Category Archives: Survivor

Survivor 40.14 “It All Boils Down To This”

Well, that’s that.

Last night, the 40th season of Survivor came to an end.  Natalie won the right to reenter the game.  Denise and Ben were voted out in the next two tribal councils.  Natalie won the final immunity challenge and selected Michele to come with her.  Sarah and Tony made fire and Tony’s fire burned through the string first.  Tony made it to the final three and he won the title of sole survivor.

There were 16 jurors, basically the entire cast with the exception of the final three and Sandra.  Tony received 12 votes.  Jeremy, Tyson, Parvati, and Ethan all voted for Natalie.  No one voted for Michele, which I think was unfair.  Michele played a good game but I don’t think the jury ever saw that and she didn’t make her case loudly enough during the final tribal council.

In the end, though, Tony deserved the win.  Of the final three players, he played the best game.  Really, from the merge onward, Tony pretty much controlled the game.  There were some angry people on the jury but most of them were able to set aside their hurt feelings and base their vote on gameplay instead of emotions.  I think that’s the advantage of having a jury made up of returning players instead of newbies.

It’s going to be a while until we have a new season of Survivor.  Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the show’s production has been temporarily suspended but, last night, Jeff Probst promised us that Survivor would return and I’m looking forward to it.  Winners at War was a good season and it was one that reminded us of why we love Survivor.  Don’t get me wrong.  I hated the Edge of Extinction twist and I would have thrown a fit if Natalie had managed to win the game.  And I still think they need to do a season without idols.  But, with all that in mind, Survivor 40 was still a blast, featuring all of the twists and blindsides that you could hope for from a season of Survivor.

Well, that concludes this round of Survivor coverage.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  Next week, our coverage begins of The Amazing Race.

As for Big Brother, I don’t know when it’s coming back.  Whenever I hear something, I’ll post it.

Thanks for reading!

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 40.13 “”The Penultimate Step of the War”

We had two hours of Survivor last night.  Usually, I love the big, 2-hour shows because something unexpected usually happens.  Last night, though, it was pretty much two hours of the expected.  “Expect the unexpected?” as Julie Moonves might say, “Not last night.”

We had two tribal councils and there really was never any suspense as to who would be voted out.  Tony and Sarah are united and they’re both running the show right now.  They were more comfortable working with Ben than with Jeremy or Nick and, as a result, both Jeremy and Nick were voted out last night.  That leaves poor Michele without an ally in the game.  Unfortunately, Michele also wasted her only advantage last night.  She flipped her 50/50 coin and was ruled safe but it turned out that she really didn’t need to do it.

For those keeping track, Nick won the first immunity challenge and then Michele won the second. At the first tribal council, Denise and Sarah voted for Michele, Jeremy and Michele voted for Ben, and Nick made the fateful decision to team up with Ben and Tony and voted for Jeremy.  Jeremy was exiled with a 3-2 vote.   At the 2nd tribal council, Nick and Michele voted for Denise.  Everyone else voted for Nick and Nick was exiled on a 4-2 vote.

I was hoping that we would at least see someone return from Edge of Extinction last night but we didn’t.  That bothered me, to be honest.  The show ended on a cliffhanger and it didn’t feel right to me.  Of course, I have to admit that I don’t really like the whole idea of Edge of Extinction.  I don’t mind someone reentering the game at the merge because the entire game changes when the tribes merge into one.  But letting someone reenter the game at the very last minute feels unfair to me.  We all remember what happened the last time with Edge of Extinction.  Some guy who wasn’t even in the game for the majority of the season won and the totally awesome Rick Devens was cheated out of the final three sport that he deserved.

The finale is next week and here’s who we have left:

Tony and Sarah.  It’s pointless to think of these two as being separate player.  They are Cops Are Us and they’ve pretty much got control of the game right now.  Tony is talkative and funny.  Sarah is boring.  I think Sarah probably has the better chance of winning because she’s allowed Tony to do all of her dirty work for her.

