The Eyes—-Close to the Finish Line


Well, I might have been the only person in America who was sorry to see Ami go this week, even though it was obviously inevitable.

Now, even though I know this has to be an exaggeration, everyone I have spoken to said they were rejoicing when Ami got her torch snuffed, but I really appreciate what Ami managed to pull off out there.

Did you know that she had never even seen an episode of the first eight seasons of Survivor, and then went out to Vanuatu and basically controlled the game from the moment she landed on the island to the moment Leann got her torch snuffed?

Ami was most definitely the Queen of Vanuatu for most of her time out there. When she said something, it was done. Vote out Lisa before Rory because Ami didn’t like what she said? Okay. Sure. No problem.

She unified the girls for a longer time than any girl alliance in Survivor history: she led the all-female alliance that resulted in the elimination of four men. That is truly very impressive, and I don’t want to let Ami leave without giving her credit where credit is due. She was a great player.

Unfortunately, the players like her never win. The farthest the most upfront players have made it is Final Three, simply because if they fail to win the final Immunity Challenge, they are viewed as too much of a threat for the million dollars.

The same happened with Ami, except earlier than F3: the people in the minority (Scout, Twila, Eliza, and Chris) saw her as the threat that she was and took the opportunity to band together and take her out before she could get them. Very well done on their part, because if she had gotten to the Final Two, the Jury would have to be in one sorry mental state to deny her the million.

So, the “new alliance” succeeded at dismantling the two leaders of the female alliance. Now what? Leann and Ami are gone, and they were the two obvious leaders. Julie would be the obvious choice as the next person to go, but she was not by any means a leader of the alliance.

So the major goal of the new alliance was basically accomplished. However, there is no real indication that the new alliance of Scout, Twila, Chris, and Eliza will break up. Why should they? One more Tribal Council and they’re the Final Four.

Chris definitely had the right idea. “We get to Final Four, and look who our competition is.” True, Twila and Scout are not the most physical people out there. However, he needs to be careful if that is his only criteria, because as the past has shown, the final challenge is always endurance, which you don’t necessarily need to be in the best shape to win, and the second to last sometimes tends to be mental. (Although this is highly mixed and matched, so there’s no way to know for sure.)

I hope that Chris doesn’t feel secure right now. Because even though the new alliance definitely put him back in the running for the million, he could need Immunity more than anyone this week.

If Julie works some magic and convinces the other girls that as the only guy left, he could feasibly win the last two challenges, they MIGHT be enticed to eliminate him right before the Final Four.

Or, there’s another possibility I’m going to be watching for this week very, very closely: the possibility of yet another new alliance, this time with Chris, Eliza, and Julie.

Think about it. The new alliance formed in the first place to do what? Break up an obvious leadership connection between Ami and Leann. As of now, that goal has been accomplished.

At this point, there is only one twosome out there right now: Scout/Twila.

Twila has been called out for being a “liar.” We saw it in the previews for a fight between Eliza and Twila. You can tell that Eliza is having some serious doubts about her position in this alliance, as well she should. Did you notice what Twila said at the beginning of the episode? She said that she, Chris, and Scout had the game all locked up and were now in control.

No mention at all of Eliza. Which wasn’t surprising to me, because it was obvious they have only been using her vote as a tool, not out of concern for her. She is very, very clearly fourth wheel.

And at this point, with one vote away from the Final Four, it is absolutely critical that she realizes this.

So, once again, Eliza really becomes a critical factor in the vote. If she plays her cards right, she could slide right into the Final Two. What she needs to do this week is use Julie to help form a new alliance against Scout/Twila and try to pull Chris in. Now that Ami is gone, he might very well be willing to do so.

If they do this, I’m willing to bet that Scout will be the first target after seeing how voting went down in the last Tribal Council. She has definitely played a great under-the-radar game, and people are starting to become privy to it.

Here is a list of the five people left and what I think they need to do now to ensure themselves a spot in the Final Four:

CHRIS— He should do his absolute best to win Immunity as an insurance policy, although right now, he really has two choices. He can maintain his current alliance, and he’ll be in the Final Four. Or, he could swing with Julie and Eliza if that door opens and get to the Final Four. Even though either choice will most likely get him to the same place, he should do whatever he can to break up the Scout/Twila connection.

