Archive | October, 2017

“I just want to have a thoughtful conversation.” Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers October 25 2017 recap

26 Oct

Ben is standing near the fire when the bamboo starts popping in the flames, almost sounding like a series of explosions. He is freaked out, and we learn that he is still traumatized by his experiences as a Marine in combat.

The reward challenge is a “slither” challenge similar to the memorable one from the Millennials vs. Gen-X season. Ryan is trying his best but keeps losing the ball (that he’s supposed to be pushing with his head while slithering along) off to the side. It’s no huge deal, as the reward is just coffee and some pastries.

On the blue tribe, Ashley and Devon confirm that they are sticking together at the next vote no matter what, which would make for a 2 vs. 2 situation. They hope they could get Desi to side with them rather than go to a rock-draw tiebreaker.

On the yellow tribe, Ali and Roark take a walk. They are both eager to align with one another. This would give Ali the long-term protection of the Healers tribe which has yet to lose a member, and help Roark in the short term.

This development makes Ryan nervous. He’s tight with Ali but also tight with Chrissy, and those two won’t work with one another (according to him, we’re not shown any proof).

On the red tribe, Dr. Mike and Jessica head for the well and start digging around looking for an idol. And no, they don’t have Cole with them, since he would tell everyone in earshot about any idol within 30 seconds. The idea to look for one in that spot is a solid one, since they know Joe found an idol in the corresponding spot on a different beach. And sure enough, Mike finds it.

Time for the immunity challenge, which ends in the puzzle that’s similar to  the old arcade game “Ice Cold Beer” which we’ve seen before in Survivor: Kaoh Rong and Survivor: Worlds Apart. My main takeaway from the challenge is noticing that beauty queen Desi appears to be very athletic; she did well in the immunity challenge as well.

Chrissy can’t seem to handle the puzzle. Early on she asks to sub out until she takes off her shoes, but later she refuses to sub out when asked. And her tribe does indeed lose.

Back at camp, Chrissy takes Roark aside and says “I just want to have a thoughtful conversation.” They agree to work together, but Roark just told us moments ago that she thinks Chrissy needs to go home. And Chrissy tells us afterwards that she doesn’t believe a word Roark says.

Chrissy floats the idea of voting out Roark to J.P., who points out that Roark is good in challenges. But then Chrissy tells the fib that Roark wants to do an all-girl alliance, and J.P. instantly says Roark has to go. Chrissy tells us “J.P., Ryan, and myself will blindside Roark and send her home.” OK, timeout here. Much like Lauren in a prior episode, Chrissy is guilty of misusing the term blindside. A person who goes to tribal council worried that he will be voted out but hopeful he can avoid it, and is then voted out, has not just been blindsided. That term is reserved for someone who has no idea he is the target.

Ali tells Ryan that she and Roark want to vote out Chrissy, and Ryan says he’s on board. So Ryan is the critical vote here. Does he move forward in the game with Chrissy, or Ali?

At tribal council Ali and Roark are quick to criticize Chrissy and vice versa and things get surprisingly heated. Roark, who we’ll find out shortly is a superfan, is not very impressive in this setting. Surely any superfan knows that the best way to get through Tribal Council is to avoid really answering any tough questions? Also, surely J.P. doesn’t still think there’s an all-girl alliance in the offing after watching this?

When the votes are read, we find that Ryan decided in favor of Chrissy, and Roark is voted out. I won’t question his decision, though I want to because Chrissy is so annoying. She definitely wins my “player I would not want to have the cubicle next to at work” award.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another tribe swap soon, as things are already getting a bit boring again. I really hope Devon and Joe stick around a while, as they’re the only characters who really do much for me at this point.

Contenders: Devon, Ben, Ashley, Ryan, Chrissy, Jessica, Desi, Ali

Not sure: Cole, Mike

No chance: Lauren, Joe, J.P.


“That is not an advantage.” Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers October 18 2017 recap

18 Oct

The episode begins with … the challenge site? Yes, because it’s time for a tribe swap! The new tribes are as follows.

Blue: Ashley and Alan; Desi and Joe; Devon

Yellow: Ryan and Ali; Chrissy and J.P.; Roark

Red: Cole, Jessica, and Mike; Lauren; Ben

Normally I’m no huge fan of these tribe swaps, but as my earlier posts show, this season has had some boring stretches thus far, so I’m all for mixing it up!

The Red team wins the reward challenge. At the peanut butter and jelly reward, Jessica looks into her bag of chips and sees a secret advantage. She looks at the note later and sees that it is the power to block one person from voting at the next Tribal Council. She can send it to someone anonymously, and the recipient won’t know the power until they open it at tribal council. If Jessica’s tribe doesn’t go to Tribal Council, she has to send it to someone on the tribe that does.

