Author Archives: Lisa Marie Bowman

About Lisa Marie Bowman

Sweet little thing with morbid thoughts. I love movies and I love writing. Natural redhead asthmatic.

Announcing The Big Brother Blog and Reality TV Chat Facebook Group!

I just set up the Big Brother Blog and Reality TV Chat Facebook Group, so that the readers of those two sites can have another place to talk about our favorite shows!

Check it out here:

The Big Brother Blog Facebook Group!

All are invited and welcome!

(And don’t worry.  I’ll still be posting recaps here and over on the Big Brother Blog!)

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Survivor 36.13 “It is Game Time Kids”

Hi, y’all!

Well, it’s over!  Tonight, the 36th season of Survivor came to a close.  Now, obviously, if you haven’t watched the finale yet, this post is going to be a spoiler.  So, if you don’t want to know who won, now is the time to stop reading.

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Wendell won!  If I may pat myself on the back, I’ve been predicting that Wendell would win ever since the merge.  Not only has he been a consistent force to be reckoned with in the challenges but he repeatedly proved himself to be a skilled strategic player.  His alliance with Dom and Laurel seems to be unbreakable and, unlike them, he managed to get through the season without collecting too many enemies.

That said, I have to admit that I was sure that Wendell would easily win.  I thought that he would get 8 or 9 votes with Dom picking up a few strays.  What I never expected was that Wendell would only win by 1 vote!

There’s a lot of negative stuff that you can say about Ghost Island.  This season, there weren’t many strong players.  One reason why Wendell and Dom were able to so totally dominate this season is because they were surrounded by so many players who, quite frankly, didn’t seem like they had ever watched Survivor before.  I don’t mean to take anything away from what Dom and Wendell accomplished but it’s not like they were playing against the best players in the show’s history.  Instead, their main competition was Kellyn.

As well, the whole Ghost Island gimmick never worked as well as one might have hoped.  Most of the cursed advantages remained cursed because the majority of the people who went to Ghost Island were clueless about how to play the game.  There were a lot of advantages given out this season but almost all of them were either wasted or went to Wendell and Dom.

In many ways, this was a very frustrating season.  Up until tonight, Laurel had so many opportunities to blindside both Wendell and Dom.  Instead, it seemed like she and everyone else just lay down and let Wendell and Dom walk all over them.  Nobody seemed to be willing to make a big move when they needed to.

But, with all that in mind, Ghost Island will always be remembered for tonight’s finale!  For the first time, we had a tie.  5 jurors voted for Dom.  5 jurors voted for Wendell.  No one voted for Laurel.  Per the rules of Survivor, Laurel joined the jury and cast the deciding vote.  And, not surprisingly, she cast that vote for Wendell.

And so, Wendell won Survivor 36.  Dom did not look happy, which is understandable.  If Dom had been a little less abrasive with the jury, I imagine he might have been able to pick up that one vote that he would have needed to win.  Instead, he got arrogant and condescending.  While it seemed like Wendell sometimes struggled to make the case that he had done more than just ride Dom’s coat tails, he obviously did well enough to convince 5 jurors plus Laurel.

Now that Ghost Island is finished with, I’ll be taking a few weeks off and then I’ll be writing about the 20th season of Big Brother over at the Big Brother Blog!  I hope to see you there!  Thank you for reading and commenting on these recaps!  I’ve had to deal with some health issues over the past few weeks so I haven’t gotten to reply as much as I would have liked but I really do appreciate y’all reading and I hope to see everyone again for both Big Brother and Survivor: David vs. Goliath!

Lisa Marie

P.S. Big Brother starts on June 27th!

Congratulations, Wendell!

Survivor 36.12 “Always Be Moving”

Strange episode last night.

For about ten minutes, I was convinced that Laurel was finally going to go through with her oft-stated threat to turn on Dom and Wendell.  When Wendell lost immunity despite being the first to finish his puzzle (he finished first but Laurel was the first to call out Jeff’s name), I thought it was the set up for one of those perfectly ironic Survivor blindsides that we all know and love.

Instead, the opposite happened.  Laurel suddenly decided that it wouldn’t be fair to vote out Wendell, seeing as how he actually did finish his puzzle before she did.  That nice of Laurel, I guess.  But it also shows that she lacks the killer instinct to win this game.

There was a little bit of drama, due to Donathan.  Donathan saw Dom handing Wendell a piece of paper that Wendell was planning to use to make a fake idol.  Donathan, being Donathan, immediately had to know what Dom was handing Wendell and then he had to run around the camp and let everyone know what he saw.  As a result, the target briefly shifted from Kellyn to Donathan.

It was a strange tribal council.  I’m assuming that everyone went there planning to vote out Kellyn but, as soon as Donathan started shooting his mouth off about how everyone needed him, it was obvious that some people started to reconsider that plan.  The first vote was:

Angela, Sebastian, and Kellyn all voted for Donathan.

