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
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: