Blindside (Episode 11-10)

Paranoia isn’t an attractive tendency. Jamie showed way too much of it, and he finally got voted out on tonight’s Survivor.

Despite being a part of a coalition of six people whose only opposition was two skeletons, Jamie never felt safe. It was after Jamie asked Rafe for reassurance for the seventh time in one day that Rafe finally decided he’d had enough. How ironic that all Jamie needed to do to keep Rafe’s support was to stop asking for it.

It’s too bad that Jamie started in with the paranoia weeks ago when a little paranoia would’ve been reasonable tonight. After all, Stephanie and Judd did get to share an overnight reward trip with the skeletons, Danni and Gary. Team Bones alone with the two most dominant personalities in the game seemed like the perfect chance to hatch some schemes and change things around.

But that’s not what happened. The four had a nice time getting to know each other, but Judd and Stephenie weren’t eager to mess with their well laid plans. Too bad, Danni and Gary. Nice to know you, but we’ve got a game to win.

Then Jamie couldn’t keep his mouth shut and the plans all went to hell. Rafe reached his breaking point, and since Stephenie and Cindy didn’t really care who went, they were happy to side with him against Jamie. Lydia reluctantly joined the coup, knowing that Jamie would be hurt by her betrayal more than the others. But since she’s unlikely to win any Immunity Challenges, Lydia had no choice but to follow the herd.

Besides Jamie, the only person who wasn’t in on the plan was Judd. That’s because Judd is a bad liar. (Recall the times Judd denied taking an extra beer or puking in the shelter. Last week, he lied poorly about never having lied in the game). The new voting block saved themselves the hassle of dealing with Jamie and instead chose to bear Judd’s wrath when he realized he’d been left out of the loop.

There are sure to be more blow ups next week, and they may lead Stephenie to reveal herself as the game’s mastermind. While players have willingly deferred to Steph, they haven’t realized how subtly she’s been directing the game. She knows which decisions aren’t important, so she lets the group decide what to do on those matters. But she’s been the one keeping the main voting block intact and the numbers on her side. Only a major shake up could get Stephenie out of the driver’s seat. Is there anyone left who’d be willing to take her on?