Anybody who knows anything about Survivor knows that there is a huge difference between “surviving” and “staying alive” in the game. On one hand of course, you’ve got to live in the harsh conditions with little sleep, food or water, dealing with bug bites, rain and the elements. But it’s an entirely different skill set to be able to adapt and stay alive within the strategic game of Survivor. On Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” it was all about the latter, as those on the outs desperately looked for ways to get in, and those on the inside looked ahead, attempting to best position themselves as the game enters its final stretch. But per norm, a torch was snuffed in the end, symbolizing that for one of them – as far as the game was concerned – someone was about to die trying.
Don’t read this if you haven’t yet seen the most recent episode, as spoilers are to follow. Get caught up on Episode 11 here.
Julia was at the receiving end of tonight’s Tribal Council, becoming the fifth member of the jury. On the heels of last week’s episode, which had Tai back-stabbing his ally Scot, Michele’s betrayal of Julia tonight was way more shocking. Both of them began on the Beauty Tribe and were allies from Day One, or damn near it. But tonight, Michele illustrated what Cydney had said, that this is a “me” game, not a “we” game. Ultimately, Michele made the right move because it looks as if Cydney was not going to be on board with voting out Tai – not now anyways – so instead of fight to save her friend Julia and maybe put a target on her own back in the process, Michele decided to simply cut ties with her. It’s a bold move, but not one that helps Michele’s case in the end. As she said tonight, you need to have a compelling and convincing argument should you reach the end, and sadly Michele is running out of opportunities to really exemplify her game. But give her credit: She is stayin’ alive out there, and she is not doomed by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone remaining can still win, depending on how things shake out and who is ultimately sitting next to who.
The big dilemma concerning Tai is that I don’t buy what the show implied tonight in a few of the comments that were shown: That the others don’t want Tai to make it to the end. The opposite, I believe is true. At this point, Tai is the perfect goat, and doesn’t seem to have anyone really pulling for him (he has his fans of course, I mean of the remaining players and jury members). Sure he has an Idol and a “secret” advantage in the game, so he is a prime blindside target, but he’d be even better to sit next to in the end. If someone can snuggle up close to Tai and use his power as a shield, it may be the perfect path to the Finals. Take Aubry, for example. Does she not win sitting next to Tai and Joe?
The biggest show-down to come is what will happen between Aubry and Cydney. Both are playing great games and seem to have favor with the jury and tonight they seemed to be strongly working together. But both of them must know that they can’t sit next to the other in the end. It will be interesting to see who strikes first, and how. All of this of course, assumes that Jason doesn’t somehow will his way to the end. As unlikable as some may find him (some of his shenanigans aside, I absolutely love the dude and his character this season), Jason can most definitely still win the game. Jury votes are the least of his worries at this point, but being such an underdog from this point forward, should he make it to the end, he may just be able to swing a few votes his way, especially figuring that the outgoing jury members will be bitter at the other remaining players in the game.
Only six players remain at this point, so next week Tai has an incredible advantage, being able to cast two votes. I believe he mentioned he can use it up to five people left in the game, so if he doesn’t use it next week it will be even more powerful the following week.
We’re nearing the finish line of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” and it has yet to become stale. Let’s hope we get a strong finish!
Please check back (or subscribe at the top of this article), because you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interview with Julia tomorrow (up by Thursday afternoon). So join me tomorrow and be back next week for another Episode Preview on Wednesday morning followed by another full Episode Recap and Analysis Wednesday night!
Be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites as well, SurvivorFever.net.