Posted Nov 9, 2009 @ 12:11 PM
I can't tell if Natalie really is secretly awesome or if I'm being somewhat tricked by editing.
Here's the story the editing told: Natalie is laying low, making friends with the Galu women while remaining suspicious of Laura (smart). Then Galu begins the slow shooting of itself in the foot, led by Erik, who instructs Natalie, Jaison and Mick to vote for Monica and guarantees their safety. Jaison has an emotional reaction to this and decides they should all vote for Erik, though Jaison appears to do nothing to extend this plan beyond Foa Foa, even saying he's happy to "let the chips fall where they may." Mick, as usual, is silent. Natalie, however, uses her established relationship with the Galu women to tattle on Erik, not only exposing Erik's machinations against Monica (and by extension, Laura), but also painting a target on the back of Erik, one of the physically strongest players. When she reports back to Foa Foa that it looks like they have a 7-person majority against Erik, Russell is disbelieving, which indicates to me that Natalie was acting of her own accord in swaying the Galu women, instead of acting at Russel or Jaison's behest.
That's all very persuasive to me. I suppose Natalie's actions could be the result of a previously agreed-upon Foa Foa strategy. In fact, I have no doubt that Russell (and maybe even Jaison) would claim exactly that should he ever wind up sitting next to Natalie and asking for votes. But that's not what I saw.
Which is why Natalie has become #1 in my personal Survivor player rankings.