Animation Survivor- The D Marco Perspective

The following are a series of analysis provided by D Marco after the posting of each episode. The fact that not only is he able to provide as much insight into the show, as well as the fact that many of his predictions come true is a credit to both him, and the author of the series. I felt the need to include these, simply because I enjoyed reading them, as it illustrates how much the series can provoke the mind, how accurately I am conveying the message it sends, and how damn smart this guy really is! Included is also my thoughts on each review. Note that this should not be read until after the series is completed, as I refer to long-term goals here. Once again…

This Contains Spoilers!

Not Just for Each Episode!

Well in Advance!

Seriously, Episode Four’s Comments Talk About Who Gets Voted Off in Episode Nine!!

Okay, That Should Be Enough Spoiler Space

Episode One- “Respecting Authority-” Eric (American Tribe) Voted Off

Hm... (wonders if Day 39 would actually be a battle between the Final Four and the AA...)”

Oddly enough, that had entered my head as an alternate option, and other fanfics I’ve planned to write involving the AA have ended with such a battle.

Anyway, personal analysis. American Tribe: ‘Well, I’m the supervisor, you three are the workers. You three work, I supervise.’ This quote was probably what ultimately doomed Cartman, in my opinion.”

Of course, since I have virtually the entire chain of votes for each episode ahead of time, I know from the first minute that Cartman gets the axe. I never really consider “dooming” statements, merely consider that as a whole, he was the choice to get voted off. But yes, this was one of the initial hints to Blossom that Eric was not a team player. Ultimately, his screwup at the challenge was the ultimate destroyer, especially regarding Bubbles and Lisa’s votes.

Lisa's observation on how Blossom & Buttercup have taken charge tells me that this tribe has established at least a semblance of a chain of command, and while that's a boon to the team at large, those at the top could be considered in a precarious position. Also, how Bart & Buttercup respond to the other's votes could have a serious impact on their own survivability, as well as that of the Americans at large.”

That is extremely true. It would be difficult, but not impossible, to predict how Bart and Buttercup would respond to the votes. Buttercup, at the top of the chain, would probably see no problem in attempting to use (and ultimately abuse) her powers at the top to aggressively pursue Bart. However, Bart, as a “fan favorite” on the team, is more in tune to the rest of the members, and trusts them enough to make the “right” decision in the end and vote Buttercup without heavy persuasion. And true enough, while Buttercup and Blossom both actively rock the vote, the only member of Bart’s faction to aggressively try to swing the vote is Kyle, and he does so with no risk to himself.

Japanese Tribe: While they have been very fortuitous at their tasks to this point, the unbalanced division of labor, as well as their lack of a chain of command, could decrease their survival odds both individually and as a team. Thoughts on the next Challenge: I don't watch Pokemon or Digimon, so I'm not sure on who THAT side's representative is for this challenge. I DO have an idea on the American's chosen challenger for this task, however, and I have known that person to rise to any occasion when the chips are down. Especially if the consequences are very, very bad...”

I am not surprised one bit that there are fewer comments regarding the analysis of the Japanese team. Part of what I was aiming for was to make this enjoyable to all. And in the end, the two tribes provide different forms of entertainment, much like Tagi and Pagong did on the real show. The Japanese become the cheap-thrills teenage soap opera on the island, with more human concerns, more bonding between the members, and ultimately, less regards towards actually winning and more regards towards having a good time. In the beginning, nobody on the Japanese comes forward and says they are out to win (unlike Buttercup and Blossom). An argument could even be made that Matt was also out to have a good time, but wanted to get the living arrangements squared immediately in order to do so. The Americans, meanwhile, become the competitive alliances, voting strategies, and playing to win group (you’ll notice that Sora makes light of this in Episode 4). Although a few, like Bubbles and Bart, are out to have fun, they have to defend themselves in the end. I try to play to both fancies. I’m curious as to whether Lisa or Bubbles is being referred to with the American challenger though.

(Write the next chapter soon! I'm enjoying this, but I'm fearing for my favorite(s) (Who is(/are) not Eric, BTW). Also, I only watched the episode where the two tribes merged into one and their first joint challenge. Also, I've always wondered... why only snuff the flame? Why not also break the extinguished Torch in two, its destruction adding to the finality of the decision, and also brings a physical symbolism to it, to add to the spiritual symbolism of the flame (or lack thereof...))”

Uh… no comment.

Episode Two- “Bugging the Builders” Matt (Japanese) Voted Off

I forgot about the Vegetarian Lisa bit, but she would've risen to the occasion as fast as Bubbles, so it all came down to resolve, which the Japanese's representative didn't seem to have, though the team didn't fault her for it.”

Okay, so it was Bubbles. In the end, she was put on the spot more than Lisa, thanks to Matt and Izzy, and she pulled through. Believe it or not, it could also be argued that Matt’s suggestion of Lisa as the representative may have caused additional reason for Tai to vote him off. The other stuff mentioned below is much more important, but some could see it as a reason. And yes, Misty’s aversion to bugs is mentioned often on her show, and a part of her character.

The Tai & Matt aspect of the Council was great, even though I don't watch the show.”

Had to isolate that comment, since it’s probably one of the most encouraging compliments I received. I have tried to make the storylines entertaining for everybody, not just fans of one particular show, although each have their side moments.

And as for over-analyzing, well... I only call what I see. And, from your notes, I see my comment about the sword of command being double-edged beginning to ring true, especially if the commanders seem "removed" from their command. Also, the Japanese had made progress on a chain of command structure, though with Matt gone, it'll be interesting to see if Tai & Ash (and maybe Serena if she heals) can refine it to include the whole team, as the American chain begins to deteriorate, as indicated in your preview.”

Must see a lot then. Of course, it isn’t rocket science to think that the “command” as you call it would become suspicious of the commanders isolating themselves for strategic purposes. Its deterioration is imminent as the other five begin to cry mutiny. For the Japanese, I’d also throw Misty in as top of the chain with Matt gone. Ash has the work ethic from Matt (and the unprecedented advantage of being able to learn from Matt’s mistake), and Tai is quite popular. Misty’s both popular, and a hard worker (when she wants to be). This helped big time when she didn’t get any fault for losing the challenge, unlike Eric, who was unable to prove himself work-wise.

Of course, as also indicated in the preview, the Japanese chain will be slow to develop as well, if it ever does. (I'm an ex-military brat, so I think in such terms...) And, as it stands now, and as indicated by your previews, the next time the Americans lose a challenge, Bubbles may have to contribute a deciding vote, forcing her to choose between her sisters and a new friend.. Also, I guess we won't see someone streaking after the merge, which is good.”

Hmm… although the streaking prediction ended up accurate, I fail to find the evidence supporting it. Anyway, yes, Bubbles casting a deciding vote is a position she is eventually put in. However, it was actually Buttercup to wisely believe that Bubbles could simply take the alternate route and vote against Stan and Kyle, thus avoiding the guilt in voting against her friend or her sister. However, this would have been a problem if that gave Buttercup the majority and Bart was removed (and Stan staying the course against Bart may have caused that).

Episode Three- “Split Decision-” Buttercup (American) Removed

On the Japanese side, a chain of command is finally beginning to take shape, solidifying with the victory in the immunity challenge. And it seems that Ash may learn from Matt's mistake, unless he commits a more grievous error (which I don't think he'll make, yet...).”

Despite Ash’s eventual removal, this is not an erroneous judgment. The Episode 4 analysis does not put its money on Ash, and makes the correct prediction of Ash’s removal. Ash’s downfall in Episode 5 is not because of Ash’s position at the top of the ladder making others bitter, but rather two other reasons. One would be considered the “grevious error” of him stepping between Tai and Misty. The interesting thing about this is that while Tai does suspect that Ash is keeping Misty away from Tai, the question of whether Ash wants Misty for himself or whether he simply enjoys the company of Misty and Tai better is debatable. There are arguments for both sides, and I do not lay down a definitive answer. The second reason actually deals with the concept mentioned later in the review about voting off all of the allies to win. This eventually leads Tracey to pick off Ash, and combined with Tai’s vote, is ultimately successful.

And Serena, WORK? ONLY if the Japanese lose again... and it may be too late, then...”

Although Sora is the one to warn Serena that her laziness may be her undoing (and that is before Japan’s loss in Episode 4), this prediction isn’t entirely inaccurate: Serena is only working in a futile attempt to avoid being voted off.

The rest will deal with the American Tribe: Nice jib by Lisa questioning the system once again.”

Considering the praises Sailor Moon got in it’s heyday for featuring female superheroes, the comments don’t reach home quite as much, but those days are long gone, and the ultimate female superheroes are now the PPG.

