1. The bigger (and smellier) they are...
...The more amazing it is to watch them fall. For any detester of Dirty Ogre, this past episode was 60 minutes of pure joy. After getting completely manipulated into doing the stupid thing and voting off Mikey B, it was time for him to pay the piper. I mentioned last week that I was concerned about Dirty Ogre actually benefiting from his dumb decision if he was placed on the opposite team from Chet. Having to face off against such a pathetic competitor, instead of Mikey B, could only improve his shots of winning rewards and immunity. Thankfully, justice was served as Dirty Ogre was not only placed on the same team as Chet, but was actually paired up with him during the reward challenge.
There aren't words to describe how much I enjoyed what ensued. In a make-or-break scenario, Dirty Ogre and Chet, who were tied to each other with a rope, had to run through an obstacle course and catch Eliza and Parvati, who were also tied to each other. With a gigantic feast on the line, Dirty Ogre was completely disabled by the 85 lbs. of dead weight he was harnessed to and failed to come up with the reward-clinching victory. A part of me felt vindicated as he sat there seething, covered in mud, and roped to the living skeleton. I thought there couldn't have been a more ironic result to his massive mistake of voting off Mikey B, but I was wrong. The best was yet to come!
2. My "Unofficial" Pick.
Survivor is much more fun to watch when you've got somebody to pull for. Since Mikey B's torch was prematurely snuffed, I decided to take the liberty of making a second-chance pick to keep things interested. I wanted to wait until after the tribes were switched, just to prevent another quick elimination if the numbers were uneven after the swap.
After the change-up, the tribes looked like this...
Purple Tribe: Ozzy, Amanda, Ami, Cirie, Dirty Ogre, Erik, Chet, Tracy
Orange Tribe: James, Parvati, Jonathan, Eliza, Jason, Kathleen, Alexis, Natalie
Last week I gave our four people who I were strongly considering taking on.
Tracy was definitely the dark horse. I liked her persuasiveness and unwillingness to give up, but I didn't like the fact that she had so closely aligned herself with Chet.
Alexis seemed extremely nice and the type of person who would pick up votes in the final. However, I did have questions about her strategic abilities, and ultimately decided against her.
Jason was one of the few people smart enough to realize that offing Mikey B instead of Chet was a dumb move. However, he didn't seem to be an overly popular guy, which made me shy away from him. Knowing what I know now from the previews - that he finds Ozzy's fake idol and thinks it's real - I can safely assume that I made the right call.
This of course, brings me to the person I did pick. This person who I planned to pick heading into the season but was ultimately scared away from when she attempted to perform the first human conception on reality television. That's right, I'm going with Amanda.
I know what you're thinking: He's crazy. She has about a 2% chance of actually winning the game considering her romantic ties with Ozzy, the way she generally seems to rub people the wrong way after 39 days, and her track record of melting down at the final. Thing is, I'm well aware of all of these things and I'm picking her anyway. Because when push comes to shove, I believe she's the best strategist currently in this game. In some ways, I feel like the guy who's dating the gorgeous girl with the bad reputation and all his friends know that she'll end up cheating on him and leaving him an emotional wreck. Deep down, he knows she'll cheat on him as well, but he's so enamored with her beauty, he doesn't care. Well in a game that's given me more Dreamz's and Dirty Ogre's than I'd ever care to meet, I'm enamored with Amanda's strategy. Will she end up getting voted off before the final four? I'm nearly certain of it. But like that love-struck fool, I just don't care.
3. Break out the torches and pitchforks...
...It's time to kill an ogre! In the immunity challenge, The purple tribe got off to a significant lead only to have (who else?) Chet, completely implode as the "director" of the puzzle assembly. After back-to-back challenges where his complete ineptitude was clearly the determining factor in who won or lost, I figured it was a given that Chet would go. When Dirty Ogre finally admitted his mistake and agreed with Erik that it was time to remove their mess, the outcome seemed even more certain. In fact, things had apparently become so clear-cut that my brain completely shut off and I stopped running scenarios.
Thankfully, Cirie's mind was still in the game. She came up with a perfect scenario that I completely ignored, which is surprising because it's the very scenario which I ranted on and on about in China last season. It's the fact that when the tribes switch up, you can actually further your cause by losing immunity instead of winning it, provided you can vote out the strongest of your enemies.
