On the new Survivor: Gabon
, the Fang Tribe clearly benefited from an addition by subtractions. After dismal performances in the season opener, the Fang Tribe was sent to back-to-back tribal councils. Of course, losing tribe members and the numbers advantage is not ideal, but the Fang Tribe made the most of their situation. They used the opportunities to vote out Gillian, a grandmother who had been a very weak competitor at challenges, and Michelle, whose toxic attitude was poisoning the unit. Their choices would serve them well in the upcoming challenges.
Regrouped and ready to compete, Fang dominated in episode two. First, they were able to win a strength challenge in order to win the reward of bedding supplies. Then they used a combination of athletic ability and mental aptitude to win the immunity challenge. The final portion of the challenge involved a math problem. From the outside, Kota appeared to have an advantage, as their problem solver was Bob, a physics teacher from Maine. However, Ken, the video game champion from California, proved that he was a pretty good problem solver in his own right, beating Bob to the finish and winning immunity for the Fang tribe. Perhaps Fang's only mistake of the episode was sending Sugar, the record pin-up model, to Exile Island. Fang underestimated Sugar's intelligence and resourcefulness, as she was able to use the clues provided to unearth the hidden immunity idol.
The hidden immunity idol would not end up being a factor in the Kota tribe's first trip to tribal council. Ace, a jewelry salesman from Florida, has emerged as Kota's leader. He put the target squarely on Paloma, a student from California. Paloma was probably the weakest member of the Kota tribe, and at this point in the game she was the logical choice to go. When Paloma caught wind of Ace's plans, she tried to shore up support to vote out Ace, claiming that he had become too bossy. In the end, the tribe sided with Ace and voted 7-2 to eliminate Paloma. Kelly, a salesperson from Illinois, was the only Kota member other than Paloma to vote for Ace, and that may foreshadow an early exit for her as well.
Following a dominant performance by Kota in the season opener, Fang really turned it around this week. If it had kept on the path that it was going earlier, the producers may have been forced to shuffle up the tribes just to keep it fair. However, it would appear now that Fang has the momentum, and will be able to compete just fine with Kota with their tribe's new look. Early, Bob looked to be a member with valuable knowledge and experience. This week, his failure to win the mental portion of the immunity challenge seriously dropped his stock. Bob is not much of a physical competitor, and if he is not able to contribute to the Kota tribe with his intellect, I look for him to be on the chopping block. The remaining fifteen are certainly a very diverse and compelling group of individuals, and that is very promising for another excellent season of Survivor. Watch TV's longest running reality competition show every Thursday at 8/7c on CBS, and check back here on Starpulse every Friday for reviews and insight.
Story by Kevin Olsta
Starpulse contributing writer