All Star Strategy #9:  Server, Crash This
Written by Mario Lanza on 04.07.04

"In the history of mankind, there has been @@@@@@@@################ --- ATDT !3 ---

Damnit, the Survivor-Central server crashed again and it ruined my pithy quote for the week.  Oh for the lack of a stable network server!  Woe to the Survivor Strategy column!

I have taken some time off the past couple of weeks because of all our server issues.  Sorry about that.  Although frankly, I didn't mind at all, since I am also trying to crank out a 1000+ page story (Survivor: Okinawa) during the same time frame.  So having three weeks off from my column was actually kind of a blessing in disguise. Even if, yes, I have gotten approximately 2.6 billion emails over the past month asking where my column is.

Well here it is.  I am back, and I will be writing a brand new Mario column each and every week until the end.  At least, assuming our server holds up.  If it keeps crashing, I'm sorry but I can't promise anything. 

So anyway, this week on the show we saw ##########@@@@@@@@@@ -- Server Crash 3.1 -- ATDTATDTATDTATDT

Damnit.  There it goes again.  I tell you, this is getting frustrating.  I can't write much more than a paragraph before the server $#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$# -- debug -- can't find socket 230--- 


Okay, I think this is going to be a problem.  Obviously we haven't quite worked out all of the bugs.  But hopefully things are getting better.  The website should be back up and running smoothly at some point in the next twenty four hours.  Please give thanks to our webmaster Murtz Jaffer for his hard work-- he has been slaving away over this issue and trying to fix it for a while now.  So thanks Murtz.  And sorry I don't have much of a column this week.  The server is still &&&&&&&&&&@@@@@ - invalid socket slot msg 321 00000--

Ah, fuck it.

Let's just move on to the power rankings.


Very interesting episode this week.  Frankly I thought it was one of the top four or five best edited episodes they have ever had on Survivor.  This must have been their "Emmy consideration episode."  Somebody obviously put in a lot of editing overtime.  But anyway, the "Amber in distress" subplot was fascinating to watch and it was a lot of fun to see it play out.  And since I think the tribes are going to merge next week, she may have managed to save her bacon for a while.  Amber still has a great chance to win, but Kathy remains atop the power rankings for now.

1. Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien
I get this great Final Four vibe out of her, but I also get this great "the best player of the season who also finishes in 3rd place" vibe out of her too.  In any case, she is clearly here for the long haul.

2. Amber Brkich
People give her flak for being under the radar but she has really been right out in the open the entire time.  She doesn't deserve that under the radar label anymore. 

3. Rob Mariano
I doubt he will win since Survivor doesn't really reward the strong.  If you want to see the strongest player win, watch the Apprentice.  Rob will be removed by the weaker players at some point along the line, it always happens.  Well, unless your name is Brian.

4. Shii Ann Huang
Very savvy player, she is taking her second chance and she is running with it.  Good for her.

5. Tom Buchanan
Tom murf hab a drabb tam wif der gmatch.  I have no idea what that just said, but I bet you that Tom could translate it.

6. Jenna Lewis
She has been all but forgotten this season.  Hopefully she shows up again soon.

7. Lex van den Berghe
Lex is playing the ballsiest game possible but I just can't see his strategy of taking out Rich, Ethan, and Colby actually paying off.  He is walking a very fine line at the moment.  And... as with Rob... Survivor doesn't really reward a strong player like him anyway.  Lex will have his throat cut eventually, you can pretty much count on it.

8. Alicia Calaway
I am still holding out hope that she can repeat her win in All-Star Hawaii.  But it doesn't look likely.  She really doesn't have a whole lot of options.

9. Rupert Boneham
I suspect he may be getting his walking papers this week.  He is no longer needed by anyone.

Boot pick for next week:  Rupert

Special Note:

As I have mentioned before, this is my last season writing this column.  But if there is one thing that I love doing... it is coming up with fun new Survivor projects.  So what I will be doing during the offseason (after All Stars) is running a game called "The S-C Apprentice."  Basically I will be choosing from 10 potential writers to see who gets to take over this column next season.  I will be running the game just like the real Apprentice show, only it will all be writing challenges.  The results will be posted on the message board all throughout the offseason (and I will also post who gets fired each week).  So if you are interested in playing, and possibly taking over as the writer of Survivor Strategy next season, please drop me an email.  I hope to hear from some talented writers and some talented Survivor fans.  This could be your big shot to become a columnist!


Mario Lanza is a writer and all-around good guy 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 10!)  He is also ATDT@!##!#!#!#!@!@!#!#!#$!# -- server crash v 1.3, socket missing---