All Star Strategy #2: Go To Bed, Old Man!
Written by Mario Lanza
"It would be a good thing if young people were wise, and old people were strong... but God has arranged things better."
8:58 PM on February 5th, 2004, millions of Survivor fans took a dagger
right to the heart. The collective Survivor world felt a great
disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices cried out in
terror and were suddenly silenced. That's right, we lost Rudy.
And it is only episode two.
This week's episode brings to
light something I mentioned in my pre season column. Every boot this
season is going to be huge. Every episode will be big and there are no
freebie votes in the bunch. So yeah it sucked to lose Rudy, but we
better get used to it. Because every bootee from here on out will
be this memorable.
I enjoyed this episode a lot,
particularly the story of the hapless little Saboga tribe. First off,
you have former boyfriend and girlfriend Ethan and Jenna on the same
tribe, which is always good for laughs. And then you have
still-a-little-too-sensitive-for-his-own-good Rupert and
I'm-not-pissed-off-enough-yet-to-be-mean Jerri. And then throw in
yeah-Pagong-my-ass-we-know-how-to-play-Survivor-too Jenna Lewis and
this is a tribe that will be fun to watch all season long. And I hate
to keep harping on it (actually, no I don't) but Saboga, I told you
that you would pay for voting out Tina. You screwed with fate and you
voted out the nice one, and now you will suffer. Don't say I didn't
warn you. When your tribe is smited by the heavens, don't come running
The toughest thing for me so far is picking out which
tribe I am supposed to be rooting for. I mean seriously, I have
favorites on every team! I have no idea who I am supposed to be
cheering for in the challenges. It's almost like stimulus overload at
times. This season is almost too much to try and follow all at once.
Here are my predictions for next week:
* Saboga -
Ethan is starting to really resent the way he is being treated, and
things are about ready to come to a head. But the problem is that Jenna
simply doesn't want him there and Rupert thinks he is a doofus.
And that is half of the tribe. Ethan really has little chance to
alter his fate at the moment, at least unless something marvelous and
wonderful happens. And if Saboga returns to Tribal Council and votes
out their best athlete (Ethan), well, they might as well just pack it
in for the rest of the game and give up. If Saboga goes to TC,
unfortunately Ethan will be voted out.
* Mogo Mogo -
It seems so incredibly obvious that Richard will go first, but
something is nagging at me that he won't. He seems like he is hiding
something from us, and whatever he is hiding will probably turn
out to be important. The Mogo Mogos are the least developed tribe so
far and their dynamics are still a bit of a mystery. I am certain that
Lex, Colby, Shii Ann, and Kathy will be safe the first time they go to
Tribal Council, but will their first boot be Jenna or Richard? My guess
is that if they go to Tribal Council next week, Jenna M. will be voted
* Chapera -
Wow, the super tribe. Who woulda thought? It appears that Tom,
the Robs, and Amber will be perfectly safe. It seems like an obvious
pick to say that Sue would be the first to go home but Alicia
could slip in there instead if she pisses off the wrong people. But in
this case I will stick with the obvious and predict that Sue will go
In any case, next week's episode should be a fun one
as the games are really starting to heat up. By day six, the competitor
is starting to come out in these people, and everything is set to
kick up a notch very soon. I am loving this season so far and I expect
more of the same next week.
~~ My favorite moments of the week ~~
Richard was walking around camp naked and Colby was checking out the
guy's package. You could see Colby's eyes darting down to sneak a peek
every time that Richard walked by. It was pretty funny.
players are so jaded by now that when Jeff unveiled blankets as the
first reward, most of the players just yawned and said "that's nice."
No one seemed to even care that they were going to get blankets.
I have obviously been watching the Mole too much lately. Because when
Jeff offered to cut Saboga a deal after the reward challenge my first
thought was that someone was getting an exemption.
* It was
funny to see that the "rubbing sticks together" method didn't work for
any of the tribes. Because we now have a record. For the
eighth consecutive season, nobody made fire by rubbing wood together.
