Survivor 32 Episode 14 “Not Going Down Without A Fight”

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Well, that was strange.

Going into the final three, I was convinced that neither Michele nor Tai had a chance.  Even with Michele winning the power to remove a jury member (and choosing one of Aubry’s strongest allies, Neal), it didn’t seem like it would make much of a difference.

(That said, Neal totally changed my opinion of him when he verbally attacked Michele while leaving tribal council.  Way to be a bitter jerk, ice cream man.)

When the jurors asked their questions and gave their little speeches, they pretty much ignored Michele.  Nick took the time to lecture the final tree and essentially came across like a condescending idiot.  (I can’t believe I ever thought he was hot!)  Scot and Jason both spent most of their time attacking Tai.  The only questions directed at Michele were vaguely dismissive.  Listening to the jury, it was obvious that they all knew that Aubry was the strategic player and that they were all angry towards Tai.

And it seemed so obvious that Aubry would win.  I assumed that Michele would get Julia’s vote and I thought she might have a chance to capture Nick’s vote.  Otherwise, everyone was going to vote for Aubry.  The vote would be 5-2 and Aubrey would win.

And I was okay with that.  Admittedly, I have not been a big Aubry fan.  I found her to be whiny and I got sick of listening to her brag about how she was playing with “logic” when almost all of her votes seemed to be based on emotion.  She spent too much time complaining about not being popular and her vendetta against both Julia and Michele felt petty.  Aubry’s game seemed to largely be about getting revenge against the pretty girls that she resented when she was in high school.  But, even with all that taken into account, Aubry still played a good game.  She was a good strategist, she was a good competitor, and she was responsible for almost every blindside that happened over the course of the season.

Aubry was the obvious winner, right?

Wrong.

Michele won and, despite the fact that she was the member of the final three to whom I most related and that I wanted her to win, I was still shocked.  Michele not only won but she won in a blow-out.  Michele received 5 votes.  Aubry received only two — one from Joe and one from Debbie.  Even if Neal hadn’t been removed from the jury, it wouldn’t have made a difference.  Not even Cydney, who was often Aubry’s closest friend on the beach, voted for Aubry to win.

(I’m guessing that Cydney was angry that, in the end, Aubry decided to keep Tai and to try to get rid of her.  If Cydney had made it to the final three, I would have wanted her to win.  Hopefully, Cydney will return for another season.)

How did this happen?  Well, I think some of it was because, as Michele herself admitted, no one expected her to make it to the end.  She exceeded everyone’s expectations and it’s totally possible that everyone on the jury assumed that she must have played a better game than she actually did.  As Jeff put it, everyone loves an underdog.

But ultimately, I think it comes down to this being a bitter jury.  Out of the three final survivors, Michele was the most likable.  Tai had betrayed almost everyone on the jury.  Aubry often struggled to relate to people on a social level and, when she answered the jury’s questions, she came across as rather cold.  If Aubry had emphasized her own journey, going from crying during the first night on the beach to totally controlling the game, she might have done better.  Instead, she emphasized the “logic” of her game.  By refusing to make her final appeal a personal one, Aubry made a good case but not an exciting one.

Michele, meanwhile, had the type of personal connection with the jury that both Aubry and Tai lacked.  Michele may not have played the strongest game but she was probably the only one of the final three that the members of the jury would actually want to hang out with outside of the game.

In other words, never doubt the importance of a social game.  You may be a great strategist or a compelling competitor but if people don’t like you, why should they give you a million dollars?

Personally, I was hoping we’d get a little bit more insight into what the jury was thinking at the reunion show.  However, Australian singer Sia decided to crash the show so that she could give some money to Tai and a charity of Tai’s choice.  And Sia being Sia, she proceeded to go on and on and on and on.  As a result, we didn’t really have any time left to get insight into the jury.  So thank you, Sia, for making the the finale of Survivor all about you.

And consider this: Michele won the game and got a big cash prize.  Tai came in third and got absolutely no votes but still got money.  Meanwhile, Aubry got two votes, came in second, and got absolutely nothing.

(For that matter, neither did Cydney.  I mean, if we’re just going to give money to the Survivors for the hell of it, it seems like a rich celebrity could step up and help out Cydney and her mother.)

Well, that concludes this season of Survivor!  It was a pretty good one and don’t worry, Aubry fans!  I’m sure she’ll be back for an All-Stars season.  (For that matter, so will Tai.)  Apparently, the next season of Survivor will be Millennials vs Gen X.  I’m a millennial but I hate my generation so I’m torn about who I should support.

