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An “Insider” Look at Survivor: China Episode 2 -- “It's All Part of the Plan.”by Teeuwynn Woodruff -- 10/04/2007
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Reward Challenge: Chinese Checkers
This clip is the same one we saw in the episode. The players grimly struggle through the mud to clobber each other and pull each other's clothes off, oh and also to get their respective giant balls through the goal. Whee! I expect this new sport will shortly overtake Ashley's beloved professional wrestling as a TV sports staple.
Jean-Robert is hanging out in the lake, chilling as he talks to the camera. He says that people must wonder what it's like out here, but he just likes seeing the dawn rise. It's refreshing, because he knows the night's over. That's because the night does not mean sleep for him. He just waits until it's light, because that's when it gets warm again. It's freezing and you're drenched at night. There are no options to get dry. They finally had a fire last night and they had some rice, and Jean-Robert's never enjoyed plain rice so much in his life! “I'm beat up right now.” You'd think winning the immunity idol would help. It gave them a boost, but...
The tribe thinks he's not pulling his weight now. He understands why, but he really is working well. “I like to work smart, not hard.” He tries to maximize his effort. He's not an outdoors person, but “I'll figure it out.” At the talk the tribe had today, Aaron seemed to be trying to figure out the direction of the tribe, but Jean-Robert knows Aaron's real agenda was to tell the others he wasn't pulling his weight. Jean-Robert says that he's happy it happened because he can't look bad again after that. All he has to do is up his work a bit and he'll look good in comparison. He has at least three days before they have to go for a vote, and that's plenty of time to lobby. “This horse is in last place right now.” But Jean-Robert is okay with that. He's not worried. He thinks the tribe appreciates his strength in challenges, so “I'm not really worried about it.”
Jean-Robert has seen Aaron as his biggest threat since day one, but right now he wouldn't try to get rid of him – even though Aaron seems threatened by Jean-Robert. Aaron seems to have a lot of power right now, and he wouldn't try to go against that. Fei Long seems grumpy and strung out right now. People seem frustrated with his effort. Jean-Robert is also a bit frustrated with it. He knows he's in trouble and would be likely to go home if there was a vote today. But he's certain he can build relationships and do what he needs to do to stay. Jean-Robert says he's “pretty convincing” and he's pretty sure he could build a good case to get rid of Courtney first. “It's all part of the plan.”
This clip is an expansion on one we saw in the episode. Jean-Robert's right not to panic, but I think if he truly thinks that purposely appearing lazy or otherwise weak in the tribe is good at this moment, I think he's mistaken. If he's just trying to make the best of a situation where he can't manage to physically work as hard as he could like, then his game play makes a bit more sense. So far, I'm underwhelmed, though. I would expect a professional poker player to do better with strategy than Jean-Robert seems to be doing. He might come back and surprise me, though.
Immunity Challenge: Gatecrasher
This clip is the same as the one we saw in the episode. Fei Long looks superior from the start, especially as their tribe had James and Jean-Robert swinging away at the front of their battering ram. The Zhan Hu tribe looked fairly miniscule in comparison. And Dave's collapse halfway through the challenge didn't do them – or him – any good either. Dave may have survived this week's vote on his usefulness to the tribe, but I have no doubt his tribe mates will remember this failure in the days to come.
Although many members of Zhan Hu personally preferred Ashley as a friend, they were united in voting her out over Dave. Let's see what they had to say about their votes.
Erik votes for Ashley. “Sorry, girl. I like you a lot, but we really need Dave's leadership still at this point in the game.”
Sherea votes for Ashley. “I'm doing this for you. Go get yourself better and I'll see you in the 'A'.” At least that's what I think she said.
Dave votes for Ashley. “In a different setting or circumstance, we might be [mumbled]. I wish you the best of luck.” I think Dave was saying he and Ashley might have gotten along better in a less stressful situation.
Frosti votes for Ashley. “It was one way or the other. And crazy Dave just did a little bit more.”
Ashley votes for Dave. “I'm voting for Derek Zoolander. Oh, I mean Dave. Um... Enough said.” Snork!
Peih-Gee votes for Ashley. “Ashley, I know you're strong, but you've been sick and weak and you're not contributing to harmony at camp. Sorry.”
Jaime votes for Ashley-Diva. “I'm doing this... I'm doing this for the team, and not for me at all.”
Yes, it does seem that the tribe chose to keep the person who was stronger around camp over the person many of them liked better. That said, Dave still could be a target soon if he doesn't pull back a bit on his leadership style or falls apart in another competition.
Teeuwynn is a professional puzzle, game and event designer. You can check out Teeuwynn's company, Lone Shark Games, at : www.lonesharkgames.com. One of Teeuwynn's essays also appears in the just released “Hobby Games: The 100 Best.” To take a peek go to www.greenronin.com . You can reach Teeuwynn at Teeuwynn@gmail.com.
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