As Survivor Samoa fast approaches merge I would like to post an observation blog to date. This season so far for me has not held much excitement. I mainly watch the seasons more for strategy than anything else and so far this season, strategy has been a limited factor in play. So far this season Foa Foa has been a tribe rife with tribulations. Of the challenges so far that have been held, they have only won one-an immunity challenge and came very close to winning a reward/immunity two episodes ago. There have been torrential downpours for days on end which will either test your mettle or break you. It is clear that Jaison's mettle is weakening by the day. For the past several episodes he has either said he wonders why he is even there or in last epsiode, just flat out gave up on a challenge. I am saddened by this as I pegged Jaison to be a strong player initially. I do now feel as this experience continues, he is allowing the weather, the losses all to break his resolve and in effect I see a young man who has given up and is just biding time til he is voted off. Jaison I am hoping you soon get that resolve back! It's there!
This is something that has shown itself more and more on Foa Foa---the tribe members appear as if they are programmed to follow whatever directives that Evil Russell directs them to do. Case in instance, I know Natalie is smart. I sense it in her. Why will she not question Russell when he comes up and says vote this way. One epsiode she even says I don't know when he asks her thoughts on who to vote for. Mick is their leader...why is he not taking charge at camp and also at challenges? Instead I saw more leadership out of Liz and even Ben than Mick in taking charge at camp.
Far as vote offs go, I have been saddened by the vote offs of Ashley, Betsy and Liz as all of these women have gone due to one reason--they caught on to Russell, confronted him and no one backed them. It seems the real gutsy players bite the dust as the less stronger players advance.
Everyone seems to just do whatever they are told and in a game like Survivor, I would not want to allow someone that much power over my game as it would be so easy to be eliminated on a whim. My thinking where Evil is concerned...if you truly can get people to love you and are the best player out there-why not chance it? Play with the stronger players! Outwit them! But my read on Evil is he is not as strong a player as he has been touted to be. Maybe it is because the other cast are weaker strategically and just allow him to plot their course but I have yet to see anything that would make me say good play!!!
This season has been one of evacuations also. Both men evacuated were gutsy men who had been cast hopefuls for many years. Mike had been cast prior to Samoa and was pulled out at the last minute on Tocantins due to health issues. He had guts going out there and put his heart into things. Russell Swann, the man named as Galu leader, also was a hopeful for many years. His evacuation was heartbreaking to me as he also put his heart into the experience. Working hard and at a breakneck pace. The workhorse ethic caught up to him and during a challenge he collapsed. Both played their hearts out though. I did take issue with each on game play. Mike for attempting to put Ashley as the weakest when she was working her heart out in the challenge and Russell Swann for how he handled Shambo. But otherwise both men were awesome and I was saddened to see them go.
There have been fractures within the tribe of Galu and because of this it is very likely we will see Galu leader Shambo turn on her tribe at merge and go after the guys who believe they have her right under their thumbs. Meanwhile Laura may possibly be a victim of the Russell seed being planted within her (highly doubtful but you never know) The Galu girls of Laura, Kelly and Monica seem like a sorority out there and the guys John, Dave, Brett and Erik seem like they have it poised. Easily outnumbering the girls and with the addition of Shambo it might have worked. But it is a little too late I feel in offering this olive branch to Shambo. People made her feel like an outcast or the nerdy kid who desires to hang with the jocks and cheerleaders. Foa Foa's embracing her will most likely end up being the deciding factor. They know they have those inroads and will focus on them. Russell on Shambo and Natalie on Laura. The guys will want to take out Laura and Russell will be having none of it. This will lead to Erik's departure at merge I feel plus I am guessing Shambo may even tip that Erik may have the idol even as she did share the clue with him. Erik will not see it coming most likely. Plus Erik is the kind to speak his mind as he has done at challenges and at Tribal Council and perhaps those words will come back to haunt him.
Brett--my one favorite on Galu! Of everyone he has the best attitude and seems to relish the whole thing! I love his positive go getter attitude and he is not bad to look at either girls! Strategical wise I do like John and Dave on Galu and am curious to see the dynamics between those two and Russell Hantz. That I am looking forward to and hope to see at least something meaty strategically.
As it stands now I am going out on a limb to predict a F3 of Russell, Natalie and Mick. With Shambo and possibly Laura (which will bring in also Kelly and perhaps Monica) working with former Foa Foa this will give the Foa Foa power and eliminate the guys one at a time as I am sure Russell will percieve them as his threats. One by One Galu will fall prey and eventually by the end of the season u will see a Final 4 of Shambo, Russell Hantz, Mick and Natalie. I will go out on a limb and predict Natalie as my favorite to win. Because she will win due to her social charm game and I do sense smarts in her. Hopefully she will turn her game on strong and soon!
So far it has not been a promising season but I do hope that will change soon! Hopefully come merge and we start seeing new dynamics and play!
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