Tag Archives: Survivor

Survivor 35 Episode 14 “Million Dollar Night”

Well, another season of Survivor is in the books!

Survivor Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers was one of the stranger seasons of Survivor.  I hate to admit but, as a viewer, I never really got into this season.  Some of the castaways, I liked but I don’t think I ever really had a favorite during this season.  In fact, I think this may have been the least likable group of Survivors since the fifth season, Survivor: Thailand.

I’m happy Ben won.  I didn’t think I would be because, during this season, there have been times that I really disliked Ben.  On the one hand, Ben did have a compelling personal story.  On the other hand, the guy could really be a jerk sometimes.  But, tonight, I found myself rooting for Ben to win.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that the other members of the final five were so unlikable.  For a self-described strategic genius, Chrissy did a lot of dumb things and I think a lot of her success in the game had more to do with the other players being weak than with her being strong.  For me, the last straw was when Chrissy decided to try to fool Ben with a fake idol.  Maybe if Chrissy had made some sort of effort to the find the real idol, it wouldn’t have bothered me.  But instead, she and her alliance let Ben continually go off on his own.  They made no effort to find the idol on their own.  And then Chrissy not only tried to trick Ben with an obviously fake idol but she also acted very smug about it as well.

As for the other three members of the final five, I liked Ryan but he really didn’t do much during the game beyond take orders from Chrissy.  I liked Dr. Mike but he was all over the place strategy-wise.  Devon basically tried to coast to the end on his smile.  It’s a nice smile but a smile isn’t much use when your life in the game depends on being able to make a fire.

So, by default, I wanted Ben to win and he did.  And this very strange season of Survivor came to an end.

What did everyone think of the final twist?  Personally, I liked it.  Instead of allowing Chrissy to just bring the weakest players to the end, it instead forced everyone (but Ryan) to really fight for their right to make it to the final three.  I’m not really sold on how they’re doing the jury now.  I miss the days when everyone would ask one question and then shut up.

Well, that’s it for Survivor 35!  This will probably be remembered as one of the less regarded seasons of Survivor.  Survivor: Ghost Island might be fun.  If nothing else, I like the horror theme!

As for me and my reality TV coverage, I’ll be back next year for The Amazing Race and Celebrity Big Brother!  I hope to see y’all then!  Thank you everyone for reading and happy holidays!

Lisa Marie

Ben, the winner of Survivor 35

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Survivor 35 Episode 13 “The Survivor Devil”

Hi, y’all!

Well, it’s almost over.

I just watched last night’s episode of Survivor, which ended with Ben finding (and playing) yet another immunity idol and Chrissy stabbing Ashley in the back and sending her to jury.  Ben thought he’d be able to get everyone to vote for Dr. Mike when he revealed his idol but what Ben did not know is that Chrissy had already decided that she wanted Ashley to go.  It made for a good and exciting tribal council but, for the most part, Ben wasted his idol.

Ashley was not happy about being voted out.  She accepted a “good game” from Ben but coolly rebuffed Devon when he attempted to hug her.  I can understand Ashley feeling betrayed but still, this is Survivor.  Someone has to get voted out and Ashley has no one to blame but herself for not realizing that she was a target.

So, we’re now down to the final five.  The finale is next week.  This has been a weird season.  It started out strangely and it’s just gotten stranger from there.  With the exception of Ryan and Chrissy, no one seems to trust or have any loyalty to each other.  No one really seems to understand how Survivor works, either.  What were they thinking letting Ben go off by himself last night?  Did they seriously think there wouldn’t be another idol out there for him to find?

It’s taken a while for me to get to know this group of castaways.  In fact, it’s only been during the last three episodes that I’ve really been able to say why I like or dislike certain people on the tribe.  And now, as I look at the Final Five, I ask myself:

Is this the least likable final five in the history of Survivor?

It’s hard to say and, of course, these things are subjective.  But let’s look at who we have left:

  1. Ben.  I guess Ben is the favorite to win right now though a lot of the people on the jury appear to hate his guts.  If it’s a bitter jury, Ben might be in trouble.  At first, I liked Ben.  I found his personal story to be touching.  I wanted him to win.  But lately, Ben’s been getting really cocky.  Ben can be a bit of a bully, as well.
  2. Chrissy.  When the game started, I felt bad for Chrissy.  Not anymore.  Chrissy has got the personality of a power-mad hall monitor.
  3. Ryan.  Ryan’s an underdog.  Usually, I love the underdogs but, to be honest, what has Ryan actually done in the game?  Other than follow Chrissy’s orders, what has Ryan done?
  4. Devon.  Devon’s got a nice smile and a charming personality.  If he gets to the final three, he could win on charm alone.  But there’s a flakiness to Devon that really turns me off.
  5. Dr. Mike.  Sometimes, I like Dr. Mike.  Sometimes, he drives me up the wall.  If Dr. Mike makes it to the end, I hope he wins.  But, at the same time, I can’t figure out if there’s any real strategy behind anything that he does.

