“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)

“These are a bunch of gamers sittin’ right here”: Survivor Worlds Apart April 8 2015 recap

8 Apr

The episode begins with Rodney telling Will that he wants to get rid of Mike (dramatic!) … that is, sometime after everyone else from the other alliance has been voted out (OK, that is much less dramatic).

There is a reward challenge, won by Joe, and he can take two people with him for a zipline tour and a pizza party. He picks Tyler and Will, who are great choices. Even though they voted against him in the prior vote, both could conceivably switch allegiances if a better deal came along. Given two additional choices, he picks Carolyn and Shirin, obviously continuing with the same criteria. Joe doesn’t make the mistake so many make by taking Jenn and Hali — he is already very tight with them, and their trio needs to recruit more members.

At the reward, Carolyn somehow manages to drink from a bottle of soda that has a tightly rolled-up immunity idol clue in it without noticing the clue! But Joe, sitting across from her, does see it, so he quickly asks if he can drink the rest of her soda. He pours it into his mouth and then unobtrusively grabs the clue from his mouth … but Tyler sees him do it. He mock-complains about Joe drinking all of the soda, and shoots Joe a look as he says “We’ll have to talk about that.”

Early the next morning when everyone’s back at the main camp, Joe decides to take Tyler aside to read him the clue. Mike is only feigning sleep, and shadows them.

Tyler is in a bit of a pickle because he doesn’t want to alienate his new alliance by suddenly being tight with Joe. So he tells Mike about the clue. Mike immediately mobilizes everyone to search for Joe. Mike finds him, but doesn’t see Joe find an idol. So when Joe is back at camp, Mike simply yells out congratulations to Joe for finding an idol, even though Joe doesn’t have it!

I’m pretty sure this strategy has never been done before. Will this go down in history as the Mike Move, to be used in many Survivors to come? Well, I should describe part two of the move: look for the idol yourself after you’ve basically told everyone there’s no need to look for one anymore! Mike does, and seems to look for a long time. He finds it, and cries with joy when he does. By the way, in the midst of his search he comes across a termite’s nest … and snacks on some of the termites!

Meanwhile, Shirin tries to make her usual awkward conversation with Dan, and Dan has some things to get off his chest. “You’re a fan … why is it that fans can’t do basic math?… Your game is done.” And those were just the highlights. It was more like a speech by a juror at final tribal council than something people usually say in the middle of the game! Well, I can certainly see why all the other players are annoyed by Shirin, because I as a viewer certainly am.

The immunity challenge involves moving a puzzle piece through several sliding puzzles, then solving a final sliding puzzle. Dan twice announces that he has it right, prompting Jeff to hold everything while he comes over to check it. Both times Dan is wrong … they show the board and it isn’t even close! The actual winner is Joe … yes, the same Joe who won the reward challenge and also the last immunity challenge.

At camp, Mike’s alliance can’t vote for Joe, so who will it be? Someone suggests Shirin, whom nobody likes. But Mike throws out the name Hali. It would seem to make sense to break up Joe’s alliance, and he is much tighter with Hali than with Shirin. However Shirin has been featured quite prominently this episode, as have Dan and Mike. So surely one of those three will be the one booted.

This is bad for Mike: Sierra is sitting with Shirin, Jenn, and Hali and tells them she wants an all-girl alliance, and she still hates Dan and wants to vote him out. But there are 11 people in the game, so those four plus Joe are not enough, they need one more person. So Shirin tries to recruit her former white collar tribemate Tyler, and he seems very much on board with the idea. By the way, why are the women not recruiting Will, who would seem to have the least allegiance to Mike and Dan of anyone?

At tribal council, Mike notes “These are a bunch of gamers sittin’ right here.” Everyone is playing pretty hard, and not shy about lying.

It certainly looks like Dan is in trouble. The votes are read… and it is a 6-4 vote for Hali! Wow, I did not see that coming. (By the way, there must have been a 7th vote for Hali not shown). This means Sierra decided not to go with the girls, nor did Tyler change alliances. Perhaps they heeded Dan’s comment during tribal council that flippers never win the game. Or more likely, Joe’s three wins in a row made everyone realize that they have to take out his alliance because he is now the overwhelming favorite to win the game.

Favorites to win: 1) Joe, 2) Mike, 3) Tyler, 4) Jenn, 5) Will

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

“I feel like I’m Luc Longley, bro.” Survivor Worlds Apart April 1 2015 recap

1 Apr

The episode begins with Mike having to do damage control. He knew Rodney was going to be mad. Mike points out that everyone thought Joaquin was “reeling in” Rodney. But Rodney insists the bromance was a faux-mance, and he was just pretending to be Joaquin’s friend to spy on him.

