First off, I think it kind of sucks that Cheryl was cut adrift at the end. I understand, she was kind of snobbish because she distanced herself from the crew and everything...but at the same time, she was probably the strongest female contestant there as far as brains and physical prowess go. I think the pirates made a mistake. Louie is an OK captain, but I think overall, Sean would have been a better choice. Sean's actually starting to become my favorite character...I hope he goes far.
The Royal Pardon definitely helped things. Granted, the initial premise was slightly confusing, but I think the new rules helped to break up the monotony...the episodes were starting to feel very repetitive.
I don't really know why I watch Pirate Master. It's not a superb show or anything, but there's just something about it that's got me hooked. I'm eagerly awaiting episode five. =]