Survivor Stock Watch: Week 5
It took until week 5, but we got our first major shake up of the competition this week on Survivor, with a tribe mix-up. Jeff had the castaways randomly draw new buffs, decreasing the tribes from three to two and discarding the labels of Brains, Brauns, and Beauties. Usually at this point of the game, we get to see who some of the better competitors are, as the castaways often have to adapt to new tribe-mates and have to find a way to stay alive to the merge so that they can reunite with former alliances. Let’s take a look at who did well this week, and who didn’t.
Scot – Stock Going Up
This was a very up-and-down week for the former NBA player, as he found himself in a hairy situation following the tribe swap. Placed on a tribe in which he was the only member of the Braun tribe, Scot had to think on his feet very quickly in order to put himself in any sort of advantageous situation. Luckily for him, he was picked up by two members of the Beauty tribe, putting himself in a situation of safety immediately. However, Scot didn’t stop there. Tai told Scot that he had a Hidden Immunity Idol, knowledge that Scot found very useful as he also knew that Jason (former Braun tribe mate) had an Idol of his own. This made Scot the only player in the game to know the location of two Hidden Idols and, thus, the existence of the Super Idol (which can be played after votes are read). Scot took this even further by convincing Tai not to play his idol to save fellow Beauty Anna, earning Tai’s trust in the process. Scot looks really good right now no matter how you slice it.
Tai – Stock Going Down
Where Scot succeeded, I think Tai failed this week. Tai obviously benefits from finding a new alliance in Scot, someone who I think will have his back going forward since Tai has the idol. However, I’m of the opinion that he would have been better off sticking with Anna and using this week to blindside Peter. This is only my opinion, but I feel like Anna would have kept Tai safer in the game long-term, and aligning himself with the all-girls alliance would have done him better. I get the sense that Scot (which in turn means Jason) is going to discard Tai as soon as he’s had his use of him. I could totally be proven wrong here, and I hope I am because I really like Tai a lot. However, I get the sense that Tai will live to regret this move. (Side note: I’m really disappointed that Anna got sent home this week. I thought she was an extremely smart player who could’ve gone far if it wasn’t for the tribe swap. That being said, she too quickly looked to secure her safety by trying to throw Tai under the bus with her new tribe. This established her as a threat with literally everyone on her new tribe, and they made the right move in sending her packing).
Neal – Stock Going Up
I’m a simple guy. All I really need for you to make this list is to find a Hidden Immunity Idol, which is what Neal was able to do here. I’ve liked Neal from the jump, as I found him to be the type of player who knew not to assert himself too aggressively (cough cough Anna) but make the moves needed to keep him in a good place. By finding the idol before the tribe swap, Neal was able to do this. Plus, after the swap, it appears as if Neal and Debbie lead the clubhouse in their chances of aligning with Jason and Cyndy. That could be a strong group of four moving forward and could spell disaster for the once dominant Beauty tribe.
Julia – Stock Going Down
Real talk for a second: would any of us be able to do a show like Survivor when we were eighteen? I know I certainly couldn’t, but it seems like young Julia thinks she can. Following the tribe swap, one castaway was left out of the equation due to the numbers being uneven. This was Julia, who was forced to spend a few nights on the old beach of the Braun tribe by herself. I have a lot of respect for this girl, who had to do all of this by herself at such a young age. However, she started to suffer from dehydration since she couldn’t start a fire by herself and will be significantly weaker in the game going forward. Plus, she will now be inserted into the tribe in which Anna was just sent home from. Not only is she weakened physically, not only has she lost her best alliance member, but she also has to try to integrate herself into a new tribe where it seems like Beauty members are the target. Things aren’t looking good for the youngest member of the show.
Kyle Kirby covers TV for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @couch_qb.