Murtz & Mario's Excellent Adventure: Analyzing Survivor All-Star
Posted on 01.30.04
The following tape was placed in front of S-C Headquarters this
morning. It’s a conversation you aren’t supposed to see. So you know
what that means. We’re obviously going to show it.
Murtz Jaffer: Well Mario, it appears we are finally here. Can you believe we are actually discussing Survivor: All-Stars?
It is still a bit surreal to me. I honestly never thought this
day would come. And if it did come, I was afraid it would be made up of
like four real All Stars and then twelve Ghandias. But I was stunned
that they got an actual All-Star cast. It caught me completely off
guard and I think it is great. I’m psyched.
I never thought it would happen either, and here we are. Apparently,
many Survivors had made the initial list of 24, but that was cut to 18.
Do you think that the best players were selected?
I made a vow never to complain about the cast they picked and I
wouldn’t even dream of it. I think it is a wonderful cast. They got so
many players that I thought would never want to play Survivor again
(like Colby, Richard, Ethan, Lex). With so many big names, you
can’t really go wrong.
I kind of agree. You can’t really complain about a cast that
includes Lex van den Berghe, Rob Cesternino, Rob Mariano, Richard
Tina, of course. Don’t forget the best winner of them all. Even though
I know you hate her, you gotta give props to the Wessonator.
Oh yeah… her. Well, I guess she won so she should be there, but by that
logic so should Brian and Vecepia. We know that Vee recently had a
baby, but there is no excuse for Brian not being there. I know he
hasn’t really been the friendliest guy, but if I could pick one person
to put in… that’s who it would be. What about you? If you could throw
in one more person (with my Brian selection) to make it a cast of 20,
who would you pick?
I absolutely think Brian SHOULD be there (although if I was Burnett I
would have stiffed him too). But if I could pick one name that I wish
was there I would say Mike Skupin. Oh wait, you named a male so I
should name a female. Damn you. Well if I could pick one female I would
say Helen. Or Heidi. One of the two.
Heidi. Good pick. I agree. A lot of people have been saying that this
isn’t really an All-Star cast. I disagree. I mean, instead of focusing
on Amber being there… we should look at how many people are actually
there that we would like to see again. And really, I can’t complain at
all. Can you?
who whine about cast selection are crybabies. The cast is what it is.
And they got a TON of top players to come back. Just enjoy the show.
Alright, let’s get into it. First, let’s talk about the tribes. Which
do you think is the strongest if we assume that they will all last
until the merge without any twists (as erroneous as that assumption may
Mario: Hmm. Well
Mogo Mogo has all the strong males but their females are weak. Team Rob
(Chapera) is decent but Mariano is really the best they have. So I
would say the most well-rounded team is Saboga. The females are all
jocks (Jerri, Tina, Jenna) and two of the guys are strong and fit
(Rupert and Ethan). And Rudy… um… Rudy can cook!
Ah, that Rudy. Always the bridesmaid… never the bride. Although, I
actually can’t see him even being an usher at the big dance this time.
I actually like Saboga as well. They are very strong in the challenges
as you said with Rupert, Ethan, and Jerri all there and I can see them
winning a lot of challenges. Maybe we weren’t watching the same
Australia show, because in that team reward challenge where Jerri
bitched about how she should be with Colby, Tina was paired with Rodger
and she looked anything but the jock. Meh. As you said, I also like
Mogo Mogo. How many times did Lex/Rich/Colby singlehandedly win
immunities for their respective teams? And now they will be working
together? Kathy is also a workhorse and I see this tribe thriving
They very well could. I worry that Jenna and Shii Ann will kind of hurt
them in physical challenges but the guys should be more than enough to
make up for it.
That’s assuming they are even around long enough to participate in even
more than a few challenges. Strategically, I think that the dynamics of
Chapera will be the most interesting to watch. I read a fantastic
article the other day by David Staples (in the Edmonton Journal) where
he talked about how Chapera will be divided between the workers (Tom,
Susan, Alicia) and the non-workers (Boston Rob, Rob C., Amber). He said
that the way this tribe interacts will be the key to the game, and I
agree. Strategically, they are the most intriguing. I mean we know Tina
controls Saboga, considering that she will immediately get along with
Ethan and Rupert, and also has Jerri in her back pocket. We also know
that Lex/Kathy will get along and the key to Mogo Mogo will be where
Jenna Morasca and Shii Ann fit in. That’s why I look forward to seeing
Chapera the most. What do you think?
