Survivor 36.7 “Fear Keeps You Sharp”

Hi y’all!

Last night on Survivor, we finally reached the merge!  The three tribes have now become one big tribe.  (The new tribe name is LaVida.)  For the most part, Survivor usually gets a lot more interesting after the merge.  With everyone now playing an individual game, it becomes a lot easier to get a feel for who all of these people are.  Up to this point, with the exception of Chris and Domenick, the majority of the castaways have been ciphers.  Now, in theory, we’ll get to see what they’re really made of.

I can’t say that I’m particularly surprised that, post merge, Chris was the first person to be voted off the island.  Chris was a strong enough physical player that no one wanted to vote him out during the early days of the game but, at the same time, he also wasn’t a particularly smart player.  His social game sucked and he had a tendency to talk down to people.  He was the type of player who was always giving people orders and, with a few exceptions, those are the type of players who rarely survive that long after the merge.

I also can’t say that I was surprised to see Chris go home with an immunity idol in his pocket.  To be honest, as soon as Chris arrived at Ghost Island, I had a feeling that he was destined to waste whatever advantage he received.  That said, I did like the way that they handled Ghost Island last night.  Chris sneaking off in the dead of night was exciting and I hope this will be the way that the show will continue to handle Ghost Island for the rest of the season.  I can’t wait for someone to get caught trying to sneak away.

Chris’s exit also brought his feud with Domenick and Wendell to an end.  (After tonight’s episode, I’m really growing to like Wendell.)  Domenick was happy to see his rival vanquished but I think it might actually backfire on him.  Domenick not only wasted his legacy advantage but he also revealed that he has an idol.  Judging for the previews for next week’s episode, it appears that the rest of the tribe is going to realize that Domenick has way too many advantages to be left in the game.  As long as Chris was around, there was always a bigger target than Domenick in the game.  Now that Chris is gone, Domenick would appear to be the most obvious target left in the game.

(For the record, Libby should also be careful.  With almost everyone united in their desire to vote out out Chris, Libby still received two votes, from Angela and Desiree.  Libby has a target on her back and, unlike Domenick, she doesn’t have an immunity idol or any other advantages to fall back on.)

Speaking of advantages, I have to admit that I’m having a hard time keeping track of who has what.  Domenick may have played his legacy advantage but he does still have an idol (a real one, to go along with the fake one that he took out during last night’s tribal council).  Wendell has an idol, too.  And so does Michael.  And Kellyn has an extra vote, which she can cast at a future tribal council.  Is that all of them?  It’s hard to remember.

Anyway, Chris is now out of the game and a member of the jury.  The question for next week is how is this going to change the game and will Domenick be able to survive now that his biggest rival has been voted out of the game?

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Chris Noble, aka Juror #1

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Survivor 36.6 “Gotta Risk It For The Biscuit”

Hi y’all!

Next week, the three tribes are finally going to merge into one big tribe!  The merge is the moment that I spend every season waiting for because that’s when the game really starts.  Old alliances are challenged.  New alliances are formed.  No longer can players just coast along by voting with the majority.  It’s only after the merge that we truly start to really get to know the survivors.  So far, Ghost Island has been a rather uneven season but, come next week, the entire game will reboot.

One player who will not get a chance to reboot his game will be Bradley, who was voted out at the end of last night’s episode.  After performing an exorcism by burning their team’s flag, Malolo finally won immunity and, for the first time in a long time, Naviti was sent to tribal council.  Bradley was under the impression that either Libby or Donathan would be voted out.  Instead, Domenick and Chelsea joined with Donathan and Libby to blind-side Bradley and send him out of the game.

There really wasn’t any great strategic logic behind voting out Bradley.  In fact, when the merge happens next week, Dom and Chelsea might regret their decision when they have to explain to the other Navitis why they voted out a member of their alliance.  The logical choice would have been to vote out Libby.

