First thing’s first: Sydney and Debbie? Who are they? This season is not doing a great job of making all the characters stand out. I still have no idea who Debbie is, but Sydney is the supermodel flirt who is going to sex her way to the end of the game. Fair enough! That strategy is certainly sound enough.
Timbira came back from their previous tribal council and talked a lot about who should be leader… but then… didn’t really pick one. Coach mentioned he would be gracious enough to let Brendan take the position until he gets voted off before stepping up. Thanks, Coach! I’m sure everyone appreciated that.
First challenge: shouldering weight. I thought it was interesting that Probst mentioned the record-holder in this challenge: Rupert from Pearl Islands. I especially like how Rupert was introduced as “the man with the beard.” Joe or somebody (seriously, who are these people!?) tied his record: 220 lbs. Then all four of the dudes dropped out instantaneously, leaving Taj and Debbie standing. Another round or two later Debbie crumpled and Jalapao won reward: stealing beans and a watering can from Timbira.
What’s interesting at this point is the inter-tribal alliance Taj and Brendan are trying to forge. Taj talked to Stephen about it, and since Stephen has absolutely nothing else going for him he was seven kinds of gung-ho. So the plan was to send Sierra to Exile, who would in turn pick Stephen, and the two of them could meet and help solidify the alliance. Except — whoops! — Brendan forgot to mention any of this to Sierra! So Sierra picks Taj to go to Exile instead. Taj learns the location of the idol and, for her part, Sierra seems interested in this whole mess too.
I’m still not convinced this alliance can ever, ever work. It’s so good in theory, especially if Taj finds the hidden Jalapao idol and all four of the participans can last until merge. There’s just too much that can go wrong. If Stephen or Sierra slip up, they’re sunk. If there’s a tribal shuffle and one person lands alone on a tribe, they’re sunk. If either pair decides they hate each other, or makes a more solid alliance at home, they’re sunk. This is just one of those wacky Survivor things you always hope to see in a game, but simply aren’t practical. I should make a post detailing some of those things one day.
So anyway, everyone comes back for immunity and Timbira finally pulls out a win. Enter Sydney, the gorgeous flirtacious supermodel. Everyone loves Sydney and nobody loves Sandy, so obviously the editors try to play up like there’s some conflict here, but there’s really not and the ol’ den mother gets to pack her bags. I won’t miss her.
One question, though: the idols Sandy and Sierra were given a chance to find in the first episode were where, exactly? Were those chains of clues eventually going to lead to the hidden idol near tree mail? Or are there two idols hidden at each camp? I think it would do Sierra and Brendan some good to find out.
I want Erinn gone. Hardcore. Crybabying because you broke up with your boyfriend before you came out here, and that’s why you can’t get along with anyone? Seriously? Her only shot is to either get her head in the game and deflect the attention onto someone else, or pray for a tribal shuffle and then, uh, deflect the attention onto someone else.
Who’s gonna win? I said Brendan last week, but since he apparently isn’t smart enough to talk to his allies about strategy I kind of have to second-guess myself. He’s still got that hidden idol but I think in the end it’ll do Sierra more good than him. Sierra is also proving to be a pretty serious competitor and, if all else fails, she will have no problem coasting under the radar. Lord knows there are enough personalities on her tribe to destroy each other! So I’m changing my guess again: Sierra.
So that means I’m not all caught up. Hopefully from here on out I’ll be able to catch each episode on Thursday and get my write-up done on Friday. So, uh, look forward to another Survivor post on Friday!