We’ve been waiting for “Survivor: Worlds Apart” to justify some of the insane love Jeff Probst has for it, and it certainly did that tonight and then some. The second episode tonight was by far the best of the season, mostly in that it set up a deliciously entertaining blindside. It was even more shocking than losing Vince Sly, mostly because more people projected the person voted out to make it fairly far.
So where in the world did Max Dawson go so wrong? Maybe it was soaking his feet in the pot … okay, probably not. The reality here is that it is fine to know and love “Survivor.” We’re right there with him in that. However, there’s a difference between loving it and making sure everyone around you constantly knows that you do. Clearly, he annoyed the heck out of everyone with his constant references and discussion of the game. There is something about Cochran’s neurotic humor that allowed him to at times do variation on the same sort of shtick, but do it in an endearing way. It may have been because he was younger and less physically imposing. Or that he did not talk so much.
Max seemed completely unaware of his own impending doom after the tribal swap, as well. Neither he nor Shirin seemed to pick up on the fact that they were on the outs of the White Collar tribe, and then planned accordingly after Carolyn went with them on the swap. They courted Kelly and seemed to land her, but because they didn’t have Carolyn, it didn’t matter. She teamed right up with the likes of Will, Jenn, and Hali, and had out someone she could not stand.
Was this a good move for Carolyn? We’re not sure. If Max and Shirin thought she was with them, she and Carolyn could have been one pair in that alliance. Now, she’s a clear 4th in a four-person group, and while she will make it to the merge, she has to hope that the men on the other tribe want her back.
Speaking of that other tribe, how unfair was this swap? The show has to learn that these random swaps rarely work. Sierra is the only woman on that tribe, and now Will, who is awful in challenges, is the only man on this tribe, which also has Shirin, who has struggled in her own right. Sierra is probably one of the best female competitors, and that only makes it worse. There was so much strength in tonight’s immunity that it completely made it almost impossible for the women to compete.
On the new Escameca tribe will all the men, it’s clearly a battle over Sierra. Dan is so completely lacking self-awareness that he’s a comically bad player, and may at this point be dragged to the end just because of it. His “apology” to Sierra and his post-game celebration shows that. She will most likely team up with Joaquin, Tyler, and Joe for now. She’s sort of a free agent, and that is exciting.
In the end, we do still feel like Max has a great mind for the game. We feel like he just Icarus flying a little too close to the sun. The former “Survivor” professor was so excited to share his wealth of knowledge, he forgot to ask his other castmates if they signed up for his class. Grade: A.