The loss by the Americans wasn't ANYONE's fault, the Japanese just had better assets (Pretty nice choice of words there, Donald...). Anyway, the abused sword of command has damaged those that wield it, and in this case, it is the (one whom I see as) the Executive Officer that pays the price. Actually, on that topic, I would've thought that Blossom would've acted as Brutus against Buttercup (though I said earlier that B-Cup was the XO, I couldn't find a good parallel...), counting on Bubbles and/or Stan to give her deniability.”

I would’ve thought that you’d been reading my preliminary draft notes. Blossom turning on Buttercup (like Brutus and Caesar perhaps?) was the original intention of Blossom’s character as a parallel to Susan in the original, who turned on Stacey. In the end, Bubbles strayed from the PPG, making her the proverbial Susan. This leaves Blossom as Kelly, left to admit defeat and join the other side, forming the alliance with Susan (Bubbles), Richard (Lisa), and even Rudy (Bart). Later on though, Blossom and Bubbles do switch personas, while Lisa abandons Richard entirely (to be picked up by Tracey of the Japanese side nonetheless).

Each member has to kick off ALL their allies from the other shows eventually in order to win. (I severely doubt that that was the motive behind certain votes in the previous 3 councils, but this may come into play as we approach the merge...)”

Very true. Pretty much every person voted off starting with Ash in Episode 5 is done so by a group seeing that person as a threat preventing them from winning. Only Izzy’s removal in Episode 9 isn’t done so because he was a threat- but merely a chess game of the mind and a successful attempt to predict Sora’s move.

Also, if it came down to it, could Stan & Kyle live with only ONE superheroine until the merge? And Blossom knows she can't count on her other sister, but Bubbles may be the most immune, for reasons hinted at in the post-story notes... (Though I'd be VERY surprised if THAT had anything to do with her vote this time...)”

I’m actually unsure as to which post-story notes are being referred to, but Bubbles did vote alongside Bart simply because she liked him better and didn’t like Buttercup’s attempt to remove him. That concept of voting for siblings sorely comes back to haunt Bubbles farther down the line. Stan and Kyle, not into “alliance” mode, meanwhile, do not have time to consider taking Blossom out next, as Stan becomes the next major target, and they take the defensive.

Episode Four- “Erasing the Past-” Serena (Japanese) Voted Off

American Tribe: That last "woods" session provides us with a bit of closure following the previous 2-3 episodes. Personally, I was expecting Blossom to take Bart into the woods and privately admit defeat to him there. Anyway, Bart, though at first still suspicious, was quick to step up to his new responsibilities as co-commander. (and I mean that in as much as he and Blossom seem to have a 50-50 share of the implicit authority of the tribe. Actually, I think it's 60-40 in Bart's favor...) Anyway, the fact is that the situation within the American tribe has stabilized, with an equal balance in the number of people per show. (Plus, with what we saw in the Challenges, there is definitely not a "duel" command.)”

If there was a goofup in judgment, this is it. Although very difficult to see, especially through Bubbles’s observation that “they are getting along,” Bart and Blossom are still suspicious of each other, especially Bart towards Blossom. While Blossom’s admit of defeat was genuine, Bart is still on her list to be voted off. Fortunately, this is drastically reduced as Bart takes a more active role on the team. But as for Bart’s views on Blossom- she started out at the top of the command. There is no way for her to work any harder to earn respect; she has to become friends with them. Bart remains somewhat suspicious, although it too dies down as they win challenges together. But the biggest thing overlooked here is Lisa’s role in all of this. Note the 1-on-1 interviews immediately after Blossom waved the surrender flag- while Bart was immediately suspicious, Lisa was immediately sold on Blossom. With the reconciliation between Bubbles and Blossom already in the books, this gives Blossom more of an edge than it appears. I’d also have to see the big argument against a duel command, as both Blossom and Bart contributed heavily to the victory (if not Blossom’s performance, then her planning skills played a part in the win).

Japanese Tribe, the Challenge, and the Council: Well, Serena was willing to help, but willingness doesn't cut it by itself. Past impressions, plus the fact that she was the only one from her show doomed her should the Japanese have lost. And what was the Japanese strength in the previous challenge proved to be their weakness. Once again, it was a no-fault call, i.e. no one member or groups of members could be singled out as the cause of the Japanese defeat. Although, Serena's comment at council was probably the nail in the coffin for her.”

Actually, I just threw that comment in there under advice from Steve Scott, who reminded me to include that after an initial draft. I don’t think that there was anyone borderline about whether to vote for Serena or not (maybe Tracey, but he’s not one to get offended by the comment). I think the biggest indication of this was that the tribe (including Sora) ignored Serena’s plea to participate in the challenge, signaling that she is the outcast of the group.

And the exchange between Ash and Tai about Matt was the probably the reason why the latter voted against the former.”

Bingo. That comment is a big factor in Tai’s reasoning, and his reflections on why he voted for Ash shows it.

And it was also interesting on how Misty (and by extension the Author) sees 5-member teams. Overview of the 1st 4 Councils: The author, in his notes about Serena, compared her to Eric. (In my opinion, I thought his notes on Serena provided needed closure on her involvement.) I also noticed that Matt & Buttercup were basically the same: They were both motivated by what they thought were their tribe's respective best interests, but were very direct about it. So much so, it cost them their... um... slots (for lack of a better term). In fact, if you transfer Eric's vote to the third council, and Matt's to the fourth, the 1st and 4th votes had the same configuration: 5-2-1 (Matt voting against Serena). The same with the 2nd and 3rd: 5-3 (Eric voting against Bart). In 1 & 4, the "seemingly unnecessary comic relief" got voted off. In 2 & 3, the "person that was so frank he/she ticked off nearly everyone" got the axe.”

If anyone couldn’t tell, that interchange between Tai and Misty about the Five Man Rule (a general guideline visible in most animes and RPGs) was my take on both of their shows. I was speaking through them; it’s debatable on whether Tai could get that kind of insight or not. And I also thought her involvement needed closure, hence the comments. And although I for some reason didn’t realize it while I was writing it, but yes, Matt and Buttercup did share the same role on the island. Now I want to see if somebody can apply the Five Man Rule to the island environment, and determine the five slots for each of the tribes, and which do the best ultimately. I may even do that sometime, I’m curious.

And here's something for you Ash fans to chew on: In Trial 1, Buttercup got 1 vote. In Trial 3, she was voted off. Ash got one vote in Trial 4. That by itself doesn't mean much, but his reasons for voting Serena off sound hauntingly familiar: Buttercup, Trial 3, "Same reasons as before, plus he's (Bart's) now officially the weakest link." Ash, Trial 4, "As before, you (Serena) are still the weakest one here. Plus, I’ve grown attached to everybody else." These two points, plus his dialogue with Tai I referred to earlier, make me think that Ash's days are numbered, and if he survives until the merge, he won't survive much longer afterwards...”

Although we all know that Ash does eventually get the boot, causing the prophecy to come true, note that it’s for different reasons, and that what happens to Matt’s supporter (Ash) is not what happens to Buttercup’s supporter (Blossom). It all comes down to who consolidates the power before the merger. With at most six members going in, it’s a mad scramble to get connected with everybody on the tribe, with promises to eliminate the other team. Blossom does the best job at this, and gets up to four on her side at one time. Although it’s much less visible, there is a mad scramble for power on the Japanese team too, and the battle is actually fought between Ash and Tracey. The dialogue with Tai ultimately does give the win to Tracey, but his supporters drop out before the merger, resulting in a very disorganized Japanese team.

What the future holds: Well, now we're down to 12, with the balance of power in each tribe very stable if you look at shows only: The Americans have 2 members from each of their 3 shows, the Japanese have 3 from each of their 2. These next 2 challenges will drastically affect the balance within the merged tribe. If one tribe wins both of the next immunity challenges, the other tribe may not have any survivors left by the Final Four.”

Of course, in the real show, the tribes split the last two challenges, and one tribe still didn’t have any survivors in the final four.

If they each win one, the balance between tribes is preserved, but one American show will be under-represented while one Japanese will be over-represented. But the budding romantic tension along with Buttercup's "ghost" may be the surviving Americans' salvation should they lose at least one challenge prior to the merge.”

And it certainly is for the Americans, but that’s hidden by the initial momentum they gain after the merger. Once the Japanese fight back, the romantic tension, and the ghost of Buttercup (or more precisely, Blossom as the Episode Eight casualty), drive the Americans back on the road.

