Posts Tagged ‘tom westman’

Survivor Survival Guide: “Glitter in Their Eyes”

“I hate to say it, but I’m looking forward to Tribal Council. We’re finally going to get this tribe to play the game. This is real, and it starts now.”

–Marty

You might even have been able to tell from the episode’s title — “Glitter in Their Eyes” — that last night’s third installment of Survivor: Nicaragua was going to be about Marty’s attempt to take down Jimmy Johnson.

Marty’s anti-JJ agenda has been clear for some time now, and he wanted to establish himself as the leader of Espada, the older tribe. It started while they were out searching for fruit, with Jimmy playfully making monkey noises and several of the tribemates practically swooning over him. “His soul is inspiring,” said Yve. Marty was having none of it, saying he couldn’t risk taking Jimmy to the merge, when his celebrity and leadership could win over a whole new tribe of converts.*

*It’s interesting and telling that Marty seems to have never considered the potential advantages of this. For instance, if the two tribes merge at roughly equal numbers, and Jimmy’s charisma is able to win over someone from La Flor, it can tilt the balance in Espada’s favor post-merge. Marty, it seems, is thinking even longer-term than that.

Marty won himself some dap by revealing to the tribe that he had found the Hidden Immunity Idol, doing so almost begrudgingly on Jill’s counsel. It was a calculated but, from his perspective, low-risk move: Keeping the idol secret only benefits him if he’s on the chopping block, and Marty doesn’t plan on being on the chopping block until after the merge.* It’s also clear that he doesn’t plan on letting anyone else use it anytime soon, but Marty had won at least one fan in his tribe. “That move just strengthened this tribe about five times,” Jimmy T. said. “I was like, ‘What a guy! Way to go, Marty!’ I wouldn’t have done that.”** In the process, Jimmy T. firmly reminded us that Espada is a tribe of the elderly by using “What a guy” and “Way to go” as his primary means of exclamation.

* Of course, if someone from Espada turns and lets La Flor know about the HII post-merge, well, it can come back to bite Marty.

**He also didn’t mention, at least in the footage we saw, Jill’s role in finding the idol at all. Hmm.

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Survivor Survival Guide: “Tonight We Make Our Move”

Tomorrow we make our apologies. Tonight we make our move.”

—Tom

When Survivor first introduced Exile Island and the Hidden Immunity Idol several years ago, I wasn’t really sold on either concept. Exile Island scenes tended to take time away from more important stuff going on in camp or in challenges, while the Hidden Immunity Idol was an oft-discussed but rarely used piece of strategy. As time wore on, although my feelings about Exile Island haven’t changed, I’ve grown to enjoy the extra strategizing that the hidden idol requires.

Last night was the perfect case in point. After the Villains won the first independent Reward Challenge since the first episode (the last two weeks, reward was folded into the immunity challenge), both tribes found a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol placed on their beach. The problem, however, is that the discoveries in each tribe were made publicly, and therefore nobody could surreptitiously look for the idol. It was interesting that the Villains decided not to waste time searching for it, instead opting to work on their somehow-still-not-built-despite-winning-reward-specifically-designed-for-it shelter.* The Heroes, on the other hand, all went after it at the same time individually. Not surprisingly, Tom was able to find it before anyone else, but he wasn’t able to slip it into his sock before Amanda spotted him. Tom and Colby were already on the outs once Steph was voted off, and the idol placed a larger target on the fireman’s back while giving him a potential way out.

*Russell did get caught “going for a walk” to look for the idol; after I heard how shrewd this guy was in getting to the finals last season, I expected him to be a little quicker than that. Wait till nightfall at least dude! If you’re THAT good at finding hidden idols, darkness ain’t a problem.**

**Best line of the night comes courtesy of Boston Rob on Russell: “He’s like the hobbit on crack.” I was going to criticize him for referring to Smeagol as a hobbit, but he’s right. Continue reading