Jessica tells her boyfriend Cole about it, and also her fellow Healer Mike. But then Cole decides to win some trust by telling Ben. What the heck? “It cancels out one of y’all’s votes” is how he puts it. And then Cole tells Lauren too! So everyone on the tribe knows!

On the Yellow tribe, Ryan takes a walk with Chrissy and tells her that he’s the one who sent her the immunity idol back in the first episode. How did he choose her, she asks. We viewers know the real answer: Chrissy was vomiting and looked a bit pathetic, and he wanted to get it to the weakest tribe member. But wisely Ryan gives a different story. “I just had a good vibe,” he says. And she buys it!

On the blue tribe, Ashley tells us her worst case scenario was being on a tribe with Alan. Still, it’s in their interest to work together, and she suggests they team with Devon to oust Desi or Joe.

Joe, for his part, wastes no time in telling Devon that the Heroes spoke to Joe about getting Devon out, which is a complete fabrication.

Back on the red tribe, Lauren and Ben (no, not that Lauren and Ben, thank goodness), being on a tribe with three Healers, decide to see if they can swing Dr. Mike. They tell him about the advantage. He pretends this is the first he’s heard of it, but immediately wonders how news leaked out and knows it had to be Cole. Mike tells Jessica that everyone knows about the advantage, and she confronts Cole. Cole denies telling Lauren. Anyone could spot his guilty face a mile away so in an effort to deflect he sheepishly does admit to telling Ben. Jessica, having long since decided Cole is the love of her life, wonders what she has gotten into here.

The immunity challenge is won by Red with Yellow second. So the Blue tribe has to go to Tribal Council. Devon talks to Ashley and soon confirms his suspicions that Joe was lying earlier. He and Ashley hug, but Desi sees them doing so and tells Joe about it.

Joe decides there’s no alternative to playing his immunity idol at Tribal Council. But now he needs to ensure that all the votes are cast against him, so he gets the most value out of the move.

So as everyone sits together, Joe and Alan face off a bit, and we find out Alan is a true voice of reason compared to Joe. I also am getting to enjoy Alan as a character because he’s different than the usual player, even if he is a bit crazy! Anyway, Joe goes scorched earth and declares he’s voting Ashley. Desi is understandably furious that Joe is blowing up his own game and Desi’s along with it. In a classic line, Joe tells Desi, “You’re probably upset but … I had to get the target off you somehow.” She counters that his over-the-top display will convince everyone Joe has an idol so the votes will now go to her. Joe insists he’s willing to give her the idol.

And then we see Devon reach into his bag and get a surprise. He’s the one who has received Jessica’s secret advantage. Surely he’ll just block Joe’s vote and this will be smooth sailing, right?

At tribal council, the arguing from camp continues. Jeff Probst announces that it’s time to vote, and Devon announces that he has an advantage to open. All smiles, he opens it up … only to find out that the advantage is being used against him to block his vote. What? Boy, I misunderstood that. Did Jessica misunderstand too? More on that shortly. Also, Probst is quick to note that although Devon can’t vote, he can be voted against! Gee, thanks Jeff.

This obviously changes everything. Will everyone just put their votes on Devon now? But there’s no time for any discussion, as everyone is sent to vote immediately. When they’re done, Probst asks if anyone has an idol. Joe goes up to him and clarifies that he can use it on himself or someone else. Joe eyes his tribemates and says he’s going to keep it for himself.

Sure enough, two votes were for Joe and don’t count … and the other two were for Alan, who is now out! Joe boasts to Ashley, “I read your face. Thank you baby girl.”

Now then, did Jessica (understandably) misunderstand what she was doing with this advantage? She had said earlier in the episode that she wanted to use it in a way that would help the Healers. Remember the Blue tribe had two Healers (Joe and Desi), one Hustler (Devon) and two Heroes (Alan and Ashley). It’s pretty clear in that scenario that the Hustler will either ally with the Healers to vote out a Hero, or vice versa. So how would Jessica know she isn’t taking a vote away from a 3-2 majority for her group? Wouldn’t it have made much more sense to block the vote of Alan or Ashley? I’m going to guess that this was unintentional.

Contenders: Devon, Ben, Ali, Ryan, Ashley, Chrissy, Jessica

Not sure: J.P., Roark, Cole, Desi, Mike

No chance: Lauren, Joe

“I’ve never believed a redhead a day in my life.” Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers October 11 2017 recap

12 Oct

The Hustlers try on the clothes left behind by voted-out Simone. Does every Survivor leave clothes behind? I’m not sure if this has ever been discussed on the show to date.

The first quarter of the episode is filled with what charitably might be called character bits. An uncharitable sort would just say it’s boring.

