There is, as my fellow BuddyTV writer Oscar Dahl aptly put it, a "Cult of Yau-Man.
" Every person I talk to about Survivor: Fiji
singles out Yau-Man Chan
as one of their favorite players, if not THE favorite.
First of all, who doesn't love an underdog? And going into the game, he certainly seemed to be one. This season of Survivor, like most, started out with the usual domination of the game by the Alpha Males - the younger, stronger players - even when they were not empirically the best or most valuable players as the game unfolded.
But Yau-Man made himself useful, from being the only person able to open the box containing the first clues about the game, to helping the other players opening coconuts most efficiently.
And slowly, but surely, his other strengths came to the fore.
He's probably one of the smartest players in the game, and he seems so far to have just the right mix of logical intelligence and intuitive understanding of human nature (these two skills don't always go hand in hand). He's also over-performed against expectations in many of the physical challenges, showing that despite his deceptively frail frame, he has a lot of power and stamina in that wiry physique.
So, many of his fans were probably very dismayed this week to see the tide turning against Yau-Man and we are all now wondering if our favorite player is about to become a vulnerable target.
Of course, Yau-Man has the hidden immunity idol, so no matter what, he could be safe for at least one episode of Survivor: Fiji
. However, due to Mookie Lee's
and Alex Angarita's
snooping, everyone knows about it.
And this most recent episode showed that Dre "Dreamz" Herd
and Cassandra Franklin
are more than willing to consider targeting Yau-Man next, and Stacy Kimball
has said outright that she will do whatever Cassandra does. (Aside: how did low-key Cassandra become such a power player?) Up until tribal council, it appeared that Alex might have made some headway to save his own neck by convincing them that Yau-Man had to go. For whatever reason, they changed their minds.
But the rift is there. Dreamz, especially, seems eager to take out Yau-Man. Cassandra has some loyalty to Earl Cole
- who, in turn, seems to have rock-solid loyalty to Yau - but she also seems quite willing to consider throwing her lot in with Dreamz if need be. If those two (plus Stacy) can convince Kenward "Boo" Bernis
to work with them, they will have a majority and be able to call the shots.
Unless one of the them wins immunity OR finds the second hidden immunity idol, Earl and Yau-Man will be in the cross-hairs if that alliance comes to be. This next vote on Survivor: Fiji
could be for either of them, and all the other four would need to do would be to keep it hush-hush so that the wrong member of the pairing plays the immunity idol (since Earl and Yau-Man have agreed to share it). Then the remaining member can be picked off the following tribal council (again, barring winning or finding an immunity idol).
As a member of the Yau-Man fan club, I am certainly hoping that I am wrong. I'm hoping that either Earl or he finds/wins another immunity idol, or they are able to use powers of persuasion and tap into that big brain of Yau's to find a way to convince some of the others that their best bet is to stick with them. We'll have to tune in to Survivor: Fiji
next week to see!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)