Speaking of Romantic tension, here's my attempt on predicting who the romantic couple will be: Tai-Misty, and by extension Ash-Sora is too obvious. And while I'm not ruling out an inter-tribal romance, (i.e. Iggy or Tracey with one of the American girls), it still seems a bit farfetched. That leaves the American tribe. Within that tribe there are 4 possibilities. And, though I won't say which one I'm leaning towards, I will say that, at the end of Ch. 1, I predicted that IF Bart and Buttercup resolved their conflict peacefully, they would have had (in my opinion) the best chance of being a couple. Actually, I could see justifications for all 4 American options, though there were signs last ep pointing to one choice, and signs in this ep leaning towards at least one more...”

I’m curious as to what these four relationships actually are. Obviously Bart/Bubbles and Bart/Blossom must be two options, and probably what you are referring to as being hinted at. But what are the other two? Barring anything between two boys, two girls, or two relatives, there are eight total matchups. My guess for the other two would be Lisa paired up with Kyle or Stan (and I’ll admit, I had seriously contemplated a Lisa/Kyle relationship), but I want to compare notes. It would be just for fun, since the romance did occur within the Japanese Tribe, although I am somewhat disappointed the review didn’t reach farther than the obvious Tai-umi or Sor-oshi couplings (although Tai-Misty was too obvious to happen, reaching just beyond Ash and Sora would have provided the answer of Tra-ora.)

Episode Five- “Elect-a-Shocker-” Ash (Japanese) Voted Off

Here I am, a day late, but not a dollar short since I'm not getting paid. Sorry, but Schoolwork comes first. And to Venus Goddess, Sailor U, Tiffany, and GinyuBrick, regarding Last Week, PERSONALLY, I think that they should've had Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing instead of Tracy and someone from either Monster Rancher or Flint the Time Detective instead of either Iggy or Matt, ‘just to provide some balance.’”

For the record, the next alternative on the anime list was Ryoko. Tenchi, Taichi, what’s the difference, right? But c’mon, what’s wrong with Iggy? Wait… he doesn’t really do much compared to some of the others.

Anyway: Japanese Tribe: I was assuming TOO much in the romance things, causing me to overlook completely the possibility that DID develop. Let's just say Sora didn't know how right she was 24 hours earlier... And Tracy proved his worth in the Reward Challenge.”

Sora isn’t done finding out how right she was 24 hours earlier. This episode is just a brief indication of the devious side of Tracey, which Sora got dragged into for this vote. I wouldn’t say the guesses weren’t entirely inaccurate. The coupling of Sora and Ash was passed off as too obvious right with Tai and Misty. Only Tai and Misty is too obvious, Sora hooking up with somebody to make him jealous (Arguably one of the reasons Sora is with Tracey… very arguably) wouldn’t have been a bad call. As for Tracey and the Reward Challenge, that proved that minor characters can have an impact too. In reality, Tracey just got damn lucky.

Not much to say about the American Tribe until the part where I look ahead. Bubbles performed very well in the challenge, whether by a strategic mind that's a 1,000,000 : 1 shot for her or by a loyalty to her sister. The Tribal Council was surprising. As were the motives to Tai's vote... and Misty's reaction. Ok, My thoughts on the future, and possible "staff" intervention: Mr. Wallace, don't seem so surprised that a tribe would repeat. And BURN that planning book! Otherwise, I'd accuse you guys of running a conspiracy! In fact, I think an inspection of those Spears (both the spearhead & shaft) may be in order...”

That whole book thing was a reference to the odd coincidence that the two tribes in the real series did in fact alternate immunity wins (some under very suspecting circumstances), and that all the Survivor rip-offs I’ve seen keeps that intact. Straying aside and having tribes repeating was meant to be pretty shocking, but I guess you’d had to have seen the original for that to be true. And no, the spearheads weren’t rigged.

Anyway, looking over the episode, Stan may STILL be the one MOST likely to be voted off should the Americans lose, UNLESS you look at the 1st 5 eps, including this one. Matt & Buttercup, and Eric & Serena were all voted off early, and both pairs consist of similar characters (refer to my review of last week's ep. for more specific info.) Therefore, I'm thinking that the next American to go, will be the one who most resembles Ash...”

I’m going to assume that’s Blossom, as the friend of the "person that was so frank he/she ticked off nearly everyone" character. But since that wouldn’t be any fun (no, I give Blossom a whole two extra episodes), the next episode highlights what Ash and Blossom did differently after Matt and Buttercup got voted off. Blossom got down off her pedestal, and while she silently maintained herself as a leadership figure, she became much more open, and as a result earned friendship and trust from Bubbles and Lisa, thus giving her control of 50% of the tribe. Bart, although suspicious of Blossom, would need Bubbles and Lisa to turn on Blossom in order to get her voted off. Instead, Blossom, Bubbles, and Lisa form the American Alliance, and target Stan. Although Kyle “takes a bullet for his friend,” the fact remains that the Alliance controls the tribe, with Blossom at the helm. Ash motivates the team enough, but is hit from two different sides, and is voted off by Tracey (and ally Sora) for being a threat, and Tai for ticking him off. Ash’s mistake was that he never affirms his position as leader, choosing rather to bond with the other five. Although it creates a much closer tribe, Ash is just as vulnerable as anybody else. Blossom finds the perfect balance between leadership and friendship, and therefore succeeds.

Of course, I was 50-50 on major predictions last ep., (NAILED Ash, but missed the pairing COMPLETELY.) so there's a chance I could be wrong... (and THIS time I'm Praying that I'm wrong...) Of course, each show has suffered one casualty EXCEPT The Simpsons. Also, currently, Digimon has a 1-person advantage, though that maters less since the two shows have basically melded. Probably the only ones guaranteed to survive the merge are Misty, Tracy, and Bubbles. And I hope to Survive Midterms which should come soon...”

You did nail Ash, and your prayers were answered. As for the “one casualty except for Simpsons” theory, remember that the Simpsons was the only show to start out with exactly two members. All others, except for Sailor Moon, start with three or more. That’s a big deal in terms of Tribal equality. Instead of Bart and Lisa not getting voted off yet, look at it considering that that it’s still two characters from three shows. It’s dead even on the American side. You already refuted the Digimon theory. The two shows have melded, and although Tai will promise to never again vote off anyone from his own show, the show boundary means nothing until the merger. For ones guaranteed to survive until the merger, I’d also add Lisa, Sora, and possibly Izzy to the list. Lisa is laying low, and if anyone targets the Alliance, Blossom is the first one hit. Sora meanwhile has endeared herself to everybody on the Japanese team, with the possible exception of Misty. If the five Japanese were to finish it off, Sora would be a heavy contender to win. As for Izzy, he’s successfully following the Lisa technique of staying low, but as we see in the next episode, nobody votes for Misty and gets away with it. It’s doubtful that that could generate three votes, but we don’t know what Tai’s capable of when he wants some action.

Episode Six- “Hat Trick-” Kyle (American) Voted Off

On time this week, and in time for the merge. I'll be saving this review because I think you made a minor error at the start. You didn't mention Buttercup in the hall of the fallen.”

No mistake. I just didn’t really think there was anything to mention about Buttercup. I think the other four were examples enough to prove my point.

Anyway, these are interesting times. I'll get to an analysis of the composition of what I call the "Global" tribe in a moment. Here's a pair of issues to chew on: The Alliance probably voted the way it did because it could not suffer any future dissentions. i.e. if Kyle wasn't going to play along, "Just don’t ask me to join your stupid alliance, okay?" it would've been better, from at least Blossom's POV, if he wasn't playing at all.”

You are correct, sir. As was clear from the campfire scene where Blossom continually looked over her shoulder at Kyle and Bart talking, she was suspicious of Kyle, and considered him a threat. He already convinced Stan to vote against Buttercup, and Blossom was afraid he’d try it again. With Bart close to Bubbles and Lisa, Blossom assumed that he’d be easier to draw into the alliance than Kyle.

However, earlier, we saw another side of Blossom. She didn't think a: that they had won their reward challenge beyond a doubt, and b: there was too much food on the cart to be of use to the Americans alone. So, she showed sportsmanship (or sportspuffship) and let the Japanese partake of the feast. If she opens her alliance to all who wish to join, that feast may give her faction a secure majority for the next few episodes.”

Both Blossom and Izzy attempted to reach over to the other tribe early- Blossom during the reward challenge, and Izzy with the immunity challenge. Blossom is simply a good sport, and she’d rather have a clear win than one with controversy. But still, it doesn’t hurt to get the Japanese on her side. As for opening up, it’s worth noting that Blossom had the opportunity to draw both Bart and Sora into the alliance, and only worked to get Bart in.

Anyway, here's how I see the structure of the "Global" tribe.: It seems to me, that it would've been either Ash, Blossom, or Bart who would have enough power at this point to be in a position to take command. Unfortunately for Ash, he got voted off last time. And, with both Lisa and Bubbles' support, (the removal of Ash and Sora's antics breaking up (at least temporarily) the cohesion of the Japanese,) and Bart's inability (and unwillingness) to form a counter-faction as yet, this places Blossom in the position of power within the "Global" Tribe, at least for now.”

