Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Episode four... prediction?

When you try to avoid spoilers, it doesn't always work. I play a number of Survivor games at SurvivorBlows and when you see an overwhelming number of the other contestants giving the same answer for the game, well, it makes it clear there's a spoiler out there.

If I were just going on confessional analysis and the previews, I would guess that Gary quits and Rita gets booted. However, it's clear that my long shot confessional analysis victim is the boot this week. So...

Gary quits.

Liliana gets booted.

Which seems strange to me since I can't imagine Moto losing the immunity challenge. I guess all will be clear Thursday night.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fiji Confessional Analysis, Episode 3

If I were doing a points system, which I can't seem to figure out, I would give Michelle extra points for her very long confessional and the humor in it ("My momma doesn't want me to die out here") and Dreamz because of his this-is-what-the-game-is-all-about confessional. But the point thing just doesn't work no matter which way I do it. Anyway, here's where we are after three episodes.

Alex - 2T, 2T, 2T/1D = 6T/1D
Dreamz - 3T, 1T/1D, 1T = 5T/1D
Boo - 1T, 3T, 1T = 5T
Cassandra - 2T, 0T, 1T =3T
Lisi - 1T, 1T, 1T = 3T
Edgardo - 2T/1D, 0T, 0T = 2T/1D
Stacy - 0T, 0T, 1T =1T
Gary - 1D, 0T, 0T = 1D
Liliana - 0T, 0T, 0T = 0T

Earl - 4T, 4T, 2T = 10T
Rocky - 4T/2D, 2T/1D, 2T = 8T/3D
Anthony - 4T, 3T/3D, 1D = 7T/4D
Yau Man - 1T/1D, 2T, 2T = 5T/1D
Rita - 2D, 0T, 2D = 4D
Michelle - 1T, 1D, 1T = 2T/1D
Mookie - 0T, 1T, 1D = 1T/1D

Sylvia - 2T/1D, 1T/3D, 4D = 3T/8D
Erica - 2T/4D, 2T = 4T/4D
Jessica - 2T/1D

At Moto, confessional analysis says Gary is at risk again. Not that that is any suprise after last episode made it clear he's not doing well. Other than that, the only person who stands out is Liliana who hasn't had a single confessional. There was one season where it seemed like every week the person who didn't talk at all got booted unexpectedly. I still think Gary is the more likely boot, but Liliana is the dark horse boot. Dreamz got a very important confessional. He said, "Our morale is up and their morale is down. Bam! There's it is right there... the whole game." At the other tribe we had Mookie questioning Anthony's will to win. The point seems to be that this is a mental game more than anything else. With the men dominating the game (only women have been booted so far), athletic prowess might be a wash, but whichever man has the internal strength is going to come out on top. Cassandra is being cast as the heart of the tribe; we're supposed to like her so I think she's got some legs. Lisi is the matter of fact narrator. Hard to say if she's going to go far. I am hoping to see more in depth confessionals soon as she is my pick to make it to the end. Stacy finally spoke which took her out of the danger land that Liliana finds herself in. Alex was chosen to narrate most of Gary's breakdown which points to him lasting longer in the game. Boo is a pretty steady narrator about how the tribe is feeling. If you compare his confessionals to Lisi's, at this point I'd pick Boo to go further because they are about more than facts.

At Ravu, Earl got an interesting confessional where he called his tribe "begging children". I am thinking he's not really in an alliance with any of them. I wonder if his alliance is actually on the other tribe and he's just trying to survive this disfunctional tribe until he can get back to his alliance. Michelle had only one confessional, but it was loooonnng. Mookie got one confessional but it was a D, which isn't good for him. However, Rita is clearly the next boot from their tribe with 4Ds. And she went her own way by voting against Earl; that's never a good sign. Like Boo at Moto, Yau Man talks about how their tribe is feeling. Rocky's main confessional this episode portrayed him as the guy who has fate turning on him. He talks about how the other tribe better watch out .... and then they lose the challenge. I doubt Rocky wins this thing. Anthony's personal arc seems to be really beginning this episode and from the preview, it looks like it continues next episode. In the first two episodes, he was a neutral narrator of the tribe. This episode he became a character in the action. The question is how long will his arc go? This could be the start of his climb to the winner's spot or it could be the start of a short arc. Hopefully next episode will give us some sort of clue.

