Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Is Rupert Playing So Dumb???

I know that might sound like an overly harsh title but clearly the old pirate is leaving a lot on the table in the intelligence department regarding his play so far in Survivor Heroes VS Villains. It's not just the fact that his tribe has been getting their asses handed to them day in and day out in the challenges but its more his decisions on who to vote out that has made him look totally overmatched as far as his chances to win.

Now let me state right off the bat that I am one of the biggest Rupert fans around and that's why his performance so far is that much more painful for me. I thought he was a tad overwhelmed in Pearl Islands and but than played a great game deserving of a win in All Stars (if Jenna didn't plant a huge knife in his back, he surely would have wiped the floor against Rob or Amber). And on top of it all, Rupert's tremendous popularity with fans was confirmed when he won the bonus millions dollars at the All Stars reunion show as the most popular contestant ever. So when I found out he would be competing in H VS. V I thought this was the perfect last opportunity for Rupert to finally grab the title of sole Survivor that he deserves. Unfortunately, through six episodes the evidence suggests that its just not going to happen this time around and that he will go down as one of the best players to have never won the game.

Getting into the nuts and bolts of the problem, things got off to a bad start for Rupert when he decided to enter into an alliance with Amanda, Cirie, James, and JT when he was much better served joining up with Tom, Colby, and Stephanie. For starters, Tom, Steff, and Colby are all players who have proven athletic track records that have resulted in excellent performances in challenges. On top of that, all three of them are for the most part very honest, ethical players that don't backstab or cause hysteria in their own camps with their scheming. This is very important for the fact that players like Cirie and Amanda, who are constantly plotting against others, undermine the cohesiveness a tribe needs in order to be successful as a whole. Now I am not taking anything away from the athletic ability of James and JT but both of these individuals are not the most honest (JT) nor are they the most easy to get along with (James who is prone to temper tantrums).

Be that as it may, it wasn't too late for Rupert to switch things up after making that early alliance when the Cirie vote came up and JT did the right thing. Rupert could have easily jumped sides to Tom and Colby and he would have been welcomed with open arms and than maybe the game doesn't continue down such a rotten path for the heroes. The fact of the matter however is that Rupert stubbornly stuck to his word, much to the dismay of Jeff Probst who seemed incredulous that such an experienced player would make such a foolish decision in sticking with physically weak players Cirie and Amanda and voting out the strong in Tom.

It has really become incresingly clear to me that Rupert just doesn't have the ability to play the scheming and strategic game needed to win Survivor. He doesn't plan out who his best options to align with ahead of time and seems stubbornly loyal to the detriment of his game. At this point in the game, I think Rupert has a pretty slim chance to win due to the following issues:
1. The heroes tribe is looking like they might be going into the merge down in numbers which leaves them at the mercy of being picked off one-by-one.
2. In order to save himself if they are down in numbers, Rupert doesn't seem to have it in him to join up with the villains and vote off the heroes. Colby and Candice I can see doing this due to the fact they have been disrespected by their tribe from day one. Rupert however would never do this.
3. Even if they aren't picked off one by one, Rupert doesn't stand a chance in the plotting game against guys like Russell or Boston Rob.

So all in all, it looks like Rupert will never get that elusive title I thought he always deserved. After his performance so far in Heroes VS Vllains, I am starting to rethink whether he deserves it at all.

What do you all think????? Am I being too hard on Rupert? Or has his game dissapointed you so far like it has dissapointed me?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Survivor Player Ever?????

Awhile ago I wrote about how I don't think Russell Hantz is the best Survivor player ever based on my standard that you have to win in order to be considered in that discussion. My opinion all along has always been that Richard Hatch is the standard that everyone else has to measure themselves against. Winning the original Survivor with no previous seasons to study and formulate a plan is undoubtedly the most difficult way to win the game. And there was no flukiness at all here like when Natalie won last season. Rich was in control from Day 1 and invented the very first alliance that has become the staple of the game. Sure he bombed out early in All Stars but he was clearly a victim of his past success as Tina Wesson and Rob Cesternino were. That is the same exact thing that would have happened to Russell if the rest of the cast of heroes vs villains viewed his previous season.

So in the poll I placed up the other day where I asked you to vote for the best Survivor contstant ever, the votes are split with 2 for Rich and 2 for Russell with a solitary vote for Rob Mariano. Clearly there is a faction out there that thinks Russell's game is without peer but i strongly disagree. The fact that he ticked off the jury in S19 doomed him and allowed an undeserving Natalie to win. This is the one aspect of the game Russell fails miserably in and until he figures out how to win them over, he will never get the title in my book.

What do you think???? Is my anti-Russell sentiment clouding my judgement? Or do you agree with me and argue that you have to win to be considered best ever???

How About We Get a Celebrity Survivor?????

We have had Celebrity Apprentice and various celebrity reality shows on MTV and VHI. So one must ask the question: Why hasn't there been a celebrity edition of Survivor??????

Now before you all pan me for bringing up such a ridiculous notion, do know that this concept was in serious discussion right before Survivor All Stars was hatched. As ratings began to slip, there were reports that Mark Burnett looked into the idea of having a celebrity edition of Survivor with some notable tv and movie stars showing interest. One of the most vocal celebrities who desired to be included was Ray Romano from "Everybody Loves Raymond" fame along with Law And Order's Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler). Those are two very big television stars that would lend instant credibility to the show. And the quality of the cast is the big key here. On Celebrity Apprentice and even Dancing With The Stars, you have washed up celebrities or B-list performers making up the majority of the roster. In order for celebrity Survivor to work, you would need a more well-known cast. After giving this some thought, here are some of the names I came up with (based on the idea that most top TOP notch actors and actresses wouldn't have the time to dedicate to such a show).

Ray Romano-would be great for laughs.
Ashton Kutcher-can't you just see him doing this??
Matthew Fox-has got tremendous experience on deserted islands.
LL Cool J-would be a house in challenges.
George Hamilton-would have more time to work on his tan.
Mark Consuelos-need a soap star to bring in the female audience.
Reggie Miller-would play the villain role....can you imagine the trash talk???
Gordon Ramsay-talk about short fuse....will take the cake in criticism of others.

