Stunned. That's what I am about Moto's decision to forego immunity and keep the fatcat luxury digs over keeping the hammer and forcing Ravu to jettison yet another member.
Mark my words- this is HUGE shift in the momentum of the game, because despite being undefeated, Moto stands equal with Ravu now. Moto needs to look over its shoulder and see that the difference between winning and losing the last challenge was one or two fortuitous key selections on Michelle's part for Ravu.
With Gary gone and Lilliana, clearly the most physical woman for Moto, ousted bitterly and secretively, Moto is about to enter the next phase of the game a divided tribe. Whoever didn't know about Lilliana going will be on the warpath to break up the five who did at first chance, and don't think that Alex won't be looking for reasons to harpoon members of his alliance given their awful decision making in getting rid of her.
I have never seen a tribe OPT to vote someone out and live to tell about it in all the years of watching this game. In the team section of this game, numbers are everything, and you NEVER let up- you mow through the competition and keep the hammer so that when you hit the merge you have the luxury of sticking to the stragglers or wooing people desperate for some safety in numbers.
Ravu isn't losing because they're hungry- they're losing because their team is weak. Rocky is one rant from going supernova, and you saw the beginnings of his exit in the way Earl talked about Anthony being a good guy and wondering how he could keep him around. Ravu won't tolerate Rocky's sanctimonious speeches about mailing it in if he continues to be hard on every and deliver next to nothing in challenges.
For Moto not to see how close they are to putting the nail in Ravu's coffin so that they can sleep in a nice bed is folly, and now they are out Gary (who would have been simple to vote off at any time because he posed no physical threat at all and showed no drive to navigate the interpersonal politics that are part of the game) and stuck with Cassandra (who is mainly a candidate to sit out one of every two challenges so long as there was a numbers advantage) and Lisi, who will drive the team to distraction with her controlling tendencies with an explosion about what bothers her (because just about everything does, if you listen to her asides).
If I am Ravu, I am totally re-energized by the shift in the game. Our tribe barely lost the last challenge, which is reason for optimism, because only two challenges ago, we were getting HAMMERED every time we competeced.
All you have to do is look at last season and the way that Aitu, small and badly outnumbered, found some unity and cohesion and stuck it to Raro, dominating the rest the way to a final three of all Aitu members.
Momentum is key- if Ravu can steal a win and send Moto reeling, this game could look very different in two weeks.
On another note, you have to love the message in a bottle. Twice it has been the catalyst for huge shifts in the momentum of the game. For Raro, it cost them TWO members. For Moto, it cost them one and brought things back to even. Nice touch by the show's planners to add wrinkles season after season. I can tell you this- given the detriment the bottle has been to the two tribes that have won it in challenges so far, I might be tempted to tank a challenge where winning meant getting it.... (Then again, that would be the season the bottle gives the winning tribe the right to vote off someone from the opposing tribe instead of the tribe voting off one of its own. Are you reading this Probst? You can have that one for free....)
Looking forward to the Rocky vs. Dreamz tilt next week. Have to admit I'm hoping the cheerleading coach hands it to the former Bostonian Balboa wanna be. I'm a little weary of the whiny bartender...