Survivor 40.8 “This Is Where The Battle Begins”

Well, the merge is here.

All three tribes are now one big tribe and, joining them last night, was Tyson.  The folks at Edge of Extinction finally got their chance to compete to reenter the game.  It was one of those competitions where you had to go through an obstacle course and then navigate a ball through a hole.  I like Amber but I knew that there was no way she was going to be a factor in this competition and she wasn’t.  I don’t like Natalie and I cringed when it looked like she was on the verge of winning but then Natalie dropped her ball and had to start all over again.

At first, I wanted Rob to win because he’s Boston Rob.  Then I wanted Yul to win, just because Yul is likable and he’s an underdog.  In the end, Tyson won and I guess that’s okay.  I’ve never really been as big a fan of Tyson as some people are.  Jeff Probst always insists that Tyson is one of the best players ever but I really don’t see it.  Still, Tyson was smart enough to lay low and not draw attention to himself after reentering the game.  That was a good move on his part.

So, here are the members of the new Koru Tribe:

Wendell

Tyson

Sophie

Jeremy

Ben

Michele

Adam

Sarah

Kim

Denise

Tony

Nick

During the traditional post-merge feast, Denise made the mistake of bragging about how she got rid of Sandra, which automatically put a target on her back.  Meanwhile, Jeremy and Wendell bonded and Jeremy came up with a plan to form an alliance of “big targets” — himself, Tyson, Ben, Tony — that would then target the smaller targets.  Meanwhile, Sophie got annoyed with Jeremy trying to control everything and started thinking about targeting him.

At the immunity challenge, the castaways had to hang onto a pole for as long as they could.  The last man and the last woman to still be hanging on the pole won immunity.  The challenge was won by Jeremy and Denise, which meant that the two biggest targets in the tribe were both safe at tribal council.

Jeremy wanted to vote out Nick but he soon discovered that the rest of the tribe had decided to vote out Wendell.  Though Jeremy tried to change their minds, he ultimately went along with the majority.  It did briefly appear that Wendell might be saved by the fact that no one trusts Adam but, in the end, Wendell was the one who was blindsided at tribal.  The final vote 9 votes for Wendell and 3 votes for Adam.  (Those 3 votes came from Wendell, Nick, and Michele.)  Wendell split his two fire tokens between Nick and Michele and then headed to the Edge of Extinction where he — and the other players — will wait for their chance to reenter the game.

I don’t know that Wendell being voted out is going to have a huge impact on the game but Adam is probably going to freak out over getting those three votes.  It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it next week.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 40.7 “We’re in the majors”

Congratulations, Yul.  You played yourself.

Last night’s episode of Survivor felt a bit disjointed.  Following around four tribes — Sele, Dakal, Yara, and the Edge of Extinction folks — means that there’s a lot to try to cram into just 45 minutes.  The first half of the show was dominated by the Edge of Extinction people looking for fire tokens and Sandra deciding to raise the flag and leave the show.  (Sandra is the first person to actually leave the game this season.)

“I’m still the queen,” Sandra said.  Yeah, Sandra.  The queen doesn’t quit.

As for last night’s Edge of Extinction fire token search, Tyson found one.  Rob found three.  Ethan’s looking really ill and I’m kind of worried about him.  The show is either setting him up for a big comeback or else he’s going to voluntarily leave next week.

Meanwhile, back in the main game, the Yara Tribe may be doing well in immunity challenges but they’re still the most consistently annoying tribe.  Ben, who really only won his season because the producers added that last minute fire-making twist, is acting like a jerk.  Adam is a whiny little brat.  Sophie and Sarah both think that they’re more clever than they are.  Bleh.  Let’s move on.

On the Dakal Tribe, Tony is trying to be everyone’s friend.  No one trusts Tony.  Sorry, Tony.

