Monthly Archives: May 2017

Survivor 34 Episode 12 “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Well, as far as Survivor goes, that’s a wrap!

The season ended tonight and, in the post below, I’m going to be revealing who was in the final three and who won.  It should go without saying that, if you haven’t watched the finale yet, this post is a huge spoiler so don’t read any further unless you’re okay with finding out who won.

As you may remember, I predicted that our final three would be Aubry, Tai, and Troyzan.  I thought there was no way that Brad would be able to win enough immunity challenges to avoid being voted out.  I was sure Cirie would be targeted and voted out.  I thought there was no way that anyone would be stupid enough to take Sarah to the end.  I figured that Troyzan, being the most likable of my projected final three, would win by default.

Well, I was right that Troyzan would make it to the final three but otherwise, I was totally wrong.  Brad won all three of tonight’s immunity challenges, guaranteeing himself a place in the final three.

At the first tribal on the night, Tai used one immunity idol on himself and the other on Aubry.  Sarah revealed that she had a legacy advantage, which meant she had immunity.  Troyzan played his idol.  Culpepper already had immunity from winning the challenge.  That meant that Cirie was the only person who didn’t have immunity and, as a result, she was voted out of the tribe despite the fact that no one had voted her.

The vote, by the way, was three for Sarah, two for Tai, and one for Aubry.  If Tai had not used his other idol on Aubry, she would have been voted out by one vote. Instead, Ciririe was voted out despite getting no votes.

(Incidentally, that seems amazingly unfair and I imagine the rules will change in the future.)

That was pretty much the most exciting part of the finale.  The rest, other than Culpepper’s challenge streak, was predictable.  Aubry was voted out at the next tribal.  After that, Tai was voted out because Culpepper wanted revenge for all the times that he felt Tai had betrayed him.

(Culpepper appeared to be obsessed with not only voting out Tai but humiliating him as well.  It was not pleasant to listen to.)

The final tribal council was different for what I’m used to and I’m not sure I cared much for the new format.  Now, instead of the jurors asking questions, the jurors discussed who had best lived up to the Survivor motto of “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.”  The final three get to take part in the discussion and each got to make a final statement.  It felt a little silly, to be honest but then again, the juror questions were rarely that interesting either.

Anyway, the jurors agreed that Brad had played a good physical game but that Sarah played an all-around better social and strategic game.  I thought that Troyzan might win some votes based on his being more likable than either Brad or Sarah but it didn’t happen that way.  (Troyzan, it must be said, figured out early that he wasn’t going to get any votes and he handled it far better than most third place finishers.)  Sarah won by a 7-3 vote.

During the reunion, it was revealed that, if Brad had brought Tai into the final three, he would have actually won.  The jury would have voted 5-5, at which point Troyzan — having the least number of votes — would have become a juror and he would have cast his vote for Brad.

As for the rest of the reunion, it was okay.  Sarah is not exactly the most likable person to ever win Survivor so it was hard to get too excited over her victory.  I do prefer her winning over Brad, if just because Brad had a tendency to be a bully and that really got on my nerves.  Jeff Probst perhaps realized this because he spent most of the reunion talking to Cirie and Zeke.  He also talked to Jeff Varner, who came across as being just as smarmy as ever.

And so, another season of Survivor comes to a close!  What did everyone think of the finale?  Who would you have preferred to have won?

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 29.9 “I Thought We Were Playing It Nice” and 29.10 “Riding A Bike Is Like Riding A Bike”

Hi, everyone!

So, last night, we had two episode of the Amazing Race.  The first one ended with the revelation that it was a non-elimination leg, which was really good news for Tara and Joey.  The second episode ended with heartbreak as Team Fun — no, not Team Fun! — was eliminated after Floyd basically collapsed in Vietnam.

At first I didn’t like Team Fun but they won me over and I’m really sorry to see them go.  It’s especially upsetting because Floyd spent the final leg of the race helping out all of the other teams.  He and Matt worked together at the roadblock and then Floyd helped out London.  Both times that Floyd helped, he ended up setting himself further behind.  So, Team Fun is gone but fortunately, the Amazing Race has been renewed for at least a few more seasons.  So, who knows?  Maybe Team Fun will get a second chance to run the race.