Leila Ali-stronger than most men...and can beat most men in a fist fight too.
Jennifer Aniston-personal favorite of mine....would kill to see her in bikini.
Jenna Elfman-one of the more athletic actresses....competes in triathlons.
Tea Leoni-no reason here....just thought she would be decent.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck-she is a celebrity now right???
Sigourney Weaver-old wise one who is still in great shape for her age.
Allison Sweeney-another soap star for the women and will bring in Biggest Loser fans.
Paula Abdul-her craziness will make great television.

So there you have it. No Bruce Willis' or Angelina Jolie's but a great cast I think. Who do you think would win? Who do you think would be a better contestant that I overlooked?????

Upated Survivor Heroes VS Villains Odds Of Winning

7 down and 13 to go! Here is where we stand regarding odds to win at this point in the game.

1. Russell Hantz (2-1): I hate to say it but Russell has got to be considered the favorite to win right now. No doubt he was helped with having no one see his play before which i have mentioned too many times to count. Be that as it may, he scored a huge win over Rob this past week and now looks to finish the job by evicting Boston's own.

2. Parvati Shallow (3-1): I have Parvati slightly behind Russell for the fact that last week's ploy was all from Russell's head so he gets the credit. Parvati no doubt is a huge threat to get her second title however as she seems totally into the Evil One's plans. And there is also no doubt that she will dump Russell at a moment's notice when she realizes she doesn't need him anymore.

3. Boston Rob (10-1): Until the fight is settled with Russell, Boston Rob deserves to be ranked this high as one big move puts him right back into the driver's seat. To underestimate the man is a collosal mistake and no one has proven to be more cutthroat when his neck is on the line. More than anyone left in the game, Rob would almost be a lock to win if he ever made the final.

4. JT Thomas (15-1): JT is playing a take-no-prisoners game as he has now voted off both of his Day 1 alliances in ousting Tom and James. When you combine his surprising scheming with his top notch athletic skills, JT remains the best bet for a hero to take home the dough.

5. Rupert Boneham (20-1): Rupert is playing a very dissapointing game as he is not being smart with his voting. Choosing to honor substandard alliance partners instead of focusing on keeping the team strong, the big guy is showing that he doesn't have the plotting skills to get it done. He always has the popularity thing going for him however, although it seems he is less likable this time around. Hard to see him winning.

6. Sandra Diaz-Twine (20-1): Sandra is not to be taken lightly as she always seems to be forgotten until she sneaks to the end of the game and wins. History is starting to repeat itself here as nary a vote has come her way despite her in your face comments to Russell and Parvati. She has done it before and can't be counted out for that reason.

7. Danielle DiLorenzo (30-1): Despite her alliance with Russell, Danielle is not likely to be a threat to win. The woefully underexposed Danielle is looking like a dutiful soldier to the Evil One but she will be dropped at a moment's notice and won't get any repspect if she gets to to the finale due to the correct perception that she is just a follower.

8. Colby Donaldson (40-1): Colby continues to stick around despite his neck constantly being on the chopping block. If he can somehow get to the merge, his odds will skyrocket as he should feel no guilt in jumping ship to the villains since the heroes never showed any interest in him. We all saw his performance in individual challenges in Australia but first he has to get there.

9. Amanda Kimmel (50-1): We all know how terrible Amanda does in final Tribal Councils. If she somehow makes it that far again, she won't win. Her reputation is set in stone, although I think she is a better player than she is given credit for as it takes some skill to get to the final of two separate seasons.

10. Jerri Manthey (50-1): I still can't help but think that in the longshot scenario of Jerri making a final TC, she just might win due to the fact she has "put in the time" in playing her third season. I don't think she is as miserable a person as she is portrayed to be (she doesn't hold a candle to notable bitches Corrin from Gabon or Sue from Borneo) and she always tried hard in challenges. Who knows....if you want to bet on a longshot she is the one.

11. Coach Wade (70-1): Coach has toned it down the last week but he is still a joke like Russell correctly proclaimed. His wishy/washy moods and no sense of the game make him a disaster.

12. Candice Woodcock (70-1): Candice had a good week in winning immunity last Wednesday but she still is at the bottom of her tribe's pecking order with Colby. No one likes her, she doesn't stand out, has no alliance to speak of, and is being ignored by the cameras like Danielle which is always a bad sign.

13. Courtney Yates (100-1): Once again Courtney is our longest shot. I have been very hard on her to this point but she actually made me laugh a bit in her sarcastic comments about James in last week's challenge. She is hanging around with Rob and once he is sent home, she is toast. Longest shot easily.

What do you all think??? Who did I rank too high? Too low?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Survivor Wedding

Wow I just stumbled onto the fact that Survivor China's Jaime Dugan and Erik Huffman wound up getting married last April. This was totally news to me and a nice story. Both of these individuals came across very well in China and Erik did decently in finishing sixth. Of course he will forever be known as the "virgin Survivor" but if your going to sleep with only one person in your life, you can't do much better than Jaime Dugan.

Is Colby Donaldson Washed Up??????

I started down this road on my wrapup of episode 6 but decided to devote a whole post to it in light of what we have seen so far from former ace contestant Colby Donaldson. Specifically speaking, I am seriously starting to think that the Colbster is a shell of his former self as a top notch player. The evidence this season has been very clear and his performances in challenges have been downright embaressing. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the post, let's venture down memory lane shall we????

10 years ago Colby Donaldson was a 26 year old, fresh faced Texan with a killer physique and model looks. He quickly established himself as the leader of the Ogakor tribe, highlighted by his performance in the strength challenge when he carried over 400 pounds of water on his shoulders. Once the merge hit, Colby took it up another notch when he absolutely tore it up in the individual immunity challenges as he collected five in all and thrust himself into the finale where he lost a close vote to Tina Wesson. With that backdrop in performance to his credit, Colby enlisted in Survivor All Stars where he was voted out too early to really notice any kind of drop in skill. At 31 years old during that series, he was still in his prime and most likely would have done well once again.

