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Friday, December 08, 2006

Survival strategy

After taking more than a few seasons off, I began watching Survivor again this season. I admit it--I was intrigued by the premise that people would be split into tribes based on their race, and I wanted to see how it would pan out. Of course, the experiment didn't last long, as the tribes were reshuffled only a few episodes into the season, but the season has nonetheless proved quite interesting.

Spoilers ahead. After last night's episode, there are only six castaways left to compete for the million dollar prize, and I am starting to wonder what the best strategy would be to get to the final two. On one side are the former Raro tribe members of Parvati and Adam, and on the other are the Aitu members of Ozzy, Yul, Becky and Sundra. To throw a wrench in the situation, Yul has "the [not-so] hidden immunity idol," which means if he is voted off he gets to live another day.

The previews from next week's episode imply that Ozzy is considering switching over to Adam and Parvati's side. Would this be a good choice? I don't think so. If Ozzy switches over, the votes will be evenly split, which means that he has a 50-50 chance of being on the losing side of the equation (unless he wants to assume that the tie-breaker will be previous votes against, which it has been in the past--he has one vote against, and Adam and Parvati each have none, which means they would come out on the winning side, as the other three people have two or more votes against them). Since he is currently in the majority, taking that chance wouldn't make sense. But as the strongest person remaining (actually, he has been the strongest person since the show began), he knows he will soon be a target. So what to do? I think he should stick with his Aitu tribemates for another week, voting off Adam (or Parvati, if Adam wins immunity). The next week, he has to convince Sundra to come to his side. Everyone knows that Yul and Becky are going to stick together until the end, so Sundra needs to make a move if she doesn't want to come in third (of course, she could win final immunity, but she should try to up her chances as much as possible). With Sundra on his side, Ozzy can join with Parvati to vote off Becky, 3-2.

But then a problem arises. The next person Ozzy, Sundra and Parvati would want to vote off would be Yul. But they can't, which means one of them will have to go home. And really, that's going to be the case regardless, because Yul can play the idol until there are only three people left on the island. The only way to get Yul off earlier than the final three would be to vote him off in one episode, force him to play the idol, and then vote him off again in the very next episode. But in doing so, either Ozzy, Parvati or Sundra would go home (probably Parvati, since Becky and Yul would presumably still be gunning for her). Parvati probably wouldn't be very big on being a sacrificial lamb.

So is there any way to get rid of Yul? I don't see it. If Ozzy could convince Sundra to go his way in the coming episode, making an alliance of Ozzy, Adam, Parvati and Sundra, you would still have the Yul problem, and someone from the O/A/P/S alliance would be sacrificed. Knowing that, if I were Adam and Parvati, I would flip and vote against Ozzy that week, taking out Sundra the next week and going to the final three with Yul. It would be the only real chance for both remain in the game. And that's why none of the former Aitu members should work with Parvati and Adam just yet. With the two of them still in, they retain some power. But when only one is left, that person will be far more dependant (also, Adam and Parvati don't have any votes against them in tribal council, so if that is a tie-breaker, they will win).

Becky will surely ride with Yul for the rest of the game, and will have to hope that Sundra and Ozzy stick with their alliance. Sundra might decide to stick with Yul and Becky, as it looks like Ozzy will probably be voted off before her (as long as he doesn't win immunity).

Yul's smartest move of the game could have been revealing he had the immunity idol. As a result, it doesn't make sense for anyone to vote against him, which basically guarantees he will never have to use the idol and he will have a spot in the final three. I would personally like to see a Yul-Ozzy final, as they are by far the strongest players in the game. It would be interesting to see whether the jury would preference Ozzy's physical abilities or Yul's strategic play. Of course, this is assuming there will even be a final two. There are currently six people remaining in the game, and six members of the jury. Which means if there were only two people in the end, there would be an even number of jurors, which could result in a tie. The game has never been set up that way before, making me think that there will either be some sort of competition among the jurors, resulting in someone getting a second vote (or someone getting kicked off), or there will be three players left at the end, rather than two (of course, this could still result in a tie).

Definitely an exciting season to be watching. I'm glad I picked it back up.


Blogger Laura Holt said...

HATE Adam's smirking. So disappointe d they voted off Johnathan instead. There was no strategic value to booting him and I think their social concerns would have been met by voting off any of the former Raro-ites. It wasn't Johnathan who was making camp uncomfortable, it was the tension between him and the idiot twins which could have been resolved by voting out one of the mean idiots instead of the smart player.

12/08/2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

I agree. They made a very stupid decision in voting him out. Now the Raros maintain some (a little, but some) power. As we have seen in seasons past, people are willing to switch so quickly that you have to be very careful about leaving anyone who is aligned with anyone else in the game at this late point.

I really hope that Parvati and Adam aren't able to use this to their advantage. They are pretty worthless as players.

12/08/2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger MrMotivation said...

A really cool final twist will be an option to eliminate a juror or 3. I don't know how they will come up with this but it may be cool. Ideas???

12/09/2006 4:46 PM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

That's a good idea. Maybe they will reward the person who wins the final immunity by allowing that person to kick off a juror? Or maybe they will have a challenge between the final two, and the winner can kick off a juror?

12/11/2006 12:45 AM  

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