Category Archives: Survivor 38

Survivor 38.13 “I See The Million Dollars”

Well, that was a letdown.

Let’s just get this out of the way.  I am not at all happy with what happened during the finale of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.  From the minute that Jeff Probst said that the Edge of Extinction twist would last the entire game and that a second player would be allowed to return and compete, my main concern was that — at the last minute — some nonentity would reenter the game and basically ruin the entire season.

And, amazingly enough, that’s exactly what happened!

Listen, I’m sure that Chris is a nice guy and he made some pretty good moves during the finale.  Convincing Lauren to use her idol on him was clever and, even more importantly, it left Lauren vulnerable at the next tribal council.  (What exactly was Lauren thinking, though?)  And giving up immunity so that he could battle Rick Devens in the firemaking contest was a big move.

But none of that changes the fact that Chris essentially only played the game for 11 days.  Meanwhile, Gavin and even Julie played the full 39 days.  Devens may have been a returning player but, unlike Chris, he wasn’t just dropped into the finale.  He returned when the teams merged and he had to fight every day after that to survive.  If anyone proved himself this season, it was Rick Devens.  If Gavin or Julie had been the player who finally sent Rick home, it would have been a big Survivor moment.  Instead, RIck was sent home by some guy who most of us had forgotten about.  To lose because you didn’t win immunity is one thing.  To lose because of a twist is another.

I know, I know.  Even though Chris was voted out, he was supposedly still playing the game on Edge of Extinction Beach.  That’s what Jeff Probst kept telling us, anyway.  Chris spent 28 days at the Edge of Extinction before reentering the game.  Yes, he had to survive on rice and he had to listen to Reem whine.  But you know what he didn’t have to do?  He didn’t have to compete for immunity.  He didn’t have to search for an idol.  He didn’t have to make alliances.  He didn’t have to fight to survive tribal council after tribal council.  He didn’t have to get any blood on his hands in any of thhe votes.  He didn’t have to do any of the things that every other Survivor winner has had to do.  Instead, he reentered the game at the end and was given an immunity idol for his trouble!

In the end, of the final three, I think Gavin deserved it more than Chris.  When you look at the people who voted for Chris, you see that he got the votes of everyone who was voted out pre-merge.  Essentially, the people who spent the most time on Edge of Extinction Beach voted for Chris to win and why shouldn’t they?  They spent nearly a month with Chris.  Reem never even talked to Gavin before the final tribal council.

(For the record, Rick, Lauren, Aurora, and Kelley voted for Gavin.  Reem, Aubry, Eric, Joe, Julia, David, Wardog, Ron, and Victoria voted for Chris.  Considering that Aubry previously lost the game to someone who, like Eric, didn’t actually do anything in the game until the final three days, I’m especially surprised by her vote.)

Chris winning was a truly disappointing end for a season that had its share of great moments.  Even though the majority of the players weren’t particularly strong, this was still a season of great tribal councils.  This was a season that featured some of the greatest blindsides in Survivor history.  Even the finale featured the spectacle of both Lauren and Julie attempting to play fake immunity idols.  This was a season with potential but it could never quite overcome the Edge of Extinction twist.

Oh well!  Hopefully, they won’t do this Edge of Extinction thing again.  Survivor 39 will feature Boston Rob and Sandra as mentors and, even though I’m tired of both twists and returning players, I know that I’ll definitely be watching!

Thank you everyone for reading and commenting over the course of this entertaining but frustrating season!  The Amazing Race will be back next week and then, sometime in June, Big Brother starts!

See you then!

Lisa Marie

 

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Survivor 38.12 “Idol or Bust”

Well, we’re almost there.

There’s only one episode of Edge of Extinction left and then this season of Survivor will be in the books.  I have to say that I really, really hope that the show never does anything like Edge of Extinction again.  Right now, there are five players left in the game and then there’s 11 people on Edge of Extinction beach.  During next week’s finale, one of those 11 will win the right to reenter the game and presumably be a part of the top 6.

But why?