This is not the greatest final five of all time but, come Wednesday, one of them is going to win Survivor 35.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 35 Episode 12 “Not Going To Roll Over And Die”

Hi, everyone!  I apologize for this late recap, I’m running a bit behind.  ‘Tis the season and all…

Anyway, I liked last night’s episode of Survivor.  This has been a strange season but I finally feel like I’m getting to know these people and I’m starting to understand why they’re doing some of the things that they do.  That certainly helped with last night’s episode, which was pretty much all about big personalities.

It’s interesting just how personal this game has gotten.  Chrissy and Ben absolutely hate each other, which is leading to both of them acting in ways that are more than a little reckless when you’re playing for a million dollars.  Last night started with Ben making a fake immunity idol, specifically so he could humiliate Chrissy at the next Tribal.  It ended with Ben offering to work with Chrissy and Chrissy conflicted because she couldn’t look past her hated of Ben to see that she desperately needs an ally other than just Ryan.

Last night was also the loved ones challenge.  It was a simple challenge, one that simply required that the castaways and their loved ones pick the same rock out of a bag.  Chrissy won and, without hesitation, she invited Ryan, Dr. Mike, and Ashley to join her on the reward.  Chrissy made a pitch to Ashley, trying to pull her into a new alliance.  Both Chrissy and Ashley want Ben gone so it seemed like a good idea.

Except, of course, none of them realized that Ben had an immunity idol.  Though Ben tried to get everyone to join him in voting out Lauren, every one still ended up voting for Ben.  But then Ben played his idol and Lauren was sent to jury.  One vote.  That was all it took to end Lauren’s game.  It was a great Survivor blindside.

It was also a great tribal.  Lauren made the mistake of allowing Dr. Mike to hold onto half of her immunity idol.  She thought it would prove her trustworthiness.  Dr. Mike responded by tossing it into the fire.  In the end, Ben survived but he’s now in a terrible spot.  No one trusts him.  No one wants to take him to the end.  And he no longer has an idol.  If he doesn’t win the next immunity challenge, he’s in trouble.

Things are coming to a close.  So, who is left now that Lauren has been voted out and what are their chances of being the sole survivor?

  1. Ashley.  After a few missteps at the start of the game, Ashley has kept a low profile and is now in a good position to make it to the end.  She’s obsessed with making a big move and that could be her downfall.  Big moves can backfire if they’re not necessary.
  2. Ben.  If Ben makes it to the end, he will probably win.  He’s got a great story and he’s played a good game.  But Ben is literally going to have to win every immunity from here on out to stay in the game.  No one wants to be sitting next to him at the end.
  3. Chrissy.  I can make a pretty strong case for why Chrissy might win if she makes it to the end.  At the same time, she has the same problem that Aubry had a few seasons ago.  Yes, she’s played a good game and she can legitimately say that she proved herself to be strongrt than anyone realized.  But the only real personal relationship that she seems to have is with Ryan.  The jurors may not feel particularly compelled to reward someone who has spent most of the game snubbing them.
  4. Devon.  Devon is definitely a threat to win.  He’s likable, he’s athletic, and he really hasn’t angered anyone on the jury.  I could easily imagine his coasting to the end.
  5. Dr. Mike.  Over the last few episodes, Mike has reinvented himself as a crazy man.  You never know what he’s going to do.  How will that play with the jury?  Mike can legitimately argue that he survived longer than anyone thought he would and that a lot of his “craziness” was actually strategy.  But will the jury see it that way?
  6. Ryan.  I like Ryan.  However, if he makes it to the end, he’s going to have to explain what he did other than follow Chrissy’s orders.

So, who will win?  If I had to guess, I’d say it’ll be Devon, Ashley, and Mike in the final and I would pick Devon will win.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

The newest member of the jury, Lauren!

Survivor 35 Episode 10/11 “Buy One, Get One Free”

Hi, everyone!

Forgive me, I’m running behind.  I only now got a chance to watch last night’s 2-hour episode of Survivor.  I’m just going to share a few thoughts because, honestly, there’s not much to say about these people:

This season is shaping up to be a strange one.  I’m not going to say that it’s a disappointing season because it’s not over yet and sometimes, a good finale can make up for a weak season.  Plus, I still like Ryan and Ben and Dr. Mike is intriguingly weird.

