“We Got A Rat”: Survivor Cambodia Second Chance October 7 2015 recap(see

7 Oct

As promised last episode, the tribes are mixed up in this episode, with the new twist being that (for the first time ever?) two tribes become three. The new tribes are:

Monica, Jeremy, Stephen, Kimmi, Spencer, and Kelly Wigglesworth.

Spencer and Jeremy bond, or at least try to. Meanwhile Stephen, who was in big trouble on his own tribe, is glad he’s not in “camp macho” anymore. Monica only says a sentence or two, but that’s still the most we’ve heard from her all season. Everyone seems eager to look for an idol and Jeremy finds one … or rather, he finds the clue to an idol that’s hidden in the next challenge.

Keith, Kass, Joe, Ciera, Terry, and Kelley Wentworth.

Terry loves this as a challenge team: “We’ve got three or four number one draft choices.” Meanwhile Kelley tells someone that Terry was off looking for an idol for hours (when of course it is Kelley who has one).

Woo, Andrew, Varner, Peih-Gee, Abi, and Tasha.

Woo immediately tells Varner: “Let’s get these guys out of here,” meaning Andrew and Tasha who are the only two who are newcomers to the group.

The challenge is, we’re told, a repeat of one from the Cagayan season. Jeff Probst is not shy about pointing out that the Brains tribe (including Spencer, Tasha, and Kass) lost that challenge, and since each is now on a different tribe, two out of three can redeem themselves.Well, Joe and Kass’s tribe comes in first while Andrew and Varner’s tribe comes in last. Also, Jeremy grabs the immunity idol, though this was made way too easy for him and this lacks the drama we saw when Kelley was in the same situation.

Right after the challenge, we see Varner mouthing something to Kelly Wigglesworth who is now on another tribe. Tasha tries to block his view and yells, “We got a rat!” Varner’s defense doesn’t make it better: he says that he had a deal with Andrew but Andrew turned around and made a deal with Peih-Gee. A hurt Woo says “Why didn’t you make a deal with me?”

So suddenly a clear choice (Woo, Peih-Gee, Abi and Varner band together to vote out newcomers Andrew and Tasha) becomes anything but. In fact, somehow Andrew and Tasha are suddenly in control! Plus you would be hard-pressed to find three worse strategists than Woo, Abi, and Peih-Gee. Abi tells the other two that she is going to vote with Andrew and not with them. So Peih-Gee wants Abi gone … which Andrew uses to firmly convince Abi that they should all vote Peih-Gee out! Which they do, and once again Woo is confused by what just happened.

A pretty weak episode, but perhaps it’s the setup to something better. And it’s probably time that I started doing weekly rankings for this season.

Favorites: Tasha, Spencer, Joe, Kelley Wentworth, Andrew

Not sure: Monica, Jeremy, Stephen, Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, Keith, Kass, Ciera, Terry, Jeff

No chance: Abi, Woo

“The permanent liability”: Survivor Cambodia Second Chance September 30 2015 recap

30 Sep

We learn at the beginning of this episode that the prior vote was a “flip” by Jeff Varner who evidently planned to vote with Vytas initially. Varner says the purpose of his vote was to “set the pace to get rid of Shirin and Spencer.” Get rid of them by voting with them? Interesting.

Meanwhile Spencer is worried about being allied with Abi, who he calls “the permanent liability.” He notes: “Abi’s here to start fights, and that is cancer for a tribe and deathly cancer for an alliance.”

On the other tribe, Joe makes hammocks for everyone else. He tells the camera that unlike last season when he was everyone’s target, now he’s more a provider. But we soon learn that the others still see him as a target.

Andrew Savage tells the story of how he misses his wife, and some on the tribe are moved to tears. Not so much Steven Fishbach, who makes a strategy-related comment shortly afterward. Savage takes this to mean Steven is a bad person whom he wants to vote out (Savage seems a bit full of himself). By the way, Steven must have some mortal enemy in the Survivor editing room who is determined to portray him as a scheming wimp with zero social game.

That night, Abi, who never turns it off, is back to her old tricks. She hears Peih-Gee  talking about her to Shirin and immediately races over to confront Peih-Gee (behind whose back Abi was talking plenty last episode, you’ll recall). Peih-Gee more or less tells her off. But instead of smoothing things over, Shirin the strategist slinks away, no doubt figuring that any conflict she’s not involved in can only help her (this is more significant than it seems at the time). Peih-Gee tells the rest of the group that the conversation felt good, while Abi sulks by herself and hears the others chuckling about her. Finally Terry feels bad for Abi and comforts her, and he says the next morning that he thinks he now has an ally in Abi (Jeff Varner likes Abi too, but more as a pawn to take along to the finals because nobody likes her).

The challenge involves climbing up the sides of some A-frame structures and back down the other sides. It looks quite difficult as some of the A-frames are large. Then at the end a puzzle has to be solved. Spencer and Shirin do most of the work on their tribe’s puzzle, but they panic each other a bit when there is some conflict. Finally they think they have the pool cue-like puzzle pieces arranged correctly and all jump for joy … but Probst says they don’t have it right. Joe and Jeremy soon think they have it for the other tribe, and they’re right.

But Spencer still feels good. After all, he says soon after returning to camp, “I’m very happy to have control of the game with Shirin.” Now, we’ve discussed many times that anytime anyone on Survivor is heard to say “I’m in control and nothing can stop me” or words to that effect, that person will either be voted out that episode or at the very least experience a major setback. And indeed, we soon find out that everyone else thinks Spencer and Shirin are very dangerous. Jeff Varner says Spencer is the smartest young man he’s ever met, and Shirin is just as smart but also has salesmanship skills. And of course that means he thinks one of them needs to go. He broaches it to Kelly who somewhat surprisingly says she’s on board. She tells the camera that although she had an alliance with the two of them, she has no desire to go against the general flow of the tribe.

Shirin tells us she and Spencer have Kelly, Jeff, and Abi as a strong five, but just to make sure Abi is still solid she takes her on a walk. All of America shields their eyes: will unpredictable Abi tell Shirin off, or reveal what her own new alliance is up to? Well, she more or less does both, and Shirin has no answer except to be surprised that Abi is no longer with her. She tells Spencer that the two of them are screwed, and he gets the exasperated look that he never seems to drop … or have reason to drop! He soon realizes that one of them is going home for sure, and all he can do is to make sure it’s not him to win three more days.

Shirin has another idea: target Woo and flip him around. Unfortunately she more or less accosts him and just blurts out every bad thing that’s going to happen to him being at the bottom of an alliance. It’s very clumsily done … where is Shirin the ace saleswoman whom Varner was talking about a moment ago?

As for Woo’s reaction, he politely observes “I’m not saying I don’t trust you but this is the first conversation you’re having with me.” Shirin shifts into full car-salesman mode: “I will make any deal you want right now.” Even Woo the easygoing surfer just has to say no, he is going to do no such thing.

At tribal council, recent events are discussed, and Abi mentions that Shirin abandoned her, and that everyone was against her and nobody comforted her but Terry. Jeff Probst quickly pounces and observes to Shirin that this is the same thing Shirin said on her season about everyone being mean except Mike … but this time Shirin is the person being mean!

Then Spencer does a bit of campaigning and tells everyone else that if he is kept around he will become more of a people person and show more interest in relationships with everyone (he sounds like a high schooler running for student body president). And Probst points out that this is a repeat of what Spencer said on his prior season when he was trying to save himself!

When it’s time to vote, it is a split vote and Shirin is voted out. We see the same huge sigh of relief we have seen from Spencer many times before.

And on the preview for the next week we are shown that the tribes will be mixed up … but we’ll go from two tribes to three! I believe that might be a first. Spencer certainly needs this kind of switch badly.

Challenge within a challenge: Survivor Cambodia — Second Chance Season Premiere Recap

23 Sep

Wow, this episode featured an instant-classic moment, but we’ll get to that in due course!

We begin with all of the returning players (each of whom has been on only one prior season and did not win that season) actually walking through Angkor Wat in Cambodia before making their way onto four boats. Jeff Probst welcomes them from a nearby ship with a deck full of supplies and announces that their first challenge is here. They must climb onto his ship and load a raft with supplies, then get the rafts to another boat in the distance that has rice on it. Only one tribe will get the rice, so they have to decide  when to stop loading the rafts and start making their way toward the rice.

Both tribes cut their rafts loose at about the same time, and Kelly Wiglesworth (the runner-up to Richard Hatch in the very first season of Survivor) simply jumps in the water to swim, even though the other boat is pretty far away — 100 yards perhaps? Kelly is moving faster than the rafts, so the members of the other tribe wonder whether one of them should jump in as well. When they get closer, Joe (who you’ll remember from last season’s “no-collar” tribe) jumps in to swim, but then so does Woo (runner-up to Tony from Survivor: Cagayan), who is on the same tribe as Kelly. Woo, who you’ll recall is a surfing instructor, outswims the others to claim victory for his tribe.

Jeff Probst tells both tribes to head right for their beaches. One tribe has Terry Deitz, the fighter pilot who was probably the best player on Survivor: Panama. That season was won by Aras Baskauskas, and Aras’ brother Vytas, whom we first met in Survivor: Blood vs. Water, is on this season.

The other tribe includes Tasha and Kass, who were both in the “Brains” tribe on the Cagayan season which was Brains vs. Brawns vs. Beauty (for that matter, so was Spencer, who came back for this season but is on the other tribe). Also reunited are Jeremy and Keith, both of whom were on the San Juan Del Sur season with their wife and son respectively. Keith is perhaps best remembered for his disastrous “stick to the plan” comment which you can refresh your memory about here if you wish!

Now, on Jeremy’s previous season he was always talking about himself as a big-time strategist, though he never seemed to actually back that up, and he barely made the jury on his season. Still, he has figured out who he wants to ally with, and that’s Tasha, Andrew Savage (who was possibly the best player on Survivor: Pearl Islands), and Joe. Jeremy thinks of Joe as “the ultimate shield,” which I take to mean that nobody will be gunning for Jeremy as long as Joe is around as an even bigger threat.

Also on this tribe is Stephen Fishbach (Survivor: Tocantins), who seems a fish out of the water (no pun intended) who’s a bit clueless on what to do. That may be a red herring because Stephen has done a podcast for years that features expert analysis of Survivor strategy!

Back at the other beach, Vytas is getting much of the camera time, and Shirin (back from last season’s “white collar” tribe) tells the camera she thought Vytas was “smarmy” when she watched his season and still does now. She also points out to some tribemates that Vytas has connections on this tribe (not sure who she means besides Terry) and on the other tribe too (Jeremy and Keith?). I absolutely hated Shirin on the prior season, but she is pretty entertaining here, and dare I say even a bit likable?

On the same tribe, Abi-Maria is back, yes, the incredibly blunt young lady from Survivor: Philippines whom I gave honorable mention in my list of the Worst Survivor Players of All Time. Abi says all the right things about wanting to learn from her mistakes and not create drama, but the game hasn’t been going very long when she announces that she can’t find her bag which included a treasured leather bracelet. She proceeds to look inside everyone else’s bag and finds the bracelet in the bag belonging to Peih-Gee (whom we know from way back in Survivor: China). She announces that she is not going to make a big deal of it, by which she means she will simply mention it to every other player on the tribe except Peih-Gee. Unsurprisingly, Peih-Gee hears about it in no time, and she sits down with Abi to clear the air.

In general, it’s pretty telling that every time a player talks to the camera about what they want to do differently than on their prior season, the answer is to play a better social game.

I haven’t yet mentioned Jeff Varner who was on the second season, Survivor: The Australian Outback, but that’s not because he lacked camera time. In fact, I think we see him about five times saying that he’s at a loss for what to do because this new generation of players is so strategy-oriented.

Then there’s Kelley Wentworth (not to be confused with one-E Kelly Wiglesworth). Kelley with two Es was the one who played on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur with her father who was a farmer and whose game dragged her down somewhat. When they announced Kelley as a candidate for this season my comment on her was “she seemed very bright and perhaps even a bit sneaky.” We certainly see the latter here as she volunteers to go collect palm fronds, knowing this will take her to remote areas where she can look for a hidden immunity idol. And lo and behold she finds one! Well, not so fast, it’s a clue to one. The clue shows the precise hiding place, the problem is that it’s not anywhere in camp but on the challenge course. In other words, if she wants it she needs to grab it during the challenge when anyone might see her! I know that Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly has been pushing this idea for what seems like ten years, and now we finally get to see it play out.

But first we get to see that both tribes are independently doing some yoga, led by Joe on the one tribe and Vytas on the other. As Vytas demonstrates some poses to Shirin, Kelley interprets this as his way of flirting; she is no fan of Vytas obviously.

The challenge is a reprise of the first challenge of the first-ever episode (Jeff Probst doesn’t fail to point out that Kelly Wiglesworth participated in that one and didn’t win). The players have to push a raft through water while lighting torches, then place the raft on some supports. Then one player has to tie together sticks to lift a hoop off of a faraway peg. As for the idol? It’s behind the leg of one of the raft supports, definitely not a spot Kelley can just swing by without anyone noticing.

The two tribes get out of their water and place their rafts and get to work tying the sticks together, with Kelly Wiglesworth and Joe doing the honors for their respective tribes. The two of them are maybe five yards from the raft supports, and each tribe has nine other members crowding around, though all looking in the other direction. Kelley wisely positions herself at the back of her group, but she is still a couple of steps away from that support leg. She casts some longing looks backward, but other players are looking around a bit too so she doesn’t dare risk it. There is no plausible reason for her to head back there, and all it would take is for one person to glimpse her for one instant, and the resulting distrust would have a good chance of getting her voted out! I must confess, I found myself thinking “What would Boston Rob do in this situation?” Surely he would come up with an excuse, fake an injury, or something! Kelly continues to sneak peeks at the leg, and this is ten times more dramatic than the actual immunity challenge that’s going on! But now that actual challenge gets to its tensest moment. Joe on the other tribe is an inch away from getting his hoop off the peg, and everyone’s eyes are riveted on him, and that’s when Kelley smoothly steps back, grabs the idol, and slips it in the back of her pants while stepping back forward. YESSSSSS!

Wow, I might have a bit more of a Kelley crush than I realized. Anyway, Joe wins the immunity for his tribe, Wiglesworth takes the blame for the loss, and Kelley does a convincing job of looking sad.

And then Jeff Probst drops the bombshell that the losing tribe has to go directly to tribal council from there! I believe this is unprecedented except in the case of a player quitting or some other extenuating circumstance of that nature. The development is certainly enough to make Spencer worry, as he tells the camera his tribe is unpredictable, having Abi, Jeff, and “all the crazies under the sun” (whether he meant Shirin or not, the camera shows Shirin).

At tribal council, everyone pretty much downplays the suddenness, saying that everyone likely already knew who they wanted to vote for. Woo essentially gives a eulogy for Abi-Maria, who points out that it’s clear who Woo plans to vote for at least. When it’s time to vote, Spencer stands at the voting booth in such an agonized fashion you would think he’s deciding who to take with him to the finals.

When the votes are counted, Vytas is voted out, 6-4. I guess that’s a tribute to the intelligence of the players. Vytas is an ingratiating guy, but anyone who saw his prior season knows he’s a good liar and completely ruthless. The six who obviously wanted to eliminate that threat were Abi, Kelley Wentworth, Spencer, Shirin, Peih-Gee and Jeff. And voting for Abi were Woo, Vytas, Kelly Wiglesworth, and Terry.

In the interest of completeness I should note the three other players on the season not mentioned above: Monica from Survivor: Samoa, Kimmi from Survivor: The Australian Outback, and Ciera from Survivor: Blood vs. Water. My memory of the first two is pretty hazy but Ciera can certainly be quite the little troublemaker.

So who are my early favorites to win this thing? I think Andrew Savage would have a good shot, and also Spencer and Tasha.

Final Thoughts About Survivor: Worlds Apart

2 Jun

Good things about this season:

– There were at least three absolutely great episodes.

– Mike was a deserving winner (in fact I added him to my list of the ten best players of all time).

– There were two great characters in Rodney and Dan. Rodney was extremely quotable, and Dan’s habit of doing dumb things while saying how smart they were was a riot. Jenn and the voted-out-early Vince were pretty entertaining too.

Bad things about this season:

– There were some ugly rants and shouting matches.

– There were at least three “goats” with no chance to win in the final 12 in Dan, Will, and Shirin. Plus a player who I give dishonorable mention in my list of the worst of all time.

So where does it rank all-time? For now I am going to put this at #17, ahead of Gabon but behind Jonny Fairplay and Rupert in Pearl Islands. You can check out my full rankings here.

Survivor Worlds Apart May 13 and May 20 (Finale) recap

1 Jun

As the May 13 episode begins, there are only six players left!

Dan says he has “zero interest” in working with Mike.

The reward challenge ends in a puzzle, an anagram which the players are told is a common Survivor phrase. Both teams work on it for 45 minutes and can’t get the answer, so Jeff Probst starts dropping hints. Turns out the answer is “A Reward With All the Fixin’s.” That’s a common Survivor phrase? Since when?

The team of Carolyn, Mike, and Will wins. Carolyn says she can’t decide whether or not to give up her reward for Rodney. Then she says she’ll keep it. Back at camp Rodney tells the camera “Mama C, once Mike’s outta heah yer outta heah.” Dan, who’s not on the reward either,  finds some watermelons for the two of them and Rodney is psyched: “Once I get feelin’ like this and I’m back on my hustle game, it’s a wrap out here.”

Later at camp, Mike tells Sierra that the only people Dan can beat are Will and Rodney, so he wants to take them to the end.

Now it’s time for the immunity challenge, which ends in a table maze. A table maze doesn’t sound like much, but every time this show uses it, it’s exciting. And this time is no different. Mike has a slight lead but he’s losing it to Sierra, and on the final hole his ball rims out, twice. Then the ball finally stays in and he wins. This is huge! By the way the ever-present toothpick never leaves Mike’s mouth during the whole challenge.

At tribal council, Dan uses the extra vote advantage. Carolyn is worried and plays her immunity idol, which nobody still in the game knows she has. All votes except Mike’s and Carolyn’s were for Carolyn, but none of them count, and Dan is out of the game. Perhaps Dan spooked Carolyn into using her idol, and would have been better off holding onto the advantage? We’ll never know.

The final May 20 episode begins with the loved ones of the players being brought in. Mike wins the reward, which is not only that he gets to spend time with his mother, but also that he gets to practice going through the maze that will be the immunity challenge. He’s still blindfolded, bit his mother is allowed to guide him. It doesn’t look like this helps him much at all.

When that immunity challenge comes, Mike soon finds that the other players are trying to help each other to make sure Mike doesn’t win. But he does win, by a fairly wide margin.

So now one of the other four has to go. Mike tells Carolyn he will not write her name down “1,000%.” Wait, what? Shouldn’t getting her out be his top priority? Mike basically has two final-three deals: one to vote out Rodney and one to vote out Sierra.

(By the way, if Mike’s “1,000%” is too much for you, you don’t want to know that Will says that something else is “150,000%.”)

Sierra is voted out, 4-1.

Time for the final immunity challenge. As most of these have been in recent seasons, it’s grueling and involves going up a huge staircase again and again. The final step is to put together pieces of a puzzle that looks like a lighthouse. Mike wins! And in what I think is an unprecedented gesture, Will asks Jeff Probst if he can have the honor of putting the necklace around Mike’s neck.

Afterwards Mike tells Carolyn that he is going to vote for Rodney, forcing a tie which would mean a fire-making challenge. He tells Carolyn she needs to secretly practice making a fire.

There is indeed a tie, and the challenge begins. Carolyn’s flint breaks! And Jeff Probst simply gives her a new one! Then Rodney has the same thing happen. 20 minutes pass. 45 minutes pass. Rodney gets the first sparks going but doesn’t do a good job sustaining the fire. Carolyn does better, and Rodney is out.

So we have a final three of Mike, Carolyn, and Will, one from each of the three original tribes. Alas, at final tribal council not that many questions are asked, or at least not many good ones. Joe just has exhortations for all three candidates. Jenn, surprisingly enough, probably has the most entertaining bit. She addresses the jury and says “Half of you are the most bitter people I’ve ever met in my life” (about being outplayed by the final three). Jenn says Mike is the obvious winner. “Get over it, prove that you’re a fan.”

The votes we are shown are Jenn voting for Mike “150,000%,: Rodney voting for Will because the two of them had become buddies, and Sierra voting for Carolyn who “kept it real.”

At the finale the winner is revealed as … Mike! Meaning Hali, Joe, Shirin, Tyler, and Dan also voted for Mike.

At one point in the reunion show Probst asks for a show of hands to see who would have voted for Rodney to win. It looks like three people raise their hands. In other words, Mike was right to take Carolyn to the finals over Rodney, though it seemed crazy to me at the time.

Anyway, how satisfying it is to see the best player of the season also be the winner!

I’ll be back to wrap up the season with some final thoughts soon.

Survivor Second Chance: Here’s Who I Would Pick

10 May

The cast of returnees for the next Survivor season will be chosen by fan voting! 16 men and 16 women are nominated, and 10 of each would be chosen. Here’s who I would pick. Let’s start with the men:


Terry Deitz (Season 12: Panama)

Why: A super challenge competitor who really should have won his season the first time. If he has developed a bit more of a social game he will really be deadly.

Troy “Troyzan” Robertson (Season 24: One World)

Why: The star of what has to be the worst tribe in Survivor history. Could he actually be successful going against good players? I’m eager to find out.

Stephen Fishbach (Season 18: Tocantins)

Why: On the podcast he co-hosts he has been critiquing current players for several years now. Is he going to learn from all of their mistakes?

Joe Anglim (Season 30: Worlds Apart)

Why: He was so good that he became a major target his first time around. With better luck he would surely be a threat to win this time, perhaps even the favorite.

Mike Holloway (Season 30: Worlds Apart)

Why: I hope he becomes ineligible by actually winning Worlds Apart, but if not I would love to follow this season’s best character for another season.

Vytas Baskauskas (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)

Why: Most of his success the first time came from lying, especially to women. Will people who saw his first season fall for his act?


Andrew Savage (Season 7: Pearl Islands)

Why: One of the best players on his season. It would be interesting to see if he can still compete the way the game has evolved.

Lukewarm because: It’s been a while.

Jim Rice (Season 23: South Pacific)

Why: Blunt and a villain of sorts. But he’s certainly competitive.

Lukewarm because: I seem to recall he talked a bigger game than he played.

Spencer Bledsoe (Season 28: Cagayan)

Why: He probably would have won his season if not for the force that is Tony. Very smart kid.

Lukewarm because: I didn’t love him as much as Jeff Probst and the producers seemed to.

Brad Culpepper (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)

Why: He got somewhat of a raw deal his first time around because certain people had an axe to grind.

Lukewarm because: He and his wife have certainly gotten their share of Survivor screen time.


Shane Powers (Season 12: Panama)

Why: Not the type you love to hate, more the type you just hate.

Woo Hwang (Season 28: Cagayan)

Why: Nice guy and fairly entertaining, just not a very shrewd player.

Jeremy Collins (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)

Why: He kept talking about what a strategist he is, but never really did that much and didn’t last that long.

Keith Nale (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)

Why: One season was fun, but he wasn’t a good player, as evidence by his awful “stick to the plan” moment.

Max Dawson (Season 30: Worlds Apart)

Why: The last thing I want to see is someone who does nothing but make lame references to prior seasons. But that is Max’s specialty.


Jeff Varner (Season 2: The Australian Outback)

Now we get to the women. Alas, the cupboard is barer here. I was going to provide all sorts of alternate suggestions, but unfortunately my favorite female players have all been on all-star seasons already, and thus are ineligible here.


Kelley Wentworth (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)

Why: Her father Dale completely dragged down her game when she played before, but she seemed very bright and perhaps even a bit sneaky. I think she might even go far.

Natalie Tenerelli (Season 22: Redemption Island)

Why: She was nothing but a pawn for Boston Rob the first time around. Did she learn anything from such a master? OK, OK, she is also very good-looking.

Tasha Fox (Season 28: Cagayan)

Why: She would be a threat to win the game. In Cagayan I actually thought Spencer and Tony might knock each other out and Tasha would win. She has a good social game and is good at challenges.


Kelly Wiglesworth (Season 1: Borneo)

Why: Barely losing to Richard Hatch is certainly a strong enough resume to earn one another shot.

Lukewarm because: More a good player than a good character, as I recall.

Peih-Gee Law (Season 15: China)

Why: A villain of sorts, from a fondly remembered season.

Lukewarm because: Maybe she didn’t get that far for a reason.

Kass McQuillen (Season 28: Cagayan)

Why: “Chaos Kass” is definitely never afraid to speak her mind or cause trouble.

Lukewarm because: I don’t seriously think she could win.

Ciera Eastin (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)

Why: She’s clever and competitive.

Lukewarm because: I’m not convinced she could do as well on a regular season without the loved-ones angle.

Mikayla Wingle (Season 23: South Pacific)

Why: I had to somehow choose ten, and at least Mikayla has an eye-poppingly fit physique for viewers to enjoy.

Lukewarm because: She wasn’t that great of a player.

Sabrina Thompson (Season 24: One World)

Why: She did well her first time around, though against very weak competition.

Lukewarm because: More a good player than good character.

Abi-Maria Gomes (Season 25: Philippines)

Why: Why indeed. Well, I had to pick ten.

Lukewarm because: More someone to cause conflict than someone who could win.


Carolyn Rivera (Season 30: Worlds Apart)

Why: Pretty good player, but not likeable.

Shirin Oskooi (Season 30: Worlds Apart)

Why: Very annoying and didn’t do anything of note as a player on her first season.


Monica Padilla (Season 19: Samoa)

Kimmi Kappenberg (Season 2: The Australian Outback)

Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper (Season 3: Africa)

Stephanie Valencia (Season 22: Redemption Island)

“That ain’t happenin’, brotha!” Survivor Worlds Apart May 6 2015 recap

10 May

Dan still doesn’t get it, apparently. Everyone assures him that just because he got two votes, that doesn’t mean he’s on the bottom of the alliance. And he buys it! Tyler tells the camera he wouldn’t describe Dan as extremely gullible but rather extremely loyal: “In this game, they’re kind of one and the same.”

Rodney is feeling good. Even though he has not won a reward to date, Carolyn and Will have both assured him they would take him on a reward if they were to do so.

When the challenge comes, for whatever reason it’s designed for two teams of three. There’s a schoolyard pick, so Will, not chosen, has no chance to win it. The team that wins is Mike, Sierra, and Carolyn, but Carolyn decides not to give her spot up for Rodney. He is furious, especially because it’s his birthday, which he gives as much significance as a ten-year-old girl might. He resolves to make sure neither Carolyn nor Sierra goes to the finals.

Rodney then proposes a plan. When Mike and the other two get back from the reward, Rodney will play on the disgust he has already voiced and say he wants to be voted out so he can go home. That way Mike will not play his idol out of a false sense of security, and everyone will vote Mike out. Rodney carries on in that vein for a while, but fairly soon Mike just announces flat-out that he doesn’t believe it. As he tells the viewers, “That ain’t happenin’, brotha! Just because I talk slow don’t mean I think slow.”

One person who’s certainly worried that Mike will play his idol is Tyler. He asks Carolyn if she would consider using her idol on him. She says she’d use it “when we need it.”

The challenge involves leaning way back off the edge of a bridge while holding onto a rope. When it’s time to descend to a lower handhold, only Mike, Tyler, and Carolyn are left. The men quickly drop off, and Carolyn wins.

Back at camp, Dan thinks the person voted out will either be himself, Mike, or Tyler. Then we see Carolyn propose splitting the vote between Mike and Tyler! But this is just to fool Dan … right? Everyone is certainly worried about Dan’s double-vote power. Meanwhile Mike tells Carolyn that he is going to vote for Tyler. Would she move to knock out her number-one ally?

After the voting, Mike does indeed play his idol. The first four votes are read, they are all for Mike, and do not count. We see a vote for Tyler, obviously Mike’s. Then Jeff Probst reads another Tyler vote! “That’s enough,” and Tyler is gone! So the person I considered most likely to win (as of last week) is gone. Carolyn did not help him! And obviously everyone’s thinking was: so what if Dan has a better chance to get to the finals? He would be much easier to beat at the finals than Tyler, therefore Tyler must go (Sierra and Carolyn were the other two who voted for Tyler).  It’s actually interesting that there were so many Mike votes, but obviously they wanted to guard against his simply bluffing and holding onto the idol for another week.

As for my rankings: well, this is embarrassing but I only have one favorite left. Up until now I didn’t have Will on my “no chance to win” list, since in my mind he still hadn’t done that one thing that would prevent him from winning. But I just don’t see any scenario where he gets chosen.

Favorites to win: Mike

No chance: Carolyn, Dan, Rodney, Sierra, Will

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Hali (Mike), Joe (Mike), Jenn (Mike), Shirin (Mike), Tyler (Carolyn)


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