Ben.  Ben has a reputation for being a great player but he’s really not.  The last time he was on, the producers had to introduce the fire-making challenge just to get him into the final three.  He has a terrible social game and it’s hard to think of anything decisive that he’s done this season.

Denise.  Denise was a lot more likable when she was allied with Malcolm.  She’s gotten a bit self-righteous this season and I’m a little tired of listening to her brag about blindsiding Sandra.  (Sandra was one of the most overrated players in the history of the game and she came into Winners at War with a cocky attitude and not much else.  If Denise hadn’t taken her out, someone else would have.)

Michele.  I hope Michele wins just because she’s so underestimated and has never gotten the credit that she deserved for her previous win.  Unfortunately, Michele doesn’t have any allies left in the game but she will have a lot of allies on the jury so she’s going to be a natural target over the next few immunity challenges.  She’s going to have to win next week’s immunity challenges to make it to the final three and, despite her victory last night, challenges have never been what Michele is strongest at.

And then, we’ll have whoever comes back from Exile.  If the castaways are smart, they’ll vote out whoever returns as soon as they return.  Whoever returns from Exile has spent weeks bonding with the members of the jury.  There’s no way anyone should want to sit next to the player during the Final Three.

We’ll see what happens!  Overall, this has been a good season so I hope we have a good finale to go with it!

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 40.12 “Friendly Fire”

Last night, Survivor gave us another chaotic tribal council.

In fact, it was so chaotic — with everyone jumping up and whispering to one another — that it actually made it seem like more was happening than actually did happen.  When I rewatched the tribal council this morning, I discovered that — for all of the scheming and the paranoia — nothing really changed.  Everyone who said that they were going to vote for Jeremy voted for Jeremy.  Everyone who Tony approached about voting for Kim voted for Kim.  By a vote of 5-3, Kim was voted out of Survivor.

And really, that’s the way it almost always goes.  The Survivor editors are very good at making things looks more suspenseful than they actually are.  Usually, people show up at tribal council with a plan and they stick to that plan, regardless of what is said during the council.

When last night’s episode started, Kim was all fired up to take out Tony.  However, Kim made sure that everyone knew that she wanted to take out Tony so it’s not surprising that Tony decided to come after her instead.  Kim has a reputation for being one of the stronger “recent” winners, though I think she clearly benefited from not having a lot of strong competition during her previous season.  She’s spent most of Winners at War struggling and that continued last night.

The big news from last night is that Kim, Michele, and Nick all voluntarily dropped out of the immunity challenge so that they could eat.  (Nick at lest managed to negotiate getting a fire token from Tony before doing so.)  By dropping out, the three of them essentially handed immunity to Denise and (for the third week in a row), Tony.  Meanwhile, over on Edge of Extinction, the exiled players spent the day exhausting themselves by carrying coconuts from one side of the island to the other.  Even when it was apparent that he wasn’t going to win, Rob kept going “as a matter of pride.”  That was quite a contrast to the people still in the game.

With Tony safe, Kim and Ben wanted to target Jeremy.  Tony wanted to target Kim and eventually, he and Jeremy were able to get Ben to come over to their side.  Tribal was messy, largely because Tony got paranoid about whether or not everyone was going to vote the way that they said they were going to vote.  Tony got it into his head that Sarah was going to be targeted.  Tony started to play his idol for Sarah but then Sarah told him not to.  Jeremy then started to play the 50/50 idol that Michele gave him but, at the last minute, decided not to.  So now, everyone knows that Tony and Jeremy have idols.

For all that drama, though, the vote went the way it was expected to.

Michele, Denise, and Kim voted for Jeremy.  (Though Michele voted for Jeremy, she still gave him her idol so that he could potentially be safe.)

Tony, Sarah, Nick, Jeremy, and Ben all voted for Kim.

FInal vote, 5 for Kim and 3 for Jeremy.  Kim was sent to the Edge of Extinction.

