Lots to discuss regarding Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong.” It may go down as perhaps the most important Tribal Council of the season, and it can definitely be considered the most chaotic thus far. But the big development of the night may not necessarily be what happened at Tribal, but what happened beforehand.
Don’t read this if you haven’t yet seen the most recent episode, as spoilers are to follow. Get caught up on Episode 9 here.
So what is going on with Tai, and can he redeem himself? Tai has been a fan favorite from the very beginning, a guy who people have rooted for against all odds. He befriended Scot after the tribe swap and then by default, after the merge, became aligned with Jason. Because the two possess hidden Idols, it was only natural that Tai would stick with this alliance, so you can’t fault him there, but in tonight’s episode we watched as Tai slowly was goaded over the line of what many may call “respectable game-play.” Sure we expect such actions by pure Survivor villains, but not little ole’ Tai, right?
Of course I’m referring to Tai’s dousing of the tribe fire, in secret. Watching this episode was like watching an innocent kid make some poor choices, all due to some peer pressure from a few bullies at school. Tai has now made his bed, but must he lie in it now? This transformation of Tai’s – from innocent, life-loving tree-hugger to fire-dousing villain – will definitely define Tai’s story this season. But will that story end as a tale of redemption, or has Tai now sealed his own fate?
Scot and Jason’s decision to sabotage their camp may have worked wonders in creating chaos in the short-term, but it all but erased their chances of winning the game…it’s a short-sighted idea that only Russell Hantz could respect. The minute Scot poured that water on the campfire, so did he pour out his chances of actually winning in the end. Who among these eventual jurors would vote for Jason or Scot to win the game now? Bullying your way to the end is not the same as outplaying, outwitting and outlasting. It’s a shame too, because Jason (not as much so with Scot) really had the potential to be a GREAT winner…a sort of tweaked version of Russell where he controlled the game from the shadows. Now exposed as a villain and a bully, I don’t see a scenario where either him or Scot win the game.
Getting back to Tai for a minute, it’s interesting that Tai can now probably only win if he rides out his alliance with Scot and Jason and makes it to the end with them. With a Jason, Scot and Tai Final Three, Tai would most assuredly be the lesser of the three evils in the eyes of the jury. But he may now have a much harder time winning against any of the others, unless he has a real change of heart. Tai isn’t being malicious, he just seems caught up. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.
Elsewhere, wow is the rest of the tribe in shambles. Aubry is a smart player and I like her a lot, but there were a few missed opportunities tonight…and I can’t just put the blame on Aubry, as it belongs to all of them. After Scot just got done sabotaging their camp, why not sabotage them at the Reward Challenge? Maybe Julia jumped over on their side too quickly, but had someone volunteered to sacrifice their Reward, they could have sent someone over to the boys team and just thrown the challenge, ensuring that the girls win Reward. That would have been a fair comeback following Scot and Jason’s sabotage. An eye for an eye. But even after this, the girls (and Joe) missed a vital opportunity to flush some Idols out of the game. Julia ultimately voted along with Michele and Aubry, and because of Julia’s “double-agent” status, she must have known that Cydney was the boys target. Why not let the boys play their Super Idol? This would have flushed both Idols from the game, and even if it meant Cydney went home, they would still be sitting in the majority and the boys would now be Idol-less. Again, even if the boys would have played their individual Idols on Tai and say, Scot, the worst thing that could happen is that Cydney would go home after one of their Idols blocked the vote. This may be a bit of Monday-morning Quarterbacking, but it is a plan that they should have been able to come up with…the alternative sucks for them: How can they lost Deb – a loyal vote – and not flush either of the two Idols from the game? Each passing vote, the boys grow more and more unstoppable. Tai may be the only hope the girls have left, and Aubry knows it, judging by the preview for next week.
But what’s done is done. Joe is now a total floater but is not an immediate threat (but don’t let him squeak by to the end or he could be the winner). Cydney, Aubry, Michele and Julia (along with Joe) still hold a majority, but they are going to have to get lucky to maneuver their way through the hidden Immunity Idol minefield that Jason, Scot and Tai have set-up between the dark side, and the light.
Do you think getting rid of Deb was the right move? Who do you think is in the best position to win the game? Sound off in the comment section below.
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 Deb 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.