Category Archives: Survivor 34

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

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:




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

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


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

Survivor 34 Episode 8 “A Line Drawn in Concrete”

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

To be honest, that’s the same thing that I said the last time that Debbie was voted out of the game.  A part of me feels that may be unfair on my part.  Debbie, after all, is just trying to win a game and it’s always been totally possible that she’s either been the victim of a bad edit or that she was deliberately playing crazy just to get more screen time.  She could be a perfectly normal and reasonable person outside of Survivor.  I kinda doubt it but stranger things turned out to be true.

That said, though, there’s only so much Debbie that you can take in a season.  Every season of Survivor needs a crazy person but, at the same time, every season of Survivor needs for that crazy person to be voted out at some point.  My concern was that Debbie would get taken to the final three, just because everyone would assume that they could easily beat her.

But no, Debbie was voted out tonight.  She was blindsided.  Really, she should have seen it coming.  First off, she put way too much faith in the idea that her six person alliance was rock solid.  The closer a tribe is divided, the more likely that someone is going to flip and betray their alliance.  Secondly, Debbie made the mistake of trying to talk about Sarah behind her back.  When Aubry told Sarah about what Debbie had been saying, there was a little doubt that Sarah would flip on her alliance.

After spending most of this season in the background, Sarah was pretty active tonight.  In fact, this episode basically was the Sarah Show.  First off, at the end of the reward challenge, she was the one who not only found the extra advantage but managed to grab it without anyone noticing.  This time, the advantage was the power to steal one person’s vote.  That’s a good advantage, assuming that Sarah plays it correctly.

Then, back at camp, Sarah’s alliance — Brad, Sierra, Tai, Troyzan, and Debbie — made the mistake of deciding to target Andrea without even talking to Sarah about it.  Cirie, meanwhile, told Sarah that she needed to make a big move if she was going to have any hope at winning the game.  And so, Sarah made that move.

At Tribal, Troyzan had immunity.  The Debbie/Brad alliance targeted Andrea.  The Cirie/Zeke alliance targeted Debbie.  Sarah was the deciding vote and, when she flipped and switched sides, the final vote was 6-5 in favor of sending Debbie to the jury.

And, just like that, the power has shifted.  Brad, Troyzan, and Sierra are now at the bottom of the tribe.  Tai would be in trouble, except for the fact that he has two immunity idols and, assuming he’s smart enough to 1) keep them for himself and 2) realize if he’s being targeted so that he’ll know when to play them, those idols should keep him safe long enough for him to make a new alliance.  For now, Cirie is the most powerful player in the game, though you have to wonder how long it will be before she and Zeke turn on each other.

And finally, who is Sarah going to side with next week?  Is she going to permanently become an ally of the Cirie/Zeke alliance?  Is she going to go back to the Brad alliance?  Or is she going to remain in the middle?

We’ll find out next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 8 “There’s A New Sheriff In Town”

Tonight’s episode of Survivor was a two-hour episode.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps there’s some sort of sporting event next week, since The Amazing Race is doing a two-hour episode tomorrow as well.

One thing about these double-sized episodes is that, because they’re longer than usual and feature twice as money comps and councils as usual, there’s always a tendency to think that they’re more dramatic than they actually are.  To be honest, nothing unexpected really happened tonight.  No one expected Hali to be a major force in the game and she wasn’t.  Everyone knew Ozzy would probably end up blindsided and he was.

First Hali was voted out.  I’m not totally sure why everyone suddenly turned against Hali.  To be honest, I’m still not totally sure how she came to be the one who was voted out.  Maybe it was because she didn’t really have any close allies and no one felt guilty for voting for her.  I know that Sierra was apparently worried that Hali had an idol, because Hali was acting too confident after the merge.

Of course, the original target was Michaela who, like Hali, didn’t have any close allies and was seen as being an “easy” vote.  But then Michaela and Cirie teamed up and, when Sierra started talking about splitting the votes between Hali and Michaela, Cirie saw an opportunity to convince everyone to just vote for Hali instead.

After spending much of this season in the background, Cirie really stepped up and proved herself tonight.  Cirie’s smartest move was to go ahead and vote for Michaela, even though she had convinced enough people to vote for Hali.  That way, if Cirie’s plan hadn’t worked, she could have claimed to have been targeting Michaela from the beginning.  It was a risky move but it paid off for her.

Here’s how that first vote went:

Andrea — Michaela

Aubry — Hali

Brad — Hali

Ciriie — Michaela

Debbie — Hali

Michaela — Zeke

Sara — Michaela

Sierra — Hali

Tai — Hali

Troyzan — Hali

Zeke — Michaela

Ozzy — Hali

Hali — Zeke

As I said, it was a messy tribal and I’m still not totally sure why everyone voted the way that they did.  But the important thing is that Hali was evicted with 4 votes and became the first member of the jury.

As for Ozzy — well, we all knew Ozzy wasn’t going to last.  What’s amazing is that, for all the times that Ozzy has been on the show, he still doesn’t seem to understand the importance of having a good social game.  Just being the “provider” and bragging about catching fish is not enough, especially after the merge.  The minute that Ozzy started bragging on himself while holding onto the pole during the immunity challenge, I knew he was doomed.

And I was sorry to see Ozzy go.  I like Ozzy.  I wanted Ozzy to finally win this season.  But Ozzy has got to learn from his mistakes or he’s going to get blindsided every time he appears on Survivor.

The second tribal vote was, in many ways, just as confusing as the first.  A lot of people received just one vote, which would seem to indicate that none of the alliances (if you can call them that) are particularly solid.  Personally, I think that it would have made more sense to get rid of Zeke, who is actually more of a threat to win than Ozzy.  But, at the last minute, Sierra and Debbie decided to go after Ozzy.  Debbie even wasted her extra vote on him.

(By the way, if I have to listen to Debbie talk about how difficult Exile was one more time…)

Here’s how the vote went:

Andrea — Zeke

Aubry — Zeke

Brad — Ozzy

Cirie — Sierra

Debbie — Two votes for Ozzy

Michaela — Zeke

Sarah — Ozzy

Sierrra — Ozzy

Tai — Ozzy

Troyzan — Ozzy

Zeke — Aubry

Ozzy — Zeke

By seven votes, Ozzy was voted out.

So, after tonight’s episode, here’s who is left in the newly formed Maku Maku Tribe:












Right now, Cirie seems to be playing the best game.  Zeke is also a threat to win, though he’s starting to get a little bit cocky.  (The same thing proved to be his downfall last season.)  As for who is playing the worst game, both Sierra and Debbie are coming on way too strong and getting rid of Ozzy is only going to make them worse.  I’m predicting blindsides for both of them.

That’s it for now!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 7 “What Happened On Exile, Stays On Exile”

Before this latest season of Survivor began, I heard a rumor about Jeff Varner.

Supposedly, Varner was in therapy and had been since returning to America.  It was said that he was terrified of how people were going to react when they saw something that he did on Game Changers.  Apparently, he felt that he had done something so wrong that he was worried that he would never work again after America saw it.

Now, I have to admit that I was pretty dismissive of those rumors.  I mean, we all know that every season, there are rumors.  It’s rare that they ever turn out to be true.  And I’m not saying that the rumors about Varner being terrified or guilt-ridden were true either.  In his previous seasons, Jeff Varner was such a nasty and vindictive player that it wouldn’t exactly require psychic powers to guess that he was going to do something bad during Game Changers.  Predicting that Jeff Varner would act like a jackass is like predicting that a member of the Hantz Family would end up doing something violent.  It’s kind of an obvious guess.

That said, tonight’s episode of Survivor … well, it’s hard to know where to start.  It certainly wasn’t a typical episode of Survivor.  The immunity challenge and the reward challenge were handled quickly.  We did get some footage of Culpepper bonding with Aubry and Cirie over on the Mana Tribe.  And we got a few scenes of Varner trying to recruit everyone to vote off Ozzy on the Nuku Tribe.

But, once Tribal started, we all knew that Varner would eventually be voted out and the show didn’t make any attempt to convince us otherwise.  This was one of the longest tribal councils that I can remember but there was never any question that Varner was going.  From the moment he asked Zeke why he hadn’t told the tribe that he was trans, I knew Varner was going to go.

Watching Jeff Varner tonight, I found myself wondering how he really qualified as being a game changer.  Varner is not only a nasty and vindictive player but he’s also a rather stupid one.  When you consider that his goal was to get everyone to vote out Ozzy, what did he hope to accomplish by outing Zeke on national television?  Varner apparently felt that, by not coming out to the tribe as trans, Zeke was showing that he was capable of deception but, ultimately, all Varner did was prove himself to be a malicious and desperate player.

I know, I know.  Varner apologized.  Varner cried.  Varner said that he didn’t mean to out Zeke.  I didn’t buy it for a second.  Varner thought that he was going to 1) get the tribe to vote out Ozzy and 2) get the tribe to distrust Zeke so that he would be targeted at the next tribal council.  When Varner cried, it was because his plan had blown up in his face.  Need proof?  Just look at the way he constantly cut off Andrea when she said that she didn’t believe he was truly sorry,

So, no, I have no sympathy for Varner.  He knew what he was trying to do.  His plan backfired.  He was unanimously voted out.  Good riddance,

Next week — the merge!  Yay!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 6 “Vote Early, Vote Often”

The Queen is gone, long live the Queen.

I have to be honest.  I was almost convinced that Sandra would somehow manage to survive yet another tribal council.  After the tribal shakeup at the start of tonight’s episode, she and Varner were definitely the odd people out on their new tribe.  Sandra was the obvious target if they went to Tribal.  And yet, I really did think that Sandra might pull it off and survive.

Sandra may not be the strongest physical player and she doesn’t really have the right personality to ever win based on her social game but Sandra is a master manipulator.  From the minute that she ended up on her new tribe, she knew that she would be the target.  Even after Zeke lied and said that Tai was the target, Sandra knew she was probably in trouble.  Quite skillfully, she did manage to make some people paranoid about Tai and then, she managed to make Tai paranoid about his tribe.  Tai nearly blew it at tribal council when he allowed his nervous nature to get the better of him and he announced that he had considered voting out Ozzy.  How close did Tai come to getting voted out?  We may never know.  Everyone decided to stick to the original plan and voted for Sandra.  But I’m sure that, both before and after the vote, there was a lot of doubt and double guessing.

But, in the end, the Queen was voted out.  All things considered, she did surprisingly well.  Given her track record, she should have been the first one voted out.  But she managed to survive quite a few tribal councils.  There’s a reason why, after 90+ days of playing Survivor, this was the first time that Sandra had ever been voted out.  And give Sandra some credit — she handled it well.  She walked into the jungle with a certain amount of dignity.

As for her new tribe, they got rid of the game’s biggest threat.  But now they’re stuck with Debbie on their tribe.  Poor things.

As for the rest of the show, it started out with yet another tribal reshuffle.  Buffs were dropped and redrawn.  We are now back to two tribes and here they are:

Nuku Tribe

Sandra (First a member of Mana and then a member of Nuku, voted out at tribal council)

Andrea (First a member of Nuku and then a member of Tavua and now a member of Nuku)

Sarah (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)

Ozzy (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)

Zeke (Nuku, Tavua, Nuku)

Tai (Nuku, Mana, Nuku)

Jeff Varner (Mana, Nuku, Nuku)

Debbie (Nuku, Mana, and then back to Nuku after Sandra was voted out)

Mana Tribe

Aubry (Mana, Nuku, Mana)

Michaela (Mana, Nuku, Mana)

Culpepper (Nuku, Mana, Mana)

Cirie (Nuku, Tavua, Mana)

Hali (Mana, Mana, Mana)

Troyzan (Mana, Tavua, Mana)

Sierra (Nuku, Mana, Mana)

Because there were 15 castaways and only 14 buffs, Debbie ended up buffless.  She was sent to Exile, which turned out to be a luxury yacht where she was joined by John Cochran.  Cochran seemed to be a little freaked out by Debbie but he still gave her some good advice, the majority of which was to stop acting like herself.  I doubt Debbie was really listening to anything that Cochran had to say.  Debbie was allowed to pick from three advantages.  She picked the ability to cast an extra vote at Tribal Council.  Since Nuku went to tribal, Debbie will replace Sandra on their tribe.  This means that she’ll finally be away from Culpepper.