And on the Sele Tribe, it’s more Michele/Wendell relationship drama!  I will say right now that I cringe for everyone on that tribe.  If it’s awkward watching Michele/Wendell for a few minutes every week, I can only imagine what it must have been like to live with them.  The problem is that Wendell is overly emotional and takes everything personally while Michele is essentially the exact same way.  They’re like the couple who you invite to your party because you feel obligated but you dread the idea of them actually showing up.

The Sele Tribe again went to tribal council and there was never really any doubt that Yul would be voted out.  He probably could have gotten everyone to vote out Wendell if he hadn’t revealed his own deeply manipulative streak with his plan to trick Wendell into giving Michele and Yul his fire tokens.  Seeing that side of Yul obviously freaked out Nick and Nick sided with Michele and Wendell in the vote.  By a vote of 3-1, Yul was sent to Edge of Extinction.

Next week — it’s the merge!  And I’m going to assume that someone will soon be returning from the Edge of Extinction.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

P.S. Is everyone taking care of themselves?  I hope so!  I look forward to watching many more seasons of Survivor with all of you!

Survivor 40.6 “Quick on the Draw”

Is everyone happy now?  I know I am.

Seriously, since this season started, we’ve all been wondering, “Why are they not targeting Sandra?”  Sandra does not help out around camp.  She does not compete in any of the challenges.  She spends all of her time bragging about how she’s going to betray everyone.  She’s already won the game twice.  Why was no one targeting her?

Well, last night, someone finally did target her.  Someone finally took out that Queen and the fact that it was the always underestimated Denise who did it made it all the more enjoyable.  When the Dakal Tribe went to tribal council, Sandra knew that Denise would be using an idol to protect herself.  When Sandra cast her vote for Denise, she even told the camera that it was just for show and that she knew Denise would be safe.

Denise proceeded to play an idol for herself.  And then she played another idol for Jeremy.  How was she able to play not one but two idols?  Denise bought an idol from Sandra.  She paid Sandra two fire tokens for it and allowed Sandra to believe that she would be casting her vote for either Tony or Jeremy.  In fact, during Tribal, Tony buried his head in his hands, convinced that Denise had probably voted for him and that he was about to get exiled as a result.  Instead, Denise voted for Sandra and a very shocked-looking Sandra headed off to Exile.  Sandra sent her two fire token to Yul before she left.

Seriously, I never expected that sort of ruthlessness from Denise.  But Denise can now claim to have taken out a “big threat.”  That’ll be good for her game if she makes it to the final three.  It’ll be bad for her game if any of Sandra’s former allies at the Edge of Extinction makes it back into the competition.

Last night, we got two tribal councils.  The other tribe to go to Tribal was the Sele Tribe.  On that tribe, there was never much doubt that the men — Wendell, Nick, and Yul — would stick together and vote out Parvati.  Parvati did try to convince the men that Wendell couldn’t be trusted but it didn’t work.  By a vote of 3-2, Parvati was sent to Edge of Extinction.

The most interesting thing about the Sele Tribe was seeing just how much Michele and Wendell hate each other.  They used to date and obviously, they had a very bad breakup.  I’m expecting we’ll see a lot more pettiness next episode.

And that’s it for now!  Sandra and Parvati are out of the game.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 40.5 “The Buddy System on Steroids”

Hey y’all!

I’m back!  After my two-week vacation (and thank you, Erin, for filling in! — didn’t she do a wonderful job?), I have returned to discover that all of my favorites keep getting voted out of Survivor.  First Ethan.  Then …. well, I’m not really a huge Tyson fan but still, he could be entertaining.  And now, Boston Rob.

To be honest, I kind of knew Rob was going to be voted out last night.  From the start of the episode, there were way too many scenes of Rob talking about how he was in control of the game for him to be safe.  Whenever you start getting the “cocky edit,” your days on the beach are numbered.  It’s interesting.  Rob has played this game several times.  Once, he came in second.  The other time, he won.  Every other time, he’s been blindsided.  It’s never taken an immunity idol or any other twist to get rid of Rob.  Instead, he just gets too cocky and people end up taking advantage of it.

