Category Archives: Survivor

Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – Tai Trang Interviewed by Joe Anglim

Every year of Survivor gives us a contestant that we just can’t help but root for. Good players and sometimes even bad players, occasionally a ruthless person, but usually someone with a good heart. But always they’re very unique and stand out among the others on their tribe.

This season that award undeniably goes to Tai Trang. He made the season enjoyable to watch. Every week we all just fell in love with him a little bit more. From trying to steal a kiss from Caleb Reynolds to tearfully saying goodbye to him when he was medically evacuated and from giving Mark the Chicken a stay of execution to pulling off the best blindside ever when he refused to give Scot Pollard his idol. We rooted for him every week and cheered Sia when she gave him her own fan favorite prize.

In two earlier seasons that player was Joe Anglim. He was a nice-looking guy who had a big heart and was very spiritual. And on top of that he was a beast at challenges, but that’s what made everyone want to vote him out. They knew he was a surefire winner if he made it to final  three.

So it was very fitting when it was Joe who interviewed Tai after the season finale and live reunion. They discussed Tai’s game play, Mark the chicken, why he was placed in the Beauty tribe, the hope we all have that he will get to play this game again, and his struggle to find the right animal charity for Sia’s award to him. And you just can’t help but imagine what a great pair they’d be in this game should they ever play together.

Image Credit: YouTube

Survivor: Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn II – Stupid Juries and Mark the Chicken

Hi guys. Miss me?

Life and Survivor. You never know what twists each one are going to deliver in your direction. Super Idols. New marriage. Voting out jury members. Fun new jobs. Chickens outlasting all but three Survivors. New careers. Hopefully, one day I can be back being your regular Survivor writer – but life keeps throwing me twists. And unlike the ones I kept getting in 2012-14…these are really frigging good ones.

One thing that is not a Survivor twist…Stupid Bitter Jury Syndrome. Honestly. I watched this season – and can anyone really tell me how Michele won this season as opposed to Aubry? Michele played a blander version of Sandra’s Anyone But Me strategy. How did this happen? I honestly think that Aubry played one of the best games in years. Michele explained her victory as having to prove she was smart. Really? If you have to prove to the jury that you aren’t an idiot…well, how can you be the winner?

How did she lose? She lost 5-2 because all of Beauty and Brawn voted for Michele. Aubry kicked their ass, and they didn’t like getting their ass kicked by the geek who started the season crying from the heat. I was especially stunned by Cydney’s vote for Michele – I can only guess that came from Aubry choosing to vote out the bigger threat. I some seasons the jury would see that as a badge of respect. Some years…they don’t. I thought Aubry rocked this season and really nailed the jury questions. But they had no interest in rewarding her – egos are a crazy thing.

I mean – tell me one thing that Michele did this season? We have 31 winners in Survivor history – and the one person who is probably the most thrilled about this result is Natalie White. She is no longer on the bottom of the list.

So, Aubry didn’t win Survivor – but she won this Survivor writer’s respect. And I really hope that she gets a Second Chance someday.

A few thoughts about this season and the Reunion Show.
• Strangest thing ever – the weird Oreo Cookie woman with the money for Tai and the animals. And then Drew Carey for some reason. These reunions keep getting weirder and weirder.
• Really. The hungry overheated people didn’t eat the chicken. That’s one thing I didn’t see coming.
• It should surprise no one who watched this season to learn that this one was in the can prior to the fan vote season. It may have been one of the more blah seasons of Survivor. It didn’t suck, but it wasn’t amazing. It was kind of there. It delivered the right points. It had some crazy. But…will you remember it? I have a feeling it will forever land right in the middle of all season rankings. It’s the Fulcrum Season.
• As much as I loved Aubry’s game, and weirdness of Tai’s game, and the damn chicken, the true star of this season was the brutality of Cambodia’s weather. THAT’s what fans will remember of this season. The weather, the injuries, the bug in the ear. Not the people and gameplay – and that’s not a good thing. However, this season should be the one that is shown to anyone who is considering applying for the show. It’s real. It’s brutal. It’s Survivor. And it’s awesome.
• Hmm…how do I put this so it clears the censors? How about some rhyming codes. The words rhyme with Flooshbag and Massholes. Got it? I’m tired of seeing flooshbags and massholes on Survivor. Mansplaining and bullying sucks in actual reality, so why are we getting helping doses of it in fake reality? I think there is reason I’ve wound up rooting for women and nerds on the show, because the other options have too often been terrible.
• Dog the Bounty Hunter and Scrub NBA Player are unwatchable. So horrible. I hated them from the beginning with the way they treated Alecia. That’s her name. Don’t be a masshole, use her damn name. One of the best parts of the season was seeing the little guy take them down.
• I assume Tai gets the first shot at returning. And I want Aubry back, of course. I’m also a big fan of Crazy Debbie. Sorry, Eccentric Debbie. The Swiss Army Knife lady. She did everything. I was kind of hoping she’d go far – but, oh well. Probst called her Rupert and Coach. She’s more Coach than Rupert – but that’s not fair to Debbie. I think it’s fair to say that there is no other Debbie out there.
• GI Joe. He didn’t do much as far as compelling TV goes, but honestly, I loved GI Joe. He’s 71 and he is effing ripped. Come on! This dude. I doubt I could last a day on this show and he had to be pulled because he ate too much beef after a month. I can honestly say he could probably kick my ass, and yours, but he wouldn’t unless he had to.
• For the record, Cydney was my Survivor girlfriend this season. Hoo boy – that lady has quite the body. Wow. Wow. Wow. She could kick our ass too.
• One regret – I didn’t write this season’s early episodes so I could continually say “Thanks, Obama” whenever Peter did something.
• Next season? Fiji again. 20 people. Generational battle as Gen X takes on the Millennials. And it is KILLING me that Gen X is now the old guys. We used to be the slackers and the cool ones. Why can’t the Baby Boomers get in there too? I don’t want to be the old guys – even if I am. Crap. I hope I can write next season – but it’s going to be tough.
• Another for the record, I am happy Namesake won the Fan Vote season, because I doubt I’ll ever win. Even if I would have voted for Spencer. That season was so good. I want to see another group of Survivors who’ve only had one shot and never won. Oh? You want my casting? Sure. 10 dudes – Tai, Josh, Troyzan, Rice, Marty, Ian, Frosti, Edgardo, Shane, Hogeboom 10 ladies – Aubry, Debbie, Carolyn, Jaclyn, Katie C, Lisa, RC, Chelsea, Christina, Natalie T. I would love to also see Vanuatu Chris get another shot – but that may have to wait until a winners season.
• Maybe one day both Laura and I will be writing for the Shack at the same time again. One can dream.
• Ok – so that’s my short respite from work and chores. To quote the immortal former Governor of California and new, not crazy host of Celebrity Apprentice…”I’ll be back.”

Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – Bitter Jury Weighs In

Survivor051816This season of Survivor had some of the best episodes ever. The blindsides were fantastic, and the first medical evacuation was so emotional. But the past two weeks the show seemed to putter along. They couldn’t do anything about last week’s penultimate episode; Joe had to be evacuated. But this week? What was with that jury decision?

The Reward Challenge

Aubry completely rocked this challenge. She was not going to lose it. It was all her. The final four had to go through an obstacle course, slide blocks into a goal, then pair up the blocks to leave three unmatched blocks that would bear numbers to a combination that would unlock the winning flag.

Aubry was out in front the whole time. She got caught up at the end by pairing up the wrong tiles, but finally got it right and won a meal for herself and one other Survivor. She chose the right person to go with. She knew she was solid with Tai, and she needed to make sure she was as well with Cydney, so chose to take her.

Meanwhile Michelle approached Tai about an alliance to get to final two. She pitched the two of them as the odd men out and wanted him to keep her and vote out one of the other two.

The Immunity Challenge

Without Joe bringing up the end in challenges, that was left to Michelle today. Except she was bringing up the end until she inexplicably won somehow. They had to untie keys out in the ocean to unlock ladders taking them to bags of puzzle pieces. Somehow she came from behind to win.

This put the other three In a pickle. She was the easy out. Now what? As expected, it broke down into two against two. Michele and Cydney worked Tai to vote out Aubry. They wanted her instead of Tai because they rudely said he couldn’t even talk so would be no good in front of the jury. But Aubry was pushing him on forcing a tie vote to end in a fire-starting challenge.

Tai did the right thing and stuck with his alliance with Aubry. They both voted for Cydney, and Cydney and Michele voted for Aubry. In the fire challenge, Cydney was never in it. It was Aubry all the way. Interestingly enough, the jury was cheering on Aubry. I thought right then it was good news for her, as it seemed as if they were on her side.

The Extra Challenge

Jeff Probst threw in a new twist. The final three gathered for a challenge, worried that there would only be a final two. Instead it was a challenge for a reward. That reward was being able to vote out a jury member. If there was someone you knew wouldn’t vote for you to win, here was your chance to get them out.

This stacking challenge could have seen any of them winning. But it went Michele’s way … again. Obviously Joe and Neal were going to vote for Aubry, and while Michele considered getting rid of Joe’s vote, Tai told her his choice would be Neal. Aubry tried to save him saying her vote would be for Scot as he could convince others to vote with him. In the end she chose Neal who had some choice words for her on the way out, telling her she had no chance of winning.

The Last Tribal Council

Unfortunately I accidentally deleted tonight’s show from my DVR, so I don’t have it to go back to to help me write this up, so I’m relying on my memory. But the jury was slamming Michele for not being intelligent enough, not playing the game until the very end, etc. She also took credit for some moves in the game that had tai shaking his head.

Tai’s big mistake here was that he kept going back to his big move in the game of voting out Scot. He needed to point to other good things he did. The jury thought he started out strong and got weaker and still gave him flak for flip-flopping.

It really wasn’t one of those last Tribal Councils where the jury really gives it to the final three. There were no jaw-dropping comments or questions. Just apparently a group of bitter players who couldn’t get over the fact that these Aubry and Tai conspired to vote all of them out.

Freebird

After the jury voted and Mark the chicken was freed, we made it back to the studio live for the live vote count. In a truly shocking result, Michele won five votes to two. She received five votes, Aubry two, and Tai zero. Zero? C’mon.

How bitter was this jury? Michele did not have a game. She road the coat tails of whoever she could and at the end after winning a few challenges to get there pretended this was all her strategy. But Nick, Scot, Julia, Jason, and Cydney all voted for her, while Deb and Joe voted for Aubry.

Clearly Tai and Aubry were in control of the entire game after the merge. They controlled it all the way. And sure, Michelle had the votes of Julia, her partner, and Cydney, her partner later in the game. But the other three voting for her? They couldn’t get over being blindsided so chose the person who limped along through the game not blindsiding them because she was never in control. Such sore losers and so bitter.

Tai Gets the Last Laugh

But Survivor must have known that this wasn’t the ending we were hoping for. They spent barely a minute talking to Michele about her win. Barely. That is unprecedented. But they couldn’t spend a whole section talking about her strategy as she had none. She really had nothing.

Instead, they moved on to Aubry and spent some time talking about her game, as she did have a strategy, and she went from being completely overwhelmed in the game to catching her stride and aligning and controlling people to get to the final three.

Then Jeff moved on to talking to Tai. But he was interrupted by someone in the audience. It was singer Sia. Or at least we think it was her underneath that wig she always wears. But she saved this whole season and reunion show.

Sia interrupted Jeff and came up and announced being a fan of the show. She talked about being upset that they don’t reward a anyone with a fan vote and secondary prize anymore. So she offered a reward. She gave Tai $50,000 and she gave him another $50,000 to give to his favorite animal charity. He was clearly stunned, as was Jeff.

And after that, time was spent talking about the Scot/Jason/Tai alliance, Cody being evacuated, Julia being the youngest, Deb being odd, and Joe being 71. No more time was spent on the undeserving winner. Her fifteen minutes is apparently done.

Season Summary

A few weeks ago I was saying this was the best season ever. After this result, I don’t think I can say that anymore. We had some of the best blindsides ever, and by that I mean the most deserving. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a Survivor episode as much as when Scot was voted out.

But that’s why they were so deserving of being voted out. They were too bitter. They didn’t have the capability of recognizing that someone else Outplayed, Outwitted, and Outlasted. They were just too bitter, so gave the prize to the person who didn’t hurt them because she was barely playing the game and who was in the final three because she won the last immunity, but was in the final four because the others dragged her there.

They should have listened to Tai when he wanted to get her out. He was right. Instead they said it was a wasted advantage because he used his extra vote on someone who was still there. Instead they should have been looking at it that he was deserving of the win because he knew she didn’t deserve to be there and was in danger of getting dragged to the end and messing up his alliance.

And really that’s the only time Aubry messed up. I think she played a fabulous game. But … she didn’t get rid of Michele when she should have. But I think we’ll see her again. Tai too. If they are willing to do this thing again, I think Survivor producers will be begging to put them into some type of “Favorites” or All-Stars season.

Image Credit: YouTube

Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 –– Not What I Was Looking For

Survivor051116This just isn’t the penultimate show I was looking for. It’s been such a great season, and the episode before the finale is always so good with so much strategy being thrown back and forth as you wait to see which way it’s going to go. But this week? Nothing.

After Jason Was Voted Out

Tai is understandably confused. He thought they were all voting out Michele, and he used his extra vote to make it happen. His two votes were the only two she received. He was “kept in the dark” and is hurt. He and Michele have it out over who has more of a right to be in the alliance.

He knew Aubry had agreed with him that MIchele should go home, so he feels like she pulled a fast one on him. She tells him the others didn’t think they were allowed to express their opinion, and he explained she should have told him, “This is what we’re doing; either come along or don’t come along.” She’s beginning to think she can’t work with him anymore, and he doesn’t know where he stands, as he thought the three of them were solid: Tai, Aubry, and Joe.

Reward Challenge

For the reward challenge the five remaining survivors have to run into the woods and grab a bag of bean bags. They then need to toss them in what amounts to the “Bozo Buckets” game. After they’re all out of bags, they go back and get another bag. When they re out of bags, they wait and see if anyone else lands more bags than they do. They will win a Survivor Spa night.

Cydney is rocking it to begin with, running really fast through the woods. Joe is bringing up the rear as always. After one round, some of them have one bag and some have zero. Finally eveyrone but Joe is out of bags. Aubry lands four. They all have to wait for Joe. If he lands all five eventually, he’ll win. And he does with a hashtag of #GetsItDoneAt71.

Spa Reward

Joe can take two others with him and chooses Aubry and Cydney leaving Tai and Michele out with the knowledge they are on the bottom of that alliance no matter how much they want to argue about it.

At the spa reward, while they three are gorging themselves on meat, Joe spouts off that the only threat left in the game is Aubry and Cydney is just along for the ride. A bell goes off in Aubry’s head. She realizes that taking Cydney to final three is not the best move as she knows she isn’t content just to make it to final three and that she’s another real threat. She’s a danger to win this thing. Aubry realizes that her best bet for winning is if she takes her number one guy since the beginning, Joe, and Tai. But, she’s blown it with him, so she realizes she needs to somehow bring him back into the fray.

Meanwhile back at camp, Tai and Michele are talking. They talk it all out between the two of them and he admits he’s drawn to certain people but just doesn’t have chemistry with her. Despite this, he gives her her own spa day, giving her a Thai/Tai massage and cooking her dinner. They discuss that maybe to get ahead they need to work together, pull in someone else and then vote out someone else instead of just going along with everyone else’s plans.

Pre-Immunity Challenge Strategy

Aubry sets her sights on pulling Tai back into the alliance as soon as she gets back in camp the next morning. She knows he’s so emotionally needy so needs to make things right with him and knows that Joe will go along with whatever she wants.

Tai and Aubry walk together to get water. She tells him she took some time to think about things and tells him Joe will go along with her and there is no question about it. She knows Tai is the right one to go to final three. While she’s talking to him, he breaks down in tears and says the game is so crazy. She hugs him, and it’s what he needs. He knows he needs to follow his heart and go with Aubry, as he’s had a soft spot for her since the beginning.

Meanwhile Michele and Cydney start talking after they see Tai and Aubry come back seeming very comfortable with each other. They decide that no matter who wins immunity, they have to convince the other person to come with them, meaning between Joe and Aubry. Tai has an idol, so won’t be voted out no matter what. Michele is feeling very comfortable at this point.

No Longer Getting It Done at 71

While Joe is extremely fit for being a 71-year-old guy, he’s still a 71-year-old guy. Eating all that meat at the reward has done him in. He’s constipated, and on top of that he can’t pee. He thinks there’s something wrong with his prostate. He’s in a lot of pain but doesn’t want the others to know.

Joe calls for medical to check him out, and they give him some medicine that should help him out. However, it doesn’t. Medical comes back again, and this time Jeff Probst comes along for the ride. If Joe lets this go and still can’t pee, he could do some serious damage to his kidneys.

Just in case it wasn’t hard enough to watch Cody get removed from the game way before the merge, this one is somehow even more difficult. He’s such a strong guy and made it so far that you hate to see this guy leave at final five. And his fellow survivors have mad respect for him, and it showed.

Joe gets removed from the game, and it’s the hardest on Tai more than anyone else. His emotions are so deep. He had a hard time watching his number one alliance member Cody leave the game, made it past all that, and now he has to watch Joe leave. It’s a sad, sad moment when this man leaves the game. This is by far the most emotional season I have ever watched out of thirty-two seasons.

What’s Next?

It’s so hard to tell how this will turn out now. Right now it’s two against two, but the only one who probably realizes that is Aubry and maybe Tai. Aubry knows she needs to take Tai to final three, but without Joe she needs to choose between Aubry and Cydney. Cydney thinks she has that spot, but she’s a huge threat, so Aubry might want to take Michele.

Tai’s best bet will be to take MIchele and Aubry to final three. But he still struggles with Michele, so he might want to take Cydney with him. Michele and Cydney both know they need to get rid of Aubry. They know they can’t take her to final three.

But how it ends up will matter so much on who wins the final immunity challenge. If Aubry is safe, Michele and Cydney are gong to want to vote out Tai, but Aubry will never go along with that. If Tai is safe, Michele and Cydney will want Aubry out, but he’ll never go along with that. If Cydney is safe, MIchele and Tai will want Michele out, etc.