If Bradley had been just a little less obnoxious, he probably would have survived Tribal Council.  Instead, he talked down the other members of his tribe.  He tried to give too many orders, which is always a mistake when you’re dealing with someone like Domenick.  Bradley had one of the worst social games that I’ve ever seen and that was what ultimately did him in.  To be honest, I was willing to give Bradley the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe it was just the stress of being on Survivor that was making him so annoying.  But, last night, Bradley explained that he’s apparently always obnoxious and impatient.  His personality doomed his game from the start.

So, who is left to go into the merge next week?  Here they are:

Originak Naviti Members

  1. Domenick
  2. Desiree
  3. Kellyn
  4. Wendell
  5. Chris
  6. Sebastian
  7. Angela
  8. Chelsea

Original Malolo Members

  1. Jenna
  2. Donathan
  3. Laurel
  4. Michael

It would appear that the original Naviti have got an unbeatable numerical advantage.  If they stick together, it should only take four tribal councils to get rid of all the former Malolo members.  However, I doubt that will happen because Chris and Domenick hate each other and, if the Malolo players are smart, they can use that to their advantage.

As for hidden advantages, here’s how things currently break down:

Domenick has both an immunity idol and the legacy advantage.

As of tonight, both Michael and Wendell have immunity idols.

Finally, as a result of going to Ghost Island, Kellyn won the right to vote twice in a future tribal council.

Will the advantages help or will they remain cursed?

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Bye Bye, Bradley

 

Survivor 36.5 “Fate is The Homie”

Hi y’all!

So, I guess the old saying is true.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The latest episode of Survivor opened with Jeff once again telling the castaways to drop their buffs and to do a redraw.  This time, they were divided up into three separate tribes — Naviti, Malolo, and Yanuya.  While the Domenick and Chris feud was finally brought to a temporary end when they ended up on different tribes, that was about the only thing that changed.  On all three tribes, there were three original Navitis and 2 original Malolos.  That pretty much guaranteed, from the start, that — regardless of who won the immunity challenge — it would be a member of the original Malolo Tribe going home.

As well, no one was sent to Ghost Island this episode, which seems like a missed opportunity to me.  What’s the point of having Ghost Island if you’re not going to use it?

Anyway, here’s the latest tribal breakdown:

The New Malolo Tribe

  1. James (Original Malolo)
  2. Michael (Original Malolo)
  3. Desiree (Original Naviti)
  4. Kellyn (Original Naviti)
  5. Angela (Original Naviti)

The New Naviti Tribe:

  1. Domenick (Original Naviti)
  2. Bradley (Original Naviti)
  3. Chelsea (Original Naviti)
  4. Donathan (Original Malolo)
  5. Libby (Original Malolo)

The Yanuya Tribe

  1. Jenna (Original Malolo)
  2. Laurel (Original Malolo)
  3. Wendell (Original Naviti)
  4. Chris (Original Naviti)
  5. Sebastian (Original Naviti)

The immunity challenge was one of those challenges where 4 tribe members were blindfolded and had to solve a puzzle by listening to the directions being shouted at them by the remaining unblindfolded tribemate.  This is the type of immunity challenge that always stresses me out, largely because I know that I’d be terrible at it.  I have a hard time following directions and I’m not really patient enough to be the one shouting out instructions.

Anyway, Malolo once again lost immunity and went to tribal council.  At tribal, Jeff announced that Malolo had one of the worst win/loss records in Survivor history but that’s really not quite fair.  With all of the tribal reshuffles, it’s not like anyone’s really had a chance to learn how to work together.  Add to that, the makeup of the Malolo Tribe has been changed a total of three times now.

Though the crafty Survivor editors did their best to try to convince us that Angela might end up getting voted out, it was actually pretty obvious that the original Naviti members would get rid of one of the two Malolo members.  In the end, James was targeted because no one felt close to him.  I felt bad for James, as I always do whenever anyone is voted out because they didn’t fit in socially.  Unfortunately, some people are just better at talking to people than others.  If you’re naturally shy, Survivor can be a difficult game.  Personally, I thought James had the potential to be an interesting player so I’m sorry to see him go.

What will happen next week?  Hopefully something surprising!  So far, this season has been a bit too predictable.  As of right now, it just looks like it’ll be the former Naviti members picking off the Malolos until the merge.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Best of luck, James!

 

Survivor 36.4 “A Diamond In The Rough”

Hi, y’all!

So, as you know, I was on vacation over the past two weeks.  Thank you to my sister for filling in!  I’m back now and I’ve gotten caught up with what’s happened so far on Survivor: Ghost Island.  It’s funny how quickly this game moves, especially when compared to some of the other reality shows.  Last night, for instance, I noticed that we’ve only actually seen 14 days worth of the game.  A lot of alliances have been formed and broken over the course of just two weeks!

Last night’s episode wasn’t particularly exciting.  As soon as Naviti won immunity, it was obvious that either Michael, Stephanie, or Jenna would be voted out.  Even Jeff Probst basically announced, at the end of the immunity challenge, that one of those three would be voted out.  (Personally, I don’t think Jeff should have said anything about that.  It’s not really his role to tell people who to vote for, or at least it shouldn’t be.)  At tribal, Michael argued that he was willing to switch alliances and that he was good in challenges.  Jenna apologized for not being more sociable.  Stephanie cried.  In the end, Stephanie was the one who was voted out.

It’s true that there was a lot of maneuvering going on before the tribal council.  Jenna flirted with Sebastian.  Michael approached Bradley and made his case that he was a good player to have around for challenges.  Only Stephanie didn’t really make much of an effort and perhaps that’s why she was voted out.

But, to be honest, it probably doesn’t matter what Michael or Jenna did to ingratiate themselves with the Naviti 5.  Apparently, next week, there’s going to be another tribal shakeup!  Buffs will be dropped.  Are they merging or are they just going to switch tribes?  It’s hard to say but it’s obvious that something had to change because, for the past few episodes, it’s basically just been the members of the old Naviti Tribe picking off the Malolo Tribe, one after another.

So, in anticipation of the upcoming tribal skakeup or merge or whatever it is, here’s a few thoughts on who is left in the game.  We’ll start with the current Naviti Tribe

Domenick Abbate — Domenick has been on the Naviti Tribe through the entire game.  He’s an outspoken, kinda arrogant blue-collar guy who appears to be hoping that he can be the next Boston Rob.  He has both the legacy advantage and an idol and seems to be the most likely guy to turn on his old alliance.  He hates Chris.

Wendell Holland — Wendell has been on the Naviti Tribe through the entire game.  Wendell is very likable, which might carry him a long way in this game.  He’s close to Domenick and is also not a fan of Chris.

Chris Noble — Chris has been on the Naviti Tribe through the entire game.  He’s a strong player but he’s also cocky and a little bit too quick to give people orders.  He has a long-standing rivalry with Domenick.

Angela Perkins — Angela has been on the Naviti Tribe through the entire game.  She is seen as being strongly loyal to Chris.

Donathan Hurley — Donathan started on Malolo and then switched over to Naviti.  He’s the country boy from Kentucky.  Last night, he and Chris had a bonding moment, which might indicate that Donathan might switch loyalties at some point soon.

Laurel Johnson — Laurel started on Malolo and switched over the Naviti.  She hasn’t made much of an impression so far.

James Lim — James started on Malolo and switched over to Naviti.  He’s a strong physical player but I haven’t seen much of evidence of a good social game yet.

Libby Vincek — Libby started on Malolo and switched over to Naviti.  After the tribal switch, she allied herself with Morgan and then promptly voted Morgan out, which would indicate that she’s either extremely ruthless or extremely flaky.

And now, here’s the current Malolo Tribe:

Jenna Bowman — Jenna has been on Malolo through the entire game.  I felt bad for Jenna last night, as she explained that she’s not very good at dealing with people socially.  Last night, she started flirting with Sebastian.

Michael Yerger — Michael’s been on Malolo through the entire game.  Michael is 18 years old and he’s playing hard.  In fact, I think he has a tendency to play a little bit too hard.  He managed to save himself last night but he needs work on making some strong alliances or he won’t make it much further.