Now here we are a full ten years from Australia and through six episodes, Colby has been an unmitigated disaster. The heroes tribe have gotten their asses handed to them in just about every challenge and things went from bad to worse in last week's episode when the crippled James and the rotund Rupert easily outpaced him in the immunity challenge. Afterward, Colby was ripped a new one by James in a joking/serious manner by proclaiming Colby was once a bad ass but now is the lazy/sleepy Colby. Surely these words had to sting the Texan but he didn't help himself by seemingly waving the white flag to the tribe in his "I know I am going home....it was nice playing with you all" gambit. Could you ever imagine Colby saying something like this back in Australia???? No way in hell. So the question must be asked: Is Colby in fact washed up as a dominant Survivor contestant????

In formulating an answer to this, I went deep into his history in the game to come up with an answer. For starters, I went back to Australia and examined his performance. There is no doubt that Colby was in great shape and served his tribe well in the challenge that I mentioned before. However if you look past that one challenge, you will see that the Ogakor tribe was beset with poor overall performances in the majority of the other challenges and suffered a string of defeats similar to what the heroes are going through right now. And if Michael Skupin doesnt fall into the fire, there was a very good chance that the Kucha tribe would have gone into the merge with the numbers and voted him and the others out one by one. Also if we move on to the merge portion of the season, the competition Colby had to go against for individual immunity was shaky to say the least. Out of the final 9 survivors in Australia, only Nick could be seen as better than average athletic competition. Continually knocking off Keith, Roger, Tina, Elisabeth and the others is nothing to be impresed about. Again I am not saying Colby wasn't deserving of the immunity he earned but in retrospect, it wasn't as impressive as it was made out to be.

AS far as All Stars was concerned, there wasnt much to go on as he was voted out very early and there were two non-challenges when Jennna and Sue left on their own. So let's immediately turn to the present heroes vs. villains series. From the very first day, it was clear this wasn't vintage Colby when Coach literally carried him halfway down the beach in being part of a losing heat for the heroes in the first reward challenge. The fact the heroes won in spite of him made him look worse. From that point on, Colby proved to be a non-factor in the high number of hero defeats and failed to do something to stop the slide. The one "good" moment he did have was during the episode 3 immunity challenge when the heroes destroyed the villains in the gladiator contest. Colby went up against Boston Rob in a rematch from All Stars when Rob literally picked Colby up and body slammed him into the water in the face off challenge. Colby won the duel this time as he pushed Rob into the mud. The caveat here is that their match took place almost at the end of the heats and the circle was full of mud from the previous matches. Boston Rob tried to dodge Colby right off the bat and than dump him from behind but wound up slipping and literally doing a flip onto the ground. At this point he was at Colby's mercy and still it took a tough struggle to get himself pushed off the "ring." If you watch the match, Rob is doing the pushing after being at the early disadvantage and tossing Colby around. So it was no domination by any means and maybe even a bit lucky.

Than the topper was this past week when I mentioned before where Rupert and a crippled James beat Colby in the immunity challenge. And it was downright telling when Colby was exposed by James at camp and than again at the immunity challenge. It was thrown out there for everyone and the most shocking thing of all was the tepid response. And when you take into account the acceptance he showed about possibly being voted out and you get a clear picture of a man whose heart and body are not into it like they were in the past.

Now let me say this: I was a decent sized Colby fan in Australia and soured on him in All Stars when he tried to act all badass and mean to Shi-Ann. That was fake and easy to see through. This season I once again was rooting for him but now have found myself profoundly dissapointed. At this point it is clear to me that Colby has seen his best days in the game and he really to me is not much of a threat to win. It is always hard to see a formerly great player fall to the wayside (Tom Westman). In Colby's case, I don't think that he was ever great however.

What do you all think? Is Colby washed up? Or am I reading too much into this????

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why Is Survivor Not On For Two Hours????

It dawned on me the other day when I was watching Survivor that big time reality shows such as The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, American Idol (at times), and The Apprentice are all two hours long each week. The question I have is: why not Survivor????

After all unlike some of the above mentioned shows, Survivor is a 24 hour a day competition that could generate lots of additional viewing hours. Also considering that half the time we have two separate tribes (or more) and that doubles the amount of human interaction that takes place and that is tv waiting to happen. There would be plenty of material to throw into another hour easy. Especially the last few seasons, it has seemed to me that an episode of Survivor is very rushed. It begins with a quick rehash of that night's previous TC, goes to the next morning with some reflections, right into the reward and immunity challenges and than onto the next TC. Very rushed indeed.

Just a random thought I figured to share with you all. What do you think??????

Is Survivor Fixed?????

From the very beginning Survivor has dealt with the always nagging question in the back of all viewers' minds in almost any reality show you can name and that is: Is what we are seeing really REALITY???? Or is something else at work here.....namely the producers of said show. When the original 16 castaways landed in Bornea and ushered in this new era of TV genre, the questions began soon thereafter. Speficially speaking, the forgettable Stacy Stillman first brought to light some possible "interference" by someone other than the contestants when she alleged that the show's producers influenced her tribe to vote her out and not the elderly Rudy Boesch. This was one the heels of the first two boots of the series being fellow elderly's Sonia and BB. So with the threat of ageism being lobbed at the new phenomenon, the argument went that Sean, Sue, Kelly etc. were steered to vote for Stillman and keep Rudy in the game. Nothing ever came out of the lawsuit and no criminality was found. The seed was planted in viewers' minds however and has remained in a dormant state through the various seasons until last week when fresh water was poured down onto the bud.

Of course I am referring to the events of this past Wednesday when Russell Hantz supposedly pulled off one of the biggest blindsides in history by taking out Tyson Apostle and sparing partner Parvati Shallow in the process. On the surface here nothing seems out of the ordinary. Blindsides are part of the game and have resulted in some of the most memorable moments in Survivor history. However the intricacies involved here were too much for many viewers to ignore.

