Survivor: Borneo Rewind, Episode 6

Updated: May 15

I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but here is some friendly advice for anyone who wants to play Survivor in the future: don't call your fellow castaways cows.

It seems obvious, yet Gervase found himself in some hot water after comparing his female tribemates to livestock. It was a pig-like comment and was not well received by the group.

Amazingly, Gervase received no votes at tribal council. He wasn't even concerned about the outcome of the vote. It speaks volumes about Joel's behavior toward the woman that Gervase can compare them to animals without fear of ramifications.

It appears Joel's attitude has been rubbing the women wrong for weeks, and he finally paid the price for his condescending ways. Simply put, Joel thought he was the vital cog that made the tribe machinery work. His tribe saw him as a virus infecting the machine and quickly acted to remove it.

During the tribe phase of the game, Joel's strength is an asset. With the merge quickly approaching, though, tribe strength takes a back seat to tribal unity. What Gervase understood that Joel didn't is that Survivor is a social game. How physically strong you are doesn't matter in the end if you aren't able to form a solid foundation of relationships to help you maneuver to the end.

Ultimately, Joel's hubris cost him his shot at the title of Sole Survivor.

The Merge is Coming

With only three days remaining before the merge, both tribes began building their strategies to help propel them further in the game.

On Pagong, Joel was adamant the six of them need to stick together as a block. A factor in Joel's exit from the game stemmed from this conversation. Gretchen, a vocal opponent to alliances, didn't like that he was calling the shots for the tribe. Frankly, it angered a lot of the women in his tribe.

Meanwhile, on Tagi, the group is creating one cohesive strategy. Even Sean, who is outside of the main alliance, is included in the discussion of determining the vote-out order. It's a stark difference to Pagong as everyone is committed to moving forward together.

It's clear from this episode that Pagong is unable to see the bigger picture. Pagong is a chaotic mess that cannot seem to get on the same page. Worst of all, they are severely underestimating the power an alliance gives players in the game.

Tagi understands the value in numbers. Do they all get along? Not in the slightest, but they are willing to look past that to vote as one unified block. It's the best strategy if they want to move forward in the game with a shot at winning.

On a quick aside, I loved the opening of the show with Jeff explaining the upcoming merge. The show had to include little scenes like these throughout Borneo to help prevent confusion among fans, but it's kind of fun watching Jeff explain the game.

It was just a small reminder of how new and different Survivor really was back in 2001.

Naked Truth

The Tagi tribe was in for a bit of a surprise this week as Richard Hatch ditched the clothes in favor of a more natural look. The Survivor legend had a propensity for getting naked on the show despite his fellow castaways feeling uneasy.

In particular, Rudy doesn't agree with his "lifestyle" but is willing to put that aside to join the alliance. Rudy sees the value in working together and knows he has the best shot of winning by sticking with Richard.

The truth is, Richard has a lot of power. He is in control of who gets voted out, and that is all that matters to him. Even after losing the reward challenge for Tagi, his standing within the tribe isn't diminishing. Heading into the merge, he and the rest of the Tagi four are in a strong position.

And this brings us back to Pagong's decision to vote out Joel. It's hard to say whether or not it was the correct move, but I honestly don't think it matters in the long run.

Pagong's unwillingness to work together in an alliance is its ultimate downfall. Joel's attempt at galvanizing Pagong to work together failed due to his antagonistic personality. Would a post-merge world be any different for Pagong? Probably not.

Tagi is a unified front. Pagong isn't, and that wasn't going to change no matter who they voted out.

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