In the words of Bubbles- “Duh!”

To oppose her covertly is Tracey, whose partnership with Sora and strategic thinking resulting in the removal of Ash makes him a definite threat should he gain more personnel. (I say covertly, since Tracey may know better than to oppose Blossom until the time is ripe, and when Tracey votes for Blossom, then the days of at least one of those two are numbered (with a max of 6).) Lisa, Bubbles, and Sora play the roles of "satellite" personnel, i.e. they are firmly within the "orbit" of one of the two "powers" (Blossom & Tracey) and represent a portion of the strength of that power. Other than that, Lisa & Sora have very limited actual use to the tribe as a whole.”

Eh, half right, half wrong, and the mistake lies with Sora (and no mercy here, since it was possible to pick up on it). First- the rights. Tracey is the right. He gains troops and challenges Blossom later. And sure enough, one of those two falls. Also correct is the placement of Lisa and Bubbles as satellites. The catch is that although she never said it directly, Sora felt very guilty about the Ash vote, as Izzy’s psychiatric evaluation determined. Sora, as a result, becomes a neutral power, and she ends up feeling the same guilt after every person she helps vote off in the future.

If Tai and Bart find out about their mutual dislike of this whole situation, they may unite and form a Third Power, to keep the other 2 in check, and potentially engineer their removal. In fact, I'll say here and now: Out of Blossom, Tracey, Bart, and Tai, only ONE of those four will make it to the Final Four (i.e. Day 37). Iggy and Stan may likely join Tai and Bart should they unite, (and those two respectively if they don't,) however they will most likely vote as they feel.”

This is reaching just a little too far into the future for anybody to be able to predict correctly. In reality, Bart is reeled into Blossom’s alliance and Tai briefly joins Tracey to avenge’s Misty’s removal in the next episode, before realizing that Tracey’s a jerk and forming the third power with Sora. IZZy and Stan join Tracey. So in the end, all hell breaks loose, and three of those four you stated made the final four. Who knew?

The REAL wild card at THIS point is Widow Misty. In her present grief, her future affiliation is unclear. She may choose to side with Tracey, but this is unlikely as he directly engineered Ash's removal. She probably won't side with Tai as yet, though as the wounds of old fade, the chances that she'd side with him increase. She could join the American Girls, IF Blossom will let her. (I happen to think that Lisa and Bubbles would welcome Misty with open arms. Same with Sora if she and Tracey are rent asunder. It'll be Blossom's call, however...) Finally, she could join Bart, especially if he and Tai haven't joined together at that point. This last one, I believe, is the likely scenario. However, like Iggy and Stan, she'll vote in her own interests if she joins Bart and/or Tai.”

Interesting scenario, although her bonding with the American girls as ambassador actually causes her downfall. However, it’s again interesting to note that although Sora bonds well with the other girls, they never allow her into the alliance, although its unlikely that she’d accept the invite. Believing that she’d join Bart is another likely choice, and probably a likely scenario if Bart hadn’t joined the alliance.

Actually, at this point, the lack of abilities on account of Stan, Misty, Lisa, and Sora is a likely advantage for them, as another concern is bumping off people who might oppose you not only at Tribal Council, but also at the Immunity Challenge itself. Speaking of which, I wonder if anyone will challenge the record of Guybrush Threepwood of Lucasart's Monkey Island series. (10 minutes w/o coming up from the water for air.) (oh, and Mr. Pulver, you may use these on your site if you wish. Just notify me at

Well… although Stan or Misty never win immunity, only Lisa on that list lacks abilities. But that’s later. It is an accurate statement that threats at Tribal Council and during the Immunity Challenge have to be dealt with, and in fact many of the rifts that divide the alliances in the future can be summed up by whether to vote for Council threats or Challenge threats.

Episode Seven- “Making a Move-” Misty (Anima) Voted Off

The Merger: The West (Japanese) Beach: All the comforts of home, without the fish. Bart and Misty remind me of the jurors on the Holiday Inn commercial. The Council and events leading up to it: Bart's sudden change of heart can be explained by one of two similar motives: 1: He wants to win, or 2: He wants his sister to win. Either way, Lisa got Bart to wake up and smell the coffee. And, while this helps Blossom for now, this makes the Simpsons a long-term threat to her that may need to be addressed around Day 30.”

Yeah, that’s pretty much dead on. Bart finally realizes the potential for either he or his sister to smell victory and joins up just in time. And even though Blossom is removed well before Day 30 (which is detailed further below), Bubbles is threatened by the Simpson tandem starting around that time.

The more immediate threat to the American Alliance's leader is Tracey. He correctly recognizes the threat this alliance poses, and has already called Blossom out. Therefore, I'm starting my "Day" counter, which means that either Blossom or Tracey have a MAXIMUM of 9 days (3 Episodes) to live... (on the island I mean).”

I’ll see that 9 and narrow it to three. Why? Keep going.

The result of this oncoming battle depends on 3 factors: 1: Tracey's ability to gain support. On this, Tracey has made the first step by befriending Stan. Stan may join Tracey's faction out of revenge over Kyle. Otherwise, Tracey may have a hard time gaining allies.”

Bingo. Not only Stan, but Tai, getting revenge for Misty. Izzy joins on, simply as one of Tracey’s friends.

2: Blossom's ability to read the threat that Tracey poses. If she doesn't pick up on it, she's as good as voted off.”

As Tracey says in episode 8 when voting her off- she forgot about Tracey, and she forgot about Stan. And she can forget about winning.

3: The Simpsons. Lisa has made it obvious that she's out to win. Bart probably has a similar motive (see above), and I consider them to be a solid duo. And, if they think that Tracey provides them with the better chance of success (and late-term sneak attacks) than Blossom, they might just abandon the Puffs in favor of Tracey's faction. Tai may be similar, except that a: he'd see it as which of these two would be the greater evil, and b: he's only one vote, but it may be a key vote...”

Lisa and Blossom (as well as Bubbles) are close enough for Lisa to not jump ship just yet simply because there isn’t a good reason to. The basic assumption is that they already went through the trouble to unite and take out some Japanese scum, so why play for the other team?

“The vote against Misty I see as a test of loyalty on Bart's part, as I don't see any real reason for voting her off, other than perhaps her apparent threat in the challenges. Whatever the reason, I see it as a strategic error on Blossom's part, perhaps a fatal one... Too bad, since the Taisty might've been Tasty...”

Eh… one freaky crossover romance is good enough for me. You’ll see that the reasons Blossom gives in the next episode again supports the “forgot about Tra” theory I mentioned earlier. Misty knew too much, and they voted her off since she was the only person to heavily suspect anything. However, Tracey, with help from Stan, gets all the info. So Blossom had a good reason to vote Misty off… but it still probably goes into the books as a strategic error.

The remainder of the votes were wacky: Stan vs Sora will be interesting, as it may play a role in the eventual determination of whether Blossom or Tracey will survive their upcoming battle. Izzy must just not like Dumb girls or something... Don't have much else to say, except things are about to reach a breaking point. It'll also be interesting to see what the other 6 have been doing all this time...”

Stan vs. Sora is a very interesting conflict, in that it does not end with Stan or Sora getting voted off, but has a direct impact on the next two Tribal Councils… even though the conflict ends after one. Tracey, as a link between the two, is put into the tough position, with Stan agreeing with his alliance views and Sora being his romantic interest. Although the two break up in the next episode, Tracey still courts Sora’s vote, and leads to Sora having more problems with the entire Japanese Alliance, which includes and applies to Tai and Izzy as well, although it ultimately applies to Izzy the most, as we shall see in the next episode. And yeah, Izzy just doesn’t buy into the

whole Bubbles kick. I suppose I should’ve given a reason why he voted, but we were running long. An interesting thing to note is that there were four characters (Tai, Sora, Izzy, Bubbles) that hadn’t received votes against them prior to this episode, and that the only one who didn’t get a vote this time won immunity.

Hey! I just realized! You got Izzy’s name right this time! Prodigious!!

Episode Eight- “Forgot About Tra-” Blossom Voted Off

Well, as of this coming week, you may now consider me unbiased. (Not that I tried not to be biased before now.) Reason: Blossom was voted off. But the fact that she is the Foreperson on who gets the million, makes it all worth it. In fact, I thought that she was favored to be voted off, really.”

Right, I believe you… really I do. Oh wait… you did predict Blossom last time. Durnit!