I agree that the Chapera tribe already single-handedly makes the season
worthwhile. This is a dream tribe of personalities. I have always seen
them breaking down more by age, young (Robs, Alicia, Amber) and older
(Sue, Tom). My guess it would be based on age. I just can’t see Tom and
Alicia being that close. But both of us seem to agree that Rob Mariano
and Amber will be a close pair. I think those two will be important
Let’s run through each of the All-Stars, and their chances to win the
game. We’ll start with Chapera since we both seem to agree that they
will be the power tribe. What do you think about Mariano’s chances? I
think that Boston Rob is in a great position. I think he will use Amber
as his new Sarah and immediately connect with Rob Cesternino. Then all
he has to do is go over to Big Tom/Alicia and sell out his best friend.
Tell me that isn’t ripped straight from the Godfather. My only concern
for him is that he makes too many moves too early. He will also have to
work hard to get along with Tom and Alicia… but I think that he will be
up to the task. He’s a great guy that I have hung out with many times,
and he will be the main castaway that I am rooting for along with Lex.
How do you think he will do?
I think Rob Mariano will be a star. He is ready and he is perfect for
All-Star. He has less stigma attached to him than Rob C so he will kind
of be their go-to guy around camp for strategy. I’m predicting more
“Godfather Part 2” from Rob and less “Godfather Part 3.” I think he’ll
be an important player (but I don’t think he’ll win).
People always slam “Godfather 3.” I thought it was okay. It’s clear
that Rob Cesternino was the best player from the Survivor Amazon, and
he is a friend of both of ours… but unfortunately I think he is in
tough at Chapera. I think that there is a reason both of the Rob’s were
placed together, and that’s to see which one will stab the other first.
I think that Mariano will be the guy and this spells immediate disaster
for Robasu. I pick Mariano to win… not only because he is my favorite
but because I think he can combine good nature with strategic
discourse. I think Survivor’s best player may be All-Star’s first
Mario: He very
well could be. He will be a target every time his tribe goes to Tribal
Council. I think the first boot of the game will be one of six people:
Rudy/Jerri (Saboga), Richard/Jenna M (Mogo Mogo), Rob C/Sue (Chapera).
But yeah I’m pretty sure Mariano will outlast Cesternino. Mariano
should prove to be the game’s best Italian.
maybe they should pull a Matt and Dan and converse in Italian. That
would rock! Anyway, let’s move to who I feel will be Rob’s partner in
crime and the person who many believe doesn’t belong on this show.
Amber, Amber, Amber. Have you seen a more pre-maligned contestant
before the premiere even airs? I actually think that she is getting a
lot more publicity this time than she ever did during Australia. I have
to tell you that the sadist in me finds it quite funny that the
contestant that Bryant Gumbel referred to as “the dumb one” in the
Australia Reunion Special was selected for the show in the first place.
Most seem to think she was picked only as a replacement for Elisabeth
and Colleen who both turned the offer down. That being said, I think
her chances this time are significantly better. She has a lot of
Australians that she can use, and I am interested to see whether she
sides with Rob and Rob (as I predict) or if she decides to befriend
Alicia from her season. In any event, I think she is a lock to make the
predict final four. Never underestimate the under-the-radars. In the
post-Cesternino world of Survivor, NEVER underestimate the quiet
females. She will be around for a long time.
Yeah, but that is such a chicken way of playing the game. This is a
game of stars. The last thing we need is someone coming in and
squeaking by. So let’s go from one of the most under-the-radar players
to one of the loudest. Alicia did not make my initial list of
All-Stars, so her inclusion surprised me. Especially because they have
4 Australians already there. I think she was a good player the first
time, and was screwed after Kimmi killed Jeff Varner. I think she will
get along with Tom, but I am not sure if her desire to work and play
hard will help her get along with Sue. Unfortunately… there might be
some more finger-waving… shudder the thought. I know she was a finalist
in your All-Star Hawaii story… but this time, I don’t see it.
I stand by Alicia's All Star selection vehemently. She would have been
a HUGE star if Kucha had taken over the Australia season. She just
happened to be on the wrong team. She is the type of player All-Stars
was made for. Besides, Rob Mariano could very easily be her Varner this
time around. You can’t tell me you don’t see a parallel there? And
besides, she won Hawaii so she will probably win this one too. The
stories always come true. Remember that, people! The stories always
Yeah, maybe she will connect with Rob. I just don’t see it though. I
mean I can’t see many people wanting to be just a pawn this time.
