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By RD Heldenfels Published: December 1, 2005

After years of watching ''Survivor,'' I am skeptical of the breaking-up of established alliances. Time and again we see groups with a solid majority start to turn on each other, ruining their chances for a successful finish. I wonder if that happened again tonight.

Yes, Judd could be annoying. Yes, he lied and schemed, so his whining at the end of tonight's episode about being blindsided was ridiculous. He certainly tried to blindside everyone else in the search for the little immunity idol, and a week ago was finally called out for it by Gary (too late to save Gary).

Still, I wonder if the sudden shift to a Stephenie/Danni/Lydia/Rafe alliance was wise, even if it took Judd out at tribal council. Judd had been distinctly loyal to Stephenie and Cindy in particular, and treated them well again today in the reward challenge, letting them join him in seeing loved ones.

Cindy was out of the loop on the immunity vote, so she may get some slack from Judd if he figures that out. On the other hand, she's an interesting wild card, since the old Stephenie/Rafe alliance could take her back to help pick off Danni and Lydia.

Danni's immunity win tonight was an aberration, since her ability to switch positions in the challenge enabled her to take advantage of Stephenie's playing. So she still seems easy to take out at any time. Nor has Lydia felt like a threat.

Judd seemed savable, because in the final two he would have been a tough call for most of the jurors, given his backstabbing. Danni, Lydia, Cindy and Rafe could probably all figure to beat him easily. Rafe has played well, Cindy is likable. Danni wins sympathy with every glimpse of her thinness and protruding shoulder blades, and Lydia -- well, at least she isn't Judd.

Stephenie is going to bring big baggage to the final if she makes it there, but she would have had a better shot at winning if paired with Judd than against any of the other four. The memories of her gutsy performance on the last ''Survivor'' are gone; she's the evil queen now, and set up for an eventual beheading.

Which Judd, I am sure, would be happy to lead. I don't think he would have made it to the final two unless he ran off a series of immunity wins, but Judd in the final four would have been a much less angry and vindictive member of the jury than this guy who just got dumped in sixth place.

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