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 (Keith Nale, above) 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)

“There’s no Mike in team”: Survivor: Worlds Apart April 29 2015 recap

29 Apr

Dan begins the episode by stating he doesn’t believe he’s at the bottom of his alliance. Why, I don’t know, but he doesn’t.

Dan comforts Shirin who is still trying to get over the tongue-lashing she got from Will (which Dan wasn’t present to witness when it happened). Dan then tells the camera that he feels bad for her having to go through that. However, he notes, “Shirin is a drama queen, she is a two-faced liar, she loooves to play the victim.” So far it certainly sounds like the producers are setting the stage for a Shirin ouster.

Eight people are left in the game. The reward challenge has randomly chosen teams competing to see who can get across a stretch of ground by moving barrels and planks, with neither their feet or the planks ever touching the ground. One team methodically moves forward with the barrels standing up in the normal fashion, but Mike’s idea for his team is to roll the barrels, a plan that can only work with him lying on top of barrels and through insane exertions and flexibility somehow making it work. Now, you’ll recall that Sierra’s profession is barrel racer, but apparently that doesn’t mean standing on rolling barrels but rather riding a horse around barrels. Oh well. Anyway, the team that wins is Tyler, Carolyn, Will, and Dan.

While those four are gone, Sierra tells Rodney that Tyler is going to win this game unless somebody does something. Hmm, has she been reading my rankings? I’m impressed, Sierra is showing that she’s a bit more of a gamer than I thought. Rodney says he’d rather get Shirin out, but Sierra says, who cares if Shirin goes all the way to the end? She won’t get votes.

On the reward, Dan bashes Mike, saying “There’s no Mike in team,” and the other three can’t encourage him enough. The more he focuses on Mike, the less he’ll realize that he’s at the bottom of their alliance. Basically all three are playing him for a sucker.

The immunity challenge is to hold onto a spool attached to a rope that holds up a bag with 25% of the person’s body weight (as of Day One of the season). Probst announces there will be two immunities, for the last man standing and the last woman. This gives Shirin hope, especially since there are only two other women, Carolyn and Sierra. Sierra drops out fairly early but Shirin just can’t hold on, and Carolyn wins for the women. The men’s duel is a real classic, coming down to Mike and Rodney. Rodney goes into a crouch and has Dan shouting encouragement the whole time from right next to him. Mike has a stoical expression but he’s sweating and you can see him talking to himself. The pain becomes excruciating for both men, and Mike takes a few peeks at Rodney. The music stops, and all you here is Rodney’s bag hit the floor. Mike has won, in an awesome performance.

This puts Shirin on the chopping block, but she has a strong case to make, namely that she’s not a threat to win any challenges or to win at the end. She also makes the solid point to Sierra that “by definition” Sierra’s group can’t be with her all the way to the end, because there are six of them. Sierra says she would vote Tyler if she thought two others would join her, but she doesn’t see that happening.

Speaking of Tyler, he has gotten curious about what Dan’s advantage is. So he simply takes Dan’s bag and goes off into the woods and reads what’s inside. It’s not hard to find since of course everyone knows the advantage was in a huge box.

Mike tries again to work on Dan, but without much success. He also ponders giving his idol to Shirin, since he knows the group of six won’t be splitting the vote and every vote will be for her.

Shirin gives a speech at tribal council advocating voting Tyler out.

It’s time to vote, but wait! Mike is speaking up. He shows everyone the idol that he has. Then he announces that Shirin will be voting for Tyler, and Mike will be voting for one of the others who doesn’t have immunity (Rodney, Dan, Sierra, or Will). “And you can take your chances,” he says.

OK, this is going to require some analysis. I believe what he’s saying is: if Mike gives the idol to Shirin, any votes for her would not count, and nobody can vote for Mike or Carolyn since they have immunity. So all votes would have to go toward Rodney, Dan, Carolyn, Sierra, or Tyler. Shirin is voting Tyler, so the other players have the choice to either vote for Tyler themselves and help get him out, or to vote for one of the other four. Since Mike says he’s voting for one of the other four, and Tyler has to with no other choice, anyone who fails to vote Tyler could find themselves voted out. And if Tyler himself plays an idol, one of the other four has to go.

The three on the jury (Hali, Joe, and Jenn) love every second of this. And the group of six doesn’t appear to confer before the vote. At least it’s not shown.

The votes are cast, Probst asks about an immunity idol, Mike stands up and … doesn’t play it! The votes are read: Shirin gets four votes, Tyler and Dan two each, and Shirin is out. Mike tells everyone “Dan’s still got two votes,” so evidently everyone now knows about Dan’s advantage.

And Probst ends the episode by saying even he is confused.

Now then: was Mike’s not playing the idol idiotic or genius? He neither played it, nor did he vote the way he said: he voted Tyler, as did Shirin. Tyler and Will voted Dan and everyone else, sensing a bluff evidently, voted Shirin.

So if Mike had just used the idol it would have been a 2-2 tie for Tyler and Dan. I would guess that on the re-vote (with Tyler and Dan not allowed to vote again) Mike, Shirin, Sierra, and Rodney would have voted Tyler; and Will and Carolyn would have voted Dan. So Tyler would’ve been out, with Shirin still in the game! So it seems like Mike made a mistake.

At least Mike has one thing going for him: now Dan knows he really is on the bottom of his alliance after all.

Favorites to win: 1) Tyler, 2) Mike, 3) Will

No chance: Carolyn, Dan, Rodney, Sierra

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

“This camp has turned into a circus.” Survivor Worlds Apart April 22 2015 recaphe

22 Apr

This episode, unlike most, starts the morning after Tribal Council. Seeing that, one might assume that there was so much going on that the producers had to cut out the usual nighttime scenes of everyone talking over the prior vote. And that assumption would be right!

So the very first thing we see is Rodney telling Carolyn, Tyler, and Will that the four of them should band together to vote Mike out. Everyone seems in favor of that, but Tyler tells Rodney to “pause it” until the time is right in the game. Well, guess what, Mike eavesdropped and overheard the whole thing.

Food auction time! And there is no lead-up to it, another sign that we have a lot of content to get to. The first item is a mystery item, won by Will. It’s a note that says “You just bought yourself out of this auction. Pick up your personal items and head to camp.” He does. At some point Probst cuts to the chase and asks who is holding out to try and win the advantage in the game that’s always one of the auction lots. Dan, Carolyn, and Mike raise their hands. Mike explains his thinking to the viewer: “Some, if not all of my alliance have flipped on me.”

The food rewards are shown very briefly, then Probst announces it’s time for the advantage. But first he has letters from home to auction off. Shirin quickly announces that in past seasons, Probst let everyone buy letters for whatever the high bid was on the first letter. The others take note, of this and the only bid is $20. Sure enough, Probst says anyone can have one for $20. Carolyn proposes that everyone pay the $20, that way the three who all had their $500 will all still have $480 and still be tied in vying for the advantage.

Everyone walks up to pay. Dan wants to go last, but Mike insists he go ahead, and assures him he wouldn’t pull any sort of trick. So Dan pays his $20 … and Mike just walks back to his seat. He’s welching on the deal! Everyone is in shock, even Probst. Finally Mike says he just can’t do it and hands over the $20. But the damage is done. To resolve the tie for the advantage, rocks are drawn from a bag. Dan wins.

Will gets back to camp only to find a clue waiting for him … well not so much a clue as a map to an exact spot. He heads over there and the spot is even marked with a flag in the ground! He digs down and finds a chest full of goodies, including something that looks like Tang powder. He immediately decides to take the rations back to the main camp and share them with everyone, despite the fact that some of them just won food in the auction!

When everyone else returns, Will shows them the food. Mike, meanwhile, decides to announce that Rodney and the other three have formed an alliance. A shouting match with Rodney ensues, partly because the Bostonian just wants to read his letter from home and not get into the topic. Everyone else is similarly eager.

When Dan opens his advantage, he founds he has not gotten a challenge advantage, but an extra Tribal Council vote! The rules say he has to announce he’s using it in advance, and must do so at the time Probst says he’s tallying the votes.

Well, congratulations to the Survivor producers. The annual food auction had grown very predictable over the last couple of seasons, and these twists have freshened it up again!

We see Mike speculate that maybe Will didn’t share all of the food he got. If he didn’t keep some, what happened to the box it was in? But Jenn immediately takes this as fact and repeats it, with Shirin looking on and grinning. Tyler soon tells Will about the talk, and Will takes Rodney to go get the box and lug it to camp. Will is incensed that after being so generous he is called into question. When he gets back to camp he immediately yells at Shirin. “Miss greedy ass, all you been doing is runnin’ your damn mouth.” It seems Mike and Jenn weren’t there at that moment so it is all focused on her, though actually what was shown was Jenn talking about it and Shirin just grinning.

Will segues from that to a general tirade against Shirin that gets very personal. Mike tries to calm him down, and finally just escorts Shirin away. “Go on with your little bitch,” Will shouts, referring to Mike as the bitch.

Shirin has a good cry with Mike and Jenn comforting her. Jenn says she wants to stay in the game just to ruin it for someone else (we already knew that). And Mike says “Me, Shirin, and Jenn, we only have each other.” Gosh, what happened to Sierra and Dan?

Time for the immunity challenge. But first, Will asks Probst, if he voluntarily passes up participating in the challenge, can he have a letter from home? Now, I don’t believe Will has come anywhere close to winning any challenge yet, so this isn’t really that big a deal. But Probst says he would go for that, but for the integrity of the tribe, every single other person would have to agree to it. If one objects, no go. Does anyone do so? Shirin raises her hand. As annoying as Shirin is, I still say: good for her.

The immunity challenge involves picking up one ball after another with some long tongs and walking over some seesaws with them. It’s much harder than it sounds… or looks. And Mike is the winner. Only Jenn and Shirin are shown to congratulate him.

And those two are also the ones on the chopping block. Carolyn tells her group that they have the vote in the bag. The six of them (Carolyn, Tyler, Will, Rodney, Sierra, and Dan) want to split the votes between Jenn and Shirin.

Mike says Sierra won’t even look him in the eye anymore, so his only chance is Dan. Jenn tells the camera, “It’s up to Dan who is dumb as a box of rocks.” Mike makes a strong case to Dan, and says his “final three” promise (for those two and Sierra) is still in effect. Carolyn is nervous and considers using her idol.

When Dan gets back from his chat with Mike, Tyler tells him everyone has been questioning if Dan is really with them. Dan has had it: “That’s enough. I’ve had enough of the playing the games (sic). If I go with them that’s my choice. I make my own destiny. Nobody dictates my future but me. My choice. My choice, not yours, not yours, and not theirs.” It’s a great speech.

Of course, Tyler, Carolyn and company could avoid being nervous about Dan by simply not splitting the vote, and they would be guaranteed to win at least 5-4. But that doesn’t come up.

The tribal council has a rehash/repeat of the Will-Shirin argument, and a repeat of Mike’s announcement that Rodney has flipped to form his own alliance.

Meanwhile, Dan says that an important part of the vote is who gets put “over there,” meaning on the jury.

The result: Jenn is voted out and Shirin gets the second-most votes. Oddly enough there is only one vote for Carolyn! We later see that Mike and Shirin both voted for Jenn, which I don’t quite understand.

So Mike is definitely in trouble, but it is mostly his own fault. His move at the auction was just a horrible blunder, and it made him look untrustworthy.

Now, was Dan’s choice not to go with Mike the right one? I’m not sure. It definitely made sense for him not to go to the Finals with Mike, as everyone would just say the two made all the same moves but Mike made them better. But this might have been too early to make that move.

My updated rankings are below. You might be surprised to see Will among the favorites. That’s not so much because I think he has anything going for him. More because he hasn’t ruled himself out as others have. Or did his very personal rant this week rule him out? I actually think not, since he went off on Shirin, and most of the others probably wished they could have gone off on Shirin themselves!
On the no-chance list: Dan, Rodney and Shirin are obvious because all of them are hated by multiple people in the game. Sierra isn’t, but she has not done a darn thing all season except be offended by things. How could she win? The one I might regret putting on this list is Carolyn, especially because she still has an idol. The reason I put her on the list is that I thought she was too abrasive. I actually still do think that.

Favorites to win: 1) Tyler, 2) Mike, 3) Will

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

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

“Can you verify something for me?”: Survivor Worlds Apart April 15 2015 recap

15 Apr

With Hali out, Joe, Jenn, and Shirin need to regroup. Shirin proposes a semi-secret alliance to Mike. Interestingly, she says the person she would want to get out is Carolyn, since Carolyn has Will and Tyler as allies.

The reward challenge is won by a team of Mike, Sierra, Shirin, Dan, and Tyler, who get to eat lots of Snickers and M&Ms.  Not too much happens there, but back at camp Rodney turns out to be a skilled impressionist who can do a dead-on Mike imitation. Jenn, meanwhile, has been hinting that she wants to quit … how very no-collar! She tells Joe that if she wins immunity she will give it to him at Tribal Council.

The immunity challenge is a familiar one: stand on tiptoes and use the top of one’s head to press a block against a horizontal bar. Jenn almost wins, but to Joe’s dismay she can’t quite do it, and Tyler is the winner.

After this, Shirin (who has gotten tons of camera time the last two weeks) is crunching numbers. The split is 7-3 and she figures the seven will split their votes 4-3 between Joe and Jenn. So at least the group of three can determine which of the two goes home by who they throw their votes to, and Jenn would rather sacrifice herself to let Joe stay.

However, Shirin can’t get too tricky or that would kill her new alliance with Mike, and Mike is spelling it out: “I have to [be able to] trust you.” He tells her to vote for Joe. Mike also says that he will shadow Joe wherever he goes to make sure Joe doesn’t look for an idol.

But Joe has not thrown in the towel, and he has a brilliant way to shake loose. He asks Dan if he wants to go away from camp to talk for a while. They head uphill. Dan basically says he can’t help Joe, and is glad to get out of the awkward conversation and troop away. As soon as Dan is out of sight, Joe hightails it into the woods. Turns out he had stashed away a sort of “fake idol kit” for just such an eventuality, and he proceeds to put one together that actually looks great.

When Mike sees Dan stroll back into camp, he asks what happened to Joe, and Dan knows he has been duped. They split up to search the woods, and Mike does find Joe, who offers to give Mike his idol at tribal council in return for Joe not voting for him. Mike says it would have to be before tribal for him to do that deal (remember, it was Mike who actually has the idol that Joe had a clue for).

Just as everyone sits down at tribal council Joe murmurs “Here you go” and hands it over. Buy the way we also find out that we haven’t seen the last of Hali, she’s the first member of the jury!

Just before it’s time to vote, Mike asks, “Can you verify something for me? Is this a hidden immunity idol?” Jeff Probst said he can do no such verifying, someone has to play it. After the votes Probst asks if anyone wants to play one, and Mike stands up and says he wants to play the idol “for Will.” Probst says what he just got is not a hidden immunity idol. The votes are read, and Joe is voted out over Jenn, and later we see that Shrin did indeed vote for Joe as instructed.

So my number one favorite to win is gone. Mike has eliminated his biggest rival, but now everyone will probably be targeting him. And as much as Jenn has been hinting she doesn’t want to keep playing, she could stlll change her mind and still be a threat to win it all.

Favorites to win: 1) Mike, 2) Tyler, 3) Jenn, 4) Will

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

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


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