Tai managed to find an idol at his old camp and then, when he reached his new camp, he found a second idol!  So, Tai now has two immunity idols!  Tai’s a terrible player but he’s good at finding those idols.

Meanwhile, at the new Mana Tribe, Culpepper and Troyzan bonded over the fact that they’re the only two guys on their new tribe.  So, I assume that they will now form a middle-aged Alpha Male alliance.

But for now, the important thing is that the Queen is gone.  Who will step into her place?

Lisa Marie

Survivor 34 Episode 5 “Dirty Deed”

Tonight’s episode of Survivor was fun but predictable.  After what went down last week, I think we all knew that if Nuku went to tribal council again, J.T. would probably be voted out.  By telling Culpepper the plan, JT set up Malcolm to be voted out.  The laws of revenge and karma dictated that JT would have to pay.

In fact, J.T. played such a bad game this season that it’s easy to forget that J.T. has actually won Survivor in the past.  Then again, strategy was never J.T.’s strong suit.  He largely won because he was a nice guy and everyone hated Stephen Fishbach.  This season, he screwed up when he openly betrayed his tribe at last week’s tribal council.  He screwed up again, tonight, when he tried to convince everyone to go after Michaela and not Sandra.

Speaking of Sandra, she again demonstrated why she is the queen.  I’ve never been a huge Sandra fan and I really don’t like the idea of former winners getting a chance to come back and win again.  But tonight, Sandra showed us why she has won twice.  Sandra knows how to get into people’s minds.  By taking J.T.’s precious sugar and allowing Michaela to be blamed, she managed to shift JT’s target off of herself and onto Michaela.  By getting JT to go after Michaela and saving her, Sandra also ensured that Michaela is now loyal to her.

What surprises me is that Aubry decided to ally herself with JT.  What was Aubry thinking?  Then again, I’ve always felt that Aubry’s an overrated player.  Aubry may brag about using logic to play the game but she rarely seems to actually do that.

In the end, the deciding vote came down to Jeff Varner and he decided to vote for JT.  Despite having found an idol at the start of this episode, JT was voted out.  JT was so confident that he didn’t even bring his idol to the tribal council.  That’s just foolishness.

Other than the drama at Nuku, this episode’s big storyline was 51 year-old Debbie acting like a 12 year-old child over at the Mana Tribe.  At the reward challenge, Debbie bragged that she had a great sense of balance and hence, she could handle the balance beam part of the competition.  It turned out that Debbie had a terrible sense of balance and, as a result, Mana lost the reward.  Instead of taking ownership and apologizing for her part in loss, like a grown up would do, Debbie proceeded to declare that it was all Culpepper’s fault for running the tribe like a dictatorship.

Debbie proceeded to have a meltdown, claiming that everyone was plotting against her and that she had no say in how the tribe was run.  She yelled at Culpepper.  She yelled at Hali.  At the immunity challenge, she spent the whole time saying that she would compete and then that she wouldn’t compete.  When she got across the balance beam, she ran around telling everyone, “I was the first one across!”  Debbie claimed that she was venting but all she was doing was throwing a tantrum.

For most of the episode, I was convinced that Mana would lose immunity and Debbie would be voted off.  My main fear is that Tai would find the idol and use it save Debbie because, as we all know, Tai can always be counted upon to do the worst possible thing and the worst possible time.  But, to my shock, Mana won immunity and it was JT voted out.

Next week, it looks like there will be another tribal shakeup!  Who will get stuck with Debbie and will Sandra continue to be the queen?

We’ll find out!

Lisa Marie

P.S. Thank you everyone who replied last week.  I apologize to everyone who I didn’t get a chance to personally reply to, it was a crazy week.

P.P.S. Amazing Race coverage starts tomorrow!


Survivor 34 Episode 4 “The Tables Have Turned”

Okay, having watched tonight’s episode of Survivor, I have one question:


Seriously!  First Caleb and now Malcolm.  (And I know that some of my male friends have said they thought that Ciera was hot, too.  I personally don’t see it but hey, whatever.)  If I was Ozzy, Troyzan, Hali, or Sierra, I would be really paranoid because it appears that the better looking you are, the more likely it is that you’re going to get voted off.  What’s especially bad is that all of these attractive people are getting voted off so early that they won’t even be on the jury.  We are potentially looking at the ugliest finale in Survivor history.

Okay, rant over.  Let’s talk about tonight’s episode of Survivor.

Up until that terrible moment when Malcolm’s torch was extinguished, this episode was shaping up to be one of the best in Survivor history.  The producers threw in an interesting twist during the immunity challenge.  Jeff Probst announced that, even though three tribes were competing, only one would win immunity.  Both of the tribes that lost would have to go to tribal council.

The immunity challenge was one of those challenges that drives me crazy because I know I wouldn’t be any good at it.  It was one of those things where each tribe picked a caller and that caller had to shout out directions while the rest of their blindfolded tribe tried to make their way through an obstacle course.  I have a hard time following directions and I get frustrated easily.  If I was on Survivor, I would be totally worthless in that challenge and I’d probably voted out afterward.

The challenge was won by Tavau, which means that Ozzy got a night off from worrying about being blindsided and Troyzan got to hold onto his immunity idol.  As I watched the other two tribes deal with their loss, I was pretty sure I knew what would happen.  Mana would vote out Hali.  Nuku would probably vote out JT.

But then — another twist!  Jeff announced that there would be only one tribal council.  Mana and Nuku would both go to tribal council at the same time and they would vote out one person!

Here’s where things got complicated.  Over on the Nuku Tribe, Sandra wanted to target Sierra because she was the biggest physical threat.  JT said he would go along with whatever the rest of the tribe did but, secretly, he was thinking that maybe he and Malcolm could somehow convince Culpepper and the rest of the Mana Tribe to vote for Sandra.  While Malcolm knew that he might be a target, he also felt that he and Culpepper, a fellow alpha males, had a connection.

Over on the Mana Tribe, Culpepper actually was thinking of targeting Malcolm, though he also seemed to be willing to go after Sandra.  However, in typical Brad Culpepper fashion, he overplayed his hand by trying to bully Hali into voting with her new tribe and against her old tribe.

Then, Tai went off and did some searching and found the immunity idol!  Now, if Tai was smart, he would have kept it for himself.  Instead, he decided to let the entire Mana tribe know.  The Mana Tribe now had an immunity idol but it wouldn’t do them much good unless they figured out who Nuku was going to vote for.  If they played the idol for the wrong person, it wouldn’t matter.  Nuku, with their one person advantage, would still have the numbers to vote out a member of Mana.

When everyone finally arrived for Tribal Council, the scene was complete chaos.  If not for the fact that it led to Malcolm getting voted out, this would have been one of my favorite tribal councils of all time.  Sandra was her usual snarky self, literally taunting Mana with the fact that JT was going to vote with his new tribe.  Meanwhile, Culpepper said that Hali would be in trouble if she didn’t vote for with Mana.  Both Sandra and Culpepper overreached and it backfired on them.

JT suddenly walked over to Culpepper and whispered in his ear, telling Culpepper that he was the target.  Hali whispered to Sandra.  Soon, everyone was whispering to everyone else.  Jeff Probst could only watch in shock as literally everyone scrambled about,  When he finally said that it was time to vote, no one seemed to know what was going to happen.

However, as so often happens when people are suddenly uncertain about what to do in Tribal, everyone stuck to the original plan.  Nuke voted for Sierra.  Mana voted for Malcolm.  Tai gave the immunity idol to Sierra who played it.  None of the votes for Sierra counted.  Malcolm was the fourth person voted out and he was definitely not happy about it.  I wasn’t happy about it either.

So, what does the future hold?  We’re four episodes in and it’s obvious that the show has been edited to emphasize the fact that three people are feeling very confident right now: Ozzy, Sandra, and Culpepper.  Usually, when someone gets the overconfident edit, that means that they’re going to be blindsided at some point in the future.  I’ll hate to see Ozzy go but I’m about done with Sandra and Culpepper.

One final note: for someone who has actually won the game in the past, JT seems to be absolutely terrible when it comes to strategizing.

Anyway — bye, Malcolm!  You and your amazing hair will be missed.

Lisa Marie

P.S. The Amazing Race stars next week!  Yay!  And yes, I will be covering the new season. 🙂