Rodney tells Mike “I expected me and you would be Scottie Pippen / Michael Jordan, now I feel like I’m Luc Longley, bro.” Translation for those who don’t know that these people are all 1990s Chicago Bulls basketball players: Rodney thought he and Mike were the two stars, but he feels like an irrelevant, replaceable member of the team now. Hey, Luc Longley is Australian so he probably doesn’t watch Survivor anyway.

It’s time for the two tribes to merge, with Jeff Probst nowhere in sight. They get a big meal and a note telling them which tribe’s beach they’ll be living on, but when they get there they find the shelter was taken down and they’ll have to build a new one.

Jenn and Hali wonder who they can trust. Certainly not Kelly, who insisted she had no more allegiance to the blue-collar group but dropped that pretense the second the tribes merged. So the two gals decide to ally with the white-collar group. Meanwhile, Rodney swears revenge against Dan, Mike, and Sierra. Still, Mike, no fool he, is working hard to shore up his alliance with Rodney.

The immunity challenge is an old favorite: everyone wraps their legs around a pole and tries to stay on it as long as they can.

It comes down to Joe, Carolyn, and Jenn, despite the latter getting stung by a bee in her nether regions while she’s up there! Finally Joe wins, foiling the plans of Mike who wanted to vote Joe out next. Mike’s second priority is to break up the “power couple” of Jenn and Hali. And Carolyn also wants to break up those two.

For reasons that aren’t explained, the blue collars think they can rope in Will to vote with them against Jenn and Hali. But since they’re not sure they can trust him, they tell him they’re voting Hali when it’s actually Jenn. They figure that if they see Hali’s name written down at tribal council they will know Will can be trusted.

Shirin is worried about the vote. She notes that the blue collars have shown that even though they hate each other they will still vote together. By the way, it’s somewhat surprising that Shirin is still around, but now that she has made it this far she could go all the way to the end. Since everyone thinks she’s annoying, who wouldn’t want to take her to the finals?

As tribal council gets close, Jenn reveals to Hali that she has an idol.

At tribal council, Jeff Probst notes that no idol has been played in the game so far. Well, Jenn does play hers after the vote, and it’s a good thing she did because there were seven votes for her! There was one for Hali and four for Kelly, so Kelly is voted out. Well, at least the blue collars know they can trust Will now! Also, Jenn’s work is not done, as she has three allies (Joe, Hali, and Shirin) and, at least for now, seven enemies.

Favorites to win: 1) Joe, 2) Mike, 3) Jenn, 4) Tyler, 5) Will

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

“Bro, bro, bro, it’s gonna work out so perfect.” Survivor Worlds Apart 3/25/15 recap

25 Mar

Rodney tells us that he can’t connect with “a bible bumper from Texas” (Mike) or “a hick from Maine” (Dan), but he can with Joaquin, whose Long Island roots appeal to the Bostonian. “We work hahhd, we party hahhda,” Rodney says.

The reward challenge is not a new one (using elastic slingshots to hit targets) but it’s fairly stirring because Red is able to pull out a victory. Since every single athletic person is on Blue, it’s a big deal.

So the Red team gets to watch sea turtles lay their eggs. Meanwhile the other tribe is strategizing. Joaquin says Joe needs to be taken out, and Joaq does have some numbers since he is tight with Tyler and now Rodney too.

How do we know it won’t work? Well, any time on Survivor we are shown someone telling the camera words to the effect of “I’m in total control of this game,” we know that person will either be voted out that episode, or at the very least will experience a setback. Sure enough, Rodney boasts “I got so many numbers, it’s not even funny.”

The other thing you should never do (besides boasting in this fashion) is that you should never throw a challenge, because this backfires every single time. But Rodney wants to do exactly that, to send Joe home even quicker. Mike is on board with it, even though he knows this hasn’t turned out well in the past. Mike’s thinking is: his own number one ally in the game is Kelly, who is on the other tribe with nobody else from the old Blue Collar group over there to help her. So she is presumably in danger of being voted out if Blue loses.

The immunity challenge is a memory game. These are usually quite boring but this time it’s one person from each tribe facing off, and when one person thinks he has a sequence of objects memorized, he can lower a curtain that blocks the objects from both players. Then both have to try to reconstruct the sequence at a table about ten yards away.

