Archive | October, 2018

“I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 24 2018 recap

24 Oct

It’s day 12, and there’s heavy rain and wind. So much rain that now there’s a river running through the bottom of the Green shelter. At the Orange camp, Carl (who joined them after Tribal Council) comes carrying a note: there is a massive storm coming and the tribes will be evacuated. We can tell this is no joke by the guy who helps them onto the boat, he’s wearing a head-to-toe raincoat! This is only the second time Survivor players have been evacuated, it happened previously on Millennials vs. Gen-X.

After we viewers see a commercial, everyone’s back, and it’s Day 14 — apparently game time is not interrupted for these evacuations. All three of the shelters were destroyed by the storm.

The reward challenge is won by the Orange tribe who gets some chickens, while Purple gets a dozen eggs. Green, on paper the best challenge team, finishes third.

The Purple team debates about whether they need to eat the eggs right away if they boil them. It turns out Lyrsa is a culinary school graduate but that doesn’t mean Natalie accepts what she says about food as fact!

On the Green tribe, Dan already has an idol but he figures since they’re on a new beach there must be a new idol as well, and he figures he has an advantage because he knows how the idols are marked. There’s a great shot of Christian’s face peeking out in the far background as Dan goes searching. Dan actually does find a clue that tells him an idol is hidden at the next immunity challenge. This is welcome news to me, since the first time this happened it was one of the most exciting moments in the history of the game when Kelley Wentworth had the clue in Second Chance, and was also pretty darn exciting when it happened to Troyzan in Game Changers.

As with the prior two instances, the spot where the idol is hidden is right before the final phase of the challenge. This gives the person a chance since presumably everyone’s attention will be riveted on the final phase … or will it?

Dan takes a step or two to get next to the spot, then drops to one knee in a “pensive” pose. When no one is looking he grabs the idol and stuffs it in his pants. I have no idea how it’s not obvious to everyone in those tights, but let’s not go there.

It’s not surprising nobody else takes their eyes off the last part of the challenge, as a ball has to be maneuvered in very tricky fashion and the conclusion is very exciting. John with his comic-book musculature is going against Alec and Nick, and Nick has a lead. Christian replaces John, and he and Alec both gain on Nick quickly. Alec gets the win for Orange, with Christian second and Nick third. So Purple has to go to Tribal Council.

Lyrsa soon tells us she’s voting for Natalie, but if the three former Goliaths (Natalie, Angelina, and Mike) stick together, either Lyrsa or Nick will be going home.

Then comes a plotline unlike any other we’ve seen on this show. Angelina tells Natalie, “I want Lyrsa’s jacket,” and she somehow thinks Natalie can get it for her. Natalie indicates to Nick that he would be well-served to get Lyrsa’s jacket for them, and Nick immediately says “I’m not stealin’ anybody’s stuff or anything like that.” Natalie replies, “So the jacket is worth a million?” to which Nick answers “Are you trying to bully me or something?” And he soon tells Lyrsa about the outrageous request. For the two of them it’s clear that their only chance is to get Mike’s vote. Mike is hoping Nick can get Angelina on board with the idea of voting Natalie, that way if Mike made the move he could save face to some extent with the Goliaths.

Lyrsa tells us about her Members Only jacket, “I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.”

Most of Tribal Council is about Natalie, who claims she is never the center of drama in her personal life. After there is a fair bit of talk about her bullying behavior in the jacket affair, Natalie asks Angelina to jump in. Of course Angelina was the mastermind of the whole thing, and would be loath to have that come to light. But she has had time to think of a way to spin it, and she says Natalie took pity on her being cold and she did what she did “out of love for me.” There is more talk from Natalie and finally Probst says “Natalie, I think I just figured you out. You need the last word.”

The votes are read and we see two for Lyrsa (obviously Natalie and Angelina) and two for Natalie (clearly Lyrsa and Nick). So now it all hinges on Mike’s vote which is for …. Natalie.

Oddly, Angelina jumps up and gives Natalie a big hug and says she’s so sorry. And then, as Natalie grabs her torch and heads toward Probst, Angelina says , “Natalie, is there any way I could have your jacket?” Natalie pretends not to hear. Angelina says “Natalie?” two more times with the same result as Natalie leaves the game.

Well, it’s not like Natalie had a chance to win the game, I could have seen a scenario where she got taken all the way to the finals as an obvious goat though.

As for Angelina, she told us earlier in the season that she finds a way to manipulate people to get what she wants in most any situation. But that manipulative quality became a bit too obvious here, particularly with the insincere hug. And when the rest of the players hear what happened tonight they might decide Angelina is a threat who needs to go sooner rather than later.

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Davie, 3. Kara, 4. Christian, 5. Angelina, 6. Alison, 7. Nick, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan


“The entire tribe system has been gerrymandered.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 17 2018 recap

17 Oct

No Tribal Council reaction today, the episode starts with both tribes arriving at the beach as the very first scene.

Jeff Probst asks Bi how her knee is, and she says “I have to make a really sad announcement.” She has injured her MCL and since she’s a professional athlete (mixed martial arts fighter) she has to withdraw from the game to tend to her knee. Everyone tells her how bad they feel for her. Though it appears the host doesn’t feel the same way. Probst asks the David tribe what it’s like to have one person medically evacuated and one person quit. And in case there’s any ambiguity about he feels, he refers to it as quitting one more time.

It’s time for a tribe swap from two tribes to three, and as soon as the buffs are drawn (presumably randomly, though we’re not shown that), Probst notes that Goliaths have the numbers advantage in every new tribe. The tribes are:

New green tribe: John, Christian, Gabby, Dan, Alison

Orange tribe: Natalia, Davie, Elizabeth, Kara, Alec

Purple tribe: Natalie, Mike, Lyrsa, Nick, and Angelina (you can see at a glance that this is the least athletic group of the three)

So it’s 3-2 for Goliath on all three tribes, or as Christian later notes, “the entire tribe system has been gerrymandered.” Meanwhile, Carl didn’t get a buff in his package, and he is sent to …. Exile Island!

Kara has a really good social game, which we see on display as she bonds with Elizabeth over childhood horseback riding. She’s just being polite really, but it doesn’t take long for this to make Natalia jealous!

At Exile Island Carl finds a cryptic clue that indicates he should check the coconuts floating near the pounding surf. There are lots of them, and the camera shows us one that has blue paint on it. Carl does find it, and inside is an advantage, the “idol nullifier!” This is to be played in secret, you write down the name of the person you want to block and if an idol is played for that person this nullifies it. I assume it only works for the next tribal council after it’s used, not for the rest of the game? My first impression is that this would be very difficult to use correctly at the right time.

Mike White, meanwhile, has made the same conclusion about the athletic ability of the Purple tribe as I did above. Or as he puts it, they are “the Davids of the Davids of the Davids.” He says if there were a schoolyard pick the five of them would be the last five ones chosen!

To make things worse, Natalie is on that Purple tribe and she starts right in with giving orders and micromanaging. Nick asks if she is always like this and Angelina says, “This is the mellow version.” Nick sees this as an opportunity. He takes a walk with Mike, suggests an alliance, and suggest naming the alliance. Mike thinks the naming idea is awesome, as do I. Nick dubs them “the Rock Stars,” a nod to Mike White having written and acted in the movie “School of Rock.” Nick will need this alliance to survive, since the tribe swap split up The Thoroughbreds (Elizabeth and Nick) and The Mason-Dixon Line (Christian and Nick). Mike is comfortable enough with Nick to tell him about Dan’s idol.

The Green tribe has to make a shelter since they’re a new group, and Christian chats with John. John tells us that he has a confident public persona but feels awkward in small groups. And Gabby worries about Christian bonding with the guys.

The immunity challenge is for two idols, with the third-place finisher going to Tribal Council. It’s a blindfold challenge with the caller riding on a one-wheeled wheelbarrow pushed by two blindfolded tribemates, then guiding two other blindfolded tribemates through a table maze. Gabby proves to be the best caller and Angelina the worst, though perhaps the latter is because Angelina has to deal with Natalie.

Gabby’s Orange team wins, then Green and Purple battle for second place. This is quite exciting for a table maze!

Purple wins, which I’m fine with since Orange is the least interesting of the three groups. It looks like either Davie or Elizabeth is going home.

Elizabeth has an idea where the idol might be, and Davie plays along while reminding us viewers that he already has the idol! And Davie tells Kara and Natalia that Elizabeth is campaigning to get Natalia out. That’s all Natalia needs to hear as she is paranoid to begin with. Davie is trying to not only stay in the game but do so without having to use his idol… is he going to be able to pull it off? Meanwhile Elizabeth makes her pitch to Alec.

