Survivor recap: Worst Tribe Ever?

The Brains tribe sinks to a new low, losing to a tribe that was trying to lose to them
Ep. 03 | Aired Mar 12, 2014

BRAINIACS OR LAMEIACS? Yes, they lost again. TWICE!

Monty Brinton/CBS

All I can say is that the challenges this season have been very, very strong. Even the puzzles have been entertaining, and you know that I tend to suffer from extreme bouts of puzzlephobia. Granted, part of the drama has come from several amazing comebacks, which always pumps up the quality of any competition, but kudos to Kirhoffer and company for giving us some good ones.

So now Tahsa and Kass must decide whether to keep J’Tia or Spencer, discussing the pros and cons of each. Guess what? I actually made my own pros and cons lists and they go a little something like this:

J’Tia Pros
Mildly amusing t-shirt

J’Tia Cons
Tossed out rice
Cannot build shelter
Tossed out rice
Cannot swim
Tossed out rice
Cannot do puzzles
Tossed out rice
Cannot pull rope
Tossed out rice

Spencer Pros
Did not toss out rice
Good at puzzles
Did not toss out rice
Good at swimming
Did not toss out rice
Good at walking around blindfolded
Did not toss out rice
Did not toss out rice

Spencer Cons
May not be as loyal

But Tasha and Kass’ lists are the only ones that matter so we head to Tribal Council — which begins in silence with Probst throwing his hands in the air in a what the hell? gesture — to find out what they will do. A few interesting things happen here. First off, J’Tia says that “I usually rise to the top” in high pressure situations," and I find that extremely hard to believe. Kass then calls J’Tia a hothead while saying “I get her. I was a hothead too,” and I find that even harder to believe. Seriously, the Kass 3000 may just be the least emotional person to ever play this game. I mean, the way science is going these days are we absolutely sure android technology has not been perfected already with test subjects living amongst us? Because I’m telling you, this woman is like Data From Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bishop from Aliens, and Dorian from Almost Human all wrapped into one. “Must protect rice supply. Does not compute. Need more analysis. Does not compute. Current probability of ever winning another challenge: 0.0%. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not…”

However, lost in all that tomfoolery is something said that actually makes a lot of sense. “Unpredictability is just as dangerous as disloyalty at times,” opines Spencer, and he is absolutely right. In fact, not to nerd out on strategic game theory too much, but predictability is probably the most important aspect when picking alliance partners, and the reason is twofold. For one, you always want to make sure you can count on your alliance partners to do exactly what they say they are going to do. Surprises in Survivor are bad. Predictability minimizes surprises. Remember the way Brandon Hantz kept screwing his alliance over by going his own way and unleashing bizarre revelations at Tribal Council? You don’t want that. Secondly, if your alliance partners are predictable, then it is easier to slit their throats (if necessary) before they slit yours. Wild cards in Survivor are dangerous, and J’Tia has already proven to be the wildest card in the deck.

NEXT: And the loser is…

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