Survivor: Tocantins, week five

Awww, isn’t it just adorable how Spencer thinks anyone actually gives a crap how gay he is?

Erinn has Coach’s number. Like, exactly. Everything I’ve been saying about Coach and his crappy game, Erinn just summarized in last night’s episode. Of course nobody else on Timbira seems to be in her camp, and I don’t blame them; she’s whiny and she’s avoiding her tribemates so she doesn’t have to talk about her ex-boyfriend. Honestly though, Erinn doesn’t irritate me because she’s antisocial; she irritates me because she’s smarter than most of her tribe and she is not playing the game. I am so over people, especially boring white chicks, who go out on Survivor and then don’t play. Erinn, you need to make some friends and transform your constant anti-Coach inner monologue into a spotlight that shines directly on him 24/7.

The dizzy balance beam reward challenge earned Jalapao some toilet paper, and Taj got to stay home for once. The reward included letters from home, which is odd, because they typically like to wait until the home stretch to blow that particular wad. People cried, etc. etc. etc.

On Exile, Brendan and Stephen touched base about their doomed and already crumbling trans-tribal alliance, and Stephen came out of the deal with a hidden idol all his own, so I guess things are going well for him.

This alliance is really killing me. Taj actually said “If we can make the merge, it’s smooth sailing!” Taj, no, god dammit. Here’s a fun Survivor fact: the only time in history a solid alliance managed to sweep the entire game was in the very, very first season. Borneo, year 2000, when Richard Hatch was known for being a fat naked fag and not a scumbag tax dodger. Watching a single alliance sweep the game was fun once. Every season since has been purposely designed so that no day one alliance has a shot in hell of still being relevant on day twenty.

Let’s look at all the cracks in this unique, but very stupid, plan. First of all, nobody is doing anything to hide it. Tyson has already twigged to it. Your four-man alliance is great in a merged situation, but it’s just a two-man alliance back at your camp, and that’s not strong enough to save yourself if your tribemates feel like gutting you. Second, the alliance is in peril at every single tribal council, regardless of who wins immunity. One of the strengths of a regular tribal alliance is: if your tribe wins immunity, your entire alliance is safe. That’s the whole point!

Third, you’re making an alliance with someone you don’t know very well. Is Brendan aware that Taj is a hair away from self-destructing? Does he know Stephen is concocting a plan to snake them all? Do Taj and Stephen know Brendan is the leader back on Timbira, and that puts a target on his back?

Enough about the great-on-paper Exile alliance and move on to the immunity challenge. I don’t know what’s more amusing, the fact that J.T. lost a tooth or the fact that he pitched it to the side and Probst had to go out and find it. Spencer and Taj stank up the challenge and Jalapao lost as a result. Taj reacted to this by screaming at Joe for… no clearly discernable reason. Spencer reacted by doing nothing at all except politely asking J.T. to pretty please not vote him out. Well, at least he didn’t repeat his homophobia conspiracy theory in his parting words.

Who’s gonna win? This is the first week I really felt things are starting to shape up. Tyson is a personal favorite. I’ve known he’s strong and likable since the start, but this episode showed that’s he smart and observant, too. However, shaky impractical alliance aside, Brendan and Stephen both have idols. Hard to say what’s going to happen to Brendan’s, but I think Stephen has a brilliant play here: capitalize on Taj’s meltdown and vote her off. Nobody at Jalapao suspects anything, it leaves him in the game with an idol he doesn’t have to share with anyone, and come merge he can just tell Brendan and Sierra “Sorry guys, there was nothing I could do. She didn’t play the idol because she didn’t think she’d need it.” If he’s canny and cutthroat enough to make something like that happen, I have no problem naming Stephen my favorite to win.

No Survivor next week. Boo-urns. If I’d have known that I wouldn’t have stomped so hard to get caught up.

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