That said, the season so far hasn’t offered up much for viewers who were hoping to see a lot of great strategy.  Chrissy, Lauren, Joe, Ben, and Dr. Mike all claim to be brilliant strategists but so far, most of their game moves have been baffling.  By virtue of being two hours, last night’s episode revealed just how strange and random most of their moves have been.

The first hour started with Dr. Mike finally admitting that he wasted his immunity idol and that he didn’t really succeed in accomplishing anything at the previous tribal council.  (At least, he admitted it.)   He and Joe decided to deal with being on the bottom of the tribe by being as obnoxious as possible.  They even nicknamed themselves the Coconuts.  (“He’s coco.  I’m nuts!”)

Meanwhile, in the alliance of seven, Lauren, Ben, Devon, and Ashley decided that it was time to break the alliance and take out Chrissy, Ryan, and JP.  In itself, that’s not bad strategy.  Chrissy, Ryan, and JP are all bigger threats to win than either Joe or Mike.  Furthermore, Devon came up with the idea to use Ben as double agent.  At tribal, Ben voted for Mike and pretended to be just as blindsided as anyone when JP went home instead.

So far, so good.

As the second hour started, it seemed as if the dynamics in the tribe had changed.  Chrissy and Ryan were now on the bottom.  Lauren, Devon, and Ashley were in charge.  Ben was still pretending to be allied with Chrissy.  Joe and Mike were both aligned with Lauren.

The obvious targets were Chrissy and Ryan.  However, Chrissy won immunity and everyone knew that Ryan had an immunity idol.  (What they didn’t know was that Ben also had an immunity idol.  He found during the first hour.)

Knowing that Ryan would probably play his idol, Lauren, Devon, and Ashley had to decide who to vote for.  (Because they didn’t know that Ben was a double agent, Joe and Mike assumed that Ben would be voted out.)  Lauren decided that they might as well vote out Joe.

Around this time, Ashley suddenly realized that Ben was a far bigger threat than Joe.  Both Lauren and Devon admitted that she was right.  Now, the strategic movie, at this point, would have been to get rid of Ben because it’s not like Joe would have had a chance to win if he made it to the end.  Ben, on the other hand, is pretty much the front runner to win the whole thing.  Taking out the biggest threat is pretty much Survivor 101.

Instead, at tribal, Ryan played his idol and Lauren, Ben, Devon, and Ashley all voted for Joe.  So now, Joe has finally been sent to the jury and yet another alliance has been exposed as a lie.

So now, Lauren, Devon, and Ashley have not only lost the trust of Chrissy, Ryan, and Mike but, by refusing to vote for him, they’ve also revealed that Ben was a double agent.  It would have made so much more sense to go ahead and get rid of Ben.  Instead, they’ve kept the strongest player in the game and they’ve also created a situation where there’s going to be so much paranoia in the tribe that it’s easy to imagine it ultimately backfiring on Lauren and Devon.  All that Chrissy, Ryan, and Mike have to do to change the dynamic once again is convince just one player to betray Lauren and Ashley did spend most of last night’s episode talking about how she needs to make a big move and she needs to make it soon.

If I was Ashley, I would immediately try to make a new alliance with Chrissy, Ryan, and Dr. Mike and so that we could take out the three biggest threats in the game.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

The Third Member of the Jury, JP!

The Fourth Member of the Jury, Joe

 

Survivor 35 Episode 9 “Fear the Unknown”

Hi y’all!  Happy Thanksgiving!

To be honest, this has been a confusing season of Survivor.  Almost all of the castaways are difficult to read.  Sometimes, they’re brilliant and sometimes, they manage to make the dumbest mistakes possible.  Almost every season of Survivor is edited so that, no matter how random the game may be, it still appears as if there’s some sort of central storyline, whether it’s a story of redemption or a story about an underdog proving that they can play the game or a story about a villain who is so clever that they become an antihero.

We’re nearly finished with Survivor 35 and no real storyline has developed.  Right now, everyone is obsessed with getting rid of the Healers but the most obnoxious of the healers has somehow managed to avoid being targeted.  It’s been a strange season.  Last night’s tribal may have featured some excitement but the end result was what everyone thought it would be at the beginning.  Cole failed to win immunity so Cole was sent to the jury.  Will anyone be smart enough to notice that, since Cole didn’t use the immunity idol that Ben swore that he had, that means someone else has to have it?  Probably not.  After all, it appears that they didn’t notice Lauren’s missing vote at the last tribal council.

