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S28.E08: Bag of Tricks

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Holy blindsides! I would have bet everything LJ was going to win this. Now I have no idea where this is going.

Love Tasha. And glad Kass lost the reward challenge again.

Edited by Haleth

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When I saw how many talking heads he got I was afraid that it would be LJ. 

 

My sweet LJ. I was pulling for him. Clearly Sarah and Morgan were tickled pink at the idea of having LJ to themselves for three days. I'm looking forward to the Ponderosa clip to post. 

Tony is a piece of work. Didn't he out himself as a cop to half the tribe two weeks back? Yet he's still trying to pull the "I'm in construction" crap. I enjoy his ability to manipulate folks. I was shocked how many people think he is their closest alliance. LJ, Woo and Trisha all think they are his number two. I love how he can sell so many stories to so many people. But his mentality is grating. 

Next week looks excellent. Though I was hoping for more fallout from Tony's flip... here's hoping that Woo is ok. 

The reward challenge looked great, but I kept thinking of how little I wanted to see Jeremiah, Tony or Spencer in a kimono. I wasn't too keen on watching their feet get the rub down. But I love the spa reward. It looks so wonderful in the context of the game and sets up a great opportunity for strategy. And how fortunate that Spencer and Jeremiah were the ones to go with Tony. I"m convinced that if it weren't those three the voting would have gone differently. 

I was tickled for Tasha.. she needed a win. That immunity challenge is a bitch. I'm convinced that I would be one of the first out under those circumstances. 

 

All in all, great episode... next week should be great... so long as Woo is ok. 

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Well, I know one thing for sure.  The women on the jury, Sarah and Morgan, like Tasha but they LOATHE Kass.  Makes me think that a savvy player would pick up on this dynamic and drag the Kass-goat to the end.  I feel the same way.  At first I liked Kass but tonight I found myself muttering to my TV:  "I hate you."

Thing is though, I'm not sure that any of the remaining players picked up on the jury fondness for Tasha or hatred of Kass.  They were all too worried about shifting alliances and being voted out.  We'll see. Of all of them, I'm betting on my fave Tasha for being observant and  tribal dynamics,  Girlfriend proved herself smart in the IC.  I love seeing a smart, attractive, and nice AA woman on Survivor.

I think Spencer is also smart enough to get the tribal dynamics.  He is impressing me as a strategic player although I'm distressed by his view that Mitt Romney is his hero.

I don't think that Tony will get any tribal personalities or interactions at all.  He is playing too hard and is too focused on making big moves.  And. judging by Sarah's eye-rolling tonight when Tony announced that he is "in construction", she will bust him within the next 2 tribals.

Edited by susannot
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Boo!  I hate seeing Tony and Spencer get their way.  It was good to see Tasha win immunity.  I hope she keeps some momentum, because spazzy Tony may see her as a threat now since she won tonight and came so close last week.

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After LJ stood up Tasha I was rooting for him to go home. I understood not wanting to make Tony paranoid but he could have managed to hear her out. I also thought tony played it wrong by not going to Trish before he lined everyone up against LJ. She's going to be so angry at him.

Tasha was second in the physical challenge last week and first in the mental challenge this week. I hope they continue to underestimate her.

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Tony can take a lesson on how to celebrate from Spencer .  . . at least try to keep it quiet. And I never got the appeal of LJ, so things weren't distressing for me this week. We might get an interesting ending this season, even if Tony pounds his meat on a regular basis and gets the Tyler Perry Diary Of A Mad Idol in the next few episodes.

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I don't really care that Tony got rid of LJ out of paranoia. I'm more interested in how smartly and smoothly he pulled it off. I'll admit I was once again impressed by his play. I *want* Tasha or Trish to win, but damn if Tony isn't starting to look as if he deserves it.

But, oh, my. What is Trish going to say?

P.S. Having said all that, man, they ought to ALL vote his ass off next week!

Edited by picklesprite
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Ugh. Tony is just playing So. Damn. Hard. He makes moves whenever he can but not when he should. LJ was right they just needed to ride the wave to shore but Tony couldn't take it that LJ might be looking better on his board. Tony is going to burn SO many bridges before he's done he'll be standing on one foot at FTC. Whoever is with him will knock him down easily (should he make it that is). It was really impressive how he got this done today but in the end it was a move that didn't need to be made.

With all the eyerolling I thought Sarah's were going to stick that way... most animated jury ever.

Retro-Edit Snaporaz I think she'll take it with a "Okay, but you should have told me!" response how much that wounds her/changes how she thinks about Tony remains to be seen. But, Tony was right to not tell the women as the women all voting one way made the vote that much easier to turn his way and get LJ out. He didn't need to get everyone, just enough to get a majority.

Edited by Wandering Snark
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I do wonder how Trish will take this, because even though she's been allied with Tony longer, she really seemed to bond with LJ.  I think Tony burned Trish more than he did LJ.

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Tony: "When I talk to LJ, it's like looking in a mirror."

World to Tony:  "Get a new mirror.  Leave us LJ." 

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In every reaction shot, Sarah and Morgan sure looked like a pair of Bitter Betties wrt every time Kass was asked a question, or even when she walked by them to vote. They are entitled to not like her, but she wasn't the one who voted them off the island, a group of ~7 people voted them off because you played the game poorly. You LOST ladies, don't make yourselves look like catty sore losers too. That being said, someone who is actually still in the game best realize this, and make sure they take Kass to the end with them, that's at least two votes away from her for sure.

Why did Tony revert to the construction story? Didn't he already tell half the tribe the truth? The fact that noone seemed to react to the lie (besides Sarah) shows just how truly in his pocket/taken in all those folks are. Interesting. The girls (Trish, Jefra) in his alliance are bound to be a little miffed on being left out of his blindside decision, guess we know who is on the bottom in that "alliance" now!

I think Woo will land on his feet, so to speak. Sure it sucks to fall out of a tree, but he won't likely go out on an injury.

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Wow... this season is already easily the best in recent memory and, at least for me, in the Top 5 of all time.  It's so unpredictable and exciting!  There's a bunch of players that are actually playing the game, which is a refreshing change of pace.

Man, Tony really seems to be overplaying his hand lately.  After this, I don't think he'd win even if he does make the Final Three.  I appreciate that he is playing for himself, but he seems to flip for the sake of flipping.  First, he nearly threw a challenge to dump Cliff.  Now, he cuts LJ, who showed no signs of flipping on Tony and even PLAYED AN IDOL on Tony in the recent past.  So I don't know... I like that Tony's playing for himself, but the timing and the targets of his flips seem to be off (at least from what we've been shown so far).  Maybe it works out for him.  I'm betting it doesn't!

Kudos to Tasha for winning that memory immunity challenge.  Finally, someone from the former brains tribe demonstrates that they have one!  It seems to me that Spencer or Tasha seem poised to win the season based on the edit and where current allegiances lie.  Now that the 6 is fractured, everything is up in the air and I'm loving it.

Trish is actually quite perceptive.  First, she correctly identified Kass as the weak link in the brains-beauty-S'ara alliance.  Now, she noticed the issues with Tony's paranoia and was tasked with easing his concerns.  Fortunately, she failed at that task!

It's interesting that Woo voted with Tony in the end there.  From what we saw on TV, it seems to me that Tony wasn't going to flip unless someone else was gonna do it with him.  He approached Trish and, when that didn't work, he approached Woo.  I think Woo's strategy is to ride Tony's coattails to the finals and then beat him because he got his hands dirty.  Not a bad strategy, and it just might work... unless he's the victim of the next Tony blindside.

How funny that they have a challenge heavily featuring sandbags immediately after Morgan is voted off...

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Though shocked, I was happy LJ left because:
#1….Spencer didn't leave!
#2….all the predictions that LJ wins or LJ is in F2 are wrong!

I actually didn't find Trish annoying tonight.
Tony is playing hard, but I think all the lying will catch up to him. I think he will have a spot in a future all star season.
Kass bugs me anymore.
Tasha is kicking some butt!
I doubt Woo gets hurt enough to leave……I don't think they'd have shown that if it were something, they may want it to be a surprise. I think they want us to think he will be really hurt.

Does anyone think the alliances will fracture more now? Maybe Spencer, Tasha & Jeremiah can get a few over to their side.

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Tony: "When I talk to LJ, it's like looking in a mirror."

World to Tony:  "Get a new mirror.  Leave us LJ." 

I actually laughed so hard when Tony said this that I had to rewind. Oh, my. I know he was talking more his view of gameplay than physical resemblance, but I could not keep it together.

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If I was promised a massage as a reward for winning a challenge and all I got was a weird community foot rub, during which I had to listen to Tony flap his trap nonstop, I'd be so pissed.  

Just watching it stressed me out.  

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EC Amber said:

I was shocked how many people think he is their closest alliance. LJ, Woo and Trisha all think they are his number two.

 

I'm pretty sure LC doesn't think so anymore :)  But seriously, I'm surprised how many people have bought into Tony's schtick.  From the sofa, he seems so insincere, but then again, I guess if I weren't privy to his confessionals, I might believe him, too.

 

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Woo isn't likely to get hurt as long as he doesn't land on his head, break it and let all the air out. 

If he does have to go, that isolates Tony.   Tony and Woo were the ones who joined the former NewBrains to vote out LJ.   That means Trish/Jefra/Kass were not in on it.  Even without an injury that leaves Tony & Woo with some explaining to do.  Without Woo, Tony would have to do all that explaining himself. 

All in all I think they have to stick with Tony for a vote or two yet. 

Tony answered the 'construction' question that Jeff asked.  Peachy was pretending he doesn't know about the Police Officer reveal.

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I feel like Tony might overthink things at some point and strategize his way out of the game. I hope so, anyway, because I would find that amusing.

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I'm sad LJ went home. Mostly because I had him in my Survivor pool. I never manage to win. 

I can't stand Tony or Kass. Either one of them can go next and I wouldn't shed a tear. 

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Wonder what Kass thinks now about not voting Tony off last week?

LJ played his idol for Tony last week, so he wouldn't have been "voted off" even if they had voted for him.

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After LJ stood up Tasha I was rooting for him to go home.

Tasha was second in the physical challenge last week and first in the mental challenge this week. I hope they continue to underestimate her.

I had the same reaction to LJ just standing her up.  It's usually a good idea to keep your options open, and had his plan gone right, Tasha would have been on the jury eventually, so it made no sense to just ignore her.

I think Tasha has a great chance of winning if she makes it to the end.  People (including Sarah and Morgan) really seem to like her, she's good at challenges, she's a good speaker, and has a great story of starting out on the worst team in history and making it to the end.  And nobody seems to see her as a threat.

Wow... this season is already easily the best in recent memory and, at least for me, in the Top 5 of all time.  It's so unpredictable and exciting!  There's a bunch of players that are actually playing the game, which is a refreshing change of pace.

Man, Tony really seems to be overplaying his hand lately.  After this, I don't think he'd win even if he does make the Final Three.  I appreciate that he is playing for himself, but he seems to flip for the sake of flipping.  First, he nearly threw a challenge to dump Cliff.  Now, he cuts LJ, who showed no signs of flipping on Tony and even PLAYED AN IDOL on Tony in the recent past.  So I don't know... I like that Tony's playing for himself, but the timing and the targets of his flips seem to be off (at least from what we've been shown so far).  Maybe it works out for him.  I'm betting it doesn't!

I agree that this season has been great so far, and it sure looks like it will continue to be great to the end.  I have no idea where things will go from here, which is a fun place to be!  I could see just about any of the remaining players winning depending on how they get to the end from here, who they end up with, and how well they handle owning their game at FTC. 

I also agree that Tony overplayed his hand last night.  It's a bummer, because I suspect this will be a jury that could respect big moves and playing hard, and as someone else pointed out upthread, even though voting out LJ wasn't a great move at this point, Tony really made it happen smoothly.  But I think his timing is off and I think that is one of the most important and delicate things about Survivor strategy - not just making the moves, but making them at exactly the right time.  He was dead right when he said that in Survivor there are times to kick ass and times to kiss ass, and he missed the mark last night.  And I think the needless lies (who would ever care if someone is a police officer???) are going to hurt him if he makes it to the end.  People can respect lies in gameplay but nobody likes to be played for a fool.

I think his explanation to Trish is going to be "I felt this HAD to happen to save Woo - if not at this vote, certainly at the next.  You made it clear that you wanted to stay six-strong.  I didn't want to push you into doing anything, so did what I felt I had to do to keep our core 3 safe for the next few votes."  And honestly, if Trish is that upset about LJ being gone, it maybe was in Tony's best interest to make sure that LJ wasn't around to get Trish to side with him against Tony.  I just think he did it too soon.

Spencer, Jeremiah, and Tasha are in a far better place at this point - the others no longer can split the vote.  If one of them wins the next individual immunity, they can cover another with Spencer's HII that nobody else knows about.  And Spencer and Tasha have both been really strong in challenges.

Great season!!!

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Tony is playing hard and making moves a bit too soon. Get rid of Spenser or Jeremiah then take out LJ. Heck, take out Spenser and Jeremiah and then take out LJ. The Brawn members had the numbers and Beauty didn't look like they were going to make a move until they hit the 6. I am guessing their plan was to go for a tie at 6 and risk the purple rock.

I can appreciate that Tony is playing the game. He is coniving and making up BS but it is working. Cliff is gone because Tony told Sarah that Cliff and Lindsey were out for her due to her strength and puzzle skills. Now LJ is gone because Tony was able to convince Woo that LJ was gunning for him. I love that Trish saw through Tony's BS and said that his story didn't feel right to her. I think that Trish made a mistake not talking with Woo.

In a way, Tony is almsot mimicing Kim's game. He has two alliances and he is happily using weaknesses that he has identified in the larger alliance to remove the pieces that he wants gone. I think he was right, LJ is a threat. He is liked by all, quiet and not as much of a target as we were thinking. Trish likes him personally, although I got the feeling that she would have been fine voting him out at 5 or 6. The problem is that he is being a bit too obvious, Trish saw through him pretty fast, and moving a bit too soon. I think that he just cost himself Trish, LJ, and Jefra's vote. Kass will probably hate him because his move caused chaos and she is no longer the chaos queen and she hates it when she is not the center of attention. 

As for the Construction worker lie, he told his new alliance he was a cop because he felt he could trust them but he intended to carry on telling everyone else that he was a construction worker. He feels that they would take a cop more seriously then they would a construction worker and he is probably right. I did love the what the fuck look on Sarah's face when he said that.

Spenser is playing a pretty good game. He is not pressing hard even in the minority. He let Tony approach him at the reward challenge and went with the flow. He saw that what Tony was doing was set in stone and didn't bother playing his immunity idol saving it for later. The best part is that I don't think anyone knows Spenser has the immunity idol. LJ and others were ready to accept the possibility that Woo had it. LJ did not say "No way, Spenser has it." This puts Spenser in a pretty good spot. I would have prefered that Spenser not celebrate with the fist bump but I understand why he did. He was surprised and excited that he survived but hopefully he cuts back on that next time.

I sure hope Woo is ok, I am sure he is otherwise it would have made the news. But still, it looks a bit scary.

I did laugh at Tony's being upset that they voted against him two tribals in a row. Spenser's take it as a compliment was cool and Tony took it like one would expect him too. But the idea that the three should have voted for Morgan because she was lazy and not someone on the other alliance hoping for a flip was just brilliant. I also loved the you could have approached us and we would have voted with you BS.

I love this show so much better when newbies are playing.

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My Tony hate grows each week.  I think it's his voice and rapid fire speaking pattern in addition to his huge ego.  Next week we get to watch him sink further into cuckoo for cocoa puffs territory with his "stealth" spying.  UGH.  He's a paranoid hamster running on his wheel, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone else is following him.

I hope Spenser can pull this off and go to the finals w/ Tasha.  There isn't anyone else I can root for. 

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Tony answered the 'construction' question that Jeff asked.  Peachy was pretending he doesn't know about the Police Officer reveal.

