“Massive blown opportunity.” Survivor Cagayan March 12 2014 recap

13 Mar

The Beauty tribe arrives back at camp after Tribal Council, and Morgan starts floating the idea to Alexis that Jeremiah is gunning for Alexis. One slight problem: this makes no sense whatsoever. If Jeremiah were really “gunning” for her, he could have simply voted for her a few hours earlier. Since Morgan and Brice both voted for her, Alexis would have been out by a vote of 3-2-1! Even Alexis, no Phi Beta Kappa, doesn’t seem to be buying it.

The Brains tribe finds out from tree mail that the reward challenge will involve being blindfolded, so for the second episode in a row they get out and practice beforehand. Given the success this ends up bringing them, it could well be that no future tribe will ever practice again.

This challenge (with one person directing his blindfolded teammates) takes place almost every season, if not every one, and it’s always a source of lots of comedy. This year they seem to have very carefully placed every obstacle exactly at nut level … you male readers will know what I’m talking about. The Brains tribe seems to be a lock to at least finish second, but yet again, J’Tia panics … this time when asked to move a flag a few inches in a given direction. They lose, and Probst can only say “massive blown opportunity.”

Another blown opportunity comes when the Beauty tribe unloads their reward for finishing first: some chickens and chicken feed. Jeremiah reaches into the feed bag and finds the idol clue, but not realizing what it is, he just reads it out. And it’s less a “clue” than precise information as to where the idol is. This is much to the chagrin of L.J., who realizes everyone will see the idol is not there and realize that someone has already found it (but I guess we’ll have to wait until next episode for that). Obviously the tribe wants to kill one of the roosters to eat, and Jeremiah impresses the ladies by breaking the head off of the chicken. However he tells the camera “I might have been raised in the country but I don’t know anything about dang chickens, I’m a model!”

At the Brawn tribe, Sarah, still influenced by the lies Tony told her about Lindsey and Cliff Robinson, approaches Woo about possibly voting Cliff out. Wow, Woo has lost a ton of weight already! Anyway, Brawn has had the least camera time of the three tribes thus far, so it’s good to see more of them. I knew Cliff had played in the NBA a long time, but he mentions that he is actually in the all time Top 10 in games played. Sure enough, he played in more than 1,300 games! Sarah says they can’t afford to merge to two tribes with Cliff still around (though that really doesn’t make sense) and tries to sell Woo on the idea of even throwing the upcoming immunity challenge.

The challenge involves diving underwater to release buoys and then shooting rubber balls into a faraway basket. J’Tia is given the easiest job (diving only 3 feet deep) but can’t do even that, and thus her tribe is behind from the very start. Swimming a few feet is also beyond her. Beauty wins easily, but Brains catch up to Brawn at the end… however the final phase is basically a basketball-shooting contest between Spencer and, er … one of the all time NBA leaders in games played. Sorry Spencer. We find out later that Sarah really was going ahead with the “throw the challenge” plan, but the Brains tribe was so awful that they still lost!

Back at the Brains camp, Kass and Tasha agree that after yet another pitiful challenge performance by J’Tia, she should be the one to go. That’s no surprise to J’Tia: “I’m like the cat on the poster … ‘hang in there.'” She tells Kass and Tasha she will stick with them through thick and thin till the end of time, and the other two women start wavering in their decision and contemplating voting Spencer out instead!

When they sit down for Tribal Council , Jeff Probst just shrugs his shoulders and there’s a long silence. Funny! It’s evident Tasha and Kass still have not made up their minds, as they keep exchanging glances throughout and mouthing words to each other. Probst loves this. At one point he asks Spencer a question, and in the middle of Spencer’s well-reasoned answer Jeff shouts, “Tash’ is not even listening to you!”

Still, J’Tia is voted out. I think this was a good move by Kass and Tasha. If she had stayed in the game, any player in his right mind would want to get rid of Tasha and Kass, and take J’Tia all the way to the finals!

Now then: is J’Tia the worst player of all time? Well, even though I have ranked the ten best, I don’t think it’s possible to rank the worst. By definition, the first couple of players voted out each season have got to be among the worst, and these players seldom receive enough screen time to be evaluated in full. That said, I would say any list of the worst Survivor players ever would have to include Janu (Palau quitter), Wanda (the lady in Palau who made up songs), Billy (the heavy metal guy from Cook Islands), Chicken (the hick on Survivor: China), Shamar (the psycho ex-Marine on Survivor Caramoan), Abi-Maria (ultra-blunt Philippines player who alienated her own alliance), Osten (very athletic looking Pearl Islands guy who was terrible in challenges and quit the game), Scout (Vanuatu, mellow to the point of almost not playing at all), and “Purple Kelly” (Nicaragua nonentity who quit the game). I’m sure I’m forgetting some. But anyone who is not only terrible and annoying but also ruins things for others and/or quits deserves special mention. So I would have to say Shamar, Abi-Maria, Purple Kelly, and Osten are worthy of especially dishonorable mention. I will put J’Tia with them to form an unscientific “bottom five.”

Favorites: Tasha, L.J., Spencer, Sarah, Tony

Not sure yet: Cliff, Alexis, Jeremiah, Lindsey, Trish, Woo

No chance: Kass, Morgan, Jefra

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