The Eyes– The Young Versus The Old

Was I the only one caught off-guard by the results of Vanuatu’s initial Tribal Council? I’m not going to lie to you: I thought for sure Chris was a goner. If not, I thought it would be John P., since some of the older people had talked about forming an alliance against him.

So I was really scratching my head when Brook’s name kept popping out of the voting jar.

Oh, well. I guess that just goes to show you how great this show is. After nine seasons, it can still take you by surprise, even if you think you’ve seen it all.

One thing to be sure: I now have much firmer opinions about some of these people than I did during my initial pre-show columns. Seeing them in action, even for only one hour, gave me a much better picture of some of these people.

Eliza, for example, is a chatterbox. She may be a vicious competitor, but all that talking may lead to her demise eventually. But, it may not. Jenna Lewis was a chatterbox, and she was the second member of the Jury her first game, and third place in her second. So don’t let that chatterbox reputation Eliza seems to have gotten after only three days make you write her off.

Twila, I believe, will not last very long. She just works too hard, and expects too much. While it was obvious that the younger girls weren’t pulling their weight, at least from the footage we saw, it doesn’t matter. In this game, we have seen time and time again strong-willed and well-intended people just like Twila push the majority just a little too hard. My advice to Twila would be to adapt to what IS, not to what she wish it COULD be. Granted, the conditions in her tribe may not be ideal. But if the younger girls are in the majority, then do your best to lay off, step back, and let them suffer. Do your best to stay out of the spotlight while trying to weasel your way into a majority alliance.

I have fallen in love with Scout already. I listen to her confessionals, and I just fall deeper and deeper into the “trance.” I’m a Scout fan. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think she’ll last long. Did that make sense? In laments terms, I believe Scout is going to have a short stay in Vanuatu. Just like Twila, she is in the minority. However, unlike Twila, she doesn’t have the physical capabilities to stay out of the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong. God bless her. She does not need this game to prove that she is a survivor. She has survived a lot more than island life. She survived cancer, and I always enjoy the success stories when it comes to that awful illness that claims so many lives. But, regardless of that, this is a game about politics, and it does include physical stuff, especially during the tribal section of the game. And if you tape the show, rewind back to the Immunity Challenge in case you didn’t catch it the first time around. Watch for Scout being dragged out of the bamboo crawl by her team. Even those precious few seconds could have sent them to Tribal Council if Chris hadn’t royally screwed up the balance beam. So, in short, don’t expect Scout to last much longer than the first one or two Yasur Tribal Councils.

I’m going to include Julie and Mia in one paragraph, for the simple reason that we didn’t see much of them at all. Usually, in SURVIVOR, that’s a good thing, because it means they’ll last a while. It was pretty clear to me that age divisions were starting to occur, and it was also pretty obvious that these two were in the majority “bathing group.” If age divisions continue to grow wider in the Yasur tribe, then these two can clearly step into the majority. I see them both going a long way.

Lisa we didn’t see too much of, either. Again, I see her as possibly fitting in with the “older” crowd, if it comes down to that. And, I think it probably will. She seems low enough under the radar, and if the young girls gain power, which I think they will, then Lisa will most likely be safe until Scout and Twila are gone. And by that point, a switch or some other twist could come along, and she could go campaign with the other tribe. So, as of right now, the outlook isn’t too bleak for Lisa.

I still think Ami is going to do well for herself. If anyone in this tribe is going to overcome the looming age division and serve as a useful swing vote, it’s Ami. Who knows what she would do at that point. Remember that Deena sided with the younger ones. Would Ami do the same, or would she cast her lot with the older ones. I think it would be the former, because the younger girls bring an athleticism that is lacking in a couple of the older ones, especially dear old Scout.

And, finally, we come to Yasu’s Leann. She is definitely going to be with the older crowd, because she was right there working on the shelter with Twila and Scout while the others were in the water. I think that Leann would be along the same lines as Lisa. They’re more athletic than Twila and Scout, so they’ll be spared until the two of them go first. By that point, they can hope a twist comes along.

Overall for Yasur, as I said, I see the tribe splitting up into two halves. The “younger” alliance will consist of Eliza, Dolly, Julie, and Mia. The “older” alliance will be Scout, Twila, Lisa, and Leann. Ami will be the swing vote, and if it comes down to it, I’m betting she’ll cast her lot with the younger crowd, just as Deena did in the Amazon. Which means that if Yasur attends Tribal Council this week, SCOUT will be voted out fir the simple fact that she’s not as physically strong as everyone else on the team.

Okay, now we come to the male tribe, Lopevi.

What is it with guys and balance beams? I can’t really do it terribly well myself. But it was the same thing in the opening challenge of Amazon. It was the balance beam that did the male tribe in.

I do have to give Chris credit, because he managed to royally screw up the balance beam and cost his tribe the challenge, and yet avoid elimination at Tribal Council. That is a rare occurrence. But then, I have to take that same credit back, because from what we saw, it was not Chris who initiated the alliance that saved his tail.

It was Lea.

Lea impressed me in the first episode. He was very quick and very decisive as to what he wanted to do. And his plan worked. It took me a little time after watching the episode to piece together what happened, but I think I finally got it. Again, just like in the female tribe, we have alliances split mainly along age lines. The younger guys kept talking about getting rid of Chris because of the fact that he had cost the tribe the challenge and was a physical liability for them as a result. Lea overheard this, and saw the potential for a young alliance forming. He also instantly realized that this would not work for him.

So, he called in the backup.

At this point, I’m going to go over who voted for who in the first Tribal Council, and we’ll take a look as to what that means for each person:

BROOK and JOHN K. were the only ones who ended up voting for Chris. So, I guess that means the lines are more blurred in this tribe than in the women’s tribe. This doesn’t affect Brook at all, obviously, because he’s gone now. That puts John K. in big trouble. Brook wasn’t the only one who got blindsided. John K. did, too. The difference is that John K. is left all by himself to clean up the mess. Personally, I don’t think that he can.

BRADY, my pick to win, was the only one to cast a vote for Rory. Brady impressed me this episode, and Rory did just the opposite. Brady did VERY well climbing that pole to retrieve the Spirit Stone. I’m not overly concerned about that stray vote for Rory. Plenty of people have cast stray votes in the first episode, and still made it quite far. Helen being the prime example, in Thailand. She voted for Clay at the first vote, and made it all the way to the Final Four.

Rory, on the other hand, did not live up to my expectations at all. He’s much more argumentative and abrasive than I thought he would be. He doesn’t have much longer, unless his tribe starts going on a winning streak. And the previews for next week don’t show any improvement in Rory’s behavior. It just shows him more yelling.

Everyone else voted for Brook. So, really, if Lopevi has to vote again, it comes down to two people: John K., because he was singled out as the only other person aligned with Brook. Or, Rory, who is highly abrasive and hard to work with.

I’d have to go with Rory on this one. Overall on this tribe, I see a similar young/old division with Yasur, but in Yasur, it’s far more blatant. I think Lopevi has a little more time than Yasur does in that regard.

Still, I think that Yasur will keep winning. They seem to work better together, at least from the challenge we saw.

So, here are my official picks for this week:

YASUR BOOT: Scout
LOPEVI BOOT: Rory

REWARD CHALLENGE VICTORY: Yasur
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE VICTORY: Yasur

OVERALL BOOT: Rory
SOLE SURVIVOR: Brady

We’ll see how it all pans out. “See” you next week!

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