So who could possibly win this thing based on editing of the first three episodes. It's still pretty wide open, but I think we can safely rule out: Stacy, Liliana, Gary and Edgardo (unless something major happens with him soon) at Moto. At Ravu, you can give up on Rocky, Michelle, Mookie and Rita. Who does that leave us with?

Yau Man

And finally, here's who's at risk for episode 4:

Liliana (long shot)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Episode three pick

It could be Gary at Moto going home. There's some medical emergency and in the preview Gary appears to say "I can't breathe." At least I think it's him talking, but can't be sure as it's a voiceover. The image shown during the v-o is Gary, though. Plus confessional analysis points to his boot, so there's supporting evidence.

The safe choice at Ravu would be Sylvia. Confessional analysis points to her. We know her tribe doesn't like her. She's most likely going home. The exciting pick would be Rita because confessional analysis likes her for a boot, too.

Honestly, I have no real idea who it's going to be.

I guess I'll go with Sylvia.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fiji Confessional Analysis, Episode 2

Episode two gives us clear indications who might be leaving from each tribe. Still haven't had a chance to do the point system. It's still percolating in my brain.

Dreamz - 3T, 1T/1D = 4T/1D
Boo - 1T, 3T = 4T
Alex - 2T, 2T = 4T
Edgardo - 2T/1D, 0T = 2T/1D
Cassandra - 2T, 0T =2T
Lisi - 1T, 1T = 2T
Gary - 1D, 0T = 1D
Liliana - 0T, 0T = 0T
Stacy - 0T, 0T =0T

Anthony - 4T, 3T/3D = 7T/3D
Rocky - 4T/2D, 2T/1D = 6T/3D
Earl - 4T, 4T = 8T
Sylvia - 2T/1D, 1T/3D = 3T/4D
Yau Man - 1T/1D, 2T = 3T/1D
Michelle - 1T, 1D = 1T/1D
Rita - 2D, 0T = 2D
Mookie - 0T, 1T = 1T

Erica - 2T/4D, 2T = 4T/4D
Jessica - 2T/1D

Let's look at Moto first. The only person in danger based on confessional analysis is Gary who has only one D and no Ts. Half of the tribe disappeared last episode with Cassandra, Edgardo, Stacy, and Lilliana getting zero confessionals. Stacy and Lilliana haven't had a single confessional yet. Honestly, that's almost as bad as getting a lot of Ds. I don't think either one will last past merge. While Dreamz had only two confessionals, one of them went on forever. I've seen people get four confessionals in an episode that in total didn't last as long as one of Dreamz's confessionals. His story is important to the show, but it seems to be a very personal story and not really one that connects to the game as a whole. Boo and Lisi are the main narrators of the tribe with Alex taking a smaller role this episode. His confessionals were about Boo's mishaps in contrast to the other two who talked about the tribe as a whole. Of course, Alex's confessionals in episode one were about the tribe as a whole, so it's safe to say all three of them are narrators at this point.

Over at Ravu things are getting ugly. But first, the good stuff. Earl is clearly a long term player. Did you catch the shot of him on top of the mountain when they were looking for food? They want us to like him. He got four Ts and no Ds. I wouldn't call him the main narrator for the tribe however. That role is clearly Anthony and like many pre-merge narrators before him, I wonder if he'll be the one to get booted right around the merge. Rocky is a narrator, too, but they don't count on him for what's going on as much as they do Anthony. If it were a broadcast booth, Anthony's the play by play guy and Rocky's the color commentary. One thing I find interesting is how it seems like Mookie is driving the decision making early on but he's not getting the confessionals to go with it. I don't have high hopes for Mookie. He strikes me as someone who will become the victim of a twist. He ends up getting sent to the other tribe and gets booted, for example. He's not an endgame player. As for who's in danger at Ravu, I can point to two people based on CA: Rita and Sylvia.

In danger for episode three:


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Week 2 pick

I'm choosing Erica to get the boot for the following reasons:

1) Confessional analysis says so
2) She is clearly on the outside looking in at Moto or Ravu, whichever tribe she's on
3) The previews show that her tribe is very weak which suggests they lose again

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fiji Confessional Analysis, Episode 1

Confessional analysis. Where I examine who said what and what it all means. You can skip the next part if you've read past seasons of CA.

What is Confessional Analysis?

By analyzing the content and number of Survivor confessionals, one can find patterns that point to who will last longer in the show. It began with dividing the confessionals into two types: tribal history confessionals (Ts) and tribe dynamics confessionals (Ds). What I discovered during season three (which is when I first started this) is that generally people with a lot of Ds go before people with a lot of Ts. Also, people who are not getting very many confessionals will be safe until we hear from them. This has only been one exception to the latter rule - Zoe from S4, who never got very many confessionals, had no real storyline, and was still booted. The Zoe Exception still rankles me.

A couple other things to look for:

1) There is usually pre-merge narrator. They get a lot of Ts early on and it looks like they'll go far and then wham, the person is voted out shortly after the merge. If someone is definitely narrating and then the Ds start piling up, watch out!

2) People who get confessionals about the theme of the show usually last longer. This was very clear in Africa and Thailand. Africa was all about the culture of the area. Lex, Ethan, and, to a lesser extent, Tom got those confessionals. That's three of the final four. In Thailand, it was all about how to win the game. The culture wasn't emphasized as much after the elders were allowed to pick tribes. Brian was constantly talking about his strategy - his meta-strategy confessionals convinced me he was going to go far. Brian, as we know, won.

3) In eleven seasons, the only winner who didn't get a confessional in the first episode was Tina.

Here are the codes:

T= tribal history confessional
D= tribal dynamic confessional
*=theme confessional

Okay, now onto the specifics of this season...

Theme confessionals this time around are about the have vs. have not factor. It will be interesting to see how this comes up.

I am toying with trying something new this year - a subjective rating system where I assign points to confessionals based on different factors. More points=last longer. I may unveil that iedea with episode two.

Dreamz - 3T
Edgardo - 2T/1D
Alex - 2T
Cassandra - 2T
Lisi - 1T
Boo - 1T
Gary - 1D
Liliana - 0T
Stacy - 0T

Rocky - 4T/2D
Erica - 2T/4D
Anthony - 4T
Earl - 4T
Sylvia - 2T/1D
Yau Man - 1T/1D
Rita - 2D
Michelle - 1T
Mookie - 0T

Jessica - 2T/1D

It's hard to get much info from the first episode, but a few things did stand out. First of all, sorry Stacy and Liliana fans. They're not winning this one. No confessionals in the first episode is a baaaad sign. And of course the same holds true for my pre-season favorite, Mookie. Very sad.

The narration was shared on the Moto tribe, with Edgardo and Alex taking on most of that task. Cassandra had one narration confessional and one that was specific to her situation. Dreamz had the most confessionals on that tribe, but they were all centered on him, not about the tribe's experience. He's on a personal journey that may or may not have much to do with anyone else. The other thing that stood out on this tribe was Gary's one lone D confessional. His tribe didn't go to TC so any Ds showing up over there are noteworthy. He made a comment about Sylvia dominating things. This served too purposes: 1) it hinted at a potentially early departure for him by showing he's talking about tribal dynamics and 2) it set up a potential reason for booting Sylvia when she returns to the other tribe.

Over at Ravu, the narrators were clearly Anthony and Rocky. Anthony, however, did not get the Ds that Rocky did. Rocky's Ds came from a problem he had with Dreamz, but I think that was more about him than Dreamz. For one thing, we saw no other confessionals of people complaining about Dreamz. And Rocky summed up the experience by centering on himself. He talked about how he hates to let emotions show, but it's hard because of the conditions they're dealing with. So really I think that was more about Rocky and his emotions than Dreamz and his crazy behavior. The other thing that's being set up for next episode is Erica's boot. She got waaaay too many Ds and she's already talked about how she's apart from the tribe. ("Everyone else thinks the new island is great, but I'm pissed off" comment.) Plus she didn't vote for Jessica like nearly everyone else. (Rocky's vote for Mookie was interesting, too. Clearly he blames Mookie for Jessica's boot which is understandable since the Mookster is the one who suggested Jessica get booted.) Rita is the other person at risk on Ravu because of CA.

Now let's talk about Earl. You didn't think I was going to forget him, didya? Earl got two amazing confessionals in this episode, either one of which would have me pointing to him as someone who was going to last a long time. Put together and I have to wonder if he wins this thing. His first confessional came near the beginning of the episode. He talked about how the island was their home and you want to check all of it out. It was interspersed with a scene of him on top of the island, smiling, and at one point he says "I'm the King of Fiji... of an unnamed island." Sounds like someone who could win this thing, right? Except it was followed by Dreamz saying "I'm standing the highest" and a shot of the kid standing a rock above Earl (and Rita and Anthony). So is this our endgame? Dreamz vs. Earl?

And the second confessional tells us how Earl's going to play the game. The last confessional of the episode went to Earl and he said "There are a lot of actors here. Lot of poker faces. This is my poker face." And he's got a damn good poker face. Earl sets up how the game will be played - deception - and shows he's got the tools to win. He's my post episode 1 pick to win. Of course, there's probably a spoiler out there that says he goes next...

In danger for episode 2:


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Some predictions...

Okay, after watching the first five minutes and going over my quick hits on the castaways, I am ready to make some predictions for this season. These are not spoilers.

My guess at the boot order:

Jessica (spoiled already)
Erica (Probst made a comment about her being willing to vote against the majority just to make a point. Bad move....)
Sylvia (seems bossy)
Gary (only one old guy is making it far and you're not the one who grew up on a tropical island)

Jury begins here...

Dreamz (doesn't know how to compromise and it kills him)
Mookie (didn't get an early confessional which is not a good sign)
James (eventually they get sick of him and boot him)
Earl (can't get a good feel for him. Moved him up because of an early confessional...)
Cassandra (makes it far on personality alone - so smiley!)

Final Three...

Edgardo (got the first confessional)
Lisi (just have a good feeling about her ability to fly under the radar and seem unthreatening)
Yau Man (in a final three against the UTR player and the evil guy, Yau Man comes out on top)

This season will dominated by the men until the end when a couple of win sneak into the final episode. But a man will win. And I could easily see it being Cassandra in the Final Three instead of Lisi.

Overall, I'm liking the set up. Hoping for a good first episode tonight!

Boot pick for episode 1

All credit for this pick goes to Survivor Phoenix. With luck, I'll be able to avoid any other spoilers that are out there. This one it sounds like you can take to the bank.

Jessica goes home!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

First 5 minutes of Survivor Fiji

You can watch the first five minutes of Survivor Fiji here.

First impression is that this will be a season dominated by the men. It seemed like more men got confessionals in the first five minutes than women.

Quick hits on the women of Survivor Fiji

(For quick hits on the men, go here. Thanks to SurvivorFever for the pics.)

Cassandra is a 42 year old Civil Engineer Manager from Los Angeles, CA. Wow, what a boring bio. She's proud of her family, but doesn't even list anything all that interesting about them. Is she just proud that they exist? I must say she does have a winning smile, so that could help her.

Erica is a 27 year old Non-profit Fundraiser from Lake Charles, LA. She's a Katrina survivor. Other than that, pretty forgettable.

Jessica is a 27 year old Fashion Stylist from Los Angeles, CA. I'm not going to waste my time reading her bio.

Liliana is 25 year old ex-Marine from Oxnard, CA. Okay, she's really a loan officer, but she was a Marine and that's far more interesting. Says she served for 8 years which means she joined when she was 17. There's something about her that I like.

Lisi is a 35 year old Customer Service Rep for a Psychic Hotline. Seriously. She's also a crazy punk rocker. She looks very middle aged mom in her photo, but that could work to her advantage since we know a wild one lurks beneath.

Michelle is a 23 year old student from Cincinnati, OH. She looks so perky - I can't stand it. She loves 80s music so she can't be all bad. I have a good feeling about her.

Rita is a 38 year old single mom from San Antonio, TX. She coaches girls for beauty pageants. She was also in Marked for Death. My feeling is she's marked for elimination in this game.

Stacy is a 27 year old Interactive Internet Producer (huh?) from Boulder, CO. She likes Guinness, which is her one saving grace in my eyes.

Sylvia is a 52 year old Architect from Ross, CA. She looks like the type who would take charge and rub everybody the wrong way. She just learned how to swim. My eyes are rolling.

Early boots:


My pre-season picks for the winner:

(I'll narrow it down to one before the premiere tomorrow.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Quick hits on the men of Survivor Fiji

(For quick hits on the women, go here.)

Gary is a 55 year old school bus driver. Anyone who can put up with all those annoying kids has the potential to go far. He was also a barber for a while. And served in Vietnam. Based on that picture, it doesn't look like he likes it out there.

Alex is a 28 year old attorney from Los Angeles who went to Harvard. His favorite movie is Rocky III... Something about Mr. T really appeals to you, Alex? He looks kind of slimy, doesn't he?

James is a 28 year old bartender from Los Angeles, California. His picture on the CBS site screams snake! Don't trust him. I have heard that he sounds like Rocky Balboa so maybe Alex and he will get along. One of his favorite games is Chutes and Ladders. Um, okay, James. Whatever.

Mookie is a 25 year old Loan Manager from Chicago, IL. I have a whole post about Mookie. He's the one I'm rooting for pre-game.

Yau Man is a 54 year old Computer Engineer from Martinez, CA. He's originally from Borneo where Survivor Season 1 took place. Good omen? He'll be great at ping pong challenges according to his bio. Seems like a real underdog with all these big guys around. I'm rooting for him.

Anthony is a 32 year old Expert Witness Locator from Compton, California. That's a job? I imagine it's a lot easier in the post-Google era. Anthony enjoys Live Action Roleplaying. I can't believe he admitted that.

Boo is a 34 year old Construction Worker from Lafayette, LA. From his bio: "He considers himself to be a cerebral athlete, a great problem solver and strong both mentally and physically." No one is buying it, Boo. You got a degree in General Studies. What grown man wants to be known as Boo? Is he a big fan of Harpee Lee?

Dreamz is a 25 year old cheerleading coach from Wilmington, NC. He grew up as a homeless street performer. I'm guessing he's going to be a breakout character this season.

Earl is a 35 year old Advertising Exec from Santa Monica, CA. He's a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). (Careful, their spies are everywhere!*) He listed a million answers for each favorite. Pick one, Earl, and go with it. Honestly, he strikes me as pretty boring.

Edgardo is a 28 year old Advertising Exec from Miami Beach, FL. Another ad exec? Best story about Edgardo: He once proved to his best friend that the friend's girl was no good for him by sleeping with her. So yeah, he's perfect for Survivor.

Early Boots:

Yau Man

My pre-season picks for the winner:

(I'll narrow it down to one before the premiere tomorrow...)