OWWWWWW, MY NECK!!! No one told me watching Survivor was dangerous for your health. I know I’ve killed approximately 5,382,769 brain cells (and 8,479,363 cans of Milwaukee’s Best) watching this program over the past 10 years, but who knew it could also induce a serious case of whiplash? Because that’s what I’m suffering from after trying to follow all that strategic back and forth in the latest episode. Tom’s going home! No, wait, it’s Colby! Hold on, it’s Candice! No, it’s back to Colby! Cirie? Cirie?!? Like I said, whiplash.
And I’ll admit it: I was stone cold fooled. I was sure the hesitation we were seeing from J.T. was a pump fake from producers to get us to think he was wavering about leaving the majority when in reality he would just end up staying put. And I was sure that it was curtains for Colby once J.T. talked at Tribal about trusting the people he was in an alliance with, assuming those people were James, Rupert, and Amanda. And then KABLAMO! Although I really shouldn’t have been so surprised at all: Check out my video interview with J.T. before the game started where he talks about wanting to get rid of Cirie first. Her strategic game scared the bejeezus out of J.T., much in the same way Candice started to frighten him as well. So by ousting Cirie, J.T. was staying true to his strategy of eliminating the schemers first. But still, it was a bold, risky call. J.T. was in a very safe place in the tribe before that vote, but he certainly has made some enemies now.
On the flip side, he’s also made himself a much more interesting character. I always thought Probst and the producers overestimated J.T.’s appeal to viewers. I think we all respected the way he played in Tocantins, which, frankly, was pretty flawless. But while he may have been a super dynamic personalityin the game (how else to explain all those folks falling head over heels in love with him), he wasn’t so dynamic on the show. (Losing his tooth and then throwing it in the mud was kinda badass, though.) However, here we saw a true gamer thinking through every scenario.
Whether J.T.’s big move ends up working out for him really depends on if it helps the Heroes to start winning. Colby’s obviously a bigger asset in the challenges than Cirie (even if he couldn’t make a basket last night to save his life. It was like he channeled John ”2 for 18” Starks of the Knicks from Game 6 of the 1994 finals). If the Heroes can go on a run, then it may have been the right call. But if they keep on losing, now he’s made himself a target. Too early to say if it’s a great move, but I do know this: It made for freakin’ great television.
NEXT: Coach sheds a tear… for himself