Seriously, why should someone who couldn’t cut it the first time now get a chance to reenter and possibly win the game?  For instance, let’s say that Reem wins the chance to reenter the game and then, because everyone on the jury has spent the last month listening to her talk about how much she wants to win and how she’s the only person who hasn’t betrayed anyone, Reem somehow wins the season?  I mean, who is going to be happy with that?  On the one hand, it’s true that you do have some strong and likable players at Edge of Extinction.  There’s Joe and David and some people like Auby.  But there’s also a lot of players — like Julia, Chris, and Reem — who never mattered and who never did anything to suggest that the game would be improved by giving them a second chance.

Admittedly, you could make the same argument about Devens, who is currently my favorite player in the game.  Devens was voted out and he did reenter the game and now he’s the biggest threat to win.  But I tend to think of Devens as being the exception that proves the rule.  If Devens hadn’t won his chance to reenter the game and, instead, it had been someone like Wendy, Keith, Reem, or Chris who reentered the game, does anyone think they would have been able to take over the game as easily as Devens has?

Last night’s episode was pretty much dominated by Devens.  It was pretty much a typical Survivor 38 episode, in that it didn’t really get interesting until tribal council.  That’s when Devens — who had already won the immunity challenge — revealed that he had also found an immunity idol.  He announced that he was going to play it for Julie and that, as a result, the Aurora/Lauren/Gavin/Victoria alliance would have to turn on each other.  In the end, Rick didn’t play the idol but it didn’t matter because Lauren, Gavin, and Victoria had already decided that they were going to blindside Aurora.  By a vote of 5 votes for Aurora and one vote for Julie, a rather angry Aurora was sent to Edge of Extinction Beach.

So, with the finale approaching, here’s your final six:

Rick Devens — Because Devens has an immunity idol, he’s guaranteed to survive, at the very least, the first tribal council on finale night.  If Devens makes it to the final three, he’ll be difficult to beat.  His problem is that everyone knows this so no one wants to take him to the end.

Lauren — Lauren also has an immunity idol so she will also survive the first tribal council.  If she makes it to the final three, Lauren’s problem is that she’s largely been a follower during the entire season.  First, she did whatever Kelley told her to do.  Now, she does whatever Gavin tells her to do.

Gavin — Gavin’s been coming on strong over the past few episodes.  If Devens doesn’t make it to the final three, I think Gavin would be the favorite.

Victoria — Victoria suffers from the same problem that’s going to make things difficult for Lauren.  She’s largely been a follower this entire season.  She’s worked with people but she’s rarely been a leader.

Julie — Julie seems to be guaranteed a spot in the final three because everyone thinks that they can beat her.  They’re probably right.

The Returning Player — This is the wild card.  Who knows who will return from Edge of Extinction Beach or when they’ll return.  Will they return and be a part of the top six or a part of the top five?  Aubry won an advantage and has been allowed to practice for the eventual comp.  But the show has been focusing so much on Reem that I’m worried they’re foreshadowing her eventual return.

I guess I’m going to predict that we’re going to have a Gavin, Lauren, and Julie final three.  I’m going to predict the returning player will be voted out at the first tribal council.  Then Devens will be voted out as soon as he doesn’t have immunity.  Gavin will win the last immunity and he’ll take Julie with him to the final three.  Lauren beats Victoria in a fire-making comp and then Gavin wins the million dollars with Lauren picking up a vote from Wentworth and Julie maybe getting a vote from Ron.

We’ll find out what happens next week!

Lisa Marie 

Survivor 38.11 “Awkward”

Last night’s episode of Survivor was entitled “Awkward” and it was a good title because it was basically 45 minutes of one awkward moment after another.

First, you had the loved ones challenge.  This is the challenge where the castaways compete for a chance to spend the day with a family member, a friend, or a lover.  It’s also the challenge where Jeff Probst asks everyone why they’re doing Survivor and everyone cries.  Some people love this episode.  Some people spend almost the entire episode cringing.  I imagine I would probably cry if I was on Survivor, living on rice and boiled water, and suddenly my boyfriend came walking out of the jungle.  But the show always tends to drag out everyone seeing their loved ones and it can get a little bit ….. well, awkward.

