The tribe shake-up episode always brings with it a good deal of drama…it’s an episode we can count on to be good, where moves are made and where we are jolted into a certain trajectory that the rest of the season will take. It’s one of the moments in the game where the eventual winner always looks back on, and understands the good fortune (luck) of that moment. Good luck is necessary in order to be crowned Sole Survivor, and randomly being assigned a new tribe a portion of the way into the game is the very definition of having “luck of the draw.” On the flip side, there are always a few players – good players I might add – that get totally screwed over by bad luck…those that draw a buff and who otherwise were playing a good strategic, social and physical game before just crapping out with one stroke of bad luck that costs them their entire game. On Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur,” there were winners and losers in the aftermath of this season’s tribal swap. The winners? Too early to tell, really, although there were clearly some players who benefited in the short term. The losers? There will be more to come who will point to this swap as the beginning of the end for their games, but nobody can argue that Kelley got the brunt of it.
In case you missed Episode 5, you can catch the full recap here.
Yes, poor Kelley. She seemed to be a very sharp, strong player and she definitely had weathered the storm thus far, although her tribe only had seen one Tribal Council. For most, playing with their loved one would be an instant advantage, another person to align with in whom you can completely trust. But for Kelley, she seemed strongest in the game the further away she was from her father, Dale. Their relationship seemed to be the rockiest of all of the couples going into the season, and it surely revealed itself to be one of the most handicapped relationships out there.
Dale doesn’t seem like the sort of player who could win Survivor, simply because of his social game, or lack thereof. Had Dale had a better social game, the rift between him and Baylor may not have grown so wide. But what was Kelley to do? Her only real option may have been to try to throw her dad under the bus…she did have some sort of relationship with Missy from their old tribe. But that is easier said than done, and only Ciera had the balls to write her own mother’s name down the last Blood vs. Water season. Plus, there was no guarantee that distancing herself from Dale would have worked…others may have saw that move as very cutthroat, and Kelley could have become an even bigger target. So really, Kelley was anchored down immediately when she drew an orange buff, and when her dad did as well.
Jon and Jaclyn on the other hand, went from paupers to royalty fairly quickly. Both were on the bottoms of their tribe and then a day later, they are the ones making the final decision as to who to send home. That’s why Survivor is a marathon, not a sprint, people. Slow and steady wins the race.
Keith being a lone wolf at the moment, and possessing an Idol, makes him the most interesting player out there to me. Dale is most likely gone next, right? Unless his fake Idol ruse works. If it does, it could lead Baylor, Missy, Jon and Jaclyn to split their votes or vote outright for Keith, who just might end up using his Idol. If he does at the right time, it will be epic. And if he makes it to the merge with the Idol, it’s even more compelling.
The tribe swap has set the stage for the rest of the season leading into the merge. Who do you think benefited the most – or the least – from the tribe swap? Post your comments below.