Friday, March 30, 2007

Episode 7: Rocky Gets Knocked Out

I surmise I am not the only person grateful that Rocky's shtick wore too thin with the gang at Ravu. I don't know that I have ever seen a player with such a poor sense of the relational aspect of this game as the megalo-Bostonian did. I don't doubt that he was being himself- that he was not well suited to subtlety was apparent from the start. At least he was consistent... But to treat everyone as you would a lifelong friend come adopted brother out of Southie and berate everyone that moved as if you were recovering from a street war and due to fight another in minutes? Perhaps the most incongruous statement in recent Survivor history was when Rocky dressed Anthony down in tribal council for having no social skills, and then informing Anthony that he acted like a little girl and he needed to "take off his skirt a little."

Perhaps these shortcomings would have been overlooked had Rocky actually been a factor in challenges. Reminiscent of Adam last season, Rocky didn't even do anything to win even ONE challenge. He was a total O-fer, no wins, all losses, and losses he was highly unimpressive in. You can't be a mouthpiece non-stop and not deliver the goods, and Rocky was all talk (negative, insulting, sexist, macho, self-absorbed) and no action.

Lisi managed to navigate the debacle at the shuffle fairly well, though it helps to have someone like Rocky grating on everyone's nerves at all times to accomplish rebuilding your image. She did manage not to be bossy and condescending, something she was often enough at Moto to motivate Alex to consider the value of continued alliance with. I will be interested long term to see if she can survive if Ravu loses again. Dreamz has not forgotten his treatment by the old Moto, and in Mookie, Dreamz has someone who is playing the game with his eyes open.

Gotta say that Earl and Yao Man's strategy to combine for the immunity idol gives the game a new wrinkle, though it's readily apparent that Yao Man will need to play it long before Earl does. It will be interesting to see if Earl can unearth the discontent that Cassandra felt in the old Moto and leverage that to gain the swing vote if the new Moto heads to tribal soon.

The new Moto continues to impress. Clearly nowhere close to the new Ravu in physical prowess, the tribe makes up for in glue, teamwork and guts. Had to love the silenced look on Mookie's face when Yao Man made the reward challenge too close for comfort- Yao Man is a competitor, and resourceful. The ability of Moto to think a couple steps ahead may be the difference in getting to the merge ahead in numbers. Only Alex and Edgardo are really scheming for Ravu, and it will take something big for Dreamz and Mookie to break the three now.

Good challenges this week as well- loved the skull bashing immunity challenge. Did you laugh as hard as Lori and I did when Michelle went head over heels off the platform while shouting directions? Awful, I know, but it was classic slapstick...

I wonder if we're not in for a wrinkle next week. With the way this season started so slow and the tribes still so close, I have a hunch that the merge might come sooner rather than later and make the immunity idol that much more important and critical earlier in the game.

I also suspect that the merged tribe will reside at Ravu beach. I'll be disappointed to see the merge-makers living it up in luxury- it's Survivor. Let's see who can go the distance, carry their weight at a camp where nothing comes easy and still keep their wits about them.

Who's next? If it's Ravu, don't be surprised to see Mookie walk at the hands of the ex-Moto crew. If it's Moto, I hope Earl and Yao Man do the smart thing and make Boo the target with the immunity idol in play...

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