Survivor: Havoc to Wreak
May 8, 2014 7:42 AM - Season 28, Episode 11 - Subscribe

The castaways try to crack a code to earn a spot in the final five; one player's paranoia threatens another person's stake in the game; Tony's closest confidant is wooed by another alliance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (14 comments total)
If you haven't been following Tony's twitter feud with Stephen Fishbach, it's hilarious. Sadly, he deleted most of it, claiming his friends were starting shit without him knowing about it.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:51 AM on May 8, 2014

So Tony has to use both idols in the next TC, right? So someone of his choosing and himself are safe at the final tribal before the finale.

I just don't see anyone who he can beat. He's made himself so unlikeable and, God help me, his voice is just so "nails on a chalkboard" to me. The jury is stacked with people who not only don't like him, but also don't respect him. He is Russell Hantz.
posted by inturnaround at 10:53 AM on May 8, 2014

I think Tony could do well against Woo and/or Kass in the finals. Possibly Trish; she seems to be great at subtly manipulating people, such as bringing Kass into the fold and reassuring the remaining members of her alliance after each of Tony's blindsides, but I'm not sure whether the other players are aware of that or willing to give her credit.
posted by casualinference at 11:09 AM on May 8, 2014

This has been one of those seasons where I'm yelling at the screen, usually about Tony. Though last night it was "Woo, stop stalling and just lie your ass off, ^$#"

I don't like Tony (or pretty much any of'em at this point), but have to admit he's played the game.

Annoyed about the idol with hidden powers, as the others don't know what powers are, so they can't plan for it. Unless the other players get very smart or Tony gets very dumb, he's in the final three. If others knew what the specialspecial idol's powers where, they'd be strategizing very differently, especially with Tony bragging about his bag of tricks every Tribal Council.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:51 PM on May 8, 2014

The combination of Tony and the special idol has made this season less interesting. He has played well but we are at the end and I'm left with no one in particular to cheer for. I'm with you Brandon, the others need more info so they can actually work out a strategy. At the moment we are stuck with a pagonging going on and a dearth of really likeable or really detestable characters. I think Tony could take it, he'll go to the end with Trish and Cass. Maybe Cass will talk her way into something but I doubt it.

Woo as a valley girl remix character was pretty funny this week though.
posted by Cuke at 5:45 PM on May 8, 2014

I was surprised by Kass' comment in this week's episode about wanting to take Tony to the end because she didn't think he'd get any votes, as well as seeing someone express that same sentiment here. To me, as long of Spencer is eliminated before the final 2 or 3, Tony wins this in a runaway.

I don't see the comparisons between Tony and Russell Hantz. To me, Russell was the most overrated player ever because he never understood the social aspect of the game. He would needlessly be hostile and rude to anyone outside of his alliance, and then act indignant when those same people took an "Anyone but Russell" attitude when voting for the winner. Outside of Kass, who doesn't seem to get along with anybody, Tony's social game has been solid. Yes, he blindsided people, but he was not aggressively nasty about it in the way Russell became notorious for, so people like LJ and Jefra have no reason to be personally angry with him in the way people were with Russell. Tony is the only remaining player outside of Spencer (who has the underdog's tale in his favor) who has anything resembling a decent resume to explain why he deserves the win to the jury.

I can't think of a Survivor player in a long time who has grated on my nerves the way Kass does. So much of what we see of her on the show are specific personality traits that hit my annoyance points: delusions of grandeur, having a much higher opinion of one's skills and talents than is warranted, condescension, acting like a bratty, attention-seeking baby but trying to convince everyone it is really brilliant strategy instead of obvious insecurity.
posted by The Gooch at 9:08 AM on May 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

I’m not sure what Tony has done to be so “unlikable.” Sure, he’s lied, blindsided people, and showed some arrogance here and there, but isn’t that par for the course for Survivors who, erm, survive? If he makes it to the finale, I’d probably pick him over the other person, because he’s pretty much been an unstoppable force. I think he’s played the game well strategically, and decently socially. His ability to read people and his timing have been pretty damn good.

People who don't like him: Is it because of how he’s played the game, or a personality thing? Or something else? If it’s his game, what would’ve been a more “likable” approach he could’ve taken?

