Friday, February 19, 2010

Survivor: It's Getting the Best of Me

Quote of the Week:
It’s getting the best of me.  Maybe Boston Rob said that, but it was only appropriate for the heroes tribe this week.  I certainly didn’t guess that it would be the villains tribe that held it together and (mostly) got along. While they were doing that, the hereos were busy losing challenges and trying to figure out how to solve simple puzzles.  Here’s what I come away with after this challenge:  the heroes tribe has a decided physical advantage, but it isn’t enough for them to overcome their lack of composure and puzzle solving struggles.  Even without a fairly strong Rupert they whipped the villains in the physical part of the challenge but couldn’t figure out the puzzle.  We at least got to see James get his meathead face on and chew out Stephenie and then the whole tribe.  If this game is about changing the way you play the game, then maybe James is doing something right.  It at least worked for the week, as he succeeded and got Stephenie voted out.  Next week’s preview shows James going off on everyone, but we’ll see if it was misleading as last week’s preview….
So last week, we see Rob seemingly collapse or maybe fall off a cliff or something.  Turns out he actually felt really dizzy and lied down and then blacked out.  Okay, so blacking out isn’t exactly a little thing, but they surely overplayed how it happened.  Did he actually fall?  I don’t think so.  Here’s why:  His hat was perfectly laid over his face as if he was taking a nap, his shoes were set neatly to his side, and he seemed to have picked a nice position t lie down.  I really think he just laid down and passed out.  Did the medical staff, need to come?  Maybe.  They said he looked a lot worse than he really was.  I call foul on the fake collapse given to us by the producers.  What do you think?
This is going to be a short week as we had an addition to our family and the little guy is superceding Survivor time.  Will James explode next week?  Will the heroes finally win a challenge?  Will The Russell try to get Boston Rob out ASAP?  We’ll find out soon.
Day: 6
Survivors Remaining: 18
Challenge Winner: Villains
Survivor Voted Out:  Stephenie
My Picks Remaining:  JT, James, Colby, Amanda  (I dropped Cirie before this week and I’ll drop one more before next week)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Survivor: Slay Everyone, Trust No One

Quote of the Week:  "I’m a villain?" – Boston Rob when asked if he was proud to be one of the top ten worst villains of all time, setting the stage for an epic season of Survivor.

39 days, 20 people1 survivor.  From the very beginning you can tell that this season of veteran competitors will be different from normal seasons.  First, there was no dirty tricks by Probst, like making the survivors jump into the water with suits on or giving everyone 30 seconds to grab as many sticks and chickens as they can.  These people knew what to expect from the very beginning and they have probably been strategizing for a few weeks.  Probst tweeted earlier this week that you will be hooked after the first 20 minutes.  I was hooked anyway, but the game got off to a fast start.  I did feel like I was watching an old Rambo movie when the villains’ helicopters landed to ominous music – very dramatic.  (Side bar:  Who was the last villain in after Richard Hatch couldn’t get out of parole to go on the show?  My guess is Tyson or Randy.)
The first challenge was the right way to start off the all-star season – watching people kick the crap out of each other.  Like I said in my preview, I think the heroes have a decided physical advantage and this challenge was their first chance to show off their beach muscles.  Their was definitely some peacocking going on here.  (I’m pretty sure that means showing off.)  Colby was “frog hopped” by Coach all the way to the end, which gave Coach a chance to feed his ego later in the episode.  I like seeing the boys meat it up against each other, but the highlight was Sandra getting frisky with Sugar.  I mean, c’mon Sandra, at least buy her dinner first.  Sugar was briefly disoriented, as she thought she was on a second date with an actor/waiter.  (Or is that waiter/actor.)  I couldn’t tell what the guys on the heroes team were cheering for as Sugar galloped to the finished line, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t too worried about winning the flint at that point.  What in the world was going through Sandra’s head?  ”Hmm…I can’t hold on to her.  Maybe I should undo her bra and when she gets up to run she will get smacked in the face and fall down.”  I give it an A for creativity, a C (cup) for the outcome.
You knew this would happen – the posturing and alliance making began the instant people started to “gather sticks and leaves.”   The Russell tried his old trick of making an alliance with all the girls, brunettes this time.  Coach buddied up to the guy he thinks can be the Robin to his Batman (no homo).  JT and James sweetened up to each other as I predicted, although apparently I whiffed on Colby – maybe he’ll come around.  Tom and Stephenie exchanged on awkward hug as Tom reminisced about he and Stephenie “worked well” together.  If by “work well” you mean you beat the crap out of her tribe and then vote her out, then yeah, great chemistry.
Okay, so maybe I over stated the advantage the heroes would have in the challenges.  What kind of puzzle was that anyway?  Looked easy to me.  Maybe having Rupert’s scratchy beard tickling their ears distracted Amanda and Cirie.  I still think the heroes will be okay in the long run.  They beat the villains by a ridiculous amount in the first part of the challenge.  This challenge will be the outlier in the game.  Or maybe not.  The outlier would be complete domination by the villains.  I hope the heroes get it back together because all my picks are on the heroes side.  I think Probst is rooting for the villains.  He loves Jerri.
Sugar had to go.  I knew all the editing that made it look like Cirie was a ploy.  Sugar was annoying as hell.  Crying, spooning, following Colby around like a puppy.  Speaking of Sugar dating, what does a second date with her look like if the guy’s not into it.  Is she at his place the next night peeping through the window.  Maybe showing up at his work.  Creepy.  Colby was screaming at the top of his lungs with his body language.  No way was he gong to spend another night with Sugar trying to get into his wheelhouse.  I am a little worried about my Cirie pick because she is not great at challenges and at least perceived to be a strategic wizard.  Colby needs to get on the Micronesia train with JT.
Who do you think is in position to go far after seeing the first episode?  We’ll see soon….’til next week.
Day: 2
Survivors Remaining: 19
Reward Challenge Winner:  Heroes
Immunity Challenge Winner:  Villains
Survivor Voted Off:  Sugar
My Picks Remaining:  JT, James, Colby, Cirie, Amanda  (I'll eliminate one before next week)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Survivors: Heroes vs Villains Preview

