The Eyes: Noble Sacrifice

Well, I want to take this moment right now to bask in the afterglow of my success. It’s very rare to see me actually make a prediction correctly.

If you recall last week, I predicted that Ulong would indeed lose Immunity again, and said that it would be obviously be between Jeff and Kim, but that I thought Jeff would end up a more likely candidate to leave because the previews had indicated he would experience some kind of injury.

Now, I will grant that even though Jeff did indeed end up going home, I really can’t celebrate too much. Why? Because even though I nailed the PERSON, and my prediction alluded to the reason, my prediction was based on the assumption that he would be leaving involuntarily, with the tribe deciding the injury made him too weak to keep around.

If you watched the third episode of SURVIVOR: PALAU, and you must have if you’re reading this, then you know that the complete opposite happened. I had no idea that Jeff would get injured and ASK to leave.

Not, of course, that I can blame him. He was even hobbling down the path out of Tribal Council. There was no way he was going to be able to live in that environment and compete in the very physical challenges we have been seeing so far.

So what you saw was not quitting. It was a noble sacrifice on behalf of his teammates. Jeff knew darn well that he wouldn’t be able to compete, and so he gave himself up. He didn’t quit because he wanted to leave, he quit because his tribe would suffer even more if he stayed around. And they DESPERATELY need an Immunity victory. So he did what very few people would do in this game.

Is he naïve? Well, I certainly thought he was a little slow in strategic game-play, as I specified last week. But with his decision this week, the first word I think of isn’t “naïve” or “quitter.” The word that actually comes to mind first is “courageous.”

You don’t see nobility in this game much anymore, so it’s always refreshing to see when it does come about. You always have to remember that this is a human drama, and while the money is a large motivator that often brings out the dark sides of some people, there are also people who are incorruptible.

Certain people (very rare people, on that note) are able to rise above their greed for the money and do the right thing. Could Jeff have feasibly continued to compete if the tribe had voted Kim off before him? Absolutely not, they made a wise choice. And HE made a wise choice in asking them too beforehand. It wasn’t necessarily wise for himself, because it would mean his ejection, but it was wise for the tribe effort because they would not have gotten rid of him without him requesting it.

So kudos to Jeff. His physical ability would have kept him around longer within the Ulong tribe had his injury not come into play, and I hate to say it, but that’s all that he had. Once that was gone, there was nothing left for him, so it was probably good he got out when he did.

Well, that’s enough about that. Let’s make some predictions for episode 4, shall we?

Koror is on fire. Koror is very quickly becoming a Rotu/Drake type of tribe. Even though they have yet to win a single REWARD challenge, they have won all three Immunity challenges to date. Personally, I’d rather have Immunity, because it has much more value to the context of the game than Rewards. So Koror is doing well.

However, they need to be wary and remain vigilant, because otherwise they will fall prey to the Sook-Jai/Drake disease. If they become arrogant, or if they flat-out just get tired of each other, they can very easily lose their steam. And when that happens to the dominant tribe, it generally happens between episodes 3 and 5. It didn’t happen in episode 3. However, I did hear a comment from someone who said something that proved my fears for them correct.

Forgive me, but I don’t remember who made the comment, although I believe it was either Coby or Caryn. In any case, this person said to the cameras in private that the downside to winning Immunity was that you can’t get rid of these people, you’re stuck with them.

It’s a fact that has been proven countless times in the past, and hearing that comment out loud and seeing the fight between Caryn and Katie is only further proof to me that we are beginning to see the early signs of a fracture within the Koror tribe. I firmly believe that they will be attending Tribal Council within the next two episodes. If not this week, then definitely next week.

Now, both Sook-Jai and Drake got fed up like this and threw the challenge. Do I think Koror will? It’s a possibility, but I believe it’s a small one. There wouldn’t be enough support; people like Tom, Ian, and Gregg especially would never stand for something like that. On both Sook-Jai and Drake, the feeling was mutual, except for a couple choice individuals. I sense there would be a lot more opposition from people on this tribe.

So how on earth can Koror possibly lose their steam if they don’t throw the challenge? Well, I can see this happening one of two ways:

A) They fracture to the point, no matter how fragile or small the fracture, that they don’t work as well together in the challenges anymore and lose to an Ulong tribe that is thirsty for payback.
B) Ulong rallies to a point where Koror’s politics don’t matter, Ulong just becomes mad enough to become tougher.

Now, the preview shows that Ulong is unable to select an ambassador by the time Jeff comes to them, which is a clear sign they still refuse to work together. They have been doing quite well in RCs, especially Angie, who has been quite impressive, but as a tribe, they are highly indecisive.

The main problem is no one wants to step up and be a leader. Yes, it could be considered a suicide move later on in the merge, which is why I think no one has done it. But in the short term, it hurts the tribe because they are unable to rally themselves.

I doubt there was an election, but Koror does have a leader. Tom is a clear fatherly figurehead. Maybe his choice or not, but he is just the type of person who commands respect from the others around him. That is such a booster for tribe morale and teamwork.

So, based on all this, I am going to say the following:

EPISODE 4 PREDICTIONS

Koror is going to Tribal Council soon, but the fact that Ulong still hasn’t elected a leader or has anyone to follow as a figurehead, Koror will postpone their visit until next week. Ulong will attend a fourth Tribal Council in a row.

LOSING TRIBE (IMMUNITY): Ulong
PERSON VOTED OFF: Kim

“See” you next week!

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!