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Survivor 43.2 — “Lovable Curmudgeon”


I have to admit that I was really excited when I saw that last night’s episode of Survivor was going to be 90 minutes long.  I was expecting some sort of epic immunity challenge or maybe even two tribal councils.  Instead, those extra 30 minutes were used to spend showing more photographs of what the castaways do when they’re not competing on an island.  I get that Survivor is trying to be a “nicer” show but the photo montages have been my least favorite part of the past three seasons.  As I’ve said before, I don’t need to know who these people are in the real world.  Everyone, whether they get to be on a reality show or not, has had tragedy in their life.  Everyone has people that they care for.  The photo montages seem to suggest that certain castaways just inherently deserve the money more than others and that goes against what Survivor was supposed to be all about.  Survivor is about outplaying and outlasting.  It’s not about who has the biggest sob story.  Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.

As for the episode itself, it centered on two men who are dominating the early episodes but who also probably won’t make it to the merge.  Over on the Baka Tribe, Gabler has proven to be so annoying that Elie and Jeanine actually searched through his stuff so that they could find out when his immunity idol expires.  Gabler does have an alliance going with Sami and Owen but it’s easy to imagine that even they will eventually get tired of him.  I cringed when I saw Gabler trying to use the fishing equipment.  If he doesn’t destroy or lose that spear next week, I’ll be stunned.

Fortunately, for Gabler, Baka won immunity and avoided tribal council.  The other immunity idol was won by the Coco Tribe.  That meant that the Vesi Tribe went to their first tribal.

Going into tribal, the Vesi Tribe was split into three factions.  There was the Justine/Noelle faction.  There was the Cody/Nneka faction.  And then there was the Dwight/Jesse faction.  Dwight wanted to join with the girls.  The problem is that Dwight lost his vote at the summit last week so, for him to have any power in the Justine/Noelle faction, he would have to be able to bring Jesse in with him so that Jesse could vote the way that Dwight wanted.  Unfortunately, for Dwight, Jesse felt more comfortable with Cody/Nneka.

Shortly before tribal, Cody found a beware advantage and made the mistake of opening it.  The message inside told him that unless he retrieved beads (which I guess were handed out when the castaways first reached the island) from all the bags of his tribemates, he would lose his vote.  With the help of Jesse and Nneka, he was able to convince everyone to give him their beads.  (He claimed that he wanted them to decorate his hat and, because Cody is kind of an eccentric guy, everyone believed him.)  So, Cody did not lose his vote.

At tribal, Noelle and Justine split their votes, one for Cody and one for Nneka.  They did this under the assumption that Jesse would vote for Nneka.  However, Jesse joined Nneka and Cody in voting for Justine.  With Dwight not having a vote, Justine was voted out by a vote of 3-1-1.

And that sucks.  The episode wasn’t bad.  I enjoyed watching Cody scramble for the beads.  But Justine seemed like she had the potential to be a far more interesting player than Nneka.  (If the tribe wants to keep losing immunity, I guess it makes sense to keep Nneka.)  But that’s the way it goes, sometimes.  It’ll be interesting to see if Jesse and Dwight’s friendship survives this.  Dwight did not look happy.

justine-brennan-survivor-43-headerJustine, 2nd person voted out of Survivor 43

Big Brother 24 — The Diary Room Is Now Open

It’s that time of the week again!

Who do you vote to evict?

Do you vote for….

KYLE, the 30 year-old Tik-Tokker


TAYLOR, the pageant queen?

Cast your vote in the poll or in the comments below!  And then be sure to watch the show on Thursday to see who is sent  to the jury!

Happy voting!

Big Brother 24 — Delusions

If you want to know just how delusional certain people in the House are, consider this:

After Michael and Brittany won the veto, Jasmine went up to the HoH room to talk to them.  When she came in the room, she saw that Turner was already up there talking to them.  Jasmine ordered Turner to leave so that she could talk to Michael and Brittany alone.  Turner left and Jasmine kind of rolled her eyes as he went, suggesting that she still somehow doesn’t know that Turner is working with Michael and Brittany.

