Master of Deception

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The Amazing Race's less confrontational gameplay helps it bring home the Emmy year after year, but last night's Survivor illustrates why Mark Burnett is the true master of the genre. For the first time in a long while, they got me. I was absolutely sure Yau-Man's number was up. The carefully-edited conspiratorial clips, combined with the genius of putting all Alex, Stacy, Cassandra, and Dreamz on one side of Tribal Council sold it. With all four of them framed together in a close-up shot, it was hard not to believe they were banded together to oust Yau-Man.

Everyone keeps harping about how Yau-Man's idol makes him a target, but there's a simple solution: don't vote for him. Let him get to the final four, then worry about him. The real problem is letting Earl get there along with him. If Cassandra, Dreamz, and Stacy were smart (Boo is clearly the next target), they'd blindside Earl to isolate Yau-Man and make him vulnerable when it's down to four. Nobody can afford to bring Yau-Man to the finals, because he'd be a shoo-in for the money.

Meanwhile, the question of whether or not there is a God may well be settled this Sunday when we discover if the horrible Mirna and Charla are allowed to win The Amazing Race.

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Unfortunately, even if the last Road Block will take place on a roller coaster, it wouldn't matter since Charla has already done her allotment. Maybe the last task will require contestants to speak in something resembling actual Spanish. Mirna would be stuck there for weeks. And then there's that whole baloney about "Yield Karma" too. Oy.

Survivor, on the other hand, continues to get better and better with every episode. I'll be sorry when it's actually over. I've lost count as to how many people are left; I think it might be another Final Three, which would wipe away all of the neatness over the past week.

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