Desiree Afuye — Desiree started out on Naviti and then got moved over to Malolo.  She hasn’t made much of an impression yet.  She seems to be very loyal to the original Naviti.

Kellyn Bechtold — Kelly started out on Naviti and moved over to Malolo.  Kellyn talks.  A lot.  Anyway, Kellyn’s gotten a lot of screentime, which makes me assume that she’ll be around for a while.  But it’s hard for to imagine her ever being a major player in the game.

Bradley Kleihege — Bradley started out on Naviti and moved to Malolo.  So far, I kinda hate Bradley.  He complains a lot.  He barks out a lot of orders.  He’s kind of full of himself.  As far as I’m concerned, the sooner Bradley leaves, the better.

Sebastian Noel — Sebastian started out on Naviti and moved to Malolo.  How can you not love Sebastian?  He’s just so spacey and relaxed.  He seems like he’d be a fun guy to hang out with.  Likability goes a long way in the pre-merge portion of Survivor so he’s in a pretty good spot right now.  Once the tribes merge, though, he could be in trouble.

Chelsea Townsend — Chelsea started out on Naviti and moved to Malolo.  She hasn’t made much of impression yet.

Right now, it’s hard to even make a guess about who is going to end up in the final three.  Chris is strong but he can be annoying.  Domenick has a lot of advantages but he’s always going to be a target.  Wendell and Sebastian are both likable but neither is strong strategically.  Libby might be a strong player but we still really haven’t seen enough of her to say for sure.

One thing’s for sure: next week, the game will change again!

And, as always, we’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 36 Episode 3 “Trust Your Gut”

Come on in, guys!

Lisa’s on vacation so I’m filling in for her this week.

Last night’s episode started with Jeff Probst announcing that they were changing up the way they were doing Ghost Island.  This time, whichever tribe won the reward challenge would send someone from the losing team to Ghost Island and that person would come back in time for Tribal Council.  Naviti won the challenge and a reward of peanut butter sandwiches and milk.  Since they couldn’t agree on who to send to Ghost Island, Malolo picks rocks and Kellyn got the white rock,

At Ghost Island, Kellyn got a chance to play for a special reward but she decided not to because she didn’t want to risk losing her vote at the next tribal council.  So far, Ghost Island hasn’t had much of an effect on the game.

During the immunity challenge, Naviti came from far behind to win, sending Malolo to tribal council.  Bradley decided that he was in charge and came up with a plan to trick the four original Malolo tribemates into thinking that the five former Navitis were going to target Stephanie while actually voting for either Brendan or Michael.

At Tribal, Michael pulled out his idol and lied, saying that he could use it to protect two people.  He made a plea to Sebastian and Chelsea, asking them to leave their current alliance and instead join the Malolo Four in voting out Bradley.  After the voting, Michael played his idol for Stephanie.  When the votes were read, no one flipped and the final vote was four for Bradley and 6 for Brendan.  If Michael had played the idol for Brendan, it would have been a game changer but instead, he wasted the idol and failed to break the curse.

Thank you for reading.  Lisa will be back next week!

Erin

Survivor 36 Episode 2: Only Time Well Tell

Hi, everyone.  Lisa’s on vacation.  My name is Erin and I’ll be filling in for her this week and next.

Last night’s episode started with Jeff Probst telling everyone to drop their buffs.  Is this the earliest that they’ve ever done a tribe swap?  Everyone was crying about having to switch and talking about how they felt like they were leaving family but they’ve only been together for a week.  With how much Naviti outnumbers Malolo, it would have made more sense to divided them into three tribes of six but instead, they do two tribes of 9.  Both tribes have 5 Naviti and 4 Malolo.

The new Malolo tribe consisted of Bradley, Brendan, Chelsea, Desiree, Jenna, Kellyn, Michael, Sebastian, and Stephanie. The new Naviti tribe consisted of Angela, Chris, Domenick, Donathan, James, Laurel, Libby, Morgan, and Wendell.

