-Coach Wade Leader Upolu Tribe Survivor South Pacific-
Welcome to yet another journey this week in Survivor South Pacific. This episode gave us an even bigger glimpse into the dynamics of the folks left on the island still and we saw the jury gain it's first two members in Jim and Keith. Plus the ouster of Dawn and Whitney making it a full fledge Pagonging of an entire tribe to Redemption Island to battle against each other. We will see next week who will remain victorious of the 3 on Redemption Island.
I will touch on RI later in the blog.
Since Wednesday there have been a lot of comments made to the tune of "this season is getting way too predictable" and a lot of fans are using terms like "drinking the Coach Kool Aid" and that Coach Wade is some Mobfather fiefdom.
Albert and Sophie are catching a lot of flack for not risking a big move to change the game and shift authority around.
In reality Albert has been attempting changes and shifts for a while now and has been out voted on everything. The problem with Albert I tend to think is more paranoia anymore as he feels he maybe out at the next Tribal. But meditating on it today I tend to think he might not be after all.
Coach's main strategy in his original seasons was more about "taking strong players to the end" and I don't see him shifting to a different strategy. Albert has some security with Coach because firstly he is part of Coach's original 5 and retained some power in old Upolu. Albert also found the clue to the Immunity Idol and shared the clue with both Sophie and Coach so knowing Coach the way I do..I can't see Coach targeting Albert because of this also. Coach's main focus is loyalty and he has maintained that with Albert.
It's very possible Albert may go to the Finals with Coach based on Coach's previous strategy and based on their relationship. To be honest the idol possession played a small part in not targeting Coach directly but I think Albert realized he has a better shot at Finals with Coach than a Savaii member.
In fact were Albert to take say..Dawn to the end- his chances of winning are very slim. Whereas you can plot that sweet move especially as Final Tribal is looming in a matter of days..a big move requires precise timing so it doesn't bite you in the butt a Tribal or two later. Think about it this way..had they targeted Edna and took her out and then forced Coach to play the idol next round..what would happen if say by next Tribal _ Coach has romanced Cochran back and has Rick and Brandon as well? Most likely you are targeted. The time for a plausible successful "big move" was around merge. This late in the game there is jockeying for position to be expected and like I said last blog I think Coach has an exigency plan in effect.
Albert is smart though to play on Cochran's neurosis and his fears of an ouster soon. I am not too sold on the fact that it will be Cochran next. It may happen but I tend to believe that it might be Brandon instead. With the Pagonging of Savaii..Coach has lots of room to play with now. He doesn't necessarily need a player who is an unknown variable and who doesn't know how to keep his opinions in check. Plus Brandon tends to stress people out (except for maybe Cochran lol) so I can foresee Brandon going either in the next vote or two. Which will further reinforce less paranoia in Albert.
Though Albert does have some power to some extent...the true force is with Coach. Most likely what binds the tribe to Coach is respect and the fact that he has built solid relationships with each player. As long as Coach continues to balance those he will through just a psychological edge..be able to maintain absolute authority on Te Tuna-Upolu.
So like it or not folks..I don't see Albert flipping. Because Albert realizes his best shot is with Coach. I honestly think Albert is at the end with Coach and figures into his final game play.
Assessing Coach this Episode
The best way to describe the game play of Coach Wade is methodical. Each step he has taken into the game has been careful and thought out. Yes I do believe he discusses each exit with his allies and tho Coach to Cochran dismissed being a leader ..I do think he is and has the final say.
I think his fearsome grasp on his tribe is excellent game play. By having absolute total power over each decision means that he is aware of each move as well as can assess the way that the people involved are seeing the ebbs and the flows of the game as it stands at that moment. It helps in directing the various strategies around and keeps a person on top of it all. By perhaps an inflection in a person's tone or the vibe you are receiving while talking to them u can also be aware if there is a blindside coming your way as well. Case in point : "Albert's been acting squirrely lately" Coach no doubt could detect it from their strategy sessions which made him focus on Albert's doings around camp. Coach has had to really stay two steps ahead of each person since merge and how he is doing it is by observation and his honed instincts.
I do think Coach of everyone has a more clearer perspective on the game. I notice this season how Coach is more island bound and more observant than he was in previous seasons. Plus I do feel he was the one whom Jim recently referred to as warning Jim that if he gave up the idol that he would be the one targeted instead.
I do tend to agree with Coach's approach on making sure everyone at the moment feel comfortable and not targeted. Like the "rule" quoted above..when someone feels they are on the bottom that's when you need to watch out for blindsides. Of course at some point the pecking order will be established but until it is why borrow trouble?
Coach has won loyalty to him by giving that loyalty. Which is why I think Upolu peeps can't quite pull that plug yet.
Which is why you will see Coach Wade at the Final Tribal facing a jury.
Sophie The One To Watch
The emerging of Sophie post merge is fun to see. She is showing herself to be a power woman not unlike Stephenie LaGrossa (S10-11) and in a way she has the cunning of Cirie Fields as well. I think Sophie, like Coach has a really great read on situations happening in the game as she has a very observant nature.
I feel the reason she did not flip as well is that while Sophie may want to flirt with a power move; I think Sophie realizes the stakes more so than Albert does. She realizes that to flip she's chancing being removed first on the pecking order due to her being formidable in challenges of late. Which is something I doubt Sophie will risk this far in. Plus she too has to realize that to go up against Dawn or Whitney would cost her a shot at the mil as the majority of jurors will be ex Savaii.
Sophie strikes me more as the more intellectual one of the two. Whereas Albert may have some diplomacy skills..it's Sophie that has the instincts more honed. Which as I alluded to earlier of gauging the decisions to make based on the general interactions you have with others and knowing the best route to go. So it's very possible that she realized to shake things up at this stage would be more riskier and opted not to do so.
I do see Sophie as being a force to be reckoned with and do feel she has merited a shot at the Finals alongside Coach as well.
Again we saw Ozzy emerge victorious at Redemption Island which actually is a no brainer. Ozzy is eating well and as he stated he is not having to contend with the normal wear and tear of the game with all of it's social parts.
Something that Ozzy is the most weakest at. He appears to still be flourishing there but for how long?
One of his competitors coming up is Dawn and she is no slouch when it comes to challenges and she has bested him already in one. Ozzy tends to strike me as thinking he is the King of Exile Island. That he will automatically beat each duelist coming onto the island. However one of the competitors coming in is no push over and Ozzy need keep this in mind as he goes to duel Dawn. Definitely the next duel should be one to watch.
Well gonna keep things light this week. Hope everyone enjoyed this past episode. The next one should be a recap episode from what I hear which is awesome as I love recaps! A lot of tidbits in them..secret scenes and scenes that often tickle the funny bone as well.
Until we meet again which will be after the next season episode..remember to keep your torch lights lit and keep watching Survivor South Pacific! Enjoy!!!
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