After a few rounds the teams are tied (thanks to Rodney who of course was failing on purpose). It comes down to Mike and Kelly, the two allies. They race to the table and neither gets it right (though of course Mike is trying to get it wrong). So Jeff Probst re-sets the round. As the two get ready, Mike murmurs “Listen to me, I’m giving it to you.” With Mike not trying once again, Kelly still gets it wrong again! An amused Probst says he will cut the sequence from six objects to five to make it easier for someone to win. And this time Mike murmurs to Kelly that he will set everything up correctly except two bottles will be reversed from their correct positions. With him coaching her at every turn, she gets it right and thus the Red team wins their second challenge in a row.

Afterwards Mike eyes the Rodney and Joaquin friendship and decides they are now too tight: “Power couples have to be split up before they can start making power moves.”

Meanwhile Rodney and Joaquin seem to be in a contest to say who can say the word bro the most often. Advantage Joaquin, who says “Bro, bro, bro, it’s gonna work out so perfect.”

The critical factor will obviously be: will Sierra ally with these two bros plus Tyler? Or will she go with Mike and Dan, and their new ally Joe? She is still mad at Dan from before, but she doesn’t exactly love Rodney either.

At tribal council, we see something I don’t believe I’ve seen before at that event: a snap-brim hat, worn by Dan. But more importantly, Sierra makes her decision and Joaquin is voted out.

Favorites to win: 1) Joe, 2) Mike, 3) Jenn, 4) Tyler, 5) Kelly, 6) Will

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

“I’m jacked for a reason”: Survivor Worlds Apart 3/4, 3/11 and 3/18 recap

18 Mar

We start by looking at the blue collar tribe, and we find that Dan the postman managed to lose his underwear underwater in a freak accident. So he somehow makes an extra shirt into a pair of shorts.

On the white collar tribe, Max starts walking around naked. He tells the camera that being naked is a good way to get time by himself. Shirin follows his example, at least as far as her lower body is concerned.

On the no-collar tribe, Nina the deaf woman feels excluded by the other women and tells them this, tearfully. Though it seems much of this exclusion is a misunderstanding based on her not hearing some of the things people say. So now we have covered the most abrasive person on each tribe … maybe. As for the coconut salesman Vince on the no-collar tribe, he tells the viewer that he likes friends he can share 10-second embraces with, unlike his tribemates here.

Ten seconds seems pretty long for a hug. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, Nina, Vince, and the “Youtube sensation” Will seem to have an alliance, with Joe (who is somewhat similar to Malcolm from Survivor: Philippines), Hali, and Jenn making up the other alliance on the tribe. No-collar finishes last in the challenge, so they have to vote someone out, and that person is Vince. A shame, he was a great character.

As we begin the March 11 episode we find that all did not go smoothly at the prior vote. There were supposed to be two votes for Vince and two for Nina, yet Vince got three. It turned out Will just didn’t want to vote Nina and cast his for Vince instead, causing his tribemates to distrust him.

On the white collar tribe, everyone is searching for an immunity idol (not knowing Carolyn already has it, with the exception of Tyler who does not reveal his knowledge). Shirin proposes unilateral disarmament in the form of everyone taking a break from searching. Joaquin will have none of it and tells Shirin he hasn’t trusted her since day one. However Joaquin does show the clue to Tyler (not that it does Tyler any good).

Over at the blue-collar tribe, Texan Mike has been giving the others grief for not working hard enough, and Rodney tells him he’ll work when he pleases. Referring to his muscles, Rodney also notes, “I’m jacked for a reason. I got motivation, dedication, bro.” Rodney also notes the “fact” that houses in Texas cost $100,000 while in Massachusetts they cost $400,000.

The no-collar tribe has to go to Tribal Council once again, and even Will is no longer behind Nina. She is voted out over Will, 3-2.

The March 18 double episode starts with Mike killing and skinning a snake. Everyone is hungry so they eat it, including Rodney who has made up with Mike in the meantime.

The reward challenge is the annual “blindfold” challenge where each team has one person with no blindfold who has to call out what to do to all of his teammates. This time, the most difficult part involves two people having to hoist up a platform on pulleys. (By the way, before the challenge Tyler addresses Jeff Probst as “J.P.” That might be a first).

In the course of the challenge we see Probst warn the players a couple of times that the platform they have to hoist is heavy, and they need to let it down gently instead of just letting go. Since we never hear such extraneous warnings under normal circumstances, we know that a platform must be about to fall on someone. Sure enough, it falls on Kelly’s head, causing a huge cut and a lot of blood. Wait a minute, who’s Kelly? I don’t think this woman has had a line all season, but it turns out she is a cop from the state of New York. The medic puts a bandage on her forehead and she toughs out the rest of the challenge, but her blue collar tribe still loses.