On the new Naviti Tribe, Chris tried to rally everyone to vote out Domenick but went overboard with telling everyone what to do.  Morgan switched her allegiance from Chris to Dom and hit it off with Libby.  Angela stayed loyal to Chris but still wasn’t sold on his plan.  On the new Malolo Tribe, Bradley got on everyone’s nerves by complaining about how much he hated his new camp while Michael and Brendan found one of James’s old idols from Survivor: China.

Malolo won immunity and because the new tribe couldn’t agree on who to send to Ghost Island, the Naviti Tribe had to pull rocks.  Chris got the white rock and went to Ghost Island.  He broke the urn and got a message that he wasn’t getting a game.  So, what’s the point of Ghost Island?  So far, only one person has gotten any advantage from going to Ghost Island and all the idols are being found around camp.

Because Chris was on Ghost Island, he didn’t have to go to Tribal.  WIth all of the old Naviti turning on each other, Wendell wanted to target Angela while Dom tried to win everyone over by showing them his fake idol.  James wanted to target Morgan.

At tribal, it looked like Angela was going to be blindsided but then Probst started reading votes for Morgan.  It was 4 votes for Morgan, 3 for Angela, and 1 for Libby and Morgan was voted out.  It was a good move by the Malolo team because it got ride of a big Naviti player and it also revealed that Dom and Wendell were trying to target Chris’s allies.

Morgan willed her legacy advantage to Dom so he gets the curse next.

Erin

Survivor 36 Episode 1: “Can You Reverse The Curse?”

Hi, everyone!

First off, I’m sorry for being late in posting this.  I started writing it last night, right around the same time that it started to rain.  The power went off around midnight and, when I left for work this morning, it still hadn’t come back on!  I finished this at work.

Well, it’s time for another season of Survivor!  I just got finished watching the 1st episode of season 36.  Can you believe how long Survivor has been around?  I was still in school when it started and now, 18 years later, I still love this show.  Sometimes, it’s great.  Sometimes, it’s frustrating.  But, it’s never boring.

Of course, every season of Survivor has to have a gimmick.  This season, the gimmick is Ghost Island.  The idea — and I’m not sure how this is going to really play out — is that, along with not having to go tribal council, tribes that win immunity get to send a player from the opposing tribe to Ghost Island.  Being on Ghost Island means that 1) the castaway doesn’t have to go to tribal council with the rest of his tribe and can’t be voted out and 2) the castaway gets a chance to win an advantage that was squandered during a previous season of Survivor.  These old items — idols, advantages, and stuff like that — are now cursed because they were improperly used the last time they showed up in the game.  By using them correctly, the castaways get a chance to lift the curse.

It’s kind of silly, to be honest.  At the same time, it could be fun to see if history repeats itself and if people end up making the same mistakes that were made in the past.  Otherwise, to be honest, Ghost Island just seems like a fancier version of Exile Island.

The first episode was two hours long, which means we got two immunity challenges, two tribal councils, and two trips to Exile Island.  Unfortunately, the same tribe went to both tribal councils.

Speaking of tribes, here’s who is on each tribe.  As always happens during the first episode, only a few castaways got a chance to make an impression.

Malolo Tribe (Orange):

top (l-r) — Jenna, Laurel, Libby, Gonzalez, Stephanie

bottom (l-r) – Brendan, Donathan, Jacob, James, Michael

Stephanie Gonzalez — From the minute Gonzalez first started talking to the camera, I knew she was either going to get voted out first or she was going to win the game.  Certainly, she had the determination to win but, unfortunately, she let her paranoia get the better of her.  By interrupting tribal so she could whisper in her tribemate’s ear, she confirmed to everyone that she wasn’t particularly trustworthy or stable.  And so, Gonzalez became the first to be voted out.

Jacob Derwin — Poor Jacob.  I knew he was pretty much doomed from the minute that I first saw him.  You don’t want to talk too much on Survivor and Jacob never knew when to shut up. He survived the first Tribal Council because he was on Ghost Island.  On Ghost Island, he got the infamous legacy advantage, an advantage that gives immunity to the person holding it but only when there’s only 13 players left in the game.  Unfortunately, Jacob had to give the advantage to a member of the other tribe.  (He chose Morgan).  Jacob then made the mistake of making a fake immunity idol and trying to convince his tribe that he had received it on Ghost Island.  No one believed him and Jacob was voted out at the second tribal council.

