Thus far, I'm not exactly batting 1000 with these predictions. So, in anticipation of the finale of Survivor: Fiji this week, I'm going to dispense with any pretense that I can guess or puzzle through what will happen and instead, just create my best-case-scenario at least through the final three.
Anyone who has been reading my recaps no doubt knows that I am a big time Yau-Man Chan fan. (I don't think I've ever referred to myself as a "fan" of anything before, but that's how good this guy is. He can move even the most cynical and hard-to-impress to sincere enthusiasm.) Since his brilliant move on last night's episode, I've been trying to figure out if he can actually win this thing, and if so, how?
So, again, it's probably all just wishful thinking - Survivor usually doesn't play out quite how you'd love it to - but here's what I'm hoping happens.
Wishful Thinking Point One: Earl Cole is and remains truly loyal to Yau-Man.
Thus far on Survivor: Fiji, the alliance between these two has seemed rock solid. Then again…it’s primarily been Yau-Man who has made the bigger sacrifice for the partnership by twice sharing either the hidden immunity idol or the clues to find one. It’s entirely possible that Earl is playing him. But I’m hoping that he’s not.
It would be smart if Earl were…and if he’s not, he would be smart to turn on Yau-Man now; after all, at this point, does anyone want to try to sit in front of the jury against Yau? Of course, editing plays a major part in how we perceive certain individuals. Maybe the Earl on the island has been much more charismatic and influential than he seems, but for now, Yau-Man seems like a shoo-in for the votes at the end.
However, maybe Earl is a straightforward guy who will stick by his alliance. And, if the mildly smug self-satisfaction that led to his being blindsided by Stacy Kimball’s fake-out last night is any indication, he might have just enough of a good opinion of himself to not worry about taking Yau-Man to the final two. So let’s hope that he and Yau stick close together.
Wishful Thinking Point Two: Earl’s hidden immunity idol stays secret.
This past Survivor: Fiji episode didn't really illuminate whether or not the others suspect that it's been found. If there is some way to keep them off the scent, this will help with…
Wishful Thinking Point Three: Earl pretends to flip.
Last episode’s tribal council revealed all: Yau-Man is the target of the alliance between Cassandra Franklin and Dre "Dreamz" Herd, and they have been able to recruit Boo to their team. In addition to his general status as a strong player who’s a threat to take to the jury, Dreamz has special incentive to get Yau-Man out prior to the final four since he swapped any potential immunity for that truck.
Right now, unless there is some other game-changing shift of power, Yau-Man would likely remain the target of those three. He’s used the only hidden immunity idol they know about. So Yau-Man would at least appear to be a sitting duck. All Dreamz and Cassandra need to do is keep immunity away from Yau at the challenge, and keep Kenward "Boo" Bernis on their side.
Earl could make a show of attempting to flip Boo. Then, he could pretend to see that the tide has turned against his alliance and pretend to throw his vote in with the others. Then, he and Yau could actually vote for Boo, Yau could play the remaining secret hidden idol and Boo would be sent home from Survivor: Fiji.
This is where my wishful thinking sort of runs into a roadblock. Because, of course, for all of these good things to happen, Yau is completely dependent on Earl helping him along. And this is the point I get to where it starts to be clear that if Earl might prioritize a million bucks over remaining true to his partnership, getting to the final four with Yau-Man (if Dreamz is in it) doesn't really look like such a hot bargain for Earl. If Yau-Man does get immunity in a final four with Earl, Cassandra and Dreamz (whether by winning it outright or if Dreamz wins and sticks to his promise), then it would appear that could force a tie between Earl (voted for by Dreamz/Cassandra) vs. either or Dreamz/Cassandra (voted for by Earl/Yau-Man). And no one wants a situation where they are walking into a known tie.
If I were Earl, I would agree to help Yau-Man on one condition: if the vote is to play out as referenced above (Yau-Man deflecting another vote with an idol and the second choice going home), then send Dreamz home. While this would mean Yau-Man loses his advantage, it would be a bargaining chip for Earl to use so that the two of them can go into the final four on equal footing.
However all this plays out, it is looking to be one of the more interesting Survivor finales in a while. The finale will air this Sunday, May 13th, and 8PM ET/PT and 7PM CT. Come back to BuddyTV for recaps and final thoughts!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)