At least Rob gets to join Amber in exile now.  I’ll be interesting to see how the two of them being together changes the group dynamic over there.

The other big news from last night’s episode is that we now have three tribes instead of two.  New buffs were drawn and new tribes were created.  Here’s how it all breaks down right now:

Yara:

Boston Rob — Voted out last night

Sophie — Has half of an immunity idol

Sarah — Has a steal a vote advantage and half of an immunity idol

Ben

Adam

Dakal:

Jeremy

Sandra

Kim

Denise

Tony

Sele:

Nick

Parvati

Yul

Wendell

Michele

Michele is now on a tribe with her ex-boyfriend, Wendell.  We had to hear a lot about that last night and I’m sure we’ll hear even more about it as the game progresses and it’s going to probably get kind of annoying, truth be told.  Along with the Michele-Wendell relationship drama, we got to watch as everyone on the Sele Tribe tried to get on Parvati’s good side.  Nick announced that he had a crush on Parvati which was maybe one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen on Survivor.

Meanwhile, on the Dakal Tribe, Kim is thinking about changing sides and working with Denise and Jeremy to take out Sandra and Tony.

This week, only one tribe went to tribal council.  Next week, two tribes will go and we’ll have two more people joining the Rob and the gang in exile.

We’ll see what happens!

I’m happy to be back.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 40.4 “I Like Revenge”

Have you ever felt like everyone was out to get you?

Well, remember:

Tyson should have been paranoid last night because everyone on the Dakal Tribe wanted to vote him out when they went to tribal council.  Tyson was the biggest threat on the tribe and everyone thought that he would hook up with his friends on the other tribe after the merge.  Everyone was after Tyson but Tyson was too arrogant to realize it and he thought that everyone was going to vote Nick just because he told them to.

By a vote of 7-1-1, welcome to blindside city, Tyson.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Tribal council was boring but the Immunity challenge and Edge of Extinction were both interesting last night.  At Edge of Extinction, each exile had to carry 20 logs across the island in order to earn a fire token.  The catch was that they could only do it one log at a time, they had to go up and down a mountain, and they had to get it all done by sunset.  Ethan nearly fainted and I almost had a panic attack watching him.  Medical had to be called to make sure that Ethan was okay but he was finally able to get up and keep going.  Go, Ethan, go!

Ethan getting up was the first time that I cheered last night.  The second time was when the Sele Tribe managed to come from behind and win the immunity challenge!  It looked like they were going to be heading to Tribal Council for the third straight time but then Adam and Rob stepped up and they came back and finally won!

Next week, there’s a tribal shakeup and Michele ends up on a tribe with her ex-boyfriend, Nick!  Thanks for reading, everyone.  Lisa will be back next Wednesday and will be covering the rest of the season.

Survivor 40.3 “Out For Blood”

Hey, everyone.  Erin here.  Lisa’s on vacation so I’ll be covering Survivor this week and next.

So far, Survivor 40 is on fire this season but it also looks like it’s going to be breaking our heart every week.

Last night, after the Sele Tribe lost immunity to the Dakal Tribe, I thought Adam was going to get voted out.  He came up with a plan to blindside Parvati at tribal council but then he told everyone about it, including Parvati’s closest allies, Rob and Ethan.  It’s not a blindside if you tell everyone, Adam!  Adam obviously never watched The Wire because, if he had, he would know that “if you come at the king, you best not miss.”  Rob, Parvti, and Ethan told everyone that Adam had betrayed them and that they should vote out Adam.  Instead, the rest of the tribe had a different plan.

Everyone loves Ethan so, of course, last night he got voted out.  He was blindsided and he wasn’t the only one.  Boston Rob, Parvati, and Adam were all left out of the vote as Ben, Denise, Jeremy, and Michele banded together to vote out Ethan because they thought it would “weaken” Boston Rob.  Why not just just vote out Boston Rob?  I don’t get it.

