Well, so much for old Joe.
As we all saw at the end of tonight’s episode of Survivor, Joe was pulled from the game by medical. I can’t say that I was particularly surprised. About the only thing memorable about Joe was how terrible he started to look after the merge. He lost far too much weight. He started moving way too slowly. Often times, he appeared to be on the verge of collapsing and his continually blank expression went from being comical to horrific. Fortunately, for his game, he latched onto Debbie and then Aubrey and pretty much allowed them to do the thinking for him.
For weeks, Survivor has been hinting that Joe’s time was limited. So, no, I was not shocked to see him evacuated from the game.
Still, it is sad that — as soon as Joe started to show some strength and actually managed to win the reward challenge — Joe ended up having to leave. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that if Joe hadn’t pulled off that amazing victory, he probably wouldn’t have gotten ill. I always cringe a bit whenever, after weeks of starvation, a group of survivors go on a reward that involves eating an elaborate feast. “Cookies!” Jeff Probst will announce, “Ice cream! Beer! Cheeseburgers!” And the whole time Probst is listing all those foods, I’m thinking to myself, “No, their systems are not strong enough to handle suddenly having a gigantic meal after going for weeks with nothing.” As soon as I saw Joe eating all of that beef, I knew it would come back to haunt him.
So did Cydney. Some people on twitter are criticizing Cydney for not warning Joe to cut down on the beef. Personally, I don’t think Cydney was under any obligation to tell Joe anything. It amazes me that people can criticize Cydney for not saying anything while totally overlooking the fact that self-described “brilliant person” Aubrey was there as well. Why give Aubrey a pass for not saying anything? Why not hold her up to the same standard?
(That’s one thing that I’ve found very interesting about some Survivor fans this season: anything Aubrey does will be praised while anyone else doing the exact same thing will be criticized.)
Anyway, that huge meal did come back to haunt Joe and he was eventually medically evacuated. Judging from the reactions as he left, it appears that Joe had a lot of good moments that the audience did not see. Cydney even described Joe as being her surrogate “grandfather.”
Before Joe left, there was the normal amount of scheming going on. That said, if they had gone to Tribal, I doubt any of that scheming would have amounted to anything. Michele was clearly on the bottom of the alliance and she probably would have been voted out. She deserves credit for trying to strike up an alliance with Tai but, just from watching how they greeted each other and talked after Aubrey returned from the reward, it’s obvious that Tai and Aubrey have a very strong bond. Tai may have been upset that Aubrey didn’t tell him that they were going to vote out Jason but it’s doubtful that he would have ever actually betrayed her. Cydney may have wanted to vote out Tai but Tai would have played his idol (if they had gone to Tribal, it would have been Tai’s last chance to do so) and Michele still would have ended up going home.
What I did find interesting was that, up until Joe was evacuated, Michele’s plan was to blindside Cydney. Does no one realize that there’s no way that anyone can beat Aubrey in a final two situation?
And yes, I do think it will be a final two as opposed to a final three. Next week’s finale is two hours long and there’s only four castaways left. Traditionally, two people are voted out during the finale. Next week, I’m sure we will see a final two and that’s okay with me. To me, it always silly to have a final three when the third finalist usually gets zero votes and absolutely no attention from the jury.
I think all four of the finalists have a legitimate claim to the title of final survivor. They’ve all played good games and I think they’re all capable of making an articulate case to the jury. I still think that Aubrey would be unbeatable in a final two, though Tai might be able to keep it close. If Michele and Cydney want to win, they better get rid of Aubrey and Tai.
We’ll see what happens! Personally, I’m predicting an Aubrey and Michele final two with Aubrey winning the final jury vote. I’m still working on my guess as to how many times Aubrey will specifically mention not being popular in high school during her final plea to the jury.