Next week, we have a two-hour episode and then the finale is the week after that!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 40.11 “This is Extortion”

Well, having rewatched last night’s episode of Survivor, I really only have two thoughts:

First off, Tony is obviously back to being a force of chaos.  Ever since the merge, he had actually been playing a rather lowkey game, sticking with his alliance and not disappearing into the woods.  Last night, the old Tony emerged and it actually paid off for him.

Tony went into the woods and managed to find an idol.  Tony decided to do his undercover detective thing and tried to convince the minority alliance of Jeremy, Michele, Kim, Denise, and Nick that he was with him.  This, however, led to Tony deciding that he actually would be with them.  Then Parvati and Natalie sent Tony a disadvantage from Edge of Extinction, which required Tony to pay 6 fire tokens if he wanted to compete for immunity and vote at tribal council.  Tony managed to get some tokens from Jeremy, Nick, and Ben in order to pay off the debt.  That required a lot of old school hustling on Tony’s part.  (It also showed how unpopular Tony is with two potential members of the jury, which should concern him.)

Then, at the immunity challenge, Tony won his second immunity in a row!  Going into tribal with safety around his neck, Tony decided it was time to pull off a blindside and, in the process, prevent a different blindside from happening.  When he discovered that Kim and Denise were planning on turning on Jeremy, he went to Jeremy, Michele, and Nick and came up with a plan to blindside Sophie instead.

The other big lesson from last night’s episode is that you can’t allow yourself to get complacent on Survivor.  Sophie left with an idol in her pocket because she allowed herself to get complacent with her place in the game.  Even with all the sign that she was about to get blindsided, Sophie still didn’t play the idol and, as a result, she was voted out.  It was kind of a shame because, up until the past few episodes, Sophie had been playing a pretty strong game.

For the record, here’s how the vote broke down:

Ben, Denise, and Sophie all voted for Jeremy.

In case Jeremy had an idol, Kim and Sarah voted for Michele.

Tony, Nick, Jeremy, and Michele, however, all stuck together and voted for Sophie.

The end vote was: Sophie – 4, Jeremy — 3, and Michele — 2.  As a result, Sophie was sent to Edge of Extinction.

We’ve got 3 episodes left and then the Amazing Race will be taking over the time slot!

See you next week,

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 40.5 “The Buddy System on Steroids”

Hey y’all!

I’m back!  After my two-week vacation (and thank you, Erin, for filling in! — didn’t she do a wonderful job?), I have returned to discover that all of my favorites keep getting voted out of Survivor.  First Ethan.  Then …. well, I’m not really a huge Tyson fan but still, he could be entertaining.  And now, Boston Rob.

To be honest, I kind of knew Rob was going to be voted out last night.  From the start of the episode, there were way too many scenes of Rob talking about how he was in control of the game for him to be safe.  Whenever you start getting the “cocky edit,” your days on the beach are numbered.  It’s interesting.  Rob has played this game several times.  Once, he came in second.  The other time, he won.  Every other time, he’s been blindsided.  It’s never taken an immunity idol or any other twist to get rid of Rob.  Instead, he just gets too cocky and people end up taking advantage of it.

At least Rob gets to join Amber in exile now.  I’ll be interesting to see how the two of them being together changes the group dynamic over there.

The other big news from last night’s episode is that we now have three tribes instead of two.  New buffs were drawn and new tribes were created.  Here’s how it all breaks down right now:

Yara:

Boston Rob — Voted out last night

Sophie — Has half of an immunity idol

Sarah — Has a steal a vote advantage and half of an immunity idol

Ben

Adam

Dakal:

Jeremy

Sandra

Kim

Denise

Tony

Sele:

Nick

Parvati

Yul

Wendell

Michele

Michele is now on a tribe with her ex-boyfriend, Wendell.  We had to hear a lot about that last night and I’m sure we’ll hear even more about it as the game progresses and it’s going to probably get kind of annoying, truth be told.  Along with the Michele-Wendell relationship drama, we got to watch as everyone on the Sele Tribe tried to get on Parvati’s good side.  Nick announced that he had a crush on Parvati which was maybe one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen on Survivor.

