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Survivor: Pearl Islands - Who Will Go in Episode 8?by Betsy Wasser -- 11/06/2003
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Last week, I thought it would be challenging to guess who would be voted out of Survivor next. After all, we didn’t know whether or not the two tribes would merge. Little did I know that the events of that episode would be far more complicated than a merge. Instead of two tribes competing for immunity, there were three—Morgan, Drake, and the tribe of booted contestants called the Outcasts. And instead of just one tribal council, there were two! To further complicate matters, we’re not even done with tribal councils yet. Episode 8 will begin with the Outcast tribal council to determine which two players will be rejoining the game. My job of predicting which player will be voted out this week is much harder than usual. Not only do we still have the possibility of a merge looming, but we also don’t even know which people will be playing. True, the two outcasts will have immunity and can’t be voted out, but their votes will still be important to any tribal council. With so many questions unanswered—and with my policy of not using spoilers—I believe my only solution is to just start guessing. This week, I’m going completely out on a limb with my predictions. If I’m right, it will be impressive. If I’m wrong, at least I’ll have failed spectacularly. Here goes.
This week’s episode will start with the Outcast tribal council. The Outcasts must choose which two players should be allowed back in the game. I bet there will be a rule that you can’t vote for yourself, or we’d have a six-way tie. With that in mind, I think the Outcasts will try to vote in the two players they think have the best shot at winning. Before the challenge, Michelle noted that they were out for revenge. Ryan S. made the message even plainer, with “DIE, JERKS” printed on his buff. The best way for the Outcasts to show their former tribemates that they made a mistake is for one of them to go all the way. Let’s look at the members of the Outcast tribe to see which ones have the best chance at being successful.
Skinny Ryan and Lill were both perceived as being weak in challenges. While both of them worked hard at the most recent immunity challenge, neither one of them stood out as especially strong. Even more damaging is the fact that neither of them made friends with anyone other than each other. In Survivor, a strong alliance is even more important than a strong body. Skinny Ryan and Lill are unlikely to get back into the game and make the right moves to stay in the game. Neither of them will win the vote.
Then there’s Nicole. Nicole is not the kind of person who is usually sent home first. Indeed, Lill and Ryan were both being considered for the vote when Nicole made the mistake of trying to get Tijuana voted out. Nicole was incapable of reading the mood of her tribe. The fact that she made that mistake and made it so early in the game shows that she does not have the political skills needed to win on Survivor. She’s out.
Trish made an even worse mistake. She was afraid that Rupert had too much power, so she wanted to vote him out. The trouble was, Rupert had too much power for her gambit to be successful. Trish needed Sandra’s vote to get rid of Rupert, but Sandra was loyal to him. Trish also made the error of sending Jon to try to sway Shawn to their side. That was a bad idea—Shawn and Jon don’t get along, so Shawn was probably not inclined to take Jon’s advice. And Jon isn’t exactly the best at persuasion—the reason he gave Shawn to vote out Rupert was a less than eloquent, “we’ve got to do something.” All in all, Trish’s ouster was all due to one incredibly bad move, one that irked just about everyone else on her tribe, and one that happened very recently. There’s no way Trish can come back from that to win.
That leaves us with Michelle and Burton. Michelle is considered a nice person and a hard worker. She does well in challenges (with the exception of doing too well in the seafood smoothie challenge by not looking disgusted enough). She was voted out because she was the wrong alliance. Her original alliance with Burton, Shawn, and Jon seemed solid. How was she to know that Jon would flip sides and that the tribe would vote out someone as strong as Burton? Michelle has a decent chance at coming back and finding a new alliance. I predict she’ll be voted back in. As for Burton, his determination to get back in the game was incredible. He dominated that immunity challenge, getting an early lead against the other two tribes. Burton is strong, determined, and ready to win challenges and stay in the game. I believe he will also rejoin the game.
Since I’m speculating this week, I’ll keep going and speculate that that tribes will merge this week. The merge traditionally would have happened last week. Merges are always more interesting when the two tribes are at equal numbers. With four members each (plus Outcasts), Morgan and Drake are equal. If there’s another team immunity challenge, the scales will be unbalanced again. So I believe that the two outcasts will head to their new camps bearing maps to the new island for a newly merged tribe.
The two Outcasts will have immunity at the next tribal council, but I think there will still be an immunity challenge for the other members of the tribe. After all, the immunity challenge is always one of the most exciting parts of an episode of Survivor. Mark Burnett would not deprive us. The new tribe will go to tribal council with three people immune from the vote. That is where things will get interesting.1 2 Next-->
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