‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ analysis: Did Val really make a bad move, and is Rocker a pawn?

Survivor -For this week’s “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” analysis piece, reflection really is one of our key themes here. Were we wrong with some of our initial assessments of some of the plays made during this past episode? We feel like the answer to that is both yes and no.

First of all, we realize that we were a little too quick to say that Val Collins’ decision to try to push for her safety using two idols was a poor move, mostly because it seemed to be one of the few good moves she could make in the situation. A good comparison here with be Kristina Kell on “Redemption Island,” who felt she was in a bad place and tried to emphasize having an idol (she actually dead). Ultimately, this just made her even more of an outcast. Val, as noted in our interview with her, was right to try something. The unfortunate thing for her here is that we feel like the only move she could make is try to use Rocker to shift the votes over to Jaclyn, but just by socializing with him, she became even more of a target.

In the end, Val may have been screwed the moment that there were only four women on her tribe, and the moment she went to Redemption Island. Her only may have been to actually have an idol, and then use that to buy another week in the game.

At the moment, though, it feels pretty clear that this tribe belongs to Josh Canfield. He is the one who tied up the Val – Baylor vote seemingly, and he is really the only person here, other than Dale, with a strategic mind. His strategy to potentially use Rocker is also an interesting one.

With that being said, is it a good one? We’d say sure to that for now, but that the guy still needs to go pretty early after the merge. The difference between a Rocker and someone like Phillip or a Natalie in “Redemption Island” is that he’s not going to be this loyal to you. Do you think a guy who has made some of the comments he has really cares about loyalty? He’ll not a strategic genius to make a move on his own, but he’s the perfect mercenary if someone suggests something better.

As for Hunahpu – This tribe is not getting a big strategic edit, but it feels pretty clear for now that Jeremy is running the show. He has an idol clue, and can probably use that to find something back at camp. Also, he was smart to make an alliance comprised of women and men, and some of them like Kelley seem to be sharp people who are real assets rather than someone like Rocker who is a walking time bomb.

Val leaving now may actually be a great thing for Jeremy’s game, given the history with Tyson and Gervase going far after their loved ones left really early. We just hope that he isn’t the next to go, because that would look really bad for this show if three minorities are the first to go, and this show has already cast a guy in Rocker with a history of offensive comments towards race. It doesn’t matter if the targeting of these players is intentional or not.

Still, we feel good about Jeremy and we really like the way he’s playing so far. The same surprisingly goes for Rocker’s girlfriend Julie McGee and Kelley. The guys on this tribe, like Drew Christy and Jon Misch, are probably going to be in trouble sooner rather than later. We still like Jon could be the mystery quitter if he starts to feel really terrible about being away from his father.

Still, the editing with this season has been terribly uneven, and there are still a good six or seven players we barely know. That makes these pieces a little tricky to write, at least for now.

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Photo: CBS

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