(Or, maybe like Jeff and Jackie from season 26, they’ll end up in the Big Brother House!  Who knows?)

Anyway, there are now only four team left!  There are also only two legs of the race left.  Almost all of the early front runners are gone, leaving only one consistently strong team in the race.  Here they are, in order of how they finished last night:

Coming in first, Matt and Redmond!  Unless something goes wrong during the next leg and they end up getting eliminated before the final leg of the race, Matt and Redmond have to be considered the front runners right now.  They’re a strong team.  They have a good attitude.  They work well together.  With Team Fun gone, I now fully support Matt and Redmond to win it all!

Coming in second, Brooke and Scott.  It’s terrifying to think that Brooke and Scott could possibly win this season.  Scott is okay but Brooke …. oh my God, Brooke.  What a whiny little crybaby!  If Brooke and Scott win, it’ll all be due to Scott.

Coming in third, Tara and Joey.  Tara and Joey seemed like they were the front runners for a long time but, last night, we finally got a chance to see how they race when they’re frustrated and I wasn’t particularly impressed.

Coming in fourth, London and Logan!  Who would have thought that London and Logan would make it this far?  I like them both, mostly because I’m an artist and London’s an artist.  That said, they’ve yet to have a really strong finish and they’re continued survival seems to largely be a case of good luck.  They could make still make it to the final three, of course.  It’s easy to imagine Brooke and Scott having a meltdown and allowing London and Logan to slip by them.

And finally, in fifth place, Team Fun!  Oh well.  At least they made a lot of friends.

We’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 11 “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”

I’ve just finished rewatching tonight’s episode of Survivor and I have to admit that I’m still a little bit confused as to why everything happened the way that it did.

There were two tribal councils tonight.  The first one, which led to Andrea being sent to the jury, was pretty straight forward.  Brad seemed like the obvious target but Cirie and Sarah decided to get rid of Andrea instead.  Obviously, they felt that Andrea was bigger threat and the only people who were really surprised by this turn of events was Andrea and Aubry.

(For all her talk about playing with logic and understanding that she needs to “build a resume” before she goes in front of the jury, no one ever really seems to care much about what Aubry wants.  Any time Aubry comes up with a plan, it seems pretty certain that everyone else is going to ignore it.)

The second tribal was where things got complicated.  Since Brad had won immunity and, since Troyzan is so skillful at flying under the radar that the tribe seems to have forgotten about him, the majority alliance turned on each other.  Cirie, Aubry, Sarah, and Michaela all seemed to be going after Tai, while Tai was thinking of going after Sarah.  Sarah gave Cirie her “steal a vote” advantage with the understanding that Cirie would not play it at tribal.  Cirie, however, then tried to do just that.  This led to perhaps the greatest moment of the season as Jeff revealed that, under the rules of the advantage, only Sarah could use it.

This led to everyone running around tribal and whispering to each other.  I would have loved to have known what everyone said because somehow, it led to Andrea “stealing” Tai’s vote and then voting, with Brad and Troyzan, to get rid of Michaela.  Michaela and Aubry voted for Tai while Cirie voted for Aubry.  Tai did not play his immunity idol, so he obviously knew what was going to happen.

I wish this episode hadn’t featured two tribal councils.  It led to the whole episode feeling rushed and, obviously, the viewers were not shown a lot of the strategizing that went on before that second tribal.

Oh well!

Next week is the finale and we have six players left.  They are:

Tai, who hasn’t played much of a game but who does have two idols, which means that he’s guaranteed to make it to the final four.

Troyzan, who has flown under the radar so successfully that it’s easy to forget that he’s there.  Considering that he still has the third idol and that there are still bigger threats in the game, he also has a very good chance of making it to at least the final four.

Sarah still has the legacy advantage, which she will have to use during the next challenge.  At this point, Sarah should be everyone’s target so she’s going to either need to win immunity or make some brilliant deals if she’s going to avoid being sent to the jury.

Up until tonight, Cirie was playing a perfect game.  The way she screwed up her attempt to use Sarah’s “steal a vote” advantage would seem to indicate that she’s slipping a little.  And now, she’s lost her strongest ally.  Cirie should have a big target on her back at this point.

Brad Culpepper is seen as being a stronger player than he actually is.  For the most part, he’s survived this long through a combination of being good at challenges and just having good luck.  But he’s not much of a strategist and his social game doesn’t appear to be that strong either.  If I was picking someone to sit next to me in the finale, I might very well pick Culpepper.

And finally, Aubry.  Aubry is another player who has a reputation for being strong than she actually is.  Aubry has, to her credit, been for less whiny this season than she was during her previous season but, for the most part, she’s gotten this far by flying under the radar.  The few times that she has tried to step up and play mastermind, it’s blown up in her face.

So, here’s my final three prediction:

Aubry

Tai

Troyzan

And Troyzan will shock everyone by winning, largely because he’s the only person to get through the entire season without annoying anyone on the jury.

We’ll see what happens next Wednesday!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 29.8 “Good Job, Donkey”

After watching last night’s episode of The Amazing Race, I have two thoughts:

First off, Team Fun has finally won me over.  I’ve spent most of this season annoyed with them and wondering what everyone else saw in them but, last night, they finally won me over.  Even though they got lost and then got u-turned, they remained positive.  They didn’t turn on each other.  They didn’t whine about it.  Team Fun may go overboard with the fun but they can work hard when they need to.  I was actually happy that they managed to avoid elimination.

Secondly, I am so over Team Michael and Liz.  For a while, I really liked them.  They appeared to be the front-runners and I was happy about it.  But, over the past few episodes, I have really gotten tired of having to listen to Michael whine about how he helps everyone but no one helps him.  It’s a race.  It was dumb to help those other people.  No one held a gun to Michael’s head and said, “Go offer encouragement to the other teams!  Do it now!”  Michael has many good qualities but there’s only so much whining that I can take.

That said, I do understand why he was upset over being u-turned.  If I was on the Amazing Race, I would like to think that I would never u-turn another team, unless it was absolutely necessary.  Brooke and Scott were in first place and Liz and Michael were at the very back of the pack.  (Add to that, Liz and Michael already had a speedbump coming up, which was going to slow them down regardless.)  There was really no need to u-turn anyone.

I’m also not sure why Tara and Joey decided to go after Team Fun.  It’s not like the racers are required to u-turn anyone.  Last night was the third double u-turn on this season and I hope it’s the last.

But anyway, Liz and Michael have now been eliminated.  Michael says that he views Liz as being his sister.  They both said they would keep in touch.  I bet neither hears from the other ever again.

Here’s how the teams did, in order of finish:

Coming in first, Tara and Joey!  Team Boring strikes again!  I think the secret of their success is that, since neither one of them appears to have a personality, there are no personality conflicts.  They’re like robots, specifically designed to team up and run the race.

Coming in second, Matt and Redmond!  The boys continue to run a good and positive race.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win it all.

Coming in third, Brooke and Scott!  Team Whiny is still in the race.  It’s funny that they’re doing well but they both always look absolutely miserable about having to spend any time together.

Coming in fourth, London and Logan!  London and Logan have somehow not been eliminated yet, despite always being in the back of the pack.  They’re a lucky team.  What if they somehow win?  Stranger things have happened.

Coming in firth, Becca and Floyd!  Team Fun finally won me over.  Actually, to be honest, Floyd won me over and Becca’s kind of along for the ride.

Coming in sixth, Michael and Liz!  Bye, guys.  You had some good moments but there’s only so much time anyone can spend listening to Michael complain.

There’s four legs of the race left and we’ve only got five teams.  That means that we’ve got one more non-elimination leg coming up.  Despite struggling last night, I think Team Fun will make it to the finale.  I also think that Brooke and Scott will be the next to be eliminated, followed by London and Logan.  It’s just a feeling I have.

So, here’s my prediction for the finale:

Coming in third, Becca and Floyd.

Coming in second, Tara and Joey.

Coming in first, Matt and Redmond.

We’ll see if I’m right!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 10 “It Is Not A High Without A Low”

Hi, everyone!

Sorry, I’m running a little late with this Survivor update.  I actually missed the first 15 minutes of the show tonight, because I was outside trying to stop a cat fight before it happened!  It gets even worse — I actually forgot to set the DVR to record the show!  I think that’s like the first time, in at least four years, that I’ve forgotten to set it.

Anyway, despite all of that drama, I am now officially caught up on what happened tonight.  So, here’s a few thoughts.

Tonight was the family reunion episode.  During the first few seasons of Survivor, the family reunion episodes always made me cry but, lately, I’ve gotten pretty cynical about them.  As a lot of you pointed out in the comments last week, the castaways always act as if they’ve been away from home for years or as if they’ve just been released from captivity.  In truth, it’s only been a few weeks.

Add to that, the Survivor producers always go a bit overboard trying to use the reunion episode to create drama.  Whenever Jeff says, “You can pick one person to go with you,” I cringe.  If I was ever on Survivor, I would probably specifically try to lose the loved ones challenge because it really isn’t worth the trouble that it always seems to lead to.

This season, the castaways competed in teams to see who would get to spend time with their loved ones.  The team of Culpepper, Aubry, and Andrea won.  Over on the losing team, Michaela kicked a box in frustration and was sharply reprimanded with her mother.  That’s one reason why I like Michaela.  She may not be the strongest player but she never holds back on how she’s feeling.  The winning team then decided to take Sarah and Cirie with them on their reward.  Tai, Troyzan, Sierra, and Michaela went back to camp alone.

Up until this point, I thought that the reward challenge might lead to some people flipping on their alliances.  Michaela certainly did seem upset when she was not selected to go on the reward.  Culpepper’s wife, Monica, even said that she thought Michaela might flip.

(A big deal was made about the fact that Monica had played the game before and would be advising Culpepper.  I’ve always thought that Monica was an overrated player and her advise to Brad was nothing that he shouldn’t have been able to come up with on his own.  It kinda reminded of how, on Big Brother, it’s always assumed that returning housesguests are somehow experts on how to play the game when, actually, they seem to be as clueless as everyone else.)

But, for all the talk of people flipping, no one did.  Despite Zeke being blindsided last week, Culpepper’s alliance is still in the minority.  When Culpepper won the immunity challenge, the target was taken off of him and redirected onto his closest ally, Sierra.  It wasn’t even a close vote.  Sierra got 6 votes while she, Culpepper, and Troyzan all voted for Andrea.  Sierra gave her legacy advantage to Sarah.

To be honest, I’m not really surprised.  It felt like Sierra’s time to go.  She was in the minority alliance and she’s been playing the game hard.  She was never really as strong a player as she thought she was but, still, she was dangerous enough that it makes total sense that no one would betray their alliance to keep her around.

Plus, now that Sierra’s gone, I won’t keep getting her mixed up with Andrea.  That’ll make it a lot easier to write these recaps!

All in all, this really wasn’t a very dramatic episode.  But next week looks good!

Til then,

Lisa Marie

 

The Amazing Race 29.7 “Have Fun and Get It Done”

Last night’s episode of The Amazing Race was a bit anti-climatic, just because it turned to be a non-elimination leg.  Even though Michael and Liz came in last, they were not eliminated.  Instead, they’ll just have to do a speed bump during the next leg of the race.

It’s interesting that, both times that Liz and Michael have come in last, it’s been a non-elimination leg.  Michael and Liz obviously have a lot of luck on their side and they need it because they’re always either great or terrible.  There’s no in-between when it comes to Liz and Michael.  For a while, I thought that Liz and Michael might make it to the finale.  After watching them over the past few legs, I’ve decided that they’ll probably finish in fourth place.  In many ways, they’re a strong team but they’re hardly perfect.  Liz occasionally get overwhelmed.  Whenever he gets frustrated, Michael turns into a stubborn jerk.  They’re strong enough to survive multiple legs but I don’t know if they’re strong enough to make it to the end.

As for the rest of last night’s episode, it was dominated by the beauty of Venice and some rather foolish melodrama over London and Logan not helping the other teams.  I always find it silly when teams get upset when another team doesn’t stick around to help them.  It’s a race.  You can’t win a race if you’re constantly stopping to help your competitors.  Michael’s constant whining — and there’s really no other way to describe it — about London and Logan not helping him made me lose some respect for him as a competitor.

That said, I’m always happy whenever the Amazing Race reaches Venice.  I spent the summer after high school graduation in Italy and I absolutely love Venice.  Last night’s episode brought back a lot of good memories.

