Monthly Archives: March 2022

Survivor 42.4 “Vibe of Terror”


There’s not really much to say about last night’s episode of Survivor.  After a week that featured a lot of twists and turns and an exciting tribal council, last night’s episode was pretty straight forward.  That’s not really a complaint.  Not every episode can be chaotic.  Occasionally, it just makes sense that it’s going to be an easy vote.

Ika went to tribal council for the second time and, from the minute that they all sat down in front of Jeff, it was pretty obvious that Swati was going to be voted out.  The show did attempt to tease us with other possibilities.  Everyone on the tribe is sick of Rocksroy trying to boss them around.  Rocksroy, himself, voted for Tori because he felt that she couldn’t be trusted.  Everyone else, however, voted for Swati and that should be a wakeup call to Rocksroy.  He may think that he’s in charge but he’s clearly not.

Why was Swati voted out?  It was her own fault.  Telling every member of the tribe that “you’re my number one” was a rookie mistake.  As a result, no one felt that they could trust Swati and, by a vote of 3-1, Swati was voted out.  Rocksroy still voted for Tori.  Swati probably voted for Tori as well but she played her shot-in-the-dark and lost her vote.  Will anyone ever play a successful shot in the dark?

Outside of Swati, the main development of this episode is that Jonathan has emerged as this season’s challenge beast.  Basically, he can win almost any challenge single-handedly.  That’s good for now but it’s going to cost him after the merge.  The first time he loses an immunity challenge, he’s going to be targeted.

And that’s pretty much it.  This was a pretty basic episode of Survivor but that’s okay.  Sometimes, it’s nice to get back to basics.

Survivor 42.3 “Go For The Gusto”


After being slightly disappointed by the previous two episodes of the current season,  I really liked last night’s Survivor.  Not only did we get an interesting immunity challenge but Tribal was entertaining as well.  I kind of breathed a sigh of relief that it was the previously unstoppable Vati Tribe that got sent to tribal.  If nothing else, the fact that all three tribes have had to go to tribal this early in the game indicates that it’s probably not going to be another season where one group dominates the entire game.

After being way too nice last season, Jeff Probst is getting back to being his old, cranky self and I’m happy to see it.  You could see it at the Immunity Challenge, where he praised Jonathan for literally carrying his team to victory and could then barely hide his disgust at the fact that the other two tribes needed help getting their keys out of the water.  “First time this has ever happened in Survivor history!” and you could tell that Jeff wanted to add, “you losers!” at the end of his statement but he didn’t.  That’s the Jeff Probst that we all know and love!

Vati lost their first immunity challenge and went to tribal.  We got to know a bit more about the tribe and, to my surprise, Daniel has emerged as the tribe villain.  Daniel has the potential to be an entertaining villain because it’s obvious he’s trying to be a ruthless strategic mastermind but it’s also obvious that he’s not really smart enough to pull it off.  

Tribal Council was a mess, mostly because Mike can’t vote because of the Beware Advantage and Chanelle lost her vote as a result of risking it at the summit.  Jenny & Mike wanted to vote out Lydia while Lydia & Hai wanted to vote out Jenny.  Under normal circumstances, Mike, Chanelle, and Daniel would have all joined Jenny in voting for Lydia but with only Daniel and Jenny being able to vote out of that group, Hai and Lydia were suddenly in a position to fight back.  The first vote was tied, 2-2.  For the revote, Lydia and Jenny couldn’t vote and, of course, Mike and Chanelle couldn’t vote.  When Jeff read Hai and Daniel’s votes and then announced that the vote was still tied, a very confused looking Hai said, “Where are the votes?”

Jeff then had to explain that neither Mike nor Chanelle could vote.  He also explained that if Daniel and Hai couldn’t unanimously agree on whether to vote out Jenny or Lydia then Jenny and Lydia would become safe and the other four players would have to draw rocks.  No one wanted to draw rocks.  Hai announced that he would not change his vote, no matter what.  After insisting that Chanelle was the one who wanted Lyida to be voted out, Daniel then said he would also vote to get rid of Jenny, which means that his closest allies now know better than to trust him.  Jenny did not look happy and I don’t blame her.

It was a good episode.  I’m not a huge fan of all of the idols and the twists but at least they actually played a role in the vote this week.  As for next week, I’m looking forward to seeing how Daniel tries to weasel his way out of all this.

It should be fun!

Survivor 42.2 “Good and Guilty”


We’re now two episodes into Survivor 42 and I have to say that no one in the cast has really made a huge impression on me.  That’s not surprising, since it’s usually not until the merge that we start to really see the players as individuals.  Still, last season at this time, everyone already disliked Shan and Ricard and Xander had emerged as a fan favorite.  This current season doesn’t seem to really have any big personalities.

As for last night’s episode, it’s still a struggle for me to keep everyone straight.  Again, that’s because it’s early in the season but it’s also because splitting the castaways into three tribes provides us with less opportunities to get to know everyone and it also cuts down on the strategizing.  It’s a lot easier to convince 6 people to vote the same way than it is to convince nine.  The little vignettes and the “what I’m like back in the real world” segments aren’t helping.  I don’t care what people do outside of the show.  I care what people do when they’re playing Survivor.

On the plus side, the tribes seem to be evenly matched as far as physical strength and mental abilities are concerned, so I doubt we will have another situation where one tribe dominates the immunity challenges.  On the other hand, the tribes also seem to be full of people who don’t understand the most important rule of Survivor: Keep secrets!  Don’t tell everyone that you’ve got an advantage!  This group seems like they want to make lifelong friendships.  That’s not what Survivor is about.

So far, I guess the Vati Tribe is the most annoying overall.  Not only do you have Hai talking about how the universe is going to punish him because he ate meat but you also have dumb old Mike finding the Beware Idol and then blabbing about it to Jenny and Daniel.  Now Mike has a target on his back, all due to an idol that comes with an overly complicated set of rules.  Will the Beware Idol even be activated this season?  We’ll find out.  Last season, for all the drama, it really wasn’t much of a factor in the game.

Vati may be annoying but they avoided tribal council.  Instead, Taku went to tribal council and Marya was voted out, largely because she just didn’t have the social game that Maryanne has.  Taku is now down to four tribe members.

Next week — oh, who knows?  Hopefully, someone will make a big move.

Survivor 42.1 “Feels Like A Rollercoaster”

Survivor is back!

That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad news.

Survivor 42 was shot back-to-back with Survivor 41.  What that means is that it will be repeating many of the same twists from Survivor 41.  Since Survivor 41 pretty much collapsed under the weight of too many silly twists, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for Survivor 42.  Usually, Survivor is pretty good about using fan feedback when it comes to deciding which twists to keep and which to lose.  Because these seasons were short back-to-back, they were shot without any sort of fan feedback.

Here are a few things that carried over from Survivor 41 to 42:

  1. Jeff Probst is still acting like everyone’s best friend, which is not a role that he’s suited for.  Probst is best when he’s being snarky and kind of rude but Survivor appears to be trying to move in a different direction.  Though Probst wasn’t as hyper last night as he was during most of 41, I still miss the old Jeff Probst.
  2. Once again, we’re getting the American Idol-style montages detailing everyone’s background.  Again, I imagine this is to try to get audience’s to care about the castaways but, personally, I’ve always liked the idea that the only thing that matters in Survivor is how you play the game.  I don’t need to know the details of everyone’s life.
  3. Once again, the castaways are starting the season split into three tribes.
  4. Once again, each tribe had to send a representative to that stupid summit, where they could risk or protect their vote.
  5. The tribal council dice are back.
  6. The weird phrase immunity idol is back.
  7. And, once again, it’s a shortened season.  Of course, the shortened season is due to the COVID quarantines, which were still in full force when this season of Survivor was shot.

Anyway, now that all of the complaints are aside, I will say that it was an okay premiere.  I don’t really have any favorites yet.  I was impressed by the guy who got his shoulder popped back into the socket and then went right on with the game.  I think a lot of people are going to like Maryanne.  Rocksroy seems like he’s destined to get voted out for being too bossy.  Romeo seems like he’s being set up to be the season’s big villain.  Early on in the game, it’s always a little bit difficult to keep everyone straight.  In fact, I usually don’t have a favorite until the merge.

Probably the moment that everyone will remember will be Jackson being medically evacuated from the game during the 3rd day.  Jackson was taken off the show because he had been taking lithium to help deal with anxiety and was side effects associated with having to suddenly stop taking it.  After the drama of Jackson’s exit the rest of the show was pretty anti-climatic.

Jackson leaving meant that the Taku Tribe went into the immunity challenge down one member.  Fortunately, both they and Vati were able to win the challenge.  The Ika Tribe lost the challenge and went to tribal council, where Zach was voted off.  Zach was kind of annoying so I was not sad to see him go.

As for the advantages:

Drea, Hai, and Lindsay (who are on three separate tribes) have an advantage amulet.  As long as the three of them are in the game, the advantage will allow them to cast an extra vote at tribal council.  Once there are only two of them in the game, the amulet becomes a steal-a-vote advantage.  Once only one of them is left, it becomes an immunity idol.

As a result of their trip to the summit, Drea and Maryanne each have an extra vote.

Yep, it’s all kind of confusing.  It takes a while to be able to keep track of who is on which tribe and who has which advantage.  The important thing, for now, is that Survivor is back!

The Amazing Race 33.10: The Finale

The 33rd season of The Amazing Race concluded last night. After Arun and Natalia were eliminated from the race in Portugal, the final three teams went to Los Angeles. Despite the best efforts of the show’s editors to generate some suspense, I think things pretty much ended the way that most people expected them to.

Ryan and Dusty, who initially seemed like the favorites to win this season, had to settle for a distant third place finish. Ryan and Dusty worked well together as a team and they had a physical advantage but they weren’t detail-orientated and that worked against them during the latter legs of the race.

Raquel and Cayla led for much of the final leg but, after getting hung up at the final detour, they had to settle for finishing in second place. They were actually pretty upset about not winning and I was upset too. I was hoping they would win, if just because they reminded me of my sisters. Still, they ran a good race and they have nothing be ashamed about.

Kim and Penn won the race, which isn’t a huge shock. They pretty much dominated the entire season. One can acknowledge that they did a good job on the race while also admitting that they were kind of a blah team. I call them team Robot because they were efficient but they just weren’t that interesting. They earned their victory but it was still difficult to feel any enthusiasm about them.

Still, congrats to Kim and Penn. In the end, all that really matters is that they worked well together, they paid attention to their clues, and they ultimately won the race.

This was a weird season. It’s not the show’s fault. In fact, I would say that the Amazing Race handled things about as well as anyone could have expected. Still, with two of the strongest teams having to drop out due to COVID, it did make it a bit more obvious who was favored to win. If Anthony & Spencer and Connie & Sam had styed in the Race, I doubt Kim & Penn would have dominated things as easily as they did. Still, the show did what it had to do and I prefer a strange season to no season at all. And even though I was skeptical about giving the eliminated teams a second chance, I did really come to like Arun and Natalia.

As for the teams that did return, I hope that Ryan & Dusty and Raquel & Cayla will get the call the next time the show does an All-Star season.

Thank you for watching The Amazing Race with me. Survivor starts next week!