For starters, why on earth would Tyson change his vote from Russell to Parvati when Boston Rob came up with a foolproof plan to boot one of the two out of the Evil Alliance????? 3 votes for Russell and 3 votes for Parvati would ensure that one of them would go home as the revote (along with the 3 votes for Tyson) would not allow Russ or Parv to vote (again along with Tyson) and than have no defense to the majority of Jerri, Coach, Sandra, Rob, and Courtney. The fact that Tyson at the last minute changed his vote and ruined the plan was just insane. I dont care if you have an IQ of zero.....no one could be that dumb, especially in a game for a million bucks.

The other aspect here was Russell knowing who Tyson was voting for in the first place. For all he knew, Tyson could have been assigned to vote for Parvati in the first place and thus not be able to change the tally and hence the result. Nowhere did Tyson say to Russell who he was voting for.....which leads to arguing about how Russell knew to give the idol to Parvati and not keep it to protect himself. For a guy who will do anything next to killing someone in order to stay in the game, why would Russell put himself in peril for a skank like Parvati? Again no one would put their neck on the line in this game without knowing for absolute certain that the plan would work. It just doesn't add up.

Now I will be the first to admit that I despise Russell. I have no respect for his antics and would love nothing more than to see his smug ass voted out for a change. So if you want to say sour grapes than go ahead. However the fact of the matter is that this isn't the first time producers have been called into question and surely it won't be the last. There is no way that the producers would like to see a Courtney/Candice/Danielle final three as ratings would surely take a hit. After all the show is a business and a business is out to make money. Money won't come in from advertisers without people tuning in. People won't tune in unless there are polarizing characters like Russell running around creating havoc. Russell undoubtedly has been one of the most talked about players in history. His scenes are always must see tv. There is no denying this. The threat of his early departure would have hurt the show no doubt.

The pieces are all in place and the case has been made. In my view I honestly think producers do in fact influence the show. Maybe they had nothing to do with the lottery ticket won by Russell last night but I think there is no doubt that in the past events have transpired that can be called into question for sure.

Paging Oliver Stone!!!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Got To Be Kidding Me!!!!

After a one week hiatus, Survivor got back into action last night with one of the most unbelievable episodes in quite some time. More on that later. First let's get to the epsiode recap itself and than my analysis!

Things start off with the heroes yet again making the sad trek back to camp from tribal council. Amanda expresses her annoyance at Candice and how she was way off base in going after the crippled James. Meanwhile the clear opinion around the tribe is that Colby is the one to go next if they lose the upcoming challenge. As far as the villains are concerned, a great exchange took place between Russell and Boston Rob early in the morning before the sun came up as the Evil One tried to smooth things over and avoid an all-out war. Rob was having none of it however as he directly told Russell of the tribe's annoyance at him for looking for the idol and that he better of found it because he is in some serious trouble. The last dart was thrown when Rob told Russell to watch his back to which the Evil One's reply was an ominous you watch your back retort. Good stuff here!

That morning the tribes gather for a unique immunity challenge that was originally played in Tocantins where the contestants are clipped to a rope and have to unhook and reclip themselves through many various obstacles. The twist was that the heroes and villains would run the challenge separately and the two winners would win individual immunity for him or herself that night when BOTH tribes would go to tribal council. So with that caveat in mind, both tribes attacked the course with Boston Rob and surprisingly Candice winning for their teams. At this point, these two than squared off one-on-one to determine which tribe would win a hot dog feast and also sit in on the other tribe's tribal council, thus getting some inside info. Not surprisingly, Rob defeated Candice and back to the beach they went.

Once back at the camps, Boston Rob turned up the heat on Russell by snickering at him and almost taunting the fact that he is in major trouble and that Rob is running the show. Before this, a plan was also hatched by Rob ordering the rest of the tribe to make Russell think they are all voting for him and than blindside Parvati. Not to be outdone, the Evil One immediately goes to Danielle and Parvati and informes them of this exact plan and how he wants to bestow the idol on Parv at the last second.

Meanwhile back at the heroes camp, James becomes the focus as Rupert, JT, and Amanda begin to seriously question the wisdom of keeping an injured player around. Colby doesn't seem aware of this and proclaims to the tribe that he knows he is going and in an act of surrender, exclaims that there are no hard feelings. This form of white flag waving ticks off James who lays into Colby with a joking tone to it but who seems geuninely disturbed by this move.

At this point sensing the increasing heat, James decides to show his knee is not that bad by racing JT. Since JT is the fastest player on the team, he predictably loses and shows quite a bit of a limp in the process despite proclaiming that he is ok. Clearly there is major concern on the face of the others.

Soon its TC time and the villains are up first. Right beforehand, Boston Rob comes up with the ingenius plan to split the vote 3-3 for Russell and Parvati which will result in a tie with the expected three votes for Tyson. Thus, the revote would allow Rob and company the option of guaranteeing a successful vote out of whoever doesnt play the idol between Russell and Parvati. Clearly nothing could go wrong right??? WRONG!!!! In one of the most boneheaded decisions in Survivor history, Tyson decides to throw an extra vote on Parvati who than receives the hidden immunity idol from Russell and thus seals his fate to having his torch extinguished. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? IT WAS IN THE BAG!!!! All right no analysis yet. In a second.

The heroes than have their turn and their anti-climactic session ends with James mercifully sent home as a clear sympathy vote. So in one night, two people are sent home, 13 remain, and the landscape of the game has changed in a huge way!

Now for the famous analysis:
-ARE YOU KIDDING ME TYSON????? UMMM.....WHAT????? HOW DID...???? WHAT THE...????? Uh yeah that pretty much sums it up. How stupid can you be? This was a guarantee in the bag vote and the big bad ass Rusell would have finally gotten a taste of his own medicine but NO. You had to chicken out in some stupid notion that somehow if it were a tie, you could go home in some way. What an idiot. Sorry James...your no longer the biggest moron in Survivor history. Now accepting the award....Tyson!
-I loved how Boston Rob was taunting Russell the whole episode. It's about time someone learned how to talk back to that idiot. Of course now he looks foolish for being overconfident and having the plan blow up in his face but it was still great nonetheless.
-I think Danielle is a moron too for putting so much faith in Russell. Remember none of these players know who he is. The fact that she would go against the majority and take such a chance is idiotic. It worked out for her but still was the wrong move.
-I will leave this for another post but after last night I am seriously starting to wonder if there isn't some funny business going on here. For what transpired last night to happen, a number of long shot scenarios had to occur and they ALL DID!!!! You know what odds you would have gotten for that???? I am starting to wonder but I will lay that all out in a separate post.
-I was impressed that Coach went along with the plan. Points for him for not falling to Russell's scheme.
-Courtney in the challenge? Pathetic! Again why is she here?????
-Yeah Boston Rob is in trouble but there is still time to swing this to his favor.
-Sandra is still funny as hell with her blunt comments. I see a major eruption coming soon between her and Russell.
-As far as the heroes.....ok you decide to vote out James in a sympathy vote due to his injury. Why didn't they do that previously and keep Tom???? What took them so long? What a waste that was. Now granted Tom was a shadow of his former Survivor self but he should have stayed over James for sure. Classic case of second-guessing.
-Speaking of shadow of former selves, Colby looks OLD! He has been terrible this season and even wasnt great in All Stars. James was right on when he opined that Colby was washed up. He looks disinterested and withdrawn which is very surprising for the formerly intense competitor he was.
-Also regarding Colby: whats with the annoying facial twitches that he has developed, especially during tribal council?
-Candice did great in the challenge....she has clearly seperated herself in a good way from Courtney for the title of most useless Survivor player.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ultimate Surivor All Stars Simulation

So with the break in Survivor Heroes VS Villains due to the NCAA tournament, I got bored one day and ran a simulation with some of the best characters ever to play Survivor in the ultimate Survivor All Stars. I took into account past friendships, alliances, enemies, etc. and including two possible hidden immunity idols. I chose 11 former winners to compete and there is no doubt this would be the strongest cast ever to play it. I also took into account abilities in challenges and scheming abilities and this is what was spit out. Of course this is all make believe but i was impressed with the results and could see this happening for real. So without further adieu here goes:

Tribe Red
Richard Hatch
Tina Wesson
James Clement
Natalie White
Parvati Shallow
Ozzy Lusthe

Tribe Blue
Russell Hantz
JT Thomas
Bob Crowley
Cirie Fields
Danni Boatswain
Kelly Wigglesworth

Tribe Green
Rob Mariano
Rupert Boneham
Jenna Morasca
Colby Donaldson
Stephanie LaGrossa
Sandra Diaz-Twine

Ep 1: Immunity: Tribes Red and Green Voted Out: Bob Crowley
Votes: Bob (Russell, JT, Cirie, Kelly) Cirie (Bob, Danni)
Analysis: Right away Bob is targeted due to his age and nothing more. He bonds with the sweet Danni who vows to stand by him when the others inform her he is the one to go. Classic schemers Russell and Cirie start an alliance on Day 1 while JT stays clear of both.

Ep 2: Immunity: Tribes Green and Blue Voted Out: Parvati Shallow
Votes: Parvati (Rich, Ozzy, Natalie, James, Tina) Rich (Parvati)
Analysis: This time around everyone is onto Parvati right off the bat and there is no doubt she is the one to go. Parvati tried to scheme Ozzy and James into voting out Rich but they have none of it. Meanwhile Rich and Tina quickly form an alliance between Survivor's first two winners.

Ep 3: Immunity: Tribes Green and Blue Voted Out: Ozzy Lusthe
Votes: Ozzy (Rich, Tina, Natalie, James) Natalie (Ozzy)
Analysis: Rich is calling the shots as he calls for Ozzy's head and the others are too weak to object. Ozzy goes for Natalie as the weakest link but it wasn't meant to be.

Ep 4: Immunity: Tribes Green and Red Voted Out: Russell Hantz
Votes: Russell (JT, Danni, Kelly) JT (Cirie, Russell)
Analysis: Russell and Cirie gun for another likable winner in JT but this time around JT rallies the girls to finally oust the Evil One at his own game. Cirie and Russell go down in a shock as Kelly goes back on her word and votes out Russell.

Ep 5: Tribes are merged into two groups (Orange and Purple) of 7 due to a random draw. Hidden immunity idols are also introduced here with one in each camp with Sandra and Boston Rob claiming them.
Tribe Orange: James, Tina, Stephanie, Danni Rupert, Sandra, JT
Tribe Purple: Colby, Rich, Cirie, Kelly, Jenna, Rob, Natalie

Immunity: Tribe Purple Voted Out: Stephanie LaGrossa
Votes: Stephanie (Danni, JT, James, Tina) Tina (Rupert, Stephanie, Sandra)
Analysis: Stephanie teams up with the bonded Rupert and Sandra to gun for the sly Tina but JT and James renew their friendship and grab the easily swayed Danni to their side.

Ep 6: Immunity: Tribe Orange Voted Out: Natalie White
Votes: Natalie (Rob, Cirie, Rich, Kelly, Colby, Jenna) Jenna (Natalie)
Analysis: Rich and Kelly are reunited and fall back to their old alliance and take Cirie along for the ride. The others are leery of this but Natalie is clearly the weakest link.

Ep 7: Immunity: Tribe Orange Voted Out: Colby Donaldson
Votes: Colby (Rich, Cirie, Kelly, Rob) Cirie (Colby, Jenna)
Analysis: Rich wants the athletic Colby out and he gets his wish as Boston Rob is all too happy to get rid of his old rival. Colby and Jenna try in vain to get the scheming Cirie but no one else bites.

Ep 8: Immunity: Tribe Orange Voted Out: Jenna Morasca
Votes: Jenna (Rich, Kelly, Cirie, Rob) Jenna (Cirie)
Analysis: In an expected vote Jenna goes down quietly here as Rich maintains control.

Ep 9: Merge time as all ten remaining players come together. Rob and Sandra maintain their hidden idols.
Immunity: James Clement Voted Out: JT Thomas
Votes: JT (Rich, Cirie, Tina, Kelly, Rupert, Danni, Sandra, Rob) Rich (JT, James)
Analysis: JT is targeted right off the bat due to his athletic prowess. JT and James go after Rich but the dye has been cast. James looks to be in big trouble now.

