Archive | October, 2016

“I’ve been around the block, little girl.” Survivor: Millennials versus Gen-X October 26, 2016 recap

26 Oct

Zeke of the Orange tribe exults — Gen-X just voted out one of their own (CeCe) on the only tribe of the three where Gen-X had been in the majority!

On the Green tribe, Jay and Will go looking for an idol and soon find one (it seems like these days on Survivor we are only ever shown someone looking if that person ends up finding one). They make a pact to keep it between themselves … but at that moment Michaela walks right in on them.

The reward challenge is the one used every season in which a caller for each tribe has to direct his blindfolded teammates. But I believe the final phase is new: a blindfolded person has to actually solve a puzzle using only the directions of the caller!

During the challenge, Hannah, who is sitting out because of uneven numbers of players, says she feels faint. Doctor Joe checks her out after the challenge but the only problem was that she was breathing too fast (?).

Before the challenge when the tribes walked in minus the voted-out CeCe, Figgy was seen applauding. She explained that it was because she loves Michelle so much. Back at camp, Michelle and Zeke (who fells slighted) discuss that moment. Zeke tells the camera that he’s at the bottom of the Millennials tribe. Plus Michelle had plotted against him earlier and has connections to Taylor and Figgy.  To Zeke, that means he might need to abandon the Millennials going forward.

Taylor and Figgy, for whatever reason, decide to come clean about their romance to Jessica and Ken (of course, Adam already knows about it). But both of the Gen-Xers politely tell Figgy that the relationship was quite obvious. As Ken tells the camera, “I’ve been around the block, little girl.”

The immunity challenge is a multiple-phase affair that ends with two players from each team having to guide balls through a table maze. Michaela continually snaps at Hannah, but Michaela is also as good at this as she is in most any challenge, and her Green team comes in first. Michaela then gives tips on how to do the maze to Michelle and Zeke, obviously rooting for them against Figgy and Jessica. Michelle and Zeke barely win, and Michaela explains that she was rooting them on because they are just two Millennials against two Gen-X, whereas Figgy is in a majority along with Taylor and Adam: “If you can’t figure out a way to work together you deserve to go home.”

As soon as the challenge is over, Adam starts looking very stressed-out. Not because he thinks he might be voted out, but because he knows he will make somebody unhappy whether he sides with Figgy and Taylor or Ken and Jessica. Jessica tells Ken he is being targeted and that his only chance is to put a sales pitch on Adam. Adam points out Ken is asking him to trust someone he’s just met.

At Tribal Council, the “Figtayles” relationship comes up. Probst asks, “So Taylor, are you in love?” Taylor answers immediately: “I wouldn’t say that, I think that’s a stretch.” Probst points out that he is an ordained minister who can perform marriages. Figgy says, “Let’s go.” And she is joking … right?

Well, Figgy is the one voted out, and Adam whispers to Taylor that he’ll explain later “if I can.”

contenders: 1. Michelle, 2. Chris, 3. Jay, 4. Zeke, 5. Will, 6. Adam, 7. Jessica, 8. Bret, 9. Sunday

no chance: Taylor, Hannah, Michaela, David, Ken

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“I’m trusting a guy who’s burnt me twice.” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X October 19, 2016 recap

23 Oct

We begin with David questioning whether his idol play last episode was a good move: “I saved someone who nobody wants to work with, and now I don’t have an idol.”

Jessica, relieved to still be around, tells Ken about her legacy advantage and says that if she had been voted out she would have willed it to Ken. Not to David, who is the only reason she’s still in the game, but Ken who just voted against Jessica!

Meanwhile, everyone else either guesses or knows that there is a new idol in the game, since one was played last tribal council. So everyone starts looking for one. However, David has an advantage since he knows to look for something with a symbol painted on it in tribal colors, a new development this season. And indeed, he spots something bearing that symbol, the only problem is, CeCe and Sunday are standing right near it. But eventually they go off to look somewhere else, and David grabs it.