It comes down to two against two at this point it seems. I don’t think the others will be able to convince Tai or Aubry to go against each other, and I don’t think they’ll be able to convince MIchele or Cydney to go against each other. It could end up to be fire-making challenge to see who goes home. And if they know that going into it, they definitely don’t want to try to vote out Tai.

And on that note, I’m going to go watch some videos of “Ponderosa” and watch the jury coming in to camp and discussing the others. I feel like I didn’t get what I came here for this week.

Image Credit: YouTube

Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – From Hero to Zero

Survivor050416For the first time in a few weeks, things did not go Tai’s way at Tribal council. He pushed it a bit too far and got too ahead of himself. He alienated himself from the group and has now put himself in real jeopardy.

He is not the first Survivor that this has happened to. There’s always a tendency to get ahead of yourself, count your chickens before they hatch, even making pets of them and calling them Mark, and assume it’s all going to go your way then suddenly find yourself on the wrong side of the vote. How many seasons did that happen to Boston Rob until he got it right?

After Last Tribal Council

Tai starts hitting it right away after the last tribal council and has his plan all figured out. He tells Joe and Aubry what his advantage is, that he gets an extra vote at tribal council. He says they’re the core alliance right now, and that they need to stick together. They can play his extra vote this time to give them four votes and keep each other safe, and then next time he can use his idol.

Jason is having a hard time of it. He has no alliance left. And now he’s much less likely to be voted out as he’s non-threatening. Because he’s a sore loser, he has stopped doing anything at camp. He’s really just taking up space with everyone knowing he’s a good one to take to final three.

Reward Challenge

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The teams break down into two teams of three: Jason, Tai, and MIchelle vs. Joe, Aubry, and Cydney. They have to go through obstacles in the water one by one, then maneuver three balls through a giant marble maze that they need to maneuver by walking around it.

Joe is is slow at this and puts them at a deficit right away. Also working against them is that Jason gets this figured out really quickly. The guy who doesn’t seem to understand the basis of teamwork suddenly gets it when it behooves him. They win easily.

These three go on their reward challenge, and get to visit an animal refuge and have a picnic. Jason knows his autistic daughter is loving this. Tai starts to warm up to him a little more. He realizes that while Jason is very persuasive, MIchelle hasn’t made any enemies and needs to go home.

Back at Camp

Joe has taken command of the camp for him, Cydney, and Aubry. He’s barking out orders on how to build the fire, and Cydney is quite put out over it. Aubry is kind of a suck-up, trying to help yet also trying to keep peace.

Immunity Challenge

The survivors have to balance blocks in a vertical tower that spell out IMMUNITY. They have to hold on to a rope to keep it balanced while walking back and forth to grab the blocks, then stack them. Everyone moves really quickly except Cydney. She goes super, super slow.

Joe is surprisingly in the lead and is being very aggressive with it. All the others are a short distance behind him except Cydney. But all the others drop their blocks and have to start over, at least once or twice. Jeff Probst calls Cydney out of the challenge a few times.

While Joe was leading in the beginning, he never made it back in. He started stacking again, but he kept spelling IMMUNITY wrong. Suddenly it’s Jason and Cydney left at the end. The person who was out of it is right in it at the end. It’s neck and neck until they are both walking back after spelling the word. Steps away from the platform, Jason drops his blocks, Cydney finishes and wins.

Controlling Tai

No, this subtitle isn’t about Jason controlling Tai, it’s about Tai controlling the others, believe it or not. He wants to vote out Michelle and not Jason and won’t listen to anyone else’s opinion. He has his mind made up and that’s it. The others don’t really want to go along with him though, namely Cydney.

Aubry knows it’s the right decision, but know Cydney doesn’t want to to do it. Mainly Cydney just doesn’t like to be told who to vote for no matter who it is. She likes to call the shots. She’s upset about Tai suddenly taking power like this. Aubrey says she’s not gong to make up her mind until tribal council. But before it’s all over, Tai tells Jason to vote for MIchelle.

Tribal Council

Michelle and Cydney make comments about Tai trying to vote out Michelle. Tai then tries to save himself, but he makes it way worse. He says he didn’t have time to talk to Cydney alone. Aubry thinks he had time, and Michelle wonders why there needs to be private conversations within their alliance. Then Tai really blows it and says there is a smaller alliance within the larger alliance. And Michelle smoothly points out that Tai keeps turning on all his alliances.

It comes down to the vote, and before the votes are counted Tai tells Jeff he wants to play his extra vote. He just needs four votes to get rid of MIchelle, so he is casting two votes for her. He just needs two more votes and thinks he has it in Aubry, Joe, and Jason.

But when it’s all counted, the vote total is one for Joe, two for Michelle, and four for Jason. Jason played it smart in case he stayed. He voted for Joe. Cydney, Michelle, Aubry, and Joe all voted for Jason. The only votes for Michelle are the two that Tai cast.

Now It’s Going to Get Crazy

Aubry obviously decided it wasn’t in her best interests to side with Tai. However, she needs him in that voting block with her. This is not the time to pull out of that alliance with him. He still has an idol in his pocket. All he has to do is hold on to it and play it to make it to final four.

Joe is never going to go against Aubry, but Cydney loves her blindsides. Cydney, Tai, and Michelle could vote out Aubry. Right now she holds the best chance for winning this thing. But now she might have lost it.

Then again Tai is a man without a country. It’s never good to be on the wrong end of a vote. Again, he has that idol. But he has to not let go of it no matter what. The others are gong to be trying to trick him into giving it to one of them or not using it. He has to remain firm with it.

To add to that, the previews show Tai and Michelle at least “considering” working together. He’s even giving her a backrub. But when it’s time for the vote, we’ll see if they stick with that.

Image Credit: YouTube

Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – ‘Did You Say Wine?’

Survivor042716We knew going into tonight that it was never going to be as good as last week. Nothing could beat last week. And thank you Survivor producers for showing us last week’s blindside again at the beginning of tonight’s show. I needed to laugh that hard again. And I’m smiling right along with Aubry

And right away, as we all expected, Jason starts flapping his gums about the blindside. He thinks he’s such a great player that he was the obvious next one out. He found out he was wrong, though. Without his partner in crime, he’s not a threat at all. Instead they just ended up taking away another one of his manipulations.

And the beautiful person that Tai is? He went and tried to make nice with Jason. He felt bad about the blindside. Jason and Scot never felt badly about how they were treating him or anyone else, so he shouldn’t have felt badly, but he did. And Jason is trying really hard to find a way back in. He just doesn’t get it. He keeps working the girls to get back in, but if he ever would have realized what a great alliance member he had in Tai, he wouldn’t be in this position now.

Reward Challenge

The reward challenge had them working in pairs. But there is seven of them left, so that means one of them is the odd man out when they draw for teams. This person will not have a chance of winning the reward of going in a helicopter to a remote island and having a picnic. And yes, Aubry, there’s wine. Jason’s the odd man out again. He doesn’t get to play.

The teams are Tai/Joe, Cydney/Michele, Julia/Aubry. They have to move through obstacles and collect three rings. They then have to throw the rings at a target and try to land them on the hooks. Julia and Aubry aren’t even close to being in it. It’s between Tai/Joe and Cydney/Michele for who will get their last ring

It’s Cydney and MIchele who win this challenge. They get to pick one other person to bring on the reward. They do the honorable thing and pick Aubry … not because she wants wine, but because she’s the only one who hasn’t been in on a food reward yet.

Plotting

Michele realizes she was kept out of the loop with the vote last week, so she uses this reward challenge to try to worm her way back in with Aubry and Cydney. Aubry trusts her as she has always voted with them before, so she decides they’ll let her back in.

But Cydney points out to Aubrey that there is no way they can go to final three with Tai. That’s an obvious. He’s a winner. She suggests they take either Joe or Michele. Aubry, though, should realize that if Cydney is thinking this about Tai, she’s probably also thinking it about Aubry, as she’s just as much of a threat to win at final three. And Cydney is a dark horse to win, so her best bet is to go without either of them.

Julia and Jason do some plotting as well, and they, too, are trying to get Tai out. They figure they can get Michele’s vote, but that’s just three votes. They need a fourth to either get rid of him or at least flush out his idol. Jason tries to sell Cydney on taking out Tai. Little does he knows she’s already thinking about it. Julia wants to eat Mark as soon as Tai is gone.

Immunity Challenge

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They save themselves from having to do yet another endurance challenge tonight. Instead they will have to swim out to a platform, memorize the symbol and number combinations, use that to figure out a combination to hopefully get the right key to open the puzzle pieces which when put together correctly will spell out “Blindsided.”

While most of the survivors have to go back a second time to remember what was on the wheel, Julia and Michele are phenomenal with this and get the key on the first try. Well, Joe doesn’t go back either, but that’s because he gives up. Michele figures out the puzzle right away and wins immunity.

More Plotting

The problem with Julia doing so well but not winning is she just tipped to her hat as to how smart she is with such things, yet she doesn’t have the immunity necklace around her neck. The main alliance starts discussing that while Jason is a threat with his athleticism in the water, Julia is a threat mentally as well. Suddenly her name is brought up for their target.

Basically it breaks down into this: Jason and Julia are going to vote for Tai. But for this to work, Michele and Cydney have to go against the main alliance and vote him out. Additionally, Tai has to feel safe and not pay his idol. If he does, Julia still goes home. Michele and Julia are really tight, and as was pointed out, Cydney loves a blindside, so this vote could easily go either way.

Tribal Council

At the Tribal Council, Tai’s name is continually brought up as being a threat, worrying him. Additionally it’s pointed out that he has an idol as well as an advantage. Jason tries to point out that Tai keeps flipping on his alliance trying to get the others to worry about keeping him. He also tries to point out that Aubry and Joe are even closer than he and Scot, and they are, but they aren’t plotting in the same way. The two of them together are not the threat that Jason and Scot were, basically because Joe is more or less a slug in this game. He does nothing.

It’s also brought up that they need to make the right moves to impress the jury. They want to be impressive in their game play, but they can’t piss off the people who then end up on the jury. And really that still benefits Tai and Aubry. They’ve been controlling the game but haven’t been so obvious about it that they are pissing off the jury.

After the vote, Jeff Probst makes the call for immunity idols. Tai asks Aubry if he should play it. She tells him she thinks he’s safe, but he has to go with his gut. In the end, he doesn’t play it, leading to lots of tension. But the only votes for him were from Jason and Julia. All other votes are for Julia. She’s the fifth member of the jury.

Imploding

From the previews it seems like next week the main alliance is going to start to implode. But the most astounding thing is Cydney goes off talking about someone thinking they are in control when they aren’t, surely thinking she is.

That’s a surefire way to get voted off the island. Don’t start thinking that you are the deciding vote or that you are in control of the whole thing. It never works out well. Instead of being in control, you’ll be the one who gets voted out. If she’s battling for control of the game, I’m guessing it might be with Aubry.

And still, I do not get why no one has brought up voting out Aubry yet. She and Tai are the biggest threats, but they only see him as a threat because they are looking at his idol and his advantage. They need to wake up or they will be patting her on the back in a couple weeks when she walks away with a million dollars.

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Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – Faith in Tai Has Been Restored

Survivor042016This definitely has to go down as one of the best blindsides ever. Have there been other cocksure players before? Sure. Have there been others before who have switched alliances? Sure. But there was just something so delicious about this one.

Fallout from Last Tribal Council

Yeah, the biggest cock in this season of Survivor is not Mark the chicken, Tai’s pet. It’s a tie between Jason and Scot. After they played their hand and let everyone know in the last tribal council that they not only had two idols but that they could play them together to form a super idol, those two thought they had it made.

These guys were literally strutting around camp not worrying about their safety at all, believing that they were safe and could call all the shots. Scot even went to Aubry and softly asked her to work together saying they would give back the axe and machete if they agreed to do what they wanted. But that’s not who Aubry is. She wasn’t buying it.

Reward Challenge

It was a little different this time. There were three awards: Food, Love, and Advantage. They could choose what reward to fight for whether it be a cheeseburger meal, letters from home, or an unknown advantage in the game. Everyone had their choice, and they only had to beat the others who were competing for that same prize. They had to balance a balance beam with their foot. If clay pots at the end dropped, they were out.

Julia and Joe competed for Love. That was easy. Joe was out within seconds. By no one’s surprise, Scot and Jason competed for food, but Michelle joined them. Scot was out right away and then Jason. Michelle got the cheeseburger. Then it was between Tai, Cydney, and Aubry for the Advantage. Cydney was out surprisingly early, and Aubry made it far, but finally lost to Tai. Neither of the two cocks won anything, but Scot thought the best thing is that Cydney didn’t eat or get the advantage, so she would go home.

After the Reward

With Michelle with a full belly and Julia crying over her letters from home, Tai went and read his advantage in secret. His advantage is an extra vote at Tribal Council that he can use up through final five.

Julia then goes to Michelle and Aubry and suggests the girls and Joe all vote for Tai. They figure this way they can flush out the idol. If he doesn’t play the idol, he and his idol go home, and if he does play the idol, he no longer has it as a threat, and Cydney goes home.

Aubry thinks better of that plan, though. She wants to work with Tai. She knows he’s a better person than the two cocks he’s working with. She tells him that some of the girls want to target him to flush the idol out. She offered that they could work together and promises to tell him what’s going on.

But Tai does something mind-boggling. He goes and tells Jason and Tai exactly what Aubry said. Scot decides they should vote out Aubry instead of Cydney, and at that point Tai says he likes the plan, but he’s starting to feel like an outsider in his alliance. He notices that they are always telling him what to do. He goes along with it, but he’s wondering if that’s his best move.

More Clay Pots

For the Immunity Challenge, it’s more clay pots and more endurance. This time they have to push two wooden discs attached to clay pots with their full wing span. The space is set so that they can only push with their fingertips. If they move just a little bit, their pots will drop.

And yeah, Joe is out early … again. You would think Tai would have been there at the end, but he wasn’t. Neither was Cydney. The last two standing are Jason and Aubry. He wants her out, and she wants him out. She makes it really far, but she finally falls, and Jason wins immunity.

The cocks think they have thing won. Jason gives his idol to Scot since he has immunity. Julia comes to them and tells them that the girls are voting for Tai. They tell her that they want Tai gone as well later in the game as they don’t want to face him in the final three and would rather take her. Julia is happy as a clam as she wants to go to final three with the cocks as she knows no one else like them and figures she has an easier chance of winning the game.

Aubry is feeling connected to Tai and doesn’t want him to go. She talks to Cydney, and they decide they can get Joe with them to vote out Scot. Aubry plays it really smart and doesn’t pressure Tai but tells him it’s his game and he has them behind her. He’s left wondering whether he should stick with the guys or follow Aubry.

Tribal Council

The cocks say again that they know they are not going anywhere tonight. Jason boldly says the others need to decide who should go next. Either they decide which one of them they will cut, like they did with Debbie last week, or his alliance will decide for them.

Jeff Probst asks Tai why he’s so quiet and asks if he’s not comfortable with the boasting. Tai admits it’s not what he does in his personal life, but he has to do what’s best for his game. Jason points out that Tai has stepped up for them time and time again.

Jason says if you’re not confident of what’s going on, it’s smarter to be on the right side. You might as well jump on the train or your game will be dictated for you. He wasn’t talking to Tai, but that seems to have really made him think.

Julia urges Tai to play his idol, but Scot tells him not to. In the end, the only votes for Tai are Julia and Michelle. Aubry gets two votes from Jason and Scott. And Scott gets four votes from Aubry, Cydney, Joe, and Tai.

And in the best thing I may have ever seen on this show, with Scot being voted out, he and Jason expected Tai to play the Super Idol with him. He refuses and shakes his head, then says sorry. Everyone but Jason and Scott and Tai are smiling and/or laughing. Scot left the game … with Jason’s idol in his pocket.

And Then There Was One

Julia is a double agent, so it’s unclear whether she’s going to stick with Jason and try to do something or just abandon ship. But any of the others who share information with her aren’t playing a good game.

Tai’s safe now and did his duty to get rid of Scot, but he needs to realize he’s not safe by any stretch of the imagination. These people helped him this time and saved him by taking out Scot, but he’s still a really big threat to win this game, and he needs to keep watching his back.

That goes for Aubry as well. She’s playing a really good game, too, and is also a big threat to win if she makes it to the final three. Maybe she’s figured that out, too, and maybe that’s why she is trying to save Tai. If the two of them are in the final four, they can only vote out one of them, and the other will be in the final three. She stands a better chance of staying with Tai in the game.

As for Jason, aka Cock #1? He’s safe for awhile. Everyone is going to want to take him to final 3. None of those people are going to vote for him to win, just like Julia realized. But floaters usually don’t make it to the end, so she doesn’t stand much of a chance. Joe would be a good one to take to the end as well. He’s done nothing. Aubry’s been controlling the game, no matter what the Cocks think, and Tai made the biggest move so far. The game belongs to them right now. They just have to make it to the end.

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Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – A Little Disappointed in Tai

Survivor041316So far this season I’ve been so impressed by Tai. Her’s just such a likable guy. But this episode he walked over to the bad side, and it just isn’t an endearing quality on him. Yet at the same time, I’m always surprised that he’s still there. The others just don’t seem to get it yet that if he makes it to the end, he will win easily.

After the Blindside

After the blindside last week where the women grouped together and voted out Nick, Jason and Scot become hellbent on sabotage and want Tai to join them. They believe that they have no other hope of surviving to the end, so they decide to sabotage the others to make them weaker.

It’s like Russel Hantz times two. They get up early and hide the machete and the axe, limiting the others’ ability to find food. Then Scot dumps the entire water reserve on the fire to kill their chances of boiling water or eating. But Joe and the women in the group figure out how to do without..

Later out of desperation, Tai joins them and dumps water on the rebuilt fire. I get immediately disappointed in him for falling so far down to the level of Jason and Scot. But it doesn’t even affect his likability with the others, as the others just believe that Scot did it again, and the guys still like him because they know he helped their cause. Besides, they need his idol.

Reward Challenge

Jeff Probst announces to the survivors at the Reward Challenge that they are gong to split into two teams of four each, and the remaining person won’t play, will get to choose which team they believe will win, and if they’re right, will join in the reward. Realizing how divided the group is, he lets them just choose their own teams instead of doing a schoolyard pick.

Right away Joe plays Switzerland and says he’ll be the person who doesn’t play. This makes it five women against the other three men. One of the women need to join the men, so Julia volunteers. Right away the other women resent her realizing she’s trying to play both sides. Joe sticks with the women and chooses their team.

In the challenge the teams need to unbraid some ropes while they are attached to them, then throw bean bags to knock down bottles. The women nearly come from behind with Debby’s astounding ability, but it’s not enough as the guys and Julia win. Their reward is Chinese food.

After the Reward<.h2>

The women have a disagreement over who needs to be voted out. They know that there’s a good chance that the guys have two idols and want to flush them out, so Debby wants to vote out one of the guys, but they need to make sure Julia isn’t now siding with the guys.

Aubry is the one who is most upset with Julia and doesn’t feel they can trust her. She wants to vote her out over one of the guys, and Cydney has the exact same idea. But Debby is relentless and won’t listen to that and demands they split the votes between the two guys.

Immunity and Aftermath

For the immunity challenge the survivors need to line up large dominos without knocking them over and get them to all fall down. If they fall too soon or they mess up, they have to start over. Against what Aubry and Cydney want, Julia wins immunity

Deb wants to split the votes between Scot and Tai, figuring they’ll be surprised thinking they’ll go for Jason and figuring they’re guaranteed of getting one of them out. She will not listen to reason, and it’s worrying Aubry, making her realize Debby has become a liability.

Cydney and Aubry then decide they need to get Debby out. Michelle is on board, but Joe refuses to go against a former alliance member, just as he always does. This means they have to trust Julia to vote the way they want. Julia has already gone and told the guys that they are planning to split the votes. Scot figures they just need to play the super idol if it doesn’t go their way.

Tribal Council

When Jeff Probst brings up the Idols, Scot announces that they will tell everyone what is going to happen. Tai shows his idol, and Jason shows his. Tai says he will play his idol, and Jason says he and Scot will play rock, paper, scissors to decide who gets the other one and let fate play out.

The ladies start whispering and saying “Original.” But what plan is that? That sounds like they want to vote out the guys. They then talk openly and so do the guys, and they all decide they are ready to vote and know exactly what they are going to do..

Tai fools them all and doesn’t play his idol. Scot and Jason do their rock, paper, scissors, and Jason loses, but then they decide just to give the idol to Tai. This is because if one of them gets voted out, they will play it as a Super Idol and save themselves.

The votes come back two for Scot, three for Cydney, and four for Debby. She is definitely blindsided. The guys are elated. Nick whispers that the guys are safe for awhile. The three guys voted for Cydney, Debby and Joe voted for Scot, and all four of the other women voted for Debby.

Aftermath

So where do they go from here? Like Nick pointed out, it would seem the guys are safe now that everyone knows they have the Super Idol. and the previews show them feeling they are invincible. But their elation almost seems like there is some foreshadowing thrown in that something will go wrong.

Then we see Aubry trying to lure Tai away from the evil clutches of Scot and Jason, telling him he’s not like them. He then tells the camera he doesn’t know what to do. We know he is a good person and playing evil does’t sit right with him. But will he ruin what he has gong for him if he switches alliances? Switching this late in the game usually doesn’t bode well.

Yet still … no one is discussing voting him out. His idol keeps him safe if they decide to, but they don’t seem to be. If they’re smart, they won’t take him that much further. He’s a risk to win immunities close to the end to make it. And about the only person left who might be able to beat him is Aubry. This could be an exciting end of the game.

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Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – A Need for a Richard Hatch School of Alliances

Survivor032316There seems to be an overall ineptitude among this season’s group of survivors. Neither of the original Brains and original Brawn tribes seem to get it. They don’t seem to understand how to work with people to get to a common goal: surviving. The only ones who seem to get it are the Beauty tribe, and they were decimated after Caleb was evacuated and Anna was voted out. However, it seems like Scot is finally getting it now that he’s working with Tai.

Disillusioned

Debbie continues to be disillusioned. She makes multiple remarks about how hot she thinks Nick is and says he should be a model, and she knows as she’s done modeling in the past. Frankly I, I have to ask, is there anything she hasn’t done or anything she doesn’t know?

Reward Challenge

The producers set Scot up for this one pretty well. For the challenge the teams have to untie some underwater buoys, then push them all to the shore and stack them in a rack where two players will shoot them into a basket.

Obviously the former NBA player has an extreme advantage here. It’s like, well … a doing anything challenge with Debbie since she’s an expert at everything. I have to give to to Nick for making it close and staging a comeback after Michele got them in a hole not being able to untie the buoys, but that seemed custom-made for Scot.

New Addition

After Anna, a former Beauty tribe member, was voted out of the Gondol tribe last week, it left an opening in the tribe for Julia, another former beauty tribe member, who was without a tribe after the tribal shakeup. This kept the vote balance as two from Beauty, one from Brawn, and three from Brains.

Peter obviously didn’t learn anything after Liz was voted out after the two of them had figured everyone would bow to their voting desires. Now he decides he once again wants Joe out, and he confronts Julia suggesting they band together and vote out Joe. Then he talks to Scot to share his plan.

Aubry and Joe are intending on keeping their majority intact so plan on keeping Peter around and dumping the new addition, Julia. Joe catches wind of Peter’s plan and confronts him, but Peter denies it. Joe actually starts to threaten him to vote his way. Well, if Peter joins with Julia, Scot, and Tai, they’ll have the majority, and there isn’t anything Joe can do about it.

On the other tribe Debbie and Michelle talk, and the older woman takes the younger one under her wing. Debbie is angling to get Jason out as he doesn’t do anything around camp. But then Nick tries to be protective of Michelle, and she gets offended. She says she’ll just play dumb to go along with him but she doesn’t “need to be carried, Bro.”

Immunity Challenge

The tribes need to fight through an obstacle course and then build a tower of blocks that was taller than any of them, including Scot. But clearly this was another challenge that would benefit Scot yet again. However, Gondol tries Peter’s strategy of building in the middle, picking up the top and inserting sections in the middle. It doesn’t go well, and they lose.

Aubry wants to get rid of Peter but is afraid to lose the number for Brains in the tribe. Joe refuses to consider bending and going against him. So he makes amends with Peter who is deciding he’s not going to go against the Brains either and that he’ll just vote out Julia.

Scot talks to Peter and realizes he just wants to vote Julia out. He talks with Julia and Tai, and they realize it’s a tie vote of three against three. They start discussing voting Peter out and know Joe isn’t going to bend, so they go to Aubry and tell her that Peter was talking about voting her out. However, they aren’t sure whether Aubry is going to join with them, making Scot say that he and Tai just might have to vote out Julia.

Tribal Council

At Tribal Council Julia puts it out there that the tribe is split. Aubry, though, then starts talking about seeing sides of Peter that is making them question him, and Julia and Scot talk about Peter going to them and throwing the others under the bus.

Tai and Scot whisper and nod with each and decide to do the “original plan.” Scot then openly says “original plan” to Julia. This makes Aubry and Joe whisper with each other as well.

Aubry is shown as stalled when she goes to write down her vote. She then writes Julia, but stares at it for awhile. When the votes are read, her vote says Julia, but is crossed off and now says Pete. Peter is voted out four to two.

That guy had no idea how to play this game. He is most probably an excellent ER Doctor, but he doesn’t understand how to strategize with people. He kept thinking if he conceived an idea, he could get the others to go along with him, never giving anyone else an ounce of credit to possibly make a decision on their own. And that’s the sole reason he is no longer there. It happened on the Brains tribe when Liz was voted out, and it now happened again with him. Had he not been talking to Julia and Scot who had no reason to be loyal to him, he would still be there and Julia would have been voted out.

Next Up

So now the tribes will merge next week. This gives the Brains, Brawn, and Beauty a chance to group back together again. For Brawn, they’re still down with only three people left: Cydney, Jason, and Scott. Brains now have four left: Debbie, Neal, Joe, and Aubry. And Beauty now has four as well: Tai, Julia, Nick, and Michelle.

Much of this will depend on the other alliances that were created outside of their original tribes once they made the tribal switch. Perhaps the strongest one we saw is between Scot and Tai. Scot was without his partner Jason, and Tai had just lost Caleb. Scot, Tai, and Jason could now form together for a great alliance.

And if they brought Cydney in, they’d have another group of four. And now they’ve grouped with Julia who just lost her alliance member Anna. If they bring Julia in they have five. If they bring Julia’s old alliance member Michele in they have six. Or they could combine Brawn and Beauty against Brains.

It doesn’t seem like Brains have done much to create alliances past their original tribe, so if Scot and Tai are smart, which they appear to be, they will start heading in that direction. And let’s not forget that Scot knows that both Tai and Jason have idols and could form the super idol. It could get exciting!

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Survivor Kaôh Rōng, Season 32 – Those 3 Scary Words: Drop Your Buff

Survivor031616Those three words – drop your buff – are always scary in the world of Survivor. You never know what’s going to happen. After you spend all this time bonding with your tribe, now you get reorganized and have to bond with your new tribe while also plotting which of your new tribe you can vote off to to still keep yourself safe.

Uneven Tribes

The tribes were told they’d be splitting up from three tribes into two. However, they had that little unplanned event the previous week of Caleb leaving the game. They had planned to reorganize the tribes this week and thought there would be fourteen people left making two even tribes of seven. But now there was thirteen people left.

To fix that, TPTB decided that one person would be out. There would be six blue buffs and six yellow buffs. There would also be one red buff. Whoever got the red buff would go back to the Brawn camp alone. They would not compete in the Immunity Challenge but would be safe. And whichever team lost a person via Tribal Council would then gain the person with the red buff to keep the tribes at six and six in number.

That unlucky person in the red buff was Julia, the 18-ear-old who was on the Beauty Tribe. When she was shown surviving, she was having a tough time. She couldn’t get a fire started, was dehydrated, and the paranoia was starting to set in.

Odd Man Out for Beauty Tribe

As everyone on both tribes noticed really quickly, to keep numbers in their favor, the odd man out on each tribe would be someone originally from the Beauty Tribe. This is because they would be replaced by Julia. For the new Chan Loh tribe, this meant that Nick and Michele were on the chopping block. For Gondol it meant that Anna and Tai were in danger. Anna was throwing Tai under the bus at the word go.

Once Gondol lost the Immunity Challenge, they were already plotting. Anna and Tai were already assuming it was one of them as were the others on the new tribe. No one really wanted to vote out TaI, though, as he’s so helpful at camp.

Once everyone decided it would be Anna, Tai was still feeling vulnerable. He posed to Anna as well as Scot as the lone Brawn member that they form an alliance of three and they vote for Peter while the others either vote for Anna. He told them he had an Idol and could play it to get Peter out when the vote ended in a tie. This would give them the controlling aspect of the Tribe.

Super Idol Comes Into Play

But Scot didn’t want TaI to play his Idol. He knows that two idols together form a SuperIdol, and he now knows that both Tai and Jason have an idol. When it comes to a merge he can get the two of them together.

Scot didn’t share that information with Tai, though. He just told him privately not to use the idol and just vote out Anna as they really didn’t need Anna anyway and didn’t need to keep her. He told him to save his Idol to use later on himself.

Tai is quickly becoming my favorite this season, but I wasn’t very worried about him at this point. The editing has so favored him, and I don’t think they did all that just to vote him out before the merge. I think he’ll be there for awhile. On the other hand, before tonight I didn’t even know what Anna’s name was.

Tribal Council

As is usually the case with Tribal Council, we, as the audience, were unsure exactly how this one was going to go down. Were the three original Brains Tribe members going to vote Anna or Tai? And would Scot and Tai vote out Anna or would Tai use his idol to save her and vote out Peter?

Joe started suggesting that no one had seen an idol yet so they were guessing there just isn’t any idols in play on this season. Tai lied and says he assumed this must be true as well as he tried to search for an idol and couldn’t find one. Anna smiled at this as she knew there was an idol and that Tai was going to use it to save her.

When it came down to the vote, though, Anna was quite shocked when Tai didn’t play his Idol. She was confused and worried. There were five votes for Anna and only her vote for Peter. She was voted out.

The Decimated Beauty Tribe

It all seems a little unfair for the Beauty Tribe. They went from being six strong last week and never losing a challenge to suddenly being two down. While they won’t go back to the “Beauty” tribe, the people on that tribe must have been feeling safe with the alliances they had.

The numbers of the original tribes are now three Brawn, four Beauty, and five Brains. The others need to get in there and do everything they can to try and eliminate some of the Brains to get some control back.

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