– Sean Rector, Survivor: Marquesas
Not the villain!
Wednesday on Survivor, the One World premise fully paid off as the tribes negotiated the tricky politics of surviving together on a beach, but competing against each other in the game. There was a nail-biting immunity challenge and a torrential tropical downpour. But the real disaster came at Tribal Council, when sociopath/cartoon villain Matt was voted out of Manono. Now whose comeuppance am I supposed to root for?
Voting out Matt is more than just catastrophic for viewers – it's also disastrous for the men. Matt has been a leader in the challenges. He was the anchor on the balance beam. And in Thursday's reward, Matt and Michael retrieved three of the men's five puzzle bags. As exciting as it seems to cut the head off the snake, it's too early to make such a dramatic move.
Colton was right to want Bill out, though his reasoning was wildly inappropriate. ("You're ghetto trash, and that's all you are.") For all Matt's bravado, he didn't have much social game. Just watch him try to convert Troyzan. Matt rants about roosters, but never once asks Troyzan a single question or listens to a word he says. Troyzan's takeaway? "Matt is basically a jerk."
Nor was Matt particularly in touch with tribe politics. When Manono loses immunity, Matt gives a speech worthy of Voldemort. "I've spent eight days out here creating some power and I want to use it." Cut to the Misfit alliance shunting him out of their group powwow.
When Jeff says, "If there's an alliance of five that's strong, math says that the other four would be in trouble," you almost feel bad for poor Matt. If only Probst had explained this "math" a few days earlier!
Supposed "misfit" Colton isn't so different from Matt, really. While Matt looks like Ice Man from Top Gun and Colton ... doesn't look like that … they're both cocky and pushy and they alienate the people around them.
Just watch Colton try to "negotiate" with the Misfits. He hardly listens to Tarzan or Jonas, instead just petulantly insisting that he wants Bill gone. Ultimately, he doesn't even get his way. Colton needs to remember that these guys would have been happy to vote him out just a few days before.
At Tribal Council, when Colton tells the tribe that he has the idol and is going to play it, superficially it seems like a great move. After all, it ensures that nobody will vote for him. Isn't it just like on Samoa, when Russell wore his idol around his neck as an implied threat?
But it was a move that Colton didn't need to make. Russell's brinksmanship was brilliant misdirection when he was a very real target. But Colton knew he had the numbers. By lying so flagrantly in the middle of Tribal Council, he creates the perception that he's untrustworthy. What if one day he really does need to make that move?
And the Fishy Goes To ...
So the Fishy this week goes to Kim and Sabrina. Both women have taken leadership roles in the Salani tribe. But as the men and women clashed during the episode, both women were notably silent. Kudos to them for speaking up when it matters, but taking shelter from the social storms.
And let's be honest – Sabrina's immunity comeback was pretty freaking stellar.
Who do you think is playing the best game so far?