All Star Strategy #5: Snuffing The Flame
Written by Mario Lanza
"Who's that there?"
"I don't know. Must be a king."
"He hasn't got shit all over him."
-Monty Python and the Holy Grail
we finally saw history this week. In a Survivor first, Richard
Hatch-- the King of Survivor-- was voted out of the game that he
pretty much invented. I hope you managed to get it on tape.
So wake the kids, phone the neighbors, tell your grandkids. Good
food, good fun, good Lord, Rich is gone.
It was a solid
episode this week, culminating of course in one of the single greatest
Survivor moments of all time. And no, I'm not talking about
Richard pulling a Kobe Bryant and dry humping Sue during the immunity
challenge. And no, I'm not talking about Ethan falling face first
into a piece of wood when Rob tackled him and knocked him down to the
ground. No, the great moment in question was the moment
riiiiiight after Rich was voted out. Because the looks on the
faces of his Mogo Mogo teammates were just priceless. Between
Kathy's excited chipmunk grin... to Colby's cocky smirk... to Shii
Ann's coy little grin... that was one Survivor moment that I will
always remember. Because this was something that every Survivor
player must have dreamed of throughout the years. They all wanted
to be the one to vote out Richard Hatch. They all wanted to be
the one who did it. Because as Ric Flair once so memorably
said... to be the man, you gotta beat the man. And they beat the
man, all of them.
By the way, as a parallel... check out my
All-Star Survivor: Hawaii story back in 2002. In the story,
Richard became the fourth member voted out of the game. And his
downfall came at the hands of Kathy and (especially) Colby. Colby
ended up being the one personally responsible for Richard's
demise. How is that for foresight?
And I do have to
point out that Richard handled his exit with an appropriate amount of
humor and good sportsmanship. He wasn't mad, he wasn't bitter.
He didn't even seem to care all that much. If anything, I
think he just found the entire thing hilarious. The master of
Survivor, the king of kings, outwitted at his own game. And while
it is sad to see him leave (I was really pulling for the guy), I have
to say that I loved the way that he went out. Richard
handled his exit the way that all players should... with a tip of the
cap, and a pat on Colby's back, and an extra super gay dance down the
runway. Err, okay strike that last part. Everything up
until the dance was great, at least. So thank you Rich for coming
back and thank you for all the entertainment. Survivor never
would have existed without you.
So where do we go from here? Well, we have some very interesting tribal dynamics developing now, on both sides.
~~ Mogo Mogo ~~
tribe could go one of two ways right now. Although I am pretty
sure I know what is going to happen. The first possible
outcome is that they will stick together down their original
tribal lines. Because even with Richard out of the game now, it
is still four Mogo Mogos against two Sabogas. Even with the
Richard vote, not much has really changed. So if they continue
down that path, then Ethan is gone next. Plain and simple, no two
ways about it--- Ethan "EZ" Zohn will be dead meat.
more likely option in my mind (especially if you read the clues given
by Kathy and Shii Ann) is that the girls will now team up to get rid of
the guys. Because I have said it before... and I'm sure I will
say it again. A female is going to win All-Star Survivor. I
have always said that Survivor is a female game, and All Stars will
just amplify that even more. At a certain point the males will
either take each other out, or they will be dismantled by the weaker
females. So if THIS theory turns out to be true... and I think
that it will... then Colby will be the next one gone. It is no
secret that he is rubbing people the wrong way, so he would be an easy
choice for the women to get rid of (plus as a bonus they would be
removing a very big challenge threat.) If this particular
scenario develops... then Kathy and Shii Ann will team up with Jerri
(and fourth wheel Ethan) to take out Colby. And then they can
pick off Lex or Ethan at their leisure. This option makes a lot
of sense for the women, especially with a merge coming up soon.
There are just too many alpha male types left in the game to let them
all stick around. So if Mogo Mogo goes to Tribal Council next
week, I am predicting that Colby will be sent packing. And all I
am saying right now is to watch the women. The females will soon
control every aspect of this game. It is practically inevitable.
In particular, watch Kathy. She's important.
~~ Chapera ~~
which almost means "hat" in French, is sitting very pretty right
now. Their core alliance is solid and their newcomers (Jenna and
Rupert) are really no threat to put together any sort of a
counter-alliance whatsoever. In other words, nothing has changed
at Chapera in the slightest. Rob and Amber still call the shots,
Alicia is along for the ride, and Tom will go wherever the heck the
power is. Especially if there happens to be alcohol there
too. Rupert, Sue, and Jenna are all outcasts and really the most
you can say to them right now is "tough luck." You might as well
hope for a merge, because otherwise you three are S.O.L. If I had to
pick, I will predict that Jenna will go first, although you could
really make a decent case for any one of the three going first.
week, look forward to some excitement. We will see Colby
square off against Shii Ann, we will see the editors try to hide
the fact that Chapera's power core is perfectly obvious, and we will
see Sue pitch a fit because Richard put his wee wee against her and
treated her like a hillbilly blow up doll. Bring the kids, it
should be a lot of fun.
~~ Weekly Notes ~~
I was SO excited when I saw the "parental guidance- inappropriate
material" warning that showed up at the beginning of the episode.
Wow! The only two times we have seen that particular warning
before were when Mike Skupin killed a pig and, later, when Mike fell
into the firepit. Actually I think they might have shown it a
third time too, when Colby's mom watched her naked son in the shower,
but I could be mistaken about that. Anyway, when I saw that
warning pop up I was expecting greatness. I was expecting Sue to
beat Rob to death with a paddle, or Richard to be eaten by a
shark. But it turns out that all we got was Richard grinding Sue
(most of it off camera, mind you) during a challenge. How
disappointing. At the very least she should have at least slugged
him. Come on, give us some violence at least. That was
a waste of a parental advisory.
* I have always loved any
Survivor challenge with an attack zone. To me, there is nothing
better than watching Rob and Colby battling it out for immunity.
And I know I make this joke in my column every season, but I think that
EVERY challenge should feature an attack zone. I seriously
do. Wouldn't you love to see a swimming challenge which featured
an underwater attack zone? Or a puzzle challenge with an attack
zone? Or a food auction with an attack zone? Come on
Burnett, let's make this happen. And I think I speak for most
every guy out there when I say I was bitterly disappointed that we
didn't see at least one catfight. Come on, are you kidding
me?! Jerri against Amber? Kathy against Alicia? You
gotta give us some sugar here. You know they would do it on Fox.
I was hoping to see Richard and Rupert on the same tribe... just so we
could have a fish-off. Which fishing god could collect the most
fish in two hours? That would have been fun to see. Oh
well. So much for my dreams.
* I wonder about the
Lex/Ethan pairing on Mogo Mogo. Do you think they have some super
secret pact to stick together? You know, because in Africa they
were friends to the end? I will be paying careful attention to to
how Lex and Ethan interact with each other next episode. It is
the first instance of an alliance from a past season we have seen in
* Yet another lesson we learned this week:
If you vote out Tina Wesson, your tribe will wind up getting
dissolved. I'm telling you, the ramifications of that vote are
going to haunt these people for the rest of their lives. I mean
it is obvious that God already hates them for it. How much more
proof do you need?
* "Kiss my ass. What a hag." Thank you Tom, for the quote of the week (about Sue).
My wife Diana is a huge Ethan fan. So when Richard was voted out,
she smiled and said "Finally! Ethan finally gets to be the
fisherman. They are finally going to let him do it." I
thought that was cute.
AFTER WEEK FIVE
Things are a lot tougher to predict now. I still say we
will have to get rid of the two extra players at some point in the
future-- and who knows WHEN the merge is going to happen. But as
always, Survivor (especially All Stars) is a female game. So bye
bye Tom, you have been replaced atop the list. But hey, at least
it wasn't by Sue.
1. Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien
will not be going anywhere for a long, long time. And the way she
battled Rob in the attack zone was pretty clever. If she decides
to turn on the guys next week and band with the girls, look for her to
be in the final four, easy.
2. Amber Brkich
go back to the old axiom... never bet against an under-the-radar
female. Amber will remain here in the top three all game.
3. Shii Ann Huang
Shii Ann takes a huge leap this week because of her friendship with Kathy. The Shii Devil is in good shape for now.
4. Jerri Manthey
where did Jerri come from? Suddenly she is in a pretty good
position. What a story it would be if she won this game.
5. Rob Mariano
Stars is showing us more and more than Hunter was the knucklehead of
Maraamu, not Rob. When Rob runs the show, things get done.
Just let him lead the way and good things will happen.
6. Tom Buchanan
He is still in good position, but I think that the guys are about to be outnumbered.
7. Alicia Calaway
In a decent position for now, but her temper and her athleticism will always be a problem once the game starts to get stressful.
8. Lex van den Berghe
Uh oh. Watch your back, Lex. Better separate yourself from Colby very quickly.
9. Rupert Boneham
I don't really know where to rank him, but it's gotta be low.
10. Jenna Lewis
much for Jenna's chances. But if she makes the merge, watch out
for her. She will jump all over any sort of an all-female
11. Colby Donaldson
"He's not as tough as you think, ladies."
12. Ethan Zohn
best thing that ever happened to Ethan's Survivor legacy is that
Richard confirmed he is a great player this week. Richard flat
out said it, word for word. "Oooh, Ethan is good." But
Ethan also needs a lot of luck right now. It doesn't matter how
good you are if you are the only former winner left in the game.
But at least he "played through the pain" the best this week.
Nice job Ethan.
13. Sue Hawk
Sue will pee on anything.
My boot pick for next week: Colby
a writer and renaissance man living in Los Angeles. He is the
lead author of the S-C All-Star Stories as well as the smash
hit Survivor: Okinawa (currently on episode 7!) He
also plays through the pain on a regular basis.