“You’ve really gotta be careful about Gabby.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath December 5, 2018 recap

6 Dec

On Night 30 after Tribal Council, Nick asks Christian why he voted for Carl. We used three advantages to get the majority in the game, but now we just gave it back, Nick argues.

When Nick’s alone, he tells us viewers that he considers the Mason-Dixon alliance to be dead, and he now wants Christian out.

This is the annual “loved ones” episode. If you’re looking for a blow-by-blow of that portion, you’re on the wrong blog. However, it is notable that for once Angelina does not seem to be playing an angle of any sort — I thought when she saw her mother she might start negotiating to get the best guest room next Christmas, or something.

The challenge itself is not particularly compelling. Angelina and Nick win and choose Davie and Mike to join them, and on the reward we hear a couple of people say this is their ideal final four. But Davie, unlike the other three, is not a former purple tribe member, and he has his doubts whether this would be a good final four for him (personally I think he’s right since Nick would have the edge over him with a jury).

Before the reward, Gabby got to see Christian interact with his real-life girlfriend and that somehow seems to have broken a spell.  Gabby goes to Alison and says it’s time to get Christian out. There is a good strategic reason for this, too: Christian and Gabby have been together since the start, but Christian made all the moves, or at least that’s everyone’s impression, so for Gabby to get any credit he has to go.

For the immunity challenge, players need to hold up a stick that’s supporting an apparatus that supports a water bucket. If the stick slips, they get drenched.  Hmm, why is the camera on Nick for almost the entire challenge? It comes down to Davie, Kara, and Christian, and Kara wins.

Afterwards, Christian tells Gabby that they need to get rid of Alison. But Gabby is setting her other plan in motion. She pitches Nick and Davie on ousting Christian. Nick tells us this is perfect because “I was trying to think of a way that I could get the numbers for [a vote against] Christian!” Nick is still cheesed off at the Carl vote since Nick had saved Christian twice (and to recap, that was by getting Davie to use his idol at the tribal council that eliminated John, and also at the Dan ouster that featured many votes against Christian). Nick talks to Angelina and Mike about joining this vote against Christian, and Mike contributes the idea that someone could vote for Gabby, so in case Christian plays an idol Gabby goes home!

But Davie doesn’t like this. He tells us that Christian blindsided him twice (that would be last episode’s Carl vote, plus waaay back in the second episode when Davie thought the vote was for Lyrsa but Christian helped vote out teenage Jessica. )   But Davie says first of all, he doesn’t take those blindsides personally, and secondly “who’s gonna be my shield if I get Christian out?” So Davie goes to Christian and tells him “You’ve really gotta be careful about Gabby.” Christian tells us he could use his idol tonight, but he’d rather pursue the strategy of patching things up with Nick.

At Tribal Council, we hear so  much talk that could be interpreted as anti-Christian that I think surely he’s going to use his idol. The votes are cast, and Probst says this would be the time to play an idol. No one does anything so Probst begins to move on, but then Christian says “A second Jeff … not quite sure yet …. [he looks at the others’ faces, particularly Gabby’s] …. I’ll play it.” Over on the jury, Alec remarks, “That’s friggin’ smart, bro.”

We see a bunch of Christian votes, that all do not count. Then there’s an Alison vote, prompting Gabby to say, “I’m so sorry, Alison.” Not so fast: the last two votes are for Gabby and now she’s the one out of the game!

We soon see that Mike and Angelina were the two Gabby votes, and the Alison vote was by Christian. It’s not really clear what Christian’s main plan was — he must have thought his apology had brought not only Nick back around, but Davie and others too.

I had to really ponder my contender rankings this week. I’ve had Kara in the number one spot for a while and she didn’t do anything wrong this week, but it bothers me that she’s seemingly no juror’s first choice to win the game. I think Christian could win at the finals against any other player, but he seems to be the person the others are most determined not to allow to reach the finals!

Contenders:  1. Alison, 2. Kara, 3. Nick, 4. Christian, 5. Davie

No chance: Mike, Angelina

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick), John (Angelina), Dan (Alison), Alec (Alison), Carl (Davie), Gabby (Christian)

Idol and advantage count: Nick has an immunity idol.

