Survivor: Cook Islands - Who Will Go in Episode 7?by Wesley Rice -- 11/02/2006
I got quite a response to my proposal last time for one tribe being allowed to vote off a member of the opposing tribe. Some of you thought it was a great idea, a way to change up the game. But just as many of you disapproved of the idea, citing the fact that it would take the game out of the hands of competent strategic players.
And although I can recognize that concern, I must reiterate my belief that such a twist would be a positive turn for the show. One of the more frustrating problems to develop in recent seasons of Survivor is the fact that some players have become too domineering in challenges (i.e. Terry, and before him, Tom - not to be confused with the Amazing Racers of the same names). While this has been a great benefit for those individuals, it also has allowed them to get away with one major faux pas in the game, David Bloombergís rule number six - donít be too much of a threat.. I personally feel this twist would ensure that those who are blatantly being ďtoo much of a threatĒ and getting away with it would have to find a way to adapt their games.
That said, I was also offered a few other suggestions for ways to switch up the game. A couple of favorites that were suggested include a possible TRIPLE elimination (hey, if Trump can do a quadruple elimination, then why not?) and a page out of the book from Big Brother - have each Survivor compete in the immunity challenge separately so that nobody knows who has the immunity until after the vote.
If anybody else has any ideas for how to change up the game, please feel free to share those ideas, but for now, letís focus on the task at hand. Last time it was a double elimination. I said that the likely castaways would be Cao Boi and Cristina. The actual castaways wereÖ Cao Boi and Cristina. What? Whatís that, you say? Iím sorry! I canít hear you over all the hooting and hollering coming from my ego right now! Not to worry, though, my ego may have grown to fill up the Internet this week, but Iím sure it will be back down to healthy proportions by the end of the season. I just need to keep it on a healthy diet of humility and karma, and I should be fine.
So now that the double elimination is out of the way, whoís next? Well, usually by this point weíd either see a merge or the hint of a merge. However, I donít think that will arrive quite yet. Given that there are two to four more individuals than usual playing this season, I think there will be at least one more episode before the merge (perhaps two).
In the meantime, we must look once again to Aitu. The central power on the tribe continues to be the CaucAsian Alliance (now with extra Sundra). And with Cao Boiís departure, their influence can only grow. This leaves just two outsiders in the camp - Ozzy and Flica. This should be an obvious vote. And I say should because itís not. At first appearance, Flica is clearly the next to go. She was allied with Cao Boi. She was the only one to vote with him on his errant Voodoo campaign. And sheís generally on the outs with the rest of her tribe. Moreover, Ozzy has been a great boon to Aitu. In addition to providing massive amounts of fish, heís also helped his tribe win in challenges multiple times.
But I donít think Ozzy will pull a Rupert. Unlike the friendly grizzly from Pearl Islands, Ozzy isnít a part of the power structure on his tribe. And the CaucAsian Alliance (heavily fortified with Sundra) can smell a threat. Even before commercials this past week began insinuating a possible turn against the Mexican Marvel, I felt the ruling powers of Aitu would turn on him pre-merge.
It makes sense for the CaucAsian Alliance (with 100% of your daily allowance of vitamin Sundra) to do so. Heís a clear threat post-merge, not only as an individual immunity winner but also as a possible jump to the other side. Yul and his crew are now firmly in control of Aitu. And with Adam in Candiceís back pocket for the merge, Ozzy will find himself on the outs with Flica waiting in the wings.
Over in Raro-land, things arenít quite as clear. Jenny seems to be a target. But the only one Cristina could convince to target her first was Brad. That makes Brad a suspect for elimination. Heís clearly voting with his conscience and not with the crowd. In the game of Survivor, that can quickly spell someoneís doom.
And then thereís Nate - kidnapped by Aitu. Heíll possibly be booted because his tribemates will be scared of any link he might form with his abductors. Itís kind of like Home Alone. Only in this case, the kid doesnít try to injure his potential captors, he tries to bond with them. Oh, and instead of a little white kid, itís a large black manÖ. Okay, on second thought, itís nothing like Home Alone. But the point of the matter is, some people on Raro may be concerned by Nateís new link.
Fortunately for Nate, they wonít feel that way for long. I expect him to return with information about the politics in Aitu, revealing Flica and Ozzy as their post-merge acquisitions and secretly giving Adam a boost of confidence, knowing that his secret alliance is in a strong position on the other tribe. After Nate has cleared the uncertainty, Brad will continue to show his strength, convincing Raro that heís still necessary for winning challenges.
That leaves Jenny. Apart for some minor scheming with Rebecca to oust J.P. a few episodes back, she hasnít really shown us much strategy in her time on the island. And the girlsí alliance she formed when they got rid of J.P. was a sham. Since then, both Stephannie and Cristina have been voted off, putting them even with the men at three apiece. She wonít find Parvatiís vote so easy to come by this time around, as Raro decides to vote off its weakest member.
So if Aitu wins immunity, Raro will vote off Jenny. If Raro wins the idol, Ozzy will take the surprise hit. Will my ego continue to inflate, or are my picks all washed up? Join me this Thursday as we find out who will go next.
Wesley is a writer and English teacher from Wichita, KS. He enjoys long walks on the beach, cuddling his cat, and pretending he knows things when he really doesnít. He can be reached with questions, comments, or snide remarks at Musnud@Gmail.com.