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Survivor: Exile Island – Advice for the Remaining 10by Jeffrey Clinard -- 03/29/2006
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The traditional merge is at ten Survivors, though that is not always the case, such as the fake merge in Survivor: Thailand. Casaya has superior numbers at this time, with six players as opposed to four, but it is also a splintered tribe. La Mina has three solid players and an outsider.
If the tribes do merge, the politics are going to be messy. It will take six votes to control the outcome. Courtney, Danielle, and Cirie seem solid, with Shane and Aras seemingly either in or out depending on the moment. Bruce is likely to jump ship to the men of La Mina, while Sally may jump ship to the women of Casaya. That provides two four-person alliances, with Shane and Aras as wild cards. I suspect they will stick with Casaya after they all made up during the reward feast, but anything is possible.
However, there are three other factors to consider – Terry's hidden immunity idol, individual immunity, and Exile Island. Under normal circumstances, Terry would be the guy to target, as he's a huge challenge threat. However, there is some inherent danger to trying to vote him out as he has a strong possibility of having the idol, which would likely cause one of the people attempting to vote him out to go home. In fact, the leader of the charge to get rid of Terry would likely be the one to go home if Terry can convince his alliance to go after that person. Essentially, it becomes a big game of chicken with Terry holding the ace in the hole.
Of course, there is also the possibility Sally uncovered evidence that Terry did hold the idol, or suspected it strongly from his behavior at camp. Assuming she makes the move to jump ship, she would certainly will tell her alliance her thoughts, in which case several interesting situations could occur. One is to use the hidden immunity idol as a way to take out Shane. If they could bait Terry's alliance into voting for him, then Shane is out of their alliance and the game, but they still hold a numbers advantage. Of course, such a move would put Aras into an unappetizing position, as he would be the only man in their alliance, and if he defected, the men would outnumber the women.
The only other option is to whittle down Terry's group to a point where their alliance could split their votes enough to cause hidden immunity to hit the alternative target. It could be done at eight, with a 3-3-2 vote. However, individual immunity can come into play. Terry might be wearing it, or the last man standing next to him might be wearing it. Hidden immunity provides a serious problem for an alliance who may think a player has it.
Overall, the right strategy would be to take a hit by trying to vote Terry out immediately and sacrifice a member of the alliance. Of course, from each player's viewpoint, being that sacrifice shouldn't be a price they would be willing to pay. It's possible though – Shane has talked about quitting before, and got another taste of a cigarette. He might see it as a way to keep his sanity and his word. He goes home and gets some smokes, while having lived up to the promise on his son's name.
Individual immunity comes into play as well. Anybody wearing it will know that the vote against a possible holder of hidden immunity can't rebound to hit them. If it is worn by one of Terry's allies it doesn't come into play, but an alliance who decides to go after Terry should get a lot more nervous about making the attempt, particularly if the main target is wearing immunity.
Finally, it's possible Exile Island could play a role in the voting. Sally was protected in the last episode, and if a Survivor skips Tribal Council via Exile Island, it's as good as having individual immunity. Then again, somebody on Exile Island during Tribal Council can't cast a vote either. This might make things interesting if the winner of an individual reward challenge gets to select who goes to Exile Island. Even if they return at Tribal Council, they'll have been kept out of the loop until that time which may result in a stray vote.
Overall, the hidden immunity idol and Exile Island have introduced a wild card into the game. With this wild card in play, what should each Survivor be doing to advance themselves in the game? It’s advice for the remaining ten.
Casaya: The real question is if your tribe is looking at merging unified, and if so, how long will it last? The entire strategy for a post-merge depends on this concept. If the divisions in the tribe cause it to crack, the individual strategies will change.
Shane: First, you can’t just abandon an alliance without forming a new one to jump to. By backing out, you made yourself vulnerable because it left the others free to decide you were the next target. The women of your tribe want you gone, but you were given a reprieve due to the reward / immunity victory. If Casaya holds strong, you’ll need to start looking at a way to form a new group to counter the foes you’ve made.1 2 Next-->
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