The no-collar tribe, who came in first (their first win of any sort this season), gets some chickens as their reward, and they resolve to kill one of them for the meat. Vegetarian Jenn can’t stand to look, so she leaves camp, and decides to look for an idol despite not having any clues. Sure enough, she finds one.

The immunity challenge is similar to the old arcade game “Ice Cold Beer”. The blue team comes in last. Lindsey, the tattooed hairdresser who has been sparring with Rodney all season, takes Dan aside to say she wants to vote out Rodney. Dan indicates he’s 100% with her, but then tells the camera “I am so much smarter than I look.” Meanwhile, Bostonian Rodney is telling viewers “I’m the Tom Brady here,” i.e. the leader.

It boils down to Lindsey and Sierra versus Rodney, Mike, Kelly, and Dan. But within the latter alliance is a sub-alliance: Kelly and Mike. And they don’t trust Rodney. At Tribal Council there is much criticism of Rodney, who says in his defense “My mother will tell you I’m the biggest sweet-hahht out there.” The vote is tied between Rodney, Lindsey, and Sierra, and the re-vote is 3-0 for Lindsey.

As we begin the second hour, Sierra feels betrayed, especially because two votes were cast for her. For whatever reason, Dan takes this opportunity to critique Sierra‘s performance in the game so far, which alienates her even more. Luckily for Sierra, the next morning Probst announces a tribe switch.

There are now only Blue and Red teams. Blue has the old blue-collar members Dan, Mike, Rodney, and Sierra, plus Tyler, Joaquin, and Joe (i.e. pretty much everyone who is athletic). The Red team has no-collar Will, Hali, and Jenn joined by Max, Carolyn, and Shirin from white collar, plus Kelly from blue collar who is very stressed at being by herself. among strangers.

Actually Kelly is in good shape, at least for now, because once they get to camp after a reward challenge (easily won by Blue) both sides are recruiting Kelly to break a presumed 3-3 tie. (By the way Kelly says she is an undercover cop … can she still be that after announcing what she does on a national show?).

Meanwhile Shirin wastes no time driving everyone nuts with incessant talking, just like she did on white-collar. I feel sorry for anyone at Yahoo who had to go to meetings with this woman! But Max tries his best to get on people’s nerves too.

Then Max goes swimming and comes back with two bleeding feet. It seems a stingray stung him twice, once in each foot. Jenn the seasoned sailor knows that the cure for this is to soak the wound in hot water, so she grabs the almost-boiling drinking water pot and Max puts his feet in it. This soothes his pain. However, when he takes his feet out everyone sees he has a plantar wart, which they are very grossed out by since he just had his foot in the pot they use for drinking water!

On the Blue team, while there are four former blue-collar people, remember Sierra feels alienated from the others. So Mike and Dan (presumably Rodney too) know they are on the wrong end of a 4-3 vote if they don’t have Sierra on their side. Mike tells Dan he will have to apologize to Sierra for his harsh comments. And Mike warns Dan not to try to get too cute or complicated with it, just sincerely say he is sorry and that’s all. Dan says OK but then tells the camera “I’m twice your age! I have talked to so many more girls than you have, it’s silly.” So he proceeds to take a walk with Sierra and sort of apologize but then go back to arguing with Sierra about all the things she has done wrong. This was painful to watch, he botched it so badly.

On the Red team, Jenn, Hali and Will think they are against Max, Shirin and Carolyn and that Kelly is the swing vote. But then Carolyn shocks Jenn by telling her “I am not part of that three.” So now it’s easy: the vote will be for either Max or Shirin (Kelly is not foolish enough to align with those two). Somewhat surprisingly, it ends up being Max.

Then again, maybe it’s not that surprising. Max spends the entire Tribal Council dropping references to and catchphrases from previous Survivor seasons, which is already quite annoying after three minutes. If he has been doing this for days in camp, it’s no wonder everyone has had enough.

OK, it’s time to go on record with some rankings. I can’t remember having six people on my “no chance” list this early before!

Favorites to win: Joe, Tyler, Kelly, Jenn

Not sure yet: Mike, Will

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


“Too early to be a villain” : Survivor Worlds Apart 2/25/2015 Premiere Recap

26 Feb

“Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs. No Collar”  is our theme for the season, and as usual we get preliminary profiles of a few players as we see them take a jeep ride to the beach. Now, the “collar” designations are probably a bit loose. Take Sierra, a “barrel racer” — is being in the rodeo a blue collar profession?

When the tribes assemble on the beach, they are already more or less wearing the colors that are going to be their tribe colors, and oddly, the no-collar tribe is already wearing their buffs with tribe name! That’s very odd indeed.

