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Survivor: Cagayan – Ep 4 – Brains Save Brawn From Themselves

Sorry for the late posting, and I am hopeful the era of my late postings will be ending now (or at least lessened). I will say I have some pretty damn good excuses this week – on Thursday, I spent the day visiting my new office as I start a new job next week. Also on Thursday, I officially became a single man again for the first time in a very long time – although I’ve unofficially had that status for a great number of weeks. And then on Friday I rushed myself to the doctor after I thought I was having a cardiac incident. It seems I wasn’t – but interestingly enough…it seems I have been experiencing some stress recently.

But I am ok. The world has continued to spin. Doors have closed and new ones have opened. Sunrise, sunset. Here I stand in the light of day. Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway.

Who is not ok? The BRAAAAAAAIIIIINNNNSSS tribe. Thankfully for the remaining members – they will be subject to a consolidation next week as the remaining 14 Survivors are likely going to be split into two seven-person tribes. And you never know in this game – Denise and Malcolm came from one of the worst tribes in show history and made it to the end. Then there was the Samoa, Russell-dominated tribe that got hammered in the beginning but then turned it around to take out the larger tribe. Then there was the Yul/Ozzy mutiny-decimated tribe who just kept winning. There are many examples of horrible early performances that turned into great Survivor success stories.

But for now…their incompetence is blinding. At least, finally, the Vulcan met her demise. It’s incredible to me that she even made it as far as she did. It is possible she may be the worst Survivor contestant to ever make it double digits in days. Think about it – is there anything she did well on the show? She was bad at leading the construction of the shelter. She was epically horrible at puzzles. She couldn’t do the physical challenges. And, of course, there was the rice incident. It is incredible she lasted this long and if the geniuses were even remotely considering keeping her around, they were insane.

There was a good point made – they had more of a chance for the Vulcan to be loyal once the buffs got dropped. But there was still a real chance they were not getting dropped, and if that was the case, they needed Spencer much more. Finally, someone on that tribe made a wise decision!

I’ve also noticed on this season a much greater emphasis on the long game rather than the short game. It is what doomed Marlin Dave in the first episode and it is evident in some of the drama taking place with the Brawn and Beauty tribes. Early on in Survivor you have to keep your tribes strong and win immunities and prepare for game twists and the eventual merge. Numbers are key. Later on you can turn on your strong tribemates – but don’t rush it.

And now I am looking directly at you Brawn Tribe. Really? Throwing a challenge to oust one of your strongest people? Are you out of your minds? How many times do we need to see a tribe throw a challenge to eliminate someone and then have it completely backfire on them? Officer Sarah needs to brush up on her Survivor history. I had high hopes for her – she seemed to be a good player right away, but boy, she has fallen hook, line and sinker for Pitbull’s BS.

Let’s assume for a moment that Pitbull’s story about Uncle Cliffy and Lindsay was true. How do you deal with that? You bide your time, Sarah. Brawn tribe hasn’t lost yet. You have numbers over both of the other two tribes. Keep your people together. It is possible that you won’t be doing a full shakeup – so keep all six of your people in line to take out any newcomers. If you are totally shaken up – you may wind up on a tribe with Cliff and Lindsay, along with four Beauty and Brains people. You may need these two. Just suck it up and keep winning and get into a good position. Later on…THEN you take them out.

Blowing a challenge on purpose only gives hope to the hopeless. Think Pearl Islands. That blown challenge led to a giant comeback and a tied merge. Think Redemption Island. Rob’s team hadn’t won a thing and was starting to fracture before the blown challenge to take out Russell took place. Zapatera could have just dealt with Russell for long enough to knock out Rob’s tribe and then teamed up to take down Russell.

Just stop blowing challenges, people. It is just not a good idea.

The only thing that kept the Brawns from doing something amazingly stupid was the complete and utter futility of the Vulcan and the Brains. Four people and only Spencer seemed capable of doing anything. If two of them were somewhat competent, then the Brawns’ foolish plan would have worked. But one on four is not a recipe for success.

The stupidity of the Immunity Challenge –clearly won by the Beauties against a lame Brains and a quitting Brawns – was offset by the brilliance of the comedic Reward Challenge. Blindfolded Survivor challenges are always comic gold. This time, they had the inspiration to place all of the obstacles at crotch levels. Hysterically, they seemed to forbid Probst from saying crotch, or groin, or nether regions, or Happy Land, or whatever. It meant Probst had to tiptoe around the words like the famous masturbation episode of Seinfeld. Clearly, I am not forbidden to use the words.

And speaking of stupidity…how is it possible to NOT KNOW HOW EGGS WORK? I understand that these pretty people are walking stereotypes but come on. The “Egg Chicken Process” is not rocket science. Although as we learned from the Vulcan, rocket science doesn’t always translate into wise decisions. So yes, Alexis, the rooster and the hen need to “get it on.” Science teachers around the world are sad. At least they heard of the word asexual.

This episode was fun due to the crotch attacks, the Vulcan elevating pathetic to new levels and the Brawn tribe being saved from themselves, but otherwise this was a bit of a placeholder. The Vulcan was never going to make it far and her elimination was overdue. And we are just an episode away from a shuffle – so we will get some new drama this way.

Treemail Top 10
1 – I will give Morganna credit – she came out pot stirring after the Brice vote out. She immediately started to point the finger at Jeremiah because otherwise she is the next target. (Of course, there is no further Beauty Tribe after next week, but still, she didn’t know that). Part of me wants to see Morganna and Spencer team up and make some noise going forward. That could be fun.
2 – Also, Jeremiah may be a pretty male model, but let’s not joke around…the man has some oratory issues. He can choke a chicken well. (see what I did there, callback)
3 – I assume LJ didn’t get much screen time this week because his crotch was hurting way too much. However, he did have the hysterical choice of covering up with his hand as a makeshift athletic protector.
4 – I need a gif of Lindsay getting conked on the head and falling over in a cartoonish way. Loved that. That one, along with Kass essentially humping a barrel.
5 – The Vulcan was so bad at the challenges that it made me think she was trying to be the worst Survivor at challenges in history.
6 – Survivor teaches us many things – this week we learned the answer to the age old question – what came first, the chicken or the egg. The answer? The dinosaurs. Thanks for that, LJ.
7 – Boy, Woooooooooooo! sure has gone to the Jeremiah School Of Oratory Skills. And clearly missed the classes on loyalty as well. I weep for the end of CliffWoo.
8 – So surprising to see a basketball challenge on a season featuring a basketball player. I wonder if Marlin Dave survived if we would get a luxury tax calculation challenge.
9 – Who expected Spencer to be the challenge monster this season? That was an amazing performance this week – he singlehandedly almost won that second place for them against the tanking Brawns. Meanwhile, I watched it twice – I don’t think Alexis actually participated in the challenge even though she was not sitting out.
10 – At Tribal, Probst all but told these Mensa folks that they needed to cut The Vulcan loose. Thankfully, they listened, including an amazing moment where Kass and Tasha were holding a side conversation directly in front of the Vulcan and Spencer. This tribe was one for the ages.

Vote – The Vulcan 3 (Spencer, Tasha, Kass), Spencer 1 (The Vulcan)

Next Week – Drop your buffs.

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