“The little witches’ coven.” Survivor Cambodia Second Chance November 18 2015 recap

19 Nov

Kimmi begins the episode determined to break up the “little witches’ coven” of Kelley Wentworth, Ciera, and Abi. Meanwhile, the revelation that there are indeed immunity idols in the game gets everyone interested in looking for one, and even though Jeremy has one, he decides he’d like to have a second since he lost one of the “shields” he was hiding behind, namely Andrew.

While some of the players are at a reward and others are busy around camp, Jeremy goes sneaking off to look for an idol. He finds a clue that says to get the idol, he needs to slyly sneak away from camp in the middle of the night. At that late hour, everyone happens to be staying up  much later than usual. Finally Jeremy just says he’s going to the bathroom and goes and gets the idol. This was way too easy for him!

Stephen observes that Joe and Kelly Wigglesworth have become pals in sort of a brother/sister or aunt/nephew relationship. This gets him to thinking.

The challenge is one that’s been done before with the players standing on what look like half-submerged floating doghouses, with their feet on small ledges on the sides of the “doghouse roof.” This time there’s added difficulty: it’s raining hard and freezing cold. Eight minutes in, Jeff Probst starts making some generalizations on how success in the game depends on making the right move at the right time. Suddenly he grabs a machete and chops a rope at his feet, and a row of little floating balls suddenly floats to the surface perhaps 15 yards from the players. Probst announces that the first person to touch the ball across from him wins an advantage in the game but is out of the immunity challenge. There’s a brief pause, and Stephen dives in, and a heartbeat later Spencer does the same. They swim furiously, and believe it or not Stephen touches his ball first to get the advantage! The two watch the rest of the challenge, which comes down to Joe and Abi, and finally Joe wins.

Back at camp Kimmi reiterates that she wants one of the girls out. Certainly nobody wants a repeat of last episode when the majority group inexplicably didn’t split the vote, so they opt to split between Kelley Wentworth and Ciera, with Kelley receiving the most.

Stephen opens his advantage message and it’s “beyond his wildest dreams”: an opportunity to steal a vote from another player and convert it to one of his own, in addition to casting his own vote. So it’s even more powerful than Dan’s double vote from the prior season. But Stephen immediately says he won’t use it at the upcoming tribal council but save it for later!

Stephen then goes to the “three witches” and proposes teaming with them to vote Kelly Wigglesworth out. With not much else in the way of options, they’re all for it. Now he needs to pitch it to Jeremy and Spencer. He tells them they need to make a move, they can’t keep playing from the bottom, though Spencer doesn’t think they’re on the bottom (note Stephen is the man who previously said nobody is on the bottom). Jeremy and Spencer see the wisdom in what Stephen is saying, but the part they don’t like is the idea of having to trust three people they don’t trust. Particularly since one of them is the unpredictable Abi!

At tribal council, it’s raining hard and everyone is shivering. This time as Kass walks in, she flips off the entire group.

Near the end, Probst asks which of the players are seriously worried they could be the one voted out tonight, and six people raise their hands. When it’s time to vote, Stephen looks incredibly grim-faced, as he appears to be contemplating using his advantage. But he votes normally.

The votes are read and … Kelly Wigglesworth is voted out! Stephen, Jeremy, and Spencer did join with the three women. By the way, Kelly is not one of the players who said she was worried tonight! She obviously should have been.

Favorites: Spencer, Joe, Jeremy, Stephen, Tasha, Kelley Wentworth, Ciera

No chance: Abi, Kimmi, Keith

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Kass (Spencer), Andrew (Joe), Kelly (Joe)

“Joe is my white whale and I am Ahab.” Survivor Cambodia Second Chance November 11, 2015 recap

17 Nov

The episode begins with Andrew feeling good about his alliances with Jeremy and Joe, and Ciera thinking about pulling in Stephen to try to oust Joe. Of course, voting Joe out has certainly been on Stephen’s mind. Mr. Fischbach notes: “I don’t want to be run over by a bunch of bros.”