Blossom's critical error was that she mainly saw the situation strategically, not tactically. Had she been of a tactical mindset, she may have seen Tracey and Stan's counter alliance in time. Furthermore, she voted off potential temporary allies, just so she wouldn't get stabbed in the back later on. Kinda like getting a question wrong on another Million Dollar Show with "lifelines" still on the table. My prediction held, that is either she or Tracey were to leave within 3 eps.”

As Tracey said, Blossom overlooked Tracey as capable of creating a counter-alliance, and she overlooked the possibility of Stan crossing over and helping the Japanese. And yes, voting off Kyle right when he was about to admit defeat was kinda stupid too.

Lisa's disturbed because the main power she was alligned with was defeated, but if Bart takes the reigns of the alliance, she may not have much to fear, IF Bart reconciles with Sora and uses his free shot wisely (i.e. takes down Tracey (or more likely, Stan, THEN Tracey)). (Ok, so I may be biased still... but now it's AGAINST someone (Tracey), not FOR...)”

Who wouldn’t be a little concerned if the leader was taken down? But yeah, it is up to Bart (and Lisa, in fact) to get the alliance back on track. The biggest problem is this- it’s a secret vote, and they don’t know exactly who the neutral castaway is. And Bart definitely isn’t unbiased, suspecting that she-devil Sora.

And, even factoring in that bias, Tracey's power may yet be decreased, if and when Tai decides he doesn't want to have anything to do with Tracey.”

It won’t take long for Tai to figure out that Tracey’s a pain in the rear.

Realistic Predictions: If both Tai & Izzy stay with Tracey & Stan, then the latter 2 will go for the million. But, if Bart & co. can eliminate Tracey & Stan in the next 2 rounds, with the help of some of the Digi-Destined, then this whole alliance thing goes up in smoke. Ironically, if Blossom won immunity, we may be mourning Bubbles' passing right now, as she would've been seen as Blossom's strongest supporter, even with her betrayal back on Day 9.”

Yes. That prediction is accurate. With Sora and Tai’s help, Izzy (a key counter-alliance contributor) gets nailed, followed by Stan, thus screwing the retaliation. And the prediction about Blossom winning immunity rather than Bubbles is very accurate, as we shall see.

Also, are the ex-castaways allowed to view my commentary? Are the Jurors?”

Unfortunately not, although they are allowed to go back and watch the tapes to figure out what they did wrong.

Finally: Final Vote Predictions: Blossom: She'll support the following characters in order: Bubbles, Lisa, Sora, Bart. If none of those 4 survive, it'll be a tough call. And, as to reviewing the "stories on the side," you never know... but it would be pointless for me to review more than one unless the Jurors are in them. But you all, please review them with your comments, as opposed to my analysis.”

Yes. They are pointless. At least with the first one, there’s nothing relevant to the final jury decision. It’s stupid fun.

Episode 9- “Sorry is Too Much-” Izzy Voted Off

Actually, midterms have been delayed until this Thursday, that's why I'm posting now (referring to an E-Mail to Mr. Pulver). First of all: Why did Tracey need to "suck up"? HE'S the leader of the counter-alliance. (Perhaps it's because he knows that Tai & Izzy's support are fickle. How fickle, he'll know soon enough...)”

My midterms were last week. Little delay in writing the side story, but nothing serious. And Tracey is trying to court the votes of Tai, and solidify the vote with Izzy. You’ll see his take on “sucking up” next episode, when he works Tai even more, and tries getting Sora back on his side.

Next, it seems that the removal of Blossom destabilized BOTH alliances: The Americans lost their leader, (and actually mourn her loss, which is a bit surprising,) while the Counter-Alliance lost their focus. Blossom, being the high-profile leader, was a bright enough target, that her shadow hid the remaining 3 members, so that even if one of them was a lieutenant of hers, they wouldn't know it until it was too late. Also, with regards to the barbeque, Bubbles has this thing where she gets a 1-in-1000 shot at determining truth from thin air. We'll have to wait until next episode to see if she's right on or way off...”

Unfortunately, there’s no upset planned there, if you are referring to Sora hating Izzy. But also, yes, there wasn’t really a number two in the alliance. It was Blossom and her posse.

Tribal Council: Ironically, it was Bubbles who got her sister's coalition back together. With her knowledge about Sora, she was able to convince the Simpsons on who to target. On the other hand, Tai's rebellion has begun, resulting in a loss of power for Tracey. A loss that, with Izzy's removal, may be nearly impossible to recover from. Ironically, I had Bubbles & Tracey at 4-1 odds of being kicked off (which became 3-1 with Sora getting immunity).”

Well… if you would have known that Sora would get to the point of voting for Izzy and that Bubbles would find out, I’m sure you’d change your odds a little bit.

I said in an E-Mail to Mr. Pulver that Bubbles was in trouble if Tracey picked her, with 2 things having to happen for Bubbles to survive, both of which DID occur: Sora coming to the Americans' aid and Tai rebelling. Ironically, Izzy and Tai both has 10-1 odds against being kicked (while Bart was so long of a shot of being removed, it was better than 100-1).”

Of course both did occur… she’s still here isn’t she? I knew very well that those would have to occur as well, it’s common knowledge!

The Future: Tai's rebellion has begun, and this time, there isn't a common foe to bring him back into the fold. Which means that, as things stand now, in three days, whether through Tracey or Stan, Blossom's loss will be avenged. (And maybe Ash's as well.) After this, the whole alliance situation will wash away like so much sand, and all He!! will break loose!”

Obviously you don’t know Tracey very well. Tracey doesn’t give up until he gets voted off.

Voting Projections: Izzy will have a lot of respect for Sora, but, if it comes down to her vs. Tai, I think he'll vote for Tai. And, with 2 Jurors and 7 Contestants, not to mention the Bowl Championship Series' first publication of the year, It's time for the USS (Ultimate Survivor Series) Rankings! (I would've replaced "Ultimate" with "Animation", but THAT acronym isn't very eh... clean.) These function like the "Polls/Models" portion of the BCS (in that the rankings I model per character are tallied together to form a "score". Lowest "score" has the best "shot" if they aren't voted off...). Blossom: In her eyes, Bart's reconciliation with the other allies gained him some points. Tai will move eventually, but the direction is still hard to determine.: 1: Bubbles, 2: Lisa, 3: Bart & Sora (Tie, 3.5 each), 5: Tai, Tracey, Stan (Tie, 6 each). Izzy: see Above, plus his friendship with Lisa will give her some points...: 1: Tai, 2: Sora, 3: Lisa, 4: Tracey & Stan (Tie, 4.5 each), 6: Bubbles & Bart (Tie, 6.5 each). Totals: Bart: 3.5+6.5=10, Bubbles: 1+6.5=7.5, Lisa: 2+3=5, Sora: 3.5+2=5.5, Stan: 6+4.5=10.5, Tai: 6+1=7, and Tracey: 6+4.5=10.5. So, it looks as though Lisa & Sora have the edge for now...”

Badgers lose to Northwestern and they’re off the list for the rest of the year. Damn. Obviously, Blossom and Izzy don’t control who the final two will be, but it is not spoiling anything to say that who I currently have those two voting for in the final showdown are higher in the rankings than the opposition.

Finally, I've just run down the pairings between the Americans & the Japanese: Comic Relief: Eric & Serena. Pat Buchanan (AKA Extremist Lieutenant): Buttercup & Matt. Tribal Chieftain: Blossom & Ash. Thankless Extra: Kyle & Misty. (Though, one could switch Misty & Serena.) Medicine Person: Lisa & Izzy. Defector: Stan & Sora. Troubled Ally: Bart & Tai. (insert counter-commentary) This leaves the "Dark Horse" of each tribe. We've already seen the fruits of Tracey's labors in the removals of the two Chieftains. Bubbles, however, is much more unlikely, especially with her innocence, unless you consider what I said in response to the Ep. 2 preview: That Bubbles would, and has, rise above difficulty if tested. And now, out from her sisters' combined shield/shadow, she'll have the opportunity to prove that she's a more "hardcore" survivor than her 6 remaining counterparts. Tracey's been right before, and he's right again, Bubbles will definitely be one to watch. (Guess my Pro-Puff bias has returned with a vengeance, eh? Of course, with Bart getting the desire to win, you could switch him & Bubbles as well, but review what I said in this Tribal council.)”

Hard to review these in Tribal Council when the episodes have already been written. Strangely enough, I did these pairings already, and had the exact same ones. Pat Buchanan and all. And that’s not Puff-bias, Bubbles is a serious threat, and unless she’s taken seriously, she’s in to win. What you said about Bart is probably accurate too, especially with the continuous need for one of the Americans to step up and assume the leader spot.

Episode Ten- “Up With Insanity, Down With the Canopy-” Stan Voted Off

Yep, it's everyone's SECOND Favorite Grad Student here. Well, seeing as how this Ep. had only 7 left, I started it off with Gilligan's Island. Well, what can I say, except BART IS ON DA ISLE! That call to Moe's was Very Good, and much more civil than others he's made. But, not even $1,000,000 can save him from Moe once the Ep. Airs. (Actually, it might. GO BART!)”

This is the last thing you’d expect me to comment on, but I would like to point out that I’ve been a Simpsons fanfic writer for a couple years, and I’ve been saving that prank call for a special occasion. Finally put it to good use, don’t ya think? The other one I thought of teased with Moe not knowing the caller’s identity and having the opposite effect as Freda Rinks. “Call for Bart Abs!!”

That Immunity Challenge was a Must Win for Tracey, since if he lost, he would've been Buttercup back on Day 9. And I guess living with Buttercup & Blossom gave Bubbles enough experience to be able to unite the Simpson Siblings. I'm willing to bet, that if the Simpsons were removed, and Buttercup & Blossom still here, there wouldn't have been much difference (Buttercup=Bart & Blossom=Lisa).”

How true, but even though Bubbles suggested that both Izzy and Stan be targeted, she can’t stay lucky forever. She is something of the outcast in the alliance, and the day where the three Americans have to choose to vote themselves is drawing near.

MAN, Tracey has it right so many times these past few days... With Stan off, the Counter-Alliance is now officially Broken, while the Digi-Alliance has succeeded in its place. However, it's a 50-50 chance that these two alliances will unite to remove the remaining Pokemon member and bring the number of shows down to 3. Also on the hot list are Bart (with the side many of us are more familiar with getting dangerous) and Sora (for plot purposes, see the previous Ep & Story-on-the-side). Tracey's best hope is to lay low, hope someone makes a mistake, and keep winning those immunity challenges.”

Actually, it’s a 33-33-33 chance (depending on whether the Americans choose whether to vote for Tracey, Sora, or Tai next), which holds really true since each of the three alliance members want to target a different Japanese (Lisa>Tai, Bart>Sora, Bubbles>Tracey for those too dense to figure it out). Bart is definitely on the hot list if the Digi-Alliance gains power somehow. As for Sora, I really don’t like it when you consider plot devices in your analysis. Sure, I use them to the fullest extent (and the overall series as a whole will become a fully developed plot arc upon completion), but that’s cheating!! But I will allow Sora to be on the hot-list, but as one more on the 33-33-33 list.

Time now for my SS Rankings (First letter dropped until I receive an official ruling from Mr. Pulver):”

Well, that just makes it Survivor Series, and with the WWF pay-per-view of the same name quickly approaching, you don’t want wrestlers suing your ASS do you? I say go with Animation Survivor Championship Series rankings. Nothing wrong with that, is there?

Blossom & Izzy won't have changed that much, unless revealed in commentary later on. Actually, with Blossom, Bart may have dropped behind Sora again for that phone call, while Tracey drops to 6th based on his testimony on his voting record. I don't think Izzy's vote would change. That vote is close anyway. Stan: He and Bart were starting to get along so well... He might just chalk up Bart's vote to the Alliance and be done with it. He'd sooner vote for a guy than a girl, given the options. It's a tough call to say if he likes Tai or Bart better at this point. But, as long as Tracey's in it, he has Stan's vote. Rankings: Bart: 4+5.5+2.5=12 Raw, 10 Modified; Bubbles: 1+5.5+5=10.5 Raw, 8.75 Modified; Lisa: 2+3+5=10 Raw, 8.33 Modified; Sora: 3+2+5=10 Raw, 8.33 Modified. Tai: 5+1+2.5=8.5 Raw, 7.08 Modified; and Tracey: 6+4+1=11 Raw, 9.17 Modified. The Modified scores were created by multiplying the Raw by 5/6th, making the scores compatible with those of the previous week. In the next 2 weeks, the worst vote per contestant is eliminated from the score entirely.”

So let me get this straight… it’ll be Tai vs. Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl this year? Your analysis of Stan is pretty accurate though. I don’t think Blossom would read into the phone call too much, unless Bart was summoning her to go beat up Tracey for no good reason. But that’s silly- there’s always a good reason to beat up Tracey!

Episode Eleven- “Girl’s Night Out-” Sora Voted Off

The five have been decided. A rapid-fire four final days of campaigning are soon to come. Four Jurors have been decided, and, with the obvious antagonism that may fall among the three latter jurors, expect these four to be subtly courted by the contestants, much like voters were courted in the Trifacta of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and my state of Florida. (And yes, I DID vote, so I may be vindicated... or wish to move out as soon as I get my Masters. Anyway...) Man! First some Pocket & Digital monsters, then Moe and his customers, and now PROFESSOR UTONIUM? What next? Meals served by Chef in the resort? Or a nega-monster/heart-snatcher/etc. instead of a Reward Challenge? (I hope he was able to pick up my first 10 reports...)”

Well… I think we’re pretty much done for crossovers now… although I had briefly considered having the Anima Tribe come face to face with the ultimate evil… MECHA STREISAND!!

To Bart: BOYTOY? Watch it buster, you've been more of a "boy toy" than Tai has been in this series, especially recently. (Hm... perhaps it's a GOOD thing that the Professor and the others aren't reading this, yet...) Immunity Challenge: Kudos to Manny and his removal of Tracey!”

I don’t know… that’s going to be debated on the newsgroups (alt.fanfic.survivorripoff) for awhile- does Bubbles control Bart more than Sora controls Tai. My vote still goes to Tai being controlled by Sora, if Bart hadn’t won immunity here, it would’ve been the second time in a row Tai voted for Bart, his fav among the Americans.

Tribal Council: I can give you why Tracey voted off Sora. It'll probably be why he'll vote off Tai Next Episode: It's one (or both) of two reasons: 1: He wants to burn all bridges now, so as not to oppose friends in the finals, and perhaps, gain their sympathy in the final vote (more on that later). 2: Shear survival. If he voted Bubbles, it would be a 3-way tie. And he couldn't vote for himself... and he may have gotten a sense of how the Simpson sibs would vote.”

This is Tracey we’re talking about… no matter who he goes up against in the finals, he’ll be strainin’ to do some explaining to the jury. It comes down to strategy, and Tracey’s strategy goes far beyond normal human comprehension. Maybe if Professor Utonium and Professor Oak were to team up…

This does, however, place Tracey in a precarious situation, as he either has to align with the Simpsons (and vote against Tai) or win this next immunity challenge outright. And I'll say this now. If Tai wins the upcoming challenge, then it's back to Pokemon Watching for Tracey. If any of the Americans win the challenge, look for Bubbles and Tai to confront each other, confess their votes, then, in rage at the loss of Sora, strike against Tracey. Bart & Lisa are likely to go against Tai first, unless Tai has immunity, in which case, Tracey losses 4-1.”

It’s definitely correct to say that if Tai wins the next challenge, Tracey is gone. Even with Bubbles on the verge of leaving the American Alliance, the one castaway she wouldn’t mind tossing is Tracey. As for Bubbles confessing to Tai, it would be tough to picture, but definitely possible. She did open up to Sora here, and those two conspired to vote for Tracey, so something could feasibly be arranged between Bubbles and Tai, but it would be much more difficult than what happened with Bubbles and Sora.

If Tracey wins immunity on Day 36, then things get interesting... It'll probably result in Tai's removal no matter how you slice it, however, but that's not set in stone, especially if the Simpson Sibs see Bubbles as the greater threat. Barring that, this upcoming Immunity Challenge is a Must-Win for both Tracey and Tai, but, in this case, more for Tai than Tracey.”

I couldn’t imagine Bart and Lisa perceiving Bubbles as a greater threat than Tai. Besides, Tai’s one point ahead in the ASCS standings, and Bart and Lisa are oblivious to Bubbles deferring away from the alliance. But you are right, the only way for Tai or Tracey to really be safe is to win immunity, barring a miracle backstabbing.

If Tracey survives Day 36, however, then the challenges on 37 & 38 become MUST-Wins for him, as the Americans would sweep him out in a second after that. (Unless the Simpson sibs see Bubbles as the greater threat, but I feel that Bart, at least, will wait until Ep. 38 to go after her...) Tai might have better odds on Day 37, IF he & Bubbles BOTH go against Lisa. (A slim chance, but better than what Tracey would have after Day 36...) If the Simpson Sibs both remain after Day 37, then the Immunity challenge becomes a MUST-Win for the non-Simpson, to avoid a Simpsons Exacta. (There may be a chance that Bubbles may survive until the finals even if she doesn't gain immunity there, but again, it's slim...)”