The Cole-Jessica flirtation on the Healers tribe is still going strong. Cole says Jessica is his dream girl, and she essentially said he’s her dream guy. Cole tells her about Joe’s idol.

On the Hustlers tribe, we are shown a shot of Ryan as some “Apocalypse Now”-like music plays. He sees Patrick head off to the woods, strongly suspecting he’s looking for an idol. But as Patrick tells us, what else would you expect from a Hustler? Ali then tries to coach Patrick on his social game. By the way, we have heard Ali wonder multiple times if Patrick is the right ally for her.

Cole has been thinking about the fact that Joe has all the power since he’s the one with the idol. He suggests to Jessica that they blindside Joe. And to Jessica’s chagrin, Cole also reveals the idol secret to Roark, a young woman who we have only seen briefly so far and seems like a bossy older sister type. And then Cole shares the information with Desi as well.

The immunity challenge has throwing bean bags to knock down blocks as a key component. The Healers and Heroes finish that part before the Hustlers, who have Patrick making every throw. We hear his teammates making offers to sub in about 20 times, but they fall on deaf ears, and since he misses a lot of throws they fall behind. The Heroes win, followed by the Healers, while the Hustlers have to go to Tribal Council for the second week in a row.

Everyone is annoyed with Patrick, but Lauren makes no bones about it, telling everyone who will listen that she has played center field for 25 years and is an accurate thrower. Lauren takes a while to cool down, if she ever does, and her social game is not good. (By the way, despite her 25 years of experience and the fact that she calls herself an “old woman,” she’s supposedly only 35.)

At Tribal Council, she continues blasting Patrick, including repeating her earlier statement that “I’ve never believed a redhead a day in my life.” Obviously either Lauren or Patrick will be voted out. The tribe is already musing about how they will fit in after a merge, since they’re down in the numbers. Ryan points out “We’re not coming in as CEOs, we’ll be moppin’ the floor at first.”

When the votes are revealed, Patrick is voted out unanimously.

Contenders: Ben, Devon, Ali, Jessica, Ryan

Not sure: J.P., Chrissy, Roark, Cole, Joe, Ashley, Desi, Mike

No chance: Alan, Lauren

“Shape the narrative”: Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers October 4, 2017 recap

11 Oct

Chrissy of the Heroes tribe looks back on Tribal Council. She didn’t use the idol she has, and last episode was the one time that she was allowed to use it. But at least she still has it in her pocket to potentially use to fake someone out later in the game. Everyone else talks about how crazy Alan is, while Alan himself, in a Russell Hantz-like moment, thinks fomenting suspicion is never a bad thing.

On the Hustlers tribe we are introduced to Simone, barely seen in the premiere episode. We find out that she is very proud of having had a bowel movement underwater, and that she hates being outside, a curious pet peeve for someone who applies to be on Survivor. We also finally hear from Lauren, a stocky fisherwoman, though only to tell us that she is annoyed by goofy redhead Patrick.

On the Healers tribe, Jessica and Cole are busy flirting. Meanwhile we find out that Desi, whom we’ve barely glimpsed so far, is a former Miss Virginia. And Tony Vlachos wannabe Joe is still trying to sell the story that urologist Mike has an idol. Problem is, Joe can’t both spread idol paranoia and look for an idol himself, but he really wants to do the latter. Finally he gets some time alone and finds the clue to an idol carved into a tree. It must show a location out on the water, he thinks, so he pulls in outdoorsman Cole to help him find it. Joe somehow manages to tell Cole about the idol clue while simultaneously accusing Cole of having an idol! Once Cole sees the map, he says the symbol Joe took to be a raft is actually the symbol for a well. That tells them where to dig, and Joe finds the idol in short order. Cole wisely chops the clue off the tree trunk so nobody else can find it.

Back to Hero Chrissy. She needs an ally and considers the candidates. J.P. is athletic but she doesn’t think he’s smart enough. Plus she’s not convinced J.P. and Ashley aren’t a couple, so Ashley’s out. And Alan is too volatile. “At this point the data shows (sic) that Ben is a better option for me,” says the actuary. Ben has a strong social game and Chrissy can handle the strategizing.

The final puzzle of the immunity challenge involves placing signposts that have the names of previous Survivor locations. The Healers win, continuing their streak, the Heroes are second, and the Hustlers are last, with Ali and Simone taking the blame for losing the tribe’s lead on the puzzle.

It seems fairly clear Simone is going to be the one to go — why else would they have featured her earlier in the episode despite her having nothing to say besides bowel movement discussion? But she is determined to “shape the narrative,” that narrative being that Patrick is not only annoying but too unpredictable.

Patrick doesn’t help matters with his curious comment at Tribal Council that he trusts “most of the people here,” but it’s a unanimous vote-out for Simone.