Some random thoughts about last night’s episode:
In the reward challenge why did Tai’s team never put him in the chair? Shouldn’t you put a smaller, weaker player in the chair at the end instead of leaving him as one of the ones lifting the entire time?
I don”t disagree that Zeke is a strong, strategic player but shouldn’t he have been a little more subtle with his bonding with Culpepper? Especially when you know your current alliance already has little trust in you?
Math: Your current alliance is up 6-4. I know that mathematically you can get rid of one of your own and still be up 5-4, but that means you only need one person to flip to be in the minority. I don’t get why people always want to make the move on an alliance member with such a small advantage. It makes more sense to get it at least to 6-3 so you would need two flippers to change the game.
Andrea wins the battle with Zeke and was correct that he was going to turn on her. If not for idols and advantages(legacy and secret) I would like her chances to go to the end. Instead she has a 5-4 advantage but has alienated Michaela and Sarah by pushing them to go after Zeke. If Sarah flips you have a 5(or 6 with Michaela) with 3 idols and 2 advantages. She is also doomed because my daughter says she is the only one left that she really wants to win. I see a final 5 of Sarah, Sierra, Tai, Troyzan and Culpepper(perhaps saved by one of Tai’s idols).
Another week where I watch Survivor after work on Wednesday night and get to Friday morning without writing about it. No one cared about my thoughts on Survivor when I did it the next day. I’m sure they care even less two days later. I’m thinking that maybe it wasn’t really worth trying to do in the first place. No one who watched it needs a recap and without that there isn’t much to say. Maybe I should change it to a “this week in TV” post every Friday. Not sure what that would be, but anyone reading my posts must know I don’t really put a lot of thought in to them anyway.
So, Survivor thoughts:
I can’t believe Michaela did not see the secret advantage under her feet. She was so focused on complaining that she was not aware of her surroundings. Basically me on a normal day.
I can’t believe Sarah did see it from the water. That is impressive.
I didn’t think the Cirie thing was as powerful as Jeff made it out to be. So many people have gone on the show and overcome personal obstacles. Have we already forgotten Fishbach”s epic battle with a stick?
I was very happy to see Debbie gone. She is so annoying. I’m sure Malcolm and Hali were not happy to see her coming to Ponderosa.
This week was a two hour episode, but there was no big drama or event that warranted an extended episode. I’m pretty sure the two hour episode was for scheduling. The season started later than usual and still needs to finish during May sweeps, so two hours.
The two hours starts with a merge, but a merge with a twist. There was a merge feast, but there was also Jeff letting them know that they could only have the feast if one person from each tribe agreed to give up the feast. I, of course, proclaimed to my daughter that I would volunteer to give up the feast. She pointed out that I was not starving and was, in fact, eating pie while making this proclamation and that it isn’t that easy. She might have a point. Culpepper and Tai agree to sit out and the rest feast. That’s really the only excitement of the first hour. Zeke tells the Varner story to the merged tribe, Andrea wins immunity and it is pretty clear that Michaela or Hali will be voted out. It ends up being Hali after Cirie decides to try to save Michaela and Hali is the first member of the jury.
The second hour has a little more scheming and game play. There is a reward challenge and some naked Tai at the reward. The immunity challenge is one that Ozzy has won twice. It comes down to Ozzy and Tai and Tai eventually wins. Then the scrambling starts. Andrea wants to get rid of Culpepper or Sierra, Zeke wants to get rid of Andrea. Andrea finds out and then goes after Zeke. Debbie and Sierra decide to try to take Ozzy out. The votes at tribal were weird. Zeke voted Aubrey. Cirie votes Sierra. Debbie usess the extra vote on Ozzy even though it wasn’t really necessary. I really don’t understand what was with the Zeke and Cirie votes. Weirdness from Debbe is to be expected.
Nothing surprising in either vote. Ozzy still hasn’t figure out that being a provider is not enough to stay in the game. He’s never seemed to learn the social part of the game. I’m still not sure who is allied with who at this point.
Caution: Spoilers ahead:
I should have known something big was gong down in tribal council last night. After the normal “previously on” and the scenes of the tribe after tribal, we moved quickly to the reward challenge, saw brief scenes from the two tribes and then moved on to the immunity challenge and then to what I will be writing about: tribal council.
At tribal council, Jeff Varner started out trying to explain to the tribe why they should vote out Ozyy instead of him. In doing so, he talks about a secret alliance between Ozzy and Zeke. Of he had stopped there, everything would have been fine. Unfortunately, he did not stop there. He turned to Zeke and asks him why he has not told them that he is transgender. He then goes on to say that this shows he is capable of deceit. Zeke looks like he is in shock The rest of the tribe, to their credit, immediately turn on Varner telling him, rightly, that no one has the right to out someone. Varner tries to backtrack and says he is sorry, but I’m sure at that moment he is only sorry it didn’t work. I guess he thought the tribe would either agree that this means Zeke is deceitful or perhaps be bigoted enough to vote him off for being trans. In the end, they don’t even need to officially vote. Probst asks if he is correct that Varner is going home, they all agree and off he goes.
