Or my alternate title: who needs strategery when you’ve been sleeping with an immunity idol for 21 days?
Poor Andrew Savage. Here’s a guy who, on virtually any other season of Survivor, would be a likely contender in any and all athletic challenges. But his luck seems to always come up short. Either he’s on the wrong side of an alliance when John Dalton (aka “Johnny Fairplay”) is involved or, in the case of Survivor Second Chance this week, he gets dimed out by the least strategic “big move” of them all: The Hidden Immunity Idol. And then it’s middle fingers for everyone!
More on that in a moment. Let’s back up for a moment.
Now that Survivor’s shifted from a team game to an individual game, it finally gets interesting. Although Ciera’s constant, incessant whining for people to “play the game” went from being brazen to flat-out annoying. We get it, Ciera. You’re trying to claw your way out of the bottom. But the assertion that you’re the only who’s ready to make big moves isn’t aided by your teen-age girl eye-rolling. I once did that in fifth grade, Ciera. My teacher, Mrs. Herek, was none too happy with it. I got a stern letter home to my parents. You roll your eyes one more time in Tribal Council, and I’m dialing up Mrs. Herek to send a letter home to your mother. Don’t test me!
Here’s where I agree with Ciera: there are lots of complacent alliances happening right now. It’s a tricky balance, making big moves. The timing of blindsides is as crucial as the blindside itself. #CluelessKass is testimony to that. She and her warped sense of self satisfaction have blinded her to the reality that she’s actually a shitty Survivor player. How do we know that? She was the first one to get booted as soon as this game went solo.
To that end, players like Fishbach, Ciera and even Savage were keen to the necessity for big moves. However, Savage made a crucial error and aligned himself with Joe, the biggest threat in the game. How that advances his strategy still perplexes me. This might be a case of Andrew being too old-school a player; he valued loyalty on an island of cutthroats. Sorry, Andrew, but loyalty and a quarter will get your torch snuffed out.
Personally, I think being cutthroat is the only way you win this game. Being bros to the end guarantees you Final Four, at best. But if you’re not willing to throw a few daggers at your biggest threats—even though you like them personally—you’ll never make it to the end.
The irony of this is it wasn’t Savage’s loyalty to Joe that got him blindsided at Tribal Council. His strategy was still intact. It was the dreaded hidden Immunity Idol that killed him. For all of Ciera’s big talk and all of Abi-Maria’s completely undeserved gloating, neither had a damn thing to do with engineering Savage’s ouster. It was all Wentworth, baby!
Hidden Immunity Idols can be a blessing and a curse. Wentworth played it masterfully. She told no one she had it and timed it just right when to play it. Have the scales tilted in favor of this unholy alliance of Ciera, Wentworth and Abi-Maria? I have my doubts. Abi-Maria is being dragged along in this game because no one will vote for her to win the million dollars. She’s an insurance policy, nothing more. Ciera is a sharp player, but her big lectures at Tribal shouldn’t be confused with actual moves in the game. I still think she can go far, but she needs to pull in someone beyond Spencer and Tasha to truly make a move.
Fishbach is still the darkest dark horse in the race. His influence over others has shown itself already. Savage wanted to get rid of him but couldn’t pull it off. I don’t think he was wrong to take that shot, but clearly he didn’t hold sway with the tribe.
The Survivor Employee of the Week Award
In the end, Wentworth earned SEOTW honors, thanks to her perfect play of the Immunity Idol.
All too often, players who hold the power of the Immunity Idol over-think it, squander it, flaunt it, get lazy with it or just flat-out get burned without playing it. Not Wentworth. Thanks to playing it at this Tribal, she and her rag-tag alliance held all the power in the tribe.
Will it continue? Hmm…
Just Have to Get This Off My Chest
Kass is still a self absorbed jerk and Abi-Maria is the least intellectual of the players. The next Tribal Council will show once and for all if Ciera’s plaintive whining is sinking in. My prediction: chance of eye-rolling is high.