Survivor Thoughts from Iowa (mostly)
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Two Boots Are Better Than One
Thereís a great deal of discussion at Blows about Episode 5. Our handy-dandy challenge chart shows that it is a two-day episode with double tribal councils. (You can find a nice thread discussing the challenge board here.) There is a reward challenge, with the reward being ďVOTE FOR: OTHER TEAM @ TRIBALĒ. In addition, we have the Mersaydeez spoiler that says Angie and Willard arrive at Loser Lodge at the same time as a result of the double boot episode.
Most people seem to be assuming that it is a group reward, and as such a lot of the argument going on right now focuses on why Angie and Willard would be the targets of the opposing tribes. (You can find some of that discussion here.) Iím in a different camp Ė I donít think itís a group reward, but rather an individual reward. But letís look at it more closely.
There are three possible scenarios here: Group challenge where the entire winning group votes at the other teamís tribal council, group challenge where one member of the winning group gets to vote at the other teamís tribal council, and individual challenge where the winning individual gets to vote at the other teamís tribal council.
The first scenario is the scenario that seems to be getting the most attention, and yet it seems to me to be the most unlikely. First off, what kind of reward is it where your team wins but still has to go to Tribal Council? Thatís not much of a reward, even if you get to decide which member of the other team goes. Second, are we really going to have a 15 person Tribal Council? The set isnít that big. And why would you even need to go to Tribal Council? Why not just ask after the challenge ďWho do you want to boot?Ē and boot that person? Finally, isnít that an awful lot of power to give one tribe over another tribe? Isnít that blatantly unfair to not give a person at least a shot of avoiding the boot by trying to put together an alliance to vote off someone else? After all, if both tribes are going to Tribal, both tribes will want to be spending the afternoon trying to decide. And shouldnít there be at least one person on the losing tribe whoís immune to being voted off? Indeed, if both tribes are going to Tribal, shouldnít there be an immune person on both tribes? Forget about the unlikelihood of Koror voting off Angie or Ulong voting off Willard under this scenario. The whole scenario is unlikely.
The second scenario doesnít strain credulity quite as much. Itís still a group challenge, but the winning group selects one person to represent them at the other teamís Tribal. That person would spend the day with the losing tribe, go their Tribal, and vote for one of the members of the losing tribe. A couple of problems here, though. First off, itís still not much of a group reward. You won the challenge, yet youíre still going to Tribal. Also, the same problems with no Immunity arise. Whoís immune at the losing tribe? You canít let the person from the winning tribe both decide who gets immunity and vote. And whoís immune at the winning tribe? The person chosen to go? Then they get immunity for no reason other than they were chosen. While there arenít as many problems here as under scenario one, there are still problems, and they are still major problems.
The final scenario is the most plausible. For one thing, this is pretty much the exact same thing they did in Vanuatu with the exception that the winner of the individual challenge gets to vote instead of confer immunity. Thereís still the question of who gets immunity at the losing tribe, but you can take care of that by making two winners, one from each tribe. (Weíve already seen that they have two immunity idols.) Each tribeís winner gets immunity at their own TC and gets to vote at the other tribeís TC. Itís easy to see how Angie and Willard get booted under this scenario. Assuming Ulong is down to Angie, Steph, James, Bobby Jon, and Ibe at this point, and assuming Angie doesnít win immunity, she becomes the obvious choice for the boot from the rest of Ulong. (Though there might be some discussion that Angie is stronger than Ibe, which would advance the whole strong being decimated aspect.) Itís also easy to see why Willard would be voted off by the rest of Koror no matter who the Ulong person voted for.
So thatís my take. The upcoming Episode 5 dual boot is based on individual immunity, not group. Iím probably wrong, of course, but Iím sticking with it until the available evidence proves me wrong.