Everyone on Survivor always says "it's a numbers game," which is true, but what no one ever considers is that it's also about even numbers and odd numbers. I've long held the believe that nothing dramatic can happen in a week with an even number of players, especially when the numbers get smaller. If you want to make a big move, the time to do it is around the seven or nine players left stage, and you have to do it on a day with odd numbers. Why? Well, most votes come down to two factions voting against each other. If you try to make a big move on an even week, you have to do even more work to get over the hurdle of a tie, since no one likes ties. For example. If there are nine people in the tribe, you need to get five votes to kick someone out. The next week, when there are eight people, you still need to get five people to vote someone out, but there is now one fewer person so there is even more scrambling and even fewer options. Now that I have explained this, I can explain how Blair messed everything up last week and why keeping Abi and voting that blonde lesbian who never said anything was really stupid.
First of all, Blair is now saying that she doesn't want to sit next to someone who deserves it in the finale, she wants to sit next to someone who she can beat. Wait, what? All game she's been talking about how her word is God's bond and how she can't go against her promises to people and now suddenly she's all, "I just want to win and screw the God nonsense." I think it has something to do with her hunky younger brother Justice coming to visit. Anyway, she should have realized this last week when there were seven players and she could have stayed with Penner and Carter and got rid of Denise to weaken Malcolm. Last week the only people left in the game who probably could have beaten her were Malcolm and Penner and only one of them stood a chance to keep winning immunity challenges (and it was not the doughy guy in the fedora). She should have tried to chip away at Malcolm's support to make him easier to send him home in the not-too-distant future. But she didn't. Now there are six people and she's screwed.
So, what does she and her alliance do? They get rid of Carter, a man who has not said one word, because they are afraid that he'll win immunity in the future. Know what? Good! Fine! Let Carter get to the end. Who cares? Carter has not played this game for one second so he has no case to make for why he should sound get a laughably large cardboard check on The CBS Morning Show. Also, even if he did have a case, all he can do is grunt and stammer so how is he even going to convince people to vote for him? He will not. Even in this episode, Abi comes up to him and is like, "Looks like there is a strong alliance of four that we aren't in." Carter replies, "I'm not even thinking about that right now." That's because he hasn't thought about the game since scrambling on the sandy shore in his board shorts. He has been a completely passive player, wandering around as if in a hypnotized fog. That man is not going to win Survivor. He couldn't even win a game of Tic-Tac-Toe in the sand. If you want someone you can beat in the end, you take Carter.
Know who you do not keep around? Abi! You do not let Abi stay in this game. Yes, she sucks at challenges, but she is a far more resilient player than Carter or Denise (who, after a strong run at the beginning of the game has faded into the background) and she will find a way to weasel her way into the finish. That is why you do not keep Abi. Aside from her being mega annoying, there are going to be people who the Big Four pissed off along the way who will vote for her thinking, "Yeah, she's awful, but she stayed in and played hard and got to the end even though people hate her." Unlike Carter or Denise, the coattail riders, Abi has a case. "I was hated and I still made it through." It's a crappy case, but it is still a case. Abi can beat you in the end.
And this brings me back to odds and evens. Next week there will be five players, which means it is the last time any of the Big Four can really shake things up before the finale. If you look at the alliance, it is really two alliances of two, Malnise and Blairpin. (That's Malcolm and Denise and Blair and Skupin mashed together. Us Weekly I am not.) And then there is Abi. If Abi was a smart player, and Abi isn't very smart, but she is a player (unlike Carter) she will go to one or both of the pairs and say, "You need to kick one of those other guys out if you want to make it to the end. You need me to do that." What she needs to do is go to Lisa and Michael and tell them Malcolm wins hands down if he makes it to the end, because that is the truth, and they need to vote him out. That is why you do not keep Abi if you are Malcolm and Denise. That is why you take Carter. Do you know how next week goes if Carter is around? Carter lies in the shelter and bats the flies out of his face and they all sit around and cry about how sad it is that they have to send Carter home and Carter gets so passive he doesn't even get up off his stump to go vote. He just accepts his fate with a sigh. That is why you keep Carter!
Now I have to circle back around to how Blair screwed everything up last week by not getting rid of Denise. If she had stuck with Penner and voted out Denise, Malcolm would have known he was in trouble and would have been forced to play the hidden immunity idol the next week (if he didn't win the immunity challenge). That makes him easier to eject. As it stands, he still has the idol and, even if he feels safe, he might play it just because it's the last time he can. That means for Blair and Skupin and Abi to get out the biggest threat in the game they have to...I don't know what...they have to do something that both gets enough votes and neutralizes his idol and keep him from winning immunity.
Those are this week's strategy tips. Here are some other things in the episode to make fun of.
–Malcolm told his brother, Miles, "I look so good with my shirt off now." Oh, Malcolm, do we ever know it.
–During the visit from the loved ones, Denise gets a visit from her...husband? Question Mark? Denise is straight? Question Mark? Well, good for her!
–Blair and her brother Justice and Michael Skupin squared pray to God that their plan to oust Malcolm will work. She tells God that, whoever he wants to win to make that his will. Guess what, God told me who he wants to win Survivor. Do you know what he said? "What is Survivor." Yes, God does not give a donkey's cart about the game of Survivor. And, if he did, he let Malcolm win individual immunity, so that means that God hates Lisa. Or God wants Malcolm to win. You guys are screwed.
–When talking about how Jesus would play Survivor Blair says that Jesus would "play like Carter, and that's even worse." Haha. It's funny cause it's true.
–Abi's mom is just as bad at challenges as her daughter. Doesn't fall far from the tree.
–Michael Skupin's son Michael 2: This Time It's Personal is on the show for about 15 minutes and already manages to injure himself dramatically. Even when falling from a tree, he does not fall far from the tree.
–Carter's one second of lobbying for himself was the saddest thing I have ever seen.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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