by Melissa Brunner
I haven't had a chance to ask yet what you all think of the latest "Survivor" season! This week's episode gives me the perfect chance to find out! (**Spoiler alert if you haven't watched yet**)
To summarize, Ozzy's tribe (Savaii) made two major assumptions: first, that the two sides will merge after the next challenge and, second, that the player who wins the next Redemption Island challenge will return to the game at the merge. With that in mind, Ozzy decided that, should his tribe lose, they must send someone to Redemption Island who will beat Christine, since she was an Upolu member. If the Savaii member wins and returns to the game, the tribes will be an even 6-6 on members for the merge. If Christine beats the Savaii member, then Upolu would have a two-player advantage of original tribe members. Savaii lost, and Ozzy decided he should go to Redemption Island because he feels he has the best chance at beating Christine.
Is this a brilliant move or a bonehead move? It could be both. If all goes according to Savaii's assumptions and Ozzy successfully defeats Christine, then Savaii is in a strong situation. But if either of the two doesn't happen, they could be in trouble. Without a merge, Savaii faces a challenge without the arguably their strongest member. If there is a merge and the Redemption Island player doesn't return to the game, then Savaii will be at a 6-5 disadvantage for the tribal council vote. But notice I didn't say whether that player had to be Ozzy or Christine - I think Christine dislikes her original Upolu tribe so much that she'll find her best shot by flipping to the Savaii members if she returns to the game.
Personally, I hope Savaii's assumptions hold true. I didn't care for the debut of Redeption Island last season because it turned out to be so meaningless. The player returned to the same tribe (or the same tribe majority) only to have the same people vote him out again. In Ozzy's scenario, it would actually make Redemption Island have a true impact on the game, a real twist that will test alliances and make people scramble at the merge - and that is what makes it worth watching!
What do you think?