Jasmine went on to tell Michael and Brittany that this was going to be a great week because they finally had a chance to get a dangerous player out of the the game.  That player was Monte.  Jasmine spent a lot of time explaining why she felt that Monte had to go this week and she said that the most important thing was that neither Michael not Brittany use their veto.

After Jasmine hopped out of the room, Michael had a good laugh at her expense.  Not only did Jasmine reveal that she thinks Monte is the biggest threat in the House but she also revealed that she had no idea that Michael and Brittany are in an alliance with Monte and Joseph.  She even lied and told Michael that the entire house wants Monte gone and that if Michael used the veto, he would have everyone in the house upset with him.  How Jasmine can still be so clueless, I have no idea.

It got even better, though.  An hour or so later, Terrence approached Michael and said that he didn’t mind staying on the block.  He went on to make the same pitch that Jasmine made, telling him that this would be a great time to get rid of Monte.  And again, Terrence made the same mistake that Jasmine made.  He not only revealed that Monte was his target but he also revealed that he doesn’t know who is aligned with who.  Whatever chance Terrence had of becoming a part of the Leftover Alliance is now pretty much gone.

For her part. Jasmine seems to be pretty sure that she convinced Michael to not use the veto.  And Daniel is starting to feel confident that he’s going to survive this week.  Daniel even thinks that he would have a majority to keep him but that’s just because he’s somehow under the impression that Brittany would vote to keep him over Kyle.

Of course, as of right now, the plan is still to blindside Daniel.  All the efforts that others have put into trying to push Michael around have just made Michael more determined to stick to the plan.

The veto meeting is tomorrow!

Big Brother 24 — Heads Up!

Big Brother 24 starts tonight!

The new season premieres on CBS at 7 pm ct.  It’ll be a special 90-minute episode, in which the houseguests will enter the house live.  And my first daily recap of Big Brother will be posted either after the show or, more realistically, on Thursday.

Here’s looking forward to a great season!

Survivor 42.12 “Caterpillar to a Butterfly”


Last week, I said that the castaways better wake up and realize that Omar would very difficult to beat if he made it to the final three.  

Last night, Maryanne revealed that she felt the same way.  Maryanne not only engineered Omar’s blindside but she also firmly established herself as the front runner to win the entire season.  She’s got an idol so she’s guaranteed to make it to the final four.  If she makes it to the final three, either by winning immunity or the firemaking challenge, she’ll be difficult to beat.  Everyone likes her.  She can play up the whole “I never thought I would be on Survivor!” angle of her story.  And now, she can claim that she pulled off the biggest move of the season.

The finale is next week and there are currently five castaways left: Jonathan, Romeo, Maryanne, Mike, and Lindsay.  What makes thing complicated is that there are also three idols still active.  Maryanne, Mike, and Lindsay all have idols.  The next tribal council will be their last opportunity play them.  What that means is that, even if they don’t win immunity, those three are guaranteed to make the top four.

It also means that Jonathan and Romeo will have to win immunity if either one of them wants to be guaranteed a chance to join them.  Since Jonathan and Lindsay are the only two castaways who have shown any skill when it comes to challenges, it seems likely that the finale will come begin with another showdown between the two of them.  LIndsay wants Jonathan out.  If Lindsay were to win immunity, she could just as easily give her idol to Romeo.  Of course, if Mike wins immunity, he could give his idol to Jonathan.  As for Maryanne, who knows what she would do?

According to the previews for next week’s finale, Romeo is going to try to make a fake immunity idol, which would seem to indicate that 1) Romeo does not win immunity and 2) no one else gives him their idol.  But who knows?  Romeo could just be making an idol to try to trick Jonathan into throwing the final immunity challenge.  Either way, just the fact that Romeo is in the top five is kind of amazing.  I always forget he’s on the show.

As far as the rest of the castaways are concerned:

I think Maryanne has the best shot to win, assuming she makes it to the final three.  If the castaways are smart, none of them will want to take her to the final three so, unless she wins the final immunity challenge, I get the feeling that she’s going to end up having to make fire.