Meanwhile, on the Dakal Tribe, Kim is thinking about changing sides and working with Denise and Jeremy to take out Sandra and Tony.

This week, only one tribe went to tribal council.  Next week, two tribes will go and we’ll have two more people joining the Rob and the gang in exile.

We’ll see what happens!

I’m happy to be back.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 39.9 “Two For The Price Of One”

Last night’s episode of Survivor saw not one but two people leaving the game and joining the jury.  Those two people were Aaron and Missy and, quite frankly, it couldn’t have happened to two more deserving people.  After the debacle of last week’s episode, there was something very satisfying about watching both of these arrogant bullies get blindsided.

We jumped straight into the immunity challenge last night.  The tribe was randomly divided into two teams.  One person from each team won immunity and then each team went to a tribal council.  Because it was an endurance challenge (the survivors had to balance on a beam while spinning a ball), the last person standing would not only win one of the two immunities but would also win peanut butter sandwiches for their team.

The Purple team consisted of Aaron, Dan, Dean, Janet, Lauren, and Noura.  Noura won the immunity but also jumped off the beam as soon as she won, which led to the Purple Team losing the reward portion of the challenge.  Aaron snapped at Noura about that, which was probably a mistake on his part, considering how Noura later voted at tribal council.

The orange team consisted of Elaine, Elizabeth, Karishma, Missy, and Tommy.  On that team, Elaine won immunity.  Missy seemed pretty upset about that but she was nowhere near as upset as she would be by the end of the day.

At the Purple Team’s tribal, there was nothing shocking.  Aaron tried to convince everyone to vote out Janet but everyone instead of voted for Aaron because Aaron was viewed as being a physical threat and just kind of a jerk in general.  At trial, Aaron cast his vote for Janet.  5 other votes were cast for Aaron.  Aaron was sent to tribal and it was very satisfying.

(Less satisfying was Janet and Dan apparently forming an alliance but oh well.)

The orange team was a bit more complicated.  Missy was determined to get out Tommy and basically just ordered everyone to vote for him.  Elizabeth, of course, was okay with this but Elaine and Tommy thought Missy was a bigger threat.  Missy made a huge mistake of trying to boss around Karishma.  Karishma didn’t appreciate that and she cast the deciding vote.  By a vote of 3-2, Missy joined the jury.

It was satisfying to see.  After spending a whole season watching Aaron and Missy barking orders at people, last night felt like karma.

In other news, Karishma found the hidden immunity idol.  We’ll have to see if she’s smarter with it than some of her tribemates have been.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 39.8 “We Made It To The Merge”

Hi, everyone!

Last night’s two-hour episode was a frustrating one.  Yes, we’ve made it to the merge.  It’s now an individual game and this is the time when, traditionally, we start to really get to know the players.  It’s after the merge that we usually pick our favorites and decide who we want to see win the game.  Traditionally, the shows right after the merge are some of the best.

This year, however….

It was frustrating to watch and, to be honest, it’s frustrating to write about.  It’s not just that we lost two of the strongest players in the game last night.  I love Kellee and I hate the way she got voted out but, to be honest, it’s hard for me to sympathize too much with anyone who gets voted out with two immunity idols in her pocket.  By that same token, I’m even more uspet about what happened at Jamal’s tribal council but again, Jamal didn’t have to try to fool Dean with the fake Legacy advantage and, for that matter, Jamal didn’t have to waste his idol on Noura last week,  What’s frustrating is what went on while those two were being voted out.

Did I say frustrating?  Maybe I should say enraging, instead.  I nearly threw a shoe at the TV last night and it wasn’t just because my favorite players were getting voted out.