Here’s how the teams did, in order of their finish:

Coming in first, Matt and Redmond!  They finally got their first place finish.  Perhaps it helped that they were no longer being distracted by their feud with Vanck and Ashton.

Coming in second, Becca and Floyd!  I’ve grown to actually like Floyd but Becca still drives me up the wall.  At least Becca has stopped talking about her fun meter.

Coming in third, Tara and Joey!  Team Boring is still running a strong race.

Coming in fourth, Brooke and Scott!  Brooke is still annoying and Scott is still trying to grin and bear it.  That everyone was shocked by Brooke’s success at the Roadblock shows you how little regard the rest of the teams have for Team Brooke and Scott.

Coming in fifth, London and Logan!  Everyone got so upset over London and Logan not helping anyone else find the first clue in Venice but I probably wouldn’t have helped either.  It’s a race and they’re getting way too close to the end to worry about anyone other than themselves.  Considering that London and Logan have always been at the back of the pack, I don’t blame them for looking out for themselves.

Coming in sixth, Liz and Michael!  It was a non-eliminated but they’ll have to do an extra task during the next leg. Also, the next leg will feature a double u-turn.  So, they’re success will largely depend on Michael not overreacting and getting frustrated.  Good luck with that.

As always, we’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 34 Episode 9 “Reinventing How This Game Is Played”

As some of you have probably already noticed, the above picture, of Zeke being voted off the island, is not from tonight’s episode.

Instead, it’s from the previous season.  During Millennials vs. Gen X, Zeke was eliminated on Day 33 and he was the 11th person to voted out of the game.  This season, Zeke was the 9th person voted out of the game and he left on Day 29.  Zeke competed in two back-to-back seasons and he was eliminated at roughly the same point during each one of them.  Both times, he was also eliminated for roughly the same reason.

During both of his seasons, Zeke emerged as a strong player and a genuine threat to win.  He was good at making alliances.  He was a good strategist.  He’s a good social player, though perhaps not as good as he thinks he is.  (During both seasons, his fellow castaways either loved Zeke or totally distrusted him.)  Twice, Zeke’s downfall has been his ego.  During both this season and the last, Zeke ended up getting cocky and, twice, this self-described master strategist was blind-sided.

To be honest, this was kind of a confusing episode.  For most of the episode, I suspected that Zeke was going to be voted out.  He was too strong of a player and even the majority of his alliance didn’t seem to really trust him.  I knew that if Zeke didn’t go tonight, he would probably go next week.  But, with all that in mind, it was still hard to keep track of what led to the votes coming down the way that they did.

The final tally was 5 votes for Zeke, 3 votes for Tai, and 2 votes for Sierra.  Andrea, who was really the mastermind of the whole plot to get rid of Zeke, did a very good job of keeping both Zeke and the other alliance from finding out about her plan.  As far as I can, it appears that Brad, Sierra, Troyzan, Tai, and Zeke all believed that 1) the target was Sierra and that 2) the plan was to split the vote between Sierra and Tai.  That’s the only way that I can explain those 3 votes for Tai.  Just imagine if all five of those non-Zeke votes had been cast for either Tai or Sierra.  It would have led to a tie.  The final vote was either the result of brilliant strategy or dumb luck.

(Hopefully, next week’s episode will fill us in on why Brad, Sierra, and Troyzan all voted for Tai.)

As for the rest of tonight’s episode, I enjoyed the reward challenge.  I liked the fact that Jeff Probst’s endless monologue actually contained the solution to the puzzle.  I know if I was on Survivor, I would probably tune out Jeff during any of the challenges but tonight’s episode showed why that would probably be a mistake.

I’ll admit that I yelled at the TV when Sarah told Cirie about her special advantage.  Sarah’s putting a lot of trust in Cirie and I’m not sure that’s a great idea.

Speaking of yelling, was anyone else briefly excited at the idea of Tai being the first player to get voted out with not just one but two immunity idols on him?  If that had happened, it would be a legendary moment in Survivor history.

Finally, I’m not sure that tonight was the right moment to vote out Zeke.  I would have gotten rid of all the members of Brad’s alliance before turning on one of my own allies.  Next week, I imagine that we’re going to see two new alliances form.  Cirie is in a position of power right now but so far, all of the power players have been getting blind-sided.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie