Loyalty is questioned at the final tribal council before the merge.
Survivor: Micronesia Blog
10th Elimination: Ami
After waiting two weeks for another episode of Survivor: Micronesia thanks to the NCAA Tournament, I was really hoping for another "shocking" episode. Unfortunately, this week's episode couldn't match the intensity of the fourteen-day build up. Like the last episode, this week's hour of Survivor wasn't "bad" per se, but it did pale in comparison to some of the jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat tribal councils this season has gotten us used to. It's been a pretty strange season in that regards. Normally the first few episodes of a Survivor season are "snoozers" and the action doesn't pick up until right before the merge. I think the biggest reason for this mid-season lull is due to the Purple tribe's complete ineptness during challenges. Once Ozzy, Amanda, and Cirie got Dirty Ogre out of the game, it was pretty obvious that the fans would be getting picked off one by one. Even though there was some minor shake-ups, like the ousting of Ami, the fact that we've been seeing them in tribal council week after week has kept the suspense to a minimum. Had the Orange tribe ever gone to tribal council, things would have been much more interesting as Jonathan, Eliza, Alexis, and Natalie were all potential floppers. Thankfully, the merge will officially be upon us next episode, and I can only suspect that we'll be in for the greatest final run this series has ever seen! Onto the blog...
1. Ami or Erik? Seeing as 80% of the episode revolved around this decision, I'm only going to have one observation this week regarding whether or not Ozzy, Amanda, and Cirie made the right choice, and then head on to some merge analysis. Basically the trio had to determine whether it was better to keep the completely untrustworthy Ami, or let the "enemy" Fan, Erik, stay in the game. I have to admit that it was a pretty tough decision considering that neither of the options appeared to be all that desirable. The upside to keeping Ami was that she's not much of a threat for individual immunity, the downside is that she's a smart player who would have likely flopped over to the fans side with Eliza down the stretch. The pros to keeping Erik are that he's fairly stupid and could potentially be manipulated via his man-crush on Ozzy. The cons to keeping him around are that he's a semi-threat to win immunity and he does have strong ties to the fans. In either case, the liklihood that whoever they kept in the game would flop is at least 80%. At that point, you have to ask yourself if it's better to go up against an intelligent non-physical opponent or an chimpanzee with opposable thumbs, who might steal an immunity challenge. In the game of Survivor, brains are almost always more dangerous than brawn, so I totally support the decision to get rid of the conniving Ami. Yet another smart move by Amanda...
2. The Merge. Let's break things down and get to some analysis. I've divided the remaining players into three categories:
The Favorites: Ozzy, Amanda, Cirie, Parvati, James
The Fans: Erik, Jason
The Potential Floppers: Eliza, Alexis, Natalie
The first thing that jumped out at me was that with ten people remaining, The Favorites already have a solid alliance of five going and are worst-case looking at a tie at tribal council. Also of note is that fact that Parvati managed to get Natalie and Alexis in her back pocket during their time together on the Orange tribe.If those two hold true to the plan of going to the final four with Parvati and Amanda, then Eliza, Erik, and Jason are done.
So here's the alliance breakdown heading into the merge:
The Couples and the Fifth Wheel: Ozzy, Amanda, James, Parvati, Cirie
The All-Female Final Four: Amanda, Parvati, Alexis, Natalie
The Outsiders: Eliza, Jason, Erik
Looking at these alliances, one thing is certainly clear: Amanda and Parvati are totally in the driver's seat. Right now, I'm kicking myself repeatedly for letting a late-night make-out session with Ozzy persuade me into making Mikey B my pick to win over Amanda.Yes, history speaks very strongly against the chances of anyone involved in "Day 1" flirtation, but the game is playing right into her and Parvati's hands! They've got multiple alliances going and will be able to maneuver safely through almost every turn the game might take. They've got everyone so completely duped that the only way this game doesn't work for them is if Eliza, Jason, and Erik can some how pry Natalie and Alexis away from them, force a tie at tribal council, and then pull out a victory and regain the numbers. If not, then this is how the game should go...
1. Eliza goes first (brains are more dangerous than brawn, and she's a huge threat to convince people to flop)
2. Jason goes next (He's a better physical player and Erik's man-crush is still an asset)
3. Erik goes next (The only remaining person they aren't allied with)
4. Blindside Ozzy (The two team up with Cirie, Natalie, and Alexis to take out the game's biggest threat, James is left out of the conversation. If Ozzy gets immunity, then eliminate James and substitue Ozzy in his place for the rest of the game)
5. Blindside Cirie (You have to take her out before James to prevent a Cirie/Alexis/Natalie uprising in the final five)
6. Take out James as soon as possible (If not, then sacrifice Alexis, followed by Natalie)
7. Head into the final with Natalie (or James, if he runs the table with immunity)
That's about as solid of a plan as you can get in Survivor. Amanda and Parvati take out their clear-cut opposition one by one to keep everyone they're alligned with feeling extremely comfortable and prevent anyone from thinking about flopping. Then they eliminate the biggest physical threat you can, because they can't let both Ozzy and James hang around for too long. Then Amanda and Parvati eliminate their biggest mental threat, Cirie, to prevent her from overthrowing their plan. Then they proceed to target the remaining physical threat and hopefully eliminate him before the final. If they can, then Amanda and Parvati only have to compete with an extremely under-the-radar Natalie who should get next to no respect for her game in the final tribal council. That basically gives them a 50-50 shot at the million. If James or Ozzy does manage to win the final two immunities, then the game is his and there's very little Amanda and Parvati can do about it. That's just a risk they'll have to take, because there's no way they can let Cirie into the final five. She'll work her magic with Alexis and Natalie, and it will all be over.
That, my friends, is how you play Survivor! The only real holes in the game plan would be if Eliza is able to pull of a major coup this coming week AND come out ahead in a tie-breaker, or if James/Ozzy wins the final two immunity challenges. In the game of Survivor, there's no such thing as a fool-proof plan, so when those two scenarios are they only foreseeable things that could mess you up, you're in very, very good shape. Then again, the previews did show Amanda getting "jealous" of Alexis and potentially trying to oust her, which would be incredibly stupid for all the reasons I described above, so you never know...
All in all, we're looking at what appears to be an exhillarating final stretch. I can't wait to see how it plays out!
Survivor Power Poll:
||Eliza: That can't be the immunity idol!
Jason: Why not?
Eliza: Cause it's a stick!
Absolutely Priceless! I can't wait!
||All the favorites know that she's not to be trusted and they'll gun for her quickly.
||He has that "person who's allowed to hang around for too long" vibe going, but I still don't see it happening.
||Just itching to get blindsided.
||Could Amanda really make a play to vote her off this week? It would be uncharacteristically dumb of her to do so.
||Like Eliza, she's far too crafty. Amanda and Parvati won't let her hang around too long because of it.
||If I had to bet on one person making it to the final tribal council, it would be Natalie. However, I highly doubt she'll win it.
||He's got the idol and he's a beast during individual immunity. He'll be tough to eliminate.
||If it really does come down to her an Parvati, I'm a little concerned that we'll see a repeat of China. That is, she'll get completely outperformed by an incredibly charming opponent.
||Going into the season, I was strongly considering making Parvati my pick. What scared me off was Jonathan's overt plan to take her out ASAP. Look who's still around. The girl know how to smile her way through the game...
Biggest Riser: Tie Erik (11th to 8th), James (10th to 7th), and Parvati (4th to 1st)
Biggest Faller: Ami (3rd to 11th)