Survivor Roundtable Part II
By BOP Staff
April 17, 2013

Can you believe we have a 20% chance of winning this thing?

David Mumpower: Where do we see the season going from here?

Ben Willoughby: Corinne's blind-side was a big shocker, and certainly holds out hope for the remainder of the season. I think it was perfectly executed, and one of the best ever. Certainly the best moment of the season - but I also think it's unfortunate that things turned out that way.

I think now, with Phillip still "in charge" of his alliance, everyone else on his side has an interest in keeping him in the game. So they'll focus on voting out whoever didn't vote with them. The good thing is that the minority alliance has a hidden immunity idol, which could shake things up, but there are some pretty savvy players on the majority alliance too. If the majority alliance makes it through, the next step is about the final four, which again would probably be about sucking up to Phillip. Maybe, just maybe Phillip will be cut out, but I don't think so - he is just too important to everyone's game plan.

Compare that situation with what would have happened if Corinne had been smart enough to go along with the vote splitting and then target Phillip. With Phillip gone, the majority favorite alliance collapses. Dawn, Cochran and Andrea would all be scrambling, Sherri, Brenda and Erik would be up for grabs and Corinne's alliance has obvious fractures - for example, which way would Malcolm want to go, with Corinne or with the bros? I think that would have made for a more unpredictable and satisfying season.

Anyway, regardless of how last week's vote went, I think there are only four people remaining with a chance of winning this season - Cochran, Dawn, Andrea and Malcolm. Brenda and Erik are too silent, Phillip is not respected and the fans are... well, the fans. Plus we're looking at a minimum of five out of nine jurors being favorites. I'm not sure any of them would vote for a fan.

Jim Van Nest: Unfortunately, with Corinne's (and now Michael's) ouster...I don't see a lot of hope for Malcolm and his side alliance. I would think that sometime soon, they'll target Phillip...but I'd wager over the next few weeks we see Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie go home leaving us with the rest of the Favorites and Sherry.

What happens then? I don't know...but I think the tight bond between Dawn and Cochran makes them dangerous as no one else out there has this type of alliance. While Brenda and Erik have been on the bottom from Day 1, they have no special allegiance to each other, which makes either one of them a possible free agent. Unless everyone wises up and realizes that Dawn and Cochran need to be split up, I could see them picking up a couple free agents to carry them toward the end, and then securing one person to be their final three buddy (Sherri, maybe?)

Then again, Dawn has proven to be the leak over the last several votes...and Malcolm has an idol no one knows about. Who's to say that Dawn isn't the one person he takes out before he makes his exit from the game?

Kim Hollis: I love Malcolm, but his play last week all but ensured that he'll be joining the jury soon. We are getting to that interesting point in the game where people start to think about who they want to be sitting with at the end rather than getting to the end. Dawn is fairly volatile because she can't think of anything except how much the money would help her family. And even though she and Cochran seem tight, I don't think we can forget that he betrayed her in an earlier season.

So, if people are starting to think about who they can win against, we're looking at the likes of Phillip and Sherri getting propped along to the end because they're non-threatening. If they start worrying about other people in their alliance, I see Andrea and Dawn looking at some trouble down the road.

I'm hoping for a nice challenge run from Malcolm. If the previews aren't misleading (and they weirdly haven't been this season), he may get a gift in the form of a breakdown from Dawn. If he can survive a week without using his idol, he might be able to swing some interesting shifts in the dynamic of the game. That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

David Mumpower: The most obvious answer is that we are going to have a lackluster Survivor champion this year, presuming that Malcolm's fate is sealed. He has done a tremendous job this season of avoiding scrutiny, a key component for him since he is straight out of a Rudyard Kipling tale. Last week's Tribal Council move has fundamentally changed his position from under the radar to the bull’s-eye target.

In Malcolm's absence, the only genuinely great Survivor player remaining is Dawn. The problem with her candidacy is something Kim touched upon in her reply. She cannot view the game as Survivor as anything other than a paycheck right now, and it is impeding her ability to distance herself from the game enough to make good decisions.

With the best two players in various states of disrepair, we are left with a bunch of bozos.

Erik is responsible for the single dumbest move in the history of Survivor. He did it, however, because he was hot for a girl. Since I've done worse than that in trying to impress a date, I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then, he asked another player to point to a name on a flag to define who would be voted out that week. If this is what passes for subterfuge and tactics in Erik's world, I wouldn't even pick him as a favorite in a game of Words with Friends.

Sherri burned every bridge possible with the Fans and is now a strong candidate to advance further in the game due to the odd behavior of Survivor gamesmanship. The weakest players with little hope of winning get strung along until the end. I believe Sherri has a real chance to make the Final although I suspect a LOT would have to happen for her to garner even one vote.

Brenda may or may not be on the show. I strongly suspect that she will be a big factor down the stretch since her editing this season has been so quiet otherwise. All Brenda does is show up for the challenges, wiggle some when she's happy and then disappear again until Tribal Council. She seems like she is enjoying the season. I have no idea why she isn't garnering more attention. She clearly is not receiving a winner's edit, though.

Phillip has played as well as he can, which I may or may not mean as a compliment. He has built a solid alliance filled with (thus far) reliable players. He clearly paid attention to what Boston Rob did, almost religiously so, and has attempted to implement as many of those ideas as possible. The results have been best-case scenario in my estimation yet he is still a laughing stock with no respect from his peers. Ergo, he cannot win.

Reynold, he of "bro it down", loves himself so much that I wonder how many mirrors he owns. I suspect a Dorian Gray situation. Anyway, I think he has played fairly well but I also believe that most of the people on the island would like to sacrifice him at the nearest volcano. I would gladly help them throw him down to his flaming death. Or destroy the appropriate painting.

Eddie suddenly decided last week that he is an elimination away from making his move. Similarly, the Orlando Magic are ready to make their NBA push any day now. The fact that the season is ending and they have been mathematically eliminated are irrelevant. Their time is NOW! I did respect Eddie for hitting on Andrea all episode then voting against her at Tribal Council, though. Why do good girls like bad boys?

Cochran is still the same buffoon he has always been, which is why I am amused by how many people are acting as if he is playing a better game this time. Spoilers: he hasn't gotten any smarter. The competition, however, has gotten dumber. He too has a real chance to make it to the end and I can even see scenarios where he could win Survivor this season. There is no bigger indictment I can make of the quality of this season than the statement that Cochran could win Survivor.

Andrea has improved greatly from previous seasons to the point that if Malcolm does get eliminated and Dawn continues to behave erratically, I believe she becomes the most dangerous player in the game. As crazy as it sounds, I believe she is well positioned to win the season. Her panic move last week to switch the vote to Michael may have seemed paranoid at the time but if she had not done so, she very well could have been eliminated last week. It's like the Anti-Tyson Play.

I am hoping against all hope that Malcolm wins or that Dawn recovers her sanity enough to win. If not, this year's winner is going to be Brian Heidik/Chris Daugherty/Fabio.