I'm not sure what the Las Vegas odds were for Survivor: Micronesia all-star Yau-Man to go to at least the final four, but I bet a lot of people thought the elder statesman had a pretty good shot to go pretty deep in the contest.
He's a hard worker, very likeable and unassuming -- which is why he was so successful the last time he played the game. His knack for finding a hidden immunity idol at just the right time didn't hurt either.
But alas poor Yau was picked off early when a conniving Cirie turned her position as a swing vote into a position of power. Cirie wanted her former cast mate gone because she knew how powerful he could become late in the game. So as the odd girl out of two, four-player alliances she did more than just swing a vote, she changed the game.
She also showed that she could be a handful down the line and could have signed her own death warrant. Time will tell.
The show has started off slow, but I think this battle of all-stars vs. show fanatics is beginning to pick up steam. Thursday's football-style challenge was brutally tough and I hope it's a sign of things to come.
One early prediction I will make is that I think Joel of the fan's team may be on track to be the greatest player the game of Survivor has ever seen. The Phoenix firefighter is as smart as he is big and strong. In the games early days he's already playing for the finals. He's making and breaking alliances and changing the game early, almost daring his tribe mates to vote him off, but they can't.
The team would flounder without his strength and he knows it. Most people who play the game play a team game first and then an individual contest. Joel is the opposite. If he sees an alliance getting too strong, he breaks it up by voting one of the participants off. He's applying the same strategy that we all yell about at home -- "Why don't you vote him off now, before it gets too late," we scream at the screen. Being a super fan, Joel probably yelled that a million times and now that he's in the game he's employing a strategy that I think will be a sure winner -- it will at least get him into the final four.
Quote of the week: "I feel like I'm back in China surrounded by a bunch of dumb asses," All-star James when asked about his alliance's decision to vote off Yau-Man.