Lindsay has the 2nd best chance to win, assuming that the jury isn’t bitter.

Mike is in a good position, even though he hasn’t really done much this season.  If the jury wants to vote for who they like on a personal level and if Maryanne doesn’t make it to the finale, Mike might have a shot.

Jonathan can make a case for himself but I think his social game wasn’t as strong as Maryanne’s and Mike’s.  Simply winning challenges is a good way to make it to the end but it doesn’t often translate into a win.

Romeo is pretty much a nonfactor.  If he makes it to the end, it’ll be because everyone feels they can beat him.

The finale is next so we’ll see what happens! 

Survivor 42.5 “I’m Survivor Rich”

Well, I think we all knew that was going to happen.

Daniel getting voted out at tribal council was really a foregone conclusion.  As soon as Jeff announced that the Vati Tribe had lost the immunity challenge and would have a meeting with him that night, Daniel was the obvious target.  Chanelle may be a better player and she may be more of a threat but Daniel had given his tribe plenty of reasons not trust him.  The last straw came when he sat out the challenge because of his arm, despite the fact that he had previously spent the day swimming in the ocean and leading his tribemates to suspect that he wasn’t being honest about his injury.

Daniel’s main mistake was thinking that he could talk his way out of any situation.  Daniel’s a lawyer in the real world and he obviously believed that he could plea bargain his way through any tribal council.  It didn’t work, of course.  The original vote was 2-2-1.  Hai and Lydia voted for Daniel.  Mike and Daniel voted for Chanelle.  Chanelle voted for Mike.  I’m not sure why Chanelle voted the way that she did.  Maybe she was thinking that Daniel had an immunity idol and she figured she might have to use her shot in the dark and, if she succeeded, that one vote against Mike would be the only one that counted.  

The revote was 3-0 for Daniel.  Mike chose to go with the majority, though he made it clear that he wasn’t happy that Chanelle had voted for him.  Daniel did not appear to be happy at all about being voted off.  So many castaways pretend like it’s no big deal when they get kicked out of the game.  Daniel made it clear that, to him, it was a big deal and that moment of honesty was kind of refreshing.

The other big development from last night was that Romeo and Drea found Ika’s idol.  Eveyone said their weird phrases and the immunity challenge so their idols are finally functional and, most importantly, everyone has gotten their votes back.  

Next week, we’ve got a two hour episode and it looks like there’s going to be a tribal shakeup.  It’s about time!  I just hope this season doesn’t screw up the merge with a stupid twist like last season did.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 42.2 “Good and Guilty”


We’re now two episodes into Survivor 42 and I have to say that no one in the cast has really made a huge impression on me.  That’s not surprising, since it’s usually not until the merge that we start to really see the players as individuals.  Still, last season at this time, everyone already disliked Shan and Ricard and Xander had emerged as a fan favorite.  This current season doesn’t seem to really have any big personalities.

As for last night’s episode, it’s still a struggle for me to keep everyone straight.  Again, that’s because it’s early in the season but it’s also because splitting the castaways into three tribes provides us with less opportunities to get to know everyone and it also cuts down on the strategizing.  It’s a lot easier to convince 6 people to vote the same way than it is to convince nine.  The little vignettes and the “what I’m like back in the real world” segments aren’t helping.  I don’t care what people do outside of the show.  I care what people do when they’re playing Survivor.

On the plus side, the tribes seem to be evenly matched as far as physical strength and mental abilities are concerned, so I doubt we will have another situation where one tribe dominates the immunity challenges.  On the other hand, the tribes also seem to be full of people who don’t understand the most important rule of Survivor: Keep secrets!  Don’t tell everyone that you’ve got an advantage!  This group seems like they want to make lifelong friendships.  That’s not what Survivor is about.

So far, I guess the Vati Tribe is the most annoying overall.  Not only do you have Hai talking about how the universe is going to punish him because he ate meat but you also have dumb old Mike finding the Beware Idol and then blabbing about it to Jenny and Daniel.  Now Mike has a target on his back, all due to an idol that comes with an overly complicated set of rules.  Will the Beware Idol even be activated this season?  We’ll find out.  Last season, for all the drama, it really wasn’t much of a factor in the game.

