Sunday, November 11, 2012

Survivor 25: They're All Ready To Die -- Episode 8 Recap/Analysis

Every week, this Survivor season becomes more and more crazy, and our analysis becomes more and more incoherent. With the dismissal of fan podcast favourite Jeff Kent, how could and should the game play out from here? Are any and all returnees still marked, or are things looking up for Penner and Skupin? Now that Lisa is at the front of the stage, will she be left standing at the end of the drama? And finally, the burning question that has everyone talking: what does this mean for Artis?! All of this, in a reasonably punctual fashion, on this week's podcast, available below, here, or on iTunes here.

Link fixed for iTunes, hopefully.  Bonus episode with Daniel Negreanu coming soon!


  1. (Part 1/2, my thoughts are too many characters lol)

    Been listening to the last few podcasts as well as some of the retrospectives, good work guys!

    Regarding Penner's vote, I feel like he just felt that it'd be best to avoid a tie, even though he would've avoided rocks due to the necklace. He probably knew he and Skupin were the swing votes, but, if he wants to avoid a tie, Skupin would be the 5th vote on either Pete or Jeff, so throwing his vote is the perfect way to avoid the tie.

    There are so many different angles this thing can take going forward, I almost feel like someone like Sandra would be good on this season, because it almost seems like it is impossible to have long-term plans at this point. I, like you two, don't rate Sandra high as a player, but in this season, it almost seems like her approach would be best.

    I think F9 is the time to get Pete out, possibly by the 6 "good" people by splitting 3-3 in case of the idol, but I agree that Abi is probably not going to be selfless with it. F9 is pretty much the last chance anyone will get if Pete's group gets someone like Carter or even Lisa to be a loyal fourth, barring Malcolm's idol. Speaking of Malcolm, I can also see him being a target because he is a triple threat; he is likeable, so he is likely to win a jury vote if he gets there, he is good in challenges, so he could potentially go on an immunity run, and he has the idol, which becomes more effective later on. Not to mention he is a tight pair with Denise. I don't really see the possibility of a split vote to neutralize Malcolm's idol though, although if Carter does hop with the 5 Tandangs it could happen. Carter seems to bond better with them I think, so it could be possible.

    Based on edit, I agree with the fact that Lisa, Denise, Malcolm, and maybe Penner are the only possible winners, but (and maybe it is just my inner Pete-fan hoping) I still feel like Pete has a shot, although its clear he can only win sitting next to Abi, Artis, and maybe Carter.

    I think I still go Lisa>Malcolm>Denise in terms of the top three. Lisa seems to be in a swing vote position that I don't really see her relinquishing, and I don't see anyone teaming up to get her out any time soon. I still rate Malcolm high because he has the idol, he can win individual immunities, and Denise seems more loyal to him than vice-versa (I don't ever remember a comment from Denise saying she will need to get him out by the end, but I do recall Malcolm saying that about Denise). The only thing that makes me reluctant is that I could easily see everybody but Malcolm/Denise voting against Malcolm and Denise if neither of them win immunity, as they definitely recognize Malcolm as a threat and should recognize Denise as one too. I like Denise's position, and could easily see her winning, but I think it will be tough because I feel like she wouldn't win against Malcolm but I feel as if people would want her out once Malcolm goes, although maybe that's just me thinking that. I think that if Malcolm gets to the finale he will probably win, but I feel like a loner Denise will go shortly after Malcolm if he goes earlier. Her edit has been fairly invisible during the early post-merge, which is often when we see a lot of winners emerge. I really don't know though, because the other players surely won't keep the Evil Axis together, and probably still view Penner as a threat to win (maybe Skupin too but I doubt it).

    I think right now, Lisa, Skupin, Penner, and Carter are in the middle, with Malcolm/Denise on the other side of the Evil Axis. Since Lisa and Skupin seem to be a pair, they are the real swing votes, at least for this week, as I don't see Penner and Carter working with the Evil Axis.

    1. (2/2)

      I haven't talked much about the possible "everyone get rid of Carter (or maybe Penner)" options, mostly because I don't think they make much sense to Malcolm/Denise, and I think they would realize this, particularly after the wake-up call that they could be in the minority after Jeff Kent's boot. It could easily happen if Tandang stays strong, but I don't really see this happening due to the craziness of the season and the personalities that would have to work together.

      I honestly don't really know why I wrote up so much about this, considering I can see so many different scenarios playing out, with lots of reasoning for each. Makes for a good season.

      Not sure if you guys have said anything about this, but what do you think of trying to continue three tribes as the standard? I think it could be good, as long as it doesn't play out the same way every time. I think the producers would have a lot of options (3 tribes until merge, condense to 2 until merge, condense to two with a swap [like all stars], maybe a three way swap at 15, and I can see them merging at any number from 12 to maybe 9 or even 8) to keep it from becoming stale.

  2. Great post! It's awesome to see people really thinking about the game on such a high level, though I question how anyone could be so thoughtful while sporting a username questioning the prophet Shambo's judgment.

    I said on the podcast a couple of weeks ago that I'd really love to see three starting tribes become the new standard format, as I think it will often lead to unclear/interesting post-merge dynamics such as the ones we're seeing play out now, which the show has otherwise been desperately lacking for a while now.

    Thanks for the insight; I admire your enthusiasm for the game.

  3. I've definitely become more enthusiastic over the last couple of episodes. A lot of that has to do with the unpredictability; previous years, I'd tune in to the post-merge pretty much "just in case they throw us a curveball", whereas this season I really can see the episode going in various directions and don't want to miss anything. Regarding the high-level thinking, I feel like most of it comes from the fact that this season is so complex, you can't just go "oh everyone is following Kim's lead so clearly whatever is in Kim's best interest will happen".

    Additionally, it is hard to find a lot of strategy discussion as thorough as yours. You guys pretty much approach everything from every angle and there isn't really much left unanswered by the time the podcast is done. I especially enjoy the audio format because it makes it easier to multi-task, which is another plus.

    In addition to all the fractures and alliances going on, what makes this season interesting is that, outside of Pete, and maybe Lisa (it isn't really clear who her closer allies are besides Skupin) it seems like anyone with a chance to win almost doesn't want to get to the end with their closer allies. Malcolm seems to be the clearest example of this, and I suppose Jeff Kent fit this description in regards to Penner. It creates even more confusion because you have to think about if and when everyone will turn on each other. Malcolm has to think about getting out the Evil Axis, because eventually they will have the numbers on him, but he doesn't want to get to the point where he has to rely on Lisa and Denise voting with him. I'm almost feeling that once Pete goes, everyone outside the Evil Axis will start turning on each other (like I said, they should probably get Pete out this coming episode, so this could happen as early as f8) and Abi/Artis will float further down the game, maybe even into the final 3 as goats. I could definitely someone like Malcolm getting to the final 5 with Denise and Lisa (getting rid of Penner, Cartis, etc early so they don't go on an immunity run), then turning on them.

    I'll be looking forward to the Negreanu podcast, I always find him entertaining when playing poker.

    1. Carter*, not Cartis. I must have been typing that while thinking of how to build a terrible survivor player.


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