Monthly Archives: December 2021

Survivor 41.13 “One Thing Left To Do …. Win”


It’s a familiar story, the type of thing that we’ve seen on Survivor more than a few times.

After a long and hard-fought season, it’s time for the final tribal council.  The final three consist of one person who made it to the end by betraying a few of his closest allies, one person who held onto an idol for the entire season, and one person who basically managed to survive.  And even though the first two people have a better claim for being awarded the title of sole survivor, the third person wins because they’re the only one who has not alienated the key members of the jury.

I think that’s the best way to explain last night’s victory for Erika.

The final three were made up of DeShawn, Erika, and Xander.  The biggest threat in the game, Ricard, had been voted out during the show’s first tribal council.  After that, Xander won immunity and decided to bring Erika to the finale with him, despite Heather warning him that Erika had a lot of support on the jury.  In the fire-making challenge, DeShawn nearly lost to Heather but managed to pull off a close victory.

DeShawn faced a jury full of people who he betrayed or who remembered him talking about betraying other people.  DeShawn spent a good deal of the game talking about the other players behind their backs and it turned out that the jury remembered that and they were kind of bitter about it.  Ricard, especially, seemed angry about it.  (That’s a bit hypocritical on Ricard’s part, considering some of the things he said about people over the course of the game.)  Shan and Liana obviously never forgave DeShawn for betraying their alliance.

Xander could have made a good argument about why he deserved to win but it was obvious that his personality rubbed a lot of jurors the wrong way.  He came across a bit too slick and I think that a lot of the jury found him to be fake.  Naseer listed all of the “kind’ thing that Xander had done but Xander made the point of smiling and nodding while he did, which made it seem like Xander was admitting that he only did all of that to win jury votes.  Ricard felt that Xander had betrayed him by not playing his idol for him.  (Xander didn’t help matters but implying that he might right before announcing that he wouldn’t.)  Heather was obviously not happy about not being selected for the final three.  And I’m sure there was a feeling that Xander had basically gotten a free ride because he had an idol.

Then you had Erika, who played a much more low-key game than either Xander or DeShawn. Erika did just enough to build up a resume but she did it without personally betraying anyone or gloating. I think the jury liked her personally and they felt she ahd done enough that they could vote for her without coming across as being too bitter.

So, it was a 7-1-0 Erika victory. DeShawn got Danny’s vote. Xander got no one’s vote. I would have voted Xander but it is what it is. Erika played a good enough game. Congratulations to her!

So, that brings this uneven season to an end! I enjoyed writing about this season more than I enjoyed watching it, just because there were too many twists and I’m not a huge fan of this kinder, gentler approach that Jeff Probst seems to be going for. That said, I’ll definitely be back, writing about the next season.

As for this blog — it’ll return for The Amazing Race and Celebrity Big Brother. See you then!

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.12 “Truth Kamikaze”


Well, so much for Danny.

After weeks of silly twists and weird advantages, last night’s episode of Survivor was pretty straight-forward.  Everyone realized that Ricard should be the next to go.  The first 30 minutes of the show was made up of scenes of people talking about how dangerous Ricard was and how he absolutely had to be the next person voted out.  The show so overhyped the idea of Ricard getting voted out that I don’t think anyone was shocked when Ricard won immunity.

With Ricard now safe, it came down to whether to vote out DeShawn or to vote out Danny.  DeShawn was clearly the bigger threat to win the game but Erika and Xander thought that DeShawn also might be the only person who could beat Ricard in the next immunity challenge.  Because there were also concerns that Danny might have an immunity idol, the first vote was evenly split, 3-3, between DeShawn and Danny.  This led to  revote where everyone voted for Danny and Danny went on to become the next member of the jury.

There’s only one more episode to go.  As we head into the finale, the five remaining castaways are: DeShawn, Ricard, Xander, Erika, and Heather.  Xander has an idol so he’s guaranteed to make it to the top four, regardless of how the next immunity challenge goes.  The final three will come down to whoever wins the final immunity, who that person decides to take with them to the end, and then whoever wins the fire-making challenge.

Ricard is obviously the biggest threat to win.  If he doesn’t win the next immunity challenge, he is out.

DeShawn is a big threat and is good at challenges.  He’s definitely a threat but I think that the other castaways would keep him over Ricard.  If Ricard does win immunity, then DeShawn is out.

Xander and Erika could both make convincing cases for why they deserve the title of sole survivor.  I think, though, Erika will be viewed as a bigger threat than Xander because, unlike Xander, Erika survived despite not having an idol.

Heather has done nothing.  Whoever wins the final immunity might take her to the final three because they feel they can easily beat her.  I doubt Heather could win the fire-making competition.

So, here’s my finale prediction:

Deshawn wins the first immunity comp and Ricard is sent to jury.  My theory here is that the show has focused so much on DeShawn that it’s obvious he’s making it to the finale.  For that to happen, Ricard has to be next one voted out because otherwise, DeShawn would go.  I think only Xander and DeShawn could beat Ricard in an immunity challenge but I also think that, because he has an idol, Xander is going to want to conserve his strength for the final immunity challenge.  So, I think it will all pretty much fall on DeShawn and he’ll make it.

DeShawn has done will in previous endurance comps so I think he will also win the second immunity comp and he’ll select Heather to go to the final three.  Xander and Erika will then compete to make fire and I imagine Xander will win.

The final three, in this scenario, are DeShawn, Heather, and Xander.  Out of those three, I think DeShawn would be favored because he can claim that he made it to the final three without having any idols or extra votes.

That’s what I think will happen, just based on the players and how this season has been edited.  We’ll see if I’m right next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.11 “Do or Die”


Last night, Survivor introduced the Do or Die twist to the game and I loudly groaned because it totally went against everything that Survivor was supposed to be about.

Basically, at the immunity challenge, Jeff got all excited about the fact that there was a new twist.  The winner of the immunity challenge would, of course, win immunity.  However, the first person to fall out of the challenge would be forced to pick one of three boxes at tribal.  If the box had a picture of a skull inside of it, that person would be sent to jury and there would be no vote.  If castaways agreed to sit out the challenge, they would not win immunity but they would also not have to pick a box.  Yippie, I guess.

Heather and Liana chose not to participate in the challenge.  I get Heather’s logic because she’s not really that good at challenges so why should she take the risk?  But Liana had just seen her closest alley blind-sided and she no longer had any reason to trust Danny or DeShawn.  SO WHY NOT TRY TO WIN IMMUNITY!?  Liana is not very good at this game.  That’s been obvious ever since she fell for Xander’s fake immunity idol.

Anyway, DeShawn was the first castaway to fall out of the challenge, which means he got stuck with the Do or Die.  Meanwhile, Danny won his first immunity challenge.

Before I say anything else, I should explain that I started to mentally check out from tonight’s episode as soon as Jeff explained the Do or Die twist.  The Do or Die goes against everything that I love about SurvivorSurvivor is supposed to be about strategy.  It’s supposed to be about blindsides and close votes and people wondering who they can trust.  The Do or Die Twist was way too random.  It was something that maybe would have been appropriate pre-merge but it’s a bit unfair to spring it on everyone this late in the game.  DeShawn is a power player and a threat to win the game.  Survivor was prepared to randomly remove him with a silly twist.  That’s more like Big Brother than Survivor.

It actually reminded me of what happened to Paschal, during the fourth season of Survivor.  Paschal was one of the most popular guys on the show that season.  He played a good social game.  He was loyal to his allies and courteous even to those in opposing alliances.  He was loved by just about everyone.  Throughout the entire season, he hadn’t gotten one vote at tribal council.  Paschal made it all the way to final four and then, due to a tied vote at tribal council, everyone was forced to draw a rock.  Paschal got the purple rock and was sent to jury, leading to a rather lackluster final three of Neleh, Kathy, and Vecepia.  No one was happy about that.  Jeff Probst made a huge point of declaring that the rules would be changed to try to prevent anything like that happening again.  And yet, Do or Die was this season’s equivalent of the purple rock.  Why are so many of the recent Survivor twists — Edge of Extinction also comes to mind — devoted to recreating things that everyone hated from previous seasons?

Anyway, after the challenge, there was a lot of strategizing about how to vote out in case DeShawn survived the Do or Die but it was kind of hard to care because it all depended on a random whim of fate.  Danny tried to get Xander to take out Ricard.  Xander, however, still felt loyal to Ricard and felt that Liana should be the target.  I can’t stand Liana but, at the same time, Ricard was obviously a bigger threat so, last night, I definitely didn’t agree with Xander’s logic.

It was an emotional tribal.  DeShawn opened up about how he felt about Shan calling him a snake.  Tears were shed.  Still, it was hard to really focus on all of that when I knew that the whole stupid Do or Die thing was coming up.  For all my complaining, DeShawn did pick the right box.  He picked the box with the picture of a flame, so his game will continue.  Things could have been worse but the Do or Die twist still should never have happened in the first place.

As for the vote, Erika decided to stay loyal to Heather, Xander, and Ricard and she voted for Liana.  Xander also wasted his extra vote on Liana.  Danny, Liana, and DeSawhn voted for Ricard but, in the end, the vote was 5-3 in favor of sending Liana to jury.

Two more weeks to go until we got our final survivor!  Right now, my money is on Ricard.

Lisa Marie