody's own damn fault for sending Terry to Exile Island so many times), which could be passed off to Shane, but on the other hand, Shane could be swayed back to the fold, and not only talked into getting rid of Aras, but maybe even bringing Cirie to final two in the event of a fluke win over Terry in the final challenge. (Shane would be just arrogant enough to think there was no way he could lose to someone like Cirie, while he would fear Terry if it came to that.)

Whether Terry wins or not, I have to say I'm laughing harder and harder at each Tribal Council
as Terry realizes that his latest plan has been foiled. But in this season, planning skills seem to be falling second to brute strength, endurance and tenacity.

And if Terry wins, something tells me we're not going to see a physically dominant guy even make the merge for a very long time. Tom could be written off as a fluke, plus he had a huge alliance around him, but the fear of The Challenge Machine Who Wouldn't Go Away will live long in the nightmares of future contestants.

What does everybody else think?


Chris B. said...

The concept that Survivors have to both scheme but also be careful not to completely piss off the people they're scheming against because of the jury system is a good one, since it means they have to tread an even more strategic path than they would if it came down to a viewer vote. But this often leaves me disappointed at the inevitability that the ones who truly are the smartest and shiftiest won't win because people are such doggone sore losers. Cirie is certainly a challenge disaster, but she's one of the few of them truly working the game (though I think you're right that she may have made a misstep last night), and it's unfortunate that pinheads Courtney and Shane will just see her as a betrayer rather than a winner.

bill komissaroff said...

It may not have been the right strategic move to whack Shane, but boy, the look on his face was priceless!!!

Adam said...

My vote count isn't the same, because Terry protected neither Courtney nor Shane with his votes, protected neither of his former tribe members with the HII, and doesn't seem to be liked by anyone. He has no idea what's going on in any tribal council. This may be like the season where Lill got to choose who she was going to lose to, knowing that she'd never beat Sandra *or* Fairplay.

I don't know if Cirie overthought it, although I share that suspicion.

The problem for Cirie is that she probably has to win final immunity to make it to the finals; I can't imagine anyone other than Aras bringing her there.

Nilbo said...

I can't say I love Terry's arrogance, and it does make me giggle, too, when yet another of his strategies ends up as dust on the floor of tribal council. But like Tom Weston, he's bloody earing his way. Unlike Weston, he didn't have a faithful alliance watching his back - in fact, quite the opposite. So if he does win, I have to say "Good on him."

If he wins the next immunity, he gets to decide who goes into the final three. If he doesn't win, he gets to decide which of the other two goes on.

I'm hoping he doesn't make an assumption that the final task will be physical, because at this point, the producers are aching to inject some real drama into the proceedings and could well spoon-feed Cerie.

If I were him, I'd try to jettison Cerie and go into the final three with Aras and Danielle. For all the thought that Aras is a physical threat, um ... not so much, in every single case.

Of course, Aras would do well in a balance challenge (one would think, from the Yoga), but stamina, grit and determination? Pure Mama's boy.

Danielle? As always, a passenger.

Should be fun.

Leslie said...

Does anybody know long can the immunity idol be used? I thought that it was only good up to the final 4? I want Terry or Cirie to win. they are both playing the game the best in their own ways.

guy said...

i second leslie's question. i too was under the impression that the HII couldn't be used past final four. although i agree with most of the analysis that says cirie's chances are slim, i really hope she wins. i just remember when shane told her, early on, that if she wasn't going that day, she would be going next.

Wade said...

I believe the HII can be used at F4 meaning that Terry has a free pass to the Final Three regardless of what happens at the next Immunity Challenge. My guess is that we're going to see a Terry/Danielle Final Two, with Terry winning the million. Terry has successfully played the game in his own way, despite his complete lack of anything resembling mental strategy. In an ideal world Cirie - who has played the best game -would take it all but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

AndyW said...

My question is Terry voting for Aras when he had hinted he was voting for Danielle. Does that mean he knew his vote didn't matter and he was just stirring the pot (ie Cirie filled him in on her fiendish plot), or did he know that, whatever was happening, he was out of the loop again so he just voted for Aras for the fun of it?
I hate to give T credit for even an ounce of strategy, but wouldn't he have otherwise voted for Danielle?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Adam, how could Terry have protected Courtney or Shane? He was in a position of weakness, numbers-wise, and seemed dumbsquizzled at both results. (On the other hand, the Aras vote makes absolutely zero sense. Maybe Cirie conned him into thinking Aras was going home next.)

Sally and Austin may actually be trickier. Both seemed okay with Terry's choice to not share the idol at the time of the boot, but bitterness could set in during the time in Loser's Lounge.

While nobody (with the exception of Bruce and maybe the two La Minans) likes Terry, nobody is going to feel betrayed by him the way they will by whichever Casayan is sitting next to him.

In retrospect, the crucial mistake Casaya made -- even worse, frankly, then sending Terry to Exile Island twice -- was getting rid of Bobby instead of Bruce. Bobby is pretty much the only guy who I think could have taken Terry in some of these physical challenges, and all he would have needed was two wins: one to force Terry to cough up the idol, one to send him home. I guess they figured Aras could neutralize Terry, but he's never come close.

dez said...

Terry is King Tool of Exile Island.

I think Cirie is proceeding on the assumption that Terry can't win because the Casayans hate him too much to vote for him, even if they feel betrayed by Cirie. When he wins, he talks smack; when he tries to explain his reasons for assigning rewards the way he did, he makes the others feel crappier than they already do. Sure, Aras was being whiny, but a savvy player would have diffused that feeling, not poured gasoline all over it and then throw a match on it, too. Is the guy even capable of critical thought? Yeesh!

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think of how there's that "no one who has won the car has won the game" myth-is that still true?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Technically true. Ambuh got a car in All-Stars, but it was a gift from Boston Rob, who had actually won the reward (and the right to give a second car to anyone he chose).

Brent McKee said...

Terry has been infuriatingly stupid strategically - obviously they don't teach strategy at the US Naval Academy anymore - but clearly it works for him. He has the hidden immunity idol but he's waited so long to use it that it has very little value. Everyone left knows he has the silly thing. Even if he tanks the next immunity challenge, no one is going to vote for him because the other three know he has it. He can give it to someone else but unless he's allowed to hand it off as soon as the result is announced he can't be sure that the person he gives it to will be one who be voted for. He really has to win immunity next week to make sure he gets rid of Aras because Aras is probably the only one who can beat him in a physical immunity challenge. If he'd been thinking ahead he should have tanked one of the earlier challenges where the others would be sure to vote for him and he'd vote for Aras, then he'd be competing against weaker players and would have a clear shot at winning the subsequent immunities. But as I say he's terrible at strategy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Folks, I just had to delete a comment that seemed to spoil the final two. This blog is a spoiler-free zone, so if you know something that the audience at large doesn't, please keep it to yourself.

Adam said...

Brent, if he wins immunity next week, he can hand over the necklace before the vote and still hold onto the HII.

It's also unpredictable that there have been no wholly mental immunity challenges yet.