Everyone will be playing for themselves which is why this will so
great. Sue Hawk will be a lot of fun to watch and will most certainly
be playing for herself. I really don’t see her going too far, but I
hope she does because she will bring a ton of drama to the beach. The
only thing that will save her is an alliance and I don’t see her
getting one this time around. In all actuality, I just don’t see the
first Survivors doing too well in general. They simply have not
ingratiated themselves into the Survivor-life afterwards and I think
they will suffer because of their isolation.
Sue’s toast. Count on it. Her team is too young and she won’t give a
crap about sucking up to them just to fit in. She kind of reminds me of
you in a way…
there is a parallel between her style and mine. Whether you win or
lose, I like people that play their own game and do not succumb to
somebody else’s. I think that Big Tom is actually the complete opposite
of this. He can fit in with anybody. I think this guy will do well no
matter where he is. We already know about his endearing personality and
there is no question that he will dominate any individual immunity
challenge. The question is if his team will seek to use his strength or
ostracize him as a threat. I think it will be the former, and he will
stick for awhile.
I think he’ll be around for a while but Chapera just seems like the
Amazon to me. Young kids lounging around like high school. I don’t see
him fitting in much more than a tribe mascot. They’ll keep him cause
he’s fun to watch.
Ha, that’s a nice idea. He’s the Buchanan Bear. Just there to
entertain, but careful because we all know the mascot always gets the
glory. Moving onto Saboga… I think this tribe should be renamed to
“Wessons To Learn From Saboga.” There is no question that the Knoxville
mother is in a premium position here, and even though she is a former
winner… I just cannot see how she does not ride this out until the
merge. Rupert and Ethan will almost immediately gravitate to her, and
she has connections with Jerri as well. Survivor is a game of targets
and I think that there are many people in front of Tina as Saboga so
that she can just coast to the merge. The fact that she is there with
such strong athletes as well leads me to believe that they won’t be
going to Tribal Council many times. I know Tina is your favorite player
Mario, and even though I don’t like her style even I can admit that she
is in the best position of any of the former winners pre-game. The key
word is pre-game. There is a very strong possibility that all of the
other players have made a pact to take out the winners. This is kind of
why I had hoped that all the winners would be on a tribe together. Tina
is the most likely winner to break out, but it is still unlikely
especially given the fact that Ethan has ties to Jenna Lewis already.
Murtz, your puns make me sad. Is this what they’re teaching in those
Canadian schools up there? But yes I agree 100% about Tina. It’s almost
as if they stacked her tribe specifically so she could succeed. I’m
surprised they didn’t make the tribe orange just for her (She’s a U of
Careful. I went to U of T, and there is only one that means anything. I
think Ethan will be in immediate trouble. I think that he will be seen
as a threat, and I just cannot see him getting along with Rudy and
Rupert. Unfortunately for him, their personalities are not the same as
Tom and Lex and as a result… he will not have the Boys Club from Africa
to align with. Because it is only a tribe of six, I do think that his
bond with Tina will help him (if she makes it past the first few votes…
which I waver on), and we all know that Jerri is a sucker for a pretty
face so I think that will be the power core. After the merge however…
he is toast.
Yeah I think he’ll be around until just after the merge. Maybe even
before. I don’t think he’ll be too terribly significant to the season
as a whole. But I do like to point out that he was on Eco Challenge
with Jenna already and they know each other quite well.
Ha, maybe you are a closet spoiler. You would be correct. His ties to
Jenna might just be Ethan’s only shot of surviving. Much to the chagrin
of myself and millions of his other fans, I think that Rudy does not
have a prayer in All-Star Survivor. It doesn’t matter where he was
placed… he just does not have the ability to adapt. He is the perfect
alliance partner since he keeps his mouth shut and is true to his word…
but other than Rupert, I don’t know who else would want to keep him
around. He is separated from Richard and Susan and that spells
immediate disaster for everyone’s favorite grumpy old man. I think he
is in a lot of trouble for the first few episodes.
We put Rudy in the All-Star Alaska story and he got trounced right
away. So many people yelled at us for that but honestly I couldn’t see
a way around it. Rudy’s inflexibility will only work once on the show.
He is a goner.
he’s a dead man walking. I do think that Jerri will be fun to watch
again. She was still just as bitchy as she was in Australia on The
Surreal Life, and I think that she was a must-cast on the first
All-Star edition of the show. I think that she is in a decent position
to do well, but my concern is that she will not be able to stifle her
own opinions. That’s critical in Saboga since Rudy and Rupert will want
to delegate as much as possible. As long as she can keep her fiery
temper and attitude in check, I think that she should stick with
Tina/Ethan and she will do well.
think Jerri is here to show that she was misedited in Australia and I
think she will make an honest effort to be nicer this time. Out of them
all I think she’s got the most to gain by playing again. She probably
wants to restore her image and show that she isn’t really that bad. I
think Australia was painful for her to watch.