Vati may be annoying but they avoided tribal council.  Instead, Taku went to tribal council and Marya was voted out, largely because she just didn’t have the social game that Maryanne has.  Taku is now down to four tribe members.

Next week — oh, who knows?  Hopefully, someone will make a big move.

Survivor 42.1 “Feels Like A Rollercoaster”

Survivor is back!

That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad news.

Survivor 42 was shot back-to-back with Survivor 41.  What that means is that it will be repeating many of the same twists from Survivor 41.  Since Survivor 41 pretty much collapsed under the weight of too many silly twists, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for Survivor 42.  Usually, Survivor is pretty good about using fan feedback when it comes to deciding which twists to keep and which to lose.  Because these seasons were short back-to-back, they were shot without any sort of fan feedback.

Here are a few things that carried over from Survivor 41 to 42:

  1. Jeff Probst is still acting like everyone’s best friend, which is not a role that he’s suited for.  Probst is best when he’s being snarky and kind of rude but Survivor appears to be trying to move in a different direction.  Though Probst wasn’t as hyper last night as he was during most of 41, I still miss the old Jeff Probst.
  2. Once again, we’re getting the American Idol-style montages detailing everyone’s background.  Again, I imagine this is to try to get audience’s to care about the castaways but, personally, I’ve always liked the idea that the only thing that matters in Survivor is how you play the game.  I don’t need to know the details of everyone’s life.
  3. Once again, the castaways are starting the season split into three tribes.
  4. Once again, each tribe had to send a representative to that stupid summit, where they could risk or protect their vote.
  5. The tribal council dice are back.
  6. The weird phrase immunity idol is back.
  7. And, once again, it’s a shortened season.  Of course, the shortened season is due to the COVID quarantines, which were still in full force when this season of Survivor was shot.

Anyway, now that all of the complaints are aside, I will say that it was an okay premiere.  I don’t really have any favorites yet.  I was impressed by the guy who got his shoulder popped back into the socket and then went right on with the game.  I think a lot of people are going to like Maryanne.  Rocksroy seems like he’s destined to get voted out for being too bossy.  Romeo seems like he’s being set up to be the season’s big villain.  Early on in the game, it’s always a little bit difficult to keep everyone straight.  In fact, I usually don’t have a favorite until the merge.

Probably the moment that everyone will remember will be Jackson being medically evacuated from the game during the 3rd day.  Jackson was taken off the show because he had been taking lithium to help deal with anxiety and was side effects associated with having to suddenly stop taking it.  After the drama of Jackson’s exit the rest of the show was pretty anti-climatic.

Jackson leaving meant that the Taku Tribe went into the immunity challenge down one member.  Fortunately, both they and Vati were able to win the challenge.  The Ika Tribe lost the challenge and went to tribal council, where Zach was voted off.  Zach was kind of annoying so I was not sad to see him go.

As for the advantages:

Drea, Hai, and Lindsay (who are on three separate tribes) have an advantage amulet.  As long as the three of them are in the game, the advantage will allow them to cast an extra vote at tribal council.  Once there are only two of them in the game, the amulet becomes a steal-a-vote advantage.  Once only one of them is left, it becomes an immunity idol.

As a result of their trip to the summit, Drea and Maryanne each have an extra vote.

Yep, it’s all kind of confusing.  It takes a while to be able to keep track of who is on which tribe and who has which advantage.  The important thing, for now, is that Survivor is back!

The Amazing Race 1.8 “Souvlaki”


And the there were four!

With only two episodes left, this strange season of The Amazing Race is nearly over.  I say strange because it’s hard to think of any other season where one team had such an easy time dominating the other teams.  It’s also hard to think of any other season where so many obviously weak teams made it into the latter half of the season.  Of course, the reason for that is that two of the strongest teams — Anthony &Spencer and Connie & Sam — did not return after the third pit stop.  With Ryan & Dusty struggling with some of the recent legs, that’s pretty much allowed Kim & Penn to claim first place as their own.

Last night’s leg of the race found the top five in Greece.  I started this episode convinced that this would be Arun and Natalia’s swan song but they managed to hold on for a fourth place finish.  Meanwhile, coming in fifth, were Lulu and Lala.  Lula and Lala just did not have a good day, getting lost a few times and unfortunately letting their frustrations get the better of them. Still, they accepted getting eliminated with class and they ran a good race.  It just wasn’t their day.

I enjoyed last night’s episode, mostly because Greece is a pretty country and the roadblock with the saints was something that my sister and I would have been able to breeze through if we had been on this season.  Of course, I doubt we would have ever reached the roadblock because we probably would have thrown away that wrapper without even noticing the clue.  You have to pay attention to everything when you’re on the race!

Finishing first for this leg of the race were Kim & Penn.  This was their third first place finish in a row.

Coming in second, for the third time in a row, were Raquel and Cayla.

Coming in third, for the third time in a row, were Ryan and Dusty.

Coming in fourth were Arun and Natalia.

Coming in fifth and eliminated, were Lula and Lala.

You look at the finishes and you can pretty much tell what’s going to happen during the finale.  Kim & Penn, Raquel & Cayla, and Ryan & Dusty seem to be guaranteed to make it to the top three.  Arun and Natalia are going to have to get a lot better when it comes to following directions if they’re going to have a chance to make it to the final leg.

But stranger things have happened.  Ryan & Dusty occasionally get frustrated and their determination to do everything on their own has slowed them down previously.  Raquel and Cayla occasionally miss the small details,  Kim & Penn are so used to finishing in first that they might get overconfident.  Someone could slip up.  It would be one of the greatest upsets in Amazing Race history if Arun and Natalia made it to the final three.

We’ll see what happens!

Celebrity Big Brother 3 — About Last Night

I finally got a chance to sit down and watch last night’s episode of Celebrity Big Brother.

It was actually far better than I was expecting.  It felt like a real episode of Big Brother, with an actual challenge and an actual twist that forced the houseguests to think on their toes.  I have to wonder why the hat twist was saved for Celebrity Big Brother, as opposed to being used during regular Big Brother.  Regular Big Brother could use a twist like that.  It’s almost a shame to waste it on a bunch of houseguests who really don’t care whether they win or not.

As for last night’s show, Teddi was voted out.  What’s interesting is neither Teddi nor Todd Bridges were originally nominated by Meisha but they’re still the ones who ended up sitting up front during the eviction.  What happened was this:

First off, Carson won the veto.  He used it on himself and, of course, Meisha replaced him on the block with Teddi.  Teddi was her original target, before Meisha decided that Mirai couldn’t be trusted.  So, Meisha went back on her previous deal and put Teddi on the block as a replacement.

Then, right before the vote, Julie announced that the Gala Gift hat came with a curse.  The houseguests were again required to trade it around.  The twist was that whoever was the last to get the hat would 1) have to remove one of the nominees and 2) become a nominee themselves.  Todd Bridges was the last to receive the hat.  He took Mirai off the block and went up in her place.

Now, Todd hasn’t done much in the house but he deserves some credit for giving a short and to the point pre-eviction speech.  “Do what you think is best,” or something like that.  The speech, to be honest, kind of indicates that Todd doesn’t really care that much about the show but still, it was nice not to have to sit through a hundred shout-outs.

As for the votes, Chris Kattan, Carson, and Cynthia voted to evict Todd.  Everyone else voted for Teddi.  By a vote of 5-3, Teddi was evicted.

One thing that was not shown on last night’s show is that Chris Kirkpatrick apparently got into a big argument about Mirai about something.  (I’m not sure what but the houseguests have mentioned it on the feeds.)  After the argument, Kirkpatrick was actually removed from the house because he had tested positive for COVID.  However, the test was later determined to be a false positive and, after several hours in isolation, Kirkpatrick returned.

That’s it for now.  From what I’ve seen of the live feeds, everyone seems to be sleeping in, except for Lamar who got up early and cleaned the kitchen.  Good for him.  I always like the houseguests who actually try to keep the house clean.