Ep 10: Immunity: Tina Wesson Voted Out: Kelly Wigglesworth
Votes: Kelly (Rupert, Rob, Danni, Sandra, James) Rupert (Rich, Tina, Cirie, Kelly)
Analysis: In a shocker and an unexoected setback for the overconfident Rich, Kelly gets the ax as Rob and Rupert convince the others to break up the Tina-Rich-Cirie-Kelly alliance before its too late.

Ep 11: Immunity: Rob Mariano Voted Out: Tina Wesson
Votes: Tina (Rob, Rupert, Danni, Sandra, James) James (Rich, Tina, Cirie)
Analysis: Rich, Cirie, and Tina try to get back on track by trying to convince the others about the threat of James and his strength. Tina leads the way with the scheming which gets her the ax here as the others are not being swayed.

Ep 12: Immunity: Richard Hatch Voted Out: James Clement
Votes: James (Rich, Cirie, Sandra, Danni) Cirie (Rob, Rupertm James)
Analysis: Rich was going to be the vote all the way but he winning immunity changes things. At the last second Rich convinces Danni and Sandra they are being used by the guys and that they will have no chance at immunnity with them around. The ploy works as James is sent home. Rob and Rupert don't see it coming.

Ep 13: Immunity: Danni Boatswain Voted Out: Cirie Fields
Votes: Cirie (Rob, Rupert, Danni, Sandra, Rich) Rob (Cirie)
Analysis: Rob was going to be next until he shows everyone he has the idol. With no other options, Rich goes along with the others when Cirie gets too pushy to vote out Rob and make him play the idol.

Ep 14: Immunity: Rupert Boneham Voted Out: Richard Hatch
Votes: Rich (Rupert, Rob, Sandra, Danni) Rob (Rich)
Analysis: With nowhere else to turn Rich tried to pull a coup and convince the others to vote out Rob and make it seem like the vote is for Sandra. No one falls for the bait and Sandra plays the idol to boot. The original King goes home.

Ep 15: Immunnity: Rob Mariano Voted Out: Rupert Boneham
Votes: Rupert (Rob, Danni, Sandra) Danni (Rupert)
Analyses: In the last chance to play hidden idols, Rob keeps his as a souvenir and decides its now or never to get Rupert out before its too late. The final three is set: Rob, Sandra, and Danni

Final Tribal Council:
Rob Mariano: JT, Kelly, Rupert
Danni: Rich, James
Sandra: Tina

WINNER: Rob Mariano

Analyses: In a final tribal council that is as intense as ever, Boston Rob finally wins that elusive title as JT, Kelly, and Rupert reward him for all the past efforts he had in the game. Danni earned respect with two votes but Sandra gets only one.

So there you have it. Wouldn't this be an entertaining series? I think so. Who knows....maybe we will see one last All Stars before the show goes away for good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Heroes Blow It Again

Back after a mini-vacation....lots of posts to get to so let's get started.

I always state that I have no use for spoilers which continues to this point. However I will confess to one that I knew of from the start and that was the fact of Tom Westman being the fifth person voted out. As a fellow Long Islander, Tom's fate was the worst kept secret in the area here. Be that as it may, it still came as quite a shock and I was hoping against hope that this was false. Much to my great dissapointment, it wasn't.

As far as the episode itself was concerned, things started off with JT showing the puppy dog face to Amanda and begging her to trust him. Yet another pathetic display by an increasingly annoying JT. When he played in Tocantins, JT was a leader who took charge and never looked back. This time around I believe he feels intimidated playing with people he in his own words "watched while in high school." That has resulted in him flip flopping alliances and being incredibly indecisive. Amanda wasn't buying the act however and in a rare moment of intensity from her, let out that she was ready to "play that game." Meanwhile over at the villains camp, Russell predictably found the hidden immunity idol while the rest of the tribe was down at the shore doing tai-chi with Coach. Once in possession of it, the Evil One continued reporting his plan to oust Boston Rob as the inevitable could be coming any day now.

We than move on to the reward challenge that centered on a mix of pit wrestling and basketball. The prize after scoring two baskets into the opposing tribe's net was an all chocolate feast at a local lagoon. While the villains quickly sucked up a plate of free treats, the heroes wanted no part of it, choosing instead to "stay focused"; whatever that means to them since they keep losing. The real blow came a few minutes into the contest however as James landed awkwardly while going up for a rebound and medical was quickly brought in. After initially feeling like he could continue, the pain proved to be too much to bear as James was removed from the challenge. Already demoralized from all their losing, the heroes quickly crumbled as the villains made off with the loot and James stayed behind waiting to see if he would be removed from the game yet again.

Back at camp, speculation ran rampant among the heroes as the consensus centered on James not returning. Amanda was the most upset by this as tears streamed down her face as a combination of fear of losing an alliance partner and to a lesser extent a friend seemed to overwhelm her. Much to everyone's shock however, James hobbled back to camp with a huge brace on his knee proclaiming that he was not in pain but needed to just rest. James' return was a blow to Tom as he was now back on the chopping block in the event they lost the reward challenge.

During all this, the villains celebrated their latest win with a chocolate feast and the plotting began in earnest with Russell showing Parvati the idol and than deciding to bring Coach into the fray. Once again Coach went overboard when Russell showed him the idol, going so far as to kneel down in front of the Evil One asking to be knighted. Pathetic stuff. To this point, Boston Rob seemingly doesn't know that he has the idol.

As far as the immunity challenge was concerned, the game centered on the one where a tribe member vocally directs the rest of the blindfolded tribe to pick up puzzle pieces scattered in a field and once all the pieces are in, to put the puzzle together. James and Jerri were elected the vocalists and the heroes got off to the quick lead and had all their pieces back first. But for the third time in three puzzle centered challenges, they blew the lead and allowed the villains to steal the victory. Another frustrating loss.

