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    Friday, October 26, 2018

    "Survivor" Series: Here Come The Brochachos!

    Welcome to "Survivor" Series, our weekly column focusing on the adventures of one John Hennigan, a.k.a. Johnny Mundo, Johnny Impact, John Morrison, Johnny Nitro, on the islands of Fiji as a castaway on Survivor: David vs. Goliath. The season kicked off this past Thursday (Manila time) with an epic premiere. And as promised, this column will zero in on how The Mayor of Slamtown maneuvered his way through the game, for better or worse.

    Come on in, guys! *looks at feet*

    Did John Hennigan get voted out last week? 

    No, which ultimately makes my prediction from the first week of the season wrong! And for that, I'm really glad. I didn't think he'd make it past Episode 5, let alone make it one or two rounds before the Merge, when the game makes it to the individual phase. Hell, Johnny Mundo hasn't even had a vote cast against him at Tribal Council yet. To be fair, he has only been to Tribal once as of this writing, but don't take that away from him!

    It was Natalie "Napalm" Cole, the mercurial and headstrong publishing CEO from the original Goliath Tribe who went home this week. She was someone the Mayor of Slamtown had wanted to work with, presumably because she would've made the perfect person to bring to Final Tribal Council since nobody would vote for someone as unlikable as her. Unfortunately, her new tribemates on Jabeni (who now live on Goliath Beach) didn't have the patience to keep her around so they sent her packing.

    So his tribe won Immunity again. That means he had a great episode, right?

    Not so fast. Not necessarily.

    While the Tiva Tribe, which Johnny Nitro is part of, did win Immunity, they lost the first Reward Challenge of the season. They failed to win the hens and rooster or the dozen eggs that had been up for grabs. What's more interesting is what happened at the Tiva camp this week.

    It seems that The George Bushy of Tushy has found himself in a new (and public) alliance with fellow Goliath, "Hot Cop" Dan Rengering, and original David Christian Hubicki. Together, they've called themselves The Brochachos.

    The Brochachos encouraging Christian of Wimpville to do pull-ups in front of Gabby and an invisible fifth player
    Screenshot from Survivor: David vs. Goliath - Secret Scene: The Brochachos

    They even have positions—kinda like the Comptroller position in Slamtown that Christian wanted to apply for in the previous episode! Dan is apparently the President, while John is the CEO, and Christian is... the Head of Awesome Stuff, or the H.A.S., as he calls it. Sure.

    So he's in an alliance with a name! Is that a good thing?

    It can be. One of his castmates, Nick Wilson, on the Jabeni Tribe has made a gimmick out of naming his alliances throughout the season. And it's not like this hasn't been done before in Survivor history. Memorable alliance names from the past include The Black Widow Brigade from Survivor: Micronesia, Stealth 'R Us from Survivor: Redemption Island and Survivor: Caramoan, and the Onion Alliance from Survivor: Gabon

    But here are the problems that Johnny Impact, Danny Idol, and Christian of Wimpville may be cooking up for themselves:
    1. John and Dan openly said that Alec (their former Goliath tribemate who is now on Vuku) also has a position in the Brochachos. Have they cleared this with Christian, who has never met Alec? Are they even sure they can still work with Alec after he'd betrayed a fellow Goliath in the previous episode?
    2. While the idea of The Brochachos may be cute and funny now, it's never a good idea to put your alliance on display so openly in a tribe. To do that puts a target on your backs because it gives everyone else a reason to go after you. They'll know that you are an alliance, so it incentivizes them to take you (or your allies) out because it sends the message that they're not part of your long-term plans. Why should you be part of theirs?
    3. It alienates everyone else on the tribe who isn't part of the alliance. And it showed in the confessionals of their Tiva tribemate, Gabby Pascuzzi, who said this week that she feels like she's not fitting in with her tribe. While this could be negligible for Johnny Mundo, there are several other factors he should be considering at this point.
      1. What if there's a second tribal swap and he ends up in the minority with Gabby as the one person he'd spent time on a tribe with? Alienating her at this point disincentivizes her from working with him in this hypothetical scenario.
      2. If he alienates her and they both make the Merge, there is no guarantee that the tribal lines of David vs. Goliath hold together. After all, as we'd seen in the last two episodes, the tribes that went to Tribal Council voted off a Goliath, when these tribes had a majority of original Goliaths. So if the original tribal lines are to be disregarded, why should an ostracized Gabby work with someone like John, who never made an effort to make her feel like a friend to him?
      3. You could basically apply these same points to Dr. Alison Raybould, who's also part of John's Tiva Tribe... and his original Goliath tribemate, who he hasn't been portrayed to have interacted with on the show. The Brochachos may outnumber the women on the five-person Tiva Tribe now. But what if these Tiva women band together with other players on a second swap, or worse, at the Merge?

    What's the best thing to do in this situation, then?

    Don't just bro down with your bros, bro. Talk to everyone on your tribe and form social bonds. These relationships are what will ultimately make or break your game. The social aspect of Survivor is often neglected on the outset, but is arguably the most important facet of the game itself. Be inclusive, Johnny!

    Okay, but this wasn't the worst thing he'd done this week... right?

    Yeah, about that...

    So John got swapped to Tiva, an entirely new tribe with an entirely new camp. Anyone who's watched a modern season of Survivor should know that with every new camp, a brand new Hidden Immunity Idol comes into play. For the uninitiated, these bad boys give you the power to negate votes at Tribal Council if you play them on anyone after the votes have been cast, but before they are read. 

    The problem is, John's tribemate, Dan, was already a step ahead of Johnny Nitro. See, Dan had already found the Idol on the original Goliath campsite, so he knew what to watch out for at this new location. That made it easier for him to observe his surroundings, find the clue to the location of the Hidden Immunity Idol, and eventually obtain that sucker at this week's Immunity Challenge.

    Idol Count: Danny Idol - 2, John Morrison - 0. Womp womp.

    Yes, there may be a chance that John either (1) deliberately chose not to look for Idols as part of his strategy to make him less of a threat, since he's already an obvious physical threat, or (2) actually looked for the Idol but was just ultimately unsuccessful, so the editors didn't bother including that into the narrative we were shown on TV. 

    But if either of those things prove to be untrue, then the Mayor of Slamtown may have shot himself in the foot by not taking advantage of the 1-in-5 shot that he had to find this new Idol when he landed on Tiva Beach. 

    On the bright side, Dan is his ally and has two Idols. Who's to say he won't play one of them for John down the road?

    But on the flip side, several of their former tribemates on Goliath know that Dan has at least one Idol, based on the events of Episode Three. And since John and Dan are allies, if they make the Merge, one sound strategic play their enemies could launch upon them is to vote John out, knowing that Dan would have an Idol to burn. Clearly, I am overthinking this game way too much for my own good.

    Overall, I'd go out on a limb and say that this was Johnny Mundo's worst episode to date. But when your worst episode on the show still paints you in a very favorable light, it probably implies that you're still in a somewhat good position moving forward. My fear as a John Hennigan fan is that these subtle things could be planting seeds that eventually lead to his downfall in the game later on.

    Am I overanalyzing all of this? Should I have spent my Friday night drinking and socializing with fellow humans like normal people do? Drop us a confessional and your vote down below! Survivors ready… Go!

    Photos taken by Robert Voets for CBS Entertainment


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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    Item Reviewed: "Survivor" Series: Here Come The Brochachos! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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