Dom, Wendell, and Laurel all voted for Kellyn.

Donathan voted for Dom.

This led to a tie between Donathan and Kellyn so there was a revote.  Kellyn and Donathan could not vote.  Everyone else had to vote for either Donathan or Kellyn.  The first vote that was read was Sebastian’s vote for Donathan.  Donathan immediately stood up as if he was preparing to leave.  However, the second vote was for Kellyn.  Donathan promptly sat back down.  All the other votes were for Kellyn and just like that, Kellyn’s reign of whiny terror was over.  Of course, Kellyn being Kellyn, she had to attempt to give a monologue before leaving.

On the one hand, I’m glad that I won’t have to listen to Kellyn give a final speech to the jury because you know that would have gone on forever.  On the other hand, I really do have to wonder why the rest of the survivors don’t seem to understand that Dom and Wendell are huge threats to win the game.

So, the finale is next week!  We down to six finalists.  We’ve got:

Donathan, who does not have a chance of winning but who could be dragged to the end just because he’d be easy to beat

Sebastian, who hasn’t really done much but at least appears to be having fun

Angela, who I always forget is on the show

Laurel, who has had so many chances to shake up the game but who has wimped out every time

Dom, who seems to be in a good position but who might have upset some people on the jury

and

Wendell, who seems to be the front runner to win.

Going into the home stretch, Dom and Wendell have immunity idols while Sebastian now how an extra vote.

My prediction for the finale is:

The final three will be Dom, Wendell, and (assuming that they repeat last season’s twist of determining the final member of the final three through a firemaking challenge), Sebastian.  Out of those three, I think Wendell would win.

We’ll see if I’m right!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 36.11 “A Giant Game of Bumper Cars”

(Sorry, everyone!  I’ve been sick for the past two weeks, due to allergies and asthma and stuff.  So, I’m a little bit late in posting this recap.,..)

I feel so bad for Chelsea!

It’s not just that Chelsea was voted out last night.  Actually, that really didn’t surprise me.  Chelsea has been a strong in challenges and, the more a threat you are to win immunity, the more likely it is that you’ll be voted out as soon as you don’t have it.  I feel bad for Chelsea because, even after 11 episodes and several impressive challenge performances, I’m still not sure who she was.  We never really found out much about Chelsea.  Last night, she got her first confessional of the season and then she was promptly voted out.

That feels a bit unfair to me.  Post-merge, this season has pretty much been edited so that every episode revolves around Dom, Wendell, Kellyn, and, to a lesser extent, Laurel and Donathan.  Last night who was shocked to be reminded that Angela is still on the show?  How much do we really know about Sebastian, another person who is strong in challenges but who rarely gets a chance to show much personality?  Look at some of the people on the jury.  We never found out much about Desi, Libby or Jenna but everyone sure was determined to vote them out.  Obviously, Dom and Wendell are controlling the game right now so it makes sense that they’ll be at the center of many episodes but still, it seems like the editors could have made a little bit of an effort to let us know who the other players are.

As for what happened last night, I actually think it would have been smart to break up Wendell and Dom but, at the same time, I’m not shocked that the plan didn’t work.  The main problem is that it was a Kellyn plan and any plan that Kellyn comes up with is doomed to failure.  Maybe that’s the cure of Ghost Island.

The reason why Kellyn failed this week is because she failed to understand just how loyal both Laurel and Donathan are to Dom and Wendell.  Kellyn assumed that Donathan would want to work with an all-girl’s alliance but both Donathan and Laurel are a bit more ruthless than Kellyn gave them credit for.

That said, I don’t blame Kellyn for being angry about what happened during last night’s reward challenge.  By picking the four guys to go on the reward with him and then asking if any of them wanted to go to Ghost Island, Sebastian left it as no secret that the remaining women are considered to be at the bottom of the tribe.  He should have realized that, by not sending either Kellyn or Laurel to Ghost Island, he was practically inviting the four women to form their own alliance.  Sebastian, though, is not a particularly smart player.

Anyway, here’s who is left:

Domenick is in a strong position to win.  He currently has a strong alliance with Wendell and he also has an immunity idol.

Kellyn was in a good position until last night.  Now, she’s on the bottom of the tribe.

Wendell is in an even stronger position than Domenick but he has to be careful because not many people feel like they could beat him in a final 3 situation.  Wendell has an idol.

Donathan is coming on strong but he’s also betrayed a lot of people.  They jury is probably not going to love Donathan.

Laurel has the same problem as Donathan.  She’s betrayed the majority of the jury.

Sebastian has a fun stoner vibe going on.  I could see him making it to the final three and getting zero votes.

Angela is just kinda there.

Finally, there’s a fake idol out there, one which Dom knows about but apparently no one else has found.

There are two weeks left!  We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Chelsea, the latest member of the jury

Episode 36.10 “The Finish Line Is In Sight”

Hi, everyone.

First off, accept my apologies.  As I sit here typing this recap, I’m dealing with a lot of sinus pain and my mind isn’t exactly as clear as it would usually be.  So, forgive me if I keep things kinda short this week.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it up to everyone next week.

Anyway, last night’s episode of Survivor featured a new twist but the same old outcome!  During the immunity challenge, the 10 survivors were split, by random draw, into two separate groups.  Each group competed for immunity, which meant that two people won immunity and there were two tribal councils.  However, the twist may have been new but it led to the same old result.  The old Naviti Tribe is still, to quote Kellyn, “Naviti strong!”  And so, two Malolos were voted out.

In fact, perhaps the most interesting thing about tonight’s episode was the chance to see just how stupid the majority of the castaways are.  Seriously, this is probably the dumbest group of people since the Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs, No Collar season.

The first group to attend Tribal was the purple group.  That group was made up of Donathan, Jenna, Sebastian, Angela, and Chelsea.  Chelsea won immunity and it was obvious that either Donathan or Jenna would be the target but which one?  Sebastian, Angela, and Chlesea decided to vote out Jenna but they told Jenna that they were going to vote out Donathan.  Even when Donathan let Jenna know that she the target and that he was going to play his idol to keep her safe, Jenna continued to believe that Donathan was actually the target.  She also decided that, since Donathan was going to use the idol to keep her safe, that she should go ahead and vote Donathan out, as opposed to maybe coordinating with him to get out a member of the Naviti Tribe.

Then, at Tribal, Jenna announced that she knew she was the target and that they should all go ahead and vote, which, of course, made everyone else at Tribal paranoid that she had something up her sleeve.  When Donathan did play his idol, he played it for himself.  Jeff announced that none of the votes that Donathan received would count.  However, Donathan only received one vote, from his ally Jenna.  Donathan, meanwhile, voted for Sebastian and the other three vote were all cast for Jenna.

End result: Donathan wasted his idol.  Jenna joined the jury,

Then, it was time for the next group to have their tribal.  This was Dom, Wendell, Kellyn, Laurel, and Michael.  Dom won immunity and, as he kept saying to everyone, Michael was the obvious choice for who to vote out.

However, Michael nearly survived this tribal.  Why?  Because nearly everyone left in the game is an idiot.

Michael resorted to lying about having an idol and promising Kellyn that he was going to use it on himself.  Instead of demanding to see the idol, Kellyn believed what Michael said and immediately freaked out.  She decided that, since Michael was going to be using his idol, she needed to cast not only her tribal vote for Laurel but her extra vote as well.  Laurel, meanwhile, also freaked out and decided that she had to vote for Kellyn.

And again, no one actually bothered to demand proof that Michael actually had an idol.  Everyone except for Dom took Michael at his word.

At tribal, Dom and Wendell both voted for Michael.  Laurel voted for Kellyn.  Kellyn voted twice for Laurel.  And Michael voted for Wendell.  This led to revote, in which Michael and Laurel could not vote.  This time Kellyn, Dom, and Wendell all voted for Michael and he was sent to the jury.  Still, even though Michael’s ploy ultimately failed, it did reveal that Kellyn and Laurel are both willing to sell each other and it also eliminated Kellyn’s extra vote advantage.

For those keeping track, there are now only two advantages currently in the game.  Dom has an idol and Wendell has an idol.

As for next week, it looks like Kellyn’s paranoia might get the best of her.  We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 36.9 “It’s Like The Perfect Crime”

Hi y’all!

Well, in the latest episode of Survivor, things certainly didn’t go well for Desi.  After spending most of the season flying under the radar and keeping out of everyone’s way, Desi finally showed some initiative and was promptly sent to the jury.

Give Desi some credit, though.  At the start of the episode, Desi took one look at her alliance, realized that she was on the bottom of the old Naviti Tribe, and immediately told the four remaining Malolo tribe members that she was willing to betray her alliance and vote out Kellyn.  Everything that Desi said was correct and now would have been the perfect time to blindside Kellyn.

When it comes to Kellyn, you have to consider the following:

  1. Kellyn does well enough in challenges that she’s usually a legitimate threat to win immunity.  When you have a player like that, you have to get them out of the game as soon as the opportunity presents itself.  Who knows when you’ll get another chance?
  2. Kellyn has a strong alliance with Dom and Wendell.  Since Dom, Kellyn, and Wendell are pretty much in charge of the Naviti alliance, the only way to get rid of Kellyn would be via a blindside.
  3. Kellyn has a compelling personal story, which she could use to her advantage if she makes it to the final three.  Add to that, since Kellyn has pretty much let Dom and Wendell do all of the public scheming, a bitter jury might vote for her as the lesser of three evils.
  4. Finally, Kellyn is one of the most annoying people to ever appear on Survivor.  (If I have to hear her say “Naviti Strong” one more time…)  As a viewer, I always love seeing a smug player get blindsided.

Unfortunately, for Desi, she obviously didn’t know that Laurel thinks that she has a strong side alliance going with Dom and Wendell.  So, of course, Laurel ran off and told Dom what Desi was talking about doing.

Dom told Kellyn that Desi was talking about blindsiding her.  Kellyn announced that this couldn’t be true because how could anyone possibly want to vote for her out?  Or as Kellyn put it, “I was having the best day of my life and it was ruined!”  Kellyn went on to say that there was no way that Chelsea and Desi would ever turn on her and that this was all a scheme to keep Michael from getting voted out.

“I WILL NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN!” Kellyn announced.

(Oh shut up, Kellyn…)

As for Michael, he was smart enough to realize that, regardless of Desi’s scheme, he still wasn’t guaranteed any sort of safety.  So, he went hunting for an idol.  Unfortunately, for him, Donathan came with him and found the idol first.  (It was the old two-piece super idol.  One piece was in the jungle and the other was hidden back at camp.  It’s no longer a super idol, however.  It’s just a regular idol.  IT’S CURSED!)  So now, Donathan has an idol.  Donathan was pretty unclear on whether or not he would ever be willing to let Michael use his idol.

This week, immunity was won by Chelsea.  Jeff mentioned that the last three immunity challenges have been won by women so yay!  Girl Power!  That said, it would have been more exciting if immunity had been won by someone who actually needed it but that’s Survivor for you.  Sometimes, immunity is won by an innocent bystander.

(Both Dom and Kellyn threw little hissy fits when they lost immunity, which was not a good look for either of them.)

Anyway, back at camp, Desi found out that Laurel had told Dom about her plan.  Already in trouble, Desi doomed herself by freaking out and trying to deny all of her scheming.  No one believed Desi when she claimed that Laurel was lying and it wasn’t really a shock when Desi was voted out at tribal council.  In the end, Michael received two vote, from Desi and Chelsea.  Everyone else voted for Desi and sent her to the jury.

For those trying to keep track of who has which advantage:

Wendell has an idol.

Dom has an idol.

Kellyn has an extra vote.

And, joining the advantage club, Donathan now has an idol!

And that’s it for this week,

Lisa Marie

P.S. Earlier this week, I was interviewed about movies, writing, and a lot of other things.  You can find that interview by clicking here!

Desi a.k.a. Juror #3

Survivor 36.8 “The Sea Slug Slugger”

Here’s a few lessons from this week’s episode of Survivor:

First off, Survivor really, really, really loves the gross food challenge.  Ever since the very first season, there has always been at least one challenge designed to force the castaways to eat something disgusting.  Myself, I always hate these challenges because it always seems like someone ends up either spitting up or freaking out.  This week, Wendell refused to even compete.  As soon as he saw those two fish eyes staring up at him, he pushed them away and gave up any chance to win immunity.  In the end, the challenge came down to Michael vs. Angela.  Angela won immunity rather easily.

Lesson #2: the show has apparently never figured out what to do with Ghost Island.  This time, it was Jenna who drew the white rock and had to go to Ghost Island.  On the way to the island, Jenna told us that she was excited to finally get a chance to visit the island and see what it was all about.  Of course, as soon as she arrived, she got the “Sorry!  No game for you!” message.  Ghost Island is a fun idea but it hasn’t really been as much of a game changer as it was originally sold as being.

Third, Laurel is being underestimated.  Not only did she prove herself to be a beast in the reward challenge but she was also astute enough to know that she’s at the bottom of her alliance with Wendell and Dom.  Wendell thought he would win Laurel’s loyalty by telling her about his immunity idol but, instead, Laurel was annoyed that Wendell waited so long to let her in on his secret.

Fourth, the old Malolo tribe is dead.  Going into tribal council, Michael pointed out that, if the remaining members of the Malolo Tribe stuck together, they could potentially pick off another member of the old Naviti Tribe.  Michael was correct in assuming that the former members of the Naviti Tribe would split their votes between him and Libby.  Michael’s plan was for all of the Malolo Trib members to vote for Wendell.

Instead, at tribal, only Michael voted for Wendell.  Chelsea, Des, Kellyn, and Laurel voted for Libby.  The seven remaining votes were all cast for Michael.  However, Michael played his idol and, as a result, Libby was sent to the jury by a vote of 4-1.

Now that Michael has played his idol, there are now only three advantages currently in play:

  1. Dom has an idol.
  2. Wendell has an idol.
  3. Kellyn has an extra vote.

Next week, if Michael doesn’t find another idol or win immunity, he better find his way into a new alliance or his time in the game may be over.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Juror Number #2, Libby