There have been a lot of villains on this show. Many people have done despicable things to try to win the money. Outing someone on TV has to be the worst. You have to be a pretty terrible person to 1. reveal such personal information without his permission and 2. think that Zeke being trans is a reason to vote him or his alliance out. I’m glad he is out of the game.
This week’s episode starts out with another tribe shakeup. We go from three tribes back to two tribes. Because there is an odd number of players left one person will not join a tribe and will go to Exile Island instead. The odd person(in many ways) out is Debbie. The rest of the cast has to be relieved to get a break from her. After tribal council, Debbie will join the losing team so that team gets a double penalty this week.
All we see of the one tribe is Culpepper and Troyzan’s male bonding. The other tribe is full of talk about strategy and idols. It’s pretty obvious which tribe is going to lose the challenge. The consensus seems to be to vote out Sandra while making her and Varner think they are voting out Tai. The plan seems to be going OK until Tai blurts out that they are voting her out. He now has two idols and no skill at game play. I’m sure he will find a way to screw up the plan somehow.
Over on exile, Debbie finds she has a boat, food and booze. She also has a guest. For some reason, John Cochran is there to talk strategy with her leaving most in the audience wondering what we’ve wondered during multiple reunion shows – why is Cochran there taking screen time from the actual players? I like Cochran, but I don’t get why he keeps showing up. He deals with crazy Debbie and gives her a box with an option of three advantages. An extra vote, a fake idol kit or a tribe advantage. She takes the extra vote. I would have gone with the tribe advantage. It seems like a good idea to give the tribe a reason to like you. Also, the extra vote never seems to work out.
The challenge is not very dramatic. The tribe we all knew would lose lost. It was never close. Tribal council is interesting. Sandra says she knows she’s going home. Tai agrees, but then says he would be willing to vote out someone else. He throws out Ozzy’s name and Sanrda and Varner say they are in, Sandra then tells Andrea that she will vote with them and they are all whispering Tai’s name behind his back as he talks. I’m worried they will all vote Tai and he will vote Ozzy and I will not be happy. Tai doesn’t play an idol and I’m sure he is going home. Instead, Sandra and Varner vote Tai and everyone else votes Sandra. Sandra is voted out for the first time ever after 90 some days of playing. This must have been a plan designed at camp that we didn’t see. If so, it was a genius one and gets out one of the biggest threats out there. Now Debbie joins the tribe. I’m sure the Debbie/Tai combo will screw up the tribe dynamic and ruin a good streak Andrea and Ozzzy had going.
Next week: Everyone is crying and Ozzy is a target.
It’s a little late because this week is weird and needs to end, but here is my weekly rambling post about the recent Survivor episode. Let’s see if I remember anything.
We start with the arrival back at camp after the Malcolm debacle. No one is happy with JT. JT tries to convince them that he is innocent. No one is buying it.
We move on to the reward challenge. In the middle part of this is a balance challenge. Before the challenge starts we get a rare look at the teams deciding who will do what portion of the challenge. Debbie declares that she has an incredible sense of balance, so she will do the balance portion. Of course, we got this glimpse because Debbie obviously does not have an incredible sense of balance and takes forever to complete her part of the task. Her tribe loses and she goes even crazier than she was before. She declares that Brad is a dictator and that she had no say in who did what and in another rare Survivor moment we get a flashback to her saying she will do the balance portion. Back at the camp, in a bout of alternative facts befitting a member of the Trump administration, Debbie declares that Hali was the one who took forever while she, Debbie, zipped right across. She screams, she does push-ups, and is just crazy in general.
Meanwhile, JT and Michaela fight over sugar intake. Sandra eats all of the sugar to make them fight more and we have JT and Aubrey vs Sandra and Michaela with Varner as a swing vote.
I can’t recall much about the immunity challenge except Michaela killing the digging portion and Culpepper killing the slingshot portion of the challenge. In the end, Sandra and company head back to tribal(I can’t remember the tribe names). Before tribal, Sandra does a masterful job of convincing JT that he is safe and that they are all voting Michaela. So convincing that he goes home with an Idol in his pocket. How does a return player this late in the run of the show go home with an idol in his pocket? He has been the outsider from the beginning and his closest ally went home at the last tribal. He had no reason to feel so secure that he wouldn’t play the idol. Dumb.