Finally.  After almost 2 months apart we are once again united with Jeff Probst and the game we love.  Only this time we are also united with some of our favorite as well as some of our least favorite former survivors.  In what could be Probst’s last season on Survivor (his contract only runs through the end of this season, although I expect him to be back) he invites 10 former survivors who were considered “heroes” (whatever that means) and 10 who are considered “villains”  (a bit clearer).   Read on for my picks and some other predictions.
First I will say that I think they did a pretty good job of splitting up the heroes and villains.  I don’t really think Coach and Sandra are villains, but they don’t really fit in the heroes category – outside of Coach’s own mind anyway.  The villains team should be fun to watch as there are several destructive forces on that team.  Randy hates everybody.  The Russell disrespects everybody.  Rob is going to lie to everybody.  Coach Courtney are going to annoy everybody.  And Jerri will offend at least 8 people.  That team has self destruction written all over it.  Remember what The Russell did to his own tribe of innocent victims last season.  Imagine him doing that to people who will realize it and fight back.  Plus, I think he doesn’t do very well after his meltdown at the finale last year.
The heroes team has a decided physical advantage.  The guys:  Colby, JT, James, Tom, and Rupert vs Coach, Tyson, Rob, Randy, and The Russell.  Who would you take?  Add in Stephenie and Amanda and the heroes team should dominate challenges.  And, with the exception of last season, the team that wins the most challenges has the players at the end.  Right now, I just can’t see it ending any other way.
Within the heroes team I have few theories about what will go down.  We can recall that Amanda, Cirie, and James were on Micronesia together and will probably gravitate to one another.  I think that Colby and JT will mesh well with James and then be brought into the alliance of James, Amanda, and Cirie.  I predict this to be the power alliance most of the game.  They will probably be able to pull a few of their other tribe mates into the fold in order to maintain their power.  Best guess to be these sixth and deciding member of that alliance is Tom.  He might bring Stephenie in, but they were never very close on Palau.  On the outside looking in will be Candice, Sugar, and Rupert.
Will all this come true?  Probably not, but I think it makes sense.  In All-Star seasons we have a better idea of how to guess the out come, going in, but there will certainly be some surprises.  I go back to the main determining factor that the heroes team will dominate the challenges.  That being said, here are my picks:

I will eliminate one (or have them eliminated for me) for the first two weeks and then ride my final three, hopefully, to the end.  Feel free to share your predictions and guesses.  Yours is as good as mine.  Hope everyone is looking forward to Thursday.