Being on the team that wins the reward challenge, Ciera takes the opportunity to campaign. She says that on her prior season she thought she was in a tight group but it didn’t work out. No way Jeremy, Tasha, Stephen, and Andrew are breaking up, she says, her comments intended for Joe. Joe agrees with this, as he tells the camera later.

The group was brought to the reward in a rickshaw that was powered by a motorcycle (we learn that this contraption is known as a tuk-tuk), and Keith decides to try and start one up and take it for a spin. He does, and everyone else jumps in for a ride up and down the beach. A wonderful, carefree moment.

Meanwhile, Stephen is presenting his “oust Joe” idea to Jeremy, who already nixed it in the prior episode. Stephen also pitches Spencer, who seems to be in, and Tasha, who obviously isn’t and does a poor job of trying to act noncommittal. Either she warns Andrew or he overhears something, because Andrew soon warns Joe. Joe thought something like this was coming, but not this early in the game.

Also, Andrew tells Joe, “On my kids’ lives, I will never write your name down.”

Joe makes it moot for now by winning the immunity challenge, which involves balancing a ball on a platform steered by long ropes. Stephen laments, “Joe is my white whale and I am Ahab.” Joe would like to get Ciera, Kelley Wentworth, and Abi to ally with him to get Stephen out. Andrew certainly loves the Stephen idea — he hasn’t liked him ever since Fischbach committed the unforgivable crime of not being blown away by one of Andrew’s stories. Andrew passes on this nomination to Jeremy, but Jeremy doesn’t like it. As we know but Andrew doesn’t, Jeremy wants to be the new J.T., i.e. the person who takes Stephen all the way to the end and then beats him handily. So Andrew is overruled within his alliance, and Kelley Wentworth and Ciera are mentioned as candidates to vote out. Joe alerts the two women that they are on the chopping block now, not Stephen.

At tribal council, Kass walks in as the first jury member and flips off Andrew as she does so. Why Andrew, I wonder? Kass did have six votes against her last episode and we didn’t see anything to indicate Andrew was the mastermind. Anyway, Kelley says at tribal council that four people are running the game, but confusingly, the four she lists are: Jeremy, Tasha, Andrew, and Stephen or Joe. This is debated for a while, and Ciera repeats her lament that so many players aren’t playing aggressively. Of course, what’s left unsaid is that there are good reasons to stay under the radar!

It’s time to vote, and when Andrew walks past Kass, she makes a “P.U., he stinks” hand motion.

Jeff Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol, and Kelley pulls one out, to the shock of everyone else, including her ally Ciera! Remember, she acquired it back on the very first episode, and she and Jeremy are the only ones who know for sure that there are any idols in the game this season at all. Probst reads the first nine votes, and all of them are for Kelley. And while he does, the show cuts back and forth between all of the tense faces, as everyone wonders who the three girls voted for since that person will be going home. The votes are read: they’re for Andrew Savage. Shockingly, three votes in a tribe of twelve are enough to vote him out! Abi tells him in mock consolation “You made it to the jury…” and he sticks up his middle finger toward her as he walks out. Kass is loving every second and Ciera can’t believe her good fortune.

This sequence was absolutely masterful, as by cutting back and forth the producers were able to show us the expressions and reactions of all twelve players plus Kass on the jury. Bravo, Survivor!

I do think Andrew was the perfect choice for the three women, as he was the one who tied Jeremy, Tasha, and Joe all together.

In my rankings I am moving Spencer past Tasha into the #1 spot. Tasha seems a bit paranoid this season and not very likeable, neither of which applies to Spencer at the moment.

Favorites: Spencer, Tasha, Joe, Jeremy, Kelley Wentworth, Stephen, Ciera

No chance: Abi, Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, Keith

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Kass (Spencer), Andrew (Joe)

“You Just Unleashed The Beast”: Survivor Cambodia Second Chance November 4 2015 recap

4 Nov

Even though we just shook up the two tribes last episode, this one begins with the tribes merging. Thirteen people are left in the game. So the question becomes, who will be able to make an alliance of seven?

Andrew and Jeremy are reunited, and know they have Kimmi, Tasha, Stephen, and Kelly Wigglesworth in the fold. So they only need one more.

Meanwhile, Kass and Kelley Wentworth feel good about Ciera and Keith. Joe is someone they hope to rope in, while Abi and Spencer seem like free agents. (Why Abi is not on the same side as Andrew and Tasha isn’t explained).

Spencer says “Joe’s a guy I wouldn’t mind sticking with and swinging with.” As the two talk, Spencer points out he has no alliance that’s lasted longer than a day, while Joe’s alliances have not been tested since he hasn’t been to tribal council yet at all! (That seems incredible, but the same is true for Keith this season.)

Kass tries to talk with her old Cagayan teammate Tasha, but Tasha just tries to answer everything with a noncommittal non-answer. Is the original Bayon group sticking together, Kass asks? Tasha replies in the negative.  All of this frustrates Kass who tells the camera, “You just unleashed the beast.” The next day Tasha admits she was just putting up smokescreens and tells Kass she has no reason to tell her the truth. The two go back to camp and continue their argument, and Ciera joins in by sowing some seeds of discontent about Andrew, which he disputes.

The first individual immunity challenge is won by Joe. Upon the return to camp, the name on everybody’s lips to be voted out is that of Kass… even Keith agrees, surprisingly. And the supposed swing votes Joe and Spencer seem firmly with the Jeremy group. They all decide to split the vote between Kass and Ciera. Kass anticipates the split, which would have to be 5-4. So if she, Ciera, Wentworth, and Abi could somehow find a fifth person to vote against Tasha, Tasha would go home.

Unsurprisingly, the person Kass targets to try to sway is Spencer. OK, sounds good, Spencer says. It’s not convincing. But Spencer is secretly pleased to have been offered the deal: “I have never been in this position before to influence the game.”

Jeff Probst says 13 people is the biggest-ever Tribal Council. In the end, Kass is voted out 6-4-2-1, with votes as follows:

Voting for Kass: Keith, Kelley Wentworth, Tasha, Andrew, Stephen, Kimmi. The surprise here is Kelley, who evidently saw no value in being on the losing side.

Voting for Ciera: Kelly Wigglesworth, Jeremy, Joe, Spencer.

Voting for Tasha: Kass, Abi.

Voting for Andrew: Ciera, in a somewhat puzzling move.

Favorites: Tasha, Spencer, Joe, Jeremy, Andrew, Kelley Wentworth, Stephen, Ciera

No chance: Abi, Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, Keith

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Kass (Spencer)

“I do not want to be the biggest guy out here”: Survivor Cambodia Second Chance October 28, 2015 recap

29 Oct

Surely Spencer is destined to win this game, right? It seems that every single week it comes down to him and someone else, and the other person is voted out. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode begins with a motorboat heading for a tribe’s beach and Jeff Probst getting out. Now, we’ve seen this happen before, but only when someone is writhing in pain and needs medical attention. This time everyone is asleep. Probst asks Terry to come with him out of earshot of the others, and reveals that Terry’s son is in the hospital and that both his wife and the doctor think it’s serious enough that Terry should be there with them. Terry’s immediate reaction is that the decision is no decision at all. He grabs his bag, says his goodbyes, and leaves the game.

What a bummer! Not only do I like the guy, I thought his process of adapting to the way the game has changed was one of the most interesting storylines, and since he was flying under the radar a bit I thought he actually had a shot to win the game.

The three tribes come together for a reward challenge, and everyone knows something’s amiss when the tribe that went to tribal council isn’t the last to walk in. Everyone gets the news about Terry. Probst asks each tribe how they’re doing and they each say they’re a tight group, a happy family, etc. So of course Probst says the tribes are being switched up again and we’re going from three tribes back to two, with the tribes again determined by random draw.

One tribe is Kass, Woo, Andrew, Ciera, Abi, Spencer, and Kelly Wigglesworth. This marks the first time in the game that Kass and Spencer, both “Brains” from Cagayan, have been on the same tribe, and Spencer goes so far as to call Kass his arch-nemesis. Now, I can’t say I understand the reason for this rivalry. Kass lasted longer in Cagayan than Spencer, but it’s not like she engineered his ouster other than by winning a critical immunity challenge that Spencer needed to win.