Last night’s episode was dominated by Dan.  Dan’s creepiness has been evident since the season began.  During the first episode, all of the women on the original Vokai Tribe talked about how uncomfortable Dan made them.  In fact, if Vokai hadn’t won that first immunity challenge, Dan probably would have been voted out because he made everyone so uncomfortable.  At the time, I think Dan was told that he was being too “touchy-feely” and he apologized, saying that he didn’t mean to upset anyone.

Dan didn’t change his behavior.  As we saw last night, he was still the same creepster that he’s been since the season started.  Despite what Elizabeth and Missy claimed during the second hour of last night’s show, both of them did state that Dan made them feel uncomfortable.  He made me uncomfortable while I was watching the show and reading that “producers continued to monitor the situation” didn’t make me feel any better about it.  When you’re not feeling safe, being told that people will continue to watch you feeling unsafe doesn’t do much to help.

After the merge, Kellee tried to target Dan.  She was able to get Janet, Karishma, Noura, and Jamal to vote with her.  Unfortunately, everyone else voted for Kellee.  Even Missy, who started this game talking about how she was all about girl power, voted for Kellee.  (Of course, that could be because Lauren lied and said that Kellee was targeting Missy.)  If Kellee had played one of her two immunity idols, Dan would have been voted out.  Instead, she held onto both of her idols and she was sent to the jury.  And, as much as I love Kellee, that was foolish on her part.  She should have realized that she was viewed as being the biggest threat on the beach and she should have played at least one of her idols.

After Kellee was voted out, Janet was angry.  Janet voted for Dan specifically because she was told that Missy, Elizabeth, Elaine, and Lauren would all be voting for Dan.  Janet saw the vote as being a “moral vote,” one that was being cast not for strategic reasons but because of Dan’s behavior.  Instead, back at camp, Missy, Elizabeth, and Lauren all lied and claimed that they had never approached Janet about how uncomfortable Dan was making them feel.

“It’s the most absurd accusation in the history of mankind!” Dan exclaimed, even though people have been telling him that they made him feel uncomfortable since the game began.

Ostracized by the rest of the tribe, Janet went off on her own and …. found an idol!  Good for Janet!

Meanwhile, the Island of the Idols came back into play and basically totally screwed Jamal over.  Jamal found the invite to the Island.  Upon arrival, he was informed by Boston Rob and Sandra that he had lost his vote in the tribal council.  However, Boston Rob handed Jamal a pencil and a parchment and told him to do something with it.  Jamal created a fake legacy advantage, which he handed to Dean in front of the entire tribe.  Jamal claimed that he was doing it to “make peace” with Dean but he didn’t do a very good job selling his story and, as a result, Jamal just put a bigger target on his back.

At Tribal that night, Jamal was the obvious target but most of the discussion centered around Dan.  Perhaps realizing that “monitoring the situation” was not enough, Jeff Probst called out Dan’s behavior and, at certain points, seemed to almost be begging the tribe to vote Dan out.  Dan argued that he can’t be a creepster because he’s married and has a daughter.  He also said he was a part of the film industry and that “#MeToo started in my industry!”  Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Missy continued to lie about what they had said about Dan making them feel uncomfortable.  Jamal said that times have changed and that men have to take responsibility for how their behavior makes other people feel.  Janet, at one point, seemed like she was on the verge of quitting but she didn’t.

As I watched that tribal, I found myself probably getting more ticked off than I’ve ever gotten while watching a Survivor tribal council.  Dan’s rambling and defensive monologue was bad enough.  (Instead of apologizing, he argued that everyone else was wrong for feeling uncomfortable around him.)  But then Elizabeth, Missy, and Lauren flat out lied about what they had said about Dan.  It was upsetting to watch.  Oddly enough, all of the discussion had very little to do with how the actual vote went.

Janet did play her idol.  She received two votes, from Missy and Karishma.  Missy, I’m going to assume, was angry at Janet for calling her out.  I’m not sure why Karishma voted the way that she did.

Lauren, Elaine, and Elizabeth all voted for Karishma.  The rest of the tribe voted for Jamal and, by a vote of 6-3, Jamal joined Jack and Kellee on the jury.

So, two of the strongest players are now on the jury and some of the least likable people to ever appear on the show remain in the game.  I guess I’m rooting for Janet now, though I don’t think she’s a strong enough player to make it to the end.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

P.S. For the record, Aaron won two immunities last night and Missy won one.  (The 2nd immunity challenge featured two winners.)  Both the of the immunity challenges were intense but, in the end, neither one of them played a huge role in who went home.  That said, I can’t help but think that Aaron will be targeted the minute that he no longer has immunity.

The newest members of the Jury, Kellee and Jamal

Survivor 39.4 “Plan Z”

Well, Survivor really teased us last night by making us think that we were going to get a huge, dramatic, legendary tribal council.

Unfortunately, we were let down.  It’s not really the show’s fault.  It’s not their fault that Lairo lost yet another immunity challenge, their third of the season.  As Sandra put it, Lairo “really likes tribal council.”  Unfortunately, since we spent the majority of the episode with the Vokai Tribe and watching Noura play her unique version of the game, the Lairo Tribal felt  bit anti-climatic.  In the end, they just voted out Chelsea because no one but Dean was attached to her.  Which …. eh.  That’s interesting logic, I guess.

As I said, all the interesting stuff happened over at Vokai.  When the boat arrived to take a member of the tribe to the Island of the Idols, it was announced that the tribe could either unanimously chose someone or they could draw a name from the bag.  It turned out that no one wanted to go to the island because of the target it would put on their back.  Finally, Noura announced that she’d love to go!  Perhaps looking forward to the prospect of not having to deal with Noura for a day, the tribe agreed.

Noura went to the island.  She met Boston Rob and Sandra.  Boston Rob and Sandra spent a lot of time trying to explain to Noura why it’s important to maintain your focus while playing the game.  It appeared that Noura spent the entire meeting talking over Rob and Sandra.  Finally, Noura was told that the next immunity challenge would be the one where almost the entire tribe was blindfolded, with the exception of the caller.  The caller, of course, would be the one directing the group through a maze and then instructing them how to put a puzzle together.

The challenge was this: Noura had to convince the tribe to make her the caller.  If she became the caller, she would gain the power to block someone else’s vote at her next tribal council.  If she didn’t become the caller, she would lose her vote at her next tribal.

Well, Noura quickly agreed to the challenge, even though there’s no way anyone would ever assign such an important role to someone like Noura.  Noura then rushed back to her tribe and told them that she could tell them about the next immunity challenge but only if they agreed to make her the caller.  The tribe was a bit skeptical but they said, “sure.’  Noura then told them that it was a blind-folded challenge.  They practiced for a bit with Noura as caller.  It was a disaster.

At the immunity challenge, Jeff asked Vokai who would be sitting out.  “Noura,” they all said, showing that they didn’t believe Noura’s lie that, because she had told them about the challenge, they were required to make her the caller.  Instead, Jason served as the caller and he did such a good job that there was never any danger of Vokai not winning the challenge.

And so, Lairo went to tribal again.  Karishma was the obvious target.  Aaron wanted to get out Dean for reasons that were never really clear.  Since they couldn’t agree on whether to vote out Karishma or Dean, the majority of the tribe just voted for Chelsea instead.

In the end, it was a 6-2 vote.  Dean and Chelsea voted for Karishma.  Everyone else voted for Chelsea.

In other news, Jamal of the Vokai Tribe found an immunity idol.  With the island of the idols and then the regular idols, I’m having a hard time keeping track of who has what.  But, for now, Jamal has an idol.

Next week, the tribes are reshuffled!  It’s about time.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 39.2 “YOLO, Let’s Play”

Molly Byman, the 2nd person voted out of Survivor: Island of the Idols

If last week’s premiere was all about what a terrible tribe Lairo was, last night’s episode of Survivor was all about how Vokai isn’t much better.

