Friday, October 30, 2009

Survivor Samoa - the trauma continues

This season of Survivor started off so promisingly, but I feel like it's starting to peter out a little bit. Not a lot has changed over the past several episodes. Yellow tribe keeps saying that they're just getting unlucky, purple tribe keeps crushing them, and one-by-one the women that Evil Russell doesn't like keep getting voted out. This week's victim was my own Liz, whose only chance lay in a merge that didn't come in time to save her.

Next week's merge I hope will reinvigorate the show. I think there is potential for a lot of scheming and drama once the merge happens, but it will only happen if Evil Russell makes a move. He seems like the only one smart enough to do any scheming at all right now. Eric is a runner-up in this category, but he hasn't been tested enough yet to see if he really got the skillz. But I would love nothing more than to see a yellow tribe + purple ladies overthrow of the purple guys + Shambo. It's probably unlikely to happen, but if there's ever a chance to knock those guys off their throne, this is it.

Evil Box (29 points):
1. Evil Russell (3 pts)
2. Erik (22 pts)
3. Shambo (4 pts)

Pizza Place (21 points):
1. John (8 pts)
2. Brett (10 pts)
[3. Ashley (3 pts)]

Cutesiness (17 pts):
1. Monica (8 pts)
2. Mick (3 pts)
3. Laura (6 pts)

Goody Two-Shoes (14 pts):
[1. Good Russell (5 pts)]
[2. Liz (3 pts)]
3. Kelly (6 pts)

Dachui (10 pts):
1. Jaison (3 pts)
2. Dave (4 pts)
3. Natalie (3 pts)

Here's how I rank us:

1. Evil Box - If anyone has a chance to win on the sad little yellow tribe, it's Evil Russell. Shambo doesn't know it but she's now a part of the most powerful alliance currently in the game. Eric may prove to be the canniest player this season. They will all rack up points in the individual immunity challenges. Nuff said.

2. Pizza Place - John and Brett seem to be Eric's lackeys. They could easily go deep, but I don't think Eric will risk going against them in the finals. They need to throw a coup before it comes down to that, but will either have the wherewithal to think of it? They'll probably win a lot of the upcoming individual challenges; hopefully a streak of those will put them in contention with Evil Box and keep things interesting!

3. Dachui - I would think that Jaison is more likely to bring in points with the upcoming merge what with his size and strength, but he's completely given up. Dave might take down a few, but Natalie probably won't. Since they're already behind in the points, I think it will be very hard for them to come back and win this game. All their hopes rest on Action "He got clotheslined... by the clothesline!" Dave, who's still a contender. He's in a unique position of being a part of the strongest alliance without being a physical threat, which I think will serve him well now that they've merged. The biggest negative is that the other people on this team are from the yellow tribe, so even if he makes it to the finals, Dachui may be so far behind in other points that even a win wouldn't be enough for them to take down the pool.

4. Cutesiness - Moon's picks have risen in my opinion, though not enough to move up any spots in the rankings. I think his team will greatly benefit from the upcoming merge. I don't think they'll win many individual challenges, but they might last longer than I predicted earlier.

5. Goody Two-Shoes - my team has crumbled. I'm down to my dreg, a scrawny woman who is unlikely to win many individual challenges. I hope for a lot of team challenges where she's paired with Eric and Russell. For me to have a chance at winning this I need her to win the whole thing, I need her to win challenges along the way, and I need the other finalists to be from low-point teams. I'm basically giving myself a 0.73% chance to win the whole thing, and a 38% chance that I'll be out completely within the next 3 weeks. Go Kelly!!

Individual power Rankings (parenthesis indicate last week's rank):
1. Eric (1)
2. Evil Russell (3)
3. Dave (2)
4. Brett (6)
5. John (4)
6. Natalie (11)
7. Laura (7)
8. Kelly (5)
9. Shambo (10)
10. Mick (9)
11. Jaison (8)
12. Monica (13)
13. Liz (12)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Survivor Samoa - it continues....

Sorry for my delinquency, but here's an update, after 2 more episodes, on our standings:

Team Evil 'Box (aka Bag): 21 points
1. Evil/Fat Russell (3 pts)
2. Erik (17 pts)
3. Shambo (1 pts)

Team Pizza Place (aka Doug): 13 points
1. John (5 pts)
2. Brett (5 pts)
[3. Ashley (3 pts)]

Team Goody Two-Shoes (aka me!): 11 points
[1. Good/Black Russell (5 pts)]
2. Liz (3 pts)
3. Kelly (3 pts)

Team Cutesiness (aka Moon): 11 points
1. Monica (5 pts)
2. Mick (3 pts)
3. Laura (3 pts)

Team Dachui (aka Richey and Danielle): 7 points
1. Jaison (3 pts)
2. Dave (1 pts)
3. Natalie (3 pts)

