Pearl Island Strategy #6: Trish gets Punk'd
Written by Mario Lanza
Rex O'Herlihan: "You shot me in the neck. You're not a good guy at all!"
Bob Barber: "I'm a LAWYER, you idiot!"
Christa outlasted Osten! Christa outlasted Osten! Tee hee! Tee hee!
am really enjoying this season so far. It's not the glitziest
season, or the most controversial (yet) season, or the best location,
or even the best cast, but for whatever reason Survivor: Pearl
Islands is really growing on me. I would already rank it among
the top three or four seasons, although that certainly could
change if we wind up with a crappy ending. But the weird thing
is, I can't really pick out WHY I like this season so much. If I
had to take a guess, I would say it is probably because Pearl Islands
has been so unpredictable. Think about it, the last three boots
were Burton, Michelle, and Trish. Did anyone pick those three to
go? In that order? I highly doubt it. Not even the
vaunted S-C crystal ball nailed all three of those boot
picks. You hear that, ball, I am calling you out. This
website isn't big enough for both your graphic and my graphic, you
worthless little crystal fraud.
There is just something
about the boot order this season that has been fascinating. It is
following a very strange pattern, and my power rankings go nuts just
about every single week because some random new person no one ever
thought about just got the axe. I guess the best way to describe
this season is that Pearl Islands has been incredibly twisty and
spazzy and random, despite the fact that we haven't even had a major
twist yet! In fact, the season is already a lot like the Amazon
in that sense, the power tends to shift all over the place all the
time. It is never the same as it was a couple of hours ago.
But the difference between the two seasons is that in Pearl
Islands, it is actually happening organically. Things are
shifting naturally, without a forced twist to help all the chaos
out. Pearl Islands is the first time that shifting has ever
happened organically and it is pretty neat to watch.
yeah, and the players this season are actually turning out to be quite
memorable. I know I bitched a couple of weeks ago that we didn't
know half the people in the cast, but think about it. You are
going to remember a lot of these people:
-Osten, the bodybuilder who is scared of his own shadow and who dresses in rags.
-Jon, the cocky and evil halfling who plays to the cameras as blatantly as it has ever been done before.
-Sandra, and the many eloquent ways she can drop an f-bomb on you.
-Christa, the quirky girl who always has a cold.
-Andrew, the reluctant leader who always wears a sportcoat.
-Oh yeah... and that Rupert guy. Can't forget about him.
seriously, this cast already has a lot of character to it and I am
really starting to see it come out lately. Two thumbs up to the
casting department for this season, whoever you are.
theme of the episode this week was yet again the downfall of the
Drakes. They are simply done. In fact, by this point, you
can actually see the fork sticking out of Jon's back. It is that
obvious. But despite their downfall as a tribe, a few of the
lesser seen Drakes are starting to pop up in my mind as potential
winners. I still think the winner is going to come from Morgan,
but if it happens to be a Drake I think it will be one of the following:
Sandra: Trish made a very interesting comment about Sandra on the
Early Show on Friday. She said that Sandra would always go along
with any vote. Sandra would jump onto the bandwagon of any
alliance in the game "so long as the target wasn't Sandra." Now
that sounds a LOT like a guy named Rob Cesternino last season.
That sounds like a player who always knows where the vote will be
headed and then will just jump aboard. I am beginning to
realize that Sandra is a very underrated Survivor player.
Christa: Christa grows on me more and more every week. I
have no idea why, but there is just something about her that seems very
likeable and quirky. I don't think she WILL win, but I know she
will get pretty far.
* Shawn: Drat that
Shawn. He sits at the bottom of my power rankings week after
week, yet I just KNOW he is going to do well in this game. He
keeps doing that exact same alliance-hopping thing that Sandra is
doing, and it saves his butt week after week. I think Shawn has
more going on for him than he likes to let on. I am keeping my
eye on him.
I now think Sandra, Christa, and Shawn all have
a decent shot to win this game. I don't think Jon has a shot in
hell. And despite Rupert's massive presence in the episodes, I
still think he goes soon. In fact, I bet he goes home before Jon
does. I will go as far as saying I think Rupert goes home next
episode. We'll see.
Over at Morgan, there is one guy
who is just growing by leaps and bounds each and every week in my eyes,
and that is Andrew. I can't even begin to get into how much
respect I have for the guy after the last couple of episodes. He
is maturing into a strong leader, he is soft spoken, he is
non-abrasive, and he just plain rocks. His touching moment with
Rupert where he had to beg for rice last week started it and his
speech this week about Jon trying to ruin his team's morale just
cinched it even more. I am a big Andrew Savage fan all of a
sudden. It was just so inspiring to watch him come through in the
immunity challenge against younger, more athletic players, simply
because Andrew wanted to be the guy who kept his tribe's spirit
up. I don't know how the producers managed to do it, but
they took a lawyer for the Jerry Springer Show and they transformed him
into the inspiring and motivational hero of the Pearl Islands.
Forget Rupert, I am suddenly realizing that Andrew is the hero we are
supposed to be rooting for.
And let me be the first to say it. A lawyer hero? What the...?
next week is the big twist. I would like to say I have no idea
what is going to happen but, as always, people have felt the
need to email me and give it away. So I have a pretty good
idea what is coming next week. And if I am right, I think it is
ridiculous. We'll see, I will save my rant for next week if and
when and after it happens.
My predictions for the winner of
Pearl Islands remain the same. Ryan and Andrew at the top,
Tijuana just a notch below them. Although I am very worried about
quiet little Darrah just hanging around week after week, because she is
right up there too. If a Drake wins, I think Sandra or Shawn are
the most likely winners. And I think that no matter what the
twist is next week, Rupert goes home. Johnny Fairplay is a much
more logical pick if the game continues in a linear manner, but all
bets are off after a twist/merge hits. When in doubt, vote for
the big man, who also happens to be the biggest threat left in the
game. So I pick Rupert to take a hike in episode seven.
~~~~ Weekly Notes ~~~~
One interesting thing to note is that Rupert is getting the "god edit"
this season. That means that every time he speaks, he always says
something that is correct. He is always logical, he is always
right, and from a narrator point of view he always tells the
truth. It is the exact same thing that I tried to do with Paschal
in our All-Star Alaska story, make him the omniscient narrator who
knows all and who speaks directly to the audience. In fact, now
it makes me wonder if Rupes actually will be around all the way to the
* I have mentioned before that Jon has
gotten atrocious editing this season, and this week's episode confirmed
it even more. From the editing, we are being led to believe that
he is a cocky little punk who nobody likes. But if you watched
the Shawn-Jon argument over bamboo, pay attention to the fact that
EVERYBODY took Jon's side afterwards. Up until this week, I think
Jon was liked and respected by just about everyone. But then
again, by this point he has now cast a vote against
more-than-a-little-bipolar Rupert. So from here on out all
bets are off as to Jon's safety within the tribe. Rupert might
actually murder him.
* Okay, here is my random movie
reference of the week. This one is pretty funny. When Jon
was yelling at Shawn, his voice got progressively higher and higher as
Jon got madder and madder. It reminded me of my all time favorite
"a man yells like a woman" moment from the movie Rain Man. Tom
Cruise is yelling at Dustin Hoffman about underwear and he starts
yelling in a very girlish manner "What difference does it make what
kind of underwear you're wearing?! What difference does it
make?!" Jon's screaming just reminded me of the movie since, like
Tom Cruise, Jon is also a wee little demi-human with a high voice.
The cannonball challenge was pretty sweet. I had no idea
cannonballs would slice like that in mid-air. They looked like
one of Randy Johnson's sliders. It was also amusing to see that
the producers used such tiny little cannonballs. I hate to pick
on Jon again, but maybe they did that because the this was the only
size cannonball that Fairplay could lift. Either that, or maybe
they were worried that Osten might drop one of the heavier cannonballs
on his foot and die.
* Speaking of Osten, I would like to
personally congratulate him on surviving another harsh episode in the
Pearl Islands. For the SIXTH (!) consecutive week, Osten managed
to survive and not meet a tragic fate at the hands of Mother
Nature. And just to show you how monumental a feat this was,
Diana and I have put together a list of the ways that Osten COULD have
died this week, but didn't. Here we go:
- The pelican could have eaten him
- The pelican could have charged him and given him a heart attack
He could have gotten a splinter from bamboo pole he used to poke the
pelican. The splinter could have then become infected and caused
- The pelican could have gored him after Osten poked it
- He could have severed an artery while sharpening the machete
In fact, we can touch on any number of ways the machete could have been
dropped or mishandled or otherwise become a lethal weapon
- The cannon in the reward challenge could have blown up and killed him
- He could have accidentally shot himself with the cannon
- He could have accidentally burned himself alive while the lighting cannon
When loading the cannon, he looked DIRECTLY INTO THE BARREL of the
loaded cannon. Needless to say, don't ever do that again Osten.
- He could have shattered his wrist while knocking fists with Andrew. This could have led to infarction.
- If Morgan had won reward, he could have contracted E.Coli from the raw steak
- If Morgan had won reward, the lobster spines were extra pointy. They could have pierced his esophagus.
- Grill accidents galore would have been possible if Morgan had won reward
- The lobster was packed in ice, which could have caused severe frostbite if mishandled
- During the immunity challenge, his neck could have snapped like a twig because of the weight of that wooden beam
- The humiliation from being beaten by Christa could have led to shock-induced coma
to say, Osten once again put his health on the line for the purposes of
entertaining us. And entertain us you did, Mr. Taylor.
Here's hoping you will make it through the seventh episode in one
piece. *crosses fingers and bites lip, nervously*
Okay, I'll admit it. I personally loved Jon's plan to take the
Morgan team morale and stomp it to pieces. It was deliciously
nasty. The only problem was that he just didn't pull it off very
well. If it were me, I would have done it much more subtly...
like let on that Rupert has given away all their tribe secrets.
Or that Rupert secretly called them a bunch of sad-ass losers
when he got back to Drake. Jon is fun, and strategic, but is
hardly very subtle about stuff.
* I had two favorite
moments of this episode. One was Osten and the pelican, that was
just ridiculous. He is so damned funny when he is scared of every
little thing. But my second favorite moment was during the
immunity challenge, and it was much more subtle. Christa
explained to Jeff that she had "developed some new freckles last
night," and Darrah looked over at Christa and she kind of
chuckled. To me, it looked like Darrah was thinking, "Gosh, she
talks weird. She got a funny ol' accent." And the thought
of Darrah laughing at someone else's accent? Well I just find
* Diana gets a kick out of how Drake
will always sit Jon out of every physical challenge. And sure
enough this week he sat out in favor of Christa (who rocked!) At
the time, I made some joke about how if they hadn't sat Jon, he would
have stood up there for five minutes and then dropped the bar. He
would have been eliminated before any weight had actually been put on
Jon: "Aaaaaghhh! Sorry guys, I couldn't take it. *rubs his sore neck*
Jeff: "Jon has dropped out of the contest at zero pounds. Nice job, Fairplay."
There was a little quickie moment in the episode where Shawn and Rupert
made a final two pact. Don't forget that... just in case.
Also, remember Shawn's voting comments: "It's my game now."
Do they actually save the middle seat at Tribal Council for Jon?
Because it sure looked that way to me. Everyone else was seated
first, then Jon came in and took his (usual) seat front and
center. I think it is safe to say that Jon enjoys the attention.
You can never really have enough shots of Rupert looking wounded.
He is such a big teddy bear. When he is upset, he is REALLY
upset. It is fun to watch a person with their emotions so visibly
on their sleeve like that. Rupert can be as happy as a five year
old one moment, then something bad happens and he immediately turns
into Crabby McPoutylip.
* Trish is going to take a
lot of crap on the internet this week but I don't think she really
played things all that poorly. When she was talking to Jon and
Sandra, she made some very good points about how Rupert was beloved by
both teams, and how he controlled everything that went on at
camp. I do think it was dangerous to target him before they knew
when the merge was going to be, but they DO have to get rid of Rupert
sooner rather than later, and everyone should be aware of that.
So I don't think Trish made the wrong move at all. Where I think
she screwed up was in the timing. She should have tried to get
Rupert out RIGHT BEFORE Tribal Council. She gave Sandra way too
much time to go warn him, and when that happened then all hell broke
loose. So I salute Trish, a good player who fell earlier she
should have fallen. She is likely to be forgotten in Survivor
history, since she was booted too early to be a legend and too late to
be a victim. She fell right into that gray area of middle
episode oblivion. But she was a good player who was a good sport,
a class act, and who handled all of her post-show interviews with
dignity and without a hint of bitterness. Oh, and like the
lesbian shopkeeper pointed out, she has really cool looking eyes.
Okay, time for the quote of the week. This one was easy, it
happened right after Jon decided to stomp all over the Morgan
morale. Andrew reacted in a very leaderlike way by saying:
claims he threw the chess/checker/water challenge. Well I just
think that's nonsense, and I think it's bad sportsmanship for him---
little bastard--- to indicate that we didn't fair and square win that
challenge. So I don't think they DID throw it, but just for that
little pissant to take that away from us... it's ridiculous."
AFTER WEEK SIX
Pretty much the same as before. A few people move up
or down this week, but the top three remain Ryan O, Andrew, and
Tijuana. I am torn between Ryan and Andrew for the top spot, as I
think either one of them are the most likely winner this season.
1. Ryan Opray
Still the man.
2. Andrew Savage
Very VERY close to Ryan. Andrew is really coming alive the past couple of episodes. He will be tough to beat.
3. Tijuana Bradley
a good spot. Plus she has been awfully quiet in recent weeks.
She will be in no immediate danger for a long time.
4. Sandra Diaz-Twine
Jumping ship and changing alliances in true Cesternino fashion. Keep an eye on her.
5. Darrah Johnson
No reason to rank her any lower than this.
6. Shawn Cohen
He is quietly sticking around week after week, and he is gaining some momentum. He is not as dim as he appears.
7. Christa Hastie
One of my favorites. She would be a blast to hang out with in real life.
8. Osten Taylor
It would still crack me up if he won, but he won't.
9. Jon Dalton
Evil Gabe has to find a way to save himself now. I think his time will be up soon, but it won't be next week.
10. Rupert Boneham
is so good and so powerful and so well-liked, he just HAS to be voted
off soon. They all have to realize that. All of them!
The movie I quoted at the beginning of my column, Rustler's Rhapsody,
is a western parody from the mid 80's. It is one of my all time
favorite guilty pleasure comedies, yet I can only name maybe 5 or
6 people on the face of the earth who have ever even heard of it
before. But you should check it out if you can find a
copy, it is highly recommended!
is a programmer who lives in Los Angeles with his ever-quotable wife,
Diana, and their two small children. He is the lead author of the
S-C All-Star Stories and the upcoming Survivor:
Okinawa. He likes to memorize and quote random movies. This is a trait that annoys people.