Monday, April 29, 2013

Survivor 26: Are We Having Fun Yet? -- Episodes 9-11 Recap/Analysis

As one might expect, the episode we weren't able to talk about was the most interesting in a long, long time. Now, as this season's midgame and Malcolm's relentless hustling come to an end, we're back to discuss everything we missed. Did Malcolm's double idol gambit really change anything? What kind of wizardry could he have pulled instead? And can anything stop Cochran's seemingly inevitable victory? All this and more (but mainly this) on a feature-length recap, available below, here, or on iTunes here.

Rough start times for each segment:
0:00 episode 9, pre-TC episode 10
1:15 discussion of the double idol play
2:20 episode 11 & looking ahead


  1. My thoughts on the double idol situation (from Malcolm's perspective):

    Announcing who they were voting for was the huge fatal flaw of Malcolm's plan. (I like the revealing at tribal because it prevents S-R-Us from coming up from a counter plan behind their backs. For example, the 6 favorites get together and say "three of us vote Eddie, three of us vote Sherri, and we'll tell Sherri we're splitting between Eddie and Malcolm" If Malcolm isn't privy to this conversation, he wouldn't know to pile their three votes onto Sherri to save his idols, and he'd likely play both idols into a revote between Sherri and Phillip.) We saw how much everyone was scrambling before the announcement and then everyone except Phillip was very relieved when the announcement was made. They knew they could go through with the split votes because it wouldn't be them going home.

    For example, Brenda was intent on voting Andrea out. Cochran and Eric were whispering. Phillip probably controlled Sherri's vote. With everyone voting for their own self-interest, it seems nearly impossible to get enough votes to force an idol out of Malcolm. Say the 3 amigos still vote for Phillip, and their 3 votes (plus possibly Erik's and whoever else wants to vote for him) get rid of him. It remains 6-3 but the 3 still have two idols.

    The move at final 9 I had in mind is going up to Andrea (who seems the best person because of her paranoia, as well as she's bonded with the bros a little) and saying "we're playing both idols tonight, and we're voting for you. if you can dodge the idols, good job, but you'll need to be lucky. if you don't want to be idoled out, join us" Obviously if one of the three wins immunity, it becomes even simpler. In theory, the 6 should be splitting 3-3 to double their chances of dodging an idol, so Andrea's vote would be all that they need to cause a majority. Due to this, Malcolm can keep both of his idols going into final 8.

    At final 8, Malcolm goes up to someone like Erik with Andrea and says "look, we've got two Idols, we can go to the final 5 with Reynold and Eddie, then the three of us can go to the finals together." (Alternatively, if you fear they aren't splitting, you can pitch this at f9 to get a 5-4 majority) Malcolm can presumably, from this point, coast to f5 with two groups of 2 that are both willing to take him to the end. At final 5, I'd presumably go with the Bros, because they'd be less likely to vote Malcolm out at final 4.

    Obviously a lot can go wrong but this is the path I'd have taken if I were Malcolm. What are you guys' thoughts on this? It's obviously high-risk high-reward but I feel like Malcolm is the type of player who has the ability to read the others and play one of his idols if needed. I'm the type of person who wouldn't be satisfied with a free ticket to the final 5 if I didn't think I had a good chance of winning from there, which I think this strategy exemplifies.

    (I'm posting this before finishing the podcast so I'm not sure if I missed anything)


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