Category Archives: Survivor

Survivor 44.13 — The Finale

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Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the finale of Survivor 44 yet, this is entire post is a spoiler!




Well, congratulations are due to Yam Yam, who not only won Survivor 44 but who also won with shocking ease.  The final vote was 7 votes for Yam Yam, one vote for Heidi, and — surprisingly — no votes for Carolyn.  Even though everyone on the jury talked about how inspired they were by Carolyn and Frannie made a big deal about how Carolyn “changed her world,” not a single one of them voted for her to win the game.

Heidi’s one vote came from Danny Bronx, who was apparently impressed by her ability to build a fire.  Heidi won the final immunity challenge but then gave it up so that she could be the one to take on Carson in the fire-making challenge.  Apparently, Carson was viewed as such a threat that Heidi felt that it was on her to personally send him to the jury.  She built her fire in record time and she did win that final spot.  And, in the end, she won one vote for her trouble.  Anyone who has actually been paying attention (as opposed to just taking orders from Danny and relying on her immunity idol to take her to the finale) would have realized that Yam Yam was seen as being the leader of the Tika Three and, as a result, he was a much bigger threat than Carson.

Yam Yam is not one of my favorite winners.  Yes, he played a good game.  Yes, he earned that victory.  But he was so whiny and petulant that he really did just get on my nerves.  In the end, I would have voted for Carolyn over Yam Yam because Carolyn was, in her own quirky way, a smarter player.  Unfortunately, because she was so quirky, I think it led to the members of the jury assuming that she had just followed Yam Yam’s lead for the entire game.

Anyway, the season’s over.  There were parts that I liked and there were some parts that left me cold.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will always prefer the old, mean Survivor to “New Era” Survivor.  This season, I wanted to throw something at the TV every time they went to The Sanctuary.  I groaned every time Jeff Probst complimented everyone for being so positive.  I miss the old, ruthless show where Jeff was snarky and the only luxury one could hope for was a rusty fishing spear.  On my Survivor, the castaways were tossed on a beach and told to try not to die.  By the end of the show, everyone looked emaciated and exhausted.  On New Era Survivor, no one loses a pound and Jeff acts more like a camp counselor than an instigator.  Oh well.  Things change.  That’s just the way it goes.

Speaking of things changing, I guess we’re on hiatus until August 2nd, when Big Brother returns!  See you then!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 44.11 “I’m Not Worthy”

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And so, Danny Bronx left the game.

To be honest, I can’t say that I’m shocked that Danny was voted out last night.  Even though he wasn’t as big of a post-merge challenge threat as I assumed he would be, it was pretty obvious that he was the most powerful of the old Soka players.  If the Tika three of Carson, Carolyn, and Yam Yam wanted to move forward in the game, they would have to get rid of Danny at some point.  Heidi has an immunity idol and she may very well be able to ride that idol to the final three but she was still largely subservient to Danny in the Tribe.

Did Carolyn make a mistake using her idol to protect Carson?  Her decision made sense because, obviously, she didn’t know if she could trust Jaime and Lauren to both vote for either Heidi or Danny.  But it turned out that, even if Carolyn hadn’t played her idol, Carson would have been safe.  Heidi and Danny voted for Carson but Jaime and Lauren voted for Heidi.  The remaining three players all voted for Danny.

Carolyn made her big move.  She protected Carson and she finally sent Danny to the jury, which is something that she’s been talking about doing since the merge.  The problem is that Carolyn no longer has her idol and, unless she wins immunity, she’s going to have to depend on Yam Yam not to betray her.  Personally, I don’t trust Yam Yam.  And, from a purely strategic view, it would make sense to get rid of Carolyn because Carolyn is a far bigger threat to win the game than Jaime, Lauren, or Heidi.  As well, I think Carolyn may have made a mistake by voting first for Lauren and then crossing out her name and voting for Danny.  Now that Lauren knows that Carolyn was thinking about voting her out, Lauren is probably going to be more than happy to return the favor.  Carolyn’s biggest strength is that she says and does whatever pops into her mind without worrying about the consequences but it’s also her biggest weakness.

One final note on last night’s episode, was I alone in worrying that Yam Yam had drowned during the immunity challenge?

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Survivor 44.10 “Full Tilt Boogie”

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Well, at least Frannie can finally spend some time with her showmance.