Jenna Bowman — Jenna has yet to make much of an impression but I’m hoping she wins because Bowmans stick together.

Donathan Hurley — Donathan’s from Kentucky and he talks a lot.  He got a lot of screen time during the premiere but he’s probably the weakest physical player left in the game and I’ll be surprised if he makes it to the merge.  Donathan was the second player sent to Ghost Island but he received a message telling him that he wasn’t going to receive an advantage.  I wonder if his tribemates will believe him when he returns to the beach.

Laurel Johnson — I like Laurel.  She appears to be intelligent and, last night, she showed that she’s already thinking in terms of strategy.  She knows that she’s not a part of the main clique on her tribe and that she needs to do something about that if she wants to make it to the merge.  If she does make it, I think she’ll be contender.

Stephanie Johnson — Stephanie gave Jacob a lot of false hope when she said she might be willing to work with him to take over the tribe.  In the end, Stephanie realized her plan wasn’t going to work and Jacob went home.  Stephanie seems to be serious about playing the game but I’m not totally convinced that she’s as much of a brilliant strategist as she seems to think that she is.

James Lim — James is an athlete.  He seems kind of full of himself, though he was at least honest enough to take responsibility for his tribe losing the second immunity challenge.

Brendan Shapiro — Brendan’s tall and handsome and kinda looks like he should have been a B-movie star in the 1950s.  He was selected to be tribe leader at the very start of the game.

Libby Vincek — Libby is this year’s blonde model.  She’s from Texas so I hope she does well.

Michael Yerger — Michael is telling everyone that he’s a 23 year-old real estate agent from Los Angeles.  Actually, he’s 18.  Michael is athletic and handsome and it seems like he’s going to get too cocky for his own good.  He’s one of those players who I imagine will end up accidentally insulting everyone at the wrong time.

The Naviti tribe (from left to right): Bradley Kleihege (25), Chris Noble (27), Domenick Abbate (38), Sebastian Noel (22), Wendell Holland (33), Angela Perkins (43), Chelsea Townsend (25), Desiree Afuye (21), Kellyn Bechtold (30), and Morgan Ricke (29).

The Naviti Tribe

Domenick Abbate — People are either going to love or hate Domenick.  He talks a lot and he’s not shy about sharing his opinion.  Because they didn’t have to go to tribal council, we didn’t spend much time with Naviti but, from what I saw, it appears that everyone is thinking about voting him out.  Fortunately, Domenick found an immunity idol.  Unfortunately, he then made a fake immunity idol and showed it to Chris.  Domenick thinks that, by doing this, he cemented their alliance but instead, it just made Chris distrust him.

Desiree Afuye — Other than the fact that she’s bad at puzzles, Desiree has yet to make a huge impression.

Kellyn Bechtold — Kellyn appears to have a lot of energy.  She’ll either be a great ally or an annoying red herring.

Wendell Holland — Wendell seems likable.  He’s one of the few people on the tribe who doesn’t want to vote out Domenick.

Bradley Kleihege — Bradley didn’t much of an impression last night.  He wears glasses.  That’s about it.

Chris Noble — Chris is tall, handsome, and very self-assured.  He’s the type of player who always seems like he should win but somehow never makes it to the merge.  So far, he’s taking his role as tribe leader very seriously.  Perhaps a little too seriously.

Sebastian Noel — Sebastian is definitely a physical threat.  It’s hard to tell if he’ll be a strategic threat as well.

Angela Perkins — Angela hasn’t made much of an impression yet.

Morgan Ricke — Thanks to Jacob, Morgan now has the legacy advantage.  Whether it’ll do her any good, we have yet to see.

Chelsea Townsend — Again, Chelsea has yet to make much of an impression.

And those are your castaways!  Last night, we lost both Gonzalez and Jacob.  Next week, it appears that the tribes are going to be reshuffled so who knows what we’ll happen!  I can’t wait to find out though!

Lisa Marie