BY ROB CESTERNINO (Survivor Amazon & All-Stars)
Another week of Survivor is in the books and its looking like it's everybody vs. Troyzan at this point. Usually everybody is rooting for the underdog but somehow that's not the case here. Let's figure out what's going on by looking at the 5 Things that Stood Out from this Week's Show:
5. Dead Zan Walking - This week's episode was very much Troyzan's from the moment the show started all the way through Leif being voted out. Through it all we really got to see the good, bad and the ugly of the game that Troy is playing this season. Let's start with the ugly. Troyzan is not doing himself any favors by taunting the women before, during and after these challenges. First off, it's never a good idea to taunt a group of women who haven't eaten in almost a month. Second, he is making his job harder because he needs to be winning these women over to advance in the game and not uniting the women all against him. You could make the argument that Troyzan is making himself so unliked that he could be a desirable finals opponent, but I don't think this is his intention. After winning the challenge, Troyzan went to work on Christina and Alicia to try to get them to flip against Kim. This was the correct strategic thing to do and points to Troyzan being a good player when he wants to be... yet his plea fell on deaf ears. He's now painted himself in a corner where none of the women want to listen to him and he's forced to win immunity after immunity for the foreseeable future. I know Troyzan plans to win every challenge but this is not a sustainable strategy in the game. For Troyzan to make it even another week in this game, he needs start turning on the charm. You attract more flies with honey on Survivor... although, to be honest, you really don't have to do anything to attract flies or any other insects on Survivor, but you get what I'm saying.
4. Alicia's Keys to Victory - I really feel like Alicia made a very bad non-move by not working to make Troyzan's flip happen. How good of a position would Alicia be in if she was in an alliance with Troyzan, Tarzan, Leif and Christina? Would she not have been a lock for the finals sitting with this motley crew? Now yes, Alicia would certainly make some enemies in the game by making a bold move like that but she would also drastically improve here chances of making it to the end. In Survivor, the time to make moves after the merge is always when there are odd numbers. There were nine people and Alicia didn't want to make a move then so the next real opportunity will be when there is seven. Assuming the women get Troyzan out of the game next week, Alicia could potentially grab Christina, Kat and Tarzan and have a four person majority. I know Alicia is not the biggest fan of Christina but working with her at that spot will be the last point in the game to stop the threesome of Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina from getting to the end. Alicia still has a chance but her time is running out.
3. Kimpressive - Right now Kim is just on cruise control in this game. Troyzan is winning immunities but he plays into her hand perfectly by irritating her alliance with his trash talk. Kim played this week perfectly by voting Leif out of the game instead of one of the more expendable women in her alliance. Voting out a woman may have been just the wakeup call that Alicia or Kat need to start exploring their other options with Troyzan or Tarzan. Instead, she slowly begins to moving her pieces around the chess board to close in on checkmating Troyzan. Eventually, he won't win an immunity and Kim will get him out of the game. I've said it the last couple of weeks and I'll say it again, right now nobody is playing this game on the same level as Kim.
2. Tarzan's Shocks - I was very surprised this week by Tarzan because it looks like he really could be set up pretty well here for the home stretch. Once again, Tarzan voted with the women, which cannot be coincidence. We're not seeing it on the show but Tarzan definitely is being told how to vote by one of the women. Is it Kim? Is it Alicia? It's difficult to say but I think it was very telling that Tarzan did not go along with Troyzan's plan this week. Tarzan also calmed Troyzan down after the immunity challenge but I thought it was interesting that Tarzan said to Troyzan that "he's trying to beat him". The game is afoot... and Tarzan is emerging as a real dark horse to get to the end. You know, a million dollars can buy a lot of shocks for the Tarzanmobile.
1. Falling Leif - Of course, we can't end the immunity blog without saying farewell to Leif. While I'll certainly miss him going forward, it's not because he had any role in the game whatsoever. It really isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that I had as much to do with the impact of how Survivor: One World turned out as Leif did... but we cannot hold this against him. Let us not forget that nobody celebrated a victory better than Leif in the history of the show with all of his flipping and jumping talents. Whether he was getting stuck in the sand under a log, drooling over hamburgers or trying to defend Michael in the basketball game, Leif provided entertainment in the challenges. Most of all, nobody in the history of Survivor ever slept in a coffin like Leif. Something tells me he just gives us our first must see Ponderosa videos of Survivor: One World. Do you think Troyzan can really pull this off or do you agree that he's dead in the water? Let me know what you think on twitter, I'm @RobCesternino