The Eyes— Loose Lips Sank Ships

Is it just me, or is this season flying by? It seems like just yesterday we watched 18 brand new castaways land on Vanuatu and watch the pig get killed.

Now, we’re down to just eleven. ELEVEN. We’re getting close (hopefully) to a merge situation, and it’s anybody’s game at that point. We’ve already seen some Tribal Council shockers, and it’s only the tribal phase of the game.

I guess that’s just a tribute to the evolution of SURVIVOR as a game. It doesn’t become stale with the passing seasons. Rather, it grows more complex and more difficult to predict.

If you had told me before I sat down to watch the show last Thursday that Lisa was going to be the one voted off, I would have wondered what size straightjacket to put you in. I honestly felt that, if I had been forced to make a list of who I thought was safe beyond a doubt and who was vulnerable, Lisa would have been put on the safe list.

Again, that’s another testimony to the longevity of this series: no matter how long you watch it, or how well you think you know it, it will always throw curveballs at you and surprise you.

Again and again, we learn the same lesson: No one is safe. But, do I listen? Do I, as a columnist who is writing about my predictions, ever listen?

Of course not. To do otherwise would ruin the fun.

So, I thought that, thinking about all that I just talked about, I’m going to make one of those safe/vulnerable lists right now, using, of course, the eleven people left in the game. Then, after Thursday’s show, come back and see where the person who is voted off lands. Did I put him/her on the safe list, or on the vulnerable list?

Knowing my record, the person will most likely be on the safe list. But it will be fun to see.

Okay, I’m going to start with my SAFE LIST:

CHRIS— Heading off the list of people who are safe, I think he stands one of the best chances of being a male victor. Out of all the men left, he seems to have a very good head on his shoulders. He screwed the first challenge up badly, but by this point, that’s water under the bridge. From what we’ve seen, he seems to have some powerful sway over Sarge’s vote, and when Travis needed someone to contact from the other tribe, he chose Chris. Chris is definitely in a prominent position of power within his tribe, but to them, I doubt it’s anything obvious. This guy is in for the long haul, and I see him as Final Four easy. Who knows? I could even see him picking up that million dollar check.

SCOUT— Scout has truly amazed me during the entire season thus far. At the beginning of the season, and in my preseason predictions, I swore up and down that she would be one of the first two or three people gone. But she continues to hang in there; she is truly the dark horse of this cast. She’s not physically strong, but very few people have said anything about it, and she’s still there. If she makes the merge, I can see her going the distance. Maybe she won’t make the million, but she’s a great candidate for the Final
Four.

LEANN— Even though she royally screwed up in the challenge and forced her tribe to go to Tribal Council last week, I think that making it through that vote without a single vote cast against her truly reflects the kind of position she’s in. She’s obviously in with the majority at Yasur, and that should protect her regardless of any mistakes she makes between now and the merge. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I also see her making it quite far. Easily Final Six or Final Five, and maybe even the top three or four.

LEA— Again, like Chris, he seems to be someone in a position of power within his tribe. He’s part of the core alliance that will ultimately decide who goes home the next time Lopevi votes. If he and Chris continue to work in tandem, they could accomplish a lot together.

CHAD— Chad is safe for now. I don’t see him making it terribly far into the merger, only because he’s an obvious pity vote for the Jury. No one, if they can help it, is going to let this guy anywhere near the Final Two, because he’ll win, and it will be a landslide. But, while we’re still in the current tribal game, he’s safe. Again, in a position of power with Lea and Chris.

That pretty much rounds off my SAFE LIST. Now, here is my VULNERABLE LIST:

AMI— Just last week, Ami would have been on the safe list. I almost put her on this week, but then thought it would be better to play it safe than be sorry later on. Ami has been the key figure in the last two Yasur Tribal Councils. She orchestrated both Travis’ and Lisa’s boots. She wields a lot of power right now, and the only reason she didn’t make the safe list was that I’ve noticed that over the past couple of weeks, especially since the switch, she has been much more open and much more vocal about her feelings regarding people in the tribe. The Under-the-Radar, Nice-and-Quiet Ami is gone, and now we have Power-Player Ami. She should watch her step, although I’m not entirely sure whether she belongs here or not. She could easily be a toss-up.

ELIZA— Eliza I had no problems putting on this list. Her goose is cooked. I could not believe her pitiful performance during the pig pen challenge. It was almost difficult to watch. On more than one occasion, I have heard people profess extreme annoyance with Eliza, and express the desire to see her leave the island.

RORY— He got lucky this week that Lisa opened her big mouth, although he was probably safe anyway. Basically, he got a “Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free” card. But it wasn’t permanent. He’s very abrasive, and from we’ve seen, tough to get along with. It will take a lot for me before I ever put him on a safe list.

TWILA/JULIE— I decided to list these two as the same item on the list because they’re both vulnerable for the same reasons. They’re the only two females on Lopevi, and their stock probably didn’t improve when the threesome of Chris/Lea/Chad saw that their buddy Travis had been picked off by the Yasur women. Twila, however, is probably safer than Julie, because she has already befriended Lea, and he’s in the core group. Chris also expressed concern during Julie’s nude sunbathing because he knew she could sneak her way into the finals using sex appeal as a weapon. After all, it has happened before.

JOHN K.— I had thought initially that the switch would improve his position drastically, seeing as he would no longer be on the outside of the core alliance looking in. Well, I was wrong. The core group still has no interest in enlisting his support, and the only thing he has going for him now is two girls to go first. Plus, if he makes a merge, he’d serve as one of the strongest physical threats and be taken out rather quickly. So, he’ll have a tough road ahead of him, and I see him as one of the first members of the Jury, if not THE first. If he wants to survive, he should try and pull off a tiebreaker with Twila and Julie against the core three.

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As far as predictions go, we won’t see a merge this week. Hopefully next week, when they’re down to ten, but not this week.

The Yasur tribe sucks at challenges. They’ve lost every single one since the switch, and I’m not sure if they have what it takes to win. However, SURVIVOR is a roller coaster with a lot of various twists and turns. So, I’m going to predict that Lopevi attends a long overdue Tribal Council this week.

Now, to wrap this week’s column, here is my rundown of the CBS website text teasers:

“One member’s lack of work ethic prompts negative reactions in the tribe.”

— Hmmm, not entirely sure who this could be. I’m thinking probably Eliza is the safest bet. Although one preview I saw indicated that this could be John K., in which case the chance of him voted off before one of the girls could be high. He’s got to be careful.

“After winning a hard-fought Challenge, one tribe is rewarded with more than just sustenance.”

— One tribe wins a major Reward. This is one of those really vague clues, not too much more I can do with this.

“One Survivor, in danger of being voted off, wins a Challenge for the tribe, thus buying more time on the island.”

— I’m going to guess that this is Rory winning a challenge for Yasur. He’s in the most precarious position right now, and an Immunity victory is just what he needs to possibly propel himself into the merger.

“A potential target at Tribal Council, one Survivor tries to convince the rest that another tribemate should be next to go.”

—The girls, Twila and Julie, convince the men to vote off John K.

OFFICIAL PREDICTIONS

BOOT—John K.
SOLE SURVIVOR—Chris

“See” you next week!