Would the real slim chances please stand up? I think the odds of Tai going after Lisa are understated, especially with Sora gone, and Bart revealing to Tai that “Lisa so wants you gone.” As for Bubbles, it all depends on who wins immunity, and who Bart and Lisa select as the target. If Tracey’s selected, forget about it. If Tai’s selected, then Bubbles may simply defect to Tracey (kinda like voting for Browne or some other loser candidate). If Tracey wins immunity, then as you say, it gets interesting. Also, I’ll one up you. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to break the Simpsons Exacta after Day 37 without immunity. Even if the two non-Simpsons ganged up on Bart or Lisa, either Bart or Lisa would have to stab their sibling in the back in order to break the tie. Dismissing that possibility, it’s safe to say that anyone without an “S” starting their last name will really be fighting for that necklace.

In Other News: The Five Roles have been Confirmed: Ironically, Tai gets the "leader" role because a: he's the only "leader" remaining (Bart & Lisa split their power...) and b: he has been a deciding factor in at least 4 votes; 2 of which (Ash & Blossom) were "Chieftains". With Blossom & Izzy gone, Lisa gets the "genius" position by default. And with that, plus the removal of Sora, Bubbles becomes the "female" of the group. It was close for the other 2 positions, but with Bart's early performance, and Tracey's counter-alliance, I'd have to say that Bart's the "troubled kid" and Tracey's the "annoying pest", though there ARE moments of flip-flop between those two.”

Well put. Next!

Also, now Izzy and Sora can reconcile their differences before the final vote. And now, with the State of Florida and the Second Slot in the BCS both still up for grabs, it's time for the newly dubbed Animation Survivor Championship Series Ranking Projections! And, since I can't exactly read minds, these are ONLY projections, not FINAL RESULTS. Just so that you Bart & Tracey supporters don't flood mine or Mr. Pulver's E-Mail boxes... Blossom: Tai drops half-a-point due to his vote this week, but I expect this to be a temporary setback, as he should align himself with Bubbles next council, IF HE SURVIVES IT. Bart & Lisa have lost some actual ground, but maintain their relative positions, due to the ousting of Sora. That would matter little if Bubbles survives, however, because I have already projected that Blossom will stand by her sister until the end. (Shows appropriate election-like graphic here.) As for Izzy, Bubbles support of Sora, despite Tracey's successful attempt to kick her off, will have her draw even with Tracey at a tie for Third. Tai widens his lead with this voter by his vote, but we don't have enough data to make an official projection as yet. We HAVE projected Tracey to take Stan, however. If you recall, Stan & Tracey were the founders of the "Counter-Alliance" which deposed Blossom, only to have one of its members revolt the following council, and two more members, including Stan, removed in that and the following councils. His position remains unchanged at this point.”

Somewhere to find fault, somewhere to find fault… not really! Maybe it’s my fault (nah), but the friendship between Tracey and Izzy had been somewhat understated in Izzy’s last few episodes, mostly due to the introduction of Stan into the group. Remember back in Episode Three, when Tracey’s first real friend on the island was Izzy (kinda by default; I was shooting for stable pairings: Tai/Misty, Sora/Serena, Matt/Ash, Tracey/Izzy). With no events disturbing that friendship, and Izzy maintaining loyalty to the counter-alliance despite Lisa’s position on the other side, it’s safe to assume that Izzy and Tracey parted under very good circumstances, and that Tracey’s right up there with Tai and Lisa for Izzy’s vote (although maybe a slight underdog). Although yes, he’ll take Stan no question.

(Brian Williams ON) And we've just got our first projections of Sora, and, ladies and gentlemen, Sora is Too Close To Call! Her friendships with Tai and Bubbles are considered to be of equal weight at this point. All the others are tied for third (fourth actually) due to their votes and previous dispositions, but Sora is Officially Too Close To Call! Going to our "Juror Map", we'll color the Hairbow, representing Blossom, in Light Blue, to represent Bubbles, and [Stan's Symbol], representing Stan, in [Tracey's Color] to represent Tracey. Again, we're expecting that Izzy will soon be projected to go to Tai once we have enough hard data, but Sora is Too Close To Call At This Point. (Brian Williams OFF) (Note: Izzy's and Sora's symbols are their crests.)”

Figures, the winner’s going to be decided by the Secretary of Sora, isn’t it? Hmm… is she Republican or Democrat? Although it’s interesting to note that I was planning on having symbols for each character, but the fact that I couldn’t find a decent one for the South Park kids killed that idea. Hmm… Eric with the Crest of Annoying Fatass?

And now on to the "Popularity Vote," a.k.a. the ASCS Rankings themselves. This and Next weeks: We'll remove the worst vote from the "Raw" Score to produce the "Modified" score which you will see below. The value in parenthesis is the value removed to achieve the "Modified" score: Bart: 3+(5)+2.5+4=9.5; Bubbles: 1+3.5+(4.5)+1.5=6; Lisa: 2+2+(4.5)+4=8; Tai: (4.5)+1+2.5+1.5=5; and Tracey: (4.5)+3.5+1+4=8.5. And don't go accusing me of "Fuzzy Math," because each person had the same value for "Worst Vote" except for Bart, with his vote being only 0.5 worse than the others. Results: Tai keeps his lead, but Bubbles is closing fast, jumping from 4th to 2nd and with only one position point separating the two. Lisa takes a Tumble into 3rd place, with 2 Points separating 2nd and 3rd, while Tracey & Bart are basically staying put near the bottom. NEXT EPISODE: 2 days of rest and 1 Reward Challenge (I think...), Followed by the beginning of the Home Stretch, which consists of a total of 80 non-stop hours of challenges, councils, and last-minute campaigns, all leading up to the Final Tribal Council, to be shown on Thanksgiving Eve. And on my Next Analysis: The Final ASCS rankings, plus 1-on-1 projections, and the listing of things that MUST fall into place to avoid a Simpsons Exacta. (I think...)”

Things that MUST fall into place to avoid a Simpsons Exacta? I can think of one… Either Bart or Lisa need to get voted off. I so good! Although I still say that Tracey should ranked higher than Bubbles on the Izzy scale.

Episode Twelve- “Where the Past Comes Alive-” Lisa Voted Off

Well... It's always the one you least expect. Except that after I wrote the review for last time, I turned a few things around in my head, and I was able to come up with a way Lisa COULD be voted off. Back in Ep. 9, I remarked that each tribe had a Comic, an Extremist, a Chieftain, an Extra, a Medicine Person, a Defector, a Troubled kid, and a Dark Horse. If "comic" could be represented as "A", "Extremist" as "B", etc., Now take the order of the first 8 thrown off: ABBA CDDC. Recognize this? It's part of a rhyme scheme. Taking the next 3 into account, the scheme was: ABBA CDDC EFF_ ____. If the rhyme scheme was to be followed, because we were drawing close to the end of a stanza, then Lisa would've been the unfortunate. And thus, her number was up.”

Oh darn. You figured it all out. Naturally, the “rhyming theory” has absolutely no scientific basis and therefore does not work out. Lisa was actually voted off because I wanted to keep things dead even for the Final Four. But since we’re on the topic, I should probably say how I wrote this. One day, I wrote down all the Tribal Council results. Who voted who. I said “Okay, so they get Misty, then the other guys regroup and get Blossom…”. The plotlines, and the reasons why came afterwards. Strange, but it allows for the ultimate planning scheme, since I knew from Day One the little stuff like that Sora would eventually turn on Izzy, and could begin to set that up. I think the only thing I knew about the plotline was that the first four voted off would be like the first four voted off in the real show, and that Sora and Tracey hook up for the hell of it. The rest (including the Taisty, Sora’s hat thing, and Lisa and Izzy’s friendship) was improvised, with the grand scheme in mind. Neat, huh?

And how was it to come about? Buttercup; both her presence and her spirit. Buttercup's council was what ultimately made Bubbles decimate any hopes for a Simpsons Exacta. But it was the spirit, or should I say curse, of the original conspirers Blossom and Buttercup, within Bart and Lisa, and the events on Night 9, that ultimately doomed everyone's favorite Saxophone Artist. It also somewhat resembled Tai's betrayal of Ash on Night 15, with Tracey conspiring with a digi-destined, allowing a friend of the target to be the deciding vote.”

The only difference here is that Tracey never actually conspired with Tai. Unbelievable as it seems, this is the first time since Episode Seven that Tai made the decision of who to vote for on his own. His votes for Blossom and Bubbles were Tracey’s idea, and Tracey and Bart’s votes are credited to Sora (referring to the Episode 9 deal that Tai would vote Tracey if Sora would vote Izzy.)

