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  1. #221
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    At the 1st TC, I was expecting a 5-5 split, with the group of 7 splitting 4 Katie, 3 Vytas, Vytas voting Katie, and Tina and Katie voting Vytas. I was thrown for a loop when Tyson got a vote. Of course, Monica changing her vote to Vytas changed the dynamic anyway.

  2. #222
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    Definitely some unexplained stuff in the voting, if Wiki is right:

    First round

    What was supposed to happen -
    * Boys (Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb) vote Vytas and girls (Ciera, Laura, Monica) vote Katie, so 4 for Vytas, 3 for Katie, plus 2 to whoever Tina/Katie vote
    * Then Vytas tells camera he will try to switch one of the boys to Katie and then he will vote her too, so the result would be 3 votes Vytas, 4 votes Katie, plus 2 whoever Tina/Katie vote

    What actually happened -
    * Votes for Vytas as expected - Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb
    * Votes for Katie as expected - Ciera
    * Additional votes for Vytas not expected - Monica, Laura
    * Tina/Katie vote for Vytas
    * Vytas votes for Tyson ("Thai Sun")

    So somewhere in there Vytas gave up - perhaps he learned Tina/Katie were going after him, so he voted Tyson to expose him? And note that Laura also didn't go with the plan, and no one got mad at her - maybe they didn't know? And, remember how Laura B got in so much trouble for telling Vytas what was going to happen? How come no one freaked out when Vytas was going around trying to get a flip, clearly showing that someone had tipped him off? (I think it was Hayden)

    Second round

    * Everyone voted for Tina (Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb, Ciera, Laura, Monica) except Tina/Katie
    * But get this - Tina and Katie did not vote together - Katie voted for Monica, and Tina, after all that about Monica, actually voted for Tyson

    Um, what?

  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    * But get this - Tina and Katie did not vote together - Katie voted for Monica, and Tina, after all that about Monica, actually voted for Tyson

    Um, what?
    Why would (should) it matter for Tina and Katie to vote together? It would have meant nothing. Instead, they could have agreed that each should vote for one person that needed to be highlighted for whatever reason to get others to think more clearly about the roles these two have in the game. With that strategy, I would have gone for votes for Tyson and Gervase as they seem to be running the show. Monica is just floating now and will be voted out when the others need a safe vote where they don't piss off anybody they don't want angry.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  4. #224
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    So why did Katie vote for Monica? Did she think she was going to get enough other votes? She would have known Tina didn't have the HII, as as you said, why highlight Monica when she's already on everybody's radar?

    I'm wondering if Katie was already trying to distance herself from her mother - and ingratiate herself with Tyson if she knew her mother planned to write his name down?

    Similarly I noted that Ciera stuck with the plan in the first vote, while her mother did not - and we know Ciera is already trying to hedge her bets.

    But back to Tina - why rant off on Monica like that if you were planning to vote for Tyson? She was the one who tried to serve the others on lost jury votes, and now if she happens to get back into the game, she's ticked off more people than she needed to.

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    So why did Katie vote for Monica? Did she think she was going to get enough other votes?
    I think Katie and Tina knew they were an island. They only had two votes against everybody else. So the only power they had was to deflect and to paint bullseyes. So maybe they were smarter than me choosing Tyson and Gervaise. They put one target on the power couple's leader (Tyson) and the other target on the obvious next boot after them (Monica). By pinpointing Monica as the next target, whoever between Katie and Tina stayed would be seen as a non-entity and ignored as far as who would be voted out. This could ensure safety for either Tina or Katie (whoever stayed).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    She would have known Tina didn't have the HII, as as you said, why highlight Monica when she's already on everybody's radar?
    Better her (Monica) than me (the remaining Katie or Tina). Sometimes the game is a desperate, "how do I get three more days out here???"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I'm wondering if Katie was already trying to distance herself from her mother - and ingratiate herself with Tyson if she knew her mother planned to write his name down?
    Whoever stays should go to Tyson and say, "we were both going to vote for Monica, but my sister/mother must have changed her plan and voted for you...have no idea why she did that...sorry you got a vote there, Tyson" (bat eyelashes here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    But back to Tina - why rant off on Monica like that if you were planning to vote for Tyson? She was the one who tried to serve the others on lost jury votes, and now if she happens to get back into the game, she's ticked off more people than she needed to.
    I'm guessing Tina sacrificed herself for her daughter. Either Katie wanted to play more than Tina did, or Tina thought she had a better chance of winning at Redemption Island than Katie. So Tina making a scene ensured her daughter's safety for three days and by ranting about Monica, maybe people will vote out Monica instead of Katie. So that move of Tina's gave her daughter six instead of three days. Smart plan...if it works.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  6. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I'm guessing Tina sacrificed herself for her daughter. Either Katie wanted to play more than Tina did, or Tina thought she had a better chance of winning at Redemption Island than Katie. So Tina making a scene ensured her daughter's safety for three days and by ranting about Monica, maybe people will vote out Monica instead of Katie. So that move of Tina's gave her daughter six instead of three days. Smart plan...if it works.
    But Katie won immunity and couldn't be voted out.

  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingguy View Post
    But Katie won immunity and couldn't be voted out.
    I'm talking about the upcoming vote.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  8. #228
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    Excellent points Peter - you are probably right that Tina knew what was coming so she was trying to leave her daughter in as best a position as possible.

    Katie might also try getting back in with her old pal Ciera at this point - bonding over the mom issue that Ciera still has, pointing out to her that she's likely low man in her alliance and how they survived together before and can do it again.

  9. #229
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    Normally I'm at the Emotional Journey themes on this show, but I enjoyed last night - maybe because the big mother-daughter moment was as much about game strategy as Personal Growth. That Ciera is a smart cookie - but that's what's going to get people targeting her, especially if she can successfully play the "I played this game so hard and wanted it so bad that I voted out my own mother" card successfully. At this point, I think only Vytas (if he returns) has an equally powerful personal story. And Katie's gotta be kicking herself at home on how easily she got played - I did wonder if Ciera would use her old us-against-the-five-men alliance in her favour now.

    Tyson was also smart to get rid of Laura so he could have Ciera on his side without danger of a girls/moms type alliance forming. Previews suggest - actually scream - that everyone is going to turn on Tyson next week, which might mean that there's no way he's leaving yet I think Caleb is itching to make another Big Move so he has something to say at final TC, and Hayden's gotta be thinking he has no case right now other than a bitter jury, which I don't think we're going to get this time. I think Tyson will be smart enough to see it coming and either go all out for immunity or use his HII.

    That could be a great moment - everyone thinking they're going to do this huge blindside, and Tyson blindsides them right back with the HII no one knows he's had for some time.

    And what about Monica? I think that might have been very smart - she knows she's a target, and winning lots of challenges doesn't help but she has to - so rather than expose her preferences by choosing people to come along (you know it would have been more than one), she chooses no one. Plus I have to wonder if someone with that kind of body knew that eating food like that after 3 weeks of fish and rice would have made her feel worse than better anyway. Interested to know what others thought!

    Also realizing something about RI, not sure if I noticed this in past seasons - traditionally, the jury has always attended every TC as a method of formulating their vote at the end. But Vytas and Tina are still in the game, and so are missing all this. Not sure if it really matters, but it could skew things a bit and make the RI and Ponderosa talk that much more important as players fill each other in, in their own biassed way.

  10. #230

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    Jenny, as always - great post, I look forward to reading your thoughts every week.
    Interesting thought about Vytas and Tina not being at TC - could be very important.
    Also about the jury - I agree - may not be bitter. Many of these folks seem to genuinely get along on a personal level (since many already know each other) and they seem to know the difference between game and personal. Also I think with Aras being the first juror, and when he welcomes the next person - it will not be a whinefest and the tone for Ponderosa could be quite pleasant, kick back and relax and actual conversations about the remaining players gameplay.
    Definitely smart move on Monica. Again it was challenge that in a way favored smaller people.
    And yes - hotdogs, hamburgers, bread, fries and soda - they would get so sick. There was not 'advertising', so why don't they have the prize be fruits, vegetables, some protein, and healthy nutritious beverages or something like Ensure.
    I am still rooting for Tyson - I am just entertained by him. Ciera is really growing on me, smart girl and thinking down the road. But also Tyson was smart on how to handle Ciera with voting out mother.
    Much of this season is a good example of just casting good game players is very entertaining (not counting Colton).

  11. #231
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    What were the women thinking??? Katie is a target, Mom and daughter are a target and Monica is a target. Why are they waiting for their turn to be kicked out of the game by the men? Why not form a voting block of four and bring in Caleb and kick out the three big guys???

    What were the veterans thinking? The newbies can now form a four-person alliance and take out Tyson, Gervaise and Monica. STOOPID!

    What were Tyson (and apparent non-entity) Gervaise thinking? If they had voted out Katie, if the tide turned in that direction, they would have had a veteran voting block to keep them safe. If the tide turned in this direction, they would could have said to Mom and daughter, "you need saving, as do the two of us...us two partnerships to the final four". Now with Laura gone, they've screwed up two of their options.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  12. #232

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    ... And what about Monica? I think that might have been very smart - she knows she's a target, and winning lots of challenges doesn't help but she has to - so rather than expose her preferences by choosing people to come along (you know it would have been more than one), she chooses no one. Plus I have to wonder if someone with that kind of body knew that eating food like that after 3 weeks of fish and rice would have made her feel worse than better anyway. Interested to know what others thought!....
    I agree with you about Monica and knowing that eating that kind of food after essentially no food will wreck havoc on your body. She seems like she's very into physical fitness and healthy eating and lifestyle ... she probably doesn't even eat those foods in the real world anyway. In this challenge (and others) she seems to go into almost like a trance and completely blocks out the others and concentrates on her own physical skill doing the challenges, unlike Tyson who kept looking at everyone else. I imagine her doing a lot of yoga and that whole thing like focusing internally, centering yourself, blah blah blah stuff in her real life.

  13. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
    And yes - hotdogs, hamburgers, bread, fries and soda - they would get so sick. There was not 'advertising', so why don't they have the prize be fruits, vegetables, some protein, and healthy nutritious beverages or something like Ensure.
    Because it's a reward or prize, so the producers give them what they crave. The producers know what they talk about eating in camp and that's what they put out there. Cast members talk about how they have eaten all organic or vegetarian diets for years and all they think about after being out there for a while is junk food and lots of it.

    I'd have to be near-death to think of Ensure as a reward .
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  14. #234
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    I guess many of you were busy brining turkeys and baking pies last night, but that was a fun ep! For once they really had us flip flopping wondering who would be voted out. But here's where I'm confused:

    Why did Tyson go from being confident enough to skip the challenge to using his prized HII within what, a few hours? Sure, he knew there was some discussion about getting rid of him, but I thought the fact that Ciera came to him with all this and his confidence in Monica meant he knew he was safe, and of course he was. Interesting what Ciera said at TC - I knew I wasn't going to win that challenge anyway, so I figured I should eat - I wonder how the others viewed that decision.

    Where was Monica?? In all that flip flopping, she was the swing vote and yet we got no footage of Hayden or Katie approaching her, or Tyson having a conversation to lock her vote. We've discussed how they have less footage these days, and it's possible they did a 1-1 with her in which she said I'm voting with Tyson so no story there, but there's no excuse for her being completely absent from this ep other than another fierce challenge win.

    When did Tina and Laura become buddies? I thought they had both voted each other out at some point, but perhaps they have united on being scorned by Vytas? Laura standing in front of her puzzle and spinning it around was quite smart. And I have to say Vytas has lost all the charm he had for most of the season - maybe we are going to get a bitter jury after all.

    So moving on - I did think that Caleb and Hayden's plan to put the focus on Ciera was a good one and against another foe might very well have worked to save them, but when you foe is Tyson, you do need to up your game He really seems to have a handle on everyone, but now that he has no HII, he's left himself exposed in a big way. But, on the upside, this TC gave him and Gervase a very good view of where things stand - Katie was clearly ready to go with Hayden, Ciera is clearly loyal and so is Monica. Of course everything can change, but Hayden better work really hard to win a challenge because Katie has already won, and Monica is on a mission all of her own.

    When does someone come back? Timed right, it could help Hayden or Katie immensely to have one more body on their side, and if Laura comes back (which seems the most likely at this point), it might really help Tyson's alliance, or be the final undoing of him if Ciera and Laura band together to take over the game, which they conceivably could.

    And I wonder how much they are thinking about who could come back? If there were to vote out Monica right now she's obviously a huge threat to come back, and come back mad and highly unpredictable. Or vote out Tyson now, and risk him coming back - sitting out the last challenge aside, I suspect he has been holding back on challenges all along and could easily go on a run right to the final, with a pitstop at RI or not.

  15. #235

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    ..... - maybe we are going to get a bitter jury after all. ....
    Don't we always have a bitter jury?


    I don't know why Tyson used his Idol either and to me he just wasted it when he might really need it up to the final time you can use it. But again there's alot of stuff we don't see, but from what we saw I thought it was pretty clear that Ciera was not going to turn on him. He had Gervase and Monica, so why waste the Idol? Now he really will be a target I think because people might turn on him for having it all this time and hiding it. He could always say "oh I just found it right before tribal" or something. But he still shouldn't have used it yet.

  16. #236

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    I loved how Vytas wouldn't even look at Laura after she helped Tina so much to beat him. He pulled his hand away and said "don't even!"

  17. #237
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    I did think that this crowd might be a jury full of people who appreciated the game and took more of a "OK, ya got me" approach. But the look on Vytas and Aras at TC was like two sucky little toddlers. What happened to the whole "I've conquered all my personal demons and now it's just about bonding with my brother" storyline? Seems as thought Vytas may not be the calm and wise yoga guy we were all supposed to think. He really blew it in his last day in the main game, and given Tina and Laura at the challenge, sounds like he isn't winning any friends on RI either.

    Other interesting point for me was the reason behind Monica's steely determination to win challenges. I thought it was just to save herself, but this ep we saw that it's personal and that she wants to prove herself in her own family. Upthread we discussed whether or not she was an alpha in her family/community or whether she was in the shadow of her football hero husband and locally prominent in-laws - perhaps it is the latter after all.

  18. #238

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    I have been going back and forth on Monica this season...at first I was inclined to like her because I had liked her on One World, then she was the woman with the annoying husband, then she started to become pretty annoying and whiny herself, but now with the challenge wins and the steely determination Jenny mentioned, she's heading back towards my good book.

    Re Tyson feeling comfortable enough to sit out the challenge but then playing his idol later - I think there are a few things going on. One is I think that the HII was the reason he did feel comfortable enough to sit and eat...he knew that he could play it if things got rough and this way he gets to eat. Second, Hayden and Caleb did a great job of making him paranoid about Ciera after the challenge...interesting that they were much more observant about Ciera's behavior than Tyson was. They picked up immediately on her signals that she was not with them whereas Tyson didn't figure the same thing out. As for whether the idol was a waste, perhaps, but I think he would rather waste it now than go home with it in his pocket. It can only help him out for two more tribal councils anyway, so I think it was still a good decision to use it.

  19. #239
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    When is the last time you can use it? At 5? Because there are still 7 people in the game if you add whoever returns from RI, so that would be three more TCs, no?

    I find myself really thinking about the RI dynamic this season, maybe because it's 3 people instead of 2. On the one hand, in addition to having to claw their way back into the game, they have the further punishment of being out of the loop in the game and TCs, and now out of the loop in the jury too. On the other hand, they have two unique opportunities:

    First there's the potential for info sharing, which I think has been the case in the past, knowing that only one of them is going back in the game so why not spill all the beans. However, a player might be careful about doing so now because they don't want to compromise someone's game who is still playing - particularly Katie and Ciera. For example, Tina might not want to reveal what Katie's strategy is in case she's not the one who goes back in, and maybe she doesn't want to reveal hers and Katie's hand to the jury either.

    Second there's the potential to do some serious jury work. While at RI, you know for sure that one if not both of the others will be on the jury now. Plenty of time for quiet lobbying, plus the opportunity to pick their brains and see what they are thinking. In the past one might think it's no big deal because the chance of someone who got back into the game winning is perhaps small (we voted you out once, twice, why would we give you a million dollars now?). However, it's different this time - Tina and Laura, both fierce players and mothers - could be doing all kinds of stuff that could influence the jury members as they pass through RI, and/or that they can take back into the game and pass onto their daughters.

    And in Ciera's case, she might actually be more worried about what unwitting damage her mother might do rather than how much she might be able to help.

  20. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    When did Tina and Laura become buddies? I thought they had both voted each other out at some point, but perhaps they have united on being scorned by Vytas?
    I think it was more a case of Laura thinking that it would be easier to beat Tina than Vytas at the final RI challenge. If I were on RI, I'd be doing everything I could to keep the weaker competitors around.

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