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Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 8: Questions Regarding the Mergeby Ken Kellam III -- 11/08/2005
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Brandon, the farmer who so easily cut through rope in a previous reward challenge, found his tribal throat cut just short of making the jury. Did he deserve to go out when he did? Probably not, but since when does deserving have anything to do with it? Cindy had it pegged when she said the game is about voting everybody off, not who “deserves” it.
My question is, why Brandon instead of Bobby Jon who, in my view, represented a bigger challenge threat? Did they just want Bobby Jon to make the jury this time? Did they like him better? If so, I’m at a loss as to why, given that Brandon never did anything to offend anyone, at least as far as we know, while Bobby Jon had the famous yelling incident with Jamie.
Speaking of Jamie, can’t you just hear Jerry Seinfeld asking about his behavior, “What’s up with that?” He’s in the majority alliance, he feels safe enough to eat instead of participate in the challenge, yet he runs his mouth unnecessarily, irritating not only the former Yaxhas, but his own former Nakum teammates as well. Did he feel perhaps too secure? He might do well to learn from Blake, who might have lasted longer if he’d just kept his mouth shut.
It started when he announced to his new tribemates that there was no room for them at the shelter. Whether or not he was joking, what was he thinking? Was he trying to let them know where they stood? Did he forget at least three of them will be on the jury? In any event, he didn’t get off to a good start. He compounded this by mouthing off during the challenge, while he ate as the former Yaxhas competed.
Just because something is true, that doesn’t mean you need to come out and say it. It’s not that what he said about Bobby Jon and Brandon knowing they were in danger was incorrect. It’s just that he didn’t need to state the obvious. He also said Bobby Jon knew he needed to win to stay in the game. Again, it may have been true at the time, but why flaunt it? Unfortunately, Jamie didn’t know when to leave well enough alone, snidely asking Bobby Jon how he was doing. At this point, even Rafe and Judd were annoyed with their teammate.
Why did Jamie have to announce to everyone that Judd was protecting their lead? First of all, the comment didn’t make sense , as the former Nakums had someone to chose from no matter who won immunity. Second of all, why call your own teammate out? Note that Judd, never known for hiding his feelings, didn’t exactly second Jamie’s motion.
Last week, Jamie said he wanted to keep Judd around in order to go against him in the final two, but at this point, would he be able to defeat Judd? I say no. Judd still has a lot of people who seem to think well of him, and Jamie alienated a few unnecessarily with his behavior. Jamie may well be playing for second place, although he’d be the last one to know it.
Was it me, or did Judd come across as just plain likable in this episode? Maybe it’s because with Margaret gone, he was able to better hold his tongue, although he did have a few sharp comments for Jamie. When the previews for this week showed him telling Jamie something to the effect of, “Just shut up; I can’t deal with you right now,” at first it looked like Judd being cranky and obnoxious again, but when it was actually shown, it was hard not to agree with him.
Judd’s decision to participate in the challenge rather than eat was commendable, for several reasons. First off, he didn’t smugly act like he was safe. Second, Judd is one of the bigger players in the game physically, if not the biggest. As a result, he’s going to need more food to keep him going, and is more likely to get hungry than the others.
Forget this nonsense Heidi spouted in the Amazon about having a lot of body fat to live off. If you go awhile without eating, or eat sparingly, your body starts feeding off muscle, not fat, so while it might have benefited Judd physically to eat, maybe he helped his game by participating.
When he said he was there to compete, it was hard not to admire his attitude. That brings to mind the following question: Could Judd’s competitive nature have been what caused the problems between him and Margaret? People that are otherwise nice can turn nasty when competition is involved. Maybe Judd was a little nicer this time because in the challenge, he found an outlet for his competitive spirit.
After Alicia Calaway was ousted from the Outback, she was asked if Jerri was as bad as she appeared on television. Calaway answered that once you get the actress away from the game, she’s really nice, but the competitive nature of the game brought out the worst in her. Similarly, maybe the problems with Margaret brought out the worst in Judd, but he’s learned to hold it in more, at least for now.
Here’s a question regarding the immunity idol: Once you find it, how do you keep the others from finding out you have it? Is it small enough that you can hide it in your pocket? Seems like if you find it, you’d have to keep it hidden so the others don’t know you have it. Even then, how do you know one of them won’t accidentally find it and take it?
It reminds me of the cast of the Outback appearing on Letterman after their season was done, and doing “The top 10 come-on lines heard in the Outback.” One of them was, “Is that an immunity idol in your pants or are you just happy to see me?” Again, it’s hard to see how you could keep it hidden from the others.
Finally, kudos to Mark Burnett and company for a fresh twist on an old idea: Instead of having the traditional feast to commemorate the merger, they gave the players the option of eating or participating in the challenge. Such an idea has strategic ramifications for every player involved, depending not only on how hungry you are, but how safe you feel. Burnett’s ability to not only come up with new challenges, but inventive changes never ceases to amaze me.
Well, come Thursday, we’ll find out who gets sentenced to jury duty. It should get interesting, since everyone still involved at this point will at least have a say in who gets the million.
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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