Off the tribes go to the reward challenge. But soon after arrival Jeff Probst tells them to drop their buffs. Not only is there a tribe switch, but it’s a switch from two tribes to three. Purple and orange tribes will have camps to go back to, but the new green tribe will have to start a camp from scratch. As consolation, they will have one more person than the other two. As the players unwrap their buffs, Michaela’s comes up green, and she curses and sulks.

Here are the new tribes:

Purple: Taylor, Figgy, and Adam; Jessica and Ken. No clear advantage or disadvantage here — Jessica and Ken are in the minority, but weren’t in a great position on their old tribe either.

Orange: Cece, Chris, and David; Zeke and Michelle. This is certainly bad for Michelle who was more than sitting pretty in her prior group. It’s great for CeCe who was on the outs in Gen-X. Zeke later tells us he’s bummed about the situation since Michelle is the one millennial he has “zero trust in.”

Green: Michaela, Hannah, Jay, and Will; Sunday and Bret. Definitely a bad draw for the latter two.

By the way, no challenge is actually held.

When the new purple tribe gets back to camp, Taylor, who is excited that “Figtayles” is still together, goes over to hug his girl, but she doesn’t want them to be seen doing any such thing. “Are we doin’ that?” a disappointed Taylor asks. Meanwhile, Adam tells us that being on a tribe with those two is his “worst nightmare”. He elaborates, “Figgy is very controlling, she lies constantly, and she’s going to go through this charade as long as she can about how they are not a couple.” Ken naturally wants to sound Adam out, and the younger man reveals that he voted against Figgy at tribal council. The more Adam thinks about it: he is the swing vote who is going to decide whether “Figtayles” or Jessica/Ken advances.

At the orange tribe, who should we see hitting it off but Chris and Zeke. We knew Chris was from Oklahoma, but it turns out New Yorker Zeke is originally from Oklahoma too. What’s more, it turns out Chris played football on the 2000 Oklahoma Sooners national championship team (his name is Chris Hammons and he was a special teams captain in 2000). And guess which team Zeke idolized as a kid?

On the green tribe, everyone tries to start a fire without success … except for Michaela, who accomplishes it and goes off sobbing.

The challenge involves first loosening a floating ball from underwater, then swimming it across to a platform and putting it in a basket to signal the next teammate to swim. Once all have done that, they need to shoot the balls into a floating basket. But if they want to take the time to do so, they can also try to hook the basket to pull it closer and make the basket-shooting easier.

Orange leads off with CeCe, who I’m sorry to say is every bit as horrible at this as she is every other challenge. She takes an eternity to get to the other platform. But still to come on the same tribe is David, who not only struggles to get to the platform, once he makes it there, he loses the ball over the opposite side of the platform and has to dive in from the other side. He almost loses it again over the original side! It is so ridiculous that teammate Zeke turns to Chris and ask whether David is trying to “throw” the challenge. And then to make things even worse, Michelle can’t get her buoy to the surface, forcing Chris to swim twice. So it’s no surprise that Orange comes in last in the contest. (Green is first, thanks mostly to Michaela’s accuracy shooting baskets).

Back at camp, the Gen-X group naturally decides one of the two Millennials, Zeke or Michelle, must go. Chris tells us, “This is a crucial decision, and quite honestly I’ve made a different decision: CeCe and Dave both backstabbed me and one of them has to go tonight.” He elaborates that while David has crossed him a couple of times, the neurotic writer at least has some relationships in the game, and Chris is going to need a grand alliance to protect him after the merge. So he wants to go after CeCe, with David’s help. He notes, “I’m trusting a guy who’s burnt me twice.”

Michelle wants to fight this, though it’s not really clear why. She claims that she couldn’t get anywhere talking strategy with CeCe, though all we viewers see is an innocuous conversation.

Meanwhile, does David want to use his immunity idol to save someone for the second week in a row? CeCe is his only ally on the tribe, after all.

Well, let’s not beat around the bush: CeCe goes home. She was horrendous in challenges, had no social game and didn’t seem too interested in strategy. So she is a strong contender for the honor of worst player of the season. However, does that make this a good move for Chris long-term? I actually think he would have been better off taking out Michelle, and wonder if he will regret not doing so. Especially since she’s the only person I have ahead of him in my rankings below!

contenders: Michelle, Chris, Will, Jay, Adam, Zeke, Bret, Jessica, Sunday

no chance: Figgy, Taylor, Hannah, Michaela, David, Ken

“And now for the bit that’s gonna upset some people…” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X October 12 2016 recap

15 Oct

Chris doesn’t want to talk about what just happened at tribal council. Like Zeke in the previous episode, Chris wants to put off any conversation until morning. Until someone else starts talking some distance away from him, then he yells to stop whispering and talk out in the open!

Morning dawns, and for whatever reason the TV picture is now sepia-toned instead of full color. Lucy tells us she doesn’t completely trust Jessica: “The power-hungry person had to take away another power-hungry person.” She tells this to Bret as well, and the Bostoner tells us viewers “you’ve now shown your cehds.” To Bret and Chris, Lucy says that Ken and David trust her, hence they could all ally against Jessica.

Over at the Millennials’ camp, everyone is super-excited when they spot a goat, and that distraction lets Adam go look for an idol. He cries when he finds it … but alas, he discovers it is only a clue, not the idol itself.

We go to a reward challenge, the first of the season. Again I wonder if this was added because the season has been too boring (the Gen-X tribe in particular). Nothing boring about the challenge though, one of those brutal affairs in which players can take any action necessary to obstruct the other team from reaching its goal (some seasons have had this played on land, this one’s in the water). In the first two-on-two round, Chris grabs onto both Jay and Adam so David can swim to the goal with the ring. In one of the later rounds, we find out that Michaela is seriously strong and athletic.

Time for the final round. Surprisingly, David is out there for the second time. An epic half-submerged battle ensues, with huge waves buffeting the players too. I don’t think I have ever seen tribemates cheering so hard, on both sides. Finally Gen-X touches their goal to win. Jeff Probst raises both hands to declare a winner, and at that moment a huge wave knocks him back several steps! America surely would have loved to see Probst knocked on his butt, it was not to be, though. Oddly, as the teams part, David wishes the Millennials good luck. Good luck at what, beating his own Gen-X tribe?

Back at camp, Adam finds the shell he has been seeking that has the idol inside. Success … but wait, someone’s nearby! It’s just Hannah, who in passing cheerfully wishes him good luck in his idol search.

For the Gen-Xers, David asks Lucy who she is thinking of voting out. She says she won’t announce the name until later, but shortly she tells David and Ken that it’s Jessica. However the two men are not allowed to tell anyone else. Ken bristles at this rule.

The immunity challenge involves the tribe hoisting one member on a lift sort of like the kind that window-washers of a skyscraper use. They players have to maneuver the person back and forth so he can collect a number of boxes in order, then all the letters on them have to be used to spell out a puzzle. When it’s time to do the anagramming everyone is stumped for quite some time, but finally the Millennials figure it out. That means that for the third time in four weeks, Gen-X is going to tribal council.

We see shots of a shark, a spider, and a bat. Not my favorite sights! Lucy thinks she has an alliance together to vote out Jessica: herself, Bret, Chris, Ken, and David (not Sunday). But Ken proposes taking out Lucy, pulling in Jessica and Sunday to do so. He also tells Jessica about Lucy’s plan. Jessica can’t believe Lucy would be gunning for her, so she asks Lucy about it. This makes Lucy furious with Ken. Ken thought he had a connection with Jessica, though we viewers knew better. All of this is not long before tribal council, so it’s confusing just what the plan is (for viewers and players alike, I believe).

Tribal council is mostly Probst hammering away at his boring generation gap theme. The vote takes place, and Probst makes his obligatory mention that this would be the time to play an immunity idol. David stands up and asks if he can address the tribe. Probst gives him the floor. After saying how much he loves everyone, David says “and now for maybe the bit that’s gonna upset some people … I’m going to play this for Jessica.”

Lo and behold, almost every vote was for Jessica, except three, two of which were for Lucy who is voted out. The only people who voted for Lucy were David and CeCe, and Jessica voted for CeCe.

I can’t see this as anything but a colossal blunder on David’s part. Not only does he waste a precious immunity idol, it is to take out Lucy who was not threatening him, and save Jessica who was no ally of his. It was really just dumb.

contenders: Michelle, Chris, Will, Adam, Jay, Zeke

not sure: Jessica, Bret, Sunday

no chance: Figgy, Taylor, Hannah, Michaela, CeCe, David, Ken

“Ladies, you’re 0n your own.” Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X October 5, 2016 recap

11 Oct

Hannah wants to tell Zeke and Adam her lame excuse why she didn’t vote with them, but Zeke doesn’t want to talk right now. Hannah really wants to get it off her chest, but Zeke tries about 10 different ways of telling her he doesn’t want to talk right now. And the producers decide to show us all 10. This is a clue that we might not be in for the most eventful episode.

The Gen-X tribe is not helping the excitement factor. They are pretty boring overall. We are reminded that David, Ken, and CeCe are the ones on the bottom. Ken points out to several people that while Paul talks big about his fishing skills, he hasn’t caught a single fish while Ken has caught plenty.

Because there are no new or interesting subplots (at least that’s my interpretation of the producers’ thinking), the players are told it is time for a summit: four people from each tribe, chosen randomly, go meet the other tribe. It’s Will, Jay, Taylor, and Figgy for the young-uns, and David, Paul, CeCe and Chris for Gen-X. Gen-X reveals a lot more about their tribe than the tight-lipped kids do. Plus, David proposes an alliance to Taylor and basically hints he will abandon Gen-X at the first opportunity.

Back at camp, Figgy and Taylor talk about Zeke as the next person who should go. Adam hopes Figgy will be the next out, to shift the balance of power. He pitches Michaela, who votes with Figgy last time despite not liking or trusting her.

The immunity challenge has multiple steps as usual, the first being to carry a 40-pound bag across a balance beam. CeCe is very slow and deliberate, in fact in the time it takes her to cross, at least three of the millennials cross (and Jeff Probst mentions at least three times how slow CeCe is). The millennials have their weaker players simply cross the beam empty-handed while the stronger players carry multiple bags. Finally Gen-X copies the strategy, but they are way behind by that point. The lead proves insurmountable and the millennials win. In addition to the immunity, there is a reward of some comfy chairs for the winning tribe. Jay asks if they can trade them for fishing gear. Probst says the other tribe would have to agree and the Gen-Xers say no.

The decision on whom to vote out is pretty clear: CeCe, who was bad in this and every other challenge. Paul talks to Jessica to confirm, and as they wrap the conversation up, Jessica mentions as an afterthought that she hopes there’s no all-male alliance brewing. Paul assures her that he would let her know if any such thing were being talked about. (Sounds fine so far). He then elaborates that letting her know would be to say “Ladies, you’re on your own.” (Seriously, he said that.) Jessica can’t believe her ears, and quickly informs Sunday and Lucy (who actually speaks in this episode) that the three of them are on the bottom of the six-person alliance. They immediately decide to vote against Paul, knowing that David, CeCe, and Ken are sure to join them.

Which, after a boring tribal council, they do, and Paul is out.

contenders: Michelle, Chris, Will, Adam, Zeke, Ken, Jay

not sure: Jessica, David, Bret, Lucy, Sunday

no chance: Figgy, Taylor, Hannah, Michaela, CeCe

“Me and Figs got called out on mackin'”: Survivor Millennials vs. Gen-X September 28, 2016 recap

1 Oct

The Gen-X tribe hasn’t yet succeeded in making fire despite the fact that several tribe members have tried it. So David, who freely admits, “I’m more of a Cochran than I am an Ozzy,” gives it a try. Shockingly, he succeeds. However, the others still tell the camera they want to get rid of David. And David is still trying hard to find an immunity idol, but being a bit more subtle about it this time. He’s searching for idols during his trips to go look for big rocks. Why exactly the tribe needs big rocks at their camp is not explained. Whatever the case, he finds a coconut that has a target painted on it! He splits it open and there is an idol inside.

