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April 18, 2013

Time-Killer While I Find Something To Write About: I'ma Gonna Talk About Survivor For A Minute Here Because Screw You That's Why

I wrote this last night but had to pull it because the West factory explosion was going on. So I'm not really "writing" this now. I'm just publishing it for the purposes of filler. I'ma lookin' for real stuff.

If you've DVR'd the show but not watched it, don't read this. There's a cool dramatic thing that happens at tribal council. You don't want it spoiled.

But this was a great dramatic moment and a bad strategic moment. So I'll talk about that beyond the jump.

So if you saw the show you know that Malcolm shocked everyone with a surprise-- not only did he put on the Hidden Immunity Idol he'd just discovered, but he gave the other Hidden Immunity Idol -- which he's had for a long time -- to Eddie. This meant that all three members of his alliance were bullet-proof (as Reynold, the third member of the alliance, had one a competition immunity earlier in the show).

This made for great drama. But was it great play?

No. The power of the Hidden Immunity Idol has usually been in the showing, not the playing. People can ride their immunity idols forever, just by threatening to play them. They don't have to play them if they convince everyone else not to vote against them (for fear that it could be played).

Malcolm could have announced his Big Secret earlier, and given the idol to Eddie before tribal. The group would have then began plotting against each other, trying to come up with a safe consensus name (basically, Anyone But Me).

And in that way they could have gotten the dominant alliance to vote for one of its own... and kept their two Hidden Immunity Idols in the pocket.

In addition, proclaiming who they were voting for was a mistake. They said they were voting for Philip, trying to force a bull-rush of votes to Philip. Trouble was, once you tell everyone else that they're not going home, that frees them up to gamble with their votes.

The better play would have been to keep their three votes secret -- so that everyone feared who might be going home, and thus had an incentive to chose one Consensus Scapegoat from the dominant alliance to go home.

As everyone except Philip knew he was safe, everyone was free to vote per the original plan. No one was actually forced to change his vote.

Malcolm's play made for a really fun Tribal Council. It was dramatic. All sorts of Secrets revealed and lots of great reaction shots of the stunned tribe as the secrets were exposed.

But in the end, due to misplay, the dominant tribe voted exactly as it had always intended to, and Malcolm played both of his idols.

Yes, it saved them for one single tribal council. But other people have ridden a single idol for half the game, just by wearing it like jewelry.

Malcolm made the All-Time Highlight Reel, and he might have won the Fan Favorite consolation prize, but he didn't advance himself all that much in the actual game.

Of course... The real game of Survivor might be just gaining enough popularity to generate Appearance Fees at car dealership openings or bit parts on TV or in movies. So who knows, maybe he did win the Real Survivor game.

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posted by Ace at 01:17 PM

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