Pick-Up Sticks

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B- | 1 USERS: A+
Shuffle, Then Deal

See, I think Dave did that brilliantly, despite the fact that Jenna's team may be physically stronger. And I say "may," because although Matthew and Alex are probably stronger than Roger and Butch, Roger and Butch are no pushovers, and Jeanne and Christy are certainly strong enough to hold up against Shawna and Deena. Throw in Dave's own advantage over Jenna, and I'm not sure these teams look as physically lopsided to me as they originally did. Oh, and Heidi and Rob are a draw, as far as I'm concerned. Meanwhile, from an emotional and strategic perspective, Jenna has wound up with Deena (who has reluctantly allied with her but doesn't like her), Shawna (who doesn't like her anymore), Alex (who is charismatic and won't like her laziness), Matthew (who won't like her bullshit), and Rob (who will be worthless in the hypnotizing presence of actual boobies). Dave, on the other hand, has wound up with Roger (who will always be loyal to a guy over a girl and is therefore excellent protection for the other guys in a mixed tribe), Butch (who I get the impression has a good relationship with almost everyone and is a straight shooter, which helps his team), Christy and Jeanne (who Dave undoubtedly knows from Jenna have resentments against elements of their old tribe but little connection to each other, which is good for him), and Heidi (who is dumb and easily led and has no connection to Christy and Jeanne). Basically, Dave has put together a tribe that, at least on the surface, seems very unlikely to go in a direction that threatens him anytime soon. He got rid of the people who don't like him so much (Rob, in particular), and who else in that group is likely to lead a charge on him? I mean, I'm not sure he thought it out this far ahead, and you can never really know how things will play out, but I think Dave did really, really well.

Jenna and Dave get new buffs for their new tribe members, and maps for those people to follow to their new camps, and then they're off, paddling back to share the news with their folks: "I threw you to the other camp -- but you'll get a new bandanna to replace the one that's crusty with your accumulated filth!" I'm not sure that's even going to be much consolation.

We hit Tambaqui first. An entire row of what look to be the piranhas from the immunity challenge last week is roasting over the fire in their near-idyllic, impeccably-run Amazon camp. The guys wonder where Dave is, with Rob speculating that he's at some "Amazon bed and breakfast." Hee. A skinny-looking Dave comes walking into camp. He breaks the news quickly that the chips fell where they may (literally), and that the tribes have been mixed. He tells Alex, Matthew, and Rob that they're going off to Jaburu. Rob interviews that Dave told the guys that he took advantage of Jenna and ultimately looked out for all six guys, trying to position all of them as well as possible to go into the merge. Dave says they'll see each other tomorrow at the immunity challenge. "We'll whoop your ass," says a prickly Rob. Rob interviews that he was very unhappy to have his situation dictated by Dave. "I don't think he has my best interests at heart," Rob says. And once again, I have to point out that it's very unlikely, in a competition for a million dollars, that anyone will have your best interests at heart rather than their own. After all? Competition. Million bucks. Why would anyone protect you? Rob takes the position that Dave helped himself, Roger, and Butch. Now that's what I don't get. The guys are being split in half. Why is it inherently advantageous to remain with Dave rather than to be sent off with Matthew and Alex? See what I mean? How did Dave necessarily do Butch and Roger a favor? Himself, sure. But I don't know if Rob would have been better off staying. This is one of those things where I almost think Dave has sort of hypnotized Rob into just naturally thinking of him as a leader, so that being on Dave's team seems to be an inherent advantage, and being kicked off Dave's team seems to be an inherent disadvantage. Dave has Rob hyp-mo-tized.

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