Everyone, including myself, was so mesmerized by Chet's complete and utter sucktitude that the just defaulted into the "easy" and wrong decision. However, since Dirty Ogre and Erik had publicly declared they were gunning for the weak, Cirie felt a little threatened. I honestly believed that had they voted out Chet, Amanda would have smacked some sense into Ozzy and not followed his agreement with Dirty Ogre to vote off Cirie next. After all, it would have been incredibly stupid to not pick off The Fans in that situation. But regardless of whether she was actually in danger of being the next to go, their loud mouths convinced her to seek out Tracy and Chet to devise a plan to turn the tables on Dirty Ogre.
At first, I thought this plan had zero chance of working. My brain was turned off and I couldn't figure out any argument for keeping Chet around. But when Cirie brought up the fact that winning wasn't really a top priority and that getting rid of bigger threats would be more helpful in the long run, I knew she had made her case. At that point, I just sat back and waited for what would be my favorite elimination in sixteen seasons.
You want "ironic", Alanis Morissette? Here's an ogre who could have sat back and watched an over-confident loud-mouth bury himself by trying to lead everyone. He could have easily coasted below the radar and waltzed into the merge based on the asset of his strength. Instead, the ogre decided to take over the tribe by blindsiding said loud-mouth's alliance partner and starting a war. Not only did this put a gigantic target on his back, but it also left the most pathetic player in Survivor history on his team. This pathetic player would go one to heavily contribute in a large amount of challenge defeats. When this horrible player brought the team back to tribal council, this horrible player's alliance partner went on the offensive to save their skins. Playing heavily on the ogre's ego and paranoia that the loud-mouth he needlessly screwed over would stop at nothing to take him out, she convinced him to forgo voting out the horrible player in favor of outing the loud-mouth. The next day, the tribes are switched and instead of getting paired with the strong loud-mouth, the ogre is now stuck with the horrible player who completely tanks and sends his team to tribal council once more. Incensed at the fact that he's been paired with such a pathetic teammate, the ogre spouts off about how everyone needs to vote off the weak. This diatribe offends the weaker players, especially the horrible person's alliance member who had earlier manipulated the ogre by tricking him into believing that he may be voted out if he didn't spare the horrible player. In the twists of all twists, the horrible player and his alliance partner go ahead and hatch their own plan to off the ogre, and finally succeed!
You just can't make this stuff up folks! For the past four weeks we watched Dirty Ogre make some of the worst decisions we've seen in this game. At least Dreamz had the excuse of being certifiably insane. Dirty Ogre actually believed he was being strategic and smart, which totally angered me. To watch him finally go down in flames, especially when I knew that he could potentially escape scott-free if Chet ended up on the other team, was immensely satisfying. (As if you couldn't tell by the length of this post...)
I now need to wrap things up. Unfortunately, or actually fortunately, there's been so many good things to talk about this season that I haven't had time to get to two major observations that I've had in mind. I was hoping to get one in this week, but I couldn't stop talking about the Dirty Ogre blindside. Maybe if there's a slow week or two, I'll be able to work them in as they're not time-sensitive. I really do apoligize about putting them off. I know the anticipation must be killing you...
Survivor Power Poll:
||Looks like he's going to have to quit because of his leg.
||Will likely be the first person they vote for if the Orange tribe loses immunity.
|He's Dirty Ogre's right hand man, and you saw what happened to him.
|Being annoying won't help you win the million.
||He's somehow survived to the point in the game where people will starting thinking about him as their tag-along.
||Thinking you have the idol when you don't is just a recipe for disaster..
||Ami was talking about flopping to the fans in the previews. If I were her, I'd be gunning for Amanda.
||Maybe if she flies under the radar long enough, she can sneak her way into the final.
||Do not underestimate her. She's currently the most dangerous player in the game. Everyone discounts her as a threat and she's got Chet as a shield to keep her from looking too weak. If I were Ozzy, she'd be my #1 target.
||Nothing bad to say about her, which is better than most people in this game.
||I think he'll be there at the merge. At that point it all depends on his alliance and his ability to win challenges..
||Like Tracy, she is a force to be reckoned with. However, she's got herself aligned much better.
||She's not playing the dominant role like she did in Vanuatu, which can only work to her advantage. Now she can be smart and controlling without having a target on her back.
||If people were as determined to take her out as they say they are, she'd be gone already. She's a charmer.
||The best competitor in the game and the only person with a hidden idol.
Biggest Riser: Tie - James (10th to 5th) and Chet (16th to 11th)
Biggest Faller: Tie - Jason (3rd to 10th) and Amanda (2nd to 9th)