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“I have to get on my lifeboat.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 28 2018 recap

28 Nov

This double episode begins at night after Tribal Council, as Angelina wants to know why she got two votes. It was a contingency plan, she is told. And of course she’s furious.

You’ll recall that last week the Davids got up at dawn to search for an idol, figuring that since one had just been played, another one must now be in the game. They make the same calculation this time, and Nick does indeed find a clue. The clue says that to get the idol he must steal away from camp that next night and look for a torch on the other side of the island — similar to what Chris had to do last season. When night rolls around, Nick does sneak off with Davie staying awake in case he needs to cover for him. The idol is waiting for Nick when he reaches the fire.

Early in the episode Carl, who was not one of the winners of the reward challenge, announces that he wants to get Alec out. Word gets around, so Alec is determined to win the immunity challenge.

The challenge involves standing on a narrow perch (that only part of the players’ feet fits on) and holding onto a bar behind the players’ shoulders. It was previously seen in Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, in the infamous “stick to the plan episode.” And once again, Probst offers that anyone who feels safe can forego the challenge to enjoy some food, in this case nachos and beer. I thought perhaps nobody would want to do it, but Angelina, Carl, and Nick all choose to eat.

After an hour and 35 minutes it is down to Alec, Alison, Christian, and Gabby. I’m impressed that Gabby has made it this far. After two hours it’s just Alec, Gabby, and Christian. And Alec keeps repeating he won’t step off until he wins.

Christian asks if he can tell a story to kill time, and he tells story after story while Alec remains mostly silent. At the 3 hour 50 minute mark the challenge is still going! 4 hours and 20 minutes, still going. 4 hours and 45 minutes, still going. This is reaching Tom-and-Ian (from Survivor: Palau) territory!

At the 5 hour mark, Alec tells Christian “You’re safe, I’m not.” Finally, after 5 1/2 hours Alec is feeling faint. He steps off and Christian wins.

After the challenge Carl wants to finalize the Alec vote with everyone and Gabby is annoyed that Carl is calling the shots. She’s soon in tears for what seems like the 20th time this season.

Alec tells Alison that Carl is running the show for the Davids, so why note vote him out? And Mike agrees. Can they get Christian and Gabby to join them?  Alec talks to Christian, who acknowledges that it would be good for Alec to stay so people don’t focus on Christian as the biggest threat.

The only notable thing about Tribal Council is that Angelina makes some lengthy point and Alison notes, “I don’t buy a lot of what Angelina’s selling anymore.”

The vote is unanimous, and Alec is out. He gives a good-natured “hang loose” sign. So now the Davids have a numerical advantage, 5-4.

As everyone lines up for the Day 29 reward challenge, it’s striking to see that none of the big, athletic guys are left in the game. Carl’s team wins the reward, and Carl and Davie are quickly drunk. Carl announces Alison should be the next out, even though the people he’s talking to are Kara and Mike. Mike soon tells us “I have to get on my lifeboat and, like, swim away from the Alison ship.”

Meanwhile, Gabby wants Carl out, and she’s hoping Christian, Alison and Mike join her in the vote. It’s pretty clear Mike will be the deciding vote in this round.

Rice is running low at camp, and Angelina wants to negotiate with Probst to get more rice. At the challenge she runs down a list of things they would exchange for rice. Probst laughs that off but he says if one person will agree to sit out the challenge, i.e. have no chance at immunity, he’ll approve the rice. Angelina raises her hand to volunteer.

The final phase of the challenge involves arranging blocks to make a word. Carl thinks he has it in Perceptions, but Probst says that’s not the answer they’re looking for. Davie and Alison realize at the same time that it must be Perspective. They race to put the blocks in place, but Davie is a little but quicker and wins.

The aftermath is mostly Mike making firm assurances to both sides. In the end he votes against Carl, who goes out by a vote of 5-4. Nick looks very worried at the result.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Nick, 3. Alison, 4. Christian, 5. Davie

No chance: Mike, Gabby, Angelina

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick), John (Angelina), Dan (Alison), Alec (Alison), Carl (Davie)

Idol and advantage count: Christian and Nick have immunity idols.

“…and this is the idol nullifier.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 21 2018 recap

25 Nov

Now that a Goliath has gone home there is much deliberation among the remaining Goliaths. Alison knows that she told Christian and Gabby twice in a row that she would vote with them and didn’t either time, so they probably don’t have much trust in her. Does that mean Alison is sticking with the other Goliaths from here on out?

And Kara tells us that Dan is “the anchor that’s bringing me down.”

It’s time for the reward challenge, and Probst can somehow keep a straight face as he announces, “Prepare yourself … for the Boola Burger Bar.” That’s what two randomly drawn teams are competing to partake from. One stage of the challenge involves a number combination, and Mike competes against Christian. Probst loudly announces that both locks have the same combination but that there’s a cover which one can use to block the correct answer from the other team. Mike is obviously caught up in the moment because he fails to use the cover — this supposed superfan seems to have forgotten that failing to use one of these covers may well have cost Jay from Millennials vs. Gen-X a million dollars!

Mike’s blunder lets the opposing team draw even, but Alec and Kara are impressively able to (barely) out-puzzle superbrains Christian and Alison to win.

At camp, Gabby tells Alison that voting out Dan would be a game-changing move. But simultaneously, on the reward, Mike pleads to other Goliaths to stay together even though “I know we all hate each other.” And he still thinks they should vote Christian. We soon see that Kara, Alec, and Alison are their own bloc within the six Goliaths, and they discuss aligning with the Davids before the other Goliaths can do so. At this point Kara reveals to Alec and Alison that Dan has a second idol.

That night we see Davie arising while it’s still dark, and the other Davids are all up at the break of dawn to look for an idol. Since Davie just played one last week they figure that a new one must be in the game. Everyone is back to the camp by breakfast except for Christian, and lo and behold he finds an idol.

The immunity challenge is won by Alec who impresses with his athletic ability and his steady hand. Probst points out that all three individual immunities have been won by Goliaths.

Kara really wants to get Dan out of the game, and she suggests a vote split between Angelina and Dan. She pitches it to the Davids who understandably love the idea, but Alison gets bad vibes from that conversation. She is now leaning toward sticking with Goliath after all, and Alec agrees. They put it to Kara who understandably worries that her plan could blow up in her face. And by the way, why is Kara in such a rush to get rid of Dan? I certainly understand why she doesn’t want to stay with him until the end, but it seems too early to push her aggressive plan.

Nick looks around and sees Goliath and David segregated on the beach, so he figures that is a clear sign that no Goliaths will be voting with the Davids. Nick gets together with the rest of the David tribe and tells them about his vote-steal advantage. Christian responds, “Do you like surprises? I found the idol.” And Carl immediately tells about his idol nullifier. It seems that of these three things, the vote-stealer would be the best one to use, in my opinion.

Nothing significant is said at Tribal Council until it’s time to vote, and then Nick politely speaks up and reads out the text of his vote-steal advantage! Probst says Nick has to say whose vote he’s stealing and Nick says Alison’s. I think this was the best choice except maybe for Dan: Alec, Kara, and Mike all seemed to have some small chance of voting along with the Davids, and since there was talk of Kara’s group putting some votes against Angelina, Angelina might be out of the loop on whatever the Goliath vote was going to be. I’ll come back to this topic below, but let me also note for now that this proves Alison is not under the radar in this game.

The votes are cast, and when it’s time to play an idol Dan does so. Probst asks for clarification whether he’s playing it on himself this time, and Dan says he is. Probst says “This is a hidden immunity idol ….” and then he reaches into the urn and takes out a medallion sitting on top of the votes, saying, ” … and this is the idol nullifier. Dan, your idol has no power. Any votes cast against Dan will still count.” As you can imagine, there are some shocked faces.

We see a bunch of votes for Christian to start, then votes for both Dan and Angelina. The person voted out and the third member of the jury is … Dan. Probst snuffs his torch. “Bing!” Carl exclaims, holding up the note that came with the idol nullifier.

As we hear Dan’s final words, we see that the two votes for Angelina were by Alec and Kara.

A dramatic tribal council indeed, with three of the four idols/advantages in the game being played at once! Though Dan not winning the game is no surprise — you’ll notice I have had him on my no-chance list for a while. I just figured he would do something to shoot himself in the foot sooner or later, though he actually didn’t make any major blunder in this episode.

Now that I see the result of the vote, I think the reason Nick stole Alison’s vote and not Dan’s is that the Davids either were told or at least assumed that a vote steal would also continue to be in effect in the case of a re-vote. In other words, if Dan and Christian had tied, there would have been a re-vote without Dan participating, so the Davids wanted to do a vote theft that would also have an effect in the second round. At any rate, the David tribe has made a clever play at Tribal Council two weeks in a row now, and suddenly the David and Goliath numbers are even at 5-5.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Nick, 3. Alec, 4. Alison, 5. Davie, 6. Christian, 7. Angelina, 8. Carl

No chance: Mike, Gabby

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick), John (Angelina), Dan (Alison)

Idol and advantage count: Christian has an immunity idol.

“We got nothing for you either.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 14 2018 recap

14 Nov

Not just a good episode, this one was positively great. Let’s get right to it.

On Night 20, Angelina admits to us that she “got caught red-handed” at attempting some jury management in her conversation with Elizabeth. She makes up a different version of the Elizabeth conversation, but you can tell by their expressions that Kara and Dan aren’t buying it. As for Alec, his comment to the camera is “Angelina, you slimeball.” Nor does anyone else buy her story. Dan tells us he will get her out the first chance he gets.

Mike and Christian discuss the “strike force,” the secret alliance of those two with Gabby, Nick, Alison, and Alec. Mike feels that Gabby isn’t fully on board based on her comments at the last Tribal Council.

Nick and Davie go looking for an idol. They find a clue and unfurl the piece of paper to see a symbol that looks like something on a surfer’s T-shirt, in fact it’s the same symbol that was on the sign at the merge feast last episode (now it makes sense that the sign got some camera time without any apparent payoff). Carl joins the two of them and they go looking for a tree that looks like the one on the symbol, and they find it. However, some other people are on that same beach, so Davie creates a diversion, heading for the shoreline to do some goofy tai chi-type moves. The others are amused by his ridiculous routine, so much so that no one sees Nick and Carl heading for the base of the tree. They find an advantage that turns out to be a vote-stealer! They roll around hugging on the ground, and Carl also tells Nick about his idol nullifier.

The reward challenge is for two randomly chosen groups. The players need to hold a bunch of 10-pound sandbags above their heads, all of which are attached to a long trough of water overhead. If anyone lets a sandbag drop, the group gets dowsed with water and loses. It’s a group version of the memorable “Shii Ann” challenge that I coincidentally mentioned in my last post. To round out the rules, each player must hold up at least one sandbag, though there are more sandbags than people, and every 15 minutes one person must leave each group, handing his bag or bags to the others.

After 30 minutes, four people on each tribe are holding up a total of 80 pounds per tribe. They switch off continuously for brief rests, and sometimes one person has two bags on top of each other. Dan holds up three bags in a stack and taunts the other team about none of them taking on three. You can probably guess what happens next: amid the showboating, one of Dan’s bags falls, and his team loses. His tribemates are clearly furious. The winning team gets to eat two whole pizzas each, and as for Dan’s group, Probst as always says “I got nothin’ for ya.” To which Mike White replies, “We got nothin for you either.” Probst says he’s been waiting a long time for someone to finally make that joke.

Mike is doing more than joking today. He goes off by himself to ponder his strategy. He worries about the “strike force” because he thinks Christian is the most dangerous threat to win the game.  He talks it over with Alec, who is loath to go the route of breaking up the strike force because that would leave him with only one alliance, the Goliaths.

Mike makes his anti-Christian pitch to the assembled Goliaths. Of course Angelina is miffed because in her mind she has the sole copyright on the “Christian is the biggest threat” theory, patent pending. The Goliaths want to move forward with the plan, but what cover story will they give Christian as to whom they’re supposedly voting for? The answer is Angelina, to her chagrin, though she admits it’s the most plausible story.

Somewhat surprisingly, the immunity challenge is the second endurance challenge in a row: players have to hold up a ball with holes in either side (Probst calls it a buoy) using two short poles. Probst advises us that this challenge was done once before, in Survivor: Game Changers, and won by Brad Culpepper. It’s certainly not easy, as seven of the twelve players are out almost immediately. It comes down to Angelina versus Dan, and Dan wins.

Back at camp, John and Dan tell Christian the lie that the vote will be Angelina. “Hashtag brochacho blindside,” John tells us about his former Green-tribe mate. Angelina is still freaking out about being the “fake” target but Dan tells her that if Christian unexpectedly has an idol, Dan will play his idol on her. But then he tells other Goliaths that he has no such intention.

Christian seems to be totally unsuspecting. But Alec worries that if the Goliaths pull off this move he will lose the trust of fellow “strike force” member Nick. So he alerts Nick to what’s going on. Uh-oh, is Alex making the exact same mistake that Angelina did?

Nick doesn’t reveal everything about the Alec conversation to Christian (or we don’t see him do so at any rate) but he does tell Christian he thinks the Goliaths are lying to him. Then Nick goes to Davie and wonders if they should use the advantage they just found to help Christian. Davie tells us he knows that his idol would be more effective than the advantage, but of course Nick doesn’t know that Davie has the idol. Since he, Davie, is not in danger, is he better off lying low?

And Nick is conflicted too. He’s totally under the radar now, does he want to put himself back on it by pulling out an advantage? This episode really does a great job of showing us everyone’s personal deliberations about what to do.

At Tribal Council, one thing I wrote down was that we see John talking about the game much more than usual, and he sounds good doing it — he certainly pulled off his lie nicely earlier.

During the whole discussion and the votes, we see Davie nervously chomping on a toothpick. After votes are cast, Probst says this would be the time to play an idol, and Davie clears his throat. He walks up to Probst and asks if he can say a few words. He apologizes to his alliance for not mentioning the idol, then he announces he’s playing it on Christian. No sooner does he do so than Angelina urgently looks at Dan and says he needs to play his idol on her. He has sort of a deer-in-the-headlights look but does nothing. She repeats it … and finally he does get up and tell Probst he’s playing itr for her. Of course, the ever-micromanaging Angelina asks “Did you say who it was for?”

Editorial comment: Why Dan, why Dan, why?

Anyway, Probst starts reading votes, and the votes for Christian seem neverending, and none of them count. Then Probst starts reading the votes for Angelina. So we are heading for a re-vote with numbers favoring the Goliaths unless someone had the idea to cast a stray vote for whatever reason, and then that vote would rule the day! Angelina’s name is read twice, and then we hear a vote for … John! And then another, and John is out! “That’s off the top rope, brother,” someone says to someone … I think it was John the wrestler saying it to Christian.

So we lose a great character and can only hope we see him on Survivor again some future season. The Davids were foiled by Dan’s idol play, but oddly enough this result is actually better for them, as John was a much bigger threat to win the game than Angelina, and though he was not great in challenges he was certainly better than Angelina.

Also, when we see the votes, we learn that there were actually three John votes: Christian, Davie, and Nick, while Carl and Gabby voted Angelina. So it was a planned vote split, but if the others didn’t know about Davie’s idol it’s not clear what they hoped to accomplish by doing this. It certainly worked out, however.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Alison, 3. Nick, 4. Davie, 5. Alec, 6. Christian, 7. Carl, 8. Angelina

No chance: Mike, Dan, Gabby

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick), John (Dan)

Idol and advantage count: Dan has an immunity idol, Carl has an idol nullifier, and Nick has a vote stealer.

“She was already starting to manage the jury.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 7 2018 recap

7 Nov

On Day 18, we go right to the merge without any preamble. There is a merge feast set up, with a sign that says “Everything you need for a perfect merge is right here.” Gabby speculates that this sign could hide an idol clue, but apparently there isn’t one there or anywhere else at the picnic.

Some of the Goliaths find out about Alec’s vote against Natalia for the first time and are amazed. Alec is getting lots of camera time in these first few minutes, which is a bad sign for him especially in the merge episode! And we hear a couple of different times that Carl is annoyed by Elizabeth.

Alliances are reunited. The “Mason-Dixon alliance” meets, and Nick gives Christian the information that Dan has an idol. And Dan wastes no time getting in some hugs with Kara,  and he blurts out to her at the first opportunity that he has a second idol. You can see why Dan is on my list below of people who have no chance to win the game.

And then we see Alec declaring to us that it’s his time to shine! Things are looking really bad for Alec.

Soon thereafter Mike, Alison, and Alec decide to form a trio, and Mike wants to bring in Nick, Christian, and Gabby. The six form a sort of stealth alliance, they don’t want to show their hand until later in the game. There are thirteen people left, so six is obviously not a majority yet, but would be after two more people leave.

In this stealthy vein, Elizabeth pitches Alec on voting out Dan, but Alec soon tells Dan and Kara about it (anything to distract from his true alliance.) Dan immediately freaks out, but Kara points out that a guy with two idols who’s in the majority group can feel fairly comfortable.

The challenge is a brand new one. The players have to use one hand to guide a pendulum on a circular path that passes through a gap in a metal contraption that’s supporting a statue. They lose if either the statue falls over or the pendulum loses its momentum from bumping into the metal. It’s nice to have something new, but I have to say Probst proclaiming “your pendulum lost momentum!” is not particularly dramatic and not a great visual. Something like the challenge Shii Ann won in Survivor: All-Stars, where if you drop your hand a bucket of water falls on you, certainly has more impact!

One odd moment of the challenge is Dan talking to himself, and his exact words to himself are “Keep telling yourself how awesome you are.” The challenge comes down to Alison vs. Elizabeth, and Alison wins the first individual immunity.

The Goliaths meet and seem to be in agreement that Elizabeth should be voted out, but Angelina firmly declares that Christian needs to go as he’s the biggest threat. The others say they’ll go along with it. And afterward Angelina crows to us viewers about what a great job she did talking them into it. But when Alec and Alison talk, they agree they don’t like it. And when John and Dan talk they agree they don’t like it.

So John takes Angelina for a walk after telling her they all decided to vote for Elizabeth after all. Angelina is very pissy and complains about them making a decision and forcing her to go along with it, though of course she just did the same thing to them, and bragged about it!

Soon we see Angelina waiting along a path for Elizabeth to pass by. Angelina tells Elizabeth that the vote is going to be for her … sorry, there’s nothing Angelina can do but since Elizabeth is so great she thought it was the right thing to tell her in advance. At that point I write in my notes, “jury management is transparent.”

Elizabeth was obviously cast to be this season’s version of Lauren from Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, and she has essentially delivered on that, but with less entertaining results.

Elizabeth reports the conversation to Gabby who is once again outraged at being in the minority. Gabby thinks they should tell the other Goliaths to try and move the target onto Angelina. Good idea, but they want to do it at Tribal Council which seems like it would be too late.

Elizabeth does in fact bring it up the Angelina conversation at Tribal Council, her theme being “There’s a fracture in your group.” And Alison immediately comments, “I think she [Angelina] was already starting to manage the jury for her final tribal council.” John immediately says “I agree” and Mike grins to Alec and says “That’s totally it.” Meanwhile an outraged Dan demands an explanation from Angelina. And Jeff Probst confirms that the person voted out today will be the first jury member. As Angelina’s move is discussed, John whispers to Christian and Alec walks over to whisper to Dan. Will this be a unanimous Angelina vote?

It’s unanimous all right, but the one voted out is Elizabeth! I did not see that coming at all.

Getting to see everyone interact made me shake up my rankings this week. John and Davie haven’t shown enough lately to keep them at the top spots where I had them. And I also moved Gabby onto the no-chance list — we never see her doing anything but whining about how unfair everything is, and I can’t see the other players respecting that at a final tribal council. I stopped short of putting Angelina on the no-chance list, since she did somehow survive this week, after all.

Also, after six years of doing this blog I finally realized it would be a good idea to keep a count of the idols that are in play, so that tote board makes its first appearance this week.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Alison, 3. Nick, 4. John, 5. Christian, 6. Davie, 7. Alec, 8. Carl, 9. Angelina

No chance: Mike, Dan, Gabby

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick)

Idol and advantage count: Dan has two, Davie has one, Carl has an idol nullifier.

“I know she’s a sketchball now.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 31 2018 recap

5 Nov

It’s day 16, and everyone is discussing Angelina’s attempted “jacket” move — by the way, she is seen here wearing a sweater that looks quite warm. “Last night really exposed how just completely batsh*t crazy she is,” says Mike about Angelina, and Nick’s take is, “I know she’s a sketchball now.”

At the reward challenge, Jeff Probst makes the incredibly bold move of departing from his usual stock question, saying instead “Let me show you what you’re playin’ for.” Green wins, and behind the ring-tossing of Nick, who has the same smile when tossing rings as when doing just about anything else, Purple finishes second. We then hear Mike wonder if he should try to keep Angelina in the game after all, so the fellow Goliaths don’t blame him for ousting two Goliaths — he thinks he got some funny looks at the start of the challenge. Since this observation has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on at the time, we now know beyond any reasonable doubt that Purple will be going to tribal council this episode. Not very smooth, producers!

But that’s not to say we don’t get subplots from the two other tribes. On Green, Gabby is still whining, but not to Christian this time but to Alison. Alison suggests a blindside of Dan, and it’s fair to assume she’s just leading Gabby on, but then Alison tells us that the blindside is not “if” but “when.” We also learn that she knows Dan has an idol (though of course he actually has two now).

On the Orange tribe, Elizabeth gets into a ridiculous spat with Carl and Davie about whether she should be splitting bamboo and when she should be splitting it. And the fact that time is spent on this is a sign that this is the slowest episode of the season to date.

The challenge has a cool visual: tribes have to fill up an enormous saucer with water, then carry the heavy object over balance beams and to a well. Green gets to the end of the path with enough water to fill their well on the first try, letting puzzle beast Christian start on the puzzle along with Alison — they win easily. Orange is easily second, while Purple is so far behind that Probst notes “Sometimes there is just nowhere to hide on Survivor.” After a while he converts his criticism to a “press on against adversity” theme, but then Purple drops their last saucer and can’t even finish. They are so pathetic that surely there will be a tribe swap next episode to liven things back up.

Mike considers this vote critical as David and Goliath are tied 7-7, and the Purple tribe is 2-2. We see a scene of Lyrsa trying to pitch Mike on voting Angelina, while at the other end of the beach Angelina simultaneously tries to sell Nick on voting Lyrsa out.

Nothing interesting happens at Tribal Council, which ends with Lyrsa being voted out 3-1. But I love Lyrsa’s final words: she says the worst part of all of this is that she’ll have to spend time with Natalie at Ponderosa and sit next to her at the reunion!

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Davie, 3. Kara, 4. Christian, 5. Alison, 6. Nick, 7. Angelina, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Elizabeth, Mike, Dan

“I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 24 2018 recap

24 Oct

It’s day 12, and there’s heavy rain and wind. So much rain that now there’s a river running through the bottom of the Green shelter. At the Orange camp, Carl (who joined them after Tribal Council) comes carrying a note: there is a massive storm coming and the tribes will be evacuated. We can tell this is no joke by the guy who helps them onto the boat, he’s wearing a head-to-toe raincoat! This is only the second time Survivor players have been evacuated, it happened previously on Millennials vs. Gen-X.

After we viewers see a commercial, everyone’s back, and it’s Day 14 — apparently game time is not interrupted for these evacuations. All three of the shelters were destroyed by the storm.

The reward challenge is won by the Orange tribe who gets some chickens, while Purple gets a dozen eggs. Green, on paper the best challenge team, finishes third.

The Purple team debates about whether they need to eat the eggs right away if they boil them. It turns out Lyrsa is a culinary school graduate but that doesn’t mean Natalie accepts what she says about food as fact!

On the Green tribe, Dan already has an idol but he figures since they’re on a new beach there must be a new idol as well, and he figures he has an advantage because he knows how the idols are marked. There’s a great shot of Christian’s face peeking out in the far background as Dan goes searching. Dan actually does find a clue that tells him an idol is hidden at the next immunity challenge. This is welcome news to me, since the first time this happened it was one of the most exciting moments in the history of the game when Kelley Wentworth had the clue in Second Chance, and was also pretty darn exciting when it happened to Troyzan in Game Changers.

As with the prior two instances, the spot where the idol is hidden is right before the final phase of the challenge. This gives the person a chance since presumably everyone’s attention will be riveted on the final phase … or will it?

Dan takes a step or two to get next to the spot, then drops to one knee in a “pensive” pose. When no one is looking he grabs the idol and stuffs it in his pants. I have no idea how it’s not obvious to everyone in those tights, but let’s not go there.

It’s not surprising nobody else takes their eyes off the last part of the challenge, as a ball has to be maneuvered in very tricky fashion and the conclusion is very exciting. John with his comic-book musculature is going against Alec and Nick, and Nick has a lead. Christian replaces John, and he and Alec both gain on Nick quickly. Alec gets the win for Orange, with Christian second and Nick third. So Purple has to go to Tribal Council.

Lyrsa soon tells us she’s voting for Natalie, but if the three former Goliaths (Natalie, Angelina, and Mike) stick together, either Lyrsa or Nick will be going home.

Then comes a plotline unlike any other we’ve seen on this show. Angelina tells Natalie, “I want Lyrsa’s jacket,” and she somehow thinks Natalie can get it for her. Natalie indicates to Nick that he would be well-served to get Lyrsa’s jacket for them, and Nick immediately says “I’m not stealin’ anybody’s stuff or anything like that.” Natalie replies, “So the jacket is worth a million?” to which Nick answers “Are you trying to bully me or something?” And he soon tells Lyrsa about the outrageous request. For the two of them it’s clear that their only chance is to get Mike’s vote. Mike is hoping Nick can get Angelina on board with the idea of voting Natalie, that way if Mike made the move he could save face to some extent with the Goliaths.

Lyrsa tells us about her Members Only jacket, “I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.”

Most of Tribal Council is about Natalie, who claims she is never the center of drama in her personal life. After there is a fair bit of talk about her bullying behavior in the jacket affair, Natalie asks Angelina to jump in. Of course Angelina was the mastermind of the whole thing, and would be loath to have that come to light. But she has had time to think of a way to spin it, and she says Natalie took pity on her being cold and she did what she did “out of love for me.” There is more talk from Natalie and finally Probst says “Natalie, I think I just figured you out. You need the last word.”

The votes are read and we see two for Lyrsa (obviously Natalie and Angelina) and two for Natalie (clearly Lyrsa and Nick). So now it all hinges on Mike’s vote which is for …. Natalie.

Oddly, Angelina jumps up and gives Natalie a big hug and says she’s so sorry. And then, as Natalie grabs her torch and heads toward Probst, Angelina says , “Natalie, is there any way I could have your jacket?” Natalie pretends not to hear. Angelina says “Natalie?” two more times with the same result as Natalie leaves the game.

Well, it’s not like Natalie had a chance to win the game, I could have seen a scenario where she got taken all the way to the finals as an obvious goat though.

As for Angelina, she told us earlier in the season that she finds a way to manipulate people to get what she wants in most any situation. But that manipulative quality became a bit too obvious here, particularly with the insincere hug. And when the rest of the players hear what happened tonight they might decide Angelina is a threat who needs to go sooner rather than later.

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Davie, 3. Kara, 4. Christian, 5. Angelina, 6. Alison, 7. Nick, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan