Survivor Millennials vs. Gen-X Final Thoughts

31 Jan

This may have been billed as a battle between the generations, but the vast majority of the entertainment came from the Millennials. Even the ones who weren’t very good (like Hannah and Taylor) made for great TV.

Good things about this season:

  • A deserving winner in Adam. While he wasn’t the best player, he surely played the hardest of anyone.
  • The Adam/Jay rivalry was very entertaining, especially since they talked so openly about it with each other.

Bad things about this season:

  • There was no one great player and no one great character. Though certainly enough good ones in both categories to keep things interesting.
  • The idol plays were all pretty inept.
  • The first couple of episodes were fairly uneventful.

Sorry, nobody cracked my best players of all time list, or my best alliances of all time list. On the positive side, even Taylor’s ham-handed game wasn’t enough for anyone in this season to make my list of the the worst of all time.

You can check out my full rankings of the seasons here.

“Those two fools didn’t look down.” Survivor Millennials vs. Gen-X Finale Recap

18 Jan

Bret can’t fathom why Sunday was voted out instead of David or Jay. He compares it to Navy SEALs deciding at the last minute not to take out Bin Laden! Hannah says she disagrees.

As for David, it turns out he has been setting aside beads and such throughout the entire game with the thought of making a fake immunity idol at some point. Now he steals away and makes one ,by firelight. Now, making a fake idol is nothing new, but it’s usually done so the person making it can brandish it and scare people into thinking it’s real. It’s been a while since a player has made a fake one just to fool someone else! This idol is very well-done, too — David even has some paint to apply to it, so it sort of looks like other idols on this season that had something painted on them. David “hides” it near a trail, and before long Jay spots it with Ken and David walking right behind him. Jay acts nonchalant and it’s all David can do not to burst out laughing at seeing Jay pretend not to notice it. Of course, Jay soon doubles back to grab it, and amusingly, he talks lots of trash to the camera in the vein of “Luckily those two fools didn’t look down.” He even kisses the fake idol.When the person being fooled is the one who thinks he’s fooling everyone else, that’s truly hilarious.

This is also the day that the Legacy advantage, which debuted near the beginning of the game, can finally be opened by Ken. Turns out it is guaranteed immunity at the next tribal council! Like a hidden immunity idol, it is to be played after votes are cast but before they are read. Ken sticks it in his cowboy boot.

The challenge is for immunity plus the reward of a steak dinner. Jay solves a number combination before everyone else, but his station has a cover that is meant to be to put on top of the numbers. However he forgets to use it. So everyone else can simply walk over and look at his numbers, meaning he has a small lead instead of a huge lead. Jeff Probst cannot harp on this blunder enough throughout the rest of the challenge. David ends up winning over Jay. Probst tells David he can choose two people to have the steak dinner with him, but quickly Jay announces he wants to use the “reward-steal” power that he was given by Adam. However, Jay says David is one of the people he wants to join him since David won the challenge fair and square. His other selection is Adam for giving him the reward-stealer. On the reward, Jay offers Adam and David a final-three deal and wants to sway them to vote Bret.

Back at camp, Bret says that Jay must go (despite the reward-stealer, the actual immunity itself stays with David). But privately he worries about the flakier people in the game. It’s safe to say Hannah is one of them. Her all-too-typical quote is “I’m a consistent maybe right now.”

After the vote at tribal council, Jay smugly hands his “idol” to Jeff Probst, who has some misleading intonation ready to go. Probst says, “This is ….. [Jay celebrates] … not … a hidden immunity idol. It is a work of art but it has no value in this game.” Jay realizes what happened and says, “You freaking got me, you bastards.” But we’re not done: Ken pulls his advantage out of his boot and plays it, while Jessica freaks out upon finding out what it is. There is one vote for Ken that doesn’t count and all the rest are for Jay (well, Ken actually votes “Justin,” but apparently that is Jay’s real name). Jay is a good sport and tells us viewers, “That was a million-dollar lock combination.” I think he’s probably right.

Without any further ado we go right to the next immunity challenge. David knows he’s now the biggest target left. The challenge ends with a puzzle, and the answer is “Participation Trophy!” Ken is the winner.

Afterwards, Adam goes looking for a hidden immunity idol, assuming one must be back in the game after Jay played one (the real one that is). We see the camera focus in on the idol as Adam walks right by it. While he searches, David proposes voting Adam out. And then Adam does find the idol. Bret is thrilled that all of the talk is about Adam or David. He does tell Adam he’s a target, and Adam shows him the idol. However, Adam tells the news to Hannah too, oh no! By the way, it’s interesting that Adam and Hannah are the last two Millennials in the game, I certainly would not have bet on either one!

When it’s time to vote at Tribal Council, Bret and Adam vote for David, but David, Ken, and Hannah all vote Bret, and the Bostonian is voted out. His immediate reaction is “the flippah flips again” (meaning Hannah). Bret congratulates David on being handed a million dollars. Hannah’s strategy puzzles me, she is just not playing to win.

Adam says David must not win the last challenge. That challenge is to stack bowls on top of a structure that’s on a spring. The first to stack all of them, or the person with the highest stack after 30 minutes, wins. Adam has almost as many as Ken, and makes the surprising decision to just step aside and not stack anymore, hoping Ken’s stack will fall. It works … but then Adam’s stack falls too. After 30 minutes Ken and Hannah are tied, and they do a 5-minute runoff. Ken wins by one bowl.

Now Hannah tells Adam she is 100% voting David. But they need to convince Ken to vote for David to avoid a tie and therefore a fire-making challenge! But Ken says he’s been with David from day one. Adam and David talk, and Adam says he only has a chance to win if David goes home. Adam practices fire-making in case it comes to that. David talks to Ken while the latter is chopping up a stingray, and Ken says “we’re good.” But at tribal council, Ken actually votes against David! David says “Vinaka” as he leaves … I have no idea what that means until I realize it’s the name of the merged tribe. So is there any way Ken doesn’t win the game now?

At final tribal council, Taylor asks the final three to make their pitches. Hannah says she helped vote out every single person who’s on the jury. Ken’s pitch is loyalty. Adam says he played the best game. A surprising questioner is Jessica, Ken’s number one fan … or so I thought. She says she is shocked that Ken voted out David. Get real, Jessica! Ken says “Dave, you were my #2 alliance. #1 is my daughter.” Based on the early questions you get the feeling Adam might actually have a chance to win.

When Jay asks his question, Adam alludes to something the two of them have in common … but doesn’t reveal that it’s a sick mother, and Jay doesn’t reveal it either. Chris tells everyone that he’s not a football coach as per his cover story (a story that wasn’t revealed to us viewers up to now). Rather, he’s a trial lawyer. But this is the first time he has ever served on a jury! Chris says he thinks the biggest move of the game was convincing Ken to vote David out. Therefore, he encourages the rest of the jury to vote for Adam. Ken is outraged by this and says nobody convinced him, it was his choice! At the very end of the questioning, Adam reveals that he and his mother applied to be on the Blood vs. Water season, and that his mother is now dying.

At the reunion show Jeff Probst reveals that the winner is … Adam! And not only that, the vote was unanimous!

I’ll be back with final thoughts on the season.

 

 

 

 

“I get it, you’re blowing up my game.” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X: Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 Recap

30 Dec

The November 30 episode begins with Hannah feeling guilty that Jessica went home. David is angry that he wasted the idol and thinks he’s next to go. Meanwhile, Zeke thanks everyone who voted with him. As for Ken, when he opens his bag he is surprised to find he has the Legacy Advantage that Jessica willed to him, and that of course he knew nothing about.

This is the more or less annual “loved ones” episode. Adam’s brother tells Adam that their sick mother is OK. Adam tells him about his reward-stealing advantage but says he couldn’t possibly use it for this challenge.

As for the challenge itself, Adam gets stuck under a log in the sand, costing him any chance to win it. Jay is the winner, and he gets to choose two people to go along. He chooses his ally Will and his mother figure if you will, Sunday. But then he gets to pick one more person. He notes, “Me and Adam been brawlin’ this whole damn time, man,” but he says he is rewarding Adam for not using his reward-stealing advantage. Oddly, Jeff Probst, who seemingly never fails to pass up a chance for tear-jerking, tells the remaining players that they do not get one last hug with their loved ones before heading back to camp.

On the reward, Adam tells Jay he wants to thank him, and does so by handing him the reward-stealing advantage! Upon reflection, this is a very smart move. He gets credit for a nice gesture yet gets rid of an “advantage” that was really more of a hindrance (though that wouldn’t have been the case had it remained a secret instead of Adam telling Taylor that he had it).

Later, Will tells David that Zeke would beat any of them at the end, they both say they’ll vote Zeke, as does Adam who is present as well.

The immunity challenge involves using interlocking handles to hold up a steel bar. It only lasts a few minutes, and comes down to Jay and Adam. Adam wins.

Afterward, Jay sees how calm David is and knows something must be up. Jay and allies think it must be because David has an idol. So they resolve to vote Ken, not realizing that Will is not with them.

Youngster Will, wanting to make a mark in this game, reveals the news to Ken, but Ken stresses that he doesn’t make alliances after five minutes, indicating that his evaluation process is much more in-depth. Ken then gets Jay and tells him that he heard from Will that he, Ken, was on the block! An incredulous Will tells Ken “I get it, you’re blowing up my game at this point.” Ken then tells his allies David, Adam, and Hannah what happened, and they are also incredulous. Adam tells the camera, “That’s not a test, that’s a betrayal!”

At tribal council, Adam whips the idol out of his pants and says he’s playing it for Hannah (guarding against the possibility that Will votes for her). As it turns out he didn’t need to play the idol. Bret, Jay, Sunday, and Zeke did indeed vote Hannah, but Adam, Ken, Hannah, David, and, crucially, Will all voted Zeke.

In the December 7 episode, we find out that Will wants to bounce back and forth between alliances and thus make it to the end and win the game. Longtime viewers will know that this almost never works, and usually doesn’t even get you to the finals! And in fact, it doesn’t even get him past the next Tribal Council as he is eliminated. Will was always proclaiming that he’s not your average teenager and deserves respect, not realizing that constantly whining that nobody respects you is very much a characteristic of the average teenager!

The next immunity challenge is quite interesting: contestants must drop a ball into a machine that it takes a while to go through, and try to solve a puzzle at the same time. Anytime a ball goes all the way through without their catching it, they have to sit out a penalty period in which they can’t work on their puzzle. At one point Adam stops working on his puzzle entirely in order to watch Ken’s descending ball and alert him when it’s about to fall, i.e. so that Ken can focus completely on his puzzle. Adam is cheering for Ken over the bigger threats David and Jay. Ken does indeed win.

Adam is trying everything he can to get Jay out, or at the very least, get him to play his immunity idol. And understandably so: the jury seems packed with Jay’s friends. This leads to a great scene between the two of them — they each admit that they’re trying to get the other person out, but there are no hard feelings. But then Adam, who hasn’t told anyone about his mother’s illness, reveals it to Jay. As soon as he hears it, Jay pulls his own buff down over his face to hide that he’s crying right along with Adam. He tells Adam that he lost his own mother as well.

 

Just as Adam is maneuvering to oust Jay, Hannah is energetically trying to oust … Sunday? You would think that Sunday would be the one person Hannah would be able to beat in the finals, so she’d want to keep her around at all costs! But to Hannah’s way of thinking, if Sunday has a guaranteed finals slot, that means only two slots are open instead of three, reducing her own odds.

 

At Tribal Council, Jay, who had been urged by Adam to play his idol, does so. But he only gets one vote. Bret and Jay vote David, and incredibly, the other four vote Sunday.

contenders: 1. Jay, 2.  Bret

no chance: Hannah, David, Ken, Adam

jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michelle (Jay), Taylor (Jay), Chris (Bret), Jessica (Ken), Zeke (Jay), Will (Jay), Sunday (Bret)

“A small tactical squad”: Survivor Millennials vs. Gen-X November 23 2016 recap

24 Nov

The first half of the double episode begins with Jay telling us he cringed at Taylor’s grandstanding in the prior tribal council: “Tayles, stop talking dude, you’re burying me with you.” To mitigate this, he digs up the buried food for the rest of the tribe. On the bright side, given the fact he didn’t play an immunity idol last time, the other players are surely convinced he doesn’t have one.

Chris is thinking ahead, and tells Bret they need to get rid of Jessica. He tells us 90% of the reason is that she’s strategic, and 10% is because “I owe her one.” Believe it or not he is talking about the ouster of greybearded Paul back in one of the earliest episodes. But Jessica mustn’t suspect it’s coming, so it will have to be “a small tactical squad” that takes her out.

After a brief interlude showing us that Hannah has a crush on Ken, we see Will tell Zeke that he will ally with him even though he’s been working with Jay. The deep-voiced youngster goes on to reveal to Zeke that Jay has an idol, but if that news gets back to Jay Will says he’s “screwed.” Will sees Zeke and Hannah as his alliance.

Well, in no time everyone knows that Jay has an idol. Chris hasn’t changed his Jessica plan, but tells Zeke to keep it between 6-7 people. The dream scenario would be to vote Jessica out while tricking Jay into playing his idol at the same time.

For the reward challenge, Jeff Probst announces that since there is an odd number of players, one person determined by random draw will sit out and not get to go on the reward. David volunteers to sit out — he’s such a bad swimmer nobody will want him on their team. But the other Gen-Xers say he should just draw a rock like everyone else. Jeff Probst calls both aspects of this a first in Survivor history. Jay ends up drawing the rock.

As it turns out, there’s little swimming involved in the challenge anyway, and it’s decided by Zeke and Adam beating Chris and David on the puzzle portion.

David says Chris, Bret, and Sunday are too strong a team, and he, Ken, and Jessica need to break it up. Specifically, Chris is his target. And David thinks it’s in Zeke’s best interest to get rid of Chris.

The immunity challenge involves using a 10-foot bamboo pole to hold a small statue in place while standing on a balance beam. David beats Zeke to win.

Zeke is the swing vote here. He trusts both Chris and David. What will he decide?

No idol is played, and Chris is voted out. The only people who voted against Jessica were Chris, Sunday, Bret, and Jay. Chris new he was being gunned for but his Oklahoman buddy Zeke didn’t stick with him.

To start the second half, Jessica says the next vote should be Jay.

Bret tells Zeke that he loved Chris, but Chris would have won the whole game if he’d stuck around (if you’ve been following my rankings, you know I agree). Zeke wastes no time making a pitch to Bret and Sunday, as he needs them for his coalition to target … David. The next morning David makes the opposite pitch to Bret and Sunday. However, we soon learn that Bret thinks David can’t be trusted (with good reason, as we’ve seen). Zeke tells Bret that David has an idol, and Bret says he figured as much.

Then we have a great little sequence: David tells the camera that he and Zeke are really very similar, but surely everyone will see Zeke is a bigger threat in the game. Then we see Zeke tell the camera … almost the same thing word for word, but with David as the main threat!

As for Hannah, she hasn’t decided between David and Zeke.

The reward challenge involves having to slither through the sand with arms and legs bound, then solving a snake-themed puzzle. The three-person team of Bret, Sunday, and Zeke wins, and David as the odd man out was allowed to join the food-and-drink reward. Bret and Zeke have some alone time and Bret tells the millennial that … he’s not the only gay guy in the game! An unexpected twist … but is it true? After all, Bret has been lying about his profession all along, why not this?

Back at camp, we find out Hannah has decided to side with David against Zeke. She and David confer, and she says “Don’t get neurotic on me,” which is funny coming from her.

The immunity challenge appears quite interesting: players have to reach through a sort of barred window to move a stick through a maze on the other side of the door. They can feel the maze with their hands but can’t see it. And for the only time I can think of, Probst can’t say who’s ahead or behind! This looked like a recipe for drama, but Jay solves his much earlier than everyone else, and also completes the sliding puzzle in the next step before anyone can join him. After that blowout win, we probably won’t see this challenge again. Perhaps there’s too much luck involved.

So, who will triumph, David or Zeke? Jessica feels she has to side with David since he played an idol for her earlier in the game. Ken is in as well.

Zeke gets some alone time with Hannah to basically get confirmation from her that David is a threat and needs to be taken out. Now, any Survivor knows that in this situation, the only correct response is to agree, even if you really think Zeke needs to be taken out post-haste. Hannah’s response is so incredibly wishy-washy that it doesn’t take the intelligence of Zeke to smell a rat. An incredulous Zeke asks: you’re not telling David I’m coming after him are you? She can’t muster any reassurance whatsoever. So predictably, right after that Zeke resolves that Hannah needs to go! Zeke can trust Bret, Sunday, Jay, and Will to vote with him, so that would be five votes out of the ten. Hannah talks to Adam about voting out Zeke, but Adam is nervous. Hannah asks David if he’ll use his idol on her, but he’s noncommittal.

During tribal council, Hannah and Adam exchange whispers. As there’s much talk about how everything is up in the air, Hannah asks Sunday what the plan is, and if you believe the subtitle, Sunday whispers “Ken.”

Finally it’s time to vote, and that idiot Taylor, who laughs at just about everything, laughs as the vote begins. Then shortly thereafter an absolutely HUGE bug lands on Taylor, and Tayles has a problem getting it off.

Time for Probst to ask if anyone wants to play an idol. David says “Sorry, Jeff …: and hands his over. Right then Adam shouts to David that the others were whispering that they are voting out Ken. So David says the idol is for Ken!

The votes are revealed … and it’s a tie. 5 votes for Hannah, 5 for Zeke (none for Ken). Adam has a what-have-I-done look on his face. So it’s time for a re-vote between Hannah and Zeke, and they themselves cannot vote. Zeke asks Jessica if she really wants to go to the drawing-rocks tiebreaker. So now there has to be a unanimous decision for one of the two, otherwise it is time to draw rocks. Despite some grandstanding by Will, it’s soon obvious there will be no unanimous decision. But four people do not have to draw a rock: Hannah and Zeke, Jay (who won the immunity challenge), and Ken (thanks to David’s idol). Probst has Will, Bret, David, Sunday, Adam, and Jessica each draw a rock. Whoever has the black rock is out of the game. They open their hands, and it’s Jessica, who is in tears as she leaves. Adam’s on the verge of tears too. Jessica tells the camera than she is willing her legacy advantage to Ken.

So a recap is in order of how this affects everyone:

Zeke: On the right side of the numbers, but he knows he’s considered the biggest threat.

Jay: He has lots of options and he still has his immunity idol.

Will, Bret, and Sunday: Also on the right side of the numbers.

Hannah: Has to cast her lot with David permanently now.

David: No longer has an idol and considered one of the top threats.

Ken: Might be working his way back onto the list of contenders to win.

Adam: Oh, Adam. He had managed to finally go a stretch when he was under the radar, but getting David to switch his idol to Ken basically changed the whole game, since if he hadn’t said that Zeke would be out!

contenders: 1. Zeke, 2. Jay, 3. Will, 4.  Bret

no chance: Hannah, David, Ken, Sunday, Adam

jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michelle (Jay), Taylor (Jay), Chris (Bret), Jessica (Ken)

“I’m not just a regular dumb surfer.” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X November 16, 2016 recap

16 Nov

Taylor, worried that Adam will spill the beans about the jars of food Taylor buried, tries to engage Adam in conversation. Adam tells the camera that being on the bottom of the Gen-X alliance is better than being out of the game, which is where Taylor tried to put him.

I thought last episode’s tribal council had already revealed to all of the players how much food Taylor ate, but apparently no one was aware of the full extent (other than Adam, who saw him).

The reward challenge has two teams determined by schoolyard pick, with Chris and Hannah as captains. However, when you look at the teams you wonder if Chris had the first five picks, as all of the athletic guys are on his team! Meanwhile Hannah’s team looks as if she had set out to draft a chess club. This leads to the expected result in the challenge. Even Jeff Probst has to remark “What a blowout!” On the reward, a big meal at the resort, Bret the putative funeral director, orders the bartender to serve him drinks till he drops, while Sunday tells us it’s time for her to take control of the game. Up to now it seems like she was barely playing the game!

Back at camp, Jay and Adam chat in the water. When Adam states the obvious, namely that Jay, Will, and Taylor are now on the bottom, Jay is both shocked and insulted.

Commercial break: a Subaru ad features a woman daydreaming about a carefree day riding a freight train through the countryside, while a disclaimer appears on the screen :”Do not ride a freight train.”

Back to Survivor: Sunday thinks Jessica has been giving her the evil eye and is “after” her because Sunday voted for Jessica previously. Sunday  wants to pull in Jay to make a move against Jessica.

The challenge involves balancing a ball on the rounded part of a bow while standing on a balance beam. Jeff Probst announces that anyone who feels safe can forgo the shot at immunity to have sandwiches and drink beer (as with the reward challenge, he stresses that soft drinks are also on hand for the underage Will). Zeke and Will both opt to eat, Will telling us that he wouldn’t have a chance against the surfers who are competing. And by golly, the last two standing are indeed surfers: Taylor and Ken. Ken pulls out the victory.

Soon after everyone gets back to camp, a plan is forged to split the votes between Jay and Taylor. Sunday decides to back off her Jessica plan for now. Taylor tells Jay about his food stash, and they go enjoy some. Taylor also tells Jay about Adam’s advantage, but Jay doesn’t reciprocate by saying he has an immunity idol.

Tribal Council has just gotten started when Taylor tells the world about both his food theft and Adam’s advantage. The show tries to make a big deal of how now the jury is supposedly suddenly undecided, but I don’t buy it for a second. Also, Jay tries to join in attacking Adam, but it’s quickly pointed out that Jay ate some of the food, unlike Adam who simply knew about it. But Jay does tell us “I’m not just a regular dumb surfer,” drawing a distinction between himself and Taylor. Finally the fake controversy can’t be drawn out any longer and the players vote.

Adam doesn’t pull out his idol and surprisingly neither does Jay. Taylor is voted out. Amusingly, one person drew a picture of a chomped-on drumstick next to Taylor’s name.

The vote was somewhat curious, however. Jay voted for Taylor as you would expect, while the ever-dense Taylor cast the only vote for Adam. But Will voted for Jay rather than Taylor. Also, among the others, there were 6 votes for Taylor and only 3 for Jay. So it’s possible that someone really did switch a Jay vote to Taylor upon hearing about the food theft.

contenders: 1. Chris, 2. Zeke, 3. Jay, 4. Will, 5. Jessica, 6. Bret

no chance: Hannah, David, Ken, Sunday, Adam

jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michelle (Jay), Taylor (Jay)

“He couldn’t just play with the weirdos.” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X November 9, 2016 recap

9 Nov

Surprisingly, Hannah is not freaking out too much about not being in the loop about Michaela’s ouster. She’s actually calm, though she is mad.

Two of the tribes are picked up by boat and join the third to make a merge! I believe this is the first time three tribes have been merged together into one.

So Jay is reunited with Taylor and Michelle, and he also “has” Will, Hannah, Bret, and Sunday from his last tribe, plus an immunity idol. “I’m the kingpin but no one knows, and I want to keep it that way,” he tells us. But Bret sees Jay interact with the other Millennials and wonders how much he can trust him.

Meanwhile, Chris feels good about his alliances with David and Zeke, but naturally wants to regroup with Bret and Sunday.

As for Zeke, he says he’s “delighted to see my old nerdy pals Hannah and Adam.” He notes that Jay is the “locus of power” and has used his charm to draw others in. Is Ken falling for it as well?

A merge feast is served, but Adam is more interested in looking for the “merge idol” he thinks there must be. He doesn’t find that, but does find an advantage that lets him steal another player’s reward at some future time in the game. The theft must be announced to Jeff Probst before the players leave the challenge area. Adam, a big fan of the show, points out that this is a first, and he vows to save it for something that really matters.

The leftovers from the feast are stored in a bunch of Mason jars. In the middle of the night Taylor gets up and fills up a jar for himself that he sneaks off with. Bret sees him, as does Adam. The latter sees a potential trust-building opportunity and goes off to join Taylor. Adam tells Taylor that Jay is “building an army” and has Will as his right-hand man. So Adam proposes voting out Will, then Taylor would advance to being the right-hand man. Adam tells the camera that Taylor is an “incredibly unlikely ally.”

The only problem is, Taylor tells us viewers that he doesn’t want to work with Adam. But Adam is convinced that Taylor is looking favorably upon him, so much so that he proceeds to tell Taylor about the advantage he just found. This is so painful to watch!

Come morning, Ken notices that there were a lot of mangoes in the jars when everyone went to bed, and now they’re almost all gone. Chris is more concerned by his observation that the Millennials are obviously a much tighter group that Gen-X thought. So Gen-X, plus Zeke, talks about voting out Taylor. David worries that all of this is happening too early.

Taylor pulls Jay aside and asks “How tight-lipped can you be?” He reveals that Adam is gunning for Will. They both decide that means Adam has to go. Problem is, Zeke is nearby and overhears them. Adam being voted out would mess up Zeke’s plans! And Will hears about Adam’s plans shortly. Will’s conclusion is that he had better make sure to win immunity at the upcoming challenge.

The challenge is a familiar one: hold your hands in the air as they’re attached to a chain attached to a bucket of water. Drop your hands, or move much at all, and you are out. This challenge has been run multiple times before, including the unforgettable win by Shii Ann in Survivor: All-Stars. But previously it was done one-handed, which Probst now says was not difficult enough.

The 13 players left in the game take their positions. It doesn’t take too long before it’s down to two people: Jessica and Will. The one-hour mark comes. Then the 90-minute mark. Finally Will wins, to Adam’s chagrin.

Back at camp, Jay proposes that Adam be voted out, and for obvious reasons Will agrees. Michelle worries about the move, it seems more personal than strategic to her.

Zeke tells Adam about overhearing Taylor and Jay earlier. Aha, now Adam understands why Will thought he had to win the challenge. But perhaps they have the votes to get out Taylor? In other news, Adam now realizes his earlier approach to Taylor was a terrible move: “I had the feeling I might be playing too hard. I was playing too hard.”

The Gen-Xers get together and agree the Jay-Michelle-Taylor trio must be broken up. But he advocates voting Michelle because she “definitely” doesn’t have an idol. But Ken says the vote has to be for Taylor. No decision is made, so Adam freaks out and goes with his plan B which is … getting Taylor to target someone else? Oh no, I don’t know if I can watch something so pathetic again. Taylor doesn’t offer much hope or consolation. “Information leaks,” says the person who was solely responsible for leaking it.

David and Hannah, the two most neurotic people in the game, are finally on the same tribe, and they saw Adam pull Taylor aside. Can they even trust Adam? Should they just vote Adam out? Hannah tells Adam: “If you freak out too much and keep pulling people aside, the vote will get screwed up.” She bemoans to the camera: “Adam decided he couldn’t just play with the weirdos, he has to sit at the cool kids’ table.” (Hannah is the woman who was convinced by “cool kid” Michelle to change her vote during tribal council with no justification beyond “I’ll tell you later.”) Hannah and Zeke are very frustrated with Adam and say he needs to be voted out soon.

Of course, Adam does have a hidden immunity idol. But he notes, “If I use [the idol] and I have the numbers, I look like a chump.”

At Tribal Council, Taylor’s midnight snacking is revealed, but he’s obviously not worried he’ll be voted out. Meanwhile, Adam could not look any more stressed. Time to vote. We see very few votes, but as Zeke lifts his card up (the front of the card is not shown) we hear him say something to the effect of “I’ve never been able to trust you.” Is he referring to Taylor … or Adam?

Jeff Probst announces this would be the time to play an idol … and Adam looks at everyone else’s facial expressions but then stands pat.

The person voted out is: Michelle! Very tricky on the part of the producers — usually the person voted out gets a lot of screen time during the episode, not so with Michelle.

It turns out the only people who voted for Adam were Michelle, Will, Taylor, and Jay, i.e. the vote was 9-4 with Hannah, Adam, and Zeke all siding with Gen-X.

So my selection as the player most likely to win the game is now out. Michelle was very strategic and smart, and seemed like the next Parvati at first, but her social game was not in the same league with Parvati’s.

contenders: 1. Chris, 2. Zeke, 3. Jay, 4. Will, 5. Jessica, 6. Bret, 7. Adam

no chance: Taylor, Hannah, David, Ken, Sunday

jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michelle (Jay)

“I lied to you and I screwed you, 100%.” Survivor Millennials vs. Gen-X November 2, 2016 recap

2 Nov

The quotation above is what Adam tells Taylor as our episode begins. It is true, after all. Taylor vows to keep cool and get revenge against Adam later.

Switching camps, David tells Zeke that he has an idol. Is there anyone who David hasn’t tried to make an alliance with? Zeke says all the right things but you get the feeling he is still keeping his options open.

As the tribes come together and see that Figgy has been voted out, Michaela has a huge smile on her face. Probst comments on it and Michaela says “It’s been time for Figgy to go out for a while.” The reward challenge involves first shooting balls through a hoop then having to gently lay them up so they balance on a sort of gutter. Thanks to Michaela, Green makes a comeback to edge Purple for second place. Michaela wonders if anyone sees her as a threat now.

Back at camp, Taylor swears to Ken and Jessica that he will never write either of their names down. This doesn’t seem like it would have much effect — what else is he going to say? — but Ken and Jessica wonder if the more straightforward Taylor might be easier to deal with than more strategic Adam.

Then we come to an almost obligatory part of most any Survivor season: the player who’s a police officer claims to be in another line of work but others suspect he’s a cop anyway. In this case it’s Bret, whose cover story had not been shown up to now, but it is that of a funeral director. “He’s too funny and lively to be a funeral director,” Jay tells his fellow Millennials.

Time for the Immunity challenge, which ends with a slingshot competition. Purple comes in first, and Orange beats out Green for second place. It seems this was the one challenge Michaela couldn’t master.

So Green has to vote someone out, and Bret seems the obvious choice. Still, the whole tribe just sits on a log in total silence for half an hour when they get back to camp. Bret and Sunday don’t seem to be doing much on their own behalf. The Millennials soon confer, and Michaela reviews the numbers of all of the tribes with them, drawing a diagram in the dirt and using rocks and shells to represent people. For now, they plan to split the vote between Bret and Sunday.

But as Jay ponders Michaela’s master plan, he gets to thinking: Michaela is very athletic and very smart too, maybe she needs to go before the merge. He talks about it with Will. Should they tell Hannah? Will says if they tell her she’ll freak out, if not she’ll freak out later. Also, Michaela is their strongest ally, do they want to lose that? By the way: Jay is really proving to be a great character.

After a pretty boring tribal council, the votes are read: Bret, Bret, Michaela, Michaela, Michaela … and before Probst is even done Michaela shrieks and leans over to Jay: “Did you do that?” she shouts. Coolly he answers: “Yeah, I did it.” She proceeds to cuss him out a couple different ways as she gets her torch snuffed, then as she’s walking out she punches something. Nobody likes a sore loser Michaela, and you may be the sorest one in Survivor history.

contenders: 1. Michelle, 2. Chris, 3. Jay, 4. Zeke, 5. Will, 6. Adam, 7. Jessica, 8. Bret

no chance: Taylor, Hannah, David, Ken, Sunday