These are not strategic geniuses.  They don’t pay attention to details.  Chrissy may think that she’s the best strategist in the history of Survivor but so far, she’s just gotten lucky,  Ben may think that he’s in charge of a huge alliance but there really isn’t an alliance.  Instead, there’s just a bunch of people hanging out together.  Nobody seems to be thinking more than few steps ahead.

Last night was full of “What were they thinking moments?”

Ryan decided to tell both Devon and Ben that he has an idol.  What was he thinking!?

Ben decided that he wants Devon to be his biggest ally, despite the fact that they have nothing in common.  What is he thinking!?  (Of course, Ben and Devon also discovered that Ryan told each of them about the idol and then swore that he hadn’t told anyone else.  Bad news for Ryan.)

Joe’s decided that the best way to get to the end is by being so obnoxious that everyone will assume that they can beat him.  That may be true but is Joe playing to be in the final three or is he playing to win?  When asked what his strategy was during the final jury, is Joe going to say, “Oh, I just decided to get on everyone’s nerves.”

Last tribal, Dr. Mike voted for Joe as a way to show that he would be loyal to Ben.  This tribal, Mike suddenly attacked his newfound allies and wasted his idol on himself.  What was Mike thinking!?

Ben decided that the votes would be split between Cole and Mike.  Everyone else told him they’d rather vote for Joe.  Ben ordered them to vote for Cole and Mike.  What is he thinking?  Now, the entire tribe resents him from ordering them around and they’ll probably be quick to turn on him once the last healer is gone.

Is there any strategy at all going on during this season of Survivor?  This is a confusing one.

Anyway, again, the final results of Tribal were that Cole was voted out and Dr. Mike played his idol for himself.  If the healers had been smart, they would have cast their three votes for Ben and hoped that maybe playing the idol would have put Ben in trouble.  (It wouldn’t have worked but still, it would have been worth a try.)  Instead, Mike played his idol on himself and then he and Joe both voted for Cole.  Why?  Why, when you’re that far on the bottom and you’re playing an immunity idol, would you at least not take a chance and vote for the people who want you out?

I don’t understand it at all.

It’s been a strange, strange season.  But I’m enjoying writing about it!  On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful to all of you for reading and commenting!  I hope all of you are having a great day and have a wonderful night!

Lisa Marie

The second member of our jury, Cole!

 

Survivor 35 Episode 8 “Playing With The Devil”

Hi, everyone!

Sorry, I’m running a little bit behind with my thoughts on last night’s episode of Survivor.  I actually had to rewatch the episode a few times because, to be honest, tribal council left me feeling very confused.  While it makes sense that the Heroes and the Hustlers are continuing to pick off the Healers and I can understand why Mike and Cole went over to the other side (why stay on a sinking ship?), I don’t understand why — after the first tie vote — they decided to vote out Desi and keep Joe.  Yes, Desi is good at challenges but Joe is good at finding idols and he’s about a 100 times more annoying than Desi ever was.

So, I don’t get the logic there.

Even if tribal left me confused, I still enjoyed this episode.  It started out with Lauren finding a secret advantage. The advantage was that she would be allowed to cast an extra vote in a future tribal council but the catch was that, in order to claim it, she couldn’t cast a vote in the upcoming tribal.

Then, after winning a spaghetti lunch in the reward challenge, Ryan, Chrissy, and Cole all ended up seeing a clue, one that announced where a secret immunity idol could be found back at the camp.  (The sneaky Survivor Gods decided to create some drama by making the clue so obvious and easy to find that there was no way only one person would see it.)

Back at camp, Ryan immediately started digging underneath the tribal flag and found the idol.  Chrissy then started to push the sand back into the hole.  Cole spotted this and he and Chrissy got into a wrestling match underneath the flag.  (If I had been Cole, I would have started digging as soon as I got back to camp.)  This led to everyone finding out about the clue but everyone — other than Ryan and Chrissy, who knew better — assumed that Cole had the idol.  What I find to be hilarious is that Ryan is so underestimated that it didn’t occur to anyone that he might have found the idol, despite the fact that he was digging underneath the flag merely seconds before the Chrissy/Cole wrestling match.

With everyone, especially Ben, convinced that Cole had the idol, it looked like the plan would be to vote for him at tribal and force him to use it.  Fortunately, for Cole, he won the immunity challenge.  So, then, the plan became to split the votes between Joe and Desi.  For a few brief moments, Ryan did consider blindsiding Ben but he wisely reconsidered.  Now is not the time to rock the boat.