As was quickly revealed last night, the Vokai Tribe wasn’t as unified as they initially appeared to be.  Noura was getting on everyone’s nerves with her annoying personality.  (The montage of her complaining was amusing but can you imagine being stuck with someone like that 24 hours a day?)  Everyone was still suspicious of Jason and concerned that he might have found an idol.  I assume Dan was still creepy, even though the show seems to have abandoned that plot point for now.  Molly, Jamal, and Jack formed a three-person alliance and Noura was upset about it, primarily because Molly was prettier than her.

Seriously, there’s a lot of possible reasons for why the Vokai Tribe voted out Molly at their first tribal council.  Noura claimed it was because the alliance of three had to be broken up and that Molly was so charismatic that she was a dangerous player.  And Noura and Jason did have every right to be concerned because Jamal, Molly, and Jack were targeting Jason for elimination.  But, in the end, it seems like the main reason Molly was voted out was because Molly was prettier than the rest of the tribe.  It was all very high schoolish.

For the record, the vote broke down as follows.  Jason, Jamal, and Molly all voted for Jason.  The rest of the tribe — Janet, Jason, Creeptser Dan, Kellee, Lauren, Noura, and Tommy — all voted for Molly.  Tommy seemed a bit uncertain about who we would vote for but, in the end, he voted for Molly.  Noura clearly outhustled Jason, Jamal, and Molly when it came to soliciting votes.  That’s why you don’t allow yourself to take anything for granted in Survivor.

In other developments, Kellee was the 2nd player to go to the Island of the Idols and, unlike what happened with Elizabeth last week, she actually won the competition!  Now, it should be pointed out that Kellee’s challenge was a lot easier than what Elizabeth was expected to do.  Elizabeth had to beat Rob in a firemaking contest.  Kellee just had to answer some Sandra trivia questions, the answers to which should have been known to anyone who watched any of Sandra’s previous three seasons.  Still, what’s important is that Kellee won an idol that will be good for the next three tribal councils.  When Kellee returned to the beach, she told everyone about Rob and Sandra but she didn’t tell anyone about the idol.

Meanwhile, over in Lairo, Aaron was upset that he wasn’t clued in on previous tribal council’s blindside.  And Chelsea found an immunity idol, which I guess is good for the entire game.  (I was really kind of hoping that the game would limit the idols to just the Island of the Idols.)  We didn’t spend much time with the Lairo Tribe but the show’s editors really seem to be emphasizing the confidence of the all-girl’s alliance.  I can only assume that means the alliance is heading for a dramatic collapse in a future episode.

We’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 39.1 “I Vote You Out and That’s It”

“It’s time for Survivor!”

Those are among the four greatest words in the English language and it’s the phrase that I look forward to hearing at least twice a year.  Last night, as Big Brother came to an ignominious end, the latest season of Survivor began.  We watched as a whole new group of castaways arrived on the beaches of Fiji.  Two tribes were formed.  One tribe won immunity.  One tribe went to tribal council and our first castaway was voted off of the island.

As I’ve always said, it takes a while to get to know people on Survivor.  In fact, you usually don’t know who anyone really is until after the merge transforms the game from being a team competition into a personal one.  Every season, I roll my eyes as people try to form an alliance on the first day.  Those alliances never seem to last, do they?  It takes a while to get to know who you can depend on.

This season, the new castaways were even more overshadowed than usual.  Why?  Because, unknown to everyone but one, Boston Rob and Sandra are in the game as well.  They’re not competing this time.  As both Jeff Probst and Rob made clear, they’re not going to compete in challenges.  They’re not going to vote in tribal council.  They’re not eligible to win a million dollars.  Instead, Rob and Sandra are living on the “Island of the Idols,” where they will apparently be given advice and lessons to randomly selected castaways.

Last night, Elizabeth of the Lairo Tribe became the first to go the island.  Rob and Sandra taught her how to make fire.  Then Rob challenged her to a fire-making contest.  If Elizabeth won, she would get an immunity idol that was good for the next two tribal councils.  If Rob won, Elizabeth would lose her vote at that night’s tribal council.  Foolishly, Elizabeth agreed to the challenge and, of course, she lost.  Even though she lost, Elizabeth potentially learned an important lesson:  Don’t be stupid.

Of course, then Elizabeth went back to her tribe and lied about what happened on the island.  She said there were three urns and that she had to break one and …. well, obviously she didn’t learn her lesson.  Does she not realize that other people are going to go to the island and discover that she’s been lying to them?

Fortunately, for Elizabeth, it didn’t matter that she didn’t have a vote last night because her tribe didn’t target her.  Instead, professional poker player Ronnie was targeted and blindsided.  Why was Ronnie targeted?  A lot of it was his general attitude.  He gave too many orders and he didn’t come across as being trustworthy and, foolishly, he tried to talk everyone into voting out two of the more likable members of the Lairo Tribe, Elaine and Vince.  By a vote of 7 votes for Ronnie and 2 votes for Vince, Ronnie was voted off the island.

For what it’s worth, here are early impressions of this year’s cast:

Lairo Tribe

(The Lairo Tribe lost immunity and it wasn’t even close.  I get the feeling they’re going to lose a few more immunities before they get their act together.)

Ronnie — Ronie was voted out last night and he really only has himself to blame.  When he should have been laying low, he was way too aggressive.

Elizabeth — Elizabeth is an Olympic swimmer.  She’s a competitor but, as her actions on the Island of Idols showed, she doesn’t appear to have much common sense.

Missy — Missy is an air force veteran who is recovering from a brain tumor.  She seems like she could be a strong player.  She started the first all-girls alliance of the season.  We’ll see how long this one lasts.

Dean — Dean didn’t make much of an impression.

Tom — Tom is the oldest person out there.  He’s a former NHL player.  He seems like he has chance to go far as everyone’s de facto father figure.  As the oldest player, he does the run the risk of being voted out if the tribe starts to panic over losing too many immunity challenges.

Aaron — Aaron owns a gym.  Aaron was totally left out of the Ronnie blindside.  Aaron seems like he’s going to be kind of a jerk.

Vince — Vince is the first Hmong to ever play on Survivor.  He’s a likable guy and a hard worker and he’ll probably be around for a while.

Elaine — Elaine seems like she’s going to be this year’s love-her-or-hate-her castaway.  Your either going to respond well to all the bad jokes or she’s going to drive you crazy.

Chelsea — Who?

Vokai

(Vokai dominated the immunity challenge last night and they seemed to be this year’s golden tribe.)

Lauren — Lauren is a nanny and that’s about all I remember about her.

Molly — Molly is a law student and she didn’t make a particularly huge impression last night.

Janet — Janet is the life guard that the tribe quickly nicknamed “Supermom.”  She seems to have the same strengths (and weakness) as Tom on the Lairo Tribe.

Kellee — Poor Kellee!  She had to deal with Creepster Dan last night.

Jason — I like Jason because he dressed up for the beach but he also immediately got on the majority of his tribe’s bad side by running off to look for an idol on the first day.  That wasn’t a good move and he’s probably very lucky that Vokai won immunity.

Jack — Jack has a cool stoner vibe that I liked.  He seems likable.  We’ll see how far that can carry him in the game.

Nauro — I liked Nauro because she was the only person willing to let Jason know that the rest of the tribe was talking about voting him out.

Tommy — Tommy’s a 4th grade teacher and it seems like he’s decided that he’s the leader of the tribe.  I thought Tommy came across as being a little bit condescending.

Jamal — Jamal didn’t make much of an impression.

Dan — Creepster Dan!  So, Dan is currently my least favorite person on the beach.  Between bragging about being a talent agent and then targeting Jason and then getting all creepy with the female members of the tribe, Dan has done enough that I’m hoping he’s not around too much longer.

We’ll see what happens!  For now, Ronnie has been voted out and the Vokai Tribe is looking strong!

Yay!  Survivor’s back!

Lisa Marie