THE MERGE HAS ARRIVED.
As we go into our first week as a merged tribe with 12 members fighting individually for themselves, let’s go to the SCOREBOARD.
Team Colin (Still Remaining: Mike, Sabrina, Kat, Troyzan): 18 points
Team Joseph (Still Remaining: Leif, Jonas, Kim, Jay) : 17 points
Team Clayton (Still Remaining: Chelsea, Tarzan, Christina): 15 points
It’s still anybody’s game as possible points up for grab increase in a big way now. A reminder of possible points still out there to be won:
Survivor Winner: 50 points.
Survivor Runner-Up: 20 points.
Survivor Third-Place: 12 points. (If the non-winning finalists both receive same number of final votes, each one is awarded 16 points, PGA Tournament style.)
If your player makes the jury, upon being voted out and joining the jury, they will receive: 5 points.
If your player wins an individual immunity challenge: 3 points.
If your player wins an individual reward challenge: 2 points.
If your player is selected by the winner of the individual reward challenge to also participate in the reward: 1 point.
Every episode your player survives gains them 1 additional point.
As you see, any of our three teams could still win this by a landslide and any of them could completely fall flat. Starting with this week’s episode, we’ll see a lot more points being “earned” each week and will see some bigger leads and lead changes. Just like the 12 remaining contestants, the game ratchets up in big ways now. Even though there has not been a season since Heroes vs. Villains with this much action pre-merge.
Joseph Williams’ Analysis
As appeared when this cast was first released and as I mentioned in my pre-season article about Why Survivor Is Still Relevant, this season shows how this show can still be a top-rated show on television and still be one of the most exciting and buzz-creating shows on TV, week after week. Over the past two week’s, a tribal switch and a medical evacuation COMPLETELY changed the game. Colton, who had become probably the most-hated villain by fans and the most powerful player in the game, was a terrible infection away from elimination. The infection came and Colton had to be carried out on a stretcher.
This event just shows once again how fickle the game can be and why it’s the best game on TV. It also teaches a Sunday School lesson on humility, but that’s another blog post for another time. But one quick reflection on Colton as a player in this game. It’s been interesting to read post-episode interviews with him. But what was even more interesting was how sad people were to see him go. These players, even the ones who wanted to ride Colton’s coattails to a shot at a million dollars or didn’t like him, respected him. He was a huge fan of the show and a formidable opponent. These players that lived and played with Colton respected some things about him, even if they disagreed with his behavior, beliefs, and choices. It provided a unique glimpse into the Survivor fraternity. Contestants who play this game reasonably respect, on at least some level, people who know the game and play the game hard, even if they are someone who lobs personal and ignorant attacks against others.
Relatedly, this game is hard. There are many elements of luck out of a player’s control. Ironically, because Colton dominated the game despite (and perhaps because of) personal weaknesses, he was given respect even after something seemingly out of his control took him out of the game.
So now we move on. What happens when all 12 remaining contestants join the same tribe will be entertaining. This is setting up to be an unpredictable and exciting season from here on out. Let’s hear what our coaches have to say:
Team Bring It – Team Joseph Pep Talk
Leif, Jonas, Kim, and Jay come sit down at the fire pit. A flat screen TV flickers to life and Joseph is shown standing there by a palm tree at a beach.
Joseph: Greetings from Miami! Sorry I can’t be with you this week, but I’m in Miami for WrestleMania. The Rock and The Undertaker have hired me to pep them up for their big matches this weekend. But let’s talk about y’all! First of all, I’m proud of all of you.
Kim and Jay: Glad to see you two hit it off, Kim and Jay. Keep flirting. Keep looking awesome. Win some individual challenges. Solidify a Final 5 alliance with some people you can trust and beat down the stretch, preferably Jonas and Leif. But seriously, the only way you two get in trouble these next few weeks is by looking like TOO big of threats. Don’t get cocky, but be confident. Based on your friendships/alliances so far, I think it’d be wise to not shake stuff up too much. Keep Chelsea and Mike close. Most important thing you can do is not appear like too big of a threat with an alliance of 5 or 6 and all of a sudden find your side blindsided and down on the numbers. So reach out and pick off some votes from the not-super-good-looking folks. Like I said… Haaaaave you met Jonas and Leif?
Jonas and Leif: Good work, boys. I couldn’t be prouder of y’all and seriously feel you two are in position to make a really long run. Glad you two also teamed up and are staying loyal to each other. You need to meet Kim and Jay. A.k.a., you need to work on being reliable pawns right now. Your time for mixing things up and blindsiding people will come when we get to the Final 8 to 9 people. Right now, you just need to be seen as non-threatening, loyal, and hard-working. Go with the flow and keep your head low. Your time to make big plays and position yourselves to win will come 2 to 5 weeks down the road.
Alright team! Unless you do something stupid, I feel great about y’all’s chances to to make the Final 11. Don’t be stupid. Don’t get sick. And work as much as possible to turn Kat into an appendicitis hypochondriac. You can even use those words. I’m not sure she’ll know what they mean.
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE (Team Colin)
Still smoking cigarette…
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s good to be the king. Ice cream, coffee, peanut butter, and sprinkles are just a few benefits of being better than others. You’re living the life. Take a deep breath and inhale this winner’s air. Kat hesitates. Don’t worry Kat you can’t catch appendicitis this way. All these other clowns are scouring Knute Rockne and Phil Jackson books for motivational advice to inspire their deflated teams. Let me quote the great Bill Parcels, “You are what your record is.” So what does that make us? Winners.
So we are at the merger, does that change things? No. We just need to keep our eyes on the prize, grit and grind, take it one day at a time, don’t overlook the next challenge, be smart, work hard, stay clean, and keep the dream. You can thank PG-rated Disney sports movies and Penny Hardaway for that nugget of inspiration. Takes another swig from a bottle of Jack.
I’m taking the John Calipari method this week. I’m going to let yall do your thing. Greasy hair and foot stomping are the keys to wins. This coaching style has been tested and proven, don’t doubt me. Do I care if my Survivor title is revoked weeks after my victory? Hell no. I won the damn thang didn’t I? (in my Sabrina voice). I’m tired of gloating. Hands mic to opponent. “Here, tell these people something they don’t know about me.”
Team Clayton’s Come-to-Jesus Meeting Redux
First off before I forget, Tarzan here’s your ginkgo biloba. Please remember to take it.
Now listen, Colton is gone. While he was in fact running shit around camp, it was getting a little old. No one likes a sassy dude. No one. In fact, in real life I don’t even know any sassy dudes. And there’s a reason for that. It’s called survival of the fittest. The Colton’s of the world don’t last long, unless they move to Massachusetts.
This week let’s just pinpoint a couple folks to try to get rid of.
First off is Kat. Make up some diseases and plant some seeds. She might just will herself to an illness based on fear. If that doesn’t work, give her a riddle like, “how long does it take for a car traveling 80 mph to travel 80 miles?” If her head doesn’t explode, report back on her answer. I’m sure it’ll be classic.
Next, let’s try to play people against Leif. There’s this new show back in the real world on HBO called Life’s Too Short that he’s way more apt to be a part of. Plus remember that whole “we’re going to give up immunity because Leif betrayed our trust and vote his ass out” coup we staged? Ummm Leif stayed and you guys kind of up and went all Trayvon on Bill. Leif needs to go.
Anyway, let’s go after one of those two. And if you can’t get one of them, just vote someone strong off like you’ve been doing. Hell of a play sending Monica packing. That was classic. Remember, this game is all about survival of the fittest…unless you get a chance to vote off the fittest, then you win.
Oh and has anyone seen my bottle of Jack? I could have sworn I left it right here…