SCOUT— She saw her name pop up for the first time at Tribal Council”¦not only that, she saw it twice. She has played an excellent UTR game, but people are starting to become aware of it. She needs to play both sides of the fence and distance herself from Twila while making Twila think that they’re still together—that way, she’s covered in both scenarios. It’s a tough thing to do, but if she can do it and pull it off, it could win some brownie points for the Jury that she might end up needing later on down the road.

JULIE— Basically, right now, she’s screwed. She’s on the outside-looking-in. She needs to work Eliza very, very hard, because I’m fairly confident that out of the four, Eliza is the one who will switch easiest, and I doubt any new combinations will happen without Eliza’s vote. It’s obvious the two of them are close”¦.Julie now needs to manipulate that to her advantage. It’s going to be an uphill battle for her, and the likelihood of her going home this week is very high.

TWILA— She is in some trouble if she makes the Final Two with several of the girls. Swearing on her son’s life really had a profound impact with Ami, and I’m sure with other Jurors as well. She needs to do a similar thing as Scout, because if a new alliance emerges, she is highly vulnerable to it because people are familiar with her alliance-hopping ways by now, I’m sure. She needs to play both sides VERY subtly, because if she gets caught, she’s done.

ELIZA— She needs to switch. If she wants any higher than fourth place, she needs to switch and NOW, because otherwise it will be too late. It’s time to throw the chips down and see what she’ll do.

Well, this is going to be my last prediction column for Vanuatu, seeing as the big finale is Sunday night. My column next week will be my thoughts on how the end of the game played out, so next time you hear from me, we’ll finally know the answer. I can’t wait, because I have a gut feeling that this finale is going to be as tense and as explosive as the volcanic eruptions we keep hearing about on Vanuatu.

So, the time has come for my FINAL Vanuatu predictions. I’ve talked a lot about the possibility of another alliance switch before we find our Final Four, and I will be watching for it. However, I doubt it will actually happen. I think the alliance will hold strong, and Julie will land in fifth place. Eliza will then be fourth, and Chris will be third place because one of the ladies will win the final challenge.

So I’m going to say we’re going to land up with a Scout/Twila F2 as our final showdown for the million dollars. For this scenario, and this scenario only, I’m going to go through how I think each Juror will vote so I can make a final chart on the final placement of each player:


Ami— Ami does not respect either of these women, but I think her vote would go to SCOUT because she obviously did not appreciate Twila swearing on her son.

Leann— I think this will be tough for her, too, but in the end she will also vote for SCOUT because she and Ami seem to think very similarly, and I don’t believe she was any more thrilled with Twila’s actions than Ami.

Sarge— Most likely, he will vote for TWILA because it was obvious he had a lot of respect to her in-game and post-game.

Chad— I don’t know him well enough to say how he’d vote, but he might be sympathetic towards Scout as having a bad knee and being a cancer survivor, seeing as is a Survivor with very real life tribulations, as well. I’ll give his vote to SCOUT.

Eliza— Again, like Ami and Leann, I don’t think she has much respect for either one of these women. It’s very difficult to decide where her vote would lie, but seeing as she and Twila have a falling-out, she may also decide to vote for SCOUT. Although, her vote I could easily see going either way. But for predictions sake, I’ll say Scout.

Chris— I think he’d vote for TWILA because she was the one who engineered the entire alliance that saved his butt and I can see him favoring her good game play over being concerned about the whole “swearing on her son” bit.

Julie— I think she’d go for TWILA because it was obvious that she did not respect Scout’s coasting, and yet unlike Ami, she did not seem to have any reservations about Twila swearing on her son.

So, my model has SCOUT winning Survivor:Vanuatu by a margin of 4-3.

So, here is my FINAL prediction for the end of Vanuatu in terms of player placement:

1. Scout
2. Twila
3. Chris
4. Eliza
5. Julie

We shall soon see. I can’t wait for the final two episodes, they’re going to be awesome!

“See” you next week for my Vanuatu wrap-up!