I’m back after a week off last week, and ready to jump back into the mix. Last week’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” featured the first post-merge Tribal Council, since there wasn’t one following Neal’s medical-evacuation the week prior. It was also the first Tribal Council of the season for Nick and Michele, who had lasted a record 24 days in the game without having had to attend one. Sadly for Nick, his first Tribal Council was also his last, as the girls came together to make sure that the Brawns wouldn’t bully their way to the million dollars.
The big move last week by the girls seemed to be sparked by Cydney, who now has the most to lose since she has betrayed her long-time allies Jason and Scot. Cydney better hope that she has tight bonds with the ladies, because this move doesn’t quite bode that well for her down the stretch. It’s a much better situation for Michele and Julia, who have basically saved the Brains from extinction, but with three Brains left in the game (Joe, Deb and Aubry), they better be careful as well, because last time I checked, three is bigger than two.
In the “voting bloc” world of Survivor – introduced in the Fall’s “Second Chance” season – the blindside of Nick might not have been that big a deal. Cydney could simply return to camp, explain what she was thinking, and Jason and Scot would jump back on board as her strong allies. But remember, although it aired ahead of Survivor: Kaoh Rong, the “Second Chance” season actually took place after this current season, and none of these players were around to witness it. And judging by the preview of tonight’s episode (video above), it seems like we will see an old-school Survivor hissy-fit reaction to Nick’s blindside, as Jason and Scot react to Cydney’s mutiny by sabotaging their camp, a la Russell Hantz (Jason is more and more a descendant of the iconic Survivor villain). Here is the synopsis from CBS:
Episode 9 – “It’s Psychological Warfare” – A separation in tribes leads to the ultimate sabotage. Also, a schoolyard pick draws a line in the sand at a tough reward challenge, on SURVIVOR, Wednesday, April 13 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Analysis. It may be an “all-girl alliance,” but Joe sits right in the middle of them, in a strong-as-ever position. The problem with taking out Nick, is that now Jason, Scot and Tai are unified, with two of them possessing hidden Idols, which of course this season can be combined into one “Super Idol” that can be played AFTER the votes have been cast. This is a tremendous amount of power to have, and with only nine left in the game, the other six don’t have the numbers to split their votes, because it would result in a 3-3-3 tie…or at least we’d have to consult the Survivor Rule Book to figure out how and at what points the Super Idol could be played. The problem with sabotaging your camp, is that the boys will undoubtedly create incredibly bitter jurors as a result, which doesn’t bode well for their long-term chances.
The ray of hope for Jason, Scot and Tai – in addition to their Idols – is that their psychological warfare seems to be working, judging by the video preview. Julia seems to be the one pin-pointed as a “flip-flopper” who is playing both sides. Historically, all-girl alliances seem to crumble for various reasons and have rarely been able to make it to the end, so maybe it’s good that they include Joe in the mix, if for nothing else, as a good luck charm.
It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out tonight, and it’s good to be back! Thanks (as always) for reading!
Make sure to check out the all-new episode tonight on CBS and come back here later for my full recap, analysis and of course, my exclusive interview with the eliminated castaway(s) tomorrow!
Important Note! Be sure to subscribe to this column (above) or follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli. This week – and every week throughout the season – I will post an Episode Preview article (like this one) every Wednesday morning. Then after the episode airs (usually by around midnight EST), look for my full episode recap as well as my analysis of what just happened in the episode. Finally, you won’t want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interviews every Thursday afternoon, with the person who was just voted out. Following me on Twitter or subscribing (where you would get email alerts every time a new article posts) are the best ways to stay tuned-in with all things Survivor as we progress through the season…and thanks for reading!