Monthly Archives: November 2021

Survivor 41.10 “Baby With A Machine Gun”

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, Survivor fans can give thanks that, last night, the castaways finally did something that made sense and they voted out Shan.  The self-declared “Mafia Pastor” was vote out largely because everyone realized that she had been involved in so many big moves and had been responsible for sending home so many people that she would be difficult to beat in a final two situation.  Add to that, she also still had her idol.  Trying to blindside Shan and take her idol out of play was simply good gameplay.  The move to blindside Shan was led by Ricard and DeShawn, who were previously two of her biggest allies.

(Of course, if Ricard hadn’t won immunity, he probably would have been the one voted out that night.  What’s interesting is that the whole reason RIcard fought so hard to win immunity was because Shan warned him.  So, Ricard won his immunity and then thanked her by leading the move to blindside her.)

Personally, I haven’t been a big fan of Shan since the game began.  Before the merge, she led her tribe to so many consecutive tribal councils that, by the time the merge happened, she and Ricard were the only two left.  She would brag to the camera about how ruthless she was but then get upset if anyone else called her out on it.  While she did find a lot of advantages and did use a few of them to get some people out of the game, she was also frequently tricked by the other players.  Who can forget Xander tricking both her and Liana with a fake immunity idol?  My main problem with Shan, to be honest, is that she often seems to hide behind the fact that she’s a pastor.  Ricard is frequently annoying but at least he admits to his villain status.

As for how tribal council went down, Shan and Liana thought that Erika was the target.  Everyone else split their votes between Liana and Shan.  (The votes for Liana were in case Shan played her idol).  This led to a 3-3 tie vote between Liana and Shan.  In the revote, in which everyone but Liana and Shan could vote, everyone voted for Shan.  By a vote of 6-0, Shan was sent off to the jury.  As she left, she called DeShawn “a snake” and announced that she would vote for RIcard if he made it to the final two.  That’s definitely going to put any even bigger target on Ricard’s back and I imagine that Shan realized that.

There will definitely be fallout over this  vote.  Liana is going to be furious.  Ricard is still going to be a target.  Xander still has his idol and, after spending so many tribals as a target, is now suddenly flying under the radar.  Personally, I’m starting to think that Danny might secretly be the biggest threat to win the game.  He’s likable and, unlike DeShawn, he hasn’t made any enemies.

We’ll see what happens.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.9 “Who’s Who In The Zoo”

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Hey, Survivor — give it a rest with the twists already!

Seriously, I would love to see an episode of Survivor this season that did not have some cutesy twist.  I would like to see just one episode that’s a straight-forward episode, with a reward challenge, an immunity challenge, and then a tribal council.  Is that too much to ask?  There’s an old saying about not fixing something that’s not broken.  Survivor was never broken so why are the producers trying to fix it?  Between the overly sentimental player profiles and the nonstop twists and Jeff Probst turning into an anemic Ryan Seacrest, this has been a difficult season for those of us who just wanted to enjoy some old school reality fun.

Last night’s twist was that, at the immunity challenge, the tribe broke into two different groups.  Both groups competed, two immunities were rewarded, and then there were two tribal councils.  Bleh.  This season feels like the producers made a bet to see how many stupid twists they could force into one season.

So, our first group of five was:

Ricard, Shan, Erika, Heather, and Naseer.  How exactly do Ricard and Shan always manage to end up on the same team?  For that matter, how did Heather end up on a team with her only ally, Erika?  Also, how many of you forgot Heather was on the show until last week?

Our second group of five was:

DeShawn, Danny, Liana, Xander, and Evvie.  Again — how do Danny and DeShawn always manage to end up on the same team?  DeShawn was on the verge of turning against Shan, which would have made for great television but that pretty much got pushed to the side by this stupid twist, which sent them to separate tribals.

Anyway, at the immunity challenge, the winners were Erika for team one and Xander for team two.  Since both Erika and Xander were being mentioned as potential targets, they were lucky to win immunity.  Good for them.

