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Survivor: Guatemala Episode 8 MVP: Feast or Fightby Betsy Wasser -- 11/10/2005
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The tribes are merged, and at this point, it’s obvious that doing a tribal swap so early in the game really allowed the castaways to form new tribes. There didn’t seem to be any talk at all about moving back to the original Yaxha and Nakum lines. Indeed, the two new tribes certainly stayed divided. Danni, Brandon, Bobby Jon, and Gary found themselves working hard around camp in hopes of endearing themselves to the others. Then at the immunity challenge, only Judd and Cindy opted to try to get immunity from the majority tribe. In case anyone still didn’t get what was going on, Jamie was kind enough to spell it out in no uncertain terms. Watching the way the castaways reacted to this political change helped me choose this week’s MVP, as well as two players to watch in the coming weeks.
The Most Valuable Player this week is Bobby Jon. He is really not in a good position right now, but he did the absolute best he could with what he had. On the way to the new camp, he admitted that he can’t be around Stephenie without wanting to throw up. But he was smart enough to put those feelings aside in order to work some strategy. While they were searching the jungle for the bonus mini-immunity idol, Bobby Jon pulled Stephenie aside and told her that he desperately wanted to make the jury. He asked for her help, and she promised to get him to the jury if she could. Bobby Jon certainly didn’t ask for much – making the jury would only get him through one more tribal council, but as Survivor fans know, a lot can change from one tribal council to the next. If he could hang on for one more vote, you never know – some other opportunity might present itself. Now, we don’t know for sure if it was Stephenie’s influence that made Brandon the boot this week instead of Bobby Jon; perhaps they were targeting Brandon all along. But considering Jamie’s not-so-secret feelings about Bobby Jon, Bobby Jon’s pleas may well have helped him.
Bobby Jon also did everything else he could to stick around this week. He tried his hardest for immunity, both winning it at the challenge and finding the idol in the woods. And when Jamie was arrogant about his position, both in the challenge and at tribal council, Bobby Jon called him on it. Again, it didn’t help him this week, but it’s possible that in the future he’ll be able to harvest the bad feelings that players like Rafe and Cindy have for Jamie into votes. It might not work, and Bobby Jon may very well become the first member of the jury, but if he does, it won’t be for lack of trying. For that reason, Bobby Jon is this week’s MVP.
There are two other players who showed some interesting moments this week. I’ll be watching them in the upcoming episodes to see what they’re up to. The first one is Gary. Gary is on the minority tribe, but he might be able to pull something off to stay in the game for longer. When Gary, Bobby Jon, Brandon, and Danni went fishing and the other tribe discussed voting order, they said it would be Brandon, then Bobby Jon, then Danni. Gary’s name wasn’t even mentioned, and I have to wonder why not. Do some of the players have other plans for him? Did Rafe give Gary immunity a few weeks ago for that reason? What’s going on?
For the time being, Gary is playing well. He won immunity, and like most players, is spending time every day looking for the idol. He is also wisely staying above the fray in the dustups between Jamie and Bobby Jon. Why not let Bobby Jon fight that battle himself and avoid the potential crossfire? I really wonder if Gary will manage to split up that opposing tribe. I will be watching him with great interest in the next few weeks.
The other player that I’ll be keeping an eye on is Cindy. In most seasons of Survivor, we see a challenge in which players knock each other out. Often, that challenge reveals some tribal politics, most famously in Survivor: Marquesas. We haven’t seen a challenge like that, but this most recent immunity challenge may have opened Cindy’s eyes in a similar way. While Rafe, Lydia, Stephenie, and Jamie feasted, she and Judd decided to try to win immunity. This was a smart move – trying to win immunity is always as smart move, and as Cindy said in tribal council, “I can eat when I get home.” But the moment that caught Cindy’s attention was when Jamie said that Judd was competing to keep their lead. Did he forget that Cindy was on his team? Is she a non-issue for him? I think that in the weeks ahead, Cindy will be evaluating her position and could very well be a swing vote. She will be if she’s smart, and I think she might be.
That’s it for another edition of Survivor MVPs. Congratulations to Bobby Jon, though I’m afraid you might not have another chance to win the MVP for Episode 9. Will Gary or Cindy walk away with the trophy next week? I’ll be watching.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any MVP nominations at betsywasser@Gmail.com.
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