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  1. S37:E12 Are You Feeling Lucky?

    Mike's growing on me. He may or may not be as smart as Christian -- how can we know? But I think Mike is better at Survivor, and it isn't close. Actually, Mike has played a near flawless game so far, given his strengths and limitations. His social game has been near perfect. He not only has no great enemies, he has alliances with everyone but Davie. That has kept him off the radar screen and led to ZERO votes cast against him at tribal so far. It puts him in a great position entering the end game. His strategy has worked great as well. He's walked a tightrope between the various blocs and alliances, almost always correctly identifying the majority and voting with it. He has a great eye for detecting the quarter of the wind and adjusting his play accordingly. I don't see booting Christian as shit-stirring. I see it as smart, almost brilliant. One player after another said Christian was the #1 threat to win. Yet in the chaos that surrounded camp before last tribal, Christian had escaped notice. From everyone but Mike, that is. Mike patiently and carefully planted the seeds that removed the biggest threat in the game. Excellent play. Mike is not a physical threat. But this has not been a real physical season so far, challenge-wise. Meanwhile Mike has been on 8 rewards, and is tied for first with most individual immunity wins. (With everyone else, which shows that to date no one stands out in this category.) Is he a goat? I used to think so. Now I'm not so sure. He can point to his social game. His navigating between the various alliances. His huge number of reward wins/trips. His immunity win, that freed him to make what is probably the biggest move in the game till now, clipping the guy everyone feared to win. And I bet he can do all that in a convincing way. If he makes F3, it probably comes down to who he faces. Say it's Alison and Angelina. I think Mike can win that one handily. Especially if he engineered getting Nick, Davie and Kara out before that.
  2. S37:E11 So Smart They're Dumb

    I'm not so sure about that. Remember what Christian said about Emily. She sounds wonderful, perfect for him. Gabby OTOH is neurotic, demanding, vain, repeatedly breaks down sobbing... and jealous to boot. With Gabby he has to act almost as a therapist. With Emily he can be himself. Btw, I don't think Gabby was only jealous of Emily (though she was). She thought her relationship with Christian was unique. Seeing Christian interact, first with Emily and then with Alison back at camp, was a harsh awakening. That's how he is with other women, not just with Gabby. And that IMO is when her plan to boot him crystallized in her mind.
  3. S37:E11 So Smart They're Dumb

    He was just covering himself. If Christian doesn't play his idol, he goes home (no matter what Davie does), and Davie looks like he's with the others. If Christian does play his idol (as Davie told him), Davie still looks like he's with the others. But now Christian is even more bound to him. Terrible idea to let Davie in on the plan. If not for that, Christian probably would have gotten booted tonight. Although even then Gabby helped clue him in at tribal, with her speech on self-sufficiency and assertiveness.
  4. Davie played his idol to save Christian. That doesn't form a solid bond?
  5. Getting shit from some people on this forum. Would she get shit from the jury? I think it would be the opposite.
  6. Hannah (who got the "Hannah treatment" from the women as well as the men) made a series of fatal mistakes. One of the worst: she booted people she might beat, and kept ones she couldn't. No surprise the jury (all of them) voted against her in finals. They didn't respect her game.
  7. S37:E09 Breadth-First Search

    I think strategy and social dynamics were front and center this last episode. The Davids were down a player, but had two advantages the Goliaths didn't know about. They used the advantages perfectly (has that ever happened before?), booted someone with an idol, and now are even, with the momentum in their favor. Anything less than ideal strategy would have wasted the advantages, as we nearly always saw in the past. And how did they know to play their advantages correctly? Because a) their social game was good enough to get inside info on Dan's idol, and b) they were united enough to act on that info. i.e. it took top-notch strategy and a cohesive social game to flip the game around. Of course the game could flip again, if either of those two crumble even a little. I wonder if the nullifier, once played, gets hidden again?
  8. S37: Angelina Keeley

    I thought Angelina was right the week before - i.e. their best move was to boot Christian - but her execution sucked, and that's why her plan fell apart. Then she dug an even deeper hole with her Elizabeth debacle. Overall I feel Angelina tries to run the show too much from the front. In Survivor's early seasons (some of them) that worked fine. But in the modern game I believe a more subtle touch usually is required.
  9. S37:E09 Breadth-First Search

    Seems to me a pretty easy answer to that, which is probably true and plays nicely to the egos of the Davids: Nick thought that if he sits next to Christian and/or Davie at the end, he couldn't win. He had to go up against some Goliaths to stand a chance. Actually, the same is true for any Davids who make it to the end. They have much better chances of beating Goliaths than Davids. They all have the incentive to vote each out near the end-game, and go to the finals with two Goliaths.
  10. S37:E09 Breadth-First Search

    If Nick really is pulling the strings, some of the others know it. Christian e.g. states as much in that secret scene, calling him a genius to Gabby (who now knows as well). Carl and Davie must also be aware: they coordinated their moves and votes this last TC. Assuming Nick makes it to F3, several jurors at least will know, and probably talk with the others. The new FTC format could help Nick even more, as it leads to more discussion. So Nick may not have a hard time convincing the jury he was the mastermind.
  11. Survivor Most Memorable Characters

    Yau-Man. Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing -- but an honorable wolf, even a gentle wolf. One of my favorite Probst exchanges in Survivor came from the arrow-shooting challenge that season. Looked simple enough, but everyone was failing miserably. Yau picks up several arrows and sites down their shafts. Probst, in his snarky way, asks Yau what he is doing. 'Looking for the straightest arrows, that will fly the truest,' Yau says, or words to that effect. Sure enough, Yau-Man becomes the first person to hit the target with these primitive, make-shift bow-and-arrow setups.
  12. S37: Angelina Keeley

    Her annoyance impelled her to blab her tribe's plan to Elizabeth, which nearly got Angelina herself kicked out instead. Even though she survived, she lost whatever trust was left among her tribemates. She has some good strategic ideas. Her execution and social game fail at crucial points though, and she over-plays. At this point, I doubt anyone would vote for her to win. If that stays true, it could make her an ideal goat to take to F3.
  13. Survivor In The Media

    In the 2015 article for Parade, Jeff chose Cochran as the best winner (to that point), and Rob C as the best non-winner. Neither one is an alpha male -- almost the opposite. Jeff also ranked Sandra in his top 10 winners -- for both her seasons. Others in his top 10 list include Kim and Denise. So Sandra gets plenty of respect, as do other top women players whose games have nothing to do with flirting. Last, I don't believe Parvati did so great only by manipulating men. Just the opposite. She's probably the biggest quadruple threat ever in Survivor. The most adaptable, who fits her game to whatever twist, challenge or bad break it throws at her.
  14. S37: Davie Rickenbacker

    I like Davie, and think he's playing quite well. It would have been real easy in his vulnerable position to burn the idol (which no one suspects he has). Instead it still sits in his pocket because of a) his good strategic/social game, and b) his good read of what was going down at tribal. Now Carl joins his tribe. Considering what Davie said about white folks (which doesn't bother me, a white person, at all), this might play to his favor as well. In short, Davie seems adaptable, flexible, smart, social and strategic -- plus he has an idol that no one has an inkling of. Hope he goes real far. Right now he's in my dream F3, along with Christian and Elizabeth. Nerds of the world unite!
  15. S37: Natalia Azoqa

    Ditto to everything Judy said. Natalia self-evicted, with her paranoia, barked orders and awful social game. To go deep in any other season, she will need to dramatically overhaul her total approach.