Later, in the shelter, Natalia asks if Davie swears he’s voting for them and implies he’s dead in this game if he’s lying. Then Natalia says “Go back to sleep, and you two shut up,” meaning Kara and Alec. None of them care for that, and ominous background music starts playing.

Later in the hammock Davie says to Alec “You totally trust these girls, right?” Alec: “No.” Davie says, if you get a funny feeling at Tribal Council, make eye contact!

We go to Tribal Council where Carl gets to listen in, since he’ll be replacing whoever is voted out. It’s pretty standard fare until Alec gets up and whispers into Elizabeth’s ear! And for a long time! Then Alec whispers to Kara, then Kara and Natalia whisper. Natalia asks Kara if she’s voting her out, Kara says no way.

Wow, I just said this is the least interesting fivesome in the game, and yet even they have given us an exciting final ten minutes!

Davie doesn’t play his idol. The first votes read are for three different people on a five-person tribe (Davie, Elizabeth, and Natalia! And then the last two votes are read: both Natalia. She’s out of the game.

Well, I guess she didn’t have Alec wrapped around her finger after all as was implied a couple of episodes ago. And Alec has shown us he has a bit more to him than the standard-issue Survivor hunk. When we see the votes, it turns out Kara voted for Davie and Natalia voted for Elizabeth, which is curious, not that it affected the final outcome.

This has been a hugely enjoyable season so far thanks to the wonderful cast.

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Angelina, 3. Davie, 4. Kara, 5. Christian, 6. Alison, 7. Nick, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan, Natalie

“I’m gonna tell you my truth.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 10, 2018 recap

10 Oct

Let me start by mentioning something I forgot to mention in my last recap: Davie found an idol in the last episode. And at the moment that idol is his one consolation, because he was not in the loop on the last vote, and Christian and Nick, who he thought were his tight allies, were the deciding votes to get Jessica out.

Speaking of Christian and Nick aka the Mason-Dixon Line, they are a very entertaining duo. And they think they’re in a very good position now as they appear to be the swing votes for whatever might transpire.

Meanwhile Bi says she doesn’t feel betrayed by anyone except Gabby, and that’s the third time in the first few minutes that someone has said they are wary of Gabby.

Over on the Goliath tribe, John still wants to work with Natalie despite her behavior over the past few days. And than we see Jeremy and Mike White pal around some more. However, Mike tells us viewers that Jeremy will be his own worst enemy down the line and he, Mike, doesn’t want to go down with him when he goes down. What are the producers foreshadowing here?

Back at David, a decision has been made to vote Gabby out by Bi, Nick, Carl, and Davie. But they would need Christian’s vote too, would they have it?

Next, Jeremy tells us he’s seen as the biggest threat in the game because everyone knows he’s always thinking about the game. Then he tells the rest of the tribe that he doesn’t think there should be so many side conversations. Uh-oh. The last person I remember doing that is Garrett on Survivor: Cagayan, just click this link to find out how that worked out for him! Multiple players point out later that in expressing that he’s worried about others scheming, Jeremy calls attention to the fact that he himself is scheming.

Jeremy is just playing too hard, but he’s not done. He tells Alex and Alison about Dan’s idol, then he tells John too. This seems to hurt Jeremy more than it helps him.

The challenge takes place in a downpour stronger than any I ever remember seeing on the show. If this were in a movie people would say the special effects people overdid it! We see Goliath discuss who will sit the challenge out and find out Natalie is determined to do the puzzle. Of course, they only ever show these huddles if whoever volunteers for something is about to fail at that thing.

The tribes are dead-even going into the puzzle mostly thanks to Bi, who unfortunately hurts her knee during her segment. The puzzle features the only time the words “it’s a hypothesis” have ever been spoken in the middle of a challenge (and you guessed it, Christian is the one who says it). Christian and Gabby get the puzzle right, giving the David tribe its first immunity win of the year.

This has been a great season so far, with interesting and mostly likable characters, plus the camera time is divided up fairly evenly unlike last season which was very focused on Domenick and Chris, at least early on.

The last thing we hear from the David tribe in this episode is Bi announcing she has an MCL sprain. It’s not clear if that diagnosis comes from a doctor or from herself.

The Goliath tribe hasn’t even left the challenge site yet when we hear Natalia say Angelina should have been in on the puzzle, the unmistakable implication being that Natalie should not have been.