Ohhh! I missed the question. Which begs the question: why keep the lie going when over half the tribe knows its a lie (and presumably Peachy does too)?

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I hate that Probst is comparing Tony to Russell. Tony is nothing like Russell. Tony is paranoid and playing too hard but he i snot bullying people, destroying their property, hiding camp tools, and geneally acting like an ass. Russell played to get to the final with no thought on how to win. Even after he realized that his approach the first two times had failed miserably, he took the same path his third time playing. Only that time his tribe new better then to keep him in the game.

Tony is playing too hard and over thinking things but he is not doing it maliciously or hiding his insanity. He was upset with the vote so he told the reamining three he was upset. His logic was stupid, we all should get rid of the people who don't deserve to be here, like Morgan, and was an attempt to hide the real reason they voted for Morgan, she didn't have an idol and no one would use one on her, but at least he said something and wasn't really all that threatening in how he did so. He was crazy to go after LJ this early in the game and probably cost himself jury votes, there is no way Jefra and LJ vote for Tony now. But he is not bullying folks.

A bull in the China shop, yup but not a bully. A bit loud but loud in a different way.

I just wish we could find a way to convince Probst that Russell was not a freaking Survivor genius who lost twice due to bitter juries but a bully who pissed off people for no good reason and taken to the finals as a goat. Tony might be taken as a goat, his agressive play is costing him votes, just like Kass. That is still different then the decision to take someone who has pissed everyone off with his antics at tribal and around camp and in conversations.

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LJ played his idol for Tony last week, so he wouldn't have been "voted off" even if they had voted for him.

That was two weeks ago, not last week. Last week, votes against Tony counted. It was Tony vs Morgan at TC.

At the spa reward, I was expecting an idol clue to turn up. Surprised there was nothing.

Tony's my fave, but he does piss me off sometimes with his stupidity. I agree that the LJ boot was too soon, and I especially felt bad for LJ after he spent the whole episode talking about how much he trusts Tony and is loyal to him.

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I'm not sure how the Simon-type challenges go down in real-time, but it seems like Jeff requires so much attention from the players that it adds an extra element of distraction. If I could just play "red, green, purple, black, etc.", I'd be fine. But with the lengthy commentary between individual tiles, I'd be hard pressed to remember correctly too.

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The trick to that type of challenge is to take the first letter of each tile and use it to make a sentence. It's a lot easier to remember a sentence, especially a silly one, than to try to remember the colors. For blue and black, use "u" and "c" instead of the first letter, though.

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Ugh! I want to like Tony, and a part of me does get a kick out of watching him play the hell out of this game. But, that's also part of my problem with him... he's just playing too hard too soon! There was no reason to get rid of LJ just yet. LJ was loyal. Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah are only loyal until the next vote. Now he's got his own alliance pissed at him and 3 wildcards who could go any direction (that means not necessarily with you, Tony!) just to keep their heads off the chopping block. Tony is like that kid at the party who has had too much Mountain Dew and is running around all crazy pants. You just keep praying the sugar rush wears off before he breaks anything.

I knew as soon as LJ said he was comfortable he was a goner. When he stood up Tash I could practically see the boot mark in his ass. What was he thinking?!? You always explore all of your options! 

Trish is a smart lady. I think she sees Tony is a dangerous player, but now I hope she does something about it.

Anyone else think Kass was trying to start making her case to the jury last night? She made decent arguments, but Sarah and Morgan weren't having it. I think they're both a couple of brats, so it doesn't surprise me that neither of them could be adult and listen to someone they don't like (in this case, Kass) making a surprisingly reasonably rational argument for why she did what she did, even if it got them booted from the game.

I'm rooting for a Trish/Tash final two. I think they both could make good cases for why they should get the money. NO goats at FTC! Pretty please.

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Tony might be taken as a goat, his agressive play is costing him votes, just like Kass. That is still different then the decision to take someone who has pissed everyone off with his antics at tribal and around camp and in conversations.

Like you, I don't think Tony is anything like Russell. But, Tony's paranoia is going to cost him jury votes. His scorched earth game strategy would make him a decent goat to bring to the final 3. Breaking up the 6, which affects their game play, voting out LJ after he played an idol for Tony, etc. doesn't endear you to the jury.

Maybe its the editing, but it appears that only Trish can see through all this and how it affects the other people in their alliance. I was dissapointed that Woo and Spencer seemed to just roll along with everything Tony was suggesting. I can see why Tony would want to get LJ off, having a lot of strong men or women left is potentially dangerous, but this didn't appear to be the right time to make the move he did last night.

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I agree that Tony is overplaying. It makes for entertaining season (much like Kass' flip), but being so unpredictable is going to cost him. Even if he does make it all the way to end, the jury are going to call him out on the lies he has told over the course of the game. But as a viewer who enjoys the tribal council-related scheming and drama, I'm hoping he gets caught out much sooner that.

I'm curious as to how Trish will handle all of this. She saw through Tony's bullshit about LJ, which means she's probably not likely to trust him again, but it also doesn't seem that she's in much of a position to be able to do anything about it. On the other hand, Tony's confessionals made it sound like he'd be willing to work with her in the future. Tony could potentially be a good goat for her (with Kass as the second in a final three scenario), but he might be too paranoid and unpredictable to keep around.

It's a good thing Tasha won this immunity. Tony didn't have any plans to work with her and it pretty much forced him to make his move involving Spencer and Jeremiah on this vote, instead of waiting. I think without the immunity necklace, Tasha would have been voted off and Spencer and Jeremiah would have been used in the next vote. I like Tasha (I don't think she'll win because she's been pretty under-the-radar from an editing perspective), so I'm glad she's sticking around.

I think that Trish made a mistake not talking with Woo.

I completely agree. I also thought it was weird that Woo didn't appear to talk to anyone in his alliance except for Tony. I also wonder what he thought when he saw that he got zero votes, even though LJ was supposedly targeting him. I realize that it can be justified as, "LJ went along with the plan for this vote, but he was going to target Woo next," but I'd be curious to know if Woo ever suspects that Tony was lying to him. On the other hand, Woo originally voted with Lindsey and Cliff, and got saved by a challenge win and the merge, so he may have never felt totally comfortable in his alliance and may have bought what Tony was selling on the back of that. All the more reason why Trish (or LJ or really anyone) should have spoken with him away from Tony.

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Wow... this season is already easily the best in recent memory and, at least for me, in the Top 5 of all time.  It's so unpredictable and exciting!  There's a bunch of players that are actually playing the game, which is a refreshing change of pace.

I agree!  Some seasons I kind of lose interest after a while, but this season (and last season's Blood vs. Water also) is totally captivating. 

I was really surprised that the memory game only went two rounds.  Granted I wasn't exhausted and starving, but I got interrupted in the middle of the second round by a phone call and could still remember when I resumed watching what the correct tiles were.  They were analyzing last night's episode on EW's Sirius radio channel this morning and one thing they pointed out was that those types of memory challenges are the only type of Survivor challenge where the audience can play along and see how they themselves would do.  They also allow someone like Tasha, who could be at a disadvantage at some of the physical challenges (although she did do great in last week's immunity challenge), to have a shot at winning immunity.

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I actually thought it made sense for LJ not to meet with Tasha (although he should have told her that instead of standing her up). If he thinks the best position for him is to move forward with Tony and he knows Tony is super paranoid, why borrow trouble by meeting with her? I think based on what he knew at the time it made sense.

What I don't understand is why Trish didn't come and tell LJ what Tony was telling her about LJ wanting to get rid of Woo. Normally I would assume she did and that it was just edited out, but given how shocked LJ was when he was voted out, I don't think she told him.

 

 

Tony: "When I talk to LJ, it's like looking in a mirror."

World to Tony:  "Get a new mirror.  Leave us LJ."

This was hilarious! I totally did a double-take when he started talking about this.

Also, Trish's crush on LJ is alive and well. She kept touching him randomly before the reward challenge. 

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I thought Tony was gonna wuss out like Kass & vote with his alliance, so good on ya editors.

I do think a Tony is playing too hard, but it has made the show more fun to watch. Maybe Tony is more believable in person and without all the info viewers are privy to, but I was kinda surprised no one thought Tony might be making up stuff to target LJ.

I'm now rooting for Tasha. She has been impressive in challenges and not annoying. Woo is pretty, but the more he talks the more stupid he seems. The bloom is off the rose.

I was surprised the memory game didn't go longer as well, but when you take lack of food and sleep into account, I guess it's not that surprising.

Edited by Joystickenvy
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Tony might be taken as a goat, his agressive play is costing him votes, just like Kass. That is still different then the decision to take someone who has pissed everyone off with his antics at tribal and around camp and in conversations.

I found it revealing that even "Chaos Kass" said that it was "too early" to make a move where they were at in the game. Now that says something about how hard Tony is working this. He wants to ride his "People that make big moves win" theory to the end by looking to make a "big move" every week and it just has to hurt him eventually even if it takes until the jury decides. Big moves for no real reason don't really impress anyone.

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What I don't understand is why Trish didn't come and tell LJ what Tony was telling her about LJ wanting to get rid of Woo. Normally I would assume she did and that it was just edited out, but given how shocked LJ was when he was voted out, I don't think she told him.

It's bad enough to have one paranoid person in camp without making everybody else paranoid as well.  Trish wanted the 6 to stay together - raising doubts with LJ about something Trish didn't think Tony would go through with wouldn't help towards that goal. 

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When one person gets paranoid you have to get rid of them! Because all strategy becomes wasted, a paranoid player won't listen to reasons why to vote a certain way; they are now seeing a boogeyman behind every buff and the numbers are small enough now that he (Tony) can screw it up with just one vote.
I actually like the way Tasha is so below-the-radar with the editing...if any player is likely to go home that night, they are featured constantly. I've always thought of it as a tip-off ("Whew, relieved to see so-and-so will be safe at TC; we barely saw him/her tonight")

My takeaway from this episode was that if Tony makes it to the final the show will be 5 hours long because his answers will be interminable. Bad enough him being on the jury; Jeff will need to get a hook to make him stop and sit down. But if he makes it to the final, the jury should conspire to ask him questions that can only be answered with one word. ("Tony, we need to know...what color is a fire truck?" "Tony, what is the capitol of South Dakota?")

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Like you, I don't think Tony is anything like Russell. But, Tony's paranoia is going to cost him jury votes. His scorched earth game strategy would make him a decent goat to bring to the final 3. Breaking up the 6, which affects their game play, voting out LJ after he played an idol for Tony, etc. doesn't endear you to the jury.

Maybe its the editing, but it appears that only Trish can see through all this and how it affects the other people in their alliance. I was dissapointed that Woo and Spencer seemed to just roll along with everything Tony was suggesting. I can see why Tony would want to get LJ off, having a lot of strong men or women left is potentially dangerous, but this didn't appear to be the right time to make the move he did last night.

I think Spencer had no choice......as long as there was another road to take that wasn't voting him or Tasha off, I think he would have been willing to take it.

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I found it revealing that even "Chaos Kass" said that it was "too early" to make a move where they were at in the game.

 

And, I suppose that comment indicates that Kass no longer considers herself a "free agent".  Of course, she seems to have signed a worthless contract with (apropos of her former tribe-mate) the Miami Marlins!

If I'm reading things correctly, we now have:

Tony/Woo: who voted together against LJ;

Trish: whose standing depends, I guess, on whether Tony and Woo can explain their vote to her liking;

Jefra: who, along with LJ, were probably 4 and 5 in that alliance, and is now apparently on her own;

Kass: who, aw, never mind.  Just fuck her;

Spencer/Tasha/Jeremiah: who, all of a sudden, may actually have the safety of numbers, especially if Jeremiah pull in Jefra and Spencer and/or Tasha can pull Kass' vote. (and, of course, Spencer has a HII that we haven't seen anyone else become aware that he has yet).

I do agree with others who've said Tony is just playing too hard at this point.  And the shame (or benefit, depending on how you feel about him) of that is that I think he actually had a legitimate shot at winning.  And his desire to get LJ out of the way was ultimately right, I believe.  But he committed a "premature LJaculation", in my opinion.

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