I don’t think there was really anything shocking about Frannie being voted out last night.  As soon as Frannie won the reward challenge, her fate was pretty much sealed.  Not only did she prove to everyone that she was surprisingly good at winning challenges but she also upset Yam Yam by not selecting him to go to the Sanctuary with her.  As soon as she announced that Carolyn, Heidi, and Lauren would be her picks to go have a big lunch and read letters from home with her, I said to myself, “Now, Yam Yam has something else to whine about.”

And indeed, that’s what Yam Yam did.  Yam Yam plays this game way too personally and I’m pretty much over him.  That said, it was less Yam Yam’s bitterness that sealed Frannie’s fate and more the fact that 1) Frannie was way too good at challenges and 2) Danny noticed.

At the Sanctuary, Frannie attempted to forge a women’s alliance between her Heidi, Carolyn, and Lauren.  While Carolyn was immediately onboard, Heidi and Lauren were a bit less enthused.  After Carson won immunity, it was pretty much guaranteed that Frannie would be the target, despite Frannie and Carolyn’s efforts to target Danny and, later, Heidi (who was viewed as being too close to Danny).

Interestingly enough, the tribe is also still trying to figure out how to flush out Jaime’s idol, despite the fact that the idol wasn’t real and Kane took the idol before he was voted out.  Unfortunately for Jaime, no one is buying her story about giving the (fake) idol to Kane, despite the fact that it’s the truth.  Jaime survived last night but everyone still agreed that she couldn’t be trusted so that fake idol may end up being her undoing after all.

For the record, Carson, Danny, Jaime, Lauren, and Yam Yam all voted for Frannie.  Frannie and Carolyn voted for Heidi.  Heidi, who didn’t realize she had become Frannie and Carolyn’s new target, was the only one who stuck to the original plan of voting for Danny.

Frannie is now with Matt and we are now down to 7 castaways with 3 episodes left.

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Survivor 44.9 “Under The Wing of a Dragon”

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Last night’s episode of Survivor was a disappointment.  I have spent this entire season waiting for someone to try to use a fake idol, whether it was that stupid thing that Josh built or the two fake idols that Jaime and Matt found.  Instead, Josh was voted out with his fake idol in his pocket.  Matt threw away his fake idol after Brandon told him that it wasn’t real.

And last night — Jaime gave her fake idol to Kane so that he could keep it safe during Tribal.  Then, when Kane was voted out, he left with the idol in his pocket!  During his final comments, he even said that he was happy to be leaving with an idol in his pocket.  I know that production was probably really hoping that someone would try to play a fake idol and it’s not their fault that no one did.  But it’s still hard not to be frustrated.  

You do have to wonder about what’s going to happen next week.  Jaime will probably be searching for the idol in the jungle, not realizing that she’s wasting her time.  As of late night, only boring old Heidi has an idol so once again, it seems like a player who hasn’t really don’t that much is going to be able to ride an idol to the end of the game.

Kane really should be angry.  Last night, at the immunity challenge, Kane, Carson, Lauren, and Heidi all sat out the challenge in exchange for the tribe getting more rice.  Danny and Carolyn both made a big show of promising not to vote for anyone who sat out.  Of course, they both went back on their word and voted for Kane.  Carolyn, to her credit, at least realized that Danny was a bigger threat but, in the end, Yam Yam demanded that Kane be the target because Yam Yam (who is really starting to get on my last nerve) is obsessed with the idea of karma coming after anyone who voted for him.  Carolyn decided to go with the majority and, as a result, Danny Bronx survived yet another tribal council.

Here’s how everyone voted last night:

Carolyn — Kane

Carson — Kane

Danny — Kane

Heidi — Kane

Yam Yam — Kane

Crazy Eyes Frannie — Jaime

Jaime (wasting her extra vote) — Heidi/Heidi

Kane — Danny

And so, Kane becomes the 3rd member of the jury.

Next week, who knows what is going to happen?  Everyone who voted for Yam Yam has been sent to jury so maybe he’ll join them.  Or maybe everyone will finally get tired of Danny’s attempts to the new Boston Rob.  We’ll see what happend!

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Survivor 44.8 “Don’t Get Cocky, Kid”

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I think I’m ready for Danny to go.

Danny — or Danny Bronx as he calls himself — started the season strong.  He was the first to get an immunity idol.  He played strategically.  He seemed to be good at challenges.  He pretty much had the entire Soka Tribe doing his bidding.  He seemed destined to go far in this game and I was okay with that.  Every season of Survivor needs a good villain and Danny seemed to be destined to fulfill that role for Survivor 44.

