A lot happened in this week’s episode that might change the game. I say might because nothing is certain yet, but there’s the beginning of rumblings that may throw things off course.
First the irrelevant things:
- There was the fight between Danny and Brandon which changed nothing because no one threw a punch and they made up. (MTV must have very specific guidelines for what qualifies as fighting since apparently shoving and pushing does not count.)
- Wes and Teresa make up (not before Teresa lets Kenny know she’s pissed at him for making trouble). The only reason this is significant is because Teresa is partnered with Ryan who is more important than previous shows have let on.
Now for the important things:
- At the challenge Kenny and Laurel kill the competition (let’s be honest, Laurel is the only girl who is TALL enough to reach half the footholds, of course she was the best at it) and Katelynn and Brandon are DQed after Katelynn injures herself and cannot finish.
- With Kenny and Laurel safe, Wes’s alliance must come up with a new strategy and here is where Ev once again shows her skill at manipulation. (Seriously Evelyn, you’re on the wrong show. Survivor would have been lucky to have you…Russel would have had to scramble with you around.) So, Evelyn decides they will convince Kenny that Ryan is getting thrown in. Ryan will tell Kenny he’d like to go up against Sydney and CJ. Then, they will send in Jill and Pete in order to further cut Kenny’s alliance. This is mostly a good idea in that it shows how Evelyn can manipulate Kenny’s decisions and reveals yet another mole! (So Jen and Ryan are both only pretending to go with Wes. We’ll see how this strategy goes for them later on, but for now, it’s pretty awesome to watch.) What they do not consider is how CJ and Syndey might feel about it. Of course, all that needed to be said was, “we originally thought Pete and Jill were strong but having seen them compete they are weak and you can easily beat them,” but for some reason they thought CJ would just be fine with being picked. (To be fair, technically, Wes’s alliance didn’t throw them in, but only technically.)
- Due to Katelynn’s injury, the team ultimately decides that they can’t have a player who can’t compete, so they send in Katelynn and Brandon who intend to show up at the exile just so that CJ and Sydney get a chance to see the course. Unfortunately, Brandon has a beer in the morning, disqualifying them anyway, and CJ and Sydney get nothing. Though they pretend they do.
- CJ and Landon talk on the side about how they feel disposable in their alliance and wonder if they should form a breakaway alliance.
A few things to consider about recent events and their affect on the game:
- Kenny and Laurel, in Raw Meat, claim they knew Sydney and CJ were lying about doing any of the elimination (because they didn’t look dirty enough). I wonder if this is true only because they said something in another Raw Meat that made me suspect their comments. They claimed that last week, when Jen and Mandi fought, Kenny discovered that Jen was a mole because Mandi kept yelling at her “we’re on the same team!” Based on all other information from all other sources, we not only do not hear her say any such thing, but Mandi didn’t know that Jen was secretly aligned with them yet. (They could have aired things out of order for dramatic affect but it seem like airing it the other way, and having Kenny realize the trick would have played out just as well on TV.)
- Landon and CJ’s potential alliance. Should they do it? In my opinion (though I want Ev to win), yes, but not until Kenny’s team is completely out of the running. Feel people out and go from there. Eventually there will be no one left but Wes’s alliance (except maybe Kenny and Laurel) and then who goes into exile? You need to have an inner alliance if you hope to stay in, otherwise you will just get picked off one by one like they do in survivor when there are 5-6 people left but only three can go into the final.
- For anyone who is wondering who would win in a fight–Laurel or Evelyn–the answer is Evelyn. There’s a video on mtv.com of them wrestling where Ev pins her and she basically gives up. So for people who think Paula could have beaten Evelyn (despite all evidence to the contrary) do you think Laurel would have lost to Paula? The answer is simple. Evelyn would have beaten Paula. (If A implies B and B implies C then A implies C, you learn that math in like ninth grade.) Granted, each competitor has different strengths so it always depends on the challenge but I’ve seen no indication that Paula is mentally, physically, or intellectually stronger than Evelyn or Laurel in anyway.
- Evelyn’s manipulation of the game is masterful. The one thing she is forgetting (probably because it’s considered more of Wes’s job) is that it’s not just strategy but also social. You have to keep everyone happy or they may just form another alliance, as we see with CJ and Landon. (It’s sort of like Russel forgetting that if you make enemies of everyone, then odds are you are not going to win the vote in the final tribal council because people will want you to lose out of spite.) CJ feels like the sacrificial lamb when he is told he will be thrown in against Jill and Pete who had been considered the strongest team meant to be used to eliminate Kenny and Laurel. As I said before, a little communication could have prevented the hard feelings.
- The moles. The question is, who will this strategy help? Obviously Wes and Ev, since it gives them the votes and controls they want. But what about Jen and Ryan? By playing on Kenny’s side, they’ve put themselves against the majority alliance. Even though ultimately they are on Wes’s side, Wes’s alliance has already built bonds, leaving Ryan and Jen on the outs (largely because almost no one knew they were moles), which means that when it comes time to turn within the alliance for exile, my guess would be they would be first on everyone’s minds. Of course, people may not see them as strong teams and want to keep them around to beat in the final, but that is a whole different matter.
Well, I think that’s everything about the show. Can’t wait to see where things go. If CJ and Landon do create a private alliance, how will that change things? It wouldn’t be a terrible idea for people to swing to Kenny who is so desperate for numbers (considering that Jill and Pete are his only true allies) that almost anyone who joins him he would have to take to the end.