At the Millennials’ camp, Taylor tells us that Figgy is “super-rad.” The two of them get in some smooching at night, which others don’t fail to notice. Or to put it in Taylor-speak, “Me and Figs got called out on mackin’.” Figgy tells Taylor everyone else seems fine with them being a couple, but she’s wrong. And the disapprovers include the third member of the “triforce,” Jay. “No couple ever lasts on Survivor. Ev-er,” Jay tells us. Rob and Amber of Survivor All-Stars would disagree with that, but that was 25 seasons ago .. it’s doubtful if even the great Rob could make the same thing work today. Anyway, Jay decides it’s time to discuss with Taylor, bro to bro. “You want to snowboard and chill?” is his cutting question. I think this is a reference to winning a million dollars and not having to work, but perhaps only a millennial could say for sure.

Michaela has avoided voicing any criticism of Figgy, but uses every possible facial expression to show she disapproves. Finally the two start sniping at each other. Adam tells us, “Basic laws of Survivor will tell you: don’t come blazing out of the gate; don’t get into a catfight; and sure as hell don’t get yourself into a showmance!”

Back at Gen-X, we find out that model Ken can spear-fish quite well. We also find out that, despite his ladykiller looks, he is an introverted guy. He and David make an alliance, and David shows Ken his idol. As for the majority group, Ken says, “I see it as Paul’s posse.” They think Paul (the oldest player of the group) is the person they should target.

Paul admits he needs to be in control of every situation. And Cece is joining up with Ken and David. “Cut off the head,” they say about Paul. But Paul suddenly has to lie down; his hands are numb. Medics get there fast … but once the doctor arrives, he says it’s just dehydration and exhaustion. A helicopter has been summoned, but before Probst has a chance to say “Get to the choppa,” it’s sent back to base as Paul stays in the game.

We are taken to some platforms way out in the ocean for a water challenge! The seasons that have these are so much more fun! At least Gen-X must think so, as they win, despite the very unathletic David slowing them down. That’s the last we see of this tribe for the episode, but I should quickly note that Lucy isn’t heard to speak for the second week in a row.

Time for the Millennials to vote someone out. Both the guys and the girls seem to agree that person has to be Figgy. And Mari is pretty sure Figgy won’t even suspect she’s being targeted. Problem is, someone is dumb enough to tell Jay. He tells Michelle, and she’s determined to fight back, suggesting Mari be targeted. And she also suggests that they pull in … Michaela! But how would they ever recruit Figgy’s biggest enemy? Well, Jay simply lies and tells Michaela that people are talking about her as the next voted out after Figgy. Michelle wants to pull Will in as well, but Will is cautious. Referring to Figgy, he says a player can get early momentum and get all the way to the end, his example being Parvati (though Michelle is much more like Parvati than Figgy is). By the way, I said last week that high schooler Will, the youngest player on the tribe, is also the most mature. He certainly has the deepest voice. I’m beginning to think Will is really a young-looking 38-year old.

Michelle is not done being a puppet master. While tribal council is going on, she whispers to Hannah that she’s voting for Mari. Hannah keeps whispering that she needs a reason, but Michelle can only offer that she’ll tell her later. Most of the rest of tribal council is everyone else wondering what’s being whispered about and Michaela sniping at Figgy some more.

Everyone goes to the voting booth, but Hannah takes the longest to vote … by far. She is freaking out, and even tries to count off how many people are voting a certain way on her fingers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jeff Probst wander over to peek at the voting booth before, but he does this time because it is taking so long. This is like a high school movie: Will nerdy Hannah have the guts to stand up to the popular kids?

The answer is no, and Mari is voted out. “Salty!” is the video gamer’s only comment as her torch is snuffed. Will and Adam look completely shocked. I have to say this was a smart vote, as Mari looked like perhaps the smartest player on the tribe, and much more of a threat to win the game than Figgy.

The previews show that a twist is coming next week already, it looks like a tribe reshuffle of some kind already. And then we see that the only votes cast against Figgy were from Mari, Adam and Zeke. In other words, not only did Hannah vote for Mari, Mikaela did too, and so did Will!

Time for a preliminary ranking.

contenders: Michelle, Will, Zeke, Ken, Adam, Chris

not sure: Jessica, David, Bret, Paul, CeCe, Lucy, Sunday, Jay

no chance: Figgy, Taylor, Hannah, Michaela