My, how the Beauties have fallen. The inexplicably well-adjusted tribe of mactors and mactresses pre-swap is down to just 2 players left, Jefra and Jeremiah, who've both received votes since the merge.
The funny thing is that, more than in any other season I can recall, original tribal lines have blurred and faded. Jeremiah is in with Tasha and Spencer, while Jefra is tight with the former Brawns. Beauty may have faded, but their former members have adapted to different scenarios.
Morgan was not adaptive. Morgan seemed to live her life a certain way, and chose to play Survivor with those same principals. Say what you will about Kass, at least she's willing to throw caution/strategy/reason to the wind and embrace her own Survivor persona. Morgan liked to be catered to, and in a game where literally EVERYONE else is running and digging and clawing for hidden idols, she stuck out like a perfectly manicured sore thumb.
There should be a metric, comparing and contrasting the high and low qualities of one's Social, Physical and Strategic game and how that factors into whether someone should be voted out or not in each stage of the game, relative to the other contestants' individual scores. That's way too much programming for even someone as ridiculously obsessed as I to create, but I'd imagine Morgan's data would read something like:
-Strategic: LOW (let's not kid ourselves)
Social: LOW (not talking to certain people, not pulling her weight around camp)
Physical: MEDIUM (she did pretty well in the challenges)
She wasn't playing a terrible game, but she had one fatal flaw: SURVIVOR PRO TIP #11: Camp life matters. It may not matter to the editors or the audience anymore, but once upon a time Richard Hatch got away with being naked and smarmy because he provided fish for the tribe. If Morgan had at least made an effort to provide for her tribe mates (yes, even those in the opposing alliance) she might have been spared because of her low attributes elsewhere. Then again, J'Tia dumped all the rice and survived, so who knows with this cast.
Props to Tony and crew for dumping Morgan instead of someone like Tasha or Jeremiah, who have actual drive in the game. It's easy (and smart, according to my very first Pro Tip) to go after the nice, smart, likable people, but they chose to do the audience a solid. Maybe that'll backfire if Spencer/Tasha/Jeremiah manage to wiggle their way forward, but at least we get a more exciting endgame.
Case in point: Dat Idol hunt doe. (Yes, that now counts as a professional transition.) Spencer should have destroyed his clue the moment he absorbed all the information, because things could have gone horribly awry if Woo or #ChaosKass or one of their cohorts found the idol. Thankfully for everyone at home (literally every single person I talk to about Survivor is rooting for Spencer), the chess nerd found it. Not the "special" Tyler Perry idol, mind you, but the regular, play-before-votes-are-read idol.
With an Idol in his pocket and strong allies Tasha and Jeremiah by his side, Spencer is in a great position. That position was only bettered when Tony went full-Hantz and lured Woo into booting LJ. An anti-MVP must be handed out to the editors, though, because they worked so hard to deliver LJ his comeuppance that all the drama of whether he'd go home was sucked from the episode. It was painfully obvious the outcome would be Tony betraying his buddy, it took some of my enjoyment out of the move.
Was it a good move? I'd vote no. LJ had his chance to flip but instead left Tasha #STOODUP. By spreading lies throughout his team he's burning bridges with Woo and Trish, who will find out the truth from LJ and Sarah before Tony's final reckoning. (Speaking of Sarah, she got quite the reaction when Tony told everyone at Tribal he's a contractor. #CopsRUs will rear it's hashtag again).
He's following in the footsteps of Coach, Russell and Phillip: Be wild and crazy and fun. You may not win (and none of those men have), but odds are you'll be brought back over calm, strategic players like Brendan Synnott, Brett Clouser and Mike Chiesel (Remember them? No, because they were overshadowed by the crazies, just as LJ will be forgotten and Tony remembered). Think about it like this: if you're throwing a party that you want to be memorable and exciting, do you want to invite the introverts or the extraverts? Survivor is like a weekly party, and extroverts are regular VIPs.
But here's the real crazy thing- Tony might win this whole game. I look to the "Previously On…" segment that aired before Morgan's boot episode. They re-aired Spencer's "Nobody's gonna vote for Kass" comment, and cut to Tony taking that information in. So here's my 100% unspoiled prediction for how the endgame goes down:
-Tony makes a deal with Spencer, someone he obviously admires
-Tony cuts Spencer at F4, a common spot for Fan Favorites to end up
-Tony sits in F3 with Trish and Kass
-Despite Tony's reckless behavior, Kass' questionable strategy and Trish's "eff y'all" attitude barely squeak him out a win
Or, you know, Kass wins. Or Spencer wins. At this point it's one of those three.
Up For Grabs:
-Fallen Comrades: Morgan is a very pretty girl. LJ is a very handsome guy. They don't need any ego stroking from me!
-Tony gave himself his own Stealth R Us nickname: The Opportunist. Brace yourself for a Tony v Phillip season, y'all.
Have you ever been #StoodUp by LJ? Do you think Tony can pull off a win? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @miketvladue!