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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Who Will Go in Episode 7?by Betsy Wasser -- 10/29/2003
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As I was watching last week’s episode of Survivor: Pearl Islands, I was certain Shawn was going to be voted out, and that my record would be an impressive 4-out-of-5 correct. Then things started to get interesting. Trish had a chat with Sandra and Jon about her concerns about Rupert. With the merge looming, Trish was worried that Rupert had too much power both in their tribe and in the Morgan tribe. She suggested to them that they vote him off while they still could. I think Trish had a good point – Rupert is without a doubt the leader of the Drake tribe, the one who drives the vote most often. At the same time, he spent several days with the enemy and seemed to form friendships with key players while he was away. Unfortunately for Trish, her audience wasn’t as receptive as she thought it was – Sandra immediately told Christa about the plan, and Christa then told her good friend Rupert. Within minutes, a new plan was formed to vote out Trish. Sure, I wish I could have added another correct prediction to my record, but at the same time, I am always thrilled when Survivor surprises me. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to predict what will happen.
This week should be especially challenging. I am pretty sure the merge will happen this week, which means I need to choose one person to be voted out, not one from each tribe. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Survivor, it’s that being “pretty sure” isn’t enough. Plus, previews for next week’s show have hinted that the game will change again. Since my predictions don’t take into account spoilers – and if you’ve got them, don’t send them to me – I won’t base my predictions on any speculation as to what that twist might be. I’ll quickly predict who will be voted out if the two tribes stay separate, then spend more time analyzing the possibilities if the tribes do indeed merge into one.
Let’s start with the Drake tribe. What an eventful few days it has been for Shawn. He went from having his head on the chopping block to being in a final two alliance with Rupert, the strongest person in the game. His position is secure. Sandra and Christa also look steady – they were the loyal soldiers who told King Rupert about the conspiracy. Rupert continues to be the unstoppable leader of the Drake tribe. All of the other players respect his abilities, both in camp and in challenges, and continually look to him for help. The odd man out is Jon.
Sandra heard Jon quickly agree to Trish’s plan to vote out Rupert, so she knows that he is not loyal to the alliance. It is also telling that when Sandra and Christa plotted with Rupert to change Shawn’s vote to Trish, they didn’t bother to let Jon in on the plan. Shawn did have a secret final two alliance with Jon, but he has replaced that for one with Rupert. Although Shawn’s chances are undoubtedly better in a final two against Jon than against Rupert, Rupert is more likely to take him to the finish. The tribe also does not value Jon for challenges. It is worth noting that the tribe chose skinny Christa, not Jon, to handle a strength-based challenge. If Drake goes to tribal council, I can’t wait to see the joy on Jeff Probst’s face when he snuffs Jon’s torch.
I think changes are happening in the Morgan tribe. For weeks I’ve been predicting that Darrah would be the next person voted out of their tribe. This week, my prediction is changing. I think that if Morgan goes to tribal council, they’ll eliminate Osten. Here’s why. Andrew, Tijuana, and Ryan are a solid group and will vote together. Osten has been part of their alliance, in large part due to their perception of his strength. The trouble is, that strength has been nowhere to be seen on the past several challenges. In that last, crucial immunity challenge, Osten should have been their strongest member, but he didn’t last as long as Christa when bearing the same amount of weight. Andrew should not have been the one to win the challenge for them, but because they couldn’t count on Osten’s physical strength, they instead had to rely on Andrew’s mental strength.
Around camp, things are no better. It may seem minor, but I think Osten’s reaction to Pelican Pete’s visit is just the sort of thing that could really wear on people’s nerves. Ryan befriended this funny little bird. The bird tried to hop into their shelter. Everyone else was watching and laughing, but Osten went from squealing and cringing to sharpening his machete and threatening to kill the bird. That overreaction served only to separate him from the rest of his tribe and to remind them of what a nervous creature he is. Morgan has learned at last that Osten is not an asset in challenges, and that his constant quitting, complaining, and jumpiness bring down the rest of the tribe. If Morgan goes to tribal council this week, Osten will no doubt yelp in fear of the dark as Jeff extinguishes his torch.
If the two tribes merge, I believe the first vote will stay divided on tribal lines – the Drakes will vote together and the Morgans will vote together. On the Drake side, Sandra and Christa have proven that they will be loyal to Rupert. And now that Shawn has a final two alliance with Rupert, he’ll stick with his tribe as well. As for Jon… I’ll get to that.
For Morgan, I believe that Jon’s telling the tribe that Drake threw an immunity challenge has bonded them together such that they will not split apart. Morgan is not only feeling the joy of their amazing comeback, but they are also feeling a renewed determination to win this game and show Drake that they are no joke. Jon is an outlier – if Morgan were being completely objective, they might try to get him to join their vote. But I honestly believe that, right or wrong, they would never offer a hand of friendship to Jon.
The Drake voting block will want to take out the most powerful member of the Morgan tribe. That person is, without a doubt, Andrew. Rupert knows from his time on their island that Andrew is the leader. And Drake saw his incredible strength and determination at that last immunity challenge. If Andrew doesn’t win individual immunity (which he’ll no doubt try his hardest to do), he will be targeted.
The Morgan voting block also has a difficult decision on their hands. The strongest member of the Drake tribe is Rupert. He’d be a logical choice to vote out first, but Morgan may wish to keep him around for a while longer. Because they have close ties with him, and because he helped them both to win a challenge and to loot some food, Morgan might opt to keep Rupert in the game. If nothing else, if the Morgan alliance starts to splinter, a key player like Andrew might want the option of offering to make a deal with Rupert. Morgan could opt to vote out another physical threat in Shawn. But if I were Morgan, in my bid to take control of the newly merged tribe, I’d want to vote to show that control. I’d vote out Jon. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Morgan will choose to vote out the obnoxious braggart who tried his best to make them feel bad about themselves as a tribe.
That gives us a five-five tie between Jon and Andrew. If Probst tries to break the tie based on past votes, it won’t work, as neither has any votes against him. If the tie-breaker is trivia questions, Andrew has the advantage of not being a complete moron. If the tie-breaker is the infamous purple rock of death… allow me to flip a coin. Heads. You lose, Johnny Fairplay. It’s time for you to go.
So, those are my many predictions for episode six. If there’s no merge, it will be either Jon or Osten. If there is a merge, it will likely be Jon. But with the way this show has been going, I may very well find my self surprised again on Thursday night. I can’t wait to find out.
Betsy can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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