Another episode of Survivor is in the books, and this one really showed the promise this cast has to deliver an exciting and impactful season. This episode had tears, blood, anger, lies, manipulation, broken promises, and so much more. There’s a lot to talk about here, so I’ll just dive right in with my musings.
- I really appreciated Josh’s immediate explanation of his vote for Baylor at Tribal Council. While I don’t necessarily agree with his thinking on the vote, I love that his mind was so immersed in the game that he would be thinking about saving face with his allies already. It shows that he came to Nicaragua with a game plan in mind, and I kind of think that makes it him at the very least a player to watch in this game, and in my opinion, the front runner of this season. He’s very into the game, and I know sometimes people play themselves out of the game by trying too hard too early, but Josh seems to be coy enough to last deep into the game. I think he could win this season.
- John Rocker is a complete anomaly, as far as the game of Survivor is concerned, but one thing is for certain, he’s a great character for this show. He is such a polarizing guy, this humongous ex-professional athlete, with a penchant for mouthing off in public, and the one thing he thought he could rely on in this game has been taken away in no time; his anonymity. First, Wes was able to figure out who he was, then Jeremy and Keith, and with that many people knowing the cat kind of just came out of the bag. It seems as if his notoriety could hurt him in this game, but in all honesty, Rocker’s biggest obstacle might just be himself. He’s had moments where it seems like he’ll be a great Survivor player, being a real physical threat in the first challenge, and then finding an idol at camp with the clue he got at Exile, but then there are times when he looks terrible, like when he jumped at the chance to take on his girlfriend Julie in the Reward Challenge, only to get beaten badly at the challenge, which he should have known he would be at a disadvantage at from just looking at the set-up alone. Rocker is the kind of player who could go deep or get voted out next week, and it’s all going to come down to how well he can get along with others, and how long he can truly keep his head in the game. I hope he stays in the game for a while; he’s going to be entertaining, either in a good way or a bad way.
- I thought Jeremy made a great play at Exile Island sharing the idol clue with John and telling him he’ll watch out for Julie if he watches out for Val. Now he has a chance to become a feared player in this game when he hears that Rocker ended up flipping on Val in an emotional moment at Tribal. Now that Val is out of this game, because of John, Jeremy needs to stand firm to his pseudo-threat and vote Julie out a.s.a.p. That will teach people in this game not to cross him, and will probably solidify him an alliance to work with. Now that he doesn’t have to “protect” his wife in this game, he can 100% play for himself, and he seems like a strong enough competitor and a good enough leader to do just that. But, I think his standing in this game depends on whether or not he’s willing to get vindictive with John right now and vote Julie out. If he goes after her, he’s someone to be feared, but if he lets it go, he’s not going to come across as strongly in the long run, and I think it would affect him later down the road when loyalties start to get divided. Strong, decisive actions win people the game, but tough talk and wavering do not. I hope Jeremy sends a big message next Tribal Council.
- Tribal and the lead up to it was much more intense than it should’ve been, considering its intensity was based on an obvious lie by Val that she had two idols. I’m not sure if Rocker really bought into this 100%, or was more concerned with keeping his promise to Jeremy, but it was strange to see him and rest of the tribe shaken by an accusation that was fairly implausible. I do understand the votes against Baylor from the women, as she clearly flipped on them for the first vote, but I did not expect any of the men to flip on her (the identities of the voters who flipped were not disclosed on air, much to my chagrin). On paper, Val should’ve gone home with a 6-2 vote, but either the threat of the idol, the complications of splitting the vote that were briefly discussed on the edit, or the slamming of Baylor by Val at Tribal worked it so there was a 4-4 split. Val went home on the re-vote with ease, 5-1, but John seemed none too pleased that Val didn’t play the idol. I don’t know why he believed Val’s lie, it would’ve been a bluff worth calling, in my opinion, but now the tribe is divided, and Rocker is on the losing side of history. It should make for interesting camp life moving forward at least.
Overall, the second episode was quite entertaining; with the Hunahpu team continuing their unbeaten streak, John Rocker being all over the place, and plenty of people getting emotional in the game. Now, to wrap up my post, here are a few rapid-fire final comments:
– Why are so many people losing their flints? First Wes and Keith, now Jon, come on guys, you got to be more careful when survival is on the line…Baylor is a sneaky good player in this season, she seems like she can worm her way through alliances and find a way deep in the game, I really look forward to seeing what she can do…Contrastingly, I think Baylor’s mom Missy doesn’t have a long future in this season, her emotionality with the loved one twist proved to be a detriment to her tribe…I’m curious about Alec and Drew going forward, are they going to be players in this game, or are they going to be used by the players and discarded mid-season? I could see either result happening at this point, considering we haven’t seen too much of them through two episodes.