Seriously, does that method even work at all? Is it all just a myth?
Has anyone ever successfully started a fire by rubbing two pieces of
wood together? I am beginning to think it's not possible.
I loved Richard's speech about how getting fire and water were all just
"extraneous crap" and were not really a part of the game. Speeches
like that are why I love the guy. Long live the man of flame.
When Tom crawled out of the water in the immunity challenge, his pants
fell down. The editors actually had to blur out "Little Tom." And to my
knowledge, Tom had no feather sticking out of his butt this time. It
was hard to tell, we may have to call in the judges to review the tape.
* I loved Mogo Mogo paddling their boat even though they were 80% underwater. That was just a funny image.
When Ethan voted for Rudy, he said it was "purely strategical." Then he
smiled as he was placing the ballot in the box. It looked like he
realized he just said something stupid and he knew we wasn't going to
get a second take. By the way, for you kids who love to use it at
Survivor Sucks, "strategical" is not, nor will it ever be, a word.
* "We'h stahvin' ovah heah." - Boston Rob
"When I saw that Tina was gone, it made me very excited. Cause I think
she's a big phony." -Rob Cesternino (note: Rob, we're gonna have words
after the season.)
* "Alicia's got a big mouth. She's gotta learn to shut it." -Boston Rob
* "I caught a fish! I poked it with a stick, I caught a fish!" -Rupert
* "Say it, Jeff! Say it! Chapera!" -Boston Rob screaming as Chapera was crossing the finish line at the Immunity Challenge.
I loved Rudy's final words. They were possibly the greatest final words
ever, wow our first actual threat of physical violence against the
other players. Well, unless you count Rudy's many threats of
violence towards people in Borneo. "If I was them, I'd stay clear of
me. 'Cause I got a lot of friends."
~~ Important/Notable Events this week ~~
That really weird Kathy scene where her face dissolved into a picture
of the moon. Was that shot important? Is she supposed to be our
* As usual, the second boot of the season was the mercy vote/illness victim. Some things never change, not even in All Stars.
Jenna Lewis actually made a good point when she explained why voting
out the winners was a valid Survivor strategy. It is really no more
shallow than voting out a leader or a challenge threat. So yeah, crap
on Jenna all you want, but she did make a good point.
* A lot of
people have completely changed their personalities this time
around. Kathy is mellower, Colby is more laid back, and Jerri is much
much quieter. In fact, Jerri's tears over having to vote Rudy out were
one of the sweetest moments of the season so far. Can you believe
that someone would write that Jerri had a moment that was sweet?
She is doing well so far.
* Ethan's new badass side is fun
to watch. I am guessing it was there in Africa too, we
probably just never saw it. I think it is safe to say that
Ethan's character has been developed better in two episodes of All
Stars than it ever was in thirteen episodes of Africa. I am really
enjoying watching Ethan version 2.0. I love that this version is
* Sue didn't say a word the entire episode. I bet that never happens again.
Did you notice in the reward challenge that Richard was one of the
fastest players to sprint down the beach to the ocean? Is he that much
faster than we think he is? Or was that mostly momentum, like a rock
gaining speed as it rolls down the hill? Can we get a physics expert to
help out with this one?
* Speaking of unexpected athletes, Kathy
and Tom appear to be all stars in the water. I didn't expect that at
all. But then again we have never seen the Africans (Tom, Ethan, Lex)
in the water before. These are their first water challenges ever, they
didn't have any that season.
* The underwater boat challenge
totally reminded me of a similar challenge in Marquesas, the one
that I have always called "The Gabriel challenge." That was the
one where Gabe went underwater and was pulling out 15-16 rocks at a
time (while his teammates were only grabbing 1-2). Seriously, I would
love to see Gabriel in a second All Stars. I think he would
surprise a lot of people the second time around. Let's make
it happen, Burnett!
~~ Diana's comments on this episode ~~
I would like to thank CBS for all the gratuitous animal clips in this
week's episode. Our 18-month old son was entranced. This was his
favorite episode ever.
* It is nice to see that Jerri's "Sideshow Bob" hair came back this episode.
Kathy was absolutely correct that Lex should have started the fire
at night. That was ridiculous. I wonder if his gut told him not to make
* Richard was naked during the immunity challenge and
then at the end he jumped into the boat. Well he barely made it into
the boat and he almost had a little "pinching" accident as his lower
body clipped the side of the wood. If he had gotten his you know what
squished against the side of the boat it wouldn't have been pretty.
Ethan has the best eyerolls in Survivor history. He rolled his eyes
very dramatically when Jeff asked Saboga about the immunity challenge
and it reminded me of when he rolled his eyes at Silas wanting to have
a "strategy talk" in Africa.
* At the reward challenge Saboga
offered to share fire with everyone else and it made everyone happy.
And as they panned down across the line of players all you could see
were Colby's big white teeth as he smiled. I'm glad to see he brought
back his Texas Teeth.
* Jenna Lewis has always been a
motormouth but now she has added being cocky as well. And a cocky
motormouth is never a good thing.
* The funniest thing about
these episodes are all the shots of a blurred out naked Richard. But
what is funny to me is that sometimes the censors get lazy and just
blur out his whole body instead of only his genitals. So sometimes you
just see Richard's head and then a big blurry blob underneath. It
always makes me laugh when that happens. Having Richard on the show
definitely makes the censors work overtime.
* I wonder when the
players started to respect Jeff Probst? You could tell back in the
first season that no one ever did. But by now they all love the
guy. When did the change happen?
* I particularly enjoyed Jeff's
"Mike Brady" lecture at the end. "You know, kids, voting Rudy out was a
strategic choice. But sometimes we have to make these choices in this
game, and that's what makes Survivor so complicated." It was like
something right out of the Brady Bunch movie.
Darn her for stealing my Mike Brady line. She beat me to that joke by
like half a second. Mike Brady jokes are always popular in the Lanza
AFTER WEEK TWO
Saboga bad, Chapera good. Rob trashed Tina. Grr.
1. Amber Brkich
Ambermania is already sweeping the nation.
2. Tom Buchanan
Tom can simply get along with anyone.
3. Rob Mariano
keeps people loyal. If they're scared, they'll do what you tell 'em to
do. That's straight outta the Godfather. And it's true.
4. Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien
Is still mad at Vecepia.
5. Lex van den Berghe
There is no way he hasn't made a final two alliance with Colby by this point. I am sure we just haven't seen it.
6. Rupert Boneham
The only Saboga with much of a chance to win.
7. Colby Donaldson
We really haven't seen much of the Colbster yet. We demand more Mogo Mogo next episode!
8. Shii Ann Huang
Like Colby, we haven't seen much of her yet.
9. Rob Cesternino
I wish we would see more Rob and Rob interaction. I am curious if they actually get along or not.
10. Alicia Calaway
The finger is about to come out. Just wait.
11. Jenna Morasca
Is she there? We haven't seen her much. Has she commented on Kathy's middle aged body yet?
12. Richard Hatch
He's up to something...
13. Jenna Lewis
She's in tight with Rupert but this tribe seems doomed.
14. Jerri Manthey
Rupert would pick Jenna over Jerri if it came down to that.
15. Sue Hawk
Still looking for tapioca.
16. Ethan Zohn version 2.0
am enjoying the guy immensely but he will be facing an uphill struggle
every single step of the way. I wish him the best of luck but it is
really only a matter of time.
Boot pick for next week:
Hmm... it's harder with three tribes. But since Mogo Mogo is
consistently pretty weak in the challenges I will say they lose and
Jenna Morasca goes home next week. Just a hunch.
is a 29-year old writer and programmer from Los Angeles. He is the lead
author of the S-C All-Star Stories as well as Survivor: Okinawa
(currently on episode 5!) He hates spoilers, so please don't write him
if you have any. Please just leave him be.