Category Archives: Survivor

Survivor 42.13 It’s Over!

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Last night, the 42nd season of Survivor came to a close and I don’t think anyone was surprised by who won.  As soon as it was announced that she had been selected to join Romeo in the final three, I think everyone knew that Maryanne was not only going to win but she was going to win easily.  Usually, I’m not happy when someone makes it to the final three despite having never won a challenge but, for what she lacked in challenge skills, Maryanne still played a smart game.  Of the final three, she deserved the victory.

There were a few surprises early on in the show.  I was surprised that, despite winning a pretty good advantage for the next-to-last immunity challenge, Lindsay still lost to Mike.  While I wasn’t surprised that Mike decided to honor his original promise by using his idol on Maryanne, I was a little surprise that Maryanne didn’t then use her idol to save Lindsay.  But again, that shows that Maryanne knew that Lindsay would be difficult to beat.  Maryanne made the right decision.

I was even more surprised when Romeo won the final immunity challenge and secured all the power for himself.  Romeo’s been useless this entire season but he got lucky there.  Romeo foolishly took his friend Maryanne to the final three but then again, I doubt Romeo would have been able to beat either Mike or Jonathan if he had chosen differently.  Romeo got as far as he could.

I was surprised that Jonathan did so badly at the fire-making contest but then again, Mike had a definite advantage.  As a fireman, he knows fire.

As for the jury, it was pretty obvious that Maryanne was going to win.  She handled herself well while answering questions and explaining how she played the game.  She had a more likable personality than either Mike or Romeo.  She received everyone’s vote but Jonathan’s.  (Jonathan voted for Mike.)  Maryanne won and she deserved it.

Jeff Probst then announced that this was apparently the greatest season of Survivor ever which …. it wasn’t.  Maryanne was a good winner and Jonathan and Omar were interesting players but, for the most part, the castaways were a dull lot this season and the use of twists like the hourglass and the Do or Die made a lot of the challenges feel pointless.  This season was better than the previous season and I’m glad Survivor‘s back but, to be honest, I would be surprised if Survivor 42 is even included in any “Best of Survivor” lists.

Survivor 43 has already been filmed and we’ll come to use sometime in the fall!  Hopefully, there won’t be any more hourglasses to break.  As for this site, it’s now on hiatus until Big Brother starts up in the summer.  See you then!

Thank you for reading!

Lisa Marie

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Congratulations, Maryanne!

Survivor 42.10 “Tell A Good Lie, Not A Dumb Lie”

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One thing  with Survivor is that you don’t want to get too cute when it comes to trying to vote someone out.  Just come up with your plan and go with it because adding any extra complications will undoubtedly blow up in your face.

Case in point: Hai.

Hai has spent almost this entire season bragging about what a strategic genius he is.  And last night, it did look like he might have a chance to get Jonathan out of the game.  But Hai made a huge mistake when he tried to convince Jonathan that he had an immunity idol that he was willing to play on Jonathan’s behalf.  Instead of just focusing on trying to convince the other castaways to vote out Jonathan, Hai decided to try to trick Jonathan.  I’m not sure what Hai’s strategy was, beyond wanting to show off and make Jonathan look stupid.

Jonathan, of course, saw right through Hai’s lie and he used it to convince the other castaways that Hai was 1) a strategic threat and 2) untrustworthy.  He had some help from Omar who, during a reward feast with Mike and Lindsay, lied to Mike and told Mike that Hai was bragging about Mike being “his puppet.”  With Jonathan, Omar, and Mike eager to vote out Hai, it was easy to get Lindsay, Drea, and Maryanne to join in. 

At tribal council, Hai was blindsided.  He and Romeo voted for Jonathan but everyone else voted for Hai.  By a vote of 6-2, Hai was sent to the jury.

There were two other big developments last night.

First off, Maryanne found a hidden immunity idol, replacing the one that she used at the previous tribal council.

Secondly, Lindsay won reward and invited Omar and Mike to join her.  During the meal, they watched videos from their loved ones (and, of course, Omar told some lies about Hai).  It was a bonding experience for the three of them and it wouldn’t surprise me to see these three and Maryanne in the final four.

We’ve got three weeks left!  As of right now, I’m starting to think that, after spending much of the game laying low, Lindsay might be the ultimate winner.  We’ll see what happens!

 

Survivor 42.8 “You Better Be Wearing a Seatbelt”

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And the first member of the jury is….

(SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE OF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET)

…. Chanelle!

Well, that’s not really a surprise.  As soon as Tori won her second immunity challenge in a row, it was pretty obvious that Chanelle would be the next to go.  The merge clearly divided the tribe between the majority and a handful of players who are, as of right now, being picked off one-by-one.  Tori, Romeo, Chanelle, and Maryanne are being targeted right now.  Of that group, Mayanne is probably the strongest but because she’s so good at convincing people that she’s insecure and harmless, the majority went after Chanelle instead.

Of course, Romeo nearly saved Chanelle by getting paranoid that he was actually the target.  (Mike did tell a few people that Romeo was the target, just to keep Chanelle from catching on.)  As a result, Romeo started running around camp and talking to everyone and basically making a pest of out himself.  Hai decided that he wanted Romeo gone because he felt Romeo was causing too much chaos but, in the end, Mike was the one in charge.

The votes broke down as follows:

Drea, Hai, Jonathan, Lindsay, Mike, Rocksroy, and Tori all voted for Chanelle.  Even though Hai was the one who tired to convince everyone to vote out Romeo, he ended up going with the majority when it came time to vote.

Maryanne, Omar, and Chanelle voted for Romeo.  All three of these people were told that Romeo was the target as a part of Mike’s disinformation campaign.  This should be especially worrying to Omar, who spent most of this episode talking about how he was the only player to be trusted by both the majority and the outsiders.

Romeo voted for Hai.  I’m going to guess that Romeo heard that Hai was targeting him and, being paranoid, he probably thought he was doomed so he decided to vote for Hai as just a way to let Hai know what Romeo thought of him.  

And by a vote of 7-3-1, Chanelle became the first member of the jury.

In other news, Drea managed to get yet another advantage.  The Beware advantage, which she discovered during the Reward Challenge, gives her the ability to take away someone else’s immunity idol.  As much as I dislike all of the idols and the twists, I did like the way the Beware Advantage was covered in red paint.  It forced Drea to think quickly in order to cover her tracks.  Unfortunately, she didn’t get all of the red paint off of her arm and Tori now knows that Drea has an advantage of some sort.  Drea and Tori are both determined to get the other out though, in the end, I don’t think either one of them is quite as brilliant a strategist as they think they are.  They’re just been lucky when it comes to winning immunity and finding idols.

Finally, Omar and Mike had a few bonding moments.  Omar has a good social game but I think he’s also trying too hard to play both sides of the tribe.  People like him but eventually, they’re going to realize that he’s been making secret alliances were almost everyone on the beach and that could come back to take him out of the game.

Next week — two players go to jury!

See you then!

 

Survivor 42.6 and 42.7 — Again, With The Hourglass!

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Ugh!  I hate that hourglass!

The hourglass is probably the worst of the many twists that Survivor has recently introduced.  The three-part idol is overly complicated and the shot in the dark seems useless and I’m not a fan of people losing their votes at the Summit but at least all of those can be justified as just being a part of Survivor.  The hourglass goes against everything that Survivor is supposed to be about.

For those who may not know, the Hourglass was introduced last season and it returned last night.  As Julie Chen Moonves might say, here’s how it works:

In the past, whenever the tribes merged, they would just come together, have a feast, and then everyone would compete for individual immunity.  However, the show decided to shake things up last season.  Now, before the merge, the tribes are reshuffled into two groups.  The groups compete for reward/immunity.  The group that wins is told that they are safe and they’re given a big meal.  The group that loses is told that they will be competing for individual immunity and that anyone who doesn’t win immunity or isn’t already safe will be eligible to be voted out.  After the council, the tribes will officially merge.

So far so good, right?  I mean, it’s a bit too complicated for its own good but it’s not terrible.

Here’s the thing, though.  The winning team picks two players from the losing team.  One person gets to join the winning team and gets to take part in the feast and is safe.  The other person is sent to Exile Island where Jeff presents them with an hourglass.  They can either let the sand run out of the hourglass, which would leave the results the same.  Or they can smash the hourglass, which “changes history.”  The losing team suddenly becomes safe and the winning team has to compete for immunity.

It’s the worst Survivor twist ever.  The whole point of Survivor has been that, if you win a challenge, you get the reward.  Pre-merge, the show is as all about teamwork.  Post-merge, the show celebrates individual effort.  But the main point is that the winner gets the reward and gets bragging rights.  The hourglass twist makes a mockery of all that.  And since breaking the hourglass also gives immunity to whoever breaks it, it’s not as if there’s any suspense over what the person on Exile Island is going to do.  Of course they’re going to break the hourglass!

So, last night, Hai, Jonathan, Maryanne, Lydia, and Tori thought they had won the challenge.  They selected Lindsay to join them and they sent Rocksroy to Exile.  While Rocksroy went to Exile, the winners had their feast and then all of the players gathered on Vati Beach, where the majority of them agreed that Tori and Chanelle should be the first players to be targeted, post-merge.

Meanwhile, Rocksroy broke the hourglass.  The next day, at the immunity challenge, Jeff explained what had happened and that the losing group (Rocksroy, Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar, and Romeo) was now safe.  Hai, Johnathan, Maryanne, Lydia, Tori, and Lindsay now had to compete for individual immunity.  Tori managed to win the immunity contest, which was good for her because she was the number one target.

With both Tori and Chanelle safe, the question became who would be voted out.  At first, Jonathan seemed like an obvious target because he’s such a physical threat.  Hai and Omar, however, both wanted to keep Jonathan.  (Jonathan is Omar’s closest ally while Hai feels that Jonathan is such a big target that keeping people focused on him will also keep them from targeting Hai.)  While Jonathan tried to convince people that Maryanne was actually a bigger threat, Omar targeted Lydia and somehow, he managed to pull it off.  I’m not sure why Lydia was viewed as being a bigger threat than either Jonathan or Maryanne but she was and she was voted off the island as a result.

The final vote, which was a bit of a mess, went like this:

Omar voted for no one, because he lost his vote as a result of last week’s Summit meeting.

Chanelle and Tori voted for Jonathan.

Lydia and Romeo voted for Maryanne.

Rocksroy, for some reason, voted for Lindsay.

Everyone else on the new tribe voted for Lydia.

By a vote of 6-2-2-1, Lydia was voted off the island.

And the tribes finally merged!

Next week, jury selection begins!  Let’s hope that last night’s episode was the last time we will ever see that hourglass.

Survivor 42.4 “Vibe of Terror”

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There’s not really much to say about last night’s episode of Survivor.  After a week that featured a lot of twists and turns and an exciting tribal council, last night’s episode was pretty straight forward.  That’s not really a complaint.  Not every episode can be chaotic.  Occasionally, it just makes sense that it’s going to be an easy vote.

Ika went to tribal council for the second time and, from the minute that they all sat down in front of Jeff, it was pretty obvious that Swati was going to be voted out.  The show did attempt to tease us with other possibilities.  Everyone on the tribe is sick of Rocksroy trying to boss them around.  Rocksroy, himself, voted for Tori because he felt that she couldn’t be trusted.  Everyone else, however, voted for Swati and that should be a wakeup call to Rocksroy.  He may think that he’s in charge but he’s clearly not.

Why was Swati voted out?  It was her own fault.  Telling every member of the tribe that “you’re my number one” was a rookie mistake.  As a result, no one felt that they could trust Swati and, by a vote of 3-1, Swati was voted out.  Rocksroy still voted for Tori.  Swati probably voted for Tori as well but she played her shot-in-the-dark and lost her vote.  Will anyone ever play a successful shot in the dark?

Outside of Swati, the main development of this episode is that Jonathan has emerged as this season’s challenge beast.  Basically, he can win almost any challenge single-handedly.  That’s good for now but it’s going to cost him after the merge.  The first time he loses an immunity challenge, he’s going to be targeted.

And that’s pretty much it.  This was a pretty basic episode of Survivor but that’s okay.  Sometimes, it’s nice to get back to basics.

Survivor 42.3 “Go For The Gusto”

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After being slightly disappointed by the previous two episodes of the current season,  I really liked last night’s Survivor.  Not only did we get an interesting immunity challenge but Tribal was entertaining as well.  I kind of breathed a sigh of relief that it was the previously unstoppable Vati Tribe that got sent to tribal.  If nothing else, the fact that all three tribes have had to go to tribal this early in the game indicates that it’s probably not going to be another season where one group dominates the entire game.

After being way too nice last season, Jeff Probst is getting back to being his old, cranky self and I’m happy to see it.  You could see it at the Immunity Challenge, where he praised Jonathan for literally carrying his team to victory and could then barely hide his disgust at the fact that the other two tribes needed help getting their keys out of the water.  “First time this has ever happened in Survivor history!” and you could tell that Jeff wanted to add, “you losers!” at the end of his statement but he didn’t.  That’s the Jeff Probst that we all know and love!

Vati lost their first immunity challenge and went to tribal.  We got to know a bit more about the tribe and, to my surprise, Daniel has emerged as the tribe villain.  Daniel has the potential to be an entertaining villain because it’s obvious he’s trying to be a ruthless strategic mastermind but it’s also obvious that he’s not really smart enough to pull it off.  

Tribal Council was a mess, mostly because Mike can’t vote because of the Beware Advantage and Chanelle lost her vote as a result of risking it at the summit.  Jenny & Mike wanted to vote out Lydia while Lydia & Hai wanted to vote out Jenny.  Under normal circumstances, Mike, Chanelle, and Daniel would have all joined Jenny in voting for Lydia but with only Daniel and Jenny being able to vote out of that group, Hai and Lydia were suddenly in a position to fight back.  The first vote was tied, 2-2.  For the revote, Lydia and Jenny couldn’t vote and, of course, Mike and Chanelle couldn’t vote.  When Jeff read Hai and Daniel’s votes and then announced that the vote was still tied, a very confused looking Hai said, “Where are the votes?”

Jeff then had to explain that neither Mike nor Chanelle could vote.  He also explained that if Daniel and Hai couldn’t unanimously agree on whether to vote out Jenny or Lydia then Jenny and Lydia would become safe and the other four players would have to draw rocks.  No one wanted to draw rocks.  Hai announced that he would not change his vote, no matter what.  After insisting that Chanelle was the one who wanted Lyida to be voted out, Daniel then said he would also vote to get rid of Jenny, which means that his closest allies now know better than to trust him.  Jenny did not look happy and I don’t blame her.

It was a good episode.  I’m not a huge fan of all of the idols and the twists but at least they actually played a role in the vote this week.  As for next week, I’m looking forward to seeing how Daniel tries to weasel his way out of all this.

It should be fun!

Survivor 41.13 “One Thing Left To Do …. Win”

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It’s a familiar story, the type of thing that we’ve seen on Survivor more than a few times.

After a long and hard-fought season, it’s time for the final tribal council.  The final three consist of one person who made it to the end by betraying a few of his closest allies, one person who held onto an idol for the entire season, and one person who basically managed to survive.  And even though the first two people have a better claim for being awarded the title of sole survivor, the third person wins because they’re the only one who has not alienated the key members of the jury.

I think that’s the best way to explain last night’s victory for Erika.

The final three were made up of DeShawn, Erika, and Xander.  The biggest threat in the game, Ricard, had been voted out during the show’s first tribal council.  After that, Xander won immunity and decided to bring Erika to the finale with him, despite Heather warning him that Erika had a lot of support on the jury.  In the fire-making challenge, DeShawn nearly lost to Heather but managed to pull off a close victory.

DeShawn faced a jury full of people who he betrayed or who remembered him talking about betraying other people.  DeShawn spent a good deal of the game talking about the other players behind their backs and it turned out that the jury remembered that and they were kind of bitter about it.  Ricard, especially, seemed angry about it.  (That’s a bit hypocritical on Ricard’s part, considering some of the things he said about people over the course of the game.)  Shan and Liana obviously never forgave DeShawn for betraying their alliance.

Xander could have made a good argument about why he deserved to win but it was obvious that his personality rubbed a lot of jurors the wrong way.  He came across a bit too slick and I think that a lot of the jury found him to be fake.  Naseer listed all of the “kind’ thing that Xander had done but Xander made the point of smiling and nodding while he did, which made it seem like Xander was admitting that he only did all of that to win jury votes.  Ricard felt that Xander had betrayed him by not playing his idol for him.  (Xander didn’t help matters but implying that he might right before announcing that he wouldn’t.)  Heather was obviously not happy about not being selected for the final three.  And I’m sure there was a feeling that Xander had basically gotten a free ride because he had an idol.

Then you had Erika, who played a much more low-key game than either Xander or DeShawn. Erika did just enough to build up a resume but she did it without personally betraying anyone or gloating. I think the jury liked her personally and they felt she ahd done enough that they could vote for her without coming across as being too bitter.

So, it was a 7-1-0 Erika victory. DeShawn got Danny’s vote. Xander got no one’s vote. I would have voted Xander but it is what it is. Erika played a good enough game. Congratulations to her!

So, that brings this uneven season to an end! I enjoyed writing about this season more than I enjoyed watching it, just because there were too many twists and I’m not a huge fan of this kinder, gentler approach that Jeff Probst seems to be going for. That said, I’ll definitely be back, writing about the next season.

As for this blog — it’ll return for The Amazing Race and Celebrity Big Brother. See you then!

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.12 “Truth Kamikaze”

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Well, so much for Danny.

After weeks of silly twists and weird advantages, last night’s episode of Survivor was pretty straight-forward.  Everyone realized that Ricard should be the next to go.  The first 30 minutes of the show was made up of scenes of people talking about how dangerous Ricard was and how he absolutely had to be the next person voted out.  The show so overhyped the idea of Ricard getting voted out that I don’t think anyone was shocked when Ricard won immunity.

With Ricard now safe, it came down to whether to vote out DeShawn or to vote out Danny.  DeShawn was clearly the bigger threat to win the game but Erika and Xander thought that DeShawn also might be the only person who could beat Ricard in the next immunity challenge.  Because there were also concerns that Danny might have an immunity idol, the first vote was evenly split, 3-3, between DeShawn and Danny.  This led to  revote where everyone voted for Danny and Danny went on to become the next member of the jury.

There’s only one more episode to go.  As we head into the finale, the five remaining castaways are: DeShawn, Ricard, Xander, Erika, and Heather.  Xander has an idol so he’s guaranteed to make it to the top four, regardless of how the next immunity challenge goes.  The final three will come down to whoever wins the final immunity, who that person decides to take with them to the end, and then whoever wins the fire-making challenge.

Ricard is obviously the biggest threat to win.  If he doesn’t win the next immunity challenge, he is out.

DeShawn is a big threat and is good at challenges.  He’s definitely a threat but I think that the other castaways would keep him over Ricard.  If Ricard does win immunity, then DeShawn is out.

Xander and Erika could both make convincing cases for why they deserve the title of sole survivor.  I think, though, Erika will be viewed as a bigger threat than Xander because, unlike Xander, Erika survived despite not having an idol.

Heather has done nothing.  Whoever wins the final immunity might take her to the final three because they feel they can easily beat her.  I doubt Heather could win the fire-making competition.

So, here’s my finale prediction:

Deshawn wins the first immunity comp and Ricard is sent to jury.  My theory here is that the show has focused so much on DeShawn that it’s obvious he’s making it to the finale.  For that to happen, Ricard has to be next one voted out because otherwise, DeShawn would go.  I think only Xander and DeShawn could beat Ricard in an immunity challenge but I also think that, because he has an idol, Xander is going to want to conserve his strength for the final immunity challenge.  So, I think it will all pretty much fall on DeShawn and he’ll make it.

DeShawn has done will in previous endurance comps so I think he will also win the second immunity comp and he’ll select Heather to go to the final three.  Xander and Erika will then compete to make fire and I imagine Xander will win.

The final three, in this scenario, are DeShawn, Heather, and Xander.  Out of those three, I think DeShawn would be favored because he can claim that he made it to the final three without having any idols or extra votes.

That’s what I think will happen, just based on the players and how this season has been edited.  We’ll see if I’m right next week!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 41.11 “Do or Die”

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Last night, Survivor introduced the Do or Die twist to the game and I loudly groaned because it totally went against everything that Survivor was supposed to be about.

Basically, at the immunity challenge, Jeff got all excited about the fact that there was a new twist.  The winner of the immunity challenge would, of course, win immunity.  However, the first person to fall out of the challenge would be forced to pick one of three boxes at tribal.  If the box had a picture of a skull inside of it, that person would be sent to jury and there would be no vote.  If castaways agreed to sit out the challenge, they would not win immunity but they would also not have to pick a box.  Yippie, I guess.

Heather and Liana chose not to participate in the challenge.  I get Heather’s logic because she’s not really that good at challenges so why should she take the risk?  But Liana had just seen her closest alley blind-sided and she no longer had any reason to trust Danny or DeShawn.  SO WHY NOT TRY TO WIN IMMUNITY!?  Liana is not very good at this game.  That’s been obvious ever since she fell for Xander’s fake immunity idol.

Anyway, DeShawn was the first castaway to fall out of the challenge, which means he got stuck with the Do or Die.  Meanwhile, Danny won his first immunity challenge.

Before I say anything else, I should explain that I started to mentally check out from tonight’s episode as soon as Jeff explained the Do or Die twist.  The Do or Die goes against everything that I love about SurvivorSurvivor is supposed to be about strategy.  It’s supposed to be about blindsides and close votes and people wondering who they can trust.  The Do or Die Twist was way too random.  It was something that maybe would have been appropriate pre-merge but it’s a bit unfair to spring it on everyone this late in the game.  DeShawn is a power player and a threat to win the game.  Survivor was prepared to randomly remove him with a silly twist.  That’s more like Big Brother than Survivor.

It actually reminded me of what happened to Paschal, during the fourth season of Survivor.  Paschal was one of the most popular guys on the show that season.  He played a good social game.  He was loyal to his allies and courteous even to those in opposing alliances.  He was loved by just about everyone.  Throughout the entire season, he hadn’t gotten one vote at tribal council.  Paschal made it all the way to final four and then, due to a tied vote at tribal council, everyone was forced to draw a rock.  Paschal got the purple rock and was sent to jury, leading to a rather lackluster final three of Neleh, Kathy, and Vecepia.  No one was happy about that.  Jeff Probst made a huge point of declaring that the rules would be changed to try to prevent anything like that happening again.  And yet, Do or Die was this season’s equivalent of the purple rock.  Why are so many of the recent Survivor twists — Edge of Extinction also comes to mind — devoted to recreating things that everyone hated from previous seasons?

Anyway, after the challenge, there was a lot of strategizing about how to vote out in case DeShawn survived the Do or Die but it was kind of hard to care because it all depended on a random whim of fate.  Danny tried to get Xander to take out Ricard.  Xander, however, still felt loyal to Ricard and felt that Liana should be the target.  I can’t stand Liana but, at the same time, Ricard was obviously a bigger threat so, last night, I definitely didn’t agree with Xander’s logic.

It was an emotional tribal.  DeShawn opened up about how he felt about Shan calling him a snake.  Tears were shed.  Still, it was hard to really focus on all of that when I knew that the whole stupid Do or Die thing was coming up.  For all my complaining, DeShawn did pick the right box.  He picked the box with the picture of a flame, so his game will continue.  Things could have been worse but the Do or Die twist still should never have happened in the first place.

As for the vote, Erika decided to stay loyal to Heather, Xander, and Ricard and she voted for Liana.  Xander also wasted his extra vote on Liana.  Danny, Liana, and DeSawhn voted for Ricard but, in the end, the vote was 5-3 in favor of sending Liana to jury.

Two more weeks to go until we got our final survivor!  Right now, my money is on Ricard.

Lisa Marie