One thing I like about him as a player is that the other players seemingly cannot pin him down, while foolishly assuming he’s easy to read and manipulate. When they “make him paranoid” or “fool him,” he always seems to swing things his way. Or he has some upper hand they haven’t thought of—sure, sometimes it’s based on the unknown like the ‘Special Idol,’ but often it’s born of strategy, social game, and timing.

I dislike Kass, for similar reasons to The Gooch. But if she was as effective as Tony is, I’d look at her differently as a player. The problem, as I see it, is that her ‘personality-based’ shortcomings are what make her a less effective player.
posted by context adventure at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2014

People who don't like him: Is it because of how he’s played the game, or a personality thing?

Personality wise for me, he seems incredibly grating and full of himself. Hell would be stuck in an elevator with him five or ten minutes.

But he's totally played a good game, but I do wonder if that's because of the other players are just being idiotic. Granted he went and found the idols himself, but I'm not convinced that he's super smart, just driven and running with people who aren't. Remember when he used both of those idols to prevent him and one other person going home? He totally read that situation wrong and didn't need to play those idols at all, he looked like a fool, especially as he bragged about how awesome he was.

But then he turned around and got more idols, so go him.

Cass annoys me also, for reasons similar to theGooch. I did like Tasha personality wise, but she didn't have much social game.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2014

the others don't know what powers are, so they can't plan for it.

This is one of those stunts the producers can only pull once. Because next season whether a special idol is in play or not, everyone will be suspicious. Personally I think it was a bad call to introduce an after-tally idol. It halves the suspense. For a second this week I thought Tony might be going home, and then I remembered. No matter what, he couldn't.

I agree that Tony has played a good game, and I agree the other players are playing stupidly. This particular stupidity ("follow the leader") seems to happen a lot on reality shows, Survivor especially. I think most of us watching at home would obviously vote for Tony to win. But then I think about Dan losing Big Brother to Ian, when Dan quite obviously outplayed everybody in the house. It doesn't always come down to gameplay. Sometimes the people who signed up to play a game end up voting for whomever they like best.
posted by cribcage at 2:14 PM on May 9, 2014

The problem, as I see it, is that her ‘personality-based’ shortcomings are what make her a less effective player.

Yes! If there is a player this season to compare to Russell, it is Kass, not Tony. Like Russell, she is playing a perfect second place game. For all of her supposedly great strategic moves, she's neglected to remember that at some point you have to get the majority of the jury to vote to reward you with a million dollars. Being condescending, quick to pick a fight, rude and nasty to many of the people you hope will do that is just bad game play.
posted by The Gooch at 2:52 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

honestly, it might not be fair, but the thing i dislike about tony is all of his annoying personality traits fit perfectly with shit head cops i've known. makes a good survivor player but i really hate watching him.

i really was hoping spencer and tasha would made it to the final 3 together.
posted by nadawi at 10:07 PM on May 9, 2014

This is one of those stunts the producers can only pull once. Because next season whether a special idol is in play or not, everyone will be suspicious. Personally I think it was a bad call to introduce an after-tally idol. It halves the suspense.

I'm not positive which season but I believe an after-tally vote idol existed previously. The producers stopped doing it because it was too powerful. Tyler Perry texted Jeff Probst that he should bring it back, so it's back. And it's the worst.

This is all according the the AVClub coverage of this season.
posted by dogwalker at 4:00 AM on May 10, 2014

I like Tony! It's worth noting that he seems relatively popular with the other players, especially given the moves he's pulled off. He's got a better social barometer than someone with his wackiness generally deserves.

I feel like with Tony, he saves a lot of his craziness for the camera, while reining it in a bit more "in game", as it were. And I must say, he seemed, once again, to be the only player that has seen a previous season of Survivor and learned from it, and his "kid in a candy shop" excitement is probably how I would feel if I ever got on the show.

He deserves to win more than anyone else there. Tash was in with a shot, but they recognised her danger.

Kass is hilariously clueless and arrogant. I love how she clearly thinks she is in control, when she is not - at all - and the way she cannot stand even the idea that someone else is playing better/more in control than her.

Really, if you were aiming for final three, you would want her and Woo with you - I think any of the others remaining would beat those two.
posted by smoke at 4:46 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dogwalker, I've found av club coverage of this season really weird. I feel like the woman writing it a) seems to actively dislike the show, and b) seems kinda... clueless/newbie when it comes ot Survivor history etc.
posted by smoke at 4:47 PM on May 12, 2014

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