(And I DID send an E-Mail to Mr. Pulver about this. The reason why I got no reply was probably because I hit the nail on the head.) So what does the future hold, using this poetic model? Well... the last stanza could either be 4 lines repeating the pattern in the other 3 stanzas, or it could be a couplet, completing a Shakespearian Sonnet, and making the trial be between two counterparts of the same type. I'll say this right now: The counterpart of the person who's voted off on Night 37 will go home either with the Bronze or Gold.”

Actually, I couldn’t really think of any response that wouldn’t lead you to thinking in either direction. In the end, as said later, Sonnet Theory works out, and Bubbles’s counterpart Tai wins, but it was all coincidence.

But enough with these pattern-fitting models that destroy the fourth wall, let's go down to the ASCS.”

God be praised…

And since we're still recounting in Florida, I'll go back to election motif, and give you word that we HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED to CALL Izzy for Tai. That's right, our models predict that, all else being equal, Izzy will go with Tai first.”

I still say Tracey’s calling for an appeal, and he should definitely be higher than Bart on the list.

Also, we have another Projection, and with the results of the recent council, this should come as no surprise. Bart WILL carry Lisa, according to our models. So, we go back to our "Juror Board" and we color in Izzy's Crest in [Tai's Color] to represent Tai, and Lisa's Saxophone in Yellow to represent Bart. This gives each castaway one juror. Still too close to call: Sora.”

So it’s still uncertain who’s going to win. (steeples fingers) Eeeexcellent.

Unfortunately, we were hoping to go to Matt & Serena to get their take as to who they'd think Sora would be pulling for, Matt being a fellow Digi-Destined and Serena, Sora's closest friend in the first 12 days of this whole ordeal.”

MATT: Oh, this one’s easy… she’ll vote for Tai. She’s gotta stick with the group.

SERENA: No way, she’s going for Bubbles now, she left the alliance, didn’t you see that?

MATT: Come on, that was Buttercup feeding all that. Sora didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s loyalty!

SERENA: The same loyalty that caused her to vote off you and Izzy?

MATT: Those painful memories… I think I’m going to start crying!

SERENA: No! Wait! I didn’t mean it!

Of course, since Bart was the Constitution Party’s representative in the race for Sora, and he was a finalist, it didn’t really matter in the end, as she easily picked Tai over Bart. Had Bubbles or Tracey been in it, it would’ve been interesting.

Well... let's go straight to the rankings, which have been resembling the BCS rankings for the past few weeks. My models show Bart drawing even with Bubbles & Tracey for second (third) place in Izzy's vote, with him still tied with Tracey for Stan's second vote, and trailing in the Sora vote, though it's still too close among the top 3 to rule out an upset comeback. And of course, there is his sister... Bart: 2+3+2.5+(4)+1=8.5 (Remember, we're throwing out the worst vote this week.) As for Bubbles, she and Tracey may have lost a little ground by voting Lisa off, though Izzy may be a little more objective in his voting. It's still a close race for Sora's vote, though she's lagging back in second at this time. Bubbles: 1+3+(4)+2+3=9 Loyalty is Tai's strong point, as the models have him leading among the Digi-Destined and in a tie for second in Stan. Tai: (3.5)+1+2.5+1+3=7.5 Finally, Tracey has a LOT of sucking up to do, though he can still pull off an upset with Sora. Here's a tip for ya Trace, call President Clinton for last-minute advice. Tracey: (3.5)+3+1+3+3=10. Results: Tai hangs on to his lead, but Bart came up from the back of the pack to land himself in second place. But, if I'm wrong about Lisa & Bubbles, we could be looking at a Tie for First Between Bubbles & Tai! With Bart VERY Close Behind! I hope that the final ATC will shad some light on this subject so that I can make a more accurate final projection.”

Nope! Just some cheap Lishiro in the ATC, nothing much to work out.

And looking at individual votes... we can NOT project ANY 1-on-1 winners! Here is what I think is likely, however, removing the poetics model: Tracey MUST win the Challenge on Day 37. Otherwise, Bubbles & Tai will throw him out. If Tracey wins, however, Bubbles is the one most likely to take the first fall. On Day 38, whoever wins Immunity is in the Driver's seat. (A good enough reason as any for Bubbles to take the fall on Day 37.) Of course, the Driver's Seat is also a "Hot Seat" as the jurors may be influenced by the choice on Day 38. And, with the Simpsons Exacta decimated, it may all come down to who has the most pride in both themselves and in their show. Special Extra Analysis after the last chapter of "After the Council" where the FINAL projections will be made! (if they differ from above.)”

Naturally, the guess is incorrect (Bubbles gets voted despite Bart’s immunity), but it’s still close enough for partial credit, as Tracey held through double-overtime and Bart turned on Bubbles in the end. But as you said, the winner of the Day 38 immunity is in the hot seat, and that does make a the difference as to who the final two will be. Of course, the way it’s set up, no matter who you pick, there will definitely be a few times where you’ll want to change it to someone else.

Episode Thirteen- “Like All Good Things-” Tai Wins Animation Survivor

Well, seems like the "Dark Horses" were G, and the sonnet theory won out. And, Tracey, say what you want about Tai, you MUST grant him this: Tai Has HONOR in the extremes. He sought out the equal from his tribe and confronted him in the end.”

Say what you want about sonnet theory, it had no place here. As for Tai’s honor in having equals in the finals, that’s another one of those debate thingys. I honestly couldn’t decide whether or not Tai had tribe equality in mind when he voted Tracey off, and believe me, I’ve thought about it. In the end, I decided not to bother mentioning it.

Also, say what you want about Tracey and Sora influencing his votes, the only one of Tai's votes I thought of as disingenuous was the vote in Episode 10. That was the ONLY vote, in my opinion, he issued in protest. I won't comment about Bubbles' comments at the beginning, mostly because the possibility that my communication with Mr. Pulver may have influenced them.”

No… they didn’t.

“Tracey got lost because he no longer wanted to win. And Tai was right. Furthermore, I had the castaways, based on the roles they played throughout this ordeal, and ever since Ep. 6, I had Tai in as the role of the main character and Bart and Bubbles as two of the four minor heroes.”

Yeah, actually Tai could be placed as the main character of the series from the beginning. By reading it again from the very beginning, with Tai as the single protagonist, it should still work out just as well. And also, the balance between “goodies” and “baddies” it very evenly divided. Sort of… let’s see… time for my own chart. Some are definitely questionable, but when you look at what side the characters took more often, it makes a bit more sense, except in the case of Kyle and Lisa, who’s motives and efforts put them in different categories than their allies.

Japanese- Good Guys

Tai- Duh!

Sora- Fits the “Girl” slot quite well.

Misty- Girl of Hero’s dreams!

Serena- Only kinda good, getting it by being on the side of Tai and Sora and against Matt.

Japanese- Bad Guys

Tracey- Duh!

Matt- Targeted Serena and opposed Misty.

Ash- Sided with Matt, despite late “face turn” (slang for going good guy).

Izzy- By default- he sided with all three of the other Japanese bad guys!!

American- Good Guys

Bart- Targeted by Buttercup, and kept steady attitude and friendship with good guys like Bubbles and Tai.

Bubbles- Friendship with Bart and Sora, and leaving the alliance later.

Kyle- Sided with Bart, took bullet for friend. Although friend may be bad guy, Kyle sure didn’t act like one.

Blossom- This one’s debatable, but her face turn was much more significant than Ash’s.

American- Bad Guys

Buttercup- See Matt section, switch “Serena” with Bart and “Misty” with Bubbles.

Eric- He was just a pain… and I needed an extra bad guy.

Stan- Although could be considered good early, allied with Tracey, and almost allied with Buttercup.

Lisa- Again, debatable. But friendship with Izzy, and competitive motives are too much to ignore.

Definitely the bottom ones on each category (Serena, Izzy, Blossom, Lisa) are subject to debate. But tough.

And, right now, with Tai's win, I feel like playing "Just Wild Beat Communication" (Main theme from Gundam Wing (another Anime series rife with gay questions)). As for the compilation: A single 1-char shot per char in a particular scene (preferably from the "adventure") would be nice as an afterfact. And I hope to see you all at the reunion. This is D Marco, signing off. BTW: What was Bart's confession.”

I’d put in a picture of each character in the modes they appear as on the show (and yes, I even found one for Tracey), but the Zip’s big enough as it is. I’ll make it available as a side option if you want it. As for Bart’s confession, they never did show the runner-up’s on the show, and you all know I strive for accuracy! Although, I haven’t heard Tai or Tracey yell “Oh s**t!” on their shows before. Then again… I haven’t seen the Japanese versions, so you never know. Well, that’s it for me and my commentary to the commentary. And this thing turned out twice as long as a full episode, so let’s call it a night. Bye!