Anyway, the other tribe is Jeremy, Kimmi, Keith, Kelley Wentworth, Joe, Tasha, and Stephen. Probst immediately notices that all of those people were on the same tribe at the beginning, except for Kelley.

So now the players have to consider:

  • Who their potential allies could be on this new tribe
  • Relationships that were formed in the three tribes that were just broken up
  • Relationships from the two original tribes
  • Relationships that formed before the season
  • … and of course, relationships from the players’ prior seasons. It’s very complicated!

For now, there’s a reward challenge with food at stake, and two entertaining moments: Stephen only has to slide, walk, and toss a ring, but still manages to look ridiculously inept at all three. Then there’s the face-off between Kimmi and Abi. Kimmi throws her ring and it looks like it’s going to be on target but then slips off… but Abi has already thrown down her ring in disgust and started to walk away! Her tribemates’ screams move her to pick it back up.

When everyone heads to camp with their new tribes, Andrew feels great. He still has his allies Abi and Woo (though not Tasha), and he hopes to reconnect with his former tribemates Kass and Ciera as well. But uh-oh: he is quoted as saying “I’m not going anywhere.” Such a confident assertion often means that person is about to be voted out. By the way, you would not want to have Savage as a coworker. The guy exaggerates everything. I could totally see him telling the boss that accomplishing some task was up there with the labors of Hercules when in fact all he did was write one email … and the boss giving him a raise!

Anyway, Andrew and his hoped-for group of five soon plan to get rid of Spencer, and Andrew briefs everyone to lie to Spencer and say they’re voting for Ciera. Now, if you’ve seen prior seasons you know that the person in Ciera’s position is always at best uncomfortable with it, and at worst it drives them to a different alliance to turn the tables. If you’re Ciera, you surely think: what if everyone is actually voting for me for real? Then I’m voted out without having even tried to defend myself.

Though actually in this case Ciera’s objection is more along the lines of: why is he pushing me as plausibly being on the outs, rather than Woo, who wasn’t part of the original group?

Andrew continues to put his plan in motion by having a talk with Spencer and pretending that he wants to ally with him, and the former fan falls for it.

On the other tribe, Joe tells Kelley he wants to keep her around, even if she’s the favorite to be ousted. And Joe shops the idea to Stephen of voting Kimmi out. Alarmed, Stephen tells Jeremy about the suggestion and says that Joe needs to go. But Jeremy is not in favor of that, explaining to the camera later that as long as Joe’s around Jeremy is merely a secondary threat, or as he puts it, “I do not want to be the biggest guy out here.”

Stephen is very frustrated that he can’t win anyone over to his Joe plan, so much so that he breaks down during his interview. He says “I’ve been kicking myself, you know, for so many years just for not getting rid of the golden boy last time.” (Meaning J.T. in Survivor: Tocantins). But a Joe ouster “would be the move that set the tone for the whole season.”

The immunity challenge is the tried and true “eat disgusting local delicacies” contest,which Probst tells everyone has been run 14 previous times. This is a great time in the season to use it, because sometimes after a reshuffle tribes are uneven in terms of athletic skill. This requires a different type of talent. Interesting moments here:

  • The third group has to eat a pig’s snout.
  • On one of the last rounds, Kimmi and Woo face off and have to eat a pig’s brain. Kimmi flat-out refuses, saying she hasn’t even eaten pork in years, and Woo polishes his off in seconds. This sequence would be disturbing to me if I were Kimmi’s ally!
  • Ciera has a chance to seal the win going against Kelley to eat a scorpion, but for the second time Ciera can’t keep her food down.
  • The final round is that old Survivor favorite, balut, i.e. a duck embryo. Kass faces Tasha but Kass can’t keep it down, and Tasha wins. Crazy that nobody seems to perceive Tasha as a threat in this game!
  • And as everyone files out to head back to camp, Jeremy veers off to grab a bite of leftover balut! That’s how hungry these players are.

So now the Andrew/Ciera tribe has to vote someone out. Ciera, like several of the players, was alarmed by Terry’s exit earlier since it brought home the reality that this second chance to play the game could be the last, and could end at any time. Ciera gets together with Abi and Kass and asks who this Savage guy thinks he is to boldly nominate her as the fake target. She also says they would be foolish to keep Woo in this game over Spencer. Wait, if they’re so mad at Andrew, why are they targeting his ally Woo and not Andrew himself? Probably because that’s what gets irrational Abi on board, she’s still sore at Woo for voting for her twice.

Time for Kass to take a walk with her “nemesis,” Spencer. He finds it awkward but she has business to get to, namely to tell Spencer that Savage is planning to oust him. Spencer may seem like a master strategist, but he is absolutely shocked to find out Andrew is not his pal after all. Once he digests it, he’s certainly fine with voting for Woo.

But Kass indicates that she’s not sure what to do. She knows Savage, Woo, and Kelly will be voting for Spencer, and she knows Spencer, Ciera, and Abi will be voting for Woo. So Kass can decide who goes. Which direction will she take? Also, it’s her first tribal council of the year, are we going to see the kinder, gentler version of her, or will we see “Chaos Kass”?

She does indeed cast her lot with Spencer, so Woo is voted out. Savage looks incredibly hurt as the result is read, while Spencer does his usual I-dodged-a-bullet deep breath. Woo gamely gives a grin and says “blindside!” but as he brings his torch to be snuffed he casts a questioning look at Savage, who shrugs back indicating he has no idea what just happened.

I’m sorry to see Woo go. I didn’t think he had a chance to win, but he is very likable. Oddly, we hear his exit interview before we go to the commercial break, why is the show doing it differently than they always do?

After the ads and previews we find out why: we’re shown a smiling Terry, sitting on his front lawn with his son. Turns out the young man actually got a heart transplant, which was successful. A “second chance,” indeed.

Favorites: Tasha, Spencer, Joe, Kelley Wentworth, Jeremy, Andrew, Stephen, Ciera, Kass

No chance: Abi, Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, Keith

“She’s a snake in the grass”: Survivor Cambodia Second Chance October 21 2015 recap

21 Oct

Early on in this episode we see the trio of Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, and Monica. You could be forgiven for not having noticed that any of the three are on this season at all! But we find that their group is not the Sisterhood of No Screen Time, but rather a crab-fishing society. We see conflict when Kimmi finds some humongous clams and Monica admonishes her for taking too many at once. It’s not clear whether her objection is for environmental reasons or because she worries that the tribe will run out of food later in the season.

The reward challenge is won by the tribe of Keith, Kelley, Terry, Joe, Kass, and Ciera. As soon as Terry goes for a swim the others declare that they are a solid five, i.e. Terry is the odd man out.

Meanwhile, the yellow tribe (Andrew, Tasha, Woo, Abi) came in second. As they relax, Woo tells a heartwarming story about his mother’s battle with a serious illness. But it turns out this falls into the incredibly broad category of “things that make Abi paranoid.” Did he use the story to bring others to his side? Abi voices her concerns to Tasha, and we viewers see it takes every bit of Tasha’s self-control to pretend to be sympathetic to Abi.

The immunity challenge involves launching balls with a slingshot of sorts, and Stephen’s ineptitude continues as he misses all of his tribe’s targets entirely to score a point for the other team! (In fairness, a couple of others come close to doing the same). The yellow tribe wins their first immunity, while Spencer’s group comes in last and we are once again treated to Spencer’s ever-recurring exasperated facial expression.

Spencer and Kelly Wigglesworth are the ones on the outs. Jeremy, Kimmi, Monica, and Stephen all seemingly agree that while they trust Kelly more, Spencer needs them more because he has fewer other allies. Later Monica floats the idea to Kimmi that Spencer should be the one to go to keep the women strong and pave the way for a potential women’s alliance. For some reason that isn’t clear, Kimmi is outraged by this and tells the others that Monica is a snake in the grass.

As we go to tribal council, all signs point to Monica being voted out, simply because Kelly is hardly seen in the episode. After some misdirection and to the surprise of Kelly, Monica is indeed voted out 3-2-1.

Alas, Monica Padilla is not a candidate to get into my list of greatest players in Survivor history. On the positive side, if I ever compile a ranking of the cutest butts in Survivor history I think she will be a shoo-in.

This was a fairly slow episode. It seems fair to assume that a merge might be coming up next week.

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

Not sure: Stephen, Kimmi, Kelly Wigglesworth, Keith, Kass, Ciera

No chance: Abi, Woo

“I’m yelling at someone else!” Survivor Cambodia Second Chance October 14 2015 recap

14 Oct

We begin with Jeff Varner assuring his tribemates that he’s loyal, and later assuring the camera that he hates doing this: “I’ve got to kiss their asses.”

Tasha tells Woo that Varner is the source of all the drama, and that Woo is not going anywhere. Abi-Maria overhears this and confronts Tasha about it, refusing to speak in private. Why is Tasha assuring Woo (who voted for Abi twice) that he’s going to stick around, Abi asks. In the understatement of the week, Andrew Savage tells the camera that Abi has “some paranoia.” Also, their tribe is struggling with the fact that they have no shelter and had to start a camp from scratch the prior week.

On another tribe, Jeremy is trying to bond with Stephen Fishbach and we find out that Jeremy thinks he can be Stephen’s new J.T., i.e. the person who goes with him all the way to the finals and then beats him.

The reward challenge involves slogging through some water to get a bag and then trying to launch the bag onto a platform by jumping on the other end of a seesaw. The twist is that each tribe has to pick one person to do the challenge from beginning to end. Savage, Jeremy, and Terry are chosen. A couple of rounds in, all three are clearly spent, and it’s obvious that running through the water is very strenuous. Savage guts it out to win.

We haven’t heard from Kass much, but now we see her working on some kind of bead necklace. Kelley Wentworth suspects Kass is constructing a fake immunity idol. When she tries to go closer to have a look, Kass shoos her away. But then we find out the secret: it’s a birthday present for Kelley! The kinder, gentler Kass is born.

As for Spencer, he and Kelly Wigglesworth are in the minority on their tribe and presumably on the chopping block, so he makes a point of telling everyone that Kelly is well-connected and tight with Terry and Woo. Monica sees through this lie, and decides that Spencer should be the first one to go if their tribe goes to tribal council.

The challenge is an old Survivor standby: everyone is blindfolded except for one person on each tribe who has to yell out what to do to the rest of the team. I think this may have been used in every single Survivor season (one source says it has been used in 18 of the 31 seasons). And why not? At a minimum, there’s always some entertaining confusion and a few wince-inducing collisions. I don’t recall the blocks the players have to pick up being quite so heavy and bulky before — you need two people to lift one unless you are Joe who manages to do it alone. The best moment is when someone on Kass’s tribe asks why she isn’t giving them any direction and she yells, “I’m yelling at someone else!”

Spencer’s tribe wins the challenge. That still leaves two tribes to fight it out for the final spot, but Savage’s tribe is too spent to do anything but stand there and watch Terry’s tribe take second place.

Who will be voted off Savage’s tribe? Tasha says it should be Jeff Varner. And she wants to keep Woo because he will help them much more in challenges. But Varner has saved Abi from elimination twice. Woo gives Abi a sales pitch but she reminds him that he voted for her twice. Tasha and Savage are worried that Varner the salesman will sweet-talk Abi. Sure enough as soon as he sees her he says “I miss my Abi time.” By the way, the idea that Abi could join Woo and Varner to vote out Tasha or Savage is never brought up.

At tribal council, Varner is in full-on salesman mode, but surprisingly so is Woo and neither of them wants to give up with making their pitches. In fact when Jeff Probst says it’s time to vote, Woo even makes one last pitch to Abi before doing so.

Jeff Varner is voted out four votes to one. It is a shame to lose a colorful character, luckily there are still plenty left.

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

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

No chance: Abi, Woo

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

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


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