The first group to go to tribal council was the Ricard, Shan, Heather, Erika, and Naseer group.  Because Heather went crazy during the previous tribal council, she seemed like the obvious target.  But then Ricard decided that Naseer was a bigger threat, since he had an idol.  So, Shan played her extra vote and, at tribal, the first vote was a 3-3 tie between Naseer and Heather.  This led to our first revote of the season.  Ricard, Shan, and Erika all voted for Naseer.  Bye bye, Naseer.  Actually, let’s give Naseer some credit for handling getting blind-sided well and not leaving a bitter goodbye message.  

The second group was a bit less interesting.  Xander thought he had convinced DeShawn to vote with him and Evvie to take out Liana but DeShawn decided to stay true to his alliance with Danny and, as a result, the vote was 3 for Evvie and 2 for Liana.  Because Xander did not play his idol, Evvie was sent to the jury.  (It’s a sign of how weak this cast is that Evvie was one of the season’s “big threats.”)  Personally, I would have liked for Liana to be voted out because she’s annoying but then again, Evvie was pretty annoying as well. 

In fact, everyone in the game is kind of annoying.  After last night, even Xander is annoying.  It was pretty obvious that DeShawn was not going to betray Danny and vote opposite of what his alliance wanted but Xander naively believed everything DeShawn said and didn’t play his idol.  Huge mistake!

It appears that next week’s episode will feature Shan getting paranoid about Ricard, as she should be.  At this point, Ricard seems to be the only person capable of thinking strategically.  That doesn’t make him any less annoying.  He’s way too smug to be likable.  But at least he’s pulled off a good blindside.

We’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.8 “Betraydar”

We are a little more than half-way through the latest season of Survivor. We got our first juror last night. It’s an individual game now, with everyone on the same tribe and everyone having an equal shot at the win. Now is traditionally the time when we start to learn who the real players are and who is just there taking up space.

So far, these are my main thoughts on this season:

First off, I’m missing the days when Jeff Probst was mean and snarky and openly made fun of the castaways. Now, he’s endlessly enthusiastic and hyper and positive and it just doesn’t feel right. I guess Jeff was told that the show needed to be more positive but that’s not what Jeff is good at. The Amazing Race’s Phil is the positive one. Jeff is at his best when he’s being sarcastic.

Secondly, I still have no idea who the majority of the people on this show are. Last night, Heather tried to make a big move at Tribal and, for me, it fell flat because I honestly had no idea who Heather was.

Third, the castaways who I do feel as if I’ve gotten to know are not a particularly impressive group. Shan, Liana, Evvie, and Naseer all would have been voted out early during a good season of Survivor.

Four, the editors are trying to change things up through the use of flashbacks and not showing us people finding idols until the moment that they decide to use them and all the rest. Sometimes, that’s been effective. Other times, it’s just been a distraction. I think the folks behind-the-scenes are trying to change things up to keep Survivor from becoming stodgy but I also think they may be trying a bit too hard.

As for last night’s episode — well, who knows? I mean, it was pretty straight forward until they got to tribal. Xander agreed to sit out of the reward challenge so that Erika could get a chance to win the reward. Shan and Liana got mad because Ricard ate some of their food right after he finished off the reward challenge feast. (And they should have gotten mad because Ricard really is a jerk.) After the previous tribal, Evvie was the top target but Evvie managed to win immunity. Going into tribal, the plan was to split the votes between Tiffany and Xander in order to make sure that at least one potential Evvie ally went home. DeShawn said that he would rather get rid of Naseer but Shan dismissed his concerns, which upset DeShawn.

And then at tribal, for some reason, Heather decided to blow everything up by running around and whispering to everyone that DeShawn was right and that they should vote out Naseer. I’m not really sure why Heather did this because Heather has gotten next to no screentime and I really don’t know anything about her interactions with Naseer. Is Heather just a flake or was she genuinely trying to be a master strategist? I imagine the former is probably correct.

Of course, this led to Shan briefly whispering that they should vote out Heather but DeShawn refused to go with that plan because it had just been sprung on him and plus, he was sick of Shan acting like she was in charge. Ricard told Xander to play his idol but neither he nor Tiffany did so. The vote was a bit of a mess but it went like this:

1 vote for Naseer (from Xander)

2 votes for Xander (from Danny and Naseer)

2 votes for Heather (from Tiffany and Evvie)

6 votes for Tiffany (from DeShawn, Erika, Heather, Liana, Ricard, and Shan)

And so, Tiffany became our first juror. (Last week, I was under the impression that Sydney was the first juror but I was wrong. Probst specifically announced TIffany as being “the first member of our jury.”)

Next week: DeShawn gets sick of Shan! It’s about time!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.7 “There’s Gonna Be Blood”

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Last night’s episode of Survivor was better than last week’s, if just because there was actually a tribal council.  I’m still not happy about the “Changing History” twist or whatever the official name of it is and, judging from some of the comments online, I’m not the only person who feels that way.  Hopefully, Survivor will pay attention and never do something like that again.  I know this season is supposed to be the start of a “new era in Survivor,” but I don’t think anyone watches this show because they want to watch Jeff Probst get all giddy over every new twist.

To the shock of no one, Erika broke the hourglass on Exile Island. As a result, immunity shifted.  The lame-os who didn’t even come close to winning the previous challenge were suddenly safe while the people who actually worked hard and past some effort into winning were punished with yet another immunity challenge.  The show tried to make it look like Erika had to make a difficult decision but we all knew what Erika was going to do.  The fact that Erika only had to break an hourglass to give safety to some of the weakest players ever to appear on the show will never sit right with me.

Danny, DeShawn, Naseer, Ricard, Sydney, and Evvie all played for individual immunity.  Ricard won the challenge, which meant that he was safe while the other five could be voted out.  Continuing the season’s list of unfair twists, every member of the merged tribe could vote at tribal council but only those five — Danny, DeShawn, Naseer, Sydney, and Evvie — could receive votes.  It would have been more fair to limit the votes to only the six who had to compete for individual immunity but whatever.

Fortunately, Tribal council was a wild one, though it really shouldn’t have been. Xander managed to totally fool Liana (and, since Liana doesn’t do anything without her advice, Shan as well) but that was less about Xander being clever and more about Liana being a complete idiot.

The majority had decided to vote for Evvie but Xander announced early on that he would be using his idol to protect her.  Liana, however, had the steal an idol advantage and she and Shan came up with a plan to steal Xander’s idol at tribal.  However, Xander knew that Liana had the advantage because Liana was dumb enough to tell Tiffany about it and Tiffany repeats everything that she hears.  Going into tribal, Xander knew that everyone knew he had an idol and Liana knew that everyone knew she had the advantage.

So, at tribal, Xander made a very big deal of announcing that he had the idol and that he was going to play it for Evvie.  In fact, Xander made such a big deal about it that it should have been obvious to anyone that Xander was holding up a fake idol and basically trying to trick Liana into wasting her advantage.  However, Liana is not a particularly clever player so she wasted her advantage by asking Xander to give her his fake idol.  It was a good Survivor moment but it’s kind of indicative of the level of competition this season that both Liana and Shan fell for such an obvious trick.

As for the vote, Evvie, Tiffany, Xander, and Sydney tried to vote out DeShawn and they would have possibly succeeded if they had been able to keep Naseer in their alliance but Naseer ultimately decided to go back to Deshawn and Danny.  The rest of the group divided their votes between Sydney and Evvie.  Suspecting that the majority of the votes had been cast for Sydney, Xander told TIffany not to use the idol on Evvie.  (Xander had given the idol to Tiffany before Tribal.)  Xander’s instincts turned out to be correct.  The final vote was 5 for Syd, 4 for Evvie, and 3 for Deshawn.  Sydney became the first juror, which sucks because Sydney was the castaway to whom I most related.

While the whole thing with Erika and the hourglass got last night’s episode off on a bad note, a wild and chaotic tribal council redeemed last night’s episode.  Hopefully, future episode will feature more strategy and less twists!

Lisa Marie

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Juror #1, Sydney Segal