Hey Purple Rock Fanatics, before I begin the second post about the Zero Percent Club I wanted to discuss what the Zero Percent Club is. This is not a game, or an attempt to quantitatively look at people and rank who has the best chance to win. The Zero Percent Club is really an attempt to objectively look at the season and the show and try and get a sense of who I (and Andy and John) believe the show is telling us cannot win. That means there is a lot of edit reading, as well as some preconceptions about who can win.
Last week I took the time to talk about everyone, but from week to week I will be focusing on those who have had their positions altered or were the focus of the episode in some way. And so without further ado…
The No Way in Hell Group:
Max & Shirin:
We didn’t see enough of these two to change their status. Or rather we saw more of them than ever before, or well, you know what I mean. Moving on.
Joe: Joe was involved in a power struggle for control and it never felt like he was in any danger. Even when Vince was rallying support he wasn’t targeting Joe.
Jenn & Hali: One of these two came one vote away from going home, and yet I feel even better about their long term potential. Here’s why: Nina felt that these two were excluding and mocking her. I think that if these two were not going far the show would make them look worse than they actually looked. As it was, by my reading, the show was trying to walk a fine line between not portraying a deaf woman as a terrible person, but also not portraying the people she didn’t like as terrible. I’m not entirely sure it succeeded, but in my opinion I think the controlling three on the No Collar tribe are all serious threats to win. That said Hali is certainly less of a threat than Joe or Jenn, but besides a relative lack of screentime she is doing just fine.
They Seem Ok Now, But Could Fall Quick
Carolyn: Not much movement on Carolyn. With the white collar tribe generally not featured this week, they all stay relatively still.
Tyler had more screen time than Carolyn, but it’s hard to read his reaction to Shirin and Max’s nudity. It could be positive (Editor’s note: Could it?), it could be negative. I don’t think his reaction will hurt Max and Shirin, but it might help Tyler. Either way, not enough info on him this week to reassess his status as a contender beyond “he’s in the mix”, but I don’t think he is super safe.
Will: Will was all over the place this week. But here’s the thing: We can read his decisions as overreactions, or taking control of the game, but the show almost has to show the thought process that leads the swing vote to, well, swing. This is the exact type of moment where we can see a winner look bad from week to week without exactly hurting their long term potential. If a winner though looks bad in the non-essential portions of the show, that is included for a reason, and the reason is typically because the show doesn’t want you to think too highly of this survivor’s skill/charm/brains. So where does Will stand? Frankly, Will is a long shot, but we really haven’t seen enough from him to write him off quite yet.
Blue Collar is the Warmest Tribe
I want to talk about the entire dynamic and what we are being shown there. Instead of my usual person by person breakdown I’m going to talk about them as a group before doing a short person by person summary.
What I have noticed about the blue collar tribe is that thus far, only one confessional has not revolved around either Dan or Mike. Either we are seeing the tribe from their perspective or we are seeing the other people reacting (usually negatively) to Dan or Mike. While superficially this looks quite bad for Dan and Mike, I actually think in terms of winning the game it looks even worse for everyone else on Blue Collar. In short, by having them only react to Dan or Mike, we are robbing them of any agency. They exist only in opposition, not as a positive force. We assume they are allied, but we actually haven’t seen anything from that tribe about a formal alliance. In short, while the show isn’t afraid to make Dan or Mike look bad at times, it also isn’t trying to make everyone else look vital. If I had to bet, I would say right now that no one from blue collar is winning this game. But this is the Zero Percent Club, and I’m not ready to lock up anyone else from this tribe beyond Kelly (who I felt has been especially invisible).
Mike: Mike had a great episode 1 and a bad episode 2. Does a bad episode mean he can’t win?
Dan: Dan hasn’t met a moment he can’t ruin. I see why Andy would zero-percent him. He rubs his entire tribe the wrong way. But I can see this tribe being the second coming of Kalabaw from Philippines, the tribe of a bunch of a-holes who you couldn’t wait to see die. If so, then the fact that this group hates Dan might actually be a good sign for Dan. I want to see Dan swapped before I write him off completely.
Sierra and Lindsey: In episode 1 Sierra was the one finding ulterior motives in Dan’s innocent actions. In episode 2 it was Lindsey. They have had similar roles thus far, though I’d give the edge in screen time to Lindsey.
Rodney: Rodney has the only moment from this tribe that I can remember not being in reaction to Dan or Mike, and that was his robot-eyed dead sister story. John locked Rodney up because we all expect the inner asshole that lurks within him to blossom into a beautiful jerk tree (thank you AV Club commenters). But thus far we haven’t seen that. Until we see that I am not zero-percenting him, even if I know in my heart that the potential exists.
Zero Percent Club
No changes in my club, but to sum up:
Kelly: I have considered that I was hasty in writing Kelly completely off after one episode. Survivor has a history of under serving female winners. We also have seen the least of blue collar of the three tribes. But when we are at blue collar she isn’t the focus, and we only see her reacting to people. And even in doing that she has had the least airtime. I don’t think she is winning, despite Survivor’s track record of writing off some female winners.
Nina: Our only unanimous zero percenter. Andy and John did a good job summing up why she isn’t winning, because it’s really simple: The show would have done a better job of making her look right this episode without any of the ambiguity that people have been arguing over if she was the winner. Nina isn’t winning.
Joaquin: Joaquin made some strides this week. He seemed to be bonding with Tyler in discomfort over the naked situation. I just dont see the game savvy that suggests Joaquin can win. And I didn’t see enough this week to actually change my mind.
Me: Kelly, Nina, Joaquin
Andy: Nina, Dan
John: Rodney, Nina, Alec
Matt is the founder and president of the Andrew Savage fan club, and remains amazed that Savage was never invited back on the show. You can’t follow Matt on Twitter, because he doesn’t want you to.
Matt is convinced that all Survivor contestants named Michel(l)e are bad tv and you cannot prove he ever said otherwise. Also if he ever takes a strong stance about why everyone else is wrong, it is he that is inevitably wrong.
Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan