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'Survivor: Cagayan', Episode 12 analysis: Has Tony already won?

'Survivor: Cagayan' Episode 12.
'Survivor: Cagayan' Episode 12.
Photo courtesy of Screen Grab/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Certain seasons of Survivor, it seems like anybody can win. More often as of late though, you can begin to see signs of the eventual winner coming from a bit of a distance. We all saw Boston Rob's mastery of "Survivor: Redemption Island" and most of us could predict his eventual win as the episodes rolled on. Cochran's second go-around on "Survivor: Caramoan" just felt special, and as the last few episodes aired you could just tell he was going to win as well. Even last season, it just seemed like Tyson's time. The signs have been there for a while now on "Survivor: Cagayan," but after Wednesday night's episode, it just seems to be getting clearer and clearer: Tony Vlachos is going to win...Right? Is there any other possible outcome? Be sure to watch the episode in case you missed it, and be sure to get caught up with the full Episode 11 recap.

Let's be clear: This is no spoiler and there is no "insider" information being presented here. But all roads seem to lead to Tony winning this thing. From the beginning, Tony was clearly one of the players being portrayed as a future "All-Star" player, whose early goofiness led way to his emergence as a masterful strategist and potentially to someone who can be considered to be one of the best to ever play the game...if he wins of course.

But the question over the past few weeks has evolved from "can Tony win?" to where it stands now: "Can Tony lose?"

He now sits at the Final Five with two Idols tucked in his pants. We all know that he only has one Tribal Council left to play his Idols because they become void at Final Four. So he can actually use his "normal" Idol on someone else to help sway who he wants to stay and who he wants to go home, reserving his "Special Idol" on the off-chance that there is a blindside attempt. Simply put, there is no chance that Tony doesn't reach Final Four. So the first hurdle in Tony's march to Sole Survivor? Deciding who goes home next week.

Clearly, Spencer is Tony's biggest threat to winning the game and he will need to go. Spencer should be the easy vote out next week, unless he wins Immunity once again. If he does happen to win, Tony will be in an interesting predicament: He will either be forced to vote out Kass, a person that he clearly wants to take with him to the Final Three, or he will have to finally turn on one of his long-time allies, Trish or Woo.

The good news for Tony is that there is no real scenario that exists that doesn't work for him. If he chose to get rid of Kass next week, Woo and Trish would remain loyal and the goal would be to just get rid of Spencer the following week. If he does blindside either Woo or Trish, the remaining players still want to sit next to Tony in the end, considering him very "Russell-Hantz-like", meaning that they think they can beat him in the end despite his aggressive style of gameplay.

Think it through: Does any combination of Spencer, Kass, Trish and Woo vote Tony out at Final Four should he not win Immunity?

So assuming he has a clear path to the Final Three, who can beat him? Not Kass, surely not Kass. Woo is likable but I find it hard to imagine that even the bitterest of juries would hand him a million dollars over what Tony has done this season. Trish is an interesting contestant, simply because she seemed to be well-liked and did play a very low-key, yet strategic game...but she may have a hard time convincing the jury that she wasn't just Tony's puppet. Spencer on the other hand has survived all odds and would have Tasha lobbying for him at Ponderosa.

There is one outside chance of Tony going home at Final Four, and that's if Trish makes a move. I'm not sure why this would be in her best interest to sit next to any of the others instead of Tony, but if she did somehow manage to get Tony out, she could point to that as her one gigantic move in the game...and it could lead to a win. This is an interesting scenario, but a highly unlikely and improbable one.

Yes all signs point to "Survivor: Cagayan" going to Tony Vlachos...unless Spencer can miraculously win the next two Immunity Challenges to make things all the more interesting. Even if he does, would he clearly win over Tony or would it still be a potentially close jury vote?

Hey, anything can happen. Especially this season.

What do you think? Sound off in the comment section below!

Be sure to watch the day-after interview with Tasha as well as her arrival at Ponderosa.

You will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one interview with Tasha on Thursday! Also, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.

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