Images are important. Many people see Rupert as a nice guy and will be
rooting for him, but apparently he isn’t the most well-liked among the
cast. I think that he will be one of the most fascinating to watch
again. Considering that All-Star was filmed directly after the Pearl
Islands and is in the same location, I think he will be at an immediate
advantage. He will know the area and will once again be the main source
of food. Unfortunately, I think that the 18 people that were selected
by Mark Burnett and Les Moonves will be prepared to starve for the
entire 39 days if it means making it farther than they did before. I
just think that Rupert will be too strong and too dominating to
ingratiate himself with anyone other than perhaps Tina and Rudy. Not
enough for him to stay and I see him being an early casualty with Rudy
unless Saboga goes on a long immunity streak (which should not be
discounted considering their athleticism). The key is surviving the
first few shows. If he manages to, then he is gold all the way to the
Mario: In my
column this week I am writing about how I think CBS made up the
character of Rupert just to have a good guy and I am worried for his
chances this time around. I’m worried that maybe the guy isn’t as warm
and cuddly as we saw on TV. Plus add in that none of his tribemates
have even MET the guy before. He may not even be accepted by the
Survivor alums as one of them yet. I think Rupert’s in for a rocky
ride. So much for his dreams. Again.
I actually think that the fact that his teammates haven’t met him will
help. He won’t be a victim of any stereotypes before the fact. Hell,
Rudy might even confuse him for Richard. I think we both agree that
Jenna Lewis will be the center of attention (just after Tina). We all
know that she will be one of hungriest competitors out there because of
the Pagonging that she suffered at the hands of Rudy et al. I think
that she will recognize her chance to oust Boesch and will work to do
so immediately. The fact that they are both from the same season will
not save Rudy and her friendship with Ethan will immediately help her
side with him. I am interested to see how she interacts with Jerri as
that could be the key. My initial feeling is that the main alliance
will be Ethan and the ladies. Rupert and Rudy are toast. I like Jenna’s
chances heading into the merge.
I think Jenna could very well be a favorite to win. The first season
people must be DYING to play for real this time. Now that they know
what they are getting into. I expect Jenna to play like a little
hellcat. I bet she plays HARD.
I just hope she gets her video. I cannot deal with that display again.
Can you imagine if they actually come to visit her? Tears = Ratings.
Almost done now. The last tribe is Mogo Mogo. And this tribe will
certainly have a lot of Mojo with so many Alpha personalities sharing a
beach. It will be a lot of fun to see Richard Hatch again, and I am
interested to see where he finishes. About the only thing I am sure of,
is that he won’t win again. Don’t you find it interesting that he
agreed to do it? I mean, what does he have left to prove? Personally, I
think he is just asking for trouble. I think that he will try to get
together with Colby and Shii Ann, but I am not sure if he will be
successful. In any event, he will be hard pressed to make the jury.
He’s a big strong mountain of a man so you’d kind of be stupid to dump
him right off the bat. I think he may be around for a while but this is
one team that can afford to dump some manpower. But yes you are right.
He can’t win again although I have a great deal of respect that he
would even try. What a good sport.
I think we are both pulling for Lex van den Berghe. I think that he is
quite possibly the best player ever, and I know he will be out for
nothing less than victory this time around. He will have a solid
partner in Kathy. I want to see who he tries to befriend.
Strategically, I think that Richard would be a good ally for him… but I
don’t see them meshing for some reason. In any event, I think that
there are many targets around that are bigger than him. As is the case
with Tina, that’s the key and why he will have an easy ride into the
jury and hopefully beyond. Lex was screwed in the African Fallen
Comrades challenge (as was Tom). For that reason alone, he deserves
predict a final four spot for Lex. He is strong and respected and
smart, yet there will always be someone else who is a little more
respected, a little smarter, or a little stronger. I think he is one of
the most well rounded players who will be forgotten because he doesn’t
look like a Colby or an Ethan. I think he’s gotta be one of the
favorites to win All-Star.
Kathy O’Brien is who many people are rooting for this time around. I
think that she is someone who will have learned the most from her prior
mistakes. I think that she will make a more conscious effort to fit in
with her tribe and while I see her feuding a little bit with Jenna and
Shii Ann, I think her work ethic will be appreciated by Colby and Lex.
It’s hard to say, but I actually think Kathy will be able to
fly-under-the-radar for awhile.
It is a male dominated tribe (in my opinion) and they will love someone
like Kathy around. I think she’ll do well. She was all about building a
strong team in Marquesas so guys like Colby and Lex and Rich will LOVE
to keep her around.
What do you think about Jenna Morasca’s chances to repeat? I am fairly
certain she won’t make the jury… but I do think that she will
immediately connect with Shii Ann. The problem that she will face is
the same one that Rudy and Rupert will have on Saboga. She will just
not have the luxury of having enough allies. I think that she will work
hard and will be nice to everyone… but will just not be able to save
herself unless her team does not go to Tribal Council very often. If
she does make it to the merge, she can easily connect with Jenna and
Ethan and her chances will improve significantly. I don’t think that
she gets enough credit for her win in the Amazon, and I am hopeful she
can answer her critics.
I like Jenna a lot and I wrote a ton about her in my column. But that
being said I doubt she’ll be around long. Mogo Mogo will have no need
for her (unless she somehow seduces Colby, which could happen). She
could easily be a first casualty.
Ann is the player that is the hardest for me to read. I am sure she
will work hard and I know Lex and Colby will like that. She will also
very likely get along with Jenna, and the question is whether this
friendship will cost her. Shii Ann is a good player who knows that an
early alliance is essential, so I want to see how proactive she is in
making one. She is also an underdog considering that she is the only
Thailand All-Star. I can’t see her winning, but I do see her being an
I don’t see her having too much of an impact. I don’t see her fitting
in with this group at all. I doubt she defers to males much in her life
and this is the wrong team for that. Start kissing ass to Lex and Colby
right now or you might as well go home.
Did you think Colby would play again? I know that he is perhaps one of
the most acclaimed players of all-time, but I think this is mainly
because of the terrible mistake he made in Australia. I also thought
that he was separating himself from the show, but apparently All-Star
is too big an opportunity to pass up. Can’t blame him for that. I think
that Lex will see him as a Clarence. Someone who can be a huge asset
for the tribal challenges, but who will have to go immediately after
the merge. That’s exactly where I see Colby finishing. Early jury.
I think Colby was the greatest casting choice they got. That was HUGE
that they got him. And I will disagree until the day I die about what
he should have done in Australia (read my column). That was the last
truly great act of loyalty on the show. It will never be repeated. And
I think Colby will be around for a long time. Everyone likes the guy.
He is a huge hit with the females. And can you imagine the power duo if
he and Tina get a chance to reconnect? I have high hopes for Colby. And
I hope he silences all the critics (including you) who like to
criticize the guy for keeping a promise. I would love to see him win
this time. More than anybody.
So there we have it. Our 18 All-Stars. Like I said before, I think that
Chapera will be the most fun to watch, and I think that is where our
winner will come from. I think that Chapera are the players that have
the most to prove, and this will cause them all to do anything
necessary to win. That’s a very powerful weapon in this game. The fact
that there aren’t any winners on that tribe either leads me to believe
that they will be out to destroy first, and smile second. I am sticking
with Boston Rob as my pick. He knows the game. He is very
down-to-earth. And he is cut-throat. The only problem is that Chapera
might overplay. As a result… I think that Saboga is the safest tribe.
Admittedly, I want Boston Rob to win and that is influencing me… but he
is my pre-show pick. I also like Lex’s chances. Jerri is my darkhorse.
I think that she can do well. What about you Mr. Lanza? Closing
I have a few players who I am quite certain will do well: Amber,
Alicia, Boston Rob, Jenna Lewis, Lex, and Kathy. I have a few who could
go early or could go really far. They are the high risk, high reward
picks, like Tina and Colby and Rob Cesternino. And then there are the
ones who could slip right past everyone unnoticed and pull off a win.
Like Tom. But if I had to make some hard and fast picks, I would say
this: Saboga is Tina’s tribe, through and through. Your standing will
be determined by how well you are in with her. Mogo Mogo is the man
show, plus Kathy. They may or may not scrap Richard at first
opportunity, depending on how cocky they get. And Chapera is tribe
chaos, the Samburus of the game. I see them as the young cocky ones.
And if I had to pick a final four right now… hmmm… well I might as well
pick the four players I think will all be around for a while. Jenna L,
Amber, Boston Rob, and Lex. And I’ll go completely out into left field
and call Jenna Lewis as our winner. I have no idea why but I just think
she is ready to show the world that Pulau Tigans can play Survivor too.
Stay tuned to S-C for more opinions as All-Star progresses.