I have to say that, after last night’s episode, I feel bad for Tori. Tori was one of two castaways voted out last night. She would not have been voted out if not for Omar’s “brilliant” idea to vote out Rocksroy first, despite the fact that Romeo was the obvious target. And then, before Tori could be voted out, she had to sit through Jeff Probst auditioning for another chance to host a daytime talk show. One can sympathize and understand and agree with Maryanne and Drea’s refusal to vote out three black players in a row while also realizing that Jeff didn’t really give Tori much of a chance to make a case for herself.
Last night, we got hit by another one of those annoying twists that Survivor has recently become so enamored with. The tribe was again split into two teams for the immunity challenge. On the first team: Hai, Mike, Omar, Romeo, and Rocksroy. On the other team: Maryanne, Drea, Tori, Jonathan, and Lindsay. Two people — one from each team — would win immunity. Two people — one from each team — would be voted out at tribal council.
It was actually a pretty exciting immunity challenge. The castaways had to balance on A-frames that were floating in the ocean and try not to fall off. The last person standing for each team won immunity. Due to the heavy winds, the majority of them fell off within seconds of the challenge starting. In the end, Hai and Jonathan won immunity. Because Jonathan managed to stay standing the longest, his team also won a special feast.
For the first team, Romeo seemed like the obvious target but Omar suddenly decided that they should blindside Rocksroy because he figured it would probably be his only chance to gets Rocksroy out of the game and that Rocksroy was a bigger threat than Romeo. Because Mike and Hai aren’t really that good at thinking for themselves, they went along with Omar’s plan. By a vote of 4-1, Rocksroy was voted out. Rocksroy was not happy about it and I don’t blame him. I’m not sure what Omar was thinking. Rocksroy may be a bigger physical threat but he’s not as clever or as sneaky as Romeo. Omar basically turned on an ally for no good reason and now he’s going to have to spend the rest of the game trying to convince his other allies that he won’t do the same thing to them.
When the second team arrived, they were all stunned to see Rocksroy sitting next to Chanelle in the jury. Jonathan’s original plan had been to split the votes between Maryanne and Drea, with Drea as the target. However, the plan fell apart as soon as Maryanne and Drea saw that Rocksroy had been voted out. Maryanne announced that there was no way that she would vote to send three black castaways to the jury in a row. Both Maryanne and Drea played their idols before the votes were even cast. With Jonathan having immunity, this meant that only Tori and Lindsay were eligible to be voted out.
Here’s my issue with how Jeff Probst handled things. Maryanne had every right to refuse to vote for Drea, regardless of how much Jonathan wanted her to. And Maryanne had every right to talk about how she was feeling and why it was important to her not to send Drea to the jury. But Jeff spent so much time talking to Maryanne, who was safe, that he didn’t really give Tori or Lindsay much time to make a case for themselves. It probably wouldn’t have made a difference but it’s still hard not to feel that Jeff got so caught up in the moment that he forget that he was hosting a competition show and the two people who actually were at risk of getting voted out were both treated as afterthoughts.
And then, to top things off, Jeff decided to not even have the castaways cast their votes. He took their word that they were all planning to vote for Tori without actually having them write down her name. Sorry, that’s not the way that Survivor is played. You don’t take anyone’s word for anything. You make them go into the voting area and you make them write down a name. Instead, Jeff just decided that everyone was telling the truth and that it would be pointless to actually go through the ritual. And again, it’s not that Jeff was wrong because he wasn’t. Everyone would have voted for Tori. But the point of the show is to actually make them do it, as opposed to just shrugging and saying, “Okay, I guess that’s it.”
Instead, Tori was reduced to playing her shot in the dark, which is the most useless of the many recent Survivor twists. The shot in the dark didn’t work and Tori was sent to the jury.
Anyway, Maryanne and Drea are now idol-less and I have a feeling that Omar is going to be in some trouble back on the beach. We’ll see what happens!