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Survivor: Exile Island, Episode 6 MVPs: The Right Stuffby Betsy Wasser -- 03/14/2006
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It’s very rare that Survivor makes it perfectly clear who will be voted out at tribal council. Even when it seems like a foregone conclusion, we’ll see little snippets of interviews or questions from Jeff Probst that make it seem like something different will happen. Not so this week. It was agreed on at camp that Dan would go, he said the same at tribal council, and lo and behold, his torch was snuffed.
Despite the unsurprising tribal council, this episode was far from predictable. In fact, before the immunity challenge, Sally’s ouster was an even more foregone conclusion than Dan’s was at the end. If anything can change of Survivor, chances are, it will.
The turmoil at La Mina, however, was nothing compared to what was going on at Casaya. Once again, there was trouble in the paradise of the alliance of four. Shane asked to be released from his vow on his son and let out of the alliance. Danielle and Courtney were more than happy to oblige, as was Aras. I wish they had told him no- that would have been awesome, not to mention better strategy. Shane obviously feels some superstition about his swearing on his son, so he would not have been willing to vote against Aras, Courtney, or Danielle. They could have voted him out with no fear whatsoever of retaliation.
But just when it seemed like everything was squared away for both tribes- Casaya would vote out Shane and La Mina would vote out Sally- things got mixed up. Casaya gave Sally immunity, so La Mina had to vote out someone else. And at Casaya’s reward banquet, Shane tried to make amends. It was a tough game to play this week, but one player from each tribe played to the very best of their abilities. They are this week’s Most Valuable Players.
I hope you’re all not tired of my saying this, but Casaya’s MVP is once again Cirie. This is a woman who knows how to turn a situation to her advantage. She must have been positively gleeful when Shane started mouthing off to Danielle in the shelter after tribal council. The next morning, Cirie wasted no time in reporting this news to Courtney, who hadn’t been in the shelter at the time. After all, the best time to act was when people were still good and mad and hadn’t had time yet to cool off. Courtney and Danielle quickly agreed to get rid of Shane at tribal council, so Cirie was set. Unfortunately for Cirie, Casaya won immunity. And at the reward, Shane was mellowed by booze and a cigarette and made up with Danielle and Courtney. Cirie was worried that they’d abandon their plan, but I think her chances are still good. The other women were deeply insulted by the way Shane had treated them, and a drunken apology probably won’t change that. Besides, Cirie could always throw Bruce up as the next person to be voted out, leaving her another day to fight.
I continue to be impressed every week by the way Cirie is playing the game. She isn’t in the majority alliance, yet she is the one pulling the strings. Even better, the other Casayas have no idea she’s doing it.
There is another puppet master at work over at La Mina. Terry thinks he’s the one calling the shots, but in reality, Austin is the one making the big decisions. Terry is still confident that he’s in charge, and in a lot of ways, he does lead the tribe. But Austin was the one who convinced Terry to get rid of Ruth-Marie instead of Sally. This week, Austin convinced Terry to break his alliance with Dan and vote out the astronaut. Austin knew that if he didn’t get Terry to change his mind, they’d have a tie vote at tribal council. If that happened, there’d be a fifty percent chance that either Dan would go or that one of the younger men- Austin himself or his partner Nick- would go. Not good odds for Austin, so he convinced Terry that it would be better for the tribe if Dan went. Austin might not have been right about that. In RNO’s interview with him, Dan pointed out that he actually contributed quite a lot in most challenges. But perceptions and reality are two different things, and Austin was able to change Terry’s perceptions.
Austin has himself in an excellent position. He and Nick are a solid pair. Sally owes him her life in the game. And Terry has no choice but to stick with the rest of them, or he’s all alone. Better still, when the merge happens, Casaya will see Terry as the leader and the biggest threat. Austin is playing a very smart game, and for that, he is the MVP for La Mina this week.
That’s it for another week of MVP awards. Congratulations to Cirie and Austin, who proved that they have “the right stuff.”
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with MVP nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org
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