Once back at camp, the plotting began as it soon was obvious that either Tom or a crippled James would be sent home. Tom and Colby were joined by a very vocal Candice who openly expressed her view that an injured James is a liability that the tribe couldn't afford to keep around. An increasingly stubborn Rupert and Amanda sided with James of course with JT once again finding himself in the middle. At first promsing to stay true to his alliance with Rupert, James, and Amanda, JT began to hedge as he agreed with Tom and Colby about the wisdom of sending James home due to his inability to compete in future physical challenges. It would once again come down to his vote as tribal council took place with a feisty Tom trying to save himself and in the process engage James in some mano-a-mano digs at each other. When it finally came down to the vote however, JT stayed true to his alliance as Tom was sent home. Once again the heroes make the wrong call and go against all conventional wisdom.

All right now let's get to my all important opinions and viewpoints:

-What really annoyed me right off the bat was JT's pathetic display to Amanda. I really am losing total respect for his game as his waffling is becoming ridiculous. I really thought at the beginning that JT stood a great chance of winning the game but now I think he has almost no chance due to the fact he will surely tick off too many people with his indecisions.
-Another throw the remote at the TV moment came when Russell found the idol. Didn't it dawn on any of the other villains that Russell was the only one missing from the tai chi session and that he most likely was off looking for the idol? Was shocked Rob didn't have his lookouts on the case. A drop in concentration could be very costly to him as a result of this.
-I thought it was very interesting that Russell showed Parvati the idol but not Danielle as he made day one alliances with both. My thinking is that he is putting all his eggs in the Parvati basket for two reasons. One is that he believes its a good idea to go to the end with a previous winner as it is less likely a jury would vote to give a second million bucks to someone. Two is that Parvati has made a ton of enemies in the game and there is the possibility that many jury members would give the million dollars to anyone but her.
-Russell showing Coach the idol was an obvious move on his part as Coach can easily be controlled by the Evil One and basically be the puppet for Russell to move around votes in whatever direction he wants. We already are seeing this with Coach doing the ridiculous knight kneel down in reverance to Russell.
-The showdown to end all showdowns is coming real soon. Russell VS Boston Ron.....stay tuned. This is going to be great.
-That was some spill that Jerri took due to the shove that Rupert gave her. I don't think it was intentional but you never know.
-James is definately snake bitten. Was removed once due to injury and could eventually be voted out because of another one. The biggest, strongest Survivor player ever has a glass jaw for a body.
-Once again the heroes are brainless in voting out Tom over an injured James. From voting out strong members to keeping injured ones, the heroes have blown it every step of the way and they completely deserve their predicament.
-I find it amazing that anyone on the heroes tribe would criticize Tom's preformance in challenges. This is a man who won five individual immunity challenges in Palau while in his forties against guys much younger and stronger. I was hoping that Tom would point out to James something along the lines of "Last time I checked I won the game and you didn't." Or "I won five individual immunity challnges.....how many did you win?" Tom is too classy for that however.
-I have to admit that I am a homer when it comes to Tom. Was beyond thrilled when he won Palau and very upset when he was voted out last night. Got to support the home town guy and his personality and determination are nothing but the highest standard.
-Oh I only hope Russell gets voted out. I just want to see his smug face when he gets his torch snuffed.
-Again I ask this: Why is Courtney here???? Anyone????
-Why is Danielle getting the Brett (Samoa) treatment? You know where the producers don't show them until they get close to the end of the game? I guess thats a clear sign Danielle goes far. I only hope its not with Russell. At least I get to hopefully see more of her in that awesome bikini of her's.
-Rupert btw is another one who is starting to annoy me. I have been the president of the Rupert fan club through Pearl Islands and All Stars. This time around however he is infuriating with his blind loyalty to inferior players.
-James has no business in the game right now. I admire his determination but its only a matter of time before he costs his team a challenge.

That's all for now. Updated ranking will be posted tomorrow. Take care everybody.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Survivor Heroes Vs Villains Episode 3 Recap: C'Ya Cirie

As always, your unspoiled (I dont read them) thoughts and opinions on Survivor Heroes VS Villains:

Wow we certainly got a lot to touch on this week. I don't even know where to begin. I guess as good a place to start is the fact that for the first time in the series, the hidden immunity idols have become part of the plot. In fact in a quirky coincidence, both the heroes and villains discovered a parchment with the hidden idol clues on the same day. For the villains, Russell (of course) first laid eyes on the clue as it slipped out of one of the tools they won at that day's challenge. Since everyone was standing in the vicinity, Boston Rob immediately picks it up and reads it aloud. It is decided that the best course of action as a tribe is to deposit the idol in the ocean once its found and that whoever looks for it instantly seals their fate.

Despite this ridiculous line of thought, Russell is undeterred as he begins his quest by strolling down the beach in search of it. Rob is all over his attempt and sends Sandra to go spy on him. The obviousness of his quest was too much too ignore as Sandra reported back as to what The Evil One was doing. Disgustedly, Rob exclaimed that Russell "just sealed his fate" and went back to constructing the shelter (how are they still working on a shelter on Day 8????). It is not known if Russell has in fact found the idol but the dye has been cast.

On the heroes tribe, the clue was uncovered by JT and Tom as they began to pour the morning coffee beans to cook. Once read aloud in front of the tribe, a mass exodus began in all directions as the more desperate heroes went looking for the idol. Action soon centered on a tree by the shoreline that Tom, Amanda, and James focused on. After some digging, Tom found the idol and very un-slick-like slipped it into his pant leg. This was seen by Amanda who quickly scurried like a school child and told everyone. Tom knew he was too obvious with his move and decided to let the cat out of the bag. The fact of the matter in all of this is that now the clearly on the outs Tom and Colby have a bargaining chip to get themselves new life in the game and to bust up the Big Five alliance of James, Rupert, Amanda, Cirie, and JT (Candice is not a part of this group no matter how many times she votes with them).