The good thing is that Ethan will be probably do better at the Edge of Extinction than either Danni or Amber.  Right now, Natalie is dominating all of the Edge of Extinction challenges and she’s collecting fire tokens.  Ethan might be the only person smart enough to prevent Natalie from becoming the richest exile in Survivor.

On Dakal, Sarah’s now has an advantage that will let her steal someone’s vote.  (It was sent to her from Natalie) and Tyson wants to target Sandra.  If Dakal ever actually goes to tribal council again, I guess that will matter.

That’s it for now.  Next week’s episode is called “I Like Revenge” and I’ll be back to cover it and then Lisa will be back the week after that!

Poor Ethan

 

 

Survivor 40.2 “It’s Like A Survivor Economy”

There are a lot of things that go wrong when you’re playing a game like Survivor.

Your allies can betray you and you can end up getting blindsided in the tribal vote.  Or your allies can stay loyal but the original target can play an immunity idol and you can end up getting voted out with only two votes cast against you.  You can get some homesick or so frustrated with the game that you end up voluntarily taking yourself out of the game.  (And Jeff Probst will never let you live that down.)  Or you can end up getting sick or injuring yourself and be forcibly removed from the game by the medical team.

That said, the biggest threat in Survivor is paranoia.  So many good players have fallen apart as a result of allowing their paranoia to get the better of them.  They start out in a strong position but then they notice that they’ve been left out of a conversation or that they weren’t given a say in how the vote was going to go and, as a result, they decide that their allies are turning on them.  This often leads to the paranoid player trying to stab their alliance in the back and, more often than not, it totally backfires.

That’s what happened to Danni last night.  Danni started the episode out in a great position but, after Sele lost the immunity challenge, she became paranoid that her alliance — the Old School alliance led by Rob, Parvatti, and Ethan — was plotting against her.  Even worse, she let Ethan know that she was feeling paranoid and she also let him know while Ben — who didn’t even know an alliance existed — was standing right there.  So now, Ben knows all about the alliances and Rob and Parvatii know that they can’t trust Danni.

Danni made thing worse by trying to convince everyone to vote out Parvati.  Ben, Adam, Jeremy, and Michele considered voting for Parvati but, at tribal, everyone ended up voting for Danni.  (Except, of course, for Danni who voted for Parvati.)  I was a little surprised that the so-called new school players didn’t  give a little bit more thought to taking this opportunity to take out a strong player like Parvati.  Danni obviously proved herself to be an unreliable ally so I can understand not wanting to go to the merge with her but, at the same time, Parvati is a much bigger threat.  Maybe they didn’t want to risk the wrath of Rob.

The tribal council itself was kind of fun, largely because Ben doesn’t know when to shut up.  He spent so much time talking about paranoia that it briefly looked like Rob might spontaneously change the vote to get rid of him.  (Rob has said that he considers Ben to be a big threat.)  At one point, everyone emptied their bags to reveal that none of them had an immunity idol.  Of course, Denise and Adam have two halves an immunity idol but they managed to hide them right before letting everyone see into their bags.

On the Dakal Tribe, Kim also found a two-part immunity idol and a note telling her that she had to give the second half to another member of the tribe.  For some reason, she gave it to Sophie who immediately started gloating about what a huge mistake Kim was making in trusting her.  I don’t really care much for Sophie.  She wasn’t a particularly impressive winner during her first season of Survivor and, this season, she’s going a bit overboard trying to present herself as being some sort of master manipulator, as opposed to just someone who won because the jury was ticked off at the other two players in the final three.

Meanwhile, at the Edge of Extinction, Amber is stuck with Natalie.  Natalie found an advantage, which she sent to Jeremy.  The advantage allows Jeremy to leave tribal council right before the votes are cast.  As a result, he can’t vote but he also can’t be voted out.  Jeremy had to give up his fire token to get the advantage.  Apparently, and I missed his last week, that fire token goes to Natalie so Natalie now has two fire tokens.

And that’s it for now!  My vacation starts this weekend so Erin will be covering for the show for the next two weeks and then I’ll be back with you on March 11th!

Lisa Marie