So I’ve recovered from my Zyrtek cloud and yes I now realize that we promoted the merge. It was funny to be reminded of it by you guys. What can I say, I really was “loopy” when I wrote that blog. But yes I do see episodes and I do know what we promote, sometimes I just forget…
In honor of my slip up last week, I’m going to dedicate today’s blog to… what else… The Merge.
Let’s start with the feast. Did you see how quickly their moods changed when they got some food in their belly? Think about it… I bet a majority of you had some sort of snack even while you were watching Survivor. Probably snacking on something right now while reading this blog. We like to eat. It feels good. When we don’t eat we get crabby. Laura didn’t give a hoot about her canteen once the feast started. Why would she? She was happy again. I love seeing them happy… momentarily. I more love seeing them in conflict. But you need a balance. Too much conflict, too many days without food, too many nights drenched from the rain and you just have angry people. Producing a good season of Survivor requires an ebb and flow of highs and lows. The merge is almost always a high, even if only for a moment.
Another fun thing about the merge is it’s like starting over once again. You have new people in your world and you get a second chance to make a first impression in the game.
Some people choose to stay in game mode, working their strategy. Not John. The ever cocky, always aware John was waiting for someone, anyone to ask him anything about himself. It resulted in one of my favorite exchanges of the season:
Jaison: So engineering school, huh?
John: Uh yeah, Mechanical Engineering degree.
John: Not a law degree. I contemplated becoming a patent lawyer.
It was the swagger in his walk and the tone of his voice when he said, “Uh yeah..” that really made it work for me. Nice.
PERSONAL INSIGHT: If I had a Mechanical Engineering degree I’d look for ways to bring it up, too. But since I don’t it’s fun to be a catty little stick-eating biatch and make fun of John.
WE’RE ALL ONE HAPPY FAMILY
It never fails. We merge and suddenly everybody pretends to like everybody else. I had the exact same reaction Erik did when I heard Brett’s suggestion for a new tribe name:
Brett: “AIGA, it means extended family.”
Extended family? Gimme a break. (Truth be told, Brett probably really means it and Brett is the kind of guy that outside of the game you’d be friends with, your families would dig each other, and you’d end up having a lifelong friendship. But this is in the game and that’s a different story.)
Plus, think about it, Brett had to research that name before he even left America, which is downright irritating. Not sure why it’s irritating, but it is. Maybe it’s because Brett is so likable.
Like I did last week, I’ll use one of my honorary nieces as an example of what I mean. Mackenzie, my niece, is really likable too. She’s so likable that I’m sure lots of boys would love to ask her to a school dance or an afterschool party because she’s so… nice… (just like Brett)… and also because she’s cute (okay, fine, just like Brett).
But what makes Macky really fun to be around is an extra layer of… sass. Yes, she’s nice but she’s lippy too and she’s not afraid to call someone out for something and that adds a whole new level of respect to a person.
So come on, Brett, gawk at Kelly like Ben would have or give Dave Ball a hard time for still wearing that out-of -tyle ponytail, or tell Laura to back off Shambo just a bit. Gimme something I can respect.
Please don’t write and tell me to lay off, Brett. Brett is doing just fine. Brett can handle these comments. He’s a big boy.
But Erik was right, this is not one big extended family. It’s not even two separate families. It’s 12 in-dah-vidge-you-uhls… all trying their best to figure out how to get rid of everybody else so they can grab the check from CBS for a million dollars. Before taxes. It’s a million dollars before taxes people.
A merge also offers up a chance for new alliances to form and just like on day one, those new alliances need to form quickly. Enter Russell. He doesn’t care about the food, or the tribe name or what anybody does for a living. He wants to win the game. Period.
Sending his troops (Jaison, Mick, Natalie) out to make relationships with different people is further proof that this little pirate is a pretty darn good Survivor player.
And I know some of you think there is too much Russell in the game, but he’s the guy making the most moves so that is naturally who I am going to write about. With that in mind…
I love that Russell is telling everybody everything. It’s such a risky move. You gotta respect it. To go to everybody on the other tribe that you have the idol and offer them the same exact deal could so easily backfire if just one person opens their mouth. But Russell is counting on greed to be his ally. He knows that the people he is approaching are better served if they don’t tell anybody else. If he’s right it’s a major move. If he’s wrong he’ll soon be in trouble.
Part II tomorrow