The points haven't changed all that much because - for the FIRST time in Survivor Pool HISTORY - no one actually won any points last episode. But some people did LOSE points for sitting out a challenge that no one won. It was a fascinating episode where no team won immunity or reward challenges, and it looked like 3 people were going to get kicked out... but in the end, only my #1 pick passed out of the show. Doug lost his dreg in the episode before, so we are both down to 2 players, while everyone else still has 3. On to the power rankings:

1. Evil 'Box: This team can do no wrong. Even when they do things wrong, it somehow works out. Take Shambo: this woman has lost their fishing gear, a chicken, annoys the hell out of everyone, and it's saving her from elimination! Crafty Eric, also on the team, has noticed her uselessness, and subsequent useFULness, and is turning what looked to be Bag's greatest weakness into a dark horse to go deep. And with Eric and Evil Russ both carrying hidden immunity idols, it looks like they're going nowhere soon.

I think that finally Russell is starting to realize that his evilness was played prematurely. If he'd saved all his early-game shenanigans for a merge (burning socks, dumping out water) I'd declare him an Evil Genius. Instead, he put his team behind before the game even started. If he doesn't win, it's his own fault, because I think if he'd had any restraint at all he could've taken this thing.

2. Pizza Place: Even with losing a player this team is still fairly secure. John has shown that he can indeed strategize, although I still doubt his first-round pick quality. I still have no idea who Brett is, but he seems safe for now at least. A merge could shake things up a little for them, because I have a feeling the purple tribe will not hold strong for long after a merge. But until that alliance crumbles, these two will do a good job racking up points for Doug. My only qualm is that these two players are too similar; if one of them gets voted out, I have a feeling the other will go shortly after. Doug needs a diversified portfolio, IMO. And losing a player hurts, of course, although since it was only Ashley, the hit was not too painful.

3. Dachui: Unfortunately, I wouldn't qualify this team as strong, merely the best of the bad teams. Jaison and Natalie could be strong contenders, I think, but they're on the losing tribe. They don't have numbers, and Jaison will have a huge target on his back once they merge. Natalie depends almost entirely on Evil Russ to get far, and if he sees a better opportunity come along, that guy will drop her fast. Dave is good though - I think he could do very well in this game. But I want to see more from him before I get too enthusiastic.

4. Cutesiness: Moon and I both breathed easier after Jeff announced that there'd be no votes at tribal, because we both had candidates on the chopping block. Monica, Moon's #1 pick, has proven to be a bad competitor in challenges and too obvious in her alliances. Even if there is a merge next week I feel like the purple tribe could vote her out first anyways, just to finish their plotting from last week. But I certainly don't think she has a chance if they don't merge, so she's likely screwed either way. Mick will be the obvious first target once there's a merge, and he has no idol like Evil Russ to protect him. Which leaves Moon with Laura. Laura is to Moon what Kelly is to me - a wish and a prayer. But if anyone wants to make bets, I'd put my money on our dregs lasting the longest on both our teams.

Last. Goody Two-Shoes: I lost my #1 pick, Good Russell, to a medical evacuation. That sucks a lot, and SERIOUSLY hurts my chances of winning this season. I wasn't counting on Russell to win the whole thing, but I was counting on him to win me SOME points! Now I have Liz and Kelly, who are both good players, but Liz is painting a huge target on her back first by calling out Evil Russell, and then saying dumb things like "our tribe needs the guys, so it'll be either me or Natalie" instead of arguing her case! What Liz should be plugging is something more like this: we need strong women on our tribe because most challenges pit guys against guys and girls against girls. If Natalie is your only female you're screwed! Not only would this save her ass, but it's TRUE. And the fact that she can't see that is making me lose respect, not only for her, but for their whole tribe. Liz needs a merge more than anyone else in the game. I hope we get one soon! But Kelly, my dreg, is my only real hope. I actually do like her chances more than any other woman left in the game. So I'm going to try and stay optimistic for now.

I'm going to keep doing individual power rankings too, just for fun:

1. Eric
2. Dave
3. Evil Russell
4. John
5. Kelly
6. Brett
7. Laura
8. Jaison
9. Mick
10. Shambo
11. Natalie
12. Liz
13. Monica

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RE: Notes

I just got a shout out on Moon's blog which is making me smile :). Although still no cred for the "Old Whitey" moniker. WTF mate?

Survivor blog will be coming soon, but I keep leaving my spreadsheet at home. Also due: wedding blog and hit & run blog. Those will undoubtedly take forever to post, sorry for anyone who cares.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Survivor Samoa - it starts....

I know the season's already 4 episodes in, but I don't feel like Survivor really starts until the pool has begun! Last night marked what I consider to be one of the most serious, competitive, and well-organized pools we've done so far, which to mean also means the most fun. I spent a large part of last night sitting at a table in Murphy's with 5 other competitors, and 2 semi-supporters working through the rules, agonizing over picks, and taking copious notes. It's how I imagine a fantasy football draft must go.

The most notable change to this season is that team Dachui, elimated from last season's competition because of numerous absences, actually made the draft this time around. Good luck to you, rooks!


We've made some small adjustments to last season's rules, which I've posted here:

45 points (+15 for sweep) - 1st place
30 points - 2nd place
20 points (+10 if makes jury) - 3rd place
10 points - Jury
2 points - Wins a team reward challenge
3 points - Wins a team immunity challenge
4 points - Wins an individual reward challenge
1 points - Invited to share a reward challenge
6 points - Wins individual immunity challenge
10 points - Finds the hidden immunity idol
+10/-5 points - Plays hidden immunity idol at tribal council (+ 10 for successful, -5 if it was played unnecessarily)
-10 - Plays a fake immunity idol
-2 - Sits out a challenge

The first place prize was downgraded just a bit, while most of the early-game points were bulked up. I think this was a good decision as it increases the chances of someone winning the pool, even if their pick doesn't win the competition. However, it's still highly likely that whoever's pick wins Survivor, will win the pool too. Hopefully the scoring will make it as exciting as I think it will!


Team Evil 'Box (aka Bag): 15 points
1. Evil/Fat Russell (3 pts)
2. Erik (12 pts)
3. Shambo (0 pts)

Team Missing a Pizza Place (aka Doug): 7 points
1. John (2 pts)
2. Brett (2 pts)
3. Ashley (3 pts)

Team Dachui (aka Richey and Danielle): 6 points
1. Jaison (3 pts)
2. Dave (0 pts)
3. Natalie (3 pts)

Team Goody Two-Shoes (aka me!): 5 points
1. Good/Black Russell (0 pts)
2. Liz (3 pts)
3. Kelly (2 pts)

Team Cutesiness (aka Moon): 5 points
1. Monica (2 pts)
2. Mick (3 pts)
3. Laura (0 pts)

ANALYSIS (in order of the strength of teams):

1. Evil 'Box: Bag's team has already started with a huge leg up: two of his players have hidden immunity idols. Besides getting bonus points for that, it also makes his team a lot more powerful and dangerous. Both guys found them without having seen any clues, which speaks highly of their innovation and the fact that they're playing the game 24/7. Shambo could go out next week, but she could also be one of the key players in the game since she has a foot in both camps right now. Will she win? Probably not, but as a dreg, she has the potential to bring in a lot of points. And if she doesn't, no big loss.

2. Dachui: Dachui had a very scary episode to watch after the picks. Jaison looked like a quitter, Dave looked like he was insane, and Natalie looked really dumb. But they all pulled through and no one got the boot. I think that if anyone has a chance to win without having picked the actual winner, this is the team. Natalie somehow worked her way into an unstable, but potentially huge alliance. Jaison is a huge threat if he can get his head back in the game, and Dave is canny, if weird. They all have the potential for very deep runs in this game.

3. Goody Two-Shoes: I have some solid players, but none of them are real stand-outs. I picked Liz because I thought that she was good at allying herself with people while still laying low, and was disheartened by previews of next week's episode (please don't piss off Russell!) because it looks like she loses her composure. Good Russell right now is sitting very pretty, but he also needs to work on laying low. Finally, Kelly, my dreggery, actually seems like she could be really cool. I had no idea who she was when I picked her, but I thought she did well in this last episode. It seems like she has a good feel for the game. Fingers crossed that my dreg won't be the one carrying my whole team!

4. Missing a Pizza Place: Maybe this team doesn't deserve to be 2nd to last, but I really know nothing about these players, and I think that's a bad sign. Shows like this tend to at least introduce you to the finalists at the beginning, IMO, so if 4 episodes in I still don't know who they are, it doesn't bode well. And cameo sightings of Brett don't count.

5. Cutesiness: Moon, this is nothing personal, but I think your team sucks. I'm not singling you out. I'm singling out Monica, Mick, and Laura. Monica, Moon's #1 pick almost got voted out last night, which usually doesn't bode well for a team. Mick will be an easy target for the majority tribe, if they merge and the yellow team is still down players. And Laura could be good, but who really knows yet?

Overall there were a LOT of players we know practically nothing about, which made this season's draft very interesting. I think there's a lot of parity in the teams this year, and honestly whoever wins this season will have gotten lucky along the way. Should be really fun!!

Finally, as a sort of post-script (dedicated to Moon), I'm posting my "power rankings" on how I rated the players leading into the draft.

Top Tier:
Good Russell
Evil Russell

Middle of the Pack:

Hope I Don't Get:

Moon laughed at these rankings, but I think he'll be sorry he did that later (except maybe Dave; that guy impressed me last night). Only time will tell...