Speaking of awkward, did you notice the Julie’s husband looked like he could be Ron Clark’s younger brother?  I think that explains a lot about the Julie/Ron relationship.

Ron and his husband won the challenge and Ron was then put in the awkward position of deciding who would get to share the reward.  It wasn’t surprising that he would pick his most consistent ally, Julie.  He also picked Gavin, mostly because Gavin put off his wedding so that he could be on Survivor.

For those who didn’t win the challenge, things got awkward back at camp.  That’s when RIck Devens caught Aurora trying to search through his things.  Aurora said that she was searching his stuff for an idol and that there was nothing in the rules that said that she couldn’t.  This, however, was kind of a dumb move on Aurora’s part because it confirmed to Rick what he already suspected: he was the number one target.

This made RIck even more determined to find an actual immunity idol, which he managed to do.  Of course, it involved him awkwardly climbing a tree in the middle of the night and hoping that no one would notice him.  Amazingly enough, despite several people waking up through the night, he managed to do just that.

At the immunity challenge, Devens was the first one to drop out.  Immunity was eventually won by Gavin, who really didn’t need it.  Back at camp, things were awkward as everyone refused to talk to Devens.

Ron did two things, neither of which worked out well for him.  First off, he decided to give Devens the immunity scroll that he found at the start of the game.  What he didn’t tell Devens is that the scroll was only good through Day 9 and had already expired.  To me, this seemed like a needlessly mean-spirited move on Ron’s part.  It  reminded me of why I just can bring myself to like Ron.

Ron also gave the extra vote advantage to Gavin.  Ron apparently thought that this would seal his alliance with Gavin but Gavin and Lauren immediately started to think about casting the extra for Ron.  Their logic was that, if Devens did have an immunity idol, it would make sense to get rid of Ron instead.  This, of course, put Gavin in the awkward position of betraying the man who earlier shared his reward challenge victory with him.

At Tribal, everyone said that they were planning on voting for Devens so, after the vote, Devens handed Jeff the immunity scroll.  Jeff announced that the scroll was expired and had no power.  Ron started to smirk but then Devens started yelling at him, accusing him of trying to make him look stupid.

Ron’s smirk disappeared.  Both he and the jury were stunned by Devens outburst.  (Yes, things were a little bit awkward.)  Suddenly, Devens laughed and said that he knew the scroll was probably useless because both Ron and Julie have proven they can’t be trusted.  Then Devens got the actual immunity idol out of his bag and handed it to Jeff.

The first four votes (from Ron, Julie, Victoria, and Aurora) were for Rick and none of them counted.  Aurora got on vote, from RIck.  Meanwhile, Lauren and Gavin both voted for Ron, with Gavin using the extra vote to cast two votes for Ron.  And so, by a vote of 3-1, Ron Clark was sent to Edge of Extinction Beach!  (One thing to note: it turns out that Gavin didn’t need to use the extra vote.  If he hadn’t, it still would have been a 2-1 vote to kick Ron out of the tribe.)

If nothing else, this has been a season of great Tribal Councils!

Anyway, Ron is now on Edge of Extinction beach.  Judging from the preview for next week’s episode, it looks like the Edge of Extinction twist might be ending next episode.  Presumably, someone will rejoin the game and the rest will finally get to take a shower.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Maire

Survivor 38.10 “Fasten Your Seatbelts”

Overall, I’m liking this season of Survivor but I still hope they never do this Edge of Extinction thing ever again.

Edge of Extinction Beach might as well just be renamed Whiny Beach.  Every episode, we have to spend what seems like an eternity listening to Reem, one of the worst players in the history of the game, complain about the fact that she managed to so alienate her tribe that she became the first person voted out.  Reem is bitter and that’s understandable.  It can’t be easy to so totally fail at the game.  But seriously, enough is enough.  Last night, she was joined by Kelley Wentworth, who was very upset at Wardog for betraying her, despite the fact that it was the best move for his game.  For someone who has a reputation for being a brilliant player, Wentworth has little appreciation for or understanding of any strategy beyond looking for immunity idols.

Another thing that I noticed during last night’s episode is that the jury is getting huge!  Typically, there are 10 members of the jury.  With Wardog getting voted out last night, there are now 9 members of the Edge of Extinction jury and there’s still about three episodes to go.  At the rate we’re going right now (and considering that at least one person will supposedly have a chance to get back in the game), we’re looking at a jury of 13 people.  (If Wendy and Keith — remember them? — hadn’t voluntarily left, we’d have 15 people.)

When are we going to have our next comp to see who gets back in the game?  To be honest, to me, it seems unfair to let someone reenter the game this close to the end.  No, I’m definitely not a fan of this whole Edge of Extinction thing.  There’s no real stakes when you know that anyone voted out can get back into the game.

As for the rest of the show — well, this was one of the most straight forward episodes of Survivor in the history of the show.  After engineering the Wentworth blindside, Wardog basically got a big head and decided that he was in charge of everything.  After he barked at Gavin, Gavin decided that maybe it would be a good idea to build up his resume by convincing people to vote out Wardog.  They didn’t take much convincing, of course.  Once Devens won immunity, everyone shifted their focus over to Wardog.

Both Wardog and Devens made the case that Aurora should be voted out but it didn’t work.  Wardog and Devens may have voted for Aurora but everyone else on the tribe voted for Wardog and Wardog was sent to Edge of Extinction Beach by a vote of 6-2.  Over on the jury, Wentworth said that the tribe voted out Wardog because they wanted “revenge for me,” but I think it was more a case of Wardog just being viewed, along with Devens, as being the biggest threat to win the game.

So, now, Wardog is gone and, for a while at least, we won’t get to laugh at his total ineptitude when it comes to challenges.

As of right now, if i had to guess, I’d say that it looks more and more likely that we’ll have a Gavin/Ron/Victoria final three.  Devens is going to get voted out as soon as he doesn’t have immunity and I imagine Aurora will go right after him.  I could see Julie potentially making it to the final three but, in the end, I think Victoria will sneak in there.  Victoria is one of those players who has consistently managed to be on the winning side without drawing too much attention to herself and those type of players always seem to make it to the final three.

As always, we’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 38.9 “Blood of a Blindside”

Last night’s episode of Survivor was a surprise.  For the first time, outside of the finale episodes, we had two immunity challenges and two tribal councils, all in the same night.  I’m not sure why the show did that, though I imagine it might have something to do with Edge of Extinction.  At some point soon, the castaways on Edge of Extinction Beach will get another opportunity to reenter the game.

As for the two castaways who were voted out last night, one was a blindside and one was definitely not.  As soon as Aurora won the first immunity challenge of the night, I think we all knew that David was going to be in trouble.  He’s simply too good at the game and, as Wardog pointed out, too good at talking his way out of trouble at Tribal Council.  David was obviously the biggest threat to win the game and, as much as I love David, it made perfect sense for the rest of the tribe to vote him out when they had a chance.

Still, David didn’t go out without a fight.  He and Devens pointed out that Wardog, Kelley, and Lauren appeared to be an unbreakable alliance and they tried to rally Julie and Ron over to their side by asking them to vote out Wardog.  It didn’t work.  If anything, Ron apparently felt that Devens and David came on too strong.  In the end, David was voted out by a vote of 8-2.  But what’s amazing is that, even in leaving, David managed to set up the next blindside.

Though it didn’t keep him from getting voted out, David was correct when he argued that Wardog was essentially seen as being Wentworth’s lackey.  Certainly, David managed to convince Wardog of that fact.  From the minute that the tribe returned to camp, Wardog started thinking about how he could make a name for himself as something other than just a lackey.  His solution?  To blindside Kelley Wentworth.

And it worked!  For once, Wardog’s plan worked brilliantly.  After Rick Devens won immunity (with a little help from an advantage that David sent him from Edge of Extinction Beach), Wentworth and Lauren seemed pretty confident that Aurora would be the next to go.  Instead, Wardog teamed up with Ron, Julie, Victoria, and Aurora and they all voted for Wenworth.  Wentworth ended up getting voted out by a vote of 5-4.  She was voted out with an idol in her pocket.  As she left, she complained that Wardog had lied to her.

(If nothing else, this season should end the myth that Kelley Wentworth has ever been a great player.)

So now, all of the returnees have been voted out.  Joe, Aubry, David, and Wentworth are all on Edge of Extinction Beach.  As far as advantages are concerned, Lauren has an idol and Ron now has an extra vote.  It was originally Aurora’s extra vote but she gave it to Ron, presumably to win over his loyalty and also because she wanted him to have it in case the blindside failed and she was voted out.

I assume that, either next week or the one after, David, Aubry, Joe, Wentworth, Reem, Julia, Eric, and Chris will finally get their chance to reenter the game.  I also assume that the blindsides will continue to come!

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 38.8 “Y’all making me crazy”

Wow.

So, where to begin?

Was last night the greatest tribal council ever?  It’s hard to say, just because there’s been so many tribal councils.  I mean, we’re on our 38th season of Survivor so it’s difficult to definitively say that anything is the best.  I will say that last night’s tribal council was unique in that it was one of the rare times when people actually changed their minds because of what happened at tribal.  The majority of the players went in there planning to vote for either David or Kelley.  Instead, thanks to Rick Devens and (believe it or not) Wardog, everyone changed their mind at the last minute, new alliances were formed, and Julie was voted out.

What happened?

While there were several factors involved in last night’s Tribal chaos, it all basically comes down to Julia and Aurora getting a bit too arrogant and Julie not being mentally prepared for what this game demands.

First off, Julia and Aurora both allowed their successful blindsiding of Eric go to their head.  Julia, thinking that she was now in charge of Kama, basically tried to run things like a dictatorship.  Her insistence that Kelley should be blindsided instead of David ended up alienating Gavin.  Even worse, for her, is that Julia didn’t do anything to soothe the worries of Ron and Julie.  Both Ron and Julie had been left out of the Eric blindside and, as a result, they felt very insecure about their place in the tribe.  Instead of making Ron and Julie feel safe, Julia basically just barked orders at them.

At tribal, both Julia and Aurora made the mistake of talking too much.  The key to Tribal Council, especially before the vote, is to say just enough without actually revealing your plans.  You have to keep things vague.  Instead, Julia essentially revealed that she and Kelley had some sort of plan.  (Kelley though the plan was to blindside David, while Julia was apparently planning on blindsiding Kelley.)  Aurora then went on this long tangent about how you can’t let everyone in on a blindside, which essentially revealed that there was a pan to blindside someone.  (“You’re spilling the beans,” Julia whispered to Aurora.  “No, I’m not,” Aurora whispered back.)

Julie started crying, saying that she hated blindsiding people.  Rick Devens ,seeing an opportunity, mentioned that, if Ron and Julie joined with the five former members of Lesu, they would have a big enough alliance to control the vote.  Wardog immediately pounced on the opportunity, telling Ron that he would be willing to vote out whoever they wanted to vote out.  Knowing that they were on the bottom of their tribe, Ron and Julie said they were open to voting out either Aurora or Julia.  Victoria, realizing that she might now be out of the majority, immediately went over to Wardog, Ron, and Julie and said that she wanted to be a part of their new alliance.

Hearing her name, Julia jumped up and started trying to get in on the conversation.  At this point, Tribal Council descended into chaos and it was glorious to watch.

“Let’s vote!” Wardog said.

“Shut up, Wardog!” Julie snapped.

While all of this was going on, both Kelley and Victoria said that the original plan was to vote out David.  “I’m right here,” David replied, with a grin.

Finally, once everyone was sitting down again, Jeff asked if they were ready to vote and they were.  Showing that they were once again happy to be working with each other, Rick used his immunity idol on David but it turned out to not be necessary.  Aurora voted for David.  Julia voted for Kelley.  Everyone else voted for Julia.

Julia, for her part, decided to go to Edge of Extinction Beach.

