Boston Rob is a stud. The dude can make fire without flint, he can single-handedly win a challenge for his tribe, he is always good for a memorable quip (“Again I’m on the buffoon tribe”) and… he married Amber. Not bad. But even Boston Rob cannot stomach the Samoa flu.
Turns out that’s all that was wrong with Rob, a bout of the local Samoan flu. But hear me when I say this was no ordinary flu. During the season it took out a lot of our crew members and a lot of the locals on the island. It hits the body very hard and according to our doctors, one of the worst parts was the accompanying headache which felt like a nail being repeatedly pounded into the back of your head.
INSIGHT: When the doctors and I first got to Rob at camp, he was flat out on his side. Flat out. He was shaking uncontrollably and he was slobbering from the mouth. I knew it was bad because Rob is not the kind of guy who ever complains about physical pain. He’ll complain about damn near everything else, but he’s pretty self-contained when it comes to pain. He was out of it. Before the docs diagnosed it as merely the flu, I thought he was going to have to be evacuated. I doubt Rob has any idea how bad it really was, I don’t think he remembers much of what happened.
After the doctors had run their tests and determined that he was okay to continue, he and I sat and talked for quite a while. He just needed time to get strong enough so that he could stand up and walk back over to the rest of the tribe. It was a pretty funny, and at times emotional, exchange. He kept repeating that he didn’t want to “let anybody down” because he loved the game so much. But as his mind cleared up a bit, those noble feelings were replaced by a more familiar Boston Rob refrain: “Screw it. I’m gonna win this damn game.”
I half expected him to stand up, staggering to maintain balance and yell to no one in particular: “Adrienne! Adrienne!
A DREAM ALLIANCE
Russell is obviously annoyed with Rob being the one in charge, but if Rob and Russell could get rid of their egos and team up they could run this game to the end. Russell offers Rob the energy to play a very aggressive game and Rob offers Russell the wisdom of when to simmer down. If it happens, watch out.
BETTER KEEP AN EYE ON CIRIE
Cirie is amazing. I am so impressed by how good a player she has become, so subtle with her maneuvering of people. Like her or not, I’d put Cirie in the top twenty players of all time. She will definitely have her hands full this season because she is playing against a lot of very good players but she is quite clever and if they let her last for long she will be in an alliance that will be too tight to break.
NOW TO THE BIG NEWS…
The heroes are clearly starting to fall apart. I still do not understand the rationale of players who come into this game, some of them for the third time, and continue to make selfish decisions, based solely on alliances, in only the SECOND WEEK OF THE GAME!
Voting out Stephenie? Really? Even on Ambien that makes no sense. The Sugar vote made sense. This vote… no sense. Obviously, I’m not out there playing, so it’s easy for me to sit back and judge. But Stephenie? This vote really surprised me and it was all based on alliances. Week-two alliances.
FUTURE PLAYERS, HEAR ME WHEN I SAY THIS: Voting out great players in the second week is idiotic. It almost always works against you. Look at the history of Survivor. When the game starts it is a “team” game. The more you win as a team the longer you are guaranteed to stay in the game. The more you lose, the more you go to tribal council and the more likely you are to be voted out.
This very simple strategic idea has been lost over the years. It used to be a no-brainer to keep your tribe strong, but the game has changed. It makes no difference to me how people play, but if the heroes continue to lose keep that idea in mind.
Maybe next year we’ll get a group of people who play a little more “old-school” Survivor and then we can see if my comments hold any water.
There are certainly many examples of winners who formed alliances on day two that took them to the end. Of course there are, because most everybody is forming those kinds of alliances so obviously it will work out for one player. But for everybody else, it will fail. It is not the smartest way to play this game. You need to be able to balance your alliance while keeping the tribe strong.
And while we’re on the topic, “strong” doesn’t just mean in challenges. Strong means work ethic, attitude, ability to provide food or build shelter, as well as leadership abilities and a whole host of other qualities.
WHICH LEADS ME TO…
I’m going to say something that will probably be very unpopular but if I were on the Heroes tribe I would have to seriously consider getting rid of James. I know he’s the strongest guy to ever play this game, but his attitude is just not there and that is more damaging long term than his biceps are helpful short term.
He ran around camp telling everybody that Stephenie was a loser and she should be voted out. He caused as much disharmony with his running around as Stephenie did by talking during the challenge. But it was his outburst at tribal council that was most unnerving.
But here’s the issue…
Players get so locked into their vote that they rarely change their mind at tribal council.
NOTE # 2 TO ALL FUTURE PLAYERS: If you are at tribal and something is going south – have the guts to change your mind and call an audible. Make a stand. To get a shot at the million dollars you have to make it to the end and to get to the end you have to avoid tribal council and to avoid tribal council you have to win.
STEPHENIE AND BEYOND
The hero tribe will need some time to recover from tonight’s vote and not simply because they lost a very strong player in Stephenie. The real damage came at the hands of James. His comments must have left a bad taste in the mouth of every other member on the Hero tribe.
The hero tribe now needs to heal and come back together as a tribe. It’s only day six. The problem is, healing takes time and Survivor waits for nothing and no one.
Some of the best one-liners of the season are in next week’s episode. Enjoy.