Survivor Review: Save These People From Themselves

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Genius is what that was.

The above quote, uttered by David after the former Ometepe tribe’s bold move at this week’s tribal council, represents the only moment when it seemed that anyone besides Boston Rob was really thinking about the game.

The rest of the former Zapateras couldn’t figure out why Boston Rob and Ometepe would seemingly turn on one of their own. But David realized the brilliance of removing any doubt to Ometepe’s plan.

David Murphy On Zapatera

The former Ometepe’s still have the numbers, so getting rid of Matt doesn’t matter from that perspective. Only Andrea was even remotely close with Matt and the former Zapateras overestimated Matt’s connection with her.  All Matt really did for all of the former Ometepe’s was present someone who might ruin their plan by changing sides.

Knowing that they needed at least Matt to flip to force a tie, Mike, the ring leader of the former Zapatera effort to get Matt to their side, relied on a note which simply read “vote for Grant and you’ll be in the top three”.  Really, Mike, that’s the best you can do?  Your word that you can get Matt to the top three when there are twelve people left in the game?

Why not give Matt more power to control his own destiny by handing him the immunity idol.  Sure, there’s a risk that he’ll just take it and stay with the Ometepes, but if he doesn’t vote with them, they’re dead anyway.  They’d need to get lucky on a one in five guess of using the hidden immunity idol on the person the Ometepes were voting for.  This isn’t a better solution?

Far more importantly, isn’t this a stronger showing of their loyalty to Matt?  Even if Matt can’t get Andrea to flip – and again, they overestimated his bond with her – if just Matt votes with the former Zapateras a six-six draw is formed and their odds of surviving have gone from 20% (one in five) to 50%. 
Mike Chiesl and David Murph

From Matt’s perspective he can play the idol right away if he’s nervous that he’s going home. Even if he’s not, having the idol relieves any stress Matt might feel about being on the bottom rung of the Zapatera alliance. 

The former Zapatera tribe members did not choose to go this route, in fact they didn’t even consider it.  Now they’re still down in the numbers and do not have a hidden immunity idol.  Way to go, guys.

However, this wasn’t the only example of player’s being irrational with their game thinking this week.  Starting with the fallout from last week’s tribal council, why was David ok with Ralph voting for him?  What does telling Ralph this accomplish?  What does cutting him off from explaining himself accomplish?  It’s almost like David was more interested in appearing confident than hearing what his tribe mate had to say about writing his name.

Then there’s the person who was actually voted off, Sarita, who wasn’t even angry with her tribe for sending her to Redemption Island.  Upon meeting Matt at Redemption Island she tells him that there are good people on her tribe.  Really?  They just voted out even though you argued at tribal council that they shouldn’t.  Makes you wonder if she even believed the arguments she was making.

Certainly the biggest idiot this week was Matt.  First, he confronts Grant about why he was sent home and immediately buys his BS line about them worried he was working with Kristina.  How was Matt’s reaction not something to the effect of “Kristina?!?  I never said a word to her”?  Instead he just says “oh, ok”.

Matt Elrod At Camp

Later Matt gives Boston Rob the ammunition he needs by telling him about his plot to vote him out.  Once again, these people can not keep their mouths shut.  All Matt needed to do was tell Rob he was with Ometepe.  What good comes from “coming clean” with Boston Rob?  Has anyone benefited from coming clean in Survivor before?  And then he puts the cherry on top by selling out Andrea, in front of Boston Rob no less.

What’s most interesting about everything that happened this week was we’ll never know what would have happened if Matt simply had kept his mouth shut.  Would the former Ometepes have done the “genius” move and voted out Matt anyway?  We’ll never know…

More from this week:

  • For all of the Philip-haters out there you better get used to him.  He’s not a threat to anyone and his alliance is in power.  He’s also a great candidate to take to the finals because he’s crazy.  He’s not going anywhere.
  • Speaking of Philip, it’s clear now that Jeff knows how to push Philip’s buttons to create good television.  I’m sure Jeff knows Philip’s a train wreck and I’m sure he also knows it makes for great television.
  • As hilarious as Boston Rob’s commentary on the Mike/Matt Christian coalition that was forming, there was a lot of Survivor experience in there.  Rob knows the power of groups, whether it be a pair or more.  The trust that builds in a group which bonds over non-game activities is much stronger than any alliance.  Breaking that up makes sense.
  • Did anyone else notice that Jeff made no comments about the Murlonio tribe name that Boston Rob hilariously suggested?  I figured Boston Rob would be outed when Jeff did that, but we never saw anything.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (15 Votes)
Mr probst

@Steve-O - I completely agree about the Zapateras needing to form bonds with the Ometepes whether they're talking about strategy or not. It's why Boston Rob commented that he needed to break up the Christian Coalition that was brewing when Matt was around. It's much easier to form strategy with someone you have a bond with vs. just trying to lay down a plan to someone you barely know.