Blessed with his newfound luck, Tom attempts to form a new alliance with JT, Amanda, and James along with Colby in an attempt to oust Candice. Despite the noble attempt, Amanda once again scurried to her "mommy" Cirie and spills the beans. This enrages Cirie who then formulates the plan with Candice to split the votes 3-3 for Tom and Colby in order to minimize the idol and thus guarantee one of them goes home.

This of course all centered on the immunity challenge which once again was won by the villains as Boston Rob led his team to the win by being the eyes of the tribe in navigating them through a mouse maze and sending the heroes back to tribal council. Once at tribal council, the theme of the session was summed up by Rupert who admitted to staying loyal to his alliance and voting out strong players based solely on that fact and with no attempt to try and keep the team strong. JT going in was wrestling with this fact as he wanted to keep Tom around to increase the chance of success in the challenges but also felt loyalty to his alliance. Which way would he go? The stress on his face was obvious and in a big shocker, JT decided to side with Tom and Colby and vote out Cirie, who went home after Tom played the idol. A new shift is now in place in the heroes tribe and the repercussions are quite big.

Now for my opinions and thoughts:

-It is amazing it took this long for Russell to start looking for the hidden immunity idols. I would have thought he would have already been on the lookout for it before the clue but that didn't happen for some reason. Clearly though his attempt to find it has him in trouble with Boston Rob loudly calling for his ouster. My thought on this is a skeptical one due to two things: A. It has been shown over and over again that the obvious move is never made in Survivor. B. Russell is too cunning to let this stop him (although he has to be stopped at some point doesn't he???).
-I am shocked that once the clue was read to the rest of the villains, that everyone but Russell stayed at the camp and started working on the shelter. This is a game for a million bucks!!!! Everyone should have been hauling ass down the beach digging with their fingernails for the idol. Why the passivity?
-In answering my own question, it shows just how powerful Boston Rob is as his exclamation that whoever finds the idol seals their own fate can attest. The rest of the tribe listened to him and didn't make any attempt to look for it other than Russell.
-Forgot to touch on this before since there was so much else to get to but Coach looked truly pathetic at the start of the episode saying that he was thinking of leaving. This is one thing that drives me crazy and it looks ridiculous. Anyone who starts whining that they want to go home should immediately be expelled from the game. Too many people would give their left arm for a chance to play this game and for someone to take this so lightly is a disgrace, especially someone who has played it twice. I admit I have been a Coach fan (although I don't know why really) but after this I am really down on his act. His scenes are truly becoming cringe-worthy. (BTW I loved Tyson giving him advice to stop wearing the feather, telling stories etc.)
-Sandra is great! I love her calling Russell a dumbass.
-Boston Rob once again shows me that he is the best player out there! I have been a huge anti-Rob guy through both Marquesas and All Stars but he has won me over this time around. He is playing a dominant game and he is in total control. The power he wields is immense. I just hope he follows through on his promise to oust Russell. That to me is the only threat he has to eliminate.
-I don't care that Amber was voted the hottest female Survivor player ever. Amanda takes the title hands down in my book!
-Does anyone else really love the bathing suit that Danielle is wearing? Very form fitting don't you think?
-Finally someone does something that makes sense! JT was right on with going along with Tom and Colby in ousting Cirie. Candice is a waste of time as she is no threat to anyone. With Cirie's ouster, JT neutralizes a key strategic foe and someone who made no secret of voting out strong people which is counter-productive in a game where you need the strong to secure challenges. It will be interesting to see if Amanda, Rupert, and James think he is disloyal and use Candice to vote him out now. So there is some danger in this for JT.
-Another thing about the vote is that it was imperative for JT to "vote" for Colby in that if any other three people voted for Colby, than there would have been a tie with Cirie. It would have been interesting to see if JT spoke up and insisted on voting Colby because they only way that plan works is if he seemingly votes that way. Rupert and James also voted Colby so it probably was decided that the guys vote Colby and ladies vote Tom so that no one would get confused.
-Tom is back in the game in a big way as is Colby. They still are on somewhat thin ice since they still are in a minority (even if JT sticks with them) but to me the key here is James. If James continues to honor the alliance with JT (I am sure he is questioning it now) than the four of them can run things and get rid of Candice first and than Amanda.
-Rupert looked like an idiot by admitting his vote is based on alliances and not keeping the tribe strong. Dumb statement and I was very dissapointed in him for saying that. He is a three-time veteran that should know better.

All right my fingers are getting numb. That's all for now. Check back for more later!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Are Russell/Parvati the next Rob/Amber????

Now let me explain what I mean by this before you all think I believe Rusell and Parvati are going to sickeningly fall in love and get engaged during the reunion show. Dont make me hurl. What I mean by this is the feeling I am getting in watching Survivor Heroes VS Villains so far. I have been flashing back to Survivor All Stars when Rob and Amber formed a day 1 alliance and despite the obviousness of it all, there was no wide scale attempt made to break them up and vote them out. Well so far it looks like history is repeating itself as Russell and Parvati have formed a day 1 alliance and the rest of their tribe doesn't see the urgency in breaking them up.

In episode three, the situation screamed out for the villains to band together and vote out Parvati. We all know the reasons: she is a backstabber, she has friends on the other side, she has an alliance with Russell, she has a nice chest,etc. She could have easily been neutralized if only brains had been used. For all of his rudeness, Randy was dead on in his plan to get rid of her. Also to his credit, Tyson of all people spoke up on the referenced threat that Parvati was, and to a lesser extent Coach. What was most dissapointing was the fact that Boston Rob of all people put the kibosh on the idea. Rob fell back on the old adage of keeping the tribe strong which I almost always endorse. However in such obvious cases like this, exceptions have to be made and Parvati should have been sent home.

The whole tribal council was incredibly frustrating to watch as the clear mistake was played out right before our eyes. Parvati now has another chance to work her "magic" and get a solid footing in the game. The fact she will be doing this with the diabolical Russell on her side makes it more obvious just how big a mistake the rest of the villains did my letting her stay. How a seasoned veteran like Rob could blow this is beyond me and there is a decent sized chance this could cost him his game. Wouldn't that be ironic huh? Just like he and Amber five years before, Russell and Parvati look like they will be repeating history.