Things happen in Survivor which wouldn't necessarily fly so well in real life. Such as beginning that second month in the same underwear. It's a small closed society placed under a microscope. We see the best and worst; just seeing normal people would be boring.

This essay is about Katie. What do we know of Katie? Not much. Has she done well in challenges? I don't really remember. Has she done poorly in challenges? I don't really remember that either. Has the tribe been covering for her? Quite possibly... Kuror had the luxury of putting up different people each challenge. There's just not much that we DO know about Katie.

Only a couple of things concerning Katie stand out in my mind. I see both as instructive:

1. At Tribal Council, Jeff asked Tom if he wanted to give up the immunity necklace. Tom was humorous but clear, saying he'd keep it, thank you Jeff. Katie's immediate laugh of appreciation showed she was very much in tune with the vibes Tom was trying to give out.

2. Katie's had a spat or two with other women. It's Katie who came out looking better or less bitchy. I'm strongly reminded of Rob M's handling of Rob C in Survivor All Stars. Rob belittled Rob C, referring to "little" this and "little" that in reference to Rob C. Rob C, called the strongest player who never won the million dollars, was soon sent home. I wonder if we don't see Katie playing to the Alpha Males, arranging for her rivals to appear annoying and bitchy.

Do we see the absolute stereotype in action? Perhaps we do!

Decades ago, it was not uncommon for people to be changing a flat tire by the side of the road. It was up to a Manly Man to actually change the tire. The woman, if she was wise, would stand there and look interested... and refrain from offering suggestions. The way for HER to accomplish the task was to be interested in HIS accomplishment thereof. If you allow the stereotype, it's the way things get done.

And what of Katie? She's right there looking interested, while her manly men get the job done. Won a challenge? She's happy. Caught a shark? She's happy. Opened a coconut? She's happy. Fetch wood for the fire? Build the fire? Cook the food? Clean up? Plan the strategy? She's happy. Let the manly men be manly men? They're happy.

We have three manly men - Tom, Ian, and Gregg, in that order. Tom has stepped up to the plate as the Grand High Alpha Male. Can the Tomfather hold it together as did the Robfather? We'll see.

Ian, perhaps, is the stronger player. He's kept Tom in the spotlight. I wonder if he hasn't held back on some challenges. Ian has said in confessional that he's ready to bring it on, and everything I see makes me believe him.

There's no question that Gregg is also a manly man. I give him full credit for keeping himself third on the list, leaving Tom and Ian to be the obvious targets. His ironclad alliance with Jenn has become a stronger and stronger voting bloc as the game progresses.

Meanwhile, what of Katie? The glimpse in Tribal Council (when Coby was voted out, if I recall correctly) tells me she's most closely in tune with Tom. In fact, it seems to me she was sitting closely between Tom and Ian, the two otherwise-unclaimed manly men.

Last episode, including this week's preview, implied Katie might be considering throwing in with Ian, and Caryn aligning with Tom. The failed "four women" alliance tells Gregg that Katie is a possible ally, flipping in Gregg's favor. There's no way Gregg's going to pick Katie over Jenn - Jenn will see to that - but a temporary alliance to kick Tom or Ian looks possible.

Thus we have Katie. She's quite happy to have the manly men take care of her, build the fire, do their manly things. She's placed herself under the protection of **all three** manly men. She's not "stooped" to being a snuggle buddy; she's just been there, allowing all three to take good care of her.

Katie could argue to the jury that hers was a greater feat than Amber's... Katie's remained under the protection of *two* or even *three* manly men. She's done everything Amber did, without even the advantage of being a snuggle buddy. The jury found for Amber; how could Kuror who has watched Katie the entire 39 days do any less? (gag)

How does Katie make the final two, so she can work the jury? By seeing to it that her two manly men make the final three. Gregg needs to go. With Gregg gone, Tom and Ian have ALL of the power, to wield as they see fit. Just so long as Tom or Ian wins immunity, Katie can reward them in a very real way by Pagonging Caryn and Jenn. Katie can claim complete blind loyalty and perhaps retain the women's votes at the end.

Katie needs *both* Tom and Ian in the final three. Why? Because from her standpoint, Gregg needs to go NOW. She needs Tom and Ian to have absolute power, with no concerns of divided loyalties. She is theirs, completely and utterly (yeah right), and thus there is zero chance of their retaining some other woman for the final three instead of herself.

So we have the final three consisting of Katie, Tom, and Ian, in this particular little fantasy. Would Tom or Ian bring Katie to the final two? My first thought is... Katie better see to it that she wins immunity. THEN she gets to burst forth with a month's worth of pent-up histrionics as she agonizes over which manly man to keep, and which to spurn. On national tv during May Sweeps.

But... is her better strategy to give the challenge a fair try but leave it to the manly men to see who comes out on top? She once more underscores the fact that she's no threat. She'll leave it in the men's hands to decide her fate. The most worthy of the manly men gets to bring her to the final two. If she steps down, she forces the manliest man, in a very real way, to take care of her. If she *does* step down (and who really believes she'd beat Tom AND Ian on endurance?), if she's wise, she'll remain interested and encouraging of both her manly men.

Katie's playing the million dollar role, and she's already forced the final move. Check, and mate. (Any further question as to why Steph really had to go?)

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