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Survivor: Exile Island, Episode 2 MVPs – Giant Zombie Headby Betsy Wasser -- 02/16/2006
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I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that the concept of having four tribes of four people only lasted one episode. It was interesting to see the dynamics that formed in such small groups. Plus, as Jeff pointed out at tribal council, with only four people, there was nowhere to hide. Nevertheless, watching those four tribes condense to two produced some interesting dynamics. Players had to scramble for position, some with more success than others. Who did the best this week at the game? Well of course, that would be the Most Valuable Players!
Let’s start with La Mina. My first impression is that this tribe is the stronger of the two. They have some very athletic people on the tribe. Even more importantly, the members of this tribe seem to be very interested in strategy, in playing the game. Just about as soon as they arrived at camp, Terry started plotting. He suggested an all-male alliance of him, Dan, Austin, and Nick. But wait! Sally had different plans. She suggested an alliance of younger players – her, Misty, Nick, and Austin. Nick and Austin are going to have to make a decision soon, but they’re in the good position of having everyone want them to be part of an alliance. As long as they act decisively and don’t waver, the two of them should be safe.
It’s clear to me that either Nick or Austin deserves the MVP slot, but which one is the best? The award goes, without a doubt, to Nick. In the immunity challenge, both teams were struggling to get the boat to move. They kept switching out players, but made little progress. Then, Nick came up with the strategy that finally worked. He had Dan move the heavy chest while he pulled on the rope. That was extremely effective, giving La Mina a decisive immunity victory. Between his social prowess and his strength at challenges, Nick stood out as the Most Valuable Player at La Mina. Well done, Nick.
When I was in eighth grade, I was in a play called Krazy Kamp. Sounds like an apt description of life at Casaya. Before the tribe even got together, Shane was ready to quit. I have no idea why it didn’t occur to him before that he wouldn’t be able to smoke or talk to his son while he was on Survivor- really, this should not have come as such a shock to him. He was ready to quit… then he was ready to play again. The merge energized him, like Shana from Survivor: Amazon when suddenly around cute boys again. Instead of quitting, he quickly formed a final four alliance with Danielle, Courtney, and Aras. Then he immediately went back to alienating himself. Before the immunity challenge, he told Jeff that he wasn’t going to lie for the benefit of the other tribe- they were in a bad way. Idiot! If the other tribe had believed that Casaya were stronger, had some kind of edge, it might have psyched them out before the challenge. Instead, they were able to start things off feeling pretty confident. After the challenge, Shane was ready to quit again… until Aras talked him out of it. Is anyone else feeling dizzy?
Shane wasn’t the only one acting a bit crazy. After Casaya lost the immunity challenge – and after Shane agreed to stay in the game for longer- Aras tried to get everyone to talk “openly and honestly” about who they were going to vote out. He actually seemed surprised that Melinda and Cirie weren’t willing to just roll over when he named them as the people he’d like to get rid of. Things got even more crazy when Shane made it clear to everyone that there was an alliance of four calling the shots. It was far too early to reveal their hand. Melinda and Cirie could easily have allied with Bobby (whom everyone seemed to forget about) and look for a weak link in that alliance of four- say maybe one of the women who didn’t appreciate having everyone know what was going on. But none of that happened, and the tribe voted out Melinda as planned.
There wasn’t a whole lot of good play to reward in Casaya this week, was there? By default, I have to award the MVP this week to Aras. I think it was a huge mistake for him to try to get everyone to talk about who they were going to vote out. It made everyone uncomfortable, including his fellow alliance members. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to let the person who’s going home know it in advance. Desperate people can take action and can turn things around on you. But Aras did do one thing that I thought was smart – he kept Shane from quitting. Aras had a final four alliance with the three strongest people in his tribe, and he wanted to keep it that way. Shane leaving would have really messed up his plans. He was able to soothe Shane and convince him to hang on for just a little while longer. Nutty as Shane might be, that was a smart move. Enjoy your MVP this week Shane, and hey – try to be a little less honest next time.
That’s it for this week’s MVP awards. Congratulations to Nick and Aras. We’ll soon find out if the two of them can keep their MVP status. See you next week!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with comments and MVP nominations at Betsywasser@Gmail.com.
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