Next week, as my daughter says, there is a lot going on in one hour of show: merge, exile island and a visit from a mysterious contestant.
Caution spoilers ahead:
We started the episode with a tribe swap and a switch from two tribes to three. I enjoy tribe swaps because it shakes up the game. People in trouble get new hope and people in power positions have to start over. I do feel sorry for the third tribe that has to go to a brand new camp and start from scratch. The bad thing about this switch was that it created clear majorities and easy votes unless someone decides to make a big move. Last night was nit the night for big moves in tribal council. Caleb being voted out was obvious and lacked any suspense at all. Luckily, the other tribes gave us some entertaining TV.
At the luxury beach we start with JT sailing his new tribemates out to snorkel and fish and then leaving them there while he makes up an excuse to go back and look for an idol. It was a smart move at the start, but he stayed gone too long and they all knew what he was doing. This puts an even bigger target on his back until the self proclaimed GOAT of Survivor met the goats of Survivor. Apparently, there are a lot of goats living around this cam ad Sandra wants to eat them. They seemed to have no trouble catching some goats, but they are a mother and baby goat. The rest of the tribe have hearts and feel bad about eating a baby or leaving a baby motherless by eating the mom. Sandra does not care. She will eat them all. There is debate and they decide to free the goats and eat the chickens now that chicken king Tai is no longer there. The chickens are the big losers of the tribe swap. It’s probably good that Tai isn’t there. Sandra might opt to eat him if he tried to protect the chickens. I think this goat drama might lead to Sandra’s demise.
Over on the other beach, it’s clear that Troyzan will be the first to go, so he goes off to look for an idol. He finds a clue and discovers that it will be hidden at the immunity challenge. I love this. It makes for good TV watching someone try to grab the idol in front of everyone. He is successful so their first tribal council could be very interesting. Not much else about this tribe is that interesting at the moment.
They tried to make the vote on the losing tribe suspenseful, but it wasn’t. It was pretty clear it would be Caleb. What I found odd was that Caleb and Hali didn’t seem to be doing much to try to stay. They didn’t show any scrambling, looking for idols or anything. Maybe there was some of that, but it was boring. It just seemed odd. I’m not that sad about Caleb going. I liked him, but not nearly as much as I do the others in the game.
Next week: The revenge of the goats,
Survivor used to be the only show I insisted on watching live. My daughter would get popcorn and we would watch the show together. I would live tweet the show and read tweets to her as the show was happening. This all changed at the end of last season when I changed jobs and had to start working on Wednesday nights. Now we watch delayed when I get home from work. Since I can no longer tweet the show, I thought I would try a weekly blog post the day after. I didn’t take any notes this time because I didn’t decide this until this morning, but after this week I will try to take notes and maybe include some of the things I might have tweeted had I been watching live.
I would start this first post by saying that I realize that armchair quarterbacking the game is a lot easier than playing the game and I’m sure I would make plenty of mistakes in the heat of the moment if actually there. Now, on to the show:
I used to complain about returning contestant seasons and longed for new faces. We have had a few seasons of new faces recently so I was ready for some familiar faces, especially since many are favorites of mine. It does change the dynamic of the first episode for me as a viewer. If it is all new faces, I spend the hour trying to decide who I might like and who I might root against. This can change as the season progresses, but it is all about getting to know the players. This time I know the players so I have some favorites going in and can focus more on the game play. I have to say that the game play surprised me from the start when Jeff said there was a tool kit in the water and only one tribe went for it. I don’t get Malcolm saying that there was no point because Ozzy went for it. Are you already conceding that he is a stronger player? Shouldn’t you want to prove otherwise, especially with a major reward at stake? I think they just made a mistake and tried to cover it up with that statement.
I’m not surprised that Ciera went first last night. She’s not someone you look as being vital to winning challenges and she was the first to start openly talking strategy. I like her and would be more disappointed if there weren’t so many other favorites still in the game. I was surprised by the second boot. Your team is losing challenges and you vote off a strong challenge player and keep a weaker player who has already won twice? I know some strategy is to keep her assuming no one will award her a third win, but everyone loves her. I would not want to sit next to her in front of the jury. Now you have made your team weaker and kept a bigger threat than Tony in the game. I don’t get it. I also don’t get having Varner out in the water and Micheala on shore and then not even letting her help at the end. I know they don’t know much about her, but I see no reason to keep her on the sidelines. I don’t have much of a feel of the other tribe yet, so I have no comments on that end.
Tai and JT and the chickens. I side with JT on that one. You aren’t there to marry the chickens. You are there to win the game.
Rooting for – Malcolm, Ozzy, Michaela
Rooting against – Sandra, Cirie, Tai
The Ozzy and Cirie thing because I like Ozzy and it seems like it will be one or the other gone first.