I will be back for both the next season of Survivor and the Amazing Race!  And, of course, starting in June, I will be covering Big Brother over at the Big Brother Blog!  Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Love you all!

Lisa Marie

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The Amazing Race 28 Episode 12 “The Only First That Matters”

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Well, another season of The Amazing Race has come to a close!  The three remaining teams flew from China to Los Angeles, they competed in their final roadblock, their final detour, and they collected all of their final clues.  And, at the end of it, they raced to the final pit stop and the winner was…

DANA AND MATT!

If you had told me a month ago that Dana and Matt would win while neither Burnie and Ashley nor Brodie and Kurt would make it to the finale, I would have thought you were crazy.  But that’s exactly what happened and really, that’s why we love The Amazing Race, isn’t it?  It’s not always easy to predict what’s going to happen from leg to leg and all the strategizing in the world won’t do you any good if you’re unlucky enough to get a clueless taxi driver.

Not only did Dana and Matt win the final leg, but they won it fairly easily.  Sure, there was that moment when they couldn’t get a cab.  And the show’s editors made sure that we got a lot of clips of various racers saying, “This is going to be a close finish.”  But, in the end, it was pretty obvious that Dana and Matt made it to the pit stop long before Sheri and Cole.  After a season of close finishes, the final leg of the race was really no contest.

And really, it all came down to that first roadblock.  Dana managed to grab the clue on her first try.  It took Sheri two tries.  And finally, it took Tyler three attempts.  From that moment on, Dana and Matt pretty much had an insurmountable lead.

Judging from what I’ve seen online, Dana and Matt are not the most popular winners in the history of The Amazing Race.  Yes, they did fight a lot.  And yes, Dana did have that terrible moment when she appeared to basically give up on the race.  But, during the final leg of the race, they actually worked very well together.  And, when it mattered, they won.

Personally, I would have loved to have seen Sheri and Cole win.  That would have been a great come-from-behind victory.  But still, they should be very proud of how they did.  Nobody expected them to even reach the final leg of the race, let alone come in second!  Both Sheri and Cole faced and conquered their fears during the race and good for them.  Hopefully, they’ll be back for an all-star season at some point in the future.

As for Tyler and Korey — well, they came in a distant third.  In fact, it’s interesting just how much of a nonfactor they turned out to be in the final leg of the race.  They fell behind early and they never managed to catch up.  Tyler and Korey have a lot of fans and, as an advocate for LGBT teens, Tyler has done a lot of good work outside of the Race.  But, I have to admit that I never cared much for how they ran the race.  They were a strong team but they were often insufferably cocky.  When they were in first place, they bragged and when they weren’t in first, they whined about the other teams not helping them out.   They consistently tried to trick the other teams and then got upset when the other teams attempted to do the same thing to them.  As well, it’s hard for me to respect any team that uses the U-turn when they’re already in first place.

So, with all due respect to the good work that Tyler has done and the good work that he will hopefully continue to do in the future, I have no problem at all with him and Korey coming in third.

And that completes the 28th season of The Amazing Race!  The Survivor finale is next Wednesday!

And then, ready or not, it’ll almost be time for a new season of Big Brother!

Stay supple,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 32 Episode 13 “With Me Or Not With Me”

Well, so much for old Joe.

As we all saw at the end of tonight’s episode of Survivor, Joe was pulled from the game by medical.  I can’t say that I was particularly surprised.  About the only thing memorable about Joe was how terrible he started to look after the merge.  He lost far too much weight.  He started moving way too slowly.  Often times, he appeared to be on the verge of collapsing and his continually blank expression went from being comical to horrific.  Fortunately, for his game, he latched onto Debbie and then Aubrey and pretty much allowed them to do the thinking for him.

For weeks, Survivor has been hinting that Joe’s time was limited.  So, no, I was not shocked to see him evacuated from the game.

Still, it is sad that — as soon as Joe started to show some strength and actually managed to win the reward challenge — Joe ended up having to leave.  In fact, it’s pretty obvious that if Joe hadn’t pulled off that amazing victory, he probably wouldn’t have gotten ill.  I always cringe a bit whenever, after weeks of starvation, a group of survivors go on a reward that involves eating an elaborate feast.  “Cookies!”  Jeff Probst will announce, “Ice cream!  Beer!  Cheeseburgers!”  And the whole time Probst is listing all those foods, I’m thinking to myself, “No, their systems are not strong enough to handle suddenly having a gigantic meal after going for weeks with nothing.”  As soon as I saw Joe eating all of that beef, I knew it would come back to haunt him.

So did Cydney.  Some people on twitter are criticizing Cydney for not warning Joe to cut down on the beef.  Personally, I don’t think Cydney was under any obligation to tell Joe anything.  It amazes me that people can criticize Cydney for not saying anything while totally overlooking the fact that self-described “brilliant person” Aubrey was there as well.  Why give Aubrey a pass for not saying anything?  Why not hold her up to the same standard?

(That’s one thing that I’ve found very interesting about some Survivor fans this season: anything Aubrey does will be praised while anyone else doing the exact same thing will be criticized.)

Anyway, that huge meal did come back to haunt Joe and he was eventually medically evacuated.  Judging from the reactions as he left, it appears that Joe had a lot of good moments that the audience did not see.  Cydney even described Joe as being her surrogate “grandfather.”

Before Joe left, there was the normal amount of scheming going on.  That said, if they had gone to Tribal, I doubt any of that scheming would have amounted to anything.  Michele was clearly on the bottom of the alliance and she probably would have been voted out.  She deserves credit for trying to strike up an alliance with Tai but, just from watching how they greeted each other and talked after Aubrey returned from the reward, it’s obvious that Tai and Aubrey have a very strong bond.  Tai may have been upset that Aubrey didn’t tell him that they were going to vote out Jason but it’s doubtful that he would have ever actually betrayed her.  Cydney may have wanted to vote out Tai but Tai would have played his idol (if they had gone to Tribal, it would have been Tai’s last chance to do so) and Michele still would have ended up going home.

What I did find interesting was that, up until Joe was evacuated, Michele’s plan was to blindside Cydney.  Does no one realize that there’s no way that anyone can beat Aubrey in a final two situation?

And yes, I do think it will be a final two as opposed to a final three.  Next week’s finale is two hours long and there’s only four castaways left.  Traditionally, two people are voted out during the finale.  Next week, I’m sure we will see a final two and that’s okay with me.  To me, it always silly to have a final three when the third finalist usually gets zero votes and absolutely no attention from the jury.

I think all four of the finalists have a legitimate claim to the title of final survivor.  They’ve all played good games and I think they’re all capable of making an articulate case to the jury.  I still think that Aubrey would be unbeatable in a final two, though Tai might be able to keep it close.  If Michele and Cydney want to win, they better get rid of Aubrey and Tai.

We’ll see what happens!  Personally, I’m predicting an Aubrey and Michele final two with Aubrey winning the final jury vote.  I’m still working on my guess as to how many times Aubrey will specifically mention not being popular in high school during her final plea to the jury.

Until then,

Lisa Marie

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The Amazing Race 28 Episode 11 “That’s Money, Honey”

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Well, Hell…

I was really hoping that my previous prediction would come true and that Tyler and Korey would somehow run into trouble during the next-to-last leg of the race and end up coming in last.  After the past few episodes, I am totally over Tyler’s constant laughing and Korey’s constant whining.  Add to that, it’s hard for me to root for any team that resorts to using the U-turn, especially when they’re in first place.

Well, it turns out that Tyler and Korey were not eliminated at the end of last Friday’s episode.  Instead, they came in first and guaranteed themselves a spot in the final three.

However, the same cannot be said about Burnie and Ashley.  After being the most consistently strong team in the race and establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with (and I expected them to win it all so that shows how much I know), Burnie and Ashley had one bag leg and it cost them.  They came in fourth and were eliminated from the race.

And, to be honest, it’s difficult for me to really feel anything about Burnie and Ashley’s elimination.  They were a strong team.  They were front runners.  They worked well together. But seriously, they were BOTH SOOOOO BORING!  After watching them for 11 episodes, I still have no idea who Burnie and Ashley were.  They were Team Bland and Bland will not be racing during the final leg of the race.

Instead, here’s your final three:

First to the pit stop, Tyler and Korey.  Bleh.

Second to the pit stop, Dana and Matt.  Blah.

Third to the pit stop, Sheri and Cole.  Yay!

Out of those three teams, who do you root for?  Sheri and Cole, obviously.  Sheri and Cole are literally the only likable people left in the race.  They’re underdogs and they’ve never managed to come in first.  But here’s hoping that they pull off the upset of all upsets next Friday!

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day!  My mom always enjoyed Survivor and The Amazing Race, though I think a lot of that was because she knew that I enjoyed them.  She didn’t care much for Big Brother, though.  “Those people,” she would say, “all they do is talk, talk, talk.”

Survivor 32 Episode 12 “Now Is The Time To Start Scheming”

Jason

Finally, it has happened!

Since this season started, Jason has been my least favorite guy on the beach.  Even the few attempts that the show made to humanize him — like when he talked about his children — tended to backfire and only make me dislike me more.  I would find myself thinking, “If you really want to help your kids, how about not acting like a totally misogynistic jackass on national television!?”  Jason has been rude, crude, and just amazingly annoying.  Whether he was talking down to the other castaways, bullying the members of his own tribe, bragging about his superiority, or proudly announcing his laziness, Jason always found new ways to be unlikable.

And, up until the end of the tonight’s episode, I was really worried that Jason was going to make it to the end.  Strategically, it would make sense to take someone like Jason to the end because, seriously, who couldn’t beat Jason?  With the exception of Scot and maybe Julia, who does Jason have on the jury?  Strategically, it would be a lot smarter to get rid of genuine threat, like Aubrey or Tai.  I was sure that Jason would be carried to the end.

But that didn’t happen.  Jason was finally voted out tonight.  There are now five castaways left and I can’t wait to see them start turning on each other.  All of the five left have their good traits but, at the same time, they’re all jerks as well.  After spending most of this season as everyone’s favorite player, Tai allowed his power to go to his head and we saw a really ugly side of him tonight.  Aubry has played a good game but, for all of her bragging about logic, it’s still hard not to feel that most of her decisions in the game are based on bitterness that she’s been carrying around since high school.  (There’s a reason why, for the most part, Aubry has been obsessed with getting the former members of the Beauty Tribe out of the game.)  Joe is a waste of space.  As I watched him in the reward challenge tonight, I found myself wondering if anyone would notice if he drowned.  As of right now, I’m hoping that the final two (and I do believe it will be a final two) will be made up of Cydney and Michele.  They deserve it and neither one of them annoys me.

What’s funny is that, up until the votes were read, I really thought that either Tai or Michele would go home.  It appeared as if everyone had forgotten about Jason.  That certainly seems to be what Jason was assuming, considering how laid back he was at Tribal.

If Tai had his way, it would have been Michele going to jury.  He told everyone in his alliance to vote for Michele.  Actually, he didn’t just tell them.  He ordered them and, as opposed to trying to make a case for voting her out, he just seemed to assume that everyone would automatically go along with him.  Tai even wasted his extra vote on Michele.  He assumed that he would at least get Aubry to vote with him, which would have led to a 3-3 tie between Jason and Michele.

But no.  Aubry did not join with him and neither did Cydney.  Jason voted for old man Joe.  Tai cast two votes for Michele.  Everyone else voted for Jason and, finally, the bounty hunter was sent to jury….

So, what’s the situation now?  Well, Tai has managed to upset a lot of people and he wasted one of his advantages.  Aubry did not vote with him, which will definitely alter their previously close alliance.  Michele survived and, judging from the previews, it looks like she might finally come after Aubry next week.

And what about Joe?  Rumor has it that one more castaway is going to be removed by the medical team before the end of the season.  Over the past few episodes, whenever we’ve seen Joe, he’s been struggling to catch his breath.  He looks terrible and I honestly was surprised that he didn’t drown tonight.  If someone is going to be removed by medical, it’ll be Joe and it’ll probably happen next week.

But for now, the important thing is that Jason is gone and we can all be happy about that.

Speaking of happy…

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 28 Episode 10 “Monkey Dance!”

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Hi everyone!

Well, I finally got to watch the latest episode of the Amazing Race and all I can say is that I must be psychic.  Last week, I predicted that Brodie and Kurt would be eliminated at the end of the next leg and I was right!  I also predicted that, to everyone’s shock, Tyler and Korey will be the next to be eliminated.  We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Anyway, there really weren’t any surprises during this latest leg of the race.  Brodie and Kurt were pretty much doomed from the start and, though they never gave up, they still seemed to realize that things weren’t looking good for them.  Both Brodie and Kurt dealt well with the apparent inevitably of their elimination.  They went out with class and good for them.

Speaking of class, that’s exactly what Tyler and Korey failed to show when they U-turned Brodie and Kurt.  U-turning another team when you’re that far in front has always been a bitch move and it was still a bitch move when Tyler and Korey did it last week.  But, at the same time, it didn’t surprise me.  That’s the way that Tyler and Korey have run this entire race.

I was far more surprised by Burnie and Ashley, who decided to waste the 2nd U-turn, specifically so that Brodie and Kurt would not be able to U-turn any of the team’s behind them.  Burnie and Ashley have been a strong team but, personality-wise, they’ve been ciphers.  I don’t feel like I know either one of them.  But what they did with the U-turn was, to me, even more petty than what Tyler and Korey did.  If karma’s a boomerang, Burnie and Ashley might want to duck.

Anyway, with Brodie and Kurt eliminated last night, we are now down to four teams.

Coming in first, Tyler and Korey.  Over the past few episodes, Tyler and Korey have emerged as two of the most annoying racers in the history of the show.  Tyler laughs.  Korey whines.  It’s getting old.

Coming in second, Burnie and Ashley.  Strong racers with zero personality.  Burnie is one of the least charismatic men that I’ve ever seen in my life and Ashley — well, who knows?  Off the top of my head, I couldn’t even tell you what Ashley looks like.  That’s how invisible she’s been during this race.  Even if Team Boring wins, nobody will remember them after this season.

Coming in third, Sheri and Cole.  Literally the only likable people left in the race.

Coming in fourth, Dana and Matt.  Dana and Matt better get their act together because I’m counting on them to move up in the rankings so that Tyler and Korey can come in last and get eliminated.

For the record, I’m still predicting that Tyler and Korey will be eliminated during the next leg of the race.  They’re way too cocky and overconfident and neither one of them deals well with the unexpected.

Here’s hoping that Sheri and Cole pull out a win,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 32 Episode 11 “It’s a Me Game, Not a We Game”

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I don’t know about everyone else but I was actually really sorry to see Julia get voted out at the end of last night’s episode of Survivor.  I liked Julia, even though I think she did make some mistakes along the way.  She allied herself with the wrong people and she was a bit too trusting, taking people at their word when they said they were going to vote a certain way at Tribal.  Julia tried to make big moves but Survivor is a game where you sometimes have to know when to lay low.

But really, the main reason that Julia got voted out is because Aubry is currently in charge of the game and Aubry looked at Julia and saw someone who would probably be more popular than her in high school.  So, Aubry got everyone to vote Julia out and then, after Tribal Council, she probably went back to the camp and whined about how she didn’t have any friends when she was a teenager.

Especially when compared to the past few weeks, last night really wasn’t that surprising of an episode of Survivor.  Jason and Julia tried to convince Cydney and Michele to join them in voting out Tai.  Personally, I think it would have made more sense, strategically, to blindside Tai and take a huge threat out of the game.  But, at the same time, I can understand why neither Cydney nor Michele felt that this was the right time to betray their alliance.  After all, if Tai played his idol, that would leave him in the game and Cydney and Michele on the outs with the majority of the remaining players.

And I can also understand why they voted for Julia instead of Jason.  Jason may be obnoxious but, if he does get to the final two, he’ll probably only get two votes from the jury — Scot and Julia.  Julia, on the other hand, could have actually made a case for herself.

That said, I don’t think that there’s anyone left in the game who can beat Aubry at this point.  And if the remaining players don’t hurry up and figure that out, they’re basically going to be handing Aubry a million dollar check.  Instead of going after Tai, Jason and Julia should have asked everyone at camp if they honestly thought that any of them had a chance of beating Aubry.  But Jason and Julia were so angry over Tai’s betrayal that they let it blind them to the fact that Aubry is a far bigger threat.

And soon, Julia was voted out and the game continues.

Here’s a few other random thoughts about last night’s episode:

  • Jason is upset that he lost his idol but it was stupid of him to give it to Scot to begin with.
  • Speaking of idols, Aubry should have told Tai to go ahead and play his idol.  At the very least, it would have gotten the last idol out of the game.  As well, Tai asking her what to do should show everyone that Aubry is pretty much in charge of the game right now.  If the remaining players don’t blindside Aubry soon, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves when she wins the game.
  • I know Aubry has a lot of fans but I’m not one of them.  I think she’s playing a good game but personally, she reminds me of one of those ultra-judgmental girls who get offended if you wear a short skirt.
  • It was sweet of Tai to try to apologize to Jason but also unnecessary.  Tai did what was best for his game and that’s what Survivor is all about.  Add to that, I’m sure Jason just saw the apologize as a sign of weakness because Jason is a jackass.
  • Was anyone else worried that Joe was going to drop dead during last night’s episode?  He was not looking well.
  • Scot’s death glare was creepy, scary, and actually rather pathetic.  It’s Survivor.  Blindsides happen.  Get over it and enjoy the Ponderosa.
  • I’m glad that Mark survived!  I just worry that Jason’s going to do something to him while everyone else is asleep.

Until next time,

Lisa Marie