All in all, this was a great episode of Survivor.  Though the tribal council dominated the final 30 minutes of the episode, there was a lot of little moments that I enjoyed even before tribal.  For instance, there was that hilariously awkward dinner scene.  If you’ve ever wondered how people act at camp when they’re not scheming and plotting, now you know.  They sit around and try not to look at each other.

One last note: The Amazing Race starts next week, on the 17th!  And yes, we will be covering it here on the site!  I can hardly wait!

‘Til next time,

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 38. 7 “I’m The Puppet Master”

Well, so much for “Kama Strong.”

For all the talk about how important it is to have “the numbers” when it comes to playing Survivor, it’s also true that big alliances always seem to fall apart right after the merge.  The Kama Tribe came into the merge with a huge advantage as far as the numbers were concerned.  Not only were there enough of them that they could have easily picked off the five remains members of the Manu Tribe, one-by-one, but it looked they also had an advantage in that the remaining Manu Tribemembers were split into two separate alliances.

So, what happened?

Well, the first tribal council after the merge, Ron Clark decided that it would be a great idea to vote out one of their own.  And so, Joe was blindsided.

Then, last night, Kama continued to turn on itself.  Ron and Eric decided to split their votes between Kelley Wentworth and Lauren, with Kelley being the ultimate target.  They managed to get Julie and RIck to vote their way.  However, the rest of the Kama Tribe, along with David, Kelley, Wardog, and Lauren, decided vote out Eric instead.  And so, yet another members of the old Kama Tribe was sent to Edge of Extinction Beach.  Eric will now join Reem, Aubry, Chris, and Joe in waiting for a chance to return to the game.

How did this happen?  Basically, both Ron and Eric — but especially Ron — overplayed their hand.  From the minute that Ron announced that he was “the puppet master,” I knew that the Survivor Gods were setting him up for a big fall.  The rest of Kama — with a little help from Wardog — figured out that Ron and Eric were looking to set up a secret alliance with David and Rick so that they could use the two of them to eventually blindside the other members of the Kama Six.  Ron got cocky and gave too many orders and, in the end, Eric is the one who suffered for it.

Why was Eric voted out and not Ron?  I imagine that Eric was viewed as being more a threat in challenges but, at the same time, Eric also has a better chance of winning the chance to reenter the game.  Personally, I would have voted out Ron.  He’s the smarter of the two and he probably wouldn’t be able to win any Edge of Extinction challenges.

Meanwhile, on Edge of Extinction Beach, everyone’s still in a crappy mood.  Aubry, however, did find a secret advantage and, as a result, she can now practice for the upcoming challenge.  She also received the opportunity to give someone in the game an extra vote.  She sent it to Aurora.

Speaking of Aurora, she won the immunity challenge but she managed to upset a lot of people by how she did it.  Basically, it was an endurance challenge, one of those things where the castaways had to stand on their tip toes and balance something on their head.  The final three people in the challenge were Victoria, Aurora, and Lauren.  Lauren ended up fainting and while the Survivor medical team was checking her out, Aurora decided to try to make a deal with Victoria.

A lot of the people on the tribe — especially Julie — acted like they were scandalized by Aurora’s actions.  Personally, I think that Aurora was playing the game and she shouldn’t be judged too harshly for that.  That said, asking someone to voluntarily give you immunity is not a good look.  Aurora’s argument was that, since she was left out of the loop on the last vote, Victoria owed her immunity.  To be honest, it was a moment and a strategy that seemed more appropriate for Big Brother than for Survivor.  Victoria ignored Aurora but she still ended up slipping so Aurora won immunity anyway.

The other big development from last night is that the David/Rick bromance is apparently over.  David wanted to stay loyal to the old Manu Tribe.  Rick wanted to accept Ron’s offer to join the Kama Tribe.  Unfortunately, David and Rick have two halves of an immunity idol.  For the idol to work, both halves must be joined together.  When Rick asked for David to give him back his half, David said that he’d rather hold onto it.

So, as of now, here’s how the advantages break down:

Rick — Half an immunity idol

David — Half an immunity idol

Kelley — Immunity idol

Lauren — immunity idol

Aurora — An extra vote

Aubry — An opportunity to practice ahead of time for the Edge of Extinction Challenge

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie