The Blog Has Spoken: ‘Survivor’ episode 7

Claire Cinquegrani, Columnist

Just like last week, Galang had another easy vote. Surprisingly in both cases that “easy vote” was Vytas, yet he’s still clinging onto the game after Laura B’s trust-ruining blunder (did she learn nothing about trust after Kat’s exit last week?).

Though it can be risky to get rid of players who excel at challenges prior to the merge, it can be just as risky to keep unpredictable players around. Sometimes it’s strategic to keep people no one likes; after all, sitting next to someone who’s hated provides a much better chance of winning. But such a plan can also backfire if the person in question is in an alliance and can’t be trusted to keep his or her mouth shut.

Both threats for Galang (a well-liked player and a loose cannon player) provide their own set of difficulties. If, moving forward, a player like Laura B continues to blab, her whole alliance might fall apart. On the other hand, with Vytas still in the game, there’s little doubt that he’ll team up with his previous alliance (Caleb and Hayden) or even his brother Aras.

The target on Vytas’ back is mostly due to his relationship with Aras. With the merge coming up next week, if Aras wins individual immunity in the upcoming challenge (the only way that I think he’ll be able to stay in the game), Vytas would probably be voted out in Aras’ place. This assumes that neither Vytas nor Aras bother looking for the hidden immunity idol. Considering no one but John has bothered to look at the clues, much less even look for the idol, this seems rather unlikely.

But what about the other remaining couple, Tina and her daughter Katie? Much like Aras and Vytas, both women are likeable enough. And like Aras, Tina is also a previous winner of “Survivor.” Unlike the brothers, who have both made strong impressions on their respective tribes, Tina and Katie fall into the likable-but-not-too-likable category. Katie in particular flies right under the radar, especially after the tribe mix-up last week. Tina makes a stronger impression than Katie, but because she hasn’t taken on any leadership roles, she’s able to be likable and even competent in challenges without being perceived as a threat (like Aras).

Of the two couples left in the game, I could see Katie and Tina making it to the end. But if that happens, there is no doubt Katie would be dismissed as riding on her mother’s coattails and Tina would win “Survivor” a second time.

On the other hand, if both couples get split up and Katie was voted out, I could still see Tina making it to the end. Another possibility is that Vytas would make it to the end, if Aras gets taken out after the merge. In fact, the best thing for Vytas would be for his brother to go home and leave him to pave his own way to the end of the game.

But as with any season of “Survivor,” there’s still plenty of time for more blindsides and betrayals. Perhaps Aras will win every immunity challenge and make it to the end after all. Maybe Katie will start playing the game instead of just going along with everyone else’s plans. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out next time on “Survivor.”

— Claire Cinquegrani