It's Funny When People Cry
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
April 23, 2009
Previously on Survivor, Coach started lying and he just couldn't stop. By the end of the episode, he was the Count of Symphonia, a three-time bowling world champion, and the inspiration for Harry Potter. For all these reasons and more, Brendan was voted off the island. In the real world, Coach would have been beaten up by security and escorted out of the building. On this show, he has a decent chance to be propped along all the way up to the final vote. Survivor is a weird game.
Brendan's dismissal means that overachiever Sierra is probably at the end of her run. After believing herself to be one of the first two people voted off even prior to arriving at camp, the California girl has proven herself to be feisty and pound for pound, one of the strongest competitors in physical challenges. She is suffering from the same affliction Sugar faced last season, though. No one seems willing to dissociate their perception of her from the reality. Brendan was her only true ally, although she is theoretically still in an alliance with Taj and Stephen. Unfortunately, this seems a lot like being a teammate of Terrell Owens.
Back at the island, it's not enough that Tyson managed to get rid of Brendan. He's got to mess with Sierra a little bit in the process. He talks about how awesome he was for pulling off the surprise vote in Brendan, and Sierra acknowledges that she knows she's next to go and if they can just be decent to each other for the next couple of days, that would be swell. Meanwhile, Erinn is just happy that the negative attention has been on someone besides her for awhile. She's like the nerdy kid who's totally pleased that a bully has found a new weakling to pound on.
Posted without comment: "Everyone out here has lied except for me." --Coach
The following morning, after Coach talks about how amazing he is for orchestrating Brendan's removal, we hear from the real brains of the game. JT discusses how he and Stephen have manipulated circumstances to the point where they are power players behind the scenes. His play has really been quite masterful. Other players would really believe that Tyson and Coach are in control of the game, but JT has been quietly making sure that things go in a way that favors him. The subtext has been very understated over the past couple of episodes. Most people, including the people playing the game, would believe that Coach and Tyson - who can claim that everyone except Sierra followed their plan in the previous week - have established some dominance in the group. If you look a little deeper, it appears that there's a lot more than that going on.
We hear JT tell the camera that he'll be more than happy to vote out Sierra next, and then Tyson has a rather nasty conversation with Sierra about how much she sucks and he can't wait to get rid of her ass at the next Tribal Council. The Survivor folks sure are working hard to make us think Sierra's situation is hopeless. You know what that means? Anyone else will be next to go.