Because of a DVR screw-up of my own making, I watched last night's episode backwards: the last half last night, the first half this morning. And other than the fact that the single most entertaining moment in the entire hour came in the previews for next week (we won't discuss it for the sake of people who don't watch the previews, but you know what I'm talking about if you saw it), is how, for all they've lost, Ozzy's team is in a really good position right now.
Yes, they've been on an epic losing streak, but one where they're only down 6-4 because of Jonathan's evacuation and Kathy's exit. (And the former arguably led to the latter, as Kathy said in her exit interviews that Jonnathan was the only one keeping her sane.) More importantly, other than Ami, everyone voted out during this losing streak was a "fan," which leaves the favorites at a 6-4 numbers advantage. Sure, you could worry about Eliza breaking ranks and trying to lead a "fan" coup, but at the same time Ozzy presumably has the loyalty (and hetero devotion) of Erik, so I don't know if the risk is that great.
Had Penner stuck around, I think he and Eliza might have been able to build an alliance with the "fans" on their team that would have posed a serious threat to Ozzy and company, but the numbers look pretty good right now. The couples alliance + Cirie + Erik should have their way with the rest, including the two female "fans" who may be the two most anonymous players to ever make the merge. Given the way this show tips its hands with editing, I have to think that if either Whatsername or Whoserface were going to do anything of consequence, game-wise, the editors would have tried to find some footage, somewhere, of them doing or saying something vaguely interesting to show us by now.
Not a great episode (though, again, it's hard for me to judge, given the way I watched it). A few other random thoughts:
- At the time, all of Jonathan's talk about needing to get Parvati out of the game because she was a crafty player just seemed like leftover animus from their time together on the Cook Islands, but it looks like he was right. She's setting herself with multiple sub-alliances, seems fine ditching her current and past boytoys James and Ozzy because she knows she would lose a vote to them, etc. Maybe this isn't Cesternino or Porno Brian-level maneuvering, but she's in a power position.
- Speaking of surprising players, Eliza's been every bit the challenge demon as Ozzy this season. She doesn't have his athletic gifts, but, like Yau-Man once was, she's been great in any challenge where even a little bit of thought could provide an advantage. In this episode, for instance, there was the moment when she fell but still kept her wits around her enough to slap her hand down on the bridge, which gave her dibs on crossing it first while Erik had to stand around.
- I watched very little of Ami and Eliza's original season, but from what I've read about it, Ami was a far more aggressive player there than she was here. For a lot of this run, she was as invisible as the two remaining female "fans." What do you think led to the change? A realization that she badly blew it the last time? The wrong combination of people for her to work with?