But, ever since the merge, Danny has just been annoying the ever living heck out of me.  He’s one of those players who always has to be the center of attention.  I mean, even Boston Rob knew when to dial it down a little.  Last night, he passed gas in an attempt to win an immunity challenge.  On the one hand, I guess you should do whatever you need to do to win but …. ugh.  Seriously, show a little class.  Add to that, it was all for nothing because Laruen still won immunity.  (It’s good that she did win as she was being targeted before the challenge.)

Danny’s actions last night also revealed that he’s gotten a bit too cocky for his own good.  At Tribal Council, Danny played his immunity idol for Frannie.  That saved Frannie, because she did receive the majority of the votes.  Instead, it was Brandon who went to jury.  I can’t blame Danny for targeting Brandon because Brandon was a strong player and you always want to get the strong players out.  But Danny’s big mistake was sacrificing his idol to do so because now, Danny has nothing to protect him.  And Danny really isn’t as well-liked as he seems to think he is.  As we already saw in the preview for next week’s episode, Carolyn is “sick of Danny.”

And I’m ready to see Danny go to.  He’s simply too cocky and too obnoxious and the laws of Survivor karma say that Danny, having pulled off the blindside of the season, is now destined to be blindsided himself.  Of course, if Danny manages to find another immunity idol, he might stick around a little longer.  Honestly, if the rest of the tribe allows Danny to go out and find the idol before they do, they deserve whatever they get.

So, this will be Danny’s chance to prove himself.  He no longer has his idol.  Is he the brilliant player that he claims to be or is he just another person who tried too hard to join the pantheon of Survivor greats?  We’ll find out next week!

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Survivor 44.7 “Let’s Not Get Cute About It”

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Our first member of the jury is …. MATT!

And it’s entirely Frannie’s fault.

Seriously, I don’t know what Frannie was thinking last night.  At the immunity challenge, Probst announced that the newly merged Va Va Tribe would be split into two separate groups.  The castaways would then have to balance a ball at the end of a long pole.  The two people who lasted the longest would each receive individual immunity.  The last person standing in the challenge would also win immunity for their entire tribe.

When the teams were selected, Frannie and Matt ended up on separate teams.  From the minute that happened, their fate was pretty much sealed.  Frannie and Matt’s showmance has put a target on their backs and everyone has been talking about splitting them up.

However, Frannie could have very easily saved both herself and Matt.  During the challenge, all of the other members of Frannie’s team dropped their ball early on.  Frannie was the last person standing on her team while Matt’s team still had four other people in the competition, including Matt!  At that point, if Frannie had dropped the ball, she would have won individual immunity for herself and Matt would have, at the very least, gotten immunity as a result of being in the group that lasted the longest.  Frannie’s group would have gone to tribal council and they could have forced Danny or Carolyn to use their immunity idols.

Instead, Frannie held on to the end of the challenge, finally winning over Brandon.  As a result, Brandon won individual immunity, Frannie won individual immunity, and Carolyn, Carson, Danny, Heidi, and Kane all won group immunity.  Meanwhile, Matt, Yam Yam, Jamie, and Lauren were all vulnerable.

Out of that group, Matt and Yam Yam were the biggest targets.  However, Yam Yam was ultimately safe because, while he may not be trusted, he’s also not much of a threat.  He’s someone who could presumably be voted out anytime without anyone caring.  Matt, on the other hand, was Frannie’s showmance and I don’t think there was ever much doubt that the group would want to split up Matt and Frannie.  Even after Heidi used the “Control a vote” advantage (which she found after the immunity challenge) to force Lauren to vote for Yam Yam, the end results were still 3 votes for Matt and 2 votes for Yam Yam.  Matt told Frannie not to blame herself, though Frannie totally should blame herself.

For an old school Survivor fan like me, last night’s episode was disappointing.  First off, Brandon told Matt that he had a fake idol so we were robbed the chance of watching Matt try to play it.  Secondly, the merge has happened so I don’t know why they’re still doing group challenges.  Third, the much hyped “Control a vote” advantage turned out to be a dud.  Fourth, this was yet another weepy tribal council, in which Probst encouraged everyone to get in touch with their feelings.  Survivor has changed a lot over the last few years.  I still enjoy the show but I do miss the way it used to be, back when everyone was ruthless, each season had a compelling villain, and Jeff Probst was the snarkiest, most passive-aggressive host around.

Next week, Frannie better seek revenge!

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Survivor 44.6 “Survivor With A Capital S”

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Every season of Survivor needs a great villain.  Josh was setting himself up to be this season’s villain but those plans came to a halt last night when the newly merged tribe voted Josh off the Island.  Josh did his best to try to convince everyone that Yam Yam was the bigger threat and he did manage to get Brandon and Kane to go along with him in voting for Yam Yam.  But the rest of the tribe (except for Carolyn, who voted for Kane) voted for Josh.

Josh’s downfall was due to the fact that no one felt that they could trust him and even his former tribemates were wondering what type of deal Josh cut to survive after he was sent to the Tika Tribe.  Josh’s attempt to convince everyone that he had an idol also came back to haunt him as Carolyn informed everyone that Josh’s idol was obviously fake.  Josh also didn’t help himself by continually bragging about the fact that no one should trust him.  Josh was so eager to play the villain that he didn’t seem to realize that he was essentially putting a huge target on his back.  All of the great Survivor “villains” — from Richard Hatch to Boston Rob to Russell Hantz — were able to win challenges, make alliances, and prove themselves to be indispensable when it came to catching food and maintaining the camp.  Josh didn’t do any of that and so it was pretty easy for everyone to vote him out of the game.

Who will replace Josh as this season’s villain?  I’m guessing Danny.  Danny had little trouble manipulating his tribe before the merge and, unlike Josh, he actually has an idol that works.  The only question is whether or not Danny will be able to continue to control the game even with the three tribes now all merged.

With the tribes now merged, here’s who is left in the game:

Yam Yam (Former Tika)

Carolyn (Former Tika)

Matt (Former Soka)

Brandon (Former Ratu)

Kane (Former Ratu)

Carson (Former Tika and Former Ratu)

Lauren (Former Ratu)

Heidi (Former Soka)

Frannie (Former Soka)

Danny (Former Soka)

Jamie (Former Soka and Ratu)

Of the tribe of 11, the former Soka Tribe has got the numerical advantage.  As far as advantages go:

Carolyn and Danny have real immunity idols.

Jaime and Matt both have fake idols that they think are real.

Lauren has an extra vote.

Next week: It looks like the Frannie and Matt showmance might be coming to a forced end.  We’ll see what happens!

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Survivor 44.5 “The Third Rail”


Last night’s episode of Survivor was a bit of an anti-climax.  As soon as Matthew started talking about how much his shoulder was still hurting, it was obvious that he was going to end up leaving the Island.

It’s a shame.  Matthew seemed like a likable guy and he also seemed like someone who could have gone far in the game.  That said, I was actually surprised that he was allowed to continue in the game after he fell off that cliff.  Even after he popped his shoulder back into place, it was still obviously giving him a lot of trouble.  I cringed every time I saw him doing anything physical.  Injuries take time to heal.  Last night, after the immunity challenge, Matthew finally faced the fact that he couldn’t continue without risking doing permanent damage and he left the game.  I hope that, once his shoulder does properly heal up, he’ll get another chance to play.

Matthew leaving canceled the night’s tribal council, which was both good and bad news for Josh.  Tika lost the immunity comp and, if they went to tribal, it was obvious that Yam Yam and Carolyn would have voted out Josh.  Josh’s brilliant plan to save himself was to make a fake immunity idol.  It was so fake that Yam Yam started laughing as soon as he saw it.  Tribal council getting canceled meant that Josh got to stay but his stunt with the fake immunity idol burned whatever bridges Josh may have constructed with Yam Yam and Carolyn.

Will that matter?  The merge is next week and Carolyn and Yam Yam are going to be an alliance of two in a much bigger tribe.  If I was either one of them, I would do my best to make Josh a target, specifically by pointing out that he can’t be trusted.  If I was Carolyn I would make sure everyone knew what I learned at the Summit this week, that Danny and Brandon, who are both too cocky for their own good, apparently want to start a “strong guys” alliance after the merge and they want Josh to be a member.

We’ll see what happens!  Next week, the whole game will change as the merge makes it an individual competition!

This is when Survivor actually starts to feel like Survivor.

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Survivor 44.4 — Missed Opportunities

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I’m one of those people who longs for a season where there aren’t any idols or any other magic advantages but, obviously, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.  This season features so many idols — both real and fake — that it’s a bit of a struggle to keep up with who has what.

With so many fake idols floating around, it seems like only a matter of time before someone tries to use one of them.  It looked like it was going to happen last night but, for reasons that I don’t understand, it didn’t.

Last night’s episode was pretty straight-forward.  Carolyn, who has a real idol, planted a fake idol at the Tika camp.  Sarah found the fake idol and was superexcited because she now how had both an idol and her inheritance advantage.

As a result of the reward challenge, the tribes were slightly shaken up.  One member of each tribe was sent to the Summit.  Carson, Jaime, and Josh were selected by the members of the victorious Soka tribe.  At the summit, all three of them were given an immunity idol that was good up until the merge.  They were also each randomly assigned to a new tribe.  Carson went to Ratu, Jaime went to Soka, and Josh went to Tika.

Tika lost the immunity comp.  Yam Yam and Sarah thought that Josh was the obvious vote so they decided they would tell Josh that Carolyn was the target and then blindside him at tribal.  Unfortunately for them, they made the mistake of not discussing any of the planning with Carolyn before telling her what they wanted her to do.  Carolyn, who was tired of being bossed around, made a side alliance with Josh.  Josh, who thought Carolyn was the target, revealed that he had an idol and offered to use it on Carolyn.  However, Carolyn instead told Josh that he was the target.  At Tribal, Josh used the idol on himself.

Now, this is when I would think Sarah would have said, “Jeff, I have an idol too!”  Because, as far as Sarah knew, everyone in tribe had voted for Josh except for Josh.  Earlier, during the show, Sarah specifically said that she would play her idol if Josh turned out to have one.  Instead, she didn’t.  Maybe she thought Josh had still voted for  Carolyn, which is what she and Yam Yam had earlier told him was the plan.  Maybe she assumed Josh would see Yam Yam as a bigger threat.  But still, for those of us who were waiting for Jeff to announce, “This is NOT an idol,” it was a disappointing moment.

For whatever reason, Sarah kept her fake idol in her pocket and appeared to be shocked when both Josh and Carolyn voted for her.  Sarah left with both the fake idol and the inheritance advantage.

As for the future, I assume the merge is coming up in two or three weeks.  As of right now, the show seems to be setting up Carolyn, Danny, Matthew, and Josh as the season’s power players.  But you never know what might happen.  That’s one good thing about Survivor.  Everyone’s fortunes can turn on a dime (or an idol).

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Survivor 44.3 “Sneaky Little Snake”

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Last night, Soka went to Tribal Council for the first time and Claire was voted out by a vote of 4-0.  Despite the fact that it appeared that the majority of tribe originally wanted to vote out Josh and Claire herself certainly seemed to think that Josh would be the target, Danny managed to talk Heidi and Frannie into voting for Claire instead.

Why was Claire targeted?  On the one hand, sitting out every immunity challenge was a good strategy as long as the team was winning the challenges.  Claire could say that she was doing what was best for the Tribe and setting aside her own ego.  But that also meant that, when the tribe finally did go to Tribal, it was easy for someone like Danny to convince everyone that Claire didn’t offer much to the Tribe.

To her credit, Claire realized that the target had shifted onto her when she couldn’t get a definite answer from Heidi as to how Heidi was planning to vote.  Claire gave up her vote and played her shot in the dark but, in her case, the shot in the dark turned out to be a waste.  With Matt having lost his vote at the Summit, only four people were left to vote and they all voted for Claire.

It really wasn’t that surprising.  The fact that the show included a segment on Yam Yam’s snoring and also Kane singing O Canada was an early clue that Tribal was going to be a cut-and-dried affair.

As for the rest of the show, Carson is trying to set himself up as a power player on Tika, Kane is trying to get back in everyone’s good graces on Ratu, and Danny is pretty much dominating things on the Soka Tribe.  Last night, we learned that Matthew has found an immunity idol and he also made a fake idol, which was found by Jaime.  Meanwhile, on the Soka tribe, Matt now has the fake idol that Danny put in the bird cage.

So, for those keeping track:

Carolyn, Danny, and Matthew all have real idols.

Matt and Jaime both have fake idols.

As for next week, supposedly the entire game is going to change.  Jeff Probst says that every week so we’ll see.

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