Jeff Probst tells each tribe they have to pick one person to make an important decision. When these have been chosen, these leaders each have to pick an additional person to join them.

The white collar tribe picks Joaquin, who seems eager to position himself as the designated douchebag of the group. He in turn picks So, a retail buyer who has already boasted that she has made everyone who has ever worked for her cry at some point.

The no-collar tribe picks Will, who is described as a “Youtube sensation” who hit it big with a video of himself and his wife singing at a gas station. And the tribe chooses Will for the role because … he promises to make them sandwiches. Jeff Probst can’t believe his ears, and asks how Will proposes to do this. He doesn’t have much of an answer. Will in turn picks Jenn … because she’s good-looking? She certainly is that, though we later find out that her personality is a bit prickly.

The blue-collar tribe picks a loudmouth mailman named Dan, and a fellow named Mike volunteers to be #2.

When the tribes get to their camps, the respective duos go off by themselves to find they have a choice between “Deceive” and “Honest”. The former is a small bag of beans for the tribe plus an immunity idol clue, while the latter is a larger bag and no idol clue.

Now, you’d think anyone who saw the Beauty vs. Brawn vs. Brains season would know that “Honest” is the only choice, simply because after any kind of merge the various tribes would compare notes, and expose anyone who is deceitful (as happened to Morgan on that season).

On the blue-collar tribe, Dan says that villains get further in the game, but “it’s too early to be a villain,” so he and Mike go with Honest. The no-collar tribe, as you might expect, also chooses Honest. Not so with Joaquin of the white collars, who thinks Deceive is the only choice. His tribemate So points out that choosing Deceive would automatically put the two of them into an alliance.

When Dan and Mike get back to their tribe they explain everything that happened, but since the “big” bag of beans is not all that big, Sierra erroneously thinks they lied and got an idol for themselves. In Joaquin and So’s case, they decide to not only lie but come up with a complicated lie, namely that there was also a “neutral” option which they chose because the other options seemed fraught with so many perils. I guess they had to say something since Probst had announced that there was a decision to be made. But none of the other white collars are buying this story.

Speaking of stories, we soon see Rodney, a Bostonian on the blue-collar tribe, tell Lindsey (a hairdresser who has hideous hair) about the day he found his sister murdered in cold blood. She is sympathetic, and Rodney soon tells the camera that his story is bound to get all of the women on his side. Does that mean the story is made-up? We’ve already found out that despite calling himself a furniture mover he is actually more prosperous and a contractor, so I tend to believe this is a fib as well.

In other blue-collar news, Mike finds a scorpion and promptly cuts off its tail and eats the rest! Which he vomits up soon thereafter.

By this time in the show we have heard almost every player say some variation of “when I want something I go get it,” and no-collar Vince the coconut peddler is no different. And what he wants right now is an alliance with Jenn. However Vince soon butts heads with his tribemate Joe over how to build a shelter. Dan has similar arguments with some women on the blue-collar tribe, and quickly realizes he doesn’t have an ally in the game other than Mike. It’s got to be depressing to realize your only ally is a guy who tries to eat scorpions.

Most of the no-collar tribe quickly proves to be anything but the happy-go-lucky types they’re characterized as. Vince sees his ally Jenn share a few friendly moments with Joe, and immediately gets very jealous, asking Jenn at the first opportunity whether she has feelings for Joe!

On the white-collar tribe, So slips away the first chance she gets and starts searching all over a certain area, which to tribemate Carolyn is a dead giveaway that an idol is being sought. Carolyn then starts checking the same area and she finds it. This puts her in a great position since everyone will think So and Joaquin are the only ones who might have an idol.

The challenge is interesting band fresh, because the tribes are given choices at a couple of different junctures. The latter juncture is the final puzzle, where they can choose one of three types. The white collar tribe picks a puzzle that, while straightforward, has a lot of pieces, and Shirin, an executive at Yahoo, takes so long to complete it that her tribe loses a big lead and has to go to tribal council.

At tribal council, So and Joaquin again repeat their lie about the decision they had to make. Max, a hipster professor type, says he might have made the same decision in their case but would have done a better job of lying about it. Then So says words to the effect of, “OK that was a lie, but the four of us are really strong.” Both Probst and Carolyn want to know who these four are, and So says the other two are Max and Tyler (the latter being a somewhat Clark Griswold-like talent agent).

When it’s time to vote, Carolyn surprisingly does not play her idol. So is voted out, and it appears everyone but Joaquin voted for her.

Kudos to the show for already establishing almost every one of the 18 characters in this first 90-minute show! It seems like a good cast, too.

Early favorites to win: Max, Joe, Tyler.


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