1. The Eeeeediot. It never ceases to amaze me what these so-called "Super Fans" come up with on a weekly basis. To start the show off, we were treated to an interview with Jason where he continued to obsess over Ozzy and then proceeded to come out with this gem:
"To go up against Ozzy in the first individual immunity challenge and win let me know that, you know, Ozzy's not the only god-like competitor who can play this game."
Apparently, being able to keep your nose above the water now qualifies you for god-like status. Well, at least in Jason's delusional mind. But seriously, god-like? I don't want to be presumptuous, but I'm pretty sure that God can tell the difference between an immunity idol and, say.. a stick! Jason might want to work on that aspect of his game before he makes another comparison between himself and the Almighty.
Yet despite all the mockery I've thrown on Jason for his less-than-intelligent comments and actions, if he does have one strength, it is the ability to accurately assess risk and benefit. Take the Mikey B elimination for example. (Which I've only brought up in this blog 28 times since it happened - can you tell I'm bitter?) Jason was basically the only person smart enough to realize that voting off one of the tribes strongest members was far too high of a risk, especially with guys like James and Ozzy on the other side. Had a tribe switch-up not taken place, the Fans would have been severely crippled by that inane decision.
This episode, with a 50% chance at individual immunity, Jason decided to take the remaining Survivors at their word and voluntarily drop out to win them some donuts and candy. At the time it happened, many of his fellow Survivors mocked him for making such a "dumb" decision, but I applauded him for it the entire time. Again, it all comes down to risk/benefit.
The Risk of Taking the Deal: There's a decent chance he's being lied to and will be voted off next.
The Benefit of Taking the Deal: He may win some favor with his tribemates, and could throw a monkey wrench into some people's plans if enough people stick to their word.
The Risk of Not Taking the Deal: He may lose immunity anyway and is then certainly done for. He wins immunity, but is still forced to run the table because he's done the second he doesn't have it.
The Benefit of Not Taking the Deal: A 50% chance that he can win immunity and make it through another tribal council.
Basically, when you break it down, Jason really had a 70% chance of winning immunity since he was pretty likely to outlast Parvati, and there was probably only a 30-40% chance of people keeping their word since they're all a bunch of snakes who don't like him anyway. When you look at it that way, as many of his fellow players did, it was a horrible decision on his part. However, they were being very short-sighted, because game doesn't end this week. If Jason didn't take the deal, he would theoretically need to win immunity five more times in a row to secure a seat at the final. What are the odds of that happening? By taking the risk Jason was able to take his 2% chance of winning his way to the final and take some major strides to flipping this game on its head. And never forget, the further along in this game he gets, the more valuable he becomes as a "tag-along". We may just see him in the final yet...
2. The Bigger Eeeeediot.
"Honestly, I think it all boils down to a major "invincibility" complex that Ozzy' developed. He's got a hidden immunity idol, he's amazing at challenges, he's got a powerful alliance, he's got women fawning over him, he's got men fawning over him - he's basically got it all. I really think that at this point Ozzy believes he's the hands down favorite to win this game. He thinks he can pretty much do as he pleases and that everyone will just tow the line and cater to him. When you're as massive a target as he is, there's no way you win the million dollars with that attitude. Ozzy should be playing this game with eyes in the back of his head and his ears constantly perked. He should be as paranoid as all get out and ready to pull out that idol at a moment's notice. I'm telling you, if he's not blindsided by the time all this is said and done, then I don't know this game nearly as well as I think I do."
That was a quote from last week's blog entry, by the way. You see, there's this horn of mine that needed some tooting, so I figured I should bring this to your attention one more time.
I think that before I do a complete breakdown on this extremely well-executed blindside, I need to call everyone's attention to a fact I'm sure a lot of people are going to overlook. Mark my words, the water cooler discussion tomorrow morning is going to be, "I can't believe Ozzy didn't play the idol!"
Hold it right there - you are TOTALLY missing the point by focusing on the idol. You see, we all overlooked this tidbit thanks to all the distraction caused by Jason's deal, but the real story should be, "I can't believe Ozzy threw away a 1 in 8 shot at a million dollars FOR THREE DONUTS!"
That's right, Ozzy voluntarily quit the immunity challenge when Jeff Probst offered him donuts. Remember? Say what you will about not playing the idol, as it was certainly stupid and a sign of some major overconfidence, but taking those donuts was as bone-headed a move as anyone has ever pulled in this game. Not that Ozzy did, but even if you used the logic, "Well I'll just chow down and then use the idol", it's still a horrifically dumb move. I mean, seriously, this is a million dollars we're talking about! How about trying to win the challenge and hang onto the idol, assuring yourself of at least making the final seven? Again, it all boils down to the "invincibility" complex. Overconfidence will get you every time in this game!
If nothing else, Ozzy managed to leave us with a classic moment in his final send-off. "And to whoever it was in my alliance that voted the other way, right now, I pretty much hate you. So screw you, basically." Now that's how you go out with some class! If you'll allow me to digress for a moment, I've been waiting for one of the American Idol contestants to pull off something like this for quite a while now. Could you imagine how amazing it would've been last week if Michael Johns had dropped a few explitives, chewed out America for keeping Christy Lee Cook around over him, threw the microphone at Ryan Seacrest, and then stormed off the stage, refusing to sing his final song? Not only would that have easily become the most downloaded YouTube clip of all time, but I'm pretty sure Paula Abdul would have had a Kathleen-esque mental breakdown on live TV as it was all taking place. Come on, idols, help us out! This is your chance to make history! It would be so much more memorable than the usual teary-eyed diva trying to hold back the sobs as she butchers a Whitney Houston single.
Anyway, back to the reality show that started them all...
3. Introducing... The Survivor Manifesto! After Ozzy's butchering of a semi-decent chance at a million dollars, I've decided to being creating an idiot-proof guide to the game of Survivor. Sure, publishing this guide on the internet for all to see may significantly hurt my chances of winning if I ever do go on the show, but I feel that I have an obligation to humanity to share this knowledge.
As much of a "expert" as Ozzy was when it came to spearing fish and climbing trees, he played a dreadful strategic game this time around. I'm going to be able to develop three hard and fast rules off of his mistakes in this game alone, as well as one from his time in the Cook Islands. Here we go...
Rule #1: Under no circumstances are you to engage in overt flirting or public displays of affection. Example: Too many to count. This has easily the #1 pitfall of contestants over the past eight years.
I think this one speaks for itself.
Addendum 1a: This rule also extends to late night snuggling and removing your bathing suit during group showers. Example: Ami and Amanda in Micronesia.
Rule #2: Never tell anyone, and I mean, ANYONE that you have the hidden immunity idol unless you need to use it as leverage to gain allies in an impending tribal council. Example: Mookie telling Dreamz in Fiji.
Honestly, what's the benefit to spreading the news? You're just increasing your chances of getting screwed over.
Rule #3: If everyone knows you have the hidden immunity idol, you must play it at the next tribal council in which you do not hold immunity. NO EXCEPTIONS. Example: James in China, Ozzy in Micronesia.
I don't care how safe you think you are, everyone is gunning for you when they know you have that thing. Don't even risk it.
Rule #4: The only acceptable circumstance in which is it acceptable to throw a challenge before the merge are as follows:
1. There has been a tribe switch-up and you are trying to eliminate your former enemies. Example: Jaime throwing a challenge to get rid of Aaron in China.
2. You have a large numbers advantage heading into the merge and would like to remove a major threat for individual immunity. Example: Nobody off the top of my head, but it would make sense.
Under no circumstances are you to intentionally throw a pre-merge challenge just to get rid of someone who annoys you. Example: Ozzy voting off Billy in Cook Islands.
And finally, in addition to these unbreakable rules, I'd like to add a series of "Proverbs", which are just some suggestions to make the game go a bit smoother.
Proverb #1: If you come across an object in the jungle that looks like a 2nd grade Arts & Crafts project gone bad, it's probably not the hidden immunity idol. Example: Jason in Micronesia.
As you can probably tell, the Survivor Manifesto is bound for greatness...
4. The Road to the Million. Just because this post couldn't get any longer, here's my new plan for Parvati or Amanda to win the million dollars, based on the latest developments.
1. Knock off Erik - James and Jason are more of a threat to win immunity, but who cares. Erik is the biggest threat to win the game. He has to go. Plus, if they target James, it suddenly becomes four fans left with three favorites. That's just asking for trouble!
2. Knock off James - The next biggest threat to win the game.
3. Knock off Alexis - The next biggest threat to win the game
4. Knock off Natalie - Here's where it gets tricky, because Cirie will probably want to go for Jason, figuring that he's the odds-on favorite to win the last immunity can could take her place at the final. Ideally, Amanda and Parvati would take Jason anyway since nobody really likes him. However, they might be able to appeal to Cirie from the angle that Natalie will have the million wrapped up if she makes the final three. Either way, a simple solution may be to align with Jason and have the three of them take out Natalie with or without Cirie.
5. Take out Cirie - Because nobody is going to hand Jason a million bucks.
6. Go to the Final with Jason.
If that's not a recipe for a million dollars, I don't know what is!