Joe attempted to cause some drama by claiming that Ben couldn’t be trusted because Ben had “sworn on the marine corps,” which Ben said that he had not done and never would do.  I’m not really sure what Joe’s strategy was.  Maybe he thought that he could get Ben so angry that everyone else would get freaked out and vote him out.

Lauren told Ben about her advantage, which led to Ben getting momentarily panicked.  He was worried that Joe had an idol and wanted to split the votes between Ben and Desi but, if Lauren couldn’t vote, that would mean that, if Joe had an idol, he could play it and Ben might go home.  (Of course, Joe didn’t have an idol.)  This led to Ben reluctantly bringing Cole and Mike into their alliance.

At tribal, the first vote led to a 4-4-1-1 tie.  Joe voted for Ben and, for some reason, Desi voted for Lauren.  Mike and Cole both betrayed their alliance by voting for Joe.  Lauren managed to play her advantage so she’ll get an extra vote in future tribal.  Because of the tie, there was a revote, in which only Joe and Desi could be voted for.  Chrissy voted for Joe.  Everyone else voted for Desi.

Desi was really upset when she got voted out, which took me by surprise.  I can understand being upset but Desi really seemed to be shocked, despite having plenty of evidence that she was a target and that she was on the button of the new tribe.  Did she think everyone was going to go after Joe in the revote?  Did she think that Cole had the immunity idol and that he would play it for her at tribal?  I get the feeling that a lot more happened before this tribal than we were lucky enough to see on last night’s episode.

Anyway, Desi may have been voted out but she’s now the first member of the jury!

We’ll see what happens next,

Lisa Marie

The first member of the jury, Desi!

Survivor 35 Episode 7 “Get to Gettin”

Hi, everyone!

It’s my birthday so I hope y’all will be willing to excuse this recap for being a little bit rushed!

Well, the merge has finally happened!  Apparently, it didn’t happen a moment to soon because, at the start of last night’s episode of Survivor, the entire Levu tribe appeared to be on the verge of starving to death.  It’s actually kind of a tradition that all merge episodes start with one tribe talking about how they’re on the verge of death but still, it does highlight why Survivor is still the best of the reality competition shows.  It’s not an easy game.  Unlike Big Brother, where people spend the entire season getting fatter, Survivor is a show where everyone ends up looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Anyway, I’m always happy when the tribes merge and it goes from being a team game to an individual game.  Sure, there’s still alliances.  It’s not Survivor without alliances.  But, ultimately, the only way to be safe now is to either win individual immunity or to find an idol.  Everyone is playing for themselves and everyone is responsible for their own fate in this game.

Take Jessica, for example.  She made it to the merge and promptly tried to set herself up as the new power player, trying to set up an alliance between the Healers and Ben and Lauren.  Since the game’s begun, Jessica has obviously had a high opinion of herself and her strategic abilities.  Of course, what she never seemed to realize is that, to everyone else, she was an obvious phony who really only cared about keeping Cole in the game.  Even after Cole repeatedly got on everyone’s nerves and proved himself to be more of a liability than an asset, Jessica remained loyal to Cole.  Even after it became obvious that Lauren and Ben wanted nothing to do with any alliance that involved Cole, Jessica remained convinced that she could convince them otherwise.

It didn’t work and last night, Jessica became the 7th person voted out of the game.  Jessica was stunned because, apparently, she believed that Ben and Lauren would join with her to vote out Chrissy.  Instead, they joined with the remaining Heroes and Hustlers and they voted out Jessica.

Jessica, of course, wasn’t their original target.  Originally, they were planning on targeting Joe but then they figured out that Joe might have an immunity idol.  They were right, of course.  Joe even pulled out his idol during the middle of tribal council, which was a stupid move on his part.  Joe then proceeded to waste his idol by playing it for himself.  For me, that was the best part of the episode.  Joe is so extremely cocky and so obnoxious that there was no way that I couldn’t enjoy watching him play himself.

Anyway, Jessica is gone now.  For her final words, she said that she still hoped that she and Cole would go out on a date after the season.  Jessica, sweetie — no.  Just no.

So, for now, it appears that it’s the Heroes and the Hustlers vs. the Healers and the Healers are in the minority, with only Dr. Mike having the safety of an idol.  Speaking of idols, it looks like there’s going to be fight over another idol next week.  I can’t wait to see that!

What does everyone think?  Was I too harsh on Jessica or was she truly the architect of her own demise?

Lisa Marie

The 7th person voted out of Survivor, Jessica!