Stephen's Survivor Strategy Blog: Is David Winning?

Stephen's Survivor Strategy Blog: Is David Winning?
Stephen Fishbach
Rob Kim/Landov

updated 03/24/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/24/2011 10:30AM

"The use of physical power to the utmost extent by no means excludes the co-operation of the intelligence." – Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Has David been taking notes from Charlie Sheen? "There's only one thing," he tells Zapatera after the challenge loss, "winning."

Who would have expected brainy lawyer David to be the one channeling James from Heroes vs. Villains. ("I just want to win, y'all!") The rest of Zapatera, however, seems more level-headed. For voting out schemey Stephanie and keeping loyal Sarita, the Zapatera ... 5? ... alliance wins another Fishy Award.

Challenges happen every two days on Survivor – but trust is hard to come by. And while Sarita has been at the center of the Zapatera alliance, Stephanie has been committed to their destruction. Even when she needs to make nicey-nicey, she can hardly contain her disdain. "I hate sucking it up with these people who are complete a-holes," she says. That attitude comes across at camp.



Also, it's not like Zapatera's choosing Sarita over Ozzy. Stephanie was on the slingshot. As someone who has performed that role in the exact same challenge, I can tell you it's not that hard. Also, she lost. She was responsible for last week's loss too. "I give 'em both a one out of 10," Steve says.

Give David credit for a spirited defense. He dominates Tribal Council, turning every one of Sarita's remarks against her. When Sarita explains why she sat out of the challenge, David pounces: "She wasn't going to put up a fight about participating in the challenge because she knew she was the worst," he says. In a courtroom drama, that would be the gotcha moment.

Maybe, just maybe, David's arguments aren't entirely sincere. If he had been able to axe his enemy Sarita, he would have secured his place at the center of the Zapatera alliance. And he would be Stephanie's only lifeline into the game.

Unfortunately for him, David doesn't dominate to the point of actually ... winning. Now he's isolated himself from the rest of the tribe. And since Jeff keeps Tweeting that Zapatera made a mistake – and Jeff actually knows how things turn out – I'm betting things don't improve for the Zap5.

Ometepe

At Ometepe, everything is going divinely. Why shouldn't it be? They have God on their side. First, the Lord chooses Matt over Krista at Redemption Island. Then God gives Ometepe the challenge win. "Jesus [is] watching over us today," says Ashley.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. But it's no mystery that He loves Boston Rob.

And who wouldn't? Rob expertly plays bitchy girls Ashley and Natalie off against even bitchier Phillip. He wants everyone grating on everyone else's nerves – to keep himself out of hot water, and make sure he racks up all the good will. "I want you to annoy the crap out of everyone as much as possible," he says.

So on the one hand, he rolls his eyes at Phillip with the mean girls. On the other, he pacifies the Gorilion.

"I had to play Arafat in a peace process," Rob says. And, like Arafat, Rob's motivations are not entirely benign.

Heartbreak at Redemption Island

Also beneficial for Rob is that Andrea may be back in the fold. All season long, she's been pining for her lost love Matt. But this episode she learns – Matt's been surviving with another woman!

When Krista hands Matt her Bible, you can see Andrea's heart break. "Like, my whole image of Matt changed," she says. "I had a really good bond with him, but obviously he bonded with Krista just as well."

Now she's going to have to take back that "Mrs. Matt Elrod" stationery she ordered. And, more importantly, reevaluate her position in Ometepe.

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