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''Survivor'': Super Play

By RD Heldenfels Published: April 27, 2006

We don't always get to see all the elaborate maneuvers leading into Tribal Council, with schemes edited out so that we might be surprised by the outcome. But tonight we got to see Cirie lay out a scheme that involved telling two different lies to three different players -- and came off the way it should have.

Here's what she did: Terry had won immunity, again. Nutty Shane thought he had the votes to take out Danielle -- but Cirie and Courtney were playing him. (Lie one, Player One.) Terry set up an alliance with Courtney, Cirie and Danielle to take out Aras. But Danielle and Cirie were playing HIM. (Lie two, Player Two.) They saw Courtney, almost as annoying as Shane, as someone both Shane and Terry would want to take to the final two, figuring they could beat Courtney on a jury vote. So they connected with Aras -- while keeping Courtney in the dark (Lie Two, Player Three) -- to form three votes for Courtney's ouster. Half the people in the game went into Tribal Council with no idea what was about to happen.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been Terry's sniffing out the plot and giving his secret immunity idol to Courtney -- protecting her and taking Aras out of the game (since he still got votes from Courtney and Terry, while the only vote for Danielle came from Shane, who by tribal council was out of all the loop). But even without that twist, it was a cool finish. And proof how very, very smart Cirie is at this game.

It's possible, of course, that this puts Shane in a better position. As the most irritating player remaining, he may become the player people now most want against them in the final two.

On the jury side, Bruce was back, so I don't get the possible-tie scenario I hoped for after last week's telecast.

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