One more thing I wanted to point out: It was hilarious to see Grant's reactions change as the ballots with his name was being read. Did anyone else notice this? After the first one he laughed it off. At the second he kind of chuckled. The third it started to sink in and he was quite, observant. At the fourth he was looking very concerned. At the fifth he was absolutely stricken with anxiety. Priceless. Thank you, Grant, for that moment of laughter at your expense. :o)


What amazed me most about this week's episode was how uncreative and non-strategic the former Zapatera members were, given their situation. Particularly, their inability and lack of desire to really engage the former Ometepes after the merge. In many ways, Survivor is all about personalities and communication. Not to communicate with the other tribe is foolish in the short-term (for tribal council) and the long-term (for jury votes). Moreover, the Zapatera tribe saw the merge as a zero sum game. They looked at it like: well, we have our numbers, we must play the idol at this tribal and we must play it correctly with (as Luke noted) a 20% chance of accurately guessing who to "save", and we have to convince Matt to join us. If we don't do that we are doomed. What kind of strategy is that??? Are you kidding me? Initially, I was stunned that no one came up with the idea of talking to one of the peons (as in anyone but Rob and Crazy Philip) of the former Ometepe to see if they were having problems with Matt. If they found out Matt was being wishy-washy to Ometepe, they could have offered the idea of voting Matt out WITH the Ometepes. Had they done this, at a minimum, it would have given them something to talk about with a person on the other tribe (and who knows where that could lead you in the next 3 days?). At best, had both teams agreed to vote for Matt, it also would have allowed former Zapatera to hold their idol, it would have given them a few more days to strengthen the relationship with the Ometepe Peon before the line is drawn in the sand, and most importantly it would have given them another strategic option. Talking to a peon ometepe could also have the unintended consequence of making Boston Rob think whoever zapatera was talking to was untrustworthy, possibly causing Boston Rob to mutiny one of his allies earlier then planned. Dave also surprised me in this episode...with his seemingly unintelligent and un-analytical brain. I will state it right now: DAVE HAS ZERO CHANCE TO WIN THIS GAME. That narcissistic bitter attitude he copped at tribal council about the tarp did absolutely nothing to endear him to anyone in the game. Moreover, I am not all impressed with his self-proclaimed analytical and strategic skills. From what we saw, he brought forth nothing to the table and then sat their at Tribal Council uttering that the vote was "brilliant". Come on, bro! Had you watched a few seasons of Survivor (which according to something I read about this season he saw one or two seasons just before he left) he would have known that going after Matt would be a plausible option for all of the former ometepes. Even if he wasn't a Survivor fan, it simply makes good sense to get rid of a wish-washy wild card at this point in the game. This brings me to say that while I thought the Tribal council was exciting, fun, and interesting, it certainly was not "brilliant" in my mind. It was more like "logical" or slightly "intelligent" from Ometepe's perspective. I agree with Luke about Philip lasting for awhile. A player like Philip is golden once you get to the merge with numbers. He'll last for sometime. The main thing that might derail him is if he opens his mouth about joining with a few remaining zapateras, and the rest of the Ometepes feel he has to go because he can't be trusted and they coincidentally need to whittle their numbers anyway, so they vote him out. I also noted that about the tribe name. In most seasons he asks someone about it at the next challenge or tribal council. I was equally surprised that no one there new Spanish well enough to call BS on Boston Rob. I don't know Spanish very well, but I knew it well enough to know that Murlionio didn't even really sound Spanish. If I were in this season of Survivor, I would be humiliated with how completely incompetent Rob makes me look...and he does a lot of it for his own personal amusement. The question I have is: When in this game will Boston Rob get a legitimate target on his back? Will he get blindsided? Will he lose control of the tribe and have it turn on him en masse. It almost makes me think of Stephanie LaGrossa's second season in Survivor Guatemala. She made it to the final 2, but lost the final tribal council vote (mostly because she played before).

Mr probst

I'm pretty sure Jeff has asked about the tribe names before. Instances such as when the two tribes just literally merge their old tribe names to create a word. If Ometepe and Zapatera called themselves Ometara or Zapatepe, for instance. Rob certainly isn't the first person to make up a name before. I just felt like claiming it was a Spanish word was ballsy. Unlike with some of the other obscure languages in the past, someone could easily know Spanish and know that Murlonio is not a real word. Still hilarious.


nah Jeff has never talked about the name of the tribe, no matter how big the bullshit is. Boston Rob is not the first person to make up a tribe name and give it some native meaning....

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Survivor Season 22 Episode 8 Quotes

I'm ready to sink my teeth in to some of the members of the other tribe.


Sarita took it like a champ.