Back at camp, Natalie asks Jeremy while she’s not getting his support … of course, as noted in prior recaps, when he offered some friendly advice earlier, she didn’t listen. Jeremy simply replies “This is interesting Natalie. Let me tell you my truth.” And he goes on to tell her she lacks self-awareness, which he tried to tell her before.

Angelina decides to propose that Jeremy be voted out. She seems to win some converts to that cause, though Natalia dislikes Natalie so much she won’t commit. But throughout Jeremy acts very paranoid. He and Natalie squabble through the rest of the episode, including at Tribal Council.

When Mike White gets to the voting booth he takes a deep breath, that makes it obvious that he’s voting Jeremy even though that’s his best buddy. And indeed the other players unanimously vote Jeremy out.

Contenders: John, Christian, Angelina, Alison, Bi, Kara, Carl

Not sure: Davie, Gabby, Nick, Alec, Natalia

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan , Natalie


“Dan’s in a showmance, Kara’s in a strategy.” Survivor David vs. Goliath October 3, 2018 recap

3 Oct

Weather conditions are miserable for both David and Goliath as we open the episode.

When the storm lets up a bit, Christian runs an errand and Nick accompanies him, so the two are able to talk strategy. Nick tells us the two of them could be like J. T. and Stephen from Survivor: Tocantins, i.e. a country boy and a brainy guy who complement each other. And as noted last week, Nick has decided to name every alliance he makes, so they call this one the Mason-Dixon Line. Nick claims the Mason-Dixon line touches both Maryland and Kentucky. I don’t think the latter is true, but let’s not dwell on that. Also, it’s questionable how solid all of Nick’s alliances are since he was the heavy favorite to be voted out last week!

Over on Goliath, the idol Dan found is, oddly enough, still in his jacket, a risk most Survivor players are much too paranoid to take. And every single other tribe member has noticed the Dan-Kara flirtation, though as Jeremy notes, “Dan’s in a showmance, Kara’s in a strategy.” Kara, Natalia, and Angelina think they each have one of the guys (Dan, John, and Alec) wrapped around their finger so therefore they are controlling the game.

But meanwhile, Jeremy uses Mike as a lookout while he searches Dan’s jacket and finds the idol. They speculate who else knows about it, surely Kara at the very least (we viewers know that Natalia knows too).

As for Natalie, the business owner who boasted last episode that there are people who work for her who would “literally” take a bullet for her, she certainly seems the favorite to be first voted out from this tribe. John likes the idea of aligning with her because nobody would suspect it, but he warns her that she doesn’t have as many friends as she thinks. That leads her to start confronting people asking where they stand, and she tells us she’s about to “drop a little Natalie napalm.” Jeremy, being a lawyer, tells us he’s used to dealing with difficult people. So he takes Natalie aside for a heart-to-heart talk. They’re both black so they should look out for each other, he says. However, “there’s a lack of self-awareness that you have about your personality.” She denies his point and in doing so completely proves his point.

When the tribes arrive at the challenge, Jeff Probst tells them the recent bad weather was officially a cyclone!

The challenge begins with a cool ladder portion – the ladder has removable rungs, but only two, so you have to stand on a rung and remove the one below it to place it above the one you’re standing on, and repeat this several times. Alas, someone with long arms has an advantage so Alec accomplishes this much faster than Bi (whose name, we find out, is pronounced “bee”). Surely the David tribe can catch up on the puzzle? No, they botch that too and Goliath cruises to the win.

Carl thinks Lyrsa should be the one voted out since she’s the weakest challenge competitor. But Elizabeth convinces Gabby that they should vote for Jessica instead, and in turn this is pitched to Christian and Nick. What they have against Jessica is that she is close to both Carl and Bi.

We go to Tribal Council, and the set is a temple that’s absolutely stunning. Thanks to the medical evacuation this is the first council even though it’s day 6, and by a vote of 5-4, Jessica is voted out! It’s a shame, she was a more interesting character than Lysa, methinks.

So the votes were: Carl, Bi, Davie, and Jessica for Lyrsa; Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Gabby, Christian, and Nick for Jessica. It’s obvious why Lyrsa was for this plan, Elizabeth is Lyrsa’s best friend, Gabby figures if “challenge weakness” is the criteria she would be next, and Nick is just happy it’s not him. The only vote I don’t understand is Christian, but perhaps he just felt a slightly stronger connection to Lyrsa than Jessica.

Contenders: Bi, Jeremy, John, Alison, Carl

Not sure: Davie, Gabby, Christian, Nick, Alec, Angelina, Kara, Natalia

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan , Natalie