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Survivor: China - Who Will Go in Episode 11?by Kari Kennedy -- 12/06/2007
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"In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack – the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers." - Sun Tzu The Art of War translated by Lionel Giles.
With only two episodes left before the upcoming finale, it’s becoming a little more difficult to determine who will be leaving next. Nearly everyone’s story line is coming to its apex, though there are a few whose story is closer to the end. This week, two players seem to have their stories wrapping up sooner.
First let’s eliminate the few who are obviously not going home, at least not this week.
Amanda is starting to pull out into the front of the pack. She’s been playing a very good strategic game all the way through. She’s worked quietly with Todd, allowing him to take the heat for many of the decisions made, all the while, tempering some of his frenetic ideas. Now she’s coming more to the forefront and taking care of business on her own before including Todd in on the decisions.
In clues given to us in previews, we overhear Amanda making plans to break away from Todd. Now whether this is a true plan in the works or one that is a distraction tactic to divert attention away from another target, I’m not sure at this point. Suffice to say, though, Amanda may still the one pulling most of the puppet strings without the viewing audience seeing her.
Also safe this week, I think, is Erik. He hasn’t been much of a player this season, rather someone who is merely a character. His edit has never told a story nor has it ever deepened to the point where we are rooting for him. He’s just there. That being said, I do think his time is coming soon, but not this week. There haven’t been any setups for his demise in the either the previews or the clues from the CBS website this week.
For now, Courtney is also safe. Amanda and Todd know that Courtney will continue to be a loyal follower. There isn’t a reason to cut her loose. She’s not playing the game with any finesse, but reacting to whatever situation is given to them that day. Once Jean-Robert left, she became much more passive and easy to lead. She’s not a threat to win the game, since she’s barely played it, so she’s safe to keep around for a while longer.
So where does that leave Todd, Denise and Peih-Gee?
Ahh, the suspense of Amanda possibly turning on her ally, Todd, is tempting to get sucked into, but that’s all the in the wily editing. Todd is an endgame player and we’ve been treated to him on our screens all season. He’s a shrewd, funny, sharp player and he’s had a finisher’s edit from day one. As exciting as it would be to see someone take him down in the end, I don’t think he will go this week.
On a side note, there’s one clue this week on the CBS site that hints of one castaway “cries tears of sorrow” this week rather than tears of joy. Anyone who has watched this show for more than one season knows by looking at the faces of the Survivors that this is the family visit episode. Does anyone else wonder if Todd will try to pull a stunt similar to the one Jon Dalton, a.k.a. Jonny Fairplay, did when he shed crocodile tears over his “dead” grandma on Survivor:Pearl Islands? While it was a great move the first time, Todd has to know that a stunt like this couldn’t work again this season. This is even more risky now that CBS finally went back to taking more true, show applicants rather than casting off the street. Some of these people have actually seen the show before.
Speaking of the family visit show, this one always, always sends me to tears. I’m such a baby and I can’t help it. How can you not get misty-eyed as the Survivors finally see someone they can trust after being with people for 30-plus days who are all fighting for the same prize. It’s emotional and an extremely valuable reward; one that causes friction no matter who wins.
One of the clues on the CBS site tells us that there is tension between two of the castaways when a “kind gesture is not returned” by a castaway whose dream was fulfilled. Well this can only mean that Peih-Gee is (understandably) fried that Denise doesn’t take her along after winning the reward challenge.
I’m just wondering what kind of challenge it could be that Denise would be a frontrunner. I’m thinking that her family member must be the one who really brings the win for her. I’m also curious to see who it is that Denise does choose to take along for the reward? Will it be strategic or just friendship? With James gone, it’s tough to say.
We know it’s not Peih-Gee who she takes, and probably not Amanda, from watching a clip of her blowing a kiss to a family member (maybe saying goodbye?). Todd seems to be the one everyone goes to, so maybe she decides to bring him along, giving Amanda the opportunity to start plotting against him.
So let’s get back to the final two people who might be going home this week: Peih-Gee or Denise.
Both ladies have story arcs that have peaked. Denise’s story about her vacation in China hit its apex last week with the story about her dream trip to the temple. She’s never been a threatening player, nor has she ever really been featured as a character in the show. She’s always been an observer.
Depending on who she’s up against if she makes the final three, she may catch a vote or two from the jury because she’s nice and that may be perceived as a threat to some of the other contestants. I worry that this week she might be expendable, especially if she starts vacillating on where she may place her vote. She might find an exit similar to that of Dolly from Survivor:Vanatu and Christy of Survivor:Amazon if her allies thinks she may flip.
More likely though, I think we’ll see the end of Peih-Gee’s story this week. She has been one of the scrappiest players in a long time to keep hanging onto the game with her fingernails. She came out early, bossy like Sylvia from last season, yet toned it down enough to push out others who were more annoying or more of a threat. She’s the smartest person left from her initial tribe and therefore, a threat. Unless Peih-Gee wins immunity tonight, she’s toast.
Kari is a retired